“What can I do for you?” a familiar question one might hear when they are over burdened and of course the individual asking is truly looking for an answer. People ask because they honestly want to be of help, of service so to speak so why would you NOT have an answer for them that would allow that other someone to actually DO something to help you? See, many people don’t respond to the asking with the answer that brings the situation full circle because they have issues with letting people help them, issues that have the potential to keep them forever detached from the very thing they need in life and that is to feel useful. How in the world can that make any sense? Glad you asked!
What am I inspired to do? Heck what am I NOT inspired to do. Never mind that would be a rather unappealing list of sundry and curious actions and activities so I shall address the original question with this response. I am inspired to create GREETING CARDS! Oh yes I am and much to the delight of friends and family all around the globe I have a blast doing this. Naturally it would be much cheaper to simply wander through the local card shop and snag whatever I needed. And of course there is always the ubiquitous display at the grocery store for pity’s sake because it makes all the sense in the world if one if going to grab the decorated cake from the bakery, the posies from the floral department along with the wine and rotisserie chicken, why not toss a card into the cart; remember they sell postage stamps too! Okay that just put several specialty stores out of business right there yet I mean no harm to anyone’s mercantile; I simply enjoy creating my OWN versions of the celebratory visions I see in my head and feel in my heart!
What would Melanie Hamilton do? Whenever I find myself in a quandary, I ask myself this question; for you see my favorite character in the classic film Gone With The Wind (GWTW) always has been Melanie Hamilton! Oh sure, Scarlett refers to her as ‘mealy mouthed…’ well that’s because she’s Scarlett Katy O’Hara! TA-DA! I however
Rebirth is the reason for the season. I have found that the more I pay attention to the sights and sounds of the world around me, the more astounded I am at the beauty and magic that exists. In the great State of Michigan, where I reside, we are shaking off the snowiest, coldest winter in our history. There were days when I would gaze longingly out of the back window of my office only to wonder where the snow ended and the yard began. This not being a ‘normal winter’ for me I soon shifted my thoughts and musings to what must be going on underneath it all. If watching the snow lay about wasn’t doing anything special for me perhaps imagining what all that melting snow was doing for the ground beneath it was more intriguing and indeed it was!
Listen, the baby’s crying, the dog is barking, a car is squealing its brakes and the clerk at the store just asked if you had any coupons or bottle receipts… Is this just something you heard, or weren’t you listening? What does it mean to listen? Does it mean something different than to hear? Can we hear what someone says even when we aren’t listening? Does it even matter that there might be a difference between listening and hearing and if so what could it be? Are you listening to me?
So, like many a love affair it really had no chance of happening! Oh I noticed you but the thought of actually TRYING to LIKE you was simply abhorrent! There was so much about you I couldn’t accept. You left a bad taste in my mouth and your natural scent; well let’s just say that I’d rather have smelled burnt popcorn! Yet my parents did everything from strongly suggesting to playing that “we know what’s best for you” card as though the guilt alone would get ME to love YOU! They were after all, completely befuddled that I was the ONLY one in the family to NOT singing your praises. Over the years I found that I could take you in small quantities, like blended in with things so that you were merely a part of something else I enjoyed more and I began to find that I COULD enjoy you given the right circumstances. Of course I still had my issues enjoying the ‘real you’ the ‘raw’ side of you. And I held my ground for decades until one day something inside me shifted.
Can’t explain it for I will never fully understand it but one day I found myself stepping out of my comfort zone and gave you an honest to goodness second chance. It was as though a whole new world opened up for me. Suddenly I wasn’t the only one in the family who rejected you, tossed you aside or would gag and wretch at the very thought of YOU. Eagerly I began to incorporate you into my daily life more and more. People who had known me forever were confused, after all I had been adamant and now, well now could it possibly be that my tastes HAD changed, as so many people admonished me they would.
This new found appreciation and dare I say it L-O-V-E for you was bringing me great joy, as love is want to do and I wanted to share it with everyone, I even found a job where I could have you by my side and introduce you to those around me. I put you up on a pedestal, extolled your virtues AND found that I was one of hundreds, thousands, dare I say MILLIONS of others who also LOVED YOU! It was as though I found love and acceptance all at the same time.
But in the middle of all of this fun and frolic something began to go terribly wrong. Not like there was someone else, I knew I couldn’t keep you all to myself, you commanded world adulation and I accepted that but still I began to notice I could no longer keep up. My body grew weak and it pained me to have you in my life. I was told by my doctor that for my OWN health’s sake I would have to make a choice; HAPPY with YOU or HEALTHY without you. Seriously, really! How could one be expected to walk away from that that brought such pleasure, so much satisfaction AND connected me to throngs of other admirers where I felt like I finally belonged! Say it isn’t so!! After all I finally realized how very much I DID enjoy you, even sincerely loved you. Oh the humanity… So knowing that I had to make the choice to WALK away, I gave you up. It wasn’t easy for I had worked you into my routine so much that I HAD to go cold turkey, a complete break, I cried for the loss but believed that if this change really didn’t help, if I honestly didn’t regain my health we would find each other again and simply slip away into the woods, never having to answer to others again. After all, how could I live without you?
But live without you I did and my body thanked me with every fiber of its being. My weakened condition ebbed and my energy began to return stronger and better than ever. What cruel joke was this, I thought that there were times that love could be painful. I knew of others who never walked away from you, despite THEIR weaknesses and pain, so confusing. Still the truth was evident I found my strength to admit that my love for you could not overcome the fact that you were really NO good for me. We had something good together but it wasn’t meant to last. Yes I have my health and well you STILL have the millions who adore you. I see you from time to time and smile knowingly but I walk on by for I know that I loved you Tom or as I formally refer to you, Tomato!
There are things in this life I do well and things I can do even better than that and the key is being able to identify those things and bring them to the surface so they shine like the sun! Of course there are many benefits to doing this such as always knowing there is something you are good at, having something positive to say about yourself at the drop of a hat AND knowing that if YOU can do something well, there WILL be someone else out there you could assist. Now why is any of this important? Follow me.
When we know what we are capable of we build a reservoir of strength deep within us that we can tap into for the fortitude to carry on when it appears that all around us might be falling apart. It is also the foundation upon which we can build a life, a happy life, a peace-filled life, and life of joy and LOVE. See many people believe that when physical items are acquired then they will be happy, or the coming together of a love affair will create that loving life that they yearn for but what I have found is that you can have all the outer trappings and still not be happy OR you can have all the outer trappings and eventually when those things are gone there you sit with your life such as it was before those things existed or worse off because you gave ALL your power to those things and now you are experiencing a feeling of powerlessness. Oh my goodness, what to do now…
Well when you can take a deep breath to regain your composure and then take another to make sure the first time wasn’t a fluke and then take yet another, you’ll find the mind begins to clear and a sense of capability begins to fill you. Then of course in response to your feeling calmer, a thought about the situation that brought you to your deep breathing will more than likely surface and because you have established that knowledge of what you can do well, you can draw on THAT thought to bring a smile to your face and create the sense that you are not alone for you have THIS going for you. It is uncanny how those thoughts of perhaps days gone by can become our allies when we least expect it.
So does bringing the memories of our triumphs resolve the issue at hand? In a way, yes because once we are in a positive, supportive state of mind we take the time to see the situation for what it is and most importantly what it is NOT which removes the overwhelming power of said situation and levels the playing field allowing us to look at it head on without flinching. Notice how when you look life directly in the eye, feelings of helplessness fade and you begin to attract what you need to bring you to a better place. And this very process can be one more achievement to add to the list of things you do well!
Integration, to blend, bringing it all together, balance, harmonize or otherwise connect. Not that you will find that exact description in any particular dictionary but these are the words that come to mind when I think of how my life has been for a little over a year now as my sister and I have brought our lives together as housemates for the first time in 34 years. That’s right, can two independent women over the age of, consent shall we say, live together without driving each other crazy?