The Next Step   

What’s your next step?

Asking is the easy part. At times it’s slightly more difficult to recognize your answer.

The really hard part is after accepting it – you need to take that next step.

Putting it into action involves belief, courage, determination, faith, forbearance, perseverance and steadfast movements.

Then once you align all that  then it’s time to take the actions of Lovingly Detaching and doing so with Gratitude. 

While the essence of “Becoming” involves enlarging our circle, reaching out to one another and aiding those we can, the reality is there are times in life we must detach ourselves from certain people, places, things and even ideas. Now this does not have to be harsh and should not be done cruelly.

While I certainly have been no stranger to the theory of “Tough Love” popularized by Leo Buscaglia, I think too often there is a wrong emphasis, with too much attention put on the being tough aspect. I know at times in my life I have certainly been guilty of that. 

Admittedly it may have helped for a mere moment but the fallout or repercussions in some cases have taken years to overcome. Impacting not only others, but my own self healing and personal development. Those are lessons I do not want to repeat. 

I understand there are times when this theory is very effective and can even be life saving, however it’s important to keep the emphasis on the Love part and while realizing the need to let go and overcome adverse situations, being tough in an uncompromising manner is not the key.

That’s why I’ve grown to understand and better embrace the idea of Lovingly Detaching.

While both Tough Love and Lovingly Detaching require us to remain steadfast, strong and forbearant, or sticking to our principles and beliefs, detaching is less harsh. We cannot force anyone to take personal responsibility, nor should we try to take on the management of their actions, rather we must learn to love within wise choices rather than simply be reactionary with emotional responses.  

It is far more compassionate to love from a distance rather than allowing ourselves and loved ones to spiral down together. 

Learning to love while at times disengaging from being reactionary allows us not only to protect ourselves but helps foster the emotional and at times physical health of the others involved.  

We all must deal with our own consequences, the result of our actions, attitudes, beliefs and choices. So why not make it so we are celebrating the outcomes rather than trying to repair, overcome or run away from?

If you are recognizing the need to put some distance between you and someone or something, here are some questions for you to ponder:

Is this healthy for me? 

Can I accept the outcome of my decision? 

What is truly my motivation?

Do I have other options?

Is this a wise choice?

Self examination of your own motives and needs are essential in developing and sharing compassion along with lovingly detaching.

The process also aids in empowering your own personal freedom and improving your true sense of self.

Let’s now talk about some of the qualities that detaching is and is not.

To detach oneself you must find your center. Remain balanced or as close to it as you can find. 

It’s a way of seeking objectivity and remaining neutral in any perceived outcomes. Results will vary and the eventual outcome needs to be what is best for the individuals, groups and situations, not what you may be desiring at the moment. This also allows for lessening or preventing any co-dependence that may be happening. 

Detachment does not involve becoming aloof, running away from ( unless there is a true danger you need to escape) , turning your back on, ignoring, giving the “silent treatment” or shutting yourself down emotionally.  Nor does it mean to neglect or overlook someone’s true needs. The distancing that is involved is in the setting or revising of boundaries. 

To lovingly detach we must release our expectations and untangle ourselves from the problems of others. In some cases this also means keeping your nose out of their business.   

Do not allow them to push your buttons and you should not be trying to provoke their responses either.   

Having appropriate boundaries involves accepting the realities of the situation. Yes there are more than one. We need to consider our grasp of the situation, how the other is perceiving it and its impacts on the “we” or “us” of a shared state of being.

With an agreed upon understanding of that – we can now reexamine what it means to release or let go.

You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current  realities go. It’s something we have all had to ask ourselves, multiple times. Some more than others, but nonetheless it is simply a part of the human condition.When we suffer emotional pain, how do you let go of the past and move on?

First you need to accept that it is a conscious decision. One that involves taking action. Holding on to the past is just like letting go and moving forward. You decide . It’s your choice. Once you make the decision then you take action to make it happen. 

To me it seems the best way  to heal is by learning a lesson from the situation, then using it to be “Becoming”.  Channel your thoughts, intentions, desires and energies into focusing on growth and building that momentum that moves both forward and upward. 

Do not get stuck in the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” mentality. Hanging onto what should have happened, what could have happened, or what you wished would have happened, give yourself motivation to get over it. Release it and heal. Or keep a grip on it and be paralyzed; immobilized by feelings of pain and bad memories.

If you are telling yourself  you are ready to move on from a negative  experience, but still are  not sure how to get started, here are some steps to assist you in letting go…

Develop Positive Self Talk 

Those endless conversions that go on inside of you, and sometimes aloud when you think you’re alone are the starting line. How you talk to yourself can either help you move on or keep you bogged down.

One technique to improve your internal dialogue is to create a Reassuring, Reaffirming Mantra.

Instead of limiting yourself by thinking things like “Why me? Why did this happen to me!” Declare positive energy. Try something like,  “I am so fortunate to be “Becoming”. Finding this new positive path in life is good for me.”

Practice Mindfulness

The most important moment in our lives is the one we are currently experiencing. Make the most of it. Focusing on the present moment, it lessens the possibilities for a negative impact that either the past or future can have on us

Be Kind To Yourself

We are all our own worst critics. Now is the best time to show yourself some kindness and compassion. Treat yourself like you would someone else. Nurture, be loving, and kind. The more you are able to let self-care become an automatic habitual response into your daily life, the more you are empowering yourself. (You go girl!) 

Let your emotions flow freely

Do not keep things bottled up. Burying your feelings not only causes the pain to  remain, oftentimes it can increase and have negative physical effects on our bodies ( and minds) as well.  You are not the only one who has ever been afraid to face a negative or painful emotion, just realize you need to do it. Face your fears, breathe and let them pass through you. Do not allow them to define you. .

Foster Your Loving Circle

Yes it is a simple step, yet it is oh so powerful. Enlarging our circles of positive people helps to lighten your load, share the burdens and get you through a lot of pain.

No one is an island. You can not live life alone. Therefore you should not expect yourself to overcome hurts alone either. 

Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Talk About “It”

When you’re dealing with painful emotions, it is important to allow yourself permission to talk about it.Some people are unable to release it, because they falsely believe they aren’t allowed to talk about it. Find a friend, pastor, support group or therapist who are patient and accepting.

Forgive and Forget

This is a vital part of “Becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.

It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.

To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as you practice refocusing how you see the situation, and celebrate the small victories you have.

Reinforce Better Boundaries

Like the old adage, “good fences, make good neighbors”, boundaries are beneficial to all involved in or experiencing a common situation. Respecting not only your own boundaries, but those of others aids us in being able to release things more easily. Plus it gives us the space to remain objective and view the issues or circumstances from a place of being lovingly detached.

Letting go, releasing, detaching, whichever term you feel more comfortable with all require that they be done so lovingly. 

When we do so we are rewarded not only in our relationships but also in our individual personal growth, being better able to embrace inner peace, which is beneficial across all areas of our lives.

It boosts our personal power,  teaches us to be more resilient and allows for us to better encourage others while maintaining healthy boundaries that aid our personal freedom and acceptance of responsibility for ourselves. 

We are only responsible and can only be held accountable for our own thoughts, emotions, decisions and resulting actions. The consequences of the choices of others ultimately are not ours. Becoming one’s emotional caretaker is not healthy for either person when it is based upon a false belief that you can control their pain. 

What may lay ahead for someone, even ourselves we may never truly know. 

So when releasing or moving on we must also do so with an attitude of gratitude.

Be Grateful

See the good in everything and everyone. Cherish beauty, kindness, love, and joy. I believe everyday should be Thanksgiving. I am constantly giving gratitude for all things including the lessons we sometimes don’t want or think we need.

Being grateful puts us in a better state. One of bliss, joy and abundance. When you decide to adopt and commit to an attitude of gratitude, God listens and rewards you.

Realize – Reactions Resonate

As one of my favorite quotes from Chuck Swindoll reminds us,  “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

So begin by accepting the fact that you are a co-Creator. You are more than capable of choosing the right actions when pushed, promised or promoted. Accept Personal Responsibility.  In order to fully accept your reality, you must take ownership of any role you may have played, good or bad, in leading you to where you are.  When you do, then you can work on decisions for the next steps.

This includes Seeing Your Shadow

Since most of us are at least  initially unwilling to see or accept anything unattractive or negative about ourselves, most often we are likely to see the shadows of others before our own.  

However, opening up to the willingness and responsibility of exploring our dark sides has many powerful benefits including having a clearer focus, a better defined vision, improved relationships, a more accepting and acknowledging attitude, greater creativity, and a more awakened spirit.

 All are tools empowering us along our paths towards “Becoming”. So quit putting it off and realize you must embrace yourself and accept your dark side. No more denying or hiding. You have a dark side. I have a dark side. We all have dark sides. The time has come now for us to admit it and free ourselves from its negative power and side effects.

Acknowledging your dark side does not mean you have to embrace it.

Accepting that then we can focus on Developing Our Joy

Joy is power, a strength and a reward that exists within each of us. It’s our individual responsibility to nurture it , co-create it and share it.

It is through how we choose to react to obstacles, circumstances and life in general as to how we do or do not experience joy. No one can truly take it away from you. Only you can prevent yourself from experiencing it.

Joy is extremely important to overcoming tests and trials as well as on our path of “Becoming” as it is through joy that we lead ourselves out of the darkness with Peace. Joy is one of the tools we are equipped with, to aid us in finding our answers, soul-utions, authentic lives and to “Becoming” our destiny.

Following becoming more joyful then you can allows yourself  to Become Better Empowered 

When you have improved the vision of who you are, then you can shift towards where you want to be. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Dreams do come true. Trust yourself, do what you love and love who you are while doing it. Embrace your times of imperfection with grace and forgiveness and empower yourself to conquer any self limiting aspects. 

To live an empowered life opens yourself to a “Becoming”. Be purposeful in living for great expectations, realizations and continued growth. Empowerment means that you are stronger, bolder, more secure. Better able to deal with those distractions, circumstances and moments of stress. Deciding to empower yourself allows for you to make superior decisions, including having the conscious  determination to be “Becoming”. By that action you are committing to continue evolving to the next higher level.

Yes you will still encounter delays, obstacles and troubles. However, accepting the responsibility for your own empowerment, by focusing on who you are and where you want to be, allows for you to live a life that is truly authentic, more rewarding and of significance. 

And if you encounter resistance, hold yourself with Grace. Haters will always hate. Gossips will run their mouths and the fearful will try to scare you. Hold your head high, shoulders back and nurture yourself in your new empowered confidence and in who you are “Becoming Today”.

Who is that? You can start to formulate that refreshed identity by

Filling in the blanks:

“You are” what? That question is one you must answer for ourselves. Our first steps along this recurring journey are always being in touch with who we are, where we are and where we want to be “Becoming”. 

You are …  wondering why this topic today? Well it’s because I need some reinforcement in my own definition. So being open to inspiration and gratefully acknowledging the gift of Grace, it was quite apparent I needed to look past some distractions, remain on course and continue trusting that for every delay, disappointment and obstacle God has already overcome them for me, for I are….

Since I ( and hopefully you) are “Becoming” our destiny, who we are truly intended to be then If I truthfully fill in the blank, there are many answers, solutions and outcomes.

“You are ________.”  

… not meant to just get by.

… beautiful.

… empowered.

… strong enough.

… vibrant.

… fearless.

… focused.

… “Becoming”.

So all of this brings us to working our A.B.B.s:  Always Be Becoming.

Consistency counts. Regular exercise improves our immunity. Strengthens us for what challenges, difficulties or obstacles may lay ahead.

To give thanks is something that benefits us and all those we encounter in infinite ways. 

To live with giving thanks begins by being grateful.

Giving thanks allows us to see the good in everything and everyone. To cherish beauty, kindness, love, and joy.

I am constantly giving gratitude for all things including the lessons we sometimes don’t want or think we need.

Instead of resisting help, learn to surrender to it. In learning how to accept Help we are Becoming able to live a life with gratitude. That simple act of true humility is pleasing to God. Accepting of child-like trust, to receive without the burdens of judgment shows we are evolving.  

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.“ (Matthew 18:3-4 BSB)

Always be grateful.

Allow yourself to adopt an attitude of gratitude. Receiving is a beautiful experience, be thankful for it, whether or not it’s happening yet. Practice saying thank you so you may do so in humility when the need arises.

Don’t take away another’s blessing. Afford others an opportunity to give. Receiving isn’t all about you.  Allow a loving well intentioned person to experience the love and gratitude that they will feel when you allow yourself to accept their help.  

Also accept each day as a gift from the hand of God because He has a reason and a time for all things. There is much wisdom to be gained in understanding this concept.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

When we live our lives in faith we are “Becoming” our destinies as we comprehend and embrace the power in always trusting God. Our lives truly reveal their meaning and purpose when we rely on His wisdom, timing and goodness.

Much of “Becoming” involves embracing the need for change, it is the only way in which we can truly grow, develop and realize our potentials.  Life is a process. A repetitive one/ We learn, grow, become then question, learn, grow and continue “Becoming”.

Gratitude is something we should also share whenever we are expressing ourselves whether we are talking to a friend, a stranger, a group of people or even writing thoughts on the Internet.

When a speaker is expressing gratitude, there is a direct link to how their confidence is perceived. Listeners are more trusting, receptive and likely to take a sympathetic action in reaction to your request.  When you come across as grateful and truly appreciative it aids in presenting a positive message that everything is alright and will only get better. The best way to be viewed as gracious is to live in an attitude of gratitude. 

It’s not difficult to adopt an attitude of gratitude. It just takes time and effort. Like most things in life  that are worth having. The starting steps are small and simple, yet pay us back exponentially.

Say thank you more often. To others, to God and even to ourselves. Treating each day as a time of thanksgiving leads to a more contented life. Research has revealed that by accepting the daily practice of giving thanks increases happiness by as much as 25 percent.

It should also be a part of our regular practice of prayer, it should be done in gratitude. Always with an attitude of thanksgiving and openly expressing our thanks for the outcome. Not when “it” arrives or when it is proven true, but as we ask for it. Give gratitude as you seek showing confidence in your belief that good shall overcome.

However, do not do so pridefully. We should always pray in humility.

 Ask and gracefully receive.

 When we humble ourselves before God we are not only glorifying Him, but also reminding ourselves of how powerful God’s mercy, grace and unconditional love are. 

Therefore we should trust our belief and have faith in God to earnestly discipline ourselves to asking Him to supply our needs in prayer. In requesting this in sincerity with gratitude and humility, faith allows us to perceive the knowledge that our requests or petitions will be heard and that if what we ask for is in accord with the Lord, that His will will be done, delivering us through His promise, grace and mercy.

By gratefully receiving the idea of lovingly detaching we can be freed to see our own individual paths forward.

Some may continue together. Others will choose a different fork. Still some others will travel around a bend and on the other side, somewhere over the rainbow, the paths may become shared again.

Only time will tell. Only your internal compass can truly guide you. So follow your heart, resolute in your beliefs, conscience, experiences, intuition, truth and values.

Then tomorrow join us for a peek at what may be happening at the Next Corner, on our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

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