Your Mother is Always With You

My Person sent this poem to me a few days ago.  Of course, tears dripped from eyes immediately, but they were mostly tears of joy and gratitude for the woman who impacted my life so much.  Please enjoy.

Your Mother is Always With You, author unknown

Your mother is always with you…

She’s the whisper of the leaves
as you walk down the street.

She’s the smell of bleach in
your freshly laundered socks.

She’s the cool hand on your
brow when you’re not well.

Your mother lives inside
your laughter. She’s crystallized
in every tear drop…

She’s the place you came from,
your first home. She’s the map you
follow with every step that you take.
She’s your first love and your first heart
break….and nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, Not space…
Not even death….
will ever separate you
from your mother….
You carry her inside of you….

Being in Heartbreak

July 21st was supposed to be a day that quietly recognized and honored a night one year ago known privately as “when we fell off the cliff.”

Instead, my mother died and my heart nose-dived into a black abyss.  My mind feels like mush, my limbs are leaden and writing is suddenly a gut-wrenching chore.

However, I know from experience that writing is also my salvation.  I’ve just never written through this particular level of numbness.

I can tell you I don’t want to drink, use drugs or smoke cigarettes.  I’m not even particularly interested in eating.  I am blessed that those desires are missing.

So I sit in my sadness, praying, waiting, being.  It’s hard as hell, but it is exactly what Mom would want me to do.  She’d say, “You’re tougher than you know.  The pain will ease one day and until that time, you can do this.  One day at a time.”

Bless you, Mom.  I’m counting on your continued help.  I love you beyond time and space.

Stirring the Pot

I often–too often–forget that God doesn’t give me more than I can handle today.  But sometimes it feels like he doesn’t know how to tell time very well because I’m dealing with way too much stuff in a single day.

Here’s my aha moment, though:  Let’s say that God presents me with a straw-that-breaks-the-camel’s-back situation.  But I think I can’t possibly take on one more stressful thing in this 24-hour-period.  I am already maxed out and stretched thin.  I’ve yanked out fists of hair, chewed off all my fingernails and ground my teeth to nubs.  My eyes are the before picture in a Visine commercial.  I am a mess and I tell myself so.

Then what happens?  I become messier, more of what I believe I am.

Just when I think I can’t do any of it anymore, this thought crashes through the mess:  I can shift that last camel thing, or any other thing that is causing stress, to another 24.

God may place all these growth opportunities in front of me but I don’t believe he shares my expectation that each one’s details needs to be dealt with today.  That expectation rests solely on me.

I can shelve one or more of my stressors for a future TBD 24.  I don’t have to deal with everything today.

Centered in Spirit, I am at peace.

I believe this life is about learning how to step around the poop I encounter instead of trying to pole-vault over it.  I don’t need those dramatic responses any more even though my mind tries to trick me into believing I do.

Here’s the thing:  I hang out with humans who do things that cause dervishes to whirl in my life.  I am fully aware than humans have a morbid fascination with stirring the poop pot, but I can choose to step away from the cookstove.  Say, no thanks, not today.  I think I have enough stirring today.  Please check back with me tomorrow and maybe I’ll throw myself into the fire then.  But not today.

The Width of Your Dash

Remember the wise old proverb about living between the dashes of the dates on your headstone?

I don’t remember the story behind the proverb but the moral has something to do with the measure, or the width, of our existence, what we do with the years after we’re born and before we die.  The dash represents our hopes, dreams and accomplishments as well as our failures.  It is the sum of each of our moments and how we’ve chosen to string them together.

I thought about the Dash Story recently when I heard someone express its meaning in a different way.  He reminded his audience that the first sentence, which is actually a question, of Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous reads:  “Who cares to admit complete defeat?”

As hundreds of heads knowingly nodded, he went on to refresh our memories with the first sentence of Step Twelve which reads, “The joy of living is the theme of AA’s 12th step and action is its key word.”

As I listened to the chorus of ahs around me, I remembered the dash.

A guy I used to know named Jim H. had his dash inscribed this week.  Gosh, I hope he is pleased with the way it turned out.  Several of his friends are good friends of mine and I envisioned them standing in the parking lot of the funeral home, before they fired up their Harleys, cussing and discussing his dash.  For Jim, and for my friends, the dash and the distance between the sentences of Steps One and Twelve are synonymous.

I suppose the dash is the final mile marker on the distance of Jim’s journey’s.

As it is for all of us. 

Sometimes, though, I get caught up in a small incremental portion of the dash I’m creating.  During those times, I definitely do not want to admit complete defeat and there is definitely no joy in my living.  I’ve completely cast aside the key word of action.  Typically, I have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired before I holler “uncle!”

I’m ready now, though.  It’s been a wearisome few days and if I keep this up, my dash could arrive sooner rather than later.  I’m ready to let these days go, to surrender them, and get back to the joy of living.  I’m ready to take action.  AA can also stand for Awareness and Action.

Like Jim H., when my journey’s distance reaches its end, I want my spirit to smile broadly, knowing that I’ve chosen the joy of living and created a really wide dash.

Wants Vs. Needs

Via Daily Word Magazine, this prosperity affirmation:  I have all the time, energy and money needed to do what is mine to do.

It doesn’t say I have all the time for what I want to do.  A speaker in a recent 12-step meeting said that she no longer finds it confusing to try to separate her wants from her needs.  She simply prays for what God wants.

I figure that what God wants for me and what I think I need combines to form “what is mine to do.”

At first glance, the affirmation statement seems daunting.  Since I’ve been a person of action all my life, I figure there is something I must DO to prepare to receive the abundance of time, energy and money coming my way. 

Sometimes I still don’t get it.  My rush and flurry of activity is the antithesis of the affirmation.  I already possess all the time, energy and money I need.  My challenge is to accept that it’s in my presence, which requires me to become, well, present.

I mean, seriously, does God (or whatever you choose to call the spirit that guides you) want me to struggle and strain and beat my head against the wall while bemoaning that there is not enough time in the day?

Wringing precious minutes out of a 24-hour period doesn’t give me more time.  In fact, it makes me tired, very tired, thus negating the energy that I’m trying to affirm.

And the money part?  That is blog post material all on its own.

Here’s what I know for sure:  In order to really feel the truth of the affirming words, I have to breathe them into my soul while in a quiet, receptive state.

They do little good when read in the mornings between gulps of coffee while I’m headed out the door.  I am at my best when I sit with the power of the words.  Sit for awhile and then sit some more.

Then, miraculously, the affirmation does become truth as I realize I am not only doing what is mine to do, I am being the presence that accepts time, energy and money.

How do you tell the difference between wants and needs?