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.

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. 

Election Day Is Coming in Like a Freight Train on Fire with No Brakes

Tomorrow is a big day. I hope you voted or will be voting tomorrow.

I voted!

I hope you vote/d for a world that leaves no one out, a world that embraces everyone, a world that can evolve into a world that works for all, where every single person knows they belong. My understanding is that many of us voted OUT of fear instead of voting fear out. I’m talking about the propositions and measures in this instance. (I understand that many of us definitely voted out of fear for our presidential choice. But… if you know me, you know I will be talking about that one later, no matter who wins.)

There’s so much vitriol around elections, (and I’m guilty as well) and in my mind, this insane level of it began when Obama ran. It just seemed there was so much hate towards a Black man and his campaign. I’ve studied long enough to know that hate stems from fear, but my GOD…. I honestly wonder, when is it JUST hate, plain and simple? The hate, anger, and fear is so thick that we’re losing childhood friends, family members, and other friends from our circles — be it by our own choices or theirs.

2020 has been the perfect shit storm, hasn’t it?
Many of us talk like once the election is over, or once we hit the new year, that miraculously it’s all going to go back to some kind of unusual peaceful normal. What even IS that? To me that sounds similar to the coronavirus president’s motto, “Make America Great Again.” I mean, what IS “great,” anyway? Is it:

  • Citizens that cheer on a man who should be stately, but instead makes fun of others like a second grader who doesn’t know any better?
  • Police being allowed to mame and kill people without due process?
  • Healthcare costs only the wealthy can actually afford?
  • Separating children from their immigrant parents, never to be reunited again?
  • Defunding our schools?
  • A country full of people either too uneducated or too unwilling to see how our past affects its citizens to this day?
  • A mass of citizens who think a flag is something to be revered over human bodies, decency, and the actual country it represents?
  • Water, air, and land so polluted it’s uninhabitable, poisons our bodies, and has species of plant and animal disappearing forever?
  • An election and political system so fraught with bribery, lies, and deceit that we can barely figure out who to even vote for anymore?
  • Drilling into our Mother Earth to its own detriment and, ultimately, ours?
  • Lifetime politicians who end up being in it so long they think they actually are anointed for it?
  • A prison bail system that is created only for the wealthy or those willing to risk it all?
  • A death penalty system so flawed with a mindset to follow that is so flawed it believes it’s okay if we get it wrong sometimes?
  • Citizens who will believe a man with a 100-word vocabulary over scientists?
  • Same citizens who think that somehow COVID-19 is either a hoax, or isn’t that bad because either “people are only dying because they had preexisting conditions,” or “it’s not really that many people dying?”
  • Citizens so horribly callous that they justify in their minds the atrocities we create against other sentient beings?
  • People who would rather lie or believe lies than to just admit fault and move on in a better light?

I’m sorry. I just don’t see the “great.” Also, truthfully, I’m not really sorry. I’m a lot of things about it, but I’m not sorry that I don’t have the capacity to be unable to grasp how people ALLOW themselves to become this way.

When did even “just” ONE life become so meaningless — so worthless?
God, forgive us. We’ve become SO ugly.

I’ll be waiting to see if we can pull ourselves up and out of this abyss we’ve thrown ourselves into. I’ll be waiting to see if we FINALLY learn from this election to start paying attention to what’s going on under our noses. I’ll be waiting to see how many go back in the shadows until the next election when they think it’s time to come out and yell again. I’ll be waiting to see how many of us decide it’s time to do something about this F’ed up system the very day after the election. And I’ll be waiting for my comrades who’ve been with me and before me all along to pick up our mantles once again and hit the streets and the airwaves for a world that revolves in love. ‘Cause honey, this ain’t it.

It would be nice to see you there.

Think about it.

Missing Wheels, Broken Heels, and the Future

You can’t get to a better present or a new future without acknowledging the past, and you can’t apologize your way out of bad behavior without reform.

Acknowledge
Action
Commitment
Integrity

Relationships, reparations, business, neighbors… all of it is really about relationships, is it not?

Most of us say we want a better or brighter future, but fail to do anything different. We sit here and wait on someone else to change it so we can step into it and say, “Look at me in this new thing!” Then we pat ourselves on the back and wonder why we get stuck again.

We hurt each other, and sometimes we take a corrective course, but fail at acknowledging what happened. Can you imagine bringing your car home from the shop with only three wheels? The shop fixed everything else, but the front passenger tire was removed because it was flat. Well, you don’t have the flat tire anymore, right? Have you ever had your shoes polished? They look so great afterwards – all clean and shiny. But what if you got them back with a heel missing? Yes, it’s like that when you forget the acknowledgement. Your shoes look great, but the function is just off, and no one notices how shiny they are, just that your heel is missing and you’re walking weird. Then to add to the ridiculousness of it all, you’re trying your darnedest to ignore what’s wrong with the shoes and keep talking about how clean and shiny they are.

Relationships are like that. Corrective action doesn’t mean a whole lot without conversation about the problem and a meaningful apology, and especially if it has been an ongoing issue. The other person likely sees what you’ve corrected, but is now standing by for you to resume your previous behaviors. Why? Because there was no conversation or apology, and the recipient/s of your bad behavior are likely operating in protective mode. That is the foundation, the frame, that you created by skipping over key steps and actions. You’re just driving around with your person or people, bumping along without that tire and wondering why the ride is so rough. Your passenger/s know… but you’re still pretending you’re in a new vehicle.

Our country, our government, our systems have this same issue. We have whole systems put into place that were born out of racism, classism, sexism, etc. The sentiments of our time may not be the same as they were then (we say), but the systems are still in place bringing with them into our present and our future the spirit, the energy, and the isms that put them there in the first place. That’s us gimping along in our polished shoes with the heel missing. We keep saying we’re fixing things, making them better, but we’re failing to recognize or acknowledge what got us here in the first place. We can keep shining those shoes, but until we go back and look at what’s missing, acknowledge that it’s broken, we are not going to fix it. Fixing it doesn’t mean that everyone gets to have shoes with broken heels, or cars with only three tires so that no one notices what’s wrong.

I think this is why we don’t like to discuss reparations for Black folks. This means we have to take accountability for the brokenness that we caused. This means we have to acknowledge that everything isn’t fair and equal now just because we marched and made new laws. This would mean we would have to acknowledge that we have a whole group of people that are severely affected still because 1. the life we forced them into was an unspeakable horror to begin with; 2. we are pretending that we made it right with laws; 3. we refuse to look at the space we created and the foundation we keep polishing (original systems); 4. we think we apologized long ago; 5. we think they should be happy with shiny broken shoes.

You can always make a difference, but pretending and turning away will keep you stuck. If you’re stuck, you’re likely holding other people down with you or trying to keep them there with you. Don’t turn over a new leaf, plant a whole new garden.

  • Acknowledge what went wrong.
  • Take corrective action.
  • Make a commitment to do better or cease the hurtful behavior.
  • Stay in integrity; keep your word because you are a keeper of your word.

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.

Charitable Birthday Fundraiser

I’m celebrating double 5’s this year! Spiritually speaking, this is quite an opportunity! Number 5 symbolizes God’s goodness, grace, and kindness, and I’ve got double, so I’m anticipating great things! I’m fortunate to not be in need for much these days, especially tangibles, but I remember well what it’s like to be in need and the constant worry. And as the saying goes, “There but for the grace of God go I.” So in gratitude and from my heart, I try to give to our underserved and homeless communities when I can, and however I am moved to. This year I am moved to increase Unity of Sacramento’s ability to provide through their Winter Sanctuary. I hope you will help me give them a little bump ahead of the doors opening. Believe me when I tell you that every little bit counts. Thank you in advance for anything that you can donate, and I would love it if you would also share this. 🥳 🙌🏻 ✌🏻 ❤

Campaign Text

For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Unity of Sacramento’s Winter Sanctuary. If you’ve known me for a while, you know that each year I do some sort of charitable drive for our homeless population. I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, they do a FABULOUS job and huge effort, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal.

Each winter, Unity of Sacramento opens its doors for our homeless outreach campaign. We provide a hot meal, a safe place to sleep, and a breakfast-to-go in the morning. Prayer support is always available. Our congregation has been so generous in helping with donations of not only money, but necessities such as toiletries, socks, mittens, clothing, and many other gifts of love. And just like anything else, the more donations we receive, the more assistance we are able to pour out and into our homeless brothers and sisters.

Please help me reach my goal or even surpass it this year! Not only is it tax deductible, but it is a bonus for your spirit! PLUS… it makes me SUPER happy! 🙂

Learn more about Unity of Sacramento

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






Loving Impossible