To Be…or Maybe Not

Have you have played the Victim role in so many life situations and relationships that you have no frame of reference for personal power? And are you so mired in the familiar, in spite of the discomfort or anguish or ‘choose your own’ variety of yuck, that you settle?

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To jumpstart your personal power, cross your ankles and wrists. Take a deep easy breath with closed eyes and feel your heartbeat for thirty seconds or so. Then ask, “Have I been playing The Victim?” If the immediate answer from subconscious mind is “Yes”, decide if you’re ready for a more positive and joyful life.

*Note to self – This involves some intense personal work, starting with releasing self-judgement and judgement of others.

 

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Experience the Wisdom

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Consider the Journey

 

I struggled with not having opinions and with confidence to speak, from childhood through my young adult years. Then–surprise, surprise–this deficit trailed along through my midlife adult years!

Only when my life fell apart and I had to sort through to make sense of it all, did I turn to writing. The measured searching for perfect meter and phrasing began to crystallize my thoughts and deliver wisdom. I share…

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It’s Time to Be Real

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My Gift

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I’ve held back my very personal life experience, but now it’s time to share.  Universal Connection is a truth — thanks to Erika Kind for that reminder.

Mother’s Day 2015

You were my mother first — a petite, beautiful (and frightened) nineteen-year-old totally separated from your family and all that was familiar, including what to do with a baby. So I let you practice on me…how to deal with those sleepless nights and unrelenting colic, meal preparation and household duties (and unrelenting colic). And there was that new relationship of being wife to a charming, but demanding and opinionated husband (and unrelenting colicky baby). Okay, enough with the colic — it finally went away years later after Marilyn, your fifth baby, was a few months old.

What patience you had with me, reading books till I could recite them to you, paper dolls and tea parties, games, and answering my unending stream of questions — more than any three-year-old ever, you once said. Then you gifted me with a baby sister Linda, and I thought that was great, even better than the puppy Jesus I had earlier! You now got to practice your time management and prioritization with Daddy-plus-two. And as Linda grew into her own, you were exposed to a new challenge of sibling intervention and mediation. I thought I excelled at the role of surrogate “grown up”, but Linda was not so good at playing opposite my lead (even today she rejects that role)!

Then Billy (finally a boy!) entered the scene. Linda had a real sibling now who liked to have adventures, and I was free to go back to management. Daddy’s posterity was assured now, and life could just evolve for a while. Huge vistas opened when you learned to drive Daddy’s pickup truck in your mid-twenties. You could now have freedom…freedom to go to Springhill to the grocery store, to run errands for Daddy — picking up supplies for him, taking care of business for him — oh, and have chores done and supper ready. Then you could check on homework and get us to bed. But there were pole-fishing trips and country picnics to Nowhere in Particular and neighborhood visits where you took us and helped us to create memories as you mentored us to play and enjoy our kids.

Five years passed and you were getting pretty comfortable being a wife, and were a nurturing and capable mother, and you were good at playing the in-law role. Life was good, but we kids were getting so big…hmmm, wouldn’t it be nice to have a baby?

And it was. Connie was so adorable and angelic, and she filled those long empty days while Linda, Billy, and I were gone to school. Life settled in, and we adjusted well to our new family of five.

Was it that Mother was going to run out of chances to learn and practice mothering? Was there a bulletin or a memo that went out into the ethers that the Swain family was complete and this was the final “casting call”? “Hold up! Wait for me!” and here came precious Marilyn, the perfect near-twin for Connie. Now with Daddy-plus-five, life was in high gear (it’s a good thing Daddy had all the answers to help you with all of the problems).

No non-parent can anticipate the lessons you learn from one child, so with five you were playing the lottery. You have played the parent role beautifully, and faithfully (no major time-outs, only short naps here and there along the way). You may be only four-feet-something tall on the outside, but there is an incredible eight-feet-something tall wise and beautiful spirit that emerges from the inside, occasionally tinged with fire and most often with laughter. I’m a better person because you’re my mom — The world is a better place because you’re here!

Nutsrok

1st row Kathleen Holdaway, Ellie Blizzard,Johnny Bell2nd John a0002        Kathleen Holdaway in flowered dress0002 parents wedding pic

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As a Mother’s Day tribute, I am printing pictures made over the course of Mother’s life.  She is the tiny blonde child in the oldest picture and the lovely woman easily identifiable in the rest.  I can only say she is the finest woman and the best mother I have ever known.  I love you Mother.

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Butterflies Are Impossible

Many of you are familiar with lbeth’s stories and writings. Her husband Bud is evidently a ‘closet’ poet and captured these beautiful thoughts in a poignant piece that has touched my heart for many years. I first saw it as an insert for the memorial service for my teenage son, and it touched the depths of my soul.

To try to control beauty or love is to squash its very essence.

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I Dare You to Get Old!

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Age and DNA – we can run from them, but we can’t hide! One of the most painful times that I recall with my mom was after her knee replacement, when she was v-e-r-y slowly padding around with a walker for support. As I painfully watched her mincingly creep across a room, and then agonize down a single step to my patio, so many feelings toward her surfaced that made no rational sense. Anger, pity, anger, doubts, anger, compassion, fear … I understood the pity, doubts, the compassion, even the fear. But the overwhelming anger was a ‘grabber’ that confused, made me ashamed, and shook my foundation!

Then it snapped in — how dare my mom who was my first person, my constant person, and my always person get OLD! All of my vulnerability surfaced…all of my insecurities shouted out in protest. Once I faced that in my mirror, admitted it to myself and accepted the experience, I forgave myself and let the crippling stuff go. She healed -she’s my octogenarian super-hero -and I healed and became much wiser from that shared-mirror lesson.
(Go catch her in action with my sister lbeth on https://nutsrok.wordpress.com)

Is Your Mirror Cracked?

Broken Reflection

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My truth is not your truth! And truth is fluid – what I believed five minutes ago can change in a blink of an eye! There are very few Universal Laws, and I’m reminded of this law of truth in judgement on a weekly – perhaps daily – basis in the work with my clients. We are able to see the personalities and emotions of those around us, and we think we know a lot about ourselves, but it’s rather like playing the game of relationships with mirrors. I can only know who you are through my mirror of my experiences, my wisdom, my strengths and weaknesses, my likes or dislikes… And you can only know who I am through your mirror of your own life journey.

For us to try to bypass our own mirrors to judge those around us is to render distorted opinions and faulty judgement. Jack Nicholson’s line from An Officer and a Gentleman – “You can’t handle the truth” – comes to mind regarding our ability to recognize ourselves in a crystal-clear mirror. Don’t get too close, don’t look too long…the image continues to change, so don’t get too attached! Should we care so much what opinion another person has of us?

  • Is it really our business what is in their mirror?
  • Which side of the courtroom do you most often support in your own life – the prosecution or the defense?
  • Doesn’t this release a lot of need for judgement?

Two Wolves

Dark&Light WolvesAn old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is Evil – filled with anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
“The other is Good – filled with joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, ” Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

— Cherokee Legend

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