I’ve been a little quiet the last few days. My best friend from childhood has died. She’s my second childhood friend I’ve lost and third close friend in the last few years.
Her house is where I learned to pray. Her house is where I learned service as her mom would have us take plates of dinner to the old town hermit. Her house is where I learned food storage and the importance of taking care of yourself and your family. Her house is where I learned entrepreneurship. See my family wasn’t this way. My parents came from large poor families who struggled from generation to generation. Her family had the “right name” which is prevalent in small towns. They had a business. A business which at the age of 13, yes 13, we would drive her dads little Datson around town filling up pop machines. We would sit in the dusty tin building and sort all the empty pop bottles for return to Coke and Pepsi for credit. I would run an actual cash register and stock shelves. It was like playing store except it was real.
Although my parents were poor, they had good qualities. My dad worked just as hard, if not harder than my friend’s dad. He always had a few jobs plus the National Guard on weekends. My mom had a childlike mentality but with a sailor’s mouth! She loved to play and have fun but was quick to state her opinion on someone’s actions.
This quote by Anne Skinner reminds me of my mom, she was such an advocate for kids but anyone over 18 or so she determined should just “know better”.
If a child were to appear at your door – cold, frightened, alone, and tired from a long journey…
If he or she were anxious, heartbroken, raging, and confused… unsure of why they have come here, where God is, whether or not they have been forsaken…
Would you refuse entry to the little one? Would you first demand that his fear dissolve, her anxiety be healed, his confusion clarify, or her heart be mended?
In your most authoritative spiritual voice, would you urge the little one to first “get over it,” accept everything the way it is, urgently forgive those who have harmed them, or quickly “raise their vibration?”
Or would you provide sanctuary and safe passage from a long voyage? A warm, safe, contained temple in which the stories, the feelings, and the images of this one ragingly alive nervous system can be illuminated and held, articulated and metabolized in an environment of open, tender interest, curiosity, and love?
Inside this majestic human body the beloved is at work, spinning out worlds of experience which are soaked with intelligence, sacred data, and saturated with both sweet and fierce grace. Things are rarely what they seem here… doorways and portals opening and closing by way of the breath of the divine as it makes its way into form…
… as it finds its way into this rare world of time and space… with you as its vessel.- Anne Skinner
Humans are AMAZING! How could be be so silly at times to think otherwise? It’s because we all get lost sometimes. Life happens and we react.
So at what age “should” we know better? I know I’m still doing foolish things. As a mom though, I just can’t let go of my children especially when they are in need. To hear someone say: “Just get over it” to a struggling person or to me, seems heartless.
Now that I know how the brain in crisis thinks:
Just like my parents always had to do.
It changes how I view ‘stupid’ things others do. Of course, it’s all perception. In the grand scheme of things what do the “stupid things” matter?
We have no way of knowing their true journey- their thoughts and feelings and what drives them.
When you have motivation or direction what do you do? Tread water. It’s like being a saddlebag, you’re just along for the ride of wherever life takes you.
It’s called survival mode. We all do at it certain times in our life, when we are grieving, when we are healing from an accident, an illness, a divorce, we go on automatic pilot. But there are people who for whatever reason: poor education, poor social skills, or addicted to a substance or a ‘thing’; seem to always be in survival mode.
My parents did just that. I wasn’t raised to plan ahead. I wasnt told that there are endless upon endless possibilities out in the world. In fact, really didn’t even know what existed outside of TURKEY LAND, I had to learn all that as an adult.
I wasn’t given the confidence to conquer the world, or even my demons. I was almost taught to be a victim, a by passer. Someone who watches everyone else move forward.
But I knew there was a better way. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to feel in control of my life. I wanted to love, I wanted “perfect” children. like all the “other” families kids. And I worked hard for all that. I did my best, but the years that I prospered were when I had momentum; when I had a goal, a plan. Nursing school is one example. But the other seemingly mundane years of daily life. That’s where the real magic lies. We don’t see it until later sometimes, when we are ailing, confused or just wafting. We see the real benefit of knowing where you are going and how each daily task will get you there or not.
My personality- although at times I may seem to be a free spirit and sort of a gypsy, I thrive and come alive when I have direction, when I feel safe, loved, supported, and egged on. When people recognize the potential in me and appreciate my efforts and my uniqueness. Such a great feeling to be recognized.
When we are in a midst of chaos or confusion, (& sooo many things contribute to chaos or confusion–gossiping, poor health habits, messiness & disorganization), is the time to stop and ask ourselves-” is this what I want & will this get me there?
So my post today is to honor my friend and what her family did for me as a young child. Rest in paradise.
I’m also honoring my beautiful Mom. For her struggles, that I understand more than ever now. And for her heart. She had a huge heart, especially for kids.