Day 27

Day 27 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

I wandered the airport participating in a weird cat and mouse game.  A dozen or so people walked crooked lines, crisscrossing through the terminal. Our eyes darted here and there across the ground and up the walls. We walked with the attentiveness of one looking to avoid bugs skittering about. But it wasn’t critters we were looking for. Looking like odd little critters ourselves, each one dragging a corded tail, we just wanted power.

There were a variety of outlets under the seats and on the walls but it seemed that 80% of them were non functional and only a small percentage of the ones that appeared to be working actually were.  You know, kind of like constructions crews?  Only one out of 12 seems to be doing anything.  I finally landed on one that actually made the Harry Potter lightening signal on my phone light up and felt like I had won the electric lottery.  I plugged in and plopped down. My copping a squat here quickly turned our game of cat and mouse into one of sardines.  I was joined by three others who also “plugged in” with a sigh of relief.  I was happy to share my powered oasis with these strangers.

It occurs to me that any perceived source of power or strength can serve as a similar oasis. Take faith for instance. So often we can get ridiculed for sharing our faith with other people.  The reason I share my faith is because it is a shared source, ENDLESS source, of power, strength and hope for me.

Some day in the future these writings may be a similar source of power for others who are working through some of the same challenges I am. Who knows? However, currently what this writing has done for me is create a beautiful pool of people who are honoring my risk of being vulnerable and honest by cheering me on. It has been such a raw joy to find new companions and renewed faith in “old” ones through my 100 days.

27 days in and still writing.

Day 26

Day 26 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

My birthday is in two days.  For the entirety of my adult life while I enjoy my birthday and actively promote it, I also dread it. I don’t dread getting older. I actually like myself at my age. I’m still active, I’m young enough to enjoy my kids’ company and their jokes, and I look young enough to get carded.  It is just one of those crazy calendar related brain triggers that happen.  I don’t have horrible memories of birthdays or holidays. It’s just that birthday +/- three months is a season of depression for me.  I struggle with motivation, getting out of bed, interaction, parties etc.

This was especially hard as a pastor.  I have a love hate relationship with the holidays but especially Christmas. Advent is such a precious season. However I always feel like the storekeeper, not a participant. I feel as if I have put together a wonderful window display for everyone to enjoy and I stand watching them enjoy, celebrate, live and love it . . .  from the inside of the window, as if I’m trapped there. Its elusive. I just can’t quite get to the point where my senses embrace it.

In two days it will arrive. The season. Maybe this year will be different.

Day 25

Helmut

Day 25 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

I am a guest in a home right now.  They have graciously carved out a bright lovely little space for my very own. Well, it’s my own except for when the 160 pound bull mastiff  sweet puppy named Helmut comes to snuggle with me. He is very lovey but snuggles like a cement truck.

Being a guest is nice because you have no ownership, angst or responsibility in daily mundane details like whether or not the sink drains slow or the tub is clogged. You can just settle in and enjoy the more important things; conversation, relationship, love. I don’t have to rearrange, fix or worry about my friend’s home. I can just enjoy its loveliness and character, but I am so judgmental about my own.

I want to treat myself like a guest in my own body. I want to notice that some things creak and crack and will need fixing, observe my discomfort in certain situations, recognize that my heart hurts a lot, acknowledge that someone else’s self looks better than my own, all without judgment or competition. Then, I could settle in and enjoy the more important things; conversation, relationship and love.

Doesn’t that sound nice?

Day 24

Day 24 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

On the third day at a workshop on trauma  I had a major mental collapse. I didn’t know that is what happened. I just thought I was emotional.  At lunchtime on the fourth day our group therapist said “the director (of the workshops) would like to talk with you.” Ok. I  didn’t know what to expec but I certainly wasn’t expecting what was behind door number three.

I knocked on the director’s door. A warm smile and pretty face answered the door.  However, this woman had about 20 long acupuncture needles stuck in her face and ears and acted like this was completely normal . (Apparently she was relieving her tension. Most people settle for a chocolate bar, Netflix and a glass of wine.)   I wanted to point out the needles out to her, just in case she had forgotten them but I was afraid she would face-palm and kill her damn self.  Say something pithy to remind her? “Don’t worry about losing your dart game.”

We embarked on a very serious conversation about my mental health,  based on some  “regressions” they had seen.  My regressions? “Hey Lady! You have 20 needles. IN. YOUR. HEAD.”

At one point she picked up the phone to answer it and FORGOT (Momentarily. I’ll give her a 7 on the landing.) to take the needles out of her ear before putting the ear piece up to her head. Wait. WHAT?  Dear freaky therapist lady. Step away from the phone!  The irony. She was the one who was about to make her brain into a pin cushion and I’m the one who needed help?

I did try acupuncture. Apparently I’m too toxic. The needles kept “jumping out.” They didn’t want to be there anymore than I did. The only thing acupuncture did for me was get me to sit still and shut up for 10 minutes and give me 15 minutes of comic relief.

It was all very sitcom comical and odd.  The right decision was made and I became a patient of the hospital.  I just hope she found her Zen and that it didn’t call her on the phone.

Day 23

Day 23 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

Not having a church to call my own is, I imagine, a lot like a phantom limb. I can still feel its presence even though it is gone. Sometimes the only way I know it was there is because my heart hurts and it reminds me of when it was attached.