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Archive for the ‘Life in General’ Category

P.T. Barnum once said, “The noblest art is that of making others happy.”

Smart man. Making others happy is a fine art, and often a gift. And…easy.

We know so much about making others happy. Yet, we are endlessly clueless about how to make ourselves happy. For example… I was positive a nice big bowl of ice cream would make me extremely happy! I was positive! Until I ate it… then… I realized, one, there was way to much ice cream in that bowl, and two, eating it would set off the little nagging voice in my head. You know the one. The one which tells you not to eat that, or drink that, or you shouldn’t think that, or why did you buy that, or you look horrible in that outfit (what were you thinking??)…all the nagging and negative thoughts our brain throws at us.

How do we shut the little nagging voice off? I actually ask myself this question ALOT!

I blame it on bad choices. The voice wouldn’t start nagging if I was making better choices. Logical, right? Nah….not so much. Even when I eat a healthy salad instead of the bowl of ice cream, the little nagging voice goes off.

When I was younger I could tune the little voice out. He’d start nagging, or pointing something out. I tell him to shut up. He’d pout. I’d go on about my day. Life was great. Then…somewhere along the way, the voice grew bolder, more persistent. He started popping up ALL the time.

He started making me question everything. I couldn’t just be happy because he was this constant doom and gloom running off at the mouth. It’s like having a little yapping dog following you everywhere! It just keeps yapping, and yapping, and yapping, and… I would never hurt an animal, or myself for that matter, but….to shut the voice up…

They gave my little voice a name, Anxiety. I call him George, and always reference him with a male pronoun. Only a man could be as annoying as my little voice can get. I apologize to all my male friends, and hope they know they are not the males I’m referencing in this case. My ex-husband on the other hand is probably the cause of my little voice but, that is another story for another time.

I have several friends who have Anxiety. We all admit to having it. What we don’t admit to, is how absolutely defeating it is to have it. Throw in depression, which tends to go hand-in-hand with anxiety, and life pretty much sucks.

You buy a new pair of shoes, you’re all excited, and then…

The little voice in your head goes off.

“What are you going to wear those with?”

“Why did you buy them in that color?”

“How often do you think you’re going to be able to wear them?”

“Those heals are to high! They’re going to laugh at you when you try to walk in them.”

“Nobody else wears those at work.”

“You really should have saved your money, because you definitely don’t need another pair of shoes.”

And on, and on, and on…never shutting up!

You start to question everything! Next thing you know, you have 20 pairs of shoes hidden in the back of your closet because you’re convinced you can’t wear them. You have buyers remorse and you worry constantly about the money you wasted. But….you really need a pair of comfortable, dressy shoes for work.

Then….depression steps in. Because, you know, anxiety isn’t enough. Depression starts talking. It unfortunately has the same exact voice as anxiety, so they’re a bit hard to tell apart. Depression says things like, “You’re going to get fired any day now and you just wasted all that money on shoes” or, “You bought nice shoes? Now you’re going to have to get dressed up, and you know what that means, right? Are you really going to have the energy to do that?” And, of course, Depression is one who will make you feel like a complete and total failure while taking away all your drive and desire to do anything!

My favorite Psychiatrist, or drug doctor if you prefer, always asks me, “Have you had any hallucinations? Any suicidal thoughts? Felt homicidal? How is your anxiety? Are you running manic?” She asks me these questions expecting a serious answer but… this is where anxiety is fun… Anxiety jumps in and says, “Oh no! Does she know about the fifty pair of shoes and has a padded cell lined up for me if I say the wrong thing? What answer is she expecting? Quick, think of something non-committal before she commits me!” And that conversation goes on until we’re out the door and no white huggy-type jacket is in sight. See? Makes things interesting, right?

Oh! Back to Barnum’s quote. The whole reason I started thinking about this…

Making people happy is easy. People with Anxiety and Depression work extra hard to make other people happy. We want you to be happy. To have joy. To smile. Laugh. Dance with all the exuberance we can’t feel. Because, for one moment, we get a piece of your happiness….or, at least until the little voice kicks in.

Here’s the catch though. While we want to make people happy. To hang out with them. Go places, and do things, and be normal. Anxiety and Depression won’t allow it.  For example… you get asked to go to a group function. Maybe it is just a group meeting up at the local bar for a game of darts. No big deal, right? Well….

Seconds after being asked, while you’re still enjoying the feeling of being included. The little voice clears his throat. He starts with…”What on earth are you going to wear? Your clothes are so last season! And, lets talk about your hair…at your age, you should be able to do something with it by now….” Oh, and my favorite, “Nobody there really likes you, so why go? They’re only inviting you to be polite. They invited everyone.” Then there is, “What would you talk to them about? They’re so much smarter than you, and talking about your cats…no one wants to hear about them.”

Five seconds after being asked, our minds have already convinced us not to go. That, then, wakes Depression up. So, of course he has to pipe up and say things like, “You wouldn’t enjoy it anyway. You need to stay home and worry about everything under the sun, forever and ever. Think of all the time it would take you to get ready, to get there, and then just be bored….I’m saving you from all of it. Just stay home, the cats like you….a little….maybe….well, when they need food anyway.”

And we don’t know how to say no because, we really, really want to go. We want to hang out and spend time with you. We want to talk to you. We like you! We just can’t get out of our heads!

I mean honestly, how do you defeat an enemy with an outpost in your head? Anxiety and Depression are the perfect parasites. You can’t get rid of them without killing the host. You can, however, medicate the hell out of them. And trust me, when it comes to me, you want me medicated! If you know me…you should all send thank you notes to my psychiatrist. She is one of two reasons I am still un-incarcerated, or worse rich!

Oh, did I forget to tell you that part? See, the anxiety/ depression duo have this wonderful side effect. It makes you think you can do anything. Like buy everything under the sun when you have no money.

When my mania is at its worst, I like to shop, and shop, and shop and….I have to hide credit cards. I have to hide my bank card. I have to hide my computer and uninstall apps off my phone. I have to be very diligent about what I spend. The problem….I’m not always sure when I’m running manic.

When in a depressed state…I have to fight to get out of bed. When manic…I take on 50 projects, talk fast, think fast, spend fast. Manic states are great. I’m on top of the world. I can’t fail. My mind works the way it use to. I’m more me then at any other time. But…. the crash at the end of a manic cycle can be killer. Suddenly, the world hates you. Everything you say, or do, is questioned. You can’t even tie your own shoes correctly. Thinking becomes hard. Words stop. You become completely numb. It is as if life itself has drained from you.

And you can’t explain it to anyone. You can’t call your boss and be like, “Hey, I’ve crashed from a manic episode. I can’t think, or move, or people today. Is it okay if I take a recovery day?” Nope, you have to smile, dust off your acting gear and work to be human.

Barnum may have had The Greatest Show on earth, but every single person with Anxiety/Depression puts on the greatest show on earth, daily. They do it….to make you happy. Ironic, isn’t it?

For tonight, I wish you circus lights and excitement. Happiness filled with heartfelt joy. Smiles which are not faked…and a willingness to find out the difference. Today you may be able to silence your little voice, but tomorrow you may share mine, and if you do…don’t be afraid to argue with him. He’s just a little voice after all.

Goodnight my friends, sleep sweet!

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Next week is Thanksgiving and…

It has me thinking about this past year. Ya, I know, people save the looking back for New Years….but… I’m not most people.

This year has had some pretty interesting turns, and unexpected twists. Relationships have ended. New babies were born. I’ve said good-bye to an old job, old co-workers, and old stress. And said hello to a new job, new co-workers and a lot less stress. I’ve watched my kids grow further into their adulthood. Amazed by who they are, and what they’ve become. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve played the music a little to loud…

Through all of it though I have learned one thing. The most important thing in life is this one moment. You can list the hundreds, thousands of things in your life which are important but…will they still be important if this one moment ends?

You see, I caught myself not paying attention to this one moment. My mind would wander when listening to someone talk. I’d check my phone, or even play on it, when those important to me were right in front of me. I checked out, before I checked in.

I stressed about the future…about oh, so may things. I squandered each and every moment. I even stressed about the past. Seriously! You know, the ‘what-was’, the ‘what-might-have-been’s.’ I couldn’t keep my mind focused on one single thing!

I wasted so much time!!!!

Here’s the thing though… all the stressing, all the anger, frustration, hopelessness, worrying,…it all takes you away from this one single moment. The things we think we can control, we can’t. Hell, control is a persistent delusion we all share. We should probably all be medicated for it but, that’s a whole other post.

I couldn’t control my position being eliminated. I can’t control the bills which roll in without end. Yes, I can try to save electricity…but I can’t control a rate increase, or the electrical box going out. I can’t control what another person does…you can, but it is usually deemed illegal… and I’m trying to avoid the whole ethical vs. moral debate here…

We spend our lives trying to control an endless timeline of events. The past, the present, the future, the idiot who just dropped gum and is laughing at the kid spreading it across the parking lot…

One moment. 60 seconds. That is the only time we need to focus on.

Think about your day. From the time you arose, to the time you went to bed. Within that time, did you find joy? Did you have one moment where you felt real joy?  Did you laugh today? Did you laugh at little things, or big? Did you accomplish what you set out to today? Would you call your day successful, or are you still worrying and missing out on joy?

Would you believe me if I said I experienced hundreds of moments of joy today? Would you believe my day was filled with laughter? I would call my day a complete success, and truly enjoyed it.

I wouldn’t have said that two months ago…but…

I stopped focusing on all the noise in my life. And there was A LOT of noise. Most of it played out within my own mind. Do you know how hard it is to shut down an overthinking mind? There are still times it wins…but it’s learning.

When I find myself falling back into the old habit. When I’ve lost focus, and feel the stress rising. I stop…close my eyes…take a deep breath…. and tell myself, “You only have this one moment. This one moment is YOUR moment. Will you waste it?” Then I look around for one thing which brings me joy, one which makes me laugh, and one which will help me get back on task. I let everything else go.

And you know what I’ve learned since I started doing this? I’ve learned this one moment is pretty damn awesome! I’ve also learned there is an endless supply of things which bring me joy, make me laugh, and get me back on task. I have learned how to stop the world….

It’s unfortunate it took me so long to figure it all out. Can you imagine the joy, laughter and accomplishments there would have been? Especially if I would have figured it out when I was younger?

So, while Thanksgiving approaches next week. I am thankful for the year I have had. I look forward to the year to come. And I will celebrate each moment…because we only have this one.

So for tonight…may your days be filled with joy, may laughter always be easy to find, may your goals always be within reach, and your one moment be worthy of your all. Thank you, for sharing this one moment with me.

Goodnight my friends.

 

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…in a Moment…

aHR0cCUzQSUyRiUyRnN0YXRpYy5tZXNzeW5lc3N5Y2hpYy5jb20lMkZ3cC1jb250ZW50JTJGdXBsb2FkcyUyRjIwMTYlMkYxMiUyRjMwOTg3NjM4MDgwX2I4NDAxOWE4MTZfay05MzB4NjIwLmpwZw==I can neither control the future, nor change the past. Yet, my mind puts them at the forefront of my thoughts.

I struggle to release the past. There is fear, anger, bitterness there which hangs on worse then gum on a shoe. I know holding on to it serves no purpose. Through the years I have began to see a pattern.

The past whether a week ago, a month ago, or even a year ago rarely crosses my mind. I can go back five, ten years ago and my mind yawns. It apparently has released all fear, anger and bitterness it may have experienced.

It proves two things. One, the mind is capable of letting go, and two, at some point my perspective on what was important changed. I would like to think it changed for the better…but I’m not so sure.

The easy answer would be at some point I grew up. I put away childish fears and anger, because I was no longer a child. I admit, I do like that answer. It is simple, easy, problem solved. Right?

What if the answer is darker? What if the answer wasn’t so simple?

Josh Groban has a song called Weeping. Great song. One of my favorites. It starts out with:

I knew a man who lived in fear
It was huge, it was angry,
It was drawing near
Behind his house a secret place
Was the shadow of the demon
He could never face

He built a wall of steel and flame
And men with guns to keep it tame
Then standing back he made it plain
That the nightmare would never ever rise again
But the fear and the fire and the guns remain

In many ways I am that man. Many years of fear and anger. Things I did not now, nor ever, want to face. I built walls, fortified them, and protected them. The more walls I built the happier I was…sort of…

The chorus of the song continues:

It doesn’t matter now it’s over anyhow
He tells the world that it’s sleeping
But as the night came round I heard
It lowly sound
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping
It wasn’t roaring, it was weeping

The thing is, I am both the man and the demon. You cannot build walls to keep your demons in, without binding yourself to those walls. You have to guard them and make sure no one cab cross them. It is exhausting! And proof we are our own worst enemies after all.

Building those walls takes time and effort. Isolates you. Keeps people at bay but destroys each day and makes the past unforgettable. You build the wall high enough and it is always there….always looming…always reminding you…always…always hopeless.

It blots out the future too. You can’t see beyond it. It has each day mired in bricks and mortar. Steeped in dread and fear. Tinged with anger…at yourself mostly, for building the damn walls in the first place. When you FINALLY realize what you’ve done. The task of dismantling the walls seems daunting. Where do you begin? What if you’re wrong? What if life throws you curve balls again? What if you end up hurt again? What if…? What if…? What if…?

All the questions lead me to one realization. The hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, besides surviving death, is live each moment. It isn’t easy. I’d rather go back to fighting for my life.

We spend our lives regretting the past, or worrying about the future. We spend very little time in the moment. It is amazing what we miss by living this way. As I’ve started dismantling my walls I’ve put some of the past to rest. There is still work to be done. I don’t know if I will ever finish. I do know I have found more joy in each moment.

When my mind decides it needs to obsess over the future I remind myself, this moment is the only one which matters. In this moment there are miracles, beauty, and joy. This moment is mine. Am I living it? Am I sharing it with someone? Am I fully appreciating it?

I pull myself out of those future worries and past regrets. I focus on only the moment I am in. I appreciate the light of the lamp next to me, without it I’d surely step on a black cat tail or two. I am thankful for those little tails and all their mischief.

I see pictures of my kids, and grandkids, and am instantly filled with a sense of wonder and pride. These amazing young people are so much more then I will ever be. I know I don’t tell them I love them enough. I have an endless number of wonderful, amazing people in my life. Heroes in their own right.

When my mind is caught in the battle of past and future…I don’t see the miracles, or the beauty, or the joy… I see only worry, and doubt, and anger, and fear, and…I choose not to live in that space any more.

There are two quotes from the Dalai Lama which have been kicking around my head as I’ve written this…they are:

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.” ― Dalai Lama

“What surprises me most is “Man”, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present; The result being he doesn’t live in the present or the future; He lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.” – Dalai Lama

For tonight…make a choice. Will you continue to live in past regrets and future worries? Or…will you choose this moment? Will this moment spark your next moment? Will this moment be more then a fleeting blip on your radar? Can you allow yourself to live authentically in this moment?

I hope you choose this moment, and the moments which follow as they arrive. There is so much peace and joy, and small miracles and large, and beauty and wonder in this single moment. You deserve all of it! It is being handed to you. If you just take a moment to relish it. It is a moment you will never get back. What a waste it would be to spend it on the past or future.

Live your moment. Live it fully. When the past and future threaten to take over, close your eyes, remind yourself “This is my moment” and start counting the little things you would have missed letting the outside world steal your moment.

Happiness happens in a moment. What will your moment be? Goodnight my friends.

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I was once told I was secretive.

The statement came as a surprise to me…along with the physical slap to the face.

I have never seen myself as secretive. Quiet, yes, but secretive? If anything I’m a bit to honest, lack tact, and say exactly what I’m thinking. Ask me a question, and I won’t hesitate to give you the answer. Whether you want to hear it or not…and usually without stopping to think about the response. I say what I’m thinking, before I think what I’m saying. That’s where the lack of tact comes in. First thought, is first response.

I’ve always seen myself as very honest and open. It also depends on the people I’m surrounded by at the time, which brings me back to the statement and slap. The person who accused me of being secretive was far more secretive then I have ever been.

Answering the phone required them to rush to another room. Talking to someone within ear shot in whispered tones was far more indicative of secrecy then my quietness. Going through a persons room and removing ‘unacceptable’ items, secretly, would never make it to the top ten of “How to win friends and influence people.” It is also not a recommended way to win someones trust.

It did, however, encourage me to talk even less. I, unfortunately perhaps, have this strong desire to not cause harm. That means not causing harm by action, word, or deed. I knew then, as I still know now, that saying something would have caused harm.

Knowing someone was randomly going through my room and removing items they deemed evil, or just not acceptable, was disconcerting. Many of the items removed were gifts from my mother. Items which had memories tied to them. Memories which mattered at the time. The pain of their removal is something I have never talked about…until this moment.

I may have been a teenager at the time, but I was still struggling with the knowledge that my mother wanted a couch more than me. She chose baby pictures, and baby clothes, over my well-being and general existence. I was a pawn being used against the only person I trusted, my father.

I lost everything I knew, and continued to lose. Looking back, I know it was around this time depression really took over. I slept if I wasn’t working or in school. I isolated myself in hopes I could just forget. I hated being home. I wouldn’t go out with friends often, because I didn’t want to spend time at home introducing them. I kept talking on the phone to a minimum as well. I knew anything I said would be held against me by a court of one. It just wasn’t worth the hassle.

Closing down was easier. Silence was easier. Working as much as I could, was easier. Books were my friends and family. The part which really hurt was losing my father. The distance between us grew. We talked less. Spent less time together.

I know the fault lies on my shoulders. I was so afraid of telling him what was going on. Afraid he’d say, “I know, I told her to,” or accuse me of lying about it. If he did know, it meant I really had lost everything. If he didn’t know, I didn’t want to risk causing arguments, or possibly someone else leaving. I just couldn’t do that to him. Yet to this day I have never mentioned any of this to him.

Looking back, I see ways I could have approached the issue. At 16 though, those ways never crossed my mind. Am I angry about all of it? I was. I know now anger is just a symptom. A way of expressing feelings we’d rather not feel. And yes, I still have those feelings. Hurt mostly, because I never understood the how, or why of it all.

How do you break someones trust, act unapproachable, and behave secretively, then expect a person to be open with you? If I had been on drugs. I could have seen a just cause or, if I came home drunk on a regular basis, The thing was…I never did either.

And yes, I did come home drunk one time…it sucked and it was when I realized I had a Methyphobia – fear of becoming an alcoholic. I failed miserably at being a rebellious teenager; I attended parties to make sure people made it home safe. Real wild and crazy there!

A part of me does understand the person, and their actions, now. It doesn’t erase the hurt, but I do feel very sorry for them. You cannot attempt to control people, in any manner, and have it work in your favor. It will always cause a rift. A tear in the fabric of trust.

I do wish I had some of the items back. The t-shirts from Master Yoon and my mother. The other clothing items from my mother. The old football jersey I bought when Melbeta closed and used as pajamas/comfy clothes. The missed chance to go to the 1988 Olympics. Funny how these things still matter after all these years.

I can see how people could perceive me as being secretive. I am quiet, and I completely suck at small talk. But, a historical case could be made for the cause. My mind will never let me forget. I will always feel sorrow for the person. I know their heart is in the right place, and I am thankful they are so caring. Their need to control their environment stems from their history and I work to kept that in mind.

All of my bitching above is nothing more then a catharsis for me. I have needed to release those words for many years. Tonight, there was no holding them back. If you have read this far, please know, I by no means see myself as innocent in any of it.

We each have a picture of the world as we believe it should be. This means we believe people should behave a certain way, speak a certain way, dress a certain way. It is a picture of the expectations, and often limitations, we hold for ourselves. When others do not live up to our picture, we perceive them as wrong, un-trust worthy, lacking, lazy, ill kept, secretive, etc. The list goes on.

We are the ones who are lacking though. When we do not take the time to learn about the other persons picture. Our pasts, friends, family, experiences, all worked to create our picture. It is those things which make us wonderfully different. We need to spend less time judging each others pictures, and just enjoy the picture for all it is worth.

My picture is no Monet. It has blank spaces yet to be filled. It has tears and cuts yet to be repaired. But, it also has beauty, peace, history, love, and a sense of wonder. I cherish it as much as I cherish your picture; unique with never-ending possibilities.

So for today I say…marvel at your picture, take the time to learn about someone else’s picture…no judgements, no expectations, and no imposing your beliefs on to theirs. It is our actions, words and deeds which cause the most harm when we do not stop to enjoy the beauty of each others picture. While your vantage point on the world may be a meadow the other persons could be a cliff. I know mine was at one time…it is the biggest secret I have ever kept.

Goodnight my friends.

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Lesson’s from Life

I actually learned something from life this month. Amazing, right?

I was once asked, at a job interview, if I handled stress well. I thought it was an odd question at the time. Once I was hired for the position I fully understood why they had asked. It was a highly stressful job, but I survived, thrived, and advanced. It was a valuable learning experience.

What I didn’t realize was, while the stress of the job lessened it never ended. It morphed into a different form of stress. It became a deepening depression and manageable anxiety.

Having been diagnosed with PTSD, Manic Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder years ago. It never occurred to me to question the source of the deepening depression and flares of anxiety. I assumed it was all originating within me. An external, environmental factor never crossed my mind. Until this past weekend.

Last week I received, what would be devastating news to many. And perhaps, at another time in my life, it would have knocked me to my knees. This time though…it was a relief. A weight off my shoulders, full body, absolute relief.

And as the days have passed since that moment. The realization has deepened. I was miserable. Physically, mentally reaching the broken point. The only thing keeping me from breaking was the heroes in my life. They were the source of my perseverance. The only saving grace in a darkening world.

Since last week, and my sudden realization. I have re-found many of the joys of life I’d tucked away. I’ve created, read, written, and de-stressed. I have felt more relaxed and at peace then I have in years. Each day it grows, and expands, into new discoveries.

The next time I am at a job interview which asks if I can handle stress. My answer will be, “No!”. Not because I can’t handle it, but because I refuse to lose myself again. It is nowhere near worth the cost.

The saying, ‘Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,’ is not true. I loved my job. I loved what I did. Instead of finding a job you love. Find a job which brings you peace and joy. Once you find that job, never let it go. And if you can’t find it…create it!

Your life is so much more valuable then the all mighty dollar. No business will ever pay you what you are worth. You have value beyond measure. Believe in it!

For today…never forget. Search for joy instead of happiness. Happiness is fleeting, joy goes straight to the heart and your soul. Right where it is needed most.

 

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A Call to Arms

Re-blogging from Wicked Witch of the Midwest.

when hope diesPolitics and religion.

Two topics best skirted in mixed company. At least, that is what I’ve always been taught. Being who I am though; I find them hard to avoid. In the world of this new president, Trump, I am the enemy: Female, bi-sexual, Witch, married to a woman. In Trump’s desire to “Make America Great,” again. My world views, life style, and belief system do not fit the mold.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
―Catherine of Siena

I am a pacifist by nature. I firmly believe each person deserves respect. That respect extends to their beliefs, lifestyle and world view. I can no more expect others to live up to my ‘picture’ of what they should be, then I can live up to theirs. This way of thinking is quickly verging on illegal with the new administration. There is an inherent sadness with this realization.

“We should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.”
― Michio Kaku

In a diverse and wonderful world, fear should never be a motivator. It is fear which guides those in power now. It is with fear I now view the future. My trepidation growing daily.

It is for this reason I ask the following…

A call has went out among the community to do two things.

  1. Light a vigil candle, nightly, to help light the way to true change, peace, and understanding.
  2. In the course of your practices, perform a binding to prevent the current administration from doing harm.

The world is in a state of flux. Minds which were once closed are now opening. The world view is changing. Guided more by love, inclusion, and peace. We cannot allow a few to derail all the good which has been accomplished.

We must believe one voice can make a difference. “We the People…,” need to speak louder. I started with the two steps above, and followed up by going to: https://impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org and signing.

I do not believe Trump means to harm. He is not evil, or bad, just archaic in his fundamental ideals. He is a small man, hungry with power and it is this hunger which must be tempered. For the good of all, harming none.

Blessed Be my friends!

And may the future hold more peace, and less fear.

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thankyouI am not good with Thank You.

It is not that I have problems saying thank you. I can enunciate thank you effortlessly, and often. The words roll of the tongue like dew off a leaf. The ease in which we use these two words frightens me. I have an innate sense of the minuteness of the words. They lack the ability to convey the profound depth of emotion behind them. They cannot portray the surge of love, relief, gratitude, and overwhelming desire to express the deepest aspects of our soul.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

We move on.

Never hearing, or comprehending, the endless depth of sincerity. Yes, we throw the words a round at times. The rush of meetings, ringing phones, honking horns, encroaching voices. A quick, “Thank you,” typed hastily at the close of an email. Nothing more then simple words. These are not the thank you’s I refer to.

I mean the thank you’s I cannot put into words. The ones surmised in unwritten cards. The unsaid. Blank. Lonely. Heartbreakingly meant more deeply than expressed. These are the Thank You’s I cannot verbalize. The words catch deep in my chest; to never leave my lips.

How does one say, “Thank You!,” when what is meant is, “You saved my life!”? “You mean the world to me!”, does not fit in two simple words.

“Your assistance was vital!”

“Having you here meant the world to me!”

“What would I do without you?”

Even the depth of gratitude in these phrases fails miserably to portray the truth.

To put pen to paper, to say Thank You, is my nemesis. It is a profound short coming in my character. I have yet to find a viable solution to rectify this matter. I’ve searched. I’ve written. I’ve tossed many great ideas. And still, I come up short.

In truth, I blame it solely on fear of failure. I’m terrified of not saying enough…or saying to much…or not saying the right thing…or saying the right thing…or…. the complexity of the fear stills my hand.

A psychologist, I’m sure, would say it is due to lack of social, and emotional, development throughout my formative years. I, however, would not trade my years of quiet contemplation, alone, surrounded by animals. Solitude in nature portends many lessons. Most importantly, a deeper understanding of our connection.

Still, Thank You is a weight I do not carry lightly. Although my actions may incur doubt when my silence persists. I will sit here, nightly, dumbfounded and struggling simply to say, Thank You. Those words carry with them my soul; a depth and breadth one cannot conceive, nor portray.

And I will hope, for today, you grasp my ‘Thank You,’ as one grasps a life raft. Clinging, pulling it closer, in the realization you are the reason for my thankfulness. Your existence, your very being, the miracle which is you, is the reason I go on. Always.

My heroes. My angels. My family. My friends. From my heart to yours, Thank you!

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