Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
"To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary.Like all judgement, approval encourages a constant striving.It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value.Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any timeno matter what our track record has been.It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy.Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it."Rachel Naomi Remen
Sweetie has an office at home, and spends a good deal of time in there with the door closed. Behind the door it is a bit like another world. It's neat and quiet (unless the windows are open and the birds are singing). Sweetie has surrounded himself with pictures, sayings, reminder notes and books. It used to bother me that he had an inner sanctum and I had the rest of the house. In other words he has solitude and I have dogs barking, Dad buzzing around on his GoGo, bumping into walls as he goes, the TV set on Country Classics, the phone ringing and clutter. Sure, it's my own clutter, but clutter nonetheless. I was jealous that Sweetie had a place to go. Poor Me I was stuck on the outside.
Then one day, when the noise and fussing got to great for me to stand, I opened the door, stepped across the threshold and melted into the sanctuary. Instead of falling on my knees in an attitude of prayer, I stood with my back to the door, eyes straight ahead looking at the man I know I can trust who had already turned his head from the computer to give me his undivided attention. I let myself take a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Sweetie waited, patiently and quietly, for me to explain. I did, he listened, I calmed down, and found I was able to go back to my world a little less ruffled. I stopped being jealous of the sanctuary and began being grateful for a place to go when I need a bit of sanity and solace.
All that is a prelude to say, if Sweetie hadn't been at a GAL judicial review this morning when a weird thing happened I'd have gone to his room and asked for a hug.
So what happened, you ask? Well I was over at another blog where I read about Traci having a reading at Three Sister's. If you follow the blog you'll find that Traci has been out of work for awhile. She's in one of those transition states (mid-life?) where doing what she's always done no longer speaks to her soul. She's not just looking for a job, she's looking for soul-work. So she has this reading and apparently the cards pick right up on what's eating at her, pointing her straight to her own heart. I've often asked God/Spirit/Universe to speak to me hoping for lightening bolt letters across the sky - something totally unambiguous. It has happened that I've heard the "still, small voice," whispering my name, but never any skywriting. The five of hearts was Traci's take-notes-I'm-talking-to-you moment. I don't know Traci, but I know and trust Dani, so I am sure this card reading stuff is on the up and up. And who cares if it is all smoke and mirrors? What's important is that one listens for the messages that Universe puts out, then puts them to work in their life.
Ah, that's the kicker, isn't it? Not just hearing the words but putting them into action. In her post, Traci writes:"Not sure how to do that??! How do I? How can I let go? How will my husband and children and father and mothers and sisters and friends and brother & sisters in laws and nieces and nephews and aunties and grandparents be proud of me if I do? Why does letting go feel like I failed? I'm overwhelmed by my feelings right now."
And that's when I started to cry. What the hell is that all about? Not having Sweetie to talk to, I did the next best thing. I cleaned the bird cages. As I scrubbed feathers and guano off the bars of the cage with tears running down my face, I had to ask myself what was going on. I heard a tiny, child like voice say, "I want to follow my heart but I'm too afraid. I want to do soul-work, but I always give up before I get started. I want to do/be something more than I am, but I don't know how. I'm a starter, not a finisher. I've never known how to follow through. I'm scared of how I'll look learning something new. I'm worried about what others will think. And like Traci, I want people to be proud of me. I want to be proud of me."
Well, that came out of nowhere. Or did it? Hasn't it just been sitting there down in the hidden recesses of my gut since I was 12 years old and I heard someone say, "your sister is the smartest one" instead of acknowledging A's on my report card? That sure goes back a long way. Even I know it's time to let go of crappy negative messages and replace them with positive "I" statements. Funny, I knew exactly what to say in the comment section on Traci's blog to encourage her. I love pumping other people up. Even more, I expect that they will believe me and take my words to heart. Strange then, that the same words, but beginning with "I" would fall on my deaf ears. Why does letting go feel like I failed?
Wow, too much information for a Monday morning. Actually, the morning has disappeared and we are well into the afternoon. The dryer has been buzzing for an hour. I guess I better get busy.
Wishing for you a place to go when you get all undone,Merry ME
P.S. I have no idea what's up with the font size or line spacing on this post. It keeps changing. See, it did it again. Hope it's not too much of a distraction. me
"To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I must have writer's block. Every time I try to write something, I end up staring at the blank screen as if my computer has channeled a Magic 8 ball an idea is going to appear. In an attempt to break the block I'm going to try the just-write-what-comes-to-your-mind technique and see what happens.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Yesterday my hunter gatherer in the faded blue shirt asked for help getting a snake out of the pool drain. For some reason that I cannot really explain, I jumped up to the ready. At the time I didn't know it was going to be a little tiny thing. I'm usually a little squeamish, i.e girly, when it comes to things that slither in the grass. I surprised even myself by my willingness to look at the snake, let alone help release it from its chlorinated captivity.
Upon removal of the drain cover, I found myself cooing at "the cute little thing". I was almost willing to stick my hand into the mushy oak blossoms and pick the little cutie up with bare hands.
"Stand back," said Sweetie, with real concern in his voice." "We don't know what we're dealing with here." He was right. We didn't know. And I'm aware that the tiny little thing could have potentially packed a big venomous wallop. Still, "stand back" seemed a little over the top. I looked at the snake, then at snake getter. Wondering if I was missing something, I looked around for a big old mama snake lying in wait somewhere close by.
Sweetie reached into the drain with his weapon of choice - a pasta strainer from the kitchen. The snake, being of small stature but large brain, dove straight for the bottom of the drain and performed a great impersonation of a dead snake. Even though I thought the little slithering thing was cute and definitely not very scary, I did not want to try to perform reptilian CPR on it. Grabbing the strainer I stuck the pointy end that rests on a pot into the water and flipped the drowned beast into the grass along with several leaves and a bunch of oak gunk that at this time of the year clogs the pool filter.
I watched closely to see if the snake was going to move. Proud of our good deed, I turned to high five my Sweetie. When I turned back the object of our attention was gone. Gone, as in vanished, as in nowhere around, as in magic. I swear the seemingly dead as a doornail, not moving a snaky muscle had literally disappeared before our very eyes.
I know what you are thinking. You're saying to yourself that it undoubtedly had chameleon-like characteristics and in the instant it was grabbing a fresh breath of life saving air, it changed its color to blend in with the grass, or the leaves, or the pool's cool deck because it didn't realize we were its saviors not its exterminators. That is a perfectly logical explanation but I stood there (okay so I was a little concerned about getting too close to the snake that was now out of the water and could potentially hit me with as yet unseen fangs so I didn't actually get on my hands and knees and look) training my vision on the spot where I'd dropped the thing. He was not there, or anywhere within a 3 foot radius. There is only one explanation for how he could have vanished so quickly. Magic.
I've always kind of wondered about that whole Adam and Eve and snake story. Why did Eve have to take all the blame when it was the snake that did all the charming? I believe I now know the rest of the story. When God came looking for the apple eaters and they turned around and pointed at the snake, it had obviously applied its snake like magic and disappeared leaving Adam and Eve looking like big fat liars. Satiated and knowledgeable, but liars nonetheless.
Wishing for you a day filled with magic,
Thursday, April 8, 2010
You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leave your arms too full to embrace the present."
Sweetie has one particular shirt that falls into "you'd better not" category. As in you'd better not even consider throwing it away. Once upon a time it was the color and texture of stone-washed jeans. Now it is more white than blue, threadbare in places, and spotted with food stains that Oxy clean can't penetrate. Because of its age, the fabric has softened to a thin but deliciously comfortable cotton. Every time I take it out of the washing machine I think it is going to be in pieces, a sleeve here, the collar there, yet, like the Energizer Bunny or a Timex watch, it has a life that won't end.
The last time I ironed it (for unknown reasons, ironing is a past time I seem to enjoy) I made the mistake of suggesting to Sweetie that he start looking for another shirt to take its place. The shocked expression on my love's face told me I was seriously close to crossing an unseen line, that perhaps our honeymoon was about to be over. You'd have thought I was talking about his first born child not a shirt that has obviously seen better days.
What looks to me like something that would make a nice dust cloth, is something close to clothing nirvana to my mate. I look at it and see a ragged shirt with little life left in it. He looks at it and sees what? A security blanket? A connection to the life he led before entering the witness protection program? I must confess, that try as I might, I just don't see what the attraction is. It's a shirt for God's sake, not the Mona Lisa, I mutter under my breath as the iron hisses steam to the sleeve's jagged edge.
While I don't see what Sweetie sees in this shirt, I do know what it's like to hold on to things way past the point where the white knuckle grip does much good. I've noticed this is a re-curring theme that the Universe has been showering me with lately.
My Dad and I have developed a bedtime ritual includes putting drops in his eyes, rubbing his elbows with Lubriderm and watching Oprah while we wait for the 10 o'clock news. Of late, I watch and Dad listens as he rests his eyes! Last week Rosie O'Donnell was on. I hadn't seen her since the blow up on the View so I was curious what she had to say. None of it was of great importance. Mostly typical Rosie stuff. However, I have repeated one thing I heard over and over in my head. Regarding her mother's death when Rosie was just a child, someone asked her when she was going to stop using that as the focus of her life. That's my paraphrase. In essence she was being challenged to acknowledge that yes her mom had died and she'd had a crappy childhood after that but she'd also had many more positive things happen in her life (i.e. her show, her children, he philanthropy) and it would be good to focus on them. She was a lot more than just her mother's death.
I'm sure words of that same ilk have been said to me. I've probably even said them to myself, but they really rang true for me that night. I sat by my father's bed, listening to his shallow breathing, and wondered what events in my life continue to define who I am and where I'm going. What would it mean for me to let them go? To stop brooding about the fact that I didn't get loved the way I needed it. Or that my Dad has a knack for accenting the negative instead of the positive. Or the fact that I made some mistakes that caused me great pain at the time. Or I live with a great big FEAR necklace around my neck that sometimes paralyzes me. All those things are true, but are they still MY truth?
Hmmm? If I say yes, I get to hang on to them and have an excuse not to move forward. If I say no, then I'm going to have to let them go, as if releasing a bunch of helium balloons and watch them float up and away from my life. Then what? Try something new? Yikes! Let me grab that fear balloon back!
I just finished reading a memoir (Silent Echos) by one of the ladies in my writing group. I'd read bits and pieces of the book in our group so I knew the story was going to be one of hardship. Indeed it was. There was lots of what we call dysfunction these days, but what people experienced as reality during the Depression years. What was cool about the story was seeing how the author came to a fork in her l life's path and made the decision to take the high road, to put a stop to the past and embrace a new and better future. It took real guts and I was so proud of her as I read the last page and closed the book. I thought about her challenges, and mine, different yet similar at the same time. I thought about the hard times I've come through and wonder why I still feel so much like a scared little girl when in fact I'm a grown up woman, on the verge of "cronedom"! I'm old enough for young girls to ask me life questions and expect deep answers. What would I say to my granddaughter that I don't say to my inner child?
Over at Terri's blog today she wrote about being a woman who can cry for her wounds and smile at her growth. Dani piggy backed onto that theme and wrote that in the fairy tale of her life she has learned to rescue herself. Pam wrote of having the courage to sing one's own song. I feel like I'm being asked to check my fears and negative memories at the door and begin to embrace the strong woman I can be. I wonder what that will feel like?
One of the messages I got from Silent Echos is that each of us must move at our own pace. We cannot grow or change at someone else's pace. We must follow the rhythm of our heart. Only then can we let go of what doesn't work and reach for the brass ring. Or new denim shirt as the case may be.