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. 

Resigned

I have resigned from my position as the one you may think I am. The me that I’ve become on the outside is not the person I am inside. I tried to fight it and have been at war. I lost myself years ago, shut out by the feeling of weakness, both in flesh, and in heart. But I’ve realized I can never be perfect enough for any person. I’m stripped from facades and done pretending. My pride is gone and my fight is over. I am just one match burning inside. I will shine my light and focus on basics again. I will stand up for who I am. I am loved, by God and by me…and by my children and family. I will love freely but not fall freely in love. I will live in my here and now, forgetting the past and all my hurt but not where I have come back from. I won’t worry about tomorrow. There isn’t enough mercy and grace in the world but I am enough for me. I never stop caring but will not be pulled under and succumb anymore. Nothing, no thought or evil or temptation, owns me any more. I gave you all my notice-

Resigned,

Cara

(And here is my song for the day…)

Betraying Myself

"My demons mock me as I walk in the cold from class with tears stinging my eyes."

I haven’t written much lately. I have been so consumed with school and my business and family. I don’t know who actually reads my blogs or not nor do I really care as long as in the end some good can come of it. Sometimes I write what I do just to get things off my chest-like my blog is my best friend. I know, I can tell God and heh, believe you me I certainly do tell Him…many times. I cry to Him and yell it out, sometimes begging Him, and always praising Him. Of course, how my life has turned out isn’t His fault but all good is in spite of me and in His glory.

Rambling tonight already…

Basically, I heard this song awhile back from one of my foster kids. It hit a chord with me, especially now this time of year when I feel alone, or at least away from my own parents, and siblings. I’m not necessarily close to any of them. In fact, I have a few friends out there who have stuck with me through everything and lately, things aren’t going well for them. Maybe everyone goes through these feelings of wishing life was something it wasn’t-like a memory mixed with fantasy, because of course, I’m sure in my memory, I’m forgetting all the bleak and dark moments I’ve been through.

My main professor in my major (Criminal Justice) accurately pegged me as having anxiety the other day. He said I spend too much time over-thinking sometimes, especially about the past and the future and that I need to spend more time in the present. Haha, I know that I don’t spend time wishing I could change the past or create some fantasy-filled future though. I do look back on those connections I’ve had in my life and the why as well as the meaning and impact on who I am as a person. Without each person who has been in my life, I would not be this living, breathing, constantly-breaking, yet stronger than super-glue, kind of human being. I am capable. I am strong. I am courageous. But I fall, I fail in my weaknesses, giving into my fear so often. It’s like I’m this walking betrayal of myself; an oxymoron in every way.

Funny, but I remember when my parents took us as kids, through personality tests, I would always be almost identically strong in two areas and they were always seemingly polar opposites. How. Is. That. Possible? I thought, secretly, I must be schizophrenic or something. I always felt like I needed to hide part of who I was because I would seem crazy. Now I embrace my crazy and reflect inwardly on who I am and if there is a deficit somewhere that I can “fix” so that I don’t keep repeating my mistakes in life. Trying is what I do, to a fault. I don’t give up easily, despite being accused of that in marriage several times. I have learned SO much about me these past few years and especially this last year. It’s like every year for the past few years, I feel like I have figured myself out the most. Clearly I am a crazy and complex person-I don’t know how the pieces even fit together. It’s like God dumped out the pieces of a dried up desert and watered them, forcing them to soften and fill in the cracks, connecting into one entity: me.

So how do I keep going seeming like I am this walking contradiction of myself? Am I soft and vulnerable on the inside and tough on the outside? Well, I disagree. I don’t care about the exterior as much, although sometimes I make myself up all pretty. I couldn’t survive the harsh world around me, and the lashings that life has dealt me without being strong inside. My outer shell betrays me-sometimes showing my soft and empathetic heart. My heart is molten and bleeds, erupting in more love than I want to show. But my mind is skilled and tricks me into questioning my feet and where they wander, seeking justice, and truth in all that I do. Is it possible to be a caring person and be in law enforcement? The violence in my past-being beat and raped, then re-victimized in the trauma center is something I still have to face and get over. I have still haven’t written about what happened in 2013, which indicates to me, as a writer, that I haven’t faced it and put it behind me as well as I was able to do with the past.

My demons mock me as I walk in the cold from class with tears stinging my eyes. These insolent “children” who haven’t experienced loss or trauma as I have, that laugh and make light of the rape scenario our lab class is going through. Like tiny needles tapping the rawness of what I went through. The assault I experienced wasn’t the only loss I suffered. Waking up in tiny fragments of time and space and screaming in my head for my daughter, with no one paying any attention to me, not knowing if she was okay. Being told they were keeping my clothing as evidence, what little I had left of being cut off of me. Pounding in my head with searing pain, unable to move or speak-just let tears roll down. My internal anguish from the heartbreak I had just suffered, having my family torn apart, was far worse than not knowing what happened to me when I blacked out-when I was almost killed. The irony of my first ride in a helicopter being me laying strapped down to a hard surface, vibrating my throbbing head against it as I was lifted to a larger scale hospital. Then laying on the large table with a bright light above it. I felt like I had been abducted by aliens, only the ones photographing every inch of my naked and vulnerable body were human. The rape kit inconclusive and the speculations of the deep laceration into my forearm from a knife. The MRI flew by in between blackouts and concluded that I had suffered an unstable spine injury and wouldn’t be able to do anything on my own for awhile-only, all I had was my 4 year old daughter, who I had found out had slept through the whole home invasion (even through the alarm I was able to hit) and found by police in her bed.

I am convinced that had I not gone through a domestic violent relationship, given a child for adoption, left for dead in a hotel room trying to stand up for what I believe, not had cancer, or any of the other less extreme trials in my life that God has slowly strengthened me through, I couldn’t have gone through all this so easily. I did move away, and so facing it wasn’t the same as if I had stayed and advocated for myself. But it drove me to chase after my kids in the town where their dad had moved to. I realized my life has flashed one too many times before my eyes and that I need to spend the rest of it giving to my kids and to those around them who can make it safer and better for them. I am strong and I am a fighter-I will get through whatever God helps me with.

So, here I sit, contemplating why I feel like I’m one soldier in my battle, realizing that even if my life can impact just one person, then my life was not in vain. I am not going to betray who I am and choose the soft sweeter side above the rugged-edged, wild and determined side of who I am. I am going to embrace my past and help anyone who has walked the steps I have with love, showing them that in Christ, all things are possible.

 

Daily

Every day is a struggle to get out of bed-I’m tired and feel alone. Even if I read a book and some verses, I still feel physically alone. Longing to be told something nice and encouraged by someone I care about or touched in a loving way. I don’t like being negative or feeling sad. No one does. I wonder if I blew my chances and if I’m that unloveable. 

So what gets me out of bed each day when I feel this way? Well other than dogs wanting breakfast, every day for me is a choice. A choice to smile and even if I’m pretending in the outside that everything is wonderful, at least I can try to carry on. Hey, growing up as an mk (missionary kid) teaches you how to have a perfect facade. But inside I’m just clinging to what I know to be true-I know I’m not always a good person, but I’m honest, caring, loving, and not awful to look at, and I’m willing to admit my faults and love someone in spite of any they have. So on the outside, I’ll just “fake it till I make it.” 

And to those who also don’t know this-having fibromyalgia adds a whole new dimension to this. There is pain, insomnia, fatigue, depression, and so much more battling it out that getting up each day, jamming out to loud music and getting ready for the day is a huge feat! I know I’ve fought my fair share of these battles but some days, when feeling defeated, all you want is to hear something positive directed at you. 

I hate being so raw and vulnerable with my readers but my hope is that we can all know we aren’t alone-even when we feel like we are.

Feeling Again

Fingers frozen
Thoughts dancing wild
Inside
Chest is tight
Pulse rising
Can’t touch the keys
With the war waging
Tearing down
Layers of pain
Struggling
Fear is fighting
Trying to conquer
Protecting
My fragile heart
Beating louder
Shattering
Silence
Growing
Now echoing
In my ears
The chorus of life
Remaining
Within my soul
Resonating
Memories
Fading
Blurring the walls
like raindrops falling
Wet ivory now moving
Teaching
My heart to sing
Again

 

Portrait on the wall

The sun shines brightly

Grass green and flowers blooming

Picture perfect, portrait on the wall

We function well

Carrying on this disillusionment

And then one day

A glitch in our system

The facade falls from the frame

Shattering into a million pieces

Leaving behind the nakedness

Truth is life’s ugly

But we cover up our lives

With pretty things

Keeping our world full

Constant activity

Children and what looks like God

But what happens?

When the portrait’s facade falls away?

When life’s rawness revealing

Our imperfection to all

Comes into focus

Only One to know us

To pick up the pieces

And carry us through these hardships

Let everything go

Let it be real and imperfect

Cry and tell Him you’re hurting

And let Him work it out

Or you can

Buy another picture

Cover up the bleeding

And continue basking in the sun

Of your picture perfect life.

 

Glass Heart

Reflections of the moon ripple gently along the dark liquid mirror
A symbol of perfection like a polished glass heart smiling up at the night sky
Serene and silky, seducing all the senses, fooling those who gaze upon her
The slow churn of water under the surface is subtle and obscure
A forbidden abyss of mystery and danger
But the magical beauty lures and deceives those who mistake her
Those who have fallen through the crevasses of the icy surface
Only to know the strong current of what lies beneath, pulling deeper
Entrapping any who dare to pry behind the barrier of light
The frozen emotions on the surface so thick and strong
But the bold and bright sun bearing down warms and caresses her icy exterior
Exposing the torrents of water beneath
Just enough that her waves start to transform into a cool transparent spring
And the vulnerable waters of her soul shine brightly from the deep
Then a surge of light and deep rumble loudly piercing the calm air
Striking the open waters and forcing the vibrant chasm closing in and icing over
Stifling tear drops under the surface of the shell allowed to momentarily melt
As the dark clouds overhead beat down rain, bouncing off her icy shoulders
Now heavy laden with layers of protection from a storm until the sky clears
And then with sultry admonition, she shines from below the frozen exterior
Knowing the chaos stirring underneath is lost inside her glassy heart of ice.

beautiful like you

Below is a raw little thing I wrote today regarding something I wrote earlier today that sounded too real and alive and I threw it away.  I will probably wake up tomorrow and feel vulnerable about posting this, thus deleting it, but for now, here you are.

I wrote a song for you today

Called it Beautiful, like you

So perfect, it seemed cliche

Crumpled up and tossed aside

Words that were simply put

Yet so full of truth and depth

And awkward

Like a young child learning

So full of hope

And dreams that don’t come true

Going to close my eyes

And rewind time in my dreams

As I wake, I’ll fill myself up

With all I can

To forget these things

Don’t want to know

Nor try to understand

I am stone cold

Lock it all away

I’m a trained heart-warrior

But don’t want to forget

You’re one in a million

You are you

Listening to one of my favorite artists, Elliot Minor (from the UK):

perspective

“Perspective is amazing!  It’s always interesting to see how a little bump in the road changes it…changes the view from where we thought we were going. I’m always taken back when something happens that shocks me and where I thought I was-it’s like an internal check-up.  You’d think by now I wouldn’t be (shocked).  But here I am again, humbled, remembering that what you think you “have” can be taken away so quickly.  Every part of life is a gift…everything that happens, good or bad, will shape and mold us.  And when all is gone, what will we have?  If life is all a bunch of physical-there will be nothing left. I for one, had the stick thrown in my hamster wheel of life (again) and I’m not pulling it out and getting back on again. (If I do, you have my permission to break it.) I’m going to get off my “wheel” and start walking for real…holding the hands of the ones who I want to walk this life with-my loved ones. I’m going to be beside them to carry them when they get weak and pick them up when they fall, protect them when they’re attacked, and love them no matter what.”

#Soapbox #climbingmymountains #caralynae  #trials #pain