I chat with my former sister-in-law, Arleen, almost daily. Just because we’re no longer connected by marriage doesn’t mean she and I aren’t connected. Earlier this morning she texted me several messages, one included this bold reminder:

This message made me pause and then laugh at the memories of my past when I actually contemplated the half fullness or emptiness of a glass, thinking it had to be one or the other. It’s not. It’s an “and”. Matter of fact, it’s two “and’s”.

The glass is half empty and half full, and it’s refillable—which is an even bigger a-ha! We can always add to it.

This is life.

Half-fullers

For those of you who have a tendency of always seeing the glass as half-full, this message is for you. Stop seeing lack in everything you encounter.

Conditionally Half-full

Some of you reading this may be optimistic in one part of your life but always skeptical and cynical in another part. You may be thriving in your career and tanking in your love life, or vice versa. It’s because you’re failing to see that relationships are relationships, some are just more intimate than others. You truly limit yourself when you approach life thinking that there’s two worlds you’re straddling. There’s one world, you’re just engaging in each relationship in different ways. It’s about the “and’s”.

Don’t limit yourself. When you do you risk not embracing the “and’s”. They do you no good trapped inside of your mind. How many “and’s” are waiting to pour out of you?

It’s Refillable

We have to stop pushing thoughts and emotions down. Stop running and hiding from them. Explore them. Even the uncomfortable and destructive ones. Dissect them and then deal with them one at a time. Determine what works, what doesn’t, what’s for you and what’s not, and then move forward.

Our dreams die because we keep forgetting that the glass is refillable.

Our relationships die because we keep forgetting that the glass is refillable.

We have to keep pouring into those people and things that matter to us. And being mindful and intentional about what we’re pouring in, when, and why. If you pour in junk that’s what you will get. If you ration what you pour in, you will only get driplets in return. If you’re only pouring in when it serves your immediate needs, then you will only receive a short-term gain. If you’re only pouring in for selfish reasons, then you will find yourself always feeling empty-handed.

And while you’re pouring in you need to responsibly pour out.

We’re social creatures, built to give and receive. If you’re hellbent on receiving but not giving, the cup will be filled and that’s it; it’s full but, over time, you will begin to envy and covet other people’s refilled glasses. You may even knock over your glass reaching towards theirs. You will see all of the changes in their life, and you will want what they have not realizing how and why their glass keeps refilling with such variety and splendor.

The reasons they have what you don’t is simple: They aren’t placing limits on themselves, and they put in the work each day that you’re unwilling to do. They pour into others as they’re cup is being refilled. They do whatever it takes to keep that cup flowing. They operate from a mindset of abundance. They see waterfalls while you see dams. They release while you hoard.

Ooh Look at Their Grass

It’s like the “grass is greener on the other side” analogy that people ponder. I’ve written about it before but let’s look at it in yet another way.

Not Green Enough

If your “grass” is green but not as green as the other “yard”, you may think your grass isn’t green enough. Do you call that yard owner or a lawn care service and ask why their grass seems so much greener? Do you ask how to get your grass as green? Do you check to see what they are doing differently? Or do you check to see if maybe you have a different type of grass that needs to be cared for a different way?

Or do you just stew in your envy and grow to hate your yard? Or do you go a step farther and plot and plan to leave your yard so you can go to the other one?

Maybe their grass is greener because they put in the work each day that you refuse to do, don’t know how to do, or just don’t do as well. Maybe.

It can also be the type of grass. Some types need more or less water, cut more or less frequently, etc. Maybe they invested more in better quality grass, while you chose the cheaper route.

If you never ask the questions about the grass and the caretaker you never get the truth, well not initially. Some folks are so busy trying to fence hop, yard swap, that they don’t know the details.

Some people have gorgeous yards because they pay someone else to care for them, or someone else (like a spouse) is pulling all of the weight and caring for that yard. The person you give credit to for the yard merely found someone with the skills to do it for them. But how many people jump at the chance to get their hands on the person they think makes that grass magical, just to find out their choice was wrong?

We see this a lot in relationships where a person pursues a man/woman who is already in a relationship and they assume that the “greenness” they see is solely the result of that one person they are pursuing. They fail to realize that the partner is doing their share. The person they’re pursuing may not be the caretaker of that lawn.

It’s Fake

Some of you are busy bashing your yard not knowing that other super green lawns are actually artificial turf. You’re trying to swap real for fake. Even if you get it, after some time you may find yourself yearning for the real thing. What are you going to do then, pine for your old yard, tear up your fake one and try to lay down real grass? Or will you jump the fence and go invade yet another yard?

It happens a lot when people fence hop and leave behind their yard for another. After awhile, they start looking at that hard work each day (of labor and/or expense) and begin to yearn for their old yard. What is both sad and comical is when people look back at their old yards and realize that “It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I just didn’t want to put in the work”. They now have a new perspective and they don’t like the decisions they made. That’s what happens when we operate from a mindset of lack.

Brown “Grass”

If your grass is brown it’s because you didn’t care for it properly. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if you pack up and go to that other lawn because guess what? You’re still you and you’re still bringing your limited thinking over to that green lawn—which means that unless you put in the work to keep that grass green, you will either end up with brown grass or you’re gonna get kicked out of that yard. Whoever took care of that green grass, that you coveted, isn’t going to let you neglect or abuse it.

Fix Your Mindset

Life is not passive it’s active. You have to engage and take part in it. You have to work to block out what’s toxic and unhealthy, and let in all that is healthy and appropriate for you. It requires discernment, clarity, patience, and discipline. Not all that is healthy is for you. You have to find, see, and embrace what’s right for you. You’re a special puzzle and only the right pieces fit. Some of us just keep jamming the wrong pieces in, trying to make them fit. You’re distorting things for selfish gains, which only leads to loss.

Your mental state of lack will always keep you in a deficit. That’s why the grass-is-greener fiasco keeps you in a state of lack.

We want a microwave solution to an oven-baked situation. That’s a problem we face each day and we don’t realize that the solution is to get out of our own way. Our unhealthy selfishness causes us more grief than gain. We also remain in a state of lack when we make everything about us. When we compare what we don’t have with what someone does have, and we think that we deserve what they have because in our minds we put in equal or greater efforts—yet got different results—and we don’t see the flaws in that distorted logic.

When we are the only priority in every circumstance, we’ve unknowingly declared that the glass isn’t refillable. We’ve actually cut holes into it and we’re watching everything drain out. Ironically, we will blame someone or something else for the holes. Because now we must play the role of victim. It’s all about us, until we have to take responsibility for our actions.

To truly live we have to stop this rollercoaster of madness that we’ve created. We can’t handle it, yet, we expect others to jump on and enjoy the ride. We want people to accept and love us, when we don’t accept and love ourselves. We keep wanting it to be all about us yet we expect others to fulfill a role for us that they were never created for. We covet when we should be grateful and content.

Just like our bodies need water we need a healthy source to tap into so that our thirsts are quenched, and we can function as we’re designed. The three-part question now to ponder is:

Who and/or what is your source? Do you go within or elsewhere to access it? How will you stay out of the way so it can do what needs to be done?

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman.

I love this quote from Hannah Whitall Smith. It is featured in the book, 100 Days of Grace for Women [published by Freeman-Smith].

I keep reading these words and visualizing my circumstances from the outside looking in.

Try doing this.

How many times did your mind wander from your visualization? Did you lose focus?

It requires the ability to be both patient and present, to tune out the clutter that normally distracts us, and tune in to what’s before us and in us.

In every spiritual text that we read we’re taught to be patient and to be present. We ignorantly avoid both instructions. They require stillness to not wander, faith to believe in better, strength to persevere, and courage to embrace the unknowns and face the fears that surface.

Yes, it’s difficult during trials and tribulations to stand in the presence of now, look around and see and feel the hurt and anguish that our present provides. But there’s no escaping it. All of the options of escape are not healthy and don’t allow us to live fully in our current bodies. We can attempt to run and hide, barely existing in a constant state of depression, a dark cloud surrounding us; we can try to escape through alcohol, drugs, and sex—all have temporary highs and long-lasting lows. The attempt of escape is wasted energy; it is futile; it is pure insanity. We will always be returned to our present, to the now, and faced with the reality of what is and isn’t. When we measure the pain of the trials and tribulations in comparison to the self-inflicted pain we bring upon ourselves through the constant acts of escapism, the wise can see that the latter is far more painful than the former—and oddly enough, the route of escapism takes much longer than had we just been patient in the present state of tribulation and waited for the gateway to be revealed to us so that we could walk from here to there without chaos. Our depression is caused by chaos from our past that was never resolved and healed. We’ve brought our past into our present, and if we don’t resolve it now we are destined to drag this bag of crap into our future—never escaping it, never being free, just allowing ourselves to be drained by it day after day until we take our last breath. Misery exemplified.

Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle teaches that our past is only a series of moments that were at that time the “now”. They are no longer. We mentally and emotionally dial in and access those records to connect with what used to be. An occasional reference point is fine, especially if we learned lessons from that time. An attempt to dwell in that space means that we are no longer present in the now, our backs are turned and our focus is on what was and most likely will never be again, which is a waste of energy—-and steps closer to our spiritual and physical death.

You probably just gasped when you read those last words, but let’s consider something. What happens to all batteries that are drained of energy? They die.

If they aren’t rechargeable batteries, we discard them. That’s most of our batteries. Used up and tossed out. A great number of our batteries die from our improper use; we leave them engaged inside objects that we rarely use and those objects simply drain the batteries day after day, sometimes even forcing the battery to leak acid (creating a mess for us to clean up).

We leave batteries in flashlights, toys, kitchen gadgets, and the like. We don’t think to remove the batteries after we use the item and before we put it back in a drawer, closet, or container. We know that the battery will die at some point, but we still waste its life, unnecessarily, by leaving the batteries inside and walking away. We move forward to leave those batteries behind us, in our past, as we now focus on our new present. But that doesn’t stop the batteries from using energy, even at a reduced rate. They are still connected to a source that is slowly draining the batteries of energy.

We are like those batteries. Energy continues to be drained from us when we’re still connected to things from our past. Those sources still engage us and day by day we lose more and more energy. Because of improper use we drain too soon and just like those batteries, we’re removed—no recharging, just removed and not reused in the future; unless you believe

in reincarnation, but even then, you aren’t coming back in the same body picking up where you left off with friends, family, work projects, and goals. That life is the past.

We choose which sources we want to engage with. We can also choose to disconnect and go elsewhere. We can learn how to properly use and recharge our batteries.

Tolle also teaches that trying to keep our heads in the future for too long, (usually because we’re dreading our present and hopeful that the future has all that we don’t have in the now) is also harmful, because the future is not possible (it will not one day become our ‘now’ if we aren’t dialed into and focused on the current now.

We can cast a dream of a better tomorrow, but don’t get consumed by and lost in the dream. Smile upon it for small moments and then return to your present experience.

Be present.

Be in the “now” as Tolle teaches.

Looking at what is taking place right now, at this very moment, and not fixated on the past—and how we got to the present—or obsessed with a future that we hope is better than our present; but instead, just taking in our present and seeing it for what it is—an IS—and navigating through this present state as an observant and alert captain; not over-processing what is seen, heard, or felt; not trying to rush the moments to get to the next days; just being in the here and now, and at some point realizing that this inconvenience, this trial, this discomfort may just be a necessity so that your learned lesson may open a doorway or window to something else—possibly better, more comfortable, less trying.

Maybe.

But it’s not about looking for the doorway or window. It’s about being present, observant, emotionally in tuned, mentally decluttered, and not distracted. It’s about finding, realizing, and knowing who you are as a spiritual being. It’s about knowing that you are the “I Am” and that your ability to see and embrace the blessings in your present moment, to be grateful for even the smallest things, means that you are (or almost) prepared for what lies beyond the gateway, the door, the window. Then they will not only appear but you will see them, you will know what to do and when to do it, and then you will do it. There won’t be doubt. And even if fear rises up to resist, you will walk through the opening anyway, because you are ready—and you know it. But it’s not possible if you have one foot in the past, one in the present, and trying to dangle your arm into the future. That’s like trying to be in three rooms at the same time. You’re going absolutely nowhere and accomplishing absolutely nothing, while learning, at most, that you’re good at being stuck.

Our feet must be planted and sturdy in the now, in today, in this very moment—controlling our minds, not being controlled by them, connecting to and channeling the positive energy that flows around and through us, and letting go of the excess that would prevent us from one day before forward effortlessly.

Take care of today, today, or tomorrow you will be struggling with juggling the now and the past, while desperate for the future. What an insane merry-go-round that we choose to ride. Get off of the ride. Choose internal peace. Choose joy. Choose health and healing. Choose to be present.

You never know what gateways, doors, and windows may open for you.

~Natasha