Life is scary. I wake and feel fear. One must muster courage to get out of bed, rise and make the day. And we all do. As the day wears on the anxiety lessons and a fullness fills like a rising bathtub as I walk the meadow buzzing with bees. The purple and yellow wild flowers filled in with an abundance of white blossoms emit a sweet fragrance and an earthiness that reminds me of all the visits to Raymond’s twenty-five years ago; a scent which brings me back to myself, back home. I will be part of that someday.

How do people do it, go on about each day so bravely? Knowing it all ends but not when or how? I am not able to fully accept the continuing work of trying to keep centered, and the daily work to self-talk in a positive way. It takes very little to set off the alarm system which is there to protect one from danger. Every little thing triggers mine and to keep settled is not the goal really, but to keep coming down from anxiety back into myself.

Meditation does that. So how can a day slip by without it? Yet it does. Go back to simplicity. The warmth of the sun on my back, the turtle on the trunk of the tree in the creek, and the bluebird so close on the branch she hasn’t noticed me because I’m so still in the chair. These things make the day complete.

It is such work to come back to settled and feeling worthy. My negative thoughts run unfettered and more naturally than positive ones. Question them. It takes effort and work and you can do it. Can anyone be as bad as you continue to think you are? Wrong in every interaction, what I did wrong, said wrong, or wrote wrong? What about what I did right? And the flutters of anxiety? Breathe, take in the simple things; the lavender sachets, the balsam pillows, the scents in the meadow.

My son lives in Boston and awaits his first child. He pressures me to visit, and so does Samuel, both knowing how difficult it is for me. What if? What if I honor and respect my real needs? Not try to be like my friends, or Samuel, or Cory and his wife, who travel great distances, over states and oceans, and think nothing of it.

What if I’m happy staying home and taking slow drives in the countryside and that’s it? Then that is OK. Try not to be pressured by others and be your own friend and advocate. They do not know. They think they do, but as much as they love you, they do not.

I email a newsy letter to Don. No answer. I wake in the night and wonder…what did I do wrong, say wrong? And of course nothing, I haven’t seen him so how could I have done anything wrong?

But this wrongness I felt as a child has become as much a part of me as any other, hardening into the person I have become. So I work on it…it never ends, the work of repairing what was done. I accept that. Mostly. Sometime I want to smack endlessly happy people. Other than that, I accept me, who I am, and who I can continue to work to be. 


12 thoughts on “WORKING at COURAGE

  1. Ah Patricia, you don’t have to look for courage. You are the very embodiment. Think of everything you have done to accept your story, to share it, to refuse to be shamed by it. Or everything you have done to build a life that cares for the nervous system that was so badly wounded. Or your honesty in the face of denial. You are courage.

    It’s hard, I know. Your son longs for you to visit (which is a good thing and shows his attachment). But if it’s too much, it’s too much, period. You might have to explain that to him over and over, so he knows (really knows, in his emotions not in his head) that his mom loves him and it’s not a rejection of him. He might need that.

    It’s okay to be who you are, where you are, even in the face of pressure. I know you already know this, but I just thought I’d offer up a little external validation, in case that’s useful at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, such a comment! Thank you so much for the support and so beautifully worded encouragement… : )
      That is a very good idea, to remind him how much I would love to be able to jump in the car and travel. But how very hard it is and what a toll it takes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woww I never realised that I carry a shell of wrongness on my back like a snail. Carrying it as though it’s just–well it just is. As I write I’m trying to feel the opposite and I can’t. If I roll on my back and wriggle back and forth on some hard stones can I crush the shell… but then I won’t have a home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I know it’s not supposed to be funny, yet you make me laugh! Maybe I’ll try that…
      Maybe in finally allowing my real feelings to well up from their source instead of playing a part, I already am breaking out of my shell. You too!


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