Read Between The Lines

She drew an imaginary line
Dividing who she was
And who she’s becoming
She used to be satisfied
Crumbs instead of feasts
A peck on the cheek
Pat on the back
A few kind words
Once in awhile
A little bit of loving
Was just enough

Then bit by bit
And day by day
She began to see
It wasn’t  too much
It was just more
Than she had ever expected before
Though it seemed like
It was perfectly clear
Maybe you should have
Read between the lines
Listened to her heart

She wants something
To hold on to
When you’re not there
A hand written letter
Handcrafted card
A token from
Where ever you were
To show she came to mind

A glass of wine on the patio
A cup of coffee
For no reason at all
A slow dance
A little romance
She wants to be known

She wants to pull on
Memories
Layer on love
Wrap herself in the warmth
Of a lasting relationship

She wants to look
And see
That there is love
Engraved
In more than
Just her heart
She wants more

She wants pieces of you
To have and to hold

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

Bogey Bears and Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, I believed in fairy tales and bogey bears. .
I was a rambunctious.free spirited child and.at the end of the day, I would climb into bed and talk about everything I could possibly come up with so I wouldn’t have to go to sleep.
My Mema had to come up with something to settle me down and so she would lay beside me, sneak her hand beneath the pillow and tap my headboard.
Tap, tap,tap.
“You better be quiet and still,Jeanna’,…you better go to sleep..the bogey bear is  coming….hush,hush,hush”

I would giggle and squirm because I knew it was her,but there was a part of me that believed if I was very,very quiet and still,the bogey bear would never find me.

“Quiet and still” was almost impossible for me back then,and,to this day.it’s hard for me to sit still and be quiet when I want to get up and dance,or walk away,to speak my mind or write my words.

But, I’ve grown up-just enough-to realize that being “quiet and still” is sometimes the very best thing we can do.

You see, the bogey bear is real.  He comes sneaking in to steal our joy,to fill us with doubts and fear, and he plays on our insecurities,making us feel inferior. He wears many different disguises,and sometimes we don’t even realize it’s a bogey bear until we feel the tight grip crushing our spirit.

The bogey bear uses words like powerful weapons; “You’re too much!”
“You’re not enough!”
“You can’t do this!”
“You don’t matter!”
“You don’t belong!”

Those words are uttered by classmates, by so-called friends,by family members and co-workers …..but the real sting is when we say those words to ourselves,becoming our own worst enemy,our personal bogey bear.

That’s when we need to become quiet and still, to take the time to reflect on who we really are and what matters to us.

I discovered Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist” during a critical time in my life when my heart was breaking and my body didn’t feel like it belonged to me anymore. 
His well written words were a balm for my spirit,giving me courage and strength to begin banishing the bogey bears in my life.
I began making changes-cutting off my long hair,hiring a personal trainer and taking care of my body.
Then,as I read and reflected,I realized that I needed to use my hearing loss to my best advantage, becoming very selective about who I listened to and who I shared my words with. 
I had to step away from some relationships and cultivate others that really “got me”.

The last year that I stayed in the place that wasn’t meant for me, I would guard my heart closely, staying only when needed, staring out the windows while working,knowing that I wouldn’t feel free until I was on my own.
I shared my dream with just a few people and those people became my fairy tale heroes.

“You can do this!”
“You have what it takes!”
“You are the best!”
“I believe in you!”

Those words begin to sink in,to fill me up and to give me back my power,my faith,and my resolve to be exactly the woman that I’ve always knew God intended me to be.

I’m not meant to fit in, or be like anyone else. I am blessed with a hearing impairment which means I can only understand those that come close enough so that I can read their lips.
That means they are also close enough for me to reach out and touch,which is what I’ve always been called to do.
I’m the “touchy feely” person-I hug too tight, plant kisses on cheeks,and curl up next to people and,you know what?
I’ve finally realized that’s okay, and if anyone isn’t comfortable with my touch,they can always step away.
I’m “too much”. I really am…I love too much,forgive too much,wear too much red lipstick, and too high heels.
I say exactly what I feel and I dance whenever the mood strikes my fancy and sometimes that’s “too much” for others, but that’s okay,too.

I’m “not enough”,too .  I’m not weak enough to be pushed aside and I don’t get scared enough,I don’t over analyze enough,or figure out every single detail before I make decisions. I don’t always have enough money to cushion my falls, but I always have “just enough”to get through.
I don’t care enough about social media,or peer pressure,or what others think about me anymore.

I know that some people will disagree but I think God gives us exactly who and what we need when we need it.  That’s why I’ve learned that sometimes what we think is a bogey bear can turn out to be a blessing,what we might first see as a trap,may actually be a springboard, and the words that may have been meant to destroy you,actually restored you instead.

I guess,truth be told, I still believe in bogey bears and fairy tales because I’m living proof that both exist right now- filled with “too much”and “not enough” and “just right” -it’s absolutely imperfectly perfect and it’s just the way I love things to be- unexpected,blissful-messy,chaotic,colorful,beautiful,fulfilling….maybe for someone else,it’s not enough,but for me-

Too much is just right!

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

Make More Love

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Two weeks ago, I sat on my Thai mat,face to face,hand in hand,with a beautiful,young woman after her session.
As always, I ended the session by thanking her for trusting me with her body and explaining the emotional and physical connection of Thai Massage.
As she begin sharing her story with me, I heard myself say some words that just resonate with my own soul,my own feelings,and my own life.

“Make more love. Make love because you love this man.Make love because it feels good.Make love because it’s an physical expression of your heart.Make love because you desire each other.and because it fulfills your needs and wants. Make love simply because you want to.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she leaned forward and hugged me.

Sometimes, when trying to  conceive, couples feel such pressure,and making love-having sex- becomes a scheduled science project-driven by temperature,timing,and numerous other factors  instead of the spontaneous,joyous expression  of love that it is intended to be.

“Make more love.”

After she left, I folded up my Thai mat, while wiping my own tears,and I realize just what I said doesn’t apply to only sexual intimacy between couples.

No,make more love also applies to all of us. It’s a conscious decision that we can each make every hour,every day to respond with love,with kindness,with joy to others.

Life isn’t an exact science. We can’t guarantee that we will conceive if we do this and that on such and such time. We can’t be absolute certain of the weather,the traffic,the outcome of almost anything but we can choose to make love,intentionally,passionately,randomly,and without expectations.

Too often we hoard our love and affection,holding back,waiting for someone else to give love first.
It’s that mindset of “what’s in it for me?” that often pulls the brakes on our actions. We keep records of gifts given and received,of time spent with others,of hugs and kisses, and we jump at conclusions if we think it’s unfair or uneven.

Isn’t that a shame? To have and not to give? In the end of the day,don’t we realize that the more we give out,the more we get back? It’s the greatest investment,and the return rate is phenomenal.

We can choose to smile at a stranger,to allow another car to merge ahead,to open the door for someone else.
We can touch a child with kindness, give a bag full of bulbs,buy a drink for the guy in the car behind us, and take cookies to a friend.

We can make more love when we look for opportunities to show up,when we sit down and listen-really-listen to what’s being said.

We make more love every time we send an encouraging text,when we acknowledge another’s presence, when we are attentive and mindful.

There’s this thing called “The Five Love Languages” and it’s based on the belief that we each have a primary love language that we are fluent in and respond to best.
The languages are defined by Acts of Service, Quality of Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Receiving Gifts.

I was raised in such a loving home,by people that each had a different love language and has a result, I’m multi-lingual, fluent in every language of love, and able to give and receive in the language of others.
Yet.I’ve been guilty of withholding love.too.I’ve hesitated instead of leaping at opportunities to love, and I’ve denied myself and others the pleasure of love just because I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate or would be misunderstood.
I’ve held back when I should have given,said “no”when my heart said “yes” and made excuses when I knew love was calling me to act.

That’s just not right,it’s simply unacceptable and so, I’m going to declare that this is enough of that foolishness.

I’m going to make more love today,and tomorrow and the day after that and maybe,just maybe,it’ll be like a little spark, and others will start making love more.

Like confetti,like sprinkles,like glitter-let your love making scatter wherever you go,and touch whoever you meet.

Make more love because it feels wonderful! Make more love every day!
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