appreciation

In Love #26

With such a gorgeous display of feathers, turkey babies are sure to follow… who could resist this Tom? May 2022

I’m in love with wild Turkey fuzzy babies. Curious and bouncing. Sticking close by Mom as she meanders through the yard. Bobbing and weaving through clover and plantain, their heads barely visible.

Giggle, gaggle growing by the day, by the light, by sounds of dusk calling them home. Safe in the trees Momma takes all. Recharging for the next days worth of meals. Meandering across wide open spaces. Choosing only the finest of insects to fill their belly pouches.

Straying just far enough away from Momma. Testing the waters as Mom remains on guard. Predators are plenty. The perfect little appetizer these little cuties would make. In weeks they’ll shed their fuzz. Their soft. For a serious coat of dress.

Creating their own path. Their own families. Their own parties of 8. Or 9. Or 13. The stand tall and taller. Puffed out makes looking for a chance to continue their lineage. Females dutifully accepting the offer. The cycle continues one more season. Here they come. Bumbling. Bouncing. Beautiful.

I love wild Turkey fuzzy babies.

action

Sweet Generational Impact

Don’t worry, we got this ♥️

We can only blame others for what has “happened to us” for so long. I do believe it a necessary process tho. Absolutely. It keeps us separate. It puts the blame where it belongs. Cause come on, no child asks for pain, insanity, sexual abuse, abandonment, humiliation, neglect…As children we come by this honestly. Circumstantial.

But…I think we run with that bs and grow to treat ourselves the same. It’s learned. It’s what they wanted us to learn. The hate, the inability to accept help, the way we please others first, the way we deny our own needs…all learned. So many of us get stuck in- “they made me like this” and close that chapter. End of story.

But…for some amazingly brave souls, I for one, we came into this life knowing that we will eventually reclaim all that was lost, all that was surrendered, all that was taken. MOST people I have met on my healing path settle with giving their abuser(s) the free pass. MOST people. And that rips my heart to shreds.

A complete disaster -from where I’m sitting. I am watching the generations below mine imploding with dysfunction in worse ways than the original shit. It’s here now. The trauma is visible, palpable, begging to be transformed. It laughs, taunts.

When we forever get comfortable sitting in – they did this to me – and we do not tease apart the “this”, we never need to change or do things differently. We can even dismiss them and fake their non-existence. The hate and rage inside us continues to simmer. They are forever the villain and we get to stay forever the victim. Sounds cozy.

Don’t have any children please. Just don’t.

The action script unfolds something like this…

Repeat after me: I have a part in this problem play. I’m not the main character but I’ve been really good as a supporting actor. I have learned my lines, they are automatic. This is what they want for me, so I don’t upset the trauma cart.

But wait, I no longer need to be in this drama. Being actively involved in this show keeps me in a negative, regretful, low vibrational place. I will take the steps necessary to eventually exit stage left. I want aliveness. I want revenge. Getting better for yourself, yes, this is the ultimate revenge.

Put some tall boots on and trudge through the mud in your life. Sometimes you’ll be stuck, unable to move. Other times you’ll move swiftly like it’s your job. Well you really are self employed. It’s your business and your the only one with YOU skills. That’s either really good news or very bad news. But actually, you will completely OWN your own success. The pride and sense of complete accomplishment are yours. Forever. Now take that deep dive into who you most deeply are.

Your personal success will ripple outward to impact all around you and especially the generations to come. Show us your BRAVE.

Mother

Mothering

This pic reminds me that everyday we are brand new like a fresh Spring morning.

Every year, I’m a stranger. An imposter in my own life. Who am I to not love my Mother? How dare I? On a day devoted to the devoted. The selfless and emotional pillar of the family unit. Who tf am I to not be honoring and swimming in the love and gratitude so many feel?

Or do they? Media would lead you to believe that everyone has/had a fairytale Mom. The loving, doting and encouraging Mom. The – I got you – Mom. The way these Mother’s Day cards are written… selling the story of perfection, sweet caring and unwavering love.

My guess is that a little truth and authenticity sprinkled amongst these card stock fancies is in order. I mean, come on! Just close your eyes, hold your breath and add your John Hancock. When your childhood experiences were not in the love basket at all, these well meaning cards can be triggering and upsetting. Card after 8$ card. Sparkles, music, hearts and swirling fonts.

Wouldn’t a little REAL give permission for aliveness and much needed deep breaths? I’d like to design cards with reality in mind. Illuminating the humanness in relationships. The struggles, the lessons, the growth, the separateness – all crafting something beautiful. An imperfect end product. A beautiful mess.

“ Mom, I know you did the best you could and I honor your Spirit for that” “Mom, even though it’s been tough, know that I have learned so much from our relationship” Mom, thank you for bringing me into this world for the opportunity to do great things”.

Even when (especially when) we don’t have a relationship with our Mom – and or it is tumultuous – we gaining valuable insights. We become seekers of truth and who we came here to be. Because. Because we kind of have to. Because the pain is huge. The scars of not being seen, heard, validated, honored and cherished as a child are ever reaching. This is fertile healing ground for a Wisdom harvest.

This is the gift. To ourselves. The quest for wholeness. Without support from the most obvious source, our Mother. For whatever reason that source may have dried up or was never available. Or love was a trick or a performance in front of others. Whatever the situation. I don’t think I am alone by any means this Mother’s Day (or any other day)

We can live and honor and nurture each other. Anyways. There are so many of you in this same seat. I feel you. I see you. I support your mixed feelings on this day and everyday you feel like you’re missing something you think every other person has. They do not. I think many people have a high tolerance for trauma/abuse. Keeping them loyal to that which insults the rest of us. My tolerance is low which is why I chose to live and remain separate. And sane.

Every Mother’s Day I write a letter to myself. Expressing my gratitude to my higher self for never giving up on me. I talk about the partnership and unconditional love I have for my body, my mistakes, my humanness. I’ve got my own back. This is where I MOTHER myself. Turns out I’m very good at it. I suspect you all are too. Happy Mother’s Day to the amazing Mother in you.

Human Spirit

Owners manual

This girl. Right here. Should have come with instructions. She was born to rip shit up – perceptions, control, guilt – I shattered all of it – leaving the abusive family patterns in rubble. Why? Well why the fuck not? I was not made to keep quiet, guard the family secrets, keep the elders happy, drink the sweet tea to further rot my soul. They didn’t read the manual.

Hell to the NO. I was created to shake shit up and not to look back. Blazed trails to connect with the divine without the devil’s influence. And alone mind you – nobody followed, no one was willing to take the chance that this was the way out, to believe that my way was what worked. I traveled alone, leaving mounds of baggage behind. Claimed and abandoned.

After a while it was clear that they couldn’t stop me. They tried so hard for me to shut my fucking mouth. Whenever it opened truth spilled out. It worked. Made them look at their own dysfunction. That’s why I was hated, I knew there had to be a totally different way to live and I pushed hard for it.

Not just survive bathed in lies. But to live and thrive and love. I had to be brave enough to do battle with those who counted on me being silent. They’ll hate you for healing. No pain No gain is reality because it is excruciating for a long time, as life reconfigures around you.

They’ll hate you for exposing them. Try as you might, no one’s coming with. They’ll hate you for talking bad about the LOVELY family. I’m such a villain. That’s the branding. I AM forever branded. But fortunately I’ve turned that branding ass-end up and pointed it towards you all. If I was never “the villain” I would have never gotten well.

Truth be told, I am your worst nightmare when it comes to exposing shit. Illuminating the stuff others don’t want revealed? I’m your gal. My intuition honed – I see into people, their actions, their intentions. You can’t hide your trauma from me. I’m like a trained dog and how they wished I was house trained and would stfu.

Although I don’t expose other situations or call it out, I always respond in a trauma sensitive way which wins strangers over. The “how does she know” looks are frequent. But those who might try n shame me, turning what I “know” on those who still operate in that awry mode is rather enjoyable. When you’re no longer dependent upon those who wish to NOT SEE YOU RECOVERED, it’s rather enjoyable. When other’s hate and desire to silence you – has no power whatsoever, it’s enjoyable.

Regardless…It’s fun to be the sleeper, the underdog, the lost sheep, the black sheep, the weird one, the loner, the shy one. You taught me to be wild, to fight for my sanity, to get away. Up, up and away!!! Like underdog used to say. It’s really a shame I didn’t come with an operating manual – would have saved a whole lot of folks the trouble of sparring with me and LOSING.

Peace

Thrive · warrior · Whole

How I know I’m a Warrior

How do I know? How can I not know? Miles from what I thought was me. She’s gone now. My old self. Gone is the pleaser, the “it must’ve been me” girl, the girl who stayed quiet. The one who allowed others to overrule her thoughts. The girl who believed that she didn’t have needs. How could she ever get needs met? Having needs somehow took away from others and was self centered. Mean. That’s what they told me. That’s what I believed. She’s gone now.

The girl who just wanted to be happy- no matter the cost. The young lady who kept secrets so vile – so others wouldn’t deny her truth or be moved to action, or, worse yet…think SHE was the problem. Swallowing shards of pain for too many moons, too many seasons. The young miss who starved herself in an attempt to kill the beast within. She who flirted with ending her own life as a second grader. Yes, my warrior was hidden deep.

She who finishes last hurts most. The suffering stuffed inside her little body, tucked in every crevice, tissue, every body system. The mini me opening and reaching for support. Then retreating when the flames scorched her opening heart. She was likened to an invasive weed, her desire to live fully anyways. Gathering my scattered pieces, discards, the parts of me that could not stay. Then. Now held in the safety of truth, she’s crawled back, taking back.

Adding to my healing resume, I was. My ground. My worth. This felt right, felt write. Healing through the pen. Words reflecting misery and agony of emotions held. Yet, these words were the very voice I so greatly needed to mend the soul of me. A healing prescription, wrapping the ugly in gorgeous gift boxes. Gifting earned resilience, grace and perseverance – to myself. This is me, the warrior. Yes, please.

I didn’t know this was correct. Following what felt right, I was my own healing mentor. I didn’t know I had the power to change my own life. Excising those who disrespected my essence. Eradicating those who used me for their own pleasure. Ejecting those who snuff my fire. Evicting those who will never be allowed in again. Gates closed. Admission revoked. This is how I know. I am warrior.

Old trauma meeting Wisdom. War. War within myself. Me doing battle with the invisible. The parts of me that knew better – speaking at last. Hard work keeping my inner wisdom silent. The knowing, the wisdom, became the boss of me, eventually. This is how I live my warrior.

Animals

In Love #25

I’m in love with muddy deer prints. Tails of trails. Fresh or frequent. Five minutes or forever long ago. They play and stray. Misses or misters making their mark. No worries. Creatures of grace and wonder, long lashes and lean bodies.

Feeling honored that they share my space. Or is it that I share their space? Soggy wetlands and paths yet to be forged. Their presence welcomed and apparent. My arrival, in the woods, as stealth as I can muster and still they notice me. Before I spy them. Stillness if only for their nostrils’ mist, their hooves sinking, snapping branches, crunching brown leaves.

Prints more frequent in the Spring thaw. New growth, juicy buds, spruce tips, cedar tips, arborvitae fronds. The fragrance of enticing treats pulling them closer for a nibble. Through the cyclic mushy, then frozen earth, their signature on the land preserved

acceptance

In Love #24

Im in love with 5 am stillness. The nothingness hour. Seasons of 5 offering their unique delight. Birds singing their good morning song. I sing along. creatures rustling in leaves, scurrying to find random seeds and pods long forgotten. Twilight mist thick on the patio furniture. Absorbing this in the space between my thoughts. I sit. Observe.

The sleepy hour of 5am is one of wisdom.

Snow blanketing, filling in the cracks. Silencing the silence. All is fell. The the only movement -added to the scene.

The early morning

connection

Marilyn Doesn’t Know She’s A Teacher

Onions can make you cry but so can a heart opening. So many layers so many lessons.

It would have annoyed most people. I should have been annoyed. I wasn’t. My anger would have hijacked the most profound moment. Her anger could have ruined everything. But instead, a life changing moment, a nudge from Spirit. I met a teacher, an angel…Marilyn.

While attempting to park my car I was met with a snow plow clearing the lot. I pulled to the side to let him clear where I wanted to park. Nosed in and put it in park. When he cleared the area, I put it in reverse and started to back up. I heard a beep and realized that someone was right behind me. I quickly pulled back to where I was and put it in park.

I did feel the annoyance rising in me. But then again, by beeping this person, this lovely woman, saved me from smashing her car. Upon entering the store there she stood. Sizing her up, I prepared to be yelled at, I deserved it obviously. “I’m sorry I beeped at you” she blurted out. Wow

Holy shit! SHE’S sorry? shocking. For what, for being alive? I told her I was GLAD she beeped and stopped me – I was totally going to wreck both our cars. “Always beep and don’t be sorry!” She thought that was a funny thing for me to say. We began to talk about things. Families, jobs, why we were at this store…the normal bla bla bla. Until

Until she disclosed her daughter’s situation. Somehow, by the grace of God, I found myself in a very private and profound conversation with a complete stranger. I was deeply moved by her sharing. I didn’t deserve to be privy to any of this. I was the jackass who made a dumb move in the parking lot! Still, she shared with me. Still. I was deeply moved by her daughters will to live. I was deeply moved that she died repeatedly only to be revived again and again.

All because she made the choice to have compassion for me instead of anger for me so close to wrecking her car. She not only forgot about HOW she met me, she trusted that it was ok to tell me about her life’s recent tragic events, in detail. Every detail. I’m still in shock but strangely honored.

Again. I was blown away that her daughter coded several times during her C-section. Several times. Was clinically dead seven times. That hits hard. Even when it’s a stranger. I didn’t want to cry but it was already there. I was crying inside. Profound. It was a miracle mom and baby survived.

Marilyn’s daughter has some complications because of these events and continues to recover.

I was ready to be scolded, degraded, sneered at for being dumb and assuming no one was behind me. Instead, I was met with compassion and understanding. That’s what Marilyn had waiting for me. Understanding and Compassion. How sweet. What an incredible woman that Marilyn. What an awesome day with the chance meeting with my latest teacher. Teaching love, trust, compassion and understanding even for strangers. Even for someone who nearly caused you more angst and worries.

Can’t we all try to BE the compassion and understanding. You never know who you’ll impact and how far the ripples will go. It may be life saving, life changing. We all struggle. We need to trust and see each other. I think it was Rumi who said, We’re all just humans, walking each other home.

I’ll be talking the long way. Past some lovely strangers.

beach · salt

In Love #23

Allow the salt to be thy protection – pic by afishnamedkaren

I’m in love with ocean salty skin. Fresh off the bake. Tight and terrific. In the most dusty way. The ride home from the beach we carried pounds of it, no efforting, to its final resting place. As a child I’d lick my hands, settling my nose into my fleshy forearm. Breathing in breathing out. Smell of the ocean held captive.

Recalling the frivolity of the day. No plans. No worries. Chasing the sun across the sky. Sand castles, like giants, the salt of the earth. Taking the day with many grains. Buckets filled with water and salty somethings. Spilling out across the hours. Pinching the fun, tossing it over our shoulder. Just in case.

Like salt in the beach wound, we hear the call. Time to clean up. Salty faces at the news of our eminent departure. On a salt and a prayer. Praying for our quick return to the home of the salty dog. The doggie salt. The awesome shoreline. To spread more love on our soul skin and absorb its earthy goodness. I’m in love with salty skin.

Mental Illness

You Were Missed

This pic reminded me of my tiny child self trying to carefully bond with the insanity.

“You were missed” and seventy thousand other things you said to keep me in check. Like a beautiful bouquet of flowers infused with shattered glass. You made it clear, I was your possession. Made to serve you and feel less. To remind me of my lower rank. My uncaring heart. Anyone else might feel warm and loved hearing “you were missed” – imagine that…I was missed! people really missed my presence. They were even genuinely saddened that I couldn’t make it. How beautiful a sentiment. If only.

If only it was credible. If only it wasn’t delivered by you, my maternal influence. If only you didn’t poison everything with your degradation. If only.

A big family gathers for many diff functions – birthdays, funerals, showers, going away parties, weddings, retirements, etc.. and we were expected to attend all things. Expected. Not welcomed. Not because we wanted to. Not because it was fun. Not because it was the right thing to do. But because NOT attending was promised hell. There was no room for NO. Weren’t allowed to have a NO. About anything. Ever. Trusting my own judgement was sketchy. Discouraged.

Conflicting plans? Something you had to do, somewhere you had to go? Kick and scream, especially as teens…silence from her. Silent annihilation. Because I was such a hard-headed prick of a gal i’d eventually end up attending MY event or obligation. Sports, clubs, events with friends…but no fun was had because I could never land gracefully in the contentment and satisfaction only my choosing could bring. Like a biodegradable trophy. Erosion and disappearance of all that was joyfully earned.

The torture I brought down on myself was meaner that anything she could dish. I learnt well. I learnt how to keep myself in a place of suspension. Spanning between confidence and slaughter for feeling confident. Whatever I wouldn’t let her unravel I tore down myself. Eventually. I so wanted power over her. But I was just a child.

Not attending family events felt just as gut wrenching as HAVING to go to them. Well, making my captor proud by succumbing to her control OR having a life, separate from hers then being shamed for it …hmmmm tough choice. Either way the guilt, hate and gag order were all consuming. Constant battle waged between my heart and head over her silent, contemptuous feels for my existence.

After said missed family event the wrath was thick, oh the wrath. I had to sit and listen to what a wonderful time ______was and how I “was missed”. Well, by now I knew exactly what that meant. It simply meant that I had deeply embarrassed the beast. You don’t ever deeply embarrass her. You just don’t.

Loosely interpreted, by not agreeing to be used for her gain I had held her feet to her self absorbed, convoluted fire. She was put in the uncomfortable position of explaining MY absence. She had no container for feeling a lack of control such as this. Oh my! Friends and family might think her mothering was substandard. How terrible! Lmao

After all, Godly mothers have children who are selfless. Children who obey. Children who don’t ask why. Little girls who respect and cherish their moms. Or else. Children are not equipped for such psychological warfare and will give up on themselves just to have their mothers love and approval.

Wrong family. Wrong fairytale. Wrong daughter. “You were missed” was code for – you fucking asshole! How dare you make me look bad in front of everyone? How dare you have needs? Who told you you could have a life outside of what I present to you? How dare you, mean girl! You’re nothing but an embarrassment. You cannot be counted on. I don’t care about you unless you’re doing, thinking and feeling in ways that directly benefit me and serve me.

“You were missed’ turns out to be pretty profound. Pretty on the mark now. I have missed every event over the past 10 years. I’ve been busy. Simplifying the distorted, complex web you wove, the tangled innervation of insanity. I am missed for sure. Haha. You miss me as the kick dog. The lost sheep as you so affectionately call me. As the golden child, the prize, your namesake, the most difficult one to break.

How proud and accomplished you must have felt when you stripped me of my individuality. But I’m here to tell you… I’m proud too. Proud that I’m missed for the right reasons. Removed from the insane mind fuck. You must miss my heart. You miss my beauty, inside and out. You miss the tiny bond I severed. I would love to say “you are missed” to you but I can’t miss what I never really had.