The Five Things I Need the Most.

Prompt: Name five things that heal your soul. 

After the last couple weeks of difficulty writing, today's prompt is a godsend! While it's incredibly important--for me, anyway--to confront tough subjects, highlighting the things that soothe me is not only necessary, but fun! Below, are just a few of the elements that bring restoration to my life.

1. My faith. If you've been rockin' with me for awhile, you know I love the Lord. I know Christianity is not everyone's preference, but so many of the things I've seen and experienced in my life have occurred by the grace of God. There really is no other way to explain how I'm even sitting here. My relationship with Him has sustained me in my highest highs as well as my lowest lows. Prayer brings peace, while the Word keeps me centered.

Image credit

2. My husband. One of the first things that attracted me to my husband was his calm, easy demeanor. He managed to convey a quiet self-assurance without veering into arrogance, and I found myself almost uncontrollably drawn to him. Just being in his presence provided a balm to my overactive emotions. He continues to have that effect on me, although it is arguably more potent given the level of intimacy 11 years of marriage brings. The security of having a mate that loves and cares for me makes the outside world less terrifying.

Image credit

3. My children. I realize kids can be a source of joy and stress, but I had to mention them, anyway. They bring such light to my life. I am humbled by their existence, and in awe of the blessing of watching them grow, discover, and forge their own unique paths. They truly encapsulate the very best parts of my husband and me.



4. My friends. When I encounter women who say they don't/can't have female friends, I'm always a bit flummoxed. They are entitled to the ownership of their experiences, of course, but I don't understand that mentality. Without my dear group of friends, I know for a fact I'd be absolutely miserable. We are cheerleaders, commiserators, shoulders to cry on, teammates, and sounding boards. We share in the pleasures and pains because we genuinely love each other. I've always said there is something magical that happens when women get together and unburden ourselves. It's powerful and life-giving, and there's no way I would miss out on it.



5. Music. I mean, no list would be complete without this! Not a day goes by that I don't listen to or sing a song. Period. I need it like I need oxygen, especially when I'm having a rough day or wrestling with bad news or the kids are acting out or... There is a song for just about every situation under the sun.  

Image credit

And what about you, Dear Reader? What brings you comfort while the war rages outside? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Photobucket




Not Me, But We.

Image source

Prompt: Rumi said that a wound is where the light enters you. Discuss this idea and how it applies to a moment in your life.

While I absolutely agree with this sentiment, I couldn't quite zero in one particular moment it applies to. There have been so many instances of this philosophy playing out in my life that I was unable to snatch one from the mass and pick it apart. I just sat at the computer with my chin in my hands, willing myself to find something, anything, to pinpoint and oh-so-eloquently discuss with a lot of big, fancy words.

No dice.

So, as happens often, I asked my husband for help. He suggested I connect this prompt to love, marriage, and the ongoing decision to commit despite the wounds we inevitably inflict on each other. It's true. We've been married for over a decade and have managed to hurt each other on many occasions. Yet, through it all, we've emerged bruised, but better, stronger even. Much of that can be attributed to our shared faith in God, but also the understanding that we are worth the effort. The scars we've earned together serve as a reminder of what we survived and a signal to others that perhaps they can do the same (in their own way). 

My primary motivation for this blog--and the entire concept of Living My Someday as a whole--is to show that, despite the good, bad, and ugly of this life, I'm determined to live it to the full, just as God intended. I want people to see His light shining through my failures and imperfections, as well as the triumphs.  

It's not just about me, but we. 

Photobucket

He Is In The Peaks and The Valleys.

{Image credit}


Prompt: Do you believe that time heals all wounds?

I want to answer both yes and no to this question. On the one hand, the idea of simply "waiting out" my most damaging past experiences until they don't haunt or hurt me sounds awesome, but also ludicrous. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been subscribing to this notion for over 20 years only to find out that attempting to outrun my issues is the not same as healing. You can imagine my disappointment. 

However, time does provides distance, often bringing much-needed perspective along with it. Understanding can allow us to peel away the layers and make sense of our pain, which sounds a lot like healing to me. The timeline of this unpacking is different for everyone, though. For some, the process can begin almost immediately after a crisis; for others, myself included, the denial is damn near impenetrable, so recovery takes significantly longer and is often compounded by the various coping mechanisms enacted as protection. 

I think perhaps my problem with the idea of healing is that it conveys a feeling of being "done" with a tragedy. Getting passed over for a promotion is definitely a challenging setback, but certainly one that can be overcome. Losing a loved one, though? I don't think one ever truly recovers from that. Folks just try to survive the hurt.

As a believer and a fan of C.S. Lewis, the quote at the beginning of this post resonates with me. The most uncomfortable aspects of my past have taught me the most, even when I wasn't directly responsible. My parents' divorce has taught me how to recognize the real love my husband and I share. The tragic death of a friend's child forcibly brought insight into--and appreciation for--life. Encountering the laziness of racism has taught me to think critically and have compassion for others. Many of my failures created the very foundation of my highest achievements; in both of those moments, in the valleys and the peaks, I have felt His presence.

Maybe that is precisely the point.
   
Photobucket


The Fear of Freedom.

{Image Credit}

I'm both late and early with today's post! Because I struggled so much with Thursday's prompt, I thought I'd combine it with today's question. Doing so seemed to help me push through and make some fairly startling realizations.

Thursday's prompt: What is the hardest stage for you in the K├╝bler-Ross Model of Grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, or acceptance?

Friday's prompt: Have you ever been scared to let go of your grief?

***

As I mentioned above, I struggled mightily to answer the question about which stage of grief was most difficult for me, mostly because I thought I'd never experienced true grief. After staring at the blank computer screen for about 20 minutes, I finally asked my husband if he had any thoughts.

"It's pretty clear to me that denial is your thing. It's...what you know."

First off, ouch

Secondly, he was 100% correct. I guess after 11 years with me, he knows me fairly well. I have been in denial about a great many aspects of my life, thus I've been stalled at the starting line of this process for decades. The more I thought about it, the clearer things became. My denial is one of the reasons why old, painful memories can pop up and knock me on my ass. Everything grinds to a halt as I relive the terror in excruciating detail. Instead of exploring these experiences, I create the illusion of distance by pushing them down and away, pretending I can outrun them this time. 

And, if that weren't bad enough, I am afraid to let go of this terrible habit. I know it's bad for me, but it's familiar, thus I cling to it like a security blanket because I don't know what will happen if I release it. Who would I be without it? The anxiety and fear I've come to know act as boundaries; without them, there is chaos...and freedom. 

I started Living My Someday several years ago, mostly on a whim. Only now, though, have I come to fully understanding the depth of what it means, for me and hopefully others. It represents the soul's desire to be free of the constraints imposed upon it. 

Who is the real me, buried under all this junk? I have no idea, but I'm dying to meet her.   

Photobucket



I Choose To Be Unstoppable.

{Image credit}

Hey All! Welcome back to the BlogHer NaBloPoMo September 2014! After taking a few days off, I'm feel refreshed and ready to resume this writing challenge. I think one of the great things about this endeavor is recognizing when I'm feeling prolific as well as the times when I need to step away, disengage, and give my emotions a rest. This last month has been quite heavy, and as an empath, I've found that taking time for self-care has been mandatory. This time of rejuvenation has given me a fresh perspective and feel much more ready to continue. 

Prompt: Tell us the methods you use to get through a disappointment.

***

Let me be the first to say that I do not handle disappointment well. It's a humbling truth to admit, but I believe in honesty, even if it's not pretty. However, at the ripe ol' age of 32, I'm learning that being failure is integral to gaining valuable characteristics like wisdom, patience, perseverance, and humility. Yes, I want to be a success, but I also understand the importance of a strong foundation. Handling setbacks with grace is paramount to lasting prosperity. Here's what I am slowly, but surely learning to do.

1. Acknowledgement: I know this seems obvious, but in order for me to be able to move on, I have to allow myself to recognize my feelings and maybe even wallow (a little). It does suck, so pretending otherwise just makes it worse. 

2. Get some distance: Depending on the severity of the obstacle, it can be nice to busy myself with other aspects of my life. Most often, this results in a cleaning frenzy. When I'm angry, the house magically becomes spotless!

3. Detached analysis: After I've had a chance to create some space between me and this epic failure, I like to go back and look at things critically. How did I contribute to this outcome and what will I do differently in the future? Is there a way to ensure it won't happen again? Is there a silver lining? Even in my darkest moments, I've been able to find an invaluable lesson if I look hard enough. Often, it's the more painful circumstances that have taught me the most. 

4. Keep going: I must confess that this is the hardest step for me. I tend to relive my awkward and embarrassing moments, beating myself up over and over. Recently, I came to the realization that I developed this habit in order to allow myself to quit, to scare myself away from trying--and failing--again. Somewhere along the way, I internalized the message that I'm not worthy of my dreams, so my brain sought to fulfill that prophecy. Now, I'm learning to fight through that negativity by continually setting goals and surrounding myself with positive people.    


Those are just a few of the ways I combat life's setbacks. How do you handle disappointment? Leave me a comment!
Photobucket