SAFE LOVE

Two friends of late, on separate occasions, said, “I love you.”

Stymied, the best I could offer was, “I have a hard time expressing my feelings, but I’m feeling it!”

I am loved. Why can’t I feel it? I can feel it with my animals, the present one, my cat. I can feel it with my grand-children, and my sons when they were children.

Grown? I know the love is there, very deep love, but. well, they are adults with lives of their own, boundaries, and the ability to deal with me on a different level, one I must find threatening at times.

So that love though there, doesn’t flow as freely as with grand-children. Even there things change as the child grows, and that must also feel more threatening.

It is only with my cat where love flows freely— always. (except when her meowing starts up without end)

A therapist once implied I was incapable of love. He wasn’t such an oaf that he came out and said it, just rearranged a saying replacing the word love with compassion.

Or maybe it was my negative over-thinking mind which decided he meant that. I should have asked him. I’ve been trying to prove him wrong ever since, but whether he implied it or not, I don’t believe love flows easily for me. .

I can love my cat. I can love on-line. I can love from afar. But even on a phone call when a friend says she loves me, I freeze and am caught off guard.

It is understandable considering a past where family members took almost all I had except one tiny kernel of hope kept alive by the army of guards around it. Adding to it is that the girl attacked, attacked herself, and grew into a woman who is still learning to love herself. That lonely ‘bad’ little girl inside needs so much love yet is abandoned over and over again. 

It is in coming ‘home’ to my core, really going deeply, accepting what is there. Not running away, but running to. It is wrapping my arms around what is there, like my child running to me enfolding her with love. It is there that love blooms and grows. 

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Lord of the Land

 

photo by Patricia

The air is still, oh so very still. The sun just peeking behind the trees dewy from the overnight drop in temperature but rising quickly. Like a blanket the moist environment is thick with heat coming quickly as the rays shine through. Bugs bite savoring my skin as if parched on a desert.

Swatting at each one the bumps rise after being bitten. Though lap one was peaceful, now it becomes a job to be done with. The temps are to rise dangerously.

Lord of land in this quiet meadow, but also lord of my thoughts. You choose what to think, and how to be. Yet so often my memories, and grooved ways of being take hold. 

Take hold again, progress is being made. Start again- start fresh- start today. Work to be healthy, to feel joy, to be thankful. Be helpful, because that feels so good, my favorite thing to be and do is to delight another.

But it starts with me. How I treat myself is how others will feel when interacting with me so start right here.

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.

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!

SUMMER SPLENDOR

Take all your insecurities, tie them with a bow, put them away… banished. This is summer. June, the time for harvesting rose petals, lavender, and making strawberry jam.

The table fills with summer’s splendor from my little gardens. Gifts for friends at our monthly gathering today. A rose cutting from a friend grew into a giant tree bush that explodes with red roses in June.

On lap one in the meadow, basket in hand, each day blossoms are plucked filling my basket with petals. The scent intoxicates. The stash is added to daily, and one chore is reaching in, scooping the petals, moving them around to dry thoroughly. Now there is enough for five large stuffed sachets to add to friend’s gift bags, and one for me!

Next, lavender. That scent too fills the dining room, the oil left on my fingers as each swatch is bowed with a purple ribbon, goes to my core satisfyingly. Remember? These are the things you love. Somehow I’d gotten away from just living, just being, sucking the sap out of each day.

And the jam. Samuel’s strawberries are prolific, giving us basket after basket each day. What to do with all these strawberries, the freezer already filled with them? Jam. Jars and jars never ending as the bubbling berries also fill the house with the sweet scent of summer. One jar each to a friend, their gift bags complete.

   

WORTH

Thoughts swirling about this and that, all about others and how they feel, what they might think. The old ways grab at me pecking away. Then the voice of reason which abandoned me all those years of suffering over others that came with feelings of wrongness and badness in every encounter and situation.

You have a right to feel your feelings, but first you must find them. After a childhood where my body was not mine, and certainly not my feelings or anything else, at this late stage of my life the search goes on. Centering into my core by meditation is not just helpful, it is necessity. Otherwise I go blithering off the stratosphere, thinking I’m grounded but being anything but.

You have a right to feel your own unique feelings and own them. Be brave and live your life. It is easy to sink into another’s perceptions because I had none— no center, no core, no me. There is a me, and there is beauty there. Go there, find her, be her.

The Beast

lilac-photo by Patricia

There will always be a voracious emptiness waiting for sustenance like a ravenous dog chained. Unleash it and worse fate awaits. It won’t go away but must be quieted each day, especially at night when the dark yawns ahead with the day’s worries rolling downhill like an out of control boulder.

From age eight food tamed the beast, but food made me wake nights throwing up. It still does, so does the urge to stuff in food to erase the badness that grew in me like tarry fungus.

In the night, waking, turning over wondering is this a night when sleep won’t return? A softness arose so unusual. What if it is OK to feel OK? My insides loosened as if a snake uncoiled becoming soft like rippled water. Sleep came.  

Though chilly once again after a day of opening all windows, the sun shines brilliant. My brow furrowed with thought, the softness came again. What if it is OK to feel OK?

It is as if my life has been burdened with secrets kept for the family forcing me hostage. And though each link has been slowly broken, the skin scarred from the cold, hard steel can’t feel the air around it now, only the remembrance of my job in the family.

Be still, be quiet, don’t talk, and don’t have needs. Your body is not your own, not your mind, spirit or emotions…nothing is.  You must hold it in. It takes a lot of my drug of choice to keep all that in.

To become free of patterns gagging me since age eight takes doing exactly the opposite which requires a quiet strength of character laced with courage. And it takes time, because for that long a disconnection to my body occurred. It is fearsome to be connected to it. So connection, like connecting to the present moment, is like dipping a toe into water to see how it feels.

To begin the process of connecting to my body, while at the same time allowing happier feelings to take root, allows the wild beast, always absent of love, to finally feel soft, whole and warm at my center. To open up that core so vigorously guarded, even from myself, is to trust and be vulnerable. Maybe I am safe enough to finally dare go there.