Friday, December 14, 2012

Let me relate a story to you, if I may:

 ~*~ My two oldest children, Lemur (9) and Rivulet (6), love to hear stories of my youth.  They call them “Family History Stories” and more often than not they take the place of music in the car or a Dr. Seuss at bedtime.  Recently they have been asking about my theatrical escapades.  I have told them many funny stories from the early days at TPP, but then felt I could use a refresher and so turned to my journals for inspiration.  On December 1, 2012, as I was laughing over a journal entry about Jared burning his mouth on hot chocolate, Lemur came down the stairs and asked what was so funny.  I gave them a brief rundown of who Jared was.  How we’d met when I was 14, and were in plays together for years.  I mentioned that we had dated and were such good friends we wrote the entire time he was on his mission! 

               “Do you still have any of the letters, Mom?” Rivulet asked excitedly.

               “Nope; because just before I married your dad I decided to get rid of everything that any other boy had ever given me.”

               “Even the bear?!” she asked in shock. (Referring to the bear Jared had given me for Christmas in 1996)

               “Even the bear,” I said. “I thought it was what I had to do to move on.”  Lemur nodded his head sagely and I continued, “You want to know the worst part, though?  He called not too long after and asked for the letters back.”

               Lemur's eyes grew wide with anticipation of a story and he asked, “What did he say when you told him, Mom?”

               “I didn’t tell him,” I admitted.  “I said, “Oh, well, we just moved and it may take me a while to find them. Then I never called him back.” I even told them about the Edelweiss, a gift he had sent me for Christmas one year.  As it turned out, it was the only one he'd ever found while on his mission in Austria.  He'd sent it to me for safe-keeping and I'd thrown it in the garbage.  I tried to tell the story with my usual comedic flair. 

                But my children didn’t find it one bit funny. In fact, they were outraged! “Mom! That was a lie!  You lied to your friend!”

               “But I was scared and ashamed,” I said.  “How could I tell him what I’d done?”

               Lemur looked at me sternly, “You need to make it right.  You need to tell him what you did and say you are sorry.” 

               “Oh please,” I countered, “It’s been 11 years.  I’m sure it doesn’t even matter anymore.” And with that I put the journal back into the cedar chest with all the others.  It is at this point that my husband pipes up; I didn’t even know he’d been listening.

“It still bothers you, Sayyadina.  Every time you talk about it you cry; the kids are right.”
               And almost immediately I got this idea: to compile what I have of Jared’s life and his influence on my life into one place and give it to him, so that I might ask for his forgiveness. ~*~

And so for the last two weeks I have rifled through my cedar chest, 14 journals, computer documents, files and scrapbooks to find every last entry of my first date, my first kiss, my first love.  And then I typed them all into one document - absent of my signature sappy-ness - and have been preparing to give this record to him.

A few years ago when it was cool to do so, people were doing that "If the world ended who would you be in your primitive village as you rebuilt the world" thing on facebook.  And I had answered that I would be the historian.  I have a knack for it.  I didn't realize how true that statement was.

I have since compiled over 60 pages of journal entries, stories, events and written memories about the times when this boy's life and mine intertwined.  I had encouraged him for YEARS to keep his own journal.  I have evidence of it, as I recorded that in Christmas of 1996 I had actually GIVEN him a journal of his own.  And yet....  Well, this isn't the point of the story.

I was ashamed.  I had carried for 11 years the guilt of throwing away literally hundreds of pages of this boy's history written in his own hand and then lying to him about it.  He was a better friend than that.  No matter anything else, he did not deserve to be lied to.  And I have been not only carrying that guilt, but I've been punishing myself for the action.

Well, not anymore pal!

While making this record, I have been able to see with complete clarity how important he was to me.  And the hand of God is blindingly evident in these events.  I can see how fear and self-hatred coupled with attention and genuine affection to become a bastard emotion: co-dependant "love."  Whatever I knew of myself before our romantic relationship was lost when that particular relationship ended.  But it was never his fault.  I gave myself up, because previous events he'd had no part in had taught me that what I was was "wrong," "too much" or otherwise "unloveavble."  I can see now that I was looking for a big brother to protect me and tell me that I was loved.  I was looking for that singular feeling of acceptence that comes from an older sibling and no one else.  I was looking for my brother, John. 

Again - not the point of the story.

Ahem.  Long story short (too late!) I took three days after finishing the compilation to work up the guts to call this guy and ask when he'd be in town next or if I could mail it to him.  We talked for a few minutes.  And he asked me the purpose of my curiosity.  Since we hadn't spoken in - oh - 6 years, it was a valid question.  I confessed to him my wrong.  I apologized.  I told him I was attempting to make what restitution I could with this record.  And he forgave me.  How could I have ever doubted that he would?  Above everything else, and before anything else, he had been a friend.  He proved it again.  In fact, he admitted he was "excited" to get to read the chronicle, as he could not remember much of anything from the years I had recorded. 

And so here is the point of the story:  Repentance.  Forgiveness.  Letting go.  Humility.  Faith.  And the worth of recording one's life. 

I am so grateful to have made such a large mistake.  Because now I get the privilege of going through a full repentance process.  I will be able to humbly make use of the gift Christ gave me when He gave his life for me.  I make myself more worthy to return to Him. 

I have been afraid of this mistake for so long.  I did feel free and happy for a day or two....and then - believe it or not - I felt naked.  I don't think I yet realize just HOW much I held onto and was formed by this guilt.  Because it's like I removed a bunch of junk from my house and then am somehow afraid of the empty spaces.  I guess it just means I have the chance to either downsize to a smaller house or fill it with other, more worthy thoughts. 

And heaven knows I think plenty of thoughts.  I'd better make sure they all have proper admission before just letting them in here, though.  Some might be entering to vandalize or set up squatting privileges in a darkened corner of my mind.  And fear of empty places only gives them a pile of fluff to build a nest. 

I can see that the beginning of repentance, the becoming clean, brings with it responsibilities.  And one might react like a child getting dressed for Sunday.  If they are prone to dirt, it seems out of character and uncomfortable for them to stay clean and they will as quickly as possbile find a way to mar the improvements.  Or, once one has been washed, one is more aware of one's cleanliness, feels loved and cared for and has a deep desire to stay clean as long as possible.  Currently I am one and want to be the other.  It really feels different. 

Perhaps it would be a good use of my time and talents to next identify the places where I get speckles of "dirt" on my clean outfit, in the hopes that I might find a cleaner route. 

And I acknowledge the great blessing and truth that even if/when I get dirty again, I may become clean again.  Because Father and Christ love me just that much. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Did I ever tell you about the time I found out I was being a bad wife?


Well it's time to relate that story.

The year was 2009.  We had moved into our "Bookcase house" as Lemur called it.  I had done a hellish cleanse that disrupted the very core of my self.  Lemur was 5 and Rivulet was 2.5.  Muad'Dib was much the same as he always had been.  Our communication was a little off - or a lot off - and I was still in my hopeless "give up attitude."

I complained about just about anything.  My biggest complaint at that time was Muad'Dib leaving socks everywhere in the house.  It felt like he was wearing eight pairs of socks a day!  I felt I was constantly picking up socks!  I asked him to put them away himself.  When that didn't work, I asked him to leave them in a specific place so I could pick them up.  When that didn't work....well, I went and complained to everyone I could think of.  I thought it was in an attempt to attain some sort of understanding but evidence in hindsight suggests a different explaination.  It's really because I didn't believe I had anything more interesting to talk about and wanted to be a victim for the attention it garnered me. 

On one such an occasion, I'm going off on Muad'Dib and how miserable it feels when he leaves his socks everywhere and I was informed that no one could possibly be doing that on accident. " He must be doing it on purpose.  In fact, he must be passive agressive and he's really very angry at you for something.  I mean, they're socks!  Why wouldn't he pick them up when he knows how much it bothers you unless he's trying to hurt you!"

The fact that I took this explaination to heart and ran with it is a testimony to my gone-ness.  I am ashamed to admit that I believed this.  And even more ashamed that I took that accusation home and hurled it at my husband.

I was sitting on the piano bench in our living room and he sat on the couch holding our sleeping daughter.  The conversation went something like this:

"Well, I had a talk with So&So today," I began.  I sounded like a parent.

"How was it?" he asks warily. 

"Oh fine.  But uh.  I mentioned you not ever picking up your socks,"  here I put on my victim face, "and they told me that you were doing it to hurt me."

He says nothing.

"So why do you want to hurt me?" I ask, emotion rising, "What have I done that you feel you need to punish me by disobeying me and disrespecting me and setting a bad example of cleanliness for the children?"

He had begun looking down just as I hit the "punish me" part of the tirade.  He continued to say nothing.

"I know I've not been a picnic the past few months," (understatement of the decade, btw) "So tell me what I did so I can apologize and make it better."

He says nothing. 

"Muad'Dib?"  I say, angleing my head to try and catch his gaze, "Won't you please tell me why you choose to hurt me by leaving your socks everywhere?"

He says nothing.  I close my eyes and tilt my head back very much in a "Lord, give me strength" kind of way, tears seeping out.  Oh my pain is so dramatic.....

I look back to him and he is looking at me.  I will not ever forget the expression on his face.  I didn't understand it.  He looked.....wounded.

"Wow," he says. 

"What?" I ask.

"Do you really believe I am like that?" he waits for an answer for just a moment, but then continues, "Do you  know me at all?  They're just socks, Sayyadina."

The fact that they were just socks had - literally - never occured to me.

"Then why do you do it?" I counter.

"Because I don't think about it; I think hundreds of other things in a day, but not the socks.  I mean - do you think about the tire pressure?"


"Do you think about the amount of dandylions we have in the yard or the number of stamps in the Post Office at night?"


"What about whether or not the water is going to freeze in the pipes? Should I assume that you are trying to hurt me every time you don't think about something I think is important?!"


"What if we both just, you know, take care of things.  If it bothers you, you do it.  And if it bothers me, I'll do it."

Well, by now I was basically speechless.  It couldn't be that simple.  He couldn't love me so completely that our marital duties were that simple.  If he wasn't trying to hurt me, why was I in so much pain?  Why was he so uncomfortable around me if there wasn't anything wrong?  It didn't make sense....

I called my Life Coach in tears, needing to talk this out and find a resolution. 

And in the course of that conversation he told me that the relationship most people are MOST familiar with is the Parent/Child relationship.  He asked if I was being Muad'Dib's mom, rather than his wife.  I had no answer.  He asked if I put Muad'Dib in situations where he had little recourse but to treat me like his child.   And then:

"Have you ever considered that - maybe - so far, you suck at being a WIFE?"

And my consiousness exploded!

OF COURSE!!!!  THAT WAS IT!!! That's why I was in so much pain!  I was chafing under false premises, ideas and performance.

Relieved to recognize the problem and the truth, I cried.  I was so sorrowful for the crappy months (or years) that I had spent not being my husband's WIFE.  Almost immediately I felt cleaned out.  Because as that truth was owned, I had a change of heart.  And it was nearly instantaneous.  The godly sorrow was replaced by hope as I shed my past beliefs and mistakes.

I was done being a bad wife.  I was going to be an awesome wife. 

And I can tell you that within just a few weeks - I had graduated to good wife. 

"How, Sayyadina?!  How did you become a good wife?  What did you do differenlty?" 

1.  I stopped being his mom.
2.  I listened to him.
3.  I stopped being his daughter.
4.  (and this was a big one) I began living the Creation Plan.  Let me 'splain:

It was not two days after the breakthrough that my Grandma sent me a copy of a book she wrote in 1981 called The Creation Plan - a 7 day approach to guilt-free homemaking.

It was the action my revelation needed!  I began to really create my home.  If it bothered me, I took care of it.  I chose to stop resenting video game time.  Instead I would sit at his feet, massage his feet and tried to enjoy the art, the action or the story.  It's a grand feeling to have a husband declare, "You are good luck!"
I stopped resenting socks in the bathroom by seeing them and thinking "I'm so glad he's alive and married to me!"  I changed my attitude for so many other things that today I don't even remember.  I became the wife I was capable of being. 

And I took responsibilty for myself.  I became a woman, a homemaker and a wife that he could trust and count on.

It's now - what - 3 years later.  Muad'Dib is constantly telling me that I am an awesome wife. 

Why tell you this story?

Because Thursday, November 8th I figured out that I have been a bad mom. 

Knock it off.  I know what you're going to comment, "Oh no you're a great mom!"  "Your kids are lucky to have you!'  "Look how well behaved they are!" 

My kids are great.  They are lucky to have me and they are behaved pretty well. 

But that is no indication of me being the mother I'm capable of being.  Because that mother - the mother that is the most pure representation of my ability to mother - would more gently and consiously facilitate them being the best humans they are capable of being. 

You  might recognize this name from my last post:  Kirk Duncan.  He didn't tell me I was a bad mom.  No blaming here.  I went to a Body Language Show on Thursday, hoping - again - that he would see me and fix me.  Well, he saw me alright. 

And what he picked up on - in all the micro movements of my body in the few moments he was attempting to teach me to shake hands - was my intensity. 

Over and over he encouraged me, "Be gentle.  Nooo....gentle." And when I couldn't get "gentle" he said, "Okay, try happy."  I had to shake off whatever madness I was exuding and try again.  Then he asked me to say something to the group, which I did by pointing my finger - apparently with truly frightening vigor, because he grabbed my hand and comically exclaimed, "Why are you trying to stab them?   They didn't do anything wrong!" Everyone laughed.

Then he turned to me and said, "You have little people at home."  It wasn't really a question.  I admitted yes, and could feel my heart trying to hide it's shame from Kirk's kind and perceptive gaze (which of course only further fed his informational bank about me).    He smiled, put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Well then I'm really glad you're here."  And later when I asked how to help my kids he quite plainly told me how, and then admonished, "Help Mom first......Fix Mom first, okay?  Will you do this?"  I cried, but I also nodded. 

Moments.  I was the focus of only a few moments in 3 and a half hours - well maybe a full minute if you count my question at the end. But in that total of 60 seconds,  Kirk could see it.  He could see the fear I held fast in my heart: that I was somehow hurting and holding back my children.  And he could see the body language that supported the validity of my concern.  Long story short:  It's true. I've been a bad mom. And that's okay. 

Because just like I'm done being foolish, just as I was done being a bad wife, I am done being a bad mom. 

I've just got to let it happen.  Just be awesome.  Just be a good mom.  It's in me anyway.  And when flaxen chords hold be back (I cut off 15 just this morning), I will shear them off with a sword of truth.  It's going to work out, because I'm awesome and my kids are awesome and as long as we let it happen, we will naturally have an awesome salad of awesomeness. 

That's it. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Warrior - now with a Heart of Gold!

This last Thursday I imposed upon my father to watch my three children (two of them screaming as I left) to ride the Frontrunner to SLC with DreamPacker.  Why?  Because I with near desperation wanted something.

I wanted to see, hear and be fixed by Kirk Duncan. 

For those who don't know Kirk, he is the founder of the The 3 Key Elements.  Dreampacker lent me a bunch of his CD's about a year ago and I listened to five of the fifteen on and off since Brogurt was born. He said good things.  I felt good things when I listened.  I recognized what he said as truth and how he presented it as.... basically as an injection of truth.  Meaning I didn't have to sift much to find the message.  He is point blank.  I like that. 

In my recent turnaround (from foolish to wise), my heart has been awakened to it's closed off state.  And it feels very much like it sounds.  Imagine waking from a fitful sleep to find yourself wound up tightly - almost suffocating - in the blanket you had chosen to ensure your warmth, saftey and comfort.  What was once the obvious choice for your survival is now a different and immediate danger to your very life.

Scary doesn't really do it justice.  I have spent more than three days in the last week sobbing so forcefully that I had to get a chiropractic adjustment to correct the strain on my neck and shoulders. 

Long story short:  I was in pain.  And I felt led to Kirk's Heart of Gold thing in SLC. The closer I got to SLC, I noticed physical pain increasing like a dramatic pressure change.  I even mentioned how similar it felt to the times we went up or down 2,500 ft in 5 minutes at Lake Tahoe.  My neck hurt, all my muscles ached, I felt like I couldn't stretch enough. I kept popping my knuckles and my neck. The pressure!  I was being crushed....

And never once did I consider turning back home.  The physical pain had nothing on the aching in my heart. 

Let me be clear:  I fully intended to be "fixed."  To have Kirk look down in the crowd, see me and say, "Holy cow, woman, let's get you up here cause I can see you got a whole lotta something nasty happening inside!"  I was ready to explore, discover and heal myself in front of I didn't care how many people.  They could learn from my stupid baggage!  I was ready to be their horribly damaged instrument for learning.  The cadaver for medical science, if you will.  I was ready for that. I was open to it.  I was begging for it.

But that's not what happened. The place was packed.  Easily over 300 people in this huge room.  There was a center and two side sections.  I sat in the middle of the side section with my back up against this huge white cement pole.  I felt safe there and I hoped I would be seen there.

First a woman shared her experience reading her son's body language and using that insight to "save him 30 years of therapy in that very moment!"  She called herself a Ninja.  Everyone around me seemed to get the reference and chuckled knowingly.  I felt more alone and cut off.  But that's okay.  As soon as Kirk came out, he'd see me because I needed to be seen. 

Kirk did come out, walking up to the stage with humble confidence.  He began his....stuff....not a lecture, not really a seminar.  He started sharing stuff.  He talked about a goldfish named Larry.  He reminded us that he was "unplugged" and "after hours."  This was meant to be a spiritual discussion.  Well that worked for me, because I was spiritually messed up and my messed up spirit was just screaming to be fixed.  Bring it on.

Then he talked about Heaven, Earth and Creation vs. Creating.  It was during this part that it seemed to me (because it's all about me) that Kirk looked over at me and .... well.... and I'm pretty positive his spirit understood my spirit.  I felt so sure that it happened that I was able to relax a little and start taking notes.  Surely now that his spirit knew how much pain I was in, things were about to get better.  He was gonna fix me.

He taught us about chains and flaxen cords.  How they're real.  I think everyone should listen to the CD's for yourself.  I don't want to over-share.  So what you have here is what I learned, not necessarily what he said:

* Creating is much more important than the creation.
* My building material is everything on earth or that which makes up earth/reality.
* I will not always be able to jive my creation with what I planned in my head.  And that's okay.  Because - see point 1 above.
* Evil spirits/Satan want to stop me from creating.
* Negative thoughts/beliefs are literal chains and ropes that evil spirits use to keep me from creating.
* When I choose to dwell on/in negativity I am literally giving them permission to use me as a puppet.
* Truth cuts the cords.  (like a sword)
* Identifying the thought/belief/spirit will remove their influence, but not the cord itself until I choose to shed it.
* I can take them off.
* I can have a different number of cords/chains for different areas of my life.  (for soccer, I might only have "not fast enough,"  "too tired,"  "sore," "embarrassed," - a few flaxen cords that holds me back or wear me out after a half hour of play.  But for writing I might have layers of chains  like "tired," "no time," "no focus," - dozens of others - and still carry a freaking millstone of "but what do I have to write about" that crushes my heart, shoulders and neck.)
* This tactic destroys me starting mentally, then emotionally, then physically and finally spiritually. If they came at me spiritually straight off, as they have in the past, I would easily spot them.  But come at me mentally, where for years I've been told "Well, we're human, everyone thinks like that sometimes; cut yourself a break," and I blame myself.  Well, that was NON helpful in the long run, I'll tell you what.
* and MORE!

As he was going on, and as I was taking notes, he brought people up to help him demonstrate a few things.  I didn't get the chance to go up, but knew that my moment was coming.  Because he had seen me.  Even a few times since then, he looked back to the crying woman in the green sweater and I knew he knew that I was in need of help.  He was going to fix me. 

Then came questions. 

And everyone asked the exact same question, but differently.  "How can I help others?"

And inside I'm thinking, "To hell with others, how do I help ME??!!"  As I'm listening to the answer, which was the same for each question, because each question was the same, a string of thoughts began to pace in my mind.  "He has to tell me.  He has to fix me.  I need an answer.  How do I fix me when I'm so overwhelmed?"  I wondered if it had to be a spiritual truth to cut the cords/remove the chains.  Could it be anything?  What if I had a number that kept changing?  I felt so overwhelmed.  Over and over.  I raised my hand, I tried to get his attention.... and my emotions threatened to overwhelm me.

He looked over and saw me.  I felt that jolt of recognition again and thought, "This is it!" but instead he said he was going to cut off questions because he had two more things to had to share before we left.  I wanted to scream!  How could anything else be as helpful as everyone getting to SEE someone as tied up as I was get completely freed before their very eyes?!  The injustice and disappointment began to overwhelm my mind, my voice, my hands. 

He stood up on stage.  He looked over at me again and began to draw two cups with people inside.  As experiences in a day fill up, sometimes we see that someone else's cup still has some room in it and we go dump on them so we can breathe again.  But then that person is drowning because we dumped on them.  Then he said,  "It is never okay to dump on another person.  If you feel -" and he wrote the word on the board in huge letters, "OVERWHELMED, then go unload on a tree."

What the....

Then he drew a big cup with a big person and a little cup with a litte person - a child - inside.  He showed us how even if we have only a little to dump, that little can drown a child because their cup is so much smaller than ours.  A woman behind me joined the chorus of "awwww"s with a "who would ever do that to a child?"

I wanted to turn around and tearfully scream, "What the hell do you know, lady?!"  That reaction brought tears fresh to my eyes.  I wanted to defend my tendency to dump on my children?!  I looked at that little stick figure drowning in a cup full of a parent's red emotions and saw Rivuleta's face.  I saw Lemur's big eyes wet with surprise and emotion that he didn't know how to deal with. 

And I was suddenly so very sorry.  I always thought it was my right to share my feelings.  But it's not.  Feelings - like money - are a tool of trade, for the benefit of all.  And if the person I want to trade with doesn't like what I am selling, I have no right to force it on them. 

Woah!  WAIT!  It hit me.  He wrote my word on the board.  The word I was screaming inside.  He heard it.  He addressed it. 

Uh.... But why, was he teaching THIS instead of what I wanted to learn?  Why didn't he just take me up there and fix me?!

He taught some more.  By the end, we were to shout "Freedom."  I tried.... but very little in way of voice or conviction came out.

And then it was over.  Come and gone so fast.

Dreampacker and I walked back to Frontrunner.  By now I was nauseated, dizzy, the headache I had been fighting all along had blossomed  into a migraine, and by the time we were halfway home I felt like I was collapsing in on myself, physically.  Everything hurt. 

By 2 am I was convinced I had the flu, with a fever, shakes and all the aforementioned yuckiness.

And then I had three dreams.  In the first, Kirk taught me how to deal with Lemur.  In the second, he taught me how to deal with Rivulet.  And in the third, I was re-taught the entire Heart of Gold; just me and six other people. I woke up confused that I could remember that I had the dreams, but not the specifics of what each contained.  I had only the confidence that I would know it when it was time to know it.... I know that sounds weird.  Oh - and I was fine.  Not sick, just a little residual head and muscle ache that went away as the day went on.

On the first day I stood in my bathroom and tried something.  I said to myself, "2+2=4.  Anything less true than that: I command you to leave." It felt like a big fur coat slipped off my shoulders. I literally stood up straighter and felt substantially lighter.  My brain clicked along like the brain I remember from two years ago...

In the afternoon, after a crazy productive day, I gave each returning child complete undivided attention and used tactics I am positive I was taught in my sleep, because I don't remember learning them before.  My children responded amazingly.  Rivulet and I communicated, and I taught her about cords and the spirits who pull the strings we give them. I helped Lemur with his homework without fuss and he said with surprise, "Wow,  you're really listening..." 

On the second day Rivulet wanted a dollar.  So I gave her the easiest job I could find that would also be worth more than a dollar to me.  She starts on it, and I begin work in the yard with help from Brogito.  She comes down the stairs, "Mom, is this enough?"

She has done 25% of the job.  "Nope.  Keep going."

She returns a few minutes later, "How about now?"

I look up and see no change at all, "Nope.  Keep going."

She sits on the front steps in a heap and begins to wail, "I can't do it!  It's too hard!  You gave me the hardest job!  It's not fair!  I can't do it!"

I comedically yell, "FLAXEN CORDS!" run to her and comedically begin to remove them from her arms, feet and neck. 

She looks up at me with blatant confusion and a hint of "mom has lost it" in her eyes.  "What are you doing?" she asks.

"Making it easier for you to finish your job.  Doesn't it feel better not to have all those negative chains weighing you down?"  I nod my head as she continues to stare at me, then go back to my work.

She remains on the stairs, her eyes clear......then she darkens again, "But I can't do it.  It's too hard.  I'm not strong.  I'm not good at things."

I  repeat the previous odd behavior.  She giggles this time, but then says, "Mom, I really can't.  I can't do anything.  I'm not strong."

And I say, "Who says you're not strong?"

She looks away. "Everyone."

"Oh no, River-bottom.  Not Dad.  Not Mom.  Not Lemur or Brogito or...I could list two dozen people who would never  say that.  Jesus would never say that."  I softly take her hands in my own.  Then I list for her all the hard things she has ever done.  And they are many and awesome.  Then I ask her again, "Who says you can't?  Jesus or Satan?"


"So who are you going to listen to?  Jesus who says you can because you are strong, or Satan who says you can't because he doesn't want you to know you're strong?"

"I don't know!" she wails. 

I can feel it's time to step back.  So I pat her on the head and say, "You think about it."

I go back to my work and hear the door slam.  Great.  She's given up. Well, I guess that's it: Kirk is a butt and all he's said is a load of garbage.  But then....

Then I hear the door slam again....River comes down the stairs and in 15 minutes she finishes the job.   No more whining, moaning, or doubts. 

And she didn't complain once the rest of the day.  Not once.


Sunday.... I'm talking to a friend who is using jerky movements as she talks about a  bad situation.  I didn't feel it was appropriate to yell "FLAXEN CORDS!" and attack her, but I did take her by the hand and gently remove them.  Then I took her other hand and did it again, never breaking eye contact with her.  She didn't even ask what I was doing....  But soon thereafter she sighed and changed the subject and was smiling and laughing not 5 minutes later. 

This morning Lemur wakes up grumpy and disobedient.  I ask him what the problem is.  He looks down and I wait.  He looks up and sees me still waiting for his answer and he began to cry, putting his head on my chest.  I removed a cord from his neck as we sat there.  Then he looked up at me, sighed and finished getting ready for school.

Rivulet didn't want me to comb her hair.  She fell apart in the bathroom and I tried to talk her out of it.  I did the "FLAXEN CORDS!" on her, but she resisted.  Nothing seemed to work.  Then I asked her for a hug.  And then I removed one from her neck and she purred.  Then I started removing them from/massaging her hands as we talked about something else.  But she caught on and started laughing, "What are you doing, Mom?"

"Nothing....what are you doing?"

"You're making me lighter again so I can laugh, huh?"

"Maybe..."  And then she got ready for school.  No further fuss or bother.

In the end I was right:  I was led to Heart of Gold.  Kirk did look into my eyes and recognize the pain there. Kirk could help. But I was also wrong. I didn't need him to free me.  I could do it.  I could do it with the Savior.  And I needed to know how to help others because my children are getting dumped on and they are being tied.  And if any woman has ever been a warrior, it is me.  I free myself, and I give my kids breathing room until they are old enough to understand what they have to do for themselves. 

I feel good about that.  Overwhelmed is just one of a hundred or more flaxen cords, chains or strings I give to an evil spirit to keep me from creating.  Well not any more pal. 

I would feel it a disservice to this experience to close it with a conclusion.  Because this learning is not yet over, all the applications are not yet found, and my journey is no where near complete.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Applying "The Philosophy of Freedom" - Chapter 1

The difference between foolish and wise is the application of knowledge.  In an effort to overcome my previous foolishness, I seek to gain and apply knowledge.  To that point:

I've been reading Muad'Dib and Fedaykin's book (which is wonderful - you all would benefit from reading it, I testify with full faith; go buy a copy ASAP).  My Grandma picked it up while she was staying at my parent's house and also began to read it.  At first she just opened it up and started reading.  It didn't put her to sleep (good sign), and so she decided to start at the beginning.

She struggled with the first chapter so I tried to talk her through. 

"Grandma, as long as you accept and acknowledge that this," I motion to the world around us, "is reality and we are really here, then basically, you've got the Chapter 1.  But you have to accept that before you can 'get' the rest of the book."

She looked at me like I was crazy, "What else would I think?" she asked.

"Well, there are some people who don't believe we're really here," I explain, "so they argue that there aren't true consequences, our choices don't really matter, there is no truth and no real right and wrong."

"Who would think that?" she questioned in sarcastic disbelief.

"More people than you'd think."

Grandma was incredulous, which I found fascinating, because I had met more and more of these people in recent years.  I knew they were real.  "People know this is reality," she said dismissively.

"Do they?"  I ask her, becoming giddy with the chance to debate a point.

"Yes, of course they do.  How could they think differently," she asked, laughing at their stupidity.  "Why would they want to?!" 

"They believe that way because they prefer it," I say, and then - without really thinking it through - "Take me for example - "

"You know this is reality," she interjects.

"Do I?  It sure looks like I think eating cake and cookies and candy and 3 servings per meal will make me thin and healthy," I say, motioning to my ample form,  "Or at least it shows that I believe such behavior will somehow emotionaly protect or endear me to others when in fact it is doing the exact opposite."

Her face  becomes thoughtful, though the smirk is still there behind her eyes.

"I have chosen to live in a world where I hope that the natural laws of the universe don't apply,"I confess.  "A place where I will in no way - not physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually - be held accoutable for my actions,"

"And why would you do that?" she asks, almost all humor gone from her tone.

"Because it was what I wanted to do," I answer quietly.  I feel the pain of living contrary to natural laws of this very real existence.  "But there is right and wrong, isn't there Grandma?"

She nods.

"And how can I know that my fantasy world of sweets and consuming more than I burn isn't reality?"

Her eyes meet mine with that steely Michaelson power, "Because you're fat."

I smile.  "Yep.  The proof is in the pudding."  I realize I don't know exactly what that cliche means....but it seems apt nonetheless.  "If my ideas that I could eat like a bear and look like a dancer were true, it would be so."  She nodded.  "Chapter 1 is all about accepting observable, objective facts; identifying and then accepting the laws of nature.  Because if you don't, then even when you learn the truth, you won't apply it."

"Oh," she says softly.  She turns the book over in her hands, "This is a pretty good book then," she says.

"It has been for me," I say.

She turns her sage and penetrating gaze on me again, "So I see."  Then her tone lightens a little, "So if I accept that...." she struggles for the right words, which I offer to her:

"Existence exists, as they say."

"Yes, if I know that Existence exists....then I can go on to Chapter 2?"

I smile, "Sure Grandma."

There you have it:  if I, Sayyadina, accept that existence exists and that this world functions on natural laws (laws which, in my faith I recognize as being set in place and followed by my very loving Heavenly Father), then I can move on to the proverbial "Chapter 2."  And what is Chapter 2?

Well, in the book Chapter 2 is owning that "the number of people in your species does nothing to diminish the value of your life." and that "You exist to be happy."  Chapter 2 teaches me the formula for achieving my values, for  being happy.  It says that what I accepted in Chapter 1, gives me the freedom and thereby the responsibility to identify that which will make me happy and then do that. 

Emotionally, today I'm still on Chapter 1.  I get that this is real.  I know that my choices have led me  That's all I can handle today. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shh, shh, shhh....Just let it happen.

Why hello there.  It has been a while. 

Too long have I relied on Facebook for my standard mode of wordy communication.  I gave up on the blog because I felt like no one was reading it.  And in the months that followed I have come to realize that I read it.  I go back over and over to re-live moments of "aha!" and "what the buckets?!"  I have been helped by myself.  So I will continue.  If anyone joins me, great.  But the point is that I join me.  As I quote at the top:  I am the meaning.

With that said, it may take a while for my brain to get going again.  I have left off my penchant for verbose-ness.  Seriously.  I went from one of those huge journals - filling at least a page a day - to a normal size journal....and not even completing a full HALF page.  I stopped Blogging. I have written a few things....and I will not downplay that accomplishment.  Still I can admit that the real problem with not writing is that it seems to testify that I am not really thinking

So.  What am I thinking?  I know that most of my thoughts are "baby," "children's happiness,"  "husband's book (which is awesome, btw)," "exersise," "don't eat so much," and "I wish it were rainy-er." see?  I have recently had a major epiphany and am not even thinking about it.  Truth to my claim! 

I will say it as best I can, though I know there are some who will dislike my word choices for being "harsh."  I say examine the evidence before you judge it. 

First:  I have fears.  They are valid and have proven to be substantial.  When compared with other people who have suffered "more" than I, they are small and one might be left to wonder, "Really?  That is what you are afraid of?!"  But still, they remain regardless of whether someone else judges them a meager offering.

Second: I have - over the course of many years, beginning in my senior year (I tend to call it "hell year") of High School - figuratively and in fact literally fed my fears.

It might be helpful to understanding to share these fears, as it SO directly relates to the overall breakthrough in understanding:

FEAR: I am afraid to be attractive; not because I think I will act on attention, but because I am afraid that other women will see me as a threat to their talents, their appearence, their self-image and to their husbands. I have tried.  Every time I felt like my attractiveness (awesomeness) was a threat in even the smallest way to a friend, I stepped up my eating.  I had to make it "safe" for them to be around me.  Because....

FEAR:  I am afraid of being un-needed, un-useful, abandoned, seen as "not worth it."   Being alone is not the issue:  being useless in the lives of those I love,  being an unsafe component in their lives - for me - is the issue. Because....

FEAR:  I am afraid of how great I will be if I can't temper all my goodness with , "but I'm fat."  Will anyone want to be my friend if I am a blazing standard of talent, intelligence, creativity, intuition, motherhood, wife-ish-ness, humor AND physical beauty?!  And I just realized how stupid that question is.  Which leads me to my largest fear, which is also the conclusion:

I have been stupid.  I have been acting stupid.  I have been RESISTING the truth:  I'm great.
I confused humility with fear and came up with....stupidity.  The stupidity putrified into stupid pride. 

I'm sorry for what my fears might say about my opinion of others.  Sincerely.  I didn't realize that I let my fears become judgement of others.  They began "harmless" enough.  I just wanted CeCe to relax and not see me as a threat to her relationship with my ex-boyfriend.  I just wanted Melanie and Jill and Stacy and Rachel to not be mad at me all the time.  I wanted Kirby to leave me alone and stop beating me down.  I wanted to be "safe" from rape in college. 

I wanted to protect myself. 

And have ended up doing the exact opposite. 

Fear does that. 

Fear makes one stupid/makes one act stupidly.  And by stupid I mean contrary to reality, natural laws (which are also eternal laws), and rational self-interest.  Rationally, eating 6-8 candy bars in a day, followed by 4 donuts and a 10pm snack of a stack of cookies doesn't help anyone.  But my fear said it would keep me relevant and unforgettable, it would make others safe to see themselves, it would - someday give me a badge of honor when I overcame it.

Wait.  That's the important one!

I wanted a "Badge of Honor."

Like when I'm directing a play and someone questions how I'm teaching them to enunciate and project and I can say, "Hey.  I've done theater for 21 years at *this and this theater*, I've been paid *this much* and toured with *this company* and learned from *this awesome theater professer*." and that is enough to convince them to listen to me long enough for them to see the proof of my direction.

I have a few more Badges, but don't need to go into them here.

I had "struggled" for so long, I became convinced that I must be fat for a good reason, and once I figured it out, then I could lose the weight.  Then I would have a valient badge of honor, some emotional hardship I overcame!  Look at me I overcame ChildHood Trauma!  Look at me I overcame a Thyroid Problem!  Look at me I overcame Abandonment Issues!

Unfortunately (see how twisted my mind had become) I didn't have any of those problems.  I had fears, and they were real and valid, but they weren't GOOD enough. Not one of them kept me fat on their own. I needed one that was good enough.  And "stupid" wasn't a "good" reason.  So I continued to resist losing weight. 

And there it is.  Did you know that resisting a thing gives it power?  I didn't.  Maybe I did, but couldn't see the application in my own life because I was still waiting for that one valient issue to rear it's head like a big slathering dragon so I could slay it and mount it's head on my wall. 

Turns out my Dragon was a multi-headed Hydra, with different poisons and dangers to each mouth.  Just like Hercules I tried cutting off each head to kill it.  But I never touched the heart. 

The heart wasn't a fear, it was the resistence to the fears.  I was fighting my own beauty so much that I was in fact FEEDING the fear to destroy it.  And that's stupid. 

In summation:  I have learned that all my fears are valid.  And I don't have a good, valient reason to stay fat. 

I guess I better let the fat go, then.  Just stop resisting losing weight.  Let it happen.  Stop resisting the magnitude of my Chelsea-ness, and let it happen.  Knowing that the people who have always found me attractive, will continue to see me as such; considering that my getting fat didn't stop them, getting thin won't make much difference either.  Because I attract great people.  My husband thinks the world of me, even when he sees me being stupid for reasons he can't even fathom.  My children think the world of me.   And I think the world of me.  Let's just let it happen.

It has been said that I don't know how to relax.  The rest of my life will be an exersise in relaxation and be-ing.  Because with all I have to give, I don't have the time to resist it anymore.  There is so much of me, and so much I can do with it. 

So as each fear - still valid - rears it's dangerous head to swallow me down, my new job is not to feed it, but to relax; I will soothe the heart of the beast.  The heart of the matter is that I am amazing and that's okay. 

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Okay, Father.  I will.  :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Okay, so It's been a while.  Here is an update fromWit's End.
The kids are doing well in school at the Montessori.  The like their teachers, their classmates and the work.  Lemur is reading up a storm and Rivulet has become quite the artist.  She's also doing much better with numbers.  She is quite the social butterfly.
And also, in or around October, Caleb entered an essay contest and his essay placed 2nd, winning him bragging rights and a check for a tidy sum.  So proud of him!

In early December the kids and I attended a Christmas party for my Dad's company.  We bowled, ate pizza, played in the arcade and sang karaoke.  SUPER FUN.  Below is Lemur rocking out.  He sang Ghostbusters. 

My brother, John, had gotten a job that took him to Pheonix while his wife and daughter hung around at home in Colorado which sounds awful.  The sivler lining was that I got to see much more of his wife and my neice.  I loved it.  This is them at Christmas.

About a month later, Brogurt is showing Tessa the ropes.  He kept trying to grab her large, beautiful cheeks.  So cute!

Here is my other neice, Lucy, as she and River helped take down the Christmas tree at my mom's house.  I think this was mid January....

Same day: My sweet sister Ariane with her adorable son, Jack.  Love this pic.

And I just love Emily and Tessa so much, here's another one of them.  Tessa resembles John as a baby.  But prettier.

Skip ahead to the end of February and Lemur's very first Pinwood Derby.  Yeah, that's my boy. 

His is the one closest to the camera, with an N+ symbol painted above the flames.  It was so fun! He placed 7th out of 21 boys.  Not too shabby.

Fast forward again to March and we find ourselves on our first trip to the Ogden Canyon Natural Hot Springs.  Great fun for all.  Even Brogurt was able to enjoy the bathtub-warm waters. 

Now we are to the end of March.  Brogurt has been aching to go outside and finally it is warm enough to enjoy the deck and newly accessible lawn.  He goes for a walk with Daddy. He's been crawling about a month - SO FAST.
Lemur doesn't have homework at the Montessori except for a monthly report where he can research  and give an oral report on anything that interests him.  His previous two were on Newton's first law of motion (Inertia), and Static Electricity. But in March the teacher gave a guideline: It had to be on a person, place or animal from North America.  Muad'Dib got the grand idea of doing a report on the Bonneville Salt Flats....because we thought it was relatively close.  Learning is fun.

So last Sunday we drove to the Salt Flats.  Below is Lemur batteling the wind.  And loving it.

And here he is marking the horizon, which was one of his talking points during the report.

And we couldn't help snapping a family picture.  For the record, Lemur is trying to catch wind in his shirt and Rivulet is water-bending.  I am doing Jazz hands and Muad'Dib is rocking the trophy-hold.  Brogurt is just trying to breathe in the wind.  I love our family.

He was much happier on the ground, until the sharp salt cut his little hands.  Didn't keep him from sucking down a little of the salt, though...

This picture is out of order, but it marks the fact that Uncle Pillbug was here with us through Thanksgiving and Christmas, a blessing I was quite grateful for.  Here he is at Gardner Village with his girlfriend (so sweet!) and Brogurt who loved them both.  Good times.

So that's what we've been up to in pictures.  Muad'Dib is working on his book with Fedaykin.  I am culturing the Brogurt and trying to be a good mother and wife.  I continue working for my Dad and my mom has gotten a job with Ogden School District. 
All is well.  We're still alive.  And tonight we will eat turkey burgers.  Yes, all is well.