“The ivy wrapped, the pain was real
I’ve acknowledged how I feel.
I’m climbing out, I’m breathing deep
I’m realizing what (and who) I’ll choose to keep.
My Life should flow, every day
And not let worry get in my way.”
I have been lost inside myself, hidden behind a coat of ivy so thick I have had trouble getting out, trouble breathing. I have felt it hard to take deep breaths for a long time, and I laugh at myself now because during those times I wondered if it was Covid, but had I just stopped to listen to my heart I would’ve realized my lungs were tight because I stopped breathing the deep, cleansing soul breaths my body needs. I stopped for way too long.
I don’t know what finally led me to realize I was being smothered by this ivy. I just have felt heavy, weighted down, not myself.
I have not blogged since this winter, this from a woman who loves nothing more than to sit at her desk, candles lit and write.
I have no one to blame but myself. I have planted the seeds for this ivy that has enveloped me. I have watered her with my tears and fed her with some negativity and smothered her with worry. I worry about things that haven’t even happened yet! Spirit asks me why and I do not know. Why have I been thinking ahead instead of living for today? How many times have I preached to family and friends and clients to live for the moment, and then I stop? WHY? How could I forget this?
How could I forget that what it is all about is every day? What matters today? What is my soul saying today? What is my heart saying today?
The answer is, I forgot to breathe. I need to breathe deep and breathe long and crawl back out from under that ivy and face the reality; life is beautiful, each day is beautiful! I need to stop hiding behind the minutia, stop procrastinating and stop not doing what I love. I need to remember that even in hard times, sad times, times of change, there is still the joy of living and the joy of life itself! EVERY DAY!
Today is where the roses are, the rainbows. The waves lapping the shore. Today is the river flowing without regret. Day after day her water runs, she does not stop, so why did I?
Be gentle with yourself Spirt tells me. Crazy world, crazy times. Emotional times.
My oldest went to college this year. Hardest thing I ever did was leave her the day of drop off, but also one of the proudest (this is a whole other essay I still emotionally cannot write yet!). My youngest daughter is a freshman in high school, (my baby!), my second daughter now a junior, driving and completely independent. So proud of all three of them, but emotional just the same. And of course that little thing called Covid, changing lives changing people. And Spirit reminds me again; be gentle, be gentle- it has been a year.
And with all these things, the Ivy wrapped tighter because change brings realization. Realization that my kiddos don’t really need me all that much anymore (oh so hard!), Realization that when hard times come sometimes people you think will be there for you, are not. Realization of how much I want to fix things or help people I love, often I cannot.
So, how do I pull out, break the ivy and the moss and let the air back in? Let the flowers grow?
One day at a time.
This morning it was being outside. Jogging by the reservoir and letting my heart beat fast and my ears listen to the waves lapping the shore.
And the ivy loosened a little.
Today is sitting at my desk again, candles lit and taking deep breathes.
I feel the grip of the ivy getting looser….
Tonight it is dinner with Craig, Katy and Ashley.
Tomorrow it is a morning walk with an old friend and then tea with two best friends.
And the ivy will become a bit looser still, leaf by leaf by leaf.
It will be a process. Things take time. The ivy took time to grow and it will take time to shrink away. But I need that time, I need that time to reflect and to ponder,
Why have I been absent from my soul for so long? Why have I been worrying and stressing and wondering? Why have I been feeding the ivy and not the flowers, when I so love the flowers?
But Spirit reminds me sometimes I have to go through times like these to realize what is important in my life, and also feel what is not allowing me to breathe.
I just had a birthday and had some time for self-reflection. Cleansing. Tears. Gratefulness. And I learned through this reflection that this is a year of release for me. I know there are things I need to let go of. People I need to let go of. And this is hard. But Spirit reminds me that sometimes the greatest changes in life are the hardest. And cutting away the ivy is sometimes necessary to make room for the flowers, the beauty, the air-the breaths!
So, I ask myself what do I want? And the answers come:
Time in nature
Time with family
Time with friends who lift me up and love me unconditionally
Time to write
Time to connect with Spirit
And I tell myself, this is not hard. These are not huge goals. I can make them happen. In fact, I am the only one that can make them happen. My soul needs these things and without them my soul will not be happy.
And I ask myself, what do I need to let go of?
Stress about my kids (have faith each one of them will be ok)
People who make me feel down
Thinking too far ahead
And I tell myself, the letting go is harder. I cannot promise I won’t stress about my kids, I am a Mamma Bear and I love them more than life itself. But I will try harder. It is hard to let go of things/people, but I know I will be better for it. So, I will try, one day at a time, one decision at a time.
Sprit tells me, “Slow down dear child, there is no rush.” But this is hard too as I have always hurried, I was a journalist who worked under deadlines. But I breathe now and realize, I create my own deadlines. I create my own stress. Very little stress in my life is caused by others, it is all on me. I own that. I need to own that. “Breathe, slow down, there is no race.”
Is there part of me that just wants to ask my doctor friend for a prescription for some valium? Of course. But how would that help my soul other than mask my needs? Other than make the ivy grow faster, thicker? Make it harder to breathe?
Earlier today my dad sent me a before and after photo of the family plot main headstone which he had cleaned. The difference was amazing, and I thought, even in death we need cleansing to keep things beautiful less the dirt grows and grows and the harder it is to resurface the beauty. I have been letting the dirt grow.
Am I angry at myself? Yes. But I am allowing myself this year. Allowing myself the emotions, the tears the feelings. Allowing myself to realize that maybe this all had to happen for me to realize that even in hard times I cannot lose Spirit, I cannot lose myself. Other hard times will come, but I cannot let the ivy grow. I need to breathe through these times and know who will take these deep breaths with me and hold me when needed.
So, I had a stuck point. I think I had to have this in order to grow out of it, move forward. Forgive myself but learn to not let the ivy re-seed. Ever. Again.
So, I am crawling out now and pushing back the ivy, fighting my head and listening to my heart, one day at a time.
Because today is the only day I can be sure of, and today is beautiful.