Feeling…supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

So I mentioned that I had some good news…I’ve been thinking about how to share some of my “wisdom” with others and I kept coming back to Louise and Sam’s rules for life that I blogged about previously. Louise Dietzel has an office in my state and so I decided to write her a letter and ask if I could share her rules in a children’s book (Sam passed away years ago).

I carefully crafted a letter reminding her of our previous encounters years and years ago. I explained to her that I have been healing from depression and that I feel a need to share what has helped…I asked for an opportunity to discuss sharing her rules.

And now for the best part: the minute she opened my letter and read it, she called me. I was in the midst of making pancakes and cutting up melon while 5 kids set the table. To say it wasn’t a good time would’ve been an understatement. But I took the call, listened and answered and asked if I could call her back in a little while.

After I hung up the phone, I started to jump up and down. I was smiling ear to ear and couldn’t find any words to describe the feelings…the kids asked, “do you have to go pee?” I smiled and told them that I was really really excited. It’s only a couple weeks later, on the eve of my resulting meeting with Louise, that I finally found the word to describe how I was feeling after that phone call:

SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

Stay tuned to hear about my wonderful meeting with her!!

I’m not perfect

News flash: I’m a little messed up, a little broken, a little crazy, and a little muddled.

I make mistakes.

I piss people off at times.

But I try to be the best person I can be when I’m able.

People believe what they want to, but unless you’ve had first hand experience, or been part of a situation, you have no idea what has transpired between two people.

The insecure will cling to the worst possible scenario and spread their negativity. The strong will keep their mouth shut and take the high road. I’m trying so hard to take that high road but I get so furious when the insecure try to make something so simple and positive into something ugly and unkind.

Deep breath.

I’m not perfect. I’m just…me.

Yes, I do need to be my own hero

I just got home from paddling and checking in with a friend, had a nice conversation. Came home, put some of my stuff away and opened up my social media. Lately, I’m digging Andy Grammer and his new video was posted. I gave it a listen and before it was half over, I was saying to myself, “that’s exactly what I have to do, what I’ve been trying to do!”

Check out this inspiring song

So in the interest of following what strikes me, I am going to be my own hero. I am going to look within, and look at my skills, and notice the positive impacts I can have on the people in my world. I am going to be my own hero.

Please feel free to share if I have affected you in a positive way!

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…

One more piece of the puzzle…

Talking with a friend today, we got to a subject I avoid: my dad. Well, how when dads leave us as kids, the way we feel and how it impacts us for years to come… As an adult, I get it now: he wasn’t capable of being a parent, and didn’t know how, and quite frankly, was told to get lost by my (amazing) no-nonsense mom.

When I think about that time in my childhood, it’s kind of blurry. I had a dad in my life, around the house. Then my memories skip to when he wasn’t around. I don’t have strong feelings from that time, I was kind of just gliding along like it was no big thing (mom: maybe I acted out or something, but I have no recollection).

The feelings of rejection and being abandoned came later. Much later. And with those also came anger, worthlessness, confusion.

I had what most would call a normal home with family that loved me, including a step dad who turned out to be soooo much better than the “real” thing, and a mom who worked hard and sacrificed a lot for us (despite my ignorance to this fact). For all intents and purposes, I had a good life.

Well here’s the thing: when someone who gives you life, DNA, biology (you get it) leaves your life, and you’re a child who is still learning what love is, looking for where you belong, who you are…you take it personally. Maybe not at first, or like others, maybe all at once, or whatever…it took me awhile, but eventually I felt it. I felt defective, broken, unworthy.

Why would he leave me? Wasn’t I special? Wasn’t I good enough? Wasn’t I enough?

As an adolescent, I still saw him and his side of the family from time to time. As I began to learn more about him, and got to know him better, two things started to happen: I began to understand that he was NOT capable of being a father and I decided that he should have tried harder. Why didn’t he try harder?”

Anyway, long story short…despite the fact that it was best for me in some ways, his leaving/being kicked out shaped me for years, still impacts how I conduct myself, and influences who I am. That being said, I’ve worked through a lot of it, and I no longer feel so angry. I’m sad for him, after all, he missed out. But he does the best he can within his own limits. And it’s not just me, I wasn’t the problem. I didn’t do anything wrong. I am enough.

But along the way, those feelings of worthlessness and abandonment led me to make poor choices at times…so tell yourself (or someone who may have had a similar experience):

  • You didn’t do anything wrong
  • Dad has limits, he can’t do more.
  • It’s not about you, though it feels like it, it really isn’t.
  • You are worthy of love and belonging.
  • You are enough. Just as you are.

Worth the Trouble

So I just listened to yet another Ted Talk that I got something out of…it was entitled Beautiful New Words to Describe Obscure Emotions by John Koenig. Find the link here

In this talk, he discusses how creating a new word for an emotion makes a person feel less alone, and validated even. He also discusses how “the meaning is not in the words themselves,” and states, “we’re the ones that pour ourselves into it.” This reminds me that our adult brains, our unique and diverse brains, give their own weight to the words we hear, interpret, speak…perspective is given life here! He says, “words are not real. They don’t have meaning, we do.”

He concluded his talk with a quote that I’ve found particularly meaningful. It speaks to the journey I’ve been on these past few months…it’s from Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.

“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy but it is still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”

I agree with this quote whole heartedly, but trouble is the right word-it’s hard to be who you are, to feel comfortable and safe in your own skin. It’s hard to put yourself out there and risk, experience, rejection and criticism. But I have to believe in the end, that it will all be worth it. It has to be, right?