Archive for the ‘emotion’ Category

Lilies, Birds, and Faith–Tuesday Randomness

This morning I sit here at my computer, less than one month from my final REAL paycheck. Only one more month of knowing exactly where my income will originate and when it will be deposited. And only three more weeks of showing up to work for someone else because I think I have to.

It’s a very sobering place to reside. Maybe even a little bit uncomfortable.

Maybe a lot uncomfortable.

But a little bit exciting.

Maybe a lot exciting.

Here’s what I know that I know that I know. Just before spring break, I made a decision to break free. After almost two years of talking about leaving, I finally read the signs, cut the ties, handed in the resignation, stopped trying to figure out how to make something else work, and said  “I’m outta here”. Of course with education, that simply means that summer will mark the end of my services to the organization. The “outta here” gets dragged on for months.

I rationalized that all the signs from God I had been requesting had been quite clear, and that my continuing to ask for signs might result in my being hit “upside the head” with one.

I don’t really want to be hit upside the head with a sign from God. Those sometimes hurt.

With my sweet and ever patient husband on board (at least somewhat), I let it go. After all, what’s the worst that could possibly happen? I could fail miserably and have to go beg someone to let me teach again? Meanwhile our already insane debt load could climb higher and higher and I could bankrupt our family.

No big deal.

I just gotta have faith.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=883t2Pac8pk]

Besides, didn’t Jesus tell us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air? Matthew 6:28 says, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.” Okay, so there aren’t any birds in that verse. I thought there were.

And I’m thinking his lilies never met up with a good ol’ West Texas hail storm to rip their pretty little dresses right off.

Needless to say, I am down to only one more “steady” paycheck from a tax-payer-funded entity. I am struggling to keep my mind away from fear and onto the positiveness of knowing I made the right choice and my family and I will be provided with everything we need.

I’m just not so sure Visa will get everything it needs.

Or Home Depot.

Or Citibank.

Or GMAC Financial.

My only ace in the hole is a massage therapy license and not nearly enough clientèle to replace my current income. For that matter, I currently have enough steady clients to almost pay the bills at my wellness center.

Almost.

And actually, I have lots of aces. I have tons of fabulous knowledge and expertise that blesses people every time an opportunity presents itself. I just haven’t quite figured out how to get people in these parts to pay money for what I am offering up.

They call it marketing. I apparently have a weird aversion to it.

I can market the heck out other people’s stuff, yet when it comes to something I am promoting, I seem to get weirded out about it and don’t give it the massive effort it warrants.

So I sit here, typing away, trying to convince myself that I am not a stupid doofus who quit her job with bills to pay and a daughter headed off to college this fall. I sit here telling myself that opportunity is about to explode all around me and my dreams are about to come true. I play the affirmation game telling myself that I am worthy, cared for, and quite capable. I discuss with my goddess brain the fact that I have a ton of skills, information, and talents and that the world is about to knock my door down begging (and paying) for my knowledge.

Hey, God? Do you think you might send a few paying door knockers a bit early so I’ll know you aren’t calling me a stupid doofus, too?

I guess I have some marketing to do. See you later.


Submission and Minotaurs

The divine feminine spirit remains first and foremost on my mind these days.

As I continue my trek through Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter, each page opens my eyes to a part of the journey of awakening that began in me about 5 years ago. With each new section, I recognize myself trudging through the jungle whacking a branch here and pushing something aside there, each representing a piece of my old belief system that no longer serves me.

She talks about the myth of Ariadne, and how the minotaur of King Minos’ labyrinth represented for her the dark side of patriarchy.

“In the female psyche the Minotaur represents negative, uncivilized (beastly), masculine power… In other words, the Minotaur is the bullish, bullying, bulldozing force of patriarchy internalized in the cellar of a woman’s psyche. It is a presence that works invisibily, hampering, limiting, driving, even destroying a woman’s inner and outer life.”

It is a belief system that we use to feed our own self-doubt, contributing to our feelings of inadequacy and the repeated action of handing over our feminine power to another.

This reading dove-tailed with a conversation I had yesterday. The person with whom I was conversing is a strong powerful feminine spirit who is struggling with more than one emotional load at this point in her life. One of the more irritating of these is the pervasiveness of the male authoritarian figures influencing and affecting her career.

And yet during the conversation, she remarked that she holds to the belief that as a Christian woman, her husband is the head of the household and she submits to him. Outwardly, I see a strong woman who is very much in partnership, rather than submission to her husband. Yet because of the influence of Christianity’s patriarchy (and the teachings of those other than Jesus Christ), I believe she has convinced her subconscious that in fact, she should submit to the male in a relationship, whatever that relationship should be. Though not afraid to confront a wrong, she fears the power held by the male to consume her life and livelihood if she stands up for her divine feminine wisdom.

I have been in that place. I have held fast to that belief. I have spoken that to other women. And like her, I have never truly lived it in my marriage, because my man and I are a team–both strong and independent, but willing to compromise to meet each other in harmony. He would never ask me to submit to him, and he would never stoop to guilting, manipulating, or threatening me into obeying him.

Ain’t gonna happen.

And yet I find that just like her, this concept of submitting to male authority has so parasitically attached itself to our souls and metastasized into the far reaches of our very essence, that we struggle to stand up for ourselves when male leadership oversteps its humanness and leaps headlong into the assholeness that is the Minotaur. (Sorry, Mom. It is what it is.)

That was never the intended message of Christ.

And so our wise woman divine feminine spirit shrinks back into a little girl and cows in obedience to whatever great man-god we choose to submit to in the moment. We become one of the many children sacrificed to feed the Minotaur so he can continue to feel strong and powerful. Our feminine spirit is crushed between the Minotaur’s jaws while he stands triumphantly over his prey.

Fear allowed this…fear of job loss, fear of approval loss, fear of angering the Minotaur.

I’m over it.

I choose to no longer feed the Minotaur.

I choose to no longer submit to a male (or female) simply because I fear what they might do to me if I disagree with them.

I choose not participate in (or submit my daughters to) a faith or belief system in which submission to a male is ingrained in my psyche as a condition for the salvation of my soul.

I choose not to be employed in a situation that requires any arrangement other than teamwork.

I choose to identify my Minotaurs and slay them.

I choose to live as a a wise woman full of the divine feminine spirit.

I am beginning to recognize the Minotaurs in my life. What are yours?

Perspective of a Goddess in Training

I can’t resist posting a link to my eldest daughter’s blog. The title alone was intriguing. Her story relates to the battle that exists between conforming and telling her truth. In this case she conforms in person and tells her truth to the world. Kind of ironic.

 I Didn’t Get Dumped and Nobody Died

Intuition: It's Been Here All Along

Of the many changes that have staked their claim over me in recent years, the one that I am delighting in most is the realization that

I am an intuitive person.

Apparently I have been all along.

I just didn’t know it until now. I owe a debt of gratitude to some extremely beautiful women and one incredible man who have helped me to realize this important bit of knowledge.

There simply had to be something inside of me that was aware of where my life has been headed, and it was present in me from a very early age. Time and again, I would rebel against that which was rational, seemingly intelligent, and made the most sense on the surface in favor of the passions of my heart.

Case in point: Boys and Men

Nothing I have ever done in my pursuit of male affection has EVER made sense or aligned with the ideals of my religious heritage.

THANK GOD!!!!! (Literally.)

Otherwise, not only would my spiritual life be a bit scrambled, my marriage could have been, too.

I’ve never been one to desire the “good boys”. I used to call them the Bible Bangers at college, and I had absolutely NO interest in them whatsoever. They creeped me out. My one and only experience with an honest to goodness “nice Christian young man” (translate CofC gentle-guy from church camp) lasted through months of cards and letters, but all of one real date. Ugh….he was just……TOO nice.  That relationship cooled like ice plunged in a bucket almost immediately. Something was just….weird…about that deal. I didn’t pick up on it at camp, but it showed up on that date when no one was around but the two of us. Years later we learned that Mr. Gentleman robbed a bank so he could have enough money to go see his girlfriend.

Score one for intuition.

My first REAL BF was the bad boy of high school. Lineman on the varsity football team. He was a junior who had enjoyed an extra year of school and was a fall birthday. I was a freshman. That made him technically A LOT older than me. We met on the track bus one evening. We were sort of an item. Never regretted that deal. He respected my boundaries, yet still made the experience exciting for me. He certainly wasn’t the church going, Bible-carrying type. He also wasn’t exactly the potential son-in-law of my parents’ dreams. Fortunately they were smart enough to sit back and watch—and probably pray alot—knowing that it wouldn’t last. And it didn’t.

He eventually broke up with me after he graduated and moved on to other women. As fate would have it, the high school bad boy ended up back in our hometown serving his community as a police officer. I still get a smile on my face when I see him. It’s a smile of appreciation and respect. Appreciation for letting me know I was worth something to someone, and respect for the way he treated me even though he had the physical power to  do anything he wanted.  I didn’t get him in the end, yet I grew so much in the process.

Score two for intuition.

There was the younger guy. I was more like mom to him. It was kind of a weird deal, but with the older guys having graduated, and the guys my age interested in the younger girls, that pretty much left the younger guys. I don’t go back there very often. That one had to be released pretty quickly. Nice kid. Nice family. Just a bit on the weird side.

Score three for intuition.

One night in my junior year, I found a sweet bad boy on Dip Street, the main drag through town. Violating every principal of safe, intelligent interactions with strangers, I was drawn to him immediately. His kiss was passionate and tender. His demeanor one of a romantic. He was in town visiting family, and in less than two weeks he was headed to basic training for the Navy. I will always remember the beautiful cards he sent me from San Diego and later (for awhile) from his station in Florida.

I’d like to think I was his angel for awhile until he found one with whom to spend his life. His words always made me feel special and I trust that mine kept him going through the tough and lonely times. We had “our song” and I would play it over and over. To this day, I think of him and get a lump in my throat every time I hear REO Speedwagon hit the classic rock airwaves. He made his escape from this world a few years ago, way too soon. I’d like to think somewhere in another dimension, he still remembers what a gift he was to me at that point in my life.

Score again for intuition.

Then I met “the one”. EVERYTHING about the situation violated all the rules of “good girl” relationships. I was CofC. He was a Catholic. I was 17 and about to start my senior year in high school. He was 29, and a working man with a bucket truck and a tool belt. I didn’t drink, dance, smoke, or partake of any mind-altering substance. He was a bass guitar player in a well-known area dance band, smoked, played in bars, and graduated in 1974 (which automatically addresses the mind-altering part). My brain said this was stupid and dangerous. Everything else inside of me said, “I WANT HIM!”

For four and a half years, I battled my brain and my heart. Rules and boundaries were shot to hell where he was concerned. Other guys came in and out of the picture, but he was always somewhere in the painting. Like a haunting spirit, he never left the corners of my soul. I would sneak visits to this forbidden love, this bad-boy of a man, even in the midst of  budding college romances. I ached at the thought of leaving him. I hurt for him when I was away. I loathed the drive between him and college. He was everything I wasn’t supposed to have, be, or do.

And yet…..

He was exactly what I needed. He didn’t complete me. He allowed me. He accepted me. He endured me. He caught me when my world began shifting. His patient tolerance of my “growing up” has been nothing short of saintly. Had he been one of  those good boys that I SHOULD have married, he probably would have left me or driven me insane when my awakening began. Instead, he has welcomed me into that place so that now we share it together finally united as one after 20+ years.

The ultimate score for intuition.

Shoulds and More Shoulds

It’s Sunday again.

I SHOULD be getting ready for church. That’s what people do on Sunday around here….go to church. It’s what you are supposed to do.

And that is precisely why I am not going.

At 42 years old, it finally dawned on me that my only motivation for going the last 20 years was because I SHOULD. Because people expected me to be there. Because that’s just what you do when you are raised in “The Church”. Before that, my motivation was purely social. Maybe I’d meet a hot guy. At least I’d get to hang with my friends who were there for the same reason. We could time prayers, if nothing else.

I have finally decided that until my motivation is something other than SHOULD, I have no business being there.

For that matter, I’m not really what most churches in these parts want in their midst. I am a female who doesn’t exactly behave or think the way most people around here believe a good Christian female SHOULD.

Too much has awakened inside of me.

I have an overwhelming urge to speak my truth.

Unfortunately for them, most churches around here can’t handle my truth. It threatens their male dominated traditions. If I speak my truth (and I did), it might awaken other women as to their sacred feminine-ness (and it almost did). If that were to happened, who knows what horrible evils might befall the Bible belt population. We might end up like <gasp> those liberal west coast people.

I was, in fact, told to be quiet.

I knew I couldn’t be quiet.

It’s not in my nature.

Awakening is not a one time thing. It’s ongoing. Ever evolving.

Once I awaken to a new realization, a new logic, a new way of seeing the world, it becomes very important to me to share it with someone….many ones. It doesn’t really matter whether or not anyone agrees with me as much as it matters that they will still accept me and at least CONSIDER the POSSIBILITY of what I bring to the table…without suggesting I’ve made a pact with the devil.

Unfortunately, I am only accepted so long as I keep my weirdo ideas to myself.

Jesus totally relates to this. In a moment of randomness this morning, I closed my eyes and opened my Bible. I do that alot with various books. It’s my preferred way to receive the most appropriate guidance. This morning, it opened to John 11 . The heading was THE PLOT TO KILL JESUS.

The Pharisees are having a freakazoid about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. v. 48 “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

Huh? There’s some really intelligent man-logic. NOT.

So the head hauncho, Caiaphas, says “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

Oh, yeah. And this was the logic of highly respected men. Men in a position of leadership. The men who ran the church. Kill the awakened one. Snuff out the flame of passion before it catches on. Otherwise, we might be overtaken by change. We simply cannot let this happen.

Not much has changed in two thousand years.

And so here I sit. Sunday morning. Faith in God fully intact. Faith in religion shot to hell. (Which at this point, I’m not convinced is a real place. That should further freak some people out.)

I don’t blog because I SHOULD. I blog because I must. Because something inside of me has to come forth. It waits to be born. My excitement at birthing words on a computer screen is pure joy.

I don’t feel that in church. I know I SHOULD. If only I’d devote myself to the WORD, I’d probably catch that excitement and joy for fellowship with the saints.

Yeah. Whatever. I devoted myself to the WORD and was awakened by what it said. I was excited and joyful about it. Still am. But that isn’t really what churches want. They want dutiful compliance to their stated ideals. They want you to show up, write out your check, and not rock any boats. Even the preacher who is begging for passion and energy and volunteerism doesn’t REALLY want those things to the extent (usually) HE claims he does.

They are too dangerous. Too uncomfortable. Too….edgy.

And so I sit on the edge. In the wilderness. The grass is beneath my feet. Mother Earth’s breath wisping across my cheeks. Her sun warming my flesh. Meeting my God in a space both desolate and expansive. Listening to her reveal the most amazing things to me. Things that only a person willing to experience the hazards  and isolation of awakening can ever experience.

It SHOULDn’t be this wonderful.

Yet it is.

Soul Salve

The amazing ways in which life, circumstance, and coincidence come together is something I find incredibly fascinating. It is even more so when I find myself in the middle of that divine happenstance.

Such was the case earlier this week when I was found by a book.

A book title had captured my attention when segments were referenced in some blog posts on Ronna Detrick’s website, Renegade Conversations. The book she referenced is by Sue Monk Kidd called Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to Sacred Feminine.

Further investigation led me to think this was a book I needed.

Desperately.

Like an open wound needs Neosporin to speed the healing.

And while a trip to yoga class in a neighboring larger town resulted in my experiencing a most horrific and tragic loss, it also resulted in a find that has proven to be unexpected salve for a wound that’s been difficult to heal.

I knew that the local Barnes and Noble had the book I was seeking. At least the website indicated they did. One copy. Only one. Which meant it might or might not be there.

I went.

I asked.

I was shown where it “should” be located although it wasn’t jumping out to grab the attention of either the customer service rep or me.

I continued to search the Comparative Religion section to which he had directed me.

In a moment he came back , book in hand. He had found it on a clearance table at the front of the store. It had a sticker on it that said Buy 2 Get the 3rd Free.

Hmm…. I might need to find this table and see what else is there.

And I did.

As I glanced around the table near the open space where my sought-for book had been resting, I noticed another. Cute. Written around a poem with which I was familiar and which struck a synchronistic chord with me.

What else?

Then I saw it. The title that reached up from that table and grabbed my wounds. The words on the beautiful cover were bold and clear.


Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, by Barbara Brown Taylor.

Never heard of her. Yet apparently she had something to tell me. Something I really needed to hear.

Three books in hand. I stood there holding them for a moment wondering if I really needed them all or if I should leave with only the one for which I came. A chill registered in my body from the roots of the hairs on the top of my head all the way down to the tips of my toes. I have learned in recent months that this is my signal, my intuitive sense, my message from the Divine that something awaits me inside this choice.

All three books left with me.

One, however, begged for my immediate attention, and it wasn’t the one I sought. It is the one that sought me. It was the book that jumped through hoops of time and space and internet blogs and accidental leadings and a sale tag to find its way into my possession and ultimately onto my wounds to help with some much needed healing.

It was the one that contained passages such as this for which I will ever be grateful for Divine Coincidence.

Like most Christians, I have my own canon, in which I hear God speaking most directly to me, but I also like the parts in which God sounds like an alien, since those parts remind me that God does not belong to me. I do  not pretend to read the Bible any more objectively than those who wrote it for me. To read it literally strikes me as a terrible refusal of their literary gifts.

“I will keep the Bible, which remains the Word of God for me, but always the Word as heard by generations of human beings as flawed as I. As beautifully as these witnesses write, their divine inspiration can never be separated from their ardent desires; their genuine wish to serve God cannot be divorced from their self-interest. That God should use such blemished creatures to communicate God’s reality so well makes the Bible its own kind of miracle, but I hope never to put the book ahead of the people whom the book calls me to love and serve.

“I will keep the Bible as a field guide, which was never intended to be a substitute for the field. With the expert notes kept by those who have gone before me, I will keep hunting the Divine Presence in the world, helped as much by the notes they wrote in the margins while they were waiting for God to appear as by their astonished descriptions of what they saw when God did.”

And another….

“In my closet I have a T-shirt with many of their names on it, which I wore to bed while I was sleeping in the wilderness: …Martin Luther, …Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi, Heldegard of Bingen, Galileo, Copernicus, Peter Aberlard, …Tertullian, Ogigen, Jesus. All of these people made unauthorized choices in their love of God. They saw things they were not supposed to see or said things they were not supposed to say. They wondered about things they were not supposed to wonder about, and when Mother Church told them to stop they did not obey her.

“Some of them died for their disobedience while others were locked in their rooms. Still others were sent out of the house and told to never come back. Many of them are spiritual heroes now. At least one of them is revered as the Son of God, but none of them got where they were going without passing through the wilderness first. “

I never cease to be amazed at how Spirit places something on my heart, something that is completely out of alignment with a sacred belief I have held for most of my life, and then shows me others to whom this same revelation has been given. She shows me these things with such precision that I can’t help but think her messenger must have been hanging out in my head, taking notes and writing down my thoughts and feelings.

This was not my first experience at being found by or led to a resource that I was not seeking. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Eerie, almost creepy, but so very cool.

Confirmation that

I am safe.

I am saved.

I am sane.


Hippozebrapotamus Sightings and Other Self-Image Issues

I like me.

Really I do.

I even like most of my body, most of the time.

I can look in the mirror at 42 years old and say to myself, “Honey, you rock!” and really mean it. I clean up well. I think.

Hunky Farmer Boy says it, too, so it must be true. Of course being of the male species, he can do that at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning when my eyes are swollen shut and I have crusted drool glued to my face. I’m not sure his opinion is always completely accurate, but I’m really glad he finds my 42 year old swollen eyed drool-faced self worthy of his ….ahem…..attention.

And this fabulous self-image rocks along pretty good most of the time.

MOST of the time.

Until someone brings out one of those nasty, obnoxious, things called a camera.

Don’t get me wrong.

I like cameras.

As long as I am behind the lens and not in front of it.

And I don’t even mind being in front of one as long as I never ever ever ever never EVER have to see what distorted torturous images of humanity were captured by that lens.

Because unless it is capturing a picture of my kids, HFB, a peach blossom, or any member of the human species OTHER than me, a camera lens is just another one of those horror house freak mirrors that stretches and bulges it’s subject in all the wrong places.

Because I can’t possibly look like that. I’m much slimmer and substantially more gorgeous than THAT!

After all, I was a Beauty Queen. Miss McKenzie AND Miss Tulia 1986. I had the crowns to prove it. I even had the glamour shots thing done after the second rugrat came along in 1995-ish. THAT camera said I looked like Reba McEntire.

All cameras should be outlawed except that camera. It can stay.

And those clothes. My gorgeous look like a million bucks clothes. Black slacks, sort of shimmery two piece animal print top. Very classy. Until a camera destroys the look.

Kill the camera.

Death to the camera.

Leave me with my fantasy.

PLEASE?

Some well-meaning, helpful type wants to show off my progress on my new business.

Then take a dang picture of the business, NOT ME!!!!

Oh no.

He wanted me in them.

I’m thinking, it’s been awhile. Maybe cameras have improved. Maybe his is one of those glamour shot cameras that will make me look like I SHOULD be the owner of a wellness center.

Nope.

No such luck.

(cue Jacque Cousteau voice)

“What we have here folks is the rare hippozebrapotamus of the species married-with-four-children-and-too-busy-to-take-care-of-herself.”

Looks more like I need to find a wellness center instead of own one.

And shut my trap long enough to smile for the evil camera.

And how appropriate that this particular shot is in front of a danged refrigerator.

“Notice how well the specimen spans the width of the refrigerator.”

And they say black is supposed to make you look thin.

LIARS!

Did I mention how much I HATE cameras?

The Clothes Line Murderer

This is my sweet man, Hunky Farmer Boy. He’s the lone source of testosterone amidst a sea of about five dozen females of various species. I think you’ve met previously.

This is Hunky Farmer Boy on his Tonka Toy. (This is where you hear the Tim the Toolman Taylor grunting sounds.)

Boys and Their Tonka Toys

My Hunky Farmer Boy with His Big Tonka Toy

For reasons never fully understood by me, HFB likes to use his Tonka Toy to pull things out of the ground. You’d think he’d get enough of that working as an electric lineman, but apparently not. Apparently, they put more poles in the ground than they get to pull out of the ground, leaving him somewhat unbalanced. So he has to spend his leisure time on the farm pulling stuff out of the ground. Big stuff. Or at least sorta big stuff. Most of the time, I’m okay with that, because as his director of operations (aka bossy britches wife), I am usually giving my approval to what he removes and often times I’m assisting in the process. Most of the time.

Sidenote: Men should never be allowed to function without a woman telling them what to do. It just isn’t natural, and truth be known, it’s dangerous. Someone could get hurt. Or worse. Get pee-ode. Like me.

This is the back yard of my wellness center/vacation home. It’s six blocks from the four bedroom mansion where we sleep.

Backyard Lake with Clothesline Pole

Notice the bright yellow clothes line pole amidst the lake of our recent rains. Sorta hard to miss, isn’t it? I did that on purpose. I like clotheslines. I haven’t used one since I was…oh…say….10 years old, but I like clotheslines. It’s a strange obsession.

Did I mention I like clotheslines?

I’m not sure why I like clotheslines. Since the incident last night, I’ve been trying to analyze why I like clotheslines. I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s representative of a piece of my childhood. Maybe it’s part of my obsession with wanting to be self sufficient. Maybe I get some sort of sick humor out of watching a sexy 6’4″ hunk of man hang himself or bip his noggin’ on it.

Whatever it is, it is serious. I like my clothesline. I’ve begged for one at the mansion for years. Never got one. My wellness center/vacation house came with one pre-installed. Someone loves me.

Back to Tonka Toys.

Did I mention that HFB does not share my obsession with clotheslines?

It’s a detail relevant to our story here.

HFB has mentioned pulling it up a couple of times. The first time, it was because you couldn’t see it. So I painted it John Deere Yellow. As evidence by the photo above, you can see it now.

He’s hinted that the edges of the cross pieces are dangerously sharp and it needed to go. I diverted that conversation with a discussion of options for padding the ends of the poles.

Then I did something really dumb. I left him alone with his Tonka Toy on a beautiful spring afternoon while I went to relax my mind in the peaceful tranquility of yoga class.

Note to self: Bad idea.

We all arrived back at the mansion at about the same time. Conversation initiated. I had purchased some books at Barnes and Noble after my date with strength and peace. He had tilled, and mowed, and hammered, and pulled the clothes line up.

Hunky Farmer Boy with the Big Tonka Toy say what?

“You did WHAT??????????”

Now realize, that I don’t get mad at him. I just don’t. It just doesn’t happen. I pout occasionally when things don’t go my way (okay I pout every time things don’t go my way), but there just isn’t much in this world worth getting truly mad about.

Except extricated clotheslines. Apparently. Yeah.

He might as well have ripped my heart out of my chest, sacrificed my first born, and sold the horses.

“I thought we agreed to pull them up.”

“No. YOU agreed to pull them up.”

“We can set them up farther back out of the way.”

To myself: There’s a guy for ya. Who in their right mind wants the clothes line on the east forty, three hundred miles from the house?

To make matters worse, my girls were witness to this rare, almost unheard of episode of psychosis towards my sweet, hard working man. (I say those things to remind myself that I really do love him, murdered clothes line and all.)

And to make things worse still, #3 daughter, to whom I had preached just hours earlier about getting over her “mad” with her sister, a mad she had nursed for well over 24 hours, began to preach to me about how I needed to get over it like I told her to do.

Child, I birthed you. I can snuff you out. Better choose sides wisely. Besides, this is different. This is my precious CLOTHESLINE!!!!

Don’t you have a horse to ride or something?

And so the evening wore on. I grieved over my poor un-anesthetized clothesline being ripped from its ancient roots. I grieved over being mad at my sweet husband for something so…..<gulp>…trivial. I psycho-analyzed what kind of sick human could overlook a thousand other reasons to be angry in over 20 years, yet let Mr. Helpful rip out her precious clothesline and she blows an aneurysm.

I thought about his offer to “replant” it elsewhere in the yard. That made my chest tighten up with resentment. It doesn’t belong elsewhere in the yard. It belongs where it was. Where it’s been forever. It belongs right smack dab in the middle of the yard where every 6’4″ hunk that walks through can be tatooed with a divot in his forehead.

No. Just forget it. It’s gone. My precious yellow poles are gone. Send flowers. Memorials to the Murdered Clothes Line Association are also appreciated.

And then……

Finally…….

A moment of sanity.

Simple solution.

Mr. Tonka Toy could just put them back exactly like he found them.

EXACTLY.

In concrete.

That’ll teach him to pull up my baby with is big Tonka Toy.

And in a few years when I decide I want that danged clothesline somewhere else because I’m tired of strangling myself on the way to pick tomatoes, I’ll be more than happy to acknowledge that he tried to move the thing years earlier, but had to put it back IN CONCRETE no less because the nutcase he married had some weird survivalist obsession with a stupid clothesline.

Because if Mama ain’t happy, no one gets to be happy!

Oh, and Hunky Farmer Boy is grounded from his big Tonka Toy.

That’s all I have to say ’bout that.

Truth Telling and Confused German Shephards

I admit it. Telling the truth is hard for me. No, no. It’s not that I am a pathological liar. Although I think I probably was….when I was five. But I grew out of that by the time I was about….uh…..married? And I only used it to get what I wanted……and keep my tail out of trouble. I usually got what I wanted, but I was lousy at that second part.

While lying isn’t a problem for me anymore, telling the truth, my truth, is painfully difficult. And apparently I am not alone.

Last night, I enjoyed a very nice teleconference with Ronna Detrick on Truth Telling in Extravagant Ways. She told the Bible story of the woman who annointed Jesus feet with expensive perfume and washed them with her hair. I’ve never before felt a kinship with this woman. I mean, according to everyone else who tells the story (everyone I’ve ever listened to anyway) she was the town prostitute: a very very naughty woman who had to be forgiven of MUCH sin. Hence all the theatrics. MUCH sin requires much drama and emotion and displays of affection.

Ronna told the story of a woman who was perceived by the community in a certain way, but who went to Jesus and told her truth extravagantly. She went to him and allowed her emotion to shine through…extravagantly. She revealed what was most true for her…extravagantly. She acknowledged her own feelings and reveled in the feeling at the feet of the most loving and kind teacher…extravagantly.

And for the first time, I had a reason to relate to this woman. She didn’t swallow up her emotions. She didn’t tell herself that he wouldn’t have time for her or that he wouldn’t be interested in her. She just went for it. She let him know exactly how she felt. She made her needs known. She told her truth, and she did it extravagantly.

I’ve raised (am raising) four of the most beautiful, courageous, and strong women. Power oozes from their veins. And yet, in some ways, I feel as though I am failing them. That strength, that determination, that “push through no matter what it takes” feminism has left them almost powerless to tell their truth. I can’t take all the credit for this. I assign plenty of blame to the expectations of middle class society.

Drama and hysterics are unwelcome around here. Rational, thoughtful conversation is prized. Not questioning the system is highly valued. Don’t be a trouble-maker is the undercurrent.

Truth-telling is rarely neat and tidy and free of drama. In our clan, there is a family gene for crying. Too often, truth-telling equals buckets of tears, and we all despise those tears. It means throats that seize up and swollen mascara-smeared eyes, and since men tend to look at a woman in tears with the confused German shephard look, it’s just better off avoided.

Unfortunately it also means passion pushed down, dreams set aside, stress bottled up, and unfairness allowed to go unchecked. It means resentment that boils and bubbles inside and eats away at our bodies. It means conflicted emotion and a feeling of being powerless. And it means walls get built around our hearts. Impenetrable walls. It sucks.

But why do we do it? Why do we squash our truth so completely in order to keep the peace, get along with everyone, and avoid conflict? Is it just not worth it? Is there some horrible fate that awaits our truth-telling?

Yes, and my girls have seen it happen to me over and over and over. They have watched as I have spoken my true passion only to spend the next several days, weeks, and months trying to pick up the pieces. They have seen the consequences of a world that does not value truth-telling. They know well the persecution and the childish back-stabbing that adults are capable of inflicting on non-conformers. And it sucks.

So how do I communicate to them that is is worth it to speak their truth? How do I model the benefits of owning and making known the “know-that-you-know-what-you-know” that’s inside? How can I show them that the tears are a part of the process and it’s okay to let them spill? How can I let them see that opening up and being who they really are is not only respectful, but admirable? How can I help them accept the fact that the disapproval of others towards our truth is not our problem, but that of the other person?

Guess I’d better model telling my own truth with confidence and emotion so they can see me grow stronger in the process.

Ronna, how big’s the couch in your office? Got space for five?

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