Monthly Archives: November 2016

So much to be thankful for

We sat around the two Thanksgiving tables; we no longer fit around one. It’s my (tiny) immediate family plus my husband’s immediate (plus some) family, who, perhaps needless to say, have all become my immediate family as well.

I’m never sure who will start the process each year, although I know it won’t be me. I started the tradition the first year – probably the first few years – and swore years ago I’d let it go. It wasn’t mine to force on everyone; especially since there used to be groans each time I suggested it. Just because I thought it was a cool – and important – idea didn’t mean that it was, or that my family had to comply.

We go around the table and each announce what we’re thankful for that year. When I started it, it seemed like the “right” tradition to add to the family Thanksgiving and a few years after that it seemed like the “right” thing to do was to not insist we go through it each year. But my whole body smiles each year when someone says, “okay, I’ll start this year off.”

There have been years when it’s been difficult to list what we’re thankful for. Years of family struggles and suffering, or suffering around us. But it now seems to be part of our yearly tradition. Some of us share seriously; some of us only joke; many of us do both. Love and laughter – and commentary – erupt and envelop us.

I have so much to be thankful for and I love to remember that. My amazing husband, my wonderful children, my immediate family, my extended family that has become my immediate family, my friends, my health, my work – my list feels endless at times.

Each Thanksgiving I watch and listen as everyone around the table takes their turn in our tradition, and I’m full-up with love and appreciation for the family that’s become my family, at the tradition that seemed so important to me many years ago that has now become a tradition, and at the fullness of love and joy and connection that are in and around me, that are possible.

There have been times in my life when I haven’t thought this much love and connection were possible. There have been moments – long and short – when I’ve felt helpless and alone. The truth is that I’m not. That we’re not. That we’re all in this together and that there is tons of love and connection to go around. And the truth is that I’m very lucky to have found it and built my life around it.

I have so much to be thankful for.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: My Story, , Tags:

Find a thought that feels a little better

It’s been a tough time. And as much as that sucks, that’s okay. That is what is.

What I’ve learned – what I know – is that I have to find the way to get up and get going, and the best way for me to do that is to find a thought that feels a little better. Whether I’m focused on my own day-to-day living, or the world as a whole, I can find a thought that feels a little better and brings a little bit more ease.

It’s not my intention to ignore what’s going on. It is my intention to find the joy and radiate the joy, to fight for and not against. I’ve learned that pushing against only somehow strengthens what I’m pushing against, and that easing my mind and my anger – even my seemingly righteous anger – gives me strength to help more and heal more. To be part of the change and the solution.

I see what’s wrong. I acknowledge what’s wrong. And then I look for what’s right so that I can hold both truths and share more strength and love.

I intend to hold even more love in my heart, more compassion in my soul, and more ease in my mind. I intend to soothe my soul so that I have so much more to give to others. I intend to look for the ultimate source of peace and fellowship, and do all I can to heal and hope and love.

To find a thought that feels a little better.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, , Tags:

How did I turn out so okay?

“I don’t know,” my therapist said to me in one of my last sessions from this time of working with her, “I don’t know how you were so functional when you first showed up in my office.”

Shout it from the mountaintops; hide it so that no one knows. That is the dichotomy of abuse. Half of the time I feel like I suffered through a lot and I ask my therapist to validate that – “was this tough?” I ask, “or am I making it up?” – and half of the time I think it must have been really no big deal, and even with her validation I don’t believe I should be affected by any of it.

I know that many, many, many people have endured far worse situations and experiences than I have, and sometimes I do question why I have such scars. Then my therapist says “I don’t know how you showed up in my office that first time so functional,” and I can’t ignore that yes, while others lived through much worse than I did, the mix of experiences, the compounding effect of situations, and the lack of a safe and sturdy “home base” actually could have knocked me completely out.

How did I turn out okay?

The other day a good friend asked me how I got through my anorexia. I told her I didn’t really know. I look back at my life and see that I’ve somehow narrowly escaped numerous disastrous circumstances. In a cult and then by the grace of god, out of a cult. Anorexic and then by the grace of god, able to eat again. Looking for cocaine every day and then by the grace of god, stopping. Engaged to a rage-ful alcoholic and then by the grace of god, walking away.

I sense a theme in how I got through things. First, I don’t really know, and second, by the grace of god. I have somehow been lifted up too many times to tell, and I somehow have a will to survive – and thrive – that has never let me fall beyond the point of getting help, or of helping myself.

I don’t know how – or why – I was graced with turning out okay. I am full of appreciation that I was, and I did. And as I hear the misguided voices in my head shouting “don’t be so full of yourself!” I remember that I’m not being full of myself; I am celebrating the beauty of the human spirit, and the grace of god.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Hope and Amazement, , , Tags: