Tag Archive | life experiences

What if today…?

I saw a graphic on Facebook today that said, “What if today we were grateful for just…everything!?” I really like that, because that’s how I try to live my life everyday. I work hard, though lately it’s not that much work, to be grateful for everything, even the less than totally pleasant things. I have an old friend who calls me “sunny side up kind of gal.” She’s know me for over 30 years, so sometimes I am a little shocked and surprised to be reminded that I have always been optimistic and grateful, though there were times in my life where I felt a lot of anger, and gratitude does not grow well in angry soil.

Gratitude cannot grow in angry soil.

Angry me was not a terrific person to know. I deflected oncoming people and potential friends with an invisible force field that was tough as steel and three feet thick. I didn’t know that I had this deflector shield until it was gone. Anger bred depression and depression and drinking are a terrible cocktail. I wrote really well when I was drunk and angry, though, so there’s the sunny side of that period 😉

Yet I know if I had to choose a lifelong motto, it would be something akin to, “Hope springs eternal.” That truly idealistic view is a double edged sword. It has kept me alive, and moving forward, and growing, and because of it I developed a certain passion and tenacity that is almost like having a super power. On the flip side, it has kept me places that I should not have been long after I should have left them. But, there are sunny sides to those bad places, too.

Take my marriage to the sociopath, for example. I stuck that out long past the point where most, less hopeful, less springy, people would have left. However, there was a gift in the staying, which I have only recently realized. I found my worth by staying in that marriage for so long. I finally realized that I really do deserve better. No, I deserve the best, despite my past. I deserve happiness. I wonder if I would have figured that out had I not stayed so long?

And so we circle back to being grateful for everything. I am truly grateful for everything, the good, the horrible, and that middle ground we tend to ignore. Like most, I learn best from my mistakes and poor choices. Today, I am grateful for all of those mistakes, unfortunate life experiences, and bad choices, for if I had not had them, I would not be who I am today. Embrace your mistakes and bad choices and see just how far they’ve brought you!

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So, here I go…

I’ve tried to blog before and it didn’t last, probably because I was doing it for a reason that was not something that was in sync with what my heart knows that it wants to accomplish.  So, I plugged away, and plugged away, and what do you know…it became a bore and a chore.  This is going to be different.  This blog is going to be all about me.  The essential me, who I’ve just come to know at the age of 52 years old.

To say that I have lived a life of extremes would be a gross understatement.  I have lived a life where I never had to worry about money, and I’ve lived in abject poverty.  I have survived childhood sexual abuse, incest, rape, and two abusive marriages, the first mostly emotional, and verbal, though I guess those two black eyes and being held captive in my home for a week when I wanted out do take it to a higher level, and the second to a sociopath.  You could say that I do not pick ’em particularly well, but I am thinking that I won’t make those mistakes ever again 😉

I am a recovering alcoholic, 8 years sober.  I have a college education, and have been on many boards and committees, and all of that good stuff.  I have also been to two rehabs, and one halfway house, and I have been in jail twice, and just got out of prison six months ago, after a 6 months stay paying for sins of the past.  While, it was not on my prison “to-do” list, I made many lifetime friends there, and found myself, as well. I have seven of the most beautiful, caring, generous, forgiving, and accomplished children on the planet.  I like to say that they turned out quite well despite me, but when I am honest with myself, I know that it is because of me to a great extent.

I believe in God, and I love Jesus Christ.  I am devoutly faithful but not religious.   I think that most of the time it is Christians who give Christians a bad name.  I work very hard to walk the talk.  To that end, I am fixin’ to start and ministry and mentorship program for women coming out of incarceration situations. I am a true introvert who does an exceptionally good extravert imitation 😉

Most people, when hearing of my life experiences say, “Oh my, what a tragic life!”  I do not see it that way at all.  I am the eternal optimist, and idealist to the core.  I love my life, and finally knowing who I am, I love myself.  I spent a lifetime trying like crazy, until it made me crazy, to conform to some elusive standard of normalcy, or perfection, or success, and I never quite got it.  Now, I honor myself, and my heart and soul.  And suddenly, because of that one big change, I find that I am no longer just surviving, I am thriving!

The world is a beautiful place and I love life!  Most day, I feel like the most blessed woman on the planet, but this wasn’t always the way that I saw things.  It’s not easy getting from pain and blame and negativity to a place of peace and radical acceptance, but I know that if I can do it, anyone can.  So, let’s saddle up and ride and get to the other side, because the other side is a glorious place!

I typed this while eating toast and jam, which I highly recommend.  I must now go get something to clean my keyboard!  Onward!