On The Floor

She found herself

Laying on the bathroom floor

For how long

She had no idea

But it couldn’t have been

That long at all

There are bruises on her knee

That tell how hard she fell

A tender spot as well

It was enough to make her think twice

The current state of things

Would have to change

She couldn’t go on

Like this anymore

Finding herself laying

On a bathroom floor

Made her so glad no-one else had pushed through the door

And only she knew

The hard,cold truth

Of the why and how

That she wound up there

👣💗Jeanna’ Mead

9 02 a.m 3-10-19

Www.jeannasoul.com

Underneath It All

I spent New Year’s eve and New Year’s day cleaning out my closet, all the shelves and baskets, and the drawers of my dresser.

I decided that I wasn’t going to give space or hold on to anything that didn’t feel good, fit well, bring a smile to my face or serve a real purpose.

I emptied out every single drawer and only put back things that I knew I would wear.

Then I came to the one drawer that held my underwear.

I paused. I smiled. I pondered.

Then I picked up each one.

If the lace was snagged or frayed, I tossed it in the trash. If the color was faded,out it went. If it was one of those that was never quite comfortable, I wadded it up and threw it out. If it no longer made me feel beautiful, that was enough reason to let it go.

All this for underwear….but,as I was going through it, the realization hit me hard that it’s really symbolic of my life.

Underneath my faded blue jeans and cowboy boots, I’ve always worn the prettiest lace panties.

When things got tough and I couldn’t afford much, I would still splurge on lace panties.

It was a little thing that made me feel as if everything would work out, sooner or later.

Pretty lace panties are like a well-kept secret. Very few people see my panties, and those that do, hardly even notice them.

I’m pretty sure that most people don’t give it a second thought probably assuming that I would be wearing Fruit of the Loom basic cotton drawers, or going commando.

Maybe panties aren’t all that important to most people.

But I know myself good and well and beautiful panties make all the difference to me.

The soft fabric and intricate lace against my skin is a barrier between the rougher demin and me. It reminds me that things are not always what they seem to be and that sometimes good things take time to be revealed.

Just like planting a flower seed in the garden.

I am usually the only one that knows where I plant the seeds, and I’m the only one that notices the tiny shoots as they begin to bloom….but I plant them because it makes my soul dance in my body…waiting with anticipation for the beauty that is to come.

Only after the flowers are in full bloom does anyone else ever notice….and that’s just fine by me.

As I folded up the few pairs that I had decided to keep,most of them purchased just weeks ago, I thought of something else.

Panties are like relationships. I’ve let some relationships stay on..even though they no longer fit well, or made me feel good. I’ve held on to them “just in case” or out of obligation.

I have a few pairs that are really beautiful to look at and put on and really uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time.

These panties always make me think of a particular friendship I’ve had for many years. We’re known each other a long, long time and there was a time when we fit together well but now we just don’t and after a little while, after we run out of small talk, of skimming the surface of our lives, it gets uncomfortable and we are both ready to call the visit short.

I’ve held on to her and to those panties for all the wrong reasons. “Just in case.”

What a shame. What wasted space.

I had some underwear in the drawer that was perfectly good for the purpose it was made for, but every time I saw them, I would push them to the back. I never reached for them, but they were there “just in case.”

“Just in case”

What in the tarnation was I thinking?

That I wouldn’t have any other panties..or anyone else in my life?

That I had to hold on to something that didn’t feel right ,just in case I needed it someday?

I call “bullshit” on that way of thinking, that way of living.

There’s no more “just in case” underwear in my drawers and no more “just in case” people in my life.

Just as I went through my closet and my drawers, holding on to treasured items and letting go of worn out, unwanted things, I’ve searched my heart and chosen what relationships belonged in my life, in the closet and drawers of my body and soul.

Some relationships are like my beautiful,lace panties. Few people know of my deep friendships, few notice the closeness I share with my kindred spirits but I couldn’t live without them just like I can’t live without beautiful lace panties.

Sometimes what is seen, isn’t what’s most important and what isn’t seen, is what is essential.

After going through everything, I barely had enough pretty under things for a week, so I took a trip to the store and hand picked 15 new pairs, choosing some because I knew they would be invisible underneath my white shorts come spring,choosing others because they would work well with my leggings that I wear to the gym, still others because they would go perfectly with certain bras, and some just because they made me smile.

Handpicked.

Just like the people I share my life with.

I don’t buy packaged panties. None of those “Buy 5,get one free” wrapped in plastic things for me.

I feel the same way about people. I have tried to understand why some people think that every relationship has to be a “package deal,” that being friends with one person, means you have to include everyone else in all that y’all do.

Nope.

Sometimes you just click with one person and,try as you might, just can’t get beyond polite conversations with another.

Some people are meant to be acquaintances, that you see casually and that serve a purpose, maybe for professional and personal reasons. They are the ” basic” panties in life, so to speak.

But then there’s the deeper relationships..the ones that are intricate and lovingly put together, that fit so well and feel so good against your skin, that not only serve a purpose but fulfill many other things too.

These are the ones that are beautiful, that are comfortable, that fit like a second skin and they are the ones I reach for to put on all the time.

Like the book I picked up while shopping for all my new pretty panties, I will dance first and think later, handpick what goes next to my skin and offer no explaination for what I wear or who I’m with..because underneath it all, what really matters is how I feel.

Grateful Heart – a story of gifts.

Christmas morning we gathered around the living room and exchanged presents.

My pile seemed to get bigger and bigger…and my daughter, Kateley, laughed and said, “Momma,you have the most presents of anyone.”

She was right.

Not just the ones wrapped in shiny paper and tucked into gift sacks.

I had a big pile of those but I also had the sweet, invisible gift of being known and loved by so many and of knowing and loving so many,too.

This year, though, I was especially touched by the gifts I received that showed me how well I was known, not just by my family but also by clients and friends.

One son gave me a big coffee mug etched with the words, “Begin each day with a grateful heart” and I laughed because I often tell him “thank you for being my son” and he’ll shake his head and say, “Yea,sure.” but his green eyes twinkle and he squeezes me so I know he feels that love.

He also gave me the softest blanket throw to cuddle up and read and watch movies with. That son,like me, seeks out the soft fabrics, the texture of things matters to both of us.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

My daughter told me before I opened my gift that Riven had chosen it…I knew then it would be something special.

I busted out laughing when I saw the pink flamingos houseshoes and then winked at my daughter for giving me pajamas to go with them.

I haven’t owned a pair of pajamas in probably 24 years. I prefer sleeping nude, going from a hot bath and barely drying off into cool sheets.

I’ve always kept a tank top and panties handy just in case. My Mema used to fuss at me for sleeping naked, telling me that if the house caught on fire, I’ll be standing outside “naked as a jay bird” and I would tease her back that nobody would be looking at me anyways, they would be watching the fire.

But a few days before Christmas, I had mentioned to my daughter that I probably should get a pair of pajamas soon….because I had been invited to a women’s sleepover and I didn’t have proper attire.

I was heard and I received.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Then 2 packages that clearly looked like canvases were placed in my hands.

One revealed the handprints of my Riven and Luke Everett created during time with their Granny.

The other was a picture of Greg and I dancing at the wedding of our son. Chase and his wife, Lacy, back in May.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Tears sprang to my eyes again as I traced the images of us, gazing at our smiles,the way our eyes were locked on each other and the ease of our bodies.

Back when Greg and I started dating, I told him that loving me came with 3 rules.

1.Never smoke.

2. Never become obese.

3. Always dance.

He kept the first two easily and struggled in the beginning to learn to dance.

Mema took him under her wing and turned that “stiff as a board” guy into a smooth dancer that could take any woman out on the floor with ease.

Dancing was the one thing we did almost every weekend, meeting up with friends at local honky tonks for country music and dancing till the places closed down then getting breakfast at some 24 hour diner.

It was our thing and it was good.

But a few years ago, we stopped dancing…we started drifting apart and we just couldn’t connect- not on any other level, and certainly not the dance floor.

It was noticeable.

We danced well together still from habit and practice but there was no passion, no spontaneously, no laughter. Instead of making eye contact, we looked over each other’s shoulders, scanning the crowd, looking for other dance partners, smiling at strangers, sending off signals that we were clearly not quite connected with each other.

We made mistakes on the dance floor. Stumbled over each other’s feet.

Missed steps. Dropped hands. Fell out of sync.

We got angry and walked away leaving the other standing on the floor. Sometimes we would just grab another partner and show off, spinning around and doing elaborate moves with new partners. It was almost like we were trying to outdo the other.

This picture showed that the connection we had lost was back. It showed that sometimes the right song makes all the difference and if you keep on dancing, maybe, just maybe, it’ll turn into another dance….another chance.

Then, I opened the gift from my oldest son- the one that is deeply rooted in the old West and cowboy life- and found a beautiful fringed purse with a secret- a concealed handgun pocket.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

You see, I love leather fringed coats and I have two that were gifts from my Mema, both are over 20 years old and when I wear them, I feel her embrace around me….but I also feel the eyes of people looking at me.

“That coat gets too much attention…it’s so gaudy!”

Maybe it is..but it reminds me of shopping at Shepler’s and Lone Star Ranch Wear with my family, of saddles and horses, of my Aunt Jane and the Johnson way of life.

My gift from Greg was the last one I opened. He had taken Kateley shopping and together they had chosen my gift.

Black leggings, a soft pink sweater, black booties, a black jacket, and a boho leather bag.

Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

You see, that’s another history story. My Mom and Mema spoiled me rotten, not just at Christmas but all the time and one of the things they always did shaped me into the woman I am.

You should always receive a whole new outfit to wear on Christmas day.

When my parents were living, we opened gifts on Christmas eve and I would receive so many outfits that both Mema and Momma would wait with anticipation to see which one I would show up wearing the next day.

I see gifts of clothing as gifts of knowing. It is a special intimacy to know the size and style of someone, to look at something and instinctively know.

“This is so perfect, absolutely perfect for them.”

Every year, I’ve received gifts from my clients that show how deeply our relationships have grown…from therapeutic sessions to a mutual kinship.

For the last three years, my clients have made sure I got new cowboy boots. I teased them that one bought the right boot, and the other bought the left, but it’s more than that.

I realize that, as I touch the bodies of these people, I’ve given them glimpses into my soul and they begin to understand me in ways that make me feel known and loved.

Books and calendars, journals, teas, chocolates, blankets, carved wooden bowls for oils, wine openers, paintings and gift cards have been placed in my hands and filled my heart.

Sometimes the gifts have made me feel as if I was the naked one. How could they know me so well when I’m the one touching them and not the other way around?

I have always accepted the gifts with gratitude but one time, I had to give a gift back. I’ve regretted that since then…but at the time, that turquoise,fringed jacket showed that I was known well by one and not by another.

It was absolutely perfect at the perfectly wrong time.

Like my Mema and Momma, I’m a giver of gifts. I love finding things as I’m out and about and knowing instinctively just who it would be perfect for.

I don’t wait for special occasions, for birthdays or holidays, although those do get honored.

Instead, like the women that raised me, I like to give unexpected little presents, ways of making those that share my life feel known and loved.

Sometimes, though, I have to catch myself and hold my horses. It’s one thing to know someone well enough to see something for them and want to get it…and it’s another thing to actually give it.

It could be absolutely perfect at the perfectly wrong time.

I’ve had to learn to give and receive with clarity and intention, to make sure my heart is in the right place, to give and receive with love, with respect and with understanding….the invisible gifts that matter just as much as those that are wrapped in shiny paper and tied with bows.

Giving gifts is an absolutely perfect way of showing a grateful heart..it’s also an absolutely perfect way to find out how well you are known and loved.

I will give.

I will receive.

And I will be grateful for both.

👣💗Jeanna’ Mead

6 33 a.m. 12-30-18

Www.jeannasoul.com