Wednesday, August 14, 2013

an offering

I saw the issues of women everywhere in her face, in her scars, in her denial. Even though I didn't know the details of her story, I knew that she was way too young to be carrying the sadness she carried. Way too young to be wearing the wounds she wore.

I don't know when or where I decided that there was a 'too young' for pain, as there really doesn't seem to be an age limit on suffering. Which is something that makes my heart ache.

And it's something that makes me want to reach out to young girls everywhere. No, I want to do more than reach out to young girls – I want to grab them and hold them and infuse some kinda knowing into them. That's different, isn't it? It's a bit more of a control-freak thing. I want to make all that pain go away. While yes, it's a good hearted control-freak thing, I guess the way it works is it doesn't matter if it's good hearted or not, control-freak stuff isn't healthy.

But what is healthy?

I sat at a table with this young woman trying to explain her worth. Trying to tell her she mattered. The only words she could hear were from the equally wounded, scarred and unhealthy young man she partnered with. She listened and followed and believed his completely twisted version of reality with adoration and devotion.

When she tried to tell me how much better she was since she got together with him, and how she's healthy now, and that the beauty of being a couple was that you could be mirrors for each other, I mentioned that sometimes we picked the very people who fit perfectly with the things that weren't healed inside of us. And that together, instead of healing, we did a dance of dysfunction. Interestingly enough, she didn't understand what I meant, and her boyfriend had to explain it to her. Knowing he was dancing the dance with all his might, I listened to him explain. And I wondered how we could all be as blind as we are at times. Was it blind or was it something else? I just didn't know. I still don't know.

Healthy is letting go and letting people make their own mistakes.

Oh, such a beautiful sentence until you start looking at what some of those mistakes could be. That sentence can touch on the horrific at times.

And yet, I know that is what I must do, but I'm pretty sure there's a lotta ugly that will be mixed into the story, no matter how smoothly I let go or how beautifully I word the releasing I must do.

Healthy is saying your truth when you need to. That seems to be an important part of letting go. Saying the things you need to so that in the end, you will know you offered who you were and that you offered any light that you could. I honestly believe that matters. And then, for me, healthy is taking the pain and doing something positive with it. That is an essential part of my coping with the world, my living on this planet, and my living with myself.

I started work on a piece that I want to offer to girls. I sat down one quiet morning and tried to think of the things I wish every girl could remember as she headed out for her day. Sort of her 'to do' list for living her day. I came up with the following:

Things To Do Today -
  • Be gentle with myself today, showing myself compassion instead of anger.
  • Remind myself that my feelings are valid – even if people tell me differently.
  • Learn from my mistakes, and understand that's it's okay to make them.
  • Walk away from situations that are unhealthy knowing that doing so gives me power.
  • Listen to my heart – not to outside pressures.
  • Remember that voice inside me that knows what's best for me. Treat that voice just like I'd treat my best friend.
  • Don't do things that belittle, degrade or take away from who I am or from anyone else.
  • Trust the importance of each small act, and fill them with who I want to be.
  • Be wary of those with all the answers, use caution around the smooth talkers.
  • Hold responsibility for my own actions, but let go of responsibility for the actions of others, those are not mine to hold.
  • Stay away from the confusion of trying to make everything right for everyone else, and make things right for my healthy self. The rest will follow naturally.
  • Watch my body and learn to respect it, and be in awe of all it can do from its cycles to its ability to heal, to its simple every day movements.
  • Understand that the happiness I am looking for begins inside of me.
  • Ask for help when I need it.
  • Know that I matter, I count, and I am worthy.
And then of course, I knew, this isn't just for girls. It's for boys, for women, for men, for all of us.
There will be punching up and figuring out how to present it. But it's a start of an offering. It's my way of coping, and my way of holding on to something when I have to let go of something else. Hopefully next month it will be part of the bone sigh arts product line. And hopefully at least once, it will echo in someone's heart.


kerrdelune said...

Oh my dear, I so needed this post.

Anonymous said...

An amazing insightful post Terri, so important. Am sharing the link!

Diane Stefan said...

awesome, awesome, sharing the link too - everyone needs this 'to do daily' list. . .we all matter. . .thanks ter