Sunday, December 31, 2006

All Shook Up Over You

Nineteen years ago tonight I spent New Year's Eve in the operating room. Youngest son had been born shortly after 4 pm and by 6 pm I had gone into shock from blood loss. Just before that happened I had this surreal conversation with dearest one. We were alone in the birthing room and I told him I felt like I was going to faint. This was long before his own RN days so he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and told me to faint then, it wasn't a big deal. I replied that if I fainted I wasn't coming back and then promptly fainted. This diamond like light up in the corner of the room had been trying to suck me into it for a while and I'd spent considerable energy not giving in. When I came to my bed was tipped so that all the remaining blood could feed my brain and heart. All those people surrounding my bed I learned later, had been the code team. The nurse at my head told them my blood pressure was 60/40. When they were scrambling to get a blood sample to cross match before whisking me off to surgery there was a discussion as to where to get it from. When someone mentioned the groin someone else said you couldn't do that to a pregnant woman. I had enough wits about me to remind them I wasn't pregnant any longer and we all chuckled. My feet felt like they were freezing and when dearest one touched them he said it was like touching a corpse because there wasn't any blood left in them.

When we'd arrived on L&D earlier that day our nurse looked so young and I thought to myself that she was going to be useless in our birthing experience. In the end it was her previous 8 years of experience in the ER that helped her get a vial and a half of blood before they ran me up to the OR. She was older than me, too.

Much of that experience, from the time I started hemorraging until I was on the operating table was spent in silence. I spent nearly all my time talking to God. Two thoughts reverberated in my head. Asking for forgiveness and telling God I didn't want to die but if that was God's will for me, so be it. I've never been able to adequately describe those diamond like lights in the corner of the ceiling.

My first memory of the New Year was after I was back on the ward and a nurse came to check my vital signs and the blood transfusion. She told me it was after 2 AM, whispered Happy New Year to me, then I asked her to bring me my baby. I hadn't held him very much before the hoopla began. He had an identifying mark of a tiny hole above his left ear and with that knowledge tucked in my brain I was able to go to sleep, reassured that no one could switch my baby on me.

His birth was the beginning of a new direction in my journey. Up to that point I had been seeking God but didn't have a relationship with Him. Coming that close to death made me realize that Christianity wasn't a game. You either were one or you weren't. I sobered up 3 months later - to the day - and 6 weeks later I surrendered to what the Big Book calls step 3:"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood Him."

When I reflect back on this night I think about how I thought I was one place on my journey only to be so shaken up by life's circumstances in order to see I wasn't where I thought I was. This Christmas season has been one of internal shaking up for me. On my way to Mass today I was telling God I wasn't who I thought I was and to please help me become all He created me to be.

The journey continues.

Happy New Year! And happy birthday, youngest son.

Friday, December 29, 2006

One Sentence Resolution

Every December I spend some time reflecting over the past year and looking ahead. With those reflections in mind I've often made a list of resolutions that was longer than my arm. Over time I've let go of the obsession to try and revamp my whole life from A to Z in one fell swoop. The last few years I look at each of the social, emotional, physical and spiritual areas of my life (Luke 2:52)and see what speaks to me. Then I pray to work towards health in those areas. Tonight I read the bit below on Beth's blog and found one sentence that sums up all areas for me for this year. I'm going to have to pray for the "want to" part. But the rest is so dead on it's scary.

"I want to confront the way I skillfully avoid what is right in front of me, and maintain the distance that is the pain of yet-to-be risked intimacy."

The Journey Continues

Two years ago today I was received into the Catholic Church. To some who knew me they felt I had just walked into the biggest bondage out there in Christendom. To others, I had come home. And still to others, big deal, who cares?

And two years later I can say that there is more bondage within me than out there, I will always be coming home and when I get hung up on the minor things (like other people's business), Jesus eventually heaves a sigh, looks at me and says, "follow me." So I keep trying, Jesus keeps loving me and my journey continues.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Remember When/I Loved Her First

When I was little, licking off one of the egg beaters when my mom was baking was a real treat. Mom would call out that there were beaters for the taking and whoever showed up, got one. I often wished I didn't have to share and could have them both to myself. You gotta be a real sugar addict to appreciate licking off cookie or cake dough from a beater. I carried on the tradition of calling out there were beaters for the taking with my own kids. This afternoon I was making a double batch of fudge and found myself alone in the kitchen, licking off both beaters. It was enough to make the tears flow for the umpteenth time today.

I was in town this morning before daylight, hoping to get last minute stuff done before my AA meeting. Stores were getting busy at 8 AM, if you can believe it. I headed to my meeting with nearly everything done on my list, only to find the Saturday morning meetings cancelled for the next two weeks. I've missed the last three meetings and was really looking forward to being at one today. In the moment of walking up to the door I found myself full of gratitude for where I was on my journey, thankful for sobriety and a group of people who 'get it' without a word having to pass between us. Sometimes I think if one alcoholic stood up and played charades to share their experience, strength and hope at a meeting, the rest of us would all be sticking our hands in the air in unison to shout out the answer. That's how much words are often unnecessary as we acknowledge our common humanity with one another. I am so thankful for the people I journey with in recovery. I made my way back to the van and as I started it, the CD player kicked in. The gratitude of a few moments before turned to tears almost instantly.

Before I go any further you need to know that once a song gets stuck in my head I play it over and over again, 20 times in a row if the fancy strikes me. Just ask my family. They all look at one another and groan when that happens, because the song could be by anyone from Josh Groban to Leonard Cohen or Savage Garden. They all pray I get the song of the moment out of my system fast. There's a first time for everything. It just hasn't happened with my music habits yet.

Before I went to the meeting I stopped to see our oldest son. Seeing him in his first apartment felt bittersweet. It reminded me how much time has passed since dearest one and I were in our first apartment. I asked him to burn me two songs from the internet, something oldest son can do in minutes, compared to the hours it takes me with dial up internet. These two songs have struck a chord with me lately and now that I have them both on the same disk, that's what's on repeat as I type. One of the songs I've wanted to share with dearest one. It says so much. You can listen to it here. On the way home from town I was listening to it and sobbing as I drove. How could so many of those years be behind us? I can't wrap my head around it much of the time. This grieving the empty nest feels like a bottomless pit. The pain of it isn't getting any easier. I often feel full of self pity when I cry for what was, but I also recognise that if these tears aren't allowed to surface and flow, I will store them in my body instead.

When other song(listen here) came on the radio a few days ago I asked dearest one to stop and listen to it. He did, although he had to wipe tears from his eyes by the end, cursing slightly whoever wrote such a song. Yesterday, when it came on the radio again, I ended up sobbing anew. Dearest one has a key that fits into only daughter's locket and when the day comes for dearest one to hand the key to only daughter's beloved that tear jerker song will become a tear jerker reality for him.

Earlier in the week I had a session with Father Charlie and in the midst of telling him that I was learning to simply state what had happened in the past without judging myself for it, I started to cry. Those damn tears. They were telling me that I've got a ways to go to forgive myself for some of the memories that the song Remember When brings up. If tears are a form of prayer, like Sister Doreen told me years ago, then I've been doing a lot of praying this past week.

I think the kids coming home for Christmas has been triggering those prayers. While I feel like a contented mother hen at the thought of having them all under one roof again, it's also a tangible reminder that the life we knew as a family is in the past. Perhaps once we get through a full year of firsts, like experiencing a death, the pain won't be so sharp. Maybe the grief will fade as each celebration comes and goes, empty of its rhythm we once knew as a family.

I do look forward to the day when I can honour the past, take responsibility for what is mine to own, and let the rest go. When I can tell Father Charlie I am walking the talk of accepting the past, without it reducing me to tears. The Promises in AA's Big Book state that we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. When that day comes I will whip up some batter with my egg beaters. Afterwards, while I lick them both off, I might even let some of the dough fall on that particular page of the Big Book to ever remind me that if we work for them, the promises really do come true.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Of Healing, Hope and Hula Hoops

Antony gave me the letter "H" when I asked for a letter in his 10 Things/Alphabet Meme.

1. How could I start with any other word but Hope? I may be the first pessimist in history to love the word hope. Over time my tendency to be a pessimist has softened. I like to think it has to do with recognizing the amount of mercy God has extended towards me, which in turn I try to extend to others. Somehow, no matter how rough life gets, a little bit of hope keeps me putting one foot in front of another.

2. I like to laugh. Thankfully I married a man who has laughed so much in his life that he has these beautiful rainbow shaped etches in his forehead above his eyebrows. So howling with laughter is something I love to do with him.

3. I dearly love my husband. Ha. How did you guess that word was coming next? In a few short months we will celebrate 25 years of marriage together. I was 14 and he 16 when we started out as pen pals. When we married 5 years later I was an atheist and he was on the run from God. The story of our journey to faith and our journey as a couple has as many twists and turns as a road in Jamaica.

4. In a few days my kids are going to be home for Christmas. I love that word, whether it means me going home to my family or my family coming home to me. We've been empty nesters less than a year so this is our first Christmas where our kids are coming home for Christmas. We haven't lived very long in this particular place and when I was decorating the tree I was thinking that me and dearest one living here makes this place home for them. That helped me see this place as home a bit more.

5. I tend to live life from my head and when I manage to live it from my heart I rejoice. It's also scary, and I may want to back peddle to the safety of my head, but living from my heart means being authentic, real and without masks. It means being free to say nothing instead of having verbal diarrhea to keep people at a safe distance.

6. Since being diagnosed with a chronic illness two years ago I have a new appreciation for good health. Doing what I can to improve my health is something I keep in mind. Keeping perspective is another. Coping with what is, instead of what could be, is something I try to do. It could always be worse. At least this illness isn't a death sentence, just something I need to learn how to live with and not let define me. On good days it's no problem. On bad days I cry.

7. I don't know what's under your bed but underneath mine is my hula hoop. It's a glittery multi-coloured hoop that I have hopes of swinging around my hips with ease one day. I keep trying. It was one of the first things I bought when I began honouring the child within me. The little girl who has no memories of playing without keeping one eye out for the adults who could make the rules of life change at any moment.

8. When I was young my grandparents went for a Sunday drive without a destination in mind. Sometimes they ended up so far away from home that they stayed in a hotel overnight and came home Monday. Between spring and fall there is nothing I like better than getting in a vehicle and heading for the open highway. One of my best memories of this past year is the time dearest one and I took the long way around and drove through Banff and Jasper to get home. It was in April before the highway gets busy so we drove miles and miles without seeing another vehicle.

9. I grew up in a family where the only touch you got meant pain. When I married my husband I entered the world of hugging. After nearly 25 years together I forget that others don't spontaneously hug one another several times a day. A good hug is good medicine.

10. What all the above words have in common is that they play a part in my ongoing journey of healing. I don't always embrace the path that I must take in order to heal. Sometimes I swear an awful lot before I take another step but God continues to be merciful and gracious as I make my way home.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

5 Things You Don't Know About Me Meme

My dear friend Bobbie has tagged me with this one. Most of the time I feel like anyone who reads this blog knows more about me, at least the deeper stuff, than most people in my life. So here's a bit of fluff about me.

1. Give me any flat surface and I will pile it high with papers. And God help you if you touch the pile. I don't quite worship paper, but almost. I often grab the closest bit of it to write things down that I don't want to forget. There's been many a time I've cleaned out an old jacket or pair of pants and come up with scraps of paper filled with the title of a book to get from the library. When that happens I feel like I opened a misplaced Christmas present. When I'm online I write notes to myself about books or blogs or other bits of information. That's a photo of the pile beside the computer. Dearest one gave me a notepad the other day and asked me if I could please write it all down in one place from now on. I'm trying.

2. On Saturday afternoons my favourite activity is watching Sports Saturday on CBC TV. If anyone else is trying to endure the afternoon with me they often are more entertained by my yelling at the TV and cheering on the athletes than by the sports themselves. Deciding to make a Saturday morning AA group my home group (150km round trip)has meant giving up my addiction to watching sports on TV. Kind of kills two birds with one stone.

3. The state of my house plants, like my African Violet here, and in summer, outside flowers, are a good guage of my emotional health. The summer of my nervous breakdown a friend of mine knew I was in trouble when I let every last one of my flowers die. My favourite flower is evening scented stock. One day I hope to have a window box outside my bedroom filled with their glorious fragrance.

4. My grandparents always hung little Norwegian flags on their Christmas tree. I cried when my sister sent me Norwegian flags for my own tree. They only cost a dollar or two a package but they were my favourite present that year. There they are on our tree this year. Now if only I could master making Lefse and KrumKake.

5. I finished crocheting this baby blanket a few days ago and have another one started already. My grandma taught me to crochet. She was left handed and I wasn't but I learned to crochet left handed. When I was a newly wed my 11 year old sister-in-law taught me to crochet right handed. Call me old fashioned but I like to think of every baby having something home made just for them.

They've Got The Rhythm

Just before 5 o'clock this morning the wind hurled ice crystals against our bedroom window and woke me up. The wind sounded like it was on the prowl so I knelt on the bed and looked out the window to see what it was up to. Partially out of fear and partially out of wonder. Our trailer is surrounded by tall trees close enough to make our home their final resting place, given enough wind power. I tried to sleep but I kept hearing the bullet like crack of breaking trees and my curiousity got the better of me. This photo is taken from where I knelt so that gives you an idea of how close and how tall those suckers are. Picture them with hoola hoops around their mid section and how they've not only got the rhythm down pat but are in a pissing contest to see who can swing their hoops the fastest and you get the idea.

Dearest one was trying to sleep through all this. After all, that's what people do at 5 am, right? I snuggled back under the blankets and asked him if he was scared. No, he said, the wind just reminded him that God was in control. Oh. There I was cringing at every crack of a branch, expecting it to crash through the roof and hit me on the head. It was rather fascinating watching those trees dance. At one point I told dearest one it was a miracle they didn't all just come down in that wind. After the nth time of kneeling on the bed and giving him a running commentary on the trees and how they'd make great belly dancers, he gave up on sleep. We got up, he had coffee and breakfast and I had a cup of tea. After about an hour we realized that normal people were alseep and what were we doing up at such an hour anyway? Dearest one glanced at the alarm clock as we crawled back into bed and I told him that we'd wake up by the time it was bright out, which is 9 am here these days. At five minutes to ten he woke me up because he could see a moose just on the edge of the bush, eating its way through fallen tree branches.

Dearest one teased me for quite a while this morning about how he was having this really good sleep last night when this kid kept waking him up and giving him a running commentary on the weather. If you knew how serious and intense I am most of the time you would smile with me at the thought that I actually acted like a kid for once. I even got the timing right.

One Thing

If you have time to read just one thing today, go read this post. Jennifer is such a talented writer, has such a big heart, and is so wonderfully human in her sharing.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Unpacking My Thoughts

It's late and I need some sleep. I won't be able to do that unless I unpack my thoughts first, so here I am. I haven't picked up my journal in a while and perhaps more than anything, blabbing here is a good reminder to pick up that pen again.

I've had a lonely day. I was hoping to go to my weekly AA meeting but the roads were slick and winter driving isn't my favourite thing to do at the best of times, so I stayed home. Dearest one said there were vehicles in the ditch all the way home tonight. I'm thankful not to be one of them.

I needed the meeting today.

Needed to see some familiar faces and hear the experience, strength and hope that would've been offered around the table. With being out of town last weekend and staying home the previous Saturday due to weather, it feels like far too long since I sat my butt in a chair at a meeting. Days like today I would almost trade my secluded spot on the planet for a house in town with daily meetings just a few minutes drive away. I did have a phone number of someone I could've called but I didn't pick up the phone. I needed to reach out my hand but chose to isolate instead.

I've been following the Sugar Addict's Recovery Program for several months stepping my way through the first step and seeing quite a bit of change within myself. Simply 'doing the breakfast' has made me more stable and seems to have calmed my drama queen tendencies. Fog brain has lifted as well. My body likes a stable blood sugar instead of the peaks and valleys bingeing brings.

There is a connection between my body loving alcohol and how it processes it and it also loving sugars and what that does as well. My body will take the Beta Endorphin hit however it can get it. The program teaches new ways to do that which don't involve food and also how to eat so that there aren't spikes in blood sugars.

This also means there hasn't been any white knuckling it, the program is based on abundance. It heals at a cellular level and I've started noticing small moves in that direction. One is that the blocked saliva gland in my mouth that I was on the cusp of letting the doctor lance open, has healed on its own and disappeared. It had been there for over 6 months.

There are 7 steps to the program and I'm hoping to be detoxed from sugar by next June. For once I am willing to baby step my way to something better instead of trying (and failing) for the umpteenth time to revamp my life overnight.

Recently I noticed that since getting stable on the breakfast I was actually inhabiting my body instead of living from my head. It was unnerving to be that aware of myself. I don't quite know how to describe it. One day I simply noticed I felt grounded in my body instead of detached from it. It was kind of like, "holy crap, how did that happen?" It scared the daylights out of me and I promptly stopped eating a decent breakfast in a quest to stop feeling so vulnerable. It worked. Out of whack blood sugars make for an out of whack me. Being out of whack is familiar, something I know, but don't always love.

Today is day three of avoiding doing what is healing and trying to run the other way fast. It's not fun. It's not worth it. I'm a little more ready to learn what it feels like to inhabit this body of mine instead of insulating it. Tomorrow is a new day. One with an adequate breakfast in it. I will take calm over reactionary any day and if doing the breakfast is the first step in making that choice easier then so be it.

I do have nearly 5 weeks of stringing one day at a times together in my battle with sexual addiction. I don't feel like I am white knuckling it through that either, more that I've become willing to swing back and forth in an imaginary hammock that God rocks gently back and forth until the urge passes. Getting hit over the head with a rock would be more timely and less painful some days. But being present, acknowledging the temptation and simply waiting it out seems to be what I need to do. It feels like I've willingly exposed a big, gaping hole by doing that sometimes but I'm trusting it will be less painful in the long run. Looks like I'm learning to be present in both mind and body.

Reminding myself that I can't - God can - and I'll let Him is the only way that I can keep putting one foot in front of another.

I came across a new-to-me blog the other day and found this post that I printed out and found a space for on the wall above my keyboard. Shame has been such a heavy load to carry on my journey. Once, when I went for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Father Charlie asked me where I was in regards to shame and I told him I was in over my head with it. Learning to not be covered in it or let it call me by name is a gift I'm learning to receive.

I quote the whole post here for you:
"Shame........a hollow empty pit where disgrace lives

by painful self-contempt
by the fear of humiliation
by the guilt of impulsivity
by thoughts acted out.

Shame........ugly remorse that devours goodness.

Hidden in the folds of the shadowed curtains.

Reflected in the eyes of esteem

Rinsed in bile.

Nothing makes me more distraught than feeling shameful.
It is lonelier than lonely. "
~ from Awareness

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What Was I Trying To Say?

I had this clever-to-me blog post in the draft vault and I was in the midst of polishing it up and showing it to you when I realized I hadn't the foggiest idea what the point of the piece was anymore and there was no one to ask, "What was I was trying to say?" So that piece is back in the vault, waiting to either be ressurected or put in the forever dead pile.

Isn't that a gorgeous sunrise? As we inch closer to the shortest daylight day of the year (7 hours of daylight here) I still don't know what I'm trying to say.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Catholic Carnival 97

Sarah over at just another day of Catholic pondering is hosting this week'sCatholic Carnival. Lots of Advent thoughts to read. Enjoy

Friday, December 08, 2006

Two Good Years

Today is my blog anniversary.....two years ago today I started writing this blog.
What can I say?
I am a writer.
I have a voice.
I am truly on a journey.
I need to journey with others.
Exposing my humanity to you will not get me stoned.
It might make me wish to get stoned :)
but even if I did
I am loved even in the midst of much sin.
Confessing my sin will not diminish my worth.
Failing is not the end of the story.
Having an audience watch
Christ peel back
the layers of my woundedness
and breathe healing on them
will not kill me.
Healing is possible.
There is hope.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

For Rodney

Today is my brother Rodney's 46th birthday. I don't know if I've ever used some one's real name on my blog before, not even my own. I do have a brother whose real name is Rodney and this post is for him.

Forty-six years ago today my mom was on bed rest in the hospital, due to complications in her pregnancy. She had miscarried before and she was doing her best to carry this baby to term. Married a week shy of her 18th birthday, she turned 22 during her hospital stay. She had a three year old and a twenty-two month old at home waiting to welcome their new sibling.

The doctor came in that day to tell her the baby in her womb had died. They couldn't get a heartbeat so they were going to start labour. My mom protested because she could still feel her baby's movements but no one would listen. By the time they did, it was too late. Rodney was born weighing between two and three pounds. He graced this earth with his life for two short days.

At that time there were no grief support groups, nothing to help a young mother deal with her loss ....I am sure my mom was told in one way or another to 'get over it'. As if getting over losing a child can ever be so . The waters of birth and grief take time to cross. My mom was so distraught during this time that years later during a drunk, she confessed to me she had no idea what day Rodney had been born or died or even where he was buried.

The doctors told her that the best thing she could do to get over Rodney's death was get pregnant again. So she did, with me. Eighteen months after Rodney's birth I was born at the same gestation as he had reached. She almost gave birth to me in a bedpan and I am sure she could hardly believe she was giving birth prematurely twice in a row.

My siblings and I have no idea if Rodney's short life contributed to my mom becoming an abusive mother or if it contributed to her alcoholism. It's hard not to wonder what life might have been like had he lived. It's difficult not to memorialize him as a would be superhero, saviour of us all.

Growing up we knew to mention Rodney's name to mom would bring instant tears so his name was seldom spoken. I think I had been prodding my mom about her feelings about Rodney the night she blurted out to me that she didn't know Rodney's birthday or where he was buried. I remember feeling afterwards like I had kicked her in the gut by prodding such a pain filled place of her heart. She had never told anyone before that she didn't know these things. She said my dad knew where Rodney was.

Through reading my grandma's diaries after her passing, I found out that my Grandad stood beside my dad the day they lowered Rodney's little white casket into the ground. The only other people present were the minister and the grave digger. I did ask my dad for the name of the cemetery and then dearest one and I (and our young family) went for a drive. At the cemetery I found a little building filled with natural light where the living could ask for records of their dead. A gentle man looked up Rodney's name and found the dates of his being and wrote them down for me. When he extended his hand towards me with that little slip of paper I felt like it was a holy offering.

Because there was no headstone on Rodney's grave I was given a number to look for in a certain section of the cemetery. Faced with a mass of green grass with circular cement markers hidden underneath, each one stamped with a number, I felt like I was looking for a needle in a haystack. After much searching I smoothed away the right patch of grass and matched the number on the paper with the number on the marker. "Have you been waiting for someone to come find you Rodney?" I wondered. As I knelt down and traced the numbers with my fingers it was as if the waters of birth and grief rose up and I was overcome with big gulping sobs. I felt like I was crying a generation's worth of pent up tears.

Seventeen summers have come and gone since that day. Shortly afterwards I phoned my mom and read her the dates from the slip of paper. I don't know if it helped ease her misplaced guilt or her grief but hopefully it helped the years become a little less blurry. In the past few years I've started telling people I have three brothers, not two, that Rodney, whose name has hardly been said aloud these past 46 years, is indeed my brother. Since learning about the communion of saints, acknowledging his presence in our family has even greater meaning.

Happy Birthday Rodney. Pray for me.

your sis

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

An Offer Of Clarity

Today I read from an Advent devotional guide by Joyce Rupp:
" We can have the best eyes in the world, but in pitch black darkness, our eyes are of little use to us. We need light in order to see our way. Advent is a season for Christ, our Light, to break through our spiritual darkness. When I consider the shadows that pervade my heart, they are usually the results of the way I see things. This seeing involves illusory notions I have of other persons, limited understandings of a situation, and unreal expectations that I foist upon others.

Sometimes my lack of seeing is due to my failure to know myself as I truly am or because my blind spots hide a part of myself from me. It always takes a while before I have the eyes to see how foolish my thoughts, feelings and actions are. I come to see more clearly when I accept the guidance and insight offered to me by the Indwelling Christ. The light of this inner guideance is essential for my spiritual growth and well being. Without this divine direction I would continually judge others falsely and unkindly.

Jesus told his disciples they were fortunate to be able to see what they did. He helped them look beyond and beneath their limited perceptions to the deeper reality of each one's goodness. Jesus continually guided his disciples by the light of his message, encouraging them to understand and accept the kingdom of love. It was up to them to follow and live out the clarity he offered to them.
~ Joyce Rupp in Welcome to the Light (emphasis added)

When I wrote the other day about my dream
"I so often try to arrange life to suit me and the hell with everyone else. A few weeks ago I had a dream where I was trying to sleep and was woken up to find a scary man trying to lure me away. In desperation, I pulled out my stand-back-and-no-one-will-get-hurt expletive and told him to "fuck off". In reply he leaned down to me and said, "It takes just as many breaths to say God bless." "
I wondered if I could ask God to bless those scary parts of me instead of trying to keep them at a distance. How often have I told my skeletons-in-the-closet-who-are-kicking-up-a-storm-to-get-out to shut the fuck up so I can have some peace and quiet? I've lost count. As if keeping them at a distance will ever bring me any peace. I've been pondering what peace could be mine if I embraced all-that-hinders-me and offered it up to the Light. Asked what it would look like to have awareness without fear of what the scary places might reveal about myself to myself. Realizing the possibility of seeing myself as I am without letting the less than stellar parts define me.

While waiting for the Light I feel like I'm a child hunkered down with my arms around my knees, facing east, waiting for the sun to crest the horizon. I do not sit alone. I've taken my shadowy side by the hand and invited it to sit with me as I wait. I'm not sure I'm ready to call it friend but I'm more at peace since it stopped trying to kick the door in to get my attention.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pregnant With God

Pregnant With God

By Thomas Hoffman

"Standing at the threshold of another Advent we begin our season of growth and expectation - a time to secret ourselves with Mary, to join our hearts with hers, and to grow pregnant with God together. God invites us to a quiet place of reflection and bounty. This Advent, choose some time for silence. Make space within yourself to grow large with the abundance of God's favor. Make this a time to fill your lungs deeply with God so that you can breathe Christ into the world." ~from

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Breathing Out Blessings

I'm hoping for some kind of renewal this Advent season. I typed that and then thought how every season brings renewal or growth of some kind anyway. I don't have to hope for it; normal living gives me plenty of opportunity to grow, change and be renewed. I often pray for the eyes to see and ears to hear those opportunities. Then sometimes I resist, cuss my fool head off and stamp my foot when my eyes are opened and my ears unstopped. I'd like to orchestrate the whole thing thank you very much. One of my favourite passages in the AA Big Book says this:
"Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangement would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great."
I like that passage because I so often try to arrange life to suit me and the hell with everyone else. A few weeks ago I had a dream where I was trying to sleep and was woken up to find a scary man trying to lure me away. In desperation, I pulled out my stand-back-and-no-one-will-get-hurt expletive and told him to "fuck off". In reply he leaned down to me and said, "It takes just as many breaths to say God bless." I'm not sure there's an adequate comeback to that one, do you? I'm still mulling it over. I don't think it was coincidence that he said "breaths" as I was in a situation in real life where I was finding myself short of breaths. Maybe, just maybe in this season of waiting I'll think twice before spouting off.

I'll also be praying along with my favourite Advent resource, which can be found here. A great place for learning about Advent can be found here -hat tip to Boars Head Tavern for the link.

Breathe in, breathe out. God bless.