That Feeling

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about-us-adeus-black-broken-broken-heart-Favim.com-411051Ever had that feeling? That feeling when the shivers slowly, ever so slowly, go up your spine.  Your chin automatically rises, and your shoulders go back.  You feel taller; you feel more powerful. The world for that moment is yours and those moments that seem to simply exist to push you down are for that moment no longer a master over you.

These feelings are so powerful and they are so fleeting that our natural instinct is to give to these feelings more weight than they may deserve.  It isn’t everyday that we are given a moment such as this and so we hold onto it in some desperation to feel it longer.

It goes away.  It always goes away.  It takes its moment in the center stage and then leaves us naked in a crowd of expectations. And we are left wondering if it really happened or if it was some sort of dream that the demons that have so much real power of us have teased and tortured us with.

There aren’t many feelings that are comparable to this one.  There aren’t many times in our lives that we can say this feels like an everyday, normal occurrence. It is special.

But in spite of this amazing feeling the truth is that it is out of the norm.  It does not fit into our world and therefore, in many ways, can’t remain in our world.  It is fleeting because it has to be fleeting. We have responsibilities, choices that we have made and a temporary moment of perfection won’t change that.

We are despite our passions, despite our desires, grown ups. We have made our choices and we must live with them.  Living with that feeling is for movie stars and fairy tales. It does not apply to us.  It cannot stay with us.

When this feeling comes to me I fall in a horrible depression after it has gone. After it has left to join all the other lost dreams and broken promises, you are left with the reality of the world you have created.  Life becomes darker, bleaker, and sometimes simply less than we once dreamed it could be.

But this is life. This is the reality we live with.  If we could go back maybe we would change it all; but we never get that chance.

The Search

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stock-footage-reading-old-books-by-candlelight-bibleOver the last year I have been engaged in incredible searches of myself and my soul. I have been contemplating the vast questions, this vast universe, and my place in it. I acknowledge that this is a vital part of the human experience; the greatest minds of our time and that of our past have begun similar quests. And I acknowledge that I have been on this search for most of my life.

It is in human nature to find answers.  And there are two kinds of people who look for those answers. One, asks a question and looks for the easiest solution.  They are comforted by the quick answers. They resist the search for the other side and they can and will sit for hours listening only to what they have been told.

Then there is the other kind. The kind who is never satisfied; easy answers are automatically thought as the wrong answer. Allowing for laziness in this quest is on par with ignorance. And each step, each answer, asks a different question. Their minds race with possibilities and their fingers can rarely keep up with the ideas coming from them.

I am the second kind. Is it because I have a high IQ? Is it how my mother raised me? Is it the product of the mental illness that I suffer?

When I ask questions, I never get easy answers. For instance, contemplating questions of religion can send me down paths that keep me up at night.  Does God need our prayer if he already knows how we feel? Is God so egotistical that he needs to hear my voice in order to find me worthy? How is it that free will can exist when God and even the text of the Bible assures us that our paths were laid out long before we were born? If God already knows who and what I am, and ultimately what I am going to do in any situation, then isn’t the freedom to choose my own path a contradiction?

If I move onto the cosmos or mother nature, or even human nature, similar questions start coming that bring not answers, but more inflection.

I have learned that I am not alone in my thoughts, in my questions. I have learned through the writing and the reading of great minds such as Cicero, Einstein, even those we would consider the greatest enemies on earth, that many feel as I do. There are those that are designed simply to question.

And there are those who do not like those questions.

When one looks at this world it is literally impossible not to see that we have more questions than we have answers.  I dare you to find a man or woman who can fully explain the human brain; and yet the object of these questions are inside all of us.

I have had to learn in this year that there are people who get offended by questions, something that took me years to understand.  There are good, wonderful people out there who believe what they are told in the Bible, what they are told by the television news, and those who believe that what happens on the Internet is nothing but the truth. I have come to learn that this mindset isn’t wrong, it simply is as different from mine as night to day.

I have an aunt who is religious; several members of my family are. And since moving closer to them I have had to learn the definition of dinner conversation.  Dinner conversation, at least in my family, does not include discourse on the workings of religion on the populace, nor does it include an extensive search into human behavior – for the whys of human behavior.  Sitting at my family’s dinner table does not give me an invitation to investigate into any of these questions or the millions of others that I have.

There would have been a time that I would have resented this. I would have been frustrated by the idea that not all want to explore the where and whys of this world. I would have been angry that those I love didn’t want to challenge their mind, and in some cases improve their mind, in the same ways that I have to.

But that isn’t this world; there are simply too many brains working at the same time. It offends people when you think outside the box, or find yourself by the very questions your asking to be on the other side of common place ideas. People, as a rule, don’t like their beliefs or their hardened faith to be questioned by anyone.  And I have learned that taking away anyone’s comfort because of the questions rolling through my mind is not only a disservice to those who can’t fathom my ideas but to the good person that I am trying to be.

I have no idea when asking questions and pushing one’s own beliefs became the works of the minority.  I have no idea when people were first struck down for raising their hand and stating that something wasn’t quite right.

We can look at the past and see everyone from Galileo to Jesus and see that those who thought outside of the boundary of thought were considered to be not only the minority but those who would harm.  How many minds were silenced in someone’s quest to find power? And what did we lose in that silence?

I believe that my searches are meant to be mine. They are not to be given to the world unless we coach them in fairy tales and cute baubles.  Our minds wherever they wonder are required to be our own victory march because the alternative is far worse.

I search for the answer to many questions, but one always brings me back – How can I love my family as much as I do, and how can they love me as much as they claim, when my mind is often forced to be hidden from them? Does it make me a good person to hide my thoughts from them – thoughts of science, math and philosophy? Does it make them bad that I have to?

Contentment

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Jupiter-beach-accessIt has been a long time since I posted.  And an even longer time since I routinely posted.  To my faithful readers, it wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to say.  Good gracious, I have so much to say that I think my husband avoids me sometimes.

Instead of posting I have been engaged in another form of writing; books.  In this long period I have finished three different books. A non-fiction book entitled A Safe Haven for the parents and loved ones of those with mental illness.  Sort of a Dummies guide to what goes on in the mind of those who suffer mental illness and ideas of what can be done to help.

I also wrote a fiction book entitled Whispers in California about a reporter who must realize that life isn’t a series of words on a piece of paper, but so much more.  She explores questions she has had for years and finds answers in a woman who has given up everything to simply exist.

Then there is a book on poetry.  That one covers poems I have written through the years when my brain has needed short and oftentimes dark passages to explain what has been fueling my own mental illness.

While not posting faithfully as I should, I have instead been searching.

I have been searching for my whole life for a sense of contentment; something that will keep my grounded in a life of chaos.  I should clarify that I have never looked for happiness, I find it too fleeting and more about the moment I find myself in rather than a destination I can search for.  Instead it has always been contentment.

In my twenties I thought it was the corner office.  Part of me sincerely enjoyed the corner office and the fancy suits.  I liked being the one that was in charge, and the one that others turned to.  I felt needed and important.

But there was a catch, as there always is.  I could never sustain that level of energy and giving for very long.  Eventually my disease fueled by exhaustion and the art of the giving would show itself.  And people would react; and people would disappoint.  In the corporate world there is no room for the personal. It is considered detrimental to the goal.

I tried to get lesser jobs.  Not in sheer work but rather in responsibility.  I became the girl behind the scenes and while I certainly seemed to do better there, there was still a part of me that does not function in that world.  It may be the needed interaction with people and their personal lives when I am a person that craves silence.  It may have been the fact that no matter where I went my resume was put on display and therefore the expectations for me was greater than I thought was possible.  It is very easy for others to use someone for their own goal; assistants can be directors not in name or salary, but in responsibilities.  Makes it even harder for me.

However, I always try to remember that at least I had money coming in.

Then circumstances or probably my own stubbornness brought me home. I find myself writing not of momentary thoughts like in this blog, but in full fledged purpose.  I found myself not writing a thousand words but now seventy thousand words.  I could push myself farther and although it was only in my mind it finally gave me the thing I have been longing for: contentment.

It was quiet and I didn’t have to listen to the troubles of others.  It was on my own schedule with my own deadlines.  The goal was my own, and no one – not a boss, not a coworker, not even my family – knew if I was accomplishing anything at all.  I could wear warm clothes and make extra coffee, and I could live for the first time in a world totally of my own…at least for a couple of hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a writing space so not all is comfortable, but still this feeling of contentment follows me.  And as I contemplate the very real knowledge that it is time for me to return to the land of jobs, I fear the consequences of this loss. Losing something so satisfying will put me in a depression, and those consequences can be great.

But life doesn’t work the way we want it to.  Life doesn’t give each of us many opportunities for contentment, certainly not on the schedule we wish it to be. We have to fight our own way through the fog, and find our own matches to burn the light. Despite the very real feeling of purpose and even perfection that I feel today, the truth is the responsibilities I do have, those that I have chosen (as opposed to those assigned) do not care if I am content.  My children care only for the things both real and ethereal that I can give them.

And that is exactly the way it should be.

Pinpoints

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pinpointsI started this blog as a sort of diary for myself.  A way to learn through my own words who and what I am. I am and never was eager to find distinction or even any publicity like others.  It is not my way. I simply got tired of sitting up in bed each night with a cramped hand trying to make my pen flow as easily as the thoughts in my head.

I had promised myself when I started this blog that I would write in it frequently, if not every day.  I was pleasantly surprised with I was honored on Freshly Pressed, but at the beginning it was just a journey.

I suppose it still is that journey. The problem is in the last year alone the journey of my life has taken so many turns and so many dark and narrow passages that it is hard to find the energy to put it in black and white. Putting it in black and white gives it purpose, gives it a realism that I don’t want to face.

In the last year I have watched my marriage take a turn that I could never predict, my relationship with my husband becoming so much different than the girlhood dreams I once had.  I have moved, lost a job, lost a dog, cashed in literally all my retirements, watched my husband struggle to find a job, moved in with my mother, and tried desperately to keep up in a way that my disease and my own conscience could live with.  I have faithfully taken my meds, despite the lack of insurance to pay for them not because I want to, but because I realize with all this change that it is more vital than ever.

I am aware, like most people of my blessings.  I am certainly aware that I have two beautiful and wonderful journey whose life has also changed at the whim of their parents.  I am acutely aware that I have family not only willing to take me and my children in, but support my family in a myriad of ways. I know that even now that one sip of coffee that I crave every morning is provided to me because my own mother has taken over the grocery shopping.

But this journey, this rocking horse that is going out of control, makes it desperately hard to write. Despite knowing the harm, and the very real danger of convincing myself that this life has to have reached the bottom of it’s hell, each month their comes another test.  I try to hold on to the old adage that God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle, but truthfully it is beginning to come down to his definition being so far from my own as to be impossible to reconcile.  This last year has not made me a better person, but a depressed and oftentimes bitter person.  Even losing your hard earned credit score will do that to a girl.

I pass this computer, also my mother’s, everyday.  I load it up so that my children can play their games on it. I touch it, work with it, and even manipulate it everyday. But there is a lack of something in me that would allows me to sit for ten minutes and continue a diary of events that not only embarrass me, but literally belongs in some War and Peace novel. There is something in me pushing against the very real need I have always had to write my thoughts.  Almost as the depth of fear and despair that I feel waking up every morning controls my ability to type a sentence.

I sat here this morning out of guilt. Not guilt that I haven’t entertained the masses, but guilt that I have betrayed my own muse by ignoring her.  I have walked away from that need to express myself in order to wallow in my own tears. And I can’t find pride in that. Despite the absolute and incredible energy it takes to type right now, I can’t find joy that I am finally writing.  Because tomorrow I probably won’t.  Tomorrow I will spend another day letting myself down.

I recognize that my life will make a turn, that no one, not even God himself can expect me to continue as I have been.  I recognize that there is too much goodness, and faith, and simple beauty to guarantee only darkness for myself.

The one thing I have learned this year is that it isn’t the full story that needs to be bright, or the chapter that needs to be contagious.  It is simply the word that must be focused on, because otherwise there is nothing in life but darkness.  If God’s purpose this last year, and even today, was to teach me that pinpoints of light are just as important as a full sun, I think I have that one. Now if he could only give me about thirty pinpoints at once.

 

Last of Me

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Feeling broken
Barely holding on
But there’s just something so strong
Somewhere inside me
And I am down but I’ll get up again
Don’t count me out just yet

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

They can say that
I won’t stay around
But I’m gonna stand my ground
You’re not gonna stop me
You don’t know me
You don’t know who I am
Don’t count me out so fast

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

There will be no fade out
This is not the end
I’m down now
But I’ll be standing tall again
Times are hard but
I was built tough
I’m gonna show you all what I’m made of

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
I am far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

No no
I’m not going nowhere
I’m staying right here
Oh no
You won’t see me begging
I’m not taking my bow
Can’t stop me
It’s not the end
You haven’t seen the last of me
Oh no
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

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