The Freedom to Choose Love

dewdropsThis is a guest post written by Chiron O’Keefe.

“Used to be I wore Rose-Colored Glasses. Had to, really. The early years were challenging, filled with drama, strife, agitation, and fear.

It would have destroyed my heart to recognize what my adult self would someday be able to properly assimilate. So I pretended, as many children do. A coping method. A means of emotional survival.

The Rose-Colored Glasses served my heart in many ways. I could *love* past the disdain or criticism or cruelty. I could pretend and close my eyes, and believe what served my heart even if it meant beginning a process of avoidance and self-deceit.

The souls who showed me affection and those who treated me poorly, both earned a fierce misguided loyalty. It was odd, looking back. Recognizing how I’d deliberately ignore bad behavior, or even pretend to myself that I didn’t notice.

Others fed into that. Guilt and Obligation were the go-to dynamic in my family and earliest friends. One trained me to never object by pushing my easiest button–my fear of being unkind. That one scolded me fiercely if I ever objected to being used or manipulated, if I dared to call her on her bad behavior or lies.

Objecting meant that I was Not Being Unconditionally Loving, which translates to “You’re a Bad Person.” In retrospect, it was classic psychological abuse, but what did I know? I wanted to love and so I did. My guilt filled in the empty slots where love belonged.

It took decades to allow myself to wake up. To gently remind myself that putting up with bad behavior is not kind but actually a form of enabling. All those buzz words to describe a simple truth: Letting others hurt or use you isn’t love. Guilt isn’t a natural response, and if that is the primary feeling, it’s not love. Unless you can say, “No,” instead of always feeling obligated to say, “Yes,” it’s not love.

However, those Rose-Colored Glasses served a valuable purpose. They taught me how to love. And without them, I felt colder and quite lonely. The world was starker in black and white, in lonely shades of grey.

It took years before I recognized the solution was not to discard them completely. Love is not a simple thing. People may hurt us and make mistakes, just as we hurt others. Sometimes the view is rosy, yet with a shade of another hue. All those colors require integration with an honest and compassionate heart. Sometimes love is messy, wild, like a tempestuous wave followed by a Chiron O'Keefe's photo.smooth pool of warmth and comfort.

There was one last step required. I had to make a promise to myself. I had to learn to say, “No.” To recognize that love is a choice, not an obligation. That promising to look for the best in another does not mean ignoring truth. So for me, having the ability to say “No,” meant I needn’t hide my eyes from what couldn’t be confronted. No longer did I have to don Rose-Colored Glasses to warm up a world of chill grey.

Today I view my world through a rainbow of emotions that stretch across my inner sky. The sunshine dances on the raindrops, and the occasional blustery storm encourages my inner trees to dance. I welcome all the colors of my emotions, grateful for my ability to feel without fear. I recognize my freedom to love or not as I choose. And in knowing I have this choice, I choose to love.”–Chiron O’Keefe

©Chiron O’Keefe All Rights Reserved

Chiron O’Keefe is a writer, philosopher, and musician. Currently working on a book of essays focusing on reality creation and self-love, she is a life-long dreamer whose experiences have taught her the value of playfulness and self-accountability. You can follow her on Facebook .

Many thanks to Chiron for permission to publish this amazing and insightful post. May her journey inspire you to choose love and….Shine Your Light!~Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2016 All Rights Reserved

Debra is a gifted Clairvoyant Reader, Energy Healer, Author, and Intuitive Business Consultant providing insight and guidance to clients around the world. In addition to her clairvoyant readings, business consulting and healing work Debra also offers one to one personal empowerment sessions and leads meditation workshops to help people heal and awaken to their own truth and spiritual gifts.

SpiritLightInsight Clairvoyant Readings by Debra

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Limoncello And Transform Your Life

When life gives you lemonsThis is a guest post by Salvatore Sciacca. 

“I know. I thought you are supposed to make lemonade when life gives you lemons. But then again most people are too busy reacting to the fact that life has given them lemons instead of cream puffs, gold coins or manna from heaven for that matter.

So let’s start by discussing acceptance before we can actually discuss the recipe for Limoncello.


Acceptance is a critical part of life’s journey especially when it comes to transforming one’s life. If you are not willing to accept the situation at hand, it will be virtually impossible to make a sound and healthy decision on how to close the chapter that represents your old self and open a new one representing your new and improved self.

For example, when I was younger, I thought that I would NEVER get divorced once I got married. I was raised as a devout Catholic and divorce was instilled in me as a major taboo and “NO NO”. And as a result, while I was growing up, I thought that people who were married and divorced were failures. I even thought my 1st marriage counselor who was a Jewish Rabbi on his 3rd marriage was not only a complete failure but totally unqualified to offer marriage counseling advice.

Fast forward to today, I have completed changed my perspective and appreciation for people. For starters, I’m now divorced twice and actually believe that “three’s a charm”. I also have a new found appreciation for people who are divorced as I have gone through the shame, guilt and humiliation that is often associated with the process. And I now think my former Jewish marriage counsel was probably highly qualified to help distressed marital relationships because of his experiences.

And I now wake up in the morning knowing that I am not only OKAY but that I now feel better than I have ever felt about myself because I have learned to accept my failed marriages of the past. The irony of the situation is that I probably would have never gotten to this state of greater well being and consciousness had I not gone through the 2 previous marriages.

So Then How Do You Make Limoncello?

My 2 previous marriages gave me more lemons that I could have ever imagined. And trust me when I say this, I like lemonade but am NOT that crazy about it. But many years ago, my cousin Tony invited me over to make Grappa with him which is a main ingredient to Limoncello. In order to make Grappa, you literally transform grape skins into a refined high content alcoholic after dinner drink that Italians have made famous.

Now one of the MOST important steps while making Grappa is the purification process. During this step, the fermented liquid is run through a distillation process that purifies the liquid and leaves the precious Grappa byproduct. This is a very painstaking process and takes quite a bit of time to go through all the steps. Once the Grappa is created, the Limoncello is made by essentially soaking a hand full of lemons in Grappa and sugar for a few weeks.

With this Limoncello making experience, I have come to realize that Limoncello making is symbolic of my life’s journey. I have come to realize how important it is to go through my own purification process which is helping me let go of the past and is helping me shed the impurities that have held me back over so many years of my life. Had I simply squeezed a handful of lemons into a cup and added a few tablespoons of sugar, I would have never gotten to where I am at today.


Life is not only about turning unwanted lemons into Limoncello but it’s also about creating something more magnificent than you could have ever possibly imagined. And that is what is the most beautiful part of about getting dealt a handful of unwanted lemons.”

About the Author:

Salvatore J. Sciacca aka “Condoboss” is one of the nation’s leading experts in the community property management industry. He is also the President and Founder of Chicago Property Services, Chicago’s #1 community property management company specializing in management and operations of condos/townhomes/HOA’s of 100 units and under.

©Debra Taitel 2014 All Rights Reserved
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