GHOSTS

photos by Patricia

Ghosts tamed, the usual onslaught of shorter day’s remains. Low mood, a critical attitude, eating behaviors from childhood when brothers attacked and no one was there to help. Holding it all in took a lot of food.

Feeding the depression is more depressing. Yet the life-time habit of moving out of feelings to food has beckoned its relief from those very feelings run from. Numbness. Blessed numbness. Habits. Disdain towards myself for my humanness.

It is only in self-acceptance that food becomes less an issue. Where kindness feeds my soul, not engorgement. Feeling too full fills me. Feeling too full means not hurting over other things; the lack of friends, especially an intimate woman friend like Sue, lost over 6 years ago… longer than I knew her.

Feeling too full means not hurting over the brothers left who keep aloof because closeness would mean reality, the reality of what the so called family really is. It means not falling into despair due to what was, and what could have been.

Will that mourning ever end? Determined not to tumble into a winter depression that consumes, choices are made not to. Saying I should be happy, doesn’t make it so, adding to the self-contempt. But it does remind me that all around me is worth living for, striving for, and hoping for.

Find that fullness in other ways… Ghosts faced by airing what happened and who did it brought light into darkness. Shame lifted. Continued meditation helps to move from ego to soul. Caring for self means preparing healthy meals, exercising, and all the other time consuming activities that keep an aging body going.

But tackling the tendency to overeat for the soothing numbness is still a challenge, especially during the months where light lessons and mood plummets. It can be done.

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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.

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.

You’r OK

This last bit of transition from winter to spring is purgatory; joyful warmth seeping in, feeling bliss one day, then three days of cold rain and winter blues. Feeling almost more depressed than over winter because a day or two of feeling better has occurred leaving me wanting more. Yet the blues have me.

Pushing myself out the door, my feet plod slowly, my spirits dipping low. By lap three the usual lightening of mood quickens my step and make me stand stronger looking around as if for the first time. Green everywhere, budding on trees, the grass emerald and bright,  birds happy and busy. Why can’t I be a bird?

Impatience for winter doldrums to be done makes still having them untenable. Acceptance of what is does not come easily, fighting all the way. Remember the basics. Be with what is no matter how scary it feels. Fears often makes things worse than they really are.

You’re OK, you’re OK, you’re OK, a constant mantra helping me through each day which was left behind when the thought arrived that it was no longer needed. It is needed. Even in the best of times, that reinforcement and encouragement is very needed.

SUNBEAMS

photo by Patricia

Always a need to busy my mind, because without some distraction my wayward brain likes to dwell on negatives, real or made up. While walking in the crisp air on a sunless day, a day of beauty even without the sun, thoughts go to relationships that seem doomed no matter what. Then a little bird close-by is heard, chirping a song.

Snapping back to now, now is the moment. If you’re present with where you are, instead of drifting off, then what has happened, or will happen, won’t take you away. Can thoughts be better controlled this way? The walking around, lap after lap continued, and with it more enjoyment as the present is more realized and negatives are let go of.

Down by the creek… rest. The sun came out, and though the day is thirty degrees cooler than the day before, it is a spectacular spring day; trees budding, a full out cherry tree in bloom on the hillside all alone in its glory looking much like a rising moon, and suddenly a beaver ducking under the water to make a fast get-away.

Lingering by the sparkling water a settledness takes hold, and the brace of wholeness fills me. It is this quietness each day which satisfies deeply. My environment can be controlled so that stimuli doesn’t overload my senses. Nature’s activity suits me filling the cracks and the holes with peace. .

OK, You are OK

Lying awake past the usual sleepy time, worries kept me up. Or perhaps it is just spring fever as the day was spent outside as much as possible. We even took a short canoe ride on the creek, brown and dreary, but still fun.

There are tiny green buds on the honeysuckle bushes. My wild gardens are proud to present many patches of snowdrops, early yellow flowers, and even one crocus amidst the dull drab of bare trees and dead grass before the explosion of green begins.

The peepers are out in the pond. How I love the sound of spring peepers.

“Samuel, what are peepers,” I ask, dipping the paddle gently in the water. 

“I thought they are frogs,” he answers.

“The frogs aren’t out from under the mud yet,” I answered, lost in thought remembering their sound like a low humming thunder of bass drums in stereo.  

“Maybe they are crickets,” I said, yet the mystery of just what peepers are remains.  

My system is delicate needing structure and routine. Changing that even in small, yet happy ways upsets the balance. Becoming slightly hyper during daytime interferes with ramping down for sleep. I am often one big ball of worry needing unraveling strand by strand.

Will my Boston son handle the mortgage of the new house they are building, changing jobs, and then the much, much longer commute? Will my other son be OK after I asked if the kids would like to spend the night tonight?

Who worries over that? I do.     

It is time to let go. You have done your job, and they are alright. Now… what else can I worry about? My anxiety is like a small child, always there, always needy, and always calling my attention to calm IT. Let go, breathe, and live…

 

Cherish the Moment

photo by Patricia

We are all struggling. Looking at another one might think they have it all. I wish, if only, comparing one’s life to another. Then you find out that person suffers problems so severe you take your wish back of being like them.

Limping along trying to make sense of this thing called life is often hard, and wondering what the purpose is can be just as difficult with the question going unanswered. No one can tell you what that purpose is, you have to find it yourself.

And maybe there is none other than to survive. In this age survival isn’t about killing the beast to make it through the winter, or keeping the fires burning so one won’t freeze. It has become an age of technical devices, wires humming with communication, also bringing heat, refrigeration, and entertainment. No more stories around the campfire that entertained our ancestors of primitive times while firelight flickered on the cave walls.

Imagine one of them looking down to check their messages on their phone. No, we whirl in the pace of modern living. Who looks within to see what’s there, and to discover what you are really made of?

Enough is needed to keep our ‘campfires’ burning, the furnace of modern times. And enough is needed to buy the food rather than kill it. But how much fame and fortune is needed to feed our egos? How many vacations to compare on-line, how many friends, parties, or hobbies?

What if one friend is enough. What if a walk in the back meadow sustains as well as a trip to Italy, Iceland or the Caribbean? Because for me it has to. Leaving home for too long brings upset moving to panic. Being home is hard enough.

And that’s OK. Trips into my own interior can be magical, miraculous, and deeply satifying. What is really there? What needs tweaking, what is worth keeping, what won’t go away no matter how much work is done?

It is too easy, and usually necessary, to become wrapped up into the daily grind; driving to work, the stress of work, coming home to kids who need more work. Where is the time to contemplate the whys of life, or the vastness within?

I am lucky to have this time, and it is important to remember and to cherish every moment… tension and release, pain and joy. Take it all in, this thing called ‘life.’