I am…

JoyI am a blessing. Me. Myself. I. And yes, you’re reading correctly. The noun is intended. Of course, I’m blessed in so very many ways, but today it dawned on me that I am blessed only because I, too, am blessing. And so are you.

Perhaps the hardest thing we are asked to do during our stints in form is to find a way to forgive. Some might believe forgiving means excusing behaviours so abhorrent that they literally recoil at the thought. It causes them to shudder and ask, “Why would I let ‘them’ off the hook?” Forgiving a person who has heaped cruelties on your body and soul can be impossible to imagine. But I’m going to ask you to imagine. I’m going to ask you to imagine what it would be like to be free of ‘them’. I’m going to ask you to imagine who you would be without ‘them’. And lastly, I’m going to ask you to imagine what your life would be without the pain. Can you imagine it?

The more I release others from the story of my life, the freer I become. It’s hard to do that, though. We are conditioned to point fingers which takes us off that ‘hook’. You might argue that as a baby I had nothing to do with being unwanted and abandoned, or as child I could not have been the whore my father feared I was, and you’d be correct. If you said I did not take part in the lie and resulting secrets that defined my life, and had nothing to do with the death of an entire family, you’d be right. Ah, but it is my life. The maltreatment and subsequent ridicule I was subjected to by an aging nun, and the mind games played on me by those who could, are my story. How my story unfolds, the effect it has on me, is up to me. Is it necessary put anyone on that hook?

Don’t misunderstand. I blamed lots of people for this failure or that drama. However, when I realized blaming them meant I was not taking responsibility for my own life or for my own part in any given scenario, I cried. I’d made such a mess of things! I wept that river my friend talked about calling it Regret. I hung out at that riverbank a lot. In fact, I’m still there on occasion but visiting isn’t a desire anymore because it’s not a nice place to be. I’ve started to imagine a new place to hang out, one filled with possibilities and fun. It feels so nice being there. In the meantime, I worked on forgiving myself for all kinds of stuff.

My behaviour has not been stellar over my long life. I have abused myself, hurt others, walked away from talents and squandered many gifts. I feel the pain of those neglects and failings as I write them now. They become a dagger, cutting, drawing blood, twisting and going deep. No tears, though. Only a deep breathe acknowledging the lot before the knife is withdrawn and the pain subsides. You see? I can imagine both and it is grand. All of it.

I am the loss and the gain. I am the shame and the pride. I. Am. Blessing. And so are you.

I wish today that you feel yourself a blessing. If you need release, to let someone or something go, ask that it go. It might not go today but fear not, it will eventually. How I held to my story! Goodness, who would I be without the sorrow and abandonment? Someone different, that’s for sure. Someone loved? Perhaps. Someone who loves? Better still. Someone who forgives? Yes. Someone who is a blessing. Perfect.

Until tomorrow…

P.S. Tomorrow is March 1. I’ll kick-off my 2nd Redo 365! We’re going on a whole new ride together. Let’s see what the future holds, shall we?

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Let the sun catch you…

tearWriting has to become fluid again so I am posting to that end today. I’ll not think too deeply, review too carefully, or critique too harshly. Instead, my thoughts will flow from fingertips to computer keys to the word document that I’ll then simply load to my site. Like a stream, easy.

A friend, whose kindness brought me to tears yesterday, shared a powerful analogy. Once, his pain was great. He cried a river! Eventually, however, that river carried him onward, he told me. His story struck a chord and later I realised I’ve not cried much. Oh sure, I might imply I have because it’s the best descriptor in a given moment, but in truth, I’ve not shed many tears lately. I’ve held back and my insides hurt from all the holding in which might well have something to do with being swined.

Acknowledging by name the tenacious bug that bested me early this month isn’t a common practice. And a name doesn’t matter. Only the symptoms are relevant and from what I gather from an internet search, the flu is the flu is the flu. The host body determines intensity. And no, my bit of ‘swine’ is mostly gone but its tail is a whopping head cold that caught me off guard and continues to a take a toll on my focus and energy. Hacking and blowing my nose, sneezing and struggling to breathe, is exhausting. Most of us have experienced it though, eh? All we can do is rest, drink plenty of fluids, and binge watch episodes of Doctor Who to ward off boredom. (Okay, that last thing might not be everybody’s choice!) Oh, and cry. I cannot, nor am I trying to, stop the tears.

I believe that illness is the body’s way of clearing stuff. Sometimes we can work with the body, learn to do better for it and journey on. Other times, it leads to our death. Regardless, if we want to, we can learn a lot. We just resist that learning more often than not. We try to skip the hard work of self-reflection and run from change. We push when we know we need sleep. We eat too much, or too little, fuelling addictions instead of our bodies. The stressors in our life swell because we are not proactively dealing with them. Pretending is what we do, but our pretense is superficial. We are not coping. We are not overcoming. On the contrary, we are victims of excuses. And, those excuses remain attached to us. They thicken our blood. They erode our bones. They clot and form tumours. It is resistance to change. It is fear. We all face it and it is for all of us, a call to confront ourselves, transform our emotions, and take responsibility. The process can be very difficult. It can make us sick. But, then we can become well again.

So today I’ll rest, put some lotion on my sore red nose, smile when I cough and welcome the tears when they come. They are making room for something new.

My wish today is that you find your way toward your best and healthiest self. Don’t worry about how that looks for anyone but you. Lots of tears may come, let them. You are the only one who knows what is best for you. If and when you are not sure, close your eyes, calm your breathing and listen. The answers – every one you will ever need – are behind your eyes.

Until tomorrow…