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Cave to Cliff

One woman's journey from darkness to light

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31 days

Day 10: Slay the Shame

First of all, I’ll tell you I was thinking of “forgetting” to write a post today. Just now I looked back at my series from 4 years ago and found that day 10 was missing. It must be a thing, eh? It must be that time when I’m prone to quit. Not this time, you pesky October 10! I am not a quitter of good things! I can do something consistently for more than 10 days! You just watch me!

Second of all, a great big THANK YOU to all the people that have been following along in this series. My heart is that you find encouragement and hope here.

I’ve spent the past 9 days exploring the areas where I’ve felt less than. That’s not a place I dwell in anymore. There was time when I walked this earth clothed in shame and always convinced that I was a great big mess up. I felt like a broken misfit in this perfect world. Don’t we all feel like that sometimes?

Around 2008 I followed scrapbooking artists like Cathy Zielske, Ali Edwards and Stacy Julian. One of them talked about a book by Brene Brown called I Thought It Was Just Me.  She addresses this thing called shame and the effect it has on us. I realized I was covered in this shame. Not only that, I was spewing it on my children. I don’t know if I even finished the book, but something new was planted in me.

shame

This quote resonates with me. I lived in that feeling until a few years ago. I don’t know how or where it started, but it settled deep in me. I remember feeling so stirred up a few years ago about wanting to belong, but feeling like I couldn’t. I wrote about that in a blog appropriately titled “Belonging“.

Listen carefully, my friends. That little voice that’s telling you “if only you would have” or those feelings of guilt over things you can’t change is a liar. It’s a big, fat, hairy liar. It doesn’t have any weapons and it’s fairly simple to put to rest.

Simple does not equal easy.

Shame likes the darkness. It grows when we keep it hidden.

Let’s bring it to light, then. Be brave. Reach out to someone who will listen with empathy. Share your story. Chances are that person has a similar story. Tell the story of how you are no longer willing to be held a prisoner of shame.

I saw this quote, but couldn’t find any information on who said it:

Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable.

Grace says that though I am flawed, I am cherished. 

Isn’t that beautiful? Cherished is not merely loved. Cherished means we have high value. We’re important. We are so important that our absence leaves a void in this world.

YOU are cherished. I am cherished. WE are most definitely cherished.

Ready to throw off that blanket of shame? Say it with me, “I am cherished!!!” 

For more posts in this series:
amienough

To peruse the blogs of 1500 other writers have a look at:

write31days.com
write31days.com
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Day 1: And So It Begins

Today is the first day of the best month of the year. I love October. Today I see the tall green foliage of the trees gently sway. A bright blue sky creates the backdrop. The sun is warm and the breeze cool. It smells like autumn in Oregon out there. The leaves are turning hues of red, yellow, and orange before falling to the ground. To me, October is the gateway to the holiday season. Many people feel compelled to do a Spring cleaning to shake off Winter. I prefer to do an Autumn purging. I am itching to rearrange my house and purge. Let’s set out the candles and curl up with a good book.

For me, October starts a brand new year of possibilities. It happens to  be my birthday on the 12th of October. So when I think about purging my home, I’m also thinking about purging whatever it is in me that isn’t useful.

My life is an incredible journey. I look back over the last year and see how much has changed. I love it. I feel like I’m becoming more of me each day. I’ve lived many years disguising who I really am. We do that when we’re damaged. We begin to cover up who we really are trying to protect ourselves from getting hurt even more. Funny thing is that it doesn’t work.

The question that finds its way into the recesses of my mind is “Am I Enough?” The answer is a definite yes. I know that in my head on the days my challenges are few.
family

This is a picture of my little family; a cast of characters, if you will. That’s me on the left. Then there’s my firstborn son, Christopher. Next to him is his girlfriend, Winter. That little baby in her belly is baby Christopher. He was born on September 22 of this year and is the most handsome baby ever to be born! Slightly behind Winter is my son Sage and next to him is Ireland. One of my daughters is missing. I’ve written about her many times in the past. You’ll hear more about her and our story later in this series.

As I talk with more women I hear that question, “Am I Enough?” roll off their tongues, too. Sometimes it isn’t always said aloud, but it lingers in the air.

I am enough. You are enough. Let’s slay this giant together!

Please enjoy reading posts by other 31 Day bloggers by clicking the photo below.

write31days.com
write31days.com

Day 31 – Reflections

I’ve done a whole lot of thinking this month.

I’ve moved, started crossfit, and began a class through my church.

I am worn out, but I am good.

Now, the question is what do with all this thinking.

Day 30 – Confrontation

For the amount of words that fly out of my mouth and onto the computer screen through my fingers you’d think that I could communicate well. I’m well aware that this is not the case although, I think I am slowly learning.

This evening I learned that there is a good way to confront. It doesn’t have to be big and scary; it can bless and strengthen relationship. I’ve always run from confrontation. I would guess that most of us learned that confrontation, while sometimes necessary, is better left undone.

This feeling has overflowed into how I am beginning to communicate with my kids. It used to be so easy, but now they’re growing into young adults and I find it so much more difficult. I’m trying to teach them how to make good choices and choose to do the right thing. I’ve been told several times that I do too much for my kids. In trying to teach them or talk to them about certain issues I have created a place of uncomfortable confrontation. They don’t feel loved or safe.

I don’t know what that looks like.

Oh wait, I have a small glimpse of that. I felt it once when I went out to  5 Rock Ranch. I remember feeling loved while also feeling chastised. I’m not sure chastised is the right word. I knew they could see right through me at that moment, but love me and be on my side, anyway. I want my kids to feel that, too. I’m pretty sure they don’t. I’m not sure how to fix that.

It comes down to building trust. This is something that should’ve been in place long ago, but somewhere along the way I messed it up. I know I don’t trust easily. There are precious few that I do trust. Building trust takes the risk of being vulnerable and open. What does that look like when we’re talking about my kids here?

Right now I’m not too concerned with those outside my family in this area. I have lost much in my family and I’m trying to figure out how to go about rebuilding it. I know it’s not just me, I know it’s God and me. I also know that I probably have never had the trust of Sage and Dusty even though they’ve been with me for 6 years. I know Christopher loves me, but he certainly doesn’t respect me. Then there’s Ireland. She loves me. She will still share her heart with me.

I want my kids to have good relationships. I obviously failed in my relationship with my husband and I can look back and see how my cowardliness has robbed me of several other friendships that could’ve been fantastic. I don’t want that for my children. I don’t have much family and the few of us that are left aren’t close. I want my kids to be close. I want them to love one another.

There is so much going on in my head, but I’m unable to get it all out.

Everyday, making choices; choosing kindness over harshness. Learning to ask questions to hear their hearts. Not so good at that.

Day 29 – Learning?

It’s nearing the end of the 31 days of reflection. I’m not sure how much true reflecting got done. This has been a busy month, that’s for sure.

I moved across town, which is to say that I moved about a mile or so from where I was living. I now live in a household of a total of 10 people, 2 dogs, and 1 cat. It has been good, so far. It was a little rough in the beginning. Ireland cried. I cried. I missed the life that I thought should be happening before I was able to embrace the life that is happening. I had all these hopes and dreams for my life. This is not what I had imagined. However, I know that His ways are not my ways. I also know that He has only good thoughts toward me. I am confident that the work that God has begun will be completed. Right now, the life I’m living, is the one life He’s given me to live.

I think we miss out on the blessings when we focus on what we thought we could’ve had. 

I think I’ve learned more about pressing into God; about how He truly needs to be my absolute best friend. I want to desire nothing but Him. I don’t want to be distracted by the comforts of this world. I am so very distracted by this world. I don’t know how not to be, but I know that the answer lies in Him alone.

Seek Him. Find Him. Love Him. Seek Him some more.

Day 28 – Sleep

I was happier today and I think it’s cuz I took a really long nap. It was about 1 1/2 hours. Crossfit wore me out this morning. I beat my PR from last week. I have the weekend to recover then we’ll see what I do next week.

Sage’s last football games are tomorrow. Yay. We have to get up stinkin’ early for those. Then I’ll work on the Blair St. house a bit before heading home to make soup for a group of us who will be watching Sing Off. We’re actually a couple of episodes behind. Perhaps if we start it early enough I can convince them to watch both episodes?

I need to sleep more. I need to get in bed, not try to watch something, and just go to sleep.

Things weren’t such a big deal today. I still have a son mad at me, but it didn’t bother me today.

My stupid, yet well-loved cat got out of our side of the house into the owner’s part and pooped in their planter. My cat may end up dead….or at least have to give him away. He’s almost 8, that would be sad. Losing this home for the sake of my cat wouldn’t make sense since I just let my other home go. Sigh. Dumb cat.

27 – Parenting & Other Rants

Frankly, I pretty much feel like the worst parent in the world. I’m not beating them or starving them or living in a filthy pig sty sort of home.

I had parent teacher conferences for two of my kids. Sad news. Behavior issues in both of them.

I have two kids at home that seem to think I’m out to take away all their freedoms like ipod and computer time.

Isn’t parenting supposed to be a team sport? This frickin’ sucks, man. I don’t have anyone in my home to back me up.

I see why women get remarried so quickly. They’re fighting an uphill battle on a slippery slope with their kids and desperately need some back up. Oh, but not this gal. No, I seem to think that I can do it on my own. Not to mention that I’m not even divorced. Why is that, anyway? Lack of money? Fear that divorce really isn’t the answer? Fear that it is? Isn’t marriage a covenant? Didn’t I pledge my life to him? Isn’t it ’til death we do part? Dude, next time I’m putting in a clause that says, “’til death we do part or you have an affair”.

It’s hard to walk with God. Being a Christian is hard work. Sometimes I wish I was one of those Christians that knew how to cry in all the right places, went to church when the doors opened, but went home and looked like a normal American family. Living life and doing whatever I stinking pleased.

That’s not how it works, is it?

Once you know the Truth you can’t UN-know it.

Dang it.

I’m at a loss. I don’t know how to properly parent my children so they are successful, happy, righteous living, kingdom moving, compassionate, and loving adults. I know they’re kids and their selfish. It’s called sin nature. They’re not born full of good. We know that.

There has to be something better than this. There has to be a way for my family to really be a family; to love one another and at least prefer someone over themselves. There has got to be some determination in them somewhere, doesn’t there?

Nobody seems to have the answers. Where are all the people who have gone before me and struggled? I don’t seem to know anyone who has struggled through. They all seem to have had a good time.

Sigh.

I have laundry to fold and chin hairs to pluck.
I’m getting up early for crossfit again. Woohoo. Day 6 here I come.

Day 25 – Goals

Goals

I’m the star when it comes to setting them and making them look pretty on paper. I’ll even map them out on a calendar. I’m ambitious because I just KNOW I can do it. All I have to do is..well, do it! I already know how to do practically everything. I’ve probably read about it a zillion times. I’ve probably even told you how to do it.  Shoot, I’ve probably had some success at it, but then fallen flat on my face.

How embarrassing.

Why can’t I reach my goals? When I think of one area of goal making it spills into all the other areas of my life. The parts of my life are intertwined with all the other parts. I don’t have a nice job where I can leave the house each day, do only that job, then leave. I am home all day. I school some kids, I make meals, do laundry, manage kid chores, balance the money, drive kids places, and try to get in a shower. I can’t believe how hard that still is sometimes and I don’t even have babies anymore!

Have you heard of SMART goals? Here’s the concept:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

I think I’m not very good at the achievable and realistic parts. Sometimes I’m sure that I can achieve more than I can and other times I don’t reach high enough. Realistic? Who has time for reality? I like the dream world, thank you very much. I’m not actually a dreamer. I just have high expectations of myself and others around me.

I’m tired of even trying. I know how lame that sounds, but right now I just kinda think I can’t do it. I don’t know how to change that thinking other than just to stop thinking that and telling myself that. Other times I’m like, “Well, I know I can do this-or-that because I’ve done this other thing before.” The motivation doesn’t stay there long.

I started Crossfit last week. It’s a number game. I can do that. It’s all written out for me and I just do it. Now, if only someone would make me a menu and go grocery shopping for me, too. Then I’d just make the food. Oh look, here goes that line crossing. My grocery shopping has to do with my budget. My budget has to do with me managing my money and setting goals for that. Then that goes into how I manage my home and time. See, it all gets so confusing for me.

I just sat here figuring out how fast I would have to run to complete a half marathon in half the time I did the Women’s Eugene Half in 2010. I’d have to run just under a 10 minute-a-mile pace. I know that’s not all that fabulous, but I limped through the last one at an 18 min-a-mile pace. I’m not exaggerating when I say “limp”. At one point I thought, “If that dude in that stupid golf cart drives past me one more time I’m gonna hop on.” I never saw him again. I also thought of just lying down on a bench and never getting up again. Somehow, I knew that quitting wasn’t an option.

I’d have to not only keep exercising to strengthen my body, but I’d have to lose weight. These feet can’t take the pressure to carry this much of me for that long. I don’t know that I want to run another half even if it has a cool name like The Hippie Chick Run. I don’t know if I want to work that hard, though I know how great I’ll feel when I’ve done it. Well, a few days after I’ve done it, that is.

I haven’t come to any conclusions here. Maybe I need to go read a blog about how to stop procrastinating and then I can make some goals to move in that direction!

Ugh. Frustration.

Day 21 – Socialization & Rest

Today I went down to Corvallis for my sweet friend’s birthday party. I’m totally exhausted and would have loved to just sleep, but I’m also an extrovert. Time with people fill my hole filled emotional bucket. There were a lot of people there. My favorite thing to do is to find a pocket of people to chat with while watching the other people. I got my back rubbed and my feet rubbed by lovely ladies who love me and expect nothing from me. At the beginning of my evening it was obvious that I was so happy to be out; one of my friends turned to me and said, “When was the last time you left your house?” Hahahaha! I do leave my house, it’s just that I don’t often have adults to sit down with and have deep and/or fun conversations with. It feels like many of my conversations have to do with some sort of work. Heart, health, home, kids, doing doing doing!

I’m going to try really hard to make it so I can have a few hours rest on Sunday. No kids. Just so I can talk through and gather thoughts.

I need rest.

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