For a friend

A bunch of years back I was in the middle of the worst depression I experienced in my life. I was watching my marriage meltdown from the inside. I lost friends I thought I’d keep forever and I felt so alone, so misunderstood and hopeless. I was nearing the end of my rope. Actually, I had passed that point. Somehow, I was still alive. I had planned to commit suicide, even set a date for it. Everything was planned. And then I reached out for help.

I did not receive help. I was met with horror and then denial. And I faced that date with pure fear and wonder. Would I or would I not? Nothing was going to stop me if I did. I hung on and battled the obsessive thoughts. I had no proof those thoughts were wrong at the time. I had no proof my life was worth keeping.

Now, looking back, I consider those days to be the blackest of my life. But I did have a question, why is my life worth saving? I felt no love, had no hope and yet I was still fighting, for what I did not know. I am an intensely curious creature so I decided to find out.

What if my life is worth saving? What does that mean? I had no idea and no one had any easy answers. I waited. I waited till the black clouds retreated and I could breathe again. I waited and counted time. I waited till I could feel again. Then I went looking for the things I wanted in my life.

I knew I wanted love. I knew I wanted friendship. I wanted to be happy again. I wanted more than anything to get rid of being so damn negative. That last one sounded like something I could change so I researched and studied. I hit upon the practice of gratitude. It didn’t promise much and it was extremely difficult. That difficulty told me I was in the right place.

The challenge was to come up with five things to be grateful for every day. It took a month, the first time out, to come up with five things. It took me six months to manage five things a week. A few months after I could write out five things a day.

I didn’t care if the only thing I was grateful for was that I hadn’t stubbed my toe that day. It counted! And I changed. It was like I was scrubbing the black clouds off my soul. I still had bad days. I still fell down the dark hole but I didn’t fall as far nor did I get stuck. Gratitude taught me the flavour of hope. Hope taught me about life. Shit is still shit but life goes on. And shit grows some mighty fine roses. It’s taken me a long road to here but I am grateful even for the shit in my life. That shit grows my rose garden.

 

If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please do not ignore it. Reach out and call the Suicide Hotline if in the US 1-800-273-8255
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

 

Facing the week with gratitude. 

It was just a few Fridays ago I wondered what would happen if I faced the week with gratitude instead. Sounds like a good idea so here we are.  I don’t know what a majority of gratitude habits are but I’ll share mine.

I like to journal. When I do keep up with it –I’m really bad at doing so – I tend to record three things I’m grateful for that day.  So that’s what I’m going to do, share a little of my morning journal with you.

Today I’ve been thinking about all the people in my life. I have some very dear friends and moments like this I know I don’t show them my appreciation as much as I should. I don’t have many I call as friends but those that are, I know I can count on no matter what. To them I wish to say, thank you for being my friend.

I’ve also been especially grateful towards my husband. He’s stayed upbeat and chipper though this whole moving process and still manages to look out for me and make me smile. He makes me feel spoiled, in a good way.

I’m grateful that I’m happy. I’m not depressed. I’m not even feeling anxiety right now. I feel like I got my head on proper for the moment. I don’t know if it’s due to dietary changes I’ve made or what. Still having sleep issues but they will work out. I can smile and feel it. It’s such a wonderful feeling of feeling a smile inside as well as out and knowing it’s not faked at all. I’m grateful for these precious days.

I do tend to repeat things like these due to events around me. I’ve noticed that the happier I am, the more I notice people’s actions in my life. Which leads to an abundance of smiles, laughter, and love.

May you all find your abundance of smiles, laughter, and love.

I’d rather look forward

I almost forget today is Friday. I’ve skipped / ignored quite a few of them already. You know there is something special about gratitude and taking the time to express gratitude. For a moment I’m not looking backwards finding negatives but searching for positives. And it is the positives that I need listed and reminded of far more than most things in my life.

Right now I don’t want to face something out of my past. I just wish I could forget it, bury it back under as I’m struggling with dealing with the emotions of it. But I wonder, is it possible to be grateful of the future as much as one is grateful of the past?

Or is that what hope is made of? Gratitude for and of the future?

I’d like to explore this thought, how to carry gratitude into the future, how to face the future with gratitude. I won’t feel so much like I’m driving life backwards through the rear-view mirror.

I’d like to start plotting my course forwards.

 

No One is an Island

Gratitude Friday

I’ve been thinking about how much this blog doesn’t cover religious topics often and it occurred to me I’ve actually been sharing one of my spiritual practices with everyone. Before I didn’t consider practicing gratitude to be a spiritual practice. I started doing this more as a self-corrective mechanism. I was drowning in overwhelming negativity in my life, to the point, everything was seen with a negative view even when it wasn’t intended that way.

I had fallen into a bad physiological habit. What’s the phrase; negative sentiment override, and that behavior just about destroyed my marriage. It was clear to me that I needed to make the effort to find things that were positive, daily. Gosh, looking back I recall how hard it was. I had to stretch it out to a week just to list five things. Now I can rattle off five things every day.

Sticking with this, I learned a great deal more about myself and the nature of happiness. It even helped me deal with compliments. Before I would squirm and be embarrassed about it, just about run from any situation that would end with a compliment. Now I can say with heartfelt meaning, thank you.

So at the end of this week, I have some broader based thank you’s that’s been a long time in coming.

Thank You Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Your book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, I found just in the nick of time and saved my marriage. Yours explained why things were they way they were. Out of all the self-help relationship books I read, yours was the only one that gave a thread of hope.

Thank you, my husband. When things were at the bleakest, you never quit. We tied our lives together out of sheer stubbornness and when tested, it held tight.

Thank you to my in-laws, in particular ,my father-in-law. The phrase “it’s not over till the fat lady sings” will always bring a chuckle for you saw more than you let on. I appreciate you had my back even then.

Thank you Dreamwalker. You’re quite a pain in my ass. Infuriating, puzzling and down right madding most of the time. And I get the feeling now our paths are diverging. You’ve been a mentor to me for a while now. When I needed my nose forced into the grindstone, you were there to do so and you didn’t do it kid gloves on! I appreciate that.

And Thank You, my readers. I’ve had the pleasure to share with you parts of my life and hear your thoughts as well.

Oh, one last Thank You, I get my girls back from the grandparents tomorrow! I miss my babies. They had a month of hanging out with the grandparents and I am grateful and happy that soon they will be back.

May you find joy and happiness; for life is best lived with joy!

The Week That Was

Gratitude Friday

Oh goodness. It’s been a heck of a week! If a lifetime can be packed into seven days, this was the week that was. I’m not sure where to even start a recap. I’ve been on G+ way too much! The outpouring of poetry that’s spilling out of my soul has swamped my G+ wall. I need to copy all of it to my poetry blog. I’m really glad I’m writing poetry again. It’s been over a decade since I’ve had this much coming out. It’s taken a bit of following in other’s footsteps to get that muscle working again. But it worked and now I’ve got a flood just pouring out. No way am I sticking the stopper in it again!

With my girls visiting with grandparents, I’ve worked on a lot of internal projects. In the process, I’ve lost myself, found myself, deeply felt every emotion, cried my eyes out and found something I wasn’t even looking for. That was actually last week. Much of it continued through this week too. I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a nutter, okay, never mind, I know I’m a nutter; I had an experience that I can only describe as mystical touching of the Divine.

The hard part to accepting this experience is I want to share this so much. To share the joy of this and I found I could not. Not because of fear, I have lost that but because my loved ones lack understanding of me and well just me. The only person I desperately wanted to share this with, well, was not receptive is an understatement. It is a worthy lesson.

However, I refuse to let other’s actions diminish the joy and happiness I found. I am happier than I have been in a very long time. I’m smiling so much my cheeks hurt. I am laughing and cracking jokes with my husband. I can feel the twinkle in my eyes! My heart feels so much lighter. It’s left me dancing!

Oh, joy abundant and overflowing!

So, onward to the joys of thankfulness;

Thank You for leaving the footsteps I followed. I may have been miles behind but each step brought me closer to me and taught me lessons along the way.

Thank You for my insanity. I know, that’s odd. Yet It’s me and I’m really glad to be just me, not some other mask that’s worn, not some pale shadow of a woman, not some appendage of another’s personality.

Thank You for all of life’s joys. Oh, these joy’s make all the pickles of life worthwhile.

Thank You for Music! Oh, yes, music. To get lost in the sounds and words that move the soul brings me a joy, a happiness.

Thank You for my Men in my life. I know, oh I know how difficult I am to live with. I’m stuck in my own head 99% of the time. Yet all of you have stood by me, held my hand when I needed it, offered comfort when I asked and have continued to prove your love for me just by being you. You are all my safe harbors when my ship blows into your ports. Thank you for being what I’ve needed. I am loved, so very much loved. I love you all.

grins Now as I end this, let me encourage all of you to go out there and love. Take a risk and love.

Oops, one more thing. Check out this artist, Aurora.

For Us, The Survivors

Today is Gratitude Friday here where I would normally post my week’s gratitudes. World events normally I do not comment on yet I would like to offer some tender thoughts to you all.

 

For Any and All Who Hurt

In the moments of our greatest sorrows
Find the Grace of Thankfulness
And say the words the heart needs to hear,
“Thank You for being in my Life.”

Move into the spirit of love,
For our darkest shadows are
Banished in front of the
Brightest Sun.

copyright Isabella LeCour

Always Love

Sighs, how the fuck is this Gratitude Friday?
Last time I looked it was Monday.

So much missing time. And it looks like the world decided to burn.

I’m heart-heavy to write this one. I need to find that silver in all those grey clouds.

Thank You that I am alive.
Thank You that I have these moments.
Thank You for the memories and being there for me.

Somewhere deep inside me is a place that glows brightly full of love.
Every tragedy I’ve experienced or heard of, I open the doors and shine.
Hate can not be defeated with hate.

Love Anyway.
Say Thank you Anyway.

Take that with you.
It’s the only thing I know of that’s of any worth.

Love Always.
Go forth an’ Shine!