Friday, November 30, 2012

Marianne Williamson my Goddess.....

I adore this woman.  Her words are like velvet to my brain.  I've read 4 of her books.  What I would give to write like her.  Everything she utters is profound.  Her view of life is simply one of love -of life, work and being.  Not a lazy love, but one with productivity.  We are responsible for each other, and the universe.  I like that.  I can live in love, much easier than fear.  I think we can all try.  I think the world would be a much more livable place.

Marianne ascribes that there really are only two emotions, love and fear.  Well actually it comes from the ever difficult 'A Course in Miracles.'  I tried to understand it, even took a class, but cannot say I agree with all of it's teachings.  I don't believe that this life is but a dream.  That's just me, I'm too reality based, and my feet are too firmly planted on the ground.  Pain, chronic pain has a way of doing that.  I have a hard time living in a dream world.  But alas, I digress.

Love?  Yes, we need much more of it, and not just on holidays.  It quickens the heart.  It springs forth compassion and good will towards man.  Things that are lacking in todays world.  Everyone has been so wrapped up in themselves since the nineties.  Self-esteem, self-worth - all of the self's... I'm guilty of it as well.  I matured during this period.  We forget to look outward while looking inward.

There is a song that I dearly wanted to post by Susan Tedeschi entitled, 'Revolutionize your Soul' - in which she talks about our never having seen a skyscraper.  Never having ridden in an elevator.  She talks about people driving Hummers.  I know that I cannot do these lyrics justice, but it is a song about simple things of life and how far we've gotten away from them.  I could not find it on youtube or I'd post it.  We have gotten so far into money, ourselves, and things that we've forgotten mankind.  Perhaps this is what is perpetuating our fears.  We're overwhelmed with success and its accusition.  

This leads me to believe it's no wonder I'm filled with fear at times.  No wonder that I push myself so hard.  Everyone wants credentials.  We're a world full of them, it's how we introduce ourselves.  We are not human beings we're human doings.  Who we are is less important that what we do.  How sad.

I know that I will not be the one to change this, nor set the world on fire about love.  I wish I could!  However, the chances of this are unlikely.  I can have my hopes.  I suppose I have to tend to my little portion of the world, these words that I write and my heart.  I can effect those that I touch.  I like this.  Instead of feeling powerless to my fears, it makes me feel like I have a little piece of power in my world.  I can go today and be kind.  I can quell the fears of the past - and be loving.  I can be kind, considerate, compassionate and earnest.  I can turn off the 'it's all about me', for today.  I can be in service of my fellow man.  I think to a great extent this is what Marianne really teaches - to be loving and kind - then see what develops in your life.  I believe this is what Jesus would have me do as well.  Perhaps this is the answer to the state of fear that I've been experiencing.  Just show up, and be loving - day by day.  Leave the consequences up to God.  Let life unfold.  There isn't much room for ruminating this way-- just life.  Perhaps this way, I'd leave myself alone.  Perhaps I'd learn to be loving to myself as well.  This seems to be a lifelong lesson for me.  The key here is to find peace.  Peace with myself.  I can't get it anywhere else, I've tried.  It all boils down to surrender once again.  Surrender  and acceptance.  I feel much more at peace today.  It is a matter of doing and not thinking.  Sometimes we just cannot think our way out of things.  It's got to be in the doing.  Today, I'm just going to do it.  Show up and love.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Journey

I'm at a crossing in my life.  It is sort of like the switching of the guard.  At least this is how it feels.  I'm in process of 'becoming.'  There is pain as well as fear involved - for I am no longer who I once was.  My mind keeps wanting to go backwards and retrieve the old me, and bring her into the future.  I full well know that this is an impossibility.  The courage that I must muster has to come from a different, new source.  My mind knows not of the future, nor where this confidence shall come, thus it looks backwards.  It is creating a great rift in my spirit.  

Trying to go forwards while looking backwards, is somewhat insane.  It causes conflict.  Internal conflicts, both mental and emotional.  I find myself grieving for the woman that I once was.  This causes me to loose sight, spiritual sight, of the woman that I am now.  I think to a great extent - I do not know who I am this time around.  My going back out into the world some 12 years after hiding myself from it - is conjuring up all sorts of fears.  I do not do fear well.  I suppose, none of us do.    I don't even like the spirit of it.  I suspect because it does not serve me, nor my personality.  Many times, I get angry because of it.  I think to a great degree, because of the aspect of powerlessness that it ascribes.  I've been powerless over many aspects of life, but who I am, since 1987 - my triumph year ; everything in my life began to be propelled towards a new beginning, I've challenged it all.  Being where I am now is very uncomfortable- and this place reminds me of the pain of my failure.  There is shame, guilt, and feelings I keep thinking I've overcome.  Every time I hit this place, it is another jolt of pain of not measuring up from my childhood.  This is another piece of history that I think I've processed through...

I full well know that life evolves, as does our most painful processes.  Just when we think we're done, life hands us a lesson.  I can only deduce that it keeps me humble - keeps me grounded and aware of my life.  I have to think that what I do with it is what matters.  If I want to ruminate in it - and wallow, well life is going to be pretty miserable.  I can but go on.  The whole thing in of itself is exhausting.  I've cried a few days now, and I know that in the shedding of the tears is healing.  I have to grieve my prior life.  I cannot go backward.  Somehow I have to collectively reconvene who I am and become the woman God would have me to be.  Did I like the woman I was?  Yes, she was intelligent, confident, strong and bold.  She knew where she was going - and how to get there.  I held my head up high, and walked with purpose.  But, I crumbled.  And crumbled badly.  

I think the biggest fear is, have I forgotten all that I knew?  This is a trail of thought that haunts me.  The silliest of answers is, I'll never know until I try.  

Try I will.  This has to be my mantra.  I have to learn to let this go.  I have to apply forgiveness to myself.  I've forgiven those that don't even deserve it, but struggle so with myself.  Expectations - such a horrible word in my vocabulary.  Those that I have of myself.  The Mother in me, where I never, ever measured up - and usually didn't even get acknowledged. I have to learn how to validate myself.  So easy even in identification, however difficult for me to incorporate.  

It doesn't always help when you know what your problems are.  Nor even when you know there solutions - for there are times when it is the process by which one gets lost.  I did not have the nurturer - thus this is very foreign to me.  I can do it for others all day - but the faucet just won't turn on when it's my turn to hit the shower.  

I'm grateful I love God, but I only let Him in so far.  I'm afraid there too.  I've lost everyone that ever meant anything to me, and I don't 'go all in' easily.  It's a shame.  I'm the one that looses.  I love people dearly but do I believe they love me?  It's questionable.  Most come to me to tell me their problems an seek solutions via my advice.  I'm a trained listener... why not?  It's few an far between when I have an earnest ear.  My childhood perpetuates this... I never had a voice in my family and I pick friends  that treat me the same way -- I think it's in my DNA.   

It all is a journey and this blog is all over the place tonight.  I guess like I feel.  I know that I'll get there and become who I destined.  I'm just having a rough go of it right how.  I am a child of God and it isn't about 'feeling', it is about faith.  There two different things.  I had another answer to a prayer last night with a young woman at church.  I had a chance to reach out to someone - and I did.  It felt really good.  She did not realize I needed her as much as she needed me.  Life is hard for me at times, I'm alone with my thoughts a lot.  Too much perhaps.  It is only temporary though I know.  God has wonderful things in store for me.  I am guilty of limiting God.  I know full well He is capable of the miraculous.  It's just this journey right now that is daunting.  These holidays without my Dad - without a family home, and alone again for another year.  It is hard.  

Journey's can be hard.  Journey's are what we make them.  As long as we don't get stuck, and keep progressing, things always change.  Things usually get better.  I know that mine will.  I have too much going on in my life for it not to and I refuse to settle for anything else.  I believe this is the greatest part of the endeavor.  The spirit in which we handle our paths.  Some days are harder than others, but with the rising of the sun - we get a new opportunity.  In this light, we always get another chance.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Precious Pain

I've loved someone for 16 years.  I wonder if it will ever go away.  All I have to do is hear a song.  The pain floods back, the ache fills my heart - and the query - the unending query begins again.  Where is he?  What is he doing?

 It was a pain so deep, I did not think I'd live through it.  As with love, it took me by surprise.  It swept me away.  It were as if a fairy tale took over my life.  I'd known this man for quite some time in a completely different arena.  I'd respected him greatly - albeit he'd angered me at times because of his aloofness.  What I found completely and utterly overwhelmed me - and took me to a place I don't know I'd ever been - and have not been since.  With what happened to me, I don't imagine I'll go again.  

It wasn't as if any of the pain that occurred  was purposeful for I know there was no intent.  It merely was just a thing of life.  I guess one could say, it just was not meant to be, for us.  Or perhaps, I loved him more than he loved me.  I adored him.  

Personalities sometimes do not mix.  They can fall in love - but cannot stay together.  Love does not know about nor is a respecter of personalities.  This can be a very difficult truth.  Some people fight their entire lives trying to get a relationship to work - and do not learn this.  It was crushing for me.  I recall feeling as if my heart would burst - and the pain is still intense.  I still love this man.  I know that I will not meet another like him - and I guess I have accepted this.  It does not stop it from hurting, however.  

We build dreams in our heads.  We all do it.  When things don't work out, the dream must die.  It is in the dying of the dream, that the pain overtakes us.  Our minds must assimilate to the new reality.  Thus, the pain.  The loss.  All of our plans and designs, just die.  Had I seen myself in all kinds of realities with this man?  Of course.  I suppose that is what make the pain live on - and at times have a life of its own.  It is a keeper of the flame.  I suppose too, there is a part of me that doesn't want it to completely go out.  It was the love affair of a lifetime, one I'll never forget.  Parts of it, keep me alive.  It is in the knowing that love is possible, and on the level that I experienced it.  The devastating part is even when I have it again, will I compare?  This I do not know.  I would imagine on some level, I will.  

I am hopeful - for I know that I've grown as a woman.  Pain always brings growth.  Especially this kind of deep, immense pain.  Some would call it a rebirth of sorts.  We cannot but come out of it new souls.  The change is from the inside out.  From the birth of a dream, to its death.  It is a grief only the  person is still alive.  We have to somehow make peace with our feelings.  We have to succumb  to the idea and belief that feelings are just part of being human.  They are part of the process.  Feelings let us know that we are alive.  The more difficult ones, well take time and patience with ourselves - and gentleness.  

The days I struggle with this are surely very few now - but it is still there.  I do honor the time I had with him.  My memory is very vivid.  I don' think anyone could have had the love story we had, and ever forget.  I wonder now as I write if it was meant to be a turning point in my life - a transformation of sorts.  That's what it ended up being.  It catapulted me from one position in  my life to another.  God works in mysterious ways, His wonders never cease, I have lived this.  He doesn't promise life without pain, or answers to prayers via all sunshine and rainbows.  I know unequivocally that things happen for reasons.  I don't believe in 'random' anything.  The difficulty lies in our only knowing a small portion of God's wonders in our lives.  If only the whole picture were in view.  We probably couldn't handle it....   However, I am today aware of pain and its process.  Life and its mystery.  Love and its challenges.  Life and its destinies.  We don't always get what we want, nor what we think is good for us.  This is a difficult truth.  One today, I must accept.  Acceptance is always a good place.    

Melissa Etheridge - precious pain LYRICS

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Inner struggles

I've been searching for quite sometime now.  I was crying in my car today - not sure if it was the full moon - or just more of the inner turmoil that I've been going through.  You see, I'm trying to find my purpose again.  I thought at one time in my life, I'd found it.  I felt like on  Maslow's hierarchy of need's, I was at the top. I thought I had reached self- actualization.  I set forth to achieve a goal, and I completed it, with flying colors.  I'd found my calling.  For seven years, I flew.  Not without difficulties at times, but overall, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be, and doing what I was born to do.  This was until the pain began.  Everything changed when the pain began.

Needless, I suppose to say - I blew it.  I could not handle prescription pain killers.  In all actuality - they handled me.  I lost everything, everything... and then some.  I was so numb, I told myself I did not care - but deep down inside, I was dying.  

I proceeded to do as most addicts do, and part of  me died.  

This was now, some twelve years ago.  It's taken me that long to try and get myself out of the insanity's grip.  I now want my life back.  I still have a great deal of healing to do -- and I am in process.  Process is difficult.  I still have all the desires that I once had, an I have the same mind.  Well, most days.  With exception to the part that still remembers how badly I failed.  I suppose it is like this with many people, but others at times, believe more in me than I do in myself.  If only I could muster the confidence that I once had...  

Therein lies the struggle.  I used to be so confident in my skills.  The past has a way of eating at one's faith in oneself.  I wish I knew the key in eradicating this.  The fear that it conjures up is very distasteful.  It is not as it once was, for it was debilitating.  I am proud of myself that I've come this far -- yet I still have so far to go.  Therein lies faith.  I am a very spiritual person, or at least I profess to be.  Yet there are certain things that cause  my faith to falter.  This issue is one of them.  It is very odd, because I know that God can do all things.  It has to do with me, where the problem lies.  Will He do it for me?  I don't know for certain where this doubt comes.  I've seen many a storm in my life, and lived through them all.  Lived through them, and learned from it - and came out a much stronger woman.  I can see my Lord all over it.  I do not know if this is human weakness that causes me to feel this fear and doubt?  I do not understand it.  

I had a break through today.  I stepped up to a plate that I've been wanting to.  I do not know where the road will lead, but I took the first step.  I know that my qualifications are there, it has just been so long since I've functioned in my element.  I'm hoping that it will be - to coin a phrase - like riding a bike...  I hope that everything will come back to me.  

I've been given projects where I currently volunteer - that require me to utilize my skills.  This is pushing me, propelling me forward.  It is really a God send.  It will force me to think along the lines of my skills.  I need this.  I really need it.  It literally is an answer to many prayers.  The first thing out of my mind is "don't screw this up!"  Indeed, I'm hard on myself.  If you'd had my Mother - you would be as well.  I would like to learn how to stop this.  I did not used to do this.  How one combats past truths, inner struggles, faltering faith - and fear... well, I'm learning.  Baby steps, I suppose.  It is as if I have polar opposites inside of me.  I wonder if I am alone in this?  I'll forge on, but the tasks ahead will be enlightening, at best.  I say this with positivity.   I am a very grateful person - and generally full of hope.  This is why I struggle when the negativity starts.  

I do know that if God is pointing me in this direction, then it is right.  I will take the challenge with a good heart and mind.  I'll give it everything that I've got.  I'll tell myself I can do it, whether I fully believe it or not.  I will go forward humbly - and with integrity.  This is who my Father taught me to be, and who my heavenly Father would want me to be.  I honor the journey... where ever it leads and pray for God's will.  His will is always my wish.  I had a prayer answered today.   A heartfelt prayer.  I am humbled and grateful - albeit I'm a little bit afraid.  I guess I wouldn't be human if after all of this time out of the work force -- I have to start over.  I do believe that once we make a decision to take  a direction that the universe gets behind us.  God is my universe.  He created it.  He hung the stars and the moon - and He knows what is best for me.  If He believes in me, perhaps it is time that I started believing in myself.  Move past the past, and embrace the present.  I know that's where He lives.  

We all have storms.  Some last lifetimes.  I'm thankful that mine did not.  God didn't let me suffer my entire life.  Now I've got to get busy with the banishment of this fear.  The only way I know is by doing it anyway.  Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, "we  must do the thing we think we cannot do." I guess that means, me too.    

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pondering life without devices

We have many devices - most for communications sake, yet few of us speak to each other.  I find this disheartening.  I find it more and more difficult that the more machines we create, the further and further we get from being close nit humans.  Of course we're close (most people) with our families and few friends ... but we hide behind these 'things.'  They've become our discomfort protectors.  There often even rude and annoying.  I've even sensed peoples fear behind their devices.  These things are our disconnect from society.  

If I were to be able to go back in time, I'd go back to when people helped each other - and communities rallied together in difficult times.  Not just during a huge catastrophe.  I am a communicator by nature - and if I don't talk to people -- I get weird.  Yes, I said "weird."  I believe this is part of the worlds problems.  We walk around acting like others don't exist.  When someone can lie hurt on a sidewalk, and no one stops to see about them - just walks on by ... what has happened to mankind?  Where oh where has our sense of community, our hearts, our basic human nature of kindness - caring gone?  We all know that these kinds of things happen - and we know that people judge the homeless.  Everybody judges.   On some level, try and not do it!  It's like trying to not see a pink polka dotted giraffe now that I've mentioned it.  

What happened, and when did we begin to become so afraid of each other?  I'd like someone to answer that for me.  Who instilled this fear?  Who keeps perpetuating it?  Has anyone thought about these electronic devices, and why we're so tied to them?  And why there being manufactured at such an alarming rate?  How long will it be until humans no longer go outside, never entering an office, nor do anything but function with a machine?  I wonder how many years this is away?  

I enjoy people.  I used to listen to people, and give feedback for a living.  I gave lectures - I taught.  I worked with humans on multiple levels.  I don't recall ever actually being afraid, and I worked in a prison.  Perhaps I'm gullible... but I just did not sense danger when dealing with humans.  Not that there isn't danger out there, because I know that there is.  I did not say I've never experienced it.  But, for the sake of this  particular writing I'm going to give people the benefit of the doubt.  

I wonder what would happen if for one day all of our toys quit working?  If we had to actually ask for what we needed, face to face?  I wonder.  I wonder if we'd start to help each other, or be kinder?  Or if we'd see that neighbor, we've never acknowledged because or faces are stuffed in our phones.  I wonder if we'd strike up a conversation with the elderly lady on the street corner that hasn't talked to anyone in a week.  I just wonder if we might find an opportunity to stop and help someone in need that we otherwise wouldn't even notice.  

I guess I wonder lots of things.  I hope this makes you wonder too.  Perhaps you'll speak to your neighbor.  Perhaps you'll smile at the elderly woman at the crosswalk, or say hello.  We've got to get back to being mankind again or we're never going to flourish as a society.  The further we go toward separateness the farther we are towards destruction of our country - and that is just my opinion.  No wonder depression and suicide is so high.  God did not create just one man to live out life alone.  We are supposed to do this thing together.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

learning, change and it's gift.

Change is a gift.  This is what I believe.  I won't say that it comes without a price.  Change is usually painful, and most humans resist it.  I like to sit back in my mind's eye and observe it.  I like to observe my mind.  It gives you greater mental and emotional control over your life.  It does not stop change - but it can alter your reactions to it.  

Live evolves.  This is a great truth.  There is absolutely nothing we can do about it.  If one tries, they hinder themselves.  Greatly.  We become void and lifeless.  I have someone that I love dearly now, that is using alcohol to numb himself to the fact that he refuses to change. He professes that he does not know how - and perhaps this is a truth -- for if a person does not have coping skills, this can  present a great mental rift.  Yet many have even told him which direction to take - he just chooses not to take a step.  I have tried every thing I know to persuade him, yet he will make no choices.  This is his prerogative. 

We all have choices, we make choices every single day.  Sometimes we make choices and do not even realize it.  Not choosing is a choice.  Not everyone sees this however.  

Changing is our power as humans.  It is our gift of life.  Even though at times, and often it comes through intense pain.  This is our catalyst.  Pay attention to it.  Grieve what you've lost, learn your lesson.  Be grateful for what you still have.  Pull your resources.  Know that in your deepest sorrow, we are not alone.  Walk through the pain, and don't let it defeat you.  You are stronger than you ever realize.  Look to the past and what you've been through.  If you believe in God, pray.  

Sometimes it is hard to see through to the end when the pain is intense, when you've lost a lover, or a loved one.  All of these things bring change.  Job loss, car accidents, losses of pets, moves, all such things and even positive things can force us into the throws of change.  We may have to relocate, learn how to do new things... it can be positive change.  It makes our minds stretch.  This is always a good thing.  Anytime we 'grow' or expand our minds, it is a positive experience.  I see it as a gift.  We are adaptable.  We are more adaptable than we really comprehend.  

I find that when I see life through eyes of gratitude, and as a pleasure to live, even life's trials aren't as hard.  When I see change as a gift - it makes the hard part of it less difficult.  We cannot stay the same.  Even the earth turns.  You will work twice as hard staying the same, that ever trying to change and seeing it as a gift?  Well I just believe that this make is an easier undertaking.  Pain will end eventually.  It always does.  I know because I've been through enough of it.  All storms will end.  The sun will rise again, the birds know it and sing before it's rise.  It's God's promise to us.  Just  like the rainbow.  

Life brings change, change brings life.  It is a gift to really live - therein lies the gift of change.   

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Random Thoughts on resentments.....

I realize it's Thanksgiving - but a post on Facebook has me and my mind all over the place.  It has to do with blood money - and I'm struggling to feel gratitude this morning.  I always have an undercurrent of of it, it is just who I am - but this morn, I struggle not to feel resentment.  We all know that feeling...  

I'm trying to figure how to eradicate it from my being. I am not a grudge holding type of person.  However, when a being has been hurt so deeply - the rip in one's spirit is hard to deny.  I have a psychopath for a brother. I'm being completely serious.  He has financially raped my family from three deaths.  The essence of this that leads me to know (besides his being labeled by a psychiatrist of mine) is that he believes it has been his complete right to do what he has done.  He thinks he is far superior to other humans.  He thinks nothing of acquiring blood money.  He is a pathological liar - and is very proficient at projecting his pathology upon me.  I simply cannot and will not be in proximity of him.  My internal sense of justice infuriates him.  He has threatened to kill me on at least one occasion and I believe if circumstances were as such, he would.  

Now these are not thoughts one wants to have on Thanksgiving.... but what is a person to do one this day with this in their head?  

I suppose it is a matter of leaning towards our higher beings.  Realizing that I am not the ultimate justice keeper.  There has to be a balance in life.  I have to let it go, because it is not serving me.  I have to live my life without this horrible weight.  I must release it, sometimes several times a day.  Justice is a difficult thing - we want it when we want it.  I've prayed about it and therein comes the faith.  This is what makes me christian.  Faith.  It is tested, and tested hard at times.  This one is very difficult for me.  I cannot be the person that I proclaim to be by wishing someone else's life crumble - and go around professing 'Karma.'  This isn't congruent with who I am and strive to be.  My faith says 'love your enemies' - and this is the hardest one.  Jesus turned his face as to let them smite the other cheek - if they so wished.  I don't know if I have that kind of heart - but I am mindful.  

So, I find that there is justice in this world, it may not be what I'd like, but I have to find respite in it.  I know that my Lord reigns supreme.  My job - and this is only my job - to be the closest version of Christ that I can be.  Psychopathic brothers or not.  His reality is his, and somehow I have to let it be his.  Even if he is spending my money.  God will bless me as he see's fit.  I cannot do anything about it without causing myself harm.  I don't believe that is what God would have me do.  I'll go and see my Mom in the nursing home, and eat dinner with her - and keep my peace.  You cannot put a price on peace.  Regardless of who has the tag.   

Happy Thanksgiving - may you have no resentments!!! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Grieving my Dad

It's been two years and seven months since I lost my Father.  I still cry.  I cried this morning.  Thanksgiving is a difficult time, daddy loved this holiday.  I don't have a family home, nor do I have much family left - that I feel particularly close to.  I'm still somewhat close with my Mom, but after everything that transpired after my father's death - that relationship is, well what it is.  I just no longer have a core family unit.  Not that we had much of a core family.  My brothers have always had animosity towards me.  I was the only girl, my father's only child (my brothers were halves) and the baby of the family.  I guess in their eyes, I've been a favorite - all my life.  So the only real core that I've ever had was my Father.  When I lost him, especially after taking care of him for eight years after the aneurism and stroke - was earth shattering.  

I do not believe that grief comes in 'stages'.  I just don't believe that it's that nicely packaged.  Mine wasn't.  I went into a shock and was nearly destroyed by it.  I suppose it all depends upon how it happens and how quickly.  It also depends upon how well the person is doing at the time of the loss.  I was not doing so well, functioning wise - at the time of the  loss.  My head was just above water with depression and I had just had major back surgery.  A life changing surgery - or it was supposed to be.  I had a Medtronic Stimulator put in for pain relief.  It was an extremely painful surgery and recovery.  I had to lie on circulated ice for two weeks to prevent inflammation.  Heavy duty drugs -- and I know that this upset my Father greatly - that he could not be there to help.  He'd always taken care of me after surgery.  He just simply was not able.  He had seven grand maul seizures when I was less than two weeks out of surgery.  

The hospital could not stop him from seizing.  He was placed into a drug induced coma.  He was gone in four days.  My whole world as I'd known it, stopped.  The man I adored my whole life, was gone.  

What ensued from there was a living nightmare.  Greed like I'd never seen it - hostility and pure unadulterated hatred.  I was beaten over money, and my life was threatened.  No one would listen to me.  Authorities would not get involved in family matters.  I felt more alone than I'd ever felt in my entire life.  My own Mother betrayed me, and watched me be beaten by my brother.  She "gifted" in a will everything that my father left me to my brother - who is not even my father's son - including the house that I'd grown up in.  My Father's and my belongings were burned.  It was as if I were watching someone else's life.  

My Father was cremated - and arrangements were made, and I had little to do with any of it.  MY FATHER.  I knew exactly what my brothers were doing - and tried to tell my Mother.  No one would hear me.  I've never been heard in my family.  

Once I got past this nightmare - I tried to grieve my Dad.  I moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.  I had to get away from all of it.  I'm so glad I did.  

Grief is a very personal process.  It is very important to feel it as it comes.  To not be ashamed of it.  Society tells us that we're supposed to hide it, do it in private - and it is supposed to be finished when the funeral is over.  Mine was far from over - and would hit me in waves.  There were entire days that I would grieve.  I had to learn how to live in this world without someone that I loved dearly - that had been a part of my entire life.  My brain did not know how to do this, nor did my heart.  The hardest part has been my feeling so lonely - and vulnerable in life.  My Father was my greatest cheerleader.  He was my confidante, my best friend.  I had to somehow find a way to learn how to release the feelings that were present due to the tear in my soul.  I would cry so hard sometimes I could not breathe.  I wanted to scream and sometimes I did.  I would curl up into the fetal position and just sob.  I don't know if I've ever hurt so deeply, nor felt a pain so unending.  It was relentless at times.  I did not know if it would ever subside.  

The pain has lessoned.  I can talk about my Dad without crying.  I can write without feeling that deep horrible ache.  I can remember the not so great parts of him - because at first all you remember is the good.  The mind has a way of doing this.  It's a reorganization of sorts.  Some people don't grieve.  I don't understand this - or didn't until my Aunt passed this last summer.  I still have not grieved her death.  It seems I just can't.  However, I was not with her often.  My Father on the other hand, I spoke to almost daily.  

If anyone reads this and wonders if your grief is normal.... chances are yes.  Everyone of us does it differently.  If your not avoiding it - it comes how it comes.  Somedays it was huge waves, and other days it was more manageable.  Somedays I wanted people around and others, I wanted to be alone.  Just know that you have a right to do it how you need to do it.  If you feel like your having a problem with it, seek help.  Get some information - but don't buy the "stages" of grief junk.  No two humans are alike and we don't follow a book.  Is there good information out there on grief?  Yes.  I read some good things on sudden death, and loosing someone that means so much to you.  All good information.  Of course it's a process, everything in life is a process.  

I miss my Dad a lot.  Especially during his favorite holidays.  However, I'm very grateful that I had the Father that I did - He was a great man.  He was a great Dad.  I'm also very grateful that I'm moved into the place where I can be grateful and not so torn to pieces.  I cherish the times that we had, and don't agonize over them an only see them as losses.  I feel good about that.  This gives me hope.  I've made it through this, and I never dreamed I would thinking back.  I guess that is what we do as humans, we never think we'll make it when we're in the pain.  Yet, somehow we do - and hopefully we use our experience to help others.  I think that is what God put us here for - as mankind.   Man-k-i-n-d.  To be kind, loving and compassionate to each other through our ordeals.  It's simple to do.  Just smile, open a door - help your elders, be there for a friend.  I think you'll be amazed at how good it makes you feel.  It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving or Christmas to have a good spirit.    We really can have it all year round if we but remember, the things we take for granted, someone, somewhere  would love to have.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

loneliness despite contentment.

I am a content person.  I do not feel like I 'need' another person to complete me - yet I struggle with loneliness.  I often times wonder how  many others there are like me.  In the depths of our apartments, behind the wheels of our cars, does anyone else feel that emptiness that I feel?

Most days, I'm pretty okay.  There are just certain times, that it really gets to  me.  Particularly around the holidays.  My family ceases to exist any longer - since my Father died and my mother is in a nursing home.  I have two brothers, but we don't talk - due to things that happened over my father's death.  These conditions, and my being single, leave my life with a bit of alone time.  I'm new to the area in which I live - and I'm still making friends.  The evenings, at times are very quiet.

I don't believe that we're meant to be alone.  I've been sort of a lone wolf -- most of my life -- for what ever reason.  Some say I'm a pioneer, or perhaps just very independent.  I do not wish to be to the point that I'm in this single state all of my life, however it is difficult to meet people in this day and age.  It seems everyone is trying harder to buy more gadgets that separate us than we've ever tried to come together.  More things to smash our faces into that distance us.  It's like we've become increasingly afraid of human contact - like it is a disease.  All of these things that occupy our time, our lives, our minds, that distance us.  We all communicate via machines now.  Much as I am here.  I don't have humans to talk to, so I blog my thoughts.  It's frightening really.  It makes my heart hurt.

 I believe one can be content with who they are and still be missing the companionship of another.  Can I still survive?  Sure.  Would life be happier for me if I had company?  Sure... Yet, I am grateful for all the things that I have - and the life that I lead.  I think this is the difference.  I don't need someone to do for me what I can do for myself.  I am already as complete as I can be at this point in my life... it's all a work in progress.  I'm where I'm at, and tomorrow is a new day - and there will be something that I learn in that day.  Hopefully this will continue, until I'm no longer here.

I have mentioned that I'm a christian.  I believe that for whatever reason, there must be some reason that  there isn't someone in my life.  I don't mean this in a punishment sort of way - more like there is something yet for me to learn.  Something that I have yet to discover prior to meeting the right one.  I like everyone else have my share of relationship problems.  If it is not in His will, then there is a reason.  I am not God, and I do not understand His ways.  What I have to do is continue to learn, keep having His heart - and be open.  My life experience will be my best teacher.  When it is time, my companion will show up.  I believe this.

Until then I have to deal with these feelings.  I do realize however, there just feelings.  Deep feelings at times, and wrenching - but when it does happen, I pray.  I pray and I force myself to trust.  I know that I have such a limited understanding of all that God is doing in my life.  The entity that hung the moon and the stars - I know I cannot comprehend.  I don't know why I try.  He has moved mountains in my life, and done things that I never thought could be possible.  I know that He has a partner for me - an amazing man.  When I'm in my right mind and not my feelings  - I can be rational.  Feelings aren't rational.  Those nights when I just want to be held... I'm not rational.  I'm human.   God made me this way.  

Even in my humanness, I can be grateful, for all that I have - all that God has done and is doing in my life.  I loose sight of that sometimes.  I'm like anyone else - I want what I want, when I want it.  Yet, I do strive to have an awareness of this when I find myself in such a short- sightedness.  I catch myself, and pray.  I do not pray for forgiveness, for I have not sinned.  All I've done is be human.  I pray to have more trust in my Lord.   I'm grateful, so very grateful that I have prayer - and God's word for comfort.  So many people don't.  Many are afraid to believe, or think it immature.  I am not ashamed, nor immature.  If it were not for God and His loving kindness - I would have not made it this far.  My story is a difficult one.  My story is belabored by a multitude of mistakes - wrong turns - bad choices - and failure.  I've had successes, but I also made sure I destroyed that too.  Of my own, I know little.  I owe so much to God.  I am no Bible thumper - nor am I religious - I simply have a relationship with Jesus.  Not that this is simple, but in a sense love is arrestingly simple to the heart.  I miss human companionship.  I have off days.  I do however, know where to go and what to do on the days that I struggle.

So I'm a person that struggles with loneliness at times, however, I know what to do when I do.  I know where to turn.  I am content in my life for the most part.  When God made Adam, for the first time in creation He stated "It is not good" - and He meant 'that man be alone'... and I get that.  Therefore, He created Eve.  I guess I'm still waiting for my Adam.  God will deliver - of this I am sure.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Brain Fog

My mind.  It just does not work at times.  I have entire years that I cannot remember.  It makes me feel subhuman.  I can really do a number on myself when I think about it a great deal.  I even have times when I cannot remember the persons name of which I'm working with.  It seems that this is something new for me - this brain freeze that I'm experiencing.  I don't like it much.  How could anyone like it when your own brain fails you?  

I search for answers as to what to do.  I've had advice from professionals - "keep notes, keep a journal," - and I think 'I'm only 50 years old!'  How is it that this has happened to me at this age?!  Yet, even as I ask this question, I know it's answer.  Surgeries, medication, and trauma.  

Now, my quest is what do I do with what I have?  Knowing myself, and I do know myself - after all the pondering, and pontification I will have to find a solution.  This is affecting me greatly as I try and reenter the working world.  Reentry is not an easy thing, not nearly as easy as I thought it would be.  I'm strong, and courageous - but when the brain fails, wow, what do we have?  I know that beating myself up with out mercy isn't the solution - I've done this all my life.  I've had to learn as an adult how to nurture.  It wasn't taught to me, nor did I receive it as a child.  I did not have the "Mommy make it better," kind of mother.  I had the "how could you be so stupid?", kind.  So I've had to learn how to be gentle with myself.  This was a very hard journey in of itself.  Yet, I must persevere.  

With me if I know the cause, I can find a solution.  I'm facing old fears as well in my current position.  I'm reentering the work force even though it isn't a paid position.  I'm doing things just as if they are paid and we all have hopes that one day I'll have a paid position.  Perhaps knowing this, I place myself under pressure too.  Mine in a direct link with perfectionism as well.  I simply expect a great deal of myself.  Yet I ask myself, if I do not, who will?  As one can see, my mind is really a battleground.  

I don't think that our minds are meant to be a field of battle.  I do not want mine to be.  I want and desire to be a peace with my inner world.  As peculiar as this is, it takes discipline.  There is always a direct dialogue between the ego and what I call 'my right mind'.  The seat of the soul.  The gentle Gina. I had a endeared friend tell me one time, "would you treat your best friend like that?", and my answer was of course, 'no'.   I gleaned a great deal from that.  Why would I treat myself in manner that I would not treat my friend?  This illuminated a lot for me.  We have to learn how to be kind to ourselves.  I don't think it comes natural.  I think we have parasites in our minds.  If you've read any of Don Miguel Ruiz's books - you know what I'm speaking of.  We have parasites that eat away at our spirits.  We got them from our parents, and they from theirs.  I work daily to kill mine.  I want to see the world as  a loving place.  This is what I choose.  This is what I put into it.  Naive?  Perhaps - but I'm much happier.  

I believe my mind will get better when I trust it.  I believe my mind will function when I lighten up on myself.  I've done everything else, ranted, raved, cried.  Now is the time to let the healing begin.  I cannot change what is.   I've had somewhere in the neighbor hood of 17 surgeries.  I am a disabled person who chooses to keep going in life.  I have quirks.  People love me anyway.  It is I that must learn to love myself, quirks and all.  I don't want to have to carry around a book of my life.  However, some people do - if it comes to this - I will have to learn how to not let it define me.  I already walk funny because of my back, and I cannot stand up straight.  I suppose, notebook in hand would not be that much of a determent.  If it means that I stop putting so much pressure upon myself, then perhaps that is what I have to do.  I still may never get the years back that I've lost.  

I find in life, everything boils down to acceptance.  Acceptance as well as balance - with gentleness and compassion, are the ways I try and live my life.  I do this for others, but it is  much harder for me to do this for myself - which is a sad fact.  I will forge on.  I will be kinder to myself today.  I will give myself the benefit of the doubt.  I will be the mother I never had.  Perhaps when the hammer is removed, the neurons will fire.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Things that bind us.

I tend to think we need to feel connected to other humans.  I believe that our lives, and what we've been through in our paths, connect us.  That is, if we're willing to share it with another human.  This involves risk.  The greater, or more difficult the journey - the greater the risk in disclosing our journey.  I think too, that pain shared, is pain lessoned.  Pain is very sharp when experienced alone.  I know this, from the grief of my father - and my own struggle with depression.  

Most of what I know - as it is with most individuals - is from our life experience.  It is "common" knowledge.  Common to me because I've lived it.  Every experience that I've gone through has made me a stronger and  wiser human.  I say this because I utilize experience as a learning tool.  Even mistakes - I view as learning opportunities.  It is no longer a mistake when seen this way.  It was a life learning opportunity in which I made mind challenging choices.  If I learn, I don't re-behave in the like manor.  

I was speaking to a veteran today about our needing a common thread to each other in the times that we face.  Jobs are hard to find, and pay is low - food - gas - and goods are high.  Stress is ever increasing.  I believe that the answer to many of these things are human contact and compassion for one another.   He is a Vietnam Vet - can you imagine his experience?  His reintegration with everyday life?  

Sharing our burdens, lightens our loads.  Perspective, and mindset says a great deal as well - I am not a believer of seeing life as a 'burden'... but to look at life's challenges as just that.  I believe in staying in the day - and conquering what lies before us - and having a focus.  I am one of those people that believes that miracles still happen, if we but stay aware of the fact that they're  possible.  The ability that we have to challenge ourselves merely with our thinking, is astronomical.  I say this with a depressed mind, who oft times has to push daily to achieve the smallest of tasks.  I do not proclaim these things lightly - I have had to train my mind to see life as I do.  I have spent weeks away from human contact, at one of my lowest points.  I've arrived at these thoughts, due to hardship and much mental suffering.  

Coping skills aren't always hardwired.  We learn how to respond to life in our families.  We pick up some skills as we watch the world around us, but the majority of skill comes from our core family.  If one came up in an alcoholic or addictive family - the coping skills are not going to be healthy.  The difficult part is, those of us that did, do not know that our skills are subnormal.  This is where those that love us, and if one is so inclined - professionals come in.  Relationships at best are hard.  They are extremely difficult for someone from an alcoholic home.  Families with an alcoholic parent - kept secrets - and told lies to cover up the parent's behavior.  It is ingrown.  There is also denial of difficulties in life. We just don't deal with things like other people do.  We don't trust.  There has dare I say - 90% of the time been some form of abuse - be it emotional, physical or sexual.  Recovery is much needed.  How does a person that came from a home like this, no matter how healthy they think they are, have a healthy relationship?  This is just one form of a human that needs other humans --- caring, nurturing - compassionate humans.  

I do not have all the answers.  I do however, think about my fellow man.  I give of myself.  It doesn't make me any better, it just means I try to be aware as I can.  My choice of life's work was to help a particular population.  I'm just a people person.  Some, are not.  I would just ask anyone to try.  Be mindful.  Be mindful of another's journey.  If you find this blog thought producing... share your thoughts.  Try and find common bonds with people.  You never know when you may make someone feel a little bit like they belong when they haven't felt that way in a long, long time.  I believe we're put here to work together - to help each other.  To work harder at finding our similarities than our differences.  One might have to work a little harder, but I think you'll find it worth your while in the long run.  We get out of life what we put into it, and this is really quite simple.  Yes, there might be times when we get taken advantage of - but you were the greater person for what you tried to do.   Everyone has been touched by something in life, and it has changed you - hopefully for your betterment.  These experiences are in our lives as guide posts and perhaps not just for us.  Let what you've learned propel you forward.  Sharing shouldn't have stopped in kindergarden.  Use your life's experience to connect to others.  I think you'll be amazing at the end result.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Mornings

Good Morning!  I love Sundays!!! Sundays are my favorite day of the week.  I owe it all to my church.

It all began when I first moved to this town, in January.  My best friend recommended this church.  I had also heard from another friend about the same church, so I thought, "why not?"  I'd been attending at the small town that I had previously been living and I wanted to continue.  I thought with two recommendations -- and high ones at that - perhaps I was in for a treat.  Little did I know, my life was about to be completely transformed.

I'd never been to a church such as this.  I attend a 'Grace' ministry.  We are a New Covenant church.  We don't do condemnation.  We don't do 'sinners saved' in the same way as most Christian churches do.  We believe to repent means to change your mind.  We are a Jesus based faith.  It all begins and lives in Him.  His life, His teaching, His death and resurrection.  Some have called us a cult.  It is far from a cult.  However, folks can believe what they want to believe.  I think it is mostly because it is different.  We fear what we do not understand.  Just because I don't have to be preached down to every week, and be "re-saved" in order to feel (which has nothing to do with my salvation) like I'm going to heaven - it makes us different.  We are a very Biblically sound church, we just believe that when Christ died on the cross - our salvation was completely paid for through grace, in His suffering - He died for all of us.  I don't have to "do good to get good."  I let Christ's holy spirit shine through my life, and not be conformed of this world.  Focusing on the law - which we are no longer under through Christ's finished work - brings more sin - because that is the law's focus.  I am no longer under that  law.  You cannot take part of the law and leave the rest behind.  Christ was the final lamb of God.  There are no more sacrifices.  It is finished in Christ.

Christ's death made me the righteousness of God in Christ.  I am a child of the most High King.  I will not be diminished to a mere sinner.  This is low level christianity.

Of course this is just how I believe.  However, it has transformed my life.  I am no longer who I used to be.  I do not worry about sin, and sin has left my life.  Christ's life shines through mine.  I am more Christ centered than I have ever been.  This is the major argument of most christians about our faith and belief as Grace christians.  We are free to sin, because we believe that our sin debt is paid from birth to death.  It's all paid for in Christ.  I've been redeemed.

So, I love Sundays!  And Wednesdays, and actually I love everyday.  My life is so much different now.  I am not perfect, but I do not have to be, none of us do.  Christianity is not about perfection, which is what I used to think under the law.  I used to put so much pressure on myself.  Now I live in peace.  Trust me, with the  life that I've had, this is immeasurable.  Not that my life was horrible, and I was a complete wreck but there was addiction and this always brings hurtful behavior.

I share because there is hope.  Hope for heath and happiness.  Hope for belief in oneself.  Hope even for a perfectionist.  My pastor is online.  All of his sermons are free, available for download.  I go to Midland Church.  His name is Paul White.  Our site is Paul White Ministries.

I am filled with hope today, it keeps me going, in the midst of depression recovery.  In the midst of a very strong self-centered ego.  I'm amazing because of what God has done in my life, not because of me.  Everyone is amazing in one way or another.  We just have to find out how.  We have to let our lights shine in the world.  My Father taught me this.  I hope he is proud of me.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Motivationally Speaking...

Today is a much more productive day.  The neurons are firing at a much better rate.  I wonder sometimes how it is and wish I had studied the brain more - to know the seat of motivation.  When one lives alone, there is no one to hold them accountable but themselves. I have an automatic pilot mind... with an auto save button inside.  Not so much with repetitive thought -  but more with a "pushing" brain.  "Do this, do that," murmurs my mind.  I oft think that it is my Mother that lives in my head.  The times when I pushed that huge vacuum when I was four years old.  Who cares if my floors are clean?  Well, in all actuality - I guess I do.  

The human mind is a miraculous thing.  I've been on a weird tract lately and I have let my apartment go a bit.  I've been pouring every ounce of energy that I have into my volunteer work.  When I come home, I'm exhausted.  It's a good exhaustion.  I've now a little title in my life, Enterprising Specialist Manager - which I suppose includes a little bit of everything - from cooking to crafts.  It all began with motivation.  I was motivated to help someone.  I signed up to be a mentor.  It did not turn out the way I thought - but I will follow it through, because this is who I am.  When I sign up, I finish the task.  At least I try to do what I've set out to do.  This is something that my Father taught me, amongst many other things.  

My Father passed away over two years ago.  His memory and how he lived his life, motivate me to do many things.  However it is, the life that we lead when we leave here -- I want him to be pleased with what he see's in mine.  I've lead a challenging life, at best.  I've not always made the best decisions.  I've reaped some hard lessons.  I must say however, they've molded me into a woman that I am proud to say, I like.  I live everyday according to my values.  My Father instilled in me, great and wonderful things.  Things of accomplishment, and belief, honor and dignity.  He was a treasured man.  A quite positive, lively man.  There was rarely a time when he did not have something good to say about someone.  He was a valuable friend.  He was my best and closest friend.  

Perhaps it is his voice I hear?  His spirit that keeps me going.  I'd rather think of it this way, that to think of it as the army voice of my mother!  There is always that chance that it is a blending of the two.  My Mother has softened in her age - and we have reconciled our relationship as many mother and daughters do in later age.  Loosing my Father, changed her quite drastically - as it did us all.  Death has a way of making one respect life more and the people you love in it.  This is what is has done for me -- just a measure of the ways loosing my father has changed my life.  

Motivation I suppose can come from all sorts of directions - internally and external.  Most of the inspiration that I find comes from inside.  My love of God, as well as life - push me to challenge myself.  I know that if I do not - unfortunately there isn't anyone in my life that will push me if I don't right now.  I often say that "life isn't a dressed rehearsal."  I didn't make it up, but I say it...  I suppose we do today what we can, or loose the moment.  Today is clean the apartment day, and I know that I will feel a sense of accomplishment when I'm done.  No one will salute me, but I get to walk around barefooted and my floors will be clean.  It's a small accomplishment to most but with chronic pain - it's huge somedays.  Today it's pretty big.  I fight on.  The pain will not defeat me.    

Friday, November 9, 2012

The difference a day can make...

I've had a grand day.  I got to go in and volunteer today.  The day started out with my pain level at about an 8, which is/was very difficult to bare.  I had my scheduled appointment at the clinic - and made some adjustments and I feel much better.  I am grateful.  Grateful, indeed.  

I struggle with my life, when pain is at the forefront.  It over takes my every thought.  This is a difficult way to live, and few persons understand it.  As hard as I try to push it as far from my consciousness -- sitting, standing, almost any activity is preoccupied with it.  Pain seems to take on, a life of its own.  

 I don't like talking about it, and I abhor it's every pulse.  It interrupted my sleep last evening - which precipitates itself, and makes one's waking hours belabored.  Life is not supposed to be this way.  Yet, my life has been, in one shape or fashion - like this for many years now.  

I find ways to keep on going, and I find courage.  Some days, it has to come from a depth that I don't even quite know where is.  It is a sort of mental gymnastic that I play with myself from the trip to the shower to the finishing of my make up.  To most folks, showers aren't a chore - but  many days, they are for me.  I do fine once I've started and I know that water is transformative.  It will spring forth life I did not have prior to it's flow.  Today was one of those days.  I'd been asked a favor, and I got up and ready for this reason - and my appointment.  

Depression is another battle, one these last few days that has been difficult at best.  Thus far, I've been winning.  I don't know how - I suppose I just don't listen to my own mind.  I did rest yesterday - but when the pain levels get so high, I have little choice.  

Persons that don't struggle with either of these issues have no idea.  I kind of envy them, but I know that my maladies make me who I am.  As I know that I had to ask for help today -- and make some changes in order to begin to feel better.  Our voices, and our choices set the direction of our lives.  I refuse to be a victim of my life, because I do not honor my choices.  God gave me this mind, and this voice to use; I will be the catalyst of my own destiny.  I will not let my circumstances get the best of me.  I must keep on pushing for a happy life - pain or not.  

In my pursuit, I was asked to lunch by two treasured people - and started a new project.  It would not seem like much to some, however, it will be great when it is complete.  I'm decorating an 8 ft Christmas tree for our ballroom.  These are the kinds of  things that I think are a bonus- the kinds of things that I love.  I get to "create."  When I am finished, the ballroom with have a bit of GIna in it.  

I suppose life is about leaving your mark where you can, when you can, whether or not it be in someone's mind or heart.  I suppose I prefer in to be in their hearts, for I am a heart person.  God has led me to this group of people, whom I think are just the grandest of folks.  People persons - in all the right manners as well as matters.  The establishment is fantastic as well.  I am honored to be a part of it and what it stands for.  It is enough to keep me pushing, stretching and challenging myself to keep fighting those things that would just love to have me do absolutely nothing, most days.  My mind tries to betray me all the time.  It tells me things that just aren't true.  That is  what depression does, it lies to you, and lies well.  

Today, I fought and won.  Another battle behind me.  I find solace in that.  As I go through these battles, however large or small - each one makes me stronger.  I become more of the woman that I know I am.  Proof is alway in the doing.  I did today, and I'll do tomorrow.  Today is evidence that I can.   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Helping others.

I might be odd.  I might be very odd.  I find it an honor to help other people.  I like it when I get called upon to help.  I have learned a valuable lesson in helping other people.  It has taught me how to ask for help myself.  

Someone once said to me, "do you know how good you feel when you get a chance to help someone else?", and I pondered this question.  It does feel good.  Granted, there are times when we may not be overly excited about what we're asked to do -- but we are given the option either to do, or not to do.  This is our prerogative.  I have in the last year, tried diligently to answer with a resounding 'yes!,' when asked, if I can at all possible do what is asked of me.  I cannot say that I have always received what my ego thought it should, but I have also been working on my ego.  I have been trying to be an observer of it's thoughts, as if it is a separate entity from my other thoughts.  I've been singling it out.  I now know it's voice.  My ego is selfish - and I cannot say that I like it's choice of thought process much.  This is a unique way to observe oneself however.  I believe it is the root of our internal drive in life, survival, and need - but is not altruistic in nature.  I persevere to be an altruistic individual.  If I desire for my fellow man to be available and active in my life, then I must possess the same attributes.  It all boils down to the Golden Rule.  Of which I am a believer.  Some will call me simple, but I do not mind.  

Today, I took my neighbor to college.  I was not particularly happy with her - she woke me at 1:00 in the morning, dropping something overhead.  She has been having relationship problems and there has been a bit of fighting.  I have been concerned for her - and at times perturbed at the noise level.  However, this does not change her circumstance.  She has no car, and it trying to finish her degree.  My solution is to tell her that the noise is disturbing - honesty is alway best, even when it is uncomfortable.  But I digress...

In this world... we have gotten away from our fellow man.  We stick our heads in our phones, our pads, our cars, and pretend that there isn't someone standing next to us.  A live, feeling, living being.  We walk past people with no home, living in a cardboard box.  We have anesthesia in our veins.  Because we have no answers, we have no concern or at least this is how it seems.  Homeless people are insane, that is what most folks believe - and we separate ourselves from what we do not understand.  We distance ourselves from the pain of life.  Pain is uncomfortable and we have become a world of instant gratification and comfort.  AT all cost.  If life could be one big Mc Donald's  I think the world would be amazed at how many folks would show up... We have become fat and lazy mentally and physically.  We do not challenge ourselves - and neither does anyone else.  The rich are our heroes and we all want to be like them.  Murders are fascinating.  I have to say that I am guilty of that.  I am challenged by their minds.  Then we wonder why our country is going where it seems to be going?  None of what I concert is new news.  It is just for me heart felt.  It saddens me. 

My tiny solution, in my tiny world, is to help those I can.  I know in my small piece of the universe, I'm making a contribution with my volunteering and with the things that I do.  If someone reads this and is so moved, then I've precipitated thought.  It only takes thought - and one small act of kindness.  If every person would do one thing a day - to make another persons burden lighter - we could all believe in each other again.  Some people have lost hope entirely.  We never know when we cross this kind of individual's path.  Do you want to be the person that looked them in the eye and gave them hope?  Or just another that passed them by as if they did not exist?  I do not want to be.  Despite that my ego tells me that it's all about me.  It is not.  Gravity holds us down, and we hold each other together.  It is not about our jobs, or our cars, or our houses.  It is about us.  And love.  Simple and trite to some but try life without any.  It will change your perspective.  Dramatically.  We take those that we love for granted, everyday. 

I say these things as a single woman, with a few friends and a mother in a nursing home.  I am alone much in this world.  I've learned to adapt.  Perhaps this is why I find helping others so life giving.  I was richly blessed today.  So much that all of the above came out of my mind.  She gave me gifts, and money - but I did not want it.  I want her friendship.  This is what I'm lacking in my life.  I'm lacking humans.  I love humans and all of the oddities.  Big ones, little ones, short ones and tall ones.  I like helping others.   To help those in need.  It just simply does a body good.  


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bottoms Up

Ouch.  I ache today.  Struggling with getting moving.  Depression seems to be at the forefront of my every activity.  Yet and still, we must keep on going.  Depression, pain and anxiety - three things that I have to overcome on a daily basis.  I would seem like the anxiety would help motivate the depression, but it seems to just uptake the thoughts of depression.  Some days are better than others, granted.  I suppose it is like this with most life.  I find that in prayer, I don't experience the symptoms as much - so is that this answer?  One is to be in prayer at all times?

I know that I work very diligently to be the best version of me that I can be on a daily basis.  I find solace in this that no one knows me like I do, and God.  Yet - this does not let me off the hook.  I guess I have such a internal drive, some folks call this perfectionism - I like to call it perseverance.  I've been through a great deal in life - most of it not good.  However, it propels me to move forward.  I always try to go forward, this is what faith is the substance of, to me.  Giving up is not my option.

My volunteer boss asked me yesterday what had brought me to the bottom in my life ten years ago - and I shared that with her - and it made me think.  My memory is not the best, but I do recall becoming reclusive.  I spent five years in my apartment.  I had just shut myself off from the world.  When I lost my career - I lost hope.  I had been so involved with life, and then the pain set in.  Inescapable pain. Pain that was there morning, noon and night.  The only thing that relieved it was sleep. So this was the relief that I sought.  I was on so much medication, that I passed out multiple times during the day.  I could not stay awake to save my life.  I have found myself in the middle of the road - the median, burned everything I owned because of cigarettes - I have even caught  my hair on fire.  Life was a foggy mess at best.  My parents and friends were exceedingly worried, frustrated, and livid at times.  I - as out of touch with life as I could be - and wanted to be - I did not fully comprehend - nor did I even want to.  Between the medication, the pain, the depression - and the loss of my life as I knew it - I crawled into a big hole.  People don't understand pain unless they go through it, nor addiction.  Never in your life do you want something to stop (the pain) and it won't and meds don't always help.  They numb the mind, and the ability to reason,  yet heighten feelings of pleasure per the receptor sites in the brain - and in all reality, who would not want to do more when you hurt 24/7?  What did I have to loose -- or at least this is what my numbed mind would ask me.  It is amazing how the ego gets involved... in the state of denial.  It is what tells you no one knows anything but YOU.  That is how the ego works.  In all things.  When we are 'dead set' on something - the ego is involved.  Which is what makes denial so difficult to deal with.  Trust me counselors know.  Ninety percent of our energy deals with denial of our clientele.  Yet the amazing thing is, when it's yours, you don't see it.  This is how the disease of addiction works, and works so well.  It roots itself in the brain like the worst weed you've ever known.  Mine had worked itself all the way down my tailbone.

I'm not sure how I came out of this because of my loss of memory.  To this day I do know that it had to be with  AA - God's grace and His miracles.  Here I sit, and able to take medication like a normal human.  I will not say that it is always easy on the days I really hurt.  It took being on the 'other side of the fence', I suppose to learn such an invaluable lesson.  More isn't alway better.  It took an addicts fight, and I don't mean a power fight, I had to surrender - for we surrender to win.  I am actually very powerless over my addiction.  If I do not surrender to it basically on a daily basis - and know from which God has delivered me - and watch my ego - I'll land right back where I started from.  Therein us lies that thought that we all know better than anyone else.  Yet, a wise man knows better.  The wise know that two heads are better than one, and diversity really makes the world go around.  I keep my ego in check for it will destroy me if I don't.  Addiction isn't simple... not at all.  Most folks think they understand it, but they really don't.  They think they do because our minds tell us we're in control of everything.  WE are NOT.  Control is an illusion.  Else why would people worry so much?  This is an addiction all in of itself.  Most are powerless over it.  I find peace today.  I know that I am in control of very little.  I like it this way.  It makes my list of to do things... a whole lot smaller - and it allows me to interact with the world that I just observe.  It's a pretty cool observation.  People are quite interesting.  Especially on those days when I'm "good" and I can go through life as if I were watching it sitting on a rocking chair from my front porch.  Neither of which do I have, but as I activate my mind... I can do.  There is a lot less stress this way.  All you have to do, is what is in front of you, be kind to folks, and accomplish what's important - even if you ache, are depressed, anxious and it rains.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Some Days........

There are those days when it's hard to get up.  I know when my feet hit the ground, I've got an agenda. I suppose most folks do.  My quandary  is my dog.  I don't get to relax in the morning and wake up slowly -- I have to hit the ground and put on clothes.  My 10 year old Australian Shepherd has to go out, first thing.  It was sweet this morning -- she followed me to the bathroom and gave me a sweet wake up.  She is my constant companion.  I love her, but being a person with chronic pain, I struggle some mornings.  Some mornings I don't get up "cheerfully" - and I am kind of slow.  My girl, Lucky doesn't understand, slow... Her bladder just knows "out."  So up and out we go.  My mind is aching for that first sip of coffee - and my morning meds.  I've managed to decipher a way of keeping my clothes near, and it takes seconds to get dressed.  Lucky is a good and quite smart dog - so she relieves herself quickly.  So I am able to get back in - and get on with my day.  I love her, and she loves me, and is dependent upon me.  She is my first dog.  I've always been a cat person - so this is quite the experience.  As the weather turns colder, it will be the experience!  I've lived in much, much colder climates so hopefully it won't be to challenging.  If I can handle Minnesota - I should be able to deal with Missouri.
I just have to remember that she is here for me, and I am there for her.  This is where the gratitude comes in.  I am a single woman, and she is my reason to get around many days.  She is listed as a "service animal" - or else I could not have her.  I know that there are days that I surely would not take six to seven walks if it were not for her!

She was my Dad's dog.  He loved her dearly.  She helped him with the recovery from his stroke.  He lived for this dog.  I cannot but care deeply for her, because of who and how she is, but also that my father loved her so deeply.  I guess one could say, she has served our family well.  My Mother had her for a few years after my father passed.  She has been a strong unit in my family.  Dogs are like that, they seem to hold family's together.  Lucky has mine.  I suppose in some ways she is holding me together too.  There have been times, when I've have been deeply sad, and she will always bring me out of this emotional state.  She hates it when I cry.  She will roll on the floor - lick me - bark - do just about anything to get my attention so that I will stop crying.  She is very perceptive and quit smart.  She is one of the top ten on the intelligence scale of dogs.  I just love her - smart or not.

I suppose it all boils down to gratitude, early morning trips outside or not.  I'm grateful for her loyalty, her companionship - and her love.  She has been a steady in my family that has now pretty much been brought down to myself and her.  She is pretty much all I have got.  She serves me well.  It is I that must serve her well - even when I don't feel like it.  Gratitude is a practiced state of being.  It doesn't come natural for some folks.  I think for the most part, I've practiced it long enough -- it kind of does for me.  Some days are hard, but others, it's easy.  I have a roof over my head, food to eat, people that love me and a very loyal companion.  I'd say that's pretty good.  I am grateful.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Day Off

I'm off today, yet I rise before the sun.  I usually do.  I say "off"... but I don't actually have a paid position, I'm a volunteer.  I am a 50 year old female with chronic pain, and I am disabled.  I have been since 2001.  Prior to this I was a substance abuse counselor.  The transition from being a full time employee to a disabled person, was extremely difficult.  People always introduce themselves by what they "do".  In this society - we are defined by what we do for a living.  I had now lost that because of chronic pain.  I did not realize how much, nor how deeply this would affect my life.  It would take several years for its impact to settle into my soul.  In all actuality, I still struggle with it today.  I have had to learn who I am, all over again - yet in a much deeper and on a more spiritual level.  I tell folks, we are human beings, not human doings.  Most folks don't really understand however, it is one of those things --- one has to make the transition to fully comprehend it.

I've found that most everything in life is as such, if we don't go through it - we hardly give it much thought.  As is with trying to get people to volunteer their time.  It has brought such meaning for me - but my life prior was lacking.   It is hard to find meaning when one looses ones life's work.  I've been searching for a long time.  I suppose that is the deal about life... the searching.  I tend to think that we all do it on some level.  I have found tremendous meaning in my faith, and my church, however I believe that this just makes me fortunate.  Some never find this or are never satisfied with what they find.  This is because of how Christianity is presented.  I was what I call a "low level" Christian for most of my life.  I was preached to as a sinner - and fought my way to salvation.  I kept feeling like I "hoped" I was doing the right thing.  I now know a much more excellent way.

At any rate - I wanted to write about volunteering and the organization that I have come to love.  It isn't just the organization -- it is the  people that are involved.  Wonderful humans, with a beautiful vision.  The organization is Cape Arrowhead, a nonprofit,  and it provides all sorts of services for Veterans, persons with developmental disabilities, and the autistic.  We have assorted camps for this populace - to provide fun and learning.  We assist with housing, employment, transportation, mentorship, and all sorts of things in between.  We are now in our fund-rasing time of year.  It is a challenge to try to come up with ideas for things that might sell - and to try and raise funds.  It is especially difficult when times are hard such as they are now for many people.  We currently have a capital gains campaign where we are asking folks to give 20.00 - and if we could get just 20 persons - this would be 20,000.00.  It would provide more than enough to get us through the year with our activities, camps and all.  We might even be able to have some paid employee's!!  We are in need of a corporate sponsor, however we have not gotten this far.

We help Veterans.  We help people with all sorts of disabilities.  We try in a multitude of ways to improve the quality of this populaces lives.  Many Vets come home and have no home.  We try to find them housing and employment.  We have equine camps to help them with the transition.  It is called "Warriors in Transition", and I can say personally that it is a wonderful experience.  I have been through this, myself.  It aids anyone whom has experienced trauma.

I love this organization.  I have put my heart and soul into it.  I applied to be a mentor, but not being a veteran myself, I have had to find other ways to help.  We are having a potato soup night - the night before Thanksgiving, where folks can come in and buy soup to take home instead of having to cook while preparing for the feast next day.  This is an old tradition of the first settlers prior to the Thanksgiving feast.  We also have Christmas baskets with hot cocoa that are decorated... that I did myself.  Homemade cocoa is in the baskets of a variety of flavors.  We had a run of trying to make jam, but thus far that one hasn't been so successful!

We work diligently everyday to produce ideas to raise funds for our populace.  We have a ballroom on the third floor that is available for renting for parties, and will eventually be used for ballroom dancing lessons.  We are getting ready and beginning to decorate for Christmas.  I look forward to this.  I have been titled the "enterprising specialist"- so I suppose that is what I have now become!  My act of showing up has landed myself a new title.  I don't know if I'll ever begin introducing myself as "this is what I do"- again.  I've learned a great and powerful lesson here.  However, I am proud to be a part of this organization.  I know full well, it is exactly where I am supposed to be.  It has brought tremendous meaning to my life.  I also know that if this is true for me, it has to be a truth for the  populace that we help.

I am not certain if anyone will take the time to read all of this.  If one should do so and what to help?  Give us a look up on Facebook.  Shoot me an email.  Respond to this blog.  I will get back to you.  I will probably be writing here about my experience.  Thank you.  G.