On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Moon

Wednesday is a new moon.  According to astrology charts, it will be the first official moon cycle for the new year.  That means the last moon phase was actually the end-of-the-year moon cycle.  Which explains a lot.

Everyone I have talked to has agreed, this past week has been really tough.  In fact, most people are nodding their heads, some weepily, that the last four weeks have been hard. Emotions, finances, transitions, relationships, jobs, all of it has brought pain and struggle.  And though I don't subscribe wholly to the stars, as in, it's not a religion for me, I do submit to the truth that there is cosmic influence and at the very least, some gravitational affect the moon has on the balance of energy here on Earth.

For SCIENCE, of course. ;)

I've been on a life odyssey of sorts for the last year.  In particular, the last six months have been a real bender for me.  My IRL friends know the story but I'll refrain from posting it here.  I have received so much passion, joy and happiness and it has changed me, for the better.  At the same time, I have grieved and mourned my losses once more but at an entirely new depth.  It is hard to grieve for something you didn't know you were missing, an element or two required to make your life happy, whole and functional, until you stumble upon such treasures and the AHA moment smacks you dead in the face.

The sad truth of my life, is that I have had so little of what I have needed.  In fact, I haven't been capable of acknowledging my needs because I didn't know what I needed or that I was allowed to have needs as opposed to being a subservient entity beholden to the wants and needs of others.  Such is the dastardly toll of abuse on the psyche.  When I was in therapy, my counselor urged me to stop and think about what I needed in the moment, in my daily life, and to secure a consistent happy, bright, functional future for me and my children.  Although I listened and acknowledged her advice, I could never wrap my head around what that process should look like.

Now I know.  At least, I have a much better sense of what I need.  It will likely morph a bit more as I continue to grow and move in this positive direction but as long as I'm moving and not stagnating, I'm still on a good path.

One thing that gives me pause, is how little people stop to reflect and contemplate for themselves.  It is as though I've opened my eyes for the first time and see, REALLY see what is around me.  The juxtaposition of beauty and pain in life which ultimately still makes it beautiful, is the most poignant vantage point. I've learned to sort through the struggles and internalize only those things which have made me better, stronger or given me positive energy and propelled me in a forward direction.  Another is that I've learned when we accept the light in others, dismissing their own dross and negative energy, we can achieve a purer perspective in relationship.  We are sentient beings, made from the same carbon that came from stars and one day we will be returned to the earth, but our spirits, from whence they come I'll leave you to make your own declaration, will remain to convene long after our mortal forms have regenerated into a new energy source.  If we embrace the energy we give each other and that resides within one another, we will achieve a higher level of understanding.  And I believe this personal achievement makes it possible for each of us to recognize, accept and then discover what our flaws and strengths are and what energy we need from one another to remain happy and whole despite the trials the cosmic energy of the universe will send our direction.

That's a head full of HRPuff'NStuff, I know.  And for some of you, you may be thinking I've gone off the deep end, started smoking something and denounced my faith in God.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  God came to give us life, and give it to us more abundantly.  It is written in scripture that He knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper and not to fail.  So why don't we have abundant life and why do we feel like we fail?  I  believe it is because of the inherent truth I discussed, because we don't receive the positive energy from one another, from the creatures of the earth, from the living things all around us, from the rocks and the water, from the fire and the air.  It's all here, right within our grasp, and yet we ignore it, go within ourselves, shut others out because we received their negative energy and didn't let it go, or because it has gotten so dark in our hearts and our lives that we forget we bring our own light.  You can call that light, God, if that is your paradigm, just don't ignore the inherent truths in what I'm saying.

Namaste - the light in me bows to the light in you

Try that on for a while.  See how that shoe fits.  Embrace only the positive in everything and everyone.  The moon will cycle again and in 28 days from this Wednesday, you may find yourself on one more journey toward your peace, hope and happiness.  In the meantime, try out new things to capture that energy.  Burn incense or do a sage smudge.  Light candles and send out positive energy to your friends in need.  Create beautiful things in what ever fashion you create, then give it away just because. Burn a fire and let the flickering flames speak truth to you or open your heart to release the pain. Play different types of music than you are used to or CREATE music with instruments. Spend time with animals of every shape and size, just pet them and receive their warmth.  Release your fears and do something you've been afraid to try.  Do something completely out of your paradigm just because you can - i promise, it won't hurt.  Some rules were made to be broken. Give forgiveness to those that you have hurt because letting go of that negativity will set you free.  If you are owed an apology, open your hands, let it go and then shake it out.  Spend time in nature embracing the breath and life in the elements around you.  Laugh, love, sing, dance, meditate, breathe.

It is my gift to you, dear readers, that though I have loved and lost once more, I will give again and again and again.   Learn and grow with me and together we will be free ... and happy.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

When the Happy Well Dries Up

It is a cruel game of the gods and universe to suck dry the Happy Well just when I was basking in my reflection of the shimmering waters.

I have spent the last month crying nearly every day.  Sometimes sobbing.    There have been moments of happy, true, but so much of it has been overshadowed by my grief, anger and loneliness.

My overwhelming daily responsibilities have caught up with me, once again.  Try as I might, it has become increasingly difficult to wade through the challenges with the same positive energy and fervor I had just a few months ago.  I am acutely aware how much I need other positive people in my daily life and then painfully stung by the truth that I have so few available to me within my real world circle.

Happy mornings and fun-filled evenings have kept me living, breathing, smiling but it has not been upon my own strength that I have found that hope.  So I grieve that I have still, STILL not found the strength in myself to be happy without help of another.

And I grieve that, try as I might, I really LIKE the help and hope others give.

It is an indeterminable loop, it seems.  If I can not rely solely upon myself, then I will be a drain and burden on others.  But if I rely solely upon myself, then I crack from the weight of the burden.  Surely there is a balance?  I have yet to find it.

This year I turn 40.  The proverbial midlife crisis, that I thought had already swooped in and devoured me in the divorce and thus was breezing past me, licking my face with the last few blasts of stiff wind, has just now settled in and taken root.  I have no health insurance.  I have no retirement. I have no benefits.  I have no savings.  I live day-to-day, month-to-month.  I have the responsibility of parenting two disabled persons for the rest of my life.  I am alone every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to bed.  And all of it rests on my head.

Some people have said I'm incredibly strong and amazing and awesome and such.  Which is a lovely compliment, indeed.  But I can't be Atlas, carrying the weight of the world ad nauseum.  I am female.  I LIKE being feminine but I have the hardest time balancing femininity and my responsibility because I have to be so strong all.the.time.  I want to be pretty and cherished, loved and petted.  Adored and fawned over.  Sometimes.  Once in a while.  That seems so impossible when I'm carrying so much.  And when I'm alone, even more so.

I understand that life is life, that we all have struggles and burdens, that there is not one soul that treads the Earth without turmoil, loss, heartache and pain.  But I also understand that there is a path in life that I can find that will make the journey less burdensome and more happy.  I know this because I've had a taste of it, because I have within me the power to sustain my joy and hope AND carry my burdens.  I just have to find a way to do it by myself.

I have some big plans ahead, and although I'm running on empty already, I'm going to dig that well deeper ONE.MORE.TIME.  I'm going to find that underground spring under the bedrock of my despair, tap into it and watch my well fill again. 

I have recently learned that there is so much life out there to live that I have not experienced.  I'm on a quest to capture it.

I have learned that there are amazing, wonderful people out there that are just as eager to be positive and pour into other humans as I am.  I will join hands with them and commune in like spirit.

I have seen that my children and I can be happy when I do these things.  I will hold that truth close to my heart and I will not stop until I see it's fruition.

As I sobbed myself to sleep Friday night, my eyes swollen, my pillow soaked, my head throbbing, I settled myself with the final image of happy, like-minded people dancing, singing, laughing and simply living, enjoying each other and life despite the trials while we sat around a blazing fire.  I put myself into that scene and soaked up the positive energy and at last I slept.

1. I am not going to Orlando Retreat this year.  I will be using that time away from home for ME only.

2. I am applying to as many schools as I can find in the North East U.S. that have a Graduate and PhD program in education and preferably in states that will accept my GA provisional certificate and my years of education experience so I can continue my career while I go back to school

3.  I am doing some final repairs to the house and finding someone, anyone, to buy out the principle and my former spouse's remaining equity line borrowed against the house

4.  I am getting myself and my children to a new life, to the amazing friends I've made over the years so my real-life circle of people becomes broader and more stable

5.  I am embracing the hope and joy I have tasted and running toward it, blindly maybe, but running full tilt.

I can not, will not, am not capable of, carrying this burden by myself in Georgia, with challenged children whose needs go unmet, in an economy that I can not get MY needs met and living a lifestyle where I am alone all.the.time.

A beautiful friend, who gives such wonderful hugs, told me several months ago that I am so, so, so worth it.  She said that she hopes I find someone who reminds me of that truth every minute of every day just how true that is.  Today, I am going to be that person for myself.  I am going to tell myself every minute of eery day that I am worth it.  I am enough. I am not alone.  I am.

And then I'm going to go find my happy and steal it back from the Universe and the gods that think it's so gosh darned funny to let me have a taste and see the beauty of it all and then take it away from me again.