Friday, March 18, 2011

Permission to Live

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.  ~ Yiddish Proverb

Sometimes it seems like I forget how important laughing and playing are to us, regardless of our ages!  Sometimes I need to be dragged out to mine for kronkites in the snow wearing a welding helmet, wielding plastic golf clubs and pretending to find treasures in the snow when the real treasures are the laughs that we have together.

The past couple of weeks have been stressful on many levels and it wasn't until today that I understood that I can give myself permission to enjoy things!  How silly you may think that is.  But I've learned that the first things we sacrifice when facing stressful situations is our laughter and our joy!

Surely we need to face stress with the appropriate seriousness.  That is somewhat true.  We do need to deal with things, but even in the midst of that we need to still live, love and laugh!

I've found myself hunkering down and pulling my psychic covers over my head while I wait for this season of stress to pass me by.  I've forgotten, and had to be reminded by someone who is intimate with joy that I don't need permission to live.  

I don't need permission for laughter.
I don't need permission for joy.
I don't need permission to have cereal for supper.
I don't need permission to enjoy silly songs.

But we think we do.  We get caught in the trap that says, serious stuff needs serious people.  Being a joyful person is not the same as being a thoughtless or frivolous person!  Someone can experience deep joy and life boosting laughter and still be able to take things as seriously as required.  

Some decorum is advised, of course.  Not all of us are able to escape social mores and rules but still...why shouldn't we enjoy life even when it is showing us the rough spots

No one should take our joy and we should not take theirs.  It is a breath of life for our spirits.  It is a breeze blowing the cobwebs away.

Are you giving yourself permission to live?
Are you letting your laughter bubble over and wash your soul with joy?
Are you enjoying the things that are silly, funny, absurd and strange?
Are you letting the 'grown up' world take your joie d'vie?

I'm writing myself a permission slip, and I'm going to put it on the fridge!

It will say, 

Dear Life,
I am giving my SELF permission to enjoy, to laugh, to giggle and have fun. I am giving my SELF permission to live life fully.  I am not allowing her to hide away and miss the joys she should be grateful for.  My SELF has my permission to color outside the lines, paint with her fingers in soap and do science experiments in the sink.  My SELF has my permission to splash in slushy puddles, to get her mittens dirty and cuddle muddy dogs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do you see what I see?

I've written here for a few posts about my healing journey.  It has not been easy but it has been worthwhile.  One of the things I have not written about until now is how I am facing the challenges of being a survivor who is a parent.  I see the world, as we all do, through the lenses of my experiences.  That changes how I see things sometimes very dramatically.

Spending a good portion of your life being on guard for one reason or another tends to change how you approach things.  You can be hyper aware or hyper diligent and in some ways either overly bold  or overly cautious.

Sometimes I'm very sensitive to things and that makes it very hard to let things go past me.  I don't think this is all bad though.  If I know what I am doing and can understand the why as well this is also part of the healing.

Friends and I were talking one day about what we see when we go to the mall or on the parking lot, even driving home.  What do you see?  Have you thought about what you are seeing?

Do you see someone watching a child a bit too long or somewhat more intently than maybe they should? Do you notice people who don't seem to fit in with what or where you are?  I quizzed my beloved about this at the mall one day and it was shocking to me!  He didn't notice the people at all...even when he said he was people watching!  He saw clothes, he saw hair but he didn't see actions, body language, facial expressions or posture.

We were talking at a family member's home about someone who was abducted in a parking lot.  The people who tried this were parked right next to her in a van.  This is almost a cliche after all almost every TV show or movie has used this!  Do you notice who is parked by you?  Not in a paranoid way, but in a realistic way.

Do you see the exits and the security guards?  Do you listen to footsteps behind you?  Have you any thoughts how as a parent you can protect your children without frightening them?  Where is the balance point? 

I don't know the answer, I wish I did!  All I know is that as I am healing I'm also learning how I see things differently and I'm accepting that different isn't bad.  A friend was helping me work on some self defense strategies and trainings.  It was very interesting to understand how some things might work and others may be disastrous in a training setting.  This is becoming more aware of self and that is good.

Maybe that will be my biggest lesson for the little man is that if he is aware of himself and his surroundings he will be more prepared to respond the right way when something challenges him.  I don't want him to live in fear but I don't want him to be dangerously fearless either.

How about you?  What do you see that others do not?  How are you using that knowledge as something positive in your life?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

You Talking to Me?

My son made this and I love it - 
a gun toting, keyboard playing snowman with a classy lid and a perky nose.  
This is my guy saying, "You talking to me?"

Recently I was accused of placing labels and blame on people.  I hadn't really thought I was as I was focused on my healing journey, being responsible for my healing.  Is that so very strange a concept?  How you feel about your own actions or inactions is entirely yours.  Your response, your feelings, your stuff.  Not mine, even if we were crossing paths, this is MY HEALING JOURNEY.

I'm willing to share the road and even break bread together or share.  But what I will not do is stop healing.  I will not stop speaking out against abuse and against those who choose silence.

If you feel that I should be silent you need to understand that I cannot be silent anymore.  I cannot carry blame or shame that is not mine.  I cannot be afraid of what I cannot be.  I can only move forward, move through the hurt to the healing, and find my way.

Before you question my healing path, may I suggest you consider your own?  Where you are, right now, has to be the most important thing for you.  Not for me, it is  your path not mine.

Before you question my path maybe you should examine your own.