Posted in Christmas, indigo inspiration, Thanks for the memories

christmas card


20626453_10159191202895584_4854335629719844248_oI’m alive.  Merry Christmas.  Nobody’s getting a card this year.  Sorry folks.  I’m all out of extra.

The year started with the funeral of one grandparent and ended with another.  I was in the ER twice.  Diagnosed with a weird autoimmune thing with hives for days.  The amount of antihistamines that passed through my system should have meant I slept really well, but what is life.

We put our kids in public school for the first time.  A much bigger deal for me than even for them, to be honest, but all in all, upheaval all around.

Of course there is also all the everyday busyness of being a 6 person and 1 cat household.  The stuff of beauty and exhaustion.

Bills.  So many bills.

Fall into bed grateful that you made it through the day to your pillow.  Wake up to the sunrise and do it all again.

Glorious.

So, for Christmas cards, you’re all getting medical bills from me.  Merry Christmas, here’s a lab charge.  Happy Holidays, you get an MRI with contrast bill.  Happy New Year to you, a medication that insurance didn’t cover.

I’m alive.

I mean that with a dash of sarcasm and a boundless flow of gratitude.  My heart and my soul are awake.  I am living.  Feeling my life.  Being in the middle of it all.  Participating in my own story.  Championing for thrival.

So from my people and I, Happy effing Holidays.  Live your life, peeps.  Embrace the messy.  Blow off the arbitrary expectations.  Find the sacred in your mundane insanity.

Merry Christmas to all.

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Posted in Christmas, Gifts, Living Water

Advent


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Advent.

The Coming.

Love birthed itself in our image as we had been made in Love’s own image at the beginning.

Love that holds us, flows through us, breathes upon us, is ever-present.  Love that we yearn for and seek.  That all the year we cry out to touch.  Love, whose echo in our souls harkens for its origin.  The fiber from which we are made, yet somehow seem to lose in the mundane of our everyday.  In the great struggle for survival, its beacon becomes hidden.

And yet beyond hope, we dream.  We return again to celebrate year after year.  Time slows and a hush falls while the hours rush madly past.  The veil between the material and the divine feels a bit lighter this season.  A bit less definitive.  There is magic in the air and our hearts can begin to remember Love’s voice.  Love so powerful that it was not diminished by human indignity.  Love that draws out the wellspring of itself in all that it graces.

There is hope in these days.  Hope that Love can bring us all together.  To Eden.  To healing and restoration.  That tragedy can find peace if not meaning.  That sorrow can be embraced till it has reached out and kissed joy.  That the pain in every aching soul can bring forth the birth of new life.  That the lost is found and the hungry can be fed.  That war will tire and fall into the arms of community.

We take in the Body of Love.  We drink Love’s lifeblood and remember again for the first time that we are in Love and Love in us.  As Love was born to us and for us and with us, we too are reborn anew with each remembrance of Love.

The mundane begins to take on the glow of sacred.  We see the divine in the face of another.  We feel Love as it resides in our own humanity.  Against all odds we hope.  We dream.  Love does not let us close our hearts.  They are tired hearts.  Weary of pain.  Wary of the next battle.

Yet Love lives on.  In us.  Around us.  Inviting us to take part.  Beckoning us into the dance.  Welcoming the shattered pieces of us that it may make us whole again.

 

Posted in Gifts, indigo inspiration, Living Water, mental-health

A Piece of Church


I found church last night in Barnes and Noble.

I left my mom self at home and went out to person for a while.  To feed my soul so that I could feed us all.

I used to be a strictly fiction reader, escaping my world for one more exotic, yet predictable.  Since the beginning, books have been my home, my haven, my safe house.

And then I hatched.  I birthed myself afresh from the confining cocoon of uneasy comfort which held me captive.  I found again my love of learning that had gone dormant out of fear.   I found biographies.  Memoirs.  People pouring words out of themselves about their realness.  Humor.  Growth.  Humanity.

So I drink it in.  There’s always a new Amazon box.  Another podcast.  The next Audible book.  It’s exhilarating.  Life-giving.  In a lonely time in my life I have found communion and companionship in the spoken and written hearts of others who have been down paths that look like mine.  Past landmarks that I have seen as well.  Whose growth and evolution inspires me to lean into change.

At first, I held it all close to the vest.  The tender sprouts of my new understanding too frail to be exposed to the harsh elements of the world outside myself.  And then, like Jeremiah, it became a burning in my bones, lighting my soul on fire with epiphanies of life and love.

I drew courage from others who speak.  From the gorgeous souls who bravely bare themselves for connection.  I haltingly said a thing.  And carefully another.  It did not kill me.  I breathed in this realization.  Pondered it.  Gathered it to me like a gift.

I went to Barnes and Noble to wander the aisles looking for more courage.  For the people from whom my book people had gotten their inspiration.  Down the rabbit hole of the next author.  And another.  And the next.  Trusting that my searching, my craving for life is opening my mind and my heart to the more and more and more love and connection and healing that the human soul longs for.

Someone else was looking too.  Another human on a path of learning, expanding, growing.

We had church in the aisle.

All the burning newness.  The soul fire of love and learning.  The unlearned and the relearned.  The gift of letting the words out.  Another portion of courage and vulnerability.

I left in a glow of glory.  I felt alive with the magic of it.

I take wonder in.  I absorb concepts.  I mull ideas.  But they don’t fully become mine until they move from my brain to my mouth.  From my mind to my fingers.  Somehow, the act of passing them out of me catalyzes them.  They are transformed from glowing embers into roaring flames.

This is my church.  This is where my soul is fed.  This is my learning come to life.  This is where I find resurrection.  In Barnes and Noble with a stranger.  Who is really not a stranger at all but a human who is connected to my humanity by hope.  By the courage to be alive.  By the bravery to grow and change and be made new.  By the capacity to live loved.

Posted in Insane in the Brain, Thanks for the memories, The Donor Chronicles

#MeToo


Does my #MeToo count?

Does it count if I was groped by my mother “teaching” me what men want to do to me?

Does it count if I had to fear that I would displease my parents while in the midst of my monthly cycle because the consequence was a more humiliating naked beating than usual?

Does it count if kids my own age explored my newly forming breasts?

Does it count if I was warned that my hair wet from the shower would cause my father to lust after me?

Does it count that the only positive affirmation I received in the early part of my teen years was cat-calling and wolf whistles?

Is my #MeToo bad enough to count among the #MeToo’s?

Posted in Insane in the Brain, Living Water, Thanks for the memories

Otherwise, what is the point?


Where to start when I have been a hermit for so long?  Also, I realize writing a blog post does little to reform my hermit status.  It merely makes me a sporadically blogging hermit.  Which is possibly more disturbing than the sum of its parts.  Life and its myriad hand grenades have me retreating into my suburban cave without my noticing the extent of the retreat.  I was tipped off to the seriousness of my hermitage when an audio book I had purchased on Audible concluded with the author’s thanks to various people who had made her work possible.  And I felt a surge of jealousy.  They were all authors that I love.  I was mad that they had been hanging out without me.

Ahem.

Moving on…

Ok.  Ok.  I see a therapist.  I’ll bring it up.  Like none of you have thought anything so disturbing.

Which brings me to what my heart is bleeding to let out.  What my soul has been learning and my mouth does not know how to say.

There is room for me.  My humanity is not too complicated to be sustained by Love.  The scars I have do not disqualify my belonging.

The vastness of Truth has got to be bigger than my doubts and my questions.  I cannot believe that I can dethrone God by wondering if everything I have believed, been taught to believe, is a fabrication.  I cannot imagine that the One who holds all things together is given to fits of insecurity when I deconstruct, again and again, things I had never thought to question.

It is a lonely road, to be sure, this uneven journey of discovery.  It has little to mark it as a path when the truths that once lit my way have been dulled by disaster, pain, and tragedy.  When the roadmap I hold up for guidance is in tatters and is no longer the sure thing I once took for granted.  When everything outside me is a weight of uncertainty that threatens to suffocate the breath from my lungs.  When, in an attempt to beat the hell out of me, someone else’s proclaimed truths also beat the heaven out of me.

Truth has got to be bigger than that.  Love has got to be stronger than that.  It has to have room for my doubt, my questions, my reality, my humanity.  Otherwise, what good is it?

I am made in the image of Love.  Surely a little messiness doesn’t scare Him.  A lot of messiness doesn’t scare him either.  The truth I need to know isn’t out there, ever in danger of flight.  It’s not an elusive, ethereal something always slipping from my grasp, always on the verge of evacuating my doubting heart.

If I belong to Love, if Love holds all together, if I am made in Love’s image, than Love is not frightened by my growth.  Love welcomes the evolution.  Love cheers in pride for me as I take my first tottering steps of liberation from fear.

My truth in this season is that I miss trusting fear.  Fear protected me from so much.  At least that’s what I’m mostly sure of.

But there is no fear in love.  So I am learning how to step out of fear and take Love’s hand.  Love says, “I am already in you.  You need not fear.”

So what if I mess up?  So what if I get it wrong sometimes?  So what if not being afraid makes me do things that are not what is expected of me?  So what if I don’t color in the lines?

I am made in the image of Love.  Truth is not shaken by doubt.

If the proof that I am in Love are the fruits of Love in my life, than I say bring it on.  Because I see Love in myself.  I am seeing Love in the faces of others.  Joy and peace are more characteristic of my life than before.  I am learning patience and kindness, first with myself, and then others.  And autonomy.  That sense that I belong only to Love and Love to me.

That the masterpiece of me is exactly what Love wants to see.

Posted in Thanks for the memories

From Loved


She often asks me, “What do you know?”

I steady my breathing.  Ground myself in the room.  Be in the present.

And then I frantically grasp for something profound that validates my right to exist.  Some existential concept that buys me a place in life by virtue of depth and uncommon wisdom.  Something to make up for the deficit that I am.

If I have to grasp for it, it’s not really mine.  It’s not really what I know.  So I’m learning how to slow down.  To quiet the frantic pursuit.  To be still so the dust can settle.  So I can know.  And when the dust does settle, when the chaos of panicked searching calms, what is there?  Even if I have no answers.  Even if I don’t know what questions to ask.

Loved.

I am loved.

What I know and what I believe is in flux.  Changing.  Evolving.  Making room for bigger and more complex paradoxes and truths.  Because that’s what being human is.  Growth.  Change.  Evolution.  I started out with a disaster of a belief.  A way of existing bequeathed to me by a jagged and broken system birthed in the pain of a myriad of other tales of human suffering.  The human soul wants to live and survive but it also wants to grow and thrive.  So the scrappy, fragile me broke out piece by piece into a new day, a new life.  A life fresh with questions, with terrifying possibilities.

Loved.

I am here.

I am Loved.

And that is what I know.

Loved makes space to ask and grow and learn and become.

Loved says yes to connection.  Loved finds beauty wherever it can be found.  Love has room for all the ways our souls long and question and grow.  Love is not afraid of different.  Love is not put off by doubt.  Love is big enough for you.  Love is big enough for me.  It is big enough for us to figure out our shit together.  Love does not demand a reason for being.  It does not require you to validate your existence.  Love says you are here and that is enough.  You are enough.

So I choose to live from Loved.  I answer from Loved.  I grow from Loved.

It is messy and uncertain.  It is different.  It is wild.  It is not tame or confined.

But it is real.  Authentic.  Genuine.  Organic.  And so very Alive.

There is no adventure like the life lived from Loved.

So I answer her in the quiet space.

What do I know?

I know acceptance.

I know Loved.

 

so loved...

Posted in Insane in the Brain, mental-health, of yore, Thanks for the memories, The Donor Chronicles

Life is a minefield.


There’s a book inside me trying to get out.  It’s called I was beaten more days than not.  It’s called the beatings are still with me.  It’s called I love you and I’m smiling but my heart is crying inside.  Screaming in pain.  The book is fighting with fear.  Fear was my best friend.  Fear kept me alive.  But now fear is keeping the book inside and it’s going to kill me if it doesn’t get out.  It’s going to grow and eat me like cancer.  Or give me actual cancer.  The book wants to be heard.   The book is me.  It’s all the ages I was when Fear was keeping me alive.  Or hope.  Because I think Hope might be Fear’s cousin.  Not that I understand family or anything.  Family, after all, is what Fear and Hope tried to save me from for all those years.  In all those dark moments.  You know, the moments when you’re told by the people who brought you into this world that you are disgusting to your core.  That they never actually wanted you.  That you’re always on the verge of wrath and judgement.  God is looking at you and He wants to vomit.  All that lovely, nurturing honesty that builds loving and confident members of society.  I lived in the dark for years after I left the darkness.  I took it with me.  It lived on in my barely breathing soul.  I pretended to be a living person.  I even fooled myself for a time.  But a living darkness like mine cannot be tricked into dying.  It knows it’s alive.  And when my careful charade of life was struck a blow by another version of what first tried to end me, the darkness began to weep.  It made myself heard.  All the me’s had found their voice.  And gave it to the pain.  The vibrations cracked my shell and I hatched.  I was reborn.  As a newborn, yet less helpless than before.  The metamorphosis startled me.  It knocked my back off my feet.  I tentatively thanked the fear for keeping me alive, and handed the keys to hope instead with trembling hands.  I can see colors I didn’t before.  I can hear sounds I was deaf to.  I can feel the life.  I can see it teeming all around me.  In its glory and agony.  Sometimes I break again from the weight of it.  The darkness is still with me.  Some days it rides shotgun.  Some days I can call it an Uber.  Other days it stuffs me in a trunk and I’m not sure where we’re going.  But then I hatch again.  Another part of me is born and freed to begin again.  Quivering with possibility and apprehension.  Most do not welcome my darkness.  Very few can accept the constant rebirth.  I am too much for many and not enough for nearly all.  But there is a book inside me, fighting with fear to get out.  And maybe when Fear and Hope and Me can walk into the light together, I will feel heard.   And the pain will settle to a dull roar.  Which is preferable to the constant ringing in my head.