Sunday, November 16, 2008

For years I rushed around being busy and I missed me.
~Friar Leo

"No matter what has just happened, you are free in this moment to act with positive purpose. Whether the past has worked in your favor or not, the future is yours to create as you wish.
Life is too important to waste it feeling sorry for yourself or beating yourself up. Get up and get on with life, and make it match your highest expectations. "

~Ralph Marston (motivational speaker)

"You are talented at many things"

-my fortune cookie after dinner tonight

It's been a tough day for me. One of those days when you can't put your finger on exactly what's wrong but your heart and mind are out of sorts. The truth is there are MANY things in my life which are good, and MANY things I wish were better. Things I CAN control, and things I CAN NOT control.

I very clearly remember the first time I ever read the Serenity Prayer~

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

It was on a book-mark, or a coffee mug at a truck stop/gas station we pulled into on our way to Indiana. I was probably 12 years old. My dad was taking us to visit our Grandmother and I was so excited about the quote (I've always loved good quotes) I rushed over to share it with him. His reply was, "That is stupid. I can't stand that prayer, it's so depressing."

So much for the father-daughter Hallmark moment, huh?

Anyway, his reaction confused me. I couldn't fathom how he found the quote depressing and not profound. At the time I wasn't aware of the drinking problems which plagued his family, nor was I aware this prayer is one often used by alcoholics...I just thought it was a great "life statement". It wouldn't be the first or the last time my father and I failed to see eye to eye on something.

To this day, as much as I love the quote, I never read it without recalling dad's reaction to it. His disapproval lingers over the memory like a faint shadow, and truth be told, his disapproval about some things in my life lingers over me in more ways than I'd like to admit. It is time to let this stuff go. It is time for me to look at me with my own 2 eyes, and not through the eyes of my parents, or family members, or people in the church...or anyone.

I need and want to be me, and further more, I want to LIKE that person.

The sad truth of today is I didn't like the person I saw in the mirror this morning. I can change that. The mistakes of my past, bad choices, desperate responses, ugly words, judgements, and assaults against me- those are things I can not change. Knowing the difference between the two IS wisdom. Acceptance of BOTH things is divine.

The sun has now set in my part of the world. The day is closing as I sit in my office upstairs with mug of Jasmine tea and my thoughts. Despite the poor reflection I saw this morning when I awoke, the world went out of it's way to speak life to me today, via a preacher, a speaker, and a cookie.

I didn't wake up with Serenity this morning...but she found me before the sun set, and I am grateful.

Peace to all of you~


roxanne s. sukhan said...

hi ... i want to be me too ... the quest is in finding out just wtf that is. i miss you. when you visit the blog .... well, you'll see.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Yep. Go with the cookie. I read somewhere that we shouldn't make new year resolutions to fix the things that don't work in our life, we should make resolutions to be better at the things that do work.

darkfoam said...

it's easy to get lost in the roles and expectations by which others define us especially if you have fulfilled those roles for years.
i'm so lost sometimes that i sometimes think i can't find my way out ..
anyway .. here's to serenity ..

Gnomeself Be True said...

Me being me...all I take away are thoughts of how the things I say are going to stay with my boys.
Far too much animosity between myself and the older one already.

sparringK9 said...

well your photos are clearly serene. creativity will be your salvation. there isnt any ugly to you. and my eyes are excellent.

Libby said...

cora-i've always loved that quote, too~! and, yes, i want to be me again too...i'm finding out it's a long way back there...but i'll get there...

Lady Prism said...

Hah! Precisely what I've been telling me. I have been out of touch with my family for all the reasons ( and more) that you have stated here. I'm prepping myself for eventually meeting them this holiday season. Not easy...not easy.

Your thoughts are succinct and I have been reassured that I am not alone in feeling the way I do. Serenity found me too.

Skunkfeathers said...

I can't speak to your past, only my own. I can't speak to what you thought you saw this morning, only what I've seen since reading this blog and our lil' dab of simple correspondence.

But from my very humble perspective -- for which I neither apologize nor consider as all-seeing and all-knowing about much of anything -- you have much to be thankful of and for, friend. I see a ray of sunshine in your words and photos. I see where you and serenity can frequently cross paths.

That alone speaks volumes about you, at least in my very humble opinion ;)

Has a great day! May the Serenity be with you ;)

Anonymous said...

might wish
to return that mirror

it very clearly is defective!

i'm a dad of two lovely daughters, cora (you know) -- it pains me to think that i, too, have spoken in haste and ignorance -- without due care -- and that my words have left hurt or doubt in their hearts -- i would eat razor blades now if that could take back those careless words

<3's & <3's

¤ ¤ ¤


X. Dell said...

I find your dad's reaction pretty interesting. I wonder if he didn't believe that anything was beyond his control. An even wilder thought: what if he thought that nothing was in his control?

Of course, now I wonder what, of his parents' disapproval, lingers over him?

We have a great ability to influence a lot of things. In fact, some of the things you mention at the end (e.g. past bad judgments) you still have power to influence through the course of your life. For example, you screw up and lose your shimmering heart's desire, only to find that the next guy is the love of your life. Sometimes, bad things have to happen for good things to occur.

But as much as we can influence, I don't think we control very much. Basically, we can control our behavior, and little else. We can't make others do what we want (unless we're in a position to pose some kind of threat them). For the most part, we have to rely on their good will, their understanding that compliance to your thought is for a greater social order. But that's as much as you can really do.

BTW, if you don't have any regrets, you haven't had much of a life. I, for one, am proud of you.

NYD said...

When you are finishe hanging with Serenity, send her my way.
I have never been too worried about not seeing eye to eye with my parents. They are people too and I think that it would be kind of weird to agree on everything with another person. It was the differences that helped define me.

Mayden' s Voyage said...

It's a slow process isn't it? And fairly uncomfortable too. I hope for a quiet week next week during the holiday and some time to catch up with everyone~

I love your thoughts here- and as I think of it- I focus way too much on what I don't well. Tomorrow I am going to spend the day thinking about all the things I'm good at. I'm looking forward to it! :)

We have a deep understanding, you and I. Yes, here's to Serenity- and the fleeting moments she's with us.

Hugs Mr. Iamnot. My reply to your comment was too important for me not to leave at your blog. I too worry about my words and their long term impact- but I think it makes us better parents than the ones who never think about it at all~ and you are a good dad.

"Creativity will be your salvation"- indeed, and thank you for reminding me. Thank you too for being such a dear friend to me :) love you! :)

Libby- will get there- and so will I :)

Prism- sigh- this family stuff is so difficult and painful. I hate even writing about it because of the way it makes me feel...and then I feel guilty (why???). I'm not happy on so many levels- and then I feel awful for not being happy when I have so much to be thankful for. But there's a difference between being happy, and being grateful- isn't there? Yes- I see there is. I definitely need to write more about that!
Hugs- and thank you for being here.

Dear Skunk-
If it was possible to be "hugged" on line- you did it :) and I thank you! :)

/t- was lovely to hear a father of grow children say what you said- and know that you meant it. Your girls were/are blessed to have you...and in my own way I am lucky to have the dad I have too- esp knowing some of the monsters who pretend to be parents. I am the parent I am today because of my own parents- and my kids are great- so, whatever mistakes were made- I'd gladly carry those marks if they make life better, or healthier, for my own children. Indeed that is exactly what's happened. I am a good mom, above and beyond all other things- being a mom is the most important and wonderful thing (as well as the most difficult) I've ever done.
Hugs- and thank you <3 <3 <3

gowest14 said...

This quote always left me sad. Like being in a pit. Once I found Christ I have always used the "all things are possible through Christ"
I regret not telling you the rest of my reasoning. Its tough being a parent. You dont always get it right the first time.
I know this week end was not easy and I it took courage and stregth to be there. I too have done this and only God understood my groanings.

I Love you