Tag Archives: trash

May I Have Your Attention…

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Get your hands dirty…

*(That is not a sexual innuendo.  Shocker!  )*

I had forgotten how messy chalk pastels could be.  Reminded myself today and had more fun than should be possible doing a line study.  All I was doing was drawing lines of various widths in different colors.  But I was making something, creating something.  And I was getting my hands dirty.

When was the last time you did something not work-related that you enjoyed while making a thorough mess?  I’m talking dirty hands, sweaty, smudges on your face kinda dirty.  Do you remember?  Did you enjoy it?

I’ve been looking at the box of chalks for over a week now.  They got quite loud over the weekend.  “Take us out! Let’s make a picture!”  It’s been a very long time since I got artsy.  Yes, I forgot how much dust you make with chalks, and how the colors smudge on your fingers.

I also forgot the simply joy of putting color on paper in a pattern all my own.  I’ve been rediscovering a lot of things about myself lately.  The one I enjoy the most is how much I love to create things.  Several of my friends found out recently that I sew.  Now there’s talk of making costumes.  And I have my sketch pad and chalks, among other things.

I think the art exhibit I saw during my recent trip to the science center helped relight this spark of creativity.  I found a quote from Joss Whedon yesterday that sums it up nicely:  Write it.  Shoot it.  Publish it.  Crochet it, saute it, whatever.  MAKE.

 
What are you making today?

 

Open palm

I found a sign on Facebook recently that read, “You don’t find yourself.  You create yourself.”  I both agree and disagree with that.

Sometimes we do lose ourselves.  The things that happen to us when we have little control can bury us.  We get used to having those walls around us.  They become the devil we know which  is more comfortable than facing the world around us.

Our battle scars become security blankets that we cling to.  The stuff we have no control over, the stuff other people do to us, things that happen to us as kids… these things Do Not define who we are.

When I was 12 years old I was molested by a stranger in my neighborhood.  It was a one time thing, but once was enough.  That one moment was enough to start building my walls.  One negative brick at a time it grew higher.

Don’t show any cleavage.  Hide the curves.  Don’t dress in a way that will draw attention.  Does it show?  Can anybody else tell it happened?  Why me?  What did I do?  Is this how I’m supposed to be treated?  Is this all I’m worthy of?

When you can’t find the answers you hide behind those walls.  You find a way to distract your mind so you don’t think about it, so you don’t feel that pain, anguish, fear, despair.

If you keep building that wall you lose yourself inside a dusty shell.  It is possible to find you way out, though.  Want some bread crumbs?

Start with your head:

Who else is in there?  Look in the mirror and say out loud the first thing that pops into your head.  Is it negative or positive?  If you’ve survived any type of abuse, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts it’s something negative that someone else has said to you.  Well, ya know what?  THEY LIED!!!

You are a beautiful person on the inside and a beautiful person on the outside.  You are worthy of being loved and cared for.  You deserve joy and happiness and laughter and respect. 

No one can pass you on the street and know that someone hurt you.  It is your choice if you want to share that with someone.  Nobody needs to know it happened.  But you need to know that it was not your fault.  Let me repeat that:  It was not your fault!

Let’s add your heart to the conversation:

You have to forgive yourself.  We can’t always speak up for ourselves.  That does not mean you’re to blame for it.  If you think you should have told someone or you should have fought back or you should have done something to stop it… forgive yourself and let go of any responsibility.

Your choice was taken from you.  You are not responsible for the actions of another person.

Time for some elbow grease:

Every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am a beautiful person.”  Keep doing this until you can look yourself in the eye and not flinch when you say it.

Then add this, “I am worthy of love and happiness.”  Keep saying it until you believe it.  You also have to start packing up all the negative emotion and set it at the curb.

Take one thing or one person, forgive yourself and forgive them for one action.  Imagine it as a ball of negative energy.  Let the air out of it and trash it!  Keep doing this until you can let go of it and not look back at it.

Start with small stuff and work your way up to the big stuff.  It’s work, but once you start doing it you will feel lighter, brighter, freer.  Every time you push that trash to the curb another brick comes off the wall.

Let in the light and the fresh air.  Set aside the baggage and open your hands.  If you hold tight to the negative of your past your hands have no room to take hold of something new and positive.

There are moments I still have to deal with those memories.  I don’t talk to a lot of older men and I don’t linger in places when I’m alone.  But I no longer feel the need to ram my car into any man who looks like the old man who attacked me.

I’m not afraid to be who I am.  I’m still knocking down a few bricks, but the walls are gone.  I know I deserve to live my life without fear and shame.  And I will not give that sick old bastard any more control of my life.  It is my choice to let go of the shame, embarrassment, anger, fear, pain.  I choose to let go of the negative and reach for the positive.

This is my life, and I’ll share it with the people I choose to open up to.  It’s up to me how many people I let in.  And I will not let my past keep me closed off to the possibilities before me.  I have a whole world to explore and people to meet.  I’ve knocked down the walls.  My hands and heart are open.  Take my hand…

Are You Chewy?

What is your consistency?  Dry sense of humor, raw and blunt, crisp like a fresh carrot, or stringy like celery, tough like a leathery piece of steak?  The possibilities with this metaphor are only limited by your vocabulary. 

I like to think of myself as kinda saucy, a little sugar, a little spice, with a consistent flavor that’s all my own.  I’m the same online as I am in person.  Sassy and a flirt, a quick sense of humor that runs to the naughty side.  Honesty adds to my consistency, though it sometimes can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it.

Behaviors can be consistent, even a habit, but not all of them are tasty.  Keeping secrets can be bad for the digestion, causing a reflux of bad karma.  Holding stuff in makes you sick if you don’t deal with it openly and honestly.  You have to remember to take out the trash before it overtakes you.

Lately I’ve been struggling with consistent behaviors of my own.  I’m getting to the gym, just not as often as I’d like.  It takes at least 30 days to build a good habit and sustain it.  That’s not a diet.  That’s a lifestyle change, consistent and long-lasting.  You have to trust yourself, know deep down that you are capable of maintaining that change.

There’s a lot to be said for trying new flavors, expanding your culinary bubble.  And we all have different tastes.  But the underlying tone should remain consistent.  Be true to yourself, love yourself, know when to forgive yourself.  It makes the bitter parts of life easier to swallow.  Then the good stuff, the juicy sweet center, will be easy as pie.

 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I can usually tell when I’ve gone too long without meditating. I get irritable, moody. Little things irritate me more quickly than usual.

For me, meditating helps relieve stress, helps me focus, helps me deal with a lot of issues. It gives me a chance to concentrate on a particular issue, or on nothing at all. Meditating is a lot like praying. You close your eyes, ask for guidance and have a little faith.

I learned to meditate after the loss of my mother and grandmother to a car accident. It was the only thing that kept me sane. It helped me deal with the grief, the anger, and helped me see things I hadn’t seen before. I’ve meditated a good bit since the demise of my marriage. Probably not as much as I should have considering my mood of late. It’s safe to say I’m still grieving for what I thought I had.

I haven’t meditated much lately for several reasons. Even though each one would be valid, they still sound like excuses. I need to meditate so I can deal with the last of the baggage from the Ex. I haven’t let go completely. I’ve not let go because I don’t have the answer to a question. The issues on both sides cancel each other out but they still don’t answer that one question. I will probably never hear an answer to that question. And I have to learn to live with that. It’s just another piece of baggage that needs to be taken to the curb with the trash.

I know I can not take responsibility for the Ex’s actions. I did not make the choices that led me to my aunt’s doorstep a year ago. What I can own up to are the choices I’ve made since then.

I choose to live my life the way I want. I choose to let people get close or not. I choose to let the real me shine through. This is my life. I will have faith in myself to be strong enough to live it.