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Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

Today was a really difficult day emotionally (See my blog post “March 8”) but I’ve gotten through it. I twisted a few lines in the show today, but nothing too awful and I’m blaming that on the mental fog of the time change. I visited her garden and made plans for the coming springtime. Maybe a hummingbird feeder this year?

I’m surrounded by wonderful people who lift me up without even knowing it: my husband, my kids, my theatre mates, and for that I am thankful. Depression is an illness and I have tools to help me manage. This, too, shall pass. I can’t believe how much it still hurts, all this time later.

Rest, my little one. I feel you with me.

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There are little, beautiful, things that make me smile.

Baby belly laughs. Best thing ever. Hands down.

My husband’s hand on my back at night as we go to sleep.

A random text or Snapchat from one of my boys.

Snuggling with one of my boys.

Messaging with my cousins.

An email or message from Sabrina.

Someone being kind.

A hug between friends.

A silly rehearsal moment

Petting friendly kitties.

Petting any animal.

Random sappy things said by students.

Sunburst through the clouds.

Our Christmas tree, still lit on February 12, by choice.

Dimes.

The thought of being on an airplane, going somewhere.

A lovely quote.

Pictures from days gone by.

Good feedback from a director.

Ocean waves.

A warm, soul-squeezing passage in a book.

A most satisfying piece of a plastic bat. (Only some of you will get this.)

Time to write.

Snow with no snowblower noises.

What makes you smile?

 

 

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This morning, our pastor gave a sermon, a really good one, on forgiveness. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I struggle with on a daily basis.

Logically, I understand that forgiveness means letting go of a hurt, it doesn’t mean that what the other person did was okay or that you have to reconnect with them, but I still find it difficult for sometimes. Most things are easy for me to forgive: a student being disrespectful, being cut off in traffic, when my husband or kids track in dirt from outside onto my clean floor. Simple stuff. But then there are other things that go much deeper, that are not healed and I don’t know if they ever will be. Every time I truly think I forgive one of those really deep wounds, it comes rushing back later and I know I haven’t, really. I don’t quite know how to let go, to make it go away forever.

Asking for forgiveness is tough, too. Like all of us, I’ve made some really bad choices in my life and I’ve hurt people. Not on purpose, I don’t have it in me, but they were hurt because of what I did, or, in some cases, didn’t do, and that’s my burden. I know that in at least one of those cases, I am not forgiven and that’s a terrible feeling, knowing that I caused that much pain to someone else.

So, these are things to work on within myself, with the help of my therapist. (She really should be paid overtime for having to deal with me.) Forgiveness should definitely be a goal, if only to free oneself of the pain of those hurts. Studies have shown that forgiveness improves mental and emotional health, which in turn, improves physical health, so it really is a good thing. I just have to figure out how to get there.

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“Well, I know now. I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Image result for free snow pictures

 

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“It was November, the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines.”

~L.M. Montgomery

Anne Of Green Gables

I don’t care what anyone says, I love the spirituality of November.

 

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I love Halloween, I always have. Deciding what to be was (and is) always something that started back in September, sometimes even August. I went trick-or-treating until I was 20 years old, legit. The last time I went out begging for candy, at 20, I dressed as Paul Stanley from KISS and my friend, Tom, was Darth Vader. We had a blast. These days, I love dressing up to pass out candy, I love dressing up just during the day itself, just because.

I also love the origins of Halloween. I love the mysticism, the ancient traditions, and the legends. I love black cats, stories of witches and ghosts, the story of Jack O’ Lantern, and the feeling of spookiness that permeates the season.

Image result for free black cat and witch images

What I never got into were the slasher movies with blood and gore. I’m still traumatized from seeing Friday the 13th when I was seven. I was at a sleepover where my friend’s mom had no limits on what we watched. I never told my mother about it and I still can’t shake the horror at what I saw. I also saw Poltergeist before I should have. Young kids should not see those movies, you know? Parents should pay better attention.

When I was a teenager, I saw plenty of those movies but I never got into them. They’re not my thing. I know plenty of people who do enjoy those kind of horror films and enjoy being scared in that way, but it’s not for me. Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers don’t signal Halloween to me, but I know they do for a lot of people. I do enjoy scary movies, The Sixth Sense is a favorite, but of the psychological variety, not knives and chainsaws. I just don’t get the violence aspect.

So, what kind of Halloween person are you? A traditionalist person, like me, or one who needs their Jason fix? Maybe you’re a combination of both. No judgement here, I am just curious to see who likes what. Comment below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Image result for free happy halloween images

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Two nights ago, I had a talk with God. Well, not so much a talk as it was a depression-fueled temper tantrum on my part. It’s been a long school year so far (already!) and the frustration with work and where I am in my life has been steadily building. Thursday was a horrible day: disrespectful kids, strangers giving stupid feedback in my classroom, no prep time due to meetings, and no prospect of things getting better. Remember what I’ve written about depression? When it kicks in, you literally can’t see a way out at that moment. Combine that with being sick all week and normal teenage stuff at home and it becomes a recipe for a major depressive hole.

By bedtime, my chest felt like it would explode with frustration and I could barely keep the tears in. In the bathroom, I let it all out at God. Why wouldn’t He help me? Why was I getting thwarted and blocked at every turn when I was trying to help myself? Was this all there was going to be of my life, feeling trapped and miserable? There were other things, too, but that was the gist of it. It didn’t last very long, I was exhausted, and I went to bed dreading the puffy eyes in the morning that come from late-night tear fests.

The next day (yesterday), I walked back into my classroom after cleaning up broken shards of a cologne bottle in the hallway. I can still smell it on my hands this morning, despite repeated washings. Ugh. My clock caught my attention at 10:23. That doesn’t surprise me. Those numbers, my birthday numbers, always seem to appear when my attention is required for spiritual things. This has happened throughout my entire life. I know that a lot of people, especially those skeptical or dismissive of such things would bleat that it’s no big deal, it’s 10:23 twice a day every day. No kidding, but experience has taught me that when my attention is specifically being drawn to the clock at that time, the universe and God mean business. Whether you believe it or not is your own business, but I know what’s true for me.

Anyway, as soon as I had registered the time, a voice popped into my head. “For I know the plans I have for you…”, it said. I stopped in my tracks. Now, I know a lot about the Bible, but I’m not one to memorize and quote verses, so this was a surprise. And I had the feeling, the feeling I get when something spiritual is happening. I knew the verse, I had heard it before, but hadn’t thought about it recently, even remotely. I immediately went to my computer to look it up: “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)  Well. I knew then, I knew, that this was the answer to my outburst last night. It felt good, it felt right. I don’t know how else to explain it. After months of pleading and trying to get an answer about my life and what I should be doing, I had a clear communication. Not a direction about where my life is going, exactly, but at that moment, I had peace about it. I still do, today, twenty-four hours later.

Does that verse solve my problems? No. Will my frustration disappear? No, but yesterday went a long way in restoring part of my faith. I’ve been struggling for a while, a long while, actually, and I needed something like that. I debated about posting this, as I usually do when I experience spiritual/metaphysical things, knowing that there are people who don’t believe or who won’t think I’m the “right” kind of Christian and will definitely think I’m on the train to Crazy Town, but you know what? I really don’t care anymore. Actually, I think that’s a part of what I’m supposed to be doing now, writing more about things like this, being more open about things about God and other things that we can’t explain. We’ll see what the future holds.

In the meantime, I wish you all the peace that I’m feeling today.

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