It’s about Loving Me

heart in Ink

Today is Valentine’s and I awoke to find a voicemail telling me that I am a very loving person. I’m seldom acknowledged as such and struggle to take it in.

As a  proper former nun, I should be allowed to consider myself nice, considerate, respectful, deferential, and even thoughtful. But loving? I’m not sure why it moves me so to take it in.

My tears flow like rain after a long drought, moistening and loosening what feels tightly bound within. Perhaps it’s the space I’d so long ago begun to reserve for what I had hoped would be filled by God.

Maybe I’ve finally begun to fill it with me.

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Where’s It Gone?

Where’s it gone?  My self-esteem. Don’t know if it’s because I spent so many years in the habit, humbling myself or if it’s simply because I’m human, but my sense of self-worth fluctuates downward a bit too often. I recently called a halt to my floundering three-year relationship with my significant other and I’ve been scraping bottom more than usual since. Funny thing how I measure my worth through someone else’s eyes–that someone who has rejected me.

Though I tap, use affirmations, read uplifting messages, and meditate daily, I spiral downhill. I rely on the steady encouragement of close friends, and yet still struggle. The face in the mirror looks back at me with sadness, even though I smile. “Oh well”, as Mom used to say “This too shall pass”.

I can only hope.

Today’s thought from the Sedona Journal of Enlightenment provides me with hope:  “Bring your hands to your heart and feel within every cell of your body, ‘I am divine love.’ Can you feel that? Allow every cell in your body to recognize this. From this divine, compassionate action of receiving you already comprehend and trust the gift of you. You are divine love. You are divine. You have always been and will always be.”

Feathering My Own Nest

Mother & eggs   I woke up the other day to realize I’d put all my eggs into one basket—my former partner’s. While my own remains empty. I’ve spent too many hours gazing out my rear window, looking after, and waiting–expecting a soufflé she hasn’t the inclination or recipe for.

Time to pick myself up, dust off my feathers, and rebuild my own nest.

Lay a few eggs.

Hatch my own life.

I’m fully capable of, not only omelets, custards, and souffles, but of whatever else my dreamy little mind wants to concoct.

Time to move on again.

in the Grove

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A grove of trees consoles me from the opposite side of the park outside my patio. Five trees as one. So, even though I feel completely solitary on this day of golden light, I remember. It’s been said that we’re never really alone. Especially not in a world of more than a billion people. Neighbors reside so closely above and beside me that  draw my blinds in early evening. Reminds me of the convent where I struggled with feeling alone while living in a five-storied building with two hundred other women. My excuse then was that we weren’t allowed to talk to one another, except during brief periods of recreation. Otherwise, we observed Silence.

I yearned to talk.

To be seen and heard.

We stood alongside one another in rigid line, bumping elbows. We obediently did our best to ignore one another and stay focused upon an invisible god.

Though I no longer have to, I keep Silence again and live alone with my two cats.

Except for the grove of five, who keep watch over me from across the lawn.

Emptied

Recie August 2014

Since I sent off my manuscript, I feel emptied–perhaps peaceful. Even aimless. For four years, I hammered away at my memories. A difficult task—certainly no labor of love. I had lunch with four other writers on Saturday, and was envious of their enthusiasm—their lust for writing. Each was years younger than I and working on futuristic novels. I wondered that something might be wrong with me as I struggle with every word. Every sentence. Every thought, my critic working overtime. Even as I write this, she smirks and points a finger at my computer from over my shoulder.

You scramble for words and can’t get out of your own way. What makes you think you are a writer, when you stumble over every thought that enters your head? You think anyone is going to read this? You should have taken at least another year to mold your manuscript into something more interesting—more uplifting—more worthy of being shared. 

I feel humbled. Beat up. Taken to task. As if I should kneel at the feet of my confessor and ask for a penance. “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I dared reveal things about the convent that most former nuns would never dare.”

As I await my penance from behind the other side of the confessional screen, I hear a kinder voice from within, rather than my imagined pious response from a priest. It is the less familiar voice of my Inner Wisdom, and it silences even my Inner Critic.

Hey, dear one. You have shared YOUR truth. Your version of nineteen years in the convent. Whether anyone else cares or understands, doesn’t matter. You began writing years ago to relieve yourself of memories that burdened you for too long. Applaud yourself and move on. A whole new chapter awaits you.  

Where is God?

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I knew we were being watched in the convent. Too closely in my opinion.  But, in spite of their motive in saying so, I never felt watched by God. I also never felt bullied by that same deity. If anything, I felt his absence.

I felt ignored by him.

Forgotten.

Unimportant.

In spite of endless hours on my knees in prayer, I never felt one inch closer to that distant, male god of my youth.

Years later, however, I look back and realize how Spirit had been there for me all along, and how she/it tendered me along through the gray labyrinth of those seemingly endless days.

As I look back now and write about the emptiness, I reclaim that Presence, and allow it to wash over my years. And though I understand he/she/it no better, I embrace and celebrate it fully.

In every day–and every moment–and with every breath.

In my book, I retrace the journey of my loss and unexpected rediscovery.