Shhh! She’s Fixing the World!

The little lady in this header photograph today may not have access to enough bandages to fix the entire world. Do enough even exist? Will this cause a supply chain issue? Gosh, maybe she should stop. I mean, it’s a gigantic job. And she’s pretty young. Too little to go far alone. Why crush her dream?

Current attention spans aside, she may become bored and stop on her own. No need to crush her dream. It’s so important to let little children dream big. Not that they’ll be the next Bruce Springsteen, Shel Silverstein, or Pete Rose. (Yes, he should be in the hall of fame!) Big dreams help kids investigate how to achieve those dreams. Whether he or she needs music lessons and knowledge, writing lessons and practice, or baseball coaching one on one. Or science instruction, study, experiments. Let them dream and achieve.

Whether they’re male or female, we need to let them find their own way. Then they can fix the world around them. They learn to take ideas and make reality from them. Through creative things, they can heal the world. And show others how to do so. Art and music touch our hearts and make them feel better, from the inside out. All healing goes that way. Inside out. Anyone who heals from trauma and brokenness, including broken heartedness, knows the strength you feel upon healing. That is how we fix the world. One person at a time.

I cannot pass Mother’s Day without wishing the Mom’s out there to have a good day. It can be a hard day. Parts of mine are hard, parts are not. I don’t think this is unusual. Although things didn’t quite go as I would have liked, I would never trade my kids for anything. Raising them were some of the happiest years of my life. Living with their father wasn’t.

I believe a large group of women who serve as bonus mothers who deserve kudos. They’re the women who love their partner’s children because they belong to him. And they love the children. And the children love them back. I’m a lucky step-mom myself. I gained steps when they were adults. The Babe’s two children fit exactly in between my three. Making five kids spanning 7 years. We laugh and say it would have been all over if we’d met when they were little. That’s a lot of kids all in the same age groups!

It would have worked, and our kid’s lives would have been more integrated than now. They don’t really know each other. It’s impossible to get them all together. It’s ok. We get to enjoy them all separately. And we love them, different as they all are. We are blessed beyond our wildest dreams. It hasn’t always been this way. It took years individually and together to get here. Take heart, things are possible you can’t imagine right now. And the hard work is worth it.

Tomorrow will be the day I pick back up to get my studio/office back in order. We had two lovely days off, where all we did was see our grandson play ball, and today, where we spent time together at home, ate, took a nap, and had coffee on the deck in the chill of morning. It’s our favorite place in the summer. From zero dark thirty until the sun rises above the treeline, we talk, sit, and rock in our rocking chairs. It’s a daily vacation. Then we live our lives for the rest of the day.

Have a beautiful evening. Be positive. Keep ahead of the bad feelings. Make sure you talk with someone if you can’t come back from feelings of negativity, worthlessness, and not caring. We are human and we have to care. We have to be cared about. It’s what we’re made for. I care. We can walk together to get you where you need to be.

Harry Kemp, American Poet

I read a thought-provoking poem today. It made me wonder.

I pitied him in his blindness;

But can I boast, I see?

Perhaps there walks a spirit

Close by, who pities me.

Despite all the words that tell us “All You Need Is Love,” “Love makes the world go around,” It honestly isn’t the glue that holds the world together. True love, beautiful as it is, is an extremely elusive reality.

Those of us who are adult children of alcoholics often reach for the wrong love pot. We think being needed signifies being loved. It isn’t. We know that now, but I didn’t know that for a very long time. In fact, not until I met the Babe did I finally learn about all the different aspects of love. None of them involve paying someone’s bills, buying them clothes, listening over and over to the wrong that was done them. Love doesn’t hurt. Not like that. Not because of that.

A grown up man or woman takes care of themselves, their bills, their children, their obligations. They are courteous to their fellow citizens. And are polite. And kind. They respect their prospective partner. Too often, I surrounded myself with those who needed me. And the hurt far outweighed the benefit. Grown up love isn’t needy. Or needing to be needed.

Love and pity are not the same thing. Desperate people cannot love us. They can only grasp at what we offer and strip it and our self-respect away. We feel hurt, are reeling, and building our walls higher to keep ourselves safe. All that does is isolate us. We are not our loved ones’ saviors.

I am grateful to have learned this very important lesson about loving others before I met the Babe. Learning what love isn’t helped me experience what it really is. It’s opened my eyes, heart, mind, and freed my soul. It’s been a gift. And no one stands next to me now, feeling bad for me because I cannot see.

Thank you for reading. We will see each other tomorrow.

Sunny Sunday

The morning looks beautiful today. The temperature here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska should reach 60 + degrees today! Holy smokes! We have Gavin for the day and look forward to having a fun day with him. Goldie will have a partner to play fetch all day long! They’ll tire out tonight. Bonus!

Every year since about 1983, I’ve read one of 365 meditations for Adult Children of Alcoholics. I’ve said before, Mom was the alcoholic, and two brothers had varying degrees of the same illness. Dad and I weren’t. The behaviors and disappointments affected us. Today’s reading affected me just as hard as the first time I read it.

People have the right not to recover. – Lauren B.

What? People have the right not to recover. Yes, I know they have asked you for help, either directly or indirectly. You pitched in with all the solutions and what you would do if (no one ever gives us bystanders a to do or don’t do list). But you’re not him or her. You are applying a hopefully sound mind to the situation. They don’t have a sound mind. They are an addict or alcoholic or both. Prescription drugs can be involved. You clean their packed house and they hide their thoughts behind a false smile. You chauffeur them and do favors for them. You think they are with the program, whichever one it is. Months go by. You assume they are getting better, yet they still mistreat you.

It would be great if recovery were that easy. By simply showing a person needed help, it could make him or her whole. They could recover if we only offered enough, prayed enough, or upended our lives enough to help them. No. Not unless they really, truly, want it and do their own work.

There is a fallacy in the thought process of “I’m not drinking, so I’m doing good.” Not if you’re still rude to people. Not if you take your foul mood out on them. Not if you belittle your children. Not if you are still argumentative. Not if you’re still addicted to porn. Not if you still say demeaning things to women. Drinking is only a symptom of what’s really wrong.

We can’t force someone to change. Getting inside someone’s head and making choices for them to ensure their success isn’t the way. Their own free will, dictating what their choices are, is what guides their paths. Painful as it is sometimes, our loved ones do not recover. They do not want to. Their thinking still stinks. Their moods are still swinging back and forth. They believe they are ok and they recovered. Then all it takes is one beer, one shot, one cocktail, and there goes the roller coaster again.

All we can do is distance ourselves from them. Yes, we can love them from afar. We can pray to God to keep them safe. And we need to love ourselves first. No more secrets. No more lies. Just total honesty. We owe it to ourselves and to them to tell the truth. Our truth. Our part of their truth. They tell their own truth. And their part of our truth.

It’s painful to see someone you love hit bottom. It’s painful to see someone you love refuse help. Break the law. Engage in horrible behavior. They are sick. The sickness is all they know. The sickness is their obsession. We can’t change it. We don’t have to take part in it. Distance saves our sanity, always. We need to take our comfort in the fact God will care for them when they won’t care for themselves.

As we go forward, those of us in the situation of being bystanders, we need to promise ourselves to stay on the sidelines. Work on understanding their situations and choices. I know, but we have to let go and let them make their own mistakes even where we are concerned. It’s just not worth wasting our precious energy on anymore. Step back and replace that negativity in our lives with something beautiful and positive. And don’t take it personally. They don’t like themselves either. Sad, yet true. Continue your journey. Wait no longer for them. They aren’t ready to find their way yet.

Let’s take stock in our relationships. Keep the thriving ones. Keep the new ones that are promising. Back burner the ones where you’re always the one to keep in touch. Back burner the ones where you always have to plan contacts or get cancelled at the last minute. You’re not a priority to them. Make yourself a priority and see how things change. Tolerate only that which respects you as a person, and honors you as a friend.

Thank you for reading. We’re enjoying Gavin today and even took a cheat day to have our first ice cream of the season. Lucky us! Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Courteous. See you tomorrow! My heart is full!