GATHERING

As families gather on this special day, my being does too, all  parts making a whole. That doesn’t occur all day everyday as little things cause chaos, or too much stimulation. But today?

Gratitude. As laps are completed hoping to metabolize the medication needed at 2AM due to sleep issues, the air so still though grey and damp, the talk to myself is out loud with no neighbors to hear this strange woman ruminating to herself.

The stillness is so loved, as wind does not invite internal gathering. Prayers in the night to mother nature/the universe are answered, maybe not in expected ways, but if one is looking, they come.

Mine came after lap ten when the sun peeked out momentarily, and the extremely shy heron unaware of my presence. I was miraculously able to obverse the hunting process nearby as she waded ever so slowly in the shallower part of the water and snatched up her dinner.

There is great joy and peace in the land and her beauty. Gratitude flows as families around the nation come together, and I am able to gather myself like a newly grown bouquet even after a tough night.

ATTACHMENT

My younger brother is stopping in today with his wife as they came from about 4 hours away to help another brother whose wife just had surgery. Not sure how to feel about it. I sent fancy gifts to all three brothers just recently. Then my critic kicked in chastising me for rewarding bad behavior.

Because no matter how much each one might protest, I am a shameful secret if I speak up about the facts. That for me has been the only way out of the gunk that burdened my tiny shoulders as a child and haunted me all my days until now.

Broken as a child, then whipped as an adult. The lashes over and over stingingly debilitating. Freedom taken by those who believe they have done nothing because they didn’t touch me that way. But grouping together in alliance and conspiring to silence me as a life sentence breaks a person too.

Getting too close to the fire burns, and feelings of wariness are relevant and need listening to. Family, or so-called family, are dangerous. My life began to expand and deepen into a peaceful safe existence only when keeping away.  

Family are Samuel, sons, grand-children, and friends. The origin family is wanted, craved for, desperately yearned for at times, but not trusted.

Wisdom

 Without adequate sleep confusion and chaos kicks in along with the habit of eating without being hungry for food, but ravenous for a soft place inside to hold and comfort me.

Going ahead each day when they are easier is enjoyed then bam… my center is not felt, parts float about scattered, pain fills me. The adult voice caves to the petulant demanding child, and all hell breaks loose.

That wise voice centered within the depths of my being needs to be heard and respected. The willful child craving love, gentleness, and kindness, needs guidance not the license to run things.

Work and time require daily attention towards centering my being, going to my core, that place of knowing that during easier days is not investigated or inhabited. But on those days exploration and settling into my depths is as valuable.

My way becomes lost so easily. Tiredness compounds it exponentially. Sunday’s gathering of friends could not be attended due to it, and a pity party of one ensued instead. Stumbling back onto the path of groundedess, grabbing myself back into one being that makes room for all parts is the path to peace. Breathe, be in each moment, don’t run, stay.

SLEEP PLEASE!

Try to rest, and be gentle with yourself. The pace required of myself, and the push to see the good things in my life over all the challenges… well, it is hard to do with inadequate sleep.

The time change threw me off balance. Go to bed earlier? Later? Nothing seems to work. Awake and alert at 3-3:30 am morning after morning has finally forced me look at the reality of that. Time to adjust the goals of the day ratcheting them way down.  

Where or where are those long sleep filled nights? Lack of sleep gets in the way of things I want to get done making me feel sickish because the urge is to just keep going anyway. But that’s not possible. Hitting a wall I have to just stop.

Be realistic. Until a more healthy sleep pattern returns, it is important for ongoing self-talk about rest. Rest is OK, more so, urgently necessary for health. Allowing for rest over productivity is a statement on love of self.   

The Miracle of Being In My Body

The time change is a bitch with no one liking it any better than me. Why put people through this chaos with their body systems twice a year? More accidents happen because of it, and more illnesses.

Last year my idea was not to change, and it helped tremendously. I went to bed an hour earlier, earlier than my grand-kids! That worked better than forcing my body to change its natural rhythm which caused sleeplessness making me a terrible grump to be around languishing in self-pity. Hours of sleep were lost for years until connecting with my needs, respecting them, and having the option to do because work was no longer an issue.

Yet this year the thought of turning in so early, then getting up earlier didn’t thrill me, so forcing my body to stay up was attempted but without success. My body has its own natural rhythm, and now more into my body, connected to its needs, and honoring them, better health is enjoyed in all realms; emotional, spiritual, and physical.

STILLNESS

My brain cannot handle too much input, especially from humans. It always picks apart every word, gesture, and nuance looking for clues of deception. People do talk in circles, some preferring to come across as strong by denying their pain. That’s look on as brave.

Others prefer to seem more important by touting the latest gadgets or travel excursions, whatever it takes to improve status therefore ego. I am guilty of all these at some point, but my preference around others is that they just be honest.

That’s rare. As social customs require a certain performance, one I’ve never quite grasped preferring to keep to myself because of it. It is more peaceful than a swimming head of negativity trying to figure out just what others are really saying, or meaning.

And so? That has been my life. During the pandemic others suffered from the isolation. Other than anxiety over catching the virus, my life did not change much feeling for once that I fit in. Now that others are out and about like they like to do, the feelings of abnormality crept in again.

That needs confronting daily. You are OK, and it is completely OK to love nature and want to be in it more than being around people, or rushing about from place to place because I can’t be still. Stillness brings my parts together as a whole. The beauty fulfilling. The gifts endless.

BE

Sitting with my natural proclivities, they must be weeded out and not left a mess like my garden begging to be cleaned of debris. If left unattended they will take me to unwanted places, so with sifting and sorting, the focus hones in on what my real choices are.

Because what’s been learned of late is the extraordinary discipline that lay beneath the push and pull of reactive behaviors, choosing instead the actions that take me to places of peaceful living, enjoyed because it’s my choice, not reactive, which leads to freedom.

That takes going deeper, each time exploring more than before, plowing through the scary terrain, often still a wilderness, taking a deep breath and being with what is there. Being with me…instead of running.

You Can Count on HER

Old habits rise conquering my reasonable mind, taking over, driving me to do things unhealthy as they once did almost daily. Because my learnings were about punishment, punishing myself for being born.

Yes. If my parents hadn’t doted on the one girl-child with 7 other boy onlookers with not enough attention to go around, the 4 attackers would not have attacked. This is my adult brain reasoning the why, the why would you attack the little sister you loved?

But my child’s brain didn’t know that. My little girl thoughts went to badness. How bad I am for what was done. How much they hated me turned into a life-time of self-hate.

Yet these years with many behind me of working hard to change, grow, and heal, leaves gouges no amount of work will repair. When a sword is plunged into the body scraping bone, the autopsy reveals the gash because it is forever scored in it.

This I will have to accept. Good days, sometimes even strung together making a week, then? An upset made worse by self-blame, made then far worse by more unhealthy choices as if a form of self-punishment.

But believe it, that there is at my core a wise voice, a wise being, that has gotten me this far, and can, CAN, be counted on even in times of despair. She is you, and you are her… good, wise, and whole.

IT’S OK

A mantra throughout the day, you’re OK, you’re OK, you’re OK. Someone once said, ‘maybe someday you won’t have to do that,’ me taking it as another bad thing needing to be changed. But what’s wrong with supportive self-talk, especially when my being is so supercharged with anxiety?

Those are needed words to calm myself. That is one of the problems with people, often giving more credence to a complete stranger than to myself.

Getting to know myself is a full-time job. It is a good thing to finally have the time to do so. Waking when Samuel came to bed in the quiet of a dark night, he was soon lightly snoring while my senses came sharply alert, every sound magnified.

No way is getting up an option, it is happening too much, so not this time. Thoughts of growing up flashed through my mind of years after the horror of abuse; dumpy houses with dangerous heating systems barely containing all the people living there.

Yet more dangerous than even that fire hazard was living with abusers but not being able to voice the terror or even recognize it. Sexual abuse within families is often forced back down the throat of victims and she lives with it contained…. akin to keeping lethal snakes in a box squirming inside her.

So an imaginary person was believed to be living in the attic. I was in tenth grade, yet couldn’t understand the real terrors were brothers living in that little box house half underground, the house as buried as my feelings and memories.

Life has always been hard, and these memories are not going away needing airing. So lying there they ran through my mind, but then came happy times during the terror; my motorcycle, bright red and new, bought with savings from the restaurant working as a salad girl. After school firing it up ripping through the meadow across the road. And the two fluffy chickens kept as pets in the shed. Somehow through it all sanity remained amidst the horrific anxiety.

Not sure why these memories run through my mind in the stillness of night, but gratefulness fills me that Samuel lies by my side. Taming anxiety in the daytime through breathe and paying attention to each moment helps me stay in bed until calmness and sleep returns.

It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK…