Let Go and Move On

Let go of old belief systems. You know, the things ingrained in your brain that hold you back or pin you down. You know what I’m talking about. It might be a family superstition, a religious dogma, an expectation or opinion of you, or a statement made against you. This could be a past humiliation, something that binds you in shame or guilt or causes you a lack of confidence. Many of these boulders of principle date back to our childhoods. Yes, I call them boulders because they weigh so much on our emotional bodies that we are unable to move our physical and intellectual bodies to start the work we need to do. When you can move this block in your mind you enter the wonderful world of emotional and spiritual freedom.

Honor what is true. How do you know what is right? First of all, the ego lies. When we choose to do the right thing it usually resonates in either our heart or gut, sometimes both. The guidance of prayer or meditation helps pave the way, not what someone else tells you is best for you. The answers will come, but you must be willing to listen to spirit.

Clip those wings and fly!

Balance

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” ~Rumi, The Essential Rumi

IMG_4824As the days wear on, I am becoming more and more of myself.

In life we experience both contraction and expansion.We are the unfurling flowers of the universe. It is in our nature to expand. When we choose to contract does that make us the dying bud? I don’t think so. It is necessary at times for us to contract in order to learn. It pushes us to open up to the world. You must know one to know the other; kind of like having to experience the dark in order to know light. Who wants to spend a lifetime shut off, hardening?

When we are cold, uncaring, suffering from guilt or shame we are contracting. We are unable to forgive in a shriveled state. When we are stagnant, we don’t experience growth which is vital to fulfilling purpose and finding peace.

When we set our intentions to believe in life and the guidance of spirit, we open ourselves to love; we expand. When we surrender to Spirit, we receive truth and extend love, thus entering the dwelling of gratitude. It is impossible not to be at peace when one lives a life of gratitude. Sure you might experience rough times. Pain is paramount to growth. You will even shed tears as you will be sensitive to the good and bad of the world. But because you know it’s a part of the purpose you’re not in a state of anxiety.

Grace allows us to let go of fear and anger. Grace leads us to forgive. This is expanding. Have you ever noticed how difficult life seems when you are contracted and how easily it flows when you are expanded? This is a part of coming in tune with the nature of our true selves.

What do you believe? It makes all the difference.

Where is the heart guiding? Is the spirit energized, is it blossoming? Are you coming into yourself?

In reality, we have a choice of contracting or expanding.  Finding peace is a choice as well…we choose the road we travel.

Growing Pains

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

In times of loss and grief, we often grow in what we consider unconventional ways if we allow ourselves the opportunity. Sometimes truth smacks us in the face and changes our reality. We are at a crossroads. We can stay right where we are, or we can move on. We can choose to embrace change, or we can choose to delve into a mire of anger, disbelief, regret, or guilt. It takes time and exploration to come to terms with grief.

We might even want to pretend a loss has not occurred. Denial is not that difficult if we’ve lost someone with whom we didn’t have daily connection. When the moment arises that we want to pick up the phone and share something with them, it hits. Then, we become angry. We blame the person if we feel in any way they could have avoided death, or we take it out on God. We question Him and yell at Him. And then we bargain and beg to not let it be true. We break down and tell Him what a devastation this is to us. We could possibly sink into a state of depression. We even sometimes get to the point that we feel nothing at all. We might even choose to escape reality by living within our memories.

But somehow throughout this process, peace can find us. Or do we find peace? I think it’s always there, waiting to be tapped deep within us. I suppose this peace comes with acceptance, knowing that we can’t change reality. I don’t think it means that we are completely healed of sadness or even bouts of anxiety. I think it means we’ve come to terms and are willing to go through the range of emotions that are necessary for the healing process to take place.

We need support of family and friends even though there are times we wish to withdraw from societal pressures. We learn both ways. Other people help us with perspective as we often focus only on ourselves. They help us see things we haven’t considered. Time alone helps us get to know ourselves and where we stand in the midst of grief. We have to choose to walk the journey. We must choose to see what is in front of us. No one else can do it for us. When we make that choice, we learn the fragility of life, sacredness of death, and the beauty of both.

In my family (or maybe it’s the South) death is ritual. It happens, sometimes “timely”, other times tragically. Community pulls together. We comfort through food, cards, calls, visits, and prayers. Above all we talk. Even if we are not open to what is really on one another’s mind, we are there in the physical sense. We memorialize our deceased. Though we miss them, continue to shed tears, and often recall memories. Eventually, we move on.

I don’t recall ever taking any lessons of death back into my life. Maybe it’s because I have never lost a close relation as my brother. Maybe it’s because his life has offered extraordinary lessons for us to discover and put into practice. Maybe, I’m at a point in my life that I am aware of circumstance around me. It might be as simple as the fact that I am not willing to let these lessons be wasted.

I am able to recognize my resistance to change. Growing, even emotionally, is exhausting and painful work. Being highly emotive, I often try to stifle my feelings. I become stressed, and I stunt my own emotional growth. I am in charge of my progress, no matter how painful (or pleasant) it might be. We are faced with opportunities for growth daily. We often fail to identify them. We even ignore obvious signs. Possibly, we might fear change or pain.

In deciding to examine my brother’s legacy, reflect upon my life mark, and apply these lessons as I see fit, I am choosing to expand my world. To do anything less, in my opinion, is not honoring his life or memory.

Let Your Love Light Shine

When you blame others, you give up your power to change. ~Author Unknown

I’ve recently read some really good blog posts on powerful subjects. Sana wrote an excellent one on self responsibility. I read another one on blame, one on life regrets, and yet another about guilt. (Sorry I can’t remember who authored these.) While we deal with all these in our own realities, there are times, often tragedy, that we experience all these emotions at once. It’s a conflicting whirlpool that has the ability to drown us if we allow it.

Regret, guilt, and blame have no place in a heart that wants to move forward. Healthy relationships are based on love and acceptance. It all starts with self responsibility. When we become responsible to ourselves we become respectful to ourselves and others. We alone are responsible for our own realities.

Blame fills our lives with anxiety and stifles our personal growth, not to mention the guilt and devastation it places on others. I once had a pastor who said that whenever we point a finger at someone we have three more pointing back at us. Hearing that years ago had a profound effect on me. That doesn’t mean I’ve never done it since, but usually in reflection I do catch it and try to right my wrong. And though it happens at times, it should not be a way of life. The way to a fulfilling life is through self responsibility, love, acceptance, and forgiveness.

Blame only succeeds in making others feel guilty which does nothing to solve the problem. The root is usually unhappiness for one reason or another of the person inflicting blame. Often people are afraid to explore why they feel the way they do. It takes a strong person with good values to reflect and mend. Finding fault does not create remedies. Accusations only cause more pain. Blame is simply a copout. We can’t change circumstances or other people, but we can change ourselves and our perceptions. In fact, perceptions are another reason we blame others. We too often only see how things affect us. If we remove ourselves from the situation, things look much differently. Not everything in life is about us, and sometimes none of it is about us.

Self-responsibility starts with you and me. We might grow up with certain attitudes and tendencies but if we are wrong it is our own responsibility to fix ourselves. We need to make ourselves accountable. We may not be able to control all, but we each have the power to shape our own destiny. We have an obligation and an opportunity to do what is right. Acceptance and forgiveness are practices we should incorporate into our daily lives. We all have the ability to give and receive love. And truly at the end of the day, isn’t that all we really want? When we take responsibility we are humbled and others place their trust in us, and we do the same in return. When we do this, our relationships flourish, and we as individuals expand. We touch others with our love and our lives, and they in turn do the same. We become the ripples in the pond.

We waste too much time wallowing in the dark cave of self pity when we can be out creating sunshine. When we’ve done right, we have peace in our heart. That alone gives us the power to let the situation go and move on. Forgiveness releases us more so than whom we think we are forgiving. Forgiveness is freeing, like the sun rising each morning. May we each go out and be the sun in someone else’s life.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. ~George Bernard Shaw

I Had The Ability To Drive People AWay!

This sweet little face looks innocent enough, right? I realize I look about ten there, but I was actually twelve. Late bloomer, what can I say. Anyway, back to innocence. I really didn’t get in much trouble. Two reasons. First being that I was usually coaxed into doing things. My siblings usually put me up to things, and apparently the folks were onto them. Second reason being that when I did get up nerve enough to do something wrong, I was usually quite careful not to get caught. Yes, I was sneaky.

Being that I didn’t get caught doing things that weren’t nice, does not mean that when I did get in trouble that I was actually guilty. Trust me, my mother often accused me of things I never had any intention of doing. At least, not until she put the ideas in my head with her accusations.

When I was about twelve, my brother and his newly wedded wife lived behind my folks. He married a city girl, and we lived WAY out in the country. No telephone; heck we were lucky we had electricity and indoor plumbing. Seriously, it took us forty-five minutes to drive to the nearest city. Anyway, knowing that she was probably lonely my cousin and I decided to go over and visit with her. We regaled her with tales of our childish exploits. We stayed for about an hour, thinking we had a great time entertaining her.

Boy, did poop hit the fan the next day! My mother gave me a tongue lashing of a lifetime. Apparently, my cousin and I were much more annoying than we ever dreamed. She had told my mother that we were showing up all the time and spending all day (one time and one hour!) , and not allowing her to get anything done. In short, we were driving her crazy! My mother informed me of what a disgrace and embarrassment I’d caused her not to mention the agony I put my poor sister in law through. When I reported this to my cousin she was as floored as me. We really couldn’t understand what we had done wrong. After that I avoided my sister in law like the plague. I was always afraid of saying too much to her lest I get on her nerves. Shortly after that they moved many states away to her home town. Maybe, my chattiness drove her away!

This is an entry for Mama’s Losin’ It! I chose promt 4.) The craziest reason I ever got in trouble as a child.
(inspired by Audreya…

Not Her Fault

“Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.” ~Coco Chanel

How one deals with the loss of life varies from person to person. There is the personality of the person experiencing the loss and that person’s relationship to the deceased. We’ve all lost someone we loved or knew at sometime, and we’ve all dealt with death in our own perspectives. Just imagine if you were held accountable or felt responsible for that loss of life.

My mother killed a man. No, she did not aim to kill him. It was an accident. No fault of her own. And she has had to live her life with that haunting her.

This in fact happened when I was about six or seven years old. My mother remembers everything vividly except the date. I think God that she can’t recall the exact date because if she did it would be a day of trepidation every year. She has enough difficulty reliving it as often as she does.

When this happened my mother had just dropped my father off to hunt with his boss. This was a night hunting exhibition. A cat had crawled underneath her car, and she was afraid it might get caught in her motor, so she refused to leave until my father had freed the cat. Shortly after dropping him off she heard and felt an unbelievable thump. She knew she had hit something but never saw anything. She pulled into the nearest residence. She was so upset she couldn’t compose herself to get out of the car. She just started blowing her horn. The man of the house came out and she told him she thought she might have hit someone. He took her inside. My mother was hysterical and had started going into shock. The man’s wife used smelling salts to bring her around and they called the local authorities. They tended to my mother while waiting for the area law enforcement.

They found a dead man in the middle of the road. He was dressed in all dark clothes which made him blend into the night. He had been drunk and apparently weaving about his way in the road. This was a man known in that particular area to get drunk and roam the roads by foot at night. The neighbors had often driven around him as he reeled to and fro and side to side. Note that my mother did not live in that area.

The officer came and he told my mother that the accident was just that, an accident. He told her it was absolutely unavoidable. He told her that there would not be any charges filed against her, and he tried his best to calm her down. They sent information by CB radio to my father’s boss that my mother had been in an accident and was shaken badly and that he was needed at the scene. Of course, my father assumed that she’d been physically hurt. Anyway, My father took my mother back home.

I recall my mother sitting us around the kitchen table the next day and while sobbing she relayed to us that she had killed a man. Being of the young tender age that I was I assumed my mother shot him or something until she explained how it happened. I still remember the fear enveloping my body and immobilizing me to the chair. When I become so afraid that I can’t move, my teeth chatter and my body visibly trembles. There have only been a few times in life that I have ever felt that way, and this was one of them. I waited and waited all day for the police to come cart her off to jail and take all of us to the nearest orphanage.

That Monday, my mother allowed us to stay home from school. Maybe she thought it was in our best interest not to have to deal with the talk that invariably goes around in small southern towns. Well, that day a police car pulled into our drive way. I ran up and hid behind one of the sofas sitting on the porch. Barely breathing as not to make a sound, I did not budge until I heard the sputtering gravel of the car pulling out of our driveway. I ran inside screaming for my mother, fully expecting not to find her. I didn’t understand why she was not hauled off, but was so comforted that she home.

Immediately after news of the accident and death surfaced, the phone calls started. I’m referring to the ones that anonymously yelled or whispered “murderer” or “killer” and other horrible things. They continued for weeks, all hours of the day and night. I went back to school to find my very best friend who was a boy to taunt me that my mother was a murderer. Of course, in those days, they didn’t have school counselors to help you get through difficulties like that. It seemed like forever, but in reality, I don’t know how long, for things to calm down.

I just recently asked my mother why the police came to our house that day. She told me that it was the same officer who answered the call on the night of the accident. And he came because he was worried about her. He tried to convince her to see a doctor for her nerves. I guess he was concerned she’d have a mental breakdown.

Anyway, the family of the man did try to press charges. However, the D.A., said that under the circumstances there was absolutely no case. It was an accident, in actuality caused by the victim.

So, our lives went on. At least, they appeared to have. What I never knew (because she never talks about it) was that a part of my mother ceased to live after that. She told me that now, about forty years later, she continues to have nightmares. She said that sometimes when she hears of a bad wreck or some other event, those horrible memories resurface. When that happens, the nightmares come back. Sometimes for days. Sometimes weeks. She still holds guilt for something she could not have prevented. Even in accidents, the “victim” is not always the only victim.

Guilty As Sin, Or Not

Are you a guilt prone type of person? I am. If you even suggest I might have done it, I’ll believe I did do it. When I was younger, I got in the habit of thinking that whatever unpleasant things happened were somehow my fault. I’ve always been ready to take the blame for things that I have not done nor had any intention of doing. And when I really was guilty, I’d often confess, unless of course, it meant I was going to get into a lot of trouble. Which in that case I only admitted guilt if I got caught!

Once my cousin and I decided to skip school and go into the city to the mall and shop for prom dresses. My cousin’s car was a little off white kinda grey VW beetle bug, you know the old original ones. It was kind of an obvious little doo hickey when it was zipping through our little town. My cousin started to pass this big slow logging truck. Right as she got to the front of the truck near the cab, I could see it was blue, I knew without even looking at the driver that it was my father. We both nearly crapped our pants. Did we slow down, not pass him, and take the first exit and head to school? It would have been the smart thing to do, but oh no, we sped up smiled and waved at him as we passed. He smiled back, nodded his head, and waved his hand. Hmmmmm? We continued on to the mall. We spent all day there and got home just minutes before he did.

First I told my mother that I had skipped school and she was not angry. I was a very good student, so my grades wouldn’t have been affected, but she assumed my dad would be mad because I didn’t have permission. He acted like nothing was up, but I decide to approach the subject anyway while we are eating dinner.

Me: So, you saw us when we passed you and waved at you today? We skipped school and went into town.

Daddy: I never saw you. Wait what did you say?

My cousin looked at me like she was ready to kill me, and I was ready to remind her that she was the idiot that passed him on the highway. I was only a passenger.

Me: Oh, never mind.

Daddy: You just said you skipped school.

Me: You saw us. You waved at us when you passed.

Daddy: I never saw you. I wave at everyone.

Then he wanted to know why I didn’t go to school and if I’d missed anything. He asked my mom if she would’ve let me and she told him yes. So, he said he was ok with it since I came clean.

The other kind of guilt that I’m talking about is like when someone makes a reference about someone or something and I automatically think they are talking about me. The kind of vague accusations that make me second guess my actions and motives wondering if there was any possible way I’d unintentionally offended them. Usually, it is not in reference to me but still in the past I have spent countless hours wondering if I’d said something to hurt their feelings. I even feel a stab of guilt when total strangers relay stories to me. What the heck is wrong with me? Is there actual evil lying beneath my good intentions that everyone but me sees? Why am I so willing to take the blame for things of which I have no control? Is it somehow granting me power?

I’ve also read blogs that refer to other bloggers negatively, and I wonder if they’re referring to me. I worry that I’ve made a comment that was taken the wrong way.

Another example is that I can be cruising down the highway doing the speed limit and I hear an approaching siren and look to see those flashing lights of a police car. I automatically think it is coming for me. I think I have inadvertently broken a law.

I am one of these shoppers that makes sure my sales receipt is in view if I’m carrying a purchase to may car that is not bagged. Or if the beeper at the door goes off, I stop and wait for security to check me or wave me on. It’s almost as if I need to be assured of my innocence.

I don’t spend countless hours worrying anymore because I realize these are things of which I have no control. However, I am embarrassed to admit this underlying guilt.

I am willing to accept responsibility when I am wrong, but why I am I willing to accept blame when I am innocent?

Failing To Follow A Feeling

 small cycle

I’ve always been told that I have good intuition. I always assumed it meant more or less that I am a good judge of character. As I got older, I often have what I call gut feelings or instincts about something. I might decide to take the long way home or suddenly drop my plans for the day and do something totally unexpected.

These don’t sound like big things. And by doing them, I really don’t know what harm I may have prevented. But I do know that I have avoided traffic jams or accidents that have occurred about the time that I would have been there. I have met people I would not have ordinarily met that  have ended up impacting my life. And by suddenly having an urge to call someone I’ve happened to reach out at their exact moment of need. Coincidence? Possibly.

I also know that by NOT following my instincts I have found myself in harms way. I have blogged about being held up at gunpoint many years ago. When this happened I was at work alone, and a man came in and asked some questions and left. I have to say that he was very polite, but I got really strange vibes. I remembered that a friend was held up while working at a fast food restaurant. I got up and locked the doors to my office. Then, I felt guilty because I knew my boss would be angry if someone came by to make an appointment or pay on an account and I had the door locked. Even though I was still apprehensive, I unlocked the door. Within minutes, someone entered and I had a gun in my face. Had I listened to the urging, I wouldn’t have been placed in that predicament. But while I was staring down the steal barrel, I prayed and a voice in my head guided me out of the situation.

Most of you know that I had not until recently shared my blog with my family. And I still am not openly inviting people to read it. I have more or less accepted that fact that I have been found out. Anyway, I had been FaceBook friends with my cousins ex-wife. She had moved away to another state, and we hadn’t been in contact in years. We became reacquainted on FB, and generally left messages for one another each week. I enjoyed talking with her. She would make nice comments and recall memories about my parents as she was quite fond of them. For some strange reason on Sunday, I had a strong urge to send her a message and invite her to read my blog. I had been thinking of how she would probably really enjoy the stories I’d posted about my family. It was a feeling that I couldn’t shake. In fact, I even went as far as starting a message on my inbox and deleting it. I went to bed that night with it still nagging at me. All day Monday, it tugged at me. I went back and forth with the fact that I thought she’d enjoy it, and then to the possibility of others starting to read it and misinterpreting things I’ve written. The feeling persisted all day Monday and I struggled with it. Choosing whether or not or with whom to share my writing really shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But it is to me. Anyway, I really wanted to share it with her, but the idea of it going past her to others stopped me. When I got up Tuesday morning, apparently the nudging had stopped because I did not give it a second thought…until my mother called me that afternoon to tell me that this very person had been found dead (heart attack) that morning. Now, I know that if I had given into my instinct and done it, it would not have changed the outcome what so ever. Maybe, we would have had a few more laughs together over the internet. Maybe, we would have felt a closer bond. I really don’t know. I do know that it was a lost opportunity for a few last exchanges between us. Was that a sixth sense or intuition ? Was it mere coincidence? What do you think?

The Soul Of My Matter

I was once visited a dark and lonely place, and I stayed there a while. I’d start to leave and I just couldn’t break completely away. I didn’t choose to go there. No one chooses depression; it chooses you. It was a place I didn’t understand, so I couldn’t expect those around me to understand it.

It started with the hold up. The fears, some real, some absolutely over the top spun out of control. Anxiety set in and then the panic attacks started. I probably actually had post traumatic stress syndrome but as my symptoms escalated it closely resembled depression. While I was getting help for this, I decided to try to work through some other issues from my past. And to top it, my best friend from high school was dying of cancer. So, I actually had a multitude of emotional issues going on along with working full time, raising children, and trying to run a household.

I went through several series of anti-anxiety meds and anti depressants. When they weren’t working, I sunk deeper into myself. I liked calling it introspection. Truth be told, I liked that I was untouchable. I didn’t have to face these demons head on and work through them. I liked calling myself a victim and blaming everyone for everything that wasn’t exactly the way I wanted it in my life. I was a control freak who had lost total power over her life. I threw a very long pity party for myself and remained a prisoner of my own mind for way too long. When I go back now and read poetry I wrote at that time, I shake at how morbid it is. I once ripped it to shreds and tossed it into the trash, only to find about a year later that I’d typed a lot of it and had another copy. Now, I can read it and be happy for how far I’ve come.

In retrospect, I feel badly for how diligent my therapist had to be session after session to repeat the process to win my trust in her which usually took until almost the end of each session. She was ever gentle and patient in pulling details from me. But she didn’t give up on me even when I’d surrendered to misery.

This was really hard on my family. My husband is a gracious man. How he could continue to love a woman who didn’t love herself at the time is beyond me. He gave me time. He gave me space. He showered me with love and understanding. He took care of our kids during the moments that I was unable. Physically, I was there for everything, but I remained at a distance emotionally. He let me cry even when I could not explain myself. He tried to understand when he couldn’t get it. I didn’t understand either, and I blamed myself. I felt guilty for being terrible at being a wife and mother. I felt guilty for holding resentment for things that were not meant to harm me. I was in pain, and I wanted it to go away. I wanted to go away.

Finally, the rights meds were found, and life got better. I was happy again, most of the time. Then, I felt like the meds were a crutch. I wanted to ditch them. My doctor did not advise it. I tried a few times unsuccessfully. I had a void in my life that I couldn’t fill. I was active in my community and in my church. I appeared to have it all together. But I was incomplete and lacked peace.

Then, someone came into my life that was full of love and grace. She became in the form of a pastor’s wife, and she became my friend. She listened to me, prayed for and with me, and supported me. She asked me to try to surrender myself to God instead of misery. One day, the turmoil in my head and heart was so bad, that I threw myself to the floor and asked God for mercy and guidance. It was draining. When I finished I was both emotionally and physically exhausted. But that was my turning point. I started depending on Him to help me. Now, I’d be lying if I said that when I laid it at the foot of the cross I left it because I didn’t. I picked my baggage back up every now and then, and I’d have to remind myself to give it back. I needed my therapist less and less. I weaned off my meds without her knowledge. I would not advise anyone to do this. When I admitted that I’d been off of them for a few months, she was astounded. She wanted to know what the turning point in our therapy had been because she couldn’t pinpoint it, and she was amazed at how I’d suddenly changed my attitude and my life. I told her that though she had been helpful, that welcoming God into every part of my life was what gave me the ability to continue, to change my perspective, and to live.

My friend died a few years ago. I still hadn’t completely worked through all of my issues and perspectives. I hadn’t let go of resentments or learned the art of forgiveness. But I credit her with the push that got me started on a journey that I am enjoying. She taught me that it was ok to be angry with God and to tell Him. And in telling Him, I found the peace that has come within. I was able to find the bigger picture in my experiences. I am able to see the growth in my life. I am not a highly competitive or successful person, but I am content. My life is not perfect and there is the occasional chaos and worry but deep down I have a peace that all is well with my life. I no longer attend church on a regular basis. However, my personal relationship with God is ongoing and strong. I feel I can reach out to Him and He will hear me. Anytime. Anywhere. I’ve learned to let go and let God.

I’ve looked for the good in the worst of circumstances and found these experiences have shaped me into who I have become and who I am still becoming. These situations in my life have become quite small in the big scheme of this thing called my life. It has been in changing my perspective that I’ve allowed peace to envelope me.

I’ve learned that making mistakes doesn’t make me less worthy as long as I learn from them. I’ve learned to take risks in trusting and loving. I’ve learned to accept myself and others for who we are and who we are becoming. I like the place I am at right now. It changes daily as there is so much to decipher and absorb. I’m learning to take each ordinary day and find the extraordinary in it. My heart and soul are currently balanced, secure, and comfortable. I have found home within myself. It’s funny that I’d never found security in my mind, but I trusted my heart. I am having a difficult time finding the distinction between my heart and soul. I now wonder if this balance that I feel between my head and heart is really what comprises my soul.

I don’t claim to have the answers. I am only speaking of what has happened to me. I realize that I could probably make five separate posts from different parts of this single post. I really don’t feel it necessary to go into that much detail. It is still quite painful to revisit. This is probably the most difficult post I’ve written and the most personal information I’ve shared. I do hope that I’ve gotten my point across without the extra information. I know now that depression is a chemical imbalance and there is no shame in asking for help. I hope that if I ever feel myself slipping back into that dreary place that I will reach out for help or that someone close will see it and guide me to the shore.