Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


8 Comments

Being Strong

Tree roots walking

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” Bob Marley

I discovered this quote at Behind the White Coat: https://doctorly.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/%e2%80%8bwho-knew-a-broken-blue-sky/ 

I like that Bob Marley quote. But I believe we always have a choice. There are many times when I’ve felt like I had to be strong, like for my kids after the divorce. I could have fallen apart, but I didn’t, at least not in front of the kids. I didn’t give up because I had a responsibility to my children. And I didn’t want to hurt my parents.

Deep down, I knew there was the possibility that things could better though I did not know how.

I could have been stronger and not gotten involved in that rebound from hell, but in my grief, I made some poor choices. There were may points of choice along the way. Ultimately, thankfully, I made better choices.

Recognizing that we choose to be strong, even when we think we have no choice, is a way of giving ourselves credit for not giving up, affirming our strength.

Being strong often means asking for help from people who have our best interests in mind, those who will build us up with love. I’ve read that trees with roots entwined with other trees are stronger in storms, that trees help each other.

sugar-loaf-back-hill

Carolina Beach State Park

In October, I went hiking in the mountains with my son who is now 30. The trail was “moderately strenuous” with plenty of steep elevations changes.

“This is kinda scary,” I said at one point trying to figure out where to put my feet to walk across a curved rock next to a steep bank. If I made the wrong step, I might have fallen down into the rocky creek.

img_4985

A Beech Mountain Trail

I believe I could have eventually traversed the rock by myself if I’d had to. But I didn’t have to. I asked for my son’s  hand. He reached out giving me the courage to step onto the rock.  I felt his strength as I crossed over. What a strange feeling to know he is physically stronger than me.  I’d love to know he is becoming wiser than me… maybe in another 30 years.

img_4991-2

This is part of the trail. The tree roots are growing on the rock I crossed over to the left.

Sometimes it feels like things are falling apart. We wonder how things got to this point of scariness. It feels like chaos. In these times, we need to reach out for help. We need to support each other.  And we need to remember the things that make us stronger.

If I had read Lisa’s list of “Ten empowering thoughts to hold on to when it’s all falling apart” 15 years ago, I would have taped them on my refrigerator, and my bathroom mirror, and my bedroom mirror.

Believing that things could get better, focusing on the constants in my life, and surrounding myself with loving, caring people helped me continue to put one foot in front of the other, to find a path out of the darkness.

And things did get better in time. Better than I would have ever imagined.

Dave and Doodle on bridge

 

Because God can write straight with lines that don’t look straight at all.

good sunset

 


12 Comments

Maybe

SOC badge with butterfly

Maybe everything will turn out okay. Maybe even better than okay. After all, look what happened to my love life that was in the toilet at the beginning of this century. And now, things have turned out better than okay.

Back when I was newly divorced, then in the sick rebound, then in the not as sick rebound, then lonely and wondering if I should just give up on romance, I had to work hard to imagine that maybe things would be okay or even better.

But imagine I did.

I’m good at imagining the worst, or the drudgery of a life of a life of drudgery. Correction: I WAS good at that. Whatever we practice, we get better at. I’ve gotten better at imagining good things happening, because look what’s happened! Not only has the man of my dreams come back to me at the perfect time, but he’s empowered me to pursue my creative soul’s desires!

Yet, I still have to work at imagining that maybe things will turn out great for my grown children, especially my baby girl. I guess I had a lot of practice worrying as a mom. Too much worrying. It helps to remember what I was like in my early 20s. I got side tracked by my emotions just like she has a tendency to do. I floundered as to my direction and career goals. I didn’t know just how to get back on course. But, eventually, I figured it out and went back to college. She is not me, so she might not go back to college. But maybe things will work out okay. Probably things will work out okay.

Maybe they will work out even better than okay.

Maybe we can slow the damage we are doing to our planet.

Maybe we can reverse the damage we’ve done.

Maybe we can learn to live in peace, at least more peace.

Maybe there is hope for each and every one of us.

Maybe imagining things working out better than we imagined can improve out chances, especially if we take steps in the direction of our hopes and dreams.

Maybe it will take more time than we imagined, but maybe that time is what we need to grow up.

Maybe the human race will grow up before we destroy ourselves.

______________________________________________________

 Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “mb.” We were instructed to “find a word that has those two letters in it, in that order,”and base our post on it. We were also instructed, by our fearless leader of SOC prompts, to have fun!

If you’d like to give it a go, visit Linda by clicking this link:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/06/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1116/

Here are the rules:

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.

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!


11 Comments

Rebound From Hell

socs-badge

Is it really better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all?

Well, considering the word, “never,” which I don’t like to use, then the answer would be yes. To have never loved at all, would be sad. But if we expand this question beyond romantic love, then who hasn’t loved some one or some thing?

In my post-divorce single years, trying to be cynical about love, I laughed out loud when I saw the following saying on T-shirt:

“It’s better to have loved and lost, than to live the rest of your life with a psychotic.”

I’m not saying my x husband suffered from psychosis. But my post-divorce rebound from hell probably did. Of course I didn’t know it when I met him. And neither did he. People are on their best behavior when we first meet them. And I was blinded by grief and codependency.

The rebound from hell contained one crisis after another. Thank God it only lasted a year, which was a year too long, though I feel like the delusional jealousy and emotional abuse took years off my life.  I am reclaiming those years, now!

To be perfectly honest, I wish I’d never loved him. The best thing that came out of that relationship was learning to have compassion for people who stay in unhealthy relationships too long.

Every relationship teaches us something we need to learn. I needed to learn to love and respect myself again. I needed know that I am loved and cherished by a Power greater than myself who brings me back to sanity. I had to learn to honor my own boundaries, to be ready for healthy love with some one else. Some one who is not  psychotic.

Not that I have anything against psychotic people. As long as they are getting therapy and/or working a recovery program, taking medications as prescribed (if prescribed), and can respect me and my boundaries, fine. We can hang out.

We all have broken places that need mending. We all have something to work on. We all need love. Good, healthy love.

Today, I celebrate my independence from co-dependence.

 

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was “is.” And I got bonus points for using it at the end of a word :).

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-415/

Here are the rules:

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.

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!


10 Comments

Friendship First!

socs-badge

Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Do you ever wonder about how we get to be friends with some people. Those seemingly random encounters, when you find an immediate connection, make me wonder. A past life relationship? Or does God want us to learn something from each other?

Does God set up blind dates for us with people we can learn from?

Friendship was paramount in my teen years. Then family became the focus, along with work relationships.

As I’ve gotten older, with the kids grown (mostly) friendship becomes more important.

After the divorce, after the crappy rebound, and the not quite right re-re-bound, I constantly reminded myself:

FOCUS ON FRIENDSHIP!

  FRIENDSHIP FIRST!

I befriended myself. And of course the dogs were the most constant friends of all.

Then there was the reunion with the high school girlfriends, after 30 plus years, we got together for a long weekend.

Friendship with those special ladies led to my high school sweetheart finding me again.  I won’t give you all the details, because they’re in the memoir I’m working on.

But the key was friendship first.

I still cherish those friendships. And I cherish the friendship I have with my husband.

We talk a lot about love, but the best kind of love, I believe, begins and ends with being friends.

Even my love for God is enriched by a component of friendship.

 

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was acquaint/friend. If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

Special Edition Friday Prompt for SoCS February 28/15

Here are the rules:

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,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

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.

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. Have fun!


2 Comments

God Has a Plan!

bird alone at sunset

Lone Bird, by JoAnne Silvia

Psalm 13:

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long shall I have perplexity in my mind and grief in my heart, day after day? How long shall my enemy triumph over me?

Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death.

Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him.” and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.

But I put my trust in your mercy; my heart is joyful because of your saving help.

I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly. I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.”

This psalm takes me back to the grief…the pain of separation after being married for 20 years, followed by an unexpected divorce. I believed that my husband and I would grow old together, that when the kids were grown, we would travel across country in an RV like my parents did.

The grief was most intense on August 18th, the anniversary of my first marriage – the one I believed would last until death parted us. I could not understand how God could have let this happen. I felt deserted and confused.

Even I didn’t know what a wreck I was after the divorce, until I woke up from the nightmare of a sick rebound relationship.

In the years that followed, I wondered what was wrong with me, that I couldn’t find anyone right for me to date, let alone, marry. It seemed like I was alone for a long time, but in retrospect, it wasn’t that long, and I was never alone.

Good Shepherf Window

It was love at fist sight when I walked into my church and saw him over two decades ago.

God was with me the whole time. My guardian angel walked beside me, shaking her head in exasperation. And Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was always there, lighting the path of love, that led back to the fold.

Jeremiah 29:11 was my life preserver.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give your hope and a future.”

Maybe God wanted me to be single so I could accomplish more, because relationships do take time and effort, even the good ones.  And the unhealthy relationships, well, they can be insanely distracting, taking us way off course…

(Or maybe not off course, but learning what we need to change to be ready for the gift.)

What I know now is that I had to work on me, and be a better parent, and draw closer to God.  I had to love myself and do what was right for me as a single person.  I kept going to the church where I felt accepted and cherished. I kept working and learning, singing and enjoying creation.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other, loving the family and friends who walked beside me.

And God did have a plan!

Now, August 18th is just another summer day with the love of my life. God has dealt with me richly, with many blessings, including bringing my soul mate to me when the time was perfect.

In times of uncertainty, I must remember God’s mercy and let my heart be joyful!

cloud heart

Heart Cloud, by JoAnne Silvia


7 Comments

It’s Going To Be Okay!

Angels on wood

Angels were trying to tell me.

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  – John Lennon

I’d like to go back in time, to 1972, just for a moment, when my first love had to move back to Connecticut. I want to tell my 16 year old self: It will be okay.

Next stop – 2001 after my husband left, to tell myself: I know this is a mountain you didn’t expect, but you’ll climb it. In time, it will be okay.  Better than okay. Just wait! God has a plan.

For the first few years of this century, I longed for a partner who would be a good fit. Then, I wondered if there was such a thing, me being in my 50’s and all, so I started thinking I’d rather have my own kayak and settle for loyal companionship of dogs.

But in July of 2014, I found myself on an adventure with my first love, who, as you may know by now, became my second husband, the partner who is a good fit, who brought three more dogs into my home. Our home.  (Lots of companionship here!)  Anyway, Saturday we took our “new” tandem kayak out for a paddle around the small islands 20 miles south of our home.

After getting a good deal on the second hand tandem, someone said, “Oh, you got a divorce kayak.” Yikes! I guess tandems have a reputation for causing arguments.

So we watched this video:

David and I  did great, considering it was his first time in a kayak, and it had been a couple years since I’d paddled. I had to trust him to steer from the back. It was my job up front to set the pace, and to communicate (as he patiently reminded me) if I was going to suddenly start paddling on one side to help him steer. I eventually left the most of the steering to him and gratefully let him paddle by himself a bit when I needed a break because my arms felt like rubber.

The temperature was about 90 degrees, so the droplets and splashes of water refreshed us.  The sky was the bluest blue with giant cottony clouds. White ibis hunted in the marsh grass, and we got to see brown pelicans – up close and personal – pause in mid flight, watch the water,  then dive for a fish.  (Next time I’ll bring a waterproof camera.)

As we were driving home, tired but feeling ALIVE, with our kayak in the back of David’s truck – our truck, I realized how blessed I am.

Kyak in truck

That’s when I wanted to go to my 46 year old self, and  just hold that confused and lonely woman with love.  I want to  somehow convey the message:

It’s going to be okay. Things are going to work out. You’ll see.

Jo looking at sunset

I wonder if my future self will want to come back in time to the present me when I’m worried about my grown kids dealing with their own challenges, or my own challenges, which are  relatively minor these days, so she can say to me:

Don’t worry so much.  Everything will be okay in the end. God has a plan.

What do you want to go back and tell yourself? Send a hug back through time.