Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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One-Liner Wednesday: Gratitude Makes Sense of Our Past

woman looking back at rocks

 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

I thought I knew all the stages of grief.

But there’s always more to learn.

 I never understood the role of  bargaining in my divorce.

I don’t remember begging, though I did ask “Why?”

wandering around in shock.

The counselor said the marriage could be saved

unless there were other lovers –

then it wouldn’t work.

The other woman had been my friend

before the bottom fell out.

There was no checking in.

No sisterhood.

.

I used to think  guilt was a stage of grief,

guilt the companion of bargaining,

guilt who knows where I live.

Maybe if I’d been more attentive,

 more docile, more playful…

I thought I was doing a good job

for the two decades tossed away.

Why? Why? Why? ad infinitum….,

(until now.)

.

Anger got lost in depression,

the depression I tried to swallow,

but it kept coming back up.

Or I’d stuff it in a drawer and forget about it

until I went looking for that purple scarf

and it grabbed me around the throat

and threw me on the bed.

 I couldn’t get up

but I could roll over and slide down

to put my knees on the floor.

.

All the while I wrestled with depression,

anger lurked nearby growing into a boulder of resentment

blocking my path to happiness.

.

But where was this acceptance I kept hearing about?

I had no idea.

.

It wasn’t until forgiveness

finally got a foot in the door

and started chipping away at resentment,

that acceptance had a chance to work.

It was forgiveness that opened a path for love.

Love of self. Love of family. Love of life.

And finally when the time was right,

Love from another.

.

Now, after all these years, I’ve awakened

to another stage:

Gratitude.

Eighteen years ago I would have never believed it possible

to be grateful for my divorce.

But if the first marriage had not died,

if the other woman had not been there,

I would not have been set free.

Free to fall.

Free to flounder.

Free to fly.

Free to find myself again.

Free to be found.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

one-liner-wednesday-badge-2018-19

 

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill

at

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/21/one-liner-wednesday-its-time/

 

Here are the rules that we sometimes follow:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


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Getting Real About My Mess

Window w Blue with Stars

“Don’t Compare Your Insides to Other People’s Outsides.”

The other day, I was listening to an interview on public radio with Peter Sagal, host of “Wait, Wait… Don’t tell Me!” “Wait, Wait” is a comedy quiz show I’d never watched or listened to, so I checked it out on youtube. In the recent interview, Mr. Sagal talked about mental health challenges and how looking at social media sites like Facebook can make a person think: everybody else is so happy. What’s wrong with me? Am I the only one with problems? 

I got to thinking about that and realized that if you look at my Facebook page, or read my book, you’d think I must be pretty darn happy these days. Most of the time, I feel moderately happy.  Yeah, I got to retire from my stressful job, and I’m married to the love of my life, so a lot of the big challenges (stupid mistakes, divorce, more stupid mistakes, and the death of my parents) seem to be behind me. Knock on wood. But life can still be messy.  So, in the interest of being real, here are some of my current messes:

Codependency is still part of my life. After years of recovery meetings, step work, and reading daily meditations for codependents, I still worry too much about other people’s mess – what they think about me, how I might be able to fix help them, etc. But I’m making progress. I don’t let codependency run my life like it used to. I’m a “Recovering People Pleaser,” but some days, I’m still too nice. Or when I’m not nice, because I’m tired of being nice, I feel guilty. The good thing is I feel guilty for minutes or hours instead of days and weeks.

I struggle to let go of my adult children. Not as much in my actions as in my thoughts. Their lifestyles and beliefs are not what I imagined for them. I worry about them. I know some of that’s normal. My parents must have felt the same way about me. But it sure is uncomfortable sometimes. I’m slowly learning to let go.

I’m still more sensitive than I’d like to be. My feelings can get hurt by little things which don’t seem little and which I dwell on too long. Intellectually, I can tell myself all kinds of reasons not to let it get to me, but it’s a struggle.

With all this residual sensitivity and codependency, I get to work on issues with the love of my life. We both have issues. Now we get to work on them together. That’s why we are in the relationships we’re in. And to support each other and have fun. Let’s not forget that!

I have lots of conversations in my head. Thank God and my guardian angels for protecting me when I drive. I’m working on this. I tell myself to focus on the road ahead, to practice mindful driving, and it works for a while, then I realize I’ve been rehearsing a conversation that probably won’t ever happen.

My house is messy. I have a lot of dog hair in my house, and my 16 year old terrier/beagle has incontinence issues. I need to brush the dogs more and buy some air freshener.

It’s been a while, but I like to look at photos of stars with no make up.

So that’s my current mess without touching on the bigger messes of my past, or the mess I don’t even see, because we don’t always see all of our own mess.

I’m thankful that my life is mostly good now, but it’s not a bed of roses.  Okay, there are  are roses, slightly wilted with thorns. Everybody has thorns. Everybody has messes. We all have stuff to work on. And God’s grace is always available.

pale pink rose with thorns


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A Conversation with Worry

faith-that-things-will-work-out

“This worrying is not helping anything!”

“We’re not worrying, we’re planning. We have to be prepared!”

“Speak for yourself. You want to prepare for the worst. You seem to like to imagine the worst. What a waste of time! How many times have I prepared for the worst, got all stressed about it, and the worst didn’t happen. I’d rather prepare for the best! The best has happened, you know: a good husband, retirement, financial stability…. Good things do happen!”

“But what if  something bad happens? What about natural disasters? What about evil aliens? Zombies? Go ahead and roll your eyes. You took First Aid and CPR classes didn’t you?’

“Yes. It was required for my job.”

“You took those classes so you’d be prepared in case of an emergency. That’s just being smart.”

“Oh, Worry. That’s different. You’re trying to get me to imagine all sorts of bad things happening. I don’t even want to go there. Just stop it!”

“The truth is, I’m scared. Imagining how to handle a crisis makes me feel….stronger. Prepared!”

“I’m sorry you’re scared. But imagining the worst is bad for my nerves. And my heart. Stress is not good for the body you know, unless you can run it out – release it somehow. Hey! How about we go for a walk?”

“I don’t know. It might rain. And there are crazy people out there in the world…”

“Well, let’s just go out in the backyard and do some yoga.”

“Okay, but watch out for the dog poop.”

“A little dog poop never hurt anybody. But I will watch out for it.”

“You could pick it up, too.”

“Right. Maybe after the yoga.”

“If you pick it up first —”

“INHALE…………… EXHALE into forward bend.”

“Don’t throw your back out.”

“I’m being careful.”

“Thank you.”

This stream-of-consciousness conversation with my old friend, Worry, was inspired by Harlon at “A Patient Voice” and his post about worry.


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WATWB: Getting to the Bottom of School Shootings

We are the world watw-turquoise-badge-275-x-241-black

If we want to get to the underlying issues behind school shootings, we need to look deeper. What causes a young man to kill innocent students and teachers? Scarlet Lewis believes it has a lot to do with anger. I agree.

In 2012, Scarlett’s six year old son Jesse was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School along with 19 classmates and six educators.

“Scarlett realized this violent act started with an angry thought in the young man’s head that was responsible for the mass shooting. She also understood that an angry thought can be changed.”   Choose Love Movement Website

In response to her son’s death, Scarlett created the Choose Love Movement. I’m sharing about Choose Love today because we so desperately need prevention programs like this one. Choose Love teaches Social and Emotional Learning helping individuals to replace angry thoughts with loving thoughts.

I commend Scarlett Lewis and Choose Love for their continuing mission.

For more information, please watch the short video and visit the website.

We Are the World Blogfest” seeks to promote positive news. There are many an oasis of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world. For more information, visit:

http://www.damyantiwrites.com/we-are-the-world-blogfest/


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I’m Thankful I Didn’t Walk In Front of a Truck.

“The Suicide Note” at Manifesto Amelioration   reminded me that I thought about suicide when I was 20 years old.

It was in the late 70s, after high school when my codependency emerged full force. The guy I’d been dating was not a good fit. But I didn’t get it. Depressed, I dropped out of college, worked in nowhere jobs, and drank more I should have.

I had no active suicide plan, just thoughts about leaving work at the pizza place where I washed dishes with tears dripping into the sink, and walking in front of a truck. I thought about it more than once. Because my stupid boyfriend didn’t love me anymore, and life wasn’t working out at all like I planned.

What stopped me was that I didn’t want to hurt my parents. My little sister had been killed by a drunk driver less than two years earlier. The night she died, my father, the strongest man I’ve ever known, sat in his chair shaking his head and holding a cigarette for the first time in years. I felt his agony.  Even then, I knew that losing one child was a horrible burden for any parent to bear. I would not add to their pain.

I didn’t know how hard my parents were praying for me when I was 20. And that angels were watching over me, sometimes peeking though their fingers, shaking their heads in disbelief as I meandered along the edge of sanity.  I did not walk in front of any trucks, but I did put myself in some risky situations.

Thank you, angels.

 

Angel from Pixabay

Putting one wobbly, angel nudged foot in front of the other, I got over the boyfriend who was never a good fit. I had other boyfriends. I got married, graduated from college, and had two children. There was more heartbreak, but there were joys, too. Big joys. And lots of lessons. Today, my life is better than I could have ever imagined.

My point is that when I was 20 years old and thought about suicide, I didn’t know that the best years of my life were waiting for me.

Hope is always with us, waiting patiently. It gets better.

1-800-273-8255 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

It ain’t over yet.

 

(The angel photo is from pixabay.)


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The fears are paper tigers.

There’s so much I love about this post by “Purple Rays.” In the painting, the woman is attending to an animal we usually think of as fierce, maybe even frightening. But she is loving, even playful toward the tiger with the flower necklace. Perhaps, instead of pushing them away, I will comfort my fears as I would a fearful child. Then I can take the action that is needed in my life as encouraged by the words of Amelia Earhart.

Purplerays

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“The most difficult thing is the decision to act,
the rest is merely tenacity.
The fears are paper tigers.
You can do anything you decide to do.
You can act to change and control your life;
and the procedure,
the process is its own reward.”

~Amelia Earhart

Artist~Frederick Stuart Church
Text & image source: Remember ღ Once upon a Time? https://web.facebook.com/RememberOnceUponATime/

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SoCS: Panting in Yoga Class

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is the word, “pant,” brought to you by Linda Hill at:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/08/18/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-aug-1917/

I’ve been getting back into yoga lately, going to a class about once a week. Usually I go to a “gentle” class or something called “flow.” But last week I decided to try something different: kundalini yoga. WP says I didn’t spell it right. Who cares. The class theme for that day was letting go of anger. At one point we were pounding our  fists on blankets and I almost started crying, because that’s what I often do when I’m angry, cry. There was a lot of breath work, too. At another point, the instructor had us panting like dogs with our tongues sticking out.

Happy Dogs by Ayla

A photo by my daughter, Ayla, who loves dogs.

I like dogs. No, I love dogs. But I’m not that good at panting. It reminded me of natural childbirth all those eons ago. The childbirth panting helped for a while, but eventually I gave in and had a shot of stadol. With both births. Oh, well. The kundalini panting wasn’t so bad, but for the rest of the day and night, my throat was dry and scratchy. I hope I released lots of anger that I didn’t know I had all bottled up inside me.

The best thing I got out of this class was a chant that went,

“From now on, I send you only love.”

That’s for ourselves and anyone we had the anger at since I guess it’s gone now, right?  I was thinking I’d say that to myself in the mirror. “From now on, I send you only love.” And then maybe I’ll stick my tongue out and pant and laugh at myself. Laughter is the best medicine after all.

This morning I’m going to that same yoga studio (where I plan to stick with gentle and flow classes that my body has come to crave – but not to the point of panting) and I’m facilitating a workshop called, “Finding Your Soulmate While Loving Yourself.” It’s based on what I learned in my life about that, which is all in my book, Trust the Timing. One thing that I’ve clarified as I’ve thought about the workshop is I moved from being cynical to being accepting of whatever God had planned for me as far as a soulmate was concerned. I found a place balanced between cynical and desperate. Because I really did NOT want to be desperate. That gets you in all kinds of trouble, panting after some guy…nope, not for me, not anymore. Never again.

If you’d like me to come to your town and do a workshop on soulmates or loving yourself, I’d be happy to consider it, especially if there is a beach or some mountains near where you live. We can do some guided imagery about loving yourself and/or being happy and cozy with your soulmate, but we will NOT do any panting. I promise.

From now on, I send you only love. Pant, Pant.

SOC winner 2017

Congratulations to J-Dub for our new SoCS Badge!

Here are the rules for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!