Wednesday, 18 October 2017

P Pamela's Pondering

What does it Profit a Woman if she loses her Self?

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To Thine Own Self be True

From birth we are groomed for marriage and babies. Sometimes a career or dream will take precedence, but for most of us it’s domesticity. Even if we pursue those other aspects, marriage and babies always seem to be a huge part of our life plan.

How often though do we teach our daughter and/or granddaughter to seek, listen to and honor her soul?

I’m not talking about the words of the world or voices of their piers.

I’m talking about the still, small voice inside, the wisdom and direction we can only gain by going within.

Going to God.

From the time I could articulate, my desire was to be a wife and mother; a stay-home mom who would create a wonderful life and beautiful memories for my family. Not a bad dream, but not once did I sit quietly and check with my soul before jumping into the relationships that resulted from that ambition. Is it any wonder the “stay home” part never materialized? Though not disastrous, the results of my choices were less stellar than they could have been had I simply asked….

Is this the path I’m supposed to be on? Do I have another purpose? Is this the person to help fulfill my destiny?

No, I just did as my heart urged, dealt with what life handed me thereafter, and devoted my whole being to the tasks; wrapping my entire identity into being So and So’s mother or Such and Such’s wife.

My initial impatience to fulfill my “life purpose” ended in divorce. The second attempt was the exact opposite. The love we experienced rivaled that of the best romance novel. Life was a carousel of laughter and tears, adventure and fun. In twenty years we had less than a handful of minor disagreements and even fewer major ones. My hero wasn’t perfect. Far from it. However he had my heart and I, his and I knew I’d found my happy-ever-after.

Until he died and everything fell apart.

I had no idea who I was or what I was supposed to be doing. My reason behind nearly everything I did–the very breath I took–was gone.

My purpose ripped out from under me.

Over the years of grief and growth, search and discovery, I’ve learned to be still and to ask, then to listen for and honor the answers that come from the wisdom within my own soul.

I can’t say I’ve perfected the process. Self-care, growth and discovery are lifelong developments. I still get confused by the voices of those who love me and those whom I love, the society we live in and the world at large. I don’t always make the right choice or decision. Sometimes I’m afraid to rock the boat or veer too far from the conventional wisdom with which I was raised or taught.

But I try.

Which is more than a lot of women can say.

I believe along with traditional education–religious and secular–we should teach our children, especially daughters, the art of meditative prayer, to listen to and honor their soul and to be true to their deepest self.

Not in a selfish or rebellious manner, but with honesty and truth, kindness and grace. But until we as a collective whole see the absolute necessity of this, it’s never too early or late to cultivate this practice in our and our children’s lives.

Nor does it take long.

Studies have proven it takes between 16-18 seconds to change a thought and sustained for that minute amount of time, the brain has the power to attract similar reflections, thereby propelling the trajectory of your day–and therefore, your life–in the direction of your attentions.

Start with five minutes, 2 or 3 times a day. Set a timer if you have to. Pick a thought or emotion you’d like to exemplify in your daily life: Love, peace, joy or if your desire is more spiritual in nature, Jesus, God, Angels.

Inhale (deep breaths) on the thought then listen to the silence as you exhale. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your point of concentration.

Before long, you’ll reap the benefits of regular, focused prayer/meditation and you’ll find yourself making time for longer interludes.

As you develop your practice, keep a journal or notebook handy and jot down imaginations or ideas that come to you, solutions to problems and even answers to prayer or petition. Most of all seek answers to the most important questions in your life and take time to connect to the deepest part of you.

Your soul.

Your self.

Columnist: Pam Thibodeaux

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Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana, former Owner/CEO of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, and current Marketing Director for TWJ Magazine. 

Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” 

Find out more about Pam by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook & Twitter @psthib!

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