3 ways to build inner StReNgTh

I have been asking myself lately what quality I want to have and work on the most that I don’t already have or one that I need to continue to work on. Yes, I am incredibly honest and I’m engaging, … Continue reading

Stretching 

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters 

1.

I walk down the street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I fall in. 

I am lost … 

I am hopeless. 

It isn’t my fault. 

It takes forever to find a way out. 

2.

I walk down the same street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I pretend I don’t see it. 

I fall in again. 

I can’t believe I’m in the same place.

But it isn’t my fault. 

It still takes a long time to get out. 

3.

I walk down the same street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I see it is there. 

I still fall in … 

it’s a habit. 

My eyes are open. 

I know where I am. 

It is my fault. 

I get out immediately. 

4.

I walk down the same street. 

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I walk around it. 

5.

I walk down another street. 

-Portia Nelson

Stretching is getting comfortable with and pushing the edges of something uncomfortable. I’ve recently realized this in an emotional and physical sense. I discovered this because really, in order to grow, you have to push hard enough within and without yourself to be uncomfortable.  You can’t learn if you recoil at the smallest discomfort. 

The challenge is to do this physically first to allow your mind to adapt so that when an uncomfortable feeling hits you emotionally (something that would make you close up or pull back), you will learn to embrace it as a phase and keep pressing on. Life is full of challenging moments and I know often times in my life I’ve taken an easy approach despite my tendency to learn things the hard way.

So start with a physical stretch and when you start to feel uncomfortable, stay there…breathe through the feeling and consider each muscle and fiber or your being and you acquaint yourself to the feeling. Do this more and more and if you are like me and you are building muscle, you do this at the gym by increasing your weights and thus forcing your muscles to tear down. As you lift, slowly, ease into the slow burning and tearing down of your muscle knowing it will be stronger as it builds back up.

I am going through some mentally tough things right now and I despise change…yet it LOVES to seek me out and force me into uncomfortable situations. I want to curl up in a ball and cry, which I often do at first. Then I have learned to resolve to overcome and be a better person despite the new circumstance. 

I hope you find this challenging and enlightening as a first post to my blog in 2018 and in a long time. 

Lightning

It happens in the least expected way-the calm and then the sudden burst of energy ensuing complacency. It’s like the wall of apathy built around oneself slowly deteriorates and then someone penetrates that protective barrier. The disruption is a fast and sudden onset of rage and emotion all at once.

Lightning

You

Again at this game

Carrying on like it’s nothing

Playing in the field

While the clouds circle high

Darkening

As I focus on the predictable

The overhanging cliff I climb

The strength I know so well

Pulling myself up

Focusing on the goal

The dream I have

Knowing you will be there to catch me

And will meet me at the top

But I didn’t see the clouds lower

The pressure dropping

So consumed in my path

And the water pelting down

Not seeing you under me

Nor hearing the slow rumble overhead

Like my temper tantrum brewing

About to stomp my foot

Slam the door

And scream it out

And so it goes

Lightning strikes

Piercing all concentration

You stumble…

Falling

Hands failing

Loosening your grip on the ties that bind

And I slip

Rope running through quickly

Breath catching as I catch speed

And crash

Lightning strikes

the valley of solace

rest stop in las cruces july 2014

there is a place

down between those mountains

where happiness seems to thrive

joy seems inevitable

and no stumbling blocks in sight

but it isn’t green grass

nor happiness that drives

rather, the peace is in knowing

He is in control

the solace I find

in the valley

it’s not being alone

it’s not life getting easier

it’s in not knowing what lies over the horizon

it’s in knowing I can not control life

solace is found

at the feet of One

in letting Him lead me

one step at a time

into the great unknown

whether it is up another mountain

through the fire

falling down on my path

God is my refuge and my valley

He is my solace

Take a Chance

“What if…” “If only…”

Such an elusive way to think.

This is me.

Someone took a chance on me.

They trusted and freely gave

And then they forgot

Their reasons fading away

Like water through my fingers

They left me alone

I couldn’t decide which thing I must have done wrong to have deserved it.

But I thought, “what if I had…”

And in the end, I now know it wouldn’t have made a difference.

There are many things in my life that I think to myself that I would change if I was given the opportunity, and yet, I am happy for the wisdom I have through it all.

Yet, I still go through this constantly.

Teeter-tottering on the concept of failure versus success.

Someone else took a chance on me.

I was tough now-more secure.

They accepted me and I them.

But I wasn’t enough in the end.

I found that out through heart-ache and tears.

Head and heart beaten to pulp.

Loss and…failure.

I had lost, again.

I wasn’t looking in the right place.

If ONLY someone who I already trusted was with me, it would be different.

But this time I wouldn’t get so deep.

Another chance-

Another heart-ache…what is wrong?

With me?

Like a rag doll…once a cared for possession but tossed aside.

I longed for it,

But grew to trust only me.

Then it happened!

My long lost ONE!

I took a chance.

I rocked my world and went all in.

Full throttle into the life I thought was right.

I wanted him to take a chance on me too.

I thought he did, but still undecided.

And then wavered…

He couldn’t give me the chance-it conflicted with the life he desired.

And again, I was alone.

More alone than ever-and broken.

But what is broken can let in more love-more hope.

I trusted and I found one.

No chances taken-I just said let it be, whatever it may be.

Don’t take a chance, but believe in me.

I have a few friends who have taken that chance on me-they have believed in me when others wouldn’t.

They watch me fall flat on my face…

And get back up each time-tear stains down my dirtied cheeks.

But they LOVE…they ACCEPT the inevitable ME.

They don’t know my outcome and they’ve seen (or heard of) my so-called “failures.”

And yet, they still took the chance on me-they counted on me to pull through.

*****************************************************************************

My challenge to you is to take that chance and continue to have faith in someone even if and when it is not what you expect.

I am preaching to myself right now because I want the “what if” and “I hope” to work itself into reality but the fact of the matter is that it is me putting expectations on someone and that isn’t fair.  Hope is good-unconditional love is BETTER! Acceptance in SPITE of someone’s outward appearance or maybe a stigma-a label.  It’s hard to walk in someone else’s shoes.  And that is why I am happy I have had so many unsuccessful relationships in life, because it has taught me all of this-Love is eternal and people will come and go.  (Yes, you read that right.)  I have been torn and tattered.  I have been abused in almost every way in my past and who I am-how I am is too much for most people (family, spouse, friends included).  I have lost much, but I have not lost ME-and GOD has never lost ME.  HE loves ME-for ME!  HE knows where I am going and what will happen and HE takes a chance on me and that I will follow and love Him and do what HE says (definitely not because it’s popular).

When I was climbing, I learned to trust each hold and each path I chose.  When you lead, in rock climbing, you literally “commit” when you reach out and put all of your weight on a crimp or a smear and you “commit” to that route (you usually can’t go backwards unless you fail fall).  It’s so similar in life-you have to take that chance, trust, and then commit.  It’s actually a pretty simple formula.  Then if you fall, you try another route and eventually…hopefully stronger in the end, you make it to your destination.

I don’t like sounding like I’m preaching and I know if you are like me, you won’t just read this and learn it-you’ll have to live it just as I had.  If you don’t take a chance on someone, you may never know how amazing they are or will become. And you will never know how their ripples will affect you.  This may be on a loved one, lover, child, parent, co-worker, friend.  I don’t know, it may actually be that you need to take a chance on you.

Whatever the case, you are thinking of something right now that you need to take that chance on…something you just need to know. Maybe you won’t and you will never know.  Sometimes I think to myself with a smirk that I have come such a long way and done so much more than anyone who had taken the chance on me and then given up would have ever thought possible  But I don’t do these things for them…they’re because it is just the path I’ve walked.  No, I haven’t always “walked in the path that God willed” I’m sure…but He knew before the world was in motion that I would walk this path and He promises in Jeremiah that “For I know the plans I have for you…plans of good and not evil.”  We just need a little perspective to see how God equips us for those hardships and brings forth the best in each of us if we let him.

Ok, haha!  I got a little preachy and I’m sorry.  I guess I was having a moment looking back at some old poems from the past and realizing just how much I’ve come through-all which I would never have had the strength to go alone.  I struggle a LOT (hey-no one said this is easy), with who I am and why I was never “enough” for those who supposedly committed to me.  I have high expectations sometimes-more for myself than others.  And when someone does seemingly take a chance on me now, I have a hard time trusting.  I push them away and don’t talk to them much because I am afraid of not being what they “thought” and then feeling disappointed when they leave my life.  I will share an experience from my younger years that has stuck with me for a long time.  When I was in 8th grade, I was living in a 5th-8th grade girls dorm in a tiny boarding school in Bolivia, South America.  The prior year I had been in a large public school in the US (my parents went to the US every few years for a year “furlough”), so I knew none of the rules at this boarding school for this age.  Well, within weeks, I was breaking (pretty innocently) rules and my dorm parents sat me down in their office.  Their words will always sting-they told me they had expected me to be an angel since they knew my parents and they were disappointed in me.  WOW!  That hurt…and I believe that was the first of many disappointing moments in my life.

Anyway, take the chance, trust, and commit.  That is my challenge to you-to myself.

Life as I see, I mean, Dream It

There are days when the world feels like it goes against me. Everything I say and do seems to irritate and everything that’s said or done towards me just rubs the salt into the rawness. Likely, I am trying so hard to climb UP, that in my incessant trying and perpetuating speed, I end up digging a hole-deeper, and instead of going forward, I regress.  I guess one could compare it to quicksand: you fight to get out of a pit and instead you sink deeper.

Those days, I look back at how I’m cramming every second of time with more time-consuming opportunities, convincing myself that they are helping me get somewhere, but really, are they? I take two steps forward, and slide right back down.

I’d like to know my efforts aren’t in vain…and I guess I somehow wish that this is a dream from which I will awake and everything will be perfect:

I’ll wake up in the morning (well rested) to a clean house, go on a nice jog, kiss my honey goodbye as he leaves for work, talk to my daughter while I cook her breakfast, get her on the school bus, then drive to work, getting there plenty early of course! (I know…don’t laugh.) After a prosperous day at work (because I’ll be doing what I love like owning a business or working as a police officer, fighting crime), I’ll go pick up my daughter from her after-school program, where all her homework would have been done and I’ll see a great report from her teacher on how helpful and obedient she was.  I’ll drive home and start cooking dinner and just then, my husband will walk in the door and come to kiss me immediately because he missed me so much. After he changes, he’ll come to the kitchen and finish prepping dinner and setting the table with me. We will all sit down at the table and say grace, then eat our well-balanced meal talking to each other about our day (no cell phones). After dinner, we will clean up together and then I’ll throw in some laundry while my daughter gets ready for bed and my love feeds our well-behaved dogs that are a little mischievous sometimes.  Then we will tuck in my little girl together and go sit on the couch, me doing homework, and him watching his sports and catching up on news. After I finish, (and switch out the laundry), we’ll  go take a shower together, maybe somewhere in there…he’ll passionately start kissing me and tell me how beautiful I am, and then…maybe some other things…. Then, we’ll finish folding laundry and make sure the house is tidied before we lay down for the night, snuggled up in each other’s arms. Sigh…

I know, some fairy tale huh. I think I have to wake up and realize no one is perfect-no life is perfect and happiness and joy is about what you choose in spite of a dirty house, running late, not having enough time in the day to get everything done that should be, juggling family life, and trying to shush up about my apparent irrational expectations about partnership.

And, life goes on….

Tonight

Every new dawn awakens with the sun
A bright future and a fresh start
The worries of the long night fading away
Melting away the fear once there
Each day means life and happiness
To those who care to awaken and celebrate
No matter what the darkness held
Even in spite of the pain
And with every heart beat growing stronger
The night feels less a weight
Until the morning and night blend so well
Never feeling dark and lonely again
Tonight is not yet there
I am hopeful but the light isn’t as the day
I am not troubled or in fear though
I know tomorrow will soon be here

Just a short and quick little poem after heart-searching with so much in my life right now going on at once. I keep being asked if I think I’m taking on too much. Nope, I am not. Never been more sure of some of these things as of anything in my life. Relating back to my rock climbing experiences, once you have embarked on a lead climb, you can’t just back up or change your mind. Trust me! I can’t remember the name of the climb, but it was at Taquitz in California. I decided to lead a decently difficult climb-we were about halfway up the side of this mountain already. (It was a 5 pitch (tiered for those of you who don’t know the lingo) climb and I was still fairly new at all this, but I was strong. (This was about May of 2013.) As I went up, I was told to keep veering to the right on…well…nothing but tiny little crimpholds and places my climbing shoes were barely sticking to as I smeared them on the wall. Then we realized I was doing a MUCH harder route (each pitch has various levels of difficulty) and haha…what could I do? I was leading. To go back or change my mind meant falling, and swinging. Not fun, especially when solid rock and gnarly branches await you. So, I made do. I sort of fumbled back, frightened, a different way than anything intended to climb, towards the route I should have been on. My partner who was belaying me couldn’t really help, even when he could see me, as if I fell, I was on lead and my nearest protection (which I had put in) was yards away. Of course, I had to get back to it at some point or my partner who followed would have to go the same messed up route I did and clean it (protection is special rock-climbing gear you place in the cracks where you can so that if you fall, it will hold you (if you placed it right)…catch you. And FYI, it basically when you fall, your distance is about double the distance you were from your last piece of protection…but your life is usually saved. Not to go off on too much more of a rabbit trail, but yes, at some point, the only way back onto the correct path was to purposely fall, which sucked mentally and I don;t recommend it without prior falling training.
The moral of the story is that with anything we do in life, obviously we should try to make sure we are on the correct path, but that is not always possible. Committing yourself to the path you take seems like the only logical option. You can’t go back once you have gone forward. There are going to be frightening times, but it gets easier, right? And someday this will all be over anyway. 😉 Yes, I realize falls happen here and there even though we do not usually intend for them to happen. BUT…making those commitments in life and working through them are so important.
Night? Morning? “I don’t understand,” you say? Well, you know how when you’re a kid, night and darkness is scary! You may have bad dreams. The thunder may scare you. Weird shadows and noises are scary. Everything just looms bigger and badder (that’s not a word, I know)! But when the morning arrives, you wake up and you’re wondering Wow! What was I so afraid of? Nothing seems as bad in the morning, right? Well, eventually, with practice, we learn that when we take things in stride and turn everything into a positive outlook, it makes those nights get brighter and less ominous. I will get there…and usually I am not up at midnight writing or thinking either. i had just read my last post as I had to edit and re post a portion of it and it got me to thinking. “This too shall pass” was my favorite saying as a teenager and young mom. Now, I can’t wait until tomorrow-to see what fun and exciting and challenging things await!
God may not have given YOU the ability to handle MY problems (which is why if you’re reading this and you know all I am taking on, you’re freaking out)! Funny thing is I don’t see them as problems! I see them as solutions to who I am…complicated little pieces of a large puzzle that is going to be unbelievable someday.
My perspective is sooo much different than most.
Have a good night everyone! 🙂

I’m Untitled

(Click HERE and you can hear the song I have been listening to as I write.)

Writing….it’s part of who I am.  I write from my heart, words flowing freely and effortlessly as they enter and exit through my fingers, manifesting themselves on my blog.  This is a blog that has been difficult for me to write, in fact, as you will see by the sporadic time-frames that I post.  I generally write most when I have a lot on my mind, and I was asked by my mom years ago why I don’t just write in a journal and keep it to myself.  As if I was airing out dirty laundry.  But I think other writers, as myself, enjoy reading too and what better than finding a connection with what someone has to say?  I always dream that somehow, my stories can have an impact or maybe inspire someone-help them feel like they’re not alone and that life is still wonderful despite all the hardships we go through.  I still haven’t had the heart to write about some of my largest “mountains” (figuratively speaking)…but I will get there soon-it’s been almost enough time.

Hearts don’t heal completely-they are scarred and sometimes pain comes back in tiny splinters, reminding us of what we went through.  I had one of those experiences today.  I heard something on Pandora that brought memories flooding back of a time that I thought my heart was broken beyond repair. Now looking back I see this wasn’t to be my battle in life-as I’ve said before, it was a stepping stone.  I will never experience that exact pain again and I can say that with certainty, and it is what has brought me to New Mexico…following the little loves of my life.  I am happy about the choices I made back (after not during) that time as so much good came out of all that.  Remind me to tell my story of those events (the good parts anyway) soon!

Anyway, I am mainly writing this all to say that I am not perfect!  My story is still unfolding. My life can’t be labeled or titled because I have no idea what will come at me next.  I have been through some seemingly unreal things in my life and will likely go through more because that’s just what my life seems to hold (God I hope not though).  Like a said in a recent post, great things come from the will to not be average, everyday, ordinary-from needing to be challenged and not accepting the norm.  This is who I am…I am untitled, ever changing me.  To those who once tried to write a book about their experiences in raising me, I hope I have not let you down too much that you couldn’t ever “finish” that book with a happy ending…although it sure seems happy through my eyes.

Reflections

Sitting here atop this peak I’m on

Looking down at the beauty beneath

Wondering how I got up this high

Knowing there is no where else to go but down

Inevitable collapse

The waters below show me where I’m at

They reveal where I’ve been

The reflections of my journey here

I see love and laughter

Hope of things to come

Anticipation for the future as we climbed together

All the multi-pitched trust and determination

Giggles of children playing below

Watching and learning wherever we would go

We climbed and hiked this route

Anchored in deep so as not to fall

Or so we thought

But the anchors were loose

Aged from time and climbers falling hard on them

Knowing a safe climb down is not possible

Letting go of the rope that binds us

We jump head first

Not seeing the other

Falling headlong into the deep waters below

Breaking the reflections of our past

They will be no more

Drowned out now by currents of new life

Looking up at the peak from whence I fell

Will I climb that mountain again?

See my reflection in this mere puddle I’m in

Maybe…time will only tell

 

So, I wrote this little blurb this morning based on my mood, as is my custom.  I mentioned previously that I’ve climbed some pretty mighty (metaphorical) mountains during my lifetime already.  I feel like I am at the top of one now, looking over the edge and ready to jump-freefall if you will-into the unknown.  It is a scary time for me and yet exciting.  Part of me thinks, yeah, I can handle any mountain now! And the other side is saying, no…I can’t handle the difficult journey or the fall again.  I have been waging a war inside and outside with what has been going on in my life.  It is still too raw to share details, but suffice to say, it is the largest thing I’ve ever gone through-the most devastating to me, however, I know that because I have an amazing God who promised me He would never leave me and promised good for those who love Him and follow Him, I know that I will still stand and be okay.  I won’t drown in my sorrow or crawl around in desperation.  I am a child of the King and He knows how beautiful I am.  I am thankful for all the past I’ve been through that has strengthened me thus far.  I may not be strong enough otherwise.  It is true…”What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And also there is a song out that says, “He might let you bend but He will never let you break.” Yep!  My soul and my heart is His!  He also entrusted me with a beautiful little girl, 4 years old right now, that is a ball of energy and light! I love her with all my heart and in this time of free-falling…I know I have to bounce back quickly and be there for my child.  She is resilient and even though this mountain is a journey she also took, and she is feeling the repercussions of such a high fall, I am praying that God can use me in her life to show her that there is something/someone higher than all of this that is worth living your life for! She doesn’t understand yet, and she will always remember this timeframe in her life, but God will reign in her-I have that hope and prayer.

My next post is going to be my story of my first multi-pitch climb (in Red Rock Canyon, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada), called “Cat in the Hat.” Stay tuned!!!!