Rambling With a Bad Attitude & Smothering it With Gratitude

     A lot of the time I spend writing is for the sole purpose of sorting out my own thoughts.  Sorry, but this is my priority.  I’m rather selfish that way, though I’m always grateful when someone else reads what I put in print and finds something beneficial for their own use.  I hope this holds true for my blog today.

     I’ve a lot on my mind, par usual.  Been thinking about the old saying:  “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  Personally, I’d rather get nailed with a large rock upside my head than deal with some of the harsh words I’ve experienced.  Every physical wound I’ve had has healed, occasionally leaving a tough, knotty scar, but that’s not a big deal. Emotional injuries are different.  Those tend to twirl around in my head, starting out on the surface, and then gradually sinking to some place where they are barely visible to my mind’s eye.  That is, unless something stirs it back to the top again.

     Lately, my family dynamic has been bugging me—not the one between my children and I, but the family I was born into.  So much ugliness.  So much divisiveness.  So many harsh words.  I could say this is “par usual,” as well, and it would be a true statement, but I’ve been meditating a great deal on the matter which seems to have caused a shift of sorts in how I’ve been translating this part of my life.  It’s like I’ve been given a new pair of glasses with a stronger prescription.

     My mother has been physically quite ill for some time now, though her mind is as clear as ever. That’s a hard one for me to cope with.  Moving mom out of her home a few months back was hard, too.  It doesn’t seem quite real that the house I’ve known as hers for the past 35+ years isn’t hers anymore; that the pictures I have in my head of her home’s interior are just that.  Pictures.

     My relationship with my mother was once on the partly cloudy to stormy side.  Some of the climate being caused by me, some by her.  This much is a given.  I’ve worked diligently on the many flawed aspects of my personality related to our discourse, discovered a few other glitches in myself, and truly believe I’ve made it to a better place.  Mom used to preach to me:  “The truth may hurt, but it will set you free.”  I used to think she was talking about lying, which I did plenty of in my earlier years.  Since then I’ve realized that “truth” has a broader definition, and I work daily on embracing all of its aspects.

mamabon                                                                                                                                                                (out back by the fire pit is one of my favorite places to meditate & contemplate in the evenings)

     One thing my mother didn’t tell me is how I would feel on the other side of facing up to the many truths I confront.  Maybe it had something to do with her own personal journey on this issue.  Whatever the case, I’ve discovered that confronting truth and owning it equates to the best kind of freedom a person can ever know.

     The divisiveness between my two sisters and I has proven to be much more of a struggle to cope with.  Again, some of the climate with them has been caused by me, and some by them.  I get it that all families and individuals have problems.  I don’t get why people choose to live in misery, though, when there are options like “happiness,” “love,” and “genuine human connection” as alternatives.

      I don’t get why anyone would want to degrade another when building another human up is so much more rewarding.  Maybe that’s my problem with them, or maybe it’s theirs.

     I want to say things like:  “We are all flawed human beings.  Get over it.  Suck it up.  Move on.”

     I get it that I can’t change the hearts of others, or make them happy if they don’t want to be.  It’s a bitter pill to swallow when all I want is love, individual acceptance, compassion—and most importantly—healing, across the board for everyone.

                         Still, I don’t understand a lot, and likely never will.

     I push these dark, swirling, unanswerable thoughts back down beneath the surface in the only way I know how; I make a gratitude list to weigh them down.

     Once, I spent a whole year filling up a notebook with 5 things I was grateful for each day. I didn’t realize at the time that I was brainwashing myself with this practice, but I was.  Prior to this practice, I’d let negativity ruminate way too much.  Now, I can’t go a day without several thankful thoughts.

     And on days where bleakness threatens to overwhelm me, I force myself to keep listing until I am drained from gratitude rather than let depression win out.

winter

                         Thoughts of Gratitude:

Tracy-cat came back after being gone two days.  The garden has been watered well, thanks to the rain (that can stop for awhile now). My cupboards are filled with food.  So is my refrigerator.  I love my kids and they love me.  I believe in good.  I have a soft bed and a favorite blanket.  I ate a half-gallon of caramel/pecan ice cream with no regrets. I have a good mind. I picked, washed and ate my first lettuce out of the garden today.. My faith is unmovable..  I can give and help others..  The kittens at the shelter have all found homes..  The zit on my chin is finally gone..  Gil’s little man heart; he walked a neighbor girl home after playing without my asking.  He didn’t want her to be scared.. Great friends and relationships in the most unexpected places…Big brother’s selfless heart saying he’ll pay me back if I buy Gil a video game to match his…Our treasured trip south as a family to visit my oldest son…Silly Grendel cat….Joe’s wonderful, unconditional friendship….Time to read a novel this past weekend….The dimple when Cory smiles….Spring water from Geyer’s Chapel spring….freckles on little boys and girls…that amazing FIRST oatmeal kiss my baby daughter gave me back when she was a wee one.  She followed it up with a gooey smile that I’ve never forgotten…..Being able to blog to sort out my thoughts…..quiet time at night to write…..an aluminum awning for the rain to pitter-patter off of…..rainbows……..sunshine…..being able to see gifts in just about everything…….

mamatybsalty ocean waves like the ones on Tybee Island…….yesterday……today…..tomorrow….. new beginnings…….hope……happiness…..love…..

..…… sun peeking in the window  and warming my shoulders after a blustery cold spell & feeling at peace because of it………sun!

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