On a Ship Named Samantha

July 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Ship

It was about this time, nine years ago, that my son was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. It was ten years ago, around this time, that I almost lost my life. This time of year brings about a certain soft reflection in me – as it should. There have been many moments that have changed my life, but those two were paramount. I feel it’s only right to acknowledge what those moments were meant to instill in me by honoring them with remembrance. I am blessed. I’ve been through some very deep dips in the road. Yet, those moments have brought me to where I am. And there is no place I’d rather be: A blessed soul who knows her purpose. I am happy. I am centered. And for the moment, I’m allowing myself to look back.

With that, I’m rereading some of my words. Although I’m not positive as to why, the post A Ship Named Samantha stood out. So, I’m sharing it with you again. Every one of you that makes up the thousands that read my posts, spanning from continent to continent, is treasured by me. If only I could get a glimpse of you. But, I am pleased just knowing my words are allowed to dust across your mind. And quite honestly, that’s good enough for me.

Sane

 

A Ship Named Samantha

July 17, 2012 

It is my deepest belief that everyone should live without love, only so that when they do have it – they never let it go. But then again, that goes for most things in life.

I’ve been paying careful attention to human behavior as of late. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why certain people behave the way they do. I look at my life – my journey – as a ship. My mind controls the rudder that’s plunged deep below, but all of my outward movements control the sails. When the winds blow hard, I have to adjust.

I don’t know why I find myself sailing upon glass-topped waters one day, only to battle the unmerciful sea the next. But either way, I need to stay afloat. And all the while, I’m careful of my actions. Gratitude and appreciation mark the bow of my ship. As I move forward I do so knowing how life feels during the worst of times; knowledge that regardless of how painful it was to acquire, I am blessed now to own. As it’s knowledge that not only has shaped me, it has shaped my perception.

I feel one doesn’t know the unspeakable pleasure of satiety without having first been staggeringly hungry. My life has flopped between extremes in every area. I can’t say I want to relive any of the undesirable times that I have endured, but I also never try to completely leave them in the past either. Instead, I take them with me, but with gratitude each time I am blessed with that, which I do desire.

I grew up in a home that upon appearances was quite complacent, yet all the while behind the walls of my youth I knew only volatility and erratic mood swings. I’ve known  the vacuous, hollowness of financial collapse and I’ve known how it feels to lose the one you love. I know what it feels like to sit and make deals with God to save one’s child, and I know what it feels like to watch one’s dreams float away like dandelion pollen in the springtime breeze.

I think everyone should have to spread coins across their bed and count the change, hoping they have enough. Because those moments give depth and substance for when they do finally ‘have enough.’ I also think if love came easy, then we would never have cause to fight for it, nor would we be so moved to protect it and cherish it once it was ours.

I’ve been the recipient of quite a few miracles in my life. I often sit alone, and think only of those miracles; picturing them within my mind; feeling them once again; giving thanks for them again.

It may sound incredibly silly to some, but almost every time I park my trusty Wrangler in my garage, I silently give thanks as I run my hand across its broad fender. Because you see, there was a time when I had nothing, and was given an orange Volkswagen Rabbit resurrected from the neighbor’s field. I was young, and grateful that I could once again get to where I needed to go. Had I not been without, and then given a car, albeit inhabited by mice, I wouldn’t appreciate, on the same level, the wonderful cars I’ve had since. The same goes for love and health and friendship and all those things we so often take for granted. Wherever I go in this life, I don’t take anything for granted. I can’t imagine why anyone would ever do otherwise.

Sane

In Focus

July 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

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When it comes to to this thing called living, may I offer an analogy: We view life through a lens. Keep it crystal clear, and readjust the focus as necessary.

That sounds so simple. But often the most important principles in life are, indeed, simple. We overwork, over analyze the way in which we perceive life. Yet, the fundamentals should be quite straight forward.

If not maintained, the lens through which you view your world becomes clouded from past experiences. And if you’ve allowed your soul to grow, the lens of ten years ago may not, and should not, be the correct focus for today. Due to such, stop holding yourself accountable to a lens that no longer serves you. Stop squinting to see clearly what made sense then, but no longer makes sense to a soul that has outgrown such beliefs. Beliefs are not meant to be static. We are meant to outgrow the perimeters we built in our youth. You would not expect a developing nation to remain fixed within the structures it built during its earlier stages. Yet, so often this is what we expect from ourselves. Tear down your walls once you notice you are continually bumping up against them. And oh dear reader, I do hope you are bumping up against them, and not away from them. The seed did not come forth to shirk into the soil. It came forth to push through. The same is true for you.

Take stock of these things. You need not share any of your findings with anyone. But do share it with you. You can only deceive yourself for so long. Every day we create new truths within ourselves. Own them as you move along. Don’t feel because you saw the world a certain way, once, means that you are tied to seeing it that way for a lifetime. You wouldn’t expect that of a child in school. Quite the opposite. In fact, you look at those that don’t move up the academic ladder at a steady pace as lacking. Yet, spiritually we often do the same.

Unresolved issues are like smudges that prohibit a clear view. It is your job, and no one else’s, to wipe the lens clean. Unhealed pains are like scratches that make it impossible to see with clarity due to distortion. You were not intended to view your world through the smudges and scratches of your past. Those moments were meant to change you, not prohibit and distort your view.

So, as we head into a new week I ask that you step back from your perception point, and come to the understanding that you were meant to reach for a new lens along the way. It may require that you reach further. But in time that new reach will become the familiar reach. Then, just as the seed pushes higher towards the sun, and the city requires that it broaden its territory, you too will once again feel the push to readjust. All of this takes work. But what is your other option. I do not want to see the new possibilities life offers me through the haze and damage of my past. My past caused the growth that forced me to reach for a newer, vibrantly clear lens. Life will bring new, wonderful people, experiences and things to your doorstep. It’s up to you how you view each of them. Once they arrive, dear reader, you owe it to the force that is Love and Life to see these gifts clearly. Most importantly, you owe it to you.

Sane

Must Have Rhythm

July 15, 2014 § 6 Comments

Rhythm 2

I’m far from a love guru. And if my past marriage serves as any indication, I’m either quite bad at picking out a partner or being a partner. I can no longer tell which. But I’m hoping not the latter. But now, perhaps due to being so removed from love, I can see it with more objectivity. In doing so, I feel one of the most important aspects to a successful union is having compatible faults.

One’s faults are just as valid as one’s strengths. We tend to fall in love with someone due to their strengths, then hate them later for their faults. Yet both were present at the beginning; the one just hidden under the glow of new-found love. In time, once the dust has settled, the other’s faults seem to sprout like tulips on a warm spring day. Truth is, they were there all along.

Oddly enough, faults aren’t the proverbial noose that’s forever dangling, ready to strangle the relationship. In fact, I feel, there’s as much balance to be found within our faults as there is within our strengths. The trick is finding harmony. Even the best band sounds a bit shoddy if the other instruments aren’t there for one another to bounce off of. The sounds need to mingle, using one another as a platform. Maybe for a brief moment, but rarely do two lead singers put on a good long-running show; just as a drummer rarely looks for another drummer when forming a band. I could be completely wrong, but I think relationships, both romantic and not, work much in the same way.

Using this metaphor, I would have to say that I’m very much like the drums. I’m steady, and provide for most, a very secure foundation where they’re free to express themselves; be themselves. Yet, all the while, my voice is always heard, my intent and driving force, always felt. And like the sound of the first hit against the bass drum at a concert, I tend to cause action; rallying the troops even when not meaning to. But nothing sounds better than when the sound of the bass guitar saddles alongside that of the drums, creating a rhythm that moves people without their deliberate thought. And once the guitar is allowed to fill the air, the drums can move from merely providing a beat, to expanding into varying forms of percussion; offering an explosion of sound. Within one another’s weaker areas, the other brings fullness and balance. The best musicians know when to enter into the song and when to pull back. It’s in that flux that the most astounding music is created. It’s in that same flux that the best unions are formed.

So when it comes time to look for, or allow in, a partner – never turn a blind eye to the things they themselves are trying to ignore or trying to downplay. Because, dear reader, often hidden under their charm, their beauty and their lure, is the very thing that will one day cause the two of you to make beautiful music.

Sane

Written to Young the Giant’s: Mind Over Matter

Let it Go

July 9, 2014 § 6 Comments

Let it Go

A friend mentioned recently that like Elsa in the Disney movie, Frozen, we all need to let it go. I thought about that for a moment, and the context with which she was speaking,  then said, “Elsa didn’t let go, she ran away. Then she lived in isolation, trapped by that from which she was running. As a result, all hell broke loose.” But I do understand what my friend meant, and I agree. Let go, but don’t run away.

We all have hurts. We all have suffered certain trauma; some big, some small. Unless dealt with, these hurts leave their mark within our being. We create within ourselves a pain center. Then, everything that unfolds in our life, the good and the bad, the blessings and the woes, all meet up against this pain center.

And as our life plays out, it does so viewed, felt and processed through this unhealed part of our self. And it doesn’t matter how much we may want for ourselves, unless tended to, everything that comes our way will be affected by our pain. Our authentic self sits behind this center, our psyche before it. Our children are raised with the influences of this pain center. Our work, our social interactions, everything is impacted by what is inside of us.  As you can imagine, my pain center was deep and wide. I had enough unresolved issues within me to provide fodder for my own behavioral health study. I had my dark night of the soul, though. During that walk through the darkness within I battled my inner dragons. By that time they were dragons, larger than life. Actually, they had become my life. My soul turned my awareness though, and demanded that I see with eyes wide open. It was then that I began the process of confronting, healing and letting go. Just like breathing, just like logging days on the calendar, it’s a continual thing. But they aren’t dragons when released early; they aren’t given time to become obstacles. I did and still am doing the work. And so can you. If you are reading my words, I have to believe, you already are.

We are the ones who understand that running away means running from our heart, not from that which pains us. Our pain center goes with us wherever we go. It can and will stand between us and all that we want for ourselves. But have you realized, dear reader, that your pain center is one of the main reasons why you are here? It is what you are here to work through. Look at your hurts, see the theme. I want you to see how the events that caused these hurts all consist of similar nuances. They are connected. Your soul has brought these events before you, so you would overcome them, not so they would overcome you.

Please, dear reader, heal your pain center, don’t let it block you. Heal it, then let it go.

Sane

Liberation

July 4, 2014 § 2 Comments

catalina-origliberation |ˌlibəˈrāSHən|

The act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release: the liberation of all prisoners. Freedom from limits on thought or behavior.

There have been times when I’ve stood in the prison of my own making. Yet, it was I who turned the key that kept me locked away. I could damn myself for those moments. But I won’t. Nothing is gained from hatred, inward or outward. Instead, I’ve come to learn what those moments were all about. Over time, my soul has become the sovereign ruler who has consistently liberated me. We own the key. We own the power to lock ourselves or set ourselves free.

It takes practice and desire to look at life and see through the gossamer veil, and view the process hidden behind. We have a choice when it comes to everything life presents to us. That truth alone is the life changing. We can look at our fear and see the unhealed parts of ourself begging our attention or we can become a prisoner to it.

Fear and doubt have no power in and of themselves. They can not deny us our dreams. What these two vital emotional responses do is signal to us an important moment in the evolution of our soul. Don’t turn from it. Face it. Face it with your full self. If you fear that you are not good enough, please know the moment was brought before you by your soul for you to heal the damaged part that has been holding this disbelief. The divine within you has presented you with this critical turning point. The direction you turn is up to you.

But if not dealt with the moment will be brought before you again. A person may come your way who is like a breath of fresh air. But with them will also come the opportunity that brings your fears to the surface. Not for you to stop your movements. Not because this person is bad. But so you can face your fears or past hurts, heal them, then finally release them.

This is not an act of punishment from God. It is, in fact, the most loving thing Spirit can do for you – forcing you to face what shackles you.

The key is always in your hand, dear reader. Every chance that comes your way to release what holds you down, take it. It may hurt like hell. If it was instilled painfully, it will exit painfully. But your soul wants to release what’s unhealthy. If not, the opportunity would not have arrived. That is what fear is showing you. Have faith. Let go. Open your heart. Then and only then can the good stuff get in. And isn’t that what makes this life worth living?

Sane

In That Moment

June 21, 2014 § 7 Comments

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I work for a non-profit. Many of you may not know that about me. During my daytime hours, instead of fulfilling my heart’s desire to write, I put my skills to use at an addiction treatment center. I took the job because when it landed at my feet I was just finishing my memoir. The book that chronicles how growing up surrounded by addiction set the foundation that, albeit gut-wrenchingly difficult, provided the necessary launching point to become the writer and healer that I’ve become.

Yet, there are days when my energy is tapped due to this added occupation. At times I question if this endeavor is simply a detour or derailing me completely. There are days when I grumble when as soon as I walk through the office doors the voice within my soul tells me just what I need to write – knowing full well I can’t. I no longer have the ease of unconfined creative freedom.

But I’m still helping people. And my personal knowledge of addiction provides a level of compassion that is helpful to the agency. Not to mention, they utilize my peace, passion and drive to help people discover and claim their value. They saw all of this within me, and no doubt it’s why I landed the job. I do grow weary, though. Having a passion that can not be expressed on whim is not an easy plight. And so with that I find myself silently asking Spirit – why. Why the detour? What in this is allowing me to serve my purpose?

Then, as if one cue, I found myself sitting in a photography workshop that I had orchestrated. One in which the photographer, whom I had just driven all about town in an effort to gather publicity shots for the agency, was teaching a room full of women’s residential recovery clients the power of using photography as a tool to stay in the moment. Everyone had to give their brief story. All were touching. All were sincere. I absorbed the instruction being taught, then remember I’m terrible at photography. But as everyone filed out of the room one woman stayed behind. She looked at me, then asked if I had just written an article for a local woman’s magazine. “Yes,” I answered. She smiled.

She said she’d never picked up that magazine before but when she did it opened to my article. She said tears streamed down her face as she stood engrossed in my words. She said that I write beautifully. But that my words, resonated deep within her. She wrote down a few key sentences of mine, and took them with her to therapy that evening as they meant so much to her. Mainly, the one in which I said I had to come clean about living a life that didn’t honor me. And choose a life that does.

And there it was. In that moment, Spirit provided my answer. If I hadn’t taken this detour, I wouldn’t have written the article that is an overview of my memoir. Had I not been sitting in that workshop, I would not have been able to hear first hand how my writing impacts another. All I want, dear reader, is to remind others of their worth, their beauty and their purpose. To nourish their soul because, this life of ours has little to do with all that we see around us and everything to do with what our soul is wanting to accomplish. In that moment, I was shown that this wasn’t a detour that I am on, it’s the road I was meant to travel.

So walk on. Walk knowing that even the roughest roads are roads your soul knows you need to traverse. Pay attention, though. Learn what you are meant to learn. People and experiences are brought your way for a reason. Whether to awaken something within you, or to bring to light something you work hard to keep in dark. Life is the playground on which all of this happens. Go with it. Not against it. Your soul is busy whether you know it or not. Life is at its best, when you notice the work your soul is up to. So, go with your soul. Trust me, life becomes better once you do.

Sane

Let it Grow

June 5, 2014 § 1 Comment

Let it Grow

The decisions you make, the thoughts you think, these things, they are like seeds. And what you plant today will become your garden of tomorrow. Your life is your garden, largely, by your design. It is a joint effort. Things will come your way that are truly destined from above. Obstacles and joys. But as for the growth, as for the plants that you will one day love or loathe, they came from the seeds of your choosing. Moreso, they come from the intention behind the choice.

It is dangerously easy to get caught up in the flurry of today. We go through the motions and do our best to exist. We have days when things unfold well. We have days when all hell breaks loose.  We live in a reactionary state of being. Your mind is quite capable of reacting, and can do so in excess. Yet, it’s better at being purposeful. To put it another way, when we live in a reactionary state it’s because we never bothered to deliberately and carefully choose the seeds we were busy planting. From there, well before the first sprout emerged, we never tended the soil, either. We never put the time, energy or focus into creating fertile ground. When we spend our lives reacting, then subsequently pulling out weeds that seem unending, there is no space in our lives for our dreams to take root. We’ve filled the garden with doubt, day-by-day living and planning for the worst. But thoughts have a life all of their own. Every thought you have has energy. Each thought has the energy of intention. Intention forms the seed. Intention is what defines you.

As you move through life, and life moves through you, consider your thoughts. Think about your decisions. Are you making choices with the intention of squelching a fear? Are your dreams dictated by doubt? And when you make a decision is it to make other’s comfortable – if so, dear reader it’s because you are not comfortable with you. You are here for a reason. You occupy this space in time, using the flesh and bone vehicle that is you, with the mind and personality quirks that you have, for a reason. It is the filter your soul chose when it set out and wanted to experience this world. I believe that even our worst traits are given to us so that we can work through them. Many of those that enter your life are given to you for the very same reason. Some are heinous. Some are divine. Both are opportunities sought by your soul.  You are more than your mind. Remember that your mind is limited, your soul is not. Your soul gave you the choice and ability to plant whatever seeds you choose. Imagine if you had planted with purpose. And then when life threw you something dastardly, it would have landed upon solid, fertile ground.

Life is not so much about what rests before your eyes. It is about what rests behind your eyes. Sit with that idea, dear reader. Your thoughts are the offshoot of your intention. They are indeed powerful. Look at your intention, it reveals everything about who you are and where you are along your journey. It also reveals your future.

So with that I will leave you for today. Ask yourself the bigger questions. Not about others, but about you. And when it comes to your thoughts, think well. Start planting. The harvest you desire will grow, if you let it.

Sane

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