I am Enough

A rosy glow casts pink hazy fog, the scene surreal in its splendor. A simple sunrise gifted freely, though enjoyment is behind the window pane as the cold is frosting the pumpkins. Only the cat wants to sit out hunched atop the wicker settee waiting for prey.

A night blessed with sleep and a soft voice assuring me it is OK when waking in the night, it’s OK, go back to sleep. And since no daily occurrences are disturbing me, sleep did return. Such seemingly little things disrupt my being, and that has to do with a body that lived a life on the edge due to PTSD. It just is.

All that can be done to help soften the effects are deserved, and OK. Attuning to my needs is OK. Providing care for myself in a nurturing way is a path untrodden tentatively taken. So many wonders along the way; feelings of stability, calm, and OK-ness. That I am OK just how I am, and what I do is enough.

 

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INNER ACCEPTANCE

When struggling, in pain, anguish, confusion, fear, anxiety, or any of the other countless forms of hurt, words pour forth easily. But what then when the tremors inside are calm, and feelings of well-being flow?

Will boredom replace chaos, or shall I take the peace and enjoy it? How this occurs is not really a mystery, or parts of it are. It was a war, a war with the world. But decades of fight are over.

There are things about me that have not changed. I am not easy to be close to. I like my solitude, and prefer to interact with others infrequently. Nature is my truest friend. (and my cat) Time does not heal all wounds, but hard work, perseverance, and courage do.

Wounds remain still, because what was taken in childhood when hands lay upon me unbidden, stole all that is sweet, innocent, and natural. Those hands took my life. The one left to live was run from.

Coming ‘home’ to what is after the rage burned out sustains. Warmth softens not burns. Once inner acceptance is felt it grows.    

 

EACH MOMENT

The balmy morning, though darkly silent, draws me out on the porch with the cat without shivering from the cold. The flux in temperatures is interesting, nights dropping cold, the sun warming the land causing thick clouds of low lying fog drifting off with the warmth.

Some days slowing my mind to absorb the beauty around me does not come. Walking the meadow, the tall grasses once lush green have dried causing a swoosh walking by as the breeze makes them sway.

Leaves fall in swatches while sitting creek-side making a crunch underfoot grounding me to the earth. Wake and notice. But my mind drifts off elsewhere, and it is hard to stay present. Thoughts turn to the miracle of long periods of sleep, and what has changed since the trip to Cory’s.

Because that is when the miracle of night after night of sleep started. Perhaps the knowledge that the seemingly impossible is possible if enough effort and determination is put forth. That my mind is more powerful than given credit for.

That feelings are welcome, yet some can be turned from gently closing the door on them. Fear? Anxiety? Come to the moment to chase those away. An upcoming call concerning when the eye surgery will be? Dismiss it. There will time to face that fear when it happens. No need to dwell on it now.

Instead offer myself encouragement that it will be handled. And with aplomb. You can do it, and do it with a sense of peace, prayer, and hope when the time arrives.

But other feelings? Those need to run through me, not be avoided, because stuffing them only causes the pain to linger coming out in other ways often by disturbing the body’s physical health..

How to know which ones to keep and which ones to maneuver? That is not a ‘head’ decision, but one of soul. That place is now open, not clogged with hate, bitterness, and oily, tarry hands of what brothers did. Rage like layers of volcanic earth far below the surface needed out.

All that had to be expunged. And what work to excavate. Decades. The work done, joy and peace spread up through over the red raw healing interior like balm.

Enjoy the day. Enjoy the moment, it is finally OK to be in my body; ligaments, muscles, arteries, bones and flesh, moving into the doors of my soul to explore.

A New Day

photo by Patricia

Winter yawns before me, even though the leaves have only begun to fall. The cat hunches on the screened porch in the cold darkness, too cold for me to join her which was the usual all summer long. Dark, cold and quiet, too quiet, disturbingly quiet.

No morning birds to greet me, no tree frogs, no nothing. Crickets still hum when the sun appears, but the sun is long in coming because my usual waking is about 5:30 AM…. Grateful for another full night of sleep.

But how to conquer this new time of year, when darkness creeps into the light of day, and the corners of my mind. The tendency to do down in mood, inevitable, yet something feels different. An internal current prevails which gently rushes the shores of my being, not tidal waves of panic, anxiety and fear.

A time of peace unfounded. A life of terror quelled. Anxiety petted until purring with contentment. It is new territory, unused to, but take it. It is OK to take, live it, and savor what never was but now is.

The years of pretending-over. The truth told against all that wished me to stay mum. Most of the monsters from the house of my child-hood, dead. Though the memory of their terror remains, my synapses hard-wired with it, anticipating the quiet to suddenly explode. That edginess smoothed out but close-by at all times. 

Walking the path as the sun warms my body and hickory nuts crunch underfoot, my words try to comfort the scared child within. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. Even now, or especially now, she needs comforting. They are dead, they are dead, they are dead. Only one remains. And he is far away.

Monsters are real. I lived with them. And the memory lies inside me ready to wake. But now the calm goes on day after day, and I dare breath, take in the day, take in the now, and feel peace.  

 

A HAPPY DWELLING

Waking, the first feeling is edginess, and with it attempts at quelling anxiety. Soon my breathing becomes regular, and my body feels soothed as encouraging thoughts are put into place. Good sleep patterns occur once again. Why long periods of restful sleep are suddenly interrupted by a difficult night remains a mystery.

The workings of my mind baffle me. Not being able to fall asleep must have  come from me, perhaps a belief that sleep was undeserved because I’d let important self-care tasks go out of whack.

Punishment. Until cleaning up my act, punishment. And that feels true. As the sky turns rosy and another day erupts, thoughts go to, ‘What can I do to nurture myself today?’

Self-care comes first. I am no good to others unless gentle care is provided at home within myself. It feels selfish and wrong, yet is the very exact right thing to do. Make my inner dwelling caring and whole, only then can it be truly shared with others.  

A Restful Day

Sitting alone in silence, the only disruption in the solitude of dawn is the plaintive howling of a wild pack of dogs in the distance. Disbanding once the rosy glow of morning arises, a rooster crows. Even the birds that stay, cardinals, sparrows, wood-peckers and doves, are late risers.

The cat hunches waiting for prey to pretend hunt as she’s kept inside and can only watch, hope, and drool. The dark coffee is rich, waking me slowly to this last day of summer.

Shane and the grand-children spent the day with us painting odd shaped pumpkins from Samuel’s pumpkin patch. The toddler isn’t well so no running outside. But we had plenty to occupy us inside; toy trucks, movies and laughter. It was a relaxing afternoon with them all.

HOME

Days string together brilliant, azure blue, and sunny, warming my body with memories of what’s to come. The stove will be fired up just as my bones begin to ache. The pleasure of just ‘being’ during this lull of peace needs more careful absorption… as with all things, it is temporary.

Wisps of jet plumes, pink and yellow from the rising sun, crisscross the sky as a lone cardinal chips from the hedge-row nearby. The mornings are still interrupted only by a distant train whistle, or a car going by.

The day opening is greeted with anticipation. When younger more excitement is looked for, though it is hard to discern whether it was excitement or anxiety. Now my belly turns with excitement over a trip to the glen, or a butterfly nearby during a walk through the meadow.

I do not have to leave home to be happy. All that is needed is right here on the land, but more completely right inside my own self; a place once scattered, broken, and chaotic now home