Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Home Making, Travel Mentalities, and the Beauty of Hearth and Home

"Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, ect. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? ...The homemaker's job is one of which all other's exist."- C.S. Lewis.

If you are new to my blog, please know I am a feminist. The definition of 'feminist' means many things to many people. My definition is that men and women deserve equal chances at life, love and respect. Women get to contribute and write the history books now too. Little boys are just as important as little girls and both should be regarded with dignity. With that in mind, I don't believe home making is just for women. My husband gets a lot of satisfaction from making our home. He is a master carpenter whom has carved out a library out of two previously small rooms. He has renovated and designed. I am the master designer of our home because that is where my gifts lie but if I didn't have Dyspraxia (see side labels) and more strength I am sure our roles could be reversed. 

Our home is a place for us to gather in dark times, to find ourselves, and to BE. A house with love in it IS rich indeed. Anam Cara is a magical safe haven of hope. Mostly because of the creative souls that live inside. Our house used to be a standard box inside with taupe walls. Because of our infusion of creativity and handwork it has morphed into a colourful indoor garden and outside is shaping up to be full of life and plants too. It has taken time and stress but time and stress I would gladly sacrifice again because most of the process was a family event of time spent together. (See Anam Cara side label for more.)  I have lived in a house full of toxic mould and I do know that stepping into healthier places DOES matter, yet, even in that home we found ways to make it as beautiful as it could be. We are healthier now but it had moments and beauty that we still carry forth. A house, at it's core with love needs to reflect the personalities of the people involved. I know the ugliest house could eventually be made beautiful by us. It's about love. It's about perspective and the little souls inside. I love the life we have built. I don't need much and yet it is everything.

I know that many children do not get to experience safe, nurturing homes. First parents need to find home within themselves before they can provide a haven for children. There are many factors involved that sociologists have studied and personality and psych also come into play (see some book titles are in my library or discover some of these themes on your own:)  I am not going to cover that home can be a terrifying place. Instead, how we have made our home making part of our healing.

When I was a little girl I dreamed of having my own epic love story. I can honestly say that dream came true. Our love has been full of battles and gruelling journeys but it also had the elements of true love, falling back into the love, beautiful moments of celebration and adventurous excitement. It hasn't been easy but I think most epic love stories aren't too easy. There are delicious moments of ease mixed into the tiring steps of life. LIFE...What a word packed with paradox!

I have three children who spend almost all their time at home around me. A healthy way (I believe) to be. Of course they go out into the world at times but they flourish at home. Right now are the years I cherish. "So darling, though the years with all my love I'll pray, a house with love in it is where we'll stay."- Nat King Cole -A House With Love In It.

I have never been a personality that needs to find myself only through physical exploration or experience the world to be respectful of differences. Every place/country I had travelled, I felt like I had already "been there." I think I have in my imagination or through knowing other people and their stories. In the "Secret life of Walter Mitty" the cinematography was beautiful, the Himalayan line was well done and the ending (although expected) was beautiful but there was this underlying assumption that one has to travel to find meaning. Or that daydreaming needs to stop for one to "live their life." My guess is that the critics who enjoyed it immensely are the ones who have 9-5 jobs that do not suit their personalities, Type A's or Sensors. None of these are horrid things to be, but they do influence the story. To see the difference between a sensor and intuitive see the graph below:
See why most sensors need to travel more? There are certain types of Intuitives that need adventure too and those are the ones with adventure in one of their main driving seats (like an INFP or ENFP) but most of them COULD have the adventure of the mind and still feel satisfied. I have two friends who loved 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.' Both are more imaginative and interesting people. They were so touched with the ending that they really enjoyed the film. I can understand that.

Our culture has a bit of an obsession with travel. An element of education can happen through travel but I know many people who have travelled who have dis -ease with their lives, unfulfilled love,  and lack of rooted being. There is beauty in travel. There is beauty in rootedness. There are benefits and downsides to everything. To celebrate one over another or to think one is more educated is simple snobbery.

I am an Intuitive. I also have sensory overload and other limitations. Thus my travelling days are probably small in number. I don't believe rootedness is the only way to BE but rootedness has given me my best shot at life. Just like, I am sure, travel would for others. Even though I have been to many places  that DID shape me, I find I am most educated through my rich imagination, my books and the people I choose to love...along with loving myself. I am educated by being in nature and that does not mean having to travel to find certain nature scenes. The world is full of wondrous beauty but I don't need to own all of it or be in all of it- to feel it. All it takes for me is to sit outside on my deck and smell the wild roses, see the grasses sway, hear the bees buzz and the frogs in the marsh croak...and I KNOW I am connected to each creature in a beautiful way. The earth is often an equal partner in community as people are.
For my persona, I am the most delighted by the home fires. I used to feel so guilty for this. I am in the minority. But as we severed roots of conformity and began new roots of being and putting our blood into our very surroundings, I began to understand that it is just who I am (and we are right now.) As I have said before in other posts, your story SHOULD and WILL be different in many aspects. Find what works for you. Part of my story is influenced by a different brain wiring perspective, part of it is due to native and gypsy roots. (Ironic? Travelling in mind is similar to travelling in body. The spirit IS.) Many places have different energies/ sensory perceptions...and it is ok if I protect what is my space with energies I can handle.
In his early twenties my husband craved travel but then he discovered books, philosophy, gardening, carpentry, film and connecting with a variety of other people and beliefs through the Internet. Now he is similar to me regarding travel. He prefers day trips and coming back to our beautiful home and yard.
In "Eat Pray Love" the author went travelling to find herself. I understand that some people need a different place to displace them out of their self made boxes. Travelling pushes us out of our bodies and out of our time which triggers our brain waves into different thinking patterns. This is important but it's folly to have the expectation that only travel can achieve the same result. My brain does a similar process with one sensory trigger.
Like certain gifts, some people have the gift of being culturally transient. They need to use that. However, travel has been idealized in our movies as the only well informed education - probably a good tactic to boost economies and world trade. It's a myth that a well travelled person is a well balanced and sophisticated person. It solely depends on the person. Travel can be a tonic but at the end of the day each person is still the sum of their choices and their's like a car getting a new coat of paint. It's still the same car. It still has the same engine but it is just shinier for a few years longer. Perhaps people may be more drawn to the car for awhile because people are awed by shiny things but in the end it's still the same vessel. All vessels crave or benefit from a needed rest or change. That is beauty. It is to be respected. Paint is pretty. If travel is your beauty or your need to propel you to greater possibilities of self- go for it. Beauty is integral to BEING. There are many ways to incorporate beauty and meaning into life. Travel can bring beauty but so can staying rooted.
I am basking in the comforts of my home and our own little slice of heaven. It's good to be home. Home is like the Anne of Green Gables theme song. I have been healed by many people, circumstances and environments in life. Our home has been the largest part of our healing. My husband and I pour ourselves and the very fabric of ourselves into the spaces we live in. By breathing our life out we bring life back into our soul.
Upon walking into our home for the first time the most common phrase I get is, "I have never seen anything like's like comfort and magic." I had one lady tell me, "I have been to sophisticated homes and places enriched with wealth and I did not feel a sense of home or welcome. I walk into your house and I feel safe. Like I can say anything vulnerable and still be ok." Strangers have opened up. Friends feel welcome. People sense our persona that we otherwise keep closely guarded out in the world. A Lord of the Rings fan told me my favourite compliment once, "Your home is Rivendell or Lothlorien. You are lady Galadriel - terrifying and mysterious to most but to those whom are welcomed in- a healing presence. A magical stop in a crazy, busy world. It's almost otherwordly- your views and the way you take a normal home and change it.” My hope is that everything slows down once inside and the beauty around is infused with grace. (And yea, I got choked up with that compliment.) To be seen so clearly is one of the most beautiful human interactions. Even for a moment.
Our soul friend - Anam Cara- is our home. By home making we find our meaning, our main job, and the beauty in our existence. When one is lost- the heart leads one home. Home can be a person too and a feeling. I take our home with us when I go out. A home's literal, physical importance is underestimated in the busyness of life when people only spend minimal hours of sleep between four white washed walls. That is not home. It is a place to rest between the daily grind, and while that is important, it's no wonder so many feel that something crucial is missing from their lives. We all don't need magical places or amazingly designed homes, but a place that has parts of our personalities and reflections of ourselves, care of the earth, care of what we own, and the cultivation of the living beauty of life- is an important element of life.
Playing pretend when I was little was one of my favourite past times. I would play many scenarios in which I found my man or that I rescued him or he rescued me. I spent hours making up magical places, creating in my playhouse and dressing up. I role played, talked to the stars in the night sky and creatures in the moss. Daydreaming, listening to music or watching my 1940's 'friends' on film were some of my favourite pastimes. I wasn't a typical child. I was basically Sara Crewe. At times my dad was concerned I was living too much in fantasy or through someone like Judy Garland whose voice I could mimic down to perfection. Something my best friend would consistently request me to do and my mom constantly got me in trouble for ("Stop singing through your nose!") I almost thought I was meant to be in that 1940's timeline. Now I see that I was just very intuitive, imaginative and used my mind to escape conformity around me. I didn't fit in even though I could easily pretend to be normal. I also had sensory assaults that felt like trauma. Now I don't pretend anymore but I do still imagine (although yes I do play at being normal in situations where it is a necessary way to cope or be able to come home quicker.) I learned my limits, how to cope with the sensory, and how to sever ties with conformity happily.

I can honestly say I have lived a full life already and all my dreams have come true but I would not have said that ten years ago. I could die tomorrow happy with what I have. Not that I want to  leave yet as I would love to continue to live what I have and be with my husband and children. I DO still imagine, travel in books and film, and soak up the world in daydream like states. I fly to worlds on a whim or become a different character for awhile. I was excited the other day when I came home from one of my favourite stores with some new treasures. My daughter took one look at my pile of stuff and laughed, "You are so cute mom- so influenced by what we watch. All this stuff is Japanese -like design - home decor similar to stuff in the 'Avatar' or 'Legend of Korra'." (We are currently enjoying an anime series that is Asian in theme.) I didn't even see that my choices reflected that influence and I had a theme going but I love that I brought another piece of the world's beauty into our home reflection. My daughter was perceptive and once again the Rory to my Lorelei.

Heaven is waiting for me, my friend. Every moment of my life- it's waiting for me to take notice. Small moments of existence are heaven. Home surrounds with warmth, love, delight, peace, beauty, compassion and allowance of all expressions. I can be messy, crazy or any sort of negatively sanctioned action in our culture with acceptance in my home. I can weep, sing, dance and laugh. I can chant, pray or do whatever. I can lose myself and find myself. I can give the same gift to my children and husband. In small ways we also give that to those that are allowed to enter our haven. That freedom is a gift. It feels like home.

"Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble—it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo [2x]
Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home" Lyrics by Phillip Phillips Home. This song has a particularly special place in our family's hearts... a few stories for the future but for now- enjoy the listen! Louis Armstrong 's Home Fire is one of my favourites from childhood and it paints a beautiful picture. Dream describes my life in many ways:) 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Healthy Relationship Indicators, Walking Away as Bravery, Mental Abuse Markers and Respect as Love.

Respect is more crucial to a relationship than love. Respect shown regularly eventually leads to love. Love is a loaded word and many disagree on the actual definition of what love is. Respect is an easier foundation to start building 'love' upon.  In the graph above respect is circled by the traits of honesty, support, consideration, trust, accountability and safety. If 70 percent of these criteria are not met in a relationship, not only is it unhealthy, but it's not a respecting, equality minded relationship. If less than 50 percent is being met there are clear boundaries that need to be implemented. There is a chance the relationship can be grown into something healthier and beautiful over time but boundaries to garner respect are crucial. If the relationship consistently falls short of 40 percent of the traits and lower- it may be time to walk away. Those are serious indicators that there is some level of abuse or bullying.

If there is no trust, there is no ability to build a relationship. Even if both people LIKE the other. Without trust there is no capability to foster communication, vulnerability, understanding and respect. Trust involves accepting another's words and giving the benefit of the doubt. If words are consistently undermined, labelled dramatic or any other descriptor, or consistently criticized - the relationship isn't a relationship. There is no room for growth. This is where understanding personality types come in. Based upon valid research, the 16 varied cognitive personality responses to situations can show that expression is varied and so are values (see INFJ side label.) None of them are wrong. Just different. The sooner we realize our personalities and get ourselves to a healthy state, the sooner we can respect other's within their persona. To call someone a sensationalist or over dramatic is not a trustworthy or respectful action. That person's way of being is THEIRS. Even if they are dramatic- that is whom they are- their life is their drama and it's not up for judgement. Some personalities are cool and collected and some are energetic and loud. Both have issues and benefits.

If the approach to cooperation means "do it my way or come around to my way of thinking" respect is being missed. Cooperation actually involves the lack of expectation on another. Treating a human being as equal to one's own BEING. Asking for help or respect but not expecting a certain behaviour within the many ways these traits can be actioned upon. Accepting change in another because we all change, we all grow and we all become. To expect more or less is to leave out respect.

Often in family situations, actually, especially in these situations, support is a quality sorely lacking. It is assumed that because the family is "present" that there is support. Support is an active choice to be understanding of differences. Which means a non judgement even if there is a disagreement of those choices. It means encouragement and valuing opinions. Even if those opinions are vastly different from one's own. Too often, in the name of the cohesive family unit, individuality is trampled. Or in the name of religion. Children are disowned because of choices that "go against" the values of "God." (Ask any person of faith who has chosen a different gender type, sexual relationship stance, or walked away from the doctrine governing their lives.) The family is divided based on idealism in a belief that may or may not be. It's a sad way to live. Mistakes are normal in life and no one should be begrudged making them. In fact, some of our biggest beauty moments, change and good comes out of our mistakes. Mistakes are for us to OWN. What we do AFTER we make the mistakes are what matter. Each person, in a loving and respectful relationship, deserve to have this right supported. If you don't have to be perfect, you can finally make your own choices to be good and thus do not expect perfection in others.

Honesty really is such a lonely word. Honesty of expression, vulnerability, words, and the human experience. This is the one trait I get the most flack for and judgement. There are some people, due to wiring, that are inherently honest, and the world would rather deal with people who 'people please', are political in response, and hide behind what is perceived as 'gentleness' or 'kindness.' In the relationships closest to us, honesty should be one of the key components of respect. Communication should be open, frank and truthful. A lot of bull crap gets out of the way by doing this. It takes bravery to be honest but that bravery is paid back in full with the people that will hold you as their own. My husband and I owe our relationship success to humour, communication and honesty. We have withheld none of our feelings, discussions or expressions with each other. Sometimes it still takes bravery to show our vulnerability to one another but it is always worth it. So many spend their lives in hiding. Hiding anger. Hiding fear. Hiding NORMAL human expression and emotion. And for what? We are not little gods. Nor are we supposed to be political examples unless we are trying to get somewhere. The interesting thing is that people who do this are trying to garner more support and followers. The ironic fact is that they DO get more followers and seem to gather support. But that support is fickle and comes with expectations. It's not true respect. Nor is it true support that has an element of depth. I guess if one wants to swim in the shallow ends of life- then that choice is one to make.

Accountability is admitting mistakes when wrong. It also accepts responsibility for attitudes, values and behaviours. If you are a person who has the value of patience and you place that value on another person and they fall short of it- you have a choice. You can judge them for not meeting your value or you can take responsibility that your value may not work exactly for each person. You can take responsibility that your behaviours are not going to be reflected in everyone else. You can still value patience in your life but don't expect each person you love to mirror that level of patience back to you. Accept that you are only responsible for your behaviours, ideals and attitudes. Placing your inner process on someone else is unfair to both parties.

Finally, safety is a component of respect ( and thus love) that is often undervalued. In our extraverted culture we like to believe that the needs of the group outweigh the individual. It is often a large travesty for someone to walk away from a relationship. We judge those that seem to cut themselves out from family or friends. Yet, we value love don't we? Safety involves refusing to intimidate or manipulate others. It involves respecting another's space. That means if someone is not a fan of hugs, and you know this fact, stop pressing your body upon theirs. It means if someone values a lot of down time - allow them their process. Safety of space involves allowing another to believe the way they believe in their own homes and their own body. It means refraining from threats of hell or eternal damnation in the name of any god or religion. If one puts their god before safety, love and respect it means they are putting themselves up AS god or worshipping a god that obviously does not stem from love, safety and respect.

Safety involves expressing oneself non violently. Now, this does not mean that one can not be what they are naturally...loud, quiet, dramatic, dull...expression of self is allowed. What this does mean lack of violence in any form. Hitting or physical abuse is obviously out. But so are behaviours that could be confused as 'kindness.' Behaviours like gas lighting. Gas lighting is a from of abuse which falls under violence. It involves dismantling a person's expression, values and eroding the victim's  self esteem slowly. Most people will just laugh this behaviour off if they hear the stories but this minimizing of your own expression and story is serious. Because I have been a victim of gas lighting I can tell you how it feels. There is the sense of extreme alienation and of self doubt. You are made to look like the neurotic one in a group setting- you feel smothered. This causes a constant second guessing of everything you are (memories, behaviours, personality) and a feeling that one is never good enough. Yet, when away from the people who are manipulating the situation, everything returns to normal and you know your value. I don't suffer from low self esteem normally- I have had my moments but it's not a chronic condition for me. While I DO challenge myself - I am not prone to a victim stance in life...but in those situations suddenly I am there. It's not a normal behavioural circumstance. Out of those places... I am who I am and I am not a bad person. You are NOT crazy and you are a worthy human being. Most of the tactics involved are countering, blocking, diverting and trivializing your experience. (CLICK HERE)
There is a lot of stigma around abuse. In Fostership training I realized that even obvious physical abuse when a child is being used as a punching bag, is hard to put a stop to. Also many adults still turn the other way or doubt the child's obvious story. Abuse stories have a long way to go in our culture for legitimacy and safety. Even in solid evidence cases. For someone to speak out about Gaslighting abuse is almost a no no. Already the person has been through painful moments of doubt and indignity and now the people who they run to for support are doubting their stories. It's tricky.

Luckily, in my experience I had two professionals recognize the behaviour, teach me what it was, and give me strategies to protect myself. Distance is the best boundary in these cases. As much distance as possible. Staying quiet and not giving much information away is also crucial because abusers LIVE on information. They feed upon small sentences and twist them to use as daggers. It's why I moved my blog so many times. While these people probably conduct perfectly healthy relationships with other people- in my case, there were distinct discriminations and judgements that perhaps they were unaware of themselves, even when challenged upon it. Being unaware, however,  is not an excuse to treat someone less than human. Each of us, even abusers themselves, deserve humane treatment...respect of the essence of the human soul, boundaries and love. However, the job to love an abuser is NOT for the abusee. It is instead for those who have stronger boundaries or have experience with these situations or who get to see the other side of these people. 

People seem to only understand from their own levels of perception. If perception is underdeveloped so is understanding. Even if a person consistently cried wolf and WAS lying about being abused- why would people silently or vocally judge them? Obviously, that is also a call for clear help. I had one such person in my life and I directed that person to the proper professional care. Unfortunately, sometimes "professional" care is not good or even helpful but in this person's case it was. This person deserved help and there were reasons why they were crying wolf. In my counselling experience, I have found that it is important to always believe the best in people, to give health and healing, and if one can not be helped, send them to someone who CAN help them. Doubting another's experience, however twisted, help's no one and only perpetuates judgement, cruelty, and an erosion of BEING.  Every person deserves a chance at redemption, healing and love. Of course boundaries are a part of this. The person who cried wolf all the time is not in my life now, but I did set them up with the best chance I could give them while still respecting myself.  In most cases however, there is truth to someone whom has come out to speak of abuse and bullying. It takes great bravery to do this, because as much as our culture says we support the wounded, people prefer the dirty laundry of others to remain unseen. 

Our culture also puts so much value on family of blood. Religion does this especially. Just because someone is family blood does not mean they are family of the heart. Sometimes the deepest heartaches are found inside a family. This hurts more because of the illusion that it is supposed to be a safe haven. Don't compromise your soul and allow loyalty to become slavery. That is not family. That is not love."Nothing hurts a good soul and a kind heart more than living amongst those who do not understand it."- Ali Ibn Abi Talib.  Cutting people out doesn't mean there is hate, it only means there is respect and love for the essence of a person. It means the one who is implementing boundaries is giving themselves respect to give respect later. We can not give what is not in us first.

There is also a lot of stigma in our culture, especially the christian culture, about leaving a relationship. For some reason there is this mistaken belief that one is only loving if one stays put in obviously unhealthy relationships. Whether it's a marriage, friendship or family relationship- the person who is judged the most is the person who chooses to walk away. Interesting. The beauty of it is, if you allow people to walk out of your life if you are not loving them the way they need to be, there is also respect and freedom in that action. It goes both ways. The other judgement is that "this person wasn't following God" or the true ways of god by showing the outward "fruits of the spirit." You know- kindness, gentleness, love, joy, peace, forbearance, faithfulness and self control. I have witnessed unhealthy people whom for self control equals a political face. Kindness equals a placid smile which covers up seething inside. Gossip is often guised as 'prayer requests.' Gentleness becomes a soft voice and those that have naturally loud voices are judged. When in fact gentleness is simply a caring approach. Love is given with strings attached- strings of expectations and conformity of behaviour. Is that really love in all of it's nitty gritty? If Jesus is held up as the example of love in this culture- hypocritical behaviour in this regard should have the tables turned more often, shouldn't it? Peace is often an excuse for oppression of expression instead of freedom from war and violence. Forbearance and self control are often mistakenly used in a hierarchal, patriarchal circumstance to harness in those that may be wayward.  Most of all though, these 'markers' are used to compare, to judge, to 'hold into accountability'  or to take away freedoms. Abuse and bullying are strong words, which should be weighted seriously, but the last thing a victim needs is more criticism and doubt.
I want to beg those who are followers of the 'fruits of the spirit' to go easy on yourselves. It is fantastic that you want to be a better human being for yourself and others, but please do not strive for perfection. Nor exude a fake exterior to meet a biblical standard. Be real. Love yourself as you are- as a loving God would love you if that is what you believe in. In that, you will be able to love your neighbour as yourself because you will already have accepted the messy mistakes in yourself, thus you are more able to forgive them in others.

Giving up on certain activities or unhealthy relationships is sometimes the bravest thing to do. Walking away from circumstances that involve an erosion of self esteem is when one has learned their worth. "When you learn how much you are worth, you'll stop giving people discounts."- Unknown.

 Own your experiences. Life is both short and long. Everyone deserves healthy relationships, a healthy self, and respect. It's ok to ask for respect in all of it's traits and to walk away after a fair chance when it is not given. Live your own life and stop judging others. Within that though, you are allowed to judge what is damaging or doesn't work for you. Allow your own process.

A post about INFJ Boundaries:

"I know there is a lot of shame tied up in ending a relationship, and no one wants to be the bad guy. But we all owe it to each other to not participate in relationships where anyone’s self esteem is being degraded. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, and it doesn’t matter whether or not it is fair. There are bigger things at stake here. Let’s not punish each other for doing the things we need to do to be healthy. "- Shea Emma Fett

Post Edit: I was asked if I take issue with Christianity due to the few that have given it a bad name in our lives...The short answer- no. I take issue with many aspects of the doctrines of christianity- which would take A LOT of time and dialogue to get into and frankly should only be dialogued within safe places and relationships that have respect as understanding...because individually I LOVE some Christians in my life and I realize that their beliefs are a part of them. I don't begrudge that. But I DO challenge some hypocrisy of doctrine at times because it is rarely talked about...because I was once part of the whole culture and I know that there is not really much of a challenge as the preaching is often to one's own crowd within one's own doctrine. I feel in instances where it is applicable- like in abuse or in the very public fruits of the spirit mantras- it is important to bring it up. It was applicable in this post and part of my story thus why it appears here.
Song Choices: Greatest love of all- Whitney Housten, Hold On- Wilson Phillips, My Life - Billy joel

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Reflections, Image, Lyrics and Beauty Moments

Reflections. So often I tell my readers they are worthy because they exist. I believe that. Even of those who dislike me. But I am also worthy because I exist. I also deserve to love whom I am. I feel that in order to love others one must love themselves. I have decided I am not hiding. I may take my blog private at some point but I refuse to do it solely because some may be reading out of ill intent. I will have to think upon it some more when I find myself in a more stable place. (See  HERE for more.)

 I need to BE and feed beauty into my life. This is my home. Home should be a fairly safe place and one worth defending. I can celebrate myself home and celebrate the homes of those whom love. Each time I find myself surrounded by friends and loved ones I realize the importance of protecting the places that are true. I hope you do too. I hope you celebrate your home - which is yourself first, and then the places that keep you safe in love.

If someone was going through what I am going through this is the song I would send them; 
"... you are not alone
I'm always there with you
And we'll get lost together
'Til the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
When your world's crashing down
And you can't bear the thought
I said, babe, you're not lost

Life can show no mercy
It can tear your soul apart
It can make you feel like you've gone crazy
But you're not
Things have seemed to change
There's one thing that's still the same
In my heart you have remained
And we can fly fly fly away." (Lost lyrics by Michael Buble)

To anyone going through tough times, remember that all of humanity walks through these moments, and in that you are not alone. You may be lost looking for answers you don't know. I hope you are shown mercy. To be inspired by the beauty in life. I believe in that for you, for myself, for those I love and even for my enemies...though I do not believe I am the one who needs to be the one to show them that. Others can be up for that challenge. There are still moments to be made that are yours.

Don't ever be afraid of whom you are. Become and grow. Sorrow is a part of your story but so is healing. Until then be your own hero in your story. Rise again and again like a Phoenix from the ashes. We picked out, with our eldest son, a set of new middle names when we changed our last name. One of his middle names is Phoenix. All of us spent months researching meanings and finding what was true to us. We picked that name out for him because he finds himself often alone, like I do, in his different brain wiring. He will be a target at certain times in his life. But we want him to hold on to life, to loving himself, to honouring his differences. We want him to remember to rise from his ashes. To take the dust of other's perceptions and make them into a beautiful creature that soars.

Recently in a conversation, someone my age mentioned that shorts are not an option due to cellulite. I thought about that for awhile. Where am I constricting myself due to  perceptions? Do I struggle to live life based on an image? I realized quickly that while I have other flaws, I actually like to be an individual, unique and different. It's a hard life to live sometimes but one I wouldn't trade. I have cellulite and virtually no muscle tone due to health issues, but I don't want that to stop me from wearing shorts and dresses and baring legs. It's ok if one is not comfortable with aspects of self, age or image because we all have our issues. I needed to reflect on myself. I don't think anyone on their death bed wishes for more moments of covering up. I am alive and It's my turn to BE. Reflections are truth yet also subjective to lighting and perspective. Why don't I let the mirrors worry about what I look like and I just go for what feels good?

If you're lost or alone, Or you're sinking like a stone. Carry on. May your past be the sound Of your feet upon the ground. Carry on." - (Carry On- Fun Lyrics)

 I knew I needed time on my own to digest, process and become so yesterday we went on a drive. The kids went to grandmas and my husband and I drove down country roads. The home of my heart. Where I belong. I love our back road secrets and little havens. My soul finds peace. We listened to some country music because I have a bit of that in my roots even though Rock and roll is my soul💕I love all music. Music is my expression and has the power to change my feelings.

We went to a tree farm and picked out four trees to bloom. The day was bright and sunny. We laughed and loved. He planted while I watched his muscles work (yum!) and then I decided to shower and slip into a summer dress because I thought about the leg cellulite conundrum and decided I needed to be free. Our day was full of summer breezes and deep love. Soft light in dark hours.

"I know your eyes in the morning sun and I feel you touch me in the pouring rain. And the moment that you wander far from me  I want to feel you in my arms again. And you come to me on a summer breeze, keep me warm in your love and you softly leave and its me you need to show- How Deep Is Your Love. How deep is your love, How deep is your love? I really need to learn.
Cause we're living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to you and me
I believe in you. You know the door to my very soul.You're the light in my deepest darkest hour. You're my saviour when I fall. And you may not think that I care for you. When you know down inside. That I really do And it's me you need to show
How Deep Is Your Love How deep is your love, How deep is your love -I really need to learn
 'Cause we're living in a world of fools Breaking us down -When they all should let us be We belong to you and me"- (How deep is your love lyrics BeeJees)

I'm the night hawk thus I get to notice moments like the picture above- sometimes while he snores, if my hand is near his - my husband will grab my hand in his sleep and my heart melts. He will still sleep and snore but each time I slightly move his fingers tighten their hold. If I move closer to him in the night those arms wrap around me always- even in sleep. Each time it's a moment wished forever. I realized I could actually snap a picture to capture and luckily the flash didn't wake him. My man sleeps and snores like thunder. We have had our rocky moments but fifteen years later he still melts my heart to mush. Even in his sleep he manages to snag another part of my soul.

"Looking in your eyes I see a paradise, This world that I've found , Is too good to be true. Standing here beside you... Want so much to give you , This love in my heart that I'm feeling for you.  Let 'em say we're crazy, I don't care about that . Put your hand in my hand baby, Don't ever look back . Let the world around us just fall apart, Baby we can make it if we're heart to heart. And we can build this dream together . Standing strong forever . Nothing's gonna stop us now. And if this world runs out of lovers. We'll still have each other. Nothing's gonna stop us, nothing's gonna stop us now. I'm so glad I found you . I'm not gonna lose you, Whatever it takes I will stay here with you. Take it to the good times - See it through the bad times - Whatever it takes is what I'm gonna do . Let 'em say we're crazy, what do they know? Put your arms around me baby, Don't ever let go. Let the world around us just fall apart . Baby we can make it if we're heart to heart .... And we can build this dream together 

Standing strong forever 

Nothing's gonna stop us now 

And if this world runs out of lovers 

We'll still have each other 

Nothing's gonna stop us, nothing's gonna stop us ... Ooh, all that I need is you. All that I ever need. And all that I want to do is hold you forever, ever and ever, hey"  (Lyrics Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now- Starship)

In the picture above my family was walking past a mirror and my husband said to the kids, "Let's do the mommy kissy face." I laughed and made them do it again so I could snap a picture. Whatever it takes to live this life for my husband and children and our family of the soul, I will do. Standing strong forever. We still have each other. It's hard but it's also good to be alive. I don't want to only think about the struggles. I want to have a balance of facing them but also living now. 

I believe we are all worthy of love...even those who hurt me deeply are worthy of love. They may get boundaries from me but I hope someone else gives them access to safe places too. I wish that each person could celebrate the life they live in, by celebrating how they are, how they are created, discovering aspects of themselves, personality and learning loving boundaries.

I'm going to live my life in this quick moment. In my crazy, chaotic way I AM and that is worth whom I am. May you, the reader, also be inspired to stay strong in your self love and give compassion where you can, but honour your journey. If you are weak allow that  honesty. If you are angry allow your emotion and expression. If you are alone, find the beauty in yourself to keep you company until you have strength to reach our or someone has bravery to come to you.

I adore my husband and he is worth everything. "All I want is freedom. A world with no more night. And you always beside comfort and to hide me, that's all I ask of you."- (All I ask of You Lyrics from Phantom of the Opera.)

May freedom find the light eventually.

My friends have changed me for the good. Thank you - let me say: