DEEP PEACE

Since middle school, or even before, it was others who I longed to be. Looking at another girl my age, how calm she seemed, how centered, or earning an award over my efforts, made me yearn to be her. The peace inside, the naturalness, acceptance.

Now, as I look around at others, (when my state is peaceful) I don’t want to be them, there is peace and comfort inside me. That may change in the next 5 minutes.

But there has been a lull. Sleeping comes in adequate amounts. Days are summery, productive, and when not, the harsh critic can be mostly silenced with, “It’s OK for down time, time enjoyed is not time wasted.”

Doing what is healthy for mind, body and soul are daily goals, not all met on every day, but the attempt is made. And taking out the critic who lashes at what wasn’t done is part of the job.

Acting in ways to others that is in alignment with my beliefs and principles, despite how they may have acted towards me, is satisfying also providing peace. All is right with the world, even when so much is not. Because inside commitments have been made and stuck to.

I have done my part. Yes, you do deserve good things. You do deserve peace in your soul, heart, body and mind.

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ONE DROP

You are but a drop of water in the ocean of humanity, the thought came while walking the meadow still sultry from the morning dew. Even out in the beauty of the fields my mind wanders getting stuck on a person or a thought, rolling over it again and again. Wake up!

Snapping back to now, what’s around me comes alive, but my thoughts pull me back time and again. It’s OK. Go to where you need to, even that safe place where the world slips away and nobody can touch you.

Yet the struggle continues, to be present, or be consumed by how this person has hurt me, and what to do. Settling down for a breather after laps are done, ice still in the water bottle, I take a long drink. Plopping it down a drop falls into it. It stopped me. My trivial concerns are a  mere speck in the universe, hardly even that.

You are but a drop in the ocean of humanity. Let it go, all the stuff, and reap in the rewards of NOW. Having all that we have, even though we scrimped and saved every penny along the way, which makes it a comfort knowing we can manage with both of us retired, should make me happy and appreciative. Appreciative, yes, happy?

Too often thoughts ravage my mind. The beauty around me is lost. Come back to now. See the splendor, dissolve into it. Still the body, the thoughts, the ever too busy mind. And then it happens. Stillness. And peace. Sitting a long while on the patio, Samuel joins me.

We notice new flowers blooming as others fade. A hummingbird visits back and forth to the feeder only a few feet away. Birds sip on the birdbath nearby. We don’t have to go anywhere for excitement, it’s right here in our backyard, wherever you are in the present moment. Be alive. Be where you are.

SUMMER

photo by Patricia

Something wild inside has quieted, or been accepted, and welcomed as part of my being. Negative thoughts pass through, in and out. The day unfolds with summer’s delights. Sipping the first cup of dark rich brew, the thought is get up and do something.

But no, stay. Stay and taste it as this time is special. Be in the body that too often is escaped from. Stay and be. It’s OK in there. 

We take the canoe to the ‘Butterfly Trail’ setting it into the water on the old canal, more private and smaller than the canal. Though the mosquitos are fierce elsewhere, there are none.

After the quiet paddle with minimal complaints about Samuel’s awkward way of paddling, which makes it almost impossible to keep synchronized with, we picnic on the comfortable bench overlooking the water.

The next day it’s biking along the canal path, the trees shading us from most of the morning’s hot sun. Sweaty on the way back after an hour of peddling, the pool sounds refreshing, and it is.

Today on America’s 4th, the kickoff to the outdoor summer concerts at the Old Lighthouse begins. We love the music floating in the air after setting up our lawn chairs on the grass. In the backdrop tall sails, and other boats gather for the easy listening too.

The long hot days grow short with our activities capturing the moments one by one memorializing them in our memories.

41st ANNIVERSARY

To celebrate we explored the Outlet Trail in the  Great Lakes Area.  It was on the news one night by a photographer who loves to get out and about.  He neglected to share how difficult it might be to find.

Though tricky we lucked out by getting directions from a hiker, and managed to come upon the biggest waterfall of many where an old mill used to be. Finding the right spot really took the stars being aligned… Then out to eat al fresco!

SHE RISES

Sometimes the most fear filled confusing periods are right before great change. But hanging onto to the boat in tumultuous waves without a life jacket feels so scary. Lost at sea.

Then homecoming, when the scent of the candle is noticed. Before it was in the warmer all day without the ability to absorb its aroma. Being apart from my body happens often. Being away from my center, a place that I’m only beginning to know and get comfortable with, feels more and more unbearable.

But home. Home where there is a place for me in all my seeming weirdness, where every person is unique, special and needed, every single one.

All my traits others don’t like are accepted because that is how I survive. And all my survival tools are admired, not scorned and hated. But I can cast off those that helped but now hurt. That is the battle raging, and the gap is closing. So close. So close.

From great despair, torn down to ash, she rises, over and over again…

E-mail to Non-Abusive Brother

photo by Patricia

The fact that I have to describe a sibling as abusive or non-abusive is what causes perpetual sadness and low grade depression in my life as a continual way of being. This brother, Don, was once like a father, as ours died when at age 8. We have become estranged since my mother’s passing ten years ago, but I have done my best to overcome the distance without much success.

Those in the family origin do not talk about important issues, so this email will be a shocker. Yet for me, it is imperative to be real.  

Dear Don,

As much as it would be nice to visit for coffee, the drive is difficult. So often you welcome me, yet you are the one who drove around the country for fun, and drives as a part-time job. Driving doesn’t affect you like it does me especially when it includes city traffic. I often wonder why you don’t make the drive here just to have a cup of coffee, or walk to the water to sit awhile. Though you came once with the boys, and another to take me to lunch in Williamsburg, and a few picnics including Samuel’s retirement party, just stopping by to chat is not a time I ever remember happening.

I have lost count of the times I’ve been up your way just for that reason. I have missed some picnics where Tom was also included. I reached a point where that became untenable. I also prefer getting together with others one to one rather than groups, but it isn’t reciprocated.

The road goes two ways. I’m sorry you can’t find your way here. I would love that but it seems it just won’t be. Shane has been too busy to have us for lunch which would be close to you, so I thought I’d just come anyway. Yet it is a challenge, and not easy for me though I can do it if necessary. I just wonder why you can’t or won’t.

I think of you often. I took the fall basket that I didn’t get around to delivering, and repackaged it into a birthday gift which probably won’t find its way to you house either. Day to day life is a challenge. Sleep is a challenge. Adding other challenges is hard. Even appointments are hard upsetting the routine of day to day, and the comfort and safety of home.

The traumas in childhood left lasting damage. I know you don’t want me to talk about it. A long while back you were upset with me relaying how much Penny went through, so why don’t I just get over it. So I won’t say more. And I won’t complain for that very reason either. I don’t need you to solve my problems like I once did.

I stopped after you  said that just once you’d like me to call without it being a problem. I get it. You have your own stuff, and going to you was inappropriate. I just wish you would have said so, not dismissed my challenges by comparing them to Penny’s and how well she does despite them. What is worse than repressed memories of rape?  I remember everything else done by three other siblings which is bad enough, including your buddy Tom. But what Danny did still remains repressed, though I know it was violent, and was rape. That is what causes so much terror in my life even now.

The other daily challenge is the intense feelings of badness that grew in me from age 8 becoming part of my personality. I work on self-esteem issues daily because I grew up feeling bad, that I don’t have a right to even be here or have a life.

This was meant to simply be a note to let you know I’d love to visit with you, but come here on occasion too?

Patricia

A System Corrupted

A feeling of satisfaction fills me when seeing the clock read after 7 this morning. The tossing and turning during the night was met with determination to let my soul know that the badness feelings descending upon it are habit, not truths.

You are OK. You are GOOD. And on went the soft voice of reality chasing the childhood demons away who have latched on since the sexual attacks were suffered. It is this damage that is the hardest of all that was taken.

It is tiring facing this each day, confronting the negativity that grew as my body grew. When a child is forced into silence over traumas that need airing, it is not the trauma causing the damage but this imposed tomb where feelings implode all on her own, the snakes wriggling outward with no place to go.

So much damage. Now my life is picking up pieces and gently placing them close to where they used to fit. And the work is tiring. Not only must the negative voice need taming, but depression is present each day, each moment of every day. Doing things to relieve that heaviness feels good, and walking is the best cure.

Yesterday it was little things piling up. No wonder it was hard to get back to sleep after using the bathroom. Samuel’s brother visited, the one who also raped a sister in high-school. And instead of joining them, I stayed relaxed playing games on the tablet near-by only occasionally joining in. No phony acting on my part.

Samuel and I had lunch after meeting an attorney for estate planning. That brings up thoughts of what the future holds, always close to my thoughts anyway. How would I manage on my own? I don’t believe I would.

Lunch was greasy, over-priced, and priced incorrectly. When confronting the manager about the mistake she reacted stupidly with stubbornness. No success.

None of these occurrences are earth shattering, yet my delicate system reacts and stays enervated in ways that are not healthy. Others rudeness, ignorance and insensitivities  through the years was usually put upon my own shoulders, and by me.

To have changed much of this is a miracle, lessening the load greatly. Unfair things still get to me sticking like burrs during the rest of day into the night. Padding along the meadow after forcing myself out after a busy morning brought relief.

A light sweat erupted furthering the feelings of satisfaction and delight. Buttercups fill the meadow with daisies beginning to pop out. The grasses, taller than me, wave and dance in the breeze while leaves rustle a soothing cadence.. This simplicity is what brings me peace.