Friday, April 30, 2010

The Penitent Blogger

I am afraid I need to apologize.  Publicly.

I have felt guilty since the moment I published my last post.  It's been bugging me.  So I thought I should repent and say how very sorry I am.

In a moment of hyperbole, I implied that I hate Stephanie Meyer.  I do not.  I have never met her.  I am sure she is a very nice person.  A very nice, 14-year old girl stuck in a woman's body, with a serious unfulfilled bad-boy fantasy, and in need of lots of therapy.  I apologize for judging her the way I did.  It was unfair.

There.  I feel so much better.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another Reason to Hate Stephanie Meyer

As if you needed another reason.  As if the swooning teen girls (and far too many of their mothers) were not reason enough.  As if rewriting the myth of vampires to suit her needs was not enough.  As if the fact that her shallow and salacious writing gets compared to -- I'm so ashamed to even say this -- Harry Potter with all its depth and development and, um, intelligence was not enough.

May I just say that even with all of that, I think there is a more important reason to feel disdain and loathing for the woman (or maybe it's her people, but still her fault).

She and the Twilight franchise have completely and unabashedly hijacked the red-black-white color scheme.

These used to be classy colors.  Colors you wear to a formal ball.  Colors of a contemporary wedding reception.  Even really hot lingerie.

But not now.  Now red-black-white means vampires.  Mainly one vampire trying not to eat his girlfriend, the love of his life.

"When he looks at me with those eyes, and I know he wants to kill me but won't, that's how I know he loves me."

Come on!  Really?  This is love?

I'm not going into a full rant about Twilight here.  There's just not enough time or exclamation points for my true feelings.

But I will not surrender red-black-white to her.  I will not let those colors make me see the black cover, pale hands, and red apple (as in forbidden fruit -- duh).

When I see those colors I am determined that I will see Victoria's Secret on Valentine's Day.  And I will feel good about it.  So there.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Quit!

Sometimes I walk into the living room and yell, "I quit!"  Everyone looks at me.  They aren't sure what this means.

Then, as the evening wears on, every time they say, "Mom!"  I say that mom doesn't work here anymore.  When they call me by name and want me to do something, I quote them my rates for said request.  Then they have to decide if they want it badly enough to pay me for it.

No.  Not really.  But sometimes I want to.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sex. Yes, Really.

Last week I posted an entry with Getting Intimate in the title.  Yes, it was a tease.  It lured some in with the belief that it would be about sex.  Of course, it wasn't.  And if you think sex is the only way to be intimate, you are really missing out.

But one of my friends called me out as a tease.  So I said that I would write a blog about sex.  Yes, it was kind of a rebellious, I can be bad, comment to him.  But I said I'd do it -- so here goes.

Now let me say that I have given this a lot of thought.  I have some teen readers.  I have some single readers who are more nervous reading this than the teens.  I pondered how and what I would write.  I don't want to offend anyone, but I also don't want to pull any punches because of my audience.

This will not be R rated.  But if you are under 18 and your parent or guardian would not be okay with you reading this, then it is your responsibility to respect that.  I will write this in the same way that I would address it with my kids.  However, I am more direct with my kids than most parents are, so I can't promise that you won't blush.

I could write salaciously, he touched her here and she felt this way.  But I won't.  Not only is that very much not my style, it's not how I feel about sex.  I want to write about sex as I see it.

Just the word makes many people uncomfortable.  It makes people giggle.  *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*  If you are one of those people, get it out of your system now.

Sex is not something base.  It is not ugly.  It is not bad.  It is not dirty.  It is important.  And not just for procreation.

Sexuality is a vital part of human nature; it's part of who we are.  Who we are meant to be.  And it is an important part of a couple's relationship.

Sex is not something you owe someone.  Not anyone.  Not ever.  Not when you are dating.  Not when you are a couple.  Not when you are married.  Not because they spent a lot of money on you.  Not because it's the next step.  Not because it's your job as a spouse.  Not because it's what they want. 

Sex is giving yourself to another person.  If it is taken from you or you give it unwillingly it will affect you negatively; I believe it will injure your soul.  It's more than physical.  It's more than mechanical.  It's psychological.  It's spiritual.  It's a part of you. 

Sex should never be demanded.  It should never be coerced through force, manipulation, or guilt.  Persuasion, maybe sometimes.  Coercion, never.

Sex can be an incredible thing.  It is the ultimate physical bonding, becoming one.  When two people choose to be intimate in this way, it can be a spiritual experience.  It is powerful.

But like all power, it must be used wisely or it can be dangerous.  It must be respected.  Because it is a part of you.

And you are worth it.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Changed My Mind

I'm going back to blogging when I feel like it.

I've done the five days a week thing.  It just didn't work for me. 

Yes, I can write that often.  Even when I don't feel like it.  I can push myself.  I can set my own schedule and stick to it.  It was good to know this about myself.

But I don't like it.  I feel rushed.  It doesn't bring me the same joy.  I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, make-it-up-as-I-go, bohemian type.  I don't like feeling obligated.

Turns out, structure isn't really my thing.

I want to feel what I write instead of feeling like I am doing an assignment.  That's why when I want to learn something I read about it or study it instead of taking a class.

My days of answering to someone else are over.  I don't need grades to tell me whether I've learned something or not.

And I don't need consistency.  Not in this.

Back to the unpredictable -- where I am comfortable.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

I probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions to make each day.  Some are small; some not so much.  Some are nearly automatic, like how I get out of bed.  It's not like I think about which foot to put down first.  And some take a lot of thought.  A lot.

Even with all the therapy I've had, I still find myself worried when I make decisions.  I worry that my decision will not be right in someone else's opinion.  Hopefully this period of worry is much shorter than it used to be.  And I am usually able to push through it anyway.  But I still find myself considering a handful of people and what they will think.

There are also those decisions where I worry about the judgment of my social circle.  Even people that I don't choose to be friends with.  People whose opinions I don't want to matter.  Or just people in general.  How can I choose this unless I can back it up and justify it?

It can be paralyzing.

I want to be stronger and more self-actualized.  I want to trust that I know what needs to happen in my life better than they do. 

I want to make a decision and feel no need to justify it.

And I want others to have the same freedom with me.  I want them to know that I have enough to worry about with my own decisions.  I don't judge them for theirs.  I just don't have the energy.

And there are a few decisions that I've made, that when they become public, seem to always make people defensive about making different decisions for themselves.  I never had an epidural.  I don't really watch tv.  I go to the library at least once a week.  Things like that.

These were the right decisions for me.  I absolutely do not want to make these decisions for anyone else.  And by judging another person's decision, I am making a decision for them.  The one I think they should have made.  As if I know their lives better than they do.

I don't think so.

Yes, I am judgmental sometimes.  I wish I could say that I'm not.  But hopefully it's just about stupid little things.  Differences in taste rather than a feeling that I'm right and you're wrong.  I don't want people to feel like I question them and their ability to govern themselves.  I would like my presence to be a judgment-free zone.

And hopefully I will continue to make progess as far as making my own decisions.  I would love to get to a place where, while still considerate of others, I can make decisions without hearing the judgment of others in my head.

I'm not sure how long this will take.  How many years of therapy.  How many self pep talks.  If I'll ever really get there.

But I believe it is a noble goal -- and I'm going for it!  There.  I've made my decision.

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Life Lessons from my Playlist

A while back I was having a lot of difficulty feeling in control of my life.  Not just in the normal ways.  It was primarily emotional.  So I started looking for things that would fill my well.  Give me emotional energy.  Make me feel empowered.

I came up with a list of songs, specifically for singing along with at high volume (me and the music).  I call them my Power Songs and they fill three cds.  Yes, I understand this is a little cheesy; but it works!  Each song was chosen for a different reason.  And there are many lessons in them.

So tonight I put my playlist on random and noted the first six songs. 

Possible lessons:
1.  Cold as Ice -- Foreigner:  It's important to consider the things we sacrifice when we turn cold, when we turn our backs on the world.  Pride costs.

2.  Where Have All the Cowboys Gone -- Paula Cole:  We get our minds set on an ideal, something we think we want.  It doesn't always pan out the way we thought it would.

3.  Appletree -- Erykah Badu:  Pick your friends.  If someone doesn't respect you for who you are then they aren't worth your time.

4.  This is Halloween -- Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack:  Children of all ages can enjoy the magic of Halloween.  Everyone has a role to play in life.  Maybe something or someone that scares you at first will turn out to be important in your life, or just fun.

5.  Spiderwebs -- No Doubt:  Some people are like spiders.  If you don't pay attention, before you know it you're caught in their web.

6.  Man in the Mirror -- Michael Jackson:  The best way to change the world is to change yourself.  You're the only person you can really change.

There are many possible lessons in each song; these were just my first thoughts.  I didn't choose them as power songs for these reasons, but each of these lessons is important. 

Basically they are all about being responsible for the direction of your life.  And what could be more powerful than that?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Funeral Junkie

I admit it.  I am a funeral junkie.  There are few things I enjoy more than a good funeral.

No, this is not the macabre side of me speaking.

To be upfront, I have only attended Mormon funerals.  I have heard that funerals performed in other religions are quite different.  It would be interesting to see if I enjoyed one of those as much.

But funerals are so beautiful!

There is so much love.  It's about celebrating a person's life.  I usually learn more about a person at their funeral than I did through many conversations with them.  I love seeing them through the eyes of others.  The way their neighbor saw them.  The way their children, grandchildren, and spouse saw them. 

Yes, there is much sadness.  But this, too, is based in love.  These people are terribly sad because they loved the deceased.  And were loved.  And the love continues.  That's why it hurts.

So, even when there is pain, I get so much out of it.  I cry with those that cry.  I laugh with those that laugh.  It's very therapeutic.

I have been to some funerals that were a result of tragedy:  crib death, target shooting accident, suicide.  Lives cut too short.  These can be so hard.  But I am able to be there to offer my love to ease the burden.  Hopefully my presence is felt and it helps.

But the main reason that I love funerals so much is the spirituality.  People are raw.  Their spirits shine forth in purity.  They glow as if from another sphere.

Angels minister at funerals, those we see and those we don't.

When the room is filled with love and concern, and hearts are breaking, we are joined in unity -- and the veil becomes very thin.

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Blogging About Religion

I've been a member of the blogosphere for a while now, both reading and writing.  And I've noticed an interesting thing.  Lots of people include religion in their blogs.

Isn't religion supposed to be one of those topics that is off limits in polite conversation?

I'm not saying that people who blog about religion are rude.  Not at all.

It's just interesting to see how different people approach it as they write.  Some have little tags on their blogs claiming their religion.  Others clarify religious references for people of a different faith.  And many others just assume that you know what they are talking about.

I haven't done a lot of blog hunting.  I have just basically followed those of friends, or those a friend is linked to.  A little blog hopping, but not much.  So, it stands to reason, most of the blogs I follow are written by Mormons (like myself).

And if your entire audience shares your beliefs then I guess it's safe conversation.

But my audience doesn't.  I have several readers who do not share my religious affiliation.  So I have been unsure how, or if, to address this.

My experience with those of other faiths is limited.  So I will speak of myself and my faith.  Probably just this once.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  A Mormon.  I believe strongly in my faith.  I go to church once a week, where I teach children.  I am sometimes involved with mid-week meetings as well.  My faith is a part of my religion every day through prayer, scripture study, and the many choices I make in a day -- especially parenting.  I don't believe that I would be whole without my faith and the gospel I believe in.

That said, I do not think that those who disagree with me are going to hell.  I do not think I am superior to them in any way.  I do not think that religion should stop me from being friends with anyone or treating anyone with respect.  I mention this only because I have seen evidence that others do hold these positions.  I have seen these opinions within my own faith.  These are the opinions of people, not principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am so grateful for the many religions of the world and believe that people (religious or not) are just trying to be the best people they can be, to worship whatever god(s) they believe in the best way they know how. 

And I love learning about the beliefs and practices of others.  I think anytime we strive to understand each other, we move closer to unity and peace.

And couldn't we all use a little more peace in our lives?

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Monday, April 12, 2010

I Love Getting Intimate

Verbally, that is.

I love the one-on-one conversation.  Face to face.  Eye to eye.  Soul to soul.

It's best when there will be no interruptions.  And it only really works when both participants are interested.

But when two people choose to be honest with each other, open about who they are and how they feel, trusting that they are loved and accepted by the other person -- it's magical!

It can be deep.  It can be shallow.  It just needs to be real in order to have power.

When I am fortunate enough to have conversation like this, I am more.  I am more because this person chose to give of themselves to me.  They gave me part of who they are.  Usually, a tender part.  A precious part.

And when this part is added to all that I am, I grow. 

It takes a brave soul to allow others to see them purely.  To see them unvarnished.  Uncovered.  Open.  Flaws and all.

And only through conversations like this can we truly come to know that it is the flaws that make us beautiful.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Waiting to be Heard

I don't have much time tonight, so I'm posting an excerpt from a story I started a while back.

**********

I have a story to tell. I want so desperately to tell it. Please don’t listen.

It is such a private story. I am so scared to tell it. But it needs to be told. It is about everyone. Individually and collectively. It is about pain.

It is a pain so intense that you don’t notice it. Doesn’t make sense? Then you haven’t experienced it.

When the pain first starts, it shocks you. You can’t believe it’s happening. Soon it is everywhere. How is it possible that no one else can see it? They must not see it or they would stop it. But they don’t act so you assume they don’t see it.

Guess what. You’re wrong. Sometimes people do see it. They see it and do nothing. They see it and turn away. They see it but it is your pain and they do not think it’s their place to do anything. Or they are scared so they lie to themselves about what they see. How do I know? Because I have turned away, too.

I don’t always turn away, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I get so focused on my own pain that I can’t look at yours or it will overwhelm me. But I am sorry for your pain and wish you well with it.

What is this pain? I don’t really know. Finding words for it is difficult. They all seem too shallow to be used. It would be offensive to try to define the pain and get it so wrong.

But still, I will try.

It is a pain of the spirit, of the soul. And since we are all connected, if my soul is injured then yours is, too. You may not know it or feel it, but you also are damaged. I promise.

But I am working on it. I am working on my pain, and therefore I am working on your pain.

I can talk of this pain because I know it personally. I know it intimately. I know it to the depths of my soul.

And sometimes, even though it hurts me to suffer with you, I feel and see your pain.

You think pain is invisible. But it isn’t. You think it is intangible. It’s not. I can see and carry your pain.

Throughout my life I’ve collected a lot of pain from others. Sometimes it was intentional; usually it was not. Sometimes it was voluntary; usually it was not. Sometimes I could choose whether to hold it or not; usually I couldn’t.

The pain I want to share is not my pain. But since we are all connected it is my pain. And it is yours. I am giving you the eyes to see it now. What you choose to do with it is up to you.

Why can’t you tell I am in pain? I can see your pain. You are like me. I hear stories. They all seem to be a part of my life. When you tell me your story I know exactly what you feel. I know what you fear. And I know what you wish for. In a way, I am you. I know you want someone to hear your story. You – like me – are waiting to be heard.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

That Dreaded Box

Have you ever been stuck in the box?  Can't seem to come up with any new ideas?  Can't see things a new way, from a different perspective?  Stuck in a rut?

I hope I'm getting close with those statements, because I'm not a hundred percent sure I know what it means to be in the box.  I've heard of it.  I may have even been accused of being in it once or twice.  But with any suggestion that I am stuck in the box I begin to picture myself pantomiming (probably not a real word).  The walls.  The ceiling.  The scared look because I can't escape.  Very Marcel Marceau, let me tell you.

When my kids were little, I remember their kindergarten teacher (yes, they all had the same fabulous one) telling me that they were very out-of-the-box thinkers.  She said this with glee.  She beamed with pride.  She praised me.  Please let me be honest when I say that I didn't really know what she meant.  I knew they were creative and smart, but I didn't really get the whole in/out of the box idea.

Until recently.  It happened in a psycho-education group.  I know, big surprise.  Another thing I learned about myself through therapy.  A couple of years ago I was attending a weekly class with a group of women learning various things that you don't learn when you are raised in a screwed up environment.  I had shared with the group leader an interaction that I'd had with someone.  As I explained my approach, another woman in the group lit up.  She said that she'd never thought of it that way.  She and I became friends.  She says she loves it when I share my writing and interactions with her because I see things differently. 

So it was that moment, a couple of years ago as she explained to me what I'd done to help make things clear for her, that this idea became clear for me.

I've listened to other people.  I've observed other people.  And I've found that I do tend to see the world a little differently than most.  A little quirky.  A little twisted.  But also, full of options.

I don't know why.  The things I see are so obvious that I always assumed that others would see it too if they just looked.

I guess it's like my color blindness.  You can see colors the same way as everyone else.  I can't.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot see the red spray paint on the green grass.

But that's okay, because I can see the box.  I can play with it.  Stand on it.  Tip it over.  Run around it.  Ignore it.  And sometimes, just for fun, I climb inside it. 

And pretend it's a spaceship!

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Just Don't Have Enough Time

EHN! (obnoxious buzzing noise)  Wrong answer!

Yes, you do.  You have exactly as much time as the person who's accomplishment you are envying.  If you are alive when the day starts and are still alive when the day ends, you have exactly the same amount of time as everyone else.

So why can they do so much and you seem to get nothing done?

Good question.  The answer is simple.  You chose to spend your time differently.  And in this instance, it's easy to see someone else's accomplishments and value them more than your own.

Why?

For the simple reason that you can see them!  They are visible and obvious; that's why you noticed them.  And so much of what we do every day is not.  No one will ever know except us.

A friend was recently saying that at the end of her day she felt she hadn't completed anything from her "to do" list.  Or that she'd done some, but much less than she'd wanted.  Haven't we all been there?

I challenged her to make a different list.  I asked her to make an "I did it" list.  Write down everything she did all day long.

I offer the same challenge to anyone reading this now.  Write it all down.  The stupid stuff.  The silly stuff.  The mundane stuff.  (You can leave off the embarrassing stuff if you must.)  And I'd be willing to bet that at the end of the day you'll believe you have a reason to be tired.

And if you don't like what you find, now you have somewhere to start for change. 

There is a reason we call it spending time.  Like money it is limited and valuable.  Like money we should assess our habits and budget it well.  And like money we will mess up.  But we also get to try again.  Every day we start with our time account full.  It's like a do-over.

But I don't think you should feel like someone else is spending their time better than you.  Only you know where your time needs to go.  And besides, maybe they secretly blow a wad of time on absolutely nothing when no one's looking.  If so, good for them.  It's their time and they need to decide how to use it.

Just like you.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How I Write

I'm always interested in how people do things, the same things I do, differently from me.  I recently asked a few other bloggers how they write.  It was interesting.

So I thought I'd share my process.

I keep a running list of ideas in my planner.  If I don't have that handy, I text the idea to myself and write it down later.  Once I get an idea, it kind of just stews in my brain until I'm ready to write about it.  Right now I have about 40 ideas for future posts.  I guess that means the every weekday thing isn't running me dry.

Sometimes a particular idea will become clear, complete itself in my head.  That's probably the one I'll write about that day.

Or I'll come up with what I think is a good opener.  That's enough to get me started so I go for it.

Other times something happens in my life and I blow off all my earlier ideas and go with the flavor of the day.  And even if I go to my list, I still go with my mood.  I'll read through a few until I find one that strikes my fancy that day.  Serious.  Playful.  Snotty.  It really just depends on the day.

I am very much a stream-of-consciousness writer.  I have an idea and I just write.  Whatever comes.  So sometimes the idea may be complete, sometimes it's lacking.  Sometimes I finish and my post ended up no where near where I intended it to go.  But it's a flow thing.  I feel like I am following the thought, letting it lead me.

I'm a pretty good speller and grammarian, so I edit as I go.  That said, I usually post and then find at least one mistake to fix.  Sometimes I fix a mistake, repost.  Find another one and fix it.  Repost.  I like to have it as perfect as possible.  C'mon.  It's in writing.  No one wants their mistakes in writing.

Once in a while I'm unsure on spelling or usage, so I open another tab and go to dictionary.com and check it out.  Does that word really mean what I think it means?  (Yes, I have to look things up, too.)

I get the whole thing written in about fifteen minutes, more or less, depending on length.  I preview it.  I fix mistakes.  I post it.  I fix more mistakes.  Repost.

Then I set it as my facebook status and wait for comments to come rolling in.  I usually have a long wait, because I tend to post after everyone has gone to bed.  But it's okay, I need to be more patient.  And I need to fight the hunger for positive feedback.

Actually, I'm still waiting for my first negative comment.  The one that tells me I'm an idiot.  What could I be thinking?  I guess I'm not controversial enough.  Give me time.

And I have liked posting more often.  Instead of just waiting until the mood strikes, I try to make myself post once a day during the week.  It's kind of like being in school, except with a lot more freedom and usually in my pajamas.

Sometimes I really like what I wrote.  I'll go back and read it over and over because I learned so much in the writing.  I'm not really sure where it came from, but I'm sure it wasn't from me -- it was for me.

Other times it falls flat.  Or wanders.  But other than flat out mistakes (or too many uses of the same word) I try not to edit the way it came out.  For me it's all about letting the thought take the lead.

I never know where we'll end up.

And, yes, I found my ink well.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Empty

Sorry -- I'm out of ink.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Burden

I am carrying textbooks.  A big stack of them.  So high that I can't really see over them.  They aren't quite balanced.  It's all I can do not to drop any.  And it's my job to see that they are taken care of, whatever that means.

A person walks by and notices the books.  "Wow, that's a heavy load," the person says.  "You are doing a great job.  Keep up the good work."

Another person walks up to me and says, "Yeah, you have a lot of books, but you should see my stack.  I have bigger books and more of them.  But I'm strong so I'm doing fine."  I don't know how many books this person really has.  I can't see past my stack.

Another person, "You may have more books, but I'm not used to carrying books.  You should take some of mine."

All the while I'm trying to keep the books stable.  I'm trying to do my job.

A couple of people offer to help, but my stack is so unstable, so imbalanced, that I am afraid to let anyone else touch them.  Besides, it's my job.

Another person comes by.  This person doesn't see me.  This person just sees that I have the book this person has been looking for.  This person grabs the wanted book (from the middle of the stack) and walks away, somehow missing the sound of books falling and my sigh of frustration.

And I stand there.  I stand there and stare at the books on the ground. 

I want to drop the books and run away.  I want to run away and hide.  In a dark corner or a closet.  Anywhere that I can hide and not be found.

But I don't.  I hold the ones I still have.  I stare at the ones I dropped.  And I just stand there.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Secrets

Doesn't the word alone fill you with fear?  Or anxiety?  Or even excitement?

I've been pondering secrets.  I'm not a fan.  I hate secrets.  I think they cause pain and isolation.  If I could change one thing about the human race, I would make us all telepathic.  It would take some getting used to, but once people found out that others thought and did the same things they did, we'd get over it.

Who does a secret belong to?  Who gets to decide when to share it?  If I was the only one involved, then it's obviously mine to do with as I please.  But what if it was a shared experience?  What if it's something I need to talk about, but it involves another person, or several other people?  What then?

It's a difficult thing.  Partly because we don't always know what another person will consider a secret.  I think most mothers have made the mistake of revealing something about a child we thought was cute, only to get in big trouble when our kid found out.

We think of secrets as something kids tell each other in whispers.  But those are the baby secrets.  The beginner secrets.

The longer life goes on, the more people we interract with, the more information we gather that should be kept confidential.

But what about stuff that shouldn't be?  What about the pain that we keep to ourselves?  Keeping it a secret usually means isolation and more pain.  We might get through it on our own, but at what cost?  Aren't we all here to help each other?  And isn't part of that sharing another's pain?

I learned this the hard way a while back.  When I was going through some horrible stuff, so much emotional pain.  I didn't want to tell anyone because I didn't want to burden them.  Even though I desperately wanted help, support, and understanding.  I didn't want to add stress to their lives.

But life has a way of teaching us the lessons we need to learn (sometimes over and over again).  It got to a point that keeping it a secret was no longer an option.  And I learned a wonderful lesson.  When our burdens, our secrets, are shared in the right way they do not add to another's burden.  That person does not carry the weight of them around.  When done in love, in a healthy way, with someone who is safe for you the two of you hold the burdens out in front of you together.  They are shared and examined.  They are made more clear.  And then you each take a part back.  Your load is lighter.  Much lighter.  And they take just the tiniest portion so that they can have this part of you.  But the bulk of the load is dissipated.  It vanishes.  It's like a chemical reaction that needed that other person to set it into motion.  Somehow, what is left is so much less than it was before.

In my experience, they never go away entirely.  For me, I need that small piece that's left for my own growth.  And I need the pieces I get from others' burdens as well.  I am grateful for the brave souls who risk and share theirs with me.  I am more because of it.

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This Day

I knew this day would come.  When I agreed to blog more often, I knew it and I dreaded it.  I knew there would come a day when I would desperately not want to blog.

It's not that I don't have things to say.  I have so many.  I have so much to say that it's tearing me up inside.  But I can't say it here.

I have other things I could write about.  I have over thirty topics on a list for future blog posts.  But I just can't do it.

I can't be mundane when I am lost.  I can't be trivial when I'm in pain.  I can't pretend everything's okay when it isn't.

I know there are people who get uncomfortable when I let them know my life is hell.  I am sorry to cause anyone discomfort.  But if you choose to peek into the window of my soul, which my writing is, then you need to know that I will be here every now and then.  In a very deep, dark place.  It is within my power to change this, to prevent this from happening anymore, but I'm just not there yet.  I'm not ready to take that step.

I am sorry to be vague, but this is just too public a location for the kind of disclosure that would be required for you to understand.

Just look at your lives, at those you love, and be grateful.

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