Rainbows and Unicorns

 

 

I often write here about life’s positive moments. Sometimes I write about wanting life to be positive, about wanting to be positive myself. I do this because I truly aspire to living a life of joy. I honestly want to dwell in the hopeful. In bliss. In rainbows and unicorns.

 

But just because I write in this fashion, it does not mean my life is without its challenging moments of upheaval or disappointment. I break down and I muddle through more often than you can imagine. Sometimes those spells are short. Other times they linger like odors from a fish-fry. I don’t enjoy those times, and because I live with someone, it isn’t much fun for him, either. In fact, I think my downward spirals are downright befuddling to Mister. During those spells, he has said that he doesn’t get it – that I write about sunshine and roses and yet when life pulls me to my knees, I in no way resemble what I share in these missives. And he’s right.

 

For several months now I’ve been battling health issues. This isn’t a secret, as I’ve written of my challenges many times. What I haven’t always shared is how incredibly depressing this battle can be. I haven’t told you about the moments when I sit alone and cry, wondering if my fine-fettle days are behind me. Worrying that my health will continue to decline, as my body just doesn’t seem to be returning to familiar function. I’m no spring chicken, I admit. But I’m not so old as to treat this as any sort of “norm.” And even though I understand intellectually that my brain isn’t getting its full quota of nutrients and minerals necessary for good mental health, I am not always able to layer that intellectual understanding over my depressed feelings. Those are the times that get me. Those are the times that rattle the fault-lines of my confidence bedrock.

 

Maybe my genetic code is just not as well-written as I’d thought. Maybe my good health indicators, while fantastic for so long, have served their time and are now ready to retire. I don’t know. And though I understand a bit about physical function and health, it doesn’t mean I’m able to wave a magic wand over myself and fix me. God knows I’d like to, but that isn’t one of my gifts.

 

So yesterday, when I had a bit of a set-back on the health front, it got me down. Yes – I’ve experienced improvement since seeing the healer. But I’ve not experienced improvement upon the improvement. Capisce? I guess I’m so frustrated that I needed to lose it. And so I did.

 

Today I see the healer again, and I’ll relay all this information to her, as her approach is comprehensive and she’s quite caring. I’m also trying to picture my friend, Jolene. I saw her not too long ago and she told me about going through a particularly challenging health crisis that had her on the most limited diet imaginable for 6 solid months (not to mention meds and other means to a healthy end). I’ve only been following my limited diet (not nearly as harsh as Jolene’s) for a couple of weeks. I keep telling myself that if Jolene could handle her time, I can handle mine. And I keep forcing out thoughts that tell me Jolene may simply be stronger than I. That ain’t easy either, as those thoughts are loud and persistent.

 

Please forgive me for whining. This is not my journal. It is a blog. I know this. And though I seek to write honestly in these missives, I do not aim to complain incessantly. Some days I’m just a little more fallible than others. I hope you understand.

Go Pro

 

 

I have some not-so-good habits. (Surprise, surprise.) And I think I may be tiring of one in particular.

 

Whenever I have something on my calendar, something to look forward to, I don’t allow myself to be excited about it. If it’s a trip, for example, I tell myself that it may not happen. That there are no guarantees that plane will ever leave the ground. “Wheels Up,” I say. Not until then will it actually transpire.

 

Whenever someone acknowledges my accomplishments or talent, I quickly change the subject. I doubt their sincerity, so I divert their attention and take the focus back to them. It’s as if my mouth cannot form the words, “Thank You.”

 

Whenever I have an idea for some sort of endeavor, something I see as being a professional pursuit, I follow it only so far. I work out details and angles, and then I tell myself that dog won’t hunt. Generally, I pooh-pooh myself. “It Wasn’t That Great of an Idea,” I say.

 

The bad habit I’m tiring of is my tendency to go con, to go negative. I’ve known about it for a while (a long while), but for some reason I didn’t look at it in a way that made me think of an alternative. I’m sure that sounds crazy, and it probably is. When it comes to myself, I just seem to think of all the reasons good can’t possibly come my way. (For the record, I don’t do that with others. I’m a full-time cheerleader for friends.) So what has pushed me to the edge of tolerating my negative self?

 

The Universe. I’m just touchy-feely enough to subscribe to “Notes From The Universe.” My friend Winfield turned me on to these daily emails several-plus-several years ago. And now I look forward to reading each day’s missive almost as much as I look forward to coffee. Recently I received a note from the founder of “Notes From The Universe,” Mike Dooley. He wrote a lot of things, but what grabbed me was this bit:

 

Whenever fear, worry, or unhelpful images parade through your wandering mind, DOUBT THEM!

Don’t think you have to vanquish or overpower them, just doubt them.

In other words, instead of doubting that you might succeed doubt that you might fail.

And then notice how in your thoughts and feelings, any undesired outcomes seem to shrink in proportion to the likelihood of desirable outcomes.

 

Again, I don’t know why these words struck a chord where so many have left a dull clunk, but that’s the way it goes some times. This time anyway. And to tell the truth, I’m probably oversimplifying the trigger, as there have been several beautiful occurrences in my world of late, things that have dared me to apply the same positive attitude I lavish on others, to myself.

 

This isn’t my first go-round with this idea. I’ve even written about it here. But I’m hoping this time it will take. That I’ll allow myself to get excited about an outing, or that I’ll simply say “Thank You” when someone bestows a compliment on me. That I’ll honor my good ideas when I have them.

 

We’re looking at a new season. And while it may signify the end of the harvest season for a lot of our environmental surroundings, I’m hoping it brings me new growth. I want to shine – on the inside – just for me and my benefit. In short, I want to go pro where I’m concerned. Why not? I’m already doing it for friends. Am I not worthy of being my own friend?

 

And there it is. It’s time to be my own friend. It’s worth a shot.

Women

 

 

I recently joined a women’s group. When my dear friend asked me to attend, I did quite a bit of soul-searching.

 

I’m not a group kind of girl. I don’t know how to function in that environment. I mean, I can handle the side of things where you support others and give positive vibes, but the receiving? I have actually broken down while others did nothing but look at me while thinking positive thoughts about me. I’m working on it, on my own. But in a group?

 

After much deliberation, I decided to give this particular group a try. These women are getting together on a regular basis to share stories. That’s right – it’s a writing group. They’re writing stories about other women who’ve inspired and helped them. I love stories. I love writing. So I showed up.

 

I knew a few of these gals, but the rest were fresh faces. After some coffee and socializing, we sat together and listened to the writers who’d brought new stories. We read our short tales aloud and it couldn’t have been lovelier. This group showed amazing encouragement and validation. That would have been enough, but to me the greater glory was in the talent. These women can write! I was awed and entertained. I was moved and felt tremendous empathy. Women. Here we were, just sitting together in a room – sharing. Wow.

 

At the meeting’s close, it was determined that we could use more attendees and more stories. Our facilitator wondered aloud if perhaps we wouldn’t benefit from writing another story, on top of our initial offerings. I raised my hand before I realized I was doing it, and said that I’d love to write another story. That it would be good for me. That I’d enjoy the writing process.

 

And just like that, I knew I’d be going back to the next meeting. To the group. I’m working on short story #2, in preparation for January’s meeting. The writing work is good for me. The women are even greater.