Tuesday, March 29, 2022

It's not that I don't love you

 It's not that I don't love you, that I have to go away.

It's more that I do, because we didn't know how to play.

This game of changing roles, to be a supportive friend.

You couldn't be that for me, and I tried so hard to bend.

To be what you needed me to be, but that wasn't me at all.

Instead it often made me curl up into a ball.

I'm learning that I need to know I'm okay.

And that for now that means that I can't stay.

I think you did a lot for me and helped me to grow.

And hopefully you will someday be able to let go. 

Compassion

After reading The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, I am renewed in my understanding of who God is and who he is not. One large take away from Nouwen is how he says that God's only authority is his compassion. It's almost a double take. How does a God, the maker of the world only rule by compassion. Compassion is love and grace and mercy. And these are God in actuality. But what is compassion? 

Compassion isn't engagement enmeshment. A friend once told me that compassion can simply be putting a blanket on a drunk family member and then stepping over them. One can't force a person to see the beauty of good things, of God, of better relationship, of better coping mechanisms. 

Compassion is making sure you are fed so that you don't lash out at your children. It somehow is easier to hurt yourself to be holy than to help yourself or another so that you are actually closer to God. 

Compassion is also making sure you get what you need to be a whole person. That can be assurance, food, rest, a shower, all those things that we want for our children that we too need. 

I realize perhaps I need more compassion for myself in all this. I had to make hard decisions and walk away from some pretty tough things for me. I struggle often to know with myself that its okay to be okay. That its okay to be able to have time to rewire my brain to know that good can come of my decisions, not just ill judgment. To have compassion is to somehow really know that I am doing okay and be surrounded by people that can be that for me. 

I started and finished this many days apart, many of them searching for God in the cracks this Lent. I know he's there, I've felt him there, but somehow we are still learning how to really know him at least in this season of life where everything feels backwards. But I think there can be compassion in the growth too, there's got to be. I don't want to worship a God that wouldn't let me grow, so I'll choose to believe he wants me to. 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Confession

I have a confession to make. I am trying to figure out how to feel about confession. Part of me knows that I am super hard and scrupulous on myself and I am trying to reconcile what that means when it comes to confession. Is what I did actually a sin? Do I need to actually go? Why is going so stressed? Are we all supposed to be so scrupulous?  Are most people not this way? Do most people just make mistakes and not think about the impact they have on others? I am just unsure of what to think.

I do think that every time I come out of the confessional I do feel loved. I do get told not to be so hard on myself, that I am fighting the good fight, making hard choices etc. And yet, somehow it just doesn't make sense at times putting it all together. 

I have figured out that I want to be able to make more mistakes and not berate myself. I do think that would be best. I am not sure how that is confession addressable though. I wonder if this carries over to my kids, and I do think it does. I am sure they will need just as much therapy as me, even if I have tried to break the cycle of abuse. 

Anyway, if you are someone that reads this and I know you, or don't know you. Pray for me. Also, Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Different from what you expect

 I remember telling myself a story about being left out. Years ago, I saw a social media post of a friend and many mutual friends getting together and i had FOMO and all of a sudden felt excluded. I had rationalized that I had said something that had this person pull away, as another encounter she was distant too. 

So i first texted her and she had no idea why I was upset. She had her own issues and life that wasn't trying to shut me out. It just was what it was. But I called her and told her my interpretation, and really she could have called me silly or just dumb or yelled back at me. But she sat and she listened. She listened to all my grievances and was glad to hear me out. She explained how the situation was much different than what I had thought it to be, and I don't think I fully understood that day, but I got a different response than I expected. 

You see I usually expect someone to either be doing something behind my back to exclude me or to blow up back at me. When I didn't get this response, my brain was perplexed. And as I now have learned about how the brain learns that you can actually be retrained to know that a different response is a possibility and then actually know one is loved, this friend's response years ago is sticking with me. I am thankful for this encounter. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

As I lay here

 I was sitting in bed trying to sleep just a little longer this morning, but my head decided to wander in thought, so I thought I should get it out. 

It went from first how divergent in character I am, to how I would not survive an internment camp to how there are so many at the border that are living this internment camp life daily. To I wonder if there is an authority that lets human trafficking happen because it benefits them and their selfishness. To the idea that perhaps they don't even know that they are being selfish because they have grown up thinking abuse is right. 

And that had me finally thinking about the police. I know that the police are a hot button issue. A lot of people think we need them and really that we need more of them so there will be less lawlessness. My hot take is that we don't. That a system that was founded on catching runaway slaves and has never ever had that addressed is going to remain bias no matter what. Even the "good cop" is going to have internal bias to think that a certain profile is a criminal or that everyone is a criminal as I learned certain police departments do. The former perpetuates abuse the latter perpetuates mistrust. I am not certain of the solution. 

My bias would be to take away all of the guns in this country sans hunting and sport rifles. I can allow people to hunt animals and use them well and to have sport rifles like archers have bow and arrows for target practice. I really don't think we need to have weapons every time we leave the house. At times I am terrified that every third person is carrying a weapon concealed in their clothes when out and about. I try to let it not bother me when I send my kids off in pairs down the street together, but it creeps in there every so often. Honestly though, they aren't the target. 

The mentality that we need more guns on our person when the police are a mess is so odd. And I know this is such a complex issue, because the brown skinned person, they aren't likely to really be cared for by the police, at least not in the same way. So in some ways, a self protection measure makes sense. But I absolutely wish it didn't have to be that way. 

But how do we actually solve the bias of going after the brown person? How do we solve the abuser mentality that goes along with police work? Scrap it? Counsel the heck out of people? Undo our patriarchal society that allows always at least half of our society to be less than? If you know please tell me. The abuse the hurt, it's just not okay.  

Friday, September 17, 2021

This pandemic

The pandemic is still happening. Its been interesting living in a pandemic. I birthed a baby in a pandemic, I helped start local recycling iniatives in this pandemic. I taught my kids in this pandemic. Life has gone on around us and yet its been drastically different in some ways too. 

Nature is always growing and cycling and adapting to whatever comes its way. Beautiful flowers can grow in sidewalk cracks and trees will expand despite little care for them. Their roots are usually solidly deep. The squirrels will collect their acorns and hunker down for the winter. The bees, butterflies and mosquitoes will continue to pollinate things. The storms, though, a bit rougher, continue to give us rain. Sadly there is climate change, but not due to a pandemic, but we are aware of it more in the pandemic.

I think that is it, we are aware more. At least I hope we are aware more. Perhaps too often we carried the status quo and became robotic in our daily lives. I know for some because of circumstance, in pandemic times it became more chaotic, but for others, it simplified. It gave a chance to step back and see. To see what we really want or need in our lives. To see where help is needed. To see how we view one another. To see what we really are capable of doing. Perhaps it helped us to be healthier, perhaps it helped us to find a creative solace as many of the norms changed. Perhaps it created a big giant fog that has yet to be lifted. But the pandemic did something, something to hopefully open our eyes and see things in a new way. Because we should always be trying to learn and be curious, otherwise how else will we ever learn to see beauty in this planet and lives of ours we were given.

I have learned a lot about things in the pandemic, and as I said last time I am not an authority, but perhaps I can share what I learned. At least, I will record it, so perhaps I won't forget that I did at one time know it. For now, this is enough, tomorrow is another day to write. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Not an authority

 I have struggled to write anything in the past year. I think perhaps its mental fog, my normalcy was no longer there and everything just jumbled up. But also I realize more and more as I get older how I am not the know it all authority that I thought I once was in my early twenties. Perhaps this leads to more compassion for others in different situations, at least i hope. And also I've been listening a lot more. And I think this has been good to do. I don't feel unfulfilled in this way but yet different. I do, though, want to write again. To make sense of the jumble inside my head. 

I am throwing it out there that these are my thoughts, my opinions. They are likely to grow and branch and not be completely stagnant, again, I at least hope of this. But I am not an authority, except to myself and my children. I just want to stay curious and keep learning about people, about God, about life, about myself, about nature, about other cultures, and everything in between, And today I will begin.