Remember You – a note to myself

Write… Just write. You have been so busy and yet not and you think you are OK. You are. Just remember that things will get busier again and you will have to take care of yourself. Every day. Yes. Every day. You cannot wait for the weekend to catch up on self-care. You can not put it off until you have a day off. No. Self-care is required every day. It’s like brushing your teeth, you cannot go without it. If you want to maintain a clear head, maintain a feeling of calm; if you want to prevent the chaos from creeping back then you must remember to take time every day. You must remember to breathe. Take a walk, write, read, love on your babies. Breathe. Remember to feed your soul as you feed yourself. Remember to let the pain go, let your feelings feel; trust yourself because you know how to do this. Trust your instincts. If you begin to feel overwhelmed then take a step back, take some deep breaths… let yourself cry. Just do it. It’s OK. You need it. If you fight it you will eventually fail.

You know where you’ve been. You know what you’ve been through. You know it hasn’t been easy. You know this. Take pride in this. Accept that you are amazing and you are strong. Accept that you have moved mountains to be where you are. Accept it. Believe in yourself because you are worth it. Believe in yourself because you did it. Yes, you! You did it. You created this life from nothing. You made it happen. You are awesome!

Remember who you were and see the difference! Remember how hard you have worked! Remember how much you have cried, what you have faced. Remember! You are so capable and so brave and so vulnerable all at the same time. You are amazing! Let no one tell you otherwise. No one has been where you have been, no one. There are similar stories, but everyone’s path is different. Your path? Yours was long and hard and winding, but it was yours. Claim it! Accept it! It was you, yes you. You did it! You brought yourself here. You are amazing!

Now that you are here, remember to take care of yourself. Remember to be gentle with yourself. You’ve worked hard, you deserve your life. You deserve your peace and your promises of a great future. Claim it! This is your life now, no one else’s. You deserve to feel and to breathe and to smile and to laugh. It’s OK to cry and to be angry and it’s OK to want to quit. But don’t. Don’t quit. Instead? Take a deep breath, and rest. Rest your soul.

You are amazing! You’ve got this!

thank you for reading,

me

Feel? It’s OK

What’s it like to feel? To feel deeply the things in this world? To know that when you speak with someone, that they are hurting? What’s it like to wish you could make a difference, to want only good things for good people, to see good in people who have almost none left? What’s it like to know that good exists in the midst of evil? What’s it like to love like that?

How does a person manage to not be completely taken over by another? How does a person understand? empathize? with another who is having a difficult time? How do you distance yourself? Do you? How do you put limits on your emotions so that you can survive? How?

Feeling is painful but comes so easily. Protecting myself from others is what’s difficult. Simple? Feel. Just feel? But how? And will I still exist if I let those flood gates down? Will I still stand unchanged? No. I will be changed. But will that change be good? Maybe, and that is the risk I take. Loving deeply for others is a gift and a curse. A curse? No. Not if I don’t fight it. Being afraid of feeling is the part that’s a curse. But if I just let myself feel, let myself be, then it is a ride, a journey, not a curse.

I stood there, I saw her pain. I knew her fear. I only wanted to help. I let myself be there. I could not change things, I had no power to do that, but I could be with her. I could be a light on the way, a marker of good things to come. I could not help her physically, but what little I could give emotionally I gave.

And when she was gone, I cried.

My advice? Give, give unconditionally, just do it. The pain is worth it. Be open, just be it. The pain is worth it. Feel, it’s OK. Be changed. Life is worth it. Do not hold yourself back, let yourself be. You are worth it.

thank you for reading,

me

Put Yourself on the List

As I finish up my month of ‘free time’ between rotations I am beginning to find a new purpose in my life. I must be careful with myself since it is a habit of mine to think I have plenty of time and then to over schedule myself. Often, in the past, I would look at my calendar and think I had time available and so would say yes to practically everyone. Only to realize later that I forgot to schedule in me. I forgot to put myself on the list.

Me? Put myself on the list? How do I do that? All my life I have been taught to give, to put others first, to not be selfish, to hold things with an open hand… these can be useful, even good things to learn especially in a selfish society. BUT… being unselfish has its problems as well… I followed everyone’s advice and I didn’t put myself on my list. I wasn’t anywhere on it. And then… I began to fail. I failed bigtime. My body decided to quit. My mind was a torrent of chaos. I had no ability to think straight, no ability to handle my stresses in my life, and all I wanted to do was quit. As much as I gave of myself I found myself with nothing left to give. Nothing. Something had to change.

Some of us are more stubborn than others… yes, me. I’m extremely stubborn. And so changing is difficult for me to do. Especially changing a habit of self-sacrifice to one of putting myself first. I struggled with the ‘wrongness’ of it. I struggled with remembering to take care of myself. I struggled with it constantly. I still struggle. I don’t want to become selfish.

“Is your ego so big that you think that you don’t need to take care of yourself?” I was asked… Wow. I hadn’t thought about it like that. I was so worried about appearing as a failure that I was refusing to accept that I needed help. Well, I did. I needed help. I had no idea how to take care of myself mentally.

What I have learned since then…

  1.  if I don’t sleep I’m depressed
  2.  if I don’t eat I’m mean
  3.  if I don’t take breaks I’m a grouch
  4.  if I don’t take time to breathe I’m worthless…

I learned that when I really want something like ‘to run away and hide’ it’s not really a want, but a need. I learned that when I am beginning to feel overwhelmed that I need to take a step back and assess what’s been missing… food? rest? sleep? air? I’m still learning but I’m improving. I’m on my list now, not quite at the top but not at the bottom either… my kids are still on top and I’m trying to work on that, it’s hard though… At least I’m on the list now.

Remember to put yourself on your list too, you are worth it.

thanks for reading,

me

Writing Joys

Writing is something I never wanted to do when I was younger. I always put off to the last-minute anything that had a due date. I always needed to feel the pressure before I bothered to put pen to paper. Looking at myself now? I cannot believe the amount I have written in the last few years! Now? Now, I am a writer.

Writer? What does that mean? This is a blog, after all. Aren’t we all writers? Maybe. For me, it’s having that impulse, desire, can’t stop what I’m doing, have to finish, feeling of putting thoughts on a screen. That uncontrollable urge to share my thoughts, my desires, my dreams. It’s an obsession of sorts.

I started writing as an outlet, a way to speak. My muteness in my life was killing me and I needed a way out. As I carefully began to write, as I began to edit everything that came out of my mind, I began to see that my writing was still stifling me. I was still unwilling to be vulnerable; I was unwilling to be honest with myself. I feared what others might say or think, and I had no strength for rebuttal and no knowledge of how to deflect anything negative. It was hard.

Then I started letting myself breathe more. I began writing only to myself. I began being honest and vulnerable, with the knowledge that no one would ever read it. Occasionally I’d put something I liked out in public, or I’d find myself editing something more personal and put it out there. Slowly I began to trust myself and I began to write more often.

I began to be a writer. I began to love my writing. I was finally finding my voice and it hurt. It was a wonderful pain, though; the pain of growing. I began to love the challenge and my words began to flow. Writing has become such an outlet for me now that I would rather, sometimes, to sit on my computer for hours than do anything else. When I write, time is still, meaningless, years go by in my mind. Sometimes I am only a child, others I am here as I am now. Time has no meaning at all. When I write, nothing else matters.

Now? Now I remain vulnerable but I am willing to put some of it out there. Now I am truly letting the unknown masses see peaks into my soul. It’s scary, it’s frightening, it’s often terrifying, but I keep doing it. Why? Why do I put myself out there? By being honest, others may find the courage to do so as well. By living into me; I give others room to be authentic. When I am able to give words to something tragic, when I am able to give others their voice, it makes all of my fears and tears worth it.

Writing? Is it worth it? Yes.

thanks for reading,

me

Bumps, Scrapes, and Faceplants

For one or two weeks each year I get to run around with a bunch of teenagers more than half my age. I get to pretend to be 15, 16, or 17 again. I play as hard as I can and I never regret a moment. These kids are amazing. They are willing to try new things, new challenges.

They get on the back of a tube behind a boat and they hold on for dear life. They do it even if the water is cold, or rough. They do it because of the thrill of being alive.They put on their life preservers, jump into the dark water, and climb onto the large tube… then with a thumbs up they begin to ride. They ride through the water holding on with all of their might. They slide from one side of the boat to the next and then back again, over bumps and turns. They try to hold on and not lose their pants. They try to hold on longer than the person before. They try to prove to the driver that they cannot be thrown, but they will be thrown. And so they fly. They fly through the air and land on the water, down they go and then pop back up. When they pop up they catch their breath, wipe the water out of their eyes, thumbs up and do it all over again. I love these kids!

They get on a jet ski, they take their time and learn how to drive it. They are careful at first, slow. They learn to ride the waves and to stay away from others. They listen and watch and drive cautiously. And then? Then, not much later, they see the leader take off and follow as best they can. After a few minutes, they find their courage, they find their speed and they race across the water; their faces covered with a smile. Dolphins are spotted and everyone slows to a crawl and watches, waits, looks for more. There, again, there’s another dolphin! What beauties! Such freedom! The dolphins swim by, ignoring us all, but we saw. What a delight it is to watch them!. And then I look at my kids, for they are mine for the week, and I see the smiles, the awe, the wonder, and I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Fireworks. Thunderstorms. Which do we watch? Fireworks of course, there’ll be storms again tomorrow. Across the river we find a place to sit and wait. People are everywhere, kids and parents, elderly and dogs, boats in the water… everyone waiting. The sun sets, the lights go out and then the fireworks begin. How do they do it? Such colors, such patterns! The beauty created in the night. The storms on the other side of us are dancing with lightning, far away; but in front of us? In front we are mesmerized, each beautiful display, the people as one, oohs and aahs and applause. My kids again, hope. Hope and peace. No one is upset, all are enjoying the night. How is it to forget the troubles in this world? How is it to know that right now, just for a moment, everything is good?

These are the reasons I volunteer here. For a week, I get to help these forget their troubles, I get to play with them and to love on them, I get to provide them a new way to express themselves. I get to be there when they learn something new, try something hard. I get to do it alongside them. I do it for me and I do it for them, for we are both blessed.

thank you for reading,

me

I Will Write

Write – 1. to trace or form (characters, letters, words, etc.) on the surface of some material, as with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means; inscribe. 2. to express or communicate in writing; give a written account of. (Dictionary.com)

Create – bring (something) into existence, cause (something) to happen as a result of one’s actions (Google)

With a simple press of my fingers, flick of my wrist, using multiple muscles in an intricate and careful process, I have discovered my own ability to create.

In the beginning God created… and so, we, as children of God also create.  We create with our words that we speak and, if we find ourselves mute, we create with our fingers and hands by writing.

Being mute, I found myself my outlet in writing. And so, I write. I write when I cannot understand my emotions. I write when I cannot think clearly. I write when I have something I must say. I write when I cannot breathe. I write when I have no other desires. I write. I write when I fear that I have failed. I write when I want to give up or give in. I write when I have not yet decided to write. I just sit, touch the keyboard and begin. I write.

With my writing I have created a new life. I have found my voice. I have become a woman who once again believes in herself (maybe for the first time). My children bless me, they live and play and run and never give up, and so they bless me. Of this blessing I also write; write so that I do not forget.

My friends they bless me. They bless me with their time and their energy, with their spirits of determination, with their free gifts of love, and so of them I write. I write of them as an honor to them; I have no other way to thank them. I write.

Why write? Why? There is no other way for me. I may someday speak but not yet. I am no longer mute but I am biding my time. Waiting. And so I write. I write of stories of me, my stories. Stories of my trials, my failures. Stories of my pain and of my power. I write to give others voice. Others who are still mute, others who still have not found their way out. I write for them; for me. I write. I will not stop. I will write.

I write. I write for you so that you may know the wonders that I see. I write to share my story and my perception of this world. This world that is so hard and cruel, and yet so gentle and forgiving. I write so that you can see; write to give you hope. I write.

I will write.

thank you for reading,

me