The Dance

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“I want to learn how to hold the paradoxical poles of my identity together, to embrace the profoundly opposite truths that my sense of self is deeply dependent on others dancing with me and that I still have a sense of self when no one wants to dance.” 

― Parker J. Palmer

 

 

Ah, this is a big one for me.  I think as an adoptee I have always longed for connection with others to sort of fill a void, a feeling of aloneness in this big world.

I think the past few years have been a process for me of learning to dance alone, loneliness transformed into solitude. That place where you are alone with your thoughts, your emotions, where you’re not running from them but simply ‘dancing’ with them. The movement and flow that comes from that place is something that can only truly be understood when we dance alone.

And then learning to embrace others, allowing them in to our dance as well as leading the dance. The giving and receiving of love, acceptance. Both are beautiful and nececarry for our own emotional and spiritual health I think.

So for me, embracing myself in the dance and feeing my own heart and learning what it means to join in the dance with others who I feel safe with. I don’t have to have a dozen partners, only a few.

 

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Perfectly Imperfect

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Photo on 2013-01-13 at 08.32 #2

“Wabi sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.” Robert R. Powell

Add an element of finding the mystery and magic in everyday life and it’s right up my alley, especially in my work as a counselor.

This Japanese art form seeks to honor and celebrate the beauty and perfection in what’s natural in pottery – drips, cracks, flaws and all. So, what if WE learned to prize the imperfections, cracks and mistakes in our own messy lives? Hmmmm.

On Vulnerability…Again

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Vulnerable

This topic keeps drawing me back in over and over again so forgive me if I sound a bit redundant here. First of all let’s define vulnerability according to Webster.

vul·ner·a·ble adjective \ˈvəl-n(ə-)rə-bəl, ˈvəl-nər-bəl\

: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded

So why would we even allow ourselves to be vulnerable in the first place if it means opening ourselves up to possible pain?

I love this quote by Brene Brown

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

I think when we choose to protect ourselves at all costs and close ourselves off to others we keep ourselves locked up in a prison of false security. This spills out into all areas of our lives. We choose unhealthy, superficial even abusive relationships over healthy ones because a healthy relationship must be built on openness, honest communication and trust. So we then have two people that are closed off and basically going through the motions. I have experienced this in various friendships and romantic relationships in my life. It feels dry, empty, superficial.

There is something very fulfilling and genuine about two people willing to walk in this type of authenticity that says”I trust you with my heart” I give you permission to enter into this sacred place. It then becomes mutual and the trust is shared.

Sadly we all carry scars from past battles and the temptation is there to run when a familiar feeling comes up or a trigger from the past. But to stay with it and walk through it, healing comes and bonds strengthened.

Sadly there are few willing to go there. We much prefer our prison cells, there we know exactly what we are going to get.

“What happens when people open their hearts?”…
“They get better.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

I know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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Something my daughter wrote last year. She is wise beyond her years. I am so proud of her. So very proud. Thoughts inspire by “I know why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou.
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Free people enjoy their liberty and make the best of it. They reach high and usually achieve their goals — freedom is very important. But those who struggle in confinement and lack of liberty are hurting greatly. So they sing: they sing of the things they wish they had, things they need desperately but do not own.

They sing of freedom, and their voices don’t go unheard. Free people think of other, far more carefree matters — they think of life’s blessings towards them, which are all laid out in front of them, and are free to explore the world as they please.

The wind through sighing trees is a sound they hear most often… But those who struggle in confinement have only the dead memory of their broken dreams, and the sound of a nightmare scream — so they sing.

They sing of things they wish they had, and things they need but do not own — they sing of freedom.
Sometimes I feel caged in my own mind or thoughts, or just in the confusion of the world in general, or like I’m drowning under the immensity of the world’s issues while everybody else seems perfectly fine.

There’s always a hope somewhere in the future, whether it be for you or the people after you. A life confined is made even more pointless without hope — so just keep hoping for the better ending, even if it seems unrealistic to you. Freedom may not always come easy, but keep fighting and keep singing, because everyone deserves it.

On Misty Mornings in the Mountains- I Stand

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I look out my bedroom window early each morning. The trees are barren, like skeletons standing tall, a season of death, life is nowhere to be found.

The trees stand guard like soldiers, unwavering, holding true to their purpose.

A foggy mist fills the hollar and the trees are barely visible.

Each morning is different. Each morning I draw open the blinds, not knowing what will be laid out before me.

I identify with the trees

I stand

When the howling winds blow I can hardly endure the pressure. I feel weak

I cannot go on anylonger

yet

I stand

The icy cold, unbearable at times, I long for warmth, for protection

Where are the leaves that clothe me in fairer times?

Naked, alone

I stand

The fog so sick I cannot see, I am confused, disoriented, lost

yet

I stand

Until one day the fog lifts, the cold departs and once again

I bloom!

Bursting forth with life, I am stronger!

Thank you wind for strengthening me
Thank you cold for deepening my roots
Thank you fog, for greater clarity

I stand

Wisdom and truth my companions

Forgive

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“Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

There comes a time where right or wrong no longer seems important. A place where pride is tossed aside, because it will eat you alive like a cancer, it needs a host.

Can I just love?

Can I love without expectation? I don’t have an answer to that question honestly.

Forgiveness is releasing another from your self defined obligations and says, I love and accept you for you, flaws and all.

Kindness, compassion and love make no sense to the cynical, hard hearted and bitter. Such people will view your kindness through their own distorted lens and project that on you.
But shine on! we are only responsible for our own behavior.

Some we love from a distance, others become a part of our inner circle, we invite them deep into our hearts.

I will start by forgiving, because I know for certain that there is freedom in forgiveness.

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