Hope from Love – the Heart Circle – February

Hope from Love – the Heart Circle – February

“Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” -Wilfred Peterson

Loving yourself is not narcissistic.  Self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-appreciation all build a stronger you.  When you become stronger, you become more confident and more open to your purpose.

The last day of January 2019 has come and gone. Today is the first day of my favorite month of the year, February.  Perhaps it is because my birthday falls in this month (not narcissism), but even more exciting, it is the month of love and hearts.

As I reflect over my hope journey, I realize that it is love that brought me to hope.  Love from others brought me to be able to love myself, which in turn brought me to love others by sharing my writing openly.  

The more I shared, the more I realized I loved my work.  I was overcome with joy when I spoke of it and the warmth that surrounded me motivated me to share it publicly in a blog.  Filled with trepidation, I forged forward with writtingfromthekitchen.com focusing on the motto, “Love is the main ingredient.”

The support I have received from my loved ones and dear friends over the past months has been amazing.  In their busy lives, they have taken time to listen to and read my posts, critique me gently, and sometimes just simply tell me how much they love me.  

Knowing that you, dear reader, also enjoy reading my posts adds to the love and generates hope for me every day.

Love and appreciation from others cannot be measured. And I have found it to be only part of the love equation.   

I venture to explain.  We enter the world fully dependent on love and support.  Many argue that it is through those early experiences that our view of love is determined potentially shaping our destiny.  Once we feel secure and loved, we venture out of the security of those arms and begin to explore, manipulating our environment for self-satisfaction, while still looking for affirmation.   At that early stage of life, self-love may not even be questioned.

It is not until we begin to self-loathe that we absolutely need self-love.  The question of when or why this happens, I can’t answer, since it is different for each person.  But this love is necessary for growth.  We need not fear to appear selfish by being gentle with ourselves during this process.  

Loving ourselves allows the richness of love to flow in and upon acceptance of this love, our love flows out toward others.  When we love others, we love ourselves.  And the heart circle is created. 

-Erika K Rothwell

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Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

As I see a flock of birds fly across the cloud-knit sky, my thoughts follow them.  Once they disappear from sight, one lone bird flies in the opposite direction awakening a story I tell myself and now share with you.

There must be pleasure in following, not having to forge your own way, deciding what you should do or even where to go next, for someone is always in the lead and many others have trusted enough to follow.  It appears to be a safe route.  Hasn’t it been said. “there is safety in numbers.”?

So why does the solitary bird attract my attention?  Perhaps it seeks a unique path. And, as in the similarity of my venture, I sit at my desk alone exacting words as I venture forth, trying to connect through individuation.

Individuation, a call for awareness of our unique nature and an intimate connection with all life.

Hope secures the quest.  I am looking to discover the idea that appears after the first five obvious ones.  The wind of change moves me in unusual directions and variables often upset the consistencies of my work.  Inspiration exists everywhere I turn, sending me to travel indirect routes.  

All the while, my shadow seeks me out with the fear of commercialism.

The message glares at me, “It can’t be necessary to follow the masses to find success.  My work is art.  And my art, a calling.”

At this moment, contentment resembles only a meditation.  Artistic creation, ongoing pursuit of perfection.  As every artist or writer knows, the search for a perfect element, color, or word is a quest into another dimension.  And some days you must keep seeking.

Suddenly the moment arrives when you bring your creation to life.  Yet, you hesitate unready to share.   

So many of us struggle with diametrically opposed feelings.  Do we covet the peace as we set our work on a shelf never to be discovered, or do we risk the comfort of obscurity to become known to others?

Our fear is well-founded.  In a world of mass-production, artistry can be devoured by hungry giants.  What once was birthed as an original work of art, intricately crafted as the first of its kind, can be copied or modified in a fury with only a blurry likeness.

At this point as I encourage myself, I implore you, believe you are an inspiration.  Your solo flight has attracted a following.  Find others that choose to fly alone. Share your gifts with them. 

Most importantly, never give up.  Hope can always be discovered within you.  You cannot be mass-produced and your originals always live in you.

-Erika K Rothwell

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