Saturday, October 5, 2013

One of These Is . . .

I would like to rewrite history just a bit. 

I'd like to be better. Different. Happier. More peaceful. More courageous. Less self-centered. Less selfish. All of that sounds noble and good, doesn't it? I think I mean those things too. And lucky for me, they are all within my power, my realm and my scope. I can grow and change. I can be better. 

But when I look at this picture below? The only way I want to rewrite history is to be normal. To look normal. To NOT be different. 

Aaaah, yack! Saying that makes me want to hurl because of the "woe-is-me" and "my-life-is-so-hard" flavor of that statement. 

Yet, that is my first reaction. The hurting in my tender place is that for so much of my life I have stuck out like a sore thumb in exactly this way. I do not want to stick out. Not this way at least. It seems that size does matter, no matter the reference. 

Surrounding the beautiful bride, Marin, at her June wedding reception

That is just my first reaction. When I sit down though and look at this picture, I see more. I see pretty colors, a gorgeous backyard, the generosity of friends and family, the celebration of a grand event. And then I see these women who are comely in their refinement and their color coordination. 

These women are my sisters, my family--new and old, biological and not. We are missing Cassie here as she is on her mission. And another one who had passed out of our family a couple of years before. And not pictured as well are the eight beautiful nieces who are growing up so fast that they will soon be women themselves. 

This day we were celebrating the addition of a new sister to our midst at Rus and Marin's wedding reception this summer. It was a very happy day. A day of joy and celebration for them and the love they had found together. It was a good day. 

And when I look at this picture and these faces you know what I see? Beauty. Yes, beautiful in appearance but I see beauty shining from their eyes and and their souls. Cissy's quiet grace, Tami's refined elegance, Marin's shining joy of love, Meg's mothering radiance, Michelle's creative acumen, Julie's passion for life. I see women who are strong, committed, loving, funny, happy and hopeful. I love them. I love their goodness and their grace. I've seen their ups and downs and they have seen mine. We have comforted and grieved with one another. We have prayed, laughed and danced too. 

That is my second reaction. And that reaction uplifts me rather than drags me down. And when I hold to my second reaction rather than my first, my heart grows ten sizes too large for my chest. The way I really want to rewrite history is to see and be seen with this second perspective rather than the first. 

I am not very good at this yet. It is too easy for me to see myself as the victim rather than the victor, the less-than rather than the selfless. But I understood with honesty and faith and hope, I can learn to rewrite my very thoughts when I look back at my life. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

For Shame

[Editorial note: I wrote this several months back and wanted to share it here because it still rings true to me. I have not dealt with this topic much here but this is about the pain that comes from carrying the burden of shame, day after day. This lyrical prose is my attempt to address shame's influence on me.


You are the prickly pear companion of my youth. You are the one I have held so close to me on hollow nights and gray mornings. You’ve been allowed access to the hidden corners of my soul, the tender places, the soft underbelly. And you have embedded yourself deep in my heart, willing me to stay away, out of the light—alone, afraid, embarrassed, angry, worthless and unhappy. You are my dark companion. 

In your eyes, I am a fool. You make me cringe daily at my weakness, my incompetence, my mistakes, my humanity. And I have let you in, welcomed you with open arms, hugged you tight to my chest and been surprised that over and over again your pricks sting, fester and poison what is good and lovely inside my soul. You hurt me. And I let you—again and again and again. 

Each day you tell me a story that is my whispered secret: I am not enough. That is your siren song, your dark delight. And with those words you bludgeon me into submission. I cower in fear that this may be truth. I hold you and your secret tight to me. Hide it, keep it safe. Do not let the world know. 

But I have harbored you for so long. My soul is wasted by your chains and terrorized from your torture. My heart grown weary from your harsh slavery and the fetid stench of your power. You, dark friend, have shut out light and goodness, halted compassion and forgiveness, and made war at the very root of my truth. 

This is our goodbye. You are not welcome here any longer. This is not your home and I am not your people. Your violence and greed may not be planted in my soul’s fortune any longer. Your words may not echo in the chambers of my heart. I want you out. Forever. Your stay here may have been long but it is now over and you may not darken my door again. For your ways are not my ways and my God is not yours. 

Take with you your companion characteristics--doubt, fear, anger, embarrassment, hopelessness, worthlessness, isolation and depression. They do not thrive without you and I am doing a full house cleaning. I refuse to shelter them any longer as well. They want to be with you. You are all so tightly wound, so powerfully compacted to fit neatly into the tiniest crack in any defense. I am not safe where any of you linger and I will not hold to you any longer. You are not my treasure. 

I have a work to do here and it is time to air out my soul, shake loose your clinging cobwebs and open my heart as I plant my face towards the sun and welcome the Light. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Brighter Days

Remember how I have said before that I could not quite hone in on the purpose of this blog? That I wanted to blog about everything and nothing here? Well, I have done that. It has allowed me to grow as a blogger and a writer. I have felt free here to share so much of myself. This blog has always had my heart.

I have not been around much as a blogger the last year. I have been doing a lot of personal writing and exploring. Very little of it has made it to the blog because I had not sorted and sifted through it very well. Lots of exploratory writing. This blog has always told my personal story but meant more for friends and family and not necessarily as a place to sort the rough spots in my life.

Also, I wanted so often to write about a private family drama that I did not have the liberty to share so that kept my writing off this page as well. For now, I will continue to periodically update this blog as a place for some of my most heartfelt writing and a memory book for my life.

That is my plan and my purpose for now. Thanks so much for stopping by when you have. You have held my heart with gentleness.


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