Impenetrable

iron-fence

There was a time I wished to be impenetrable. I had opened myself too wide, become too vulnerable to the wrong person and never wanted to let that happen again. Fear kept my fences up and well-guarded.

Years went by, and I became accustomed to the loneliness. At least I was safe. I had my friends, my dogs, and I finally loved myself. That should be enough, I thought.

But when I had learned the lessons I needed to learn, a long lost love came knocking at my gate. Would I have the courage to let him in? Was he worth the risk?

This is the song I sang to myself during our second courtship.

 

Telling the larger story is my work in progress.

This post is inspired by the prompt: “impenetrable” provided by “Blog Woman”

And brought to us by Shanjeniah, for Linda Hill’s Just Jot It January series, which can be found at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/16/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-16th17/

just-jot-january

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.

Letting Go of Resentment, Making Room for Love

rocks

 

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Carrie Fisher

 

It was easier to be angry

For the pretend power.

I would harden my heart

And never be hurt again.

Funny thing is,

I did get hurt again.

Anger covered up the pain

I kept trying to push away.

Anger grew and solidified

Into a boulder of resentment

So slippery, nothing could stick to it.

So big, no one could get passed it.

Not even me.

Until, I started to find me again,

And I started to like me again.

And then, I started to love me again.

And I prayed

For the willingness

To consider

That thing I couldn’t bring myself to say.

The F word.

Not just for those who hurt me,

But for me, too.

And willingness came

And blew away the dust and debris

Allowing the wind and the rain and the sun

To flow into the cracks

And work magic.

With time,

The boulder began to break apart

Opening a path for love

To make room

For something so much better.

 

One-Liner Wednesday: Electricity

Just because we lose electricity, doesn’t mean we lose power.

heart-in-darkness

(I’m working on a poem about this on my other blog: “Anything is Possible.”)

One-Liner Wednesday came to power through Linda Hill. Visit her at: https://lindaghill.com/2016/10/05/one-liner-wednesday-the-temptation-of-a-masochist/

Anyone who would like to participate, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do,
you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

1linerwedsbadgewes

Ten Empowering Thoughts to Hold Onto When It’s All Falling Apart

Ten Empowering Thoughts to Hold Onto When It’s All Falling Apart

If I’d read this 15 years ago, I would have printed it and put it on my bathroom mirror.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

1 – You only know what you have experienced. So when today is worse than yesterday, that’s what you see. But today is not prophetic about tomorrow. Replace, “Life sucks,” with “Life sucks right now.” Maybe the best is yet to come.

2 – Losing everything is excruciating. And it’s also freeing. It’s a special place where you have nothing left to lose, nothing more to fear. The worst has happened and you’re still breathing. That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?

3 – You’re wiser now. More attuned to others and more in tune with yourself. That’s a gift to be grateful for.

4 – Every change is challenging at first. You’re learning. Adapting. Growing stronger. You won’t be the same person you were before. You’ll be better.

5 – A book without plot twists becomes quite boring and predictable. The same can be said for life. Think of the stories you…

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Having Compassion for Our “Shoulds”

sweet lady and calf

My mother never seemed like a dominating person. I remember her as patient and kind and much more easy to manipulate than my father who served in the marine corps until I was well into my teens. But in later years, when I observed my mother with my pre-teen daughter, I noticed a lot of “shoulds” directed at my daughter. Mom was trying to help of course. I wondered if the “shoulds” had always been there, if they had been handed down to me and incorporated so deeply into my psyche, that I wasn’t consciously aware of their abundance.

A couple days ago, I found this article  among the  “Awesome Stories”  at “Writing to Freedom.” In “Seeking Wholeness,” Patty de Llosa, writes about accepting all aspects of ourselves, the good, the bad, and the parts of ourselves we try to push away and might not even be aware of. Her thoughts on wanting to be perfect sound pretty familiar:

Although I want to be perfect and long to have everybody love me, I am sometimes an angry lady, a guilty lady, a self-pitying lady and a varsity self-attacker. But why attack the person who forgets her keys at home or leaves a low fire burning on in the stove? She’s part of the package. Maybe she’s had enough of my playing Superwoman and needs a rest. Or maybe she’s overwhelmed by my decades of efforts to meet the demands of life on my own perfectionist terms. In any case, she’s now trying to catch my attention. She’s saying; “This is all just too much…I just can’t handle it any more! Hey, can you hear me?”

The author gives some great suggestions for connecting compassionately with these parts of ourselves which your can read here, including one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems, “Wild Geese” about self love and healing.

As I read the article, I thought about my “shoulds,”the obvious ones and the underlying ones, and how many of these I’ve handed down to my daughter. I’ve been working lately to step back from telling her what to do now that she’s technically an adult. It’s not easy. I have so many hopes and fears for her. Maybe like my mom had for me. I don’t think I use the word, “should,” but it’s often there, silent and heavy.

It occurred to me that if I am more compassionate with myself, listening with love to the  fears of the wounded child within me, I might be more compassionate with my daughter.

And when I’m not as compassionate as I could be, when I try to give her the unsolicited benefit of my years of experience in problem solving, I will be compassionate with myself for acting like a mom.

(I took the above photo at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.)

Coping with Holiday Loneliness

Image

JoAnne Silvia

I remember holidays bringing a special kind of loneliness when I was single. The first Christmas and then Valentines day without a partner were particularly challenging, especially after having been married for twenty years. As the single years went on, I became better at acceptance, and the loneliness ache became smaller with time.

Here are some things I’ve learned about coping with loneliness:

1.Be the best person you can be for you. This may be the perfect time to work on you. What negative habits do you want to extinguish or minimize? What’s one step you can take in that direction? For example, if you smoke, stop smoking in the house, walk for 10 minutes three times a  week, catch negative statements and reframe them to positive or neutral statements, make a gratitude list. What good qualities do you want to nurture and strengthen?

2. Connect with people (or animals), places and things that are good for you. Go places, or create events, where you are likely to encounter positive, nurturing people. Consider volunteering, not just on the holiday, but as the holiday approaches, or as part of your weekly or monthly routine. Visit a nursing home and ask if there is someone who needs a visitor. Ask residents to talk about themselves and their lives. They likely have interesting stories to tell.

3. Focus on friendship. Really get to know someone as a friend before you jump into a romantic relationship. Being lonely made me vulnerable which led to unhealthy attachments. Meet at coffee shops for a while before going to lunch. Take it one step at a time.

4. Strengthen your relationship with your higher power, through prayer, conversation and meditation. You are never alone. You are deeply and profoundly loved, forever by the one who created you. Tell your Creator what you want and let that Power greater and wiser than you and me work on this for you. We don’t always get what we want. But sometimes we get something better than we ever imagined!

May you know for certain that you are deeply and profoundly loved, forever!