Self-Care Day

Although I don’t have a giant round window, sparkling chandelier, or even a free-standing tub; I do have a small quiet condo in the suburbs of the city.

Believe it or not, I can sit quietly, without any devices, on a Monday morning and hear nothing but the faint sounds of life doing what life does.

Today was the perfect day for my version of self-care. After a busy weekend moving my youngest daughter in, I woke up not feeling well. I spent the morning in a chasm of swirling thoughts about my son’s life in addiction and the legal ramifications of that.

Although I have chosen to emotionally support him and be available when needed; I do encourage treatment to him almost daily. I offer massive amounts of harm reduction. I keep writing to various people in the hopes that someone will come through with an idea and the resources to carry them out.

As door after door closes; I feel incredible sadness at my inability to make any headway with my son.

My son has been living in a different world than me. A world that scares me to the core.

He has been shot in the leg. He seen people die. He's been exposed to horrific things--both in person and on video. Things he choked up even trying to tell me. 

So even though he has some feelings left, the chemicals are changing his ability to see a way out. His logical reasoning to not make his situation worse is on a break. His risk meter has been progressively getting weaker as he seeks out further methods of survival. (thank you tough love advice😒) Even though his words say one thing, his self sabotage makes him do another. His intention to fix everything tomorrow leaves him tired and struggling tonight. Tomorrow brings darker places that welcome more deviant behavior to numb wounded souls yet fulfill their human daily needs.

He seems to be stuck in this pattern of chaos and hustling. He told me on Christmas he doesn’t have time for anything else but scrambling to survive. When I mention that it doesn’t have to be that way, he looks at me like I’m from another planet. I had to constantly tell myself that “No, this world is NOT normal. It’s not normal to be around shady and sketchy people doing shady and sketchy things while living in your truck in parking garages”. Yet he seems so at home in that world.

His mind seems to operate on an all or nothing mentality. He’s either calling an old friend and proposing a half million dollar business opportunity (which the friend said yes!), to returning to chaotic use the next week after a horrible fight with a person who holds the cards for certain aspects of his experience and his roles to fulfill.

I’m convinced he is hurting deeply. His problem isn’t unavailable options or lack of treatment facilities. His problem is that despite having a higher ego personality and high intelligence, he must be convinced that he doesn’t deserve success either in sobriety or business and relationships.

The things that he’s been told must affect him despite his tough–like skin. Things such as: “he’s a horrible person and his addiction has been the most horrible thing known to man and that him relapsing is akin to murder”, to which they packed up his things & put them out in the garage, as if he had the plague.

So I can judge his lifestyle all I want. I can listen to others who mutter, “When will he ever learn?” As they shake their head in disgust but make no attempt to ask, “How can we help him? What can we do?”

My circle gets smaller and smaller in finding those who understand our predicament. There seems to be no one else who can offer help. I’m left to do my best every day to not think and worry about more trauma.

Bottom line, is that I will not let my inability to understand his actions keep me from loving him the best way I can. I refuse to treat him harshly and with vitriol and disdain. I refuse to cut off communication until he can “learn his lesson”, or “grow up”.

Even though I understand family fatigue and “giving enough chances”; the reality of my sons life being cut short is now almost verified due to a diagnosis of heart failure.

The chances of me losing my son before I die propels me to keep holding on, keep hoping, and keep loving as best I know how.

Yesterday I woke up the most incredible realization that my son was alive and today I did not have to mourn him, unlike so many others. This was tremendously comforting for me and helped in my gratefulness journey.

I still feel deep sadness most days. Sadness for what my son has lost. I know it pains him so deeply that he can’t break free of self-sabotage. I know he hates failure more than anything except maybe his fear of repeated failure. I know his family members’ reactivity and vitriol towards him bothers him deeply, which is why he stays away and isolates.

As for me, I can only keep loving the best way I know how. Knowing it may be my last interaction with my funny, strong, talented, lost, son.

I can keep remembering that there has to be a God that loves him even more than I do. A God who knows his struggles, who knows his heart. And who still sends tiny little miracles every single day to my son and to me. Via a yummy meal for him, or a flash of a joyful memory for me.

(Thank you Facebook memories)

Or maybe it’s just the realization that I have had an amazing life being the Mom to all my kids and gratefulness is truly the key to happiness.

And Love of course. Which I will continue to do. And carve time out for my own self care daily/ weekly.

Love is the most divine healer –Val Kilmer

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’–

Against A Crooked Sky

As I drove through the windy canyon, the familiar rolling hills of my hometown gave way to the rows of turkey coops dotting the fields. The wide open blue country sky was a welcome reprieve from the city. Years ago, raising turkeys was the main livelihood for the country farmers. As a child, I would help my dad drive the trucks between the feeders to fill them up with grain. That shy little blonde girl roaming the countryside, looking for another adventure; seems like a million eons ago.

I had been making this trip more and more recently. To see my boys, all three of them- in the same town together! Finally, after many years of living in different parts of the state, they end up just 2 houses apart. Jobs, families, and that creep- addiction had separated our family and torn it to shreds. But the last 3 months were a true miracle. My eldest son had done a complete 180 and turned his life completely around. It took a brush with death- a new scary heart diagnosis, but it still was his choice.

His new mindset was completely focused on becoming legal again, resolving his court cases, trying to reunite with his kids, and forging a new career where he could meet all his financial obligations. Well, that and surviving heart disease too.

Most of those went smoothly but not effortlessly, although he has a way of making it seem so.

My goal and purpose with this trip and others was to enjoy every second I had with him and my other kids.

I wish I could capture the feeling of opening up Facebook and seeing my son doing life. Eating out, going to the lake, kayaking, riding ATVs. Things they had done together 4 years ago, now seemed like nothing had ever come between them.

I wish I could take this feeling of relief and gently hand it to every hurting Mom. I wish I could share my splintered heart whose gaps are being filled up with small mementos of my much-awaited hope.

Hope that I spent years clinging to. Yearning. Aching for moments that I have now. Along with it comes tinges of guilt. For those who are still suffering.

Maybe it's a bit like survivors guilt.

I vividly remember the anguish. The sleepless nights. I see certain pictures and it all comes back. The endless worry and feelings of powerlessness. The minute to minute panic of the perpetual other shoe dropping. I felt like I was running, running against the crooked sky.

Now I finally see the rainbow. The light at the end of the tunnel. The bliss of joy. Of relief.

I know that this good fortune could run out at any time, so it’s all the more reason, why I am covering myself in it. Soaking in his victories and just loving on him any chance I get. I think I’ve hugged him more in the last 3 months than 36 years. If only I could package up those hugs. Package up his essence, his joy. His smile every time I see him.

One of his little nephews asked if he was always so fun and pleasant, and we told him yes, he was. Later he can be told that sometimes drugs mask these qualities and that’s what the last 3 years were like. For now, it’s healing time.

I had this written on my chalk painted wall for an entire year.

If I could gift this feeling to other hurting Moms, I wouldn’t wrap it in a fluffy tissue bag with a pretty bow and a tag that says live, laugh, and love.

Instead, I would give them a bright glowing golden heart with the message: hold-on, hope-on, and heal-on.

A heart of intention, covered in precious dew drops of the tears of a thousand moms mourning the child they once knew. The dew would glisten and shine brightly to lead the way to give them hope. Hope that everyone's heart can heal. I would pass its energy onto trembling hands that have no idea what's in store. 

I would cover those trembling hands with all the love and faith I could carry, gently warming them into a slow breathable calmness. Telling them to trust, to hope, to have faith that there is someone who loves them and their child even more.

Someone who has them gently wrapped in the palm of his hands ever so strongly, knowingly.

When the pain is almost unbearable, and they feel alone, they can hold on to that heart and connect to their loved one, wherever they may be.

When you can't see the light, the Rainbow. You can't see any way out. Come back to your heart. That's where the God of your understanding lies. That's where your peace is. 

πŸ’˜
As my friend Joanne so lovingly states:
That's where your safety lies.  That's where your child is safest.
In your own heart πŸ’œ


https://mailchi.mp/d56448346eba/lovewins

We Can Be a Bridge, a Tunnel, or a Brick Wall

The problem with irrational thoughts, is when you’re having them, they seem perfectly rational.

Whether

When bearing the weight of addiction, discouragement, the pain of loss, or the struggle with self-image after years of emotional abuse or deep wounds of childhood trauma or neglect; every person who is battling their demons has the same basic thoughts:

That they are alone.
That no one understands or that they don't want others to be bothered with the burden of their issues,
And that they have very few options.

Along with these thoughts come the overwhelming pain of loneliness, and then the desperately wanting the feelings to stop. Some succeed in making those feelings stop while others suffer silently, living seemingly normal lives.

Or living a somewhat secretive, self-harming life.

Until you’ve sludged through these thoughts. Its easy to make quick judgments about other people without knowing what they’re going through just to get through the day.
They suffer trying to not listen to what their disease is telling them- giving in to self depreciating thoughts that have ingrained themselves into their precious brain..🀯

You may not have time to help them or be a life-changer counselor but you could be the turning point of their day that gives them one sliver of light.

A spark of hope. Even showing a morsel of care.

How?

  • By NOT adding to their irrational thoughts of being unlovable, or broken, or otherwise not worthy of your care or your time.
  • Setting healthy boundaries that empower them to do the same.
  • Practicing the pause of making quick judgements or assumptions.

Basically by not being another brick in their wall of self defeat.

We can bridge the gap between chaos and distress.

We can be the tunnel to their freedom – escaping from the turmoil to see the light of a new day.

This is how we show a suffering human how to climb out of darkness. By being the light. By showing how healthy people communicate and solve problems.

May we all find our place of peace. There is beauty after pain, if even for a moment. Those moments added together , gives us purpose for our own lives.

Mint Plants

How can a plant help us see our lives in full circle? What can a few leaves, some dirt and a pot teach us about life?

What we think will never change- one day, suddenly changes!

That’s what!

I have 2 Mint plants. The one on the left was the healthy big one when I bought them. The next one over was a measly lifeless scraggly plant that was half the price. I had hope at first that I could save it, but soon decided it might not make it & I had the thought to toss it. After I trimmed the leaves off the healthy one, to put in my drinking water, it slowly died. Soon after, the second one took over & came to life & is now reaching for new heights. It’s growing up toward the skylight in my kitchen.

Funny thing is, there have been times in my life when I was the plant on the left. Other times the situation was exactly reversed.

Moral?

Don’t ever think you are destined forever in your troubles.

If I’ve learned anything in my short (5`3″) life, is that no matter how I feel or what just happened to me, it won’t last.

I KNOW it will change. Little by little I’ll feel better or something grand will happen out of the blue. Things have a way of working out. It’s just so hard to wait. Whatever it takes to get your mind clear & feeling better during that time is paramount. It’s taken me a lot of years to learn what I need to do to get to that place.

Had I learned it sooner, it might have saved a lot of heartaches. 

I was in the place on the left just one month ago. I thought all is lost, there’s no hope. But almost everything I have hoped for the last few years has happened.

I feel blooming.

Light. Hope. Happiness. Redeemed. Grateful.

Even- dare I say it? Joyful.

I wish I could say it was of my doing, but I can’t. My mood transformation is nothing short of a miracle. My family has come together like a forest full of lush blooming, sweet smelling greenery. The love and support which I thought was a distant dream, has magnified ten- fold. Amidst heartache and pain, it has blossomed deep family bonds that can only move forward.

I believe we can create our own miracles in the midst of struggle. Not by controlling others, but by honing in on our emotions and thoughts to pull us out of the depths of utter darkness.

Find your place & pull yourself up to it. Go toward the skylight. Find your Sun. Somedays you’ll be on top of the world. But be oh so humble when you are there. It can change in an instant. And don’t ever look down at that scraggly plant & think that you’re better than it. Both of you have the same innards inside. The same potential to be your greatness! It just might be hidden from the onlooking world. You both will ebb & flow thru lifeΒ· So just be kind. Mostly to yourself.

When you are kind to yourself and others you can enjoy the flow so much more.

Remember to never, ever give up. Possibilities exist that are beyond our thinking when we are sinking. Faith in these possibilities, is a learned skill if you don’t naturally have that positivity.

Just remember:

YOU ARE UNFINISHED BUSINESS in MINT CONDITION!

Addictive Personality

I’ve always known that my son had an addictive personality but since he seemed to use it for good things, it wasn’t an issue. In fact, most times we would just roll our eyes at how intense he was.

I’ve heard that most addicts are people with addictive personalities. And if they didn’t have one before, the drugs will make sure they do now. The unquenchable thirst for more, and more, makes them prone to get involved in riskier and riskier obsessive behaviors. That so called line that “normal – thinking” people think is so bold and stark – like an orange painted crosswalk- is just a blurry gray to them. It’s as if they are color-blind to the advancing risks of use.

I learned from Addiction deconstructed, by Nicole Labor, that the reptile brain is always in action of seeking what they perceive as survival. So lying, hiding, stealing and then selling are progressions of an unhealed brain which sees only the options of survival to them but to us they only seem to further their bad situation.

Addiction wouldn’t even be a thing if it didn’t have this strong drive for “survival.”

So the fact the person (puppet) follows the algorithm of addiction behaviors; shouldn’t really be a surprise to us. I think we forget that fact when talking about the why’s of this devastating disease.

Why are they so mean?

Why are they so devoid of empathy?

Why are they so selfish?

Why isn’t their children enough to get them to stop?

Or:

Why can’t a regular job be enough?

Because, it just isn’t.

You can explore all the ‘why’s’ of an addict that you want, but it’s just going to drive you insane.
It’s like those little pullback play cars. You pull them back a few times to rev up the wheels then let them go.
At that point, nothing is gonna stop them until they crash. We all know what those crashes entail, but most are temporary, sadly some aren’t. They just get sent in a different direction. Addicts actually adapt well to different surroundings because their minds (if not completely healed) MUST find something l to focus on to tame their headspace.

The “addictive personality” theme may explain why some people can be on opioids or occasional alcohol and not get addicted. (because they don’t have the addictive game, or propensity for it?)

We just don’t understand enough about their brain to know what it’s like to be so controlled as to ALWAYS be in survival mode. Whether that’s the fear of being alone/ powerless/ raw with their own emotions/facing what damage they’ve caused; we are not going to be able to reach them.

WE are not going to reach them in the way that we think. and unfortunately they are not able to show that they care.

I believe that they really CAN’T care until their brain is remapped or given time to heal.
So they continue to ONLY care about what their ‘sick’ brain tells them to.
It creates a path behind them of chaos & confusion, hurt people & innocent children & lots of lost time & money spent.

The only conclusion that gives me any sense of peace is that we ALL must ultimately navigate our own journey.

So, in a sense, we need to stop wondering why.

We can help by working within our boundaries, we can pray, sympathize with others, etc but each of us- including the addicted- must forge our own healing journey in the best way we can to survive our painβ£οΈπŸ’›β£οΈ

The Mother Love

The Mother Love

Love is not found in the Hallmark aisle.

Love is not found in boxed chocolates tied up with a silk bow.

Love is not found in a Facebook post with lovey-dovey pictures.

Love IS found in the quick breathe of a Mom who looks at her phone and sees the number of her child calling.

Love IS found with the expelled breathe of relief when the door to the treatment center or bus door closes with her child behind it.

Love IS found in the fallen tears on the pillow, alone, in the dark.

Love is seen when a mom looks into her hurting childs eyes as he lashes out at anyone who dares get between him and his master.

This life, this journey. We didn’t request to be in the club. But when we first laid eyes on the child, along with all the hopes and dreams to come; we unknowingly accepted the disappointments and pain that would surely come also.

The first time our child came home crying because someone was mean to them, we felt the fierceness rise inside us.

We knew instantly we would fight for our child’s heart. We knew we would do anything to soothe their pain.

Now they seem so far away.
We can’t save them.
We can’t bridge that gap to cauterize their bleeding heart. If we could, we would.

God knows we try.
We try bandaid after bandaid.

It doesn’t work.
The hemorrhage continues.
It filters through loved one’s lives and relationships like hot lava flowing from a huge volcano.

We wonder when it will stop. How deep is that hole?

No one truly knows.
So we forge through the pain.

Thinking we can’t go on.

But we will.

Because of that momma bond. Unbroken. Unseared.
We will go on.
And even if we can’t fix this boo boo.
We can still love.

We love DESPITE the pain.
We love THROUGH the pain.
We love because we are Mother’s.

We carry love from the pre-mortal existence before earth and we carry it through the galaxies into the afterlife.

Not time, nor space can douse a Mother’s Love.

Throughout centuries and worlds of hardships- nothing has stopped a Mother’s Love.

Beware, of the Mother’s Love.

It can crush unimaginable barricades.
Move mountains to plains.
Change hearts to Gold.
Make a meal out of nothing.
Sew a complete fictional character out of strips of cloth.

This war might think it has been won. The victory flag being raised by the devil himself.

But he doesn’t and never will…..
Know the strength of a Mother’s Love.

Post-Easter

Easter has always been my second favorite holiday. I love the pastel colors, the tulips opening up to the hope of spring, and the colorful candy. Finding Easter eggs was my favorite childhood activity for some strange reason. I would make my mom hide them 2 or 3 times until she was sick of it. The fact that we basically had 2 rooms and a small yard to hide them in, meant that they were usually hidden in the same place too.

In my community, we had a tradition of “rolling Easter eggs” that my kids found out was not a commonly known thing, as they received weird looks when they ventured out in the world.
I look back on the pictures of these times with such melancholy, and love in my heart, albeit with a tinge of sadness.

I have always felt a need to capture moments as they happen with the realization that the moment will never be here again. So 27+ scrapbooks later, I am left with precious memorabilia to look through on occasion. I can look at these pictures and really appreciate how precious life is, holding my sadness close but having hope for better days.

To every one who suffers during holidays and every day & those who are apart from the people they love-may you have peace and comfort knowing all will be well, in due time. Even if you don’t know what “well” means.

There is always a greater purpose. 

And no- I’m not saying everything happens for a reason. None of some things should EVER happen. God doesn’t want people suffering. He doesn’t “make them suffer”. A lot of it is from free will of someone else or the person suffering.

I believe free will is important for human autonomy and for society in general. But that doesn’t mean others’ choices don’t affect us.

I’m reading a great book on how to deal with others’ choices when they cause you pain. It’s called: Letting Go, Rugged Love For Wayward Souls – how to love and forgive those who have hurt and abandoned you.

I will be putting a few paragraphs from this book into my book because it describes my son perfectly. Specifically this one:

Although I hate the term “Letting Go”, because it implies letting an unwell person flounder around needlessly. But I want to learn how to Love RuggedlyπŸ˜ŽπŸ’―πŸ˜Ž

Free Gifts

As I was shopping at a discount and salvage store yesterday, a lady was standing in front of a palate of cardboard boxes as I checked out. She asked if I wanted a case of dinner rolls- for free.

Being Easter weekend (and even had it not been) I said “sure”.

The box had been frozen and was thawing fast. I drove home and proceeded to put my groceries away. When I saw how many ‘dinner rolls’ there were in that case, I quickly called around to see who wanted some. There were no instructions in the box, just a California company. I managed to divide my rolls up and put as many in the freezer as I could. The remainder I placed on cookie sheets to thaw out and bake.

A bit later, I noticed they hadn’t risen at all, so I heated up the oven and put them at 325 degrees. When I started to smell the dough cooking, I checked on them and they were obviously too brown. I tried to save them by scraping off the dark part but they were still dough-ee inside.

My daughter stopped by and since she worked in 2 bakeries as the bread baker, she said to cut a slit in them on the next batch. I turned on my air fryer and decreased the heat, and started my second batch complete with the much-needed slits advice in the top. They too quickly went dark with dough-ee insides.

Finally, after this failure, my husband called from Texas, and after hearing my baking adventures, mentioned that maybe they are scones. Yes! They are scones. Little square scones! It was obvious now. The lady just hadn’t known what these “free gifts” were.

I proceeded to heat up some oil and dropped my newly acquired dough knowledge with confidence into the crackling oil. They quickly turned dark and crusty with dough-ee insides. Obviously the oil was too hot. Next batch was better- a soft golden brown developed on the outside as my mouth watered, thinking of the butter and honey dripping off of them into my mouth.

When they had cooled, I eagerly sliced into the golden brown crust and was hit with more raw dough!

What the heck? How many times was it going to take me to get my reward from my ‘free gift’?

It was then that I realized how long it had been since I cooked scone dough. Years! But my memory was being forced back. After letting them sit outside the freezer for a while, I would take the little clumps and stretch them in all directions, as far as I could without breaking the tender dough, then gently lay them in the warming oil.

The skin would gently turn a light golden brown upon which I would turn them over to finish their lovely cooking into a beautiful display of breaded goodness.

How could I have forgotten? 

Over the years my cooking and baking has decreased tremendously, so this seemed the likely excuse. But the more I thought about it, I started to see that I had forgotten my way because I was mistakenly told what my free gift was.

My gift wasn’t “frozen dinner rolls”. My gift was a mixture of soft flour and rich oils and butter and baking powder and a touch of salt, all immersed together, frozen, silently awaiting their chance to be dropped in the hot oil-not unlike the making of steel-just waiting to shine brightly into SCONES!

How often do we forget what our gifts are? How often do we veer away from our truth to chase some version of ourself or a false God who promises things that are too good to be true and end up causing strife and pain, not only to ourselves, but to others.

How often do we feel the ache of a soul abandoned by God? Who was the abandoner? How many times have we unknowingly crushed someone who loves us, because we were hellbent on some sort of personal satisfaction at all costs?

Or maybe someone has or is doing it to you. You feel the ache of who they used to be. You feel that they have forgotten who they are.

They've forgotten their gifts. Their gift to the world. Have you forgotten your gifts too? 

Your gifts of love, of compassion. Your strength. How many times have you been told you are strong? But you didn’t feel strong. You felt weak, insignificant; ignored even.

You forgot your gifts. You lost sight of your power.

You were pulled into the pit of pityland where everything is gray, gray, gray.

How to get out? Where do we start looking for our “free gifts?” Our gifts that were lovingly handed to us by a greater power or by the generations of goodness that our ancestors contained of which led to the billions of cells that are YOU!

This video is of the Paralympics where all the runners are blind. They have partners who are tied together at the wrists! I don’t know the whole story but I know this video brought tears to my eyes.

https://www.facebook.com/reel/702423574085939?fs=e&s=cl

Rise up.

You can find your gifts again. Your gifts are meant to shine. You can be an inspiration to those around you, even when you feel broken. Maybe the way to mend the emptiness and pain inside you, is to be of service to someone else.

Easter is about re- birth. Springtime.

New growth. Old growth redefined.

Happy Easter

Happy grow day. Happy find- your- hidden gifts day.

The Ties of Connection

I wrote the following post 4 years ago before knowing how deeply my family would be affected by addiction and therefore how important connection, and the joy of memories would become.

It was soon after, that I began my deep dive into studying addiction. Little did I know the changes that would come and how much more “raw and isolated” I would become. At the time, I was very grateful for my relationship with my 2 older kids and my entire family. We were all doing relatively great but the seeds of despair had already started to show glimpses of discontentment.

2018:

Several studies have linked lack of connection to many struggles including suicide, depression, addiction, mental illness, self harm, job dissatisfaction & even the mass shooters in the news.

This lack of connection can be with community, self, family, a partner, a higher Divinity or society in general.

This winter has left me feeling very raw & isolated. Not due to the weather, but rather with some shadowy streaks of fear rising up. Fear related to instability & unsurity, lonliness, & the pressure to achieve certain results.

Normally, throughout our lives, when this turmoil arises in our belly; we have that go-to person in the form of a partner, a grown child, or our parents. That person validates our emotions and helps us find our center.

Sometimes this person is male. For the last 2 1/2 years, I have developed absolute respect for the men in our lives who carry so much weight. They are the pillars. Our strength. Our ‘please open this jar’ go-to people. They know the buck stops with them for the next house payment and electric bill to be paid.


They have to think if their child needs more medical care or higher college costs all while trying to be competitive & skilled in their career PLUS keeping the women and children safe & happy.

Until you lose that support it’s easy to take it for granted how much we all rely on each other.

Single moms know it, disabled people know it, parents of sick children know it, & people who’s parents have died know it.

In my journey of feeling loved, safe & finding joy, I’ve missed the listening ear of my parents tremendously. Even though they’ve been gone 11 years this year, it still leaves a big hole in your life.

My mom & I would sit & talk on the phone for hours. Sometimes saying absolutely nothing for minutes at a time! Can you imagine that today, in this busy world?

My 2 older kids are my phone pals now. They will lovingly talk to me for hours at a time. They always seem to bring me back to source, back to reality, back to Love. ❣️

I have become so incredibly close to those 2 humans the last year that it’s crazy. So grateful for them πŸ’™πŸ’˜

My point of this post on this international women’s day is to love on everyone around you today. The effort people in your life make just to keep themselves running & everything else humming is amazing. As a nurse, when someone has a stroke or a devastating illness, I see firsthand the amount of work it takes to keep one human functioning.

Look at what Mom’s do! Every day they keep families, husbands, households, jobs, cars & yards running in functional & beautiful order!!!

Hug your parents & kids todayπŸ’


Tell them what you notice about how they try to make things better. For themselves or others. Tomorrow they could be gone in an instant.

Thank you to my kids, their beautiful partners, & anyone who helps them be a higher version of their selves.

I’m incredibly grateful to all of you.

πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ™

Facebook memories like this can evoke feelings of sadness. The loss that’s felt when a child veers away from the family. The parents who have suffered permanent physical loss know this sadness well. Facebook even has a filter which you can say I don’t want to see memories from this person or place or time.

But who wants to erase the feeling of better times?

Who wants to forget about joy?

Joy transcends. From a child’s smile to the fresh whiff of a newborn baby’s smell. From a steaming cup of coffee to the first buds of spring -revealed through the tiny tulip bulbs peeking up through the semi-frozen ground.

Joy washes over us in waves. Sometimes the waves are noticeable like the tingling butterflies we feel with a new love. Other times we are so busy in the moment that we don’t realize how precious and valuable they are until many months or years after.

As we dig deeper into our feelings during challenging times; its easy to get caught up in the sadness. The trick is to take the beauty of sadness and marinate it with the precious memories we cherish of our child. Then we can turn our pain into deep compassion and love. Compassion for ourselves. For all you’ve experienced. For the journey of a thousand miles of a momma who cares. A momma who just wants her precious family back. A momma who did the best she could with under suspicious and vicious odds.

A momma full of love. Full of memories. Full of joy.

The joy of love.
The love of joy.