Tag Archives: serenity

In celebration of she

Standard

Today we gathered as a family to celebrate my moms life.   My sisters and brothers families were there, we were minus only a handful to make the gathering “whole”.  My mom would’ve loved to have seen us all there together, and as I watched the “goings on” of all,  I know she would’ve been so pleased that so many came the long distance, and at great expense, to honor and celebrate her life.    My parents divorced many decades ago, but my dad and his girlfriend came.   I saw my dad physically choke up once or twice,  particularly when he was watching the slide show that my niece’s husband put together from our combined collection of pictures of my mother.  My parents were married 27 years, they had five children, built two family homes from scratch to finish with very little “contracting” out.   At one point I walked up to my dad and hugged him, told him how lucky we were to have him.  His reply?   “No, Donna, how lucky I am to have all of you!”

Alongside the pictures of my mother playing on the screen, depicting happy times, a playlist I had created for my mother a couple years ago played in the background.   The choice of flowers, white mums, roses, and a spray of blue delphinium, were absolutely beautiful.   My mother would’ve absolutely loved it.  Filling the inner circle of this wreath sat a beautiful urn with mother of pearl enhancements that contained my mothers remains.   My mom loved mother of pearl, abalone, it was her favorite stone.  On the same table were “keepsakes” that mom had saved, postcards, letters, cards, pictures.  It was so tastefully done, and I know my mother would’ve approved.  I know she would have!  Also included were pictures of my youngest and oldest sisters, whom I hope and pray mom is reunited with.

Last night my niece made dinner for all of us, including my dad, his girlfriend, three of my brother’s four children, daughter-in-law,  My sisters husband, both of her children, son-in-law, and two of her grandchildren, my brothers friend, and her daughter.

One of the nicest things for me to hear was “young cousins” playing, laughing.   It was magical for me, and reminded me of my own, our own childhood gatherings with cousins.  It helped give sense to my moms passing – New generations making memories that will hopefully last them a long lifetime.   Oh the truly innocent and silly things they were doing, like making farting noises down a heat vent from the second floor of the farmhouse into the  first floor kitchen where the adults were gathered.    It was their laughter that I hope to never forget, I hope THEY never forget!

I could not be happier with how nice today turned out, the last couple of days actually.  I’m writing this blog so that in the days to come when we are all back to our busy lives, and feeling the loss of my mother, I can come back to this to recall, relive, reunite with the love that flowed, commonality, my family.

My mother was the strongest woman I’ve ever met.   I will always love her and be grateful for giving me life, and teaching me all she did.  I will miss her love, her encouragement, her help, her care when I was ill, her sense of humor.   I will miss her!

Now, personally, the events of this past week, up to and including my mothers passing, has made me realize that I have some work to do on myself.  I will likely share about this in future blogs, because writing is a valuable, helpful tool for me.   But it’s going to be okay, I will be okay, because I know I’m still teachable!

My daily goal, first and foremost, is peace.   In order to achieve this, I need to learn some new skills on how to handle my own emotions, particularly “anger”.    This is probably something most learned in childhood, but I was such an “emotional child” (annoyingly sensitive I’ve been told!)  it was easier for my family to not deal with my emotions, to perhaps “pacify” me.   I am NOT blaming anyone, I believe my parents, my family, myself, we all did our best.     But what worked then (well, it really didn’t even work then either), no longer works and is not appropriate.

I have spent the last couple months stuck in anger.  This wasn’t the first time this has happened, the last time it was this severe was a few months after my sister died.   I ended up hospitalized with such.  I have made many changes in my life, I have consistently improved upon myself, and the quality of my life, my choices, the people in it.   I’ve created a safe, loving, peaceful (for the most part) life for myself.   But what good are these changes,  learning how to set boundaries, recognizing when I’m being taken for granted, standing up for myself, and all the changes I’ve made if I don’t go “all the way” and change my OWN inappropriate behavior?!?    I am the only one who can do this for myself!   Anger scares me – my own and others.    Certainly I can learn new skills!   My life, my relationships will improve.  Particularly when circumstances and opportunities to which the only control I have is how I handle myself!       Yup!   It’s time.

Tell those you love how much they mean to you.  Forgive others who trespass against you.   Forgive yourself.    If you can’t say it, write it, or say it with flowers, or sweets.    To quote Nike…..     Just do it!

Advertisements

If you could do it over again…. what would you change?

Standard

If you were given one point in your life that you could return to, and could change the direction you were going, what would it be?   Do you see this as a regret?  As growth?  Or the ole “hindsight is 20/20”.      I’ve been asked on numerous occasions, if you had to go back and do it all over again would you want to?    My stock and honest answer is always “If I could go back with the knowledge that I have now!”

So let’s look at that.   At what age would you be again?  What decision would you make differently?  And more importantly, what changes, and what outcome would you be looking for?

When I was a teen “artex” was big.   And I did this wall hanging for my grandparents “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”.      Recollecting difficult times when a loved ones future was counted in “days”, what would you want to do for the “rest of your life?”

I have never been a materialistic person, except when it comes to my art supplies.  I have spent a lifetime trying to make a difference in someone else’s life.  And I’ve learned that this is one area that I cannot or will not “skimp”.   Why?  Because it grounds me, my creativity defines a large portion of me, but most importantly, it brings me peace, something that I strive for on a daily basis.    If granted one wish, what would it be?  Some would say “win the lottery”, others would say “one more day”, and my answer would say “peace”.   I would like whatever days I have remaining to be at peace with myself regardless of others and their actions.

I look around my studio and I see the multitude of mediums that bring me joy.   And there are days, like the last couple of days, where I cannot accomplish that which I want to, and I cannot find the peace I long and strive for.  Sleep becomes my best friend, and even then, when that which isn’t settled starts to rear its ugly head in dreams, then I know, it’s time to look at something, and probably something that I don’t want to.  Gulps.

“If this world makes you crazy and you’ve taken all you can bear”…    When you stop telling yourself, or allowing others to tell you what you should or shouldn’t feel, what you should or shouldn’t do, what you want or don’t want in your life;  When you quiet all outside feedback, and self defense, or the like, then you are sitting with your truth.    This can be a fairly lonely place to be, but getting back to peace, I’ve learned in my life that if I cannot find peace, then chances are very good that there is something in my life that I’m not accepting, that I’m not looking at, or allowing myself to look at, feel, then find acceptance in.     In short, acceptance for me equals peace, no matter the topic, the rights, the wrongs.

When was the last time you shut out the world, and all of it’s influences, including people, belongings, actions, and just sat quietly with yourself.  Have you ever done this?   What “truth” did you come to?  Was it good?  Was it bad?  Indifferent?  Colorful?  Black?  White?  Have you ever really been alone?  Have you allowed yourself the freedom or being alone?  Or do you see that as scary?  Unthinkable?  Frightening?  Lonely?

I’ve known loneliness in my life, and I’ve known and experienced great love.   I’ve also spent the majority of the last 12 or so years alone, and once getting over the initial shock, and realizing after many black and blues and heartache, that I don’t need someone beside me to “validate” me, or my worth, and likewise, someone whose selfish goals are to somehow gain from your reaps, (but worse?) tragedies.

I find much more peace now in solitude.   I am good company for myself, and my interests and desires to learn and create keep me chugging away along the road that is sometimes paved and other times, barely visible, but I set my sights on what I want, and when I do that, when I focus on that (again, without “static” from others), it becomes attainable and the finish line may be the focus, but it isn’t the prize.  The prize is the growth and experiences that happen while getting there.

These days solitude means peace for me.     My home is my haven, and I only invite those in who understand this, who want what is best for me, who come to visit me with all my bling or scars with desire to know where I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going, without judgement or hidden agendas.   And if I am only inviting these types of creatures, or people into my home, then why would I also allow my own behavior to squelch my day?   Self sabotage needs to go, yesterday.

 

Acknowledging feelings

Standard

A few minutes ago I read that Glen Campbell died.    Now, I was a bit young for his music, (or was so into John Denver that no one else compared!) but I remember my parents loving his music, and when I hear his music, it lifts me up, makes me perky, happy.     So when I reacted with tears to his death, I was a bit dumbfounded.  First off, I’ve been told no one can cry on Prozac.   PLEASE!    I beg to differ!  I remember being at a drive in movie with my parents seeing a movie Glen Campbell starred in.  I had a bit of a crush on him from the movie.   But why am I so emotional about his passing?  It isn’t as if I knew him.  But I have been reading on his battle with Alzheimer’s for a long time, and while I’m grateful for him that his battle is behind him, I’m trying to decipher my own emotions.

Calling Dr. Freud!!!!!!!  

My dad is older than Glen, and my mother just a year and a half behind him.  I’m sure these facts are related to my reaction.   The stories I would read on his battle with Alzheimer’s reminded me of a girlfriend who was a student of mine when her mom was whisped away for years to this disease, and later, her dad.    What was impressed upon me was how loyal and loving this woman was.  She was a role model for me which I’m afraid I fall short on, when it comes to caring for parents.  I do what I can, I really do, and I think I’m a good daughter, but my dad lives hours away, my car has 271k miles on it, and currently uninspected.   When I see my dad, I see his aging, and the pain on his face from knee problems.    It’s very hard for me to see this.  But I know I’m not original to this difficulty, nor am I alone.

And I suppose some of this has to do with accepting death, and perhaps my own.   Don’t get me wrong, while I have freedom right now from the dark and potentially dangerous thoughts of a depressed mind, I see changes in myself, too.   It’s not just my parents who are getting older!

So now I’m listening to a playlist I made of Glen Campbell’s music, I’m working on a pet portrait that looks a hell of a lot better tonight than it did last night, but I’m keenly aware that life can and does change on a dime.     Something today that may seem insufferable, is cast aside with the wind when serious illness or injury occur.     The old adage “when you have your health, you have it all!” is so true!

I’m going to honor these feelings of sadness, and acknowledge the fear of losing my parents, or another sibling, or friend, and try to steer clear of dwelling.   Life is so short, precious, and it’s easy to lose track of what really is important in our lives.  Loss, death is inevitable.  Also I’m very sad (yet happy for my neighbor) that the sale of her house closed today, and she’s on her way down South.  I’m really going to miss her….

RIP Glen Campbell, your music reminds me of my parents when they were much younger, and parents to five children and having serious illness strike my oldest sister at the young age of 6.     Prayers for his family, as they say goodbye, once again, to their husband, father, friend.

Saturday night

Standard

It’s Saturday night.  I’ve been painting since 2 today.   Was so enthralled I forgot to eat.  Believe me, that doesn’t happen a lot!  Anyway, the brush is still flowing, and I’m looking at the clock knowing, I need to keep to a schedule.   This is one of those nights I could paint until 2-4am.  I know it.

Grateful that I have the abilities that I do.  They keep me entertained.  I have three major (once hobbies) that I do, and while I love each and every one of them, I know my life would be easier if I just chose one, and stuck to it.  But that’s not me.  Of course it isn’t!   🙂

I heard the weather in New England today called “Balmy”, twice.  You don’t hear that too often either.  It was in the 60’s.  February, 60’s.   I didn’t touch foot outside all day.   Nor have I gone to look in my cellar at how much flooding is happening.   I’m in a good mood, want to keep it!

Listening to music, and thinking about the times in my life that these songs were new, and what was happening then.   Oh how I love music.  I am confident I would be a miserable being if I didn’t have it in my life.  It’s my muse.

Happy Saturday night!  Hope you’re doing well, and if not… hold strong.  I speak from experience, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

 

 

Alas, direction

Standard

Tonight I am flying high.  No, not on sugar, though I do have it running in my veins, but because what seemed to be a very long, much anticipated and grueling time that I have been “in waiting” for direction has finally arrived.     And comically, or rather ironically, I really don’t know the logistics or to what is going to unveil itself to me, but I can tell you, when the spirit hit, a couple weeks ago, I forced myself to walk in faith.  To just keep doing what I believe I was “supposed” to do.

Like negative space in a drawing, painting, or room, waiting for direction is anything but comfortable (unless you are privy in past to “wait for it”).  But I’ve lived long enough to know in order to have peace we have to find comfort in the uncomfortable, and those things that come after the longest time, and that time feeling like purgatory (No, I’m not catholic, but my mother was raised in this religion, I also pay attention to those people that are the happiest, the most peaceful, serene, and I listen to what is beautiful in their life), so when a break comes, a ray of light, or hope really, it is so incredibly wonderful.

In youth I was quick to jump, to “find” whatever it was I thought I was supposed to experience.  Maturity has taught me, nothing worth having comes easy.  Nothing.  And if it looks too good to be true?  It probably is!

So tonight I have five paintings started.  A still life, floral (2), a rooster, and  for the life of me I can’t remember what the fifth one is.  All started this evening when I got home from a day that felt purposeful, important, helping others, others who weren’t practicing the kind of drama that belongs on a stage (or in a helium balloon that floats fastly and quickly away), but real life, illnesses, frustration, and just needing a fresh advocate come in and help.  It feels so good to me to help others.   My last therapist wrongfully suggested the reason why I help others is because I get “kudos”.  I looked straight at her, without hesitation and said “If you believe this to be true?  You have never given to another from the goodness or your heart, and RECEIVED the loving touch of God blessing you.  I feel it.  I don’t seek for permission, admiration, or for others to pump up a broken soul.  I am not broken, I am not in need of friends, and I am certainly not in need to be validated as worthy.  I learned from the age of 10 or so that to give is to receive.   It’s one of my most cherished gifts in life.  And to fully understand this, give without the other person, or recipients KNOW you are doing it, and tell nobody, not.a.soul!

Of course, as with anything, there are extremes, and there are takers out there that will rob your heart from the generosity that we’re meant to feel, to do, to be.   That’s where lives lessons kind of kick you in the teeth.   Oh how I know this place, and I have no desire to return there, but I will.   That old familiar feeling of caring or giving too much to another will shadow a day, or two, but I’ll jump back in and try it all over again.  Just not necessarily with the same person, but sometimes, YES, the same person.

So, I really need to get to bed, but I don’t want to put the brush down.  It’s flowing, and creativity is at my optimum.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful, place to be.  So grateful I struggled so long in purgatory!   Because even if I wake up tomorrow and the creativity has fizzled, tonight?  What I’m feeling tonight?  Was worth the wait.  Keep in mind, I don’t know what’s ahead of me, I don’t know ANY details, I was just given a direction.   It’s exciting that something I once thought was so insignificant can and does bring me so much joy!

 

May peace be with you, and may you bask in the glory of “knowing” which road or path to take.  Love to you!

Like sand through the hourglass

Standard

The past couple weeks I’ve had to take a hiatus from working on my house, given that I lifted my mantle off the gas fireplace and wrenched my back.   So I have found myself sorting, tossing, and thus, revisiting my life with notebooks of writing, poems, boxes of pics, and more.  Where the hell did the last 54 years of my life go?

Further depth came after the tragedies in Orlando.   I will not even go here.  I will say that I have been and am praying for all those affected by such monstrosities.   I am saddened beyond words, of what has and is transpiring in this country, in this world.   I pray for ALL of us.

But I will admit, there is something more going on with me.   I don’t fully understand it, nor am I questioning it, but I am at peace with so much, even in spite of all that is going bad in this world.   I FEEL something coming.   I have random thoughts of what it may be, but I’m not going to go here either.  What I want to share is, I’m accepting myself for who I am, where I’ve been, and finding peace with all that I wanted to be, do, but probably never will.

While looking at pictures from my past, I feel the moment, I recall the times, the feelings, the good, the bad, and the beautiful.   I am aligning with who I am.   And while I want to lose 75 lbs, and more, I am finding peace even with that.  What if I don’t?  Do I want to spend another minute of what’s left of my life worrying about or condemning myself for NOT  BEING PERFECT?

It’s interesting, the story of my life told in pictures.   I have known great love.  I have known great pain.  I have accomplished a lot on my own, without formal education, and I have met SOOO many wonderful people in my life.   Many friends have come and gone, and that’s okay, it is just the ebb and flow of life.  Today, tonight, as I write this blog, I am right with all that has transpired in my life.   I have found peace, and for that I AM TRULY THANKFUL.  If my life ends tomorrow, I am okay with it, because this place where I am is amazing.

I am grateful I was there with my sisters through the illnesses that stripped them of life.  I am grateful that I spent almost a decade of my life with a man who shortly thereafter, drank himself to death.  I am grateful for this “fat” that encompasses my body, because it helps me feel protected from an uncertain world.    Feeling safe anywhere today, is a big thing.   But most importantly to me, I am thankful that I am a good, honest, hard working person who finds pleasure in the simplest of things, in nature.   I don’t spend my time wishing I was in a relationship, or with anyone else, I am happy with my life.   I have learned the most through every tragedy and laughed immensely through much.

In many ways, where I am right now reminds me of surviving and completion of treatment for breast cancer.  It was freeing.   I had (and still have) no room in my life for luxury drama, or bull shit.   It’s actually a little frightening how vocal I can be now regarding this.   The tiny filter that I once had is almost entirely invisible now.   The older I get, the freer I feel about speaking my truth.

Long gone are the days when I worried about someone liking me, or what they thought of me.   I’m right with myself, with God.   I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and it feels good.

I hope that you are finding peace in your life.  I hope you are, too, realizing how precious life is.   How every second of every day is not promised to anyone, and in the blink of an eye your life, and those lives around you, can be altered drastically.  Anyone hearing of the massacre in Orlando, can you help but think this?

Sending you love, light, and as I mentioned earlier, prayers for the world we live in.

 

Signs…..

Standard

Ahhhh, internet.  I have been without internet for a while.   I’ve missed writing.  I’ve missed surfing the net for just about anything that I wanted to know.   It’s been a very long winter here in New England.    COLD!    I keep my thermostat at 50-52 degrees, use a duraflame heater I bought last Fall.  It’s supposed to cost .25c an hour.   We shall see.    This has been one, if not the hardest winter I recall.    So very grateful my girlfriend and I put plastic on my decrypted windows.    I snuggle on the couch crocheting (because the weight of whatever I’m working on adds warmth) wearing a scarf, hat, wrapped in blankets.   Sounds ridiculous it is what it is.  It’s been  a VERY long winter.   Oodles of snow, ice.   Just as I started to feel relief with daylight savings time, warmer weather, I am now facing roof leaks, and the snow that the beautiful sun is dissolving is seeping into my cellar.    I’m so friggan over winter.   GO AWAY!   Bring on the mud!   My driveway looks like an ice rink.  There is ice probably 4″ thick.    Joy, joy, oh joy.   Still, I have gratitude for having food, clothing, shelter.  Maslow was a smart man, eh?   I was feeling pretty sorry for myself until I learned that a friends house was destroyed by fire.   I guess I don’t have it too bad after all? Have been struggling emotionally, which isn’t abnormal but it’s been more severe of late.   Any New Englander would tell you that they are ready for Spring, I’m so not alone.   But this is deeper than cabin fever.      I’ve made some decisions that, if I follow through, will improve the quality of my life.   These days I find myself asking that question often.  “Will buying this (or that) improve the quality of my life?    Will this action bring me peace? serenity?   And if it doesn’t, I walk away.  I’m getting too old to be heading in the backwards direction! It came to me why I’m struggling so.   I know living in the past is fruitless and hijacks the present.  I’ve been working on changing that.   Though there are still things from my past that I cannot get past, I find it interesting how our subconscious mind “remembers”.     There is no escaping it, so I guess the answer for me is to do my best, acknowledge when these feelings, thoughts come up, and then try to detach from it, to not give it additional power.    I’m sure you would agree, much easier said than done! I’ve got Spotify blaring I the background.   Music, oh beloved music, I shudder to think what life would be like without it!  I have missed   My comfort, joy, muse…. I believe in signs.   I believe in messages from heaven (and probably some from hell!)  🙂   This evening my girlfriend treated me to dinner.  We went to one of my favorites, our favorites “Friendly’s”.   While enjoying both food and company I noticed a young couple come into the restaurant.   The girl was wearing a sweatshirt with “Wolfeboro” on it, with a moose embroidered underneath.    This was a definite sign for me.  A much needed and appreciated one.   Both serving significant meaning to me, and offering comfort through the difficult right now.   Thank you, D… Thank you!   I love you ! Are you open to messages and gifts from the “other side”?  I once would have cared whether you think I’m nuts or not, and now?   Now I don’t.     Progress!  Even if our beliefs differ, that doesn’t mean I don’t wish you love, as I do.   I wish you all goodness, peace.  I’m grateful to be at a place now where I recognize, we all have our individual journeys, lessons.  I’m grateful I have no desire to control another’s path, and I’m working on my critical judgment of others, and of myself.    I want to walk through the rest of my life with peace, hope and faith that I will be given what I need to become the person I want to be, am supposed to be.   I want to treat myself with the same love and respect I have for loved ones.   It’s time!

Karmic justice

Standard

We’ve all been targeted by some unhealthy vindictive person for little if no real reason other than the fact that they need someone to beat on.     When this happened to be I realized, which I guess I always knew anyway, but it reiterated to me that evil does in fact, exist.

The best thing we can do is walk away, though our egos, pride want to strike back.  At least mine does.   I heard something twenty years ago that has stayed with me “The best revenge is no revenge”…to live a good life not missing a beat.   It’s hard sometimes to take the high road but I have learned that I will never “win” by giving up my peace of mind and I could never “win” at the level that these people exist.  It isn’t in me, and for that I am truly grateful.  To understand such hatred and vial actions is to be like that, or on the other end of their tight rope.

For someone to think that they are almighty powerful and important, ignoring them, not even looking at them, acknowledging their existence should be enough.    How dare you or I ignore this person?  This person in which evil resides?

I guess I’m writing this because I am reminding myself of my ego, my pride.     It hurts when someone tells lies about you, and particularly degrading ones.   I have learned however, that it always comes full circle.  Perhaps not in the time lot we want or think it should, but eventually the tracks of karma will be drawn over their face.

Recently the news with the capital punishment case where there was a malfunction caused a 45 minute “delay” for the bastard to die, and many said it wasn’t right.   I’m not going there but I will say that I don’t believe the answer is more suffering.    I’m not qualified to judge another (though I do).   My reply to others regarding this was this:   Was it done on purpose?  Did we (humans) who were responsible for taking the appropriate actions to end this mans life, did they take justice into their own hands?  The answer is No.   Not that I’ve heard anyway.   My fervent belief is that this was karmic justice.  God help me but in many ways I found this reassuring that the evil that preys around us will meet with the good, God will prevail.   How hard it is to remember that when under fire, however.

To harbor or hold resentment only hurts ourselves.   It keeps us from experiencing the good in life while stuck in our anger.   I forgive for me, not for any other.   I am not condoning another’s action, I am simply forgiving to set myself free from the anger, the crap that potentially has the power to consume me.    I don’t have to speak to that person again, I don’t have to even let them know I have forgiven, again, I forgive for me.

For the past 30 years of my life I have prayed for those who have harmed me.  I learned this in a 12 step program and reading every spiritual self help book I could get my hands on.   When I suggest to someone that they pray for those who have mistreated or harmed them, most look at me like I have three heads.   When I do this it reminds me that while I bolster an obvious opinion about this person and their wrongs, but it is not productive, healthy nor is it up to me to “pay them back”.   By praying for them it helps remind me of a higher power, and gets me to the forgiveness stage faster.  I pray for them because it helps ME!    The judgment and resentment harbored potentially have the same, if not more destruction, sabotaging our own lives.   Screw them!  Pray for them and let it go.  Just like this murderer whom had the misfortune of taking 45 very long minutes to die…  how can one not believe in karma?  Thus, the evil that comes around will eventually go around, in fact, it starts immediately if we take the high road, if we not offer this person one second of our lives.   The best revenge is no revenge but to live a good life!

I want to feel peaceful, serene.  I want to be an instrument of peace, not of evil.  Karma exists and I needn’t take action.     If I do it’s like taking the poison I want to give someone else, myself.  I’m only harming myself.

Evil does exist.   Karma does too!  If we are embarking on resentment, dig two graves!

 

 

Happy New Year!

Standard

Shortly we, on the East Coast, will ring in 2014.   2013 has been a good year for me.   Every year brings an assortment of experiences, some that we deem good, some that we deem bad.   One commonality with both is that we have the opportunity to learn, to grow.  Some of the most difficult times of my life have brought much character growth.   Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are never given more than we can handle, but we are continually given the opportunity to help others, thus becoming part of their healing, their coping.   I hope I will not pass on an opportunity to be compassionate with another, to offer a hand when one is needed, to bring a smile to not only my family and friends, but a stranger.

I have pondered at times, when loss, when difficulties have knocked on my door and tomorrow seemed impossible to hope for, let alone the next hour, that perhaps we are given our pain to teach another, to help another, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?  Is there any better feeling than knowing you have somehow helped another in need?  And better yet, to keep these things between yourself and God?

It isn’t about the possessions (okay, brushes, paint & canvas can be exempt here! ♥) but the love we bring to one another.    Priceless are the moments in time that we shall never forget, that fill our palette with the most beautiful colors, softening the gray.   The gift of youth, the innocence, the beauty, the joy….their little antics, and those of our furry children who bring to us unconditional love.  Wow.  Unconditional love.

2013 came with a gift for me to take better care of myself, to be kinder to myself.    I hope 2014 brings this to all of us.

I have no New Years Resolutions, I am on a constant journey of growth, of change.   I aspire to become the best person I can possibly be.   I’m very aware that this does not happen purely through joy, but through the difficult treks of life.   I aspire to not be so judgmental of others, including myself, but offer a tender smile and quiet moment to find patience, understanding.   To treat others the way I want to be treated, and to treat myself the way I do those I love.

Bringing in a New Year typically brings some anxiety with it for me.   The uncertainties, the unknowns, and what IS known.   But I remind myself that all we have, all any of us have is this moment right now.  Overrated are tomorrows plans when today, in its shine or unpolished existence, is a wonderful gift.   On the rare occasion I listen to my phone messages, I sometimes will not delete those from loved ones, remembering too well past ones long gone, in which I would love the opportunity to hear once more.   I remind myself, this is just hyper vigilance, for all I really need to do is go to a quiet loving place, and the voices, eyes and smiles of those I long for are right there.  Even if my heart is breaking, I can put my hand over my heart and know, there within they reside

Wishing you all, love, peace and a very happy, healthy, human New Year!      ♥♥♥

.>

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace! 

That where there is hatred, I may bring love

That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness

That where there is discord, I may bring harmony

That where there is error, I may bring truth

That where there is doubt, I may bring faith

That where there is despair, I may bring hope

That where there are shadows, I may bring light

That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather

To comfort than to be comforted

To understand, than to be understood.

To love, than to be loved.

For

It is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Accept tents …… where does my peace reside?

Standard

What constitutes friendship?  How do you define and filter people in your life?   Close friends, good friends, friends, acquaintance, pain in the ass but with a good heart?   Who are the people in your life who inspire you, or are aspiring to you?   Longevity wise, how far back does your oldest friend go?  

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship the past few days.   I’ve been thinking about how I haven’t felt “loved” as much as I used to, so I started to examine my friendships, what has changed?   Some are just enmeshed in their own lives, location can also be a factor, you just can’t pick up the phone and say “Hey, frozen custard?”   Or show up, unshowered, in your crap clothes wanting to connect with someone.   Life can be insanely busy.    I remember Jim’s Nana saying something one day, probably 15 years ago now, that “You young people don’t ever sit, you are always on the go, far too busy to just sit in quiet and enjoy your surroundings”.   Or something close to that.   

Age, maturity has taught me the difference between consciously sitting by oneself, quiet, taking in all that surrounds me, and laying on the couch, one sock on, one sock off, hair up in a ponytail affixed to the couch like a cushion.  I call the first “participating, being conscious”, I call the second relaxation, but as with anything, the pendulum swings both ways, the flip side of that becomes laziness, self loathing.

Have you ever thought about something you really like about a person?  Perhaps that they are fun, carefree, enjoyable to be with because of this?    I’d much prefer to hang with people like this than a human jack-in-the-box waiting to spring out of its skin.    Okay, let’s look at the black or white, the left or right of the pendulum….   Fun, carefree…. the extreme becomes irresponsibility, non committal.     We know that the art of life is to find balance.  Balance with our characteristics, our behavior, our relationships, our time….and so much more.   I have very good balance with some things in my life, and are severely off balance in others.  Add to that, sometimes what I am severely off balance in today was balanced for years, decades.  Ying, Yang. 

As a child, discipline teaches us right from wrong, acceptable and unacceptable.   The temper tantrums that I see children having in stores today, the parents who are “bargaining” with them to behave always amaze me.  There is NO WAY I would have acted that way in a store, not without consequences.   This is not to imply I think the earlier are poor parents.  I have never had children, I only married them, so who am I to say what is right or wrong, but I can surely appreciate the difference.

Acceptance, for me, is the key to serenity, to happiness, to peace.   If I am not peaceful, frolicking around in dissention, depression, sadness, then something in my life is out of balance.  This almost always proves, for me, to be something in my life that I have yet to accept.   As stated earlier, these can change, without our knowledge, unconscious things that have triggered something, something that instills negative.    Some things I have accepted years ago comes back around to chew a hole, deflate my peace.    Does this mean I really never accepted it in the first place?  Who knows, I don’t think so, and most importantly who cares?   I have spent so much time reverting to my past.   I believe that history repeats itself if you don’t recognize it.  I also know that I have lost valuable precious time living in the past.

Grief, grief sucks.   We are told that “time heals all wounds”.    I don’t really believe that.  I believe that time teaches us how to coexist with our wounds, our losses, but it doesn’t heal.    If healing is true with others, I think that is awesome, tell me how you accomplished this?  Tell me how much time it took to heal your broken heart?  Clearly my acceptance, my reaction to the loss of my kid sister is much more balanced now, years later, than when it first happened.    I share a lot about loss, because that is a weight I carry daily.   I have had a lot of loss.   I am trying to lighten the load, to cast the weights into the lagoon of the past and fly over the hills and trees of this difficult place, this vortex, and get beyond, to new, to acceptance.

I want to go back to my not feeling “loved” as much as I used to.   Ironically, after much deliberation, I realize, it has nothing to do with my family, friends (close, good, friends, et all) but how I feel about myself.   I am not happy with myself.   What is it I am not happy with?   Well, there is a list, not a very long list, but a list of things that I am upset with myself about, one or two which actually promote self loathing.  This can throw a wet blanket over my self worth, self esteem, self confidence.    I can pick up any self help book, I can go to therapy, but unless I am doing the work, it’s lost time.  Perhaps pieces of what I am learning today will help me a year or two down the road, but if I am not doing the work, if I am not consciously trying to correct, to find balance to whatever it is in my life that is causing me imbalance then I will never experience long term self worth, love, peace.

I tend to be a black or white thinker, to my detriment.   If I owe a bill that I cannot pay, I don’t pay it unless I have it all.   Um, this doesn’t work!   Or, unless I can achieve and correct whatever it is bothering me, quickly, then, I accept and roll in crap, a couple times, to reassure myself that this part of my life sucks and will always suck.  But that is an example of my thinking, my thinking that I am trying very hard to change.  As stated above, if there is something in my life that I having accepted, there will be no peace.

Throughout my life I tried to find happiness in many places.   Laughing as I think about Garth Brooks “I have friends in low places” even though that isn’t what I am referring to.   If I was feeling low, not liking myself, the attention of the opposite sex could and would make me feel better.  I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about approval, kudos from others.    This escalating when I was in a marriage with an emotionally unavailable husband…shopping, spending…  then this stopped working.    Thankfully as we age we mature, we learn and have learned, we have the knowledge to make better decisions, make better choices for ourselves.  Unfortunately this also comes with loss of bladder control, ability to read a newspaper unless you have on 2.75 readers, and a memory that resides in a colander! 

Bottom line, through all of this.   I have to be happy with myself.  If I am looking to others for approval, if I am looking outside of myself for the answer, for acceptance, for happiness, it will only be a temporary fix.   The only way to happiness is to choose it. 

I am grateful that this evening I am feeling much better about myself than I was this morning.  I gifted myself with a visit to a friend who has inspired me, encouraged me.  Someone I consider to be a good friend.

I feel like this blog has been all over the place, with little correlation or flow, though I hope not.   Remembering the words of my father the second time I went in-patient for depression.   “You just have to pull yourself up by your boot straps”.   I cried, and cried.  Why didn’t he understand that I was doing my best?   Did he think I haven’t tried?      Today I think about the extreme, the black of the white, the right or left of the pendulum   “I care, I don’t know how to help you, I can’t do this for you, I’m frustrated, please get better, I love you!”

We are designed to be perfectly imperfect.   My parents generation you didn’t “air your dirty laundry in public”, you just “keep going”.  The extreme of this is self preservation, perseverance.     

Is there someone you are reacting negatively to what they are saying?  Is it possible to look at the extreme, to see if there is perhaps a message there that the person is not able to convey via words?    And not to leave this for last purposely, because it exists in my every day life, breathing, exhaling, movement, thoughts…. my spirituality.   I just cannot live a full life or happy existence without God leading my way.   I cannot live a full life or happy existence if I am not accepting myself as I am today.   I don’t have to “like” something to accept it. 

Acceptance, for me, is the key to serenity, to happiness, to peace.   If I am not peaceful, frolicking around in dissention, depression, sadness, then something in my life is out of balance. 

The past few days as I rolled around in my crap, I was shown what it was I need to change about myself.  It will not be done overnight, it will be achieved by stepping in that direction, the direction in which happiness lies for me, a little amount, a bit everyday.  Some days will be sprints forward, others a step or two backwards, but I don’t have to look at it as negative, I can look at it that it is just giving me a running start…