the beauty of forgiveness
My 18 year old is a gifted artist. One of my favorite sculptures she has created is the one pictured above. It honors the outward beauty of who we all are and the emptiness inside we sometimes can never get away from. The side we want people to see versus how we really feel when all is quiet in the world. And lately, life has been just a bit too quiet. And messy. But I am starting to sit with that and finding I am ok with the mess. And the quiet.
Clearly the last few months have not been a time for writing for me. Or for that matter, much of anything that helps me get through the feelings of confinement that a good old Wisconsin winter usually provides. Winters have always been hard for me. The quiet. The stillness. The presence that it requires just to make it through another cold midwestern day that seems to just go on forever. In our small town, winters around here seem to force people to hibernate just a little bit more than usual, and distraction mode goes in full force. If one is not skilled in this mode of survival, the stillness can be hard...despite the beauty that is just under that layer of busy-ness. And although my usual practices of distraction have served me well, or thought they had, I am finding it is time to move on. To start again.
There is something oddly exciting about being able to get a do-over with yourself. To take a deep dive into the parts of yourself that no longer suit you and to recreate you in a way that fits for who you are wanting to become. I have forgotten about that piece. The piece where you can just one day, wake up and decide to do something different. To know that you can do better and to have the courage to step forward instead of looking at all of the little messes that we have created in the past. I have looked in the mirror recently and, at times, not quite recognized this 51 year old women that stares back at me. We have been through a lot, and no doubt, more is to come...but sometimes you just have to forgive yourself and move the f*ck on.
That's right. Forgive yourself.
Because a lot of what happens in our life is because we haven't been clear with ourselves on how we want to be seen by others. How we want to be treated. How long we will keep ourselves in a position that is not healthy or loving or nourishing. And we stay in something that makes us shift who we really are for the benefit of others. Our voice gets quieter, our needs get set aside, our happiness becomes dependent on others and maybe over time, we even start believing that this is just how the world works. But let me tell you something friends, this one is all on us.
I know this probably isn't what you want to hear. I know it is easier to shift the blame onto someone else. To believe that if someone or something changes, that all will be well in our little world again. But most of the time, I am finding that it is us that needs to change. To remember our value. To know your worth....and to not take these little breadcrumbs that are constantly being thrown our way. To not shift into someone that one day you no longer recognize.
I have had many lessons in life to show me what happens when I bend too much, become more flexible in how I want to be treated or when I put your needs in front of mine. It never ends well. You know this. It is a journey for us to find our value. To really know how immensely important we are. We are fortunate if we are surrounded by people that can help us on this path. But sometimes the people around us don't know how. Or can't. Or won't. Go easy on them. They are struggling with their own stuff. And besides...this is our lesson anyway.
Tighten up those circles. Close the doors that no longer serve you and don't let anyone in that doesn't see you. Every little piece of you.
And I want to thank one of my special readers for giving me the nudge to write again. It's been awhile and sometimes you just don't know how your missed until you're reminded that you are...well...missed.
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