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Travel and Tell No One…

 

 

Every Tuesday, I go to see Jose my only Spanish client, and fortunately for me, his Spanish-speaking Personal Support Worker (PSW) is also there. Jose has a habit of slipping into Spanish and he expects me to understand him, which I don’t. So while I am there cleaning or/and doing his laundry, Marta his Spanish PSW speaks to me in English.

In June, Marta found out that I was going on holiday because I asked her to translate to our client that I wouldn’t be coming to give him services that particular week. She asked me if I was going anywhere for my week off. I told her no that I wasn’t traveling any [exotic places] where for seven days. This seems to bother her because in her thickly accented English she asked, “Why aren’t you going anywhere?”

Truth be known I didn’t want to go anywhere, I don’t have any worthwhile savings, and I was only taking a week off. I might consider it if I was taking two weeks, but I regress because I don’t have any worthwhile savings. Oh, I also have a loan from school to pay off. Marta shook her head still not seeming to understand why I wasn’t going anywhere.

It was after this that she began to tell me she was going to Spain in January 2018. Marta is from Cuba and has never been to Spain. I realized as she spoke about this trip – and it surprised me – I have no desire to travel on a plane, which is another reason: no desire. I kept this piece of information to myself because I had a hunch she wouldn’t understand that either. Don’t get me wrong Marta is a very nice woman, but it’s one of those situations that I can’t literally run from. I don’t know if there is a typical Spanish woman, but if I were to typecast, I think Marta would fit that mold. I on the other hand not so much, though I have tried.

Not going anywhere for my holidays didn’t bother me as much as it did Marta or some of the other people who equated holidays to physical movement to another place with different weather. In my defence to you the reader, I have done some traveling aboard if you were wondering. I’m not opposed it, but right now God has limited my traveling abilities. My idea of a holiday [as of late] is to not go to work, stay at home, read, write, cook, bake, hang out with a friend, or go check out the  La Machine in front of my city’s City Hall last Friday.

I checked d out what the exact definition of travel was, and while physically traveling came up first there were other possibilities that were available. What I didn’t want to share was it’s nothing for me to travel to faraway lands via my imagination. It’s my belief too sometimes all this it’s all about appearances because my journey so far has enabled me to travel to areas of myself that I believed were impossible to find. For now, the only journey I am concerned with is the one that I am doing on the inside. The person I was yesterday is not the person I am today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love My Dad

Who you were, who you are and who you will be are three different people –  Author Unknown

 

Your identity is the most valuable part of you, but most of us, some of us have no idea what it is. Knowing who you are minus all the titles we play day in and day out can blur out the truth of your identity. Confusion is a big deterrent and a likely suspect in losing ourselves to the constant swirl of life.

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As a little girl, I loved the feel of the cool green grass under my bare feet. I believe at the time that I had the biggest backyard than anyone I knew. I could hide in our tree house that existed out of weirdly shaped trees that bordered our property. In the summer, I would walk over the cracks in the cement in our backyard because I never knew for sure if stepping on them would break my Mothers back. Clothes hung on the clothesline overhead. I could go visit my (Hebrew for grandmother) Bubi anytime I wanted. I remember the sand stuck between my toes and ants crawling over the big peony buds right before they would bloom.

Fear that no one wanted me

Ever since I started this blog, I have used each post as a place for my healing. It has become a place where I have been able to share who I am without fear of rebuff of any kind. Finding my identity and claiming it has been a long process. From an early age, I have been shy, preferring to stay close to my Mom.  When I met Jesus, I became more aware of myself, and at times it was extremely painful. Slowly, I would surprise myself at how well I would speak to others. Over time, the shyness that I assumed was a part of me disappeared, as I would go to reach for it. It was my protection over what I felt I couldn’t control. From the world that I had a hard time processing through.

Shyness is a reaction to feeling rejection. This was at first confusing because as that little girl with the ash blonde hair I thought knew who I was. I believed that the shyness was a part of the package of my personality.

If we lived in a perfect world, I would be living my dream. I wanted to be loved. I didn’t know if I deserved it but it was this silent, persistent need that over time gave my credence of what I didn’t see as acceptance. You see I wanted my Dad to see me as a lovable little girl, but what I didn’t know at the time was he didn’t have the skills on how to fill my emotional needs.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I learned that daughters’ need their fathers love as much as we need oxygen to breathe. The extreme anxiety and depression that I struggled throughout my childhood through to my early 30’s. spoke volumes of how I tried to teach myself on how to handle my emotions.  I can’t breathe unless I know my father loves me unconditionally. It was the root. I really believed I was a terrible person.  Desperate, I was for my Dad to notice me. To take an active interest in who I was.

Before I go on, this is not a post to bash fathers because they are hurting too. Too many men are being pushed down, or believe it’s not good to be masculine and to be as they have been created.

As I have learned about all my parts, or at least the ones He has chosen to show me, I have had many aha moments. He has brought clarity into my being, and a peace that is everlasting. And get this! People really do like me.

Knowing who I am, the peace can flow into every part of my being

As a little girl, I desired for my Dad to notice me, to see me and pursue me. I wanted him to be interested in who I was, but as time went by, he did none of what of what was in my heart. So I did the only thing I knew and I began shutting down emotionally, mentally and physically. Instead, I sought out my Dad, I asked him about the rules of Canadian football, what and why he washed his car. Nothing I did got the attention I was desperate to have from him.

It took me a long time to realize I couldn’t change him, no matter how many times I initiated something with him. I had finally got it, that it had never been my job in first place. It was his job as my father to delight in me – as his daughter. To show me his love, protection, values, and everything that was important to him. I wanted to know who he was and is, but that part of his heart to me has never been opened to me.

My Dad is without the skills I need. I believe his own father didn’t give him what he needed as a boy growing up. His own feelings about his Dad (my grandfather) aren’t the memories that you hold close to your heart. Rather they are the kind that you push away, and you let everyone else teach you how to be a man. Yes, we need our parents, a mother and a father to show us how to be a man or woman –  learned from their parents. A family is about love, trust and passing it down because it is good to know that there is a place where all of us can truly belong and be accepted. There is no cost to join, we simply need to be the product of our parents love that is between them. I believe how we are brought up determines a lot of who we become. It guides our perception of the world, it certainly leads mine.

I speak with my Dad once a month, we chat for about 15 minutes on the usual things. I would love to go to visit him but that just doesn’t seem to be his thing.  Does my Dad love me? Yes. I have no doubt that he does, he kind of gives it away in the way his eyes shine and sparkle when he first sees me. This could be a whole other post because I know my heavenly father has and is filling me with what I lack.

I’m not the shy, scared, self-hating little girl with ash blond hair anymore. Nor am I am the girl who hid from her peers. I am not the awkward adult who didn’t feel that she was a full-grown adult and just a child in disguise. Don’t get me wrong there are still times, the child in me comes out and gives a sly smile at those around her, and allows some of them into her heart so that they can see for themselves that God still saves.

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Listen to What People Don’t Say

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That can be a hard one, to listen in the spaces that exist and to catch the words that aren’t spoken. Emotions that roll through the unsaid words and still do damage to all the persons involved.

       We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in. Ernest Hemingway

Water leaks out of the pipes and no one sees. The hard edges of rust sit until they are discovered, and with silent gasps of horror and disgust, fear spiraling out of your eyes. The smell of a campfire surrounds the air, burning wood sends out smoke signals. The heat of the fire can’t hide the dampness and the cold wind that dips down onto the ground.

Listen to what they don’t speak, or when their heart breaks

Walking through a shopping mall amidst the older people who sit on the cushions with long faces. They come here every day hoping to fill a hole in their heart. Others are just passing by on their lunch break too busy to look up as they speak with a colleague.

                                                                       Courage, dear heart. C. S. Lewis

What if I failed like I did last time? Already I can hear his voice, saying, “I told you this isn’t your thing.” But he doesn’t understand the desire that lives inside of me. It’s like if I don’t keep trying a part of me will wilt to nothing. There’s no way I can put it into words, I don’t think God has created a way that describes how free and wonderful I feel when I am able to get it right. I want to fly. I want to run away from home, but if I do, will they let me come back? But if I’m truthful, it’s not home anymore. I wish my eyes were able to take pictures of what I see now, and what I am entering into.

She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.  Sarah Addison Allen

This transitions part really sucks because I feel like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, it’s so painful. There are people who mean the world to me, but I don’t see their purpose in my life anymore.  I am not the same person anymore, and if I am truthful about the situation, I don’t want to go back. All around me, people are hurting. Not in the same way but sins are overflowing, and there is nowhere to keep the tide from exposing more grief.

A lot of people are afraid to say what they want, that’s why they don’t get what they want.  Madonna

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Living as You Believe

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One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying. St. Joan of Arc

As I first read this quote, it is easy to see that Joan of Arc didn’t see it as a sacrifice the way God had called her to live as she believed. Most if not everyone thought she was a little bit loopy, admitting to hearing God speak to her. She was just a poor peasant girl and nothing was expected of her.

Would you be able to recognize it in yourself if you were truly living as you believe?

The first roadblock to that is I don’t know if I even know everything I believe. We are made of up of beliefs, and a lot of those thoughts are toxic. Some have been able to capture what they believe and not let fear get in their way of living. Is that why God takes some people so early in their lives, who in our opinion have just started living. Is it a tragedy or a victory because they didn’t experience the fear to be who they are, and they just expressed themselves as they were called, and with that God was pleased.

If life were that simple, and for some it is that simple. They don’t see the barriers that the majority of us have mounted up in front us. We keep ourselves back from our potential with all our baggage. We all have a dream, and no dream is the same. It might not seem like a vision like you would expect it, but it is because it’s part of your potential. We weren’t given life to be restless, He brought us here on Earth for a purpose.

Joan of Arc

Joan was a peasant girl living in medieval France and believed God had chosen her to lead France into battle and to victory against England. Born around 1412, she was 13 years old, when she first began hearing the voice of God. She had not been taught to read or write, but her pious Mother had instilled in her a love for the Catholic Church and its teachings. Her father a tenant farmer had arranged for Joan to be married at the age of sixteen, but she had already taken a vow of chastity.  Later, she able to convince a local court she should not be forced to accept the match, and successfully won her case. Unfortunately, she was betrayed by her country that she fought to have Charles VII installed in the rightful position as the King of France. She was held in captivity for over a year before she was burned at the stake for false accusations of witchery. She was only 19.

It’s hard to know what Joan was thinking, but from the quote, living as she felt God had told her was all she was interested in doing. Dying for what she believed in was worth the betrayal, by those she had hoped would support her.  Martyrdom is a spiritual gift, but you obviously won’t know if you have it until you actually die for your faith. Joan wasn’t deterred from how Charles VII ultimately deceived her. She believed and lived in the belief God was speaking and directing her actions.

Patriotic flair for God

The majority of us will from die a natural death, and not necessarily for our faith, but it would do us well to consider and remember, what an illiterate teenager in medieval France was willing to do for God. It wasn’t the popular thing to do, no she was expected to marry. Instead of settling for what everyone expected of her, she stood up and rose to grab her potential.

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Holding My Breath

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Holding my Breath

First isolate

That was my solution to holding my feelings inside. Growing up, I had a lot of things that I didn’t like, approve of, but I didn’t allow myself to express what I held onto.  Short of staying in the fetal position, I just stayed quiet.  I didn’t know that it was okay to say no. Last week, anger came up at an inability to express what I felt in an unsafe place, and the first thing to pop up inside of me was my simmering anger. A memory of how I felt: rejected by my Dad slipped out. It seemed misplaced, I know he didn’t do it intentionally, but tell that to the little girl who wasn’t told this important piece of information.

The irresponsible, stubborn, annoying parts of you doesn’t want to yield to what they should be doing. A tidal wave of confusion, anger and hatred directed at myself. Before I knew what was happening, words that I didn’t want to say filled my mind, and what I really wanted became vague.

Stuck in this seemingly unrelenting vortex of anger. I pushed myself into this pull in the place of isolation. Fear inserts itself behind my anger because the truth bearer is the fear. It holds the lie like a clam holds the pearl inside its shelter. Finally, asking in journaling, I realized how I was afraid that the Lord had left me. Earlier in the week, when I expected to feel the heaviness of the anger weigh upon me, I felt held. Someone was holding me because I felt light, airy, just a cloud floating away. It was then I heard, ‘I am with you.’ Without explanation, I knew he stood inside of me, wherever I went, he was with me.

Lies

All the lies I am hearing are buzzing in my head, and the more I listen, the louder they [the lies] become. The lies taunt me, and I am afraid I won’t recognize his voice but I do. I am constantly seeking him for greener pastures in the interior world that always spins out of control. I can’t get a grip on what is only a step away.

Instead of renouncing this lie, I let myself feed on it. It was I would normally do, once upon a time when I didn’t know the difference. But this time, it seemed that I was punishing myself for what I wanted, and for what I didn’t have. I knew I was hiding behind the anger, but why wouldn’t the Lord just tell me what was wrong?

Something New

I let the answer from Lord fill me with this slow peace as I sat on the train. Most of leaves have started to turn colour, the majority of them were of a  deep russet red. I have a bad habit of being extremely hard on myself, and especially when it’s imperative to claim what is already done.

Since then, just as I stepped down to catch the train, His truth became uncloaked and everything just disappeared. I am not bothered by lies that were my lifelines, and neither do I hold onto what isn’t mine.

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Residue

 

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A sky filled with purple sparkles. The smell of the burnt embers fills the air, and the dampness seeps in through the bundled warmth that you hold onto.

Dug up earth exhales and releases the awe that nature is a discovery that exhumed the existence of life. In this world of wonder, dignity should be guaranteed to aid life forms to stay connected and consequently develop a respect that each has a part to play. An intermingling of ideas is not an option because it leads to decay of their interconnectedness and survival. Life that is vital to us. It is a link that continues all around us but we don’t see it, but it is visible to those who choose to see this connection.

At the end of a conversation, words hang suspended in the silence and what once was lingers; settling in like the smell of cigarette smoke in your hair. Interactions splintered into tiny pieces of nothing hoarded off into the bleak existence of space. Emotions cling to whatever will feed its energy, and give it a place to bleed. Inside of us, emotions wrestle with dominance over us. We are encouraged to go back and continue dipping into the deep reservoir of indulgences given to us. Instead, pulling out what we believe to be ours, or waiting to receive our share.

As time goes on, only snippets of the conversation repeat in your head. The feel of the dampness is hard to recreate, the smell of the felled trees, the earth and the burning embers are tangled in your mind, in your imagination. You question the validity of the situation; it fills the space in your understanding. Feelings become your memories, and sometimes feelings or memories can’t be trusted. We are tainted with incomplete perceptions, clinging to a future that doesn’t always appear.

Feelings are not the truth in a situation, they are your companions on your journey, your compass to navigating through the sea of unknowing. Everything you need is at the shore, your place of remembering of what’s real and logical. While the changes take slowly, sitting on the shore it gives you a chance to take stock of everything, and how it has already changed you, His residue remains in you.