Compassionate Listening

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The silence of the morning hours are the most precious moments I spend. It’s the time when I pray and meditate with God to connect with the pulse of creation and wisdom. In that silence this morning the message I heard was how powerful a person is while being a compassionate listener. To truly hear the heart of another with no condemnation or judgement is to be the greatest gift to this world.

Compassionate listening is to be silent while someone else speaks and truly hear the heart of that person. This is true of groups of people as well. We don’t have to agree to listen and hear. We don’t need to judge or even come to a conclusion, expression, or solution. Sometimes people just need to have someone listen and to be heard. When we listen to understand we become an ambassador who connects hearts instead of repelling them.

The greatest honor is to be trusted with the thoughts, ideas, and feelings of another. The greatest gift is to listen without judgement. It is in that context, in that moment, we become the greatest ambassador of love ever.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

832-484-8306

I Learned the Greatest Lesson of All…from MY Clients

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If you have ever known me, or have been connected to me, you know how much I love my work.  There is nothing more amazing to me than to be trusted enough to be allowed into another person’s heart and life. I count it an honor to be held in confidence. At times it has been to such a level, I have been told things that my clients have never revealed to another single soul.

There is nothing quite as satisfying to me than to know I have left a conversation and my client has had an “aha” moment, or has felt a great load being lifted from their shoulders. Yet, there have been those from time to time who have either come right out and told me I had not helped them at all. Or there have been those who have just quietly distanced themselves from me. In those cases I would get off the phone or go home feeling tied up in knots wondering what I could have done better.  I took it hard and usually put all of the load on myself.

Comforting myself, I would reason that I am not perfect, and don’t know all of the answers. While this is true, there had been one piece of the puzzle I had not considered, “I can not assist anyone who does not love themselves enough to realize they need to make their own changes”. I can facilitate, but I can’t change anyone. Change comes from the inside out. One element that has to always be there is self love.

The amazing thing, is the most difficult clients revealed to me my own lack of self confidence and self love. Everyone is a mirror to us no matter what the role we play in one another’s lives. Literally, my rejecting clients expected me to fix them and I strained within myself thinking that it was my job.

Learning the lesson about fixing my own self, loving myself, and being confident within myself, has been a hard one. I’ve had to weed through all of the junk that led me to “people please” and allow others to judge me, or compromise my sense of self worth. Bottom line, we are all a work in progress. With my progression, I discovered it has been alright to walk away from those who dishonored me, because I could honor myself. It’s easier said than done.

This is the reality; no one changes without having to do the work and without finding self love first. Without self love we only live in the reflection of those who want us to conform to their image. I take a deep breath and relax when I remember that the only image I need to conform to is God’s. Even then, it is not God outside of me but God who is a part of my being. The power of love is in our own DNA. I had to get a grasp of this completely, or I would always feel like I would fall short.

It’s work, but when done right everything shifts in the right direction. People leave because they become insulted, irritated, or offended. I’ve learned to let them go. The payoff is others will appear. It’s like a miracle of life. Those that appear are the ones who are ready for what I have to offer and always give me the gift of appreciation in return.

This is the pleasure of life. Walking in the Light of love is always the greatest feeling in the world. Sometimes I forget, like I suddenly have some sort of amnesia. Spirit always draws me back to where I need to be. Sometimes this happens with a struggle but when I turn to the greatest love ever, I always remember.

So, with all of this said; the greatest work I have ever achieved was to love myself the way God does. When this happens everything falls into place. Resistance never allows miracles to happen. Self doubt and struggle will never bring balance or miracles. Yes, my clients have taught me the road to least resistance. The responsibility has always been their own. Mine is to be there, to listen, to interject wisdom when wisdom comes, and to smile at the end of the day.

A job well done always comes with a life well loved.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, Phd

JenineMarie.com

Choices We Make That Empower Us

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I entitled this blog post the way it is because I was thinking about choices this morning. My meditative practice was harder than usual because I had so many things swirling around in my brain. As it settled, some interesting thoughts came to me. Even though I don’t believe anyone should live in the past, I do believe the past has lessons we can still learn and sometimes those lessons even define who we eventually are.

A long time ago I worked for a commercial bank called Bay Bank of Commerce in San Leandro, CA. I think the years were somewhere around 1982. I was a single mother with one small son at the time. I loved that bank. I loved the way I was treated by those who founded it and those who appreciated me as a young professional. I have to thank the CEO and founder @DickKahler for the opportunity I was given. I was only there maybe close to 2 years, and worked in the commercial real estate loan processing department. Unfortunately, one person who worked above me gave me a very difficult time during a pregnancy that was pretty delicate. After some careful consideration I had to quit my job there.

No way had that move ever reflected on the wonderful way that commercial bank was built or how business was executed. I knew I had the finest of the best in the business. Yet, I had to stand up for myself due to one person’s treatment. I was a pretty shy and very unassuming person at the time. I have to say, quitting without another job to hang onto was not an easy prospect. It really took a lot of faith. Actually, it built my faith.

I went on to build a family, was married and then divorced. For many years I raised five children on my own with no real help from anyone. After consulting with a superior court family judge, I decided to educate myself. Her advice was straight on for me. Judge Chew, wherever you are, I LOVE YOU! I started at the community college level but that was only the beginning. My education took me to places I never thought I would be.

I was accepted by a pilot program through Stanford University in California. I studied with students from various places on the globe. I did some of my trans-personal/spiritual internship at Mt Madonna, CA. I graduated with a liberal arts degree with emphasis on psychology and human behavior through Southern New Hampshire University. I have three degrees in theological study leading to a Master’s from Grand Canyon University along with 3 years of Clinical Psychology study, and a Doctorate from the University of Sedona. I am excited to have studied in classes conducted by Harvard University. I also have learned from some wonderful spiritual, philosophical teachers from Daytona Beach, Boca Raton, and Miami, Florida. Much of my study led to certifications in Life Coaching, Trans-personal Counseling, Holistic Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Yes, I have a lot of education!

I was surprisingly privileged to conduct a class, a church service, and speak before some of our country’s leaders during one of the dedication moments near Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend. I was honored to be the Pastor of two small group churches, speak in local places of worship, and now I meet the most amazing people on earth that I call “my clients.”

My major point here is that one move to step into my own personal power, along with the power of God, created who I am today. I am assertive in ways I never would have been had it not occurred. It might seem simple and small, but it created a domino affect of so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. In fact, it changed my life. Over the course of time I have made good decisions and not so good. Fact remains that one step of empowerment made all of the difference in the world.

Don’t ever underestimate your own power to make decisions that could define the rest of your life. Step into it. Yes, you might step into some thick mud but lotus flowers bloom in thick mud, and so can you!

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

832-484-8306

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries, LLC 

**Special thank you to @DickKahler, @BayBankofCommerce (Sad to say the bank is now closed)

You Are Never Abandoned

 

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Feeling abandoned is horrible. Yet, it is only a feeling and not “Truth”. People tend to look at the idea of abandonment and believe it means that there is no one to turn to or someone human has left us. Although this is a human and valid feeling it is only a limited truth. The reality is we are never abandoned and never ever alone. Dark nights can loom up during hard moments. Our breath can feel tight and in response our bodies become tight as well. Maybe those that used to be on the other end of a phone line are not there any longer, but this does not mean abandonment.

God has given to us a sweet choir of spiritual support that never will go away from us. God’s promise is to command angels to watch over us, especially in times of trial and confusion. All it takes is to go out and listen to the sound of the breeze moving through the trees. There is a beauty in the sound and a sense of God’s support. The sun shines brightly and the sparkle upon water or in the green grass can be even more calming than even the voice of a human being.

God’s love letter speaks to us about never being abandoned as orphans. I believe we have much more in the spirit world than we often care to admit. Where do those ideas come from when we wake up in the morning? Or, even those spiritual downloads while in the shower, drying our hair, or driving with the windows down on a long country road? It’s God’s spiritual watch committee that is there every time of day or night. Angels are activated when we ask for them. Jesus is present even when we don’t ask. Love abounds for us 24/7. Just because we don’t “see” them does not mean no one is there.

Jesus said we are blessed when we do not see and yet still believe. I feel sometimes God allows us to feel alone so we will reach out to the spiritual support group we have but can not see. Jesus said to ask and it will be given to us. We have not, because we ask not. This means asking for anything at any time. God’s loving support group will respond with an answer, hope, encouragement and guidance.

Take it for a test drive! You never know until you ask. Believe when you do ask that you will receive. We live in a perfect harmonious universe that was created by God just for us. When your heart feels less than harmonious, reach out to the ones who have been created and placed in special spaces just for you! You will get a reply. People might let you down but God’s hosts will never let you down.

Loving you form here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

This Too Shall Passover

 

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All things in life will pass away, such as time, seasons, and even lives. On this Passover Day my thoughts wander to all of the things I would like God to pass over. They are the things closest to my heart and my personal as well as collective concerns. At this moment in time, we are all affected by the virus that has snuck up on us and ripped through the world like a wildfire out of control. It is only as it appears. God is always in control of everything, including wildfires and viruses.

Yes, we appear to be limited. It’s only an illusion. Our everyday routines, and some things we are used to have changed, but life is the same. We are thriving. Yes, I know, people are dying. I feel it very hard. We don’t have to be an empath to feel the grief the virus has caused but as an empath it is so much harder. We feel literally everything. Thank God! Some of us have to feel because many don’t. We need empaths in this world to be concerned for those who don’t or can’t feel the depth of things.

God wants us to feel His love at this time. This includes the depth, height and width of His love.  I can hear Him saying, “I want you to know you are loved in such a vast way and in a way you could never completely understand at this moment in time.” His love is perfect, and divine providence is a perfect design. Yes, even for those who have passed away due to the virus and what it has done in our world. All things pass away but the love of God remains forever.

To be bathed in that love on this Passover Day is the very best we could ever hope for. To receive a resurrection of life in days to come is even more than we could even think of asking for. Yet, we should ask. “Dear God, give to me a resurrection in the next few days. Please pass over me when it comes to the worldly things and destruction and allow me to arise with your glorious Son! Place me with your Son at Your right hand and allow me to thrive in ways I never have before. You are my peace, my love, my life, my passover power! Show me that power beyond the next few days and gear me up with shining armor of life and love. I love You Father God, my Creator, my first love and my life!” Amen.

What is it you desire God to allow to pass over in your life? Close your eyes and consider the depth of this answer. Know you need not have just one answer but anything that comes up for you. God is waiting for you right now. He is with you through the hard times and will remain the same through all time.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

The Challenge of Hosea

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Hosea was a prophet to Israel canonized in the bible as a part of the old testament. In his time he was the only prophet God appointed to Israel and was challenged with bringing Israel back to God as they worshiped false gods. Hosea, whose name means “salvation” was told by God to marry an adulterous woman. He obeyed this difficult challenge. Her name was Gomer and she ran away from Hosea to sleep with another man. I don’t know if I could take on a relationship I knew was going to be a cheating one from the beginning, would you?  The amazing part of the story is Hosea went after her to bring her back to him even though he knew she had been with another man. God had placed love in his heart for her and that love drew him to extend grace to her in spite of her adulterous ways.

To understand the gravity of the situation, back then in Israel women were stoned to death for the crime of adultery. Yet Hosea’s protective love and grace for her saved her time and time again. He refused to not love her. He refused to scorn her for the things she had done. His love was a covering for her, just like God’s love is for His created and chosen people. He had told Israel in the past, “You will be My people and I will be your God.” This was a promise of love and devotion that God always intended to keep.

God can not break His promise and Hosea never broke his to care for a woman who was continually unfaithful. God’s love for His people was always unfailing, forever and eternal. God can not refuse to love because God IS love. Hosea’s example of love was a living portrait of the love God has always had for His people. His ways are those of restoration and redemption. It’s not to say there was never discipline or suffering for moving against God. A relationship is meant to be enjoyed by two, otherwise it is not a relationship. Yet God’s great mercy always took Israel back when they truly repented and were sorry for their sin.

Hosea’s life was a type and shadow of the same life of a nation called by God to be His chosen people. In this world we are challenged every day, just like Hosea to bring redemption and forgiveness to people who are far away from God’s love. Every time Gomer left Hosea for another man, you have to know she suffered because she was far from the love God had given to him for her. It was love that drew her. I have been often told that real true love is like a rubber band. It will stretch, but it will never break. It always snaps back to itself and reunites, redeems, and restores. Love that is like the love of God covers, protects, and holds its captivated beloved closely.

God restored Israel. Hosea covered and restored Gomer. I often wonder if we can learn to have that kind of restorative love? It’s a challenge when there has been pain, wounds, and ill treatment. The temptation is to give up and walk away. Yet God’s way never leaves and never forsakes. Aren’t we glad His character is like that? I wonder if our character can learn to be like Gods? Can we restore the breaches that have been created by wounds of the past or even present? Can we be a merciful and restorative people and continually draw back those who leave us because our love covers their mistakes? Are we a safe harbor for those who need to come back and dock because the waters have become too much of a challenge? I wonder; in this world, can we love like God? Can we be that light that always welcomes the weary traveler even when their journey has been less than upstanding?

Great questions to ponder. I have to imagine it would take a lot of healing and stripping away of the scars created by continual dysfunction in society. We are all in the same boat looking for a safe harbor to dock. I think I want to be a safe harbor that always extends grace and mercy to the repentant traveler in a world that can be so hard to live in. Temptation fulfills for the moment, but God’s love lasts forever. How would you want our world to be?

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

The Gifts

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Some things in life seem so little but mean so much. Even with all of the junk that goes on in our world today, the true human heart always rises above it all when love abounds. Whatever you do, don’t take anything in this life for granted, especially when it comes to those closest to you. We are but a whisper in time on this planet and then we are gone. When we are young it seems like so much time is ahead. Yet, the older we get it feels like time begins to wind down. Make time count, even with little things.

When I was in grammar school we made tie clips for our Dads for Father’s Day. I love those school made gifts, don’t you? I remember when he opened it. His face lit up like it was the greatest thing he ever saw! I think I was about 8 years old. Later in life he passed away due to lung cancer. While looking through some of his things the first thing that stood out to me was that tie clip! Dad kept it all that time! I think by then I was in my 30’s. I still have it. Every time I look at it, I tear up. It obviously was a gift that meant a lot to him to save it so long.

Some things might seem insignificant but the love and thoughts behind them certainly are not. I still have Mother’s Day and Christmas gifts my children made when they were in grammar school. My boxes are filled with hand prints, handmade candles, photos of my kids glued to Christmas ornaments and paintings on large rolls of paper. Over the years the gifts evolved into things that reflect our faith, love, and sense of family. I still have all of those things, including necklaces and special rings my son used to get out of a gumball machine using the change from his lunch money. For awhile he did this daily. I can’t ever forget the smile on his face every time he gave me one. It was always like the first time.

Another precious gift I have is a plastic bag with locks of my hair when I was small child. The hair was from my first haircut that my mother saved in her bible. It’s still there. When times seem challenging, these are the gifts to my heart that mean so much to me. Sometimes I smile, knowing one day my children will open a box filled with things I have saved for many years and understand how much I have cherished every gift and part of their lives. They have been my gifts. More precious than gold, and more loved than life itself. The very most precious of memories to me were the moments I held each of them the very first time. Their eyes so filled with light, right from heaven, the greatest gifts of love I’ve ever known.

Loving you all from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

and…Mom

 

Characteristics of Love: Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs (Forgives) and MORE!

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I’m almost at the end of my series on love as it is described in the bible. I think this one is harder for most people than the rest, but it sure is not hard for God. Love keeps no record of wrongs. This means true God-love forgives, but more than that. It also means that true love forgets as well. Aren’t you glad that God is not sitting somewhere with a list of all of the things you are forgiven for but He does not forget? Aren’t you glad every time you mess up God does not bring up all of the times you messed up before?

Real love that does not come from human ego does not keep a list of what happened 10 years ago or even longer. True forgiveness is also forgetfulness. When we love someone we forget their past transgressions and keep on loving them. It’s alright to have different opinions and agree to disagree. What I am talking about is when one person wrongs another. Love forgives them and then forgets it. This happens even if there is no settlement of the issue. Love endures FOREVER. Love endures strife, disagreement, disappointment, and even the most hurtful things that can come up in human existence.

If you think this is hard then maybe turn it around. How do you want love to be when you mess up? We all want forgiveness and forgetfulness. We want second chances and even more. Where love resides we want the important parts of love to endure forever and the rest to fall away. It’s called healing, oneness, kindness, compassion, understanding, and wisdom. It takes maturity to have this kind of love. It gives us all something to strive for. To love freely without condemnation is the greatest gift ever. To continue to love when rejected, torn, and hurt, is God’s way.

We all lose our way. We anger, we have upset emotions and our hurts are exposed for anyone around us. That’s actually a good thing. Nothing heals when hidden. Jesus said the truth sets us free. That works with everything. Forgiveness sets us free. Forgetfulness sets the other free. What kind of love would you like to embody?

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

Have You Been Stricken By Cupid’s Arrow?

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For some reason we always associate a heart with an arrow sticking through it as a symbol of someone stricken by love. It does actually mean that but even further, it means a heart that has been tormented by a love that has caused agony. The picture doesn’t have much appeal anymore does it? Who would want to be tormented by an attraction to someone? When I think of a sign with an arrow I think of the “one way” sign. Being tormented by an arrow in the heart makes me think of a love that is only one way and not mutual.

In legend, the arrow is supposedly one that has been released by Cupid, the god of love. Legend has it when someone is stricken in the heart by Cupid’s arrow the first person they gaze upon they will fall madly in love with. It would be an inescapable love for all eternity. It just so happened that Cupid was very attracted to a goddess named Psyche. His mother, Venus, the goddess of love, did not like her so much. So she sent Cupid to go and strike her with an arrow and had planned on her gazing upon a horrible monster so she would fall in love with him. Cupid went on his journey alright, but he was pricked by his own arrow just as he gazed upon Psyche and fell inescapably in love with her forever. According to the legend they married and had a child named Pleasure.

None of it sounds very pleasurable to me. Being stabbed in the heart and brought to agony by love is not my idea of any type of romantic love but one that is forced. True love can never be forced but is gifted to two people who are stricken but not by an arrow. Love is not supposed to be painful nor is it supposed to entrap anyone. Real love brings freedom of expression and delight. It can be for all eternity. In fact, our marriage vows tend to echo that sentiment.

My hope for you is a love that will find you and embrace you for all eternity! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

 

***Wikipedia

Characteristics of Love: Love is Not Self-Seeking

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Not being self seeking can be confusing at first. On one hand we can not give of anything until we have it within ourselves. Being self assured, self giving, and providing self care are all good things. We do need to seek our healing, our inner light, and to seek out what is best in our lives. We give out of the overflow of what we have and who we are. We also self seek when we seek God to an extent. We seek to lose fear, define our lives, search out our purpose and expand our horizons. These are all great things and we should all do them!

I believe what the author is saying here is that love does not behave selfishly with an attitude of entitlement over the needs of others. It’s very different to be self loving from being selfish and self centered in an arrogant way. Arrogance is a form of pride that lords itself over others. The type of self seeking that love is not is the kind that says, “I deserve more than you because I am better than you are.” True love never sees anyone that way, but sees us all as equal even when we don’t all behave on the playground.

We might have different places we fill in business, in life, or in family, but we are all equal in God’s sight. To self seek is to seek without God, from ego and not through Spirit. God’s Spirit is Holy and there is nothing prideful or arrogant within the love that is held in God’s Holiness. Self seeking is also a state of division. It states that a person feels they are higher or above all others and therefore deserve preference over others. It denies the Oneness that Jesus prayed to “the Father” about.

When we are looking to embody true God-love we do not seek preference over others but see one another as equal. We understand that we are not completely whole without one another. Everyone is in a state of “becoming”, so not everyone will be on the same spiritual path as another. Jesus did not come to the earth to just visit so He could establish a set of people who would have it all and others would not. Truth says Jesus came for the whole world, to set people free, to show the way, to relieve us all of condemnation, to pour out grace, to teach healing, and point the way toward eternity. Jesus laid down His life for EVERY human being ever created and came to this planet. That means people who were before, who were then, and who were to be. Literally EVERYONE. Not just those who believe as He does but even those who do not believe at all. Jesus was and is the supreme example of love if we ever saw one. He displayed a love that was never self seeking; a love that laid itself down for those who needed it more.

Do you want to embody this kind of love? Its hard when our human side always will compete to interfere. I believe this comes from not being healed from past trauma. We only act and react poorly from our soul scars. When we are healed and clean from those things then God within us can become bigger and more profoundly present. Remember Peter in the bible? People were healed just walking into Peter’s shadow. Peter did not receive any special preference from God or special grace. Jesus said we all could do greater things than even He had. When He said, “all” he meant everyone. Only pure love and faith could be that profound as to heal others with just being present. Isn’t that the express image of God’s love?

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry