Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It Comes Down To You

Life goes on like a river over rocks in a small stream. Moments pass like water.
Over time you have to look at that river within you, when you hear the concern in friends voices and see it in their expressions.
I spend so much time in that river shifting rocks to clear the water, sometimes I get distracted by the muddy water whirling away across the patches of algae. I know inside I'm healing and growing. I am becoming more aware of myself and what I need and want. I have learned that I truly have value. We all have value. Sometimes it can be easy to see our value from a warped perspective that makes something amazing look as unappealing as flotsam.
Then we shift a rock, a big one. We do this with the love of our friends. The rock groans and the waters darken. In the murk when all seems clouded, clarity hits like a branch riding the water. You see yourself as others see you. You hear finally, how they perceive you. The flotsam becomes gold without magic or sleight of hand, because it always was gold underneath.
I reached a point where I had to reevaluate where I was and where I was going, how I saw myself. I had to accept and let go of perceived responsibility over another person's well-being. We are each responsible for ourselves. We are responsible for being honest with ourselves and attending to our own needs before anyone else's needs or wants.
In relationships, we build boats, bridges, and shape new paths for the water to travel. Even with love, you have to look at reality: how you treat each other, the words you use, the connection strength and whether it is healthy for all involved.
When you love someone you have to respect their choices, you have to allow them to express their feelings without criticism. Communication is important or you build your ship to wreck in rough waters. There is a give and a receive.
This is all especially true of the relationship we have with ourselves.
Do you choose to ignore your needs? Do you justify and rationalize unhealthy patterns?
The best option is to attend to yourself so you can effectively be there for others and enjoy the scenery around you.
Are you feeling self destructive, self defeating, negative or passive? Why?
What do you need to choose to change to release this barrier?

Negative is not the same as depressed. Depression is an emotional and cognitive state say a block in the flow or ice on the water while negativity is an acid poured into your river that may damage the fragile ecosystem and leave you staring at scarred muddy banks and rust colored water. That IS depressing. 

When you become aware of blocks you've chosen to allow you can release them.
Need versus want. Address needs and you may find the wants are addressed in tandem. Skip the needs and go for the wants and come up empty handed, covered in mud feeling worse.

Several years ago I had to step back. To say I want to be the Painted Lady, she is an important part of me but I need my needs met to live. I communicated. Several events I had been at for years loyally, out of want, bluntly communicated in a manner that attempted to make me feel invalid. It knocked me back emotionally. I am resilient. I followed my river. I grew. Other events were supportive and the healing took me around the country.

I'm back. 

I put my badge on my painted hat "Scarborough Faire 2016." I was excited and wondering what it would feel like the next morning. The cannon roared and the season began. Patrons and crafters, teary eyed, found me. Their love radiated, their faces and eyes broadcast how much they value this character I become. Part of me had been critical of the fact I work with words and not physical props. It is tremendously difficult to reach a level of high regard with words, far easier to comprehend the skill of sleight of hand immediately than it is to see the effect of subtle words in a fantastic story upon the heart. Until you go away and come back. 

It rained. It was cold. I was caught up in the sudden flood of water and love into my river. What had been a trickle for several years straightened out and returned to what it should have always been. I had to be brave enough to open my heart. My heart goes out to the patrons at the events I have gone from, that perhaps one day in another venue or as a handwriting analyst I will find my way back to offer them up the unconditional nurturing that is a part of who I am. I hope we get our moment to reconnect and I hope you know I love and miss you. I hope you are still laughing and living!

My mentor looked at me recently, she had observed my interactions with patrons, peers and friends for several months. She told me that I lead from behind and that I use my strength to bring those I touch with me as I rise.
That I take time to offer tools and support that the people I meet need so they may choose to go higher and farther.

She is right. It is humbling and empowering. I have to take care of me, because folks, hold on tight. I promise, even when it is hard; if you listen, if you choose, we all rise together. Instead of being a lone climber on a stark mountain we become part of a team with a safety net, able to appreciate views and have needs met rather than living in negativity and fear of falling.

Who is in your net? Is your safety net strong or is it unreliable, is it frayed?
It is your choice. Choose well. Choose how how perceive yourself and choose how you would prefer to be treated. Life is change. No river flows stuck in one place.