Inspiration, Reflection

Making Difficult Changes

Today we put an offer on a home that doesn’t feed into the school system the kids are in. I have mixed feelings. For months since school began this semester both girls pleaded with me to reinvent themselves somewhere where people didn’t know their back story. I have been tortured with this decision.

Their mom, Jen, built a beautiful city of amazing mom’s I truly connected with. I wish we could have become closer friends but that never happened. Partly because I was absent a lot or flying by the seat of my pants when I was here. Partly because everyone has an opinion of the choices I make and sadly they don’t think I’m making the right ones.

It’s hard to be under such a microscope. One is gifted, two have very special needs. Add local family drama and a whole slew of brand new modifications to their little worlds and you have one exhausted guardian.

I wish I could reassure those who say bring them to God, he’ll fix it. I’ve taught them the story of Jesus and will continue. To the ladies who forever wonder about their academic success, I’m paying attention. They’ve got A’s and B’s. To the people who question their state of mind, they see professionals. To the ones who fret about their loss; please know they’re so very loved. They want for nothing.

Sami rides horses. She and I do yoga. Laura plays piano and dances in addition to preparing for cross country. Brandon has 4 activities outside of school and many inside. Each child has 100% of my attention and focus on making them productive and happy adults.

I wish I could be the woman that others feel free to just be themselves around. I wish I could have kept what Jen created going. I’m not, and I know that my focus should be on building the village. I’m just so focused on keeping my family close, inclusion, tolerance, kindness and all the motivators and numerous activities that teach that.

When you hear about me moving them, before you judge me for my choices, put yourself in my shoes. There’s no way you could possibly know the daily struggles without knowing me. What you read on FB, or Twitter or see in a snap is a moment in the window of our complicated lives. We’re all just trying to get through the day.

If you’d like to remain friends ladies, please reach out. My life is overwhelmed with duty and I could really use some gal pals right about now! I’m always listening.

Inspiration, Uncategorized

Being Kind Should Be Easy

Today I told someone I am about as transparent as I can be. I thought I was!

I tell people about my life-my circumstances-my choices all the time. What was pointed out to me, was that it seemed, “unbelievable.”  The person to whom I was vocalizing my past in an almost chronological newsworthy kind of way, revealed that to them my words seemed shallow.  As I listened further, I learned that she felt I was lying due to the limited emotional attachment to some pretty heavy circumstances. I thought, You know what? She may be right?

I am a survivor. That is undeniable. I lived through a ton of crap, all to become this tough passionatly tenacious cookie everyone sees.  Whatever happened to the girl inside? What happened the young woman that actually felt all that pain? Had I learned so well to forgive, that I no longer have emotional attachment to the pain? Or have I just entered a PTSD scenario, where I push all my feeling inward? That’s my modus operandi, so when she informed me of her perceptions I had to pause. I asked myself one seriously mind-boggling question. Am I still able to feel after all this time? After all that’s happened? Can I allow myself to let the pain in?

My internal dialog seemed to continue without my permission in an almost audacious fashion. I wondered, Do I allow others to see me feel pain? When was the last time I could remember feeling emotions of empathy or sorrow? The outer shell that I strategically placed around my feelings all those years ago cracked, and for one moment insecurity swept through me, just as if I had full-body entered a cool-pool of water. My brain betrayed me.

I spent the afternoon postulating that I had opened some form of flood gate.  My emotions all over the place reeked havoc. I decided the only place I was safe from altering my perspective was solitude. I went home. Retreated. Left in a massive hurry to collect my thoughts. To do something to get my rejection compartmentalized, and then it hit me.  I am doing exactly what I feared. I suppressed the pain of rejection so that I can move forward. She was right. I had no feeling in my story when I spoke to her. It was if it happened to someone else the way I told it.  Who wouldn’t feel like I was lying?

Survivors deal with things in a whole different way than people who have never had darkness in their life.  People who have life challenges like separating parents, or divorce, or financial difficulties, have tough circumstances they have to go through. I don’t want to make light of that pain. What I have learned is it’s a whole different thing to be a victim of something you didn’t do, and couldn’t control. It changes everything. It’s altering, to some life shattering, and at best burdensome to endure. Add several life circumstances back to back and you should have one blazing nut job!  (I may seem a little nutty but I assure you I am sane.)

If I am as transparent as I tout, shouldn’t I be willing to put some humanness in my story? Shouldn’t that include a touch of sentiment? Inflection in my voice? Some sense of burden I carry? So that maybe when anyone should hear of my successes, they will comprehend the great courage that it took to get there? If you were listening would it matter to you?

I sit here this evening compartmentalizing all that I have felt today so that I can make sense of the things that I recall. I have to go through forgiveness drills so that I can wake in the morning with a new perspective to touch another with hope. I really pray that my message is heard. That message being that there is someone who was strong enough to overcome much of the same circumstances causing them pain. There is someone who believes that if you want to change who you are, to become who you think you should be, you can.  Life can be filled with joy!

If I can share this with you, I hope that when you see someone who seemingly has no emotion, who is just as rigid in stance or maybe composed as I was earlier, you will know that there is a flood of something going on down deep. There is a story there. Everyone has an untold story. Everyone is a real person with real feelings, who has triggers that will set them off.  Everyone has a sense of being uncomfortable in a very unforgiving world.  Show love. Show compassion.

I put my ego back in check. I chalked the experience up to a lesson learned. Each one of us is different in how we process our pain. I will inject some kind of personal emotion when I tell my stories now. I have to. I want to include others when I engage in conversation. I want people to know I am sincere when I type what has happened. I want to connect on a personal level.

The last thing I want someone to feel about me is that I am attempting to remain shallow. So while her rejection prompted a childlike reflex, and subsequent retraction from people, I am glad that she spoke to me with truth. I am not afraid of introspection. It’s part of my growth process, and I hope and pray that you too find it part of your growth too. We cannot change what we need to without knowing what it is that we need to change.

Inspiration

To be Happy – Be Thankful

The other day I heard a phrase that caught my attention. It said, “the only way to be happy is to be thankful.” I found that to be poignant because I continuously struggle at to see positive things rather than negative things. Moreover, the actions of others have more power over my emotions then sometimes I’m willing to admit.

The people around me tell me that this is the common denomination of women everywhere. I don’t know if that’s true, but what I do know is that most women that I know are mom’s, wives, and colleagues. And what that says to me is that their lives are full. With an abundant life comes the responsibility of introspection. You cannot have a husband or children and not learn valuable experience based on both pain and joy along your way. It’s been said that to be my age is to graduate from the “University of Life.” However, rules and application always are subject to approval or acceptance.

This past week I have been introspective. I’ve seen the attitudes of my children and my frustration levels with their choices begin to build in a very negative way. Whenever this happens to me, I sit down and think about what I can do to fix it, because ultimately I am the peacemaker. I try and ask myself if the offenses that I feel are due to my own interpretation or are they actual offending actions because in my past when I have confronted someone I have been so wrong. Experience has taught me to pause.

The problem is that just when I think that I am clear on what the issues are and clear on exactly what injustice trigger has just been pushed; it’s then when I decide to talk to whomever it is who has offended me. Usually my gut instincts are right on track. But this week they weren’t.

What I forgot to do is to take into consideration all the factors involved. I don’t have a mind that deduces a problem based on facts. I have a creative mind that is based on emotion and by human interaction. It’s the old saying, “feeling versus thinking.” I am the feeler and for the most part the people who I love who are closest to me and my life are the thinkers. So much so that the concrete approach to a problem can be quite disarming. What this does is cause massive miscommunication for all parties involved.

It takes a great sense of intellectual responsibility to look at oneself and realize that the problem lies within. In life, when we look at our own actions or we look at the offense that we feel; we not only need to remind ourselves to really look at whether or not this is our interpretation, but we really need to understand that person has their own set of injustice buttons as well. You would think that at my age not only would I comprehend this beyond a reasonable sense, but that upon need of it I could certainly reference at a moment’s notice. This past week that was certainly not the case. Admitting that could be the first foundation of solidifying a better approach upon the next surge of teen attitude.

This past week I was wrong. I was incorrect about the motivation behind the attitude. I withdrew my affections instead of engaging. It took me a long time to process through my own thinking because it’s not a natural thing for me to do. I have to remember that while I’m pressing my pause button, the people that depend on me will view my absence as abandonment. It’s certainly not! I need to understand how my reaction to their behavior can sometimes cause more of a disturbance in our communication rather than healing the hurt feelings.

Life is about change, and nothing ever stays the same. I think there’s a song about that? I believe the key to a successful relationship is to communicate whether that language is defective or whether it is productive. You cannot fix a problem or a broken dialogue without first starting to talk. If my approach is with love the outcome should be in a relationship that all those prior behaviors count when matters like this come up. I feel that if we can remind ourselves that we are loved and respected, we can remind ourselves to love and respect the people who have feelings of regret or pain. We can move on to a better dialogue. Ultimately we can solve the problem.

Everyone knows what right and wrong is. The power doesn’t rest in the inability to find the truth. Our success will be based on whether or not we can do the right thing despite our impulsive feelings and negative emotions.

I’m learning to be thankful for the blessings in my life. That attitude is teaching me that the joy I desperately seek is in direct correlation to my perception. It’s certainly not easy and takes a great deal of focus on my part but it’s certainly doable…

I’d really like to know what you think. How do you handle situations where you either are the person who is confronted or you are the confronting person? How do you get through the miscommunication to effective rich dialogue for the betterment of both parties? If you’re so inclined, I would love to know?

Inspiration

World Traveler Anyone?

Many times, my husband has asked me to have more of a “wanderlust” view of living our life together. I’ve moved so much that when I find friends who actually want to spend time with me, I love it!  To me, that spending quality time simply means, “roots!” It means everything, so when I feel change coming; it causes a certain discontent.

He’s very good at tapping into my need for constant growth.  Yes, I am addicted to learning new things. I read all the time, I pay attention to politics (not that I will discuss it here) and am fairly read well in several subjects including a few passions of mine.

I’m not a “traditional” girl. I know that! I don’t know why, but it takes getting on a plane or jumping in a car to reignite my sense of adventure which if I were even more honest with myself is the one genuine unique thing about me that makes the daily drudge of getting up to go to a meaningless job to make money for a house I could do without so that my kids can go to a school the love; all worth doing! Without my adventure all this life wouldn’t have imagination and thrills and joy and love! I highly recommend finding your bliss as I have found my renewed sense of adventure.

My proclamation doesn’t mean my friends mean less to me! Actually quite the opposite. They mean everything and I am blessed the want to be my intimate confidants! I pray that never changes and that after my journeys have ended that the happiness and joys I’ve found along my path will illuminate future generations everywhere along with the stories only my friends here. That is this is your only shot. If travel is your bliss, or change or growth, what the hell are you waiting for?!