Self Examination

My body told me it was time for a rest today so I am re-posting from earlier this year.

“I may not always be with you 

But when we’re far apart

Remember you will be with me

Right inside my heart” 

Marc Wambolt, Poems from the Heart

I spent today thinking about and being thankful for the people who have been and are so important to me. It was a very good day.

As I learn more about myself and my life, I find my self-examination has enabled me to be more aware of my many blessings. I realize I could not have seen any of these things until now because I’ve spent most of my life in survival mode. I was blind to my gifts because I was always on alert–unsure of anything and afraid everything I cared about could and would simply disappear. I am beginning to realize the reasons for my fears. It is a difficult task–some days more successful than others. All-in-all, I am encouraged. The beauty of this challenge is the more I understand, the more peaceful I feel.

I see the love of those who’ve stood by me in a new light, trusting and believing they will always be with me. This new-found understanding and belief system has blown my little world wide open.

I AM worthy and I am grateful.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

Learning and Growing

“Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Since I’ve started writing my stories, I’ve become so much more aware.

After taking that first very uncomfortable step–publishing my first post–my fear of rejection has diminished. I’m not saying I’m fearless. I am a long way from making that statement. What I can say is, for the first time, I believe in myself. I’ve begun accepting the fact I am a novice. I do not need to pretend to know it all. Because of that, I can commit to putting in the time needed to strengthen and shore up my budding skills.

I know I am ready. I am willing. I know I am able.

Of course, I’ve made these giant strides because I’ve had the blessing of encouraging and unconditionally loving friends. Thank you, God, and thanks to all. I am grateful.

With every published story, I learn more about myself. I stretch my boundaries, growing and changing with each new discovery.

Often I am caught off guard as I write, uncovering some lost memory. It’s like putting together some giant jigsaw puzzle when the cover photo of the finished puzzle is missing.

I am becoming more comfortable with all of those glitches.

I have grown into my retirement. I know and accept that I am lucky to have the time to figure it all out. There is no need to rush. I can think and marvel at all unfolding in front of me. I can sort and select those puzzle pieces, realizing that some of the intermixed and varied pieces may not be part of my puzzle.

What a marvelous realization, realizing and really understanding I am the master of my puzzle board.

I am thankful.

“Without darkness, we may never know how bright the stars shine. Without battles, we could not know what victory feels like. Without adversity, we may never appreciate the abundance in our lives. Be thankful, not only for the easy times, but for every experience that has made you who you are.”
― Julie-Anne

I am…

B…simply being…

Blessings and love to you all.

Peace

A Little More of the Story

Re-sharing with love.

“Finished crap can be edited. Unfinished greatness languishes forever. The only bad writing is the thing you didn’t write!”
― Margarita Gakis

At times, I can be a slow learner. I shift into low gear, over-analyzing some lessons and life experiences, making them extremely difficult and complicated. Because I don’t fully understand what is being taught or tested, self-doubt creeps in when my guard is down. With fear at the reins, I start trivializing the whole experience.

I now understand I did this because in my mind I cannot fail–that is not an option. In order to maintain my family expectations, I pretended all is well. I’d work on this project and that project for a while, early on determining whatever I was working on was either too difficult or too simple. With that finely honed skill, I’d walk away from one task after another, allowing many to quietly slip away to sit alongside many others.

Over this past year, I’ve written about this behavior in hopes of discovering why I was such a star procrastinator. This dedication to self  helped me begin to understand some of the reasons. The more I wrote, the more I began to see the pattern of self-deception which grew into a lifetime of disruptive behavior.

My Dad made it very clear that I was expected to do my best. My kid brain interpreted that to mean I had to be perfect. I was far from perfect but I became very good at pretending. Pretending can be very tough for a kid. Before long, my act began to develop weak spots. Over time, I learned how to patch those tears and quiet my internal critic.

All I had to do was make sure I was always, always, always busy.

When new assignments came along, I’d work on them whenever I could make the time. Because I was so busy, there was never enough time. I’d fill what extra moments I had with something I wanted to do, pushing that not so favorite job further into the land of tomorrow. By delaying, I’d found a way to put myself in hyper mode, ensuring I’d get it done–but not until the very last moment. This methodology always provided the perfect excuse in case what I’d been working on was not done as well as it could or should have been done. Or, if the whole project failed, it wasn’t my fault. I just did not have enough time.

Over this past year, I began to see how my fear of not being good enough–not being perfect–evolved into procrastination. I saw, often in spite of myself, I’d always ended up doing pretty well. I may not have gotten that A, but I’d never failed. My procrastination was a symptom of my self-doubt. I understood I no longer needed games or excuses. I was good enough simply by being me–by being who I am.

You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being — not because anybody says so, not because you’re successful, not because you make a lot of money — but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason.”
Wayne W. Dyer

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and peace, Y’all.

Thank you, my dear friend, Mary, for letting me borrow your birthday bouquet today.  I Love you.

Self Examination

My body told me it was time for a rest today so I am re-posting from earlier this year.

“I may not always be with you 

But when we’re far apart

Remember you will be with me

Right inside my heart” 

Marc Wambolt, Poems from the Heart

I spent today thinking about and being thankful for the people who have been and are so important to me. It was a very good day.

As I learn more about myself and my life, I find my self-examination has enabled me to be more aware of my many blessings. I realize I could not have seen any of these things until now because I’ve spent most of my life in survival mode. I was blind to my gifts because I was always on alert–unsure of anything and afraid everything I cared about could and would simply disappear. I am beginning to realize the reasons for my fears. It is a difficult task–some days more successful than others. All-in-all, I am encouraged. The beauty of this challenge is the more I understand, the more peaceful I feel.

I see the love of those who’ve stood by me in a new light, trusting and believing they will always be with me. This new-found understanding and belief system has blown my little world wide open.

I AM worthy and I am grateful.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

Terrorism

“Terrorism isn’t a crime against people or property. It’s a crime against our minds, using the death of innocents and destruction of property to make us fearful. Terrorists use the media to magnify their actions and further spread fear. And when we react out of fear, when we change our policy to make our country less open, the terrorists succeed — even if their attacks fail. But when we refuse to be terrorized, when we’re indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail — even if their attacks succeed.”
― Bruce Schneier

 

It has been quite a month here in central Texas.

I’ve perched myself on top of my little hill, observing with uneasiness, as someone terrorized the city of Austin.

I”d been feeling rather smug, thinking I was beyond this mad man’s craziness.

That was all well and good until a package exploded at a FedEx facility outside of San Antonio.

It’s a feeling we’ve all come to accept as part of our lives–unfortunately, we see evidence of terrorism every single day.

Terrorism oozes into your head, unbidden, and hangs out there. Even though it was happening far from me, I watched my fellow Texans suffer, grieve, and attempt to live their lives in their now normal state of extreme caution and trepidation.

Before long, I realized fear had begun its cautionary whispers which bounced around in my head throughout the day and into your uneasy sleep at night. It wears away on you because you don’t rest—you are concerned for yourself and for those people who are part of your daily life. Suddenly, getting that package delivered is now overshadowed by fear—not just for yourself—but for that driver you see and talk with every day.

The reign of terror ended early yesterday morning when the man who orchestrated these past weeks of angst killed himself and injured a SWAT team member by setting off his last bomb inside his getaway car.

It is over but it has taken a large toll. There are new walking wounded.

The Police Chief shared at the press conference yesterday the bomber left a video confession. Maybe this will shed some light on why he did what he did. The Mayor of Austin spoke at this press conference as well, leaving us all with some advice I hope we all think about and follow. He advised us all to walk across the street and get to know your neighbors. Get to know—really know each other and take care of each other.

Today, I am thankful I can sit on my hill with less fear–venturing out to the store or worry about the safety of my UPS driver. I am thankful for my little community and my neighbors.

My prayers continue for those who suffered as a direct result of these bombings—both physically and mentally. The victims are many. The wounds deep and mostly invisible.

Our world has become an even scarier place.

We need to seek out the good—not just look for the helpers but we must become one of them.

The only way to survive is by helping each other through all of these insane twists and turns.

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”
― David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless us all.

~Peace~

 I am so fortunate I have an amazing photographer in my circle of Facebook friends. Thank you, Mr. Chuck Hackenmiller, for allowing me to use your wonderful photos as part of my blog. You can see many of Mr. Hackenmiller beautiful pictures on the Facebook page, I grew up in Iowa. Please note, no re-use of this photo without permission from Chuck Hackenmiller, Boone, Iowa.

Saddle Up

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
― Jim Morrison

The things that scared me have often surprised me as much as they’ve nearly paralyzed me.

Learning to scuba dive was one of those times.

I loved to swim. I felt I was a good swimmer. My form was probably questionable but I never doubted my overall strength.

Learning how to scuba dive taught me a lot about myself. All was well until we put all our gear on and went under water for the first time.

When the time came to put my head underwater and take that first breath through our regulator–I panicked.

I could not get it through my head I really could breathe underwater. I had to get a handle on my fear and get it under control. Michael and I had made plans to go to Maui. Diving was a big part of it. In fact, we scheduled everything around me doing my final check out dive in there.

I was struggling and my fear was escalating. Honestly, I have no idea how I was able to pass all my pool testing and advance to the point where I qualified for the final open water exam. As we traveled to Maui, I prayed I’d be able to complete this final test. For me, it was a test in every possible way.

When we arrived in Maui we went to the dive shop and signed up for a couple of dives. My checkout dive would be done during our first dive. I met the dive master, John, who would be doing my open water exam. I was honest, telling him I was pretty nervous about making my first dive in the ocean. John listened to my concerns, shared some of his personal stories which helped put me at ease. By the time we left I was feeling much more ready and a little more self-confident.

That first dive was early the next morning. We were both ready to get this dive under our belts so we arrived bright and early.  As I gathered all my gear and began to set up for my dive, I looked around for John. Michael was watching me carefully knowing I was nervous. When he noticed John was not around, he went to get an update. The captain of the boat told us John had a family emergency so he would not be there. My heart sank. My nerves kicked into high gear. The new dive master would be over soon to meet us, the captain said. We just needed to hold tight.

As I watched the crew load the boat, I heard someone call my name. I turned to find a woman about my height holding out her hand. I am sure my mouth had fallen open as she introduced herself to me. There, standing in front of me, was a person who looked EXACTLY like my ninth grade swimming instructor, Miss Katzer.

Miss Katzer was quite a character–to say the very least. She was a drill sergeant–a wiry woman with a head full of wild dishwater blonde hair who rarely talked in a normal tone of voice. Everything was screamed out. She expected you to listen–no talking–NO GUM CHEWING. If she saw you chewing gum, she’d pull out the coffee can she always seemed to have at her fingertips and yell for you to spit it out into the can.

Miss Katzer was also known for an injury she had which resulted in her losing toes on one of her feet–a feature she pointed out often as she warned us about the dangers of water skiing.

Why is any of this important?

This dive master who would be doing my check out dive looked so much like Miss Katzer I immediately looked down at her feet to see if she was missing toes. Even though her feet were intact, I was immediately at ease. I knew I would be able to complete my dive–and I did. We completed that day of diving and did several other dives while we were there.

When we returned home and went back to work, I discovered my outlook on many of the problems I’d had at work had changed. My level of anxiety was markedly decreased. What made me nervous just a couple of weeks ago no longer had any power over me. Conquering this mega fear created a landslide of changes in the rest of my life. I knew without a doubt I no longer had anything to fear.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
John Wayne

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless us all as we head out to our weekend.

“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.”
― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

 

 

 

In Search Of…

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
― Heath L. Buckmaster, Box of Hair: A Fairy Tale

Have you ever had the feeling there is something you need to do but you have no idea what that thing is or how to go about finding it?

That feeling has been a very strong force for me since I began sharing my stories.

As I’ve searched, read, and eventually written, I’ve come upon other quotes or articles that tickle areas in my memory where things are sitting slightly off-kilter. Those thoughts or memories have been jostled around and rearranged over the years. Like an unsteady atom, their imbalance creates a restlessness in me. I’m learning I need order in my life, so search for ways to stabilize myself. I need that internal balance so I can safely navigate my journey of self-discovery.

I am excited to share it–even with that twinge of fear elbowing its way into the arena. Often, like it did today, trailing closely behind those fearful thoughts comes a surprising bit of encouragement. Today, that quick nod came by way of this quote:

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C. 

Nice to get a confirmation slip letting me know I’m on the right course.

“I feel like, God expects me to be human. I feel like, God likes me just the way I am: broken and empty and bruised. I feel like, God doesn’t look at me and wish that I were something else, because He likes me just this way. I feel like, God doesn’t want me to close my eyes and pray for Him to make me holy or for Him to make me pure; because He made me human. I feel like, God already knows I’m human…it is I who needs to learn that.”
― C. JoyBell C.

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless us all.

Peace

“Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”
― Gautama Buddha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning and Growing

“Don’t Just

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Since I’ve started writing my stories, I’ve become so much more aware.

After taking that first very uncomfortable step–publishing my first post–my fear of rejection has diminished. I’m not saying I’m fearless. I am a long way from making that statement. What I can say is, for the first time, I believe in myself. I’ve begun accepting the fact I am a novice. I do not need to pretend to know it all. Because of that, I can commit to putting in the time needed to strengthen and shore up my budding skills.

I know I am ready. I am willing. I know I am able.

Of course, I’ve made these giant strides because I’ve had the blessing of encouraging and unconditionally loving friends. Thank you, God, and thanks to all. I am grateful.

With every published story, I learn more about myself. I stretch my boundaries, growing and changing with each new discovery.

Often I am caught off guard as I write, uncovering some lost memory. It’s like putting together some giant jigsaw puzzle when the cover photo of the finished puzzle is missing.

I am becoming more comfortable with all of those glitches.

I have grown into my retirement. I know and accept that I am lucky to have the time to figure it all out. There is no need to rush. I can think and marvel at all unfolding in front of me. I can sort and select those puzzle pieces, realizing that some of the intermixed and varied pieces may not be part of my puzzle.

What a marvelous realization, realizing and really understanding I am the master of my puzzle board.

I am thankful.

“Without darkness, we may never know how bright the stars shine. Without battles, we could not know what victory feels like. Without adversity, we may never appreciate the abundance in our lives. Be thankful, not only for the easy times, but for every experience that has made you who you are.”
― Julie-Anne

I am…

B…simply being…

Blessings and love to you all.

Peace

A Little More of the Story

“Finished crap can be edited. Unfinished greatness languishes forever. The only bad writing is the thing you didn’t write!”
― Margarita Gakis

At times, I can be a slow learner. I shift into low gear, over-analyzing some lessons and life experiences, making them extremely difficult and complicated. Because I don’t fully understand what is being taught or tested, self-doubt creeps in when my guard is down. With fear at the reins, I start trivializing the whole experience.

I now understand I did this because in my mind I cannot fail–that is not an option. In order to maintain my family expectations, I pretended all is well. I’d work on this project and that project for a while, early on determining whatever I was working on was either too difficult or too simple. With that finely honed skill, I’d walk away from one task after another, allowing many to quietly slip away to sit alongside many others.

Over this past year, I’ve written about this behavior in hopes of discovering why I was such a star procrastinator. This dedication to self  helped me begin to understand some of the reasons. The more I wrote, the more I began to see the pattern of self-deception which grew into a lifetime of disruptive behavior.

My Dad made it very clear that I was expected to do my best. My kid brain interpreted that to mean I had to be perfect. I was far from perfect but I became very good at pretending. Pretending can be very tough for a kid. Before long, my act began to develop weak spots. Over time, I learned how to patch those tears and quiet my internal critic.

All I had to do was make sure I was always, always, always busy.

When new assignments came along, I’d work on them whenever I could make the time. Because I was so busy, there was never enough time. I’d fill what extra moments I had with something I wanted to do, pushing that not so favorite job further into the land of tomorrow. By delaying, I’d found a way to put myself in hyper mode, ensuring I’d get it done–but not until the very last moment. This methodology always provided the perfect excuse in case what I’d been working on was not done as well as it could or should have been done. Or, if the whole project failed, it wasn’t my fault. I just did not have enough time.

Over this past year, I began to see how my fear of not being good enough–not being perfect–evolved into procrastination. I saw, often in spite of myself, I’d always ended up doing pretty well. I may not have gotten that A, but I’d never failed. My procrastination was a symptom of my self-doubt. I understood I no longer needed games or excuses. I was good enough simply by being me–by being who I am.

You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being — not because anybody says so, not because you’re successful, not because you make a lot of money — but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason.”
Wayne W. Dyer

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and peace, Y’all.

Thank you, my dear friend, Mary, for letting me borrow your birthday bouquet today.  I Love you.

Fear

Writing this week has been tough. Honestly, doing anything seemed a little surreal. How do you absorb the sights, sounds, and emotions that played out these past few days?

You can not.

We all have to move on–but how? The only way, at least for me, is to stop watching. It is time for me to refill my own emotional well–it is dangerously low. I have nothing left to give. I now need to keep my mind focused on myself and direct my attention back to my own soul.

To get me started, I turned to my usual sources, my own collection of quotes and the internet. I needed something that would put fear into perspective. I read and read. Finally, I found the one. I agreed with it. It was so simply true–and it made me slowly smile.

“Is it useful to feel fear, because it prepares you for nasty events, or is it useless, because nasty events will occur whether you are frightened or not?”
Lemony Snicket

I wish you all a safe and peace-filled weekend. May we continue to help each other heal, both physically and mentally. Please stay patient and kind. Pray. Hug freely, fully, and often.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you.

Peace