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. 


Whose Side Are You On?

It is hard to tell the difference sometimes, isn’t it?  Often it is very clear who is the one in the wrong, but many other times it is hard to differentiate.  What about those times when our loyalties to a person or a group cloud our judgments?  Or maybe our judgments aren’t clouded so much as we are just too afraid of rocking the boat to jump ship, or to just draw the line and say “enough is enough.”  A lot of times we just don’t take the time to step back and even listen or try to understand the other person or group.  We “love” and are attached to our own understanding so much that we don’t even take a second thought that there might be something more, something else, something beyond our personal experiences and comprehensions.  That is not LOVE.  Now I am not saying that you do not love that person, that entity, that group, etc., but if you can’t love them all, then truly, it is incomplete.  It is one thing to show support, but it is completely another when the support is actually hateful competition.  


Love is ALL-encompassing, and leaves no one out.  Love does not discriminate or differentiate, and it is always complete.  It is static, yet fluid at the same time.  It is everywhere and never absent.  It is there for the asking and the taking, yet is best when given.  It is a verb and a noun, and you can give it away and even give it to yourself (highly recommended).  But we pick and choose… why?

We show favor to one family member, while we backbite and gossip about another.  We condemn one group of people trying to survive over another.  We close our minds and hearts to someone who doesn’t look like us or think like us, and the whole time we are claiming love for the one we chose.  It is incomplete.  Get out of the way.

Do I accomplish LOVE all the time?  No. I understand that I’m in its way sometimes.  When are you in the way?  When are you blocking it or preventing it for someone else?  I also understand that if I purposely block it for someone else, that I’m blocking channels somewhere for myself as well.  Be careful about the love you profess for someone, something, or a group.  If your “love” is a clever disguise as hate or discord, you may fool some people, but you will not fool LOVE.  If you are clouding someone else with discord, realize that you are doing it to yourself as well.  Do yourself a favor and get out of the way.

I am a work in progress, and continually working on this.  I know a few people that I think are so good at showing and being LOVE all the time, and when they aren’t, they are able to quickly redirect.  That is the side I want to be on and keep practicing.  I hope that is the side you will choose.  Think about it.  Whose side are you on?

In LOVE,

Debora Lynn

Our Assignment

Do not lose faith in humankind. Do not break the chain that connects us.  Do not give in to the bad things that happen – because bad things do happen. Do not let the bad things chip away at your humanity. You are above that, and that is what bad things are for. Do not try to understand something that cannot be understood. Our assignment is to keep loving each other. That is all.

Sometimes "Goodbye" Takes a Really Long Time

I hope the people that love me want to be around me. And I hope the reason they want to be around me is simply because they choose to for no other reason than they like who I am, or maybe because it is just easy to. I wouldn’t want a life where people cling to me because I have something to hold over their heads, or because they are too afraid of me for some reason, or simply out of nothing more than perceived obligation.
As I write this, my biological father is dying  —  possibly in his last few days. I will not go see him. This is not an act of defiance, revenge, meanness, or some measure of something like any of that. I realize it may seem like it to some, and I am fine with that. Mostly. I suppose they are entitled to their uninformed opinions. I no longer have anything to prove or figure out. I am not going because my father blew it, and he blew it really big, and more than once. I said my final goodbye to him a few years ago, and I was fully aware at the time of all that meant and encompassed. I still feel I am, but I am realistic enough to understand that full awareness won’t come until he is literally gone. So for now, I feel complete.
am steeped in my thoughts, however. I find myself drenched in my memories of my angry, pissed off, self-righteous twenties; swirling around in my bewildered, self-discovering, transitional thirties; reminiscing and touching my transformational, self-loving, strengthened, liberating forties. But I am not really wanting to be here today — 51. At once, I feel I wouldn’t change any of it, but am left wondering how I could have changed some of it so that I could have wanted to be with my father. The word “Dad” when I refer to him no longer comfortably, naturally rolls off my tongue. His other children, my half siblings, made the trek from the East Coast to be with him. (We are in California.) They have somehow remained in his good graces. I shudder to think what parts of their souls they had to give up to remain there. Or perhaps they are cut from the same cloth. Perhaps it is a combination. It is just conjecture on my part, and I cannot honestly say that I know. Whatever the case, what I do know for a fact is that in order to remain in step with people, we have to be in some sort of agreement with them, spoken or not.
What I am left with is that it did not have to be this way, and that is the disappointing part. That burn is cooled by knowing there was nothing more that I could do — well, nothing more that I could do without turning into someone I wouldn’t like. I won’t sell myself short to assuage someone else’s control issues, or perpetuate their appetite for verbal cruelty, or live into someone else’s lies about who they think I am or should be. I will not change myself, injure my soul, in order to live into someone else’s needs for power. I will not ever succumb to lies told about me to help someone else look better and more powerful. I simply will not trek with that perpetuating party. So what I am left with at the end of the day, every day, is just myself. Me. And I have been okay with this for a very long time. The lie we tell ourselves is that we are left with more than that, and we try really hard for it to be more than that. When my father leaves this realm, he is going by himself. For all of the controlling and manipulating he has done for so long, and no matter how many might be by his bedside, he will be alone when he goes. That is the way of it.
I think I will always have this feeling of “it didn’t have to be this way” and “what an incredible waste of time.” It was not always this way between my father and me. I was “Daddy’s Little Girl” for sure —  the apple of his eye. I thought he was so handsome, so strong, so smart, so kind  — and then I got older and developed a mind of my own. I began to see things for myself, to hear things and understand what I was hearing from a more developed awareness. I grew my own voice, not of my mother’s or father’s teachings, but from my own thoughts. This was the beginning of a new relationship with my father, and it was one he would never accept. It was hard at first because I could not understand how someone so outspoken refused to understand why I would be so outspoken. Didn’t he see that he taught me to be this way? Wow, the irony! There is so much more to this of course, but it is pointless. Perhaps it will show up in another writing one day. So here we are.
Had I to go back and do it all over again though, I do not see it ending any differently. I can only move on and find the lesson. I do not subscribe to “everything happens for a reason.” I used to believe that, and then some terrible things happened, and I realized that a God of love would not cause terrible things to happen. The God of love that I believe in deals in “NOW.” So I understand that it is up to me to find the lessons for myself. Some are obvious immediately, and some come years later. But I will always be open, and I will always seek out the lesson even if it means creating one.
What I have learned in my 30-year (so far) inquiry is that I have to let people be who they are, just as they are. If I have something I want to teach or share, teach or share it gently, and only when it comes from a place of love —  never power or control. Some things I have learned from my father are because of him, and others are in spite of him. Others I learned from my mother in contrast. I have learned to use my voice, but I had to teach (and am still teaching) myself how to use it constructively and without force. I have learned to let my children be exactly who they are, even when I do not approve or agree. That leaves me free to just love them. I have learned that love does not have a price or a bounty. I have learned that it is my responsibility to show up for my children, no matter how old they are. I have learned that I cannot actually control others, and that I actually do not want to control anyone else. I have learned that I have no rights or responsibility over anyone’s happiness but my own. And… sometimes “goodbye” takes a really long time. 



Lastly, what I have learned is:

In our kitchen as a reminder. 🙂

and nothing more — ever.

What I want to leave you with is hope. I want the readers to know, because it may come across a certain way in a brief blog post that separation from my father was easy or perhaps a quick process, or like I just said, “F_ it,” and walked away one day. It was none of those, and neither was it ever the desired outcome. It was simply necessary. I suspect you may be thinking, “Where is the hope in that?” It is right where it has always been and has always belonged. It is within ME, just as for you it would be within. When we lose hope, we perpetuate the family secrets, the family lies, tragedies, violence, abuses, etc. When we realize the hope is within, as individuals, as separate entities, we begin to do life on our own terms. This is how hope lives, and this is how we change future family dynamics. Go love your people without terms, without contract, without force. You will get all that back exponentially.
Do you, but with love and kindness, and no other intention. It all works out without all the unnecessary pain and struggling.  The clue to when you are on the wrong path is when you are wearing yourself out (and possibly the people around you)!
Not nearly “The End.”
Debora Lynn

Before you can think outside your box, you must first…

Listen outside your box.

So often we speak only from within our walls and from what we know to be true inside our own secluded world.  Then we suffocate any ideas that try to penetrate from the outside before we actually consider them.  We assign the new thing (thought, value, movement, etc.) a value from our own cemented thoughts, and then call it false or a lie before simply considering it with a different set of experiences and values.  Just because we don’t share or have never had that same experience, we act as if it isn’t true or it doesn’t hold the same value as our own.  We don’t bother to try it on, to do our best to stand even for a moment in the place of the other, or even get curious enough to ask learning questions.  We run away from learning from it, refuse to look at it, and are quick to kick it out of our box and forget it.  Many times we do our best to convince others to do the same.  Some would call this ignorance, and maybe it is, but I think that’s too simple.  I say it is fear, and essentially an absence of love.

What if our knee-jerk reaction to another’s experience was acceptance instead of rejection?  That’s not to say that we should believe or buy into everything anyone says.  Now that would be ignorance.  But why should we automatically reject anything that is different from what we are used to either – that is different from our preformed assumptions?  Fear causes it to be nearly impossible for us to have new ears with which to listen to someone or something that is different.  We are afraid of change; we are afraid of looking wrong; and we are afraid that if we change our people won’t go with us.  Even when we don’t agree with someone, rather than giving them the honor and the credibility that they deserve for having a different life experience, we ridicule and/or we sometimes bully and terrorize them.  When really, it would be so easy just to recognize them (and quite frankly, less work) as another human being with a different set of life experiences.  That would be love and acceptance – without fear.

Everything in this life is not linear, is not of black and white thinking, is not only what you see with your eyes, is not cut up into perfect increments to be served in a universal box.  If you can’t see outside of your own box, if you can’t even imagine what it must be like in another box, this world is going to keep bouncing off the corners and we’re never going to get a smooth ride on it together.

I invite you, at least for today, to listen instead of thinking about your reply.  I invite you, at least for today, to consider that another’s experiences are just as real and true as your own.  I invite you, at least for today, to be fearless and loving with your listening.

In LOVE,
Debora

Work in Progress


Don’t get drawn in by the negativity.  It’s harder to get out than get in. When you do, simply step out.  We are all constant works in progress.  If you fall or misstep, you don’t have to stay there.  Wage peace.

Namasté.



Caitlyn vs. War Heroes, Christians, and the Importance of Stones

How quick we are to judge someone else’s idea of a hero.  How quickly are we to make comparisons of their hero to another hero we approve of.  Unfortunately, this is comparing apples to oranges, and only proves that we have no room to grow in our personal ideology.  It only shows our unwillingness to stand in another’s shoes and have the possibility of some enlightenment and understanding. 
I am weary of everyone comparing Caitlyn Jenner to war heroes (apples and oranges), quoting Bible scriptures about her, and poking fun at her journey.  Just because you cannot imagine it, does not make it untrue.  Just because it is not true for you, does not mean that it is false.  Who are you that you think it is okay to dictate who someone else’s hero should be?  Who are you to ridicule someone else’s idea of who their hero is or should be?  In my opinion, this is a form of bullying.  Yes I said it, bullying!
In case you are still confused or simply unwilling to figure this out on your own:
transitive verb
1
:  to treat abusively
2
:  to affect by means of force or coercion
intransitive verb
:  to use browbeating language or behavior 
  
1
a :  a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
b :  an illustrious warrior
c :  a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities
d :  one who shows great courage
2
a :  the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work
b :  the central figure in an event, period, or movement
3
plural usually he·ros :  submarine 2
4
:  an object of extreme admiration and devotion
For those of you who just cannot get past your scriptures and feel the need to laud them over others, here are a few (NIV) to consider before you say another word about Ms. Jenner’s journey.  Consider if you rise above any of this criteria:

  • Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.  John 8:7 NIV
    • Raise your hand if this is you.
  • But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.  If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  Matthew 5:39
    • Have you ever lashed out at anyone you were angry with – ‘ever done a vengeful deed?
  • For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.”  If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.  James 2:11
    • Have you ever cheated on someone?  Have you ever killed someone?  (No?  Did you go to war?)
  • When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.  Proverbs 23:1, 2
    • Do you overeat or drink too much?
  • Hosea Chapter 4 (You must look this one up on your own and read the whole chapter.  You will get an interesting view of yourself.)
    • This will surely give you an idea of just how much with or without sin you actually are.
  • Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.  Romans 13:7
    • How often have you been 100% honest on your taxes?
  • Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  1John 3:4
    • Wow.  It says “everyone,” not some of you.
  • He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.  Matthew 25:45
    • How do you treat animals, people with different beliefs, children, people with disabilities, people you are not fond of, people who live a lifestyle you can’t/won’t understand?  Have you ridiculed anyone lately?
  • Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7
    • This is easy.  If what you are saying or doing does not resemble love, then you are simply doing it wrong.

As defined above, there are different kinds of heroes.  Men who fought in wars do not hold the definition of hero alone.  Caitlyn is a hero to some, and it is not any higher science that she is not seen in the same way some see a war hero.  I highly doubt that anyone is suggesting that.  You cannot compare Caitlyn to a war hero, just as you cannot compare a war hero to a brave woman who has fought her hardest to overcome a deadly illness.  Moreover, because she is not a hero to you, does not mean she is not a hero to someone else.  Likewise, one who is a hero to you may not be to someone else.  (Mind blown?)  Just because you cannot understand something (or refuse to), does not mean it is not real or true for someone else.  Perhaps it is a signal that it is time to stretch your brain, your mind, and more importantly, your heart!

On a side but similar note, how many of you that are screaming foul about Caitlyn, are yet standing firm with the Duggar family?  Here is your serving of hypocrisy and pretense for the day.
Here is what being willing to learn something new and admitting it looks like:  
The man in this article shared a post, his thoughts, and comparisons, about Jenner being considered a hero.  He just picked a fairly random photo he pulled from the web and posted it.  However, he then took it upon himself to be responsible for the picture he chose to share to illustrate his point.  He read a shocking story behind the photo and (Here is the part to pay attention to.)  instead of ignoring it, he took full personal responsibility and posted an update with the story about the picture.  Notice how many shared this man’s post initially,  then pay attention to how many shared his update.  I call the latter shameful.  It took courage on his part to change his tune once he learned something new.  How many of us are willing to do this even in the face of showing we were wrong?  How many of us would ignore it be able to hang onto an ideal?  That is called a lie, and you can refer to the scriptures above if you would like.
I get that Caitlyn Jenner is up front right now because of whom she is, her celebrity status. To that I say simply, “So what!”  This is not my plea for her to be your newest hero, or to even agree that she is one.  What is true is that Bruce Jenner was my hero and idol in junior high school.  I was even quoted in our school newspaper about that when I was interviewed for “Athlete of the Month,” or something like that.  I still think what he accomplished was amazing.  As an adult I see it a little differently and would see him as someone I admire for his past athletic talents and hard work.

Do I personally think Caitlyn is a hero?  I honestly cannot relate, and that is part of my point today.  The closest I can come to relating is memories of a version of me long ago that was uncomfortable in her own skin until I became more authentic in my life.  I am now more comfortable and a much happier person.  I can see clearly why she is a hero to many, regardless of what my personal beliefs or feelings are on the subject.  I am not in their shoes, so I will not endeavor to attempt at proving them wrong or ridiculing anyone for it.  If she makes someone in a similar life-situation feel better about themselves, gives them courage and hope, helps someone feel empowered, then who am I to throw stones?  My own beliefs are not threatened because someone else has different ones, and I do not make it mean that my beliefs are suddenly null and void or unimportant because of it.

So… about those stones you were throwing?  Instead, how about you kick rocks on your judgements and stop bullying.  Besides, realize that stone might be returned one day!

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