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Monday, February 28, 2011

A LESSON FROM CHILDREN

    Most young children lack self-consciousness. They approach life openly, expecting to be well received. They approach strangers with smiles and simple, love-filled words. They stare. They walk up and peek over my shoulder to see what I am writing. They tell me all about themselves.
     "I talk alot," a little boy told me the other day. "I can talk for hours." And then he showed me a picture he was drawing of his grandmother. Children ask questions. They are not afraid to not know something. They expect anyone and everyone to help them understand.
     But it is different with some children and with most adults. We have been shouted down, rejected by peers, made fun of, emotionally abused, unappreciated; we have had to toughen up, keep quiet, stay out of trouble. We have grown armor. We have built walls. We expect life to batter us.
     It is our healing path to open again, even after being shouted down, to stand up for ourselves and believe in what we have to offer, even if others do not. We learn to love and support ourselves, in spite of the cruelties and injustices of the world, and as we do that, the world seems to shift too.
    
I will be like a child today. I will open my heart and trust that someone out there wants what I have to offer.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

WEARING MY SCARS

     It's a difficult thing to let the past lie in peace. If I just look at it a certain way, perhaps it will make more sense to me. If I revisit an interaction in my mind, and then revisit it again, perhaps I can change the way the actual interaction made me feel. If I think about the past enough, maybe I can undo it.
     I carry hidden guilt from past actions. I react in the present to hurts that are years old. I put expectations on today's experiences that are driven by events from my childhood. I revert to the feelings of a five year old in an instant when I am scolded, or when someone I love is brooding.
     I cannot change the past, not yesterday, not a conversation from this morning, and not decisions that I made twenty years ago. I want to let it be, but it rules me from underground. It bubbles up and creates disturbance in me, and mistrust. It is a running program in my software. I want to shut it down, turn it off, be set free.
     But freedom from the past, I am learning, is not pretending that something didn't happen, or ceasing to feel the effects of hurts and hardships, stupidities and errors. Freedom comes in acknowledging with honesty what has happened; having a sense of humor about it all, and a sense of compassion. I tend to resist my inner response to life whenever it is uncomfortable. I vigorously try to snap myself out of it, to not feel fragile, or reactive, or upset.
     I'm going to let myself be where I am today, to honor my past by letting it teach me how it rules me; to look with curiosity at the ways it colors my vision, and to become willing to clearly see. Pretending that the past can be completely let go is like pretending a scar on my body will disappear if I wish it away. The scar is part of me. I must integrate it and own it. I must wear it with courage and confidence. It shows that I have lived.

Today I choose to let the past be part of me, and to recognize that it effects everything I do,
and that's ok. It all goes towards making me who I am.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

HIDE AND SNEAK

    "The chains of habit are too small to be felt
until they are too strong to be broken."    
 ~Samuel Johnson~

     Habits sneak up on me. Some of them are positive and healthy habits and they serve my greater good, and some of them are not. Sometimes I engage in stealth activities, making them my little secret and my little treat. They feel indulgent and I justify deserving them for all of the hardships and frustrations of life. They begin innocently enough.
      And then, unbeknownst to me, they get a grip on me and I begin to think about them, and plan around them, and feel a certain urgency around protecting "my right" to them. I do not speak of them to others. An inner restlessness grows inside of me. I feel agitated, and sigh internally if people and responsibilities take me away from the pursuit of my secret treats. They become my reward and my justification... and ultimately, my prison. If there are things I do in my life that I cannot speak of to others, it's a red flag.
     I heard an interesting definition for addiction the other day that resounded within me like one of those lingering meditation bells; that an addiction is anything I hide. If I am hiding something, the likelihood is that I am ashamed of it, perhaps because I don't believe that I really deserve it, or that my friends and family may not think I deserve it. I am afraid that they will scorn me or make fun of me for doing something nice for myself. And the truth is that they might, if I do not own it and claim it for myself, with respect and clarity, and with my feet square on the earth. When I hide anything, I end up punishing myself.

It's ok for me to treat myself, to do the things I love, and to take time for me.
I do not have to hide.

Friday, February 25, 2011

THE LESSONS OF DARKNESS

     Sometimes, darkness overcomes me. Like a thick fog, I cannot see through it, or beyond. It encompasses me utterly. I attempt to startle myself out of it. I have tools. I have been taught to use gratitude, positive thoughts, action and distraction, but those don't always move my mood. There is stubbornness in my sadness. Some part of me knows I am supposed to be there, and stay until I have touched the source.
     I have heard that we continually shift in life, back and forth, from total vision to absolute blindness. In total vision I am open to love, and express it in every action. I laugh easily, and smile. I see joy inducing beauty in nature and in all the people I encounter.
     When I am blind, I am blocked to love. I feel lonely in a primal way. I can be pleasant and cheerful, but inside I am flat. I have lost my hope. I long to flip a switch and be restored to the light, but I cannot. If I resist, my shadow comes out sideways. I overeat. I overdo. I explode in anger. I burst into tears.
     I am learning to care for my darkness when it comes, to respect it and know that it has something to teach me. I must get quiet and learn the lesson or it will linger indefinitely. If I allow it to be, there is softness to it, and a sad kind of beauty. Almost always, at the core, below my circular resentments and desire to blame others, there is fear in me, or guilt, or shame. These, for me, are the big three. Sometimes it takes longer than others... wondering... wandering through my feelings. What am I afraid of?
     When I touch the truth, a swell of emotion rises in me. In a moment of understanding, I am freed. "Oh... that's what this is about." Sudden clarity comes after hours in the dark. Light pierces the fog. I am ashamed because I was wrong and I wanted so much to be right. Or I am afraid that I am unlovable, that I am "bad." Or I have convinced myself that some horror is coming and will suffocate my life because in the past I have been suffocated. I am often reacting to something from the past and have to remember that this is now, and I have grown.

Today, I will give myself a break. I will allow my feelings to teach me about my heart.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

FOLLOW THROUGH

      It is so much easier to begin a process than it is to complete it. In high school I ran the 440 which was one lap around the track. Every time, without fail, I hit a wall three quarters of the way around. All the energy and forward motion got whumped out of me and my legs became full of lead. Making it from that point to the finish line was arduous and painful.
     Life is like that, except that in life, when I hit the wall, I often stop running and decide to change direction. I quit because I get the wind knocked out of me, but the finish line may be just around the next turn, and all I really need to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other to enjoy success. How many of my projects and great plans are half-finished? Or just begun and abruptly abandoned?
     If I can stay with something to the finish, give it it's due and not walk out in frustration after pouring my heart and soul into it for months on end, I am rewarded with a sense of completion and accomplishment. I am able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. It is instinctive in me to want to run from difficulties as soon as they arise, to bail out when the going gets tough, and then make excuses for myself to assuage my sense of self-betrayal. How can I live free of the fear of abandonment when I so readily abandon myself?
     It is my doubts and fears that drive me back. I must have faith in the slow process of gestation and birth, of healing, and evolution.

Today I am willing to follow through on some project that matters to me; to take the next step and trust the ongoing process.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

INTERNAL INTEGRITY

     I consider myself to be a woman of high integrity. I have a good work ethic and perform consistently to the best of my ability. I make an effort to go over and above what is expected. I show up on time. I am honest and reliable. I do what I say I am going to do. At the end of most days I can comfortably say that I gave my best effort, and that I contributed something worthwhile to those I encountered, and to the job at hand.
     But when it comes to speaking up, and living "in integrity" with myself, honoring my inner tugs and being incorruptable, I often fall short. It is not infrequent for me to feel one way on the inside and speak something directly opposite on the outside, like saying yes when I want to say no, agreeing to do something my that my insides are silently screaming out against. I have improved greatly over the years, but I still hear the squeaky voice justifying the merits of something I know my heart cannot fully embrace. And whenever I agree to something against my better judgment, there is always a price to pay.
     The grand illusion is that it is somehow "right" for me to overburden myself, to complicate my life in order to please someone else, or worse, to do for others because I don't trust them to do for themselves, or else think them uncapable. I get this idea sometimes that I am some kind of super human with no limits. There is arrogance and martyrdom in taking on what I have no business taking on, and rather than feeling good about it, I feel resentful and burdened, victimized almost, but it was my choice!
     And having made an initial commitment to someone or some venture does not mean that I have no right to change my mind either way depending how things unfold. It is not "in integrity" to follow through on something just because I said I would do it, if circumstances change, and if, to follow through, will require extreme sacrifice and hardship on my part, and martyrdom. It is ok for me to change my mind. It is my responsibility to speak up for the tides of my heart. There is no one else who will.
     And so, today, I choose to honor myself and to speak my truth, whatever that may be. As long as I am honest and refrain from being flippant, it is entirely possible and acceptable that what was one thing last week is another today. Change and uncertainty are the nature of life, and my heart callings are no different. Walt Whitman said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then. I contradict myself." It is as it should be, and it's ok.

"If I don't want to be a doormat, I have to get up off of the floor."
~Annonymous
    

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SHRINK TO FIT

      What is unfamiliar overwhelms and confuses me, but it shrinks to fit. When faced with a new environment, or a new job, or a new living stuation, the challenges feel insurmountable. How will I ever learn to negotiate this strange territory? How can I assimilate these changes into my already overfull life? Whether it is a new city, or a new habit, the discomfort feels like it will last forever. But it doesn't. I adapt and adjust and the new readily becomes familiar and no big deal.
     Sometimes, merely considering the discomfort of possible changes is enough to prevent me taking the first step. Fear of the unknown paralyzes me utterly if I let it: fear, and doubt. If I believe that I am alone on this life journey, then whatever is before me is daunting, and I might choose to stay where I feel safe, even if I'm miserable; but if I trust that I am not alone, that I will meet who I need to meet along the way, and that I can ask for help and directions as I travel, there is comfort in that, and hope. 
     Every time I stretch outside of my comfort zone I wallow a bit initially finding my footing, figuring out the lay of the land. It takes time and effort to explore and wander, to discover what's accessible, who the players are, who's friendly and helpful and who is not; how limits can be set and boundaries established. This is true whether the change is geographic or internal. If I decide to lose weight, the same rules apply. I flounder unknowingly and flop about trying this or that, and then settle into a rhythm and find my way.
     Perhaps life does not shrink to fit me after all. Perhaps it is me growing to include more life.

I am willing to try something new today. I am willing to travel outside of my comfort zone.    

Monday, February 21, 2011

FRESH START

      One of my favorite things is waking up in the morning. I like fresh starts and the possibility inherent in the pre-dawn light and crisp air. Mornings feel hopeful to me. I am refreshed from a night of sleep and bright eyed, expectant. And though I know the world collectively cringes and groans on Monday mornings in particular, I like them. It's the start of a new cycle, a new week. Anything can happen. The tides and currents can change drammatically. It's a chance for better things and better choices. It's back to work after the Sunday relaxtion. It's balance.
     And watching the light emerge from night's darkness is a spectacular event eveyday: the sunrise. Over the Eastern horizon, almost like a slow visual drumroll, a glow begins, followed by a streak of pink, a wash of clouds and colors, a sense of rising hope, and rising energy, the sun! Even if I don't actually see it rise, the morning carries with it the freshness of the new light.
     And I love breakfast. I love breakfast smells and breakfast colors and breakfast tastes: coffee, tea, bacon, eggs, pancakes, cereal, fruit, cranberry juice, orange juice, butter. It's my favorite meal. I wake up hungry and enjoy each bite. I have mediatation books, and I read them as I eat; spiritual thoughts to center me and ground me, soul food and tummy food altogether.
     If I were to skip breakfast; if I were to wake up tired and groggy, possibly hungover; if I were to rush to get ready and fill myself with groans about having to work instead of wholesome food and meditative thoughts, then the morning would be a misery and a dread. I've had those kind of mornings, but not for many years. I have learned that I like it better taking my time and I like it better feeling fresh and hopeful like the dawn. It helps if I get enough sleep.
     I have a choice to make every night and every morning. How will I choose? How will I take care of myself? Will I give myself the opportunity for a fresh start? No matter how exhausted, or emotionally burned out, or overfull of food, or simply tired I may be at the end of a day, I always have a chance for redemption and restoration. It is as close as my pillow and the guarantee of the sunrise. I get a fresh start every day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

SELF TALK

     I've been thinking about the way I sometimes talk to myself internally. I am quick to judgment and ciriticsm. I tell myself I'm an idiot, riduculous, stupid, a mess, too fat, thighs too thick, talk too much, too sensitive, all kinds of negativity... almost in jest at times, but I'm still using the words and directing them towards myself. I can think these things in passing on even the best of days, when everything is going well. If I trip, or fumble my words, or do something awkward, the thought follows like instinct: "You're such an idiot."
     Why do I do this? Is it leftover childhood stuff? And if I treat myself with such carelessness, how can I expect others to treat me any better? I would never in my wildest dreams say to anyone else some of the things I say to myself. And I apologize too much, for things that don't require apologies. I apologize less than I used to, but it's still more than is necessary.
     So today I commit to bringing higher awareness to my self directed thoughts and words, to treat myself with civility and kindness, compassion even. Before I can gracefully receive love from others, I must learn to give it to myself.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

RUSHING AND SAVORING

     I want to remember to slow down today. I have a tendency to rush through things in an effort to be efficient. Efficiency certainly has it's place, but it is not life's purpose, not by a long shot. Learning to linger is a form of art, learning to savor what is before me. If I move too fast, I miss the small satisfying sensations of life's details: the sound of eggs cooking in a pan, the gentle bubble of water boiling, or the image of steam rising from the tea kettle; the feel of fresh wind across my face and moving my hair.
     Maybe I think if I keep a certain pace I will not only get more done, but also get more pleasure. It's an old philosophy of mine that if a little bit of anything feels good then more of it will surely feel even better. But it seems to be true more often than not that less is actually more. A few bites of ice cream rolled about my mouth and thoroughly enjoyed, noticing the creamy texture and the sweetness and the soothing comfort as it travels down my throat, is far more satisfying than a massive hot fudge sundae with brownies and cookie dough and whipped cream on top. It's almost a chore to get through such a dessert. I am more likely to eat compulsively and indulgently, to get through it, knowing it is too much, but hoping that if I slip it by myself fast enough, there will be no repurcussions, no guilty feeling, and no sudden thickness across my hips.
     Webster's definition of "rush" interests me: a violent forward motion, a sudden insitent demand; to urge to an unnatural or extreme speed; to run toward or against in attack; to push or impell on or forward with speed, impetuosity, or violence; and the first rapid excitation produced by a narcotic drug. The last definition may be what I somehow hope to attain through rushing- a sense of rapid excitation, a kind of narcotic "high"... but it always seems to degrade into urgency and impetuosity and a frenetic fear that there is not enough time to get done everything that I have to get done.
     Savoring, on the other hand, is to have the experience of; to taste or smell with pleasure: to relish: to delight in and enjoy. That's what I want today. I want to savor the sunshine and the taste of my dinner and the exchange of laughter and conversation with the people I encounter. It's doable. I need only become mindful and aware. I can direct my attention to each present moment and relish in the sensation of each experience.

Friday, February 18, 2011

STATE OF PLAY

     As a culture we seem to think of fun and relaxation and good times as "entertainment" rather than pleasure. I believe there's a widespread belief and accepted norm that what we do for fun is supposed to involve going somewhere or doing something, some action, activity, movement, or push. It occurs to me that this may be just another way of looking outside of ourselves to fix something bothering us on the inside.
     What do I mean when I say that I need a vacation? The very statement seems to express an exhaustion and a lack of interest in my life and responsibilities, that I am worn out and need restoration, that going somewhere else will make all of my tiredness and overwhelm and lack of interest go away. And maybe that's partially true. Warm beaches and ski slopes and exotic adventures go a long way to distracting me from the daily ins and outs of my schedule. But I always have to come home again, to return to the stuff of my life, such that in some ways the post vacation let down often feels more desolate than before I left.
     I'm learning that it's possible to take a vacation any time I want by simply putting down what's in front of me and turning in a fresh direction; taking a walk or going for a drive or doing something unexpected and loving for someone else. I think it's possible to  open my mind to an internal state of play. A good laugh, in some ways, is more satisfying than a week long trip through airports lugging baggage. If I look at the world with amusement and curiosity, if I am quick to smile and physically relaxed, then I am at ease and whatever I encounter is pleasing and entertaining even. It's an attitude and an outlook.
    In the same way, if I experience my life and my days as being full of chores and burdens and all kinds of things I have to do, then I am in dire need of constant escape. Cocktail hour rolls around and beer cans burst open, corks pop on wine bottles, sighs of contentment can be heard around the world as ice cubes drop into glass. The promise of chemical relief has come round again to ease the edge on life. But like a vacation, the buzz wears off, the headace of reality returns in the morning light, and the hope of permanent relief has been dashed yet again.
     What if I want what I have? What if I can find joy in something as simple as a deep breath? What if I trust in unexpected blessings and keep an eye out for them; open my heart to chance encounters and the excitement of learning? What if life is not some trudging journey toward high accomplishments, but the simple enjoyment of everyday things- a delicious taste of something sweet, afternoon sunlight though a window, the fragrance of a stargazer lilly?
     Then life is full of vacation and air and space and ease, because I am full of those things. My experinece of life mirrors my experience of who I am. Frustration begets hardship. Impatience begets frustration. Lack of faith begets impatience, and life is a self-fulfilled prophecy.  I can open my spirit to the possibility of unlimited happiness or shut it down with darkness. For today, I choose internal playfulness. I choose curiosity and interest, trust, and humor. I choose the path of joy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

COURAGE TO SHARE

     Honest communication takes courage. It feels like safety to keep what's in my heart inside, to not disclose myself to others, even to pretend that I can keep the truth from myself if I don't give it a voice. It's the old blinder strategy, the thinking and wanting to believe that if I pretend I don't see it, then it's not there. I have found that ultimately, my spirit and my truth will not let me betray it, even though I may want to. If there is a fear inside of me, or some kind of shame, or ache, or hurt, if there is a hope or a strong belief, a resentment or a joy- whatever is in me wants to express itself. If I deny the urge to share myself with others, all of my internal stuff grows, like mushrooms in the dark, and I become increasingly blocked and isolated and sorry for myself, pitiful in my self-imposed separation.
     To speak up takes courage, at least for me. I perceive that what I think or believe may have no real value, and may be judged and condemned by others; that I may be squashed and discounted and slapped down like a child who has crossed a line. And the truth is, depending who I choose to share myself with, I may be discounted. I may be emotionally slapped. But I am learning that the way others respond to me is about them, and does not in any way diminish the reality and the value of what is in me.
     It helps to be smart about who I give myself to, who I share my spirit with, who is likely to listen and be respectful, even if they disagree. But none of that diminishes the necessity for courage. Even when I know I can trust someone, I have to take a deep breath and let the words and feelings come the way they come. It may be messy. Perhaps tears are involved, or awkward pauses and hesitations. I am self-conscious and unsure. I lack confidence, but I plunge forth, and it gets easier.
     It's natural to get caught up in our culture's imposition of the value of perfection, and to think that perfection means we are not supposed to have flaws, that everything should be polished and neat, that we should have no problems, no challenges, no fears, and to admit to having them somehow makes us weak. But in my experience, what is human and vulnerable and raw and real is what's perfect. When someone trusts me enough to share his/her fears and hopes and sadness and dreams with me, I see absolute beauty.
     And that's what happens. When I have the courage to be honest and vulnerable, rewards follow. Internal pressure that has built inside of me is relieved, and I feel clear and unburdened, understood, connected. Often, the one with whom I have shared will then share some of his/her inner angst with me. We can laugh together over our human-ness. I believe this is the beginning and maintenence of loving relationships: the courage to share what we feel and who we are from the heart, the willingness to take a deep breath and speak though our fear.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LIFE'S VARIABILITY

     I've thought more today about all or nothing thinking, and realized that it happens naturally in my effort to establish certainty, even though certainty is not possible. In truth, everything is variable: love, wisdom, energy, health...you name it. Moods and feelings and circumstances change like the weather and the wind. In the acceptance of variability there is hope in any situation, and equally the possibility of loss. If I know that something will not last I am more likely to savor it while I am experiencing it,
     So much of my life has been focused around points of arrival and the achievement of goals. If something I have gone after or worked towards happens, I am vindicated and worthy; if not, then I am a victim and poor me. I have expectations about how particular outcomes will make me feel. I expect to be happy or disappointed depending. But I am discovering that feelings are not determined by one thing or another happening or not happening, but by a whole host of life's variables- what did I have for lunch, how did I sleep, am I feeling open to love or shut down and fearful, what's the weather like, and who have I encountered in my day? All of these things affect my response to outcomes.
     It looks as if our house is going to come through after all, and the reality of that has been sinking in slowly all day like gentle rain, softening the buffer I have built within me to absorb the disappointment if it hadn't turned out this way. I would have predicted exhaultation and excitement as my feeling response to such an outcome, and instead I feel a kind of weepy overwhelm and physical loosening.
     What happens in life may not be the determiner of my feelings so much as I once thought. It is how I go about the art of living, and how I care for my body and my mind. If I am spiritually fit and open hearted I see everything as learning experience and possibility. I am able to be patient and compassionate. If I am blocked and fretful, then whatever happens is a burden and everyone I meet is a potential source of irritation.
     It's not realistic for me to predict the future and decide what I want. How do I know? I believe I am meant to move forward in the direction I am called, and to remain open to changing course as often as necessary, and remain open to changing my mind. Life, it seems to me, is the experience of what is, not the manufacture of what I think it should be. What is is perfect. What I think and project is riddled with fallacy and a lack of distance vision.

Monday, February 14, 2011

THINKING IN ABSOLUTES

     I have a tendency to think in absolutes, to see things in black and white, when the truth is that nothing is all one way or another.  I long for certainty, and when I cannot have it, I plunge into catastrophic thinking. It is my natural inclination to want to organize my experience of the world into catagories of good and bad, of always and never, of "have to" and "can't." But none of that allows for the Eastern wisdom of Yin and Yang, a bit of each in each, the good in the bad and bad in the good and all the variables. In my faith there are wrinkles of doubt and in my fear there are lightbeams of hope. If faith could be absolute, it might rule fear out of me entirely and feel better on the inside; make me immune to struggle and pain. But pain is the motivator for change and the gateway to faith. I need them both: crazy paradox. 
     One thing I know for sure is that my wanting things to be a certain way creates tension in me. I have a desire to be righteous, to think that people should not behave in certain ways, that I know better than others what they need, what will soothe them, even that I know what is best for me. I don't. Often in life I have pushed and forced things to happen that I wanted to happen, against all odds... and gotten them, only to discover that self-propelled achievement is often hollow and does not fulfill me.
     Perhaps perfection is not the absence of flaws and scars, or everything being the way I think it should be, but rather the graceful encompassing of uncertainty, the inclusion and assimilation of what's funky and unusual and unexpected: the darkness and the shadow mixed in with the light.
    

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CLEARING SPACE

     I cleaned out our laundry room this afternoon. It had become cluttered to the point of annoyance with piles of overflow, and shoes, and too many coats. Interior spaces seem to accumulate stuff so readily, and become chaotic and disorganized. In such a state they trap energy and create a sense of impending overwhelm. I think our minds can become cluttered the same way, and our lives.
     The process of looking is first. What's here? Are there things that can be put elsewhere? Thrown away? I see patterns in the disorder. I see groupings of stuff, and get ideas about how to begin. I start to pick things up, to sort piles: items to go upstairs, to go to the car, the kitchen, a bucket of extension cords for the utility closet. I have a trash can available and am always surprised how much I am holding onto that can be easily discarded.
     Halfway through the project, things seem worse than when I began. There is apparent chaos and destruction. This is the point where it's easy to stop and get frustrated. It's the point where I step in to help my kids with their closets because they are close to tears- that it will never come together again, that they've messed things up irrevocably. It's the turning point: time to clean and sweep and put things back with care, time to take out the trash.
     I heard somewhere that when we are feeling stuck, or bored, or restless, we can clean up our rooms. Whenever I do, it helps me shift my perspective and restore me to clarity. In the clean space I am given breathing room and hope. I feel good, and grateful. Perhaps my thoughts and worries, my fears and physical tension, like the laundry room, can be opened up and rearranged.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

LEARNING TO WAIT

     A part of me wants to know outcomes so I can figure out how to feel emotionally, as if my feelings and actions are dictated by external situations, or need to be. The truth is that I can be ok and feel calm and joyful no matter what the circumstances of my life may be. I have this historical sense that everything in my world needs to be settled and ok before I can be settled and ok which is co-dependent of me and lacks faith. I understand intellectually and from experience that everything works out for the best in the end, but this business of waiting patiently for things to unfold, trusting that all will be just as it should be and I will know what I need to know when I need to know it is challenging, and some days more than others.
     We have been in contract on this farm for three months and the last ring of fire has been jumped through: the appraisal. We are waiting to discover whether it has burned the deal or we are cleanly through and moving on to closing. Hopefully, Monday, we will know for sure one way or another.
     But today I have been restless inside and craving certainty, wondering how to feel. Should I continue to invest my heart and future thoughts around the details of this property or be considering plan "B"? I guess feeling unsure and uncertain but full of faith is about as good as it gets today; that we will be steered correctly to whatever is the next best step in our lives, that if it doesn't work out there is a reason beyond our limited vision.
     I did enjoy the sunshine this afternoon and a walk in the fresh air. I was somewhat productive and somewhat reflective. I ate a delicious bowl of cereal for breakfast with almonds and walnuts and cherries and my favorite fizzy Emergen-c drink. I have a man to love who loves me and we are both healthy. I am blessed in ways I know and ways I don't know. I can trust the future but part of me is afraid to let go of my expectations about the way I've pictured it. I am willing to let go. I am willing to trust. I am willing to wait with grace but unsure...