Posts Tagged ‘healing

08
Jan
15

Let’s get busy!

let's get busyMake any New Year’s resolutions?  I did.  Actually, I’ve been thinking of it for quite some time and began it with my last post made in December.  “What was it?” you may ask.  It was to get busy!

The book and motion picture “Wild,” has been getting a lot of attention.   Society’s response to a strong female and her journey through grief to self-discovery has been encouraging.  It’s also been an awakening to the media for the need for more pivotal female roles on the page, stage and screen.  During a radio interview with Reese Witherspoon, the star and producer of the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s book, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” Witherspoon referenced the lack of complex roles for women and responded by not only saying, but putting into action her comment:  “…nobody is doing this work.  I might as well get busy and do it myself.”

Obviously we don’t all have the resources like Witherspoon, but we do share the same perspective.  As a result, instead of expecting others to address the needs which have already been identified, I have decided to join Witherspoon and “get busy.”  What does this mean?  I believe that in each of our lives in our own way, we can make a difference to bring about change for gender equality.  From standing up for ourselves or others when confronted by sexism or working to make more opportunities for women available, we all contribute to society’s transformation.  No action is too small, so we must not minimize our efforts.  It’s changing our very way of thinking as a community; embracing our egalitarianism.

Awareness, education and recognition are vital.  However, without following that up with action in our daily lives, our society tends to find contentment with labeling gender discrimination as simply one of many issues which need addressing.  “Issues” tend not to have the same concern as crisis.  Why is it not a national crisis that women do not receive equal pay for equal work?  Why is it not a global crisis that women are surrounded and trapped by violence, rape and sex trafficking?  When perceived as an issue, it weakens the urgency of our condition.   This is nothing less than a crisis which demands action.

So let’s get busy!

Read interview with Reese Witherspoon

 

Support women artists by buying the book “Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed and see the movie.

Advertisements
17
Nov
14

the right to be you

the right to be youI have been on a hiatus of sorts.  It’s not because I haven’t had any thoughts, concerns or opinions about life.  I guess I just found myself coming up against the same roadblocks, questioning the source, perhaps a common one, of these consistent struggles.

Just the other night I was out with a beautiful artist.  I have seen her work many times and she is a kind-hearted, loving individual.  Yet I hear her say the very words which plague my own heart: can I do it?  Do I have any talent?  Am I beautiful?  I know the answer to all of these questions, but when we are alone with ourselves, we tend to create a comparison which always leaves us feeling less than.  Our society, especially American society, thrives on doing and results.  The expectations placed on us, especially women, make it almost impossible to find satisfaction and pride in oneself.

Society tells women that they must achieve an idyllic beauty which requires youth.  Obviously, this is impossible as we all age, but because so many others strive to reach this imposed rule, we do everything in our power to fulfill it.  Countless, beautiful, brilliant women of all ages with whom I’ve had the pleasure to know, have shared their fear of aging and remaining physically attractive.  The constant fear of gaining even a few pounds or showing signs of a wrinkle plagues their existence.

Then there’s the expectation that women should have it all; if they don’t have both a successful career and children, they disappoint someone.  Many women work hard to obtain an education and use it to compete in an unequal marketplace which not only expects them to give as much, but for less compensation.  Simultaneously, society also places pressure on women to have children whilst making it virtually impossible to maintain the same level of job performance.  Meanwhile, if they do give attention to their work, they may feel guilt or anxiety over their parental role.

As a result, society continues to place women in positions which inevitably cause them to seemingly fall short of its expectations in one area or another.  Personally, I’m tired of never feeling like enough.  No matter how much personal fulfillment I may find apart from society, as soon as I step off my island, I am reminded of my failures.

So how do we break this pattern?  How do we defy these expectations and create ones which build us up rather than tear each other down?  It is hard to walk this path against the grain alone and I don’t believe we are meant to go it alone.  Life is short.  Can we come together and simply claim the right to be ourselves?

26
Jun
14

What is the truth?

what is the truthDoes truth exist?

We think of truth as this unshakable, immovable force which carries us through life.  It is a never ending reference point to which we return so that we don’t get lost.  But what if that same truth shuts out all other voices, including your own?  What if that truth does not allow us to accept or love one another?

In an unsteady world where nothing is certain, truth can be a life saver.  For most of my life I thought I knew the truth.  I’ve been obsessed with understanding, analyzing, searching and securing the truth.  But when my world was turned upside down these past two years with my husband’s accident, the death of my dog and the cancer diagnosis for my best friend, my foundation of truth was rocked and crumbled to pieces.  Since then I’ve just tried to survive; no time to process anything.  Now that I have a little more time to breathe, I’ve discovered that I’ve given up looking for the truth and I am just trying to find some kind of peace while still giving myself the right to be angry.

This past week I met with two wise and beautiful women who have themselves been through many truth questioning events.  They shared their perspective on the truth and simply said, “It’s all relative.”  They bombarded me with questions:  How do we grow without change?  And how does change come about if our truth is unchangeable?  It is when we challenge our truth that we find growth and a new truth about ourselves and the world.  When we let go is when we truly uncover the truth.

There it was again, my arch nemesis:  letting go.  How can you let go when all you want is something to hold onto in the midst of drifting and being tossed around in a chaotic storm?  This is the question another friend of mine posed to me.  She too has gone and is going through life-changing struggles and just wants something solid in her life.  As I heard her speak the words of my heart, I found myself asking her if it is possible that something beautiful can come from a shattered truth?  A rebirth.  A discovery.  Perhaps even liberty.

Patience.  My other arch nemesis keeps rearing its ugly head in the form of these two beautifully wise women who encouraged me to see patience from another perspective; one that presents itself in the form of a gift instead of a curse.  To give to myself patience as I take this journey is priceless and the key to unlocking the truth.  Patience to simply be myself and in some sense, cut myself a break.  In this way, I am not clouded by my own agenda, but more open to what the universe is trying to tell me.  And in the still, quiet, patience, I may be able to let go and listen.  Listen to my heart, to others, to the world and hear the truth.  For now.

21
Jun
14

everything happens for a reason?

everything happens for a reasonDo things happen for a reason or do we just say that once we’ve reached an acceptance of them?

Regret is usually something no one wants to talk about it.  We avoid it at all costs, finding at times that by running away from it, we end up running into it whatever path we take.  But if we could learn from our regret; see that it is never too late to follow our dreams, ask for forgiveness, give forgiveness, say “I love you” and even say goodbye – then maybe we could use regret to transform us.  To help us make choices that will help us to truly live life to the fullest.

All this is easier said than done.  Regret is a hard pill to swallow.  It seems to stick in your gut for years, never dissolving, only making your stomach sour and fill you with bitterness.  So how do we let go?  Maybe we don’t.  I’m finding that because I have a difficult time letting go, that it’s healthier for me to process or digest the regret and let it feed something positive.  Not that it is necessarily nurturing me, but if it’s going to be there anyway, I might as well make it work for me.  One of my biggest regrets is feeling like I’ve wasted time: not following my dreams, not asking for forgiveness or giving it, withholding my “I love yous” and either waiting too long or being forced to say goodbye before I was ready.

Well, no one can turn back time (yet).  But I refuse to believe that it’s too late.  It’s never too late.  Time is so precious as it is, I’m not going to keep wasting it on wondering or pining or doubting .  I’m just gonna do it.  Do and try to be all the things that I’ve regretted not doing or being.  And not out of a sense of guilt, but a renewed energy to live my life with a new awareness of what is really important to me; what, in the big picture, really matters.  For many, including myself, this could turn into a huge turn to self-denial and self-martyrdom.  But I’ve already been down that path and it does not lead to a good place for anyone.  Instead, I’ve found that the more I allow regret to influence my choices, including taking risks and investing in myself, the more it feeds myself and others.

So perhaps all those things that have happened that we regret do happen for a reason.  But even if we cannot accept that they do, we can still find acceptance and move forward with a new energy from the past; launching us into an unknown, but intentional future.

27
Apr
14

keep moving

keep movingAll things come to an end.

It’s strange to think that I won’t be going back to school in the fall.  Several friends have asked me if I can’t wait to be done, but I feel more than ever that I’m fully in the present.  Perhaps that is because I have so much I want to do before I graduate, however, for the most part I just can’t see that far ahead.  And that’s okay.

I know one step in front of me, that’s all.  And tonight, two amazing women who have been there to guide me through some dark and difficult times over the past four years reminded me that it’s okay not to know.  Not to know the future.  Not to know what’s next.  What’s important is taking the step and to keep moving.  They reminded me that strength doesn’t come without valleys, but one needs to keep moving through them to reach the mountaintops.

Who knows if I’ll ever reach the mountaintop of life.  I don’t even know what that looks like for certain.  And that’s okay too.  I’d like to think that each day has the capability of holding in it a mountaintop for each of us if we let it.  Today was celebrating with a community of gifted artists who have touched my life.

All things come to an end, but I know that that celebration will continue as long as I keep moving.

26
Apr
14

a chance meeting of vaginas

a chance meeting of vaginasTonight I witnessed and participated in the power of a woman’s voice.

Not only did I get to see the Vagina monologues performed for the first time, but the cost of my ticket was donated to save the education and prevention program at SAVS; Sexual Assault Victim & Prevention Resources.  The statistics are staggering and yet they are not enough for the federal government to find it in their budget to fund this program.  It was an amazing experience to see how a small group of women rose up to fight for this much needed organization by hosting this event.  And the community responded.  Tonight it was sold out!

Make sure it is sold out the rest of weekend or find out more information on how to donate to SAVS at the following:  http://www.vdayoc.com/index.html

What was even more moving and inspiring to me, was the woman I met tonight by happenstance.  There was one empty seat beside me and she took it.  In a matter of minutes she shared that only recently had she taken the journey from being a victim of sexual assault to a survivor, despite the fact that the violation occurred decades ago.  She was afraid to speak up; told to be silent; her culture, her family demanded it.

Yet here she was; beautiful, strong and unafraid; the first night she had gone out by herself in years.  What an inspiration.  She shared how she didn’t know how to get to the venue; didn’t know where to park but found a spot directly outside.  Didn’t have money for the meter and someone generously gave it to her.  She didn’t even have a ticket to the sold out performance, but as she walked up to the window someone was selling theirs back.  And then she and I met.

“It was all meant to be,” she said.  I believe her.  I have never gotten into a car with a stranger, but we were no longer strangers.  She had shared her secret with me.  And it was no longer a secret; no longer shameful or dirty.  She was free.  And I got to witness it.  She was beautiful and hopes to pass on the strength of her voice to others.  She certainly has to me.

24
Apr
14

Growing together

photo (8)It’s all about perspective.

One day I’m worrying about how everything is going to work out, and the next, it all seems to be falling into place.  It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks, well, really semester, but I’m finding that because I’m finally able to focus on the big picture, the details aren’t stressing me out as much.  I’m only one person and I can only do what I can do.  This seems like an easy lesson, but it’s been a long time lesson for me to learn.  And I probably will have to learn it again and again.

But I am encouraged.  I feel that I am being launched from my education with my dreams still intact and the energy to reach for them.  With all of the challenges that have been presented to my husband and I in these past couple of years, I was certain how things were going to turn out.  I’m very thankful that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and so many wonderful people came alongside to help me get there.

People who usually don’t stand in the limelight but who are going about their everyday lives, just being themselves and shining their light ahead for others to follow.  People who silently take your hand and let you cry when you need to.  People who I see as the real stars in life.  I can only hope that I can be that to others throughout all of my journeys.  Because that is what it is really all about; taking each step together.

I hope we can keep growing together…