Joy

Who am I?

Meet Gerlind -named after my PenFriend
(1978, Germany)

I drive down the road in the seat of luxury and wonder… who am I really? Who am I to be seated in this power, warmth and fancy? AUDI fancy. Steering wheel solid and cool. Decisive and direct. Too cool for my meager roots. The feels. The power. Brilliance. Kinda like me… All of what I’ve had to keep hidden. All of what I’ve never let myself fully have. Until now.

I was forever seated in lack and want. In the back. Seat. Disgusting. Making do with less, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Hand-me-downs, free lunches, government cheese and discount milk from the gentle eyed milkman. 8 tiny children wild n hungry. We were lucky to barely have the essentials. Free Summer camp, programs for underprivileged youth and bags of clothing from the church. Too many mouths to feed with not enough dollars to make a difference.

Depending upon others for some joy, something memorable. Living and accepting less being less felt like home. Fabulousness squelched by my inner joy stealer. Habitually feeling flawed and unworthy – blocking honor and reverence. It was a comfortable cruxifixction of my magnificence. Poverty of the pocketbook and my young soul.

But now, in the literal drivers seat. Leather seat. Wait, what? I’m suddenly queen of the highway. The power and potential colliding under my bottom. Seat warmer welcoming me with open arms. Allowing the melt of my “sale rack” exterior. I deserve this. I work hard for this right here. Right now. No apologies. None.

I feel like the smaller parts of me disappear in this auto. Automatic re-configuration. Auto correct. Auto-manic smoothing out the highs and lows of my achy, frozen past. I am reborn, repurposed, recycled into comfort and acceptance and reality. The reality of joy for just being. Joy for how I’ve not only survived but thrived. From hand outs to hand ups.

I wasn’t supposed to make it to this. They didn’t want me to succeed. I have so much gratitude for the government assistance, kindness of church people, school programs, psychologists, extended family members and complete strangers who took the time to notice a struggling family, needy children, gems that needed a good polish. I thank you all! Now excuse me

I’m Audi- here.

Human Spirit

All The Things You Never Said

As a Lotus, I rise from the muddy waters. Anyway. Pic belongs to afishnamedkaren

The things I needed to hear. To feel real, validated and seen. Human. When I was not wanting to live, I could have used some reality. But let’s be honest. Seriously, you’ve buried everything. What you’ve done mummified, locked away. Of course, in the likeness of what was done to you. Someone ruined your lives so you then turned that on me. The damage you three have done. Shattering any chance of normalcy. For me. History repeated, when no one was looking. Default, complacency, asleep.

But still, there are all the things you never said. All the things I was starving to hear. All the things that might have changed my sad life, allowing me to feel instead of just surviving. To thaw my frozenness…

Imagine hearing – I’m sorry you hate your body, we did that. I’m sorry you need hyper vigilance just to feel safe, we did that, we never let you rest. I’m sorry you feel transparent, like everyone knows what you’re thinking, we needed to keep you feeling exposed. We apologize for pressuring you, never letting you rest- for if you rested you might have gathered courage and strength to outsmart us or tell others what we were doing. We’re sorry you fear assault will come any moment. Keeping you fearful kept you compliant. We’re sorry you cringe when you hear whispers in the night, we didn’t want to wake anyone. We’re sorry we ruined everything for you and aren’t sorry about it. We’re sorry we treated you like you were nothing, insignificant and insane when you confronted us. We couldn’t let others see our crazy. We still can’t see it ourselves.

All these things you’ve never said, running through my head, running through my head, running through my head. But it’s all ok. I say them. I tell that precious little girl inside me, who is growing up now because I’m in charge. I apologize to her for you, despite you, in defiance of you and for the love of me. All the ways I love myself. All of the love that I am, that I have to give. Anyways.

You never destroyed me. Never took it all. All along, I had the golden goose. My army was just waiting…My Spirit watched from afar as I soaked up all your bullshit wrapped in a pretty package of care and family. While I lived as a shadow, on the periphery of even my own life. While I tried to not exist at the age of 7. While I would hardly speak and just watched others most of my younger years. While I would never bring anyone over to my house because it was evil but everyone was smiling – you(s) and I could never have known the slow burning fuse had been lit.

I was meant for greater than I could ever have imagined. I am this. A private joke that keeps delivering. A smile so deep into my core it’s engraved into my soul. The smug smile of knowingness. I am that. Of overcoming. Of pity for you tinged with a hint of compassion – yes I said compassion- for your (still) inner turmoil and lack of awareness.

I have walked. Far. Never to return to you. For you are invisible. Because you could never say that you’ve tried to destroy me. That you wanted to destroy me. Because you were destroyed by your abusers. You’ve never been honest. You all can’t be. I understand. I understand everything now. Thats why I’m so powerful. So powerful.

Oh! All the things I CAN say now. And I do.

appreciation

In Love #20

I’m in love with sleepy smiles. Gently spreading east and west. Following a long night’s rest. Transforming the expressionless. An open invitation to hang out deep as shoulders sag. Head tilt welcoming each moment without expectation.

The glistening morning sun sweeping across my tired face, caressing my smile with golden warmth. I lie still basking, breathing, planning. Nothing. Existing fully in my expression. Of pleasantry, of nothingness, in the space between thoughts.

The gentle childlike energy swirling amidst my unassuming grin. Keeping me whole. Wanting me present. Between my lips, gracefully ushering in the newest, sweetest oxygen. To be ushered out in turn, discarded purposefully. Taking with it, everything challenging the grandest of facial postures.

I love sleepy smiles.

human condition

Love Note To My Inner Child

Photo credit – Back to Nature

I see you. I see how you had to pretend. Pretend to be thriving, happy, excited, loving, forgiving and alive.

I see you. I see how you had to be invisible, well behaved and all accepting. Without rest. Without safety or love or comfort. Without comfort for your deep sadness, your betrayal or terror. Without a place to hide to get some rest, to be anonymous.

I know how hard it was for you to live in survival mode. On auto-pilot. I see how lonely you were, blank, rageful.

You stuffed it all down. Storing/carrying it all away for another day. You had the wisdom to know if you unpacked it all you would not survive. You would not be able to keep it together and lead a normal life outside of an institution/hospital. The only option you knew was to keep playing, keep going. I thank you for this.

Years, empty years stacked together like 5 mins, like a long nap. A nap of safety, skimming insanity. Shocked but no signs outwardly. Terrified, but with a smile. Rivers, oceans of sadness underground.

Now we’re tapping in, once again, we’re here, together, my inner lovely. Both alive, feeling, hurting – lifetimes of hurt. It just comes. Day after day. Without obvious invitation. But the soul knows the timing is perfect.

We will rise, with more depth, available heart. Widening the range between despair and joy. To feel and experience everything in between. Fully. This time, you are not alone, I see you and support you like a good mother would, like she should. My promise to you.

gratitude

Mud, Mountains and Tears

Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life, messing up things as I go along. Getting angry with people or things or circumstances. Expressing my anger, stuffing it in or bending someone’s ear off about it. I’m a mess. A beautiful mess. A beautiful mess filled with gratitude.

Thankful that I am afforded a functioning brain to process info. Thankful that my heart is privy to the underlying truth of what is/what has been/what will be. Thankful that my body moves precisely, immediately, and with strength.

I’m normal in an abnormal way. I’m ridiculously inadequate and over reactive and just too sensitive. And that’s perfect because life is to be experienced. Mud waded through, clear water floated on, impossible mountains traversed -while wailing- and park bench seated while the warm sun holds my thankful, tear streamed face.

Bring the love, the rage, the guilt, the grief, the elation, the fullness, worry, and pride. All allowed. All present anyway. All rich with information, lessons to unpack. No returns. Just integration into ourselves one way or another. Trust, one way or another.

I’m an unmade bed and that’s ok. Not perfect. Shit’s gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 5 minutes. Life does suck. Then it doesn’t. Then we can’t even imagine saying it sucks. Dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when LIFE feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming you. Even when everything you touch turns to shit. Even when.

I am flirting with gratitude and grief this morning. Grief and gratitude. The grief I feel for the losses in my life – some who have left this realm, others who have moved to the outside of my circle. All circumstantial, lives playing out, people on their paths – yes, everyone has a path!

Gratitude though. The kind of gratitude that has you smiling just because you are breathing. The kind of gratitude that comes with full body chills of grace and warmth with the realization of connectedness. The kind of gratitude that moves you to tears when you see a good Mom in the grocery store. Or when you realize that life happens exactly as it should for your best growth.

May you make room for GRATITUDE. If just for today. I’m gunna try like hell.

gratitude

My Darling Gratitude

Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life. Making mistakes and laughing to others about it. Knowing it’s ok to be an unmade bed in a sea of “seemingly” perfect beds. It’s ok. Not perfect. I have gratitude for my awareness of…Shit’s def gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 30 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll fix it, or maybe it doesn’t need fixing. Maybe I’ll have gratitude for Spirit orchestrating things just the way life SHOULD unfold…

I feel gratitude for the folks on my path. Teaching me more about myself and how to BE in the world. I know most people I meet are caring and supportive and generous souls. I feel thankful that I can be real and messy and quirky and forgetful and have that be ok.

If these are the only issues today – it was a damn fine day. I feel thankful that I can dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when life feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming me with a hidden camera. Even when everything I touch turns to shit. Even when. Gratitude lives here. Everyday.

What are you Thankful for?

Joy · resilient

I met a child

This week I met a child. No ordinary child, you see, she was extraordinary. What made her extraordinary you wonder? Well, really nothing and everything. She, unknowingly, touched some of my unhealed shadow. She was able to stir up some of my long held, restricted, outdated beliefs…her presence so magical, playful and open hearted.

So rooted in the moment, she held my hand and started to dance, spinning around, motioning for me to dance with her. In a public place. We danced and twirled.
I complimented her “purse” as I referred to it. She quickly, confidently corrected me, “My satchel”. “Oh!” I said, amused, “Of course, how silly of me”.
She added, “Do you like my dress?” I replied, “Yes, it’s amazing, the flowers are so pretty.” She is usually adorned with the most fun, colorful, feminine, alive dresses and proudly displays them where ever life takes her.

Everyday for this child seems exciting, like it’s her first and last day on this earth – all rolled into one.
Excited as hell to be here, experiencing, tasting, feeling, making the most out of each social encounter, showing up as is, beautiful. Simple, no complications. A gift to everyone around her.

Where has OUR sense of honor – for our own existence – gone? Did we grow out of it? Was it shamed out of us a long time ago? Hers is alive and well, on display for all to see. No apologies, no minimizing, she is fabulous and it’s palpable. Why do we save our “ “special items/clothes/shoes/perfume/jewelry/colorful accessories” – for an event that seems worthy? WE are worthy – WE ARE THE EVENT. We ARE what we’ve been waiting for.

Even in the most mundane days/tasks the raw material for fun, joy and connection is waiting for us to notice. I share the experience here, with this extraordinary child because she truly is “special”.
In a society where the highest academic achievement is still king – I find it to be a bit shameful that infectious joy, compassion, aliveness, presence, spontaneity and heart are not as prized as report card marks.
I became the student this week. She, just living in the light, is a natural teacher.

resilient

It’s Friday, You’re Invited

This morning I woke with a dozen things to worry about. Some things I can’t even put a thought to, just general anxiety. This time of year I especially find myself living too far into the future, out of this minute, this hour, this day. Ruminating about what might happen, what I might not be remembering, what I might not get done, how I am wasting time thinking about how I might get all these useless thoughts evicted from my head….

Then, it hits me, so simple. I have decreased my alone time, my self nurturing, forgetting to gaze into the trees and grass, less twisting off the tips of an evergreen and drinking in the fragrance, less flower and petal rubbing. Left only with stealing quick sips of this cool morning air we have been blessed with lately.

I invite the anxiety to come along with me today as I keep meeting this moment and the next and the next. The present standing still long enough to be noticed. I’ll breathe through the crazy that surfaces. Aware of the path the air takes into my body and visualizing oxygen reaching all of the places my worry lives. I may just discover the lessons the anxiety is keeping me from…
I wish you the same presence and intention for your day.

appreciation · gratitude · Uncategorized

Thought I might take the time to express my gratitude for a lovely girl in my life. No, she’s not fancy. She’s not even hot but boy, she sure gets around. She gets me from point A to point B everyday and is incredibly reliable. I admit I only occasionally talk her into a bath if she’s obviously dirty – and boy she does seem to attract muck. I take her for granted occasionally, forgetting what she’s been through and seen in her 150,000 miles. I don’t cherish her as greatly as she deserves. I push her often, as I know she can handle the rough roads of life. Up curbs, over rocks and lawns 😳 just to park. I’ve never really been a rule follower and apparently she isn’t either. We’re a great team. She’s saved me from personal injury and even close calls over the Winters. Her turning radius is second to none, engine – strong. I’ve been known to jam a kayak, -mud and seaweed and all- in from the back all the way to the front. Not just once. She’s so forgiving. Everyday. Waiting, ready and willing to go on our next adventure. Rain or shine, blizzard or driving rain. I really appreciate my car. Here’s to my 2009 Chevy Trailblazer may our relationship always be this sweet.

cat · love · Uncategorized

In Love #12

I’m in love with loud purring. Body shaking and telling of fondness for life. A soft, rhythmic blanket of furry love. Unscheduled pleasure. Rising and falling, sleeping and waking. Our eyes closed tightly, savoring the tune. Your whispers of fuzzy somethings at the foot of the bed.

The 3am motor, my favorite engine sound. Sheets ripple, erupt with fluttering plaid flannel. Sleepy pats offered. Met with nudges, of the predictable kind, to carry-on. Purring the kind of purr that becomes more audible with a rub.

This is where sensory joy lives. Comfortably. Amidst the pitter-patter of sounds from this warm furry throat. No troubles in this moment. Or this one. Or this one. I lay my heavy head on your fat, warm belly. Your kitty pillow accepts my forehead. Riding with the gift.

My ear bathed, absorbing the peaceful concert. Feeding my needy inner child soul with fizzy sound waves. Soothing even the most silent of frazzles. Within.