When you’re strange

weird people

A friend of mine sent me this quote the other day. It did not offend me for two reasons:

  1. I know she’s weird
  2. I’ve accepted the fact of my being weird long ago.

But acceptance of the so-called “strange factor” was not always the case.

Of course as a young child, those early years are innocent enough. Playing, singing, dancing with friends. Picking each others noses. Harmless follies.

Soon enough the self-awareness and self-confidence issues began. Not only had I discovered the display of a “quirk” to be shamefully rejected, it also appeared the verified weirdos were not doing so well socially. Being different doesn’t sit well when dealing with the masses. As a person who preferred to feel accepted, I fell into a great cover up of fear and taking myself too seriously.

As the years passed, I became cemented in a downward spiral of the loss “me”. While addictively chasing forms of outside happiness and acceptance, the pattern was established of running from myself. But as a lot of us know, wherever you go – there you are.

By some kind of Grace, in my early thirties I began peeling back layers of falsehood of which I’d been encapsulated. Once again (as in early childhood) I began to find, experience and accept my true self. It has been (and still is) a slow, sometimes painful, yet always Glorious process.  All those strange things I erroneously concluded were unacceptable are becoming acceptable – to me. Turns out that’s all that really matters, loving the person God made me to be.

Bonus: As I accept my true Self, God continuously put others like me in my path. When we unite and let down our weirdo hair, we rejoice in the clarity of who we really are; strange, odd and absolutely amazing!

You are never alone, there are others like you. Take the time to find “your peeps” and celebrate the peculiar wonderfulness that is you.

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Thanks to you!

love heart

Words are futile
to describe how I feel
about you

You, who give your most precious asset
Time
to my ramblings

How to convey this?
I’m practically speechless

But I will say
in the most limited way
YOU are absolutely, unmistakably

Amazing
Innocent
Perfect

and if it takes “words” to remind you
so be it
and so it is

WordPress sent a notification informing me it’s been one year since I began my blogging journey. Woo hoo! I’m still here and so are you!! How cool is that?

Thank you and God bless!

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Keep Going!

cloud opening

The squirrels were being extra squirrelly.

Sure hope I don’t run over one of them, I thought as I began my days trip along the bike path. They know a storm’s brewing as they scrimmage from one side of the path to the other.

Besides the jittery animals, the emptiness of the path felt strange. Where was everyone? It seemed we had plenty of time before the downpour. Right? But as I continued to peddle, my uneasiness grew.

Maybe I should turn around and just go home.

The only problem was I couldn’t justify it. Even though I was a soul traveler this particular morning and the feeling was somewhat lonesome, I still believed it was okay to keep going.

So I kept going. For awhile anyway……until I caved.

And it wasn’t a squirrel that took me down, but my doubts and fears when I made a choice to turn a deaf ear to the small voice that knew everything was going to be just fine.

On my return route I began to see human life form; a bicyclist in full gear – goggles and all. A woman covered head to toe – hoodie and all. My people! Others on this path who are willing to take a chance, who are willing to go out on a limb and take risks.

Although I know ultimate strength and courage comes from within, it’s so incredibly comforting to have others traveling along with you. To mirror back that while you may not go with the masses, you’re knowingness can be trusted.

Keep going! It’s safe! You got this!

I rounded the corner to see a few more, then a few more and the reality of it all; I never was alone. It may have seemed that way for a stretch but others were there the whole time.

Although I did cut my ride short because of my uncertainties, it’s okay. I did get some time in and will try again tomorrow. I don’t have to get it right all day, everyday. I just have to suit up, show up and keep going.

 

photo by CBurns

Awakening Analogy

curved rd

One of the things I love to do is ride my bike on the bike path near my home.

So peaceful being out in nature with the birds singing, chipmunks playing and occasionally; silence.

Pure Bliss.

As I travel along my merry way, I come across many others on this same path. Some are also biking by themselves, with a companion or with children. Others jog; alone or in pairs. Some power walk, dog walk or push baby strollers. Then there are the occasional roller bladers.

And last, but certainly not least, the people who are just out taking a leisurely stroll.

Most are strangers but I appreciate my fellow bike “pathers” as we all engage in our outdoor activities – all of us in it together – enjoying life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

All of us using the path exactly how we see fit.

I breeze through giving a nod, a smile and the occasion hello. I have no problem with the course any of them are taking, the speed they’re going or by whatever means they choose to get from point A to point B.

I have no problem with them passing me up or slowing me down.

No problem with them what-so-ever.

So what if?

What if I could take this same mentality and practice it as I travel along with the ones close to me on the life path? What if I could learn to respect everyone’s individual journey? Accept how they move through their own life; slow-paced, fast-paced and even the ones who are just out for a leisurely stroll?

What if instead of trying to change and manipulate them into traveling the life path the way I think they should, I could instead breeze through giving a nod, a smile, a hug and an occasional “I love you”?

It’s certainly the makings of what I seek on the path in the first place; Peace of mind.

Could it all be this simple?

I pray as I travel though my days to bring forth the love, acceptance and patience I show strangers on the bike path to my loved ones on the life path.

Amen.

Friendship Friday

Just recently a friend of mine declared,  “I’ve decided I’m going to make more time for my friends and I’m calling it Friendship Fridays!”

What a fantastic idea!  While everyone is busy doing life, time with friends can easily pass us by. Making time to fill your soul with the warmth, laughter and love of friends is a must do on our list!  Lets not cheat ourselves out of these experiences.

Declare a friendship day, put it on the calendar and guard it with your life. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly…..do it today!

My friendship prayer: Thank you God for these beautiful people you put in my life I call friends. Remind me to cherish these relationships like a delicate piece of crystal.

 

 

It’s okay to ask for help

***  “I’ll go with you.”  ***

Music to someone’s ears who’s been stuck regarding taking an action.

I have noticed time and again, with myself as well as others, sometimes we get afraid to do some of the so-called “easy” things. From a doctor appointment to first time going to a health club, these things can feel monumental.

It takes courage to admit and ask for help instead of ignoring or pretending to have it all together. So why does it feel embarrassing? (Hello ego, I see you’re still hanging around…)

Sometimes I don’t even know I’m in fear. I say things like, “I don’t have time – I don’t care or I’m too lazy to take the action.”

If you’ve been putting something off because you’re afraid, ask a friend to go with you. If you know someone who has been stuck, ask them if they’d like you to go with them.

I get by with a little help from my friends. ~ John Lennon

 

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Grateful for You

photo by CBurns

Drawn to you by an invisible string

  on a different level you taught me.

Confusion and doubt filled my every crevice-

  Blind faith had my back.

I trudged and I scrambled and I twisted and screamed

  inside was my drama you knew all too well.

Believing just enough to take the next step

  you stood by – trusting

Hope was just around the corner.

Through the light I say, “How can I ever repay?”

“Pass it on if truly grateful.” And I Am.

My mentor, my friend, my angel from God.

Thank you my Donna for being you.

 

Thoughts for today

I’m the type of person who thinks a lot . Probably too much, although I can’t be positive as I’ve never been in a thought count comparative study. I do feel, however, mine run rampant.

An example would be constantly thinking about situations with close personal relationships that seem to have endless twists and turns. Just when I think I might have made some progress, peace and/or acceptance and can go back into the water….da dum, da dum….shark!!!

And I continue to think, think, think….maybe it’s time to just end this relationship? Maybe it’s me and I need to be more compassionate? I’ve been wronged! I’ve wronged them! How about I jump in my car and just keep driving?!?!

It gets overwhelming to say the least. Thankfully, (thank you God) I have other big thinkers in my life who admit the same challenges – sometimes laughing, sometimes crying – but all the while saying, “Is this learning/growing/changing process ever going to be done!?!?

And I think sometimes how can I continue on this path when I’m so tired, disappointed and sometimes just plain angry?

 Then today a useful thought washes over my weary, caring and overwhelmed mind.

One day at a time. That’s how.

If need be, one hour at a time and when necessary, one minute at a time.

Feeling renewed and refreshed by this concept which I KNOW to be true as well as effective, I will go about my day knowing:

Everything is not as difficult as I think it is –I don’t have to worry about what the future holds – I don’t have to know how I will ever get along with so and so for the rest of my life – I don’t have to have all the answers right here and now.

I can breathe, relax, sit back, watch the show and eat the popcorn. I can live my life in increments and handle all of life’s situations trusting I am doing the best I can and God will do the “real” work.

 These are my thoughts for today.

Look in the mirror

As I was sitting at the stop light in the busy section of town, I couldn’t help but watch the woman in the black stretchy jumpsuit and 4 inch black heals, awkwardly crossing the street. Clearly she was uncomfortable in those shoes with the way she was clumping around like sasquatch.

“Oh. My. God,” I thought. “What was she thinking when she left the house? Doesn’t she own a mirror? And those shoes…..she’s going to take a header……uh….whatever.”

By the time she ungracefully rounded to cross the second street, my heart started to soften, “Where is she going by herself? She’s obviously heading toward the parking lot…alone…hmmm…wonder what happened?”

“Probably went to meet some guy and he ended up being a jerk. She probably just wanted to look nice for him, I mean after all, everyone is wearing those goofy heals; she just hasn’t mastered walking in them. So she gets dressed up, and I’m sure she’s nervous about the date, worried if she’s enough…..”

More compassion kicks in and I now become her cheerleader, “That’s right girl, you go home. His lose anyway and now hopefully you’ve learn something. Just be yourself! Go home, kick off those heels (but don’t get rid of them just yet, there’s still something about them you like) and move on with a good movie or book. Tomorrow’s a new day!”

You would think this was a real long light I was waiting at, but not really. This is just how fast thoughts and miracles can work in my life.

But the light does change, and I move forward and see something disturbing. There’s a couple walking a half block behind her and the woman of this couple is exaggerating her own walking, making fun of my new friend, BEHIND HER BACK.  I had to look twice to confirm this is what she was doing.

Becoming way too engaged with all of this, I pulled my car over because at this point I realized I didn’t know which way to get home.  I took out my phone for directions never to see my friend or that couple again.

The forty minute ride home left me with time to digest the whole night. It seemed I’d been here before and I’m here once again wondering as women, “What are we thinking?”

After all, I’m all three women aren’t I? The one who doesn’t know herself. The one who turns herself into a pretzel for approval. The one who isn’t’ sure what she should wear. The one who walked back to the car alone. The one who knows or doesn’t know other women are judging her.

I’m also the one holding the guys hand, not a care in the world at that moment in time. I think things are going real good in my life. I’m wearing the perfect outfit (including the shoes that are both cute and easy to walk in). I’m so caught up in my “perceived” perfection my humility is nil. I think I’m better than. I also think it’s a good idea to have some laughs at another’s expense.

And I’m the one in the car being the judge as well as the cheerleader. The one who just spent the evening laughing, hugging and dancing with the most wonderful women in the world. MY GIRLFRIENDS!! We regressed, let it all hang out and had a BLAST. The friends I love and trust so much they even know my deepest, darkest secrets and fears. The women I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d do without.

Leads me to believe, if strangers are friends I haven’t met yet, and these women friends of mine are as fantastic as I say (and yes they are) and……If  I am striving for inner love, acceptance and forgiveness,  when I’m judging any woman….

Who am I hurting?