Shelter from the Storm

For the majority of my days there was a storm going on inside me.  I assumed that state of being was how life was for everyone and came to accept the uncertainty, questioning, doubting, worrying and yearning.  These thoughts and feelings are part of a normal human experience, but not at the hurricane levels they blew me around within the hell I lived in.  

I am glad the constant storm is over now.  The winds rise from time to time, but never as they once were.  In recovery from dysfunction I had to learn how to be alone.  Those dark nights and colorless days of loneliness were long but ceased to paint my life all dark colors a while back.  A good example of what does not kill you makes you better is how I was able to trade insecurity and loneliness for a capacity to love life; a true miracle of sorts!

Life has been genuinely good for a while now.  In recent months good has become better and now wonderful as love of a woman has entered my heart.  There was acceptance such a thing would likely never happen again which makes the surprise a gift all the sweeter.  In my journey through the miles of loneliness I ran across a saying that helped me never completely lose faith in the possibility of love, no matter how distant it seemed.  Get yourself emotionally healthy and someone healthy will find you. And that is exactly what happened! 

Reflecting on those two sayings in italics above that have been my encouraging companions, I started to think of a few other “friends” in word that have helped me in my journey. 

When the pain to stay the same exceeds the pain to change, we change.  A living example of those words I am.  It would be grand if I could tell you how strong and determined I was and such strengths moved me to grow and heal.  That did not happen and it took desperation instead.  Only then was I was willing to do whatever was necessary to leave the emptiness and pain behind.  

You can only love someone else as much as you love yourself.  This has nothing to do with ego and all to do with seeing the good in me and accepting the not so good; appreciating my talents and attributes and seeing past my flaws and imperfections.  It is the perfectly imperfect way of seeing that gives fertile ground for love to grow in, of myself and others. 

Every day’s a good day, some are just better than others.  I did not believe the meaning of those words when they began to be my steady response to “how are you?”  Slowly over time as I experienced improvements from applying myself to growth and healing, the statement became a sort of mantra I believe today with all my heart and soul.  

One of the worst mistakes anyone can make is being afraid to make one.  Just as walking without falling comes when stumbling over one’s own feet from trying too hard is stopped, life has more success when error is allowed and accepted.  For me it works like that now.  I screw up more, but I succeed far more often!

Learn to smile at yourself and you’ll always be amused.  I said this for years because I thought it was a catchy and clever line.  There was even a fragile belief I lived that way.  Until a few years ago that was utterly a delusion.  While I will never be a comedian or good joke teller, I certainly find lots to laugh about as I healthfully stumble forward.  

You find what you go looking for.  Expect crap and it will rain on you every day.  Expect good and it will come.  This is not a naïve statement of a person wearing rose-colored glasses.  The difficult and the painful still come.  Living with this belief strong in my heart and mind simply diminishes the bad and expands the good.  No more, no less.

Love is all that matters.  Love of life, love of family, love of friends, love of nature, love of a partner, love of God…. whatever form it comes it, love is the force that gives EVERYTHING meaning.  Without love life is just existence. 

I am thankful for every instance one of these sayings got me through a time of deep difficulty or dark challenge.  Each has been, and will continue to be, a dear friend and at-will momentary mantra to “save” me.  I am grateful!

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls.  The most massive characters are seared with scars. Kahlil Gibran

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