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.

Kind of a Love Story About My Two Oldest Geniuses


NEW: You can listen to the blog post!
Small black and white photo of me with caption: Me, giving us ALL the do better look.
Me, giving us ALL the “do better” look.

I wish there would have been some kind of universal understanding from teachers and education systems like the mother in the story below when I was a kid in school. I’m still that kid in an adult body, really. (Just ask anyone who has had to be on Zoom calls with me this past year or so during this pandemic!) Thankfully, my mother had a great understanding of who I was. The story reminds me so much of two of my kids, Nate and Ben (for different reasons). They’re grown now, by the way. Nate was exactly this kid, and Ben was not a cookie cutout for learning well inside of the normal school box. Their other younger brother and sister, Josh and Jaz, special, glorious, beautiful, and geniuses in their own ways, operated differently and more easily inside the common structures of our school systems.

I should point out here that these are the observations of a mother, not their own observations or anyone else’s – just from a mama who wished for a world where her children could “just” belong in their completeness, perfection, and just absolute delicious individuality. I’ll never stop wishing and working to have that for them, my grandchildren… for ALL of us.

A photo of a smiling Nate with his daughter, and her arms are wrapped around his neck while she kisses him on the cheek.
Nate, getting loved on by his daughter, Milani, during recovery from an accident at work.

Nate was literally always looking around, as was mentioned very often by his teachers, “daydreaming,” they said. They didn’t understand that he was doing his best to problem-solve things at home and the woes of the entire world. They didn’t understand or see him trying to grow strong and broad shoulders, and the pressures he felt to do so.

They didn’t see what his individual genius was, and some still don’t.

They didn’t see that he was the one playing with the kids no one else wanted to play with because they were different in some way, always caring about them, protecting and defending them. We had our fair share of appointments in the school office because he chose to defend the kids that were getting picked on, and it mostly left him wondering why that was a problem and why no one was doing that for him at school, too. (Y’all know his mama was in that office though!)

He was (is) always aware of his surroundings, oftentimes with more attention paid to that than what was sometimes in front of his nose. I guess it’s no surprise that he became a firefighter and paramedic. His observing is oft times greatly mistaken for being unaware, not listening, not caring, not trying hard enough. It’s such a hugely inaccurate conclusion. I guess that must be the easiest conclusion to make. 🤷🏻‍♀️❓ (Do better here, folks.) Trust me, he knows more than he lets on and more than you think. He always has.

His empathy runs as deep as his feelings. If he’s quiet, he is learning and observing, or he just doesn’t trust you or your judgment and might even think you’re full of shit – and he’s right – a lot. He has always had a deep well of forgiveness that is long-standing that even I at times have a hard time comprehending. This is another misunderstood piece about him that people sometimes mistake for weakness — another ridiculous societal “norm.”

A picture of Ben standing on a lookout point of Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California, filming the view.
Ben, on a recent mother/son trip enjoying and appreciating the sights and sounds above Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California.

Ben would look around, trying to find the deeper information, thinking about the next thing. It would annoy some of his teachers, so I had to let them know sometimes that he was two steps ahead of them already and had lost interest, and on several occasions that they weren’t challenging him enough, giving him the space to expand his mind in the way that he needed to, and that it was they who should try harder to keep up with him.

They didn’t see what his individual genius was, and some still don’t.

There came a point when his father, grandparents and I finally realized that the boxed-in culture of most schooling and the organizational skills taught were not a fit for him. Once we gave that up and gave him room for his own system for accomplishing and finishing things, it was better for all of us! One time I was discussing this with a friend, and he said, “Is he in Special Ed?” (💭 Wait, what? 😳) You see, this is the filters so many of us operate through, tragically, and we end up othering the children we should be learning from. (Again, I repeat, do better, folks!) I said, “Yes, actually, he’s in the Baccalaureate program at his high school…
(💭you f’ing idiot)!”

Ever-curious, ever-seeking new information and understanding about the world around him and the people involved, it’s no surprise that he grew up to be a scientist of the Earth (geology) and has deep feelings about and for the people that reside on it. He will say the “hard things” about various institutionalized and systemic oppressions without regret. When he loves you, it’s probably forever, though the depth may vary and you may not realize it. He is bigger in spirit and intelligence than his physical stature, which is often way underestimated by many because of judgmental societal expectations about how big and tall men need to be. (Lorrrrrdy, we have so much to get better about!)


Imagine the world we would have if we allowed space for individuals to be seen perfect and whole just as they are with all of their natural gifts.


Meme in red and black letters stating "Let your children be who they are. If they don't fit the prefab mold, they are here for a greater purpose. Every child has his/her/their own genius inside."
❤️ Let your children be who they are. If they don’t fit the prefab mold, they are here for a greater purpose. Every (E-V-E-R-Y) child has his/her/their own genius inside. ❤️

Here is the passage which had me write my content above:
My daughter handed me her school progress report. Although it displayed a steady stream of positive check marks, there was one check mark standing dejectedly alone from the rest.

“How am I doing, Mom?” my child asked with a level of maturity that did not match the small dishevelled person gazing up at me with smudged eyeglasses that teetered on the tip of her nose. With her small finger, she pointed to her teacher’s neatly printed words next to the lone check mark.

It read, “Distracted in large groups.” But I already knew this. I knew this long before it was written on an official report card. Since she was a toddler, this child has offered astute observations of the world around her.

After pointing out all the positives on the progress report, I told her what was written. Upon hearing the news, she gave a tiny, uncertain smile and shyly admitted, “I do look around a lot.”

But before my child could feel one ounce of shame, one iota of failure, I came down on bended knee and looked her straight in the eye. I didn’t want her to just hear these words, I wanted her to feel them. This is what I said:

“Yes. You do look around a lot. You noticed Sam sitting off by himself with a skinned knee on the field trip, and you comforted him.”

“You noticed Banjo had a running nose, and the vet said it was a good thing we brought him in when we did.”

“You noticed our waitress was working really hard and suggested we leave an extra good tip. You noticed Grandpa was walking slower than the rest of us so you waited for him.”

“You notice the beautiful view every time we cross the bridge to go to swim practice.”

“And you know what? I don’t ever want you to stop noticing because that is your gift. It is your gift that you give to the world.”

As I watched my daughter beam with the glow of acceptance, I realized her approach to life had the power to change the world.

You see, we are all just waiting for someone to notice—notice our pain, notice our scars, notice our fear, notice our joy, notice our triumphs, notice our courage.

And the one who notices is a rare and beautiful gift.

*Author Unknown*

Wooden structure with the quote by Thich Nhat Hanh printed on it: Love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
Love in such a way that the person you love feels free.

Walking & Thinking #3

I hear a lot lately about cancel culture. I’m sure it has its negative impacts, as I can see how we might want to jump the gun or be specifically harsh to someone if our feelings have been hurt in some way. I can also see how it is necessary if someone is toxic or dangerous to our very being. More specifically, today I got to thinking about people that claim to love us or have our highest interests at heart — someone we live with, a spouse, a neighbor, a relative, or a friend.

Sometimes people just aren’t for you, even if they have love for you. Sometimes people just are not your tribe, or someone truly isn’t your person. Everyone has some kind of genius inside of them, and you will know your tribe by the fact that they not only recognize it, but they actually celebrate it, and they might even recognize it in you before you realize it. That’s your tribe; that’s your person!

#WalkingAndThinking #blog #blogger #tribe #GeniusInside #DeboraLynn #recognize #gift #CancelCulture #redefine #struggle #MentalHealth #love #friends #family #spouse #happy

Imagine… If We Had a Superpower

People come to us whole! It is only in our own eyes that we see and make someone else otherwise. Putting “less-than” upon another person is our own shortsightedness, not theirs.

What if you spent more time appreciating your spouse’s strengths than you did on wishing they did something else better or more? How much better could it be if you celebrated the whole of who they are instead of lamenting who they are not?

What if you got to know your kids just as they are, and loved their kind of genius that is already thriving in them vs. working to mold them into who you wish they would be? True, our children need our guidance. I believe fully that they come into this world already knowing every ounce of who they are, but we think or think we should know better and we convince them of the same. How confusing! Imagine if they were guided standing in who they already are instead of what we wished we could change them into!

Imagine the possibilities, the transformation, the opportunities that could open wide up by freeing up the other from the heaviness of our shortsighted expectations. Understand that it doesn’t just free them up, but us as well. Imagine that! No, really, take a moment to go on ahead and imagine it. I’ll wait.

Now, imagine all the love and affinity you could pour into that newly freed space – that even they could pour into it. What a world that could be. In my imagination, I see families freed up from generations of cycles of all kinds of abuse, spouses and children freed up from the different levels of fear and terror they feel when they hear the other spouse’s or parent’s car pulling up in the evening. I imagine children and young people freed up to be whatever it is that they dream and has them feel like the whole and worthy beings that they always have been, and employees returning home at the end of the day feeling satisfied instead of used. I imagine whole groups of people from different cultures and ethnicities walking freely on this Earth just as they should, knowing that they are loved and cared for just like anyone else, and not only accepted but appreciated for everything they are.

So I will end with what I started with. People come to us whole! It is only in our eyes that we make someone else otherwise. Putting “less-than” upon another person is our own shortsightedness, not theirs.

Move beyond imagining. It’s a superpower we all possess.

It’s a System and I Take It Personal

I know you might find me confounding and even exasperating at times. I know you may not understand (or care) why my voice is so loud and my energy so explosive.  It’s possible that you think I don’t handle things appropriately, whatever that means to you, and I’m sure some of you think I do too much and others think I don’t do enough. It is what it is. I’m sure I could use some balance.  I am sure of a lot of things, and I am sure that I will not apologize for any of this. I appreciate the truth in matters, even when it forces me to change direction or it makes some “side” look bad and it doesn’t feel good. I may not always get it right, but I know I get it wrong less. I am a human being first, and a mother second, but the second feels like my most important job. Like most people I am a lot of other things as well – hooks and edges, bumps and curves, questions and answers, some broken parts – but both of those pieces, human and mother, drive me the most.  What I want for my family is nothing less than I would wish for yours, but NEVER at the EXPENSE of the LIVES of mine. 

Can You Believe How Much I Know?

Or: Why My 50’s Are So Smart

Or: Now that I Know So Much I Know How Much I Don’t Know

Or: I’m Highly Qualified to Know this Stuff; I’m Over 50!

Now that I am past the halfway point of my fifties (LORDY!), I feel mature enough and qualified enough to speak on these things. Here is what makes our fifties so interesting to me and other stuff I’ve figured out:

  1. Feeling instantaneously compelled to take layers of clothing off due to a sudden rise in internal body temperature.
  2. Feeling instantaneously compelled to put layers of clothing back on due to a sudden return of normal internal body temperature.
  3. Feeling homicidal about anyone who thinks they are going to change the thermostat.
  4. Feeling justified about feeling homicidal towards the thermostat hijacker.
  5. When I say that I don’t care what people think, I mean it literally, not like when I said it when I was in my thirties as a spite.
  6. Watching the evolutionary process of being an older parent with adult children as if I am some kind of an outsider to it.
  7. Realizing on so many occasions that my children are just plain smarter than me, and possibly than I ever was at their ages.
  8. Having friends that I have known for half a century or more.
  9. No longer feeling guilt or compelled to hold on to family members that are chaotic, unkind, and disruptive just because they are family, and having the certainty that it is the healthy thing to do.
  10. Not being sure how to do something, then figuring it out, then forgetting how I did it for the next time, and just not caring that I forgot and I now have to ask one of the kids and we’re going to laugh about it – even though it’s likely they’re laughing at me.
  11. Yeah, I know some of these are run-on and incomplete sentences. And guess what… I don’t care about that either!
  12. The thought I had when my grandkids were born that I should have just skipped the kids and gone to the fun part of being a grandparent, except now I know that I wouldn’t be the kind of Gram I am without raising those fabulous parents first.
  13. The realization that if someone doesn’t value me, then they either aren’t paying attention or they are missing something in themselves.
  14. Though my fifty-something body may not be in the strong shape my twenty-something body was, my mind and heart are stronger than ever in my resolve to be a co-creator of a world that works for everyone.
  15. Wasting time looks different to different people.
  16. Slow the f#€k down.
  17. You have to look at the stars, and the sunrises, and the sunsets whenever possible. You may not get another one.
  18. Barefoot is good — unless you are going to put them on the dashboard or window of the car. That’s just gross. Walking barefoot on the Earth is grounding. Besides being gross, the other one will get your knees shoved through your face if you get into an accident.
  19. Take care of your feet. Wash them, for God’s sake. Don’t let your nails get gross and your feet get crusty. It’s not just gross, it’s unhealthy.
  20. Don’t be the reason the person you live with feels lonely.
  21. It’s easy to take the people that care about us and/or we care about for granted, but it’s not okay.
  22. Be fearless. Say yes to things that scare you or have you stopped.
  23. Get tattoos if you like them, no matter what your dad might say.
  24. It really doesn’t matter if someone’s pants sag. What matters is when you think you are better because yours don’t.
  25. If you can look the other way when someone is cheating or being deceitful, you are an accomplice.
  26. Don’t let past regrets stop you. You have them because you are supposed to do better next time. That is the lesson from regrets.
  27. I don’t for a second believe that everything happens for a reason.
  28. I do 100% believe that there is a lesson to be found in everything.
  29. When someone is talking to you, acknowledge them, and act like what they are saying is of the utmost importance. They are giving themselves to you.
  30. As a parent, tell your kids when you could have done better with them, even if it is decades later.
  31. I think most often most people do the very best they can. But don’t let that be an excuse to keep a terrible person around or excuse their poor behavior and choices. Sometimes someone’s very best may still not be a good fit for you.
  32. Don’t think for one minute that you always know more than your children. At any age, child or grown, we should be learning from them.
  33. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to keep them around. It can; but it’s possible it can also mean “thank you for showing me who you are and where you belong.”
  34. It is the job of our youth to challenge our ideals. Each generation co-creates the world for the next generation. We fall short only because we don’t realize in the moment that it is all going to change, and that is the way of things. If you are ridiculing their ideas, that says a whole lot about you and nothing about them. Remember, we raised them and we brought them up in a world whose systems were created before us and also by us. And what did we do?
  35. We do see the color of people’s skin. Color blindness is only a real thing when you’re talking about the genetic disorders. Claiming color blindness when talking about another person is not actually honoring the person of color as you might think. It is actually dismissing a part of them that is worthy of being seen. It is dismissive and indicates you are not willing to dive past the surface to be not only inclusive of our differences, but it assumes that assimilation is key to equality. It is not. What you are actually blind to is your own privilege that you walk around in without seeing that either. You may think that by ignoring the color of another’s skin that you are making a dent in racism. You are doing the exact opposite.
  36. People of color are not here to do all the educating for you on inclusion and what it’s like to be a person of color.  
  37. When someone tells you their experience and it’s different from yours, they are still right.
  38. Teach your kids to read books, not screens.
  39. I am never bored. EVER.
  40. When someone mistreats you; that is who they are. There’s no reason under the sun to let them continue.
  41. When someone tells you something about yourself that’s hard to hear, HEAR it, and move forward accordingly.
  42. Don’t let someone talk you out of your dreams or convince you that you’re not worthy of them — big or small.
  43. It’s okay to be mad. In fact, sometimes we should be mad.
  44. It’s not okay to hurt someone because you’re mad.
  45. Therapy. Do it.
  46. You don’t have to do things like your parents. 
  47. Do NOT live vicariously through your children. You will be in their way.
  48. Children are not tiny adults, and you are a parent first and always; then sometimes you can be their friend, too. When they are grown then you can be friends, and before you know it they will slowly take over, and they may need to.  It’s that middle part that’s the sweet stuff, and if you cultivate it, they won’t mind having to take over at some point, and you will trust them to.
  49. Don’t let anyone interfere between you and your children. That should remain an indivisible bond.
  50. We all need quiet time.
  51. Your kids do NOT need to be busy all the time.
  52. Alone is not lonely.
  53. Suspicion breeds suspicion.
  54. Trust. Don’t screw it up. 
  55. Cuss if you want to. 
  56. Go out of your way to get to know people that don’t look like you or sound like you. You’ll NEVER be sorry.
  57. Embrace the frizz.
  58. Tinkerbell is real.
All in

Whether Black Sheep or Wandering Sheep


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving

So, I’ve read several posts in the last two days about family rejection and/or being made the black sheep of the family, and how hard it is during the holidays and special occasions. Listen, I’ve been there, and with more than one side of the “family.” I’ve also been hundreds and hundreds of miles away from loving family for many years (“wandering sheep”) and unable to spend time with the ones who love me back. It can feel hard, especially if it’s a new situation. But it doesn’t have to remain hard or sad. 

Don’t be a victim. Find other like-minded, loving “sheep” and keep it moving. Live YOUR life. Find YOUR tribe (or herd, I guess). Help grow a new group of humans that are there just to love on each other and understand.

Thankful and Grateful

There are no words to express just how thankful I am for the loving folks in my family that know and care about my heart, that aren’t feeding from the drama well, and have no other agenda for me except to love me as I am.  I am eternally grateful for those of you who took the kids and me in at holidays when my family was so far away. Those are forever treasured memories and times — and I would be remiss if I didn’t recall that a few of you were in the same position. (Look up “Misfit Thanksgiving” inside our collective memories. LOL)

Thinkful and Greatful – What It Is and What It Isn’t

By the way, this isn’t about giving those that you need to be away from or who are pushing you away the proverbial or literal middle finger. (Though I acknowledge how tempting it might be!)  It’s not even the opposite of that.  It’s something completely offline from that altogether. This is ALL about and ONLY about loving yourself more than your perceived need to make a point, prove how right or worthy you are, or to linger in abuse.

Just like we push ourselves away from the table when we’ve had enough to eat, sometimes we have to do the same with those that try to force feed us a bunch of malarkey! Choose healthy options and portions! Spend your energy and mind on making memories that feel good, and excuse yourself from the ones that hurt.  You’re the only one that can do this for you.

Happy Thanksgiving, from my herd to yours!


(For the record, if you know you really are a trifling problem in your family, or you have been treating someone bad, this post is NOT for you.  This is not for you to justify staying away or being asked to due to your poor or abusive behavior.  Be honest. Go get yourself straight and make amends.)



My Mama, Gram, and me – Thanksgiving 2013
We always had the best time.

Audio File/Slideshow


So my father died, and I was just thinking….

I got something HUGE out of sitting in the silence just now.


I was on my deck listening to the breeze, wind chimes, and my wonderful miniature wind gong.  My father died a couple of days ago.  I was taking a breather from an emotional few weeks and an emotional data dump into another solar system (well, that’s what it felt like) that I just released on Facebook a couple hours earlier.  My dear friend, Moe, sent me a note of encouragement about my Facebook post (data dump) and my previous blog post (“The Dark Soul and Little Spitfire), and I stated something to him about how many of my blog posts have a distinct topic, but are vague or esoteric in nature.  That is by design — no accident, because it is kind of like a song.  You know how a song means different things to different people?  I might hear a song one way, and you hear it differently, or it has a different meaning for me than you.  That is the reason I am vague and casual in my blog posts many times.  I want the topic to be clear, but the parameters to be set by the reader.  This way it can have many meanings, and the meaning/s can even change over time as our thinking and experiences evolve as well.

I think my style is effective for the purposes I mentioned above.  However, here’s the meat.  What I got while sitting in the silence was how extremely ineffective it has been for me in my real, in-living-color life.  I am a natural introvert, and a reluctantly-learned extrovert; so this is a tragic, perfect fit.  There are times in life when diplomacy is most certainly called for, and a lack of it can cause more harm than good.  There are times when tact and/or caution are necessary.  But I see how tip-toeing around myself in order to avoid injury to others down my path of personal healing has only prolonged and deepened the injuries.  I am not saying one should just bulldoze over people and their feelings, but I AM saying that I have forgotten who I am to myself.  I have forgotten to treat myself like the one and only me that I will ever, ever, EVER have.  Why should I not treat myself the way I try to treat others whom I revere, and the way that I advise them to treat themselves?  So rather than opening myself up to personal things, I am… VAGUE.  And if I want to get deep with it, that’s not really an honest way of being.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I can talk and TALK about all kinds of things.  I have been told more than a few times that I talk too much!  But if you’re one to really pay attention, you would notice that next to none or absolutely ZERO of what I was talking about had anything very personal or vulnerable about me in it.  If you feel this is not true about me, then consider yourself one of the chosen extreme few.  That’s not bragging, by the way, it’s part of today’s epiphany.

I also get that my vague style of communicating personal things is a protection.  I am sure as I am Irish that it is my own training.  All the way to his death, if you didn’t agree with my father, you were going to pay.  So, I mastered “vague.”  Hell, I JUST said to my husband THIS very morning after I posted my data dump, “I will probably never fully trust anyone.” Wow. Way to go…  Team… ➟➟ of ONE!  How convenient for someone who wants to stay stuck in the beige realm.  (Is that taupe or ecru?  No one really knows.)

I will remember to revere 

myself,

and take care of 

my one and
only 

ME! 

Finally, what I got in the silence today is that by being vague about how I feel, or stepping around things, as my cousin and I talked about, rather than going through them, I’m setting myself and others up to be nuked or data dumped on — like today.  I have lots of feelings and words just swarming around dying to get out!  So if I pressure cook them without releasing the valve at the appropriate time, “She’s gonna blow, Captain!”  What I said in my post on Facebook, I meant.  My regret is that I didn’t say it all sooner and handle it under the category of self-care rather than anger and hurt.

An Aside:  I just took a break from writing this blog post to read some of  the comments on Facebook.  After I posted my blast, I purposely ignored it for a while.  I was fully expecting some cricket noises, maybe a few thumbs-up, and possibly some negative returns.  But I am in tears right now instead at the support I have received.  This is what happens when you put yourself on an island in your mind instead of sharing.  You begin to think you are alone in your feelings and experiences.  I am touched by the kind and caring comments, as well as some private messages, text messages, and phone calls I have received in response.  I hate to sound cliché, but my mind is just blown.  It is time for me to do the work of someone who is ready to move forward from where I’ve been stuck.

I am sad.  I am tired.  My head hurts.  I feel a little less angry today, but I see I have a ways to go, and I fully understand it is totally up to me to find my way to peace.  This is a journey I have to take alone.  I don’t mean that in that lonely, sad way — like “I don’t want anyone around” way, or “There is no one to help me” lugubrious way.  It just is what it is!  Some lessons and transformation are truly and simply a journey for one.

So, what am I going to do about this revelation?  What am I going to do next?  I’m going to buy more wind chimes, that’s for sure.  Those things are MAGIC… like Tinkerbell!  For sure I need to be responsible.  What that looks like is no longer allowing people to abuse my time, which includes family gossip and anything or anyone that just doesn’t feel good or right, or anything that puts me in the position of aligning myself with someone that consistently and purposely makes others feel bad.  After that… I need to stay present and conscious, and I’ll just keep breathing (both directions), learning, and sharing.  

Stay with me.  I’m sure my ride is not over.

ღ Love yourself.

Little Spitfire
I would like to go back
and hug her so tight!

Debora Lynn

P.S.  “Follow” my blog if you want to keep up with me (button on the far right side).  Some of my posts are going to change tone.  When it makes sense, you’re going to see more clearly who I’m writing about. 


The Dark Soul and Little Spitfire

A story that starts over and over again to have a happy ending
  
Allegory
Once upon a time, there was an evil man with an infectious smile and a big sense of humor — but a dark soul, he was.  Nothing good about this man was genuine.  He smiled on the outside, but his insides were murky and sour.  He covered it up by putting on a gregarious and charitable act for all to see, but in the dark is where he crafted his masterpiece of deceit and lies.  His energy was strongest in the dark where no one could see and where he could keep his secrets hidden.  In the dark was where he lured his victims, where he would devour them with enticements of money and favors that they could never repay fully, except with the defeat and surrender of their consciences.  Even then, this Dark Soul would not be done with you.  Once you bowed to him, you were eternally damned with only one way out.  That way was a rarely chosen one which forced the affected to leave all behind.  His force was so strong, and so dense was his canvas of lies, that only a scant few could see out.  Some who saw through his darkness continued to pander to him anyway out of fear.  If you walked through the blinding exit, your true essence would be forgotten by all that you knew and loved, eclipsed by the grimy portrait of lies painted by the Dark Soul that sucked the good out of everything he touched.  He breathed in what goodness he could find and regurgitated stench; and when he breathed in stench, he regurgitated his own demons that were always someone else’s fault.
History
There was a little soul, a Little Spitfire born to the Dark Soul and a Family of Light.  She was innocent to the inner workings of the dark side.  But as she matured she began to come into her own mind, and she began to see the contrast between the Dark Soul and the Family of Light.  She also began to come into her own awareness about the world around her — the world she was immersed in.  This was the corner the Dark Soul missed when he brought the little soul into the world.  He misjudged his own powers of influence and mistakenly thought that he was stronger than all else.  After all, the evidence was there that he was the great influencer, was it not?   But indeed he had not learned that the Light is always greater than darkness; he had born his daughter into the Family of Light as well as his own, and he had immersed his daughter into a world full of life, colorful surroundings, and cultures.  As his darkness grew, so did the little soul’s awareness.  Her immediate surroundings became intolerable, as he not only weighed on her illuminated conscience, but also weighed heavy on her little heart.  The Dark Soul’s abuse was growing in the dark that was beginning to take over.  Then one day the Light Protector decided it had become too dark for anyone to grow, and gave the Little Spitfire the option to stay where she thought she knew her surroundings, or to come with her and live where only Light was allowed.  Having had enough of the stench of the darkness, the 13 year old Little Spitfire chose to go with the Light Protector.  She had no idea that nearly an entire family would turn away from her because of her choice to grow — even her grandparents.
As the years passed, Little Spitfire and Light Protector grew and learned together.  The Dark Soul tormented them whenever and wherever he could for years.  He ruined vehicles, stole jewelry, would call endlessly, spoke horrible language, and stole money from Little Spitfire.  He even enlisted other family members, childhood friends of Little Spitfire, and friends of Light Protector to keep tabs on them for him.  He relied on their gossip and willingly and relentlessly spread untruths about them to his own family and friends.  The Dark Soul even entered Little Spitfire’s school one day shouting epithets at her teachers and administrators to coerce them to have her removed.  Fortunately, it only caused them to frown upon him and feel bad for his embarrassed Little Spitfire, and he was banished from the grounds.  He did anything he could to spread the darkness.  He knew he couldn’t survive in the Light.  Every nasty, big or little thing he did to them, he would turn into a different story to his comrades and family.  His stories were so big and he held so much power, that nearly 40 years later these stories are still believed as the truth, and have been retold and spread by many.  Interestingly enough, not one word has ever been said directly by any of these players to the Little Spitfire or the Light Protector directly about any of these stories.  One can only surmise that it must be easier to believe a lie than to find out the hard truth about everything you thought you knew.
Several years passed, and the Dark Soul was only heard from intermittently with an occasional drive-by, or through packages of old pictures or knick-knacks being left anonymously on the Light Protector’s doorstep.  Spitfire had grown into her own life by now, but was living in the darkness of the trauma left behind from him.  For a while, it seemed that his darkness had followed her and was going to live on through her.  She didn’t realize it until she made a lot of mistakes, some which hurt other people, but most hurt her own life.  Spitfire had an awakening one day when the Light shone on her just right, and she realized that she had little souls of her own that were being affected by the Dark Soul, though his physical presence was absent.  She was at once angrier than she had ever been in her life, but quickly realized that this anger had been the downfall all along — that it had been the remaining shade casting out the Light trying so hard to pull her through for so many years.  In the realization alone, the warmth from the Light began to spread, and little by little, more became illuminated.   The most important thing that showed up for Spitfire was herself, and the realization that she held all the power for herself and her little souls all along.  She had just forgotten in the darkness to open her eyes.
The next chapter in Spitfire’s life was challenging as she learned a new way of thinking and teaching her little souls and for herself.  She had to learn to love the forgotten life she hated in order to have Light everywhere.  Darkness can be like an addiction, and can suck you back in when you aren’t paying attention.  So Spitfire tried very hard to be aware of her surroundings at all times.  Again, she made lots of mistakes, but always brushed herself off and vowed to never make the same mistake twice.  Her biggest wish was for her little souls to grow in the Light and not have to know the darkness that she did.  She worked diligently to cultivate the characteristics in them that the Dark Soul would never have taught — diplomacy, honesty, sincerity, tenacity, decency, impartiality, frankness, honor, unconditional love — whatever she felt were crucial to a life of integrity and courage.
By now, Spitfire’s little souls were on their own, and as some of us do when we feel we have forgiven those in dark places, we think we are strong enough to go back and visit.  We think we have risen above and feel that somehow we “should” out of a forgiving spirit.  And so it goes, that we learn all the while we live.  At least, that’s the point of it anyway.  A few of us choose to ignore the lessons and are doomed to repeat them.  So Spitfire went back for a visit, and she stayed for a while until once again, the Dark Soul began casting his shadows upon her life.  She realized that he was one of those that would die having never learned, and would take with him his darkness to the very end.  And sadly, those that would mourn for him would never know the true Light as long as they remained under his cloak of darkness and refused to even peer into the Light.  Spitfire learned that forgiveness does not mean you need to revisit darkness to show the strength of forgiveness.  The strength of forgiveness is shown in the manner in which we live our lives.  It is in the proof that we do not repeat the mistakes from which we turned.  The lesson is proven when we realize that those scars caused in the darkness are ours forever, but not to pass down and share.  They are only bookmarks, or reminders, like those pushpins on a map.  The Light is shown when we no longer pretend to or show reverence for the darkness that caused the scars, and refuse to lend credence and participation to the Dark Soul’s insidious ego any longer. 
Today
Spitfire has come to realize that even in death, the Dark Soul will live on through those that carry out his legacy of darkness, and it will continue to be repeated until someone says, “Enough!” and chooses the Light instead.  She chose a different world for herself and for her little souls so that eventually his darkness will end.  Light always wins over darkness, but it is a conscious choice.  It was the best choice, but it was not an easy path.  She will remain forever grateful for her Family of Light that showed her a dichotomy in her bubble.  She remains strong in her resolve, but unsure if she would have recognized that it was the Light shining on her without them.  Her early training in the darkness has caused a ripple that is a constant struggle against her own worst self, but the Light shines so bright on her awareness that she can never become unconscious again.  Sometimes it’s up to the beholder to give broken things a purpose.
Lessons continue, and darkness is always waiting.  Spitfire will always keep her head up so she can see, and protect her own to the end.  She knows about the cycle.  It is illuminated now and cannot be unseen.  She thinks to herself how she would have liked to have learned these lessons another way, but she understands that this must have been what it took to change the course for her little souls and her to have a different life.
Goodbye, Dark Soul.  You’ll have to leave without me.”

Sometimes it’s up to the beholder
to give broken things a purpose.
Light always wins.

Reject The Summons To A False Dilemma

 “If you’re not with me, then you’re against me!” 

We take sides in family, friendships, politics, the workplace, and more!  Often, we even take pride and puff out our chests at the divide of which we are at the root, when often we probably should be hiding our faces at the damage we have done – often irreparable.  Sometimes we get so wound up in it that we can’t get out, and we collect other accomplices and victims in our ball of twine as we wind up to make sure we are not in it alone.  Then we assume that those who won’t join us are therefore on the opposing side.  Is it worth it?  Does it make us better individuals or life better when we support another person, group, idea, etc., so vehemently that relationships fall into a cavern of uncertainty or spiral down into oblivion?  Did we actually provide a measurable service for anyone?  Or, was it all done for a power-feed for our own ego or other personal gain?
Sure, sometimes we find we must let someone or something go (bad match, matters of safety, etc.), but that is not what I am talking about.  So as not to justify butting in where we don’t belong, or so obtrusively inserting ourselves where we aren’t needed, I am specifically talking about occasions and instances where we are an outside party and  have an opportunity to take a step back and “assist” only if asked.  I am talking about times where a difference could actually be made by our absence and by keeping our mouths closed – where showing our support would look more like keeping our personal thoughts in our heads vs. putting them into someone else’s space.  I am also talking about how allowing the outcome to be whatever it is going to be without interjecting or injecting our personal selves into it where matters do not require our attendance, literally or figuratively.

 There is always more… or none

 Truth – this is hard to do sometimes!  It is so easy to get caught up, especially if it involves someone/something/a group that we love or despise.  We want to take sides!  Sometimes we think we have to take sides.  But do we have to?  Instead of jumping right in, how different might the outcome be if we first took some time to assess the need for us to insert ourselves in some way, and then just opted out instead?  Or in the case of family and friends, what if we just waited to be asked for assistance or advice, and then still only gave what was actually needed vs. what we personally felt?  We might stop here to consider that when we think we are helping someone with our opinions that we might actually be putting that person in an uncomfortable position with us!  They might really love us so much that they won’t say anything in order to avoid offending us.  It happens!  From there may come avoidance, distrust, dishonesty… you get the picture.  Or, you may just get an earful, and then what?  Once you have inserted yourself as someone’s steadfast ally, what will you do if they change their mind and go a different direction than what you want for them?  How are you now going to react and respond with their once-opposing side, or yet another new choice?

What I am suggesting here is to think way ahead before you jump in feet first, eyes closed, and mouth open if you are considering taking sides with someone or on something.  Once you choose sides you are dividing more than just the two entities in question.  Your energy in the matter will cause a wake.  There is more than one way to show your love and commitment to your person, cause, or group, and it does not always have to mean making the “other side” appear wrong.  Do not expect everyone to jump on board with you if you choose to take sides; and when someone chooses not to, do not fall for the false dilemma that just because they aren’t “with you” that they are “against you.”  Do not actualize an enemy or opponent where there was none.  They may simply realize they have other options, as do you.

 Here’s an idea!