Shaping Our World

This morning, I started out by writing an extremely rare rant post. When I got to the end of it, I realized that the point of the thing was not really to complain about the myriad of things that aren’t quite right with the world. What I had really been working up to in that rant was the importance of realizing that we have more ability to create our own world than we often realize.

It can be easy these days to get bogged down in feelings of despair and helplessness, as the times we’re living in are full of uncertainty and turmoil. I’ll admit that for a while, it seemed to me that the solution was of almost utter isolation. Thankfully that mindset has been replaced with a deeper and firmer connection with ideals I’ve believed to be true for a very long time, but had buried in my misplaced desire for acceptance in spaces which do not fit me (thank goddess).

While I certainly am not going to be out roaming the streets among the masses of unmasked people, I have decided to ramp up my community building skills. We really can, to a very large degree, create a world which does fit us. A place to find joy, happiness, peace, compassion, and very importantly, connection. Connection with the world around us, connection with that which is greater than ourselves, connection with other people. Even in the midst of difficulty, we do have the power to do all of this.

You may have noticed that I wrote of that with a lot of certainty, and it’s true, I did. This is because I know it to be true. In a time not too very long ago, I was (mostly) walking that path. There were some kinks to work out, both inner and outer, but it was more good than not. For a few years though, I had gotten sidetracked and lost my way. There were many lessons learned, slates were cleared. In those blank spaces, new things and people have been written and continue to be written all the time.

I’ve learned the huge value of my inherent ability to have, what they called, my head in the sand. Now more than ever I know that my head was not in the sand, it was in the clouds. I’m very grateful to say that it is now climbing back up there. It’s time to return to my ideals, along with some new ones I’ve adopted and get back to creating space and community which are uplifting, compassionate, creative, and loving. Time to wipe the tears, soothe the sorrow, and tame the frustration which comes with disconnecting from our sense of power, sense of belonging, and creative spirit. The direction has been reset, and I’ll be getting back to the work (which doesn’t feel at all like work) of creating an online space which reflects all of that.

Much love,

Tracy

Chronic Worth

Note: This is a re-post. The only thing changed is the title, which I did because the original title didn’t convey the sentiment the heart of what was being said. Many thanks to Julie from Mountain Made Crochet for helping me out with that.

When I first came back to the blog, I wrote about my awful experiences with variousĀ  medications for autoimmune disease. On some levels I feel a lot better without them, but my pain is getting a lot worse, and my energy never did make a full comeback. Back when I wrote that post, my mindset was leaning toward telling the rheumatologist that I didn’t want to try anything else after three different ones being so awful. Now that some time has passed, I am going to ask to try again, because the pain is not conducive to much.

It’s not a fun thing to have to choose between severe pain all the time, or the possibility of medication that makes things so much worse. However, I have things that I want to do, and there are a lot of other things that can be tried, so when I have my appointment in late June, I’ve decided to be brave and give it another go. Surely one of the many medications available will be tolerable by my supremely picky body.

What finally made me decide to continue with treatment is noticing that yet another of my fingers is starting to turn sideways. The incessant body-wide pain was already making me lean in that direction, but seeing yet another joint becoming disfigured is concrete proof to me that there is damage being done that needs to be stopped. In the meantime, I’ll be here as much as I can, and I’m hoping that it’s fairly often. Now that I’ve gotten this all out in the open, the next post will be about something other than my health. It isn’t something that I really like to talk about, but it is part of my life that will be popping up.

For several reasons, I’ve felt almost ashamed to talk about my struggles here. While I do not wish for health issues to make up a large part of this blog, I have decided to be a bit more open about it. There isn’t any shame in it, and that is part of my inner narrative that I am choosing to tell to shut the hell up. All the old voices of the past, and even in our society which cause us to place our value in what we produce, what we can do, how perfect we can make ourselves look can hush. It may be a little later in life, but it’s finally coming clear to me just how wrong those voices are and how to see myself differently.

Of course we should always be doing our best to have a life which is meaningful, but it can’t always be about how much money we make, what possessions we have, and all around being a poster child of materialistic success. Not saying that having nice things is bad, it’s just that as a society we all too often make those things the measure of worthiness in a person. Coming to a realization that I will not be rejoining the rat race has really helped me to see the intrinsic value of people, and it isn’t tied to what they do and what they own. While I’ve never viewed the world in that way, this is a whole new level, because those values had been embedded in me when it came to my own worth. So glad to finally have this fading, as I had a hard time fully loving myself and feeling worthy of acceptance. Here’s to all of us finding our sense of worth.

Do any of you go through this?

Settling Into Just Being

Okay, so my best friend wrote a post yesterday that so inspired my post today that the very title was something that she said in what she wrote. She and I both have had a pretty difficult time of it in the last year or so. To say that there has been a lot of learning going on would be an understatement. Please do head on over and read her post if you wish. Now, I’ll get on with it.

So, the past year and a half for me was a breaking point. This is something which needed to happen because I’ve literally spent most of my life living old patterns and it became impossible to keep doing so and stay sane, and I mean that almost literally. It truly was a breaking point in my life. These are patterns which were created long, long ago. In childhood in fact. The hell of it has been that they were set so early that the real me has not really had much time to come out and play. The real me had been almost completely buried.

Sure, there have been glimpses of me here and there, but for the most part I’ve slid back into those ways of being and interacting in the world which were drilled into me as a means to stay safe. While that was never okay, it was at one time necessary for survival. After that necessary time had passed though, I was simply reacting to things which evoked those old responses and instead of standing tall in my own being, I would either put another person first to my own detriment, or I would have a fear trigger and simply squash myself into what I thought would keep the waters smooth. Well let me tell you, this never works.

Maybe for a while things felt calmer, but in the long run it wasn’t sustainable. Sometimes when we feel like we’re playing it safe, we are only prolonging the inevitable, and putting ourselves through unnecessary stress and pain. There is a lot of history which I could go into, but I won’t. Not because I’m not okay talking about it, but because this post is about the present and moving forward.

I have forgiven the past. I have forgiven the people who have caused me harm. I have made great progress in forgiving myself for the role which I played in letting some of those situations play out. Granted, my heart was always in the right place, but there have been many times in which it was very misguided. I’m at a place in which I no longer feel the need or desire to think or talk about the past, unless it’s necessary for some reason. I’ve come to terms with what the past was, and have reached the point of breaking the patterns.

This isn’t to say that my work is done. In some respects I’m only getting truly started, but it feels so good. This is where the words settling into just being come into play. I’ve realized that I truly like who I am at my core, and I really like who I am becoming. A large part of doing this work has been simply allowing myself to settle into being. Learning to live in the present, not in the past and not in the future, is strangely liberating.

Sure, I’ve read about being in the present and it sounded good but I had never really tried to put it into practice before. I had some mistaken ideas about what it meant exactly. It doesn’t mean that the past is erased, it is more of a reminding myself that when parts of the past rear their ugly heads that I am not longer in that place, and that those feelings and memories have no power over me. It doesn’t mean that I can’t make plans for the future. It is simply a loosening of the expectations of how things will work and not trying to plan all of the minute details.

The deeper I go into this space, the less I find myself wishing for anything else. This very moment is a pretty good place to be. More and more, I actually remember to stop and ask myself if there’s anything that I can do about any given thing in this moment, and if there isn’t, it becomes easier to release it and just be. If though, there is something that I can do about something, I find myself being able to break it down even further into what I can do about it right now and to be okay with leaving the rest for when it’s appropriate.

While the deep trauma work which I’ve chosen to undertake isn’t for the faint of heart, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. To finally be saying goodbye to the triggers, fears, and anxiety is the most awesome feeling. Lots of things have fallen away, and some of those losses have been harder than others. I have to admit though, that every last one of them has needed to happen. I’m looking forward to what is to come, more so than ever. This feels a little bit odd to say because everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING in me has shifted, so my exact direction is not exactly clear. In the past, this would have scared the hell out of me. Now though it feels perfect, because I am starting with a clean slate and I’m not following someone else’s map…I’m drawing my own.