The Magazine Rack

Over the last decade or so, we’ve heard all the things the smartphone has replaced.

  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Rolodex
  • Pager
  • Mp3 player
  • Boom box
  • Computer
  • Typewriter

But what you never hear about is the bathroom magazine holder. For as long as I’ve “played house” which is about 38 years now; I’ve had a basket 🧺 of ‘reading material’ by each toilet.

I can almost say with complete certainty that in the last 10 years, not one book or magazine has been pulled out and looked at except by me to clean the greasy dust of them.

So why do we hold onto completely useless things? Because of tradition? Or habit. I heard an organizer on the l radio say that you don’t need a pile of washcloths in your bathroom by the shower if you never use one.

That was HUGE for me!

I tend to keep things- just in case someone needs them.

Although I rarely have house guests, there’s always that ‘chance’.

As I looked around at what my attempt of ‘just in case’ was costing me, I noticed the endless half (or less) empty shampoo bottles that I keep because I don’t want to “waste the money”, yet I’ve outgrown the desire to use that brand.

How much is your time/space/clarity/simplification/order/dust-free items/TIME? Worth?

Amazon has it all figured out in this article. But im more interested in what psychological effect the clutter of these items has on a day-to-day basis. Every single thing in our houses has to be

*Looked at*

*Cleaned*

*Moved*

*Stored*

And before all these things- the mental energy has to be conjured up to do each one. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but we really do only have so much mental energy and time. If there is one stressful thing sucking up that time and energy, it pulls it in even tighter.

I guess you could call it Fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning. Practical Perfection has a great fall cleaning checklist.

THE ULTIMATE FALL CLEANING CHECKLIST 

So today is purge day. I got rid of my toilet 🧺 basket! Now I’m working on unused washcloths.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Matt Kahn:

Talking about something difficult, no matter the risk of judgment or rejection, always winds up being much easier to endure than hiding from the things that need to be said. This is why the truth shall always set you free. The truth can always be said directly, diplomatically, and with the belief that no matter how anyone reacts to your sharing, each human being is hard-wired in connection to the Universe to become even more evolved over time as a result of each outcome. This is so, whether you are meant to see its evidence and no matter the opinions that others may have of you or the decisions you make. As you choose communication over avoidance, dare to believe in the unwavering support the Universe equally has for you, as well as others.

All of this is so you may be fully available to loving and encouraging yourself throughout the expression of your most difficult feelings, as your heart is divinely guided to share. In doing so it’s essential to remember, you don’t have to make anyone else wrong, in order to declare what is ultimately right for you.

Please enjoy this heart-warming newsletter to help you become a more empowered empath—for yourself, your loved ones, and the world around you.

All for Love,

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Quiet Suffering

I heard the squeak and the roar of the Monday morning trash pickup as it crept through the neighborhood. It was always a loud wake up call- on the dot-at 6:30 am. The brakes, the lifting of the cans, the dumping. Then the steady, beeping horn, signaling the truck’s reverse gear.

The air was thick with a cold January breeze- always threatening a new winter storm. This day, like so many others lately, was not a typical Monday morning grind day. This day was going to be a “mental health day” for me. Sounds wimpy, I know. But the reality is, over the last 2 years, I’ve had at least 2 a month sometimes up to 5. Yes, it hits hard on the budget, but I can’t seem to help it.

Emotional overload is a thing.

Some days, the emotional energy required to function outside of my ‘safe’ house is astronomical. The mental anguish that is like a not-so-silent black and white film- always running in the back of my head- is exhausting.

People who delight in telling me what a horrible son I have, think that they are giving me some new information that I’ve never thought of. Not that I think he’s horrible, nor will I ever entertain the “lets bash the black sheep drug addict” crowd by talking shizz about my 36 year old very lost, very in trouble, son.

What they don’t know is that the rolling script of everything that he’s done and continues to do, plays over and over in my mind constantly. The brief glimpses of sobriety and in- person interactions that I get with him always seem to be criticized that I do too much, or that I hang onto his every word, or that I have too much hope that he has really turned the corner.

They’re not wrong

I DO do those things. I DO have too much faith sometimes. I do hang on his every word. Trying to figure out the chaotic mind of the person I birthed who still eludes all rational thought and reason. 

I do those things because I know the time is limited. This moment shall pass. He is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. Sometimes, in those brief moments I have physical eyes on him; I catch him staring off into the distance even as he rushing to get somewhere. I see his torment. His struggle. So many people want so many things from him that his {usually} unhealed brain can’t promise.

Yet he still does what he has always done:

Spin a great tale about this or that; starting another business, building tiny homes, or taking on the world of cement again.


He wants to. I know he does. He wants to be known for his success again. He wants to be respected. He wants to be worthy of people’s ( family) time and attention. He was looking so forward to being able to see his kids again until the goal post was moved so far that he lost hope.

What I see that no one else sees, is his pain. His actions depict an uncaring drug addict who can’t get off the spinning wheel and who can’t seem to follow the legal requirements to break out of it’s grasp. But I see that all those things are an attempt to fix an internal problem. He hates when I say that. He won’t admit anything.

I’m not the textbook addict who has had trauma”

I can hear him saying it now.

But I hear it- maybe not trauma, but pain- in those moments of frustration, when he makes the call to me to vent. It’s not very often. It’s like a pattern of when he takes 2 steps forward, that are not good enough, because it was supposed to be 3, so he falls back 5.

His anguish and fear and disappoint come through in those moments of realization that he will never be good enough or reach high enough for some- especially the legal system who now have brought up charges from 9 months ago.

To him, the goal is completely out of reach.

Why bother? Says the defeated unhealed brain.

Despite his pre-drug life of reaching every goal he worked day and night for; now his damaged brain and reward system can’t think that far ahead. He’s still in survival mode. When he was searching for jobs to re-enter the workforce, I caught a glimpse of the man afraid to fail. He casually mentioned that some of the jobs would be too much responsibility, too stressful for what he could manage in early recovery. I couldn’t believe it- after all his experience. But it was honesty. A brief glimpse into his vulnerability of failure.

He knew one thing he was good at. Hustling. And within a week of being told the conditions of seeing his kids, he was back doing what he does. Hustling and bustling. At first he was trying to get enough money to help. Then he realized it would never be enough and he was back into the life of isolating and who knows what. Like a snap of the finger, he was gone.

So now, he’s a liar. Projection- that he never intended to do anything. Fulfilling the stigma of the drug addict who’s incapable of keeping his word.

He cajoled us in that ever present aura of having everything under control that makes people spill all of THEIR hopes and dreams onto him, thinking all was well and back to “normal”. But 2 months is NOT normal. The brain is still churning to process every little thing.

The circle continues- shame- blame- hope- disappointment – failure.

We were all guilty………again. Of placing so much responsibility and expectations so soon onto a brain that was slowly trying to figure out life without the safe covering of substances to dull it. But we won’t be called out, because the addict is always the scapegoat now. For anything that goes wrong.

Steven Covey used to say:

“People are very tender, very sensitive inside. I don’t believe age or experience makes much difference. Inside, even within the most toughened and calloused exteriors, are the tender feelings and emotions of the heart.”


So yes. I’m aware of my sons failings and flailings. I was told that I should stop listening to what a drug addict tells me and that I should put my time and energy elsewhere.

Ok.

Let me turn off my mind and my heart.

But first I need a “sick day”.

A Monday morning mental health day.



Tomorrow hasn’t even begun and your chest is already tight and your heart is racing just thinking about this week.

I get it. It can be so easy feel trapped in a downward spiral when we begin to think about everything we have on our plates. All the things that could happen or go wrong. All the emotions that come with the unknowns.

But may I remind you, dear one, God has already been through this week. He knows what’s going to happen, it doesn’t surprise him. He knows when you will be anxious this week, and he’s already preparing you to fight that anxiety. He understands you are having a hard time trusting his goodness over life right now, and he is strengthening you by his Spirit.

Take a deep breath in.

Remind yourself of his perfect sovereignty.

Lift your eyes up to the heavens.

Speak his name as you let your breath out.

Allow yourself to be still.

It’s more of him and less of everything else you need to hear right now.

Feel your heart beating in your chest.

It’s already slowing down and your chest doesn’t feel quite so tight.

Do you feel that?

That’s the peace of the Holy Spirit that passes any kind of human understanding or reasoning. And it’s that same peace that will be ready for you every moment of this hard week ahead.

Grasp it tight, knowing it’s your saving grace.

Trust its strength, believing in its perfect power made strong in your weakness.

Believe fully, knowing just how loved you are and how freely this gift is given to you as a woman hidden in Christ.- From Blacktop to Dirt Road

Vulnerability

Sucks.

It really does. Because that’s usually how we get hurt or offended or disappointed.

We finally get enough courage to open up and expose ourselves, and BAM we get slammed. Again. Then it takes us twice as long to creak open the treasure box- which is us- and peek out again.

I believe the key is in our expectations. What is our goal? Do we want love, acceptance? Sure, everyone does. By remembering that everyone is not in that safe space to receive us in our entire ‘raw-ety’; we can be ok with the people who aren’t able to hold space for us.

It can be a good opportunity for us to hold space for someone else though. Instead of striking back at them for not being emotionally mature and secure enough to accept us, we can model how to be emotionally mature and secure for them.

I found this except from The Conquer You Experience that explains how we don’t have to be completely vulnerable with everyone.

"Vulnerability is giving others a peek into the raw, true self, and providing a doorway for others to enter, if they choose, to do the same. It is a sacred experience, a gift, that shouldn’t be given to just anyone. It needs to be earned and shared in a safe space. Being authentic and vulnerable can knock down others protective walls and allow them to freely open up to their emotions, to feel, and to feel safe doing so. 

Vulnerability is the great connector. When we share these vulnerable moments, we are putting a piece of us on the table for another to see, in all it’s magnificent imperfections. We open up knowing there is a possibility for judgment, rejection and pain. It’s risky. But when done in the right setting with the right people, it allows us to connect with others on the deepest of levels.

Greater intimacy (into-me-see), in all our relationships, is on the other side of vulnerable and difficult conversations. These sacred conversations allow for others to truly see us".-Taylor Cooper

Toughless Love

The heart that builds itself up to do the “tough love”,
Fails miserably over & over again…

The heart that swears to never enable again, walks past her son’s picture & breaks down into tears of what he must look like now…..
This Mom who melts into relief at seeing that green dot- of-life online today.

This Mom who becomes resentful at the lack of communication or caring about ANYTHING, Gets a lump in her throat when she sees his name…

In those moments; that some would call weakness; is a mom who loved this child for 8 1/2 months longer than his age…so 35 yrs…

And that’s ok, I don’t mind being called weak… because every day I get on the Mom groups and read of another heartbroken mother who got “The call”.

In those moments, I am filled with gratefulness that I have one more day, one more chance.
I never want my daughter to say to me, “God I just wish he’d pop on & ask for money just one more time”
Because if he’s gone he can’t ask for money… 😰

If he’s gone, we can’t hate him for having this disease,
If he’s gone we can’t get mad at the complete mess of chaos that his illness has brought into our little family & that his unwillingness to get help has caused even greater torment.

If he’s gone, I can’t have hope for a better tomorrow…

That tomorrow might be the day he asks for help…..

So I stay true to the current pain & inconvenience, holding what boundaries I can, & telling him every single day that I believe in him & love him.
💜💕💫💕💜

My sincere condolences to this who have lost their loved ones 💟

Seeing Others As Whole

Today I had the privilege of listening to a nationally acclaimed body image expert talk about how & why people do things, especially those things that might hurt them eventually or even now.

It occurred to me of how worthy just plain WORTHY people are to be loved💛!
Even those with incredible problems, even those who seem as if they have nothing to offer us- who seem to not fit our image of who they “should” be just so WE can feel better.
This is for the simple reason that people are NOT (or shouldn’t be identified as) their problems. They are not their titles or jobs. Those things come and go- like the wind.

Then tonight my middle son reminded ME, His mother of some incredible humans who I’m related to-one of them being him! These were things that I had forgotten.
Sometimes it takes someone else to shine a light on someone’s soul and on their true value to help us remember who they are and who we are.

Thankful for gifts of today💙

I’m Done

You’re done. Admit it, you’ve said it.

You’re done wishing things would get better.

You’re done with the lies, the empty promises.

You’re done putting out all the effort when there doesn’t seem to be any return on your investment. Speaking of money – it makes your head spin to think about it. Would you work at a job where you shed sweat, blood and guts not to mention mounds of tears and never get a paycheck?

Yet you keep doing it because- well that day might come when you get handed a check or a morsel of apology or a spark of things getting better; which you hang onto for dear life. You live for that day. It seems like your entire existence is spent on that moment.

And that’s why you say you’re done. That you’re tired. Tired of searching.

Searching for your magic solution. Just the right mix. Ya know? The right mix of being supportive and not doing that “E” word. But you’re so tired. You’ve said you’re done a million times. But we know you’re not. Because you have hope.

And faith.

The reward is just around the corner, you know it!

Over and over again. Like a little kid lost in a carnival looking for her parents. It’s scary and hard but you know the reward is coming. You’ll find them and they’ll be holding a big pink sweet sticky cotton candy and it will all be yours! So you continue.

What are you losing meanwhile? What part of yourself are you missing? 
Vika Strawberrika on unsplash

I know, with my own journey, I woke up 2+ years later, 25 lbs overweight, a house full of junk & needing repairs and all my other relationships in need of attention. I didn’t know where the time went, yet it seemed like 20 years had passed too!

I had to take a good look at my quality of life and those around me. I had to figure out where my “project” ended and where I began. I had to be my own hero not everyone else’s.

The path to begin to do that is with self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself the credit you’ve been secretly wanting from others. Or whatever reward you wanted.

Resolution, peace, martyr status. A pat on the back. You’re human. We all want these things. But at what expense?

The key to not needing anything from others ( in theory) and from outside circumstances (& thereby letting them dictate your moods and life) is to give what you are seeking to yourself, fully and without judgment. Throw yourself a party, but this time it’s not a pity party, it’s a job well deserving of all the effort regardless of the result.

So you can ‘be done’ if you want. You can be done driving yourself crazy with worry. You can be done feeling empty with pain and torment. You can be done trying to control uncontrollable things.

You can set some limits such as turning off your phone at night so you can sleep. You can set limits on money or gas. You can develop coping skills such as active diversion when your thoughts start going to all or nothing thinking.

You can learn coping skills. You can learn boundaries and limits.

Just never set limits on love. Loving those who need it most and most of all- yourself. 

New Hopes, Dreams & Intentions

On New Year’s Eve I watched our one and only firework we bought for $5.99 blow away the night sky with amazing sparks and sounds. I thought, “wow this is incredible! It’s more than I imagined from such a small package”.

It goes along with what I’ve been thinking that all that’s gold doesn’t glitter and how things are so ready to entice us into thinking they are.

I was thinking if I wanted to convince someone to come around to my way of thinking, I would likely try to put the fear in them that if they didn’t do (A) then this (B) is what would happen.

Ya know? Like Pavlov.

With addiction, threats and punishment doesn’t seem to create the desired result.

In fact, nothing seems to work. This creates a Petri dish of fear that breeds in it’s own bacteria causing more and more of the same.

If I were fear I would take away your clarity.
If I were fear, I'd take away your passion.
If I were fear I'd make you think there was no hope.
If I were fear I'd find every way possibly for you to say, "Why try?"
If I were fear, I'd push people away who have the ability to help, but not the knowledge.
If I were fear, I'd place every obstacle in your path.
If I were fear, i'd make you think you were not loved or lovable.
If I were fear, I'd make sure you felt crazy enough to not talk to people who care.
If I were fear, my ultimate goal would be to control your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Because if I can control just one little thought and keep it inside your head long enough, then I control YOU!
Hello my name is fear, nice to meet you.

I remember when I was a young mother and I became frustrated with my surroundings, I used to tell myself to do the opposite of what I thought. I figured if what I was doing wasn’t working then I needed to try something else. What I didn’t know then, was that was the power of intention’s tiny seeds being planted and sown.

With the New Year week just starting, one of my intentions is to not feed into this Petri dish. As a nurse, I’ve been trained to nip infections in the bud or to not let them start.

So I’m going to feed my Petri dish good things to grow.

Intentions of kindness

Intentions of acceptance

Intentions of love

Intentions of understanding.

Wayne Dyer was the king of intentions.

If your past Petri dish has not grown what you thought it would maybe it’s time to change what you put in it.

May we all have the courage to change our trajectory of creation.