LIVING

It’s OK, you’re OK, the message needed often and daily. During the pandemic when all were essentially shut down from socializing, my feelings of oddness went away and good feelings replaced them. Others were forced into solitude… like me.

Forced solitude out of the knowledge that others cause harm. That was learned during childhood. It does not change. Also, there is a need for seclusion because too much stimulation sets me off into the stratosphere.

Now others have taken up their social activities, singing in choir, doing band performances in parades such as the couple we know, church gatherings and dinners, get-togethers… and the list goes on.

But it is just as OK now for me to live the life chosen for me even if it differs from the majority of others. A life with quietness, peace (hopefully), and with ease. With retirement there is a drifting of purpose.

Raising sons gave me purpose. Then my nursing degree when the kids were older. Then the job, haranguing as it was to my psyche and emotions. Ugh. Now what?

We saved like little squirrels, so now we know we can pay our bills even though no longer working. So, now what? What is the purpose? No answers here except life. Live it. Live it the best that you can by being in each moment, squeezing the goodness out of each one, even the pain that comes with them. Yes, even that.

Live, grow, oh, try to grow. Work at growing and becoming a better person, and there is much room to grow. And enjoy the simple bounty around you.

There is Herman, the young buck in the field, coming each day, even as I walk by. His head lifts up from the tall grass and we have a moment staring at each other.

“Hi Hermie,” I say greeting him, his big ears atop the brown body unmoving, then he decides to hop away, the white fluff of tail bobbing behind him.

Just enjoy all you have, temper the willful brain that likes to take detours into unhappiness, steer it back to the moment. Not all moments are happy, often there is sadness without knowing why. Feel them, release them by feeling, and let them go.

There is happiness amidst pain. Let it all come and flow through. That is living.

STRANGER to MYSELF

Lost, all week lost. Pain does that, making a break between body and mind. Survival called for that early on. It isn’t as helpful now. Only when connected can things be figured out, or at least be able to come up with a reasonable answer for the gut pain.

My thoughts scared me thinking of every disaster possible, and every sickness cropping up in the world along with dread about what the news broadcasted each night, but the issue wasn’t outside of me, it was inside of me.

Strawberries. The beautiful, bountiful crop, filling our freezer with jams, sauces, and whole berries…. Eating a huge bowl each day joyfully. Well, isn’t that always life’s way? The good with the bad. My old gut cannot handle that many seeds.  

At least the pain has eased when connecting to my body, using thoughtful gentleness to tend to it. Not something done in past years. But people can grow. It may take decades, but it can happen. Life’s difficulties are better handled when one is connected to their spirit, body, and mind.

Kindness like a warm soothing balm felt loving. Remember that? And how much work it takes each day? That is my work.

On Your Way Dear Son

photo by Patricia

Time to get your big girl pants on. Maybe you don’t need to be victim to your feelings. Maybe, to a degree, you can decide how to feel, or at least manage to concentrate on which feeling takes priority.

Cory, my youngest of two sons, left with his family back to Boston yesterday morning. In the past, Cory’s leaving caused a hole so wide it devastated me, making me want to run. The pain was too great lasting a few days.

It lessons as each year passes, and my interior world opens up with a feeling of home inside myself. I feel lucky and blessed to have such a son and his beautiful family— yet the blue feeling so familiar persisted when he left home once again.

Working at not feeling a feeling doesn’t help much. Methods used to move past the pain were many; calling a friend, emailing another friend, calling Cory on his journey home, talking to Samuel about my feelings, along with keeping very busy taking down Christmas decorations, doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming…nothing helped.

When sitting still the feeling became sharp, scraping uncomfortably on the inside of my belly and chest like little claws dragging their nails inside me. So I became a whirlwind of domesticity, but still no relief.

Feel your feelings, they will pass. You ought to be happy, Stop it, you’re being silly. None of these helped or gave the immediate relief demanded. Later in the afternoon a soft voice arose, only you can comfort yourself, no one else. There it was, the answer all along, and with it the soothing yearned for.  A hot shower streaming down washed residual pain away.

It is a good thing to reach out and talk about feelings, yet the answer lies within as it always has. You are the world possessing the ultimate ability to help yourself. You just don’t know it until you do.