Saturday, January 31, 2009


Gotta add a P.S. before this month ends . . . my last posting was really teary and depressed. Honest, but depressed. Part of me thinks I should apologize to The World for having whined. But the reality is that I started this whole blog thing for myself. Maybe other people might read it at some point, but I'm doing it for me. Proof that I believe in myself.

And the truth is that I feel better after posting the last entry. Eyes gummy with dried tears and nose still dripping snot, but on the inside, I feel better.

Being me is not pretty most of the time. I try so hard to take the focus off myself and think of others, and a lot of the time, that's a good thing.

But I also need to take better care of myself. I need to stop thinking that there is some "perfect" way to deal with difficult times. I need to stop setting up expectations for myself that are impossible to meet. I've had some ugly stuff happen to me and I'm ready to ramp up my efforts to see healing. Might get a little messy. That's okay. I might fuss and whine some more. That's okay, too. If somebody other than me ends up reading my moaning and groaning and doesn't like it . . . well . . . that's okay, too.

Enough is enough with all this suffering. I insist on joy. If it takes more tears to get to the joy, that's okay, too. Whatever it takes.

What if . . . what if this is the year I set myself free?

Keep on Keeping On

Last day of January . . . not sure what that signifies . . . maybe that endings are followed by beginnings . . . I'm still crying way more than I want to. I think I'll always cry some--that just seems to be part of me. But I'd sure like for it to lessen. I've worked hard this month to pull myself out of low times by smothering myself in gratitude. Sometimes when I curl up in bed at night, all I can manage to say is "I'm grateful I have a warm, safe place to sleep."

Truly, I know I have so much. Family and friends, church, a strong and pure connection with my Father-Mother God. It doesn't take much for me to feel really ashamed of doing any complaining at all, because at the very deepest part of me, I do know that I am loved and valued.

But I gotta tell you, in this human experience, betrayal and abandonment cut to the heart. Please, anybody reading this, if you have made a commitment as a parent or a spouse, please do whatever it takes to keep and honor that promise. Ask for help--don't be embarrassed. No, I'm not talking about staying in a physically or emotionally dangerous situation. But for all other times, don't run away. Don't abandon the person you've made promises to. Parents, take care of your children. Love them the way they deserve to be loved.

With all the good in my life, I still struggle daily to overcome the pain of rejection, betrayal, abuse, and abandonment. So many times, when something wonderful happens, it feels tainted by the stink of past hurts. I can't seem to escape the smell. I have prayed so much and so long and have made tremendous progress. I work every day to think more of others than myself. I pray for new and bigger ways to love others. I express as much joy and compassion as I know how to. I pray constantly for God to help me leave the past behind and live each day in a way that glorifies Him.

But there are times I feel like I'm back at square one and I'm that little girl whose daddy left her and then came back and hurt her. I'm that young girl dishonored by a boyfriend. I'm the wife and mother whose husband turns to other women. I'm the newly single woman who attracts only men who do not treat her right. And all I can think is: what is wrong with me?

I'm not giving up. Not by a long shot. As much as I have hung onto God, I know God is hanging onto me. I know God is Love and God designed me to express that love. It doesn't matter that my whole human history has been studded with distrastrous relationships--I will keep on believing in the power of love.

But I meant what I said earlier: husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, please do whatever it takes to keep your promises to each other. When you don't, you screw up lives really badly. I know first hand. I've gotta believe that someday I will be free of the crippling done to me by broken promises, but tonight the road seems long. Very long.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Not really sure why I'm writing now, but feel the nudge to do so. I'm due to leave the house to attend a function at our local Opera House and I'm likely going alone. And I don't want to. My daughter encourages me to be brave, telling me that who knows? I might meet someone there . . Yeah . . .

I have put my whole heart into being loving and open and tenderhearted, almost defiantly so, in the aftermath of an unwanted divorce. I've been insistent that I could not be deprived of the opportunity to express love, just because my husband decided to exit our marriage. For the most part I think I've done pretty well. But oh, at times my heart and soul and somehow, the inside of my skin, is just tiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrreeeeed. I want to be at the END of the journey. I want someone to love. I want someone to love me.

I know. A whole of of "I wants" there . . . sounds pretty self-centered, doesn't it? I don't mean it that way. I just have so much love to share . . .and I still hurt so much, thinking that there just isn't a man who wants to be with me. So hard to not think there must be something WRONG with me.

I know. Be grateful. Find something to be grateful for. I'll do that. Gotta go now and get dressed. Yes, I AM going out tonight, alone. And the smile on my face will be genuine, not forced.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What a difference a few days makes . . . actually, my mood lightened the next day. I've just been too busy having fun to post an update here! Having the daily project of posing a question, listening for an answer, and recording it in a big journal, has really been working for me. Since the point is to let the day unfold according to the answer, my thought (and resulting actions) are pulled back to that spark of inspiration, all through the day.

When I was low and discouraged the other day (when I last posted) the project was there the next day, tugging at me pretty darn persistently. My year's question--What if . . .? --was there to revive my spirits and urge me on. So far, different responses to the "what if" have led me to holding a certain thought for the day; a certain action, like "smile"; or a particular activity, like "put on music and 'dance' while cleaning the utility room." I'm pretty wide open to the sorts of urgings that come.

Starting every day with wondering "What if . . " really opens my mind, directs my gaze far beyond the horizon of what surrounds me right now. I can feel so solidly mired in the rubble of a past life--parental abuse followed by broken marriage--and even though I have claimed that I am "moving forward," and have many delightful new parts of my life, I can still feel like the smell of the fire is on me, pervading everything.

But. And yet. This new project--this time of wonder every morning--is really lifting me up and out of feeling still stuck in the past. Yes, it's still scary, allowing the door of possibility to swing wide open every morning. Yes, I might find great stuff Out There. But I also tremble, thinking Monsters might come in and find me.

But. I don't think that all the time any more. The sweet little girl hidden inside me for far too long is coming out to play more and more. She has surprised me with flowers drawn on the journal page . . . with silly gooey kisses pressed all over the page after my adult's hand has smeared lipstick across my lips . . . she has made giggles spurt out of my grown-up's mouth . . . and this bubbling, unconfinable joy starts my day, dresses me with laughter, sends me out into The World to do my lists of Stuff, just like before, yet different. I giggle. I grin. For no other reason than I'm me and I'm happy.

I still live in a wilderness. I still get sad. Mad. I still cry a lot. But as always, those tears water flowers of hope. Wildflowers. Wild hope.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's past bedtime, but I just gotta take a minute or two to touch base here. Haven't posted anything here in a few days. Have also lightened up greatly on the time spent on my What If project . . .granted, the last several days have been busy, but I still end up feeling like I do so often--that I have a great idea and start strong and then poof! I stumble and fall.

You know, I'm worried that this blog stuff will just end up sounding like whining. I have a roof over my head, I have enough to eat, I'm reasonably healthy--so what am I fussing about? I guess I'm still mad, madder than I realized up until just now. Mad that a marriage I spent so much time on and effort on behalf of, is just gone. That I am starting over now, just at the point I thought I'd be exploring the next portion of life with a loving, life-long partner. I look behind me and expect to see the "house" (marriage/family) I spent all my adult life laboring to build, and instead, all there is, is rubble. Yes, I know my story is all too familiar, but actually, that is not a whole lot of comfort most days. I don't really care that the club I've been forced to join is overflowing with members. This is my only life. I gave my all to my marriage--I was faithful, forgiving, deeply prayerful. And still, despite all that, my partner was able to pull the plug and that was that. Didn't matter what I wanted.

Yes, I guess that if that is what my partner would do, then I'm better off without him. And yes, technically, the rest of my life is wide open and I have the luxury of being able to consider choosing a new partner. Well, right now, all I can say is: whoopee.

Maybe this is just tiredness and late night talking. I hope so. I do my best to stay realistically positive, to be honestly grateful. But right now, I'll tell you . . . starting over sucks.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

This New Day

Mid-morning here . . . I had to listen a little harder today when I asked "What if . . .? . . . .or maybe actually a little softer?? . . but I did hear a whisper, a beckoning, an invitation . . .I'm to have music on, all day today. Even the thought makes me uncomfortable, so that's proof I'm tickling an area that would like me to leave it alone, but not really.

I got a second unmistakable nudge: to share this poem



Young enough to fit inside the refrigerator box
my sister and I set up housekeeping
Her blankets run along one side, mine hug the other
Our two dollbabies sit in between

Lace curtains taped to box flaps
float in summer breeze
a fragile doorway between
make believe and Out There

Did I know then
that all my life I’d need a place
a place set apart?

A Nebraska boy tells of his early writing place,
a refrigerator box in a bedroom corner
when newly married

He sat in the box, wrote poems,
taped their adolescent shapes
on cardboard walls

We slept outside, my sister and I,
sheltered, by choice, in our Kelvinator cardboard
three feet from the back door, three feet
from indoor plumbing and a mother’s eyes

When summer’s night rain wet our box
we slid out from under a sagging roof, slid inside before
complete collapse, slid back into a bedroom
I’d spend the rest of life trying to escape

The Nebraska boy, from his box,
wrote his way to praise as
poet laureate of America

Me, most comfortable with a wall at my back
and a clear way out, I write and
dream of living open, free,
someday unboxed entirely


I pasted a copy of this poem on today's page in my 2009 Project journal and found myself writing at the end of it: "oh my sweet precious baby . . . 'someday' is NOW

Friday, January 2, 2009

Scared to Start

Winter wind howls outside, whistling through old windows. I sit here in the near dark and start this blog and wonder what the heck I'm doing. The day's earlier bravery has all but deserted me. I'm on Day 2 of my new year's plan and am already so far out of my comfort zone. Right now, the prospect of 363 more days like this don't sound appealing . . .not at all.

But. My code word for today is "smile." At others, as I usually do, but more importantly, at myself. So, I have just stretched my cheeks into a smiley sort of grimace, wide enough to make my dimples appear. And yes, it is working, lightening my heart just enough so that my shoulders relax. A sigh escapes and I feel the tiniest bubble of resurgent joy.

For the past three years, as I have tried to lean into life, I have chosen mottos for the year. 2006 was my Year of No Regrets. 2007, the Year of Full Emergence. 2008, the Year of the Holy Here and Now.

As 2008 drew to a close, I had to listen really hard until one day, a couple weeks ago, I heard just a whisper . . . I didn't understand the point of what I was hearing, or so I thought. Actually, I did not WANT to understand the idea--did not WANT to have a year's plan so amorphous, so undefined, so boundaryless.

But these last few years, I have learned to listen, because it is way easier to follow inspiration than to backtrack.

So, the banner over my 2009--my guiding light--my inspiration for each day is: What if?

Yeah, I know. "What if" WHAT???? Exactly. I have NO clue where paying attention to this idea will take me each day. The range of possibilities is truly infinite. All I know is that (I THINK) it is supposed to be something measurable . . . something that, at the end of the day, I can evaluate whether or not I "did" it. . .

All I do, so far, is pose the question, early in the morning . . . "What if . . . ?" and then listen. Yesterday, not surprisingly, I heard "What if . . . you were very gentle with yourself through this first day?" The day ended up being full of accomplishments and joys, and throughout it I stopped often to give myself a mental hug, and I really felt the impact.

Today, Day 2, as soon as I posed the "What if . . . ," I heard " . . .you smiled at everyone today, including yourself?" Well, I usually make a point to smile at others, but I REALLY amped it up today; but the difference is that, many times, I smiled just at me. And wow. I FELT it. Nearly every time, I had a physical response, an upswell of joy, when I got smiled at by me.

Who knows where the days and weeks and months ahead might lead me? I can imagine a rainbow of options: What if . . . I spent the day naked? signed up for skydiving lessons? spoke only in whispers? walked backwards? put my clothes on inside-out?

My only commitment is NOT to force the answers, the leadings . . . I am trusting that I've been led to this idea, and therefore I am trusting that each day will issue an invitation to me.
I feel as if I have been "in transition" forever and always. So many difficult human experiences have left their imprint on me, and their odor. I am ready for new. I am ready to step away from the handrail, let go of the rope securing me to the dock, get up off my chair and out onto the dance floor. I've been doing this in varying degrees these past few years, but I sense that this year's call--my "What if" year--is meant to be a fullout effort--all-or-nothing--and I choose ALL.
If anyone out there, (except my daughter who already mostly understands me), is reading this, and wonders WHAT THE HECK this woman is prattling on about . . . here are some human details. My dad left when I was 2. Family unit was basically me and sister and mother, with older brother away at school. Abusive grandfather lived on other side of house, limiting my involvement with wonderful grandmother. Dad came back, briefly, when I was 6, just long enough to commit incest. 31 years of repressed memories followed, during which I married, raised 3 children. Husband chose to leave me after 33 years of marriage. I've been living alone since 2004, single since 2007.

I am SO TIRED of having pain leave tracks on my soul. I am commited, with every sliver of my being, to letting innate joy and indwelling God/goodness paint the fabric of my days. I have tried to "do right" all my life, exhausting myself in the search for The Rule Book, which, if I could find, I would obey in every aspect and thus prevent pain . . yeah. I now officially give up that search. I trust the God Who made me, to guide me. I commit to being loving and honest. All the rest I let go of.

I have no idea how this next year will play out. I only know that, ready or not, here I come.