365 Days

As I watched the black swirly water from my home box of hair coloring make its way down the slowly backing-up drain; I thought of how significant this is for the end of this year. All my disappointments, black clouds of despair, & misunderstandings going, going, gone down the black jole of nowhere. Disappearing– yet holding on just enough to let me wade in the remnants of their chaos.

Although I’ve had a lot of blessings this year its also been a year of frustration & roadbumps. What I HAVE learned is to never let yourself get too comfortable. We know change is a given & most of the time, its not our choice.

When we somehow assume that we have arrived or that now life can began to get better, the rug will be pulled out from under us again. I’m not saying to be a pessimist and I certainly don’t think living in a state of paranoia is healthy; but I do think if we live each day as if things could change tomorrow, it would be a little less disappointing.

The power dynamic in relationships contributes to the level of toxicity and can originate for many

reasons. Mental illness, addiction, or strong personality types.

People are very fragile inside. Just because you’ve nabbed that guy into marriage, or finally arrived at a place you have wanted, it’s not ever a given that it will stay that way. You HAVE to constantly feed that relationship, work on job skills, people skills. People are constantly evolving. Their emotions & feelings change & they are feverishly trying to keep up with their own thoughts and their own selves.

We can’t assume that we aren’t hurting them by saying something that we’ve always said before, or by taking them for granted, just because yesterday they may have responded a certain way– such as ambivalence.

Their ambivalence might be a defense mechanism to not be hurt further. 

Sometimes we don’t realize how cutting our words are until it’s too late. If someone is stonewalling us, we might be toxic or–at the very minimum- not helpful to an already challenging situation. Most people- people who have a heart-will eventually have regrets when the relationship ends due to death. If we can put aside our ego, and/or heal our benevolence and pain; while there is still time, then we can create stronger bonds that are helpful, not hurtful.

We can achieve this by practicing heart-centered communication that fosters family relationships instead of continually punishing ourselves and others with being right at all times and/or being the virtuous one.

Healed people don’t expect every interaction to fulfill their emotional needs. Healthy people don’t demand rigid rules of communicating.

Before my parents died I had one goal for many many years. It was to not have any regrets after they passed. I lived that every single day with them for 20+ years. And except for the very end of their lives, I have very few regrets.

I have now practiced this with my struggling son for the last few years.

On Christmas, my husband and I sat in a cozy Mexican restaurant in a rundown part of town with him. I looked into his eyes and saw a defeated man. I saw a glimpse of a loving dad as he looked at a picture of his daughter who was growing up without him. A daughter who he was very close to for the first 7 years of her life. Who he sent flowers to when he was working out of town. A daughter that addiction took him away from her and every time he gets close to being in her life, the prize is pulled further away, like a perpetually moving carrot. I saw his deep pain & almost disdain for what his life has become. He still thinks bigger than life, while having nothing to his name. He struggled to voice his feelings and explain how his behaviors seem to make sense to him, but to us they seem convoluted and chaotic.

My heart ached so deeply I thought I would crumble into tears. But I had to stay strong. I had to show my son hope. I had to let him believe that there was one more miracle n store for him. I had to somehow convince him that sobriety was better than this. That he would be a dad again despite tremendous obstacles and unhealed pain. I had to be the lighthouse that helps guide him out of darkness. And if I can’t guide him out, then I must be able to sit with him in pain. I will have no regrets with my son. That is my goal. He will know he’s loved and capable and strong. He will believe that many people love and care for him, even if they don’t or can’t say it.

I will remind him. I will be the voice of those still too unhealed and angry. I will be the link, the connection.

Because heart- centered Love is just that. It centers in the heart and stays there forever, despite circumstances beyond reasonable control.

As each new year starts it gives us an excuse to have no regrets- at least with how we treat people. One more day means we can try again. 365 days to get it right, do it better next year. We may not have the power to change the outcomes, but we have the power in ourselves to spread life and love over mangled and desperate souls.

So, just like my swirling black water tonight- I let go of everything I’ve perpetrated against unknowingly. People I’ve hurt and offended. You can’t move forward with the same problems if you are in the same mindset as when the problems were created, so I’m letting them go down the drain. Here’s a toast to 2023. May it be full of love- not regret. Full of appreciation-not bitterness. And full of heart-centered effort- not regretβ€¦πŸ’–πŸŽ†πŸ’–πŸŽ†πŸ’–πŸŽ†πŸ’–

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Samantha Waters

A unique perspective on the world from a small town girl turned big city nurse. Now a grandmother to 6 gregarious, resplendent boys and 5 endearing, magical girls, she strives the make the world a more understanding, pleasant place to experience this intense thing called life.

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