Thursday, September 30, 2010
The house that built me was not the house that I shared with my parents. The house that built me belonged to my Granddaddy & my Nanny. Those of you who are Southern & Country understand the term "the homeplace." It's the place where your roots are buried deep. It's the place where you felt like you were truly home. Safety, security, love, warmth - the homeplace.
Mine is a small farmhouse on a dairy farm. 200 acres of barns, fields, Jersey cows, dirt, pastures, ponds, woods - they all make up the homeplace. Anytime I was back in Oklahoma I would drive out to the farm my family no longer owns. I would sit in the driveway & look at the house, the dairy barn & let the memories take me back. I could see it all again. The dairy up & running, cows in the fields, hear the John Deere tractor off in a hay field, see my Nanny working in the garden, & a blond haired blued-eyed girl lying in the grass watching the clouds drift by.
Sometimes I would get out of the car & walk around a bit. Took alot of pictures one day. I would always touch the ground & feel the life of that place flow through me once again. I have always & will always belong to that land. There are the happy memories of my childhood.
Yep, that house built me. The values I learned there have stayed with me for over 5 decades. I can still hear the voices of my grandparents. I can still see them even though they have been gone from this world for many years. My Granddaddy died when I was 16, my Nanny when I was in my mid-30's (on my birthday). But they are never far from my thoughts or my heart. For they, perhaps more than anyone else, helped shape the woman I am today. I was cherished in that house. I was valuable in that house. I was loved, respected, & taught so much in that house.
No matter how far we travel our raising wins out. Mine has as I get older & am once again drawn toward the house that built me. It is time to hold that soil that was farmed by my family in my hand once again, it is time to look at the fields, remember learning to milk a cow, gathering vegetables from the garden, running across fields free with a border collie by my side. Waterboy is buried on that land. He was my first dog, & he is the reason I love dogs. He was the smartest dog I ever knew. He was a joy to watch working cattle. He lived to be 20. He was in my life from my birth & I mourned his passing when I was not quite in my teens.
The Homeplace. The house that built me. To quote another country song "the roots of my raisin' run deep". I hope you, too, have a home place. A place where all that is good about you was built.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Back in the day I was a very angry person. I'm talking the seeing red, totally loosing control, scream, shout, rant & rave kind of anger. It would come out of nowhere & completely overtake me. In the midst of full-blown rage I would sometimes feel as if I were out of my body watching this total train wreck, but completely incapable of stopping what was going on right in front of me. Sadly, I was totally married to that anger. It was an anger that I hated, but could not seem to control. It was a scary kind of anger. Scary to be lashing out in such a negative, hurtful way. Anger was my power.
I did not want to be that person. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. There was a lot of anger in my childhood home. A lot of anger. The same anger in which I could loose myself. I hated who I was when the anger took over. Hated that I could not control the outbursts. As I began to better understand myself, I began to get a handle on the anger. Once I understood where the anger was coming from, once I acknowledged my pain, I was able to begin to control the ugliness.
I had always thought if I forgave people for their short-comings, their indiscretions, the pain I had been caused that I would somehow forget & continue to allow people to take advantage, hurt me, treat me as less than a valuable person. That in forgiving I would give others a power over me. Hey, I forgive you. Color me a fool.
As Maya Angelou says "When we know better, we do better." Well, I learned better. Forgiveness had absolutely nothing to do with the other person & everything to do with me. My well-being, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, & even physically depended on forgiveness. I had to forgive everyone & I had to forgive myself. The day I sat down & actually said the words out loud "I forgive you", I was FREE. Free of all the anger, free of resentment, free to breathe, free to live fully. Most of those people have no idea that I have forgiven them. It wasn't about them, it was about me. It was hard. It is never easy to let go of feelings, even the negative ones. But I do know this. Forgiveness allowed me to continue to grow as a person, allowed me to find my Path & follow the Road I am meant to travel. Forgiveness allowed me to know myself honestly, to find my authentic self, my voice. Forgiveness allowed me to be happy. Forgiveness allowed me to learn to live within my own skin. Forgiveness allowed me to see that I could take a stand in a positive manner, voicing my feelings truthfully, & not being afraid to do so. Forgiveness freed me to accept not only myself, but others as the flawed individuals we all are. Forgiveness has allowed me to understand why some people are who they are. It has given me compassion for the Journey of others.
The anger is gone. No more outbursts. Oh, I may state emphatically something I feel strongly about, but I am now so confident in myself that there is no need to scream & shout, rant & rave. I state my feelings, my beliefs, my opinions then I move onward in my Journey. If you abuse or mistreat me, I will let you know & I will probably cut you out of my life if I see that this behavior is going to be harmful to my well-being. But I will forgive you, the wound will not fester in my Spirit. I will find the lesson in the moment & I will move forward. That's what forgiveness is...it allows us to move forward in our Journey stronger & wiser with our Spirit healed.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
It has been said that the best revenge is a life well lived. I find that to be true, especially when someone has said to you “You can’t make it without me”. Oh yeah, just watch me. And while you are at it “Eat my dust”.
Life is just too damned short to live any way other than what makes you happy. Not superficial happiness, but true happiness. A happiness that radiates from deep within your core being. Happiness & contentment that comes from living in harmony with yourself & your surroundings. Happiness that comes from walking your true path, following your destiny, taking the Journey with an open heart & mind, accepting yourself honestly by admitting your faults & short-comings, accepting those with whom you come in contact the same way. It is not easy, but for me, it is necessary in order to live freely – free from superficiality & lies.
Those who know me will tell you that I possess blunt honesty & I also hope they will tell you that I dispense that honesty with love, compassion, & true caring for others. I have found that speaking the truth is so much better for all concerned. It may cause some people to walk away from you, but then those people are on their own Path & for whatever reason are not meant to walk with you. I have long-time friends that I may talk to only occasionally that will actually call me because “You are my friend who will tell me exactly what is what”. Yep, I definitely will tell you “Which way the cow at the cabbage.” But only because I care & truly want to offer good advice with real solutions to a problem.
Because my heart has been healed I want to help others heal theirs. I think that this is what the psychic meant many years ago when she told me “You are a healer”. I had hoped it meant I could lay on hands & heal people from diseases like cancer, etc. I guess in a way I can. I cannot take away the disease, but I help them deal with the pain in their Spirits. I can ease the road they are traveling. I did this for my brother. I know my Journey toward his crossing over was easier because we faced it together honestly. I believe his Journey was easier because I walked beside him all the way until he let go of my hand & crossed over.
Am I a successful woman? YES!!! …and here are the reasons:
I am at peace with myself
I have made peace with the pain in my past
I have honestly faced my mistakes & failures as a person
I strive daily to be a better person
I have a loving heart
I have a kind, compassionate, giving Spirit
I live in harmony with my environment