More than a Feeling

Never alone

Sometimes we need to remember, that lonely isn’t the same as alone.

Feelings are not facts. They are real, they are valid, but they are not always truth. When I stand in the middle of my day full of kids needing me, husband needing me, life needing me I can be surrounded by life and feel alone.

Have you been there?

Maybe it’s the long day with the kids. The one where you are counting down the hours until bedtime and you can’t handle one more “mama” or tiny hand reaching, begging to be picked up. Never alone, but so very alone.

Maybe it’s work that piles up around you. An email box full of people reaching out and a to-do list that only leaves you wondering if anyone even cares, really cares about you.

Maybe you really are spending time alone. Maybe you are in a house or a room or a car by yourself and you face each day and night with only your reflection to keep you company.

Life does that. It surrounds us. It sometimes suffocates us in meaningless contact where we know a person’s latest status or what the celebrity of the day is wearing (or not wearing), and we pay so much attention to all that can be known that we feel like we, ourselves, are unknown.

I’m here to tell you a fact, not a feeling.

The fact is you are not alone.

Neither am I.

A fact is true whether you believe it to be or not.

So I look through these words to your heart and tell you that you have a choice today. You can believe the fact or not, but it is no less real.

You are not alone.

You never will be.

I will never leave you nor forsake you

Linking up today with Holley Gerth at hollygerth.com and Jennifer Dukes Lee. Click over for more Coffee for your Heart and Tell His Story!

The Glass Tunnel

photo credit: creative commons

Here I am staring at the blinking curser and I feel just like I did in the cafeteria in elementary school. I grab my tray, hoping that it is pizza day only to realize it’s sloppy joes. As the hairnet lady scoops some onto my tray (because yes, they scooped directly onto the divided trays back then) I would rather be there than the alternative. I don’t want to leave the line.

It’s a sad day when you realize overcooked mystery meat from a woman in a hairnet who would have a wonderful smile if only you could put her head on upside down, is better than finding a place to sit in the lunchroom.

I feel like that here in our internet world. I see the cyber-space full of long tables with attached benches and have no idea where I belong.

photo credit: cheekybumsblog.com

There are the pretty girls with their beautifully designed blogs and their perfect smiles and clean homes and delightful children. I don’t even bother with those. Perfect never looked good on me anyway.

At the next table are the techy people. The ones who have every widget and talk rss feeds while forgetting to eat because they are so consumed by technology.

Then you come to the angry ones. The ones who are writhing in contempt for the world and their glares stare at me in words harsher than the black on white of the screen.

And the theater kids…only in this world they are the crafters. They have a language all their own with cricuts and modge. I almost approach them because they are always smiling, but I could never wear a sweet smile like that all the time, even if it were pasted on.

And then there’s me. Staring at my tray of unknown quality meat wondering where to even try to sit, where I might slip in unnoticed or, dare I hope, to fit in.

I stand here for days, weeks, years, hoping that time is really standing still and wondering how loud my silence is screaming. How long can I stand invisible because it’s so much safer than realizing people see me and I still don’t fit.

And then I see it.

I have to walk across the whole room that echoes silent stares louder than children scream. So I take a step and then another, but my eyes never leave the tray. Maybe if I stare at my own stuff long enough I can forget that people can actually see me.

I walk past the perfect ones and the scary ones. I walk down this endless tunnel with glass walls until I stand right in front of it.

I set my tray down and sit there at the empty table because alone feels better than the glass tunnel. And here, it’s just a girl at a table. I’m not sure what it means or where I belong, but here feels pretty good right now.

Maybe you’re not navigating the great interwebs. Maybe you are finding your way in your job or school or your role as a parent or wife. Where ever you find yourself, there’s some bench here across from me. Care to join me?

Five Minute Friday…Visit

It’s Friday and I’m back linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.

Five minutes.

One word.

No editing.

No rethinking.

Just writing.

Today’s word: Visit

GO

photo credit: shenaniganswillensue.tumblr.com

Four hours every Sunday. It happened whether I wanted it to or not. A judge had decided and that is what I was required: four hours every Sunday with my father—my biological father.

I had always looked at these visits with the same enthusiasm as a long car ride or a visit to the dentist (mind you I nearly had a root canal at 5). And yet these visits were required, by law. I never do well when someone tells me I have to do something.

At one point I had decided I had enough. I didn’t want to go anymore and no one could make me (or that’s what my fifteen year old mind had shouted to the world).

Looking back it wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact, I may have learned something.

I’ve learned that all that is shiny and fun is usually not as good as you think it is. It may provide a glitzy reflection, but that’s usually where it ends.

I’ve learned something can hurt and be good for you at the same time. But you usually can’t see through the pain to the peace.

I’ve learned that I can hurt, but I have a choice to heal. And I’ve chosen. Over and over again.

7×70.

Literally. I would say “I forgive him” 490 times a day until it didn’t hurt anymore.

I think I had forgotten that. And when it hurts again I do the math and I become more of what I’m supposed to be, all because of a visit.

STOP

It feels good when pain no longer pierces.

If you want to join in check out Five Minute Fridays.

Taffy and Construction

photo credit: kitchentablescraps.com

Words feel like taffy today and my fingers are sticky.

I keep pulling apart and twisting and pulling, but right now things just look like a mess. If I stop now I am left with sticky hands and strings of confection that amount to nothing.

So I am here.

Pulling and twisting.

Unsure it will really amount to anything lovely and sweet.

But twisting and pulling just the same.

I realized I’m a finish line kind of person. I’m not so much about the process as I am about the product.

That makes writing a tricky endeavor.

But it’s either give up or change.

If only change felt good and easy. That would be lovely. But even change is a process, mocking my desire for destination over journey.

I’m choosing to exhale, but this time I’m getting busy.

Busy with words, even in their mess.

So I sit here with sticky fingers willing my words to become.

Please pardon my appearance; apparently I’m under construction.

I’ve never liked dusting

dusty book

photo credit: head-heart-health.com

Sometimes the dust is thick and it doesn’t seem worth it. We forget that under those days, months, years of the particles of life lay a treasure that is guilty of only one thing: neglect.

I’ve said I want to be a writer for so very long. I have starts and stops, spurts of productivity, but the words seem to become the overlooked furniture in a never used sitting room of life and I forget. I forget they exist, they are beautiful and they are worth something. And I allow these minute pieces of me and you and everyone around me to flutter through the air and rest on them creating a blanket that seems invisible until it feels too late. It goes from a thin sheet to a thick, worn comforter in the blink of an eye and I forget what it takes to undo it.

I tell myself it’s too hard and it requires too much. But sometimes all it takes is remembering what’s under there and having the courage to shake off the regrets and reveal the beauty that was hidden underneath.

So I did it. I dusted off my one solid novel start. I gathered the courage and clicked quickly before I could change my mind. As I read the words I saw their beauty anew and I was so glad I got my fingers dirty to get back here.

Sometimes all it takes is a moment of courage and willingness to get dirty to reveal a beauty long forgotten. Is there something you’ve forgotten that has disappeared into the landscape of life? Maybe it’s time for a little dusting.