Monthly Archives: July 2012

Remember

Remember.  Remember  your childhood, your family, your friends.  Remember your first true loss.  Remember to call home.  Remember how you got that scar.  Remember summer and sleepovers in the back yard.  Remember important dates, and if you can’t then write them down.  Remember to send flowers.  Remember your grandmother’s window box and all the love she grew there each summer.  Remember your first dog.  Remember your manners; please, wipe your feet, thank you, yes ma’am.  Remember the milestones that have imprinted themselves on your heart; remember who was with you, who held your hand who shared your laughter.  Remember her name, her scent, the color of her eyes, the taste of her lips.   Remember to stay safe; wear your seatbelt, look both ways, hold hands.  Remember everything you can.  Remember the path you are on; try to stay true.  Remember your senses; breathe, see, listen, feel, flavor.  Remember who you are and where you come from, because there will be those who will try to make you forget.   Remember, you did not get where you are today by forgetting where you were yesterday.  Remember.

How often do we forget?  Why do we forget?

I used to think that forgetting was simply a sign of a lazy brain.  At other times, I believed that forgetting was simply the mind’s way of protecting our hearts.  Today, I’m not really clear as to why we forget, but I am beginning to believe that our thoughts run in cycles that are somehow dictated by our current priorities.  We don’t place the same level of importance on things that are not currently waving in our present picture. The daily ins and outs of life; work, family, bills, car trouble, grocery shopping; seem to start crowding out the important things we should remember.

People often say, “Don’t look back,” but I think we have to look back in order to move forward.  Sometimes the memories we allow to push forward can be painful or angry, but we still need to remember them.  Forgetting does not change the past.  Forgetting does not release us from the obligations we have to our memories; they are always there.  We are all a walking conglomeration of events, all of which have had an impact on who we are today; forgetting is like giving your mind permission to cut out and discard parts of who you are.

It isn’t always easy to review your history, but it’s necessary.  Don’t forget. Remember.  Remember everything you can.


Think

Think. Think before you speak.  Think about the future and the past.  When someone asks you a question, think before you answer.  Choose your words thoughtfully and think about the feelings of others.  Think logically when chaos surrounds you.  Think about what you are doing and ask yourself if you should be doing it.  Don’t rationalize your words and actions based on the words and actions of others; think about what you put out in the world and make sure it delivers the meaning you intend.  Pause and catch your breath; just take a moment and think.  Think about everything and nothing, and if you still aren’t sure what you should do; think twice.

With so many people on the internet today, our words and ideas reach millions in a matter of seconds.  We post with wild abandon and often don’t give a second thought to what we have placed in the vast chasm of cyberspace.  It’s a problem.

I am very outspoken, and I have to admit that I am guilty of hitting that post button before clearly weighing the impact my words and ideas will have on others; passion, anger, love, excitement fear; all can cause a momentary lapse in judgement.  I want to believe that all of the crap I see on-line isn’t necessarily intended to be insulting, but I am often baffled at what people are willing to attach their name to before sending it off into the abyss where anyone with an internet connection can read it. I’m not talking about the rash political comment or the embittered post about an ex or the ever-present, poorly timed family photo; I’m talking about the calculated, unfiltered sharing of photos, comments and links that are ultimately intended to do damage.

Think.  Just think for a minute; a split second.  Think.


Seasons

 We met years ago.  Coffee chats, happy hours, vacations, 3Days, Christmas, arguments and make-ups, kids, family, mother’s day, cook-outs, beaches, crude humor and most of all love.  In and out of each others’ lives, sometimes days, sometimes months.  Picking up where we left off, feeling strength in our friendship.  Forgetting what pulled us apart, just grateful for the continued connection.  We drift in and out of the lives of others without explanation.  There is no rhyme, nor reason, to the flow and ebb of friendship; it comes and goes like the changing seasons of each year.  

Seasons.  Yup, it’s like that.  Friendship is kind of a fluid thing for me. People come into my life and stay for a while before moving on, and I understand that their season with me might be over.  Then there are the people who float in, almost unnoticed, set up shop in my heart, build a comfortable little niche, and stay season after season; those are my friends.

Friendship isn’t easy for me; at best it’s a leap into a big, dark abyss.  Let’s be honest, the infancy of friendship is kind of scary.  You meet someone and start to identify in which direction their moral compass is set, and with any luck you find yourselves on the same page about the important things in life; truth, family, love, morality.  You keep your fingers crossed with every new adventure until you finally start to relax into each other, and then one day you realize; friend.

With friendship comes change.  Life will pull you in different directions at times, and hopefully pull you back together again at some point; but true friends always seem to have a place marker in your heart somewhere.  You might not talk to them for days or weeks or even months, but you still save them a seat at the table and patiently wait for their season to bring them around again.  It will happen at an unexpected time; no reservations, no forewarning, no real reason.  They pop in for a quick hello, and you start to realize they never really left.

Seasons.  Yup, it’s like that.


Get Simple

 “I went broke believing, that the simple should be hard.”  ~Matt Nathanson

Sometimes life just needs to be simple.  Good coffee, cozy blanket, happy dog, a morning kiss.  Simple.

Take some time out of your busy day and simplify.  Empty your mailbox, clean out your car, don’t work late, loosen your tie.  With everything in the world working so hard at making us structure and micromanage our daily lives, it’s important to simplify from time to time.

It’s ok to stop and breath; let out a nice big sigh.  If all we are is a series of superficial engagements, we miss what’s really happening in our life.  Don’t miss it.  Get simple.


Awaken

 “Wake up!  Refuse to sleepwalk through your life any longer.  Wake up!  Open your eyes and dare to see the world in a new and different way.  Wake up!  Awaken your passion for life and awaken it in those around you.  Awaken yourself spiritually.  Find something larger than yourself to believe in.  Find a way to life yourself above the mundane.  Wake up!  Smell the coffee!  Take a long, hard look at all you’ve been missing, and decide not to miss any more.  Awaken your senses, your intuition, your desires.  Awaken the parts of yourself that have been sleeping:  the lover, the trickster, the artist, the maiden, the crone.  Wake up, and don’t go back to sleep.  Life is a dream, and to live it, you must be awake.”  ~Rachel Snyder

Wake up?  I have to be honest, I have never really felt like I was sleepwalking through my life, but I think I might have been.  I had to really give it some serious thought and reflect on the past a bit before I understood what I was doing.  It’s never intentional, ignoring the important parts of our life, but it tends to happen when we allow ‘stuff’ to get in the way.  I have accepted that I need to throw back the covers and rub the sleep out of my eyes, but that is the easy part.

I am conditioned.  That’s right, conditioned; get things done, don’t be lazy, work harder, do it now, lists and lists and more lists. I don’t blame anyone for it, I allowed myself to sink into the position of ‘worker bee’ because.  But droning through the days has taken a toll on my spirit and it was inevitable that I would break rank sooner or later.   I haven’t given myself permission to play and dream and explore for many years, and I am beginning to realize that there is more going on in my everyday existence than just a regimented schedule of responsibilities.

Life is different now, calmer.  I can explore and search and get lost in anything I choose. Sleep, write, play, read, create; I have choices now. Sometimes the training of my previous life peeks around the corner when I am needing some structure or feeling overwhelmed, and I can safely organize my day without fearing the bonds of my previous indentured servitude. I still have responsibilities and I still do things that need to be done, but the difference is I don’t HAVE to do them immediately.  A balance between need and want is possible.

Just like a kid standing in the center of a see-saw trying to figure out which side needs more weight to keep them from falling off, I have to decide which side of my life needs to hold more weight in order to keep my balance.  I’ve decided  that it’s ok to put my schedules on hold from time to time and let my spirit breathe a little.


Soften

 “Drop your shoulders and soften your stance.  Be softer with yourself, more forgiving.  Soften your approach.  Allow yourself to be vulnerable, to be interdependent, to receive as well as give.  Turn off the computer and write with a pencil, a piece of chalk, or a crayon.  Try not to be so hard on yourself.  Soften the shape of your body.  Let shoe five or ten pound come back and round out those boyish edges that are nota at all becoming.  Carry a woman’s body.  Speak a bit more softly; walk across the floor more softly.  Wear something that flows: a skirt, a blouse, a dress, a scarf.  Wrap a sarong around your middle.  Resist the urge to sound like the men at the office or the boys in the class or the guys on the team.  Give at least equal time to your softer, feminine nature, and feel its power.  The power is yours when you soften.”  ~ Rachel Snyder

I am a hard woman.  I have always considered myself hard and rigid, and I attributed it to circumstance and situation. Well, as life would have it, circumstance and situation have changed again, and I now have the opportunity to be soft.

Soft. Not a quality I have always embraced or even shared with others. Soft. Learning to calm my frustrations and let the little things stay little. Soft. Slowing down a bit and actually not caring about the time of day. Soft. Trusting that showing the softness of my soul will not cause me pain. Soft.

The shift from hard to soft is sometimes strange, but mostly it’s reassuring.  I don’t have to give up my strength; I can round off the rough edges and still be a force to reckon with when it is necessary.  Maybe showing all the things that rest in each facet of my identity isn’t really about picking and choosing what I let others see; maybe it’s about finding a balance between all of my parts.


Burn

 “Burn leaves in autumn.  Burn sage and sweet-grass to purify your room and yourself.  Burn the old pictures, the old letters, the old papers that no longer mean anything.  Burn candles everywhere, inside and out, in glass holders and old pie tins and in seashells on window sills and counters and tabletops.  Cast into the fire those feelings and attitudes that no longer serve you.  Feel them disintegrate.  Watch how the smoke curls.  Burn off anger in small doses.  Don’t wait for a meltdown.  Create the hearth that contains and focuses your inner fire.  Burn the dinner and then laugh about it.  If it’s necessary for your self-survival, yes, burn a bridge every now and then.  Just make sure you’re safely on one side or the other before you do.”  ~ Rachel Snyder

Well, what do you think?  Should one engage in the exhilarating act of pyromania in an effort to clear themselves of the past and start fresh?  Is it rational to treat parts of our past like an overgrown forest that needs the focus of a controlled burn to make room for new growth?  Have you ever burned your past?

This is my controlled burn.  I’m choosing carefully what fuel I will add to my fire.  I have rifled through the boxes and envelopes and bins and gathered up the refuse of my past.  I won’t miss it.  I won’t look for it later and wonder why I let it go.  This fire has been smouldering for  years, and my mistake was not feeding it when it started.

I won’t hang on to regret, it only weighs me down.  I won’t rely on hindsight to rationalize what has already happened, it only makes me mad.  I will NOT shoulder the burden of everyone’s reactions to my path; it’s my life.  I will let go of what once was and stop asking myself why it isn’t anymore.  The past is no place to linger.

I’m burning.  I’m piling it up and setting it ablaze.  Nothing says ‘I’m done’ like a big-assed bon fire.


Guard

 “Guard fiercely that which others want most to wrest from you. Your inner wild places and the freedom to visit them often. The gateways to your very soul, the keys to your secret garden and all that you cultivate therin. Guard against attacks of all sorts by those who covet your light and envy your brilliance. Create shields visible and invisible, and infuse them with the power to deflect invasions of your body, mind, and spirit. Guard the security of your home as if it were more valuable than the grandest place on Earth, for surely it is. Establish your personal boundaries and guard them against interlopers who would barge in against your will. Be the guardian of your own solitude and that of others, and peace shall always be yours.” ~ Rachel Snyder

Sometimes things don’t quite work out the way you had planned, and you have to make some drastic changes in your life; this is especially difficult when it involves dissolving a relationship that is toxic and damaging.  Well, having dissolved the relationship, I am now faced with guarding what it is I have chosen for my new life, and guard it I will.

Some people would say I gave up and quit on something that I should have fought harder to keep, but those people don’t know the whole story.  The details of that situation are no longer important; what is important is that I got out because I realized that I no longer guarded what was important to me.  I let everything I knew about myself get taken away without a fight.  No more.

Life can be incredibly complicated and unpredictable, but there is a way around all the chaos; guard.  Guard what you have learned about yourself, and trust it. Guard your heart from hate and fear.  Guard your sense of worth and ignore the challengers that say you are less than you truly are.  Guard your character and dismiss those who would try to create a false picture of your life.  Guard yourself from the anger of others by letting go of your own anger.  Guard all that is yours, material and emotional, and guard it with your life.

The past few years have taught me that sometimes a sense of self-preservation will lead you away from people, but it will also lead you toward those who you do not have to guard yourself against.