BloPoMo Day 8: What I Can Do, I Will Do.

Let me preface this by being very honest and admitting that I have not had a very good (does a quick count) almost twenty-four hours. I went to bed in exhausted tears last night (you know, the kind of tears that you don’t realize you’re crying until you’re in the middle of crying). I slept fitfully and was dream-harried all night, and then I woke up in tears, a nightmare shaking me to my core and filling me with heartache and sadness as I rose to go about my Sunday.

As I drove myself and my daughter to church, I found myself having a very candid and brutally honest talk with God. It’s been a while since I had a verbal chat with Him and was a little surprised when it just all came spilling out. If my girl was older, I probably would have kept it to myself, I think, but, as she was thoroughly occupied with her balloon and rocket drawing, the flood doors just sort of opened.

I won’t rehash everything that I talked about with God. In fact, I’m not sure I could rehash it all. But what it boiled down to, at the end of it all, was this:

While I might at times feel stressed, sad, overwhelmed, lonely, just rawr at the world, etc. (sometimes without even an explanation to be given), there is something I can choose to do. Something I have asked God to help me with especially.

“Please, help me to be what I think I need for someone else.”

Sometimes, feeling absolutely sucks! I don’t want others in my corner of life to have to slog through negative feelings or down moments alone if I can change that, even a little bit. I always have a choice in the midst of feeling of how I am going to act or react. So that is my personal challenge this week: to be what I think I need (company, listening ear, strong shoulder, comforting embrace, truth-speaker, etc.). And maybe I can make those moments and feelings a bit easier for someone else’s heart and soul.

From "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst

From “Unglued” by Lysa TerKeurst

All That Needs Said

For the past few weeks, I have been working on an article, amidst a great deal of drama, anger, tears, etc. (yes, even my own), concerning my chosen subject. A public, much-discussed, and often-contentious subject. You know me, I don’t soapbox except once in a blue moon, and there are so many voices and so many soapboxes in this conversation that I am unsure anymore as to where my voice fits in. And maybe it doesn’t or it’s unnecessary to the public at large. I don’t know. All I know is that this week has felt terrible. I feel surrounded and beset by negative emotion – on TV, on the radio, on Facebook, in articles that I read, etc. And as I read back over my own article draft, even though it was not my intent, it feels angry and condemning in its own right. And that is not the emotion I want to contribute to. It’s made my heart exceedingly heavy, wrung out a good many tears, and destroyed any confidence or bravery I had in posting this article or sending it off to a site. It’s even been difficult to put pen to paper at all this week, regardless of what it may be – journaling, stories, or even just letters. I’ve thought and I’ve prayed but it’s been difficult, I won’t lie about that.

A few nights ago, as I talked with my husband about it, he gave me a suggestion: “You do not have to solve the issue, Mel. Maybe the best thing you can do for people right now is to just tell them you love them. That is the point, right?”

And I thought about it and slept on it. (Probably dreamt about it, too.) And thought about it some more.

So here it is.

To my friends, family, and those in my life, regardless of race, color, creed, sexuality, faith, belief, or philosophy:

I want you to know, today and every day, that I love you and thank God for you.

That’s it.

I love you.

We may not agree on any number of things but that doesn’t change this fact. I love you. I am thankful for you.

Always, Mel

I may choose to publish that article some day but, right now, I think this is all that I need to say.

I love you. You are loved. And don’t you forget it.


An Honest Legacy

Shakespeare said that “no legacy is so rich as honesty”. There is probably no legacy as costly either, however. To be honest is be vulnerable, to show them your belly and risk being struck.

Today, I was boldly honest with a friend of mine and it struck me how rare that instance is: me being completely honest. I often tend to keep back how I feel deep in my core in favor of homeostasis, or, rather, lack of confrontation and discord. It has kind of always been that way. I keep certain things, deeply heartfelt things, to myself out of fear of others’ disapproval or disappointment. I’m trying to be more honest, to step out in trust more often, and what I realized today (again) was how…freeing it can be to be honest and have someone utterly refute your fears. They do so by not only listening to you and not turning away in disgust or disappointment, but by also being supportive and encouraging. That never fails to take me by surprise. Tearfully so, most of the time.

I’m very thankful for my friends and their support and encouragement. It means a lot and strikes my heart each and every time you prove such amazing mettle as a friend. Thank you, from the bottom of my little heart. Thank you.

In Friendship and Loneliness

Author’s Note: This is…well, I don’t really know how to explain this post. But it is an attempt at honesty on my part. Not shaming, not condemning, nothing like that. It’s just something that I need to purge from my soul. No one is under any obligation to read it.

= = =

The Holiday Season is a time of joy and family and friends and all of that wonderful stuff. But it also one of the easiest seasons in which to feel loneliness pressing in. That feeling of being alone in the crowd. That’s kind of where I am right now.

This is me feeling lonely. A lot of my formerly really close friendships just aren’t that close anymore due to distance, life changes, etc., and I know that’s a part of life and the passage of time. But I also feel that some of my current friendships are just incidental and not as close or meaningful as I’d like them to be, though I feel like I’m trying very hard. That may just be my view, however, and maybe, when viewed from the outside, I could very well be wrong; but I really feel like I’m trying. I don’t want grade school friendships anymore, friendships that have a ceiling that is, when all is said and done, inconsequential and not rooted in understanding, honesty, or something meaningful. It’s just…loneliness. I know that probably sounds selfish and childish but it’s just where my head is right now.

I personally hate it when I’m blindsided by this because then I just can’t shake it, which why I’m here right now. So, that being said, if you’re not interested, you don’t have to stick around and read the rest of this post. But, if you feel like this, I want you to know that you aren’t really alone, at least not in feeling the way you do.

In all honesty, it’s just hard to feel like I reach and reach and reach and then have to just sit and wait. To give people their space, give them the chance to reach back, and all that. But, the longer I wait, the less I’m convinced that people actually care. That may be really mean but that’s what was in my head when I woke up this morning.  You know, when I actually think about it honestly, I know that there are people who care, who love me, and who reach out to me. But, when I get deep into my own head and heart like this, it just feels like the not’s overwhelm everything else.  I try to keep this in mind: that a good number of my friends have a similar temperament to my own and we tend to retreat inward rather than reach out. It might be for fear of rejection or, maybe ever more the worse, of silence. I try to remember that and be understanding/empathetic of it and patient.

I know that, all things considered, my personal situation is, in some ways, much easier than that of some of my friends, at least currently (at least in terms of time,  work, and the like), and I try to keep that in mind, too, when I start to spiral. Sometimes the perspective helps, but sometimes not. Feelings are sometimes not so easily banished by logic. At the same time, however, I don’t want to chance annoying people by being constantly there at their hip, figuratively speaking, and bugging them or something. I know that other people have very busy lives of their own and, even while I do want some attention (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t) and to feel important, I often feel guilty for being just one more thing to deal with at times. I know that probably most of my friends and the people I know would say that I’m not ‘just one more thing’ but tell that to my psyche, which has an awful lot of time on its hands sometimes.

It is honestly hard for me to go out and make friends of my own sometimes. It’s a vulnerability that makes me nervous and, frankly, scared. A goodly portion of my current friend-base I have met through my husband, at least over the past few years. Yes, there are a few exceptions. Because of that, however, I sometimes feel a little peripheral. (I don’t blame him. He is pretty awesome, kind of why I married him, you know.) I know that it’s probably not entirely true but it’s how it feels sometimes.

In short, I think and feel a lot and I don’t always like it or know how to put it into words. (And sometimes I put it into way too many words.) And, even though I may feel so, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way every now and again. So…whoever you are, wherever you are, I just want you to know that you aren’t alone, however you may feel it. Don’t give up. Cry if you need to. Vent, scream, talk, write. But don’t give up. Keep reaching, keep trying, keep being brave and vulnerable. There are people who care for you, people who feel for you, love you, and think you valuable. There are people who will reach back, as I am being reminded today. And thank you.