Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy birthday mom

You were born today
The beauty of fall
Peak season
Red orange green
From trees standing so tall

Slowly dropping
Bold colors 
To earth
Leaving barren branches
But asleep within

Last leaf clings
Must let go
A painful pace
A scary new place

You let go 
As I 
Held you tight
On the couch
Fighting with all my might

"It's time to die now"
As you 
Dried your eyes
It was longer 
For me
I hate goodbyes

I run now mom
As the colorful leaves 
Like our memories
One by one
Spring, summer, fall and winter snow

Seasons change
They dance 
Our dance
I'm stronger now mom
It's my 
Second chance

Pushes me
Much like you
Further. More.
Gaining a strength 
I never knew

That painful day
"Who will ever
Love me like you?"
I finally dared say

You placed our hands
Upon my heart
Holding my fear
I will always be 
Right here"

Finish lines
The wind on my face
The dance
That we shared
Finally replaced

Happy birthday, Mom


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Unconditional Love

Photo credit Phil Rowen
Did you ever have a single definable moment of clarity?

Next Thursday, ironically the day after my dreaded re-check appointment, is my mom's birthday. She has been on my mind so much lately. We recently had a sit down with the girls to process an issue they were having. In trying to sort out the facts of what really happened versus perceptions and emotions I found myself tearing up and the following words came out.

"There is no one in this world.
Let me repeat that. 
There is no one in this entire world.
That ever has 
or ever will 
love you like the two people you see sitting here in front of you. 
No one. 
There is nothing you can do to change that. You will disappoint us. You will make us sad. You will hurt us. We won't agree with all of your choices. 
But there is nothing that you can do that will ever stop us from loving you."

And as soon as the words came out of my mouth I suddenly realized why it is that even at 41 years old I still miss my parents as much as I do. 

There is nothing quite like unconditional love, perfect or imperfect.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Recovering Approval Addict Extraordinaire

I ran into a long time acquaintance recently and was paid a compliment on my writing. He had read my blog for the first time and commented with a raised eyebrow, that I was a very talented writer. This guy is someone I've known for many years but only through another person. I replied saying thank you and headed off on my way. In thinking about the compliment later I couldn't help recognize the look of surprise in the man's eye when he complimented me.

I thought long and hard about this. Something I rarely do. Sarcasm ;)

Once I determined that he was indeed surprised, my mind wondered why. I couldn't help wonder to myself, how had our mutual friend portrayed me? 

All of my life I've worried what people thought of me. I have always been the girl with the laundry list of explanations. It was important to me to share the why's of all of my decisions, my choices, my mistakes. 

Enter approval addict extraordinaire.

I couldn't help because....
I removed myself from this relationship because was toxic, not to be hurtful.
I did this to take care of my children.
I did this to take care of myself.

You understand, right? I'm a good person, right? You approve of me, right?

I always felt I needed to tell my side so I wouldn't be judged unfairly. This resulted in feeling frustrated and angry much of the time. I hated trying to explain myself all the time. At the time I saw no way out of the viscous cycle. I often heard the words, "Who cares what other people think? Your real friends know who you are."

But did they?  How could anyone know who I really am if I didn't know who I really am? 

And who did I think I was?

I was the baby.
I was the pathetic little girl in the middle
I was the little sister.
I was the girl with the "mentally retarded" sister.
I was his girlfriend.
I was his ex girlfriend
I was his wife.
I was every single label anyone I met defined me as.

The truth is that it is impossible to let go of what other people think of you when you have let other people define you.

On some level I was drinking the kool aid. I was giving away my power. Inside my own self, I must have believed I was all of the things I was imagining people would say if I didn't give them my laundry list of explanations.

It was exhausting.

Excuses and explanations are red flags to stop and look at what you really believe about yourself. It's never about the other person. It's always about you.

It is much easier to let go of what others may think of you when you get clear on what you think of you.

In order to do that you have to have the courage to put yourself out there and tell your story. You have to have the courage to tell the world who you are. 

I am a writer. 

Who are you?

Such a simple truth. Such a long time to learn it.