Returning Home for the Holidays

This evening I went to see a musical written by Mark E. Swinton, a producer for the Tyler Perry Studios. The setting: a fictitious mountain town by the name of Perryville. The story: a remake of the parable, known as the Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15:11-32. And the message: Forgiveness…

The cast was compelling, the singing was moving, and I enjoyed the theatrics of it all. But something shifted inside of me on the drive home. As I steered myself north, in the direction of home, my thoughts skimmed over a few things I was desiring this holiday season, and settled on reflecting over the MANY things I have been through just to arrive at this holiday season…

It was in that moment of replaying my life, of reflecting on the hardships, and reviewing the tape of some of the struggles that I had the epiphany:

I AM THE PRODIGAL SON

Cue the tears… Yes tears fell as I thought about the fact that Over fifteen years ago, I walked away from God – took my lot and decided to move far away from all that was familiar and all that was safe. The same as what is told in the biblical story. But perhaps the most amazing part is that the same way the bible speaks of the Prodigal son being welcomed back home with OPEN ARMS; God has provided me with the same fanfare… And I am thankful! So thankful to be back within the fold – back under the covering of the one who can save, protect, and love us all.

I share this story hoping that when you hear the word forgiveness, you think about not only forgiving others but also forgiving yourself of bad decisions, poor choices, and “stupid” mistakes!

God loves you, and God forgives you, and God is WAITING to welcome you home.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Me and Mine to You and Yours!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

 

“It’s toughest to forgive ourselves. So it’s probably best to start with other people. It’s almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself” – Actress Patty Duke

 

“Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on” – Motivational Speaker Les Brown

 

4th of JULY reflections – More than hamburgers, hotdogs, & fireworks!

It’s another 4th of July…

As I reflect on this day known for barbecues, time with the family, and being poolside, my mind wanders. Independence – freedom – the pursuit of happiness. It’s quite ironic that a few days ago I was reflecting on the season of life that I am in. It is a period where I am finally and truly open to change, growth, and releasing the past! So this year is a bit special. July 4th will not only be a time for remembering the freedoms fought for and that we’re still striving for, but it will also signify a turning point my life.

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Moving on to the new can be a very daunting and overwhelming task! Most may opt to remain with the familiar. However happiness, true happiness can only be obtained when we are free – when we allow ourselves the chance to seek the things that encourage our inner passions, creativity, and spirit.

This Independence Day I am channeling the sage wisdom and bravery of my ancestors to walk courageously into happiness!

So what is the first step on the path to happiness?

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It is letting go of the past hurts, pains, and even regrets… this first step is often the HARDEST but it is necessary!

I give myself permission to be happy

I give myself permission to be free

I give myself permission to be whole

I forgive those who have hurt me and …

I liberate myself from feeling any further self-blame that I allowed them to hurt me

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I am eager to see the amazing new things that will walk into my life because I am a new me. Marriage, babies, publishing books, and amassing wealth… an exciting time is on the horizon, indeed!

Well that’s my Independence story, what’s yours? What are you focused on this Fourth of July? Will you take a moment to reflect on what new pursuits will add flavor to your own life?

I hope you do!

“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Amen”

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

What the HECK is your problem?

Have you ever had a moment where someone was snippy with you and you thought: “what the heck is your problem?”

Recently, a good friend suggested that we get out and walk one of the local trails. It was a beautiful day, and so the idea appeared to be a brilliant one. Once arriving to the location, we realized that we needed to pay a parking fee in exact change. Neither one of us was prepared, as we stood there deciding what to do, my question “so should we leave one car here and drive the other to get change at the store?” was met with a grouchy “what else would we do?” The response caught me off guard and I was taken aback. The answer did not seem to be warranted.

Thank goodness I am an evolved Donna because I simply got in my car, took a billion deep breaths, turned on the radio, and said “God give me something to calm me.”

And the first song I hear “I’m Letting Go” I was not familiar with the tune but this line really caught my attention “when I let go, it started to flow.” Just hearing that I could feel the tension easing and the anger lessening. From my calmer state I could see that my friend’s irritation wasn’t about me – it was about them, so why should I be upset? So I decided I would no longer be…

The most ironic thing about this situation – it was the second time for this week that I found myself in this predicament. The other occurrence happened while in conversation with an agent about my book, and she was quite crabby. So much so that she became aware of it and apologized for her presentation.

I’m pretty impressed that I kept my cool in both situations, as not that long ago I would have done one of two things:

  • Let someone else’s negativity bring me down and put me in a bad mood
  • Responded to someone else’s negativity with anger

Neither option would have included remaining calm, level headed, and balanced.

It feels awesome that my emotions are no longer dictated by what others are doing or saying. Or as Pastor Joel Osteen reminds us “every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed, or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.”

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Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Addicted to Trauma – Learning to Let Go

I recently watched the movie Addicted, which is based upon the fiction book by Author Zane. Although both the book and movie contained a lot of sexual content, it wasn’t the graphic material that grabbed my attention. Instead, it was the underlying message about the role that trauma plays in our lives.

What is trauma?

Trauma simply refers to an injury.

The movie Addicted focused on emotional and psychological injuries as a result of a sexual trauma that occurred. Sexual traumas are estimated to impact about 10% of the population. However, trauma can also occur in other forms. Injuries can also be physical, emotional, or psychological in nature. And the number of individuals who will face some kind of trauma by young adulthood skyrockets to over 50%!

So half of us have experienced some kind of trauma, at some point in our lives. However, I would hazard to guess that many have never dealt with the pain, hurt, and suffering that resulted from the injury.

Most of us have found a way to create a life that allows us to side step and avoid the difficult situations that may annoy, frustrate, or trigger our old wounds.

However, you do have a choice… As Michael Singer states in the Untethered Soul: “you have to decide if you want to continue to walk around with stored pain blocking your heart and limiting your life”.

I want to remind you that you must choose to let the pain go so that you can become unblocked, no longer stuck in repeating familiar patterns and being triggered by predictable circumstances.

Here are a few quotes to inspire you to let go of the old injuries and allow true healing:

  • It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go – J. C. Watts, Politician
  • Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be – Joel Osteen, Preacher
  • Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today? – Mary Morrissey, Life Coach

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

I’m Annoyed! Accepting my flaws…

I’m annoyed…

He rattled off a play-by-play of the activities taking place, as he drove in the car. I held the phone to my ear and listened for a bit, until I couldn’t take it anymore. “I don’t care to hear about what’s taking place on the roads”, I impatiently snapped. He simply replied “okay”, and I excused myself off of the phone.

That very short and simple exchange had me wondering is something wrong with him for his topic choice? Or is something wrong with me that I was experiencing annoyance? I wasn’t sure of the answer, but it did cause me to stop and think.

Throughout my life I’ve had a tendency to be easily annoyed. And the immediate and typical conclusion that I come to is to avoid the source of my annoyance. However, in the spirit of seeking to grow and learn, I challenged myself to dig deeper in order to better understand my annoyance.

“Hmm, I wondered, is it that I don’t like this guy?” But then I stumbled across this quote by Swiss author Alain de Botton: “You have to be quite heavily invested in someone to do them the honour of telling them you’re annoyed with them”. As I read that quote I couldn’t help but to burst out into laughter. Ha! So I guess lack of interest was not the impetus for my annoyance.

I then decided to peruse some of my old reading materials and I found these two very important points:

The minute you start to close and defend yourself, get back up” – author Michael Singer

“Try to stay open to learning, not judging yourself for the things you do” – authors Erika Chopich and Margaret Paul

These quotes both echoed the point that it is important for the heart to remain open. So instead of running from my annoyance (prior way for handling things), I was on the right track by seeking to understand it (current way of handling things). The moral of this story is that we each have a choice, everyday, to learn something new about ourselves. We can grow and welcome new life into our atmosphere, as long as we stay courageous to remain open.

As for my feelings of annoyance, each day I am learning to make peace and accept myself, just as I am – flaws and all…

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna