December 30, 2013

Upside Down

I had a post ready for today that was silly and fun. 
I've changed my mind because my heart has led me in another direction.

 I simply want to say to all of you that are struggling 
with life's challenges and detours and just outright crap-
It's all going to be okay.

I recognize that some of you won't believe that.

Some of you might think that it's easy for me to say.

You'd be wrong.
It's not easy for me to say at all. 
A few years ago I didn't think anything would ever be okay again.
Some days I look back at everything that happened and am stunned 
that I'm still existing, much less truly living.

It was incredibly difficult to accept that I had no control when our world flipped upside down.

But flipped again.
And again.

Yes, I was pretty banged up.
Some days I felt alone and lost and swallowed up by a big cloud of crippling anxiety.
Me?  Not functioning?  I'm the fixer.
I fix everything.
But life had other plans for me.

I had to learn to let go.
I needed to let go of so many things.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done.
It is also the best thing I have ever done.

We love the quotes on Pinterest, don't we?  
The quotes about strength and fortitude and overcoming it all.
Some are cliche and some hit home in a way that may change us forever.
They cause us to sigh and say " Yes!  That's it!"  
Someone else feels it, too.
Someone else made it out alive.
Maybe I can, too.

Yes, you can.  You really can.

One of my oldest and dearest friends told me that my one and only job for the day was to be happy.

How is that even possible when I am barely breathing?

I'm so glad that I listened.  I'm so glad that he didn't get tired of repeating himself.

It's not our job to be responsible for anothers happiness.

It had been my job forever.
It had never occurred to me that I had a choice in the matter.

Are there people in your life that thrive on chaos?
Let them thrive there.
You needn't join them.
Love them and wish them well, but close the door on what doesn't work in your life.
It's okay to be happy when others aren't.
It's okay to want calm and peace in your life.
We aren't responsible for their happiness, calm or peace.
We never succeeded anyway, did we?
No matter what it cost us, it was never enough.

It doesn't make you hard or unkind to care for yourself.

I wish someone had told me that thirty years ago.

One of my favorite books is The Book of Awakening.
Some of you have read it, some of you will roll your eyes and think "ugh, not that crap!".
But isn't that the wonderful thing about books or blogs or teachers?
We can reject what we want and embrace the things that we connect to.
Common ground.
An experience shared.
A life changed.
The author, Mark Nepo says that
"Pain is often a sign that something has to change."

For the new year, I wish you all the courage to change the things that pain you.
That little light inside you?  Break the damn dimmer and light it up all the way.

It's your time.  It's my time.  It's our time.

As Pink sings...
We're not broken, just bent.
And aren't those the things we love the most?
Bent. Tarnished. Tattered.
And oh, so loved.

I'm so glad to have connected with so many of you who share a passion.
A passion for rebuilding, re-mending, or accepting the bent and beat up wonders 
for the lovely things they are.
I'd like to think that I belong in that group of wonders and that you do, too.
We are all lovely.
Tatters and all.