I Found It

I only had to write 200 posts…and travel this journey of self-reflection and facing fear and coming to know and like myself to do it.

If I’d known the process would be so simple and so freeing, I would’ve started years ago.

In the midst of a world clamoring for attention, with everyone shouting here and there, I lived in more of a state of absorption, uncomfortable putting myself out there.

I used to be okay with who I was. Now and then, I get a glimpse of that girl–poised and powerful. She existed in a world all her own, able to make up the stories as she went, experiencing every dewdrop of life.

She-existed-in-a-world

Then, something happened. Several things, actually.

Instead of letting them go, I internalized the trauma. I let the words of others drown me. I gave up my power. I became a mirror of the words and actions of others. My words became silent, poured only into volumes and volumes of journals and diaries–my personal sanity. Some days, I couldn’t even share myself within the confines of those pages for the fear that someone may someday discover me.

But, at some point, I decided to follow Kelly Clarkson’s advice belting through my earbuds when I ran around mountains and hills for the second time in my adult life. “Out of the darkness and into the sun….

I began a blog. It wasn’t my first, but it was my own. I participated in NaNoWriMo for two years. I did hard things. I faced my fears. I climbed higher and sailed longer and swam deeper and prayed harder than I ever have. And I started singing again.

The need for silence was so heavy at times, pressing upon me. Other times, I wanted to scream from the rooftops (& I tend to have height issues). People around me fought against changes. I even yelled for about a week, needing to get words out of my body and into the warming air. (I have since stopped yelling, thankfully.)

But, I found it. I hope it’s here to stay.

I’m writing consistently.

I’m singing daily. I even auditioned for a solo (& got it)!

I’m happy.

I have found my voice.
Out-of-the-darkness-and

Bullying

I’ve often been a fan of spoken word poetry, and when I saw this poem from Shane Koyczan posted by a friend on Facebook this morning, I knew I needed to share it in every venue that I could.

Speaking as someone who has been through various forms of bullying (it is one of my greatest fears for my children) and suffering silently for many years, I know that words (for good or ill) have great power. And, for some reason, sometimes the words used for ill sink deeper into our souls and fester like thorns we wonder if we will ever be able to remove.

Most days, I try to ignore those feelings–but they are there, nonetheless.

I encourage you to share this message if you feel so inclined, and to use your words and actions for good…to uplift…to inspire…and to empower.

Hugs to you. May the arms of love surround you in whatever space you may be at this moment in time.

Link regarding the poem in this post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/shane-koyczan-to-this-day-anti-bullying-poem_n_2759849.html

Parenting is Hard.

After an experience with one of my precious children this morning, and after some weekend reflection, I’ve come to this conclusion:

PARENTING IS HARD.

Maybe that isn’t news to you. If I stopped parenting long enough to think about it (which only happens in tiny little moments), I might have figured this out sooner. Maybe? 🙂

Anyway, these recent moments of reflection have shown me similar traits in my children to my own personality flaws (which are actually quite difficult to view). For example, remember when you have read a novel or watched a film and you find yourself identifying with the feelings or habits or personalities of a certain character? Those connections have been happening abundantly lately for me…only my children are not mere characters in a book or movie. They are my children.  And they are flawed (which I knew) like me (which is what is so difficult currently to view).

Maybe some of the difficulty is knowing the path they have ahead of them…and my desire to help them wake up to a realization that certain behaviors that I have wasted years of my life practicing can lead them to heartache and sadness.  I find myself defensively saying (in my mind) to them, “I’m getting over [that behavior].  Why can’t you?”

But, some lessons need to be learned from the inside out, not vice versa.

I guess what I’m saying is, after this weekend and this morning, I’ve got some work to do…both for myself and also with my children. And I’m wondering what I can do to change today….

Each of my children (and yours) is a gift, a life, an opportunity for love and learning and greatness. My children don’t need the fame of a Super Bowl ring, a Julliard degree, or a name in figurative lights to be valued and precious and productive in society. They are each amazing in their own spheres of influence as they develop and share their own talents and gifts with those around them.

I wish I had learned that earlier. I still find myself fighting feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness daily. But, at least I am fighting them (most days) instead of giving into negativity.

On the way back from taking one of our children to school (the one having a rough morning), my husband gently said my name, followed by the words, “You are a good woman.”

My immediate thought was, “If I was a good woman, I could cure more ills and take away more pain.”

As I fought tears in the thought, I saw something else, though…a smattering of light…of truth.

Pain is part of life and a tool to help us grow, just like a flower fights the adversities of gravity and wind to grow and stand straight and bloom.

So bloom. As a person. As a parent. As YOU. We can make a beautiful bouquet together.

Who Says?

So, this song has been running through my head this morning…along with a few thoughts I would like to share.

I feel like our family has moved often recently.  Having said that, moving has its pros and cons, as before this recent trend of moving in my life I had been in the same setting for a number of years.  I enjoyed the comforts of long-time friendships and the familiarity of the setting.  The place felt like home.  I felt like I had a long-term identity among those who loved me (or didn’t like me, or felt indifferent about me, etc.).

Well, upon one of these recent moves, I was feeling a loss of that identity…and with all the feelings that accompany that loss, I wasn’t myself.  I found someone in this new area with whom I felt I could identify…and this person became somewhat of a template for building my new identity.

Only it wasn’t my identity at all.

In a flash of inspiration, one of my sisters one day on the telephone boldly declared to me:  “You don’t need to be [insert name here].  That place already has a [insert name again].  You need to be YOU.”

Her words were cause for evaluation and thankfully revolution to find myself once more.  And, guess what?  I’ve found I am happier being me.  Go figure.  🙂

So, jam to a little Selena Gomez while you think about who you are and that no one can dictate who you are or how you feel but YOU.  In the immortal words of the German band Snap, “[You’ve] got the power!”