I Can Only Imagine

Finally saw this movie, which is so unlike me…but a friend of mine saw it awhile back and said it had a powerful impact. So I’m finally watching it and I’ve been in tears off and on the whole time-and I’m only half way through. Had to pause it to write.

  • All it takes is one teacher, one manager, one person to have faith in you to make yourself the authentic and real you
  • Songs as an anchor…they can reach you in a profound way and carry you through tough times
  • The sunsets and sunrises in this film make me want to travel (well, not really but almost😉!)
  • When you have passion and hope and faith (in yourself or something bigger) things will come together as they should
  • Perseverance
  • Sometimes your passion about…whatever…will be too much for people. It’s their loss. Share it anyway
  • Trauma, perceived and literal, stays with you and shapes you…better to accept it than fight it, to heal and grow.
  • “What are you running from? Let that pain become your inspiration.”
  • It’s hard to trust the change in someone, the one that triggers you, when the trauma is still so fresh for you
  • “I got a lot of questions about myself” What a powerful statement-it opens up a whole world of vulnerability
  • Knowing what another person is feeling, thinking, or at least having a window into their world can create understanding, build a bridge between two islands
  • Choosing to forgive…there’s great power in that, though I don’t think God has anything to do with it…I think it’s about putting down the heavy load you’ve been carrying…whether you give it to someone/something, it’s good to set it down and let it go
  • “Like junk, like to fix things, make something out of nothing”…metaphor for redemption
  • This blog is my journal. I choose to share it, but I do it for me. “It feels really good”
  • “I’ve never told anybody my story…” sharing his song, was important for him and his healing…that resonates with me and that’s how I feel about my book. And when your story is embraced…what a feeling!
  • You never know what will open up your soul, your curiosity, your sense of wonder and engagement in the world…stay open, let it happen, and grow from it

Everything happens for a reason…I don’t always know what it is, but I believe we are shaped by everything we touch and are touched by…it’s strange, my friend says he sees himself as the monster, but I see him as the little boy who grew up with a lot of unresolved trauma, who is working through it still. I only hope to see what kind of man he becomes someday…

Spirit Animals…hmmm

When I first started to respond to the realization that I was unraveling, breaking down, I wanted to share with others what I was learning. I wanted to save others the trouble of falling apart, and give them a pat on the back for putting themselves first. So I volunteered to give a talk at our local wellness network. This is a group of other child care providers like myself with whom I feel comfortable and that they would benefit from hearing my story.

In the process of preparing a presentation, I came across an image that I have clung to throughout this process.

This image became a guide for me in a way, and I have been integrating reminders throughout my life in the form of jewelry, knick knacks, stickers…it helps to be cued whenever my mind wanders! It doesn’t hurt that I love the ocean…

Finding a spirit animal, or at least a favorite animal, can give a little direction, a little inspiration, and even a little hope. For a more in depth view on spirit animals, check out a guest blog

And by the way, here’s a little about my symbol of choice:

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, known as “Honu,” symbolizes good luck, endurance and long life. Turtles can show up as a person’s guardian spirit, known as “Aumakua.” When lost, turtles are excellent navigators and often find their way home.Nov 3, 2014

The Meaning Behind Hawaiian Symbols | Walk Stories™ – OluKai

*Anyway, the presentation was well received: we brainstormed signs of depression, possible strategies, and I shared some quotes that seemed to reach folks. I was touched by the common issues we have all been facing and the openness that flourished in the room that night. See my next post for more about this…

Witnessing vulnerability…

This morning I had the distinct privilege of watching two women lift each other up. It was really wonderful and such a simple, but powerful, moment.

Two women with kids close in age, playing same sports, both experiencing similar personal challenges…just casual acquaintances on Facebook. One posts lots of quotes/statements relating to her struggle and triumph, and the other comes over and says “thank you for what you post, I’m in a similar situation and I love reading your thoughts” (or similar to that effect). The response is a shared smile and subsequent conversation about how great it feels to reclaim our free will, our independence, our joy…we need to be who we are and have the support of each other!

A few specific things stuck out for me:

  • Both women took an emotional, social risk. BRAVO!
  • If we don’t lift each other up, then who will?
  • Sharing helps. Just sitting there watching the looks on their faces as I listened, I could see the effect.
  • You just never know what people are struggling with, so err on the side of kindness and compassion.

Being Authentic:

Being your most authentic self is scary, nerve wracking, difficult, but also rewarding, worth it, and gets easier.

I have never been a fan of people who act phony, but it was something I was guilty of myself at times. Letting others see who you are, and know what you think requires taking a personal, and sometimes professional, risk. And it can come with a cost.

So what do we gain from authenticity:

  • Confidence
  • Community
  • Friendship
  • Security (emotional)
  • Respect
  • Appreciation
  • Opportunity (for growth among others types)

And from being disingenuous we gain:

  • Casual, sometimes shallow, relationships
  • Popularity (short term)
  • Polite interactions
  • Isolation
  • Mistrust

Keep in mind, this is just my opinion…and feel free to add to either list. And in my opinion, phony, fake, are not desired, but maybe that works for some people…just not me.

It’s important to be yourself, to show our children how to be true to their beliefs and values, to provide a model of heathy emotions relationships and interactions, to foster personal growth and challenge each other to do more, be better.

It has taken me a long time and many struggles, but I am finally embracing authenticity as one of my core values. The truth isn’t always pretty, but in a respectful and unconditional relationship, it can be accepted and sorted out.

I love this definition by Diane Mottl, MSW

“Being authentic means coming from a real place within. It is when our actions and words are congruent with our beliefs and values. It is being ourselves, not an imitation of what we think we should be or have been told we should be”

And one of my inspirations has a lot to say about authenticity that truly match what’s in my head-she just says it so well!!

The phrase “daily practice” is a clear reminder that it takes effort, it mandates that you choose to be authentic.

She’s not wrong! Since I’ve been on this journey, this breakdown, crisis, unraveling, I’ve been noticing that being who I really am, or more to the point, NOT being myself, has been at the root of many facets of my struggle.