On Being One … And The Power Of “Today” – Part I

Today abundance in all things surrounds us
Today true love is ours when we no longer need it
Today we are vulnerable to our partner
Today there are people one can trust instinctively
Today we realize we create our reality through our thoughts
Today we see that angels do exist and we call upon them
Today we see that miracles surround us every day in hummingbirds being able to fly backwards
in the crickets chirping under our windows
in the sun rising every morning and the moon every night
in the rainbows that color the sky after a rainfall
in the morning dew that reflects our hopes and dreams
Today we know that time heals all wounds
and that the people who hurt us the most are the ones we love the most
Today we know that mankind is inherently “good”
Today we understand that karma is not a bitch
and that everything happens for a reason
Today we are loved for who we are
for our passions and our dreams
for our joys and our sorrows
for our laughter and our tears
through the dark times not just the happy times
Today we know we will hold their hand when we’re 82 and feel lucky and loved
Today we strive to make this a better place
and be remembered for the friends we have not the things we owned
Today we are a positive influence on many people
some of whom we know and some of whom just pass us by
Today we made more people laugh than cry
Today we know that this life is worth it and we are grateful

As always in love, Jean-Pierre

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On Being One … And The Power Of Friends

Friends! It is often said that “love comes and goes but friends are here to stay“. Yet, how many people have we called friends only to see them disappear into the vast unknown? If you are like most of us, and me, they are too numerous to count. People we called friends, sometimes best friends, in our childhood, in high school and college, in whatever team sport we played, at work, at the local bar, etc. Some of us are lucky, very lucky, to still have a few of these people in our lives.

Friends are the people who saw us through our joys and sorrows. The people who were there to celebrate our victories and help forget our defeats. They were there to be happy with and for us when we told them about falling in love. They were there to wipe our tears, lend a shoulder, or buy us a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or a beer when we fell out of love. Friends see the pain in our eyes when everyone else sees our smile. Friends hear the sadness in our voice while everyone else hears us say: “I’m fine”. And we were there for them in the same ways under the same circumstances. We sometimes have dreamed similar dreams. They get us and we get them.

Friends! We are comfortable with them, like an old pair of moccasins, an old sweater or even our favorite chair. It fits us. We cherish their presence and their laughter.

Friends can tell us go to hell because they have our best intentions at heart. Friends drop whatever it is they’re doing when we absolutely need them to be there for us. Friends don’t judge us by the size of our bank account, the car we drive, or our job title.

If you are like most of us, the older you get, the more difficult it seems it is to keep friends. Friends get married, they have kids, they have jobs which stresses them out, they move out of town and sometimes out of state. We too have our shares of issues. We get fired or resign. Our partner cheats on us or decides to end the relationship for reasons we have no clue about. Our four-legged companion dies. Our parents get sick. A million and one things that are part of our lives as we age.

It is also said that it is better to have an enemy who honestly says s/he hates us, than a friend who’s putting us down secretly. Remember as we choose our friends, to choose the strong ones. Remember also that strength can be used to push us down, or to raise us up. Choose wisely.

I choose my friends also by the friends they keep. Are they honorable? What are their ethics? Do they see their glass as 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? Do they exude kindness through their strengths? Do they walk their talk, or do they cave when the going gets tough? Will they challenge and help me to be better than I am, or try to take me down to a lower level?

I am both honored and privileged to have a few friends to whom I would trust my life. In fact, in a few instances, I have. We often disagree on a variety of subject matters, but we’ve always been there for another … and I think we always will. As I age, I find myself appreciating my friends ever more and I take the time to tell them. Some of my friends are men who are still hesitant to show emotion other than by grunting and slapping each other’s back silly. I accept that, but I still tell them that I love them and that I am honored and privileged to be their friend.

I hope that, when I die, I will be judged by the friends I kept and that people will say: “He must have been a good man, look at the friends he had.”

May your life be ever enriched by your friends – Jean-Pierre

By the way, perhaps it goes without saying but… a friend is unlikely to be someone who liked you on Facebook, or some other social media!

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On Being One … And The Power Of Being Oneself

Recently, I received a call from a new client we’ll call Stacy. I think our conversation provides an important lesson for most, if not all of us, and in particular most women. So here it is.

Stacy told me that she had recently started dating a man we’ll call Bob. Throughout her dates, she had found Bob to be kind, generous and handsome. In fact, as it turns out, Stacy and Bob share a great deal in common and Stacy thought Bob was a potential long-term partner. Stacy, however, was worried that her financial status was a detriment to a budding relationship.

Stacy was, and remains, in the midst of a career change. Because of that she is, let’s say, financially challenged. She is, however, working hard to make her new career choice be successful, both from a personal satisfaction and a financial standpoint. But, for now, she has trouble making ends meet though she does not live what we would refer to as an extravagant lifestyle. Rather the opposite. She likes to stay home and read or watch TV. She rarely goes out and almost never to a bar. She rarely drinks and does not do drugs, nor is she a shopaholic.

Early in this budding relationship, as they were discussing relationships, Bob mentioned that one of the reasons he broke up with his  previous girlfriend was that she didn’t contribute much financially, if anything. Stacy then took it upon herself to prove she could and would contribute financially. For example, she took to cooking Bob nice dinners buying the food for them both when he never asked her to do so. Stacy also took upon herself to pay half of the tab when they went out to restaurants, even though she herself would not go out to eat because she could not afford it. In other words, she was projecting herself to Bob as someone she is not.

In essence, like many women, Stacy began to change herself to please first her date, later her boyfriend and, she hoped, her partner. Like many women, she didn’t love herself enough to be secure in who she was. So she became who she thought he wanted her to be.

Like most of us, Stacy is afraid of “not being enough.” She is afraid that, if Bob finds out she is not making much money, he will “dump” her. I told Stacy that I thought it was deceitful of her to not let Bob know of her situation and perpetuate a non-existent, for the time being, financial myth. She is not a partner who can pay half the bills today. So Bob may be falling in love with someone she’s not. “Wouldn’t it be better to come clean?”, I asked Stacy. I also asked of Stacy to think whether this relationship had a solid foundation if it was based on whether or not she had a sufficient income. I pointed out that, if so, this did not seem to be a relationship based on love, which is what she (everyone?) wants.

More importantly, I asked Stacy whether she thought she was being deceitful and disrespectful, not just Bob, but to herself. This is not who she is, nor is it the person Bob asked out. Bob had felt a connection and had been intrigued enough to approach Stacy. Maybe he just liked the way she looked. Perhaps even her voice, or the way she stood or sat. Probably a combination of all of these. Whatever it was, Bob didn’t approach Stacy and asked about her financial status before asking her out. By projecting an image of whom she is not, she is telling herself that she is not “enough” as is! That who she is today is not worthy of being loved.

I think women are more prone to this than men, though the ratio appears to be even in Southern California where it seems that we judge the compatibility of our potential partner by the car they drive. But aren’t we all worthy of being loved for whom we are, complete and replete with flaws? Aren’t we worthy of enough self-love to declare to the world who we are and what we stand for?

Believe me, as a single man, I feel and understand Stacy’s fear. It is often said that a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. Let’s remember that a bird in the hand is prone to defecate in your hand if held long enough. Let’s also remember that a bird in the hand is a prisoner and that the bird wants to be free to fly. In the end, I asked Stacy to consider whether just being herself would not be best for her and in this, or any future relationship. Whether it would not be best to tell Bob she is changing career and is not able to go out all the time, or at least pay half the bills. I also asked her to consider whether, if her lack of income caused the end of the relationship, this was the partner for her or she for him. I invited Stacy to live and be her true self. I invited her to take the time to think about why she is not honoring herself, and what she has to give her partner. I asked her to ask herself what it is she thinks she’s lacking just as she is and, whether if she had it, it really would make her happy and bring her a loving, supportive and vibrant relationship. I asked her why she thinks she’s not enough as she is today. Why she doesn’t love herself enough to deem herself worthy of being loved for who she is. I didn’t have those answers for her. Even if I did, she needs to think about these questions, and to get the answers, on her own.

Stacy, like most women, is a strong person. She felt the truth of the words that we exchanged and the questions I asked her to consider. I wish her the best and know she is worthy of being loved for who she is, not for what she earns or owns. I look forward to hearing back from her and see her standing for who she truly is.

From a general perspective, part of the problem is that we live in a world where money is perceived to be central to our happiness. Don’t get me wrong, money makes things a lot easier. It is easier to be “in love” with your partner when you don’t have to worry about whether you can pay the bills or not. It is easier to be “in love” with a man who can take you on a 3-day weekend to Paris just because then with a man who is working 2 jobs to make ends meet. And if money is your core need, and for many of us it is, then so be it. But be careful what you ask for, because it will be given to you. And if you are looking for a partner who will always be there for you; who will support you in everything you do; who will see the best in you; someone who will think of ways to show you s/he loves you; someone you will be proud to introduce to your friends and parents; perhaps even someone who will be a good father/mother… then remember that money does not always make a gentleman/lady.

For the record: the vast majority of women still make less money than men, even if they are similarly employed. There is an enlightening article on this subject matter in the Institute for Women’s Policy Research  website which I encourage each of you to read.

As always in love, Jean-Pierre

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On Being One … And The Power Of Feeling Safe

We enter into relationships to feel safe. To do so, we must be understood. As the relationship matures, often our partner becomes our confident in our sorrows. We share what bothers us the most because we trust that s/he will understand, while we smile on the outside at the rest of the world lest they laugh at our sorrows. Sometimes, our partner takes this as a sign we no longer love them. Most often, that is not the case. Rather, we love them more because we trust them to understand our sorrows. Understand that, sometimes when this world seems too much to bear, we need to share our fears and we long for our partner to tell us that everything will be alright because we are loved. It is a sign of trust that we share our deepest sorrows and fears. This is particularly true if it is a man who shares because he trusts that you will not betray what he perceives to be weakness. Let him see his strength and courage he had to be vulnerable because he loves you.

Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person:
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pour them all out, as they are, chaff and grain together,
knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then, with the breath of kindness,
blow the rest away.

~ George Eliot, 1819 – 1880 ~
English Novelist

I want to thank fellow blogger Otrazhenie for giving me the idea for this post and providing Mr. Eliot’s poem. Her posts can be found by clicking on this link.

As always in love, Jean-Pierre

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On Being One… And The Power Of A Letter

Recently, I had the privilege and honor of helping a friend overcome the end of a relationship. We have known each other for a very long time, so I know his dreams and his nightmares. I know what he loves and what he fears. I know his joys and sorrows. I have even helped him live through some of them. So, after a recent session which followed a contact from his ex, I wrote him a letter. Because it touched his heart and helped him overcome this latest stumble, he encouraged me to post it so that it may help others. So, here goes:

My dearest friend.

I know that you are most afraid of being unworthy. Unworthy of being loved and unworthy of being financially abundant. Somehow, both are entwined in your mind. Let me put your mind and heart at peace.

Unworthy of love? Well, let me remind you that you have been, and continue to be, loved by many. Many of your friends cry with you at your sorrows, and shout with you at your joys. Some even pray for you, and others have their parents pray for you. They all, without fail, cheer for you because they know you are worthy. Many of your past relationships have loved you deeply. Unfortunately, you didn’t let yourself be loved by most, if not all. I shouldn’t say “unfortunately” because they provided you lessons along your path that has made you the unique open-hearted person you are. The man who is strong enough to show his weakness and ask for help.

Did these relationships come to you so you could work some Karma? Some past life experiences? Perhaps. Some believe so. I believe that Source does not keep score. That whatever Karma exists is dealt with in the present. That when your body dies, the score is reset. Did these relationships come so you could contrast them with your parents’? Or perhaps you were afraid to love because your parents’ relationship always seemed “wrong” somehow? I don’t know. I do know you well enough to know that you believed in fairy tales, and still do. That you were always rushing in on your white steed in defense of the maiden. You were so busy looking for the fair maiden, that you didn’t give yourself to the one next to you. So, your heart and eyes were always turned every other way with each of them. Yet, in your own way, you loved them. You were loyal to them. You were always there when they needed you. Always dropping whatever you were doing to help them. You were always polite and their friends were always jealous that she was with you. You made them laugh (or tried your best to). Sometimes you made them cry, but without malice in your heart which you always wore on your sleeve. You always supported their dreams, and sometimes even made them come true. You would have brought down the moon for each of them if you could have. And still, you searched for your damsel to rescue from the dragon you were prepared to slay, never realizing until now that the dragon was within you.

I have known you long enough to know that you were always afraid to be alone, and still are. I know the deep solitude that was your early life. The imaginary friends and dates so that others would not think you as lonely and unloved. Always afraid of the silence lest you found out that you didn’t like yourself. Afraid that you were and are unworthy. That your father was right, that you were, are and will always be worthless. His words cut deep into your soul and you still carry the scar even though you know he didn’t mean them. Or rather that he meant them so as to toughen you up for he believed the world to be cruel and that only the strongest survive. But you never wanted to survive… you wanted to thrive! You wanted to soar!

What a twisted road you have followed my friend. You have truly forgotten why you are here. You have forgotten you are joy incarnate. You have forgotten that every thing is possible and open to you. You look for ways to be sad. Look around you. Open your heart and feel with your eyes. Listen to the miracles that surround you. Be like the bird that sings, not because it has a song, but because it can and lives the moment. Don’t expect anything short of miracles to come your way. Open your heart and watch what happens. Breathe and notice the signs around you that show you are blessed, that Source appreciates you because you are Source. How could you be anything but worthy since you are made from Source? You are light and love. You are joy and laughter. You can’t help but love and be loved. It is your true nature.

Come open your heart and sense your true self. Live in the magic world of your imagination and let your dreams be realized. And know that I will always be there to listen and lend a hand.

Your friend, always, Jean-Pierre

His message to you all is: love yourself and no one will hurt you, nor will you hurt anyone … ever.

In joy and love – Jean-Pierre

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On Being One … And The Power Of The Many Lessons We Forget

Continuing with the theme to reflect about last year and create an amazing New Year, I thought I would share with you a video about an “interview with God”. If the word “God” does not resonate with you, then please use whatever word resonates with you and let’s enjoy the message. Hopefully we can all agree that, whatever it is we believe, we do what we do in the hope to be happy. It is my hope that this video reminds us all about some of the lessons that we have forgotten along our journey to happiness.

Interview with God

Wishing you all a year filled with love, friends, laughter and giggles, Jean-Pierre

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On Being One… And The Power Of The First Day Of The New Year

Welcome one and all to the first day of 2015! May the year be full of friends, love, laughter and giggles. I thought we’d start the year with a rather long, but quite appropriate, quote from Ella Wilcox. It is a quote that truly resonates with me and I hope it does with you as well.

What can be said in New Year rhymes that hasn’t been said a thousand times? The New Years come, the Old Years go, we know, we dream we know. We wake up laughing with the light, we lie down weeping with the night. We hug the world until it stings, we curse it then and sigh for wings. We live, we love, we woo, we wed. We wreathe our pride, we sheet our dead. We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear. And that’s the burden of a year.

May your year be full of friends, love, laughter and giggles, Jean-Pierre

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