Monday, October 18, 2010

Little Man-A Blessing

There is something that gets lost as we get older.  A certain feeling that the world is an egoistic place and that we, as essential human beings, are somehow at the center of all of that magic.  That our physical bodies will take us anyplace our minds can conceive and that our actions, the affect that they have and how they feel, will only impact our own personal spheres.  Our own beings.  Our own centers.  It is a survival technique, really.  A way to ensure that we will get what we need in order to survive.  A way to alert the world as to our existence and to emphasize the inherent importance of that existence.  A way to connect with others.
And yet, as we get older, we begin to understand that our actions create reactions in others.  We begin to comprehend the much larger picture.  Our sphere radiates outward and little by little, the importance of those around us becomes more evident.

It begins with the realization that we are separate from our mothers.  And then, slowly, year by year, lesson by lesson, experience by experience, we come to understand that every action has a reaction.  We can then choose to become more empathetic, more connected to, more concerned about the well-being of others, more mindful of what we do to those around us.  Or, we can choose to ignore.  To remain the center.  To cast pain out into the world like a mindless stone tossed into the ocean, not paying any mind to where it might land.

Occasionally, we notice the ripples emanating from where the stone has landed.  We might decide to turn away from the ripple, paying no mind to the action(our action), which precipitated the sudden disruption.

Until we look back and realize that someone else is there.  And that someone is now experiencing the repercussions of our decision.  Light bulb moment!

Yet there is also a point in life that is oftentimes reached rather slowly, in which we begin to figure out that all of this radiating and rippling, all of the concern about the circles moving outward and away from us, are also taking us too far away from our own center.  For me, the epiphany behind this idea has taken years. Ten years of sharing my own body with four special beings taught me that my own body's needs were secondary to the needs of the little body that I was nurturing.  I was either pregnant or both nursing and pregnant for ten years straight.  And although the results were my four perfect, beautiful Angel Daughters, there was a certain price for me to pay.  And as I chose to spend my days mothering those four incredible souls, putting their absolute immediate needs before my own and forgetting my own spirit in the process, I suddenly learned that I was about as far from the center of the universe as one could possibly be.  It was not as if I woke up on one particular morning and realized that my life was out of balance.  The process was slow.  And as I disregarded the signs(my own deteriorating health, a HUGE one), I lost touch with me.  I witnessed my four healthy children standing outside of my immediate circle, growing into amazing young women and then I looked back and observed one ill, out-of-sorts, somewhat angry, but very altruistic(somewhat in congruent with angry) individual who was falling apart at the seams.(Cue-Deep breath)

So now what?  It was not yesterday that I got to this point.  It has been years of ill-health, one-sided friendships that sucked the life out of me, unhealthy relationships with family members and people I considered family members(until my brother suddenly died and I was left standing in a tiny pocket of six at his funeral), and a good amount of disregard for my own feelings to get me to the point that I am now. But I am here and I made it here with the help of my incredible husband, our four daughters, my furry and feathery family members and a very good pain therapist.  I am also here because of the very kind words and actions of fantastic individuals whom I have come to know through the blessing of this blog, many of whom I now consider my very dear friends.
It is not without a certain amount of joyful buoyancy, that I have reached a place around midway(God willing) through my life when I realize that you do not have to begin your caring at the very outer banks of the circle(people you might not really like at all, but who you feel sorry for in a way), working your way back inward and finally reaching the self.(If there is anything left.)  I have given myself permission to care for myself, to pray for myself, to acknowledge myself...First.  Because if we do not concede to our own needs first, eventually, we will run out of rocks in which to create those loving ripples back out into the world.  And truly, if we don't show care for ourselves, it is very difficult for anyone else to put our needs at a very high place on their lists.

So once again, I am collecting.  I have always had a pocket full of love because of my husband, our daughters and our pets.  But now I am demanding more.  I am learning to require things of people who wish to be a part of my life.  Nothing extraordinary, just common decency, lots of love, and consideration when it comes to the effect that their ripples have on my life.  No more than I would expect of myself, but also...No less.

I watched this little boy throwing rocks into the ocean, the other day, and his actions created an immediate reaction in me.  I wasn't quite sure why his throwing rocks into the water had set off such a chord within my spirit as to have me pull out my camera and start shooting pictures of his magical moment.  And then it struck me.  This little boy bears an enormous resemblance to the way that my beloved, little brother looked when he was about that age.  And although my brother's life only lasted a cut-off forty-one years, mine continues.  If I do not bounce with joy that I still have the time to fill my pockets to overflowing with the people and things that can bring me back to my own importance, my own center, then my own brother's death will have been in vain.  His life has been a lesson for me.  I can now look back and see his successes and his errors, and I can incorporate them into my own lesson book.  And in reviewing some of his mistakes, I can reevaluate mine.  I can reestablish the innate idea that I am an essential Human Being, created in the image of God and worthy of everything that I put out into the world.  The ripples begin somewhere, and as the saying goes, If Momma ain't happy, nobody's happy.  I am beginning to feel the Truth in that.  Another rock in my pocket:)

May you always remember that what you allow for yourself is as important as what you allow for the world.  May you find a way to fill your pockets with whatever it is that creates the ripples from your heart.  And may you recognize your own Center...And honor it.  Because that is truly where it all begins.


Renee said...

As usual, your writing gives me so much to think about and absorb into my own life. Lovely photos, and powerful words here. My practitioner has been speaking to my husband and I on this subject lately....taking care of ourselves and not putting all our energy into taking care of others. Our children have told us the same... We are both very ill with Lyme and yet I see my husband spend his precious energy caring for me and for a pastor it is his calling. Yet, now, at this time in our lives and in this situation...maybe, just maybe God is speaking to us and especially him about giving himeself the same care, compassion, and encouragement that he have given to others for over 30 yrs. Being okay with that will take a shift of thinking for him....and for me with my own desires for myself. In all honesty we have never been comfortable with receiving...there is much more joy in giving! But God has been whispering in our ear for some time now, and today His voice became clearer to me.
Your words here are a timely gift from God today. Bless you for sharing them.

Sharon said...

Wonderful photos and insightful thoughts. Deb, this post touches me at my center, a place I am just beginning to recognize for the first time in my life. You beautifully describe what my spirit has been trying to teach me. Thank you.

I want to share with you that I now have a delicate glass hummingbird hanging in the window in front of my sewing machine. My daughter gave it to me last spring and I finally decided where I wanted it, where I can see it most often. It reminds me of your amazing post about hummingbirds.

Anonymous said...

What a way with words you have sweet friend. Powerful, powerful words in this post. How you can put what happens in life into words like you do amazes me. I could relate so well to some of what you said. The pictures of the little boy are wonderful. Hugs

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

so funny how i am now in my fourties and starting to figure out what i need to fill my pockets. i think being a woman, a mother, daughter and sister allowed me to fill the needs of so many others without asking myself what mine might be. as my boys get older and begin to set about on their own paths, i am left able to contemplate these things and dream. my heart is with you! my love...

LauraX said...

sweet friend...If I could I'd send you a pocket foll of heart shaped stones...smoothed by the loving, lapping motion of water...the place of birth...not only where our mothers birthed us, or we birthed our children (if we have been so blessed to have born children) the waters, the healing, soothing, smoothing waters through which we birth ourselves.

"....if we do not concede to our own needs first, eventually, we will run out of rocks in which to create those loving ripples back out into the world."

and so I will send your virtual stones to fill the pocket of your heart with, so you will never run out...for your ripples in particular are deep blessings in this world.

so much love to much...
gentle steps

Debbie said...

I love this! And it is so close to what I tried to impress upon my college aged son when he was home recently!

Neil and Susan Brown said...

You are speaking right to my heart this morning Debra. So many of us are on that journey. Your words bring inspiration to those who have joined that exploration. xo

Related Posts with Thumbnails