Confidence

Confidence

Or, will I like them?

Of course we want people to like us. We are designed for community. But everyone is not going to like us. And everyone is not going to be good for us.

I’m thankful for my friends, for their love and support, for being able to share tears and laughter. But I know I can be okay alone, because we are never really alone. There’s always God, or whatever you want to call that divine power who loves us no matter what. And there are dogs, those divinely created experts in unconditional love.

Then there are cats. Cats have their own special kind of confidence. Some of them are experts.

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1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

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5. Have fun!

My First Real Panic Attack at Age 61

panic stress (2)

I needed to read Jana Greene’s post about grace and weakness.

I don’t like to feel weak. I’ve spent all these years trying to be strong and building my skills. So, why, at age 61, with all my training and experience, did i have my first real live panic attack?

I’ve heard plenty of people talk about panic attacks and how bad they can be. I’ve secretly wondered, Do people really need to go to the emergency room? Does it really feel like a heart attack? Are you really being attacked? Can’t we call it something else, something less invasive? Can’t you just take some deep breaths and calm down?

Now I know. Now, I’m humbled.

If it hadn’t been for my years of meditation and breathing practice and my supportive, former EMT husband watching me closely, I might have gone to the emergency room. My chest hurt worse than ever before, and it was hard to breathe. Years ago, I’d gone to the urgent care place with chest pain shortly after my first husband left. It turned out to be stress and acid reflux, but I don’t remember that being as intense as the pain I felt during my first real panic attack couple months ago.

Chest pain is nothing to guess about. When in doubt, get medical attention.

The first good news is, that I know what triggered it. I felt challenged, then I felt cornered and I was hungry.  Since I’m hypoglycemic, I can get shaky and irritable when I’m hungry. It’s best not to challenge me when I’m hungry. Fortunately, I can take steps to minimize exposure to these triggers. I can maintain my boundaries and use the “broken record technique” by simply repeating, “this is not a good time to talk about this.” If I’m able, I’ll offer an alternative time, but simply repeating my boundary is enough.

I’ve been trying not to feel embarrassed about feeling weak, and leaning more toward feeling humbled and gifted – the other good news – explained in Jana’s post . I’m reminded that I’m never going to have it all together, because I’m human. Some weakness will always pop up to humble me and lead me to God’s grace.

 

Being Held

“You are being held so strongly and so deeply, that you can stop holding on to, or defending, yourself. God forever sees and loves Christ in you; it is only we who doubt our divine identity as children of God.”

                                                                       ___ Richard Rohr in Breathing Under Water.

 

The Rebound from Hell

dark forest

I walked carefully into the valley at first.

Then I felt the high of the buck’s smooth touch.

So, I danced with the buck in the valley of shadow

Ignoring the darkness behind his laughter.

Then the darkness came out of hiding

And a voice told me to run,

But I lingered a while

Forgetting my worth

Til the darkness blew me away.

At first I prayed to the light

that the buck would outrun his shadow

Or at least at least that his light would grow bright enough

To fill up his heart with peace.

But mostly I prayed for the wisdom

To keep myself out of darkness

Ignoring the memories of a buck’s smooth touch

So my light can outshine my shadow.

God's hand with sun coming through

I wrote this many years ago at the end of the year long rebound from hell. About a month after it was over for good, I felt like I was waking up from a nightmare. I couldn’t believe I had allowed myself to be swallowed so deeply into co-dependence.

But, in time, I learned to love myself again. I remembered my worth. I knew I didn’t need to settle for someone who added so much stress to my life.

I knew God loved me deeply and profoundly and that God had a plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Fear and Desire

“What do you fear about writing?  And what do you want more than the fear?”
                                                                                                                 Andi Cumbo-Floyd

 

I fear the uncertainty of being a writer,

I fear judgement.

But hasn’t life been uncertain anyway?

Haven’t I judged myself

more harshly than anyone else?

I fear being an artist.

But haven’t I been an artist

my whole life?

My creative pursuits

have taken a back seat

for most of my life.

Do I fear being me?

The real me?

I feel nervous about cutting back

on the job that pays the bills for now,

the job that’s paid the bills for 30 years.

I feel nervous about trusting a man

To provide for me

Even the the man of my dreams.

I know it’s only a little fear.

It shrinks as faith grows.

 

What do I want more than the fear?

I want to tell my stories

The stories that need telling.

I want the excitement of finding words

that fit together

in a way that gives hope

and healing.

I want to feel the joy

of allowing my Creator

to work through me

with words, or pen, or paint

to deliver messages of  hope

and love.

I want peace.

The peace of coming home.

The peace that wants to find me.

I want to be the boss of me.

I know God is the ultimate boss of me.

But it would be so much better

To have fewer bosses.

 

And didn’t I pray for deliverance?

This is the answer to that prayer!

 

I desire freedom.

I know all about the responsibility

that comes with freedom.

I’ve been responsible all my life

Well, except for a year here and there.

I’ve learned from those mistakes.

 

I’m almost ready

For the leap of Faith

To accept the gift

To be myself

To save the rest of my life.

 

parachute-542831_960_720.jpg from pixabay

“Running Start”

https://pixabay.com/en/users/21150-21150/

 

Attitude Adjustment

My space at the two day art show was located a few steps up on a platform in the corner. It seemed like a good spot when I agreed to it. I didn’t know until I arrived Saturday morning that another vendor’s booth would be partially blocking the view of my area. I did sell a print of my “Forest Angel” early on the first day to someone who fell in love with her.

Forest Angel

Forest Angel, by JoAnne Silvia

But as the day wore on, I didn’t get a lot of traffic and sold little. In spite of the compliments I got on my original paintings, I felt myself getting more and more deflated and resentful. I asked if there were any other spaces I could move to for Sunday and the answer was a clear, “No.”

Saturday evening, I decided that rather than be miserable, and not wanting to attract more misery,  I needed to change my attitude for Sunday. Maybe that way, I would attract more people who wanted to buy my art. I decided to be as positive as I could  about the whole thing no matter what happened. I smiled and talked about how I loved the music being played and sent positive energy into whatever I did. I caught people’s eyes and encouraged them with my smile to take the steps up to my platform.

Though I continued to receive compliments on my work, my sales were not much better than on Saturday. I did sell another “Forest Angel” print to someone drawn to her immediately, and I sold another print and some rocks I’d painted with angels. I worked on a sketch and painted more rocks, and kept reinforcing my positive mood. It was an exercise in acceptance of the things I could not change. I had worked hard to put this show together, and I worked hard to stay positive on Sunday. My attitude was something I could change.

The most important lesson I learned (again) was that, after acknowledging my disappointment, it was healthier for me to have a positive attitude, even knowing that I lost money on the venture. That doesn’t mean I’d do it again, certainly not under the same conditions, but I finished the day without any more complaining.

I appreciated the abundant support from my husband and from my friends (in person, on social media, and on WordPress.) One of my friends told me, “the people who are meant to have your art were not there.” That helped. It also helped when near the end of the show, I went around and admired other peoples’ art – work that I complimented because it was beautiful, but I didn’t buy anything. I realized that just because people didn’t buy much of my work, that didn’t mean that their compliments were empty. Anything we create with love has value.

At church on Sunday our scripture reading from Phillipians included this:

“God will take your humiliation and turn it into God’s glory.”

I believe God has something else in store for my art.

I need to remember this message that I posted on “Anything is Possible:”

Art quote by Kurt Vonnegut

And I will remember how much better it felt to return to a positive attitude, after acknowledging my feelings and allowing myself to sulk a little.

You can see more of my work here:

https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/angel-art/

Today, I have a busy day on the job that pays the bills for now, so if I don’t respond to comments right away, know that I’m thinking of you. I’ll check in later.

 

Remembering Infinity: What God Said

When I hear the “voice” of God, it is not like other voices. It is a crystal clear whisper inside my brain. More powerful than a thought, and more decisive than an idea. It comes to me from beside me. So close beside me, that it almost seems within, but more powerful. Still loving me, after all these years. Passing on this important message via “Remembering Infinity.”

Remembering Infinity

God said, "I love you...pass it on!"God said, “I love you…pass it on!”

The other day, I was thinking about God and pondering the nature of Life as I often do. If God had only one thing to tell us, I wondered, what would it be? In an instant, I knew. The words formed themselves in my mind with no effort whatsoever on my part—and I’m certain they weren’t my own.

Would you like to know what God said to me?

     “I Love You…pass it on!”

Respectfully,

stargazericon

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