“It’s Your Own Fault”

~This is an excerpt from my new book, “My Collective Soul,” which will be released in Octover of 2017~

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We live in a time of blaming others for our shortcomings. It’s easier to blame someone else than to take our accountability for our actions. I see it all the time. People living less of the life they want and pointing the finger at everyone else. They blame others; they say it’s someone else’s fault; they don’t know how to stand in their own truth.

And they do that because it’s easier to blame someone else than to look in the mirror and claim our part in what makes us unhappy.

No one wants to look in the mirror. It’s the mirror of our face, our shortcomings, our faults, our weaknesses, yet what most people don’t understand is that it’s also the mirror of our strength, of our successes, of our truth.

Most people fear the mirror because they don’t always like what they see, yet what you see is what you can change, if you choose to. What we see is our soul and our heart and if you can’t come to terms to accept what you see, then you, my friends, have the right to change it.

You were gifted the ability to change in yourself and your life what you don’t like. If you look in the mirror and see a weakness then go out and strengthen it. If you look in the mirror and see your faults then change it and see your strengths. If you look in the mirror and see and ugly person then change it to make yourself beautiful, and I don’t mean in looks.

Our hearts dictate our beauty. Our hearts allow the outside world to see who we are. Our hearts are the keepers of our secrets, and they also hold the keeper of our truth.

Let it out.

Look in the mirror and yourself and see your beauty. See your strengths, see your accomplishments, see all that you endured, see your illness, see your broken marriage or relationship, see the pain and the hurt.

See it all…

And then look again.

Look at YOU.

Stare at yourself for as long as you need to.

And within a few minutes your face will look different; your demeanor will change; your soul and heart will start to break through the negative sight of what you see and show you the light.

Let it.

Let go.

And know that all that stuff that happened to you is simply that: stuff. Let it go. And accept that anything that happenened to you was meant to. It was a lesson from your Higher Power to stop and take a look at your life; to take a look at yourself.

We all have a hand in our life. We love to blame everyone else, yet it takes two people to argue; two to fight; two to find love and two to end it. It takes two people to have an affair and two people to join together in marriage.

Stop blaming and take a step back.

Look in that mirror, point the finger at yourself and say: “It’s your own fault.”

And then forgive yourself for not being perfect, because you’re not supposed to be. You’re supposed to be human. You’re supposed to make mistakes, and you’re supposed to learn from them.

You’re supposed to feel pain so that you can feel happiness.

You’re supposed to give freedom for your heart to break so that you can learn how to heal it.

You’re supposed to fail at some things so that you can succeed at what you were meant to.

You’re supposed to cry so that you can smile.

You’re supposed to end a relationship so that you can begin another one.

You’re supposed to be human.

You see, you are amazing. You are an incredible individual and no one else is like you. We all have faults and that’s okay because the right friend or partner will love you for them. We all fall and we all can get up and we can get up stronger.

We all can make a choice; we all can take a chance; we all can fall deep down to the bottom.

And you can choose to get up.

So pick yourself up and get it right. Straighten up and straighten up. You can do it because I have. I’ve fallen so deep throughout my life that I couldn’t see the sun. I’ve been so weak that I lost sight of what strength felt like. I felt so alone that I forgot what love was.

And then I looked in the mirror.

I looked long and hard, and at first I didn’t like what I saw.

But I kept looking.

And within a few minutes I saw a girl who was simply broken from all that life had handed her. I looked her hard straight in her eyes and saw something that she didn’t: her will.

I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be better, I wanted a different life.

I kept looking at this girl who had become a stranger to me and felt compassion for her, and in that moment I realized I was feeling compassion for myself.

So I forgave myself for everything.

I knew it was my fault because I allowed it all to happen.

But as I looked at her in the mirror I let it gave, told her I loved her, and changed my life in that moment, just like that.

She changed.

She became strong.

She believed in herself.

She loved herself.

And no matter what was her fault, she forgave it all.

And she forgave all the people that were a part of it.

And she cried tears of sadness as she let go and tears of happiness as she stood in her truth.

And all was right with her world.

And never again would she say “it’s your own fault” because she would never allow it to be.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“You’re Invited To My Party”

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You’re cordially invited to my pity party, no gifts necessary, just bring your best tales of everything wrong in your life. Wear your sweats and a t-shirt, slippers and bath robe optional. Bring your favorite wine or martini mixers to drown your sorrows in. Only sad movies will be watched and unhealthy snacks will be served. And at the end of it we can all fill up our empty drink glasses with tears.

So, do you want to come?

Not so much, huh?

Me either, yet there’s a day or two along my journey of life that I find myself as the only guest at my pity party. I’ve noticed that no one ever seems to want to go to it with me. Truth be told, I don’t want to be at it either, yet life sometimes sneaks up on us and hands us a “surprise pity party!” And for me, what a surprise it is! It’s the only party I’ve gone to that I can’t wait to be over. And there are no goody bags to take home.surprise

Unless you can change your perspective for a moment…

I’ll be honest, I’m having a surprise pity party today. It started out as a perfectly wonderful day, until my love and I were hit with a few “surprises.” We find ourselves challenging the bank and arguing with a car rental company; people who have no place in our world are trying to bust down the door to get in and consistently lean on the doorbell; emotions are behaving like a roller coaster, and deep sleep is broken by stones being thrown at us in our dreams. We’re running on empty with no signs of a gas station in sight.

Yet, I can still see a “goody bag” in it all. And no, I’m not crazy, I’m just getting better atgoody-bag knowing when it’s time to leave the pity party!

You see, I believe that it’s those occasional “pity party days” that truly help us to appreciate the real party of “life.” It’s those “down” days that make us grateful for the “up” ones. How could you know true happiness unless you had felt a twinge of sadness? How would you know joy without knowing pain?

You wouldn’t, because you’d never learn to see the difference.

And your “goody bag” is your “blessing bag” to take home. It’s the bag at the end of the pity party that you can fill with blessings.

Today as I prepare to say good-bye to this “pity party” and go home, I’ve stuffed my goody bag with the sounds of the laughter of my two boys, the feeling of my loves’ arms wrapped around me when he get’s home from work, the sounds of “Let It Be,” a song I love and was reminded of today, and with the gratitude of having this day at all. And just to be sure, I grabbed an extra handful of happiness for the life I’m blessed to have with my love, my children, and my closest of family and friends.

Well, I’m getting tired and the party is almost over, so I’m taking my goody bag and going home…to the party at home that lives in my heart, not to the pity party in my head.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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This party’s over…you can go home now!

“Love Them Enough To Let Them Go”

Two of my children moved across the country, and people always ask me how I manage missing them and not having them home for every holiday. My answer is this: I love themkids1 enough to let them go.

I’ve learned a thing or two raising five kids in the last 28 years and learning to let them go without a struggle, or  too many tears, or guilt is one of the biggest ones.

No one said it was easy, but it does get easier as you learn how to do it and I’ll tell you this, my kids are thankful that I’ve learned how to do it. My one son told me that he couldn’t do “at home” what he could accomplish across the country. He told me that the best thing I did for him was to let him go and do it on his own. And he did, and I’m so proud of him for it.

What I had to learn is that as much as I want to protect them and shelter them from the craziness of the world, I can’t. They’ll never learn what they need to learn; they’ll never make mistakes that will become valuable lessons for them; and most importantly, they’ll never learn how to stand on their own and be strong.

I realized that I had to learn from my own mistakes and I shouldn’t interfere with their free will to do the same. It’s a simple concept, yet hard to do, but if you truly want the best for your child, you have to love them enough to let them go. And trust me, they always come back.

It’s a funny thing: love travels across the miles with them, and their love for me travels back. Love can’t be taken from them, love goes with them.

I didn’t learn this lesson overnight, as my oldest son would tell you, but as the years passed my faith in them increased. I knew I had taught them right from wrong, and one day they’d have to take all I taught them and do it on their own. And I’m proud to say that they’re all doing pretty well!

I see so many parents struggle with letting their kids go, enabling bad behaviors, doing everything for them that these kids grow into adults who don’t know how to do anything for themselves. They don’t know how to cook, clean, do laundry; they don’t know how to battle their own demons because someone does it for them. They don’t know how to grow up because someone won’t let them. They don’t know how to take responsibility for their actions because someone is always making excuses for them.

And that’s the worst thing you could do to your child.

kids2I’ve been a mom for almost 28 years and have loved every minute of it (well, most every minute of it!) It was so much easier when they were younger and thought everything we said was truth; when we could simply kiss a boo-boo and make it go away; that loving them was enough for them.

And then they grow older and challenge what we say; broken hearts replace simple boo-boo’s that we can’t kiss away; and loving them suddenly doesn’t seem like enough. They want our love, yet they also want the freedom to live their life the way they want to, not the way we had hoped.

They want the right to do it on their own, learn their own lessons, and make their own mistakes, and if you can’t love them enough to let them go, they’ll do all those things but come crying back to you to fix it when it goes wrong…and you can’t do that. Why?

Because then you become an enabler, and an enabler does so because they can’t control their own life, and if you really love your child, why would you enable them? Why would you enable their bad behavior? Why would you enable them to stay dependent on you?

I know, it’s a slippery slope, but I know from my own experience as a parent that the best thing I could have ever done for my kids is to “love them enough to let them go;” love them enough to live their life the way they want; love them enough to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

I miss my  three older kids who are scattered throughout the country, but I know they’re happy, living their dreams, and doing well. And isn’t that what any parent wants?

I’d rather take the hurt of missing them than put guilt on them for living far away.

As long as they’re happy, I’m happy.

And they were very happy that I was the kind of mom who could “love them enough to let them go.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Then and Now”

“Are You An Enabler?”

Enabling is “making excuses for someone who is hurting themselves or you, or providing the perfect environment or situation for them to do so. enable-2

That word is a slippery slope for many, and if you are someone who “enables” someone else, then you become “co-dependent.” That is, your existence is based around the behavior of the person you are enabling.

It’s exhausting just thinking about it, yet we’ve all done it in some capacity in our lives; until we realize that the outcome of “enabling” and being “co-dependent” doesn’t’ serve the one we’re enabling, but serves only the “co-dependents” need to control. I’ve found that those who “enable” have no control over their own lives’, or so they believe. They would rather control someone else’s life rather than deal with their own insecurities and lack of control. And the sad part is, they don’t even see what they’re doing as control; they see it as “love.” Yet that’s not love. Controlling someone is not love. Enabling someone to hurt themselves or other’s is not love. It’s their insecurity and lack of control.

You can enable an alcoholic or drug addict by making excuses for them, giving reasons for their addiction, and without realizing that you  are giving them exactly what they need to use or abuse. It may make you feel more comfortable, yet is the most damaging and enable-3hurtful behavior to them.They can only begin recovery when you stop enabling and allow the to be accountable for themselves.

You enable an abusive partner or spouse by making excuses as to why you’re bruised, why your self-esteem is but a foreign concept, and why you deserved to be abused. You’re not helping the abuser to stop, but merely giving him the license and free will to do so. It’s only when you get strong and secure within yourself that you’re able to break free and control YOUR behavior, not theirs.

 

It’s not until you are faced with the ultimate decision: enable the behavior or disable your control. And the truth is, no enabler really has control over the enabled; you just give them a comfort zone of knowing you’ve allowed their destructive behavior to be okay.enable

It’s hard to let someone you love make a mistake or willingly harm themselves, yet it has to be their choice and, ultimately, their decision to stop the destructive behavior. You can say all the right things, do all the right things, and want all the right things, yet that doesn’t make it so. You have to “love them enough to let them go.” Love them enough to make their own mistakes and learn from them. Love them enough to learn to control their own behavior. Love them enough to let them learn to love themselves.

“Enabling” someone will not solve their problem; it will make their problem worse.

You have to ask yourself: Do I want to enable their behavior or disable my control?.

And in your heart you already know the right answer.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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