My mind comes and goes

I am a responsible adult.  I work hard and I care about doing a good job.  I need to stay current in my field, so I am attending a professional conference.  The speakers are very knowledgeable and interesting.  I focus intensely on their speech – then moments later I find my mind has wondered off!  This is the typical conversation between WORK ME and my NAUGHTY mind:

WORK:  “Naughty mind.   Get back here and focus.’

NAUGHTY: “OK – I am focused on the speaker.  He has brown hair.  He looks like a horse trainer I saw last week.  I wonder if my horse….”

WORK:  “Stop that!! Get back here and listen.  This is important.”

NAUGHTY:  “Oh, Yes.  OK.  It is important.  Hey, did I finish that assessment due tomorrow.  That is important.  I need….”

WORK:  “Now cut that out!  This is crazy.  You are a dedicated professional.   Discipline!!  Be disciplined and listen!!”

NAUGHTY:  “Alright already!!  I am listening.  Chill!  Oh look, there is a picture of a kitty in the presentation….”

WORK:  “I give up!  Where is the coffee?”  

I don’t think I want to talk to mind anymore today.

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Guilty, hasty, ouchy

You ever have days you just can’t win?  At the last minute, I needed to take my husband to the doctor.  I had to call work and let them know I would be late.  Then, I felt guilty about leaving my work team hanging – I am old-school dependable.  I am ol’ reliable, at work 20 minutes early.   But not today.

My husband kept apologizing for needing me to drive, no matter how much I assured him it was OK.  “I love you.  I want to drive you.  We are a team.”  Then I felt guilty for making him feel guilty.

When I got him back home safe and sound, I felt guilty that I had to make haste and rush out the door to work – no time to throw the ball for Charlie dog or rub a puppy belly.  They both looked so sad!!

That is my vicious circle.  When I am at home, I feel guilty for missing work.  When I am at work (two jobs), I feel guilty for neglecting home and farm chores.  When I carve out ME time to ride my red mare, I still criticize myself for the To Do List I haven’t finished and the floors I didn’t mop.  Then, I work myself into a silly state and get in a huge hurry.  What does that accomplish?

I hurried by the gas station and slammed my finger in the car door.  How dumb was that?  So now I feel guilty, hasty, and ouchy!  Why do I do this to myself?

But, I am still going riding tomorrow!!

Listen,Listen

As I blogged in the past, there are many casualties of grief.  Horseback riding was one – for me.  In the last months, I have tried to get my saddle time.  While it has been good to be back on a horse – we weren’t a team – not connecting.  My mare would hollow out, jig, toss her head – not good.  My ride last weekend jarred my back – and seriously had me thinking about giving it all away.  I have been riding for nearly 50 years – I can’t quit like this.

So, I prayed.  “God, please – I don’t know what to do.  Help me.  What is wrong with this hateful red, mare.”

The only word that kept popping in my thoughts – Listen

Well, God, I am listening – that’s why I am praying – tell me!!

Listen

AAARGHGHH!!

Listen.

OK, thanks to my loving Spirit Sister, we changed the tack – maybe the saddle was pinching?

Still, nagging voice – Listen.

This morning, after a sleepless night – I hauled my horse to the near by park.  That voice was hounding me – Listen!!

AAARHHHGGH!!  The anger, the frustration – what does that mean????

I just broke down, hanging on my horse’s neck – sobbing.  I hugged her head and pleaded, “Tonka, I am so broken-hearted.  Please, Tonka, I need you.”

This time, I understood the voice – Listen to the horse.  I looked into her eyes and knew that I put too much in the saddle.  I don’t mean just my extra chubby butt.  I mean I took all my pain, grief, sadness, darkness, rage, and frustration riding with me – I piled all that onto Tonka’s back.  As I clung to her neck, I asked her to forgive me.  I promised her today, it would be just my chubby butt (again, I apologized for the chubby part). No more emotional junk.  I felt her lean into me and sigh.  

Today, was the best ride in 31 months!  Today, Tonka and I connected.  When a horse and rider connect, it is beautiful, powerful – it is spiritual. 

I believe the Great Spirit blew HIS breath into the nostrils of the horse – he gave them life so they could held guide us.  In the woods today, surrounded by creation and truly connected with my beloved mare – I know GOD was there and my prayers were heard.  I am so thankful.

After a 3 hour ride, I smothered Tonka with kisses and scratches and stuffed her full of apples.  She was so relaxed, I could feel her relief.  Finally –  I listened!!!

BatCrapCrazy

Have you ever had to deal with someone you could ONLY describe as BatCrapCrazy?  This person is SO negative – the nasty attitude suffocates every positive ion in the room.  While in a room with 8 people, we were all happily brainstorming – working through ideas, treating one another with courtesy and respect.  It was a very positive event.  Even if an idea was not accepted, it was not arbitrarily rejected.  Each person had a voice and we were covering ground.  We were really making progress and everyone was able to feel like a contributor.

Then, BatCrapCrazy arrives using the tongue as a vicious weapon, with impunity.  The remarks were so hurtful, creativity was stifled.  Dialogue shutdown.  Progress – DEAD!

I have a raging migraine and my acid reflux is reaching the solar hotspot zone – after just one hour.

You know the really sad part?  I feel very sorry for BCC.  This is a good person, a smart person – trapped underneath all that hateful negativity.  This person does not see the rubble left in the wake – and I am sure does not hurt people intentionally.  I wish I knew how to help.  It must be so sad in BCC world.

Mad as HELL at ME!!

Another revelation or a bit of grief evolution.

I realized something in the wee hours of the morning, when I really wanted to be asleep.  I was thinking I was so frustrated with a loved one for lacking self-discipline and continuing unhealthy habits.  Then my mind wondered to another person I criticized for sloth; and yet another who described me in a unflattering way and stung my feelings.

Suddenly, I realized – I wasn’t frustrated with these other people at all.  I was mad at me!!  I am mad as hell at ME!!  I am mad at me for not exercising self-discipline and losing weight.

I am mad at me for lounging, wasting time and being slothful – when I have chores to do, tasks I once enjoyed.

The only reason the hurtful description cut me so deeply, is because I believe it – I look in the mirror and all I see is tired, fat, and old.

I am just angry at me.  I really don’t like that old lady in the mirror.

These others have no power over me – and I have none over them.  We are each the potter’s hands, and I am not the potter.  I cannot make someone else make better choices and clearly I am not making the best choices for me.

Matthew 7:3

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

GOD, please forgive me for wrong thoughts.  I clearly have a beam in my own eye and I need to roll up my sleeves and get to work on pulling it out.  OK, so HOW?  Grief is so heavy, it ways on me.  When I want to exercise or clean the garage or clean out the tack room – I have all this extra weight, both in my heart and on my bum!  I am wide awake at 5 am, but I struggle to drag out of bed by 6:30.  It takes all my strength to work all day and then do just my daily chores– let alone major cleaning and upkeep.  My brain keeps cycling back to, “What’s the point?”  “Why try?”  “It hurts!”

Come on ME!! Get it together.  What would I say to ME – if ME was my best friend?  I would say, “It’s OK, don’t be so hard on yourself.  I am here for you.  I care. How can I help?”

Well, ME –  maybe instead of trying to fix everything all at once, just set three tiny goals – for a 24-hour period.  OK, here goes, after I get home from work and do daily chores – I will also complete three tasks from my To Do List:

  1. I will sweep the feed room.
  2. I will give Baby Dog a haircut, at least around her backside.
  3. Tomorrow morning, I will make sure to be up by 6:15.

With GOD’s help, that all seems doable, not too overwhelming.  Oh, and maybe I will give me a little hug.  I think ME really needs it.

 

Stinky brown stick

It has been one of those days – well, the whole week.  Do you ever feel so frustrated, like – no matter how hard you try – you are still left holding the short end of the stinky brown stick?

Well, it has been that kind of week for me.  But you know what I did?  I dropped the stick.  I emotionally dropped the stick.  For the remainder of this day, I declare I will no longer accept responsibility for anything that is outside of my direct control.

Hey, I am on a grief journey, and I know a thing or two about “out of control”.  So I am not going to feel like a failure because something didn’t work out.  I am not going to let anyone belittle or demean me because they failed to plan and I couldn’t work enough magic to make it perfect.

I am not responsible for the actions of others or their outcomes.

Nope.  Not today.

I dropped the stinky brown stick.

Declare your emotional independence!  Next time someone leaves you holding the short end of the stinky brown stick – DROP IT!!