Inaction

It is my belief that we do not get to sit back and simply let life happen. That’s not how it works. That right there is how we end up waking up, looking around and wondering where the heck we are and how we got here.

When we find ourselves in a world we aren’t meant for we are going to feel it. It is going to rip us apart like a wild animal caught in a trap.

We don’t belong here and our souls know it before we do.  They start screaming at us from deep within.  We may be able to muzzle them at first, but eventually the sound becomes impossible to ignore.

It is at this point that we can either choose to sit in this, or act.  Accept it or don’t.

There isn’t a magic wand out there that will take us out of this.  We can trust, pray and wait all we want.

What I have found is that action is the only way out of the hell our inaction has lead us to.

Life Raft

When the main vessel capsizes our only remaining hope is the life raft we may have been lucky enough to find. Maybe we had to build it with our own two hands with anything and everything we could scavenge up for materials.

That dingy becomes our most prized posession. It’s the one thing keeping us from a cold, dark, agonizing death. We rest our head on it when our body’s collapse as the adrenaline leaves us. The rafts firmness gives us a sense of security in an otherwise morbid sea of fear.

But what happens when our lifeline springs a leak. First we fill with panic all over again. We may even become angry that this one thing that had allowed us to feel so safe and secure and whole, could fail us too. Next comes the thought that we are going to die out here, all alone in this frigid water.

If we are lucky, I mean really lucky, we find hope. We rummage around for anything we may have brought with us that could repair the damage. And with all we have left we replace the fear with determination to live.

Just as we ourselves are wholly imperfect and needed that raft to keep us afloat, it too has weaknesses. We just have to be willing to set aside the initial gut wrenching, immobilizing fear in order to put in the work needed to fix it.

Now that we’ve done this, now that our life line has been restored, we can rest assured that when the next leak comes we will survive that too. All the stronger for it.

Fog

I look forward to this day all week.

It is set aside as this special time when I can finally breathe. Feel moderately comfortable. Completely and fully exhale.

This time it was different.

There is something dark and heavy in the air. I could tell myself I’m just imagining it. I know how to do that. But I’ve done that for too long.

I’ve ignored this exact feeling many times over, and eventually it comes back to haunt me. It rears it’s nasty two pronged head another day while I’m kicking myself, wishing I’d have headed the warning.

This fog is coming from one of two places. The traditional answer is that it’s emanating from within me. And only me. That’s the script that I’ve been trained to read. It says I messed up or missed something. I can correct it and clear the air.

The other, less palpable answer, is that it isn’t just me. I won’t be able to fix it. I can’t flip a switch and vanquish this darkness. It’s not mine to eradicate. This is the narrative I despise. In this version of the story I have to rely on faith.

Faith that somehow, some way, something else can mend this brokenness.

Hands in the air, no driving with my knees. Just allowing something else to take the wheel.

Time

Time is reminiscent of water.

An ever rolling and flowing river.

Rapid, rough and risky on one hand, and yet slow, steady and smooth on the other.

We can’t easily hold it in our hands. Maybe for a short while, but inevitably it begins to gradually seep through our fingers, drop by drop, trickling down our wrists to our elbows until finally falling back to the earth. There is little-to-nothing we can do to stop it.

It can gently wash over our wounds and soften the edges of our pain, until we are ready to let go of it. This current simultaneously carries away the sting of the venom left behind by our predators. Much in the way we skip those impossibly polished stones from the shore with all our might to see how far away we can banish them.

Just like this fickle stream, time if spent wisely, can be the lifeblood of our souls. Conversely, if squandered for too long in dank darkness, can carry with it a soul sickness the likes of which nothing short of total surrender will scrub clean.

The Grey

Right or wrong; good or bad; up or down; black or white.

These things are easy for us to digest.

That area in-between is where we get lost.

I’m in the Grey right now. Trudging through.

I’ve got a line thrown down and tied to the dock, but I’m drifting.

Besides, I’m not the one griping the other end of the rope so, let’s hope it holds.

This blind faith, this completely insane trust, is how we are supposed to find our way through the Grey, to a better understanding of it maybe.

In this manner, we can learn how to live in the middle, steering clear of the extremes.

For me, I only became willing to tolerate the Grey when the pain and anguish of living in black-and-white became truly unbearable.

Raise Me

The first thing I had written in years, which I wrote in 2018, was a post about seeing you. Seeing the hurt in you and recognizing it. Understanding you and being with you through those moments when life is heavy.

Fast forward two years, and low-and-behold people are doing that for me today.

They see my racing mind at 5:30 am and raise me a phone call at 5:35. To me, not from me. Because they also seem to see that although I need support, I am not the best at asking for it.

They see my tension, my anxiety, and raise me a gentle hand, or even just their presence until I can breathe again. They remind me that I am not crazy, and what I feel is real and normal.

They see my path, and raise me the gift of experience, of having been here before. They don’t tell me what to do, they guide me until I reach my own conclusions.

They see my self-doubt and raise me their reassurance and reminders of what is factual, and what is feeling. They give me the ability to trust in them until I can remember to trust in myself.

They see me.

Every time I think they won’t, or think they’ve had enough, they see that too.

Maybe I’m not too much.

Maybe I am just enough.

They see me, the me that no one else sees, and they raise me still.

Parent

I’ve never known what I wanted to be when I grew up. At least not in the typical sense. But for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom.

In my wildest, most vivid dreams I could not have imagined this life I have today. There were days, years even, that I couldn’t see past my own two feet. Let alone clearly enough to care for a family.

While going through my own trauma, I had no idea I would one day need every ounce of that strength to help me see my children for who they are and what they need. It isn’t that I think our experiences are the same, but whatever it is that I need to be their mom, I have. I have it, because of my own journey, my own lessons.

This isn’t easy though. Not by a long shot. I’ve noticed though, that to be good at something does not have to mean it nessesarily comes easy to you. It is okay to struggle, because for me, that is where the growth is.

It is natural for me to think I know what is best, and that noone else could possibly provide it for them. That I alone can protect them and keep them safe. This is ego talking to an extent.

The reality of this parenting thing is that much like most other things, I can’t control what is going to happen to them. I can give them every last shred of what I have, and every pearl of wisdom I possess. It still might not be enough. They are still going to get hurt, fall, screw up and honestly, suffer.

I have to chose to believe that if my suffering was worth it, theirs will be too.

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