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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

Learning to Love Myself

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The following story was written by Claudette Foy several years ago and submitted to me to be include in When God Spoke to Me. I had originally accepted the story, but when my publisher asked me to cut the number of stories from 101 to 70, I went through the arduous task of eliminating a lot of wonderful stories. This was one of them…

"This was the lowest point of my life. I felt unable to handle any more problems, illnesses, or deaths. The past year had been so emotionally and physically draining. My eighty-eight-year-old mother had been so sick. We weren’t sure if she would live or die. As she began recovering, my younger sister ended up in the Critical Care Unit, intubated and semi-conscious. She had been diagnosed with a serious lung disease and had suffered a heart attack. Several dear friends had died as well, and our last living relative, Aunt Doris, passed away. My friend’s daughter, who was 5 months pregnant, lost the baby girl she was carrying. Another friend had cancer and another committed suicide.

The phone rang and I hesitated to answer. When I did, it was my son, Mike, telling me that he and his lovely wife, Sue, were separating. I was devastated and very concerned about their family. Their two children, Emily and Jeremy, were only seven and ten years old. My heart ached as flashbacks about my divorce from Mike’s dad danced around in my mind. I did not want Emily and Jeremy to go through what their dad and his brothers and sister had endured.

I have always considered myself a spiritually strong person and mostly very positive, but this time I felt so powerless and helpless. I have a saying, "The only thing permanent in this world is change." Now I cried and raged at the changes looming ahead. Mike was moving into his own place at the end of the month. I feared losing the closeness I shared with my Sue and wondered how we would deal with holidays, birthdays, and special events. I was so focused on the future I stopped living in the present.

So much change in so little time. My words were coming back to haunt me. I didn’t want to deal with any of this. I wanted to pull the covers over
my head and pretend it wasn’t happening.

For many years I had meditated, prayed, attended workshops and seminars, took spiritual courses, and had been faithful to my church and spiritual groups. Now I felt as if I hadn’t done enough or had done something wrong. I relived images from my own divorce and the effects it had had on my children.

Try as I might, I could not focus on anything positive, could not still my mind, could not read anything uplifting. About six weeks before the phone call from Mike, I had learned about a 30-Day Program called "How to Hear the Voice of God" which taught how to hear God’s Voice as well as "extend Love" to one’s thoughts. I made a commitment to hear God’s Voice more clearly in my life and was soon "extending Love" to my thoughts, to people, to nature, and to everything in my life. It seemed so easy, but as I was faced with the death of another two friends and the call from Mike, I began to doubt my ability to connect with God. I didn’t want to send love to anyone or anything. I was so sad and angry. Life wasn’t fair and I was really tired of all the challenges. I wanted to take action and keep busy—keep all those feelings under wraps. This had worked many times in the past. It didn’t work now.

I came face to face with my personal powerlessness to change anything.

I had spent years trying to change conditions and my poor husband bore all of this. I kept trying to change him so I could be happy. The thought constantly whirling around in my mind was, "There must be something I can do." The answer that came to me was, "Just be Love." But I wanted to do, not be. I argued back, but the answer was always the same, "Just be Love."

Not knowing how to simply be, I lay on my bed and began slowly extending Love to every thought, ache, pain, and feeling I felt, including my desire to not extend Love. I didn’t want to! But I continued to extend Love like a robot, keeping myself busy. I lay there and sent Love to everyone on my to-do list. I wasn’t in my Right-Mind where the Voice for God could be heard because I was too busy doing and not asking questions or listening for answers. I was afraid to stop extending Love. I thought that as long as I was extending Love all over the place I would be okay.

Then a thought popped up from my Right-Mind, "Start extending Love to yourself." In my concern for my family and friends, I had forgotten about myself. It was as if a great weight lifted from me. The more Love I extended to myself, the easier it became to see this family crisis differently. I began to realize that every one of us is connected to God and guided from within by God even if we are not totally aware. Extending Love was giving me a different perspective. What I once saw as a problem or challenge was now a blessing. I was beginning to see things correctly and beginning to feel that I did not have to do anything except love, understand, and support my family as best I could. I continued extending and expressing Love and then began adding gratitude and blessings. I also began praising my life exactly as it is and being so grateful for who I am and what I have.

Soon, the Voice for God and Love began showing up through people and events. Mike’s brothers began e-mailing and calling him, giving love, support, and understanding. I talked with Sue and assured her of our love and support for her, Mike, Jeremy, and Emily. Mike found a two-bedroom home just blocks from Emily and Jeremy so he could continue being a big part of their lives, and he and Sue agreed they would be together for all special events and family celebrations. A friend of mine offered household items to help Mike furnish his new home.

My husband, Peter, and I had been talking about getting some new furniture for our den and we knew the time was right. While we were out looking for our new furniture, we felt a sense of being guided. At one store we both had a very strong message, "Not at this store." I kept extending Love wherever we went. The second day we found exactly what we wanted and the exchange between the salesperson and ourselves was one of joy, fun, goodwill, and much kindness. We ended up giving Mike our older den furniture for his new home. We truly felt guided at the right time, to the right store, with the right salesperson.

When I extend Love, everything becomes easier, simpler and clear. What a blessing. I feel calm and peaceful realizing my family and friends have their own Inner Guidance and are not alone. I also realize that I need not become a human doing in order to be helpful and of value. I am a human being made in the image and likeness of God, and endowed with infinite wisdom, infinite health, infinite resources, and infinite strength. I can only give others what I give to myself . The more I extend Love to myself, the easier it is to extend Love to others. The more I bless and nurture myself, the more I can bless and nurture others."

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Claudette wrote her first story in 1948. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with minors in Gerontology, Psychology, and Religion. Retired, Claudette loves to travel, garden, walk, skate, read, and continues to learn.

  • Maria Mar

    Hi, DavidPaul and Claudette,

    Thanks for this beautiful story. As always, your stories inspire and uplift. Have you heard of Hooponopono? It is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is in the same vibrational intention as your “extending Love.” Bless you both for extending the healing light of love to yourselves and others.

    Light and love,
    Maria Mar
    The Dream Alchemist

  • Thank you, Maria. Yes, I am familiar with Hooponopono. Good stuff! Thanks for your comments and your love and appreciation. Lots of love to you, DavidPaul

  • Abegail Aquino Tan

    I was so bless with the Voice of love, it is really inspirational to me. Everytime, i read it – it is miraculously doing great into my daily life. I and my family, expriencing a lost of a special person in our life, and that is my Grandfather and after two months followed my Grandmother, it was really a very traumatic experienced that I have had. But with you around, who reaches the inner part of my heart, I also miraculously overcome the pain….Thank you so much for you, you are given by God to touchest our heart….

  • Thank you for your kind note. I appreciate it. I’m glad to hear it. Blessings to you and your family.

  • Ann

    Today this is a God Wink to me. Thank you for this story. Ann

  • Wow, sounds very uplifting. It’s like the power of controlling yourself and having a sound mind. When people go through tough times, they tend to feel powerless and devastated, making everything worse. But when you surround yourself with positivity, all those burdens will be gone. Asking for advice from people who have expertise in these issues will help, too. Thanks for sharing Claudette’s story, David.

  • Glad you enjoyed it, Mike. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your experience and insight.

    How did you end up finding the story buried down within my blog? Just curious.

    Many blessings to you!