Monthly Archives: July 2013

I’ll never leave you anymore

The funny thing is I don’t remember where I was when I heard the song.  I was certain I’d remember, but I guess life is often a blur.

It was during our vacation, and I was somewhere in Spain. Perhaps in a cathedral? My son says all we did was visit cathedrals. I can think of three or maybe four we visited in the four weeks.

I just remember hearing the song, “I’ll never leave you any more” playing in the background. In reality, it probably wasn’t that song. It probably was a song with a different title, and lyrics, that someone in the Church, many years ago, put new lyrics to. Like we used to sing, “the answer my friends, is in the hearts of men,” instead of “blowing in the wind.” Sorry Bob Dylan.

I’ll never leave you anymore. It’s a Church holy song, about how we’ll change the world and never let God down. I used to sing it to myself, pledging my heart and soul and life to God, as I walked down the street to school. I was in sixth grade, living with my brother and grandfather after my mother had left. I used to sing the song quietly to myself and cry, as I walked down the block each morning. Knowing that I had to work hard to not let God down. Knowing I could never work hard enough. The song was my Pledge. My devotion. My promise.

Then I let that God down. Or so it seemed at the time. I left the Church and abandoned the gift I had been given. Or so it seemed at the time.

And now I hear the song, or I hear some other song with the same music, and sing the words in my head:

     I’ll never leave you anymore,

     For I have found in your bright eyes,

     A river of love, a heart of gold,

     A peaceful mind, a hand to hold.

     And what’ll I do with the precious gift?

     Shall I embrace it to myself?

     Oh, no I can’t, I would loose it sure;

     It must be given if it’s to endure.

     And how will I use this treasure store?

     How will I share this wordless joy?

     I’ll greet all men with a loving heart;

     I’ll speak the truth with a clear voice.

     And together we’ll build a world that’s new.

     That’s fit for kings and fit for queens;

     We’ll raise them up to rule the land,

     And place dominion in your hand.

     I’ll never leave you anymore,

     For I have found in your bright eyes

     A river of love, a heart of gold,

     A peaceful mind, a hand to hold.

Hearing this song is the sort of thing that I used to worry would bring up guilt, or fear, or shame from leaving. I used to worry that I’d be overcome with sadness. Instead, as I sit somewhere in Spain, I hear the music, mouth the words, and feel a sense of calm overcome me. There still is a sense of goodness and oneness that I won’t leave. There still is an awe in me that sees, and hopes for, a “better” world. There still is a promise for a world of love and peace and joy and ease. A world that exists in each moment if I choose it.

Maybe it’s me that I’ll never leave. Wow. That’s a concept. Maybe it’s this sense of peace and love that are there for the asking. Maybe it’s my Pledge to be my best me and to love those around me with as pure and true a heart as I can. To love myself with as pure and true a heart as I can. Maybe this is still what matters to me. Could I have “left” even though I promised never to leave, and now, thirty-plus years later, realize that I never left that love and joy and connection?

I’ll never leave you anymore.

Categories: Hope and Amazement, , , , , , Tags:

The voices in my head are yelling

life is goodThe voices in my head are yelling. They’re loud. Don’t worry, I’m mentally stable, but I have moments – not necessary, I suppose, to mention the details of exactly when – that I feel as if there is something inherently wrong with me. Does everyone? Moments when I question my worth, my value, my ability to survive. My right to survive.

The voices scream nasty things – about me, about you, about life, about everyone and everything. They tell me I’m stupid. That I’m a mistake. That I’ll never get it right. That I’m damaged. They make me want to scream. And hit. And fight. At everyone and everything, including myself.

I think these are my “scars” from my past. I learned a lot of damaging things when I was little. I internalized a bunch of harmful messages. But, again, maybe everyone has them – to some degree – and no one is talking about them. I don’t know if that would feel better for me, or worse. Better maybe, because then I wouldn’t feel alone (which I do feel, inherently alone, when the voices start). Worse definitely because I wouldn’t wish my voices on anyone. Even people I don’t like.

The voices can seem as if they’re all that exist. As if there’s no way out. As if I’ll never see or feel or hear anything different ever again. And then I force myself to open my eyes wider. To breathe. To think something else. To, as I learned years ago, “move a muscle and change a thought.” I force myself to reach for other words to repeat in my head. To tell myself something good about me and about life. To remind myself that the voices echoing in my brain are not true.

To remember that this feeling, too, will pass and that I will once again feel equilibrium, and even peace. It seems a stretch to remember these things, but they do always come true. I find my release from my turmoil. Or I’m released. I don’t know if it’s me or something else that frees me, but eventually I find my way out. (Or worst case, I merely wait until daylight, as my voices are loudest in the middle of the night and I always feel better in the morning.) Then I feel as if the voices will never come again. As if my demons aren’t real. They’re imagined. Or I’m free of them.

I know I probably shouldn’t mention my demons, my voices, here. I shouldn’t let people know about them. I should keep them a secret and not admit that at times I feel nearly overwhelmed. But I am always comforted when other people admit their demons. I realize I’m not alone. That maybe everyone, or almost everyone, has something. And that that’s okay. And that in itself is enough to help me rise above my voices and remember what I do know and believe. That all is well. That I am blessed. That we all are, inherently, enough just as we are. And that life is good.

Categories: Resilience, , , , , , Tags:

What should I blog about?

blogI love to write, but I don’t always know what to write about. Am I talking to myself on this blog? Does anyone care what I write about? Do you?

I wondered if I should ask what I should write about. What do any of you want to read about? About my childhood? My past? My present? My future? My terrors? My joys? Nothing about me but instead about more interesting things? The things I notice in the world. The fields and fields of sunflowers off the highway in the south of Spain – as I watch them endlessly stream by I think of how beautiful they are, and of how the people who live there probably don’t notice the beauty anymore. I think of the beautiful people and places that surround me that I may no longer be noticing.

Should I share my fears of not getting my book published? Or of getting it published? Is there anything I could possibly write that could add value? That everyone (or someone) would find interesting?

My daughter told me the other day that she loves art history. I suggested she consider a career that involves art. She laughed, agreed, and then informed me that a career involving art wouldn’t do enough to impact the world. She wants to impact the world. To make a difference.

Then I laughed, because I’m still trying to impact the world. To change it and save it in some ways, perhaps. Not that it needs saving. But I look at my career choice and realize I’m trying to “save” one starfish at a time. I’m driven to provide value. To make a difference for my clients, in their work and their lives. I want to share everything I know and everything I’ve learned and everything I’m learning – in the hope that others will be better equipped than I am to journey through life

I step outside myself and my daily life, as best as I can, and observe my decision to write this book and to see it through. I question why I’m doing this. Why invest the time and the energy? Why expose myself and my past? I certainly have enough to fill my days without this added effort. I certainly don’t need the extra stress of working to get my book published, of spending my time in social media to reach as many people as I can (so that my book can be published and sold). I certainly don’t have a compelling need (any longer) to tell my story so that people “understand.”

And yet I do this. I sit in the early mornings of my vacation and ponder what I can share on Facebook that would be engaging. I end my days with time at my computer, trying to think of something worthwhile to blog and post. I want to reach people, to touch people, to impact people. I want to help others find ease and release and joy. I know it’s an inside job, but I think I have a hidden hope that somehow by sharing my inside job, others will have an easier time finding their inside job. Besides, I simply love to create and to tell a story and to write.

But what should I write about? What do you want to hear?

Categories: Writing, , , , Tags: