Got Junk?

Does freaking out all the time make one a freak?

Self-awareness can be a scary venture. We all try to bury or look away from those things we don’t like about ourselves. Yet, if we want to grow in goodness and grace, we must take the time to examine who we have become. If it’s something we put off, because wagon-524514_19202we’re busy and reflection takes time and stillness, or because we’re afraid of what we might find, we will pay for it in our relationships. Too often, I’ve taken the train to destination unknown, all the while failing to note the scenery and I’ve ended up in Sorryville. It’s about being in the moment and it’s a matter of self-care. It’s something I struggle with on a daily basis.

My husband is a role model for me in this. He has a brilliant mind. It works like a metronome; patient and persistent. He looks at himself, his work, and his relationships with a calm intensity and a practiced compassion. He chooses his words carefully. He thinks about how his decisions will affect others. He acts with purpose. When I ask him a question, I’ve learned I have to wait for his response. It’s worth the wait. I trust his judgment. Over the past 31 years, I’ve watched him become a confident, respected man and leader in the community.

As you know, if you’ve been hangin’ with me, I’m not wired this way. My mind is a lab rat’s maze, which is probably why I’m always getting lost (I’m taking the scenic tour). I labyrinth-1559734tend to think and act with my gut. Decisions are made in a sprint or I scurry back and forth between the possibilities until I’m so muddled, I render myself useless. I’m also a blurt-er. Someone once said that I say what other people are thinking. This can be good and bad. I don’t have an inside voice. I’ll tell a stranger on the street that she looks beautiful. Flip the coin and I spout an oops that should’ve been torched in the twisted tunnels of my cortex. If I’m going for shock value, I’m okay with it, but there are times when my bluntness is insensitive.

Where my husband is controlled and methodical, I’m spontaneous and impulsive. I feel things quickly and deeply. When I find something funny, I often laugh until I cry and I cry easily. Worship, music, movies, special moments with family, reading a note from a loved one, all are precursors to tears and my children love to point and smile. I stay away from horror movies and purposely don’t watch the news, as their after effects reverberate for some time and my emotional equilibrium is tenuous at best.composing-2391033_19202

I recall a moment in the past where I made a decision to check out, rather than dig in. I put more pressure on my horse of a husband and he already shoulders a heavy load. Afterward, he made the comment that I allow my feelings to rule me. I don’t want to be a diva. I want to be a home team player, but sometimes my feelings morph into a monster. I have to wrestle it for control, which is probably why, when I feel overwhelmed with anxiety or sadness, I retreat to my bed. Most of the time, I’m just too tired to pin the beast.

eraser2The cauldron of my emotions has produced some woeful decisions that have left a mark of sadness on those involved. I abhor the thought of hurting anyone. I’ve had to deliver more than my share of apologies, some too late. Thankfully, God continues to transform my heart giving me better control over my feelings and my tongue. My son brought an eraser home from school. It was the size of a brownie and imprinted with the words, “an eraser for big mistakes”. If it weren’t for my faith in the mercy and grace of a loving God, I would need a warehouse of those erasers.

A dear friend, someone whose had her own demons to overcome, recommended meditation and I have dabbled, but contemplative inertia is a challenge for me. I know I need to give my goodly mind a say in what my gut is conjuring up. I need to slow down and listen to both my head and my heart.just-be-597091_1920

My writing has certainly helped me to reflect (I believe the term is “self-therapy”). I’ve had some criticism that my pieces are overly negative, because I’m too down on myself. I don’t think I’m being hard on myself. I like myself and I’m not afraid to tell you who I am, mistakes and all. We’re a society of masqueraders so intent on keeping are masks in place and following the choreography that we miss the delight of the dance. We miss out on deep, meaningful connection for the sake of security.

I’ve been told that people have laughed out loud reading my work. (I love to laugh. This makes me happy to know this.) I’ve also been told artistic-986293_1920that my willingness to be vulnerable meant something to someone trudging a lonely road. I suppose, for some people who identify with me, I’m holding up a mirror that’s too painful to peer into.

As a teenager, the word scary was used to describe me by some teenage boys. I trust this title no longer fits, but I can live with it, only because I know I’m loved. I’m going to pick intently through the junk in my trunk in the hopes that, after confessing it to God and turning from it, my thinking about it, writing about it, and sharing it, will make me a more present, gentle, gracious person. I’m flawed, I tell you, flawed. I’m beautiful, I tell you, beautiful. I’m flawed and beautiful. And so are you.

Complete the experience. Listen to Downhere’s Forgive Yourself.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

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Don’t just Live a Little

I can’t help but wonder. I keep it turned on.

marjorie-bertrand-147634The little girl I looked after today wasn’t two yet. I’d forgotten how utterly spontaneous they are at that age. On our way to the park, like a clumsy butterfly she landed here and there. She had to peek through the neighbor’s fence in search of doggies. She had to lie flat on her back in the grass, in the gravel, in the middle of the road. She tried, anyway. She caressed rocks and inspected pine cones and, at one point, sat down in the dark dirt and proceeded to cover herself with it. The idea that we were on our way to the park, the place designated for child’s play, meant nothing whatsoever to her. The world is her park.

It got me to thinking about how often we get so hung up on the destination that we miss slowdown2the nuances of the journey. If the kingdom of God is within us, then heaven is not an afterlife, but an extension of all the best earth has to offer. Yes, I can hardly wait for the “no more tears and pain” thing, but I don’t want to miss what God wants to dazzle me with or teach me in the here and now. Some of it is so small, if we don’t intentionally stop, look, ponder, and wonder we’ll surely miss much of it. Jesus said in John 10:10b, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” He meant for us to experience all the beauty, creativity, intrigue, rapture, delight, and joy we can and he made this marvelous planet for us to discover it in. I guess it’s okay to want it all after all.

Author’s note: This was written when I worked as a nanny.

Complete the experience. Listen to Chris Tomlin’s The Way I was Made.

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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The Scarf that Keeps on Giving

I have a scarf. It was purchased for me by a dear friend on one of her holidays. It’s a rainbow of fuchsia, coral, tangerine, and canary yellow. She said she saw it and it reminded her of my vibrant personality. I don’t wear scarves, because I have boobs and don’t wish to look like an 87-year-old Grandma with waist deep, wrung out, brightly-colored mammary glands. For a while, I wondered what to do with this scarf. It’s too beautiful to languish in a drawer and I would never re-gift it because I love my friend and appreciate her thoughtfulness. One day, I tied it in a bow and hung it on the bedpost next to my head. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded that I’m a beautiful, multi-faceted human being and that I have a friend who loves me. Do you own such a treasure? Is it out where you can see it?

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

It’s a New Day

We’re always trying to mark the passage of time. We’ve defined a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a month, and a year to keep track of the rising and setting of the sun, to quantify our inhale and exhale, the beating of our hearts. We celebrate when a fresh human being clocks in and when an old-timer moves on from the here and now. Ourclock-1274699_1280 birthday parties are records of our continuing existence and our age, among other things, defines us. In a culture which prizes the beauty and strength of youth, many of us try to keep the number of our days a secret through hair dye, wrinkle creams, trendy clothing, fitness, plastic surgery, and furious denial. If you don’t want others to know your age, I suggest you hide your photo albums when your friends come over or you’ll be providing them with before and after photos. From time cards at work to the renewal of our driver’s licenses, we’re reminded that time is passing.
Continue reading “It’s a New Day”

Here’s to Fall

When the summer gasps its last vestiges of warmthyellow leaf
When the leaves go chameleon and give up their green
This is my new year
My time to ponder change
Not in the frigidness of winter
Cloaked in the frozen shawl of ice and snow
But in the fluidness of fall
Where trees put on a fashion show
And conjure up the color still within them
Before they bare it all
Fall is where I’m primed to see what color still resides in meredleaf
What gold or burnished red I can effuse
And so affect my world for good
Fall spurs me on to change
To let the dead and ugly fall away
Fall tells me it’s okay to rest
To wonder, wait, and pray
For a rebirth
Here’s to Fall!

Posts come out every Monday morning, a poem every third Monday. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to receive notifications of my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram username: pollyeloquent. Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

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