Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Hundreds of geese fly
south, eastern sky lights their flight
with three-quarter moon.
You know, there are just some days when you wonder why you bother. Why bother getting out of bed? Why bother going to work? Why bother eating? Why bother cleaning the house? Why bother walking around the block?
Then there is the event that reminds you: this is why. Because, after you are done, you love the way the house feels when it’s clean. Because somebody else benefits from the load you took to Goodwill. Because healthful food is easily available and tastes good. Because it hurts more to lie there than to get up. Because somebody has to pay the bills and buy the food. Because the body is built for movement, not lingering in front of a screen. Because somebody stops you and says “I need to tell you about my life.” And you find the horrors in her life might be worse than yours.
An acquaintance of mine came into my place of work hauling this beautiful painted wooden kitchen chair. She is an artist so I thought she was advertising her work. I admired the artwork until I realized the word on the seat was “FEAR”. In capital letters. She was carrying her fear around for all to see.
How many of us carry fear around with us? I would venture to say probably most of us regardless of poverty or affluence.
“I’m not good enough.” “I’m not smart enough” “I’m not pretty enough.” “I’m not thin enough.” “I’m not brave enough.” “I don’t know what to do or how to do it.”
Fill in your own fear. We all have them and luckily most other people around us do not divine our fears, because they are too busy dwelling with their own. I’m not talking about conniving game-playing people or truly mentally ill people here, that’s another essay; I’m talking about people who are living good honest lives and trying to make the most of themselves.
What are your fears? Afraid of your boss or losing your job? Afraid of losing your house or spouse? Afraid of trying new situations or events? Afraid of breaking a glass? Afraid you are losing your mind or your physical health? So many of us lack confidence and for whatever reason carry psychological wounds around with us which undermines self-esteem even more.
Now, I’m not talking about fear of strangers or spiders or the like. Those are rational, healthy fears because in most cases the object of your fear can bite and cause real pain.
For my friend with the chair her fears were about being visible. Considering she is an artist, that her very work demands visibility, I could not quite comprehend the oxymoronic qualities of her fear. How would she know I think she is a beautiful woman, wife, and mother, a talented hard working artist, and a valuable contributing member of our community? Why would my opinion matter in alleviating her fears? I’m not her spouse or daughter or patron; I visit with her only briefly, which does not dampen my admiration for her. Isn’t that, then, the true center of fear? That it doesn’t quite make sense?
The constant voice in your head can be misleading and undermining. I constantly remind myself nothing can be done to change the past. It was what it was. The future is unknowable. It will be what it will be. All we really have is this moment, this very now moment to do the most we can with. It is what it is. And the only pathway from now moves forward.
My artist friend gave me permission to share her work, so take a look at her web-site. She blogged about her experience hauling around a brightly painted chair with her FEAR out there for everybody to see. She recently stopped taking the chair with her everywhere as an in-your-face token of what we all carry. And she continues to create beautiful art which you can see as well.
Of course, you are good enough. Right now as you are. That’s all you have: right now. Do not succumb to prescribed values of beauty or body size or intelligence levels as acceptance of being good enough. Good enough comes in every and all make and model. You are bea-YOU-tiful, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. And ultimately, the beauty of you is between you and your God.
Don’t fall for it if somebody tells you you are not good enough, as the fault is usually in them (unless you are really messing up, then take a deep breath, be honest with yourself, and pull your act together). They probably don’t feel good enough about themselves and you happen to be the easiest or closest target.
Fear should be a part of your life when you are in transition. There is always the unknown and the new, which are great generators of fear. Fear can also occur when contemplating transition, looking for a new job, for example, or a new home, or a new baby. As hard as transition is, you often don’t know how you are going to handle it until you are smack in the middle of it. Once again, take a deep breath and head straight on through it. It’s worse not knowing or not moving forward, than to try the new experience. And once you are in the middle of the experience the fears seem to move to the background as you become comfortable with the new experience.
Who knows? You might find some one out there who thinks you are the best ever.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – a vast purple aster, so similar to baby chrysanthemums; great creamy feathery plumes of pampas grass; maple shades of red; flame on; golden arches to feed your soul; and yellow, my favorite sun drenched autumn color.
Currently Reading – Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers (2004, biography) by Ed Sikov; How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great (2007, biography) by Karen Karbo; A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition (2014, cannabis politics) by Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Another glorious October.
- My niece and the beautiful woman who is her mother, who both have birthdays this month.
- The beauty of colorfully changing leaves.
- The frightfully beautiful pain of facing fear.
- Hearing the Friday night high school football game and their pep (do they use that word anymore? I’m sure I’m dating myself) band through my open door.
- Hearing the local university’s Saturday afternoon homecoming game through my open doors.
- The huge windows at the aquatic center where I swim and watching the sunset turn the sky shades of pink and purple while I do my little workout.
- Being invited to join a writer’s group.
- Facing my fears and going to the writer’s group.
- Enjoying a flower sharing game on Facebook and the people who participated. And the people who didn’t.
- An acquaintance who caught my arm at a local grocery store, who trusted me enough to tell of some personal transitional somewhat terrifying confidences in her life.
- My homemade low sugar vanilla ice cream with no preservatives, artificial color additives, or artificial anything. It doesn’t taste or feel like the commercial glue out there labeled ice cream. It tastes like real food.
- The awesome fearless beauty of you.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch