We sadly turn on our televisions and hear stories where a child is taken from an abusive home covered in dirt and grime. They’re bathed and nurtured then out comes this amazing, resilient being whose heart is still capable of love, trust, and purity. Belief… They grow up to be not only survivors, but protectors. They fearlessly share their stories with the world, so others can know it’s ok to be broken and there is redemption. We admire those children and commend their strength. Yet, we judge ourselves and others for being fallible. We don’t give ourselves a break from imperfection, struggle, and hardship. We blame ourselves “It’s my fault!” we say. Then we punish ourselves with self recrimination and vice.
Too often we say we have faith, and quietly crumble. I hold on to the child inside me b/c the adult is too cynical and not as strong. My “inner child” lets me see the world without being jaded. It allows people I love to hurt me and I instantly forgive them and allow them to make things right. It lets me laugh when I fall or make a mistake. It enables me to find joy in little inane things. It allows me to share because I love. It makes me unafraid to receive love. It keeps me from worrying if I get too dirty or banged up when doing the things that I love. It makes me brave enough to go out in the world each day to try to succeed again. My childishness is the best part of me because without it, I’d be hopeless and prone to despair…
but here I am, coloring outside the lines and using all the crayons that I treasure in a shabby box.
Filed under Grow, Love, Nurture
“I don’t ever want to show anyone my physical and psychological wounds and scars without telling them what caused me to hurt, what it will take to heal me, and what collectively and responsibly should be done to prevent similar injuries from ever happening, again – for me or to others”
I found this great quote from a blog I follow, brohogany. when I was making my rounds this morning. If you get a chance, check out his site. It’s full of insight, love, and understanding. I don’t know how I discovered it, I’m just glad I did… I think you will be too.
Filed under Grow, Nurture
I just had a memory as I late night snack. There’s this great pizzeria in Portland, ME called Flatbread Company. Their boxes said “Food is Love.” It’s stuck with me ever since. All the great moments in my life have been across a kitchen table with friends, the intimacy of the moment thinking, “Yes, food is love.” We were laughing, sharing anecdotes, passionately debating, and loving each moment as we drove our points home. Music played in the background, the songs becoming numbers in the soundtrack of our lives… All those familiar faces who one doesn’t have to say anything to, but reveals everything; the smiles; and the sense of kinship. A meal brings it together. It brings together families, allowing children to impress their parents and later lends a sense of security, “Yes I was loved.” Siblings swap memories of kicking each other beneath the table and how mom hated elbows on it and the corny jokes that dad always told- even sneaking to feeding the family pet. Husbands and wives think of the moments of quiet comfort shared over a cup of coffee or those heated moments “before the kids.” Lovers exchange intimate gazes over candlelight or in a restaurant and feel alone, just the two of them as the world becomes a mist that fades away to the background. She watches his face of rapture as a flavorful bite of perfectly seasoned Chateaubriand explodes his taste buds. He looks at her close her eyes in ecstasy as delicate bits of Tiramisu burst into mini pieces of coco richness onto her tongue. In this, they become children of eros— filled with wanton thoughts and desire.
Where does love take over, at the tip of a spoon or fork? Religions and cultures worldwide view breaking bread as an honor. It is a sacred act to share one’s meal with another. A Sukuma Afrikaan prayers involves sprinkling water and flour before meals to the four corners of the Earth:
Facing east: “For our ancestors of the distant past.”
Facing west: “For our recent living dead.”
Facing north: “For our living.”
Facing south: “For our yet unborn.”
I don’t know where love takes over but food transcends and as I learned years ago in a crowded eatery filled with strangers, hipsters, squares, youth, and elderly; different heritages, ethnics, and demographics biting into a slice of Coevolution pizza giggling as I dropped tomatoes with a thread of mozzarella on my chin-
“Food is LOVE.”
I went walking midday Wednesday to clear my head and I saw dandelions. Happy, and bright. I thought of the commercials that advertise insecticides. They kill them and call them weeds, but on my walk they were wondrous. Nature calls them flowers. Sometimes in life we focus on labels that leaves us with an inability to see things as they are. Then we can’t appreciate them because our minds say we shouldn’t, i.e “That’s damaged, That’s wrong, That isn’t right.” Worth is a tricky thing to define. But I felt they deserved being flowers. I think they deserved being showcased. I remembered, as a child, racing to grab them in their pod stage. We’d blow them and make wishes. There were fields of them and a strong gust of wind would send them floating into the air like winged pixies. I’d think, “I’m dancing in wishes”— I was in a field of hope. Oh how special and unique I still feel when one comes looking for me. My gleeful attempts to catch the spore and hold a tiny miracle or bit of magic. I blow it away… I send it to the gods, God, heaven, the fates, the creator, Yahshua, or whomever is in charge of making wishes come true. I didn’t feel silly as a kid and I feel just fine with it now.
I tell you who ever judges me in those moments of magi and movement are just missing out!
Today I told someone my thoughts were like lulls in an ocean. I find myself, occasionally rendered speechless with the depth of what I think. He said I was too quiet. Beneath my calm, I thought of everything and I couldn’t stop talking and expressing and feeling. I felt I had too much to say, but everything I wanted to say felt inadequate or not enough… so I said nothing, nothing at all.
This space of serenity is within me. I am also my storm. I am my reward. I have made friends with solitude. I’ve made amends with myself. For almost a year, I’ve been in the process of great change. There are mirrors everywhere I look. Everyone and all things living show me myself. So who am I not to love or forgive anyone? I am in the midst of grief and reflection— I believe I have been the caterpillar inching forward with a hump back. Heavy burdens that protrude with each step as I’ve climbed and sought refuge from my inner demons. I’ve felt helpless and alone; fearful and tired; empty and bitter. Growth it seems is not without pain. I’ve fed myself knowledge to expand and fill the holes disappointments and setbacks have created. I’ve become a bigger person, a better me. I’ve even found beauty in my ugliness and mistakes.
I’ve shed a skin.
I believe we become adults in stages and today, Gladney feels a newfound gladness and freedom. I’m reveling in me. Perhaps that sounds silly or obnoxious but damn, I feel good! Smiling for no reason, smiling for being. I’m laughing out loud unexpectedly like my joy can’t be contained as a simple notion. I am a woman fully grown. I accept accountability for my actions thus far and those that will be committed. I own all of me. So that I may live truly and fully. Yes, a black butterfly. A monarch. A matriarch of truth, wisdom, & love. I lay to peace those who have brought me hardship or pain. And maybe in that, I’m selfish because I do it for me to be free.
I grew wings
Make love, not war… there are crimes of passion we commit even to ourselves. I destroyed parts of my being because I’ve feared being hurt. I’ve been so strong, I couldn’t be weak. I have found it hard to trust because I didn’t want to be let down. I was screen door, open with a layer of protection. I was crippled, but now I’m whole.
Have you forgiven yourself for not being perfect?
Filed under Grow, Love, Nurture