Good morning When the dew is still On the roses And my favorite morning glories Have yet to open and bloom I’m wide awake Sipping my second cup Of strong coffee And my heart is filled Way past the brim Overflowing Because I know There’s beauty in the brokenness Cracked pitchers Display flowers Instead of holding water Broken tiles Create mosaics Old things can be Restored Redeemed Repurposed Tattered jeans Still feel good But most of all Relationships Change Grow Become So exquisitely Beautiful Over time When we know Love More than ever
Last Sunday, I sat at church next to my husband and turned on AVA ( the audio visual app I use) and then I leaned back and waited to hear what the Preacher Man had to say about the first book of Corin￼thians.
It didn’t take long for his words to shoot straight to my heart because I had just been telling an old friend about a story of my Daddy and this just bought tears to my eyes.
“Who are you?” Here we go….” Remember who you are!”
My Daddy was really my Papa. He raised me from the time I was six months old and although they tried when I was very young I make sure I understood who he was and who I was, it didn’t really make any difference.
I was his and he was mine. It was that simple. I had started out calling him Papa- Daddy but somewhere along the time, he just became my Daddy and I was so proud to be seen with him and associated with him .
That’s what the Preacher Man said about Paul calling out the people and claiming himself- he knew who he was and he was reminding others to be who they are .
We tend to forget that sometimes and we need to be reminded as Christians we have a Heavenly Father that we are known by and known for and we better take that to heart.
That’s one thing my Daddy always said to me-“Jeanna…remember who you are and who I am…. You’re the daughter of Odis Lawrence Johnson….act as if I’m with you because it’ll get back to me when you don’t”
When I was 16, we had gone on another business trip as a family. My Daddy , my Mema and my Momma traveled together during the summer months. Both Mema and my mom had gone to lunch with the other wives so I was left to do whatever I wanted.
I decided that I was going to the hotel pool by myself. So I walked down the halls of the hotel towards the elevator to go to the pool outside of the lobby wearing a bikini without the cover up I was supposed to be wearing. I thought I was too cool and too cute for that and I wanted to show off a little bit .
I got into the elevator feeling quite proud of myself with a magazine,a coke, a towel and that bathing suit cover up tucked into a beach bag.
Then this man stepped into the elevator with me and pushed the buttons and then turned to me and asked, “Aren’t you Mr. Johnson’s daughter?”
I stared at him, knowing full well that he would be telling my Daddy that he saw me on the elevator.
I shook my head, and said “Yes, I am. My name is Jeanna” and then he started telling me stories about how my Daddy has helped him get his first job in the company and how he had been so good to him. Over and over, this man was telling me how lucky he felt to know my Daddy and work for him for so many years and to finally get to meet his daughter.
We missed the floor to the pool and I was feeling nervous as the elevator went back up to the lobby landing. I started to try to juggle the cover up out of the beach bag while reading the man’s lips and trying to appear as if I knew what I was doing.
He said “I guess I made you miss your floor but I just wanted you to know what a great man your Father is”
Just then the elevator doors opened and there’s my Daddy standing with several other businessmen all of them dressed in suits and ties.
I was surprised but I shouldn’t have been. I knew he had meetings on and off all day at the hotel. I knew better but I didn’t do better.
Daddy looked at me and his eyes shot me a warning and I knew good and well that we would have a long talk when he got back to the hotel room.
The man stepped out and motioned to me,” I was just talking to your daughter,Mr Johnson and she’s as as sweet as you said she was.”
I was embarrassed and proud, ashamed of myself for letting my Daddy down yet happy that I was recognized as being his daughter.
I went straight back to the hotel room, skipping the pool because my heart was no longer in It and I didn’t feel quite so cool and cute anymore.
I had let my Daddy down. I knew how to dress and how to behave. He had raised me well and had told me time after time that wherever I go, somebody will know him and I should always be a good representative of him.
After all, I was Odis Lawrence Johnson’s daughter, wasn’t I?
That’s how we are called to live our lives here- as if we are representative of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Our God and Holy Spirit.
Just like my Daddy would remind me that evening when he returned to our room. I didn’t represent him very well on the elevator. I knew that he expected me to be covered until I got to the pool, and I knew that not doing so was disrespectful to him but also to myself. Daddy has instilled in me confidence but also he had also taught me that there was a time and a place for everything.
I had not listened to my Daddy at first but after the conversation with the man I didn’t know and then the talk with Daddy that evening, I knew exactly what I had done and what I would do differently.
Over the years, there’s been times when I’ve forgotten who I was and who I belonged to. I had not acted as if I was the daughter of the King, I hadn’t lived as if the elevator doors would open up and I would find my Heavenly Father standing right there, surprising me.
But here I was, sitting at church again with my husbands arm across my shoulders listening to the Preacher Man remind me that I was created for such a time as this for a good reason- God’s reason- and His grace is all I need.
He’s faithful even when I’m not, He loves me even when I am ashamed of my actions and even when I don’t represent Him very well,oh, how He loves it when He sees an act of kindness, anything done in His name with love and when we talk about how good He’s been to us.
After I became a believer, I wrote my Daddy a long letter and told him that I had came to accept and know God as my Heavenly Father because of who he had been to me.
He had cried reading the letter after first getting on to me for staying at his house so late instead of “going on home to your husband “ but that’s the relationship we had.
Daddy could get on to me and love me to pieces at the same time…that’s just how the Heavenly Father does.
He gets on to us and He loves us so much. No matter what we do, He is still our God and He’s always ready to wrap a cover around us and pull us closer to Him. He covers us with love even when we are ashamed or embarrassed just like He does when we think we are so cool and cute.
We just gotta remember who we are and who we belong to.
My Daddy went to Glory in 1993 and I still live as if he’s going to be right outside the elevator, because I’m still his daughter…just like I’m the daughter of the King.
I saw this on another friends wall and read it several times before deciding to post on my own. Today I had a young mom on my massage table and she had several tattoos but two really stood out to me. On her shoulder she had her Nana’s favorite Bible verse and the words she would always say to her and above each elbow were the words “let go” and “let God” and, as I worked on her,I prayed for her and also prayed for those I know that are hurting and have hurt others. Hurt people hurt, that’s the simple truth and that’s why I have always been willing to listen and reconcile and forgive and work things out. But I’ve learned something profound in this last year- and that’s to let go, let God and let them. I don’t and won’t hold grudges but when I’ve reached out, again ava again, without answers or replies and when it’s clear that it’s their choice- I stop. I stop sending messages, and I stop asking for answers and I stop hoping for things to change. I simply accept it and move on and let God. I have peace either way- part of me doubts I’ll ever see them this side of heaven again, and it is what it is. As the holidays get close, I find myself leaning on verses that mean so much. ““Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 NRSV
So I will remember fondly the days when we gathered at the home of Mema and then at other family members, but it’s been years – Shelter in Place, Covid and other things changed that and so it’s in the past and now, it’s time to create new traditions and new deep bonds and grow close to those that want to be part of my life. I will pray and I will leave the door open but I’m not sitting on the curb waiting to be let back in, I’m outside living my life and if anyone wants me, they can come on and catch up with me. I’m not waiting to be wanted. I already am. “I saw these tattooson Facebook the other day and as I read the meaning behind it, my body instantly got covered in chills. I needed this! (☕️ not the tattoo- I can’t sit still for hours getting poked- wimp! 😞) Some of those words I needed to hear I posted below. You may need them too..
“ Let Them”
“Just Let them. If they want to choose something or someone over you, LET THEM. If they want to go weeks without talking to you, LET THEM. If they are okay with never seeing you, LET THEM. If they are okay with always putting themselves first, LET THEM. If they are showing you who they are and not what you perceived them to be, LET THEM. If they want to follow the crowd, LET THEM. If they want to judge or misunderstand you, LET THEM. If they act like they can live without you, LET THEM. If they want to walk out of your life and leave, hold the door open, AND LET THEM.
Let them lose you. You were never theirs, because you were always your own. (☕️ damn straight!)
So let them.
Let them show you who they truly are, not tell you. Let them prove how worthy they are of your time. Let them make the necessary steps to be a part of your life. Let them earn your forgiveness. Let them call you to talk about ordinary things. Let them take you out on a Thursday. Let them talk about anything and everything just because it’s you they are talking to. Let them have a safe place in you. Let them see the heart in you that didn’t harden. Let them love you. “
I needed this as a reminder to myself! Now every time I look down at my arm i’ll always be reminded… Just Let Them 🖤
So I’m wrestling with this conversation that Jesus and Mema keep having with me about my gifts and my intuition and instincts I’m a natural at gathering people together and I love pulling out my dining table and making people feel at home It comes from being raised by Mema who had an open invitation pasted upon her back door and her heart.
I do find my guard going up though when I’m invited someplace and right off the bat, I hear “we separate men and women “ for this and that.
Hold your horses, just a minute here.
Already I can feel the cliche – this is for married couples ages xx to xx, this is for singles ages x to x, this is for divorced, widow, old, young, pink, green, weight lifters, candy eaters, artists, scholars Etc,
So while we are trying to fit people into the right boxes, there’s those of us that are square pegs that just don’t fit into any little circle quite right and those are the ones that slip between the cracks
Mema and Jesus talking about all the people…. Come on over, sit down with me
Being asked to go into a separate room from the only person I really know doesn’t make me feel welcomed or comfortable
Yea, I get it…. It makes others more comfortable but let me shoot straight here-
Perfect love has no fear.
No fear of judgement No fear of being left out No fear of not fitting in No fear of being too much or not enough No fear of losing out
So Greg Mead and I have been talking about the days when we gathered with friends and laughed and shared and grew closer to God and to each other
It all started at home…. Taking turns, breaking bread and dishes and feeling completely comfortable with each other enough to try a new recipe and laugh together when it flopped, to start a game and get distracted by talking and then prayer. To sit barefoot on the couch and lean forward with anticipation.
We have friends in low places, people that don’t fit in cubby holes but do fit in our heart and home
As one friend said “ it’s supposed to be about Jesus.”
Damn straight. Jesus.
I reckon He would pour a glass of sweet tea, pull out a chair and beat us at chicken foot and laugh really loud as the dog grabbed the cookie out of His hand.
That’s how I see Jesus. I think he’ll have an open invitation tacked upon His heart and He’ll be glad to see anybody and He won’t say, “oh you’re divorced-this isn’t the right place for you” or “you will be better served over there” or “all the married ladies go here”
Nah, He’s Gonna say “I’ve been waiting to talk to you for so long” and then He’s gonna squeeze in right next to you…. No matter if you stink to high heaven from a long day working or if you’ve sprayed on enough perfume to smell you from fifty feet, or if you got crazy drunk two nights ago and still have a hangover, or if you stayed up half the night cramming Bible verses in your head just so you’ll feel good enough.
All He’s going to do is love you and all He wants is for you to love Him and each other. .
I’m going to shoot straight with y’all-this is an emotional time for me! Last year at this time, I thought I would just be missing two weeks following guidelines for Covid exposure Instead I wound up having to miss almost three months and fight like the dickens to regain strength and balance to get back to doing what I love and loving my life!
I’m still not graceful but I’m ever so grateful for every step I take, every breath I make and every thing I can do now that I struggled to do for months!
Let me tell you, Laura carried this studio for months and kept it going and made me so thankful that God bought her to me back in 2017! She’s an amazing therapist but she’s even a more amazing woman and there have been many times that she’s driven me home when my legs just couldn’t carry me any more and it wasn’t safe for me to drive while my legs were shaking like leaves on the catalpas trees!
I’m ever so grateful for each of you clients that have continued to book with us because that shows faith that you believe we will be there for you and trust me, seeing the schedule with names lifted my spirits so much and made me feel like I can do this!
My daughter, Kateley Lyons, has long been my receptionist and office manager but she’s also almost finished with massage school because she saw the great need Rockwall Body and Soul Massage had when I couldn’t massage so she’s getting her license to fill in the gaps and be able to cover when Laura and I need it . She’s doing internship massages now and would love you have you book at Massage Academy 4 Everybody!
Whew: this is longer than I intended but I just returned from a trip to the cabin in the trees where I was able to pause, ponder, praise,pray and plan for the future
I hope that future includes YOU – I’m extending my hours and getting back on my Ashiatsu bars and making magic happen again!
Book your massages and come see me and Laura! I may cry tears of joy and I may stumble when I walk but I’m pretty strong and I’m giving it my all! Let’s do this- you’re part of my journey and future!
I had to take this from the wall of Beverly Danielle Melton and share my thoughts.
I am a simple soul that loves vibrant colors and comfortable things . I also live in Rockwall. and I’ve seen the pictures of some friends homes and I’ve been in several of their homes that were stunningly beautifully decorated and I was so careful to sit just so and to admire but not get comfortable .
That pressure to have the perfect house affected me and for a while I tried painting my walls a neutral shade and decorating more carefully… and I stopped inviting people over and i just spent very little time at home …. But one of the blessings of Covid was the way it hit my heart and made me be still and grateful and really opened my eyes to what I have and what I love. Every single tile in my house was cut and laid by the hands of the man I love. .. that loves me back. The walls need another coat of paint but the reason the turquoise paint is chipped is because of grandchildren rubbing against it and dogs jumping up, and that’s a wonderful thing. There’s marks on the doors from toys and from weights being pushed against them.. But you know what else I see … The picture above the fireplace hung at my childhood home for over 40 years, the dining table was the first thing Greg Mead and I purchased when we became engaged, the pitchers that I collect tell stories and remind me of the way God uses each of us differently with a purpose, the antique dresser was one of my Daddy’s auction purchases and I’ve carted that from house to house since 1983. My front porch is filled with comfortable chairs and a swing that invites everyone to stop and stay awhile.
I’ve rediscovered how much I love opening my house up and filling it with the sounds of laughter.
My house will never be perfectly decorated or meticulous clean but it will be simply full of love… and when a child that has only just met me feels like they can help themselves to ice cream from the freezer and when the dad grins and gets a beer, then I know I’ve created exactly what I want- an open invitation home..
☕☕❤️ this one hits me hard…. Last night I cried in my husband’s arms because I feel like I’m losing my independence and becoming a constant “needer”.. which just isn’t who I am. I cried because I’m having laser eye surgery again this morning and because my eyes are also my ears and I just feel so vulnerable… Then this devotional.
God knows. He knows. He places these words right in front of me and blesses me and reminds me.
Not Today, Soul Bullies
Scripture: Romans 8:1–2
Because beginning again is a practice, a spiritual discipline, a ritual, it’s the kind of thing that we usually can’t sustain alone. We will need the help and support of a loving crew when we deplete our own resolve, energy, and courage.
I love the picture from Scripture of the four friends carrying their invalid friend to Jesus so that he might be healed. The house where Jesus was teaching and healing was overrun with people, so the four friends hoisted their friend’s stretcher up to the roof and cut a hole through which they lowered him down to Jesus.
Here’s what I know: It’s amazing to get to be one of those people who is on the four corners of the stretcher—resourceful, strong, able, heroic. It is far less fun to be the guy on the stretcher—dependent, affected, vulnerable, incapacitated. But, and I hate saying this, we often learn more through our vulnerabilities than we do through our capacities. And it is only through accepting the help and support of others that we are truly healed.
☕💙”Fully healed” It’s been hard for me to ask for help and support . I’m a “do it myself” girl and I get all riled up when I can’t do what I want myself.. Yesterday evening I was tired and KNEW my body needed to rest but I kept on and just as I stepped on the rug, I felt it slide and I fell hard-again- and I say there for a moment, not calling out for help and then pulled myself up and winced at my throbbing hand . My hands are how I make my living, my hands are how I pull myself up and my hands are how I feel and touch and I was, once again, trying to catch myself with my hand outstretched… It hurt then and it hurts now but not much. .. just enough to remind me to be more careful!
If you are in a season of receiving help, it’s likely the Soul Bullies will be on to you. They want to shame, embarrass, and silence you. It’s just what they do.
☕❤️ I’ve had to REALLY wrestle with my vanity and my pride during this battle with the scars left by Covid…. I can hardly believe my own self .. instead of hiding in shame and embarrassment which is my first instinct, my desire to dance again and be fully healed and able to live fully pushed me outside my comfort zone . I started back at Legends Fit when I had to use a walker and my son had to take me down the steps to get into the door. It was both so hard and so good to reach for the hand of Phu Lam and trust the process of getting stronger and accepting who I was, who I am and who I will be. 💙☕ Now I pull on my shorts, wrap my knee and walk in without the walker, without the crutches and without shame or embarrassment. I’m not graceful at all but I’m so, so grateful . 💙☕
We cannot let the Soul Bullies have the last word about us. Because we serve a different narrative than they do. Theirs is scarcity and either/or and punishing to get results.❤️❤️ Our narrative is unexpectedly abundant and wildly gracious. ❤️❤️So we’re right at home, right in the pocket, as they say. We’re where we should be: human beings on the receiving end of love and grace. ❤️☕
The Soul Bullies will likely never fully go away, but we have the power to put them in their place. So even if those accusing voices are creeping in, you can say, “Not today, Soul Bullies. Not today.” And you can begin again. By the grace of God, there is now no condemnation for you, and you can begin again.
Reflection: What is something the Soul Bullies whisper in your ear when you need to receive help? Is this the ultimate truth about you? What does God want to say to you about the Soul Bullies’ words.
☕💙 The Bullies say, ” you’re so much trouble” and “you’re becoming a burden” and “you’ll never dance again” then God places wonderful words in my hands and Greg Mead holds me tight and my daughter reaches over and fixes my makeup and my little Riven kisses me on her way down the stairs after dropping off my heavy back pack.
And God places such good people right in my path… I have to be real here… I just LOVE my gym and one of the hardest things as been waiting for my eyes to improve enough to drive to the gym as often as I want. Almost every time I’m there, some strong armed and good hearted guy helps me either walk across the parking lot or holds my hand to get up the stairs.. I’ve been “high fived” and hugged and I’ve had people tell me they are praying for me and watching out for me .. they punch out the Soul Bullies without even breaking a sweat or realizing what they are doing.
Those things remind me that I can begin again, and that I’m still Jeanna’ Mead and every day I’m beginning to become more of who I am meant to be.
Prayer: God, I want to listen for your voice above all others. I pray for a stillness to receive the help I need. Amen.
This morning, I’m sharing the writings of Rebecca Cooper, Author with my own thoughts mingled in.. Things My Thirties Have Taught Me ☕ Can I call this ‘things Covid taught me?
Not all friendships are meant to last. People that you would’ve called ride or dies, people that you would’ve called in the dead of night in the middle of a storm – those people might just slip from your side (quietly or in flames that you’ll try to put out for years). I suppose it’s a side effect of growing up and realizing who you really are. When you think of them – because you will – send them light and love and carry on. Carry on, sister. ☕ Just before I got hit with the Covid dragon, I had bought a gift for a friend that I expected to see that week…10 months later, it’s still in my car and I haven’t seen her but I think of her often. One month before Covid hit me, I made a business decision and lost several clients that didn’t realize the reasons I had were essential to the peace and safety of my own body and soul. Right before I got hit with Covid, a friend offered to come by to vaccinate my entire team…I refused and that was the last conversation we really had. I believe the vaccination can change a person in many ways, but I didn’t expect this.
But I’ve also learned who I am and what I believe and I’ve been surprised by the people that have reached out even during the hardest days. ☕
Sometimes it really is your fault. Sometimes you have to apologize with a clear, strong voice. Sometimes you have to own up to your part. You might not even know how it even happened (or what). I’ve learned that apologies build bridges that fake smiles and make believe never will. ☕❤️I learned during the hardest days that I had made some serious mistakes, in using my time to build my business instead of building relationships and I’m trying to mend that.. I’ve apologized…I know it was my fault and my choices and I’ve got to make that right.
Tacos are acceptable meals for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. So is cereal. 🤗☕ I haven’t had cereal in probably two years but I used to love shredded wheat with bananas and sugar….. Maybe I’ll buy a box again .. For old times sake. Tacos, though, are always my favorites… Preferably without melted cheese! 😋 Preferably served with a slice of lime, outside on a picnic table!
You’ll have to walk away sometimes. You’re going to have to feel that courage unfolding in your tummy, and you’re going to have to lace up your sneakers, and you’re going to have to walk away. Walk away from tables that don’t understand you, friendships that don’t serve you, and from love that doesn’t sustain you. ☕💙 Damn straight…. Even though I’m walking like a drunken wench… and it’s hard to be graceful about it… I’ve learned not to let it get to me when I see pictures that show that once again I wasn’t invited to the table…I just decided to gather my own tribe and issue invitations, instead of wondering why I wasn’t asked there..I realized I didn’t really even WANT to be there.
Spring always comes. The bad always gets better. ☕💙 Damn straight… And every storm runs out of rain!
If you don’t understand something, figure it out. You are smart and capable and strong and discerning. Research and ask questions and don’t be afraid to look dumb. Because – ☕❤️💪 This-so much ….I have asked a million questions.. and found answers in nutrition, in training, in being outside and in scriptures and in the Spirit.
For every one person that agrees with you, there are twenty that don’t. You will never convince them. Your job is to stand in the truth that you believe is holy and justified. Your job is to stand there as a beacon for the people that can’t. Stand on your damn hill and shine, shine, shine. ☕❤️🤗 Damn straight AGAIN… So many, many people have disagreed with my choices and I’m okay with that now … It hurt like hell for a long time, but I know my body better than anyone else does..I know what I can’t handle and if that makes me selfish, so be it.
Honesty above everything else. Honesty with yourself and your mom and dad and your kids and your spouse and your friends. Honesty. Even if it hurts and even if it comes out in a whisper. Speak the truth. Even if you have to run from your own self in the dead of night. Speak the truth. Even if it turns you into an arsonist. Speak the truth. Even if, even if, even if. Live in honesty. . ☕🤗❤️ Even if my voice shakes and even if I cry -one of the things I used to wrestle with myself is how emotional I am. .I can’t keep a poker face.. Tears come to my eyes easily. I remember choking back words when someone I loved was about to have surgery and the look of anger and aggravation in the eyes of others and I let that bother me until I realized it was the essence of who I am-i love deeply and I’m not afraid to show it.
License your car on time, don’t over pluck your eyebrows, and use a good leave-in conditioner. Wear the swimsuit, stop wearing the crappy shoes, read good books, and pray unendingly. Get your feet and hands dirty, plant flowers, and plan parties for no other reason than to laugh with your favorite people. Sit by fires, laugh loudly, and dance to good live music in the dead of summer when there’s not even one ounce of a breeze. Always cheer for the underdog and turn your music up too loud and eat good food. Help your neighbors and listen more than you speak and my god – remember this: 🍷 ☕❤️I got up and danced… Not as gracefully as before.. But never more gratefully…and with tears in my eyes…. Wearing a mini dress even though my legs weren’t perfectly strong… But because I wanted to and I felt like it. I’ve also worn shorts-even though my legs aren’t what I wish they were but because I appreciate them so much more now…I appreciate my body more than ever. 💪
You were born to set the world on fire. Don’t ever stop chasing down your secret, sacred dreams.
It’s going to be hard. There will be long nights and long days and sometimes, you’ll even be counting the seconds that tick by. You’ll make it through, though. You’ll always make it throug☕💙 Damn straight. Warrior mode!
I promise. ❤️I promise, too… Watch me … Just watch me.
Once again, another writers words are shared here because I seem to be reminded. .. over and over of Mema and her way of saying, “feel with both hands. ‘
Shared from Sacred Dreams 💛
“Grandma, how do you cope with pain?”
“With your hands, honey. If you do it with your mind instead of relieving the pain, it toughens even harder.”
“With your hands grandma?”
“Yes, our hands are the antennae of our soul. If you move them; knitting, cooking, painting, playing or sinking them into the ground, you send care signs to the deepest part of you and your soul lights up because you’re paying attention to it. Then signs of pain will no longer be necessary.”
“Hands are really that important?”
“Yes my daughter. Think of babies: they start to know the world through the touch of their hands. If you look at the hands of old people, they tell you more about their life then any body part. Everything that is done by hand is said to be done with the heart. Because it’s really like this: hands and heart are connected. Masseurs know well: when they touch someone with their hands, they create a deep connection. It is precisely from this connection that healing comes. Think of lovers: when they touch their hands, they make love in a more sublime way.”
“My hands grandma…. how long I haven’t used them like this!”
“Move them, my love. Begin to create with them and everything within you will begin to move. The pain will not pass away. And instead what you do with them will become the most beautiful masterpiece and it won’t hurt anymore. Because you have been able to transform its essence.”
I didn’t write this.. Jeff Foster did… But it hit me so hard that I cried and then I pulled on my boots and straighten my shoulders and danced anyway
THE INCREDIBLE JOY OF BEING MISUNDERSTOOD
There are people who will never understand you, agree with you, or even like you.
Mothers. Fathers. Siblings and other family members. Bosses. Employees. Spiritual teachers. Therapists. Clients.
No matter how hard you try. No matter how much you change, rage at them, contort yourself, learn all the magic of this world, and attempt to become exactly what they want and need you to be. No matter how much you fawn and “people please”, they will never accept you, love you, approve of you, validate your path and life choices. They will never celebrate your successes with you, mourn with you, meet you in deep love and intimacy. They will never get to know you, the real you, the you you so desperately want to be known. You will always feel unseen, invalidated, misunderstood by them. They will live with their version of you, their image of you, their fantasy of you, a picture in their own minds, perhaps until they die, and nothing you can do, or not do, will change that.
You may exhaust yourself, trying to get someone like this to finally SEE you.
You may try “compassion”. Being more and more agreeable and empathic and understanding. Giving gifts. Acts of service. Compliments. Giving endless amounts of time and energy to them. Working on yourself. Being “available”. Trying to be “good” for them. Agreeing with them when really you don’t. Saying yes when you mean no. Saying no when you mean yes. Ignoring all of your own boundaries.
You may spend hours and hours trying to explain your position, your views, your path, opening and dissecting your precious heart. Listening deeply to them. Being open and empathic. Rephrasing, rewording, reconfiguring yourself, trying all kinds of different tacks, trying to break through, trying to get them to see.
You may cling to the hope that one day, one day, they will change.
“If they only got to know the real me!”
But no matter how hard you try, and no matter how long you hope and wait, they won’t budge. They stay fixed in their beliefs, judgements, narratives, opinions, behaviours. They may even refuse to self-reflect, look at themselves, or even consider the possibility of change.
Why won’t they change?
Is there something wrong with YOU?
Is it YOUR fault that things are this way? Are YOU to blame for this lack of connection, closeness?
Should you try even harder to be understood, then? Be even kinder, more empathic, more understanding, nicer, more spiritual? Maybe if you offer them pure unconditional love, they will transform? Maybe if you become the best, most compassionate, most selfless, most [fill in the blank] person in the world, they will finally soften, and their love will flow effortlessly to you? It’s a beautiful dream.
But it soon becomes a nightmare.
One day you realise, you are fighting a losing battle. You are at war with reality. You are trying to manipulate and control how someone else feels, what they think, their values, their reality, their inner world. You are trying to “fix” them, in a sense, control their feelings and thoughts, alter their path, and it’s an impossibility.
If you are honest with yourself, you are doing the same to yourself too. And you actually feel exhaustion, resentment, anger, despair, even fear, underneath the whole damn project.
You are powerless to change them. Where does your power lie? In presence. In being authentically yourself. In the truth of your feelings and desires, however painful. In your courage to look within.
You discover the lost child in you that just wants to be loved, but is innocently looking in the wrong places, to the wrong people. For as much as it wants to be loved, it is scared of really being loved. For love is confused with abandonment, or enmeshment which is also a kind of abandonment, and either way, true intimacy is a threat. And that’s why it looks to the wrong people. There’s no chance of ever being seen, and so there’s no chance of ever being destroyed. It’s safe, and unsafe, all at the same time. We long for God, and we fear God’s penetrating gaze.
Some of us have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers who will never see us.
Some people choose partners who will never see them.
In the end, you meet yourself anyway.
You discover your own wounding. And somewhere deep down, you know that love is not something you have to fight for, manipulate yourself or others for, not something that has to be won, not something you need to prove yourself worthy of.
You tire of trying to get water out of a dried-up well.
You find an infinite and holy well of love inside yourself.
And you gravitate towards other wells that give water freely.
You open yourself to the sacred water of life.
It is such a relief to not have to prove yourself anymore. To anyone.
You don’t have to be liked. Others don’t have to agree with you. They are free to judge you, tell stories about you, distrust you and your motivations, or ignore you completely.
And you are free. You are free to engage with them or walk away. You are free to love them, AND find yourself moving away from them. Or not. You are free to speak your truth, or not. To set boundaries, lovingly, clearly. Or not. You are free to be you, to prioritise self-love and to let yourself be loved and seen by others who actually do have the capacity to truly love you, and see you. To find your true friends, your true family, those who actually want you. To discover your true place on this Earth.
When others don’t want you as you are, they are giving you a wonderful gift: the freedom of yourself. You may just discover this, if you are willing to plumb the depths of your own beautiful heart.
So here is my own words now.. writing my heart out is just my way of doing things.. it’s therapeutic for me.
I’m still healing from my battle with the Covid dragon… and it’s been one helluva ride.
The physical aspect has thrown me for a loop.. over and over again. Most people don’t see what happens when I’m alone.. they don’t see me push myself off the bed with my hands, try to steady myself to walk to the bathroom and then fall in the doorway.. most people don’t see the bruises or the tears that roll from my eyes as I grit my teeth again.
That’s one thing that I can handle, though, I can handle the pain and the weakness and the frustration with myself.. with my own body but, what really, really hurts is the words and actions of others which I can’t control or handle .
I’ve had family members tell me that i should stay home and quit working on others because I’m “endangering” them since I’m not vaccinated and don’t wear a mask.
I’ve actually been disowned by some family members because of my choices concerning Covid and my conservation political views.
It hurts like hell but it is what it is. I’ve accepted it… but I’m leaving the door open just in case they ever decide to reach out to me again .
I’ve spent a lot of time pondering what really matters to me and I’ve realized that I’ve made mistakes and choices that weren’t the best… and I’ve apologized and tried to begin again.
Sometimes it just doesn’t work that way… and no matter what I say or do, I feel like I’m damned .. damned if I do and damned if I don’t so I just do the best I can and hope it’s enough.
I can love like crazy but I can’t read minds as well as I can read lips and that’s just the way it is.
I’m always willing to listen and to talk when the intention is to understand and be understood.. to heal and not to hurt but I’ve also chosen to be still and wait for others to make the first move this time .
That’s hard.. because, by nature, I want to take the reins and rile up and get things resolved but I’m learning to let go and let God
I keep that door open, too, just in case, because I would love to be able to understand and be understood.
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