Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


4 Comments

Julia Cameron: Freedom

Today’s gratitude card is “freedom: I cherish my freedom to act, think, feel, and choose as I wish. I celebrate the choice which lies for me in every moment. I accept the responsibility which comes with freedom. I embrace my liberty and use it to create an abundant and meaningful life.”

This is one of the those cards (well, let’s be honest; MOST of these cards this applies to) that is more like an affirmation I am saying, trying to will it to be true. This particular card has a twist though. I think it is true just as written for the most part. The problem with me has always been that I want everyone else to be happy with my choices too.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted people to approve of me. For as long as I’ve been in therapy, we’ve talked about this. And for as long as I can remember, my therapists have always thought I’ve been surrounded by a fair number of people in my life who don’t approve, or who feel quite comfortable making their criticisms known to me.

I suppose it is true that almost all human beings want people to approve of them. I think our particular personality type is what moves us along the intensity continuum.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured out how to seek more people in my life who do approve of me. I don’t mean they agree with me 100% of the time. But most of the time, they think I rock. Most of the time they trust my decisions because they believe I think through things and generally have a pretty good head on my shoulders.

It’s funny. Those people who know me on the deepest level, know that I am actually quite open to criticism and feedback. More than most, I seek out help and advice from professionals and from family and friends.

I like affirming my freedom and choosing to act. I even think I do a pretty good job of accepting the responsibility that comes with it. And I usually try to create a meaningful life, not just for myself, but also for others. My biggest problem is I DO give a rat’s ass about what other people think.

I don’t want to be the person that stops caring altogether. People who are like that, tend to be selfish and unaware of how they affect others. I don’t want to be a rock with no feelings. But I also don’t want to be the one who gets crushed like a bug so easily.

I am going to Florida next week. I decided I was going to crack if I didn’t get a break, if I didn’t get some rest, and mostly if I don’t feel some sun on my face soon. I found a reasonable flight and I just booked it before I could change my mind. I’ve been saying that I never do things like this for myself so I feel totally justified. But then I remembered that last September I went to Vegas for a couple of days. I need to stop saying I “never” do things for myself. I do. I am learning how to take care of me. And that should NOT be a bad thing.

One of my support people told me that people are going to be thinking that in their heads when I tell them about my trip- that I just went to Myrtle Beach in February. So I guess I’m saying they can think whatever they want. It was 25 degrees there the week we were there. It was very cold and I couldn’t walk on the beach without feeling sick. I need warmth. And I work my ass off most of the time so I’m going.

OH AND…

I don’t care if I eat too many carbs. I will work on that when I can. I will choose the best things I can day to day and that is good enough for me.

I don’t care if my schedule sucks because I try too hard to help other people. I will choose to do as much as I can every day to be the best person I can every day, and then I will complain about my legs hurting when I go to bed. That doesn’t make me a bad person because I’m exhausted at the end of the day.

I don’t care if I take too many vacations. I only go for a brief time. Sometimes I ache to see my grandkids. Sometimes I just want to not have to take care of anyone. I am ok with those choices.

Now I am working on not caring what you think about all that stuff. Now I am working on not caring if you disapprove or disagree. The truth is, I care deeply, but I am working on changing that. At the end of the day, I am looking to surround myself with voices that think I’ve been amazing even though I haven’t been perfect. The first voice has to be my own. The second voice I have to recognize is God’s. After that, I have to be selective.

This wasn’t one of my better blogs. I didn’t start out with a solid idea. It hasn’t flowed the way I want it to. My humor hasn’t shone like I like it too. But hey, maybe this is the start. I choose to write a less-than-perfect blog. And I’m fine with that. If you don’t like the tone, or the negativity, or the message, I’m fine with that too.

Well, not really. But I’m a work in progress! 🙂


3 Comments

More Serious Cheating

Ok, I’m cheating on a more serious level this week, because I didn’t even write what you are about to read. My sister’s friend is caretaking for her husband who is in the late stages of cancer. I believe they are in their 50’s. She sent me her latest journal entry because she thought it was right up my ally. She was right. She is one of my new heroes. See if you agree:

“It’s funny, this journey we are all on. It is kind of like a book that we are the star of. We are the leading character, the hero and sometimes the villain. No one knows quite where their character will take them, how the story will go and where and when or even how it will end. We do not write the story but we can change the story with choices we make along the way. Through this recent chapter of my journey, I am choosing to make changes that I have found will enhance my story.

Lately, I have learned to listen more and talk less. I am hearing more birds singing their sweet love songs to their mates that are eagerly munching on the seeds we have provided them out our dining room window. I am finding that I am engaging more in play with the little ones. They are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and they have deemed me to be the silly one, Michaelangelo, or Mikey (as the new ones are all called shortened versions of their old formal names). This is because I never choose to do battle or injure another, that being my nature to do no harm to anyone. So I embrace my character, Mikey, and enjoy my time at the table drawing with the boys and displaying their works of art for all to admire.

I am learning to use more perfume, not to save it for special times, every day with my husband is special and he deserves to know that. I long for the day I can stand with him, hand in hand on the beach, letting each wave bring the cool ocean water over our feet and feeling the warm sand beneath our feet gently glide back out into the ocean with each returning wave. I want to spend less time on the computer and more time with people I love, not letting them feel unnoticed or unappreciated. I want each of them to have quality time and not quantity minutes that mean nothing as we did not communicate, being too busy on phones or games played all by yourself. I want to interact more with people, not things that will not love me back. There will be more treats made, just because I want to smell the aromas of things I loved and brought me special memories of times gone by and will in return, make memories for the children that they can pass down. I want to share the time with the boys, teaching them how to love the earth and respect it and all the creatures in it.

As the lyrics say, we only pass this way once, so I want to live while I am here. I have become too keenly aware of how quickly your story can change and into a new direction you will go, a new chapter you never saw coming will be where you suddenly have entered into blindly. Learn to be nicer, kinder, care more, take less, want less, open your heart and soul and let people in, and love, love with all your being. Have no regrets, no should haves, no I always wanted to, no I always thought I woulds. Breathe, really breathe, close your eyes and imagine how you can make people you love, happy. That is a gift only you can give. Love them and tell them what is in your heart, they deserve to hear it right now, they long for it. I don’t know how my story will end but I do know I have the power to change little things that will make my journey a better one. On my last day, I want to have a smile on my face and a heart so full of wonderful memories of a life well lived, and leave, knowing I am on a new journey, a whole new book.”

Wow, thanks for sharing that with us. You are an inspiration. You make us want to make better choices too. Peace and love and healing and support your way, dear friend.