A Blessing from Day Past

Standard

Life is an amazing journey, one filled with surprising twists and turns.  I have always thought if you can pay attention opportunities present themselves, if you can quiet the noise of the world your inner voice will tell you what to do, and every experience no matter how painful is an opportunity to grow and learn. There have been times when life was dreadful that I needed to hold tightly to those beliefs. Other times my faith was shaken but I clung firmly. I felt like I floundered a bit this past year or so, taking the time to dig all those skeletons from my closet. What is it George Bernard Shaw said, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”  Being aware of the impact of my past  I had decided to dance with my skeletons, to truly understand the impact the may have on my life; past, present, and future.

Funny how life surprises you at certain points of your journey. At the end of all this dancing I have reconnected with an amazing person from my past. Someone who I so fondly remember conversing, analyzing life, and sharing laughs. While I have kept up with a few friends from that portion of my life, we had only crossed paths now and again but never quite had a chance to catch up. This is someone who knows me, the me from days past, the person I have worked so hard to protect and preserve.

To spend time with someone who know you at your core, to see you even though there are now rough jagged edges from your battles in life but still embraces you, values you, and understand you is a wonderful gift; a blessing. It is such an experience to be with someone who allows me to be as  authentic as he is, who not only embraces my analysis of life but meets it with the same depth of perspective, who not only tolerates my need to look at all sides of a situation but returns my “wisdom” when my perspective becomes short sided. Someone who encourages me to be my authentic self with my flaws and imperfections, someone who wants to know all of me, even the dark parts and seems to stand steady when I share. This blessing from days pasts has reminded me of some of my foundational beliefs that had been lost in the murkiness of life as of late.  I only hope I can offer him the same in return, to be enough even though I know I have lost parts of myself along the way; I hope those missing pieces have not been replaced with a darkness that fills too much of life. I hope to be able to always meet his openness, honesty, and vulnerability with the same as well as the encouragement and reassurance that I will be a good steward of all he shares, of the love and care he offers, of the kindness and encouragement I am met with. I pray that I can be enough.

 

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”  ― Thomas Merton

As Intended

Standard

I have always believed you are the exact person you are supposed to be in this moment; you are who you are meant to be and you should embrace and love yourself. I have offered this wisdom to many friends at their times of struggle and self doubt.  Sometimes we find it is difficult to have faith that we are as we are intended to be at this juncture; especially when we feel broken, or not enough, or it is not how we want it to be;  now I am struggling with this. That faith is so difficult but there must be a plan and in those moments I hold tight to that belief or else the struggle may be for naught. So I remind  myself with fervor that I am where I am needed as I am supposed to be…. and try to focus on the love….and try to give that as much of that type of care, kindness,  and compassion as I feel I may need it in that moment. This morning I tried to focus on that, on my gratitude and share with those who have enriched my life over the past three years. I spread today’s love by thanking each and every person for their individual impacts on my life, by showing my gratitude for their gifts. While I am still struggling with this period of growth, struggling to see the opportunities to embrace, looking  finding that door which has opened I am a bit more centered and I suppose that is more than I should ask for. I shall wander to the porch and watch the rain, listening to find my peace.

“I promise you, these storms are only trying to wash you clean”.- Jessica Katoff

 

Hope Served

Standard

It has been an incredibly difficult several months filled with some ups and many downs. Yesterday I was in a dark place, feeling quite hopeless, as if I were in the middle of this murky lake just trying to keep my head above water, and my swimming skills are atrocious at best add to that life going on ashore with no regard for my struggle.  The weight of some understandings are difficult to bear; life does knock you around pretty hard sometimes.

While I am very insecure with my instability right now, I have some realities that are quite clear.  The most painful of those is that I have lost one of my best friends, someone who understood so very much, who added a unique perspective, and always shared my skewed sense of humor. I am afraid they are gone from my life forever and that adds a sadness that is beyond words. I am most afraid of being without my job, it is the same career I have had for over two decades and has become somewhat part of my identity, add to that the trigger of financial instability and I have been a bit of an emotional disaster. I think my disappointment in humanity, dealing with my own challenges, and the random acts of discord has pushed my faith beyond its limits; I have felt pretty isolated, somewhat cast aside.

Sometimes those reassurances arrive at the most opportune times, just when you need a smidgen of hope to restore your strength it comes served up on the best china. Last night I had an event at the studio which was very important to me, it was to highlight an organization that supports survivors of domestic abuse and I was saddened by the fact that no one was going to be there for support. It is funny the people who surprise you in those moments, I have a gratitude for them which I am unsure how to express. This morning a friend of many years texted she was running by to drop off something; to which she arrived with hugs, a wonderful dessert, and gift card all bundled beautifully with wonderful note including words of encouragement which although made me cry but gave me a bit more hope and strength to continue. Now as I am sitting here in the afternoon sun writing, my cross-eyed stray cat came wandering out of the woods. He has filtered around in my life for the past few years, at first quite skittish but has grown accustomed to the sound of my voice. Although he still lacks the trust to allow me close enough to pet him, maybe one day. The cat has grown to remind me of many things over the time he has loitered and the lesson was not lost today.  I am grateful for the hope that has been given to me the past day, so I shall focus my gratitude and enjoy the sun in my life today.

“Sometimes the strongest women are the ones who love beyond all faults, cry behind closed doors, and fights battles that nobody knows about!”- D.C. quote in my card today

Vintage Handkerchiefs

Standard

Even as a child I have liked things from days pasts. I have a special fondness for vintage handkerchiefs thus my small collection. Some are new, having been gently stored away for some special occasion that never arrived while others are well worn, having been neatly ironed and stored away to arrive at an estate sale or antique shop. I love the patterns, tiny flowers, sometimes lace, or embroidered prints.  I am quite curious about the owner; was it a gift, had she liked the pattern, what special event was she saving it for? I often wonder what stories they could tell; did they catch the tears of a love lost, of the joy of a wedding day, or of regret for lost dreams?

My collection has had use as of late for I have had cause to shed tears. While struggling to reconcile my brokenness, to learn to bear the weight of my missing pieces, in my darkness life decided to deliver another blow. As with any time of darkness, people can be lost along the way. You quickly learn who cares by seeing who is traversing your darkness with you, who will sit with you when the candle of hope is extinguished.   In my pain, my insecurities could not be kept tucked away, hidden from myself any longer. So once again I was reminded that not everyone has the same belief system I do, that not everyone cares as deeply as I do, not everyone can stand in the pain of life with another just to support them in silence. So my lovely violet printed hankie is collecting my tears of disappointment and fear.  So  I have decided to retreat and make the change at my own hand as opposed to add to  the tally of those lost on this journey. I do know I am too tired to fight for my place in one’s world.

“The only love you have to prove in life is your love of God and helping others. Anyone that can’t see that has proven themselves to be unworthy of your time because why would you spend your life with someone that can’t tell the difference between a diamond and dirt?”  ― Shannon L. Alder

The Pain of Realization

Standard

Realizations can be magnificent, when you solve some great perplexing problem, when your research makes an impact, when you find some inner truth that guides your path yet they can also be quite a painful slap in the face. Over the past several weeks, I have been asked the same question in different forms, essentially how I view myself, something related to my self-esteem and worth to which I reply I really don’t know for I never look at myself in that manner. So therein lies a question that has been bouncing around in my thoughts. Why do I never look at myself? Why do I avoid considering my value, my beauty, my worthiness…..?

This has perplexed me off and on for some time. I never look at myself in a manner that others may see me. By saying that I am not implying I walk through the world self-centered saying to hell with you and all your opinions. I do consider how my interaction will impact others, try to analyze things from all sides to ensure my living with kindness and compassion has only a positive impact. It is more like I never consider the light others may see me in, for instance I do not consider if I am pretty enough, smart enough, caring enough, or attractive enough; I usually only consider if I am giving enough, loving enough, kind enough. While that may be considered liberating to some, after the recent questions I have arrived at the conclusion I do not consider this out of fear it would validate the word others have thrown at me, as if looking at my abilities and attributes may confirm the painful cruel things that have been said. I suppose not considering is a coping mechanism that I have carried through my entire life, this avoidance as a means to maintain since my childhood. Words hurt and the closer to your heart the person saying them is the more pain they inflict;

I have arrived at a realization which bears a herculean weight.  Trying to learn to consider myself, I now understand my worth it. I work so diligently to be supportive of those I care about, try so very hard to always be there, to be kind, loving, and generous. Since I was blessed with my life, my freedom to live as I want I have strived to give the people in my life things I have gone without for I know the pain of having no one when you need it the most, the struggle to face another hopeless day without care, to feel so lonely when you struggle to gain your footing after the world knocks you down. I cannot think of but a very few times I wished for a place to take respite, I do not need some knight in shining armor but having arms to give a supportive hug, a gentle voice to offer a few kind words, or even a hand to help me up would be the reassuring blessing I need. This week I fell into the muck of life and it is just too much to try and stand up, too difficult to move forward in that moment so I just stayed there. Crying myself to sleep last night I arrived at the realization whose weight crushed my soul.  I may not be worthy, not worth the effort for someone to care, not worth the time for someone to offer a hand up, not worth being loved because of all my sharp edges and missing pieces.  I suppose this is something I have known for most of my life, the reason I avoided looking.

 

 

 

“A person who truly loves you is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else believes in the smile on your face.” ~ Anonymous

 

This Is Where I Leave You

Standard

I am tired, it feels as if I have fought for everything my entire life. I have fought to keep myself intact, to maintain my financial stability, to progress in my career… I am tired of it all. When I found my freedom to pursue a different life, my life I made myself some promises. I promised I would not make myself small again, that I would embrace myself, that I would ensure I was true to my convictions, to my needs. I found myself editing, not speaking for myself when I need something and I panicked. In that moment I wondered if I need to tell the world.  ‘this is where I leave you”, step back and find my center. How can I continue to navigate when I was not speaking my truth, not advocating for myself? Is this one of those times where I need to navigate the storm alone to define myself? I am tired of holding it all together, but is there another choice?

“She never stumbles, she’s got no place to fall.” –Bob Dylan