Category Archives: Shalom

Letter to 20 year old me….

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47 today

Hello 47.

I am OK with that.

Better than OK!

 I am grateful for every day and I am grateful to be comfortable in my own skin. It is so strange that 30 years ago I wasn’t, yet not many would have known that. It was the journey I had to take and I am happy  and grateful to have found “now”.

I spent over two decades trying to be someone that I wasn’t and fit societies standards and expectations. My 40’s have been a time of getting to know the real me, heal and find the kingdom that is within. What a journey!

What would I tell the 20 year old me?

*Stop trying to get the approval of others and please everyone. Especially the ones that don’t see beauty in what you offer. Lovingly, move on from those folks.

*Love you and the skin you are in.You are magnificently made in the image of the Creator of the Universe!

*Understand that everything is temporary and don’t take things so seriously. Laugh as much as you can!

*Nothing is personal. People only behave at the level of consciousness they posses and by and large this world is a very unconscious place. Don’t take things personally.

*Let go, always. Attachment is not love.

*People will misjudge you. You will misjudge others. We are by and large egocentric creatures that typically see others as we see ourselves. Our perceptions are frequently flawed and inaccurate. Withhold judgement because you can’t and don’t fully understand others or what their journey is specifically about and don’t personalize it when they judge you as they simply do not know to do better. We all only see in part.

*Be present in every moment and don’t resist difficulties but work with them, dissect them and search out what understanding they bring.

*Slow down. You don’t need to react emotionally. Learn to be objective and seek Truth. If you seek it you will find it even if it is just a little at a time.

*Patience will save you a lot of grief. ❤️

Aging can be a wonderful thing when you accept it with the correct perspective. 🌸🌸🌸🌸 #birthdayhair #thekingdomiswithin #gratitude

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Meat Bag and the Goad

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Weird title but it kind of gets your attention, does it not?

This is going to be short…..because it is simple, but it’s not. It is a paradox. It is an easy concept that confounds many of us. Like all great truths. I had coffee with a friend this week and during that conversation I finally understood a concept that I haven’t been able to receive fully until recently. I am writing to myself as much to anyone who can hear this. It is a hard truth to accept and I mentally wrestle with it. We all struggle with us. If you don’t I applaud you. You are a lot further down the road than I am. I think embracing this truth is truly the only way to be free of much of what trips us up in life and causes us to suffer. My ego is not a fan but here it goes:

Being a victim of your circumstances is a mindset, not a reality. Jesus asked what can they do to you? They can only kill your body. You are not your body. (paraphrased Luke 12:4) In other words, you are a spirit hanging out in a meat bag for a number of years and you are only a victim if you mentally accept that role or ‘story’. Victim-hood, while painful, is a mental fabrication according to Jesus/Yeshua. Ouch.

A victim accepts ‘the story’ that he has no choices and in turn feels powerless. The story is generated by the ego a.k.a the flesh. That powerlessness he feels fuels his anger and his anger brings destruction to him or those around him. The victim, in time, always becomes the victimizer. Most of the time he will victimize himself with self destructive behavior, because it is more socially acceptable, or he will lash out and victimize others. This is the story of mankind, from the beginning, and is an easily observed truth, throughout all of history, all cultures and all religions. The truth is we all have choices. Three, in fact. Two will free us. One will enslave us. The ego/flesh would tell us otherwise because it wants to rehash the story it tells us to support said victim mentality. If two of the following choices are made then the story is defeated. The story ends. It’s teller is silenced, or at least this time, it will try again. :/

3 choices:

Make a decision to change the situation. Take action. Create a boundary or leave the situation. Most of the time this is possible, but sometimes it is not. Act, if it is wise.

Acceptance. Let go of the attachment to an agenda and or expectations and stop resisting, mentally. Surrender to Reality and stop ‘kicking against the goad’. There are some situations where this is the only option and the only way to become free. Rest.

Suffer. Resist or react to your circumstances. .

Well, that was enough to chew on this week. I am choking on this one just a bit.

Cheers!

Bees and Wasps…

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I am definitely not an expert when it comes to insects. I know very little, in fact, except for what I have observed and experienced since moving here 18 years ago. Georgia has a lot of bugs and I just see yellow and black and I know there is a stinger there somewhere! It is spring here in Georgia and George and I, my companion of the canine sort, have been getting out and walking around the neighborhood. In doing so we have seen our fair share of bees and wasps or wasps and bees. Whichever. You know, things with stingers! Everything is blooming and it is beautiful but that means bees, wasps and other biting insects are buzzing around. So far we have experienced no stings, despite George’s nosy behavior, (must smell, all things, everywhere) but I am keeping my eyes open none the less. My husband has had the painful and unfortunate experience of being stung, a few years in a row now, by a yellow jacket, a kind of a vicious wasp like creature that lives in the dirt here. So I am diligent to keep my eyes on the ground when we take our walks. The bites he received caused his leg to swell up twice it’s size and it was very painful. 😦

For a good part of my life I have been a bit of a trusting person and a fairly open book to those that get to know me well. I have tended to believe that people wouldn’t cross certain lines or do certain things because I wouldn’t. That has been painful at times. And it is child like “magical thinking”. Like a dear friend says, “we see people how we are.” It is a fairly egocentric way to look at people and we are all egocentric to some degree. We believe people believe like us, think like us, react like us and so on. We tend to develop an attachment to these ideas or expectations. That being said I have been caught off guard by the behavior of many people at times for that very reason. Shocked really. When that happens I never really see it coming, and some things that have occurred still really puzzle me to this day. I guess my intuition was on the fritz or something and I just didn’t expect it  because I thought I had a firm understanding of who that person was. Maybe it was more about who I wanted them to be. None the less, that is a mistake I have made consistently and I’d really like to prevent it in the future. Walking makes a person think and ponder things and I wondered why people sometimes “sting you” when you least expect it and this week bees and wasps came to mind.

Bees are funny little creatures.  They are really methodical, organized and all about family. They just want to do their jobs and go home. They don’t have much of a social life outside of the hive and they thrive on togetherness with loved ones. They just want to build and maintain their hive, take care of the kids and make their honey. They really are not very conscious of others that are not bees and often see those that are different than them as a bit of threat. And quite honestly, sometimes, others are a bit of a threat to them. History has proven this to the bee and that is all he really has to go on, being a bee and all. It seems others like his honey and do try to take it at great expense to him and the hive. This kind of pisses the little bee off, quite frankly. It can cause the bee to become a little hypersensitive at times and very reactive to anyone that crosses his path or especially gets near the hive. People and animals often get stung, erroneously, because of the flawed perception of the bee, when they accidentally cross his path. But can you blame the bee, really? He doesn’t have the capacity to make observations or ask questions, he just sees a possible threat. All he has is his experience to go by and a deep desire to protect those whom he loves. The little bee will die to protect his loved ones and the hive and once he stings someone it will mean certain death for him. The bee has no regard for his own life. He is about his family. He is about the hive. You truly have to respect bees. They have very important jobs and without them we would be in serious trouble. Their shrinking population is having terrible consequences for our agriculture. Their presence is very crucial and we really, really need them. Bees don’t have the ability or the luxury to be objective as they are not conscious beings. They will sting when they perceive a threat, period, right or wrong, and always in the interest of protecting what is dear to them. Most people that “sting” are like the bee. They have lost objectivity, unable to see the whole picture and are just trying to protect what they perceive is being threatened. When you get stung by this type of person try to understand his or her perspective and understand that it is likely very limited because of painful, past experiences and history. This kind of individual is not “bad”. They are just very unaware. You might do the same thing in his or her shoes and most likely have at one point or another. We are all bees sometimes. But, do be wise and protect yourself.

Wasps are different in my opinion and very likely in the opinion of those who have had the unfortunate experience of accidentally crossing them. I truly don’t understand the reason for wasps if I am honest. I quite dislike them. I have been known to use some very unsavory vocabulary regarding them. Let’s get something straight. Wasps are not nice! Wasps do not sacrifice themselves when they sting you, for them it isn’t about that! If they can manage it they do not bite you just once. They keep coming! Wasps seem to enjoy hurting people and animals and bite over and over until you can get away from them. (again, I am not a insect expert, just drawing a comparison). Wasps are self serving, vicious, calculating and vindictive! (In my opinion) If you have ever experienced being stung by one you know how relentless they can be. The aftermath is extremely painful and it can take a while to heal after being attacked by a wasp! It is the gift that keeps on giving! While I think most people can be bees, from time to time, I do believe there are a small minority that fit into the wasp category. If you have ever met one, and experienced their wrath, you will understand what I mean. If you are under the impression they don’t exist or are really just misunderstood then I can guarantee you will experience one, one day. Sorry, I used to think that way too and that kind of thinking tends to draw them to you. Bees just want to be left alone. Wasps clearly want a fight and they look for the most vulnerable, trusting and unsuspecting person or animal to attack. I guess by now you know I am not really writing about insects.

It is not really my job, nor should it be, to label who is a bee and who is wasp and honestly they can be difficult to tell apart. If I can help it, I won’t be getting that close. I will leave that to my Creator. He is the Judge. What I do need to do is be wise either way. Both sting but I need to stop assuming I understand a person, one way or another, and just be aware, awake and vigilant. Just like long sleeves, a hat and a nice pair of thick Levis make one less vulnerable to being stung, appropriate boundaries in my own life are probably the best way to protect myself and those whom I care about from stings. Aggressive behavior on my part, stinging back, will stir up and anger both the bee and the wasp, so the important thing is to give them their space and carefully observe them from a good distance. There might also be a time to be defensive and take action but only if necessary. In time maybe I will figure out which is which but safety comes first. The important thing is to not put myself or others in a position to be injured. That is wisdom and love in tandem and I am hopeful the next time I happen upon something with a stinger I will see it before it sees me.

Cheers!

April

Hot Coffee

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This morning it is 26 degrees where I live. That is pretty cold for our neck of the woods. The coffee is more for warmth than drinking this morning. I think I am absorbing the heat out of it as my hands grip the hot cup because it is cooling pretty quickly. I really prefer cooler weather because I sleep better but it is the waking up that can be tough when I am sleeping this well. My dreams have been vivid lately and the kind that I should be writing down. They are so entertaining that I want to keep sleeping to learn what the end will be but I always seem to wake before they are done. Man! ☺

I meet the most interesting people while I am out and about and pretty randomly. I ran into one of my Trader Joe’s buddies yesterday. I drive way far away to do our grocery shopping because we try to eat clean and TJ’s has amazing prices on a majority of the things we buy. (This is not a paid endorsement) Anything I can’t get there I pick up at Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods (joke is getting old I know, but it is true $$$), and then head home. Anyway, Trader Joe’s hires some of the coolest people I have ever met. I have a few friends there but this gal is on a similar journey and we talked about not reacting to other people’s drama, remaining calm and objective and many other cool things we are learning. She tends to absorb and feel the struggles of others like I do and also has the same knee jerk reaction of trying to fix things. Learning to manage and control that urge to right other people’s world that is not something people who don’t struggle with that understand very well. It is a meeting of kindred spirits I guess and a cool experience when it happens. It is nice to feel a little less alone. The problem with trying to fix things for others is that it robs them the opportunity to “see” themselves and it sucks the life out of the person trying to be the “hero”. We both have experienced that and are learning to observe and walk away when need be. Bad habits die hard!

Diet on track. Exercise not. I am trying to figure out how to adapt it to my new schedule now that I am working outside the home and still not feeling 100%. I think this is the longest head cold ever! So trying to be patient with myself and not fall into self condemnation. I will get there. One foot in front of the other.

So enjoy this little tune and stay warm!

Cheers!

April

Some Days…

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It is funny how difficult it can be to get back into a routine after having time off. I recently had a 3 day weekend and it was so nice! I was supposed to have 4 days off but a co-worker needed me to cover her day for her so I went in yesterday.

Yesterday was set to be a 9 1/2 hour day but turned into a 10 hour day with no breaks. So I hit the ground running and today my body is feeling it. In addition to that, I am still getting over a cold and it seemed to be better but has returned some along with some Peri-menopausal unpleasantness. This is probably due to not eating as well as I should have in December. I am open book, so sorry if that offended anyone but if you know me you know better than to expect me to be anything but real with you. You will just have to put up with my kvetching for a bit if you don’t mind. Thanks. ♥

This is real life and it is real, not pretend. The last few days have been a struggle emotionally. I know what I am feeling is not real in terms of anything externally wrong. I know this is all virus and rogue chemicals but the experience internally feels real and frankly it sucks. Not every day can be a ‘victorious one’. That was one of the things about mainstream Christianity that I had a real problem with. Or maybe fundamentalist Christianity. Or maybe just our culture in general. Probably all of the above. I don’t know. I remember a friend and former mentor telling me, “just fake it hon, the devil don’t know the difference!”. What a load of crap. Sorry, love that woman, all due respect, but that is a lie. That isn’t real. That isn’t the human experience. I still have to live in this body last I checked and it has some issues. Some days are just a struggle. As adults we forget to be honest about that and it is inferred that we shouldn’t be and I believe that is why our struggles tend to last as long as they do and are even more difficult to get over. I believe that is one of the reasons we get angry and depressed. It is the same in any language and kids are honest….unlike most adults, sadly.

So honesty it is. Feeling rough today. Hoping it will pass soon. I might cry in my eggs for a bit (I am a “Paleo eater” after all) but in the end I will pull it together,  get on with it and do what I have to do. That is the great thing about honesty. Once it is out, it’s out. I think she made it to kindergarten and had a better day, don’t you?

Back on track diet wise. Feeling crummy so no exercise today. I will get there. One foot in front of the other.

Cheers!

April

 

Her

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Little Girl Superhero

 

So I have stopped by today without a clue of what I am going to write. I usually wait for some inspiration but I have begun to wonder if the belief that I have to wait for some sort of “ah ha” moment to write something is an erroneous belief. So, I am just showing up. Cease talks a lot about “not planning” and that most creativity springs forth from not knowing or planning what one is going to say. Masters says the same. He also talks about being comfortable with fear and being cognizant of it rather than trying to deny it’s existance or resenting it. Somehow with the mere observation of “it”, fear will begin to diminish and shrink. It doesn’t like to be “seen”. He will often say he doesn’t know what he is going to say, it just happens. Many other gifted speakers and writers say the same. So I have decided to bridge out from sitting, waiting and hoping  for some sort of inspiration to hit me and just walk forward and do my thing, sink or swim. No plan.

I have been thinking a lot about why I haven’t finished a novel yet. I have started and stopped 3. It is not about not being capable because if one looks at the amount of blogging and journaling I have done over the years I could put together 10 novels. I was listening to a well known author talk about the impedes behind different sorts of author’s writings. Some writers can write all the time no matter life’s circumstances. Words come forth from their souls like water from a fountain and it is effortless for them. They have no belief that they couldn’t do otherwise. So, they just do it. Other writers have to experience the difficulties, trials and tribulations of life and that experience serves as their inspiration. They have to push through dense walls of misinformation accumulated from years of negative programming. These individuals struggled with self doubt, fear and a lack of confidence but at some point they got back in touch with what they once had and who they were as a child and overcame those obstacles. I am a member of the latter group. I am in that process of tearing down walls of misinformation and wrong thinking. I really believe we are all given gifts and purposes that we are fully aware of as a child but at some point, sadly, for most of us, those flames are doused and put out. Well meaning adults, family, friends, society, culture and even religion say and do things that attempt to extinguish any remaining embers because many of us have a poor ability to shut the world and it’s worthless noise out of our minds. It has taken me well over 40 years to gain awareness that many of my thoughts and beliefs were never really mine to begin with. Nor did they proceed from the heavens, they came from the opposite to be frank. They were inserted there and because I was a fairly fearful and traumitized child open to suggestion the world gave me they invaded my being. I unconsciously consumed this misinformation like poison and it became part of me. Those lies are the me that is not me. They are useless and harmful programs that somehow made their way in my programming and I am seeing them now and purging them on a continual basis.

When I was a child one day I was a cowgirl riding the range in the wild, wild west. The next day I was a spy in a foreign country somewhere on a secret mission to save the world. The day after that I was trapeze artist, flying through the air, doing flips and soaring above heads of a stunned and delighted audience. Every day nothing was impossible and I could do anything. The world hadn’t told me anything different, yet. My mind could take me anywhere and everywhere I wanted to go. That changed for many, many years. The child went away. I thought, for a season, that she was gone for good and that felt like death. Thankfully, I am rediscovering her again. She looks a lot different on the outside but she is still in there on the inside demanding I wake up and hear her once again. She has a plan. She giggles and gleefully whispers it in my ear. “Come on” she nudges, “let’s do it!”

So, let the adventure begin!

Cheers!

April

 

 

 

 

Obligatory

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It’s rather cliche, the whole New Years resolution thing. Obligatory promises have a habit of ultimately being violated. Always and most of the time without fail, as it is the nature of our flesh/ego to self sabotage, history has shown we do. So, I don’t make them, resolutions, and I don’t give the 1st of January any real significance in my life. I don’t party or stay up until midnight or do anything else one might think of as a “proper bringing in of the New Year”. Not because I have anything against having a drink or two or foregoing sleep for a bit of fun. There is just too much from an historical aspect that gives me pause about giving any special credence to this day. I have to say, this year, I am grateful to have some time off from work, so I am not complaining. I need the rest. So, I don’t consider January 1st in and of itself a new beginning really. I don’t have any issue with others doing with it what they will, and there is no judgement towards anyone, but I consider each moment a potential new beginning, not just one day. So that being said, that is where I will start, here and now. I will leave the historical facts about the history of this celebration, as fascinating as I might find them, out of this blog and focus on the present. If you want to know more, just ask. I have found that most people don’t want to know these things and I find forcing information on unwilling recipients to be be rather coercive. So, I will respectfully leave it there.

The present is where I find myself and intend to stay.

Yesterday and tomorrow are mere figments of our imaginations. They don’t exist in the “now.” And “now” is all we have. Tomorrow has enough trouble of it’s own so leave it alone. Don’t look back from the plow, there is nothing for you there, as it is gone and passed way. This is the way I choose to shape my thinking and it brings me peace. I am the thinker, not the thinking.

I have spent the last 8 weeks recovering, in a good way, from the changes that have occurred in my life and in the lives of those closest to me. My mind made more steady progress than my flesh as from time to time I would have panic attacks, a racing of the heart and a feeling of my throat closing in, for no apparent reason. I was familiar with these sensations as years ago I suffered the same malady for about a period of a year after being in involved in a serious car accident. They defy logic, these episodes. There is no “present” reason for them. The body is processing past trauma and the mind has little control over it. Somehow the awareness of the chemical reaction taking place in my body has lessened the frequency of them, these attacks, over time, and made them a lot less frightening than they were 28 years ago after my accident. I expect them to slowly fade and stop occurring hopefully soon. “Seeing” or “Awareness” is half the battle in everything we face.

I immediately went to job hunting after getting back from dropping off my adopted son in the residential treatment home he now resides in. Four weeks passed and I finally landed a job. It felt like a year as I dumped resume after resume into the black hole of the internet. Finally success came in a string of offers and a choice had to be made and was. One thing I have come to learn from this process is that once someone has been self employed, as I have, it is very difficult to transition back into the corporate world. I like the people I work with but learning the job has been difficult and challenging as there was not much time taken to train me. I had to figure it out mostly on my own. Sink or swim. Things are done ways that I would not necessarily do them and I have to adapt to a philosophy that I don’t fully grasp. So I have had to make a lot of mistakes and errors and learn from them without condemning myself in the process. I work with the public and they are not always as gracious with my learning curve. I have become very aware that my tendency is to unconsciously aim for perfection and then berate myself up when the outcome is less than satisfactory. I had to examine that and understand the irrationality of such thinking. It is rooted in people pleasing (an old pattern of mine) which is ultimately rooted in putting people on pedestals’ where they don’t belong. To be blunt, people worshipping. Or at least their opinions. The fear of man is a snare. Indeed it is. Respect is merited but subjugation ridiculous. When I “saw” this things got easier. I won’t say that I don’t struggle with it still but I will say that I “see” it and like the physical panic attacks, I started having after dropping B off, this irrational thought pattern seems to be evaporating as well.

My eating hasn’t been ideal since November 1st, nor has my exercise. There is a time for everything and I needed to focus on mental and spiritual recovery in my being. That had to be the priority and some things needed to be left alone for a season. The strict standards I had given myself prior to November needed a respite while the healing began and continues. Meditation was about the only thing that I have been able to do, consistently, since then. I accept and embrace that.

So, now, yes now, I am ready to start disciplining my body once more. I will not condemn myself for having had some time off from that journey. I needed it. I needed to step away and deal with my wounds, heal from the trauma and stress of a very difficult situation and that is OK. I will trudge forward now because I am ready and I now want to, and not out of guilt or obligation. Not out of self condemnation or a desire to punish myself. I will take it slow, easy and lovingly. I have had a history of being harsh with myself and I honestly do not respond very well to that. I don’t think most people do, at least for very long. It very likely adds to my adrenal stress which is counterintuitive. This is not a New Year’s resolution, nor an obligation or even a promise, it is just a new day full of freedom and pregnant with potential new beginnings.

Cheers!

April

Ch, Ch, Changes….

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Well, I am back. We haven’t talked since the end of November and I apologize for that. There has been a lot going on and I haven’t had time or enough inspiration to write much lately. What inspiration I have had I haven’t been able to articulate to make sense to anyone else. This blog is largely about introspection, honesty and self awareness because I truly believe that consciousness, a.k.a. truth or Reality, is where real health begins. That process is frequently a bumpy road and full of that wicked word, “change”. So, I guess “change” is the subject of this entry.

Thank you Mr. Bowie for the brilliant introduction. 🙂

Change is an interesting conundrum. It is interesting because it is a constant but at the same time the very thing we are most resistant to psychologically. Change, even good change, can cause fear and or pain. Change begins the moment we are born and continues until the day we die. You would think that at some point, as the human race, we would understand, learn this and be able to cope with change better but we are just not designed that way unfortunately.

My hypothesis is that the fault lies with the amygdala primarily and then secondly the hippocampus. The amygdala is an almond shaped mass of nuclei (mass of cells) located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain. It is a limbic system structure that is involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival. The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger, and pleasure. The amygdala is also responsible for determining what memories are stored and where the memories are stored in the brain.The amygdala is responsible for fight or flight and causes stress for our own “perceived” protection. I say “perceived” because most things amygdala “flips out” about are not real. The hippocampus are the elongated ridges on the floor of each lateral ventricle of the brain, thought to be the center of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system. The amygdala is truly the “animal” part of our brain. The amygdala does not like “change”. It perceives change to be dangerous. I believe it to be primary evidence of our “fallen” state (think Adam and Eve).  It’s illogical and creates fear, and in some people who are very traumatized, incapacitating fear, that motivates them to behave in atrocious ways! We might even wonder if these people are human and that is a good observation because truly they are primarily being controlled by that which is “animal” in their minds, the amygdala.

In my opinion, fear is central to most of our problems and issues as human beings, in our country, workplaces, families and as individuals psychologically and physically. When we are fearful our thinking is warped. Our “thinking” impacts everything starting with our own health, then the health and well being of those around us and so on. Fear spreads like a disease if we are not careful. Many are very savvy about this fact and exploit this characteristic present in us as a way to sway opinion or control trends, and fill their pockets with others’ hard earned cash. Some say sex sells, and it does, but not to the degree fear does. Fear is the most powerful motivator there is. The more traumatized a people become the more you can control them. Dictators that have inflicted the most horrific damage to the the human race had this down to a science.

So, back to change. I have had a lot of change in the past year. Maybe you have too? I have experienced some really awful changes and some that are intended to be good. I have also made changes that are yet to be determined good or bad. I have noticed in “adjusting” to these changes that there is high degree of discomfort or pain involved in that process and it is not logical. It is highly subjective and causes irrational thought and belief. It is encouraging that I can identify it, in other words “see it”, because this wasn’t possible a few years ago, but I truly desire to stop it and become more objective. I have a ways to go…..but I think I am getting there.

Well those are my thoughts today. I really hope you have a terrific week and that when ch, ch, change comes we can all “roll with it” rather than react emotionally to it.

Ch, ch, cheers! (sorry, can’t stop) 🙂

April

 

Nostalgia

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This morning our youngest daughter and myself were talking about family members. Some are far away and some that are not with us anymore.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have the same meaning for me that it did in years past but those memories and feelings came rolling back as we spoke. We talked about my great grandmother and grandmother and the 5 generation picture my oldest son, my mother and myself took many years ago. My great grandmother and grandmother are both gone now. My youngest daughter never met them. She came later, much later, and never had that opportunity.

Seeing pictures of families getting together on Facebook and Instagram reminded me of times, celebrations and people from the past. We talked about her adoption as well and she mentioned her gratitude to my husband and myself for choosing her to be part of our family (pretty profound thoughts for an 10 year old) and we went on to talk about her as baby and her “gotcha day” and how and when and how that all occurred. It is a familiar conversation we have. For a while it was like we were transported somewhere else. It is so funny how days like yesterday can spur such conversations. She contributed a few other stories that she remembered from our gatherings in her almost 11 years and we laughed and reminisced.

She then informed me that she doesn’t like turkey anymore, especially if it is not flat and in a package. This is also a familiar conversation. With a raised eyebrow and a smile I informed her that I was taking a few days off from cooking and that would be what we would be eating for a few days. She took a deep breath, sighed, and said that was “fair” after all the work I did yesterday. You got that right girlie! LOL 😉

I noticed how easily my mind veered off into all sorts of emotion when discussing these things. It is like it is programmed to. A well worn road. Some painful, very sad feelings and some happy and comical ones came to the surface. For a moment or two, I was there. And honestly I do not desire to be. I know better. I know “there” isn’t real anymore. It no longer exists. When I am there, I am not here. And “here” is all there is. Here is where life is lived, not there. If I choose not to be “here”, I miss what “here” has to offer and I do not experience it fully and with joy.

Nostalgia gives us good feelings and bad but isn’t somewhere we should stay for long. I have watched people go through life and miss it because of a continual overdose of nostalgia. I have done that myself. They live there and not “here.” Life happens around them and it more like a dream than a reality to be fully experienced. They are never fully present. I “get” the appeal because life is painful sometimes. But, besides painful, it is wonderful, joyful, exciting and thrilling! It’s the most amazing ride ever! Like anything else in life nostalgia must only be used in moderation otherwise one can blink and miss years of of “now” and all that it has to offer.

So I looked at my daughter’s deep brown eyes, messy hair and the sun peaking in through the drapes shining on her sleep lined face and I returned to now. I smelled the coffee in the kitchen and the aroma still lingering from yesterday’s cooking and I took in “now”. Now is pretty amazing. Now is wonderful! Now is where life is.

Cheers!

April

 

Changing Your Story

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yourstory

 

It is very interesting to me how our minds concoct a story around who we we are, based on past stress and trauma, and when we try to change that “story” or alter it in anyway it can be a little like trying to free one’s self from quicksand. Our story can limit us and stunt our growth as a human beings and prevent us from being a blessing to others and functioning in our calling. Our story keeps us in the past and unable to move forward. It keeps us from embracing and enjoying now and as a result we miss life!

I went out to a movie and lunch with my little girl yesterday. Afterwards we walked through stores at an outdoor mall. Simple things, like this, four weeks ago, we could not do unless we wanted to pay a price. You have to understand that this wasn’t just something we were able to do, for most of the past decade. We tried but her brother always made it chaotic so I stopped trying, for years. We pretty much didn’t leave the house unless we needed to because every time I had tried, over and over again, it mostly ended up in disaster of one sort or another. This is a child that thrived on constant chaos and created it where ever we would go. He is getting the help he needs now and we are learning to get used to a new “normal” which we have not known for a very long time.We ate at 5 Guys and I could swear I had never done that before, ever. I have no memory of it. My husband told me that he and I had in fact been there before. That is so strange to me. Perhaps the memory lapse is from stress?  It was such a treat none the less. It’s fun experiencing something for the first time, again, LOL. 🙂

So I found myself relaxing and enjoying our time yesterday and just moving freely through stores with no fear of someone stealing anything or misbehaving to get attention. We just enjoyed ourselves. We were relaxed. What a concept! It felt really good to not feel “on guard” and be in a public place. I could feel a little panic rising up in my chest and my breathing becoming shallow, for no reason. “The story” was trying to come back, but I just kept breathing and it passed, eventually. It was a lie. My mind was not easily releasing me from the quicksand. But I see “it” and that is 1/2 the battle. I know what it is or rather was.

This was my old story:

Married mother of 4 kids, 2 biological and 2 adopted, struggling very hard with 1 of them.

Traumatized from that experience, almost daily.

Trapped and unable to live normally (can’t shower, use the bathroom or leave the room without an alarm set at home and in public places needed to be on guard and very rarely leave the house for that reason).

Almost totally isolated (no one understands this, we don’t even understand this, and we have very little support). Isolation is unbearable at times.

Lost my religion. So disillusioned with people’s behaviors that I spend years searching for the truth and dismissing a great deal of what I once believed based on my discoveries. A bit angry over what I discovered and having been lied to.

Unable to take care of myself because this child demands constant attention. Every attempt is met with retribution.

My weight skyrockets. My adrenals are barely functioning.

Depressed and having panic attacks daily. Food and drink are used to numb out from the constant emotional pain.

Had kitchen incident, after being distracted when son was acting out at the table during breakfast one morning, and I partially amputated a finger on my poor husband’s birthday. Finger no longer straightens and I cannot feel it. It is irreparable. It still hurts from time to time.

Closed successful business after lower back gave out (probably from the stress) and now unable to work outside the home because there is no one to watch a child that is now old enough to take care of himself because of severity of behaviors. So, even more trapped.

My husband and myself have become soldiers in a unwinnable war together. Although this has grown us and forced us to become closer it makes it difficult to be a normal couple.

My sister disowned me for reasons I still don’t understand. That was a very painful loss and after 4 attempts to reach out to her and reconcile were met with rejection, I gave up.

And the list goes on and on……

I am tired of the list so I made a new one. I changed my story!!

Here is my new story and I expect it to keep changing, for the better!

Married mother of 4 children. 3 of my children are wonderful people and revealing how amazing they are daily. One is very sick and no longer lives in our home and likely, if we can swing it, won’t again. We do not have what it takes to care for him any longer and that is OK.

Healing from trauma, daily, and very, very thankful!

Not trapped!!! I can move freely about my home. I can sleep in if I want. I can use the bathroom and shower, without an alarm set, and likely now everything will be OK. I can go out in public and enjoy the experience of everything out there!

Able to connect with people and spend time making new friends and loving on the old ones that stuck around. They are gold! So grateful! Not isolated anymore!

Lost my religion but I am finding the Kingdom, within! I am not attached to outcomes or people’s opinions or misinformation anymore and I have no resentment about their poor behavior or lack of character. People can only behave at the level of their consciousness and most of us “only see in part”. I love them, where they are and for who they are, now, and I have no bad feelings if they choose not to be part of my life anymore. I let them go. This is love. No attachment.

I have freedom to care for myself and slowly I am learning to do that.

I have lost 20 lbs. I am sleeping mostly through the night now and when I wake up, I am actually awake! I am healing!

Not depressed. That seemed to decrease when the attachments did. As I let go of people, outcomes, plans etc. the depression lifted! Growth has occurred. I see things I never saw before. Love this freedom!!

I can live with the finger and barely notice it now. It doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to do.

Thinking of all the possibilities! I am going to find a wonderful job. I may reopen my business at some point. I think about writing and pursuing my art. I am not focused on the “how” anymore. I am focused on the “why” and finding my passion and calling. This is a new way of thinking for me and I am excited to see where it takes me! This is not the end, it is the beginning!!

Learning to have fun with my husband again and not have to be in a “war” together.

I wish my sister well, where ever and who ever she is. I am not angry with her and I am not sad anymore. I want only the best for her and I let her go. I respect her freedom to make her own choices even if I do not understand them.

In fact I pretty much feel that way about everyone.

So that is my new story that I am adding to, in a good way, daily.

What is yours and how does it need to change?

Cheers!

April