Enough

Dear Beautiful Soul,

You are enough. I know it doesn’t feel like it sometimes. I know that there are people who have left your life who have made you feel as though you were not enough, but you are. You are enough, more than enough for the right person and you will never be asked, pressured or put in the position of compromising who you are for the right person.

Even in the moments and on the days that you don’t feel like it….walk strong.

Careful What You Reach For

You stub your toe on a table leg, you bend over to rub your toe and you smack your head on the table, you stumble round to gather your senses and you reach to sturdy yourself on the stove only to burn your hand…..this could go on and on. The moral of this story is to be careful what you reach for when you are hurting.

Hurt, of any kind, has a way of causing you to view the world, situations, relationships, and circumstances completely different than you would if you were not hurt. A lot of times when we are hurt we reach out to things and people only to realize that those things and people will only merely compound the hurt that you are going through. Hurt people reach out to food, drugs, they make decisions that will cause setbacks, they engage with people that they normally would keep at an arms distance, they search for love in all the wrong places, they mistake someone’s “like” for “love”, which then ends up with more hurt. Ugh – the cycle can continue and compound forever, but it can stop.

Years ago I was getting up from the floor and my sneaker hit my pinky finger and ripped my nail completely off…..ya hear me, I said completely off!!!! I immediately felt the most horrible pain all over my body. My pinky finger, my hand, and arm went ice cold and I was frozen with pain. I couldn’t move. My mouth was wide open, but nothing came out. Frozen. Literally minutes later my body relaxed a bit, heat returned to my finger, hand and arm, and I was left with this horrible pounding dull ache in my finger. I was finally able to move, assess the damage and started first aid which was a whole other level of agony, but I made it through.

I love what my body did to keep me from hurting myself even more, it froze. A lot of times when people suffer hurts, especially in the heart, they start moving almost immediately. They start seeking love again, they start dating again and really they just need to chill out for a minute… they need to freeze and take a moment to be okay, assess the damage, heal the hurt and then start moving again, then you can “reach” for something new and you will be reaching from a healthy place.

At the Core of Love is ……Protection

I was driving on a short road trip not long ago and was flipping through the channels and listening to various stations. I noticed that almost every song that I heard had something to do with relationships, a broken heart, or feelings for someone. Oh, how I love a good love song!

Walks in the park, holding hands, those butterflies that flutter in your chest when you think of that special someone, falling asleep on late night phone calls when neither one of you want to hang up, texting a good morning hoping to brighten a day before the sun even rises, are all part of showing love to someone, but there is much more and I am so delighted and blessed to have come to the understanding of what is at the core of love….and that is protection.

Love protects.

I had someone ask me, how do you know you love someone or how do you know someone loves you? Love can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, one thing that love always does is protect.

How does love protect?

Love protects physically.

Love protects mentally and emotionally.

Love protects financially. Don’t use someone as a bank or don’t rack up a bunch of bills that will affect the person that you love.

The greatest revelation that I recently received is that love protects spiritually. If someone says that they care about you or that they love you, this means that they care and love what you say you stand for and they will do whatever they can to help you to not compromise what is spiritually important to you. For couples this may involve putting your own desires on the back burner and not pressuring the person that you say care about or love. For someone to say that they want to be sexual with you, but that they respect you enough to wait, that they will not put you in a place where you may compromise, that they love you beyond any pleasures that you can give each other in a moment…..that is love at its finest.

Love is wide and varied, but it always protects who you are. Everyone wants to be loved, but love starts at home in the mirror. At the end of the day we all stand in that mirror and deal with the decisions that we have made in life. Love will not leave you feeling stripped and compromised. Love will leave you standing in that mirror feeling solid, whole and true to yourself.

The next time you feel those butterflies, those lovely butterflies that we all long to feel???? Come back down to Earth a bit and remember that protection and all that entails is at the core of love.

Make Love Stay

This post was originally posted on November 15, 2015. Today is Valentine’s Day and I can’t think of a better post about love.

I sat and watched a wedding from my office window this weekend. It was not a large wedding with tons of decorations, people, or flowers, but rather very quaint and intimate with just a small group of witnesses and the bridal party.  Slowly the wedding party marched together and  joined the groom at the front.  Then he waited, his eyes focused toward the distance looking intently for his bride.  I started to get nervous for this groom…. where is the bride?  But….he waited patiently, he waited peacefully….he waited and waited.

Then finally she came out and came forth and stood at the end of the aisle.  I could almost feel the energy that was connecting them.  It was truly indeed a beautiful moment, when I saw him exhale and smile one of the biggest loving smiles I could ever long to see for myself.  Before she moved a long wispy curl fell down and a lady rushed right to her side and pinned it up.  Now…..she is ready!

As I watched this bride, take each careful step toward her groom, toward her good morning, toward her goodnight, toward her I love you, toward her forever earthly love – I pondered…….

I sat there and watched this union solidify before God and man.  I continued to watch as they walked arm and arm after the ceremony across a windswept field so close and in tune with one another… and I began to hum the song that Dan Fogelberg sang so beautifully called, Make Love Stay.

How will they make love stay? Will he always be so patient in waiting for her as he did today?  Will the corners of his mouth turn up to the smile that he smiled when he first saw his bride at the end of the aisle?  Will she always  take the time to look her best for him….pinning up that fallen strand?

If we could capture every moment, thought, feelings… if we could bottle the love and hope for forever that is expressed and felt on the wedding day…there would be no question on how to make love stay.  Since there is no bottle labeled “Wedding Day”, then marriage will hopefully be a masterful journey of love, evolving love, forgiveness, hope, understanding, joy, memories, support…..now that is how you make love stay.

Make Love Stay Lyrics by Dane Fogelberg:

Now that we love
Now that the lonely nights are over
How do we make love stay?
Now that we know
The fire can burn bright or merely smolder
How do we keep it from dying away?

Momma

I miss buying my mom things that I knew that she would like or things that she needed. I miss making her laugh. I miss just knowing that she was there. I miss how she knew everybody’s birthday!! She would know great, great nieces and nephews birthdays or would remember relatives from long ago. As she got older and grew more ill, she would still say out of no where, “Today is somebody’s birthday”. She would sit and think a little harder and sometimes it would eventually come to her. I miss acting silly and scooching up to her to give her “kitty nuzzles”. Don’t get wrong, we had our moments and certainly our arguments like most mothers and daughters, but at the end of the day we would always make up. There are the people who will have something to say about the relationship that I had with my mother, but those are the same people that never or hardly bothered with her at all. The relationship that I had with my mom was multifaceted and complicated at times, but love was always there, I always answered her calls, and she never wanted for anything that I could afford to get her.

I spoke at my mother’s funeral and I was accused of white-washing her which simply isn’t true. Mom never gave the airs that she was perfect and she would say in certain conversations, ” I ain’t been perfect, but I tried”. She was always open about decisions that she had made and even though those were her decisions she would talk to me about how to make other decisions and considering other options in my own life. I would often talk to my mom about certain problems that I was having and what I wanted to do, but she always would tell me that regardless of what others showed me or regardless of what they did to me, “that I needed to show people how to be”. I shared those words at her funeral, again people took that as my mom putting herself on a pedestal or that I was trying to put my mom on a pedestal and that simply was not the case. ” I don’t know how she could say to show people how to be cuz she aint been all that”. Oh yes…..the vapors of crap will always circulate back around – in other words – I heard about what you said! People often threw things up in my mom’s face or would talk out of the side of their mouth to her about things and instead of her going off on them, she would show these people kindness and love. I remember asking my mom one time if she knew that a certain person was trying to be “smart” about something they had said. She did not move a muscle, only her eyes shifted directly at me and she said, “I knew what they were saying, those are people living in glass houses and they forget that I knew them when, they don’t know that I could remind them”. Or sometimes, she would say, “they can’t help it”. I never…you hear me, I never understood that and not only did I not understand it, but it really made me mad. In those instances my mom would tell me, ” Sometimes you have to show people how to be”. When people were rude to her and cut her off for not attending her sister’s funeral, my mother forgave them instantly and told me that it was okay. Her capacity to forgive was tremendous. I have preached in front of thousands and at one point in time I held the title of an evangelist, but I could never grasp my mother’s capacity to forgive. It was amazing. In hindsight, I think that Momma’s capacity to forgive was a reflection of how she would have like to have been forgiven. Instead of telling folks about themselves, I think she modeled how she would have liked to have been treated along her paths. Even though she never received that for herself, she never wavered from forgiving and having a great deal of care in her heart for others even to those who showed no care for her at all. I don’t know if I will ever have a heart like that, I can still only marvel at hers.

Today is my Momma’s birthday. I don’t talk to much about her and this is the first time that I have written about her since she passed on, but I think about her everyday. My mom wasn’t famous, she wasn’t perfect, she did not have any fancy titles, but she did have a purpose…..she was born to be a mother. She was a good mother and she never stopped mothering clear up to her last days, she was still counting her ducks (children) and making sure that her kids were okay, that her family was okay.

Happy Birthday Momma – I love you, I miss you. I hope you are pleased with what you see of me now, I am sure there are days that you shake your head, but just know that I am trying……

Not Married and No Despair

At my age you get a lot of questions for not being married, like why aren’t you married, why haven’t you gotten married, are you even looking to get married, and here is the kicker, “Ahh, you will find someone”. Really? Don’t feel sorry for me, or perhaps I should say, don’t try to sound like you care.

Don’t get me wrong, I do look forward to being married one day, but I am not in despair. A few years back I ran into a cousin at Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve. She asked how my mother was doing and I replied that she should call her sometime soon. Instead of responding to my request, she pointed to what appeared to be an 8-year old boy and said, “Oh, there’s a husband for you”, and then laughed and walked on. There was sooo much that I could have said to her, but I decided to leave her thinking that her world was okay. It is funny how some married people spend so much time on being meddlesome with other people’s relationships and they fail to tend to their own, that is all I will say about that.

I could have been married 3 different times by now, but it is not about just being married, I want it to be right and the right person intersecting with the right time has not happened yet and you know what? That is okay with me and it is really no one else’s business, not unless you are honestly praying for me and my future spouse.

I used to cringe when people would ask me the infamous, why haven’t you gotten married question, but not anymore. I am peacefully single. I know who I am, whose I am, and the value of what I have to bring to the table. One day, that right person and the right time will intersect and a new chapter will open in my life. Until then, I have my own chapters to write, roads to travel, and the fabulous journey of becoming the best possible version of ME!!!

Between the Moon and New York City

I have always been fascinated with New York City. At one point in my very young life, I wanted to live there, but not so much anymore.  I have come to terms with the fact that I am a country girl at heart, so much so that my brother sometimes calls me Ellie May…lol, brothers!  While I have no desire to live in New York, it has long been my dream to take a helicopter ride over the city at dusk while it is bright enough to still see Central Park and then whirl into the night over the beautiful lights that illuminate the city.  One of these days I will, and after you see this video you will want to too.  I found a video on YouTube that is absolutely stunning, I can’t imagine what it would be like to actually be there.

Softly humming… if you get caught between the moon and New York City the best that you can do is fall in love……

The Unexpected Gift

A ran into an old boyfriend from college not long ago.  I was in the dairy section at the supermarket and heard a familiar voice say my name.  Before turning around I already knew who it was, his energy had invaded my space and my senses were already caught up as I turned to see my old flame.  We both smiled and kind of surveyed each other.  He gushed at me saying that I was still just as beautiful  and I remarked that he was still just as striking as ever.  He was, yes, just as striking especially those eyes, still intense and wild, and the most beautiful shade of brown.  We stood there and talked for a while, trying to cram so many years into what we knew were going to be  just a few minutes.  At one point he stopped me from talking and touched my arm.  This man proceeded to present to me a precious gift, one that I thought I would never receive from him.  It wasn’t anything that I could touch.  I couldn’t see it.  I could only sense it from him, from his heart, from his soul….this is a summary of what he said:

I want you to know that all of that stuff that happened with us, all of that stuff that I did to you, things that made you cry and broke your heart?  None of that was you.  I know that I told you at times it was you and blamed you for things but all of that, all of me being a butt hole was completely on me.  I treated you badly, I knew I didn’t deserve you.  You were like a gift that I wanted, that I prayed for, but I didn’t know what to do with you when you were right there in my life trying to love me.  I didn’t know how to be good for you, I couldn’t and did not want to get my act together , I was wild, so to prevent from damaging you, I pushed you away.  I would never have forgiven myself if you would have gotten caught up in what I was doing then, I just knew you had to go and be as far from me as possible.   I just wanted you to know that.  I know you blamed yourself and it was me, it was all me. I need you to know that it wasn’t you.

He stood there peering at me with those eyes.  Time seemed to freeze as memories good and bad buzzed through my mind and tears welled up in my eyes.  He was right, I did blame myself.   I thought often that if I could just be more of this way or less of that then he would love me, but the funny thing is that as much I did love him, I  could not bring myself to change.  I would not change and eventually we did go our separate ways.  Something always told me that I was enough, more than enough, but when you are twenty something and the person that you love walks out of your world it is hard not to internalize that and take it personal.   We continued to talk for a short while longer and then he ask me for a hug.  We hugged.  In that embrace I felt a man, a man that I once loved, I felt our history, I felt what I once hoped would be, I felt what I knew could never be,  I felt a familiar energy, still captivating yet now only safer …solid, I felt forgiveness, and the sense that we would always, always, hold that time  we we were young and in love with idea of each other, but still searching for that thing to fill the void.

We talked some more and hugged again.  It seemed hard for us to both say good bye to each other.  There was this longing to stay in each others presence, but we had built lives not designed for the other.  I am grateful for the few moments we spent that day, I am grateful that I got to see the man that he evolved into, and am grateful that part of his evolution included setting me free.  We were in a store with many items that could have been gifts, but sometimes the greatest gifts cannot be touched, they must be offered from a humbled heart that only time and living life can purchase.

Thank you old friend for that gift.  Love always –