A Beautiful Mess

 I’ve been thinking. When I began this blog, I vowed to keep my posts upbeat and positive. I mean who wants to read blog posts about someone always moaning and groaning about his or her problems. Yet, this is a journey blog, and I realize that no one’s journey rides high all the time. As we travel our paths, we encounter peaks and valleys, ups and downs, highs and lows, however you choose to call them. Moreover, when I choose the word “courage” as my word for 2014, I committed to have the courage to be vulnerable at times–even if it is uncomfortable. This is one of those times.

Lately, I’ve felt very down. It is difficult to think, write and even meditate. I can’t even blame it on Seasonal Affective Disorder–it’s too early for that and 102° outside. Nevertheless, everything seems so hard. Each day, I wake up and, if truth be told, I would rather pull the covers over my head and meld into the mattress. Unless my fibromyalgia pain is too intense, I fight that urge and, by sheer force of will, drag myself out of bed to face another day. I refuse to fully give in to the sadness, worries and fears or to take the easy road out by wallowing in it for too long. I struggle to remain mindful of the many positive things in my life, and to let go of stress, worries and negative thinking. Sometimes, I am successful. Yet, it is the times that I’m not, that weigh heavily on my mind.

I’ve come to wonder why so many of us believe that feeling sad, fearful, depressed, melancholy or blue is a character flaw? In many cases, we learn to repress our ‘other than’ positive feelings, because they are not desirable in the society in which we live. We are told, directly or indirectly, that doing so exhibits a sign of weakness. In this country, the “pursuit of happiness” that is enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, is misinterpreted to create an inalienable “right to happiness,” which is unsustainable.

In general, many of us, are uncomfortable and at a loss for words in the company of those who acknowledge their unhappiness. Generally, when we ask, “How are you doing?,” we are merely being polite and not expecting to hear an honest assessment of one’s state of mind. At the earliest opportunity, we run away as if in the presence of a contagious disease that is sure to overtake us. As a result, out of shame or a perceived weakness, people feel as though they must hide their unhappiness.

Even more worrisome is the fact that often, those feeling sad, depressed or out of sorts, do everything that they can to run away from the negative feelings. I mean, who wants to acknowledge and subject themselves to thoughts and feelings that they’d rather deny. Doing so, is not an easy thing to do, and it takes courage and strength to embrace those feelings and accept them as a part of who we are.

Who among us can honestly claim that they escape the roller coaster that we call life? It is a scientific fact that what goes up, must come down, and emotional highs and lows are no exception. The problem is that it is so easy to dwell in the highs, but we fear the descents into the lows. Whereas, we wish to prolong the highs, we’d rather give short shrift to the lows and hurry them along. Yet, by running from the sadness, fear, anger and more, we simply make sure that they last longer, and often deepen, the effects. The saying ‘fake it ’til you make it’ is fine for the average blue period. Nevertheless, it takes courage to admit that sometimes our only solace is to acknowledge the feelings, and accept and embrace them as a way to understand the lessons or revelations they offer us.

Me? I’ve come to realize that I, along with all of my messy bits, informs who I am–the true me. Although discussing my ‘messy bits’ raises a host of vulnerability issues, the journey to my authentic self requires it. My journey is not always a bed of roses and at times, is pervaded by thorns, so my denial is disingenuous. Anyway, I know that, as it always does, ‘this too shall end.’

Mind you, the focus and spirit of my blog will not change. I, for one, could not abide reading a blog that is nothing but doom and gloom; besides, that is not who I am. I do intend to do what I set out to do for this entire year, that is, have the courage to be vulnerable, as a means of being real and more open. I write to delve deeper to learn more about myself–who I am and why I do what I do. That is not to say that I am going to share all my business, because, even for me, that is TMI (too much information.) Personally, I believe that some things are not fodder for this blog. Yet, the thing is that, most likely, I will always be a beautiful mess. I am learning to welcome that and I’d have it no other way.


When You Hear What This 94-year-old Grocery Bagger Got On His Last Day, You’ll Be Pleased.

Kindness begets kindness. This is a heart-warming human interest story. Blessings, Lydia

Kindness Blog

Arthur St. John is a 94-year-old bagger at a grocery store, but after 22 years of carefully and cheerfully arranging family meals in brown bags, his job had come to an end. Arthur was one of the many grocery store employees that were either laid off or had their hours cut.

Arthur St. John

But when Arthur showed up to collect his last paycheck, there was another one waiting for him. This check was for $7,166.  It was given to him by the many customers that he blessed at the grocery store with his delightful service.

When customer Bonnie Gervais asked for Arthur one day and learned that he was laid off, she and her teenage son kicked off a fundraiser to help their favorite bagger out. The response was more than they bargained for.

Many of the donors that gave to Arthur were customers that had experienced his kindness at the end…

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