Clean House, Messy Heart

Today, I am going to get personal. I often talk about things “out there,” or I am ambiguous on purpose because what I’m writing about can have more than one meaning. I usually want the reader to find the one that resonates with them. So I’m going to do something in this post that I don’t frequently do — get personal.

The hubs and I have one of our best friends coming to visit for a quick overnight stay. We haven’t seen her in two years, where we normally would see her and her family three to four times a year. She and her husband moved out of the state a couple years ago and, thanks to COVID-19, we haven’t had the chance to see them or their kids. She’s “home” for a spell and is making the two hour+ drive to see us. Because of this, there has been an amount of “getting ready” happening in our home.

Something about tidying up and rushing around the house reminds me of my father. He was a tyrant. He was fastidious, to say the kindest and the least, about everything, and definitely about the inside as well as the outside of the home. The majority of my chores were outside for some reason (no clue why). It’s probably no shock that I’m way better at taking care of the outside of the house than I am the inside. But there’s more to it than that. I actually get sort of frozen-in-place when a project inside is a giant one, or when someone decides they want to rush me around. Nothing was ever good enough for him, and he never cared how hard you tried.

So, back to our friend that’s coming over. I got up this morning with a migraine and tallied up the things that I felt needed to be done before her arrival this evening. There weren’t many, and even those were pretty simple things. I had already washed sheets, dusted and cleaned the bedroom, and made the bed. I dusted the living and dining rooms a couple days ago. But there are dog nose-prints on the front window and mulberries squished on the floor from dogs that run around the backyard and then track them inside. The mulberries are a several-times-a-day project until the tree stops dropping them. Well, shoot, my vitamins are out on the counter in the kitchen and the kitchen rugs could use another wash. Some of the placemats on the dining table don’t match. Recyclable trash needs to be emptied, and there’s a stack of mail on the dining room table. My desk – well my desk has always had a life of its own! Laundry is in the dryer, so that means it probably won’t get folded and put away before she gets here. I sort of sat there with my cup of coffee in a trance, frozen-ish, headachy.

By the time I finished my cup of coffee and cottage cheese with blueberries, I was over it — not over our friend’s visit, but over being overly-concerned about what there was to do. First of all, we love her and she loves us, and I know for a fact that she is not going to come into my home and begin examining everything, and I already know she has no expectation of walking into a showroom model home. Secondly, I’m not going to have friends who are that judgy anyway. (If you are, I might just hand you some spray and paper towels and invite you to clean the dog nose-marks yourself.)

I realize that my first reaction this morning was really coming from someone/somewhere else, and not from me. I just happened to let it in. It was coming from people who have been in my life who really need to do as much heart work as they do in other areas of their lives. My heart is full of love for our friend, and I know it’s returned. My home is clean, comfortable, and welcoming. Save my desk and a set of shelves in my bedroom, my home is orderly. You can open my cupboards and look under the rugs and furniture.

I know some people who insist on a spotless home who are actually not great at being good humans, or whose lives are in complete disarray. (That’s not to say that everyone who has a spotless home IS a terrible human, so don’t email me.) But it occurred to me today that we can work so hard at looking good, appearing competent, acting organized, etc., but forget or refuse to give as much attention to becoming the person our exteriors claim we are. We may have a clean home, pressed clothes, a nice physique… but a messy heart. Take for example the person whose home looks clean and tidy when you walk in, but you better not open a drawer or a cupboard because the mess was never really cleaned, it was just stuffed away out of sight. A funny thing about that process is that even we forget sometimes that the stuff is in there or forget where we even put something!

Things become lost – like souls.

I’m not at all saying that someone cannot master both home and heart. What I am saying is this: Be kind and loving to your people, especially if you’re raising children. Our children grow up to be other versions of us, or worse, versions of the mess we stuff away in cupboards or sweep under the rug, and you never know how that’s going to come out. For me, it comes out as anxiety, a kind of frozen, soft-serve mess. For others it might come out like a spotless home, but a frozen heart, and for still others it might look like abuse. We raise these little people sometimes without remembering that other people have to deal with them after they leave our care or we leave this world. If you’re going to leave a mess behind, let it be the dog nose-print on the window kind, or the home overflowing with fun kind — not a person, or not the mean-spirited, heartless, not enough, or anxiety-in-skin kind that hides away or projects onto others. Your spotless home might be something to be proud of, but don’t make it meaningless in the grand scheme of it all, or a miserable place to be for those with whom you share it.

Appearances are just that – something to see; but a kind and giving heart is something to behold and cherish.

Cobwebs, Dirty Floors, and Love

If you’re going to tell me that I need to learn to love myself (or ourselves, in a group setting) in order to love you with the love and respect you deserve, I can’t hear you if you aren’t loving me. I can’t hear you if you are coming from grudge (or anger, yelling, vitriol) vs. love.

It’s tricky, isn’t it? What I hear you saying may very well be the truth, or may certainly have some true parts. But it’s like giving advice to someone else on how to keep their house clean while you have cobwebs all over yours. Your cobwebs don’t actually make any of the truth less true. However, they make you less believable about what you know and want, so you are now suspect for motives, suspect as to what will be returned for changed behavior. Your intention isn’t coming from the same energy that you wish to receive.

Now, you will get a few on board who will hear you and see the truth in spite of your own cobwebs and adjust accordingly; and you will have some form of agreement from the few self-loathing as well. But you will not ultimately get the return you were going for, which is a transformed group.

What a conundrum. Sometimes we really need to be heard, or sometimes we really need to hear. How difficult it can be to express hurt, fear, or anger and be heard fully without losing humanity towards the other person our group!

Love is some tricky shit when you think you can out-maneuver it.

Racial Healing in America Conference – 2020

Women For Equality presents its
Third Annual Racial Healing in America Conference
February 29, 2020
9:00AM to 6:00PM
9249 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95826

This one-day conference is in response to the heightened awareness in our nation of the need for racial healing. The prevalence of hate crimes, social injustices and racial divides have been brought to the surface to demonstrate the need for us to come together.

Participants will:
• Experience unprecedented bonding
• Understand the importance of racial healing
• Explore their own biases
• Experience what it is like as a marginalized person in this country
• Co-create a community-based plan of action

Click here for tickets

Click here for Facebook Event Page

Tickets will also be sold at the door as space allows.

Flyer

What You Say, You Are

As I was fooling around with fun filters after church today, I was reminded of a time when someone accused me of taking my nickname (Queen BB) too seriously. (The nickname didn’t follow me back home from Arizona.)  I was managing a medical office at the time, and an employee went to two of the practice partners and complained that I really thought I was a queen. (I mean, seriously…?) Was I able to go back now, my response would be different. Rather than taking a defensive position, I simply would say, “Well, I am, as are all of you. I am simply comfortable in all of my authority to say that is who I am, and that is who you are. Join me in knowing who we are meant to be.” Darn that 20/20 hindsight! But then, I wasn’t that sure of my own spot in life at the time. There is nothing wrong in honoring yourself in your rightful spot on the throne of your life — and if you want some extra gravy, allow others to be in their rightful spot as well. After all, as I often say, “When I uplift even one to equal standing, I lose nothing and gain it all — not only for myself, but for all of us.”  Why not start where you are – within yourself? Who better to start with? Now, just don’t get stuck there! You have got to spread the space and the love. That’s the secret ingredient!

Today in church, Rev. Kev had on the most beautiful garment, and I told him he looked like the “King of Unity.” (If you’d like to see for yourself, you can see today’s service here: Clean It Up – Get Your Spiritual House In Order) He was so sparkly up there, all in his zone. Gorgeous! Hopefully, he took that as a compliment and not a rub, not knowing this backstory of mine. I’m 99.99% sure he took it correctly.

Right now a favorite quote by Zig Ziglar comes to mind:  You may not be what you say you are, but what you say, you are.  💣🤯💥

“Back in the day,” there was something “wrong” with being (seemingly) too proud of one’s self. Most of us, and especially if you are female, it was just sheer vanity to see our own light and shine it. We were expected to shrink in many instances. Fairly early on in my parenting, but maybe not as soon as I wished, I realized I was instilling that faulty thinking in my kids.  I started then, and continue still as they’re grown, to remind them how perfect, how wonderfully made they are.  At least, that is my goal. I guess you’d have to ask them if they know how important, how brilliant, how fabulous they are in my eyes, and hopefully their own as well.  That last part is key, and that is even more important to me than what they think my opinions are, actually.  And that is what this whole post is about, really.

Marianne Williamson said, “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”  Feel THAT!  Yes, put your crown back on or straighten it out and march on out there like you mean it… and remind others to do the same.  We all need this reminder from time to time.  But if you find yourself in need of this and no one around seems to be playing on this field, then go on ahead and remind yourself. Your opinion means a LOT.

Admittedly, I don’t always find this easy to do. I’m trying to train myself so that there doesn’t have to be some event for me to wake up and remind myself. I want this to be automatic thinking all the time. So, practice, I will; you, too! It is vitally important in a society that is constantly trying to dumb down, press down, and brainwash so many that we are less-than. Don’t fall for it!  

You are a QUEEN.
You are a KING.
Yes, you are!

In love and sparkly crown confetti,

Debora Lynn






When "Just Love" Is Just Words Instead of a Verb

💗

There’s a lot of requests to “just love” in the past couple days.

This is popular when there is a tragedy, whether it’s a large scale disaster, or something that just hits local or home. Notice the word “just” is put in front of the word “love” to indicate that it really is a simple thing, that it really needs to happen, and that it will really make all the difference.


I don’t think it’s surprising that this request comes in droves when a major tragedy occurs.  Not at all.  Nor do I think it is somehow wrong or inappropriate. We are touched and moved in various ways by these occurrences, and so it seems natural o reach out in this way.


But why aren’t we doing this every day regardless of circumstances? Why aren’t we doing less talking and more listening in the first place — and in all places and for all people? Why do we wait until a terrible thing that showed us what a lack of love and conscience looks like, to remember to “just love?” 

What does your “just love” look like? What does it mean?  Are certain individuals or groups left out? You see, if our “just love” is meant to invoke a loving change or a change for more love, then it begins with you, me, the person stating it — not “them,” or over there somewhere. If your “just love” is meant as a plea or a reminder for people to change their hearts and minds, this must also apply to you. Otherwise it is an empty plea. 

“Just love” doesn’t mean that you have to start agreeing with everybody. What it looks like (if you actually want change) is the willingness to hear people that may think or act or look differently than you. It’s real easy and a cop-out from your statement to “just love” the same people that you just loved the day before the tragedy. There is absolutely no change in that. So when the dust settles from the current tragedy, guess what we have! We have the same thing we had before the tragedy — the very thing that we said we didn’t want to see any more of.

Is your “just love” just words, or is it a jump into action?

Do you have a plan to include those you left out before? I think that most of us know that one of the best ways we can show love and respect for another is to give them our attention and consideration. When we minimize, ignore, or ridicule another person’s experience based off of the simple, and simple-minded, fact that it is different from our own, that is absolutely not “just love.” It is, at its least, thoughtless. At its most, it shows up as tragedy in various forms and depths.

 

So the next time you broadcast “just love” as a mend, please make sure it’s not “just words.” Love is, after all, a verb, too.

💗

Intersectional Feminism – a Lesson for ALL

When one is uplifted, so are we all.  Equality does not mean that someone loses something in order for someone else to gain equal footing.  Equality shouldn’t be feared, yet it is. Fear of losing something is what drives a lot of people to refuse to respect and hear about another person’s experience/s that is different from their own.  So I’ll say it again: When one is uplifted, so are we all. 

"You get what you pay for."

When you pay in barbs and insults, your love and kindness account becomes overdrawn. What you have purchased is distrust. Regardless of your claims, your investments eventually become clear. Your return is negative, and your currency will fluctuate, then fall. Your credit is rated poor. Communication ends. Doors that were once held open just for you, may be closed and even locked. You may find yourself on the outside looking in at what was once yours. This is what happens when you don’t guard the treasures you already have. You chose your currency, and this is your return on investment.

How many times will you rebuild,
only to watch your investments repeatedly
fail in the same way?



Each failure was an option to learn and grow and do better. Repeating the same proven failed strategies shows a belief that there is more comfort in the struggle than in the light. 






Being A Mama ;

My middle son graduates with his
B.S. in Geology in 2 weeks.

(Photographer: Jessica Verone)

Dear Friend, I See You

Dear Friend,
I know you are struggling with some issues in your life right now.  I know you have some big concerns that are weighing on you.  I see and feel that you are hurting.
I want you to know that it is all going to be okay.  Really.  It may not feel acceptable in this moment, but if you take care of yourself it is all going to work out.  It may not be the way you want it to look or think it might look, but there is going to be something there for your higher good.  Be patient and I promise you it will reveal itself.  Be open for good to show up in spite of what is going on right now.  Love yourself more than your attachment to your circumstances. 
If your past is hurting you, I want you to consider that it is no longer happening. Whatever was done is done.  It is no longer hurting you; hanging onto it is what is hurting.  Take charge and drop that hurt on the spot and gently step forward.  Now pat yourself on the back.  This is enough for today.  Tomorrow, take another easy step forward without looking at what you dropped off.  Take a moment for a self-hug and breathe.  Purpose to care more for yourself than the hurt you were holding onto.
If you are hurting someone, consider that you are also bringing that into your own life.  The reasons don’t matter because what you are ushering into your life is the same regardless of the reasons.  Haven’t you hurt enough? It’s up to you. You are in charge of ALL of it.  Own your experience. It is, whether or not you want it, your responsibility.  The sooner you see this, the sooner you can surrender all of it.  Love yourself more.
Surrender to that which you claim you want.  Claim and own that you are peace, that you are love, that you are trust, that you are harmony, etc.  Set an example for yourself.  The rest will follow your lead.  This is how it works.
So I see you today, and I want you to know that you are not alone.  I want you to know there is a way out that will leave you whole and wholly fulfilled.  Be willing.  Be open.  Be receptive.  Be honest.  Above all, love yourself bigger than what is going on around you.  No one has the power to take that away from you, except you, and no one has the ability to give you that kind of love except you!  That is the truth.
What are you waiting for?
With great love,
Debora Lynn




There’s Always You

They Better Recognize!
There will be those for whom you will never be enough, and that’s okay!  It’s okay because they probably aren’t enough for themselves anyway.  They are already torturing themselves without even realizing it.  Resist participation in the “Not Enough” game.
There will be those that will say one thing to you when they’re happy with you, and turn around and say the exact opposite when they aren’t.  Resist the confusion by this confused person.  It’s a ploy to pull you into their snare.  Do not enter.  You don’t need them to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong about you.  If you listen to your heart, you already know the truth of the matter.
There will be those who will intentionally say or do things to hurt you.  Let’s be clear, this person is a bully.  It may indeed hurt, but that doesn’t mean they are right.  Let someone you trust know how you are being treated just as fast and as often as you can.  Don’t keep this perpetrator’s secrets about who they are, and stop buying into the secrets you are beginning to believe about yourself.  This is how they feed!  Don’t believe the negative ad campaign, and don’t feed the monsters.
There will be those that will fall short of their promises to you.  I’m not talking about false promises; I’m talking about promises made before they had any idea of what the follow-through would have to be.  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” sometimes means that person can’t hold up to their lofty promises.  Frustrating, yes, but it means nothing – absolutely nothing – about you.
There will be those who will offer to loan you money, or do other favors for you in order to have some control in and over your life.  This is one way they keep you “loyal.”  Do not deal with this person, and do not be this person.  Favors should be from the heart with no expectation of the receiver.  (And, no, I’m not talking about the legalities of a money loan.  I am speaking about  your personhood.)
Predators are everywhere, and they aren’t just of the violent and/or sexual nature.  If someone purposes to bring you down, they are preying on you.  Recognize when someone is doing this to you, and don’t fall for it.  They are lonely down there and wish you harm for their own gain. 
There will be those that discount your feelings, your health, your struggles.  Believe in yourself and don’t let these issues define you. As well, don’t let what people refuse to understand define you either.  Break free from their thinking.
There will be those that are just simply unhappy, angry people. They will create things to blame on you, and they will incite your belief and bewilderment in their story.  If it sounds outlandish, it is!  You can NEVER be responsible for someone else’s happiness.  An unhappy person will be unhappy no matter where they go or whose company they keep.  Notice that unhappiness just follows these people.  You truly never will be enough of anything for these types.  If they can’t make themselves happy, they also cannot make YOU happy.  Also, do not depend on someone else for your own happiness.  You own this one for yourself, like it or not, as do they.
If you can’t physically distance yourself from these kinds of people, at least do not allow them to take up space for free in your thoughts, as your thoughts are at the forefront of your well-being.  Do not allow their insidious nature to take over.  You guard your heart and mind through your thoughts.  Someone may be able to take over physical space, but only you hold the key to your thoughts.  Don’t give it away, and keep these people out of your head.  This you do have 100% control over.
Now it’s up to you! (It always has been, actually.)
I say these things so matter-of-factly, I know.  It is work to be on guard and to be our own biggest advocate, but the payoff is freedom and power.  A very important piece of this is also recognizing the people in your life that are good for you, that love you just because they do.  These are the people that you want to surround yourself with.  These are the people that are worthy of your time, caring, and concern.  The more you surround yourself with these people, the less space there is for the others.  This is what being responsible for yourself looks like.  It’s up to you to be different.  If you’re waiting around for people around you to change, you’re on the wrong track.  Be responsible.  Nothing changes until your own thoughts and actions do.
Are you keeping that friend around who hurts your feelings or never shows up for you?  Why?  Are you keeping that potential suitor around just in case another better one doesn’t come along?  Why?  Are you still going to the family gatherings only to be treated like a stepchild?  Why?  In the pretend act of not hurting someone else’s feelings, what do you think you are doing to yourself?  Certain situations may be unavoidable at times, but that’s when I refer you back to guarding your thoughts!
We have this fairy tale that we aren’t responsible for how our lives turn out.  This tale allows us to ignore responsibility and refuse to take action, which oddly enough IS action and shows up all over our lives.  All you have to do is look at how your life is going, and I’m not talking about how you coordinate it to look on the outside.  I’m talking about your real life – how it looks from the inside.  We all know a horrible person whose life looks like it is unfairly working out so well for them.  (Someone just popped into your head, right?)  But trust me, were you able to be in their skin, it is not that at all.  So watch out for that envy!  The shiny things aren’t always what you think, and there is a price to be paid.

You are your best asset!
My Papa told me once to listen only to me in the end.  He said that people’s opinions were only worthwhile up until they start making you feel bad, vs. making you think.  As usual, he was right.  Of course. (Smile.)  I have come to understand this better as I get older and have become more practiced at it.  I was 13 when we had this talk, and dealing with some bullies at school.  I was feeling very unsure of myself, and he was very clear to me that the girls that were hating on me and bullying me were very unhappy people and wanted to make an example out of me and a few other friends.  He was very clear with me that I should not turn around and be that way to someone else in order to fit in or make myself feel better as they were doing to me.  He was also very honest and enlightened me to the fact that these people would always be around, and the best thing I could do was trust in myself.  He and my mother both taught me that being a happy person in spite of it was the best medicine.
There will be moments when you perceive that you are all you have.  You just have to remember that indeed you do!