What I didn’t know

Visited with my beautiful sister Kristy today. I love her more than words can say and hated leaving.

Feeling reflective in the car as Stella and I chatted.

I told her I needed to apologize to John, my dear son. I was recalling a Halloween when he was one or two. It was nasty outside and he had a bad cold. He was crying, miserable and wanted to go home from the church parking lot trunk or treat. He wanted to leave. I wanted him to be a happy Tigger and not miss the Halloween memory making. Poor baby.

Stella reminded me I did the same on her first bday. She had a double ear infection and was tearful and miserable. Wise people tried to get me to reschedule. Nope. Not gonna miss those special birthday memories. She literally had tears and snot dripping as I encouraged her to blow out her bday candles. Sweet baby.

Both of these times it was my intention that my babies have wonderful memories. Neither of those events did I trust the process and respect their needs. I was always pushing for something better.

I hope those amazing young humans forgive me for that and so much more. I hope their dad forgives my need for perfection back then.

I didn’t know a different way yet.

Practicing Metta

Metta. A lovingkindness, friendliness that teaches us to extend genuine kindness and friendliness to ourselves and then outwardly to others. In Buddhism, metta is the first of the brahma viharas

The whole of the brahma viharas are new to me. It’s quite enjoyable to learn and mediate on them….and yes, I still love my Jesus. I also treasure wisdom and learning. Anyway…that’s a whole nother topic for a whole other day.

Today, my meditation practice has centered around this statement; to greet each thought with, “May I meet this too with kindness.’ In theory, sounds super simple. In reality, I have so much reaction and resistance within me that this could be akin to asking me to swim 5 miles wearing 50 pound bags of rocks. It’s a task that feels insurmountable; thus…it’s a practice my soul longs for.

Spending time in quiet breath, accepting whatever comes; I am surprised at what comes up. There is so much angry, so much resentment…mad, mad, mad. There are the regrets, the shoulds, the shames and embarrassments. MAY I MEET THESE TOO WITH KINDNESS.

Hmph. Mental eye roll. More minutes in this quiet with more emotions arising. Leaving. Don’t leave me. I don’t want to leave you. Fear. Arguing. Comparison. MAY I MEET THESE TOO WITH KINDNESS.

How does it feel when I meet myself with kindness instead of judgment or reaction? In my quiet space, I free my mind to do what it needs to do and breathe deep in my spirit; praying and hoping the two find a place to connect peacefully.

This is semi-foreign to me. I’ve done hard work within; I’ve sought and found my inner child; there is still, always work to do. Peeling layers of an onion, I remind myself. My instant reaction…I’d rather peel layers of cabbage. Okay sister, you go for it. This is your work. Be cabbage. I laugh at my self and wonder at my ability to create my own struggles where there need be none.

I’m here now. I am here with the shoulds. I realize there is equanimity among the shoulds, the scolding, the shame and the harsh self judgements.

Thoughts arise.

“Sit up, you are meditating in the wrong position.”

“You are fat. Why are you fat?” (I am pleased as I meet this thought not with acceptance; at least with a bit of grace because I am still ‘trying’ to love me where I am at.)

“Why did you switch to this new job. It pays well; but you are going to hate it. It’s against everything you theoretically believe. Furthermore, why are you 49 and needing to consider money. I’ll tell you why, it’s bc of your past poor choices. What makes you think you will do different now?

“Why should you be proud of yourself? You might want to consider how long it’s taken you to get here and don’t forget all of your past mistakes. This isn’t a big deal. You aren’t a big deal.”

“You won’t connect like you could, your fear is gonna get you.”

The thoughts don’t stop; yet my timer buzzes. Thank God. I decide to climb out of the negative rabbit whole and process. There is a constant push and pull in my gut. It rises and stops in my throat. I fear that if I let it out it will choke myself and everyone around me.

I acknowledge the struggle between letting go/surrender and control/fear.

I MEET THESE. I MEET ALL OF THESE. I MEET THESE WITH KINDNESS.

I process and continue my internal dialogue.

Why, hello old friends.

Hello Anger! I see you peeking around the corner, you’re okay.

Hiya Shame.

Hello sweet Surrender; I know you are feeling squished down.

Ah, regret, there you are.

Control, hello there!

Shame babies, greetings little ones. Please understand if I don’t feed you enough and you fade away as failure to thrive.

Oh…the Shoulds come marching in – Goodness!, you all multiply quickly.

Fear, hi!

Curiosity, welcome love! Doubt…hey there. Silly, you can disguise yourself as Curioustity but we know you are just playing around!

Dichotomous thinking, hi dear one! I know you are struggling.

Welcome everyone! I see you. Thank you for coming. I MEET EACH OF YOU WITH KINDNESS. What? I know; it’s new. Let’s try it though. Please? Please.

I meet you all with full kindness even when the pull is toward shame and resistance.

CHOOSE KINDNESS. CHOOSE KINDNESS. CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you forget; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you resist; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you disconnect; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are embarrassed and ashamed; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you doubt; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you feel less than; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you sabotage yourself; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are mean; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are less than love; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you feel the “I cant’s, CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When the shoulds overwhelm; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you compare; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you are afraid; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you feel the “never enough’; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you choose the “too muches“; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

When you claim helplessness; CHOOSE KINDNESS.

I love you sis. CHOOSE KINDNESS.

Hope

Go on, keep all your feelers buried. It’s the quickest way to wear yourself out.

When life is too much to bear, it feels awfully familiar and comfortable to just put a smile on and keep going on your merry way without acknowledging anything.

But remember, you know different so you can do different.

Breathe deep, talk to God, shhhhhh and find your center.

Take care of you.

Love, your wiser self

Summer Days

I’m sure going to miss my quiet time at the pool as the weather changes and I start working a new job while Stelly returns to school. There is something about the pool or being in water that brings me such peace and I can just forget about everything for a little bit.

I will definitely miss hanging out with my beautiful baby girl, and running over to my precious mama or handsome son for a hug and and other lackadaisical no make up no messing with my hair structureless kind of days.

But oh how I long for the crispy fall air and positive changes to come.🍁🍂🍁.

I am honored to be stepping into my dreams. How lovely to love and be loved; to pray and be prayed for; to watch Gods restoring hand move. How sacred to walk through the journey of another with them.

So….summer days…I know you are slowly saying goodbye. My drooping plants feel it too. I have treasured and will treasure you even as I enter the next season.

With gratitude, thanks for letting me walk in the sun.❤️☀️

Fathers Day 2021

Happiest Fathers Day in Heaven to our dear Daddy. 💔❤️.

As I sit on the porch of a home you never got to see, I’m sipping my coffee and thinking of you. You would be proud of my little garden, no matter if it was succeeding or failing.

By this time in the morning, you would be up, you would’ve gone for your walk and been freshly showered and smelled like cologne and you (sometimes I think I catch a whiff of you and then it’s gone.)

You most certainly would’ve kissed mom good morning, even if she was still sleeping. I remember when I used to sneak in bed with you guys, you would kiss both of us goodbye in the early morning. Often giving my foot an over the cover squeeze with your big ole hands, and nothing felt safer.

Back in the good ole days, you would’ve been making breakfast for all of us and chopping up somebody’s eggs the way only you could.

I miss you in all of the ways. We all do.

No matter how much I seek you, there will never be another you. I look for pieces of you every day in everyone and everything.

I hope you are dancing in heaven and knowing how well loved you always were and will always be.

Friends

“Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.“

I remember that tune well from Girl Scout days. The older I get, the truer I find it to be.

Some of my golden friends have stayed in my life and I hope they are with me until the day I am no longer here. Another handful of my golden friends are no longer in my life.

It’s so hard to let go, especially when I don’t understand the why’s. Praying about letting go is easy, putting into practice the actual act of letting go is something that goes against every fiber of my being.

With loss comes grief. Sometimes, when I think things are getting better, another wave of loss hits me or comes in a different form. That’s OK. I loved those friends well and for whatever reason, the season for our friendship is not right now.

We have all experienced loss of relationship, it just looks different for each of us. In grief and in healing, there is reflection.

One of the precious hearts in my life shared this morning, her words soaked straight into my spirit. She said…

“In my previous life my friendships were the kind that “poked fun” at each other in sometimes hurtful ways, and I bore the brunt of the “fun”, and it tore me down.”

I felt her words in every way. Friendship should offer reciprocity, respect, grace, forgiveness, safety. Friendship should not offer fear, accusations, faking for the sake of acceptance, disregard for another or using humor as leverage to hurt.

Looking back, that’s what I was feeling in some old friendships. I still miss them, letting go is hard even if it is best.

In this new space, I am grateful and I am still sad for the loss. I don’t believe that God took the friendships away from me, I do believe we all have some kind of lesson in the hurt and beauty comes out of ashes.

I’m going to spend my time focusing on the gratitude and on developing new, healthy friendships. I have changed a lot over the past few years. There are times that people won’t let you grow and instead they let you go, or vice versa.

I told God that I didn’t want to let go, I wanted my normal back. God told me to let go and trust him, He had good things in store for me.

I’m still not “there” but I’m beginning to let go instead of just continually grapple.

In the meantime, an amazing new tribe of women have come into my life. They are safe, accepting, fun and already golden to me.❤️🙏

Holy Spirit Help Me

So flipping much to say. So little time to say it. Listening to Transformation Church series on the Holy Spirit….leads me to ask for help and knowing the Holy Spirit in a more intimate way….leads me to being embarrassed to share bc I don’t want to offend anyone who holds a different belief system than I…..leads me remember humility and that I’m not here to please or appease others….and there is just SO MUCH LEARNING and change and goodness going on inside of me.


This morning the sermon ended with a directive to ask the Holy Spirit what He is trying to say to me through this message. Cool…I can do that. I asked. I listened and my heart immediately said, “I AM HERE, then, now and always” (what filled my heart for then, now and always is for another time of sharing). Then I recalled a conversation with a client yesterday…more on that coming.


Yesterday, a client that I love dearly who tends to be a little on the super grumpy side…asks me if I am dating anyone. Then asks me if I have taken my test yet (she remembered from a year ago and has been a huge cheerleader for me during grad school and beyond). I tell her the test is next Tuesday and though I’ve been studying like crazy for months, I am terrified. She tells me (she has never ever shared any ‘God’ talk) that I just need to ask the Holy Spirit for help. She tells me that whatever I put in, He will help me extract as needed; both the good and the bad. That struck me deeply.


Today…a very unexpected phone call…

“This is Jane Louise, you helped me a couple of years ago”

“I just want to thank you for your help”,

“I’m doing wonderful, little by little and one day at a time.”

“It’s still a struggle; yet I feel like a child learning to live again.”

“Life gives us just what we are supposed to have.”

“I finally reached the bottom and couldn’t face another day.”

“I finally asked God for help and started praying AND letting Him help me.”

“I am playing piano again and finding the things that give me joy.”

“I think of you often.”

“Sarah, you are the first person I was able to connect with. Knowing you were a phone call away gave me so much hope and strength.”


I listened as hot tears rolled down my cheeks. My heart was exploding with gratitude. I remembered this woman like she was sitting here today. I rarely forget my clients. I might forget their names, I don’t forget their stories.


When she came, she was really considering suicide. She was desperate, hopeless and wishing for death to come upon her (her words).


We connected for a short time and then, she kind of dropped away. Sometimes that happens (too often) in this world. I have wondered countless times what happened to her. I wondered if she had chosen to step out of darkness by stepping into hope or by giving her pain a final rest.


She chose life. God bless her, she chose life.


After thanking her for calling and telling her what that meant to my heart; I told her I thought she was tremendously brave for reaching out. She told me that she was not brave, she was desperate and that it was terrifying to reach out when she did.


“Isn’t it so marvelous that sometimes it takes desperation to make us brave?”, I asked.


My heart is so full. We all matter, don’t ever forget that.


Choose life. Also…special note to self…choose to listen.

God bless

God bless those who are brave enough to share their thoughts, even when they are not popular opinions.

God bless those who do the right thing and speak their truth, even when it means losing adoration.

God bless those who sit quietly in the corner wishing that they could get past the lump in their throat and speak.

God bless this who help the silent corner sitters find their voice.

God bless the voices and experiences, this journey can be daunting.

❤️🙏

Watch your words

Truly, I try not to let irritants bother me, especially when it doesn’t affect my own life. This one though…it’s a big ugh for me personally.

I am frustrated by the continual use of the term narcissist directed at anyone who exhibits as#holeish behavior. Why does this bother me so? It bothers me because those with mental health disorders already are stereotyped in our society, true narcissism is a complex personality disorder, and if there were as many narcissists in the world as people we point fingers at, this world would be a terribly lonely place.

The majority of us will exhibit what could be categorized as a narcissistic behavior once in a while; we ALL are capable of being a jerk sometimes.

Labels are something I feel strongly, strongly, strongly should be used with caution. Not all a holes are narcissist, they are simply a holes. There are people qualified to give out DSM diagnoses, and even then it can be a slippery slope. To me, an unqualified person throwing about labels feels equal to my diagnosing myself on google (which I’ve been guilty of many times).

The useful purposes of an official mental health diagnosis are neither to justify name calling or to excuse behavior. It’s no different than saying, ‘oh, he’s so bipolar’ (having a bad day and then a good day does not bipolar make); ‘she’s so adhd’ (really hurts when your kiddo is…they have brilliant minds btw); even, ‘you are crazy’ (someone is saying something we might not jive with). Turning clinical diagnoses into daily adjectives is unacceptable; think of the impact before speaking.

I wonder if, when we make our focus about what someone else is, are we more able to excuse our own accountability? In no way am I excusing any kind of abusive behavior, I am saying there is value in focusing on our own unhealthy patterns.

In the end, within ourselves is the only thing we have the power to change. To a person who has lived with, loved or cared for a true narcissist, I am sorry. I know it sucks. This post is not directed at those people; or anyone really. I see so much of this throwing around diagnoses by many unqualified individuals in the areas of law; dating and more…it feels really unfair.

What’s done is done, what’s gone is gone….right?

“What’s done is done, what’s gone is gone. One of life’s lessons is always moving on.”

I saw this posted here or somewhere and it pinged my heart deeply. As a result of my divorce; countless beautiful things have happened. I healed things in myself that I didn’t know needed healed. Subsequently, healing things between my children and I is ongoing. I went back to and finished grad school. I moved from the only home I have known for my lifetime.

All of this is beautiful yet I have realized recently the heaviness of things I am holding tightly onto. My ex spouse did not choose me. He did not choose our family over his desires. Four years later; we have a wonderful friendship and co-parent well; still; I have felt so betrayed and abandoned. I am sad and feel that we (not just he) forever changed the trajectory of our children’s lives.

I believe I am right where I am supposed to be. I am not as sure when it comes to my kids. I do know we are still a family and love our children and each other dearly; our family just looks different. It is difficult for me to consolidate the pain and sadness with the healing. It seems strange that the feeling angry and the grief are hitting me now more than before. It’s hard for me to know that even though I choose forgiveness multiple times a day (on most days); I still haven’t forgotten the hurt.

Perhaps it’s because I truly want to move forward. I want to love and be loved by a partner. I find myself consistently choosing relationships with really good men yet they just aren’t quite all the way available in some aspect. Then I wonder if I am doing that on purpose to avoid more hurt and so I can say it’s them, not me. Maybe it’s me who won’t make myself all the way available.

It’s all so much to unwind sometimes.

I know it’s done and gone; it’s still hard not to bring into my now. I know I have to trust the process. Sometimes I just wish the process would hurry the hell up.