Lessons To Learn, Miles To Run

I go through my days and nights, making mistake after mistake, wondering what am I doing wrong and how I can change it, how can I do it right?
I want to know, why I am here and what I am supposed to be learning?
What are these challenges I’m facing supposed to be teaching me?
I have an icky feeling that I’ve been here before.
I feel that I have done this before, and this is the last chance to get it right.
I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation, but obviously something in my subconscious does.
Why else would I feel that this is my last go-round?
I took a silly test that was supposed to tell me how old my soul is, and the answer said mine was 1,016 years old.
I believe it.
Because that’s how weary I am of my challenges and trying to figure out the right road, the correct path, whatever you want to call it.
The worst thing is that I can go from one extreme to another while making a choice or decision and then stay stuck smack in the middle of both choices. Seriously.
Often, I’m running around trying to undo damage from an earlier error. I also make no choice and that is of course, a choice. It can also require cleanup.
Anyway, today I was thinking about my challenges and the way I wrestle with them at times.
Mostly, I’ve avoided them or run away, but lately I have been trying to fight them and hit them head on.
Not always a good method with a large margin for error.
I think the ghost of Error is what stops me in my tracks.
I want to make the right choice and my instincts tell me the right choice, but I don’t always trust myself;  although, sometimes a glimmer of confidence dances through my head.
Getting back to the original thought. What am I here for and what did I not learn all the other times?
I need to know, what are the challenges I have not licked?
The words love and loyalty flash card me.
Two big ones, huh?
And I don’t want to come back to learn it again and again.
I’m soul tired…and the subconscious says not just from this life, but from many others before.
To love without conditions…to give loyalty under all pressures.
To the people who love me and to the causes my heart believes in, not to those who demand my love and loyalty, but to those whom it rightfully belongs.
To not fear errors, but to embrace and to learn from each disaster.
To be loyal to myself and to let the turds fall where they may.
To risk everything because of something I believe in whether I’m right or wrong, to be true to myself, to stand behind myself when I create a plan and to say, “Go for it!” instead of, “Oh my, I’m scared to make decisions.”
I want to throw away the opinions that trap me and cripple me. Throw them to the wind. I want to do what I believe is right even when I can’t be sure I’m right. I have been told that I am wrong for so many years that I have lost trust in myself.
Now, I need to overcome the years of doubt and to learn to trust me and to pay my own price if I am wrong.
To me…that is the loyalty that I am lacking. The ability to trust myself and my loyalty to me is missing.
I really don’t want to keep coming back just to repeat my mistakes.
Lessons to learn, miles to run.

Spirit Whispers 4

Hold still my child.
You’ve been running too much and you’ve been thinking too much.
Hold still. Just breathe.
What do you feel?
Do you feel me in the air you’re breathing?
Do you feel me in the soft breeze that’s kissing your face?
Do you hear me when the birds are singing to you?
Do you see me when the butterfly lands on your shoulder?
I’m all around you.
Hold still my child, feel my presence.

Waves

 

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Enjoy the waves of peace and happiness while you are riding high.
Soak up the sun and the sweetness so you will be strong when the waves crash down, because they will crash down.
Always have faith and believe that although the waves cannot last, they will rise again…
Waves will lift you up above your brokenness over and over.
That is what waves do.

Spirit Whispers 2

Spirit Whispers

Do not look at the things that you can see and touch. Do not look at your problems, do not look at the things that are blocking your way from what you call happiness.

Look at me, just look at me and you will walk toward the plans I have for you.

Just look at me and you will feel a calming peace flow through your veins.

Just trust me, my child and my plans will unfold before you.

Walk in faith for I am with you. I am always with you. Nothing that happens in your life can overcome the plans I have for you. Just take the next right step in faith.

Trust me.

Spirit Whispers 1

Spirit Whispers
You are loved, you are so loved, you are loved beyond measure.
Love is all around you. Just shut your eyes for a moment and open your heart to receive.
It is in the air you breathe, the wind that cools your skin, the rain that falls on your face, the moon shining in your bedroom window as you sleep, the stars watching over you, the earth beneath your feet, the flowers I created just to see you smile, the ocean, the lakes and the life giving waters that flow at the touch of a faucet.
Man routed the water, but I created it for you because I love you.
You are loved by the birds singing good morning to you, you are loved by the butterfly that flies by your shoulder.
I created it all just to remind you how much you are loved.
You are precious, you are precious to me child and you are loved with every breath you take.
I remind you…you are loved…you are loved.

I Unwish The Wish…

My mind is clouded with thoughts
but none that I can speak.
The words have all been spoken and
thoughts disintegrate as I attempt
to form words that I could say.
My mind is burdened with memories
but I have no more sentences for you.
I wish I did.
My words will not make sense to you
as your’s make none to me,
we said everything that we could say
the silence is deafening
as we stare at the damn TV.
I wish…I wish…
I could just show you my heart
and that I could see yours
so that we could understand.
Then I remember how hard we
struggle with each other’s reality
and we don’t have a backup plan.
So I unwish the wish and
I write words that are my truth
over and over again.
Hoping my head will believe
the words that my soul writes.

Mirror Image by Susanne Louise

Mirror images are what we’re made of and everything has a mirror image.
What we are and what we want to be is all a reflection of what we see…a shadow is just a distorted mirror image.
A shadow that is not reality.
It’s reality distorted to a reflection.
Life is a mixture of both these images.
Sometimes we look in a mirror and see shadows instead of the reality.
The mirror image determines which is real and which is distorted In the mind.
The crazy lost souls of our hopes and dreams control the mind, so how do we trust anything we see?

 

I Am My Father’s Daughter

I am my father’s daughter.
He taught me about reality, insanity and how to find crumbs of love beneath the rubble.
I listened to him for so many years, ranting and raving against society, the government and his bosses.
He was a mason.
He wouldn’t build fireplaces if the contractors didn’t build the houses to his standards and he always fought with his bosses until they would fire him or he would quit.
The excitement we all felt as he found each job and the despair we felt when he lost them was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Do we eat hamburgers versus do we eat saltines and peanut butter.
What he said when he was screaming and yelling was not always crazy. He was equally intelligent and creative, such a hard combination to juggle mentally. Very confusing.
When I first went to AA he was there during one of his rare fits of sobriety.
People would insist that I stay away from that man, crazy Bill, and I’d tell them, “I would, but he’s my dad and he’s sober today and I love him.”
He didn’t ever stay sober very long, but when he was sober, he was quiet and soft and gentle.
He taught me to love nature and to appreciate the free beauty in the world.
My daughters loved their grandpa, but they only saw him when he was sober so that was all they knew…
One winter when he was sober, I asked him if he wanted to come inside and live with us, but he chose to sleep outside in his truck because he said he felt safe there.
He would come in my little apartment to shave and shower and wipe away every trace that he had ever been inside.
Every week when he got paid, he would give me thirteen dollars. Ten for me and a dollar for each of the kids.
I still have the note he wrapped the money in the first week. He left it in my mailbox.
I treasure that note because I am my father’s daughter.
He taught me that material possessions meant nothing.
He taught me that by always leaving everything we had behind when we moved, but I learned it.
He taught me that by selling everything he bought my mother in the moneyed days of summer during the cold, bitter days of winter, to buy his beer, but I learned it.
He taught me that money was hard earned. He taught me that by making me beg for a nickel for the ice cream man, but I learned it.
He taught me that women were strong and that they could survive almost anything and get up and go to work the next day because they had to feed the family, pay the rent and put fuel in the furnace.
He taught me that by the way that he treated my mom, screaming at her and calling her a whore all night and I learned from her too.
I watched the way she survived, how she went to work every morning no matter how little sleep she had the night before, and yes, I learned.
My dad was a paranoid, schizophrenic, bipolar, seldom sober alcoholic, but much of what he said was the truth and he was before his time, so I guess he was also a prophet.
He was a prophet who filled prescriptions for Valium and Librium to stay sober. He was a prophet who could not handle the ugliest parts of humanity when he was sober, (including himself) so he drank to forget and would once more become ugly and cruel and then he would get sober again, hating himself so much that he would drink just to forget again.
He taught my brother the craft of brick laying and then he tortured my brother for being his equal.
Yet, when Dad went crazy and tried to kill his mother and father, it was my brother who got him from jail and into a VA hospital, all the while accepting verbal abuse and being disowned for bringing him where he could get help instead of jail time.
One of my best memories of my dad is when at fourteen I asked for a stereo and had it the next day.
One of my brother’s worst memories is when Dad took away his hunting rifle and sold it to buy my stereo. I never even knew until my brother and I were talking after Mom’s funeral.
My dad was a good man and he was a bad man.
He was my father and I hated him and I loved him.
Forty years ago, when he was living on the streets, my sister and I got him a little apartment in our building.
He lived as if he were staying at a campground. Instead of the stove, he used a little propane cooker and instead of the bed we gave him, he slept on the floor in a sleeping bag. He wouldn’t accept any meals we tried to share and he only ate food out of cans to be sure he wasn’t being poisoned.
He walked the streets during the day, wearing sandals and a long white shirt, telling people that he was Jesus. He believed that…
The last time I saw him was in 1983. He was living in a shed on his friend’s farm. His friend had died and the son didn’t want him there anymore. Dad didn’t care.
As I walked up to the shed, he looked out the window.
His first words were, “Has your mother remarried?”
Second thoughts, “What happened to your hair? That’s not your real hair color.”
He wouldn’t come out to talk to me. I asked him to come out several times. He refused and he talked through the screen.
He told me that I had no right to have remarried after my divorce. He would not acknowledge my husband.
I asked him if he’d like to meet my son, his five-year-old grandson, who stood right beside me and he said, “No.”
He told me to never come back or to try to see him again. He said it would be better that way.
He didn’t have much else to say and as he wished, I have never seen him again.
My brother swears that he saw him slip into my mom’s funeral in 2009.
My mother was his one true love, his obsession, his everything; although he nearly destroyed her before she left him after forty-years of hell.
One granddaughter searches for him to this day. I do too. I don’t know why.
We have not found a death certificate, so we believe that he’s still alive. He would be ninety-one.
We were told that he was possibly still living in the VA hospital, but we were also told that he insisted that he had no family, so they couldn’t tell us if he was there.
Many things in life can be overcome, changed, fixed.
I have been sober since I was twenty-three, yet one unchangeable reality stands out to me.
I am my father’s daughter.

just be

A butterfly was pinned to the wall
God approached, loosened the pin
catching her easily in his hands
ever so gently, he broke her fall.

You trapped yourself my child
with your own fears and pain
just be, trusting in my love
I am with you all the while.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan broke me.
He flew me among the stars.
He kissed me till I was dizzy.
He showed me Jupiter and Mars.
Then…he let go of my hand.
Peter Pan, you were just a little boy
I stupidly mistook for a man,
yet, here I still sit at my window.
Oh Peter, Peter Pan.

Most People

Most People
Most people touch something hot
and they don’t touch it again.
Most people feel pain and then
they stay away from
the thing that caused the pain.
She was different.
I don’t know why.
Maybe because pain was so familiar,
but when something hurt her
she held on and rubbed her heart into it.
She didn’t let it go. She held on for dear life.
Most people touch something hot
and they don’t touch it again.
But, she’s not most people material.

Untie Time

I wish I could untie time
rip it to shreds and then
put it all back together again
without the grief and the tears.
Throw away the bloody pieces
no… bury them in the ground
where they will never see
the light of present year.
Never a chance to beat me.
Never a chance to bind my soul.
No hands rebound…no, no.
Treacherous threads of minutes
Woven through my torn flesh,
Taking all, time imposed her limits.
My bounty ticked away so quickly
I couldn’t even catch my breath
My babies are grown, am I free?
Have I  passed the maternal test?
I wish I could untie time.

Dear God,

when I was down for the count
you never gave up on me
you always reached for my hand
offering to set my spirit free

when grief shoved every one away
you loved me with no conditions
and you never left my side
loving me with no exceptions

i fell into a well, dark and deep
there was no rope to be found
you lifted me out and calmly
set me back on solid ground

you whispered, you don’t need that
when I used drugs to numb the pain
my child just set that down
and you washed me clean with rain

on the darkest days you colored
pink behind the black clouds
you covered me in your grace
your love infinite, it has no bounds

you knew what was best for me
sad when I embraced the worst
you promised me i was loved
when all i felt was cursed

when I screamed, I cannot make it
i heard you whisper, yes my child you can
open your heart and reach out for me
oh child, please just take my hand

despite the days and nights I wasted
you simply gave me more
gently laying your hand upon my head
while i kicked and screamed on the floor

i never would have made it
without you holding on to me
stubborn child i placed myself in chains
a prisoner of self until you set me free

Mad Men & Crazy Women

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My sisters and I, we like to love Mad Men. Seriously.
We are Crazy Women.
The Mad Men we love are always mad at the world and we spend way too much valuable time trying to make them calm and happy…
We are old-fashioned, cooking and cleaning while working full-time, loving our man all night, kinda women.
It doesn’t help very much.
Turns out Mad Men don’t want the all night loving after they get you. They are too busy being Mad at you.
But Mad Men don’t always tell you when they’re Mad…they just make you pay in a million little ways and then tell you it’s your fault.
Can you say Gaslight?
The Mad Men think everything revolves around them and I’m being brutally honest here, Crazy Women agree.
Splitting up is as common as Full Moons in our homes.
We certainly know how to leave, we just don’t know how to stay gone, so reuniting is also on our agendas just as often.
Fight. Cry. Talk. Don’t talk. Pack. Leave. Talk every night for hours. Agree on a fresh start. Pack up. Go home. Unpack. Pack. Leave.
We put up with a bunch of bullshit, but luckily the Mad Men are all different, so our phone calls and visits never get boring.
We got rid of the Mad Men who hit many years ago. I give us credit for that.
However, there are thousands of ways to hurt another human being without hitting them.
We watched our mom maneuver this same road with our dad, a truly certifiable Mad Man, and we vowed that we’d never marry a man like him.
But we did.
We are not weak women.
We are strong, intelligent, creative, loving, caring, beautiful women.
But once we fall in love, we give of ourselves until we break and we do not accept defeat gracefully.
My dad begged my mom to leave him before he killed her in a drunken stupor, which he was working on every night, the killing and the stupor.
He would try to wrap the phone cord around her neck and strangle her while my twelve-year-old sister sat on Mom’s lap and stopped him.
My mother’s most famous words were, “Go to bed. your father is not going to kill (or hurt) anyone tonight.”
Our strongest model of reality and she told us we were safe when we were not safe.
Dad even stood over our beds with his hunting rifle now and then. Pondering killing us.
Reality has been confusing for us, at best.
As young girls, we all had a turn sleeping in front of Mom’s bedroom door trying to listen under the crack to see if she was still breathing.
If dad got quiet, she would say, “Go to bed, Ray.”
You would have thought she’d stuck a hot poker in his side because those words would spur the Mad Man on for another hour.
When I write it down and then read it back, it sounds insane and it was, but that was how we lived.
My dad would rant and rave until the sun came up and then we would all try to go to school and my mom would go to work…
It wasn’t hard to find a better man than my father, but I know for myself it took me a long time to realize that on a core level, I was recreating the dynamics of my childhood home and trying to make it come out right.
Four divorces between us, one of us married the same Mad Man twice, not naming any names, baby sister. I would have married mine twice too, but I never got brave enough to divorce him.
I did leave my Mad Man five times, six if you count spending a few nights (alone) crying in a motel. I think that counts.
Serious enough about not going back to buy my own place to live, twice.
I’m in the second place I bought right now, packing to go back home, again.
My sisters and I, we like to love Mad Men. Seriously.
We are Crazy Women.

For Jodie Lynne, my daughter…

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I am God’s flower.
I am petals swaying in the wind
soaking up the dew drops
while the sunshine kisses my skin.
I am God’s flower.
Do not pick me.
Do not crush me.
God created me just as I am.
I am His flower.