Everything Is Awful, Everything Is Broken

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Put your fears to rest
You know it’s for the best
As a choir of angels sings:

…everything is awful.

—Lyrics from “Everything is Awful” by The Decemberists.

I heard this song on the radio the other day, followed immediately by Bob Dylan’s “Everything is Broken.” It was a gorgeous early spring day. I was happy.

Yes, I was happy even though it is true, everything is awful and everything is broken. For me, it was like a message that what the world looks like is not necessarily what matters. Sometimes things have to get awful and things have to break for new things to take their place.

Here is a comment that was left at the website Genius,

On a few occasions, Colin has referred to this song as a Trump-era “state of the union song.” The pessimistic nature of the lyrics is contrasted with the jovial “la la la la la” refrain and the gang chorus at the end.

These songs also reminded me to not take everything, especially myself, so seriously. Folks in recovery might know this as “Rule 62.” All I can do is what is in front of me. I do what I can, each day, and if I live today well I will be OK.

I cannot give in to the pessimistic, defeatist attitude. There is a higher order, whatever your religious/spiritual/philosophical beliefs. Everything is connected. Everything is One.

If you have ever walked a labyrinth, you know that there is one path in and one path out. It is all the same path. It looks like people are ahead of you or behind, moving toward you or away. Yet it is all one path. We are just at different places, constantly moving. No one place is better or worse than another because it is all one path. Just keep moving.

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Barn Bliss

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Yesterday I got to go to the barn and spend time with one of my favorite horses, a black Tennessee Walker named Dillon. The day was warm and dry, and while the uneven ground was a bit painful on my still-healing ankle, it felt glorious to be outside.

I brought Dillon out and spent maybe an hour with a shedder lifting masses of itchy, irritating, shedding hair. It was quiet, as my daughter was out in the pasture working with her horse. I hadn’t done more than said “Hi” to Dillon since my car accident in August 2017, nearly 8 months ago.

It took him a while to warm up to me, but soon we were nuzzling cheek-to-cheek as I scratched out the loose hair under his forelock. It seemed we both were relieved to be able to spend that time together. I had forgotten how calming it is to grok with a horse.

The moment was over too soon, yet I carried that Bliss into the rest of today.

Now, as I relate this to you, I’m getting a taste of that enhanced state of tranquility again. The past few months I’ve been aggravated, agitated, and finding myself wanting to isolate and escape into Xbox and playing games on my phone. Why am I turning away from this world?

I don’t know why, but I believe that meditation is a key to re-integrate into my life. I’ve been busy meeting with a new sponsor and working with five women in recovery, but I have been neglecting some key things. I haven’t wanted to sit with myself.

Sitting with myself, without external stimuli, is critical for my well-being. It is in those moments that I let God’s light shine into my darkness. Those moments give me clarity and strength and motivations to carry on. May you have a blissful day.

Where Have I Been?

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It has been over a month and a half since I posted! Kindof like going to meetings, the longer I don’t post the harder it is to write a post.

Have I thought about it? Yes, many times. I have written so many posts in my head, but the transition to actually sitting at the computer to write has failed. Maybe I was feeling a need to protect myself? Maybe the excitement of walking again made me forget how important it is to ME to post. Maybe I’ve been shut down by the chaos in my head.

Whatever the reason, I need to get over it!

Today, I am living in the absolute assurance that my Higher Power has me enveloped in his loving grace. I am safe and protected.

I had been so caught up in the drama surrounding my son that I had completely neglected myself. You know the “I’m OK. My kids’ needs come before anything.” I really thought I was OK. For alcoholics and addicts, the emphatic “I’m fine” is usually a dangerous place to be.

So, I have taken action. After needing those months to heal my physical body from the car accident, I am in a phase where I need to focus on healing my mental and spiritual bodies.

I temporarily removed myself from a harmful environment so that I can settle and again have loving compassion for those around me instead of reacting to their insanity. I am so full of gratitude today for the people around me whose love and support are carrying me through. May you have a blessed day.

Sunday Quote: Key to Your Greatest Good

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Accept that God is guiding you to people and circumstances that will bless you. No matter how great the need, God is the answer. Know and affirm that God is the true source of your supply and that God always provides for you. Give thanks that this is true for you now. –From Golden Key Ministry e-newsletter for Feb. 4, 2018

Do I need to say anything else? I will anyway.

Sorry to sound a little preachy, but this really struck me this morning. This is how I try to live my life. It doesn’t mean that I just sit back and let a higher power do all the work for me. It means that I walk forward and do what is in front of me. I can let go of fear and anxiety, trusting that, even though I cannot see a solution, I know that one is there.

If you want to learn more about this philosophy, check out the More Prosperity for You website.

 

The Waiting Place

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If you don’t have a copy of Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” then you need to get one! It’s basically an abbreviated guide to life. (If you know anyone graduating soon, this is a perfect gift, whatever their age.)

In the middle of the book, he gives a cautionary tale. He warns about “The Waiting Place.”

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

It goes on about waiting for Friday night, a Better Break, or Another Chance. “Everyone is just waiting.”

Turn the page, and it says:

NO!
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

Boy, do I need to escape that waiting place! RIGHT NOW!

What I especially love about this book is the message of self-acceptance. Don’t all of his books carry that message? He reminds us that:

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.

For me, today, this is a re-commitment to stop waiting. There will never be better time to live today. In regards to alcoholism and addiction, if I wait until I ‘feel better’ or am ‘less stressed’ before I do the steps, it will never happen. For writing, if I wait until I ‘feel inspired’ it will never happen.

Speaking of waiting. There’s a few phone calls that I’ve been putting off. I think I’ll do that now.

Sunday Quote: The Agony of Waiting

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Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense. –Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and writer

This is about not forcing anything to happen. It requires trust, trust in a higher power that everything will work out exactly as it needs to. It requires being able to sit with the discomfort of not knowing.  It requires going about my daily life and not obsessing.

Today, I wait.

A bit over a week ago, I made the decision to hire an editor to go through my 75,000 word manuscript to help make it a marketable book. This was an investment in myself, and scary as hell.

All the self-doubt flooded in when I clicked that final PayPal button to send the payment. What the heck am I doing? I don’t really have talent. Friends and family love it because they have to. The editor won’t believe what garbage I sent that I think could actually be a novel people would buy. She will laugh at me.

I think it’s that last self-doubt: everyone will laugh at me. That is probably my biggest fear. I don’t want to look foolish, so the “easier” thing to do is not try. But you know what you get when you don’t try?

Nothing

So, I took the risk and invested in my self. I should hear back within a week. I have no idea how it is being received. I have to fight the urge to annoy the editor with emails saying, “What do you think of it so far? Is it OK?” Is the real question I want to ask, “Am I OK?”

Sunday Quote: Health and Sanity

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All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.  –Doris Lessing English Writer b. 1919

By this definition, I’m so stinking sane!

I was doing laundry today and was overwhelmed by gratitude. Monday, my doctor declared that the bones in my ankle showed remarkable “filling in” and he released me from care. My physical therapist also released me because I was walking well and just need to continue the exercises to strengthen that ankle and knee.

It’s been almost 5 months since the accident, and even though I’m out-of-shape, I feel healthier than I have in a long, long time. It seems like every day I discover something else that I can do easily.

I am in awe at the ability of the human body to heal. Do you need any other proof of a powerful force for good in the universe? I don’t have a church-ish conception of god, but I believe profoundly in an unseen, guiding force in the universe. If I keep my wants, big ideas, and grand plans out of the way, I know that my greatest good is unfolding even now.

 

Sunday Quote: The Currency of Knowledge and Wisdom

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There is only one way to earn chittim: by gaining knowledge and wisdom. The smarter you become, the better you process knowledge into wisdom, the more chittim will fall and thus the richer you will be. –From “Akata Witch” by Nnedi Okorafor

This quote is about valuing the process of learning and gaining wisdom. Chittim is the currency used by the Leopard People in Okorafor’s YA fantasy novel, “Akata Witch”. When I read this, the hair on the back of my neck stood up.

In today’s world, meanness, cheating, and scamming seem to bring material success. If you’re honest, empathetic, and believe in justice… people who are only concerned with their own, personal, interests can take advantage. Just look at who is in control in the US? Congress voting to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor.

We need a world where value is placed on wisdom and doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. We should value ethical behavior, reward sound and reasonable judgement, and promote those who who can think about the ‘big picture’ to bring about fairness for all.

Before something can become reality, it must first be imagined. Perhaps that is one of the greatest gifts of fiction: to present a world of truth and fairness so that we can imagine, and thus build, a better world.

 

 

Sunday Quote: Secret of Success

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The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  –Mark Twain

I can apply this to so many areas of my life. How many projects do I have lying around? How long has it been since I worked toward getting my novel published? How long will I live with clutter?

So many things seem overwhelming. When I get overwhelmed, I hide and numb out with video games or other things like that. The thing is, that just makes the problem bigger, making me more overwhelmed and thus, I want to check out even more.

What this quote reminds me of is that all I have to do is GET STARTED! I don’t need to think about the finish line. That will take care of itself. If I don’t START, I will never finish.

With the New Year, I pledge to look at what I need to start doing (and do it). What do you need to get started with?

Fear of Driving

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I have driven again! First time since August 28, 2017. My license had gotten suspended because we didn’t file an accident report in a timely manner (and I knew I wouldn’t be up for driving for a few months anyway).

My husband drove me to DMV to get my license re-instated. When it was done and the clerk turned her monitor to me so I could see that it was valid again, I literally started shaking.

I had done everything right and still got hurt. Someone else ran a red light and caused the accident that gave me the worst pain I have ever experienced (and I have given birth). I felt so vulnerable, so fragile. I was hype-aware that something beyond my control can come out of nowhere and hurt me.

Surgery, multiple doc visits, and physical therapy have worked to get me on the road to physical healing, but emotionally/mentally I was a complete mess. My hands shook for most of the rest of the day. I was near tears when I thought about driving.

After a couple days, I began to wonder if the fear caused by the idea of driving was greater than the fear I would feel when I actually got behind the wheel. Christmas Day I had an opportunity to take my son to a friend’s house. I thought, there will be virtually no traffic so this would be a good time to take my first venture out.

I left the house and came back with no incident! And, while I was driving, I wasn’t nervous. This surprised me. I was still hyper-vigilant, but I was not riddled with terror.

It feels so good to take such a major step towards resuming my normal life. My daughter is beyond thrilled because she’s had to take up most of my driving duties for day-to-day errands. As this year draws to a close, I cannot shout “GOOD RIDDANCE” loud enough. I’m looking forward to taking on the new year one step at a time. In good time, I should even be able to walk without a limp.