Sunday, November 26, 2006

Of Hopeful Butts And Weather

I'd take a picture out my window to show you the scenery but many of the windows in my house have been visited from top to bottom by Jack Frost. Today's temperature hovered around -35C and tomorrow the forecasted high is -38C when you factor in the windchill. What that really means is that to go outside unless necessary is downright foolish. When you live where I do, it makes no sense at all to get in the vehicle and drive anywhere. Vehicle breakdowns could be hazardous to your health when it gets this cold.

Despite the weather I am feeling hopeful tonight. Yesterday ( it was only -25C) I went to my AA home group meeting and was abundantly blessed. The meeting I go to is a newbies meeting and I feel like I fit right in. What a blessing to share one's frailties and have people laugh along with you because they recognize the same thing in themselves. Sharing our humanity instead of trying to divorce ourselves from it then becomes a strength not a weakness. I was able to share some of my story without my ego trying to butt in and make a grandstand appearance. That was a relief. It makes me feel like I am truly making progress. It gives me hope that one day I won't feel like a fraud at meetings. Plus it gives me hope that I can learn what it is to simply be me no matter where I am on the journey. There have been so many meetings where I've listened to someone share and wondered how they could be so comfortable in their own skin sharing what they did. Maybe their ability to do that is rubbing off on me. Whatever is happening I am relieved to find out I am capable of sharing like that too.

Afterwards I went to a wrap up meeting of the retreat team from the previous weekend. Lots of laughter and good sharing. I often feel a tinge of bittersweetness at these wrap up meetings because the retreat team changes from one retreat to the next and saying goodbye to this particular configuration was as hard as all the others. Being involved in this group is my sole opportunity to be in a women's only setting. It nourishes me and I find myself forming trust relationships each time I am involved in the process. There is usually one woman I connect with in a deeper way every retreat and this one was no exception. This past week dearest one and I happened to be at a function along with one of the women from the retreat. He told me afterwards that the women from this whole retreat movement sure seem to love me. It was good to be able to simply say, "yes, they do" instead of "oh, if they only knew me". Many of them do know me and love me still. I am reminded of Brennan Manning's words "It is more important that you let God love you than that you love God." It feels good to let myself be loved by God and others.

I am still struggling with some depression but it has lifted considerably. My doctor wanted to prescribe anti depressants for me this week but I am hoping the Vitamin D I began taking this month will continue to help lift the cloud. Me and prescription meds often don't like each others' company. So much so that I remember my drug allergies by alphabetical order - no kidding. I'm not keen on adding to the list. I wish I knew how to tell what depression needs medication and what doesn't. How much has the laughter of last weekend, the wonderful fellowship, the ongoing attendance at AA meetings contributed to me feeling better? Would I still be in that dark hole of near despair had I not started taking Vitamin D? And how much of it would have lifted without any of that?

Today, if you live somewhere warm(er) enjoy going outside and not having to worry about freezing your butt off. Me, I'm going to be thankful I live in a warm home and have the energy and ambition to get up off my butt and do some physical work (for a change).

8 comments:

bobbie said...

i'm so glad to hear that even in this cold and blowy weather your heart and hope are warm!

you have always shared that way with me hope - i'm glad it's carried it's way outward - your sense of humor even in the middle of the messy times is one of my favorite things about you.

still praying for that chinook! :)

HeyJules said...

It is most definitely warmer here so I shall turn towards the sun today and soak it in for Hope.

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad to hear the lightness in your voice today. Whether it's the Vitamin D or a normal cycle through of emotions, I'm happy that you're feeling better.

Now, send some of that snow my way, would you please?

Jim said...

Does it matter whether vitamin D plays a part in such renewal if God is in the process? I like the whole post, the whole attitude. The thought of "Sharing our humanity instead of trying to divorce ourselves from it then becomes a strength not a weakness" especially spoke to me, having watched a bit of "20/20" over the weekend. An ex-stripper was going back to the clubs, paying for her time to go one-on-one with a girl in a witness for Christ, inviting them to come to church with her. "If a liar and a gossip can feel comfortable sitting on a pew, why not a stripper?" was her approach. And therein is the truth, I think. It's not so much that any of us are better than the other, but that we can, in Him and together, face who we are and go forward......

Hope said...

Bobbie - laughing with you is a lot of fun.

Jules - thank you for soaking up that sunshine!

Jennifer - we were in desperate need of the snow but I hope you get your share too. One thing about it, it accentuates the seasons instead of scratching our heads going, 'is this winter, is this spring?' like we did last year.

Jim - you probably have no idea how much your comments mean to me. I soak them right in. Your voice of wisdom is something I thank God for. It most likely doesn't matter if it is the Vitamin D or not, I was simply thinking outloud there - hoping I could be free of denial if anti depressants are truly what is necessary. "Facing who we are" yes - it is so necessary. After my meeting I thought about how I wish church could be like that meeting. Particularly when I was in fundamentalist circles people tended to distance themselves from another's humanity as if it were contagious. It was hard not to feel like people held your humanity against you. That is why it is such a relief to be in a situation where no one is judging me for telling it like it truly is, without embellishing the truth. It seems to be free of that 'how much do I share and risk rejection' in the AA setting.

Pru said...

Well, I have no more warmth than you do, but with a scarf and a toque I shall enjoy the Canadian mascara on my eyelashes and think of you in the warm house, with many warm thoughts. I love you very much, and I thought of you this weekend (if you read my blog you'll see why).
Love from only_daughter

Jim said...

Hope...I've tried twice to re-comment here and am having difficulties with my cookies. This is just a test run...

Anonymous said...

Keep trying Jim!
~Hope