keeping it real

Standard

i think i have a blog post with that title…anywho.

where do i start? from the here & now & work backwards. lemme just say, we had a long, wonderful day today, even though i am in my workout clothes & haven’t had my workout. even though my smoothie sits on the counter half made. we managed spacers for 8th grader, school supplies galore for 8th and 9th grader, a long-promised reading chair & lamp, thankyoutarget…

so here i sit now on the couch, covered by my favorite blanket, my brand new ipad covered in a sweet red leather cover & bluetoothed keyboard – it was a perk from signing up for my new health coaching school.

went to utah to visit my son. AAAHH.MAAAZZ.ING… my son. i don’t know if i have ever seen him so content and truly happy. that beautiful spirit i always wrote about truly shines through. i’m happy for him that he has discovered his true self.

for me…the work continues. codependency is ugly, y’all. and for someone like me, who has marinated in it for a lifetime, well, it’s just hard. having to re-visit hard issues is never easy. and there is no blame to assess; it’s about recognizing and understanding, not looking for fault to say, ‘this is why i am this way.’

my counselor asked me to – okay, strongly urged me – to complete the book prescribed – “Facing Codependency”. sigh. i was doing fine with it and then when i got a little over halfway through it, i kind of internally freaked out – like, it was just too difficult to poke and probe, whilst doing all the other assignments i’d been given. it was easy to put down & take a break. heck, how bout a permanent break from miss pia mellody??? heehee. no, i’m committed to being a well, happy, sober, mother, example, wife, etc., to my family.

i still listen to the “Four Agreements” – having that book playing in my ear is like carrying the best therapist with me.

i’m not sure where my path will lead, but it better be someplace good after all this work!!!! :))))

my prayer life is still strong as ever, even more so after the atrocities being inflicted upon fellow Christians on the other side of the world.

there is so much more i want to say, but in the interest of honoring the privacy of all those involved, i have to leave it like this…sigh. i will say this: humanity never ceases to amaze me, what we are able to do with one, precious life granted and planned by God Himself…He is so good.

One Picture

Standard

It is subtle.

Only a mother would notice

The calm intensity reflected in his eyes.

Self-acceptance exudes from the photograph.

I looked with the same wonder

As I first looked at that face all those years ago…

Pure, sweet.

Pure and sweet, even now,

But even now, it is clear

He crossed the bridge

Between boyhood and manhood.

Only he knows the steps

He had to take to get there.

I’ll never know.

But I know this:

He visited Hell.

He had to,

Out of self-preservation,

Out of self-restoration.

Only a trip to Hell

With bootstraps to make his exodus

Could produce the man I saw today.

He took my breath away.

The content look in his face

Is what I have prayed for.

Wisdom and love and self-love

Filled his beautiful blue eyes.

This mother thanks her Father,

Knowing

All things are possible

Through His Son,

Jesus.

Why did I pay $70.00 for the “Anatomy of Peace”?

Standard

I’ve mentioned it before – Anatomy of Peace – the book recommended by our interventionist and by a counselor in Utah. I ordered and received it in early May. I started reading it. It was deep. Like, too deep for me to concentrate on and get what I knew I needed from it. So, I bought the $20 audiobook on ITunes. That was great. It helped a lot. I fell asleep listening to it. I woke up with nightmares. On two separate nights. sigh. Well, whaddyagonnado? Still, I loved it and knew it was for me. Oh, I tried in my codependent way to wave the book around and tout it’s unbelievable ability to change people. (Insert before period, “who were WILLING to change.”:) Anywho. So, also being ADD, I continually tried getting through the book, however I could: reading, listening, reading AND listening like I did as a child – following along…don’t judge. Then I misplaced the dang book. I felt lost. And afraid. LOL. Not afraid, that just seemed funny. But I did feel lost without out, because I wanted to finish it. I am a visual learner and I needed that book in my hand. I pondered. Okay, I’ll spend the $15.00 (shipping included) again and get the book again. I finished the book! With a mighty powerful crying jag on a Saturday morning that prompted my husband to hold my hand and look at me like I had two heads, yet with an air of sympathy. Sigh. You know the look, right? The book is transforming. Being in touch with ADD, I knew there were places in the book I missed, so I continued to listen to it on my Iphone while I ran, skipping backwards & forwards to the different chapters that I felt I needed to hear/re-hear. My Iphone bugged out. Best Buy gave me a new one. I went out for a run. Queuing up “Anatomy”…and it’s not there. Wait, what? It was gone. It was in ITuenes cyberspace. DRAG. Well, I reasoned with myself, I’m good, right? I read it and listened to it. Come on Red Hot Chili Peppers, we are going for a run! That lasted several days. Like, a week. And last night, I attempted to sort through cyberspace to find my beloved book and I couldn’t find it. Nor could I find the justification to spend yet another $20 on the Itunes audiobook. I went to sleep. I think there was a minuscule amount of steam coming from my ears. :) Okay, God, I said, if I wake up in the morning and I feel like You want me to order this book again, I’m just gonna do it. No questions asked. You know my heart, right? I woke up. Thinking.about.The.Anatomy.of.Peace. $20. Again. The best money I have ever spent on a book. I just ran 5.21 miles listening to my beloved book, feeling my insides soothed & smoothed by the words spoken, assuring myself that I am a creation of God and all is good with that. Knowing that what we can control is ourselves. Knowing that we are in control of our own happiness. Knowing we can’t make people read, think, pray, eat, do, anything. But we can work on ourselves. And that’s what God wants, I think, is to see us make the most of the lives He has given us. When we take care of our own selves – our mind, spirits, and bodies, the sky is the limit for us to do His work. That’s what I wanna do. His work. His will.

I feel much better now. Thank you. :)

…And I’m learning some more :)))

Standard

Morning. My sweet 9th grader is at camp on her first day as an Assistant Counselor. She was so excited. She has a beautiful heart. She and my 8th grader recently had a lemonade stand for 3 days. They took their money and a list from our local animal shelter & bought everything they could and we brought it over to Angel Paws in New Iberia. They were so proud to be able to help and do their part. They amaze me. It was all their idea & they just ran with it. The shelter was so hospitable and thankful. We stayed for a good while and we all played with the cats & dogs. It was extremely difficult to leave empty-handed. I know for sure that I will always have a rescued pet. Or two. Or three… :)))

This journey, y’all. wow. I place my relationship with God above all else. I know His guiding hand is right there on my shoulder. I yield to Him everyday, and especially now, because this is unchartered territory for me. I am really getting a lot out of therapy – when things fell apart in early May, someone involved in our situation told me I needed to see a therapist for myself. I took the advice of all the professionals – they had walked the walk & I was more than happy to hear, accept and follow the advice they gave. I remember telling my therapist, “I was told I needed to come see you, so here I am and I’m not sure what to say.” :))) Well, that gave way to some great conversations that have prompted me to look at my life differently. And can I tell you the times, they are a’changin??? Lord.

So, alcohol. GONE. I’m so happy about that. May 5 was the last day for me. It was difficult at times, and still is, even sometimes. But everytime I say no and I am proud of my choice. I would never think I would be tested by someone close to me who knew the path I had chosen. Hubs has tried twice to get me to “taste it and tell me if you think it’s good.” Um, no. The first time was at our anniversary dinner & I was pretty surprised that he asked me to partake in what used to be one of my favorite after-dinner drinks, Frangelico straight up chilled. Then, in New Orleans over the weekend, he wanted me to taste his bloody Mary. I just said no. Go Nancy Reagan. I am still surprised that those who we least expect, those seemingly closest to us, can challenge us to go against what we have set in stone. I still believe that in relationships, we should build one another UP, and encourage one another to succeed. It’s a bit of a dagger. But it didn’t hit any arteries :)

I still want to buy the book, “Dry”. The author-dude gets out of rehab for alcohol & pretty much doesn’t know what to do with himself. So he starts writing everything that transpires. I love the idea of seeing the world through a newly sober person’s eyes.

I adore health & fitness. I have been skulking around the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, an online program based in NYC, for about 6 months. I heard about it during a podcast and I was intrigued. Everything about it spoke to me. It’s a 12-month program and at the end, if I pass everything, I can take a certification test to be a certified health coach! That is so me. And the curriculum studies food, diets, feelings, spirituality, all related to our entire world and most importantly, how we relate to food. So me. I wouldn’t commit, though. I thought I was waiting for the right time, but in actuality, I was not fulfilling my own dream because I didn’t think it was important enough. So, guess what? It IS important enough! I signed up! I start on July 14 and I have already started my Fundamentals part of it. I love it. It is so me. Last night, I was up till 12:30 just going through the Fundamentals section – there are videos & Power Points & so much good stuff. I am proud of myself for taking the leap! Last Thursday, I attended yet another webinar that IIN put on. I gave myself an ultimatum – if I wake up Friday morning & still feel strongly about this school, I’m calling and enrolling. I prayed, of course, for God’s will. I asked Him to please let me know if I should pursue this or move on. Well, Friday morning rolled around & my feet hit the floor like always, bright & early and guess what? I knew. He put His confirmation in my heart and I knew that was the day I could start pursuing MY dream…MY dream that I want to help others with. I’m so excited.

And this is just the beginning. There are so many new changes to come, I just know it. I feel it. It’s impossible to stay stagnant while opening our hearts to the life God has placed before us.

I’m still doing my Les Mills Pump workouts. I’m still doing my heart rate training. I am loving the run. My 9th grader has had summer workouts at her school in Grand Coteau and I’ve used that time to run & walk & stay on track with my HR training.

Life is good.

Alright, I gotta get some work done around this house!

I hope & pray the peace of Our Lord Jesus is with each of you!

Learning

Standard

I’m doing everything I’ve been instructed to do by those who have walked the same road. I clarify that by saying those who have walked the same road successfully. This journey of self-discovery has been something I did not expect AT ALL. Some of the best things I have learned are: “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” “Show up in your life.” Ouch, baby. Very ouch. So May 6 – no more drinking. Yay for me. That choice is one that I completely celebrate, but also one that likes to get in my face & taunt me. Today, for example, a very cold few beers by the pool would have been the bomb-dot-com. So would some Maker’s Mark at lunch. And therein lies what makes me uncomfortable. A little here, a little there, mmmm, not so good. I don’t want that life anymore. Oh, my counselor told me something else that I love – “Write a new story.” Looking at my quizzical expression, she continued, “I USED to blah-blah-blah, but NOW I blah-blah-blah.” Hey, I love that! The times, they are a-changin’ :))))

It has been so weird to focus on ME. I was initially worried about doing that because I wanted to be sure that it was in keeping with what God had in mind. I didn’t want to be selfish. He gave me His blessed assurance. I know He is right by my side as I walk down this strange new path. My prayers are the same, but my eyes see differently. I have been doing a LOT OF WORK on me. Turns out, my codependency issues that have had me rootbound as an adult got their start when I was just a little girl, most likely right after my dad died. As I matured, I forgave the bad things that happened to me and forgave the people who allowed them to happen. BUT what I didn’t realize till recently is that the behaviors that were created – mainly out of looking for safety – always remained and grew. Big, long, hidden, tangled, ugly roots.

The books that are always near me these days? Facing Codependency, The Anatomy of Peace, and The Four Agreements. Y’all. Talk about life-changing.

My level of personal peace is much better these days than what I was experiencing at the beginning of May. I’m still running, I’m still pushing play 3 times a week. I feel like much more of a warrior these days because I can’t let things go that require me to “show up”. More on that later.

I was missing my blog & just wanted to jump on for a bit to unload a little. I hope & pray that the peace of Our Good Lord is with each of you, especially on this Father’s Day. Don’t forget to wish God a happy Father’s Day!

Simply trying.

Standard

…before Al Anon meeting…
to be calm
to be reflective
to rehearse the things i wish i could say
to think of my son
fighting
for his life
his beautiful, beautiful, meaningful life
wondering if other people see him
as i do
wondering if other people
will ever
put in the work that he needs
for recovery
knowing that he must recover
nonetheless
even if they flick their chins at his situation
with the back of their fingers
knowing that – even that
will be part of his recovery
drizzling sunset
quiet, peach and lavender
wishing it could
wash this all right
knowing He’s there.
i trust Him.
i chuckle -
i know He didn’t forget me in this valley…
i’m sure He’s looking for juuuust the right
mountain top to set me on.

the filter

Standard

Saturday afternoon about 2:30. nap. sleepover is in the books (for the 8th–wait, now 9th grader!!!) wow. just.woww. anywho. hubs went to UL game last night. my replacement book came in – I misplaced my first copy & the audio book is hard for me to follow/ADD – The Anatomy of Peace, Resolving the Heart of Conflict. OH.MY.GOODNESS. I got good & deep into the last 1/4-1/2 of the book yesterday evening. No interruptions. My daughter and her friends are amazingly good friends who do good things. They swam all day & hot tubbed & threw glow sticks around the darkened pool. I took a break to cook them dinner & they were back at being girls :)

I can’t do the book justice to try to explain it here. But I can tell you who the book is good for: anybody. Anybody who has any conflict in their lives in any capacity. Um, that’s humanity, I think! So, the book is structured in a way to walk the reader through experiences of parents who have brought their respective children to this place for outdoor/adventure therapy. The book, rather than looking at the children and their struggles, looks at the parents, and how we resolve conflicts. What is explained in the book follows a diagram that fully comes together toward the end of the book.

I couldn’t get through it all last night. It’s just too much to process. So, this morning, I wanted to finish it. About 3 or 4 pages before the end of the book, I could not help but cry. I cried at different times of realization earlier in the book, and was very affected by others, but this – this was big, fat, tears that I could just not turn off. Hubs was watching the news. His response was, “Maybe I should read that book.” Ya think? At once, I just saw my son, who prompted this change in me, in front of my eyes – but I saw right through his very layers of life – all the way through to his very basic core, before words or actions could mar him. I saw this perfect human that God made, full of hopes, wants, dreams, desires, fears. And I just wanted him to know at that moment how much I love him and how much I see him this way. My being a mother has been the most important role to me in this life of mine. I just wanted him to know that I was sorry for anything I have done to hurt him, any time I didn’t recognize what he needed and any time I didn’t take the time to know him. We all look back with perfect vision. I get that. He gets that, too.

So, for today…

I won’t beat myself up. I won’t judge myself. I won’t see myself through the filters that I so often find myself seeing myself through. I’ve been trying to decide if I’m actually going to run the 5k this evening. At this time, I think I will. 5Ks are the hardest race. 3-2-1, balls to the wall for 3.1 miles. No water breaks. I’m trying to decide if I’m up for that. Maybe. I’m curious how I’m running lately. Weights & fairly light running. I ate 2 donuts this afternoon. Maybe I’ll run to shuck the 360 calories contained in those two donuts. :)

Regardless, summer has officially started. I’m going to slow down and enjoy my blessings.

Peace, y’all.