Living with Ambiguity

“Sometimes the picture isn’t finished yet.”

“Ideas, possibilities, hopes, dreams float around, circling us like asteroids around a planet. We may think events in our lives are happening aimlessly, without purpose. All we see are disconnected, floating blobs.”

“We reach for them, try to grab them in our hands so we can connect them, force them into a whole, force them into a picture we can see, something that makes sense.”

“Let the pieces be. Let yourself be. Let life be.”

“Sometimes, chaos needs to precede order. The pieces will come together in a picture that makes sense, in a beautiful work of art that pleases.”

“You don’t have to force the pieces to fit together if it’s not time. You don’t have to know. There is power in letting go.

“Power in waiting. Power in stillness. Power in trust. There is power in letting the disconnected pieces be until they settle into a whole. The action you are to take will appear.”

“Timely. Clearly. What you’re to do will become clear.”

(Excerpt from Melody Beattie~Journey to the Heart)

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A Good Problem

Blogging is like having a public journal.

Blogging has worked, because I kept misplacing journals whenever we moved. Writing publicly is healing, and can help others heal, so yes, it’s like letting everyone read your journal. I am behind, so let’s take some time to catch up.

I promised a friend I would write about this, so here it is E!

In August, I read a book by Melodie Beattie entitled, Make Miracles in Forty Days. You may be aware, I’m a huge Melody fan, and treasure all her books, but this one intrigued me. I believe in miracles, and believe I’m a walking miracle, so I read the book, and did what she said.

At first glance it seemed like another gratitude list exercise, but there’s a twist! You write what you’re grateful for, but you also write what you’re NOT grateful for.

On August 26th my writing began. At first it was habitual to list everything I was grateful for. Referring back to the book, I learned how to phrase things that were bothering me. Here are a few examples, along with their outcome.

You begin by writing, “I am grateful today that…”

My doctor wants to see me, even though I don’t know why. (The miracle is they were not alarmed by my mammogram and agreed to see me In Six Months)

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I have a dependable job, and get to work from home, even though I would like to make more money. (I was offered a new job)

I love my home, but would like for my daughter to live closer to town, her friends, and her father. (We are moving into a new home, near the lake, January 1st) I love the lake.

You get the idea. I’m grateful for a beautiful life, and this exercise helped open my heart, and mind for changes that needed to be made. The journaling continued longer than 40 days, because I still do it today. You can also do this with a friend via email. To just stay grateful, and let God work.

I told a friend, “I don’t know how many more of God’s blessings I can take!

That is a good problem to have.

It’s Old School

I visit people almost daily. Just to ask how their life is going, and then listen. Sometimes, it’s just for a hug if I sense they need one. Never turn down a heartfelt hug. It’s healing.

It’s old school, and that is where I enjoy being today.

Every now and then, I leave my phone at home on purpose, just to check and see if I miss it. Can’t say that I have. The person I’m with is more important than what my phone is doing. It’s like saying, “I love you more than my phone.”

I wrote this a couple of nights ago:

My daughter and I are sitting here quietly typing on our laptops. She has Classical Piano softly playing in the background. It’s peaceful, and the kind of moment you want to last indefinitely. I appreciate at her young age that she effortlessly creates moments like this. She will pass them along to her family, and they will have moments.

Breaking the ties to my phone, and social media is one of the best things I’ve done all year. To be present, and enjoy what’s happening in the now. My daughter told me in June, “You are always staring at that phone!” Now she tells me when it makes a noise, and I can’t remember where it is. She doesn’t see my hunting for it, over spending time with her.

As Gibbs would say, “It’s old school.” Well Gibbs, I like it.

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Gibbs is portrayed by Mark Harmon on the TV show, NCIS.

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You Haveta Wanna

This Blog post is for anyone suffering from an addiction.

To overcome the addiction, you have to want to. Your ‘want to‘ has to become bigger than it. God created us to be overcomers, and because He has overcome the world, there is nothing we cannot overcome through Him.

I give credit to AA for giving me the relationship I have with God today. The first 3 steps are all about God, and this scares some people away, but He took the desire to drink away from me. I will happily spend the rest of my life serving Him, because I get to enjoy life sober.

There will always be an excuse to drink. Someone asked me once, “How do you know you’re an alcoholic?” Because normal people can have one drink, and stop. My one drink was the entire bottle of wine. To numb the feelings that were bubbling up inside of me. When I stopped drinking, I had to feel those feelings. With sobriety there is no hiding.

When you stop drinking, you meet all the parts of yourself you have been at war with. Face them.

If I didn’t face my feelings, I would drink, but I also knew those same feelings would still be there once I sobered up again. Pouring alcohol over those feelings was a temporary fix, not to mention all the stupid stuff I did while drinking.

That just added to the horror of what I was trying to drown.

It’s no big secret how to stay sober. Go to meetings. That means I have to shower, get in my truck, and drive, and then walk into a room full of strangers. Not necessarily. You can sit in front of a computer screen in an online meeting. I did that. I also drank wine while watching what was being said in that online meeting. You cannot hide and stay sober.

My fear of waking up hungover, and not remembering what I said and did is real. I will go to any length to enjoy this life God has given me sober. My ‘want to’ is bigger than any fear.

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Coffee and Chocolate

My daughter called lastnight, and we chatted for a while.

She asked, “How is everything?” I said, “Just beautiful! Except, there is no chocolate in this house!” Two females need chocolate available at a moments notice, so that will be fixed.

I’ve been going to bed earlier, and waking up earlier.

This morning, I sat on the porch, and watched the sunrise. It was stunningly beautiful. Then it was time for coffee.

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There is something about pouring hot liquid, into a cracked cup. It’s made of fine china, and allows me to trust that it is going to hold that liquid. I carry it with the saucer underneath, just in case it decides to give in to the crack.

When my daughter and I were packing to leave my marriage, we had one rule of thumb. She wasn’t sure what to take, and what to leave, so I asked her, “Do you love it? If you love it, and will use it, then pack it up.” This caused me to ponder what I had in the house that I loved, but didn’t use.

This china was only used at Christmas. The rest of the time, it was displayed in the china cabinet with all of the other, ‘look but don’t touch’ items. It was time for that to change.

I packed up the china, and we use it like everyday plates.

My daughter knows I’m not big into Halloween, but I love fall. Last year, she bought me a pumpkin covered in sequins. I said, “I’m going to have to find our fall decoration pumpkin, and set it out.” She wasn’t as amused as I was.

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I saw this yesterday, and brought it home. A year ago, I would have walked right by it because it’s real. Taking care of plants this year gave me this philosophy. It will either thrive, or we will enjoy it while it’s here. She says the Boston Ferns on the front porch are so huge, they are obnoxious.

I’m excited about seeing her today, and hearing about her travels. Time to head out for some coffee and chocolate.

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The More I Learn, the Less I Know.

I’ve read more books this year, than three years combined.

I’m reading Melodie Beattie’s, Finding Your Way Home, for the second time. It made me desire for more people to have this level of self-awareness, and self-love. When I began this Blog, it was to show people that a beautiful life is attainable. That was my goal, so now that it’s achieved, what’s next?

I really don’t know, but I’m willing to be patient, and find out.

This year, I detached from Social Media. It was very difficult to do, but it’s done. Three times last week, I left the house without my phone. I didn’t turn the truck around to go get it, and had a beautiful time in town connecting with people.

I’ve become a part of the AA community again. Online is not the same as in person. You get to laugh, and hear others laugh, and that hug at the end of a meeting is irreplaceable.

Technology is helpful in the world, but it can’t replace the human touch.

I found it to be easier to post an encouraging Meme everyday, than to spend time sitting with an actual person.

Memes are not moments.

Every new beginning, starts with an ending. Are people willing to draw a line in the sand, and end the life they have to begin again? I don’t know. It takes grit and grace to do so.

The list is long of what I don’t know, but time reveals all. If you asked me, “How long does it take to attain a beautiful life?”, my initial answer would be, “Five years.” Thinking about it more in-depth, it took my whole life up to this point.

Knowing and Believing

“You have the power to guide your life in the direction you want.” You have heard this before, but do you believe it?

Knowing and believing are different things, but they work together. They can work for, or against each other.

Do you know what you believe? This is not what you think. That is another topic. What you know to be true because you have seen it with your own eyes. Not what you’ve heard.

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All I wanted was a beautiful life. That was all.

I didn’t make this life happen. I didn’t run out and get two jobs to provide for my daughter and me. My daughter needed me home, and I wanted to enjoy this life with her, so I kept a part time job working from home. We have not had a need that hasn’t been met, otherwise we didn’t need it.

What you know is what you’ve believed up to this moment.

Enjoy the Day

My daughter and I don’t own a television, by choice.

Nothing good was added to our life from the noise.

You can hear the natural flow of the day when there is no additional noise. The air conditioning is blowing steadily through the air vent above my head. Sitting in the middle of my bed while typing, the cool air is landing on the back of my neck, arms, and shoulders. There is a ceiling fan in the room, but I cannot hear it spinning over the air conditioning.

There several reasons I let go of my phone, but the noise was a big one. Even turning it to silent, it would light up with quiet noise. I tested myself this week, and left my phone at home while out with my daughter. The only part I missed was the ability to take a picture of our moments together.

I’ve never carried a camera, but maybe that is what’s next.

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To Be True

Life is beautiful, and we are taking time to cultivate it.

I saw the gradual movement of change. My daughter painted her room, and I fell in love with the feel. Walking into my own room, it didn’t give me that feel. Looking at paint colors, then testing samples, and voila! My room has that feel with completely different colors. How is that possible? We know what feels good, and both rooms do, but on different levels.

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I chose the true red over faded red, to remind myself to be true. The happiness sign hung over my bed, but I moved it to the opposite wall. When I wake up, I lay there for a moment, and ponder it’s meaning for the day. Each day holds different levels of happiness. To get good with that and just be.

I don’t have to jump out of bed anymore, and embrace the day. It’s best for me to travel through the day, and acknowledge uncertainty. People are walking in and out of my life, and I am letting them. Melody Beattie was referring to being in the middle of God’s will. We love God’s will, “but not usually while it’s working itself out.” This is true.

The place we pray to be in is uncomfortable to sit in.

Shades of PINK commented on one of my Facebook posts today with, “Perfect place to ‘BE.'” It was picture perfect. To just ‘be’ is not always how we picture it, or perfect.

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My daughter sent me that Meme. My feelings change from day to day, but God doesn’t change, and I know that to be true.

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The Sad Shelf

When my daughter and I go to a garden center, we take a look at the sad shelf. This is the shelf of plants, drastically reduced in price from over-watering. They all look sad.

Maybe that is why I started caring for plants. If I could care for them properly, and give them a healthy environment, then I could do the same for me. The plants and I are growing.

The people traveling with us on our journey should add to our happiness. If we are not surrounded by happiness, it’s time to take a look at the people we allowed onto our path.

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There is a role for everyone we meet, but how healthy are they? How well they care for themselves, is how well they care for you. The sad shelf is not a pretty place to be.