The first step in finding a solution is to identify the problem. I’ve identified the problem: fear of being happy and enjoying myself. I can see it so clearly now when I look at photos. Somewhere along the way, I accepted there was a barrier keeping me from happiness and the ability to just enjoy life.
I accepted I was someone who wasn’t meant to have fun, enjoy my life and just relax and live in the moment. Oh I’m sure with enough time, money and therapy an expert could tell me why I believe such a lie. I don’t care why, but I do want a solution.
Does anyone else suffer from this same problem? Does anyone else feel like they are on the outside looking in? Does anyone else hold back from truly living for fear of being judged or ridiculed? Have you found a solution? If so, I’d love hear how you broke through. I don’t want to waste another day on the outside looking in.
Someone I love has cancer and has begun a rigorous routine of chemotherapy. Before my divorce, I would have purchased a ticket and flown west to Las Vegas, NV. My family has lived there for almost 43 years. I’ve only made the full round trip road adventure once prior to this time when my dad died. Then I had a husband and daughter who could help with the drive. This time it was me and my cat.
There isn’t much between central Texas and Southern Nevada. There are long stretches of road which appear endless. And in many areas there is no radio reception. It gives you time for a lot of introspection. The first day was 12 hours. Albuquerque was my destination for the night. About an hour outside the city, the sky grew dark and it rained, hard. I was already tired and my cat was beginning to get restless in his kennel. Heavy rain just added to my already high stress level. But before long, the sky began to grow light and then it turned the most brilliant shade of blue.
It occurred to me this storm is a representation of my life the past few years. I lived with an ugly storm building on the horizon and when it hit, it had 30 years of hurt and heartache raining down. It came close to destroying me. Then slowly, very slowly I began to see a break in the storm. I could hear the faint calling of God’s voice telling me not to give up. And now, even though my loved one is facing cancer, I can see blue sky.
The blue sky of hope is calling my name. It reminds me of the story in Luke 8. Jesus is asleep on the boat when a storm hits. The disciples ran to him because they feared drowning. He utters a word and the sea and sky are calm. That is where I made my crucial mistake. I was so caught up in the drama, fear and pain of my storm I forgot to turn to Jesus. But thankfully our God is patient and he waited for me to turn around and call upon his name.
Webster’s definition (directly copied from Webster’s dictionary).
Simple Definition of cheat : to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something
: to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule
: to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get
Hear the word cheat and some very vivid images come to mind; an unfaithful spouse, a scam artist, a dieter eating a candy bar, a student who didn’t study but many of us would say we don’t cheat. We might even say we’ve never cheated but upon closer introspection I think most of us would find we cheat everyday.
Whether it’s driving a little over the speed limit, forgetting to signal when we turn, saying we did something like take out the garbage when we actually haven’t done it yet. Or what about cheating our children of precious connection? That’s one of my biggest gripes. It never fails, I always see parents talking on their phones or playing with a tablet and completely ignoring their children. When we give our focus to unimportant things we are denying our children of what they deserve, an engaged and interactive parent. See definition #3-prevent someone from having something he/she deserves. We cheat.
Human beings crave connection. We aren’t meant to live without emotional connection to other human beings. Close personal relationships help protect against depression. But close, meaningful connections don’t happen without time and effort. We spend the most time on the things, people, experiences we value. Like the bible says, “where your treasure is (what in your life you deem important-it doesn’t have to be money) so will your heart be.
If tomorrow you had to make a list in order of where you spend your time and place your focus what would it look like? I’m not advocating quitting a job. But don’t cheat yourself and those you love out of a deep connection by being distracted and focused on the temporary things life has to offer.
Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice if I had only made one mistake but I’ve made many. From small ones to big ones, the mistakes that linger the longest are the ones from which I fail to learn something.
Mistakes if accepted, pondered and if necessary ask for forgiveness are really life lessons. How else would we learn some of life’s most important lessons if not from making mistakes.
I used to beat myself up relentlessly over mistakes. A soul can only take that for so long before it wants to give up. Slowly with the love and patience of my family, I have started to realize I can learn a lot from what happened to me and find my faith and joy again. Without those mistakes, I might not have turned back to God.
In response to the daily prompt word obvious.
Since my divorce I’ve learned it was obvious to everyone else, including my children, I was miserable. I was unhappy. I was sad. Obvious to everyone else except to me. Obvious to those close to me but not to my ex-husband. The two people who should have seen the obvious didn’t see it or recognize it.
Sometimes you can be blind to the most important things in life which are obvious to everyone else. So if a friend seems obviously unhappy, sad, frustrated, rejected etc. ask her what’s up. Tell her you are there to listen without judgment and will give no advice unless requested. What’s the old saying? It’s as plain on the nose on your face. Well maybe it isn’t.
My Twitter account @texas_dede has been hijacked by link.is. This post is a test to see if I was able to revoke their access to my account.
Miniature: small, tiny, little, replica of something larger
How do I create the life I want? How do I rebuild a new foundation without using the same faulty stones?
I begin with one small, miniature step towards the future. The steps, the choices, the vision need not be grand. It can begin by being a smaller replica of what I had before. And as the days go by and the vision grows, it will evolve from miniature to slightly larger until it has grown as beautiful as my dream.
Miniature doesn’t mean less than. It gives me the opportunity to adjust, grow and bloom a little bit at a time. While my life isn’t what I’d like, dreaming and seeing a small, miniature glimpse into the future gives me hope.
A mustard seed is small, miniature compared to other plant seeds. But what is compared to a mustard seed? Faith and if my faith is only the size of a mustard seed, I can tell a tree to uproot and go plant itself in the sea. The tree will obey me.
WordPress daily prompt
Most people wouldn’t use the word jeopardize on any regular basis. It infers peril, danger, loss. However I think we all make choices and decisions which jeopardize our health, happiness, family, jobs, security, faith etc. we just make the choices so quickly and typically we don’t think it will matter in the long run, but even choice we make or fail to make shapes our lives and impacts others.
My ex-husband chose to look at porn. He chose to go to strip clubs and erotic massage parlors. He didn’t make them all at once. It was one small decision to click on a link. One more choice to walk in a club because he was far from home. A decision to purchase sex because it wasn’t intercourse so it didn’t count. I believe if all of his choices had been piled up and placed before him before he had actually made them, he would have understood how much he would jeopardize. And what none of us realize is we place into jeopardy not just own happiness but the happiness of others.
What happens to the daughters who learn their father was wanted for being a sexual predator? Did he know he was jeopardizing his daughters’ ability to trust men when he made his choices? Did I realize I was jeopardizing my own security by standing by an untrustworthy man? Of course not.
None of us spend much time considering how our small daily choices impact our lives and the lives of others.