Words – That Make Up A Life

There’s a book in me, waiting to be written; one book. Probably, everyone has one book. I’m thinking that maybe we all have an obligation to write it down. We, each, have a right to say our words, record our thoughts, share our life with the world. Everyone, everywhere has a story. I’m going to tell mine. I need to tell mine. Something inside me, all around me is telling me to say these words. 

It’s time. 

Stop making excuses. Get the words down. What’s stopping you? Fear? Haven’t we talked about this? Don’t you know that fear just holds you back? Just write! Write like there really is no tomorrow. Tell your kids all the words you want to share, just in case. Tell your friends what they meant to you. Tell your ex-husbands (living and passed) that they played such an important role in your life. Tell your parents, even though they are long gone, that you forgive them, that you understand now. Tell the world your words. One book.  Just one book.  But you need to write it.  It won’t write itself!

Ok, so here we go again. It seems like I’ve tried to start so many times. Once, I even got so far into it that I did a little research on how to publish. That was the last time, actually, but every time something happens that makes me close the file; save it…but stop.

Words. They are just words.  And I tell myself that my words are not so special. My words are no more important than another person’s words so why do I think that my words should be printed and bound for others to see? Why do I believe someone would  actually read it? Why?

I’m going to tell you why.

Guided Memories

Over the past several years, I feel that my reflections have seemed guided. I have written about my life experiences and then, through the act of writing, I have gained new insights, seen my thoughts play out a different way. Heard a voice…come from somewhere; inside my head. 

And with the help of that voice, anger turned to understanding. Frustration became moments to remind myself to just breathe and go with the flow. And joy…joy has become delicious…savored because all too soon, as I have learned with anger and frustration; it, too, passes.

I have learned that I can not expect life to go the way I plan. In fact, that is the one thing I can count on. If I don’t expect things to happen, than I am not so disappointed in some results, or afraid of what might happen.  Instead, I am far more excited about the unexpected gifts.

It’s been the act of writing that has become my meditation, my muse. Words flow into my thoughts as I write. Sometimes, these thoughts seem to be coming from someone other than me. How else can I explain what happened when my anger towards the relationship I had with my mother turned into an “aha” moment of understanding and compassion? How else can I explain the fact that I found life lessons inside every hurtful memory of two failed marriages? And how else can I explain how painful it was to have my daughter and her family move so far away but, somehow, through writing and long meditative walks in a woods, I found the strength to become her strength again.

Writing. Every day. Three pages. Hand written.  That’s what it is now, but in the beginning, it was simply tapping away on a computer; writing what flowed from my brain onto the page. And then, pausing every once in awhile to look out the window or stroll through the woods to see the beauty of life and to breathe.

So, my plan, now, is to share my thoughts, my life, my words with others. I know that they’re just my words. I know that everyone has their own words. But maybe, just maybe, if I write mine, others will see their words as well. And maybe, just maybe, others will be able to take a break from their anger or frustration, anxiety, or sadness, to stroll to a window, or take a walk in the woods to see the beauty in their life, too. 

This time, I will start at the woods and work my way backwards. This time, I will start at that window. And I will share the words that filled my head, the words that guided me, step by step, to today.  I’m going to try, day by day, to share this view of life.  There’s something in me right now that believes that now is the time.

So, hang on.  More is on the way! 

 

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It’s A Mental Health Issue!

Yes it is!

I started this blog two years ago! The issue was the same, just different victims. I never published it.  Too many other opinions out there.  The story gets old.  Nobody listens to the other side anyway.

So two years later, here we are again.  Many times in between, there have been mass shootings: the latest in a high school, seventeen people killed.  Now we have a different president and Republicans control the House and Senate. After the last shooting they said “Now is not the time to talk about gun regulations.” Ok.  We don’t want some kind of “knee jerk reaction” to this latest blood bath. Instead, the president says that we have a “serious mental illness issue”.

This is what I wrote two years ago:  I’m so tired of hearing about it;  the fear, the anger, the belief that our rights are being violated.  I’m tired of reading headlines that accuse anyone who tries to curb the use of guns as being some kind of anti-God.

Who are we, as a people?  Who are we that we believe that holding a gun makes us stronger? And we blast anyone who tries to claim otherwise.  You are wanting to protect yourself and your family.  I get that!  Don’t we all?  Why is it that owning a gun seems to be your only answer?

Call me naive.  I was an elementary school principal.  I worked hard to protect the people in my building, every day.  Nearly every day, I dealt with an angry parent, or student, or teacher.  I worked to de-escalate the anger.  I never, ever felt the need for a gun to do that. Yet, recently, I had lunch with an old acquaintance who is working with an elementary school to arm at least one person in each hallway. What?  He wants to protect the children from another potential Sandy Hook massacre.  I get that!  But…the argument that more guns will make us all safer just has me shaking.

I don’t want to walk into an elementary school (or any place for that matter) and wonder who all has a gun and whether they’re sane enough to be carrying it.  I don’t want to worry every single time someone gets agitated that they’re going to pull out their pistol to resolve the dispute.  This acquaintance said “Oh no, people would be trained on how and when to use their gun.”  Well, where is that law right now?  We can’t even accept the idea of a background check without feeling somehow violated.

Headlines, this morning, indicate that President Obama has, single handedly, increased gun sales.  Why is that?  Are we afraid we wouldn’t pass a background check?  I’m not stupid.  I watch the news everyday.  I see the number of news stories related to gun violence.  I know that guns are, right now, in the hands of people who should not have a gun.  I also know that laws are no guarantee that people will not find a way to break them.  But to think that we shouldn’t have a law because someone is sure to break it seems like the lamest form of reasoning I’ve ever heard.  We should all want our government to work to protect us.  We have accepted laws related to driver’s licenses, speed limits, legal age to drink alcohol.  Why is no one screaming about this as some kind of violation of our freedoms?  And, why aren’t we screaming out that these laws are just useless because there are people who drive without a license, speed down the highway, and drink illegally?  Yet, we, somehow believe that by instituting background checks on gun ownership is the first step down a slippery slope to taking away our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. What?

Now, with this latest carnage, the outcry is to at least make the sale of assault weapons illegal.  Can we at least get the semi-automatic guns off the streets?  Last summer, one person turned his semi-automatic guns into rapid fire automatic guns with something called a bump stock. This guy was able to kill over 50 people from a hotel window.  Legislation was proposed to at least stop the sale of the bump stock to limit the ability to make fully automatic weapons.  This legislation hasn’t been passed yet.  Now, the latest shooter was 19 years old.  He had been visited many times by police, had been seen shooting guns randomly outside his back door, had been expelled from high school, was being seen regularly by psych teams but was still able to LEGALLY buy weapons! What?

And so we then blame the FBI for not following up on a tip instead of blaming our weak systems and our overt protection of the second amendment.

What is happening to us?  What is happening to this country? I, for one, believe it’s true. Our mental health needs to be checked at the door.

Finding Inspiration In A Rock

Working still on trying to find my way. I’m now reading JULIA Cameron’s newer books: It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again and Walking In The World. Both are inspiring me, again, to keep moving. Just keep moving!

Begin Again

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I Am A Rock

For a few years, now, I’ve been on  a journey to “find myself”.  I know, people used to think that’s something for the young and foolish but when I was young, I didn’t have the time to find myself.  Now, I do.

So, currently, I am engrossed in a book entitled “The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity“, by Julia Cameron.  I am actively participating in multiple, suggested exercises, feeding my brain with positive affirmations, unblocking negative thoughts and fears – things that block creativity.

One of many, simple activities was to go on a rock hunt. Search for rocks that stand out  for some reason.  She said that they were, then, to serve as “small constant reminders of creative consciousness”. That’s all… Hmmm. Ok.

So, off I went to find rocks that spoke to me. I walked and walked, looking for the…

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Let Your Light Shine

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Everyone has the ability to reflect light. It’s a choice. So I choose the light!

 Surrounding me, forever, have been harbingers of doom and gloom. I admit, there is plenty of bad, in the world, to keep the flow of negativity going but while others share posts intended to incite anger, hatred, and frustration, I choose to give something that might allow a moment of quiet, calm, peace.

I started this blog two years ago and at the time I was living in a small apartment that butted up to a nature preserve.  It was there that I found peace.   I would walk the trails, allowing my eyes to wander from tree to flower and more, simply waiting for something to catch my eye. When it did, I’d stop and linger with the camera snapping frame after frame, zooming in to capture the intricacy of its beauty.

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These were taken in the summer time. There is something about flowers that soothe a restless heart.  I read somewhere that flowers don’t try to compete to be the best flower in the garden. They just bloom!  So, I surround myself with as many flowers as I can and, today, I choose to just bloom!

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You can too.

It’s a choice!

Time To Fall Up!

I wrote this post a year ago.  It still sits on a sidebar on my computer.  For some reason, I opened it today to reread it and I think that this was more than just a coincidence.  Over our lifetime…

Source: Time To Fall Up!

Words

 

It’s all been said before.
You’ve heard the words.

“Relax.
Go with the flow.
Just focus on today.
Take one moment at a time.”

Right? Right!

Words!
Just words!
No one can tell you how to handle this.
No one can feel what I feel.

Everything will be ok.
 Just breathe!
Focus on this moment.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

But everything doesn’t feel ok.

It’s hard to breathe.

I can’t focus.

I am worried.

Ok.
I will listen.
I will be by your side.
Cry, if you need to.
I’ll hold your hand.
Scream if it helps.
I’ll understand.

Sometimes,
Silence
Is the best advice.

Sometimes,
Being present
Is the best friend.

The words will always be there.
They linger in the air
For just the right moment.
When I’m ready
They’ll be heard.

What Really Matters?

IMG_9485This older me, this wiser me…

looks back before I head into this new year.  This older me, this wiser me reflects on one simple question:  “What really mattered in my life?  What really mattered?

Was it to be popular with others my age (first in school, then in my job, then with other parents, and on and on)?  I wanted so much to be popular.  Did that really matter?

Was it to have nice things (clothes, cars, houses, furniture)?  I longed for nice things, worked hard for nice things, my whole life.  Did those things really matter?

I did so much in my life.  I always wanted more.  I had a career, a marriage, children.  I raced from task to task, wanting to be the best for each of them; always longing to be better than I felt I was, feeling less than perfect all the time.

Did it matter?  Did it really matter?

This older me, this wiser me looks back and thinks…

What really mattered was the laughter, the love, the hugs, the conversations, the moments of pure joy.  None of these things had popularity or fashion or money requirements.  They came to me free of charge with only one requirement; I had to give these things back to others.

This older me, this wiser me…

found peace inside, and with that peace came this simple but profound understanding.  I realized, as I looked back on my memories that when I laughed, others laughed.  When I hugged, I got a hug in return.  When I listened to others, others listened to me.  When I shared my moments of pure joy, it made others happy and they, in turn, shared their’s.  When I gave love, I got loved right back.

So, what really matters in this life?

How about if you STOP!  Stop trying to be… and do… and want… and need… something more. STOP! Stop wishing…and hoping… and longing…for something you don’t have. STOP!  Stop believing that being popular, having a great job, making lots of money is what matters…because… it doesn’t.

In the end, the older you, the wiser you will look back… at the laughter… the love…the hugs…the conversations…the moments of pure joy.

And, they were all free to give and freely given in return.

So, this older me, this wiser me says…

This is my gift to you for the new year.  You don’t have to wait to be old to be wise.  Right now, today, you can bring laughter into your day, you can hug someone and listen (really listen) to someone.  And then, try sharing a moment of pure joy.  See for yourself.  See if, by doing these things, you find love.

And, that, my friends, is what really matters…to love!