So many times we are asked to give, then expected to keep going though we’ve grown weary and worn. As a caregiver and mom there were times the weight of carrying that kind of load seemed so heavy. Yet what do you do, you must keep going.
Many times I found myself trying to juggle being an only parent with running errands for my parents and falling short of getting everything done. Many times I’d go to bed and lie awake thinking of all the things I didn’t get done, couldn’t do and couldn’t afford.
You can wear yourself out taking care of others and everything that you know needs to get taken care of, but if you don’t take time to rest and take care of yourself, then you will suffer emotionally, physically, even mentally.
So it became that it was in the darkest moments that I sought solitude. Alone, I could meditate and pray for strength, sit under the moonlight, feel the cool night air. Meditation has been my saving grace in so many ways. I was taught to meditate by an Indian woman when I was 10 years old.
She noticed right away I was a very visual person. She taught me that when life becomes too heavy, you meditate, focus and see the darkness like liquid smoke, surrounding you, then let it begin to turn to liquid running down and seeping into the earth at your feet until you no longer feel the burden.
I also learned to meditate by walking and when I had Nacona – my malamute – we would walk about 12 miles a night. Exercise and especially walking is a terrific way to relieve stress and do some mobile meditation. I learned to see my troubles left like wet foot prints on the pavement behind me as I walked. I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m just stating a few things that have worked for me.
Now days I look back and see how much I missed by trying to be so many things to so many people. I should have been taking more time for myself, it would have benefited both me and my kids. They say hindsight is 20/20, I am not sure about that, but I will try to help my children not to make the same mistakes.
Caregivers, mentors, and parents are the heart of the world, trying hard to hold the balance, keep the peace and make sure nothing is forgotten. Yet the one thing we seem to forget is ourselves, then later when the job is finally done there are regrets in some ways and a lot of ground to make up in others. There is a period of feeling lost, like you’re coming out of a dark tunnel into the daylight and suddenly you have to adjust your eyes and try to figure out where you are.
I have learned to tell myself that I did the best I could with the information and resources I had at the time. I didn’t always succeed, I wasn’t always right, I’m not the perfect parent, I did fail now and then, I missed out a lot, but still, I did my best as far as it goes. I’m good with that. Now on to the next phase of the journey, but where do I start? Ah, yes….meditation.
Cherry Coley ©
Paradox – a contradictory situation or circumstance, circular reasoning that often defies logic.
I have, on more than one occasion and by more than one person, been called a paradox – usually in a moment of frustration. Oh, I know the word is not really meant to describe a person, yet still, there are many times I seem to wear the title perfectly.
You see, I am a positive, person with strong faith, a good attitude (most of the time) and a firm grip on what it good and right in the world, who is drawn to darkness. I went to church every time the doors were open, literally as we just lived 3 blocks away and my mom worked at the daycare.
Yet I preferred to write like Stephen King and could tell horror stories that would often scare the teachers and kids at the daycare, and I’d be sent home or back to sit with the quilting bee ladies to learn more about God and what was right.
My poor mom spent so many long hours praying for me and that I would find my way. The truth is, I never lost my way, Mom. Yes, I have walked dark paths, I have been in places that many would not go, but I never lost my faith. In fact, the testing of that faith is what makes me strong now and brings me through the darkest nights. I have no doubt that your prayers were heard.
Yet, I am still a paradox. One that still walks in the dark with a mere candle for light. It is what I do. I do my best to help the weary, the hurting, those lost and searching, I don’t profess to have all the answers. I too am searching. I am simply there to walk with when the need arises, that is what the journey is about – walking the path, whether it’s through a sunny field or a dark forbidding forest – together.
Cherry Coley (c)
Funny thing, fear, it can freeze you where you are at times, but there will always be fear and challenges in life. Fear can be felt in so many different ways and sometimes it is so disguised that we don’t really realize that is what it is until we take the time to really look at it.
Lately I have found myself feeling somewhat disconnected, and at yet another crossroads in my life. It seems to happen to me a lot recently. Yet another little known fact about me is that I have always loved dream interpretation. It’s something I have spent a lifetime studying and learning.
So when I began to have dreams of walking through forests I started paying attention as that usually indicates a search for meaning and a transition for me. Then when I started dreaming of looking out over a canyon at sunset I stopped and contemplated where I am. A canyon indicates deeper relationships while sunset means an ending of a cycle in life.
It all fits with many of the other things that I have been struggling with along the way. I have decided my next course of action and am now finally able to stand up at the cross roads and get ready to walk the path I have chosen. It’s interesting how taking just a little time out to meditate and pray can calm the spirit and guide.
Fear and uncertainty stopped me, but it has no place in my life other than to briefly make me pause to check my intentions, and direction. Other than that, I will push through and realize that with every experience and trial in this life there is given, at the appropriate time, grace, courage and strength to see us through.
Knowing that there is nothing to fear in what tomorrow brings, because tomorrow, the sun will shine again. The breeze will blow and greet the leaves, the birds will lift their voices to the heavens, and life will go on.
Cherry Coley ©
If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
I love watching shows like House Crashers, Room Crashers, Yard Crashers, on and on, all kinds of shows about designing, both using new and fancy items to decorate, and using everyday things creatively.
I used to like the show, House Swap or Room Swap, but they got to where they were a bit ridiculous (for my tastes) when they started gluing grass and cd’s to the wall. Really? Grass? My luck a ton of bugs would move in and eat the entire wall before I could figure out what to do about it, not to mention my allergies would pretty much kick me out of that room.
I saw a show last night that used a stack of logs, bundled together, cut even, and fixed with a glass top to make a large and unique coffee table. It was an interesting and rustic looking coffee table and I liked it, but was distracted at how much it had to weigh. While I love the look, I wouldn’t want a table I could never move.
I have wound up with a lot of mismatched furniture from my parents house that needs help. I have become somewhat stuck trying to decide whether to fix it, paint it, stain it, keep it, or sell the furniture. The truth is I just don’t know yet. I think I might wind up doing a little of each, but right now it just bring back memories.
These last few weeks proved to be really trying because mom’s birthday was in April, mine plus Mother’s Day is in May which seemed to create an emotional roller coaster that I really didn’t expect for some reason. I wound up having to just clear the house of the unpacked boxes and extra furniture by putting it all in the garage.
This isn’t an answer and I will work on pulling some of it out to go through each day, but I couldn’t stand having it all over the house anymore, it’s easier to have it all in one location and to shut the door and walk away when it starts getting me down at times.
As for me, feeling rather dark and gloomy for weeks seems to have brought out a need to be artistic. Interesting since usually I tend to write more when I get down and this time the words seem to want to hide from me and the need to photograph, paint and draw has grown stronger.
So, I’ve decided to pull out the art supplies and draw up some room designs, jot down some ideas, and also begin a daily doodle just to see where the creativity leads. Why not? You never know what will happen until you open the creative doors.
I will follow the lead and see where it winds up. Life is a journey that continually changes and leads down different paths and this is no different.
Cherry Coley ©
Mother’s day is a holiday that became official in 1914, and is not celebrated all over the world. Why not, being a mother should be celebrated and enjoyed.
My mom was an older mother. She wanted to be a mom all of her life, it was something she yearned for from the moment she got married. Yet, nature’s idea of “when” is not always the same as what we think it should be. She hated going to church on Mother’s day.
Each Mother’s day the church would make a huge deal of recognizing different mother’s including; the oldest mom, the mom with the most children, the newest mom, the mom with the most generations present, and the mother with the most grandchildren. They would ask them to come down to the front of the church and give out flowers, bibles, or pins.
My mom hated the entire ceremony, mostly because she sat in misery for years wishing and wanting children and wasn’t able to have any of her own. She threw herself into working in the nursery, vacation bible school, teaching, and everything else to do with children. Yet, there was a vacancy in her life. Finally, mom was able to have children and fill that space in her heart, but what about the many women that can’t?
I love Mother’s day. Yet, I have to say that my life has been filled with so many wonderful women that were mentors to me, many of which were not mothers. Instead they were teachers, choir directors, drivers, artists, writers, story tellers, bosses, and entrepreneurs.
Women generally are the nurtures, the tender touch, the comforters and gentle guides by nature, whether they are mothers or not. So be kind, not just to the mother’s tomorrow, but to the women in your life. We all play a part in each other’s lives each and every day, let us use this time as a reminder to appreciate and look for the best in each other.
Cherry Coley ©
One Lovely Blog Award
I’ve often heard the saying that many men can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. I think this is true, just as it’s true that many women can be a mother, but it takes someone special to be a mom.
Being a parent is about so much more than genetics and just having a child. The truth is that a baby changes everything. Suddenly you are more aware of your surroundings, and things you just walked by before, or barely gave a passing glance, are now items you carefully consider, pick up, throw away, or even lock up so they won’t cause harm.
Suddenly sleep becomes a fleeting thing of great value. Naptime is guarded at all costs. Time alone is almost unheard of, even in the restroom; there might be that hesitant knock and tiny fingers probing under the door.
The pitter patter of little feet was pretty much just toddler stage for us, after that it was stomping, jumping, tap dancing, and skipping. The tuner for inside voices didn’t work too well most of the time either.
Then there’s the kid who has to test what you mean when you say “no.” They push the buttons, turn the knobs, tight rope walk across the back of the couch, build a “castle” with the cushions from the couch and chairs, play fort with the coffee table and kitchen table, try to flush the cat down the toilet, and see if Dr. Pepper will make the dog hyper. These kids are the creative one’s that we want to both throttle and encourage because they will pave the way to the future.
My youngest daughter is one of these kids that just has to try it to see what will happen. She tried to swing on a water hose from a tree and unfortunately, another little girl jerked the hose away as she leaned out, causing her to fall and break her leg. She spent the better part of 5th grade year in a cast. I painted a dragon on the cast to try to help with the awkward feeling of being a kid in a cast.
Then there are the reasoning kids who want to know the in’s and out’s of how things work so they can decide what to do and how to do it, my oldest daughter is my super analytical child of reason.
It’s funny how God has such a sense of humor that He takes half our personality and places it in one kid and half in another. They are night and day different from each other, but both like their parents. It will definitely keep you on your toes and keep life interesting. Whatever the case, motherhood and fatherhood are the greatest gifts.
Cherry Coley ©