Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Running Away

I ran away for a long time. I was hurt and I was scared. I couldn't stand to feel the same way that I had, and so I ran away.  I ran away and I hid.

I built walls around my hiding place. I camouflaged its entrance. I erected watchtowers and traps that would ensnare anyone who tried to enter. And when I was sure that I was safe, I breathed a sigh of relief, locked the door, and turned to my fortress.

And it was only then, when I was faced with my own loneliness and my own solitude... it was only then that I began to understand. It wasn't you that I was running from. It wasn't you at all.

It was me.

You can't run from yourself.  You're always there. And in that lonely hall of mirrors, you have no choice but to face your demons and fight your battles. And you do.  You do it because you must.

But, do you know what I learned there in that fortress of my own making?

Battles are easier to fight when you're not alone. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

When They Make You Feel Small

I had an experience last week where I had a conversation with someone who always comes across as very condescending.  I hate that just about more than anything. To be talked down to is not a nice place to be. And as the evening wore on, I found myself more and more furious at the situation, at the person.

As I thought about that, I sort of began to realize that I wasn't angry over the words that were said. I was angry over the way they were said. I was angry because the person made me feel small. They made me feel like they thought I was stupid. They made me feel like less than I am. Like I don't know what I want, or what's good for me.

I couldn't do anything about the other person. But, I could do something about me.

Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with the saying, 
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
If you don't let someone else's words matter to you, they lose their power over you. They lose their ability to control how you feel, how you see yourself.

So, I took a breath (after I vented at everyone I knew). I thought about all the things that I knew to be true. And I remembered who I was.

Suddenly, I didn't feel small anymore. I didn't feel less-than. I felt like me... in all the beautiful ways I get to be me.

And it was good.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thursday Tales: The House on the Hill

There was a house on the hill, they said. A little house, nothing much to speak of.  But, if you walked up the path, you would come to its door.

If you knocked on the door, no one would answer. But, rest assured, they said.  Rest assured, she would be there.

If the door was unlocked, you would find yourself in a quaint little room. Old furniture. Old dishes. Old dust. The pictures on the wall were greying with age. The paint peeling from the walls.

If you were quiet, oh so quiet, and you slipped up the stairs, you would find her in the second room. Hair wild and unkept, eyes full of sadness, but a beauty nonetheless.  She would be sitting at the window, watching.  For what? No one really knew. But, she would be watching.

She wouldn't speak.  She never did.  But, she would know you were there, and her eyes always said more than any words ever could have.  So, you would sit and your eyes would grow wet with the unshed tears of hers. She was like that. You wanted to feel what she couldn't walk away from.

When evening came, she would forget you were there. She would rise from her window, and she would descend her stairs. She would open the front door and she would step out into the moonlight.

And she would sing. Not for you... no, never for you. She sang for herself. She sang for the wind. She sang for the moon.

But, you would cry all the same.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Play Your Music

Play your music, my friends. Paint your own sky. March to your own drummer. Indulge in the things that fill you with joy.

Our lives are short and our worlds are filled with those who tell us that what we are doing, what we are loving, what we are thinking is wrong.  That we shouldn't be doing those things, that we shouldn't be loving those things, that we shouldn't be thinking those things.

It can take so much energy to just be the person you really are. To be yourself unapologetically.

But, being ourselves unapologetically... surely this is who we were meant to be. I mean, as long as being who we are isn't hurting anyone else, surely that's who we were meant to be.

Maybe we could stop pretending to be people that we're not. Maybe we could stop pretending to like the things that everyone else is liking just to fit in. Or maybe we could stop pretending to not like the things we love just because someone might look down on us. Surely that says more about them than it does about us if they do.

Play your music.  Play it loud. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

99 Problems: The Life of a Chronic Overthinker

Are you an overthinker? I most definitely am.

It starts innocently enough. Maybe a friend doesn't respond to something. And it begins with an innocent wondering thought. "I wonder why they didn't answer that."

But then, the thoughts keep going.

"I wonder if I did something to make them upset. I bet it was that one thing I said yesterday. They're mad about that.  Well, I can't believe they're mad about that, it was an innocent comment and I didn't mean anything by it!  They're totally not being fair. They should know me better than that."

To make matters worse, I am a chronic conversation imagine-er. My kids are constantly telling me to "stop thinking" because I am having actual complete conversations in my head, with the facial expressions to go with them.

"Why are you mad about what I said the other day?" The imaginary conversation ensues.
"That hurt my feelings and I can't believe you would be so insensitive."
"I wasn't being insensitive! That wasn't the way that I meant it at all..."
"You're such a jerk... I don't think I even want to be friends with you at all anymore."

And then I start to cry. Yes. Actual. Crying. Because I am an insane person.  In the space of five minutes, I have somehow gotten from "I wonder why they didn't respond" to "They hate me and never want to speak to me again."  Please note that, while this is all going in my head, the other person has no idea that I'm even bothered by anything, and certainly has no idea that I'm sitting on my bathroom floor, crying over the demise of our friendship.

When really the answer to "I wonder why they didn't respond" was "What? My phone died and I didn't even know you said anything. I'm sorry!"

Crazy Times in My Head.
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