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Finally Understanding

Updated on June 6, 2011

Twenty years ago, I started working on my 'issues', knowing that I needed help having healthy relationships.Back then they called it "reparenting your inner child". I thought that getting an awareness and education early, getting help early, would make everything easier. I thought that it would give me a fighting chance of having a healthy marriage, children, and a happy life. Well, an early start didn't guarantee anything except that I have an uncanny understanding of the human psyche. I know how people will normally react and the range of feelings they will have. I know psychology. I have developed a very detached view of relationships, and always thought I could predict the outcome of every relationship way before anything went wrong. I really couldn't. I am strong, I can stand on my own and I deeply love and care for my family and friends. I'm still in counseling and realizing that I think I've done more to make sure that relationships did go in the direction of my predictions. I will not take the blame for the result of all of my relationships, but I will take responsibility for my share of the blame. I am not responsible for the actions and reactions of others, but I am in control of myself. I have realized that I've been carrying inspirational verses with me for years, and until now, didn't really know why. I'm on my own and working on me and happy about that. I'm writing this to share some thoughts about some of the positive inspirational verses I've been carrying. The main point I would like to share is one of faith and hope - although its taken me twenty years to finally really understand some simple things, its never too late to learn. And no one is too old to find that happiness that they feel has eluded them their entire lives. That is what has always driven me - faith and hope. May we all find the key to our happiness.


“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ~Thomas Merton

Just how many divorces could this have prevented? But on the other hand, how many marriages would it prevent if we were capable of understanding ourselves on that level and seeing the situation from a bird's eye view?

"Value your time, your body, and your heart. Do not give them away to anyone who does not deserve them." ~ Unknown

(I wish I had heard this exact quote thirty years ago. I would have stashed it away in my journal and remembered it word for word. It would have become a mantra for my life. That's the kind of relationship I had with quotes that struck a deep chord within me. I'm so glad I heard it now, I'll never forget it. These few words, and all I needed was to know I had permission to make this choice on my own. No one ever said this to me in this way before. It seems so simple, laughable even...that a grown woman, fully bloomed should now read this and find some kind of freedom in it. It doesn't have to make sense.)


Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, he became a butterfly.~ proverb

(Change is scary. And a big change sometimes feels as if we are facing a death of ourselves, but what results can be a freedom of our spirit into a new phase of life we could never reach, had we not taken that leap of faith.)

which leads me right into another favorite saying

"Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down."
Kobi Yamada

(I don't recommend this tactic as its not for everyone...but I seem to do it quite often. Probably more than I should. It is an exciting way to live your life, and all kinds of surprises will greet you around many corners. Sometimes it does work out wonderfully, and sometimes it doesn't although you put every ounce of energy, thought and prayer into it. It has lead me to the understanding that there is a reason for everything. And we learn through everything. Successes and failures. So really, there are no failures, if you learn valuable lessons and don't keep repeating the same patterns. Take those leaps of faith and love with your head and heart - build your wings on the way down - but don't be surprised if you don't exactly land where you think you should. Be flexible and keep going. That's the adventure.)

"Most obstacles melt away when we walk boldly through them." ~ Orison Swett Mardin

(I blame this trait on my stubbornness. And it can help you get to where you need to be but it can also get you into places you were better off staying out of. I believe that obstacles are put in our way for a reason. And its not so we boldly bore through them and climb over every one...but its so we we stop, take notice and analyze the situation. It's nature's way of giving us one more pause, it's like a huge "Are you sure?" sign. We can ignore it and say Yes! every time. Sometimes we don't have to ask; sometimes it's not a natural obstacle at all and to give pause is to doubt when we should not. Sometimes and obstacle is another person, with a motive - or not. I'm just saying, that the older I get the more I realize that obstacles are signs that teach us about things - sometimes we are sure of the destination, but the obstacles are the real learning points. Read them before you barrel through them. Maybe this lesson is just for me...I don't know.)


"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. ~ unknown

We often find out just how strong we are when faced with a crisis that puts all of our physical, mental and spiritual beliefs to test. Can we really come through for ourselves? For others who need us? Can we keep a clear head? Can we make good decisions? Are we that strong or will we bend under that kind of pressure? You only truly know the answers to these questions when you are faced with a life altering, earth shaking situation.But there are ways to prepare, the question is, will you?

"If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." ~ Thomas Edison

(They say we only use 10% of our brain; I don't think that's true. I've seen how different parts of our brain control different parts of our body but it amazes me how the brain has the ability to heal itself. You can literally have brain damage and other parts of your brain can take over to do functions that the damaged parts could not. I believe we all are capable of doing more than we are, but we have limitations. So many limitations I can only scratch the surface: generally all are physical, mental or spiritual by nature. But if we were purely spiritual or light beings capable of anything we thought with no limitations, Mr. Edison, I agree, we would astound ourselves - but I also think if we were these light beings, we would be free of the ego, so it would still just be all in a day's work :)


"Well-behaved women seldom make history." ~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

(I don't think I need to explain why I love this quote but I will anyway. I LOVE to laugh; I love to laugh so hard that I can't breathe. I have been known to fall on the floor laughing; and even scream because something is so funny. I am a visual person, if you tell me something I immediately see it in my head. My brain will take it and run with it. I laugh at inappropriate times and do not disguise it well at all. This is my most vulnerable.

My best friends in the world are the ones who have made me laugh the hardest and continue to this day to make me lose all composure at times. My family cracks me up, I don't laugh about them ~ they are seriously funny people. That has got to be the key to my heart, laughter. Never at anyone's expense, never sarcastic or rude - but oh do I laugh. Why here? Because it is when I am the least behaved. I have the least limits in the spirit of fun. Sometimes I forget who I am and will become 15 again. I lose myself and any stress I may have when I am laughing. It's kryptonite to me.

Will I make the history books? If anyone publishes my autobiography, it will set the shelves on fire.)

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it." ~ Lou Holtz

(Life happens. Some of it is great, some of it is shit, and most of it is somewhere in between. What determines your character is how you deal with all of it. ALL of it. You've got to be able to manage a whole spectrum of life events, you don't get to pick and choose which ones you will deal with - at least not if you are going to be a courageous, strong and mature person. I guess that is a life choice, it wasn't a choice for me. I never backed down from anything, except maybe from sticking it out through a relationship - but I never found one that I thought would work. This quote really doesn't need more explanation...just thought I'd share a little. )


"The Grass is Greenest Beneath Me" ~unknown

Because my life pretty much was that of a gypsy following the advice of the first two sayings...I began to grasp the beauty and truth to this saying two years ago. This is one I want to bring into my life more. I want to feel stable, to put down roots somewhere, to have a home and know that I can be safe there. I want to have a place where I know I can stay. I want to build a life of family and friends knowing that I'm building a neighborhood, a life, a solid foundation. And I want it solid, firm and not built on shaky ground. I would love to know what it feels like to say "I'm going home" and really feel that I have a place to go home to. Not my parent's home, not anyone else's home, not a shared or borrowed home - but a sanctuary I can fill up with whatever I want to - even if that is a place where I am making a home with someone special and its becoming OUR home. And in thinking that way, I'm super scared, but I'm almost there, if conditions are right. But for now, I'm focusing on MY home.

"Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life." ~ Buddha

(How many times have we spaced away days or weeks because we have spent too much time dwelling on the past or preparing for the future? I know I've wasted much time worrying about tomorrow or letting some fear that is based in my past haunt today. But today is the only moment we actually live in. The past is gone, done, finished. The future hasn't happened yet and the result of tomorrow isn't directly proportional to the amount of time we spend worrying about it. If I'm worried about an event next week, I could very well be hit by a bus tomorrow and not be given a single day more, then how much time have I wasted in my life? Buddha says live in the now, live in THIS moment. I try to, it is not as easy as it seems. Really take this moment; hear it, see it, smell it, taste it, feel it. Now it's past. Take three moments each day and cherish them, really feel them. Ordinary moments, special moments and live in the present - watch how life changes before your eyes.)

Closing Thoughts

“Live with intention.

Walk to the edge.

Listen hard.

Practice wellness.

Play with abandon.


Choose with no regret.

Appreciate your friends.

Continue to learn.

Do what you love.

Live as if this is all there is.”

- Mary Anne Radmacher

This is the quote to end this hub. This is the one I like to read everyday to remind me of how I want to live. It is so freeing, spiritual, respectful and loving. I just wanted to share it. Namaste my friends.


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    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      celeBritys4africA, Thank you so much!

    • celeBritys4africA profile image

      celeBritys4africA 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Oh, my God! An awesome hub! One vote up. You deserve it.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      I Love You both so much.

    • profile image

      Mom 6 years ago

      Sweetheart, we are so proud of how far you've come !!!

      You are truly searching for your true self and how you deserve to be treated by others. You are an exceptional person who should have only the best in life, we are so proud of you! Love, Mom and Dad

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      you too beleza :)

    • beleza profile image

      beleza 6 years ago

      Awww thanks Erin!! :) God bless you

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      beleza, thanks so much for coming by and for voting! That is a very important one (Buddha ought to know!) and it took me so long to get that through my thick head - I always thought I would be more valuable in the future than I was in the present (but of course that was my self-esteem issue) - I was always trying to do and be more. I'm much more grounded now, and I'm so glad you have found value in it. Stress just makes you old faster, the present is your gift and the future is just a dream, not a guarantee. Plan but feel your feet and really look around at where you are now. From your picture there it looks like you were fully enjoying that moment! Brightest Blessings!

    • beleza profile image

      beleza 6 years ago

      Voted up and Beautiful!! I needed to read this.. I've been so stressed about the future that I've forgotten to just enjoy the present. "Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life." ~ Buddha.. Love that! Thanks :)

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      Tina, it does take so many experiences, some mistakes and what I like to call "learning events" for us to grow and I'm so glad you found common ground with me. I love solidarity! I would rather have a life with experiences and be grounded and know where I got all my values from than have an easy life. I wouldn't trade with anyone. I don't think any of us really would. Come back anytime, I love the company! Thanks for the votes! Take care my friend!

      Marellen, Thank you so much! I'm reaching the same points, as you can tell. I know exactly what you are going through, and wish the same harmony for you my friend!

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Erin....I love this hub...everything you wrote is so true but at times hard to grasp. I'm reaching a point in my life that I cherish peace and serenity and I will strife for that. I'm not willing to compromise and become so adaptable like I did in the past with relationships. I need to take control because I'm tried of being heart broken....being alone, having a home, family and friends is just fine with me. I hope that you find your harmony in life...

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      This article just pulled me in from the beginning since I agree totally with you. It takes time and many mistakes to grow as a human. Isn´t it a shame that we all must go through this? But maybe some has easier life than others. Thanks for this excellent hub, the quotes are fantastic and I will come back to it when I need to read some valuable thoughts! Voted up, beautiful


    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      Fay, thank you so much for coming by, reading and the wonderful rating...and you are welcome to steal it all - only its not really stealing if you have permission. I hope that doesn't take the fun out of it! Namaste.

      Eiddwen, thank you for visiting and pushing my buttons, in a good way :)

      Barb, I found it almost impossible to learn by anyone's mistakes except my own - when I was younger - now that I'm older, I'm willing to listen more to the wisdom of others and not always take the road less traveled. I think after a while we learn that it isn't always necessary to blaze our own path and there is a reason why everyone took the other way. You're right, I have no idea why for some life is easier to navigate and for others of us, it just seems to be uphill all the way - not to say we don't find some great things along the way - its just that nothing is easy. I wouldn't trade any of it though, and I imagine you wouldn't either - I've read your hubs! Namaste, my beach friend.

      Martie, it takes a lot of heartache before one can truly see all it really took to write this hub - so give me a hug sister! You are so right, faith and ENTHUSIASM, that's a word I should use more, its so much more colorful and descriptive than hope. And it implies more action, I like it. Love to you my friend.

      Ruby, my sister, that's the whole key right there. I've hardly ever in hindsight, taken the right path. But the important part is feeling what we feel, recognizing it for what it is and having the strength to pick ourselves back up and going on to the next adventure and doing something completely new and maybe just as insane all over again! You could not have described my life any better! But oh how much we learn! I've never stayed down long either.

      You're right, I'm exactly where you said I am. Comfortable in my skin and happy in my life. Its going exactly now as I would have it, not perfect by any means, but a work in progress. Namaste, my sister, my friend.

      Christina, yes, we will meet - I'm more ready now than I was before. Thank you so much for all you said in your comments, you are so articulate, and sincere - I read it in all that you write and even in your facebook entries as they flash by. I knew before that we did come from different backgrounds, but there was always a love and acceptance I felt coming from your words. Thank you for noting the changes in me over the last year, we can never see ourselves as well as others see us. Take care my friend, and see you soon :)

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      First of all, I must friends, I was close to tears in reading all of your responses when I got home tonight. I am truly humbled by your heartfelt comments and proud to be in this circle of friends. I will address each one of you individually, but wanted to first give you all a group hug, I love you and you continue to amaze me every day we grow and share. I could not be where I am in this place in my life without you. Namaste, Erin

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Erin- This is the most fantastic hub that I have read lately, and next to the experience of knowing you a little better, I am enthused to see you have been on the road to good health since I began to read your hubs almost a year ago. I feel that the writers you have quoted from know what they are talking about. Trusting a person comes in all kinds of phases, including trusting the written word of someone as well. I feel that I am understanding you. We come from different backgrounds, but your sincerity is familiar, and I truly appreciate being able to let you know how your hub impresses me.

      Someday we will meet, but in the meantime, we will keep listening to the inner voice with in ourselves and trust and believe. You and I are from the same Creator, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, but it is up to us how it will all turn out. And I like how you are turning out. Your friend always, Christina.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Erin, You have written words/actions that i can relate to. I've not always taken the correct path, but somehow had the ability to get up, start over, and sometimes fall again, but i never stayed down. I think turning lose of embedded beliefs, has enabled me to grow and love more than i ever thought possible. I've learned that a home is so important. I wake up happy everyday. I don't mean to imply that my life is all roses, what i mean is that when i finally found contentment inside, i could rest and enjoy it. My analyysis of your hub is that you are there. You're ready to rest and enjoy life like never before. I am so happy for you. I love you like a Sister my friend.


    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Erin, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve written. It takes a lot of heartache before one finally has the knowledge and wisdom you’ve displayed in this hub. Still, in spite of, we so often only follow our hearts, just to learn something we did not know. We will never know and understand everything. But this should not kill our enthusiasm and faith that everything always turns out for the best. Voted UP, awesome and useful.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      It's a Beautiful Hub Erin...Learning by our own Mistakes, and always Growing as Women...Life is not Easy to Live and get through...Some look like they breeze through it, while others Struggle. There are no Easy answers...But Live it Like today is the Last Day on Earth and Fly like the Wind!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A beautiful hub Erin and thank you so much for sharing.

      I push all buttons here as always.

      Take care


    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Excellent hub, but the closing thought is divine. I'm stealing it! :)


    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      I so know that feeling Nellieana! Sweet Dreams!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you, Erin! I will come back! Hugs.

      But I am going to go up to bed for a few hours anyway. I've almost recultivated the habit of more normal sleeping hours. I have no problem sleeping. It's reclining that is my bugaboo. I love to sleep but love to be awake even more. tee hee.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      Nellieanna, so great to see you, my friend. Please do come back. Your comments always inspire and enlighten me. Thanks so much for reading and commenting so late at night, I had already given up and was asleep by this hour! Namaste.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      What a great writ - it's about 3AM, so I'm going to read it again with a rested brain. But it is well done, and one of your quotes is from someone I admire - Thomas Merton. And this is an especially good quote.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      Well, we always know where to find each other!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ....well Erin you are definitely worth it - and you're my good friend too. Please take care and keep in touch.

    • Erin LeFey profile image

      Erin LeFey 6 years ago from Maryland

      Oh Colin, thank you so much. Feel free to drive traffic to me anytime you know I welcome it. As always, you are my dear, dear friend and never cease to make me feel wonderful about my writing. Hugs!!!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago goodness this is like some kind of epic manifesto - and I love it so much like the rest of your writing ( and you of course) that I would like to feature this beautiful piece of written wisdom on my page at FACEBOOK with a direct link back here - more people gotta read this.