Sunday, September 11, 2011

Laying the crutches aside

There's just something that happens on the inside of me when I gaze upon this tree,  seeing the beginnings of a path started to the right of it. A path where there wasn't one before, one that takes me from this side too the next. And when I look beyond this tree, across the stream too ground where the brush has been cleared, I cant help but giggle at how ironic this all is. Right now, this very moment in my life I am standing on the beginnings of a new path.From my old life where my parents needs were only visible to my new life. From an old life filled with brush so deep even I couldn't see a way through to a new life where all the brush has been cleared and where a clear path is now present.  My old front yard was about 80 foot long and about 14 foot wide and the only view out my front window was a two lane. The only view out my back window was my parents place.Point in case.
Now I have acres of lush green grass,ancient trees placed perfectly about and my own woods with damp floors. All the free gifts nature gives has really centered me somehow. To me, these trees are so prehistoric looking. Long before there was ever a me they were here.Behind this tree sits a delicate stream that runs right through the middle of my property and ribbons down the right side and ends flowing into the big back creek where our property ends. As you enter the path in our woods you cant miss the giant Oak tree that houses a Hawks nest the size of my car seat at the very ti-pity top, Or the giant gopher holes that have made their home below the earth. There is just something about my new life, my little piece of country with its sweet smelling aroma that causes me to slow down and take notice.

 There has not been one single day since my parents passing where I haven't felt a bit alone in this big'ol world. Spending nearly half my lifetime taking care of them, being their hands and their legs and forgoing any an all of my needs can sure take a lot out of a child. Devoting so much time,work and worry into doing what needed done and what made them happy that I guess I shouldn't of been surprised that I truly lost myself along the way. That was most apparent to me now that their gone. I was not Carolyne the wife or hard working baby sister. I wasn't even Carolyne the great friend,but rather Carolyne, my parents everything, period!!! When they died so did part of me. I not only mourned them I mourned a part of my life that no longer was. I am no ones child anymore and I am not needed in that way any longer. That was my identity. So now what? It's taken a lot to mourn that loss. It left a huge hole and I didn't know how to refill it. I forgot how to answer my own questions,take care of my own problems,stand on my own two feet or even figure out what made me happy let alone my husband,family or great friends who deserved the best part of me instead of the worn out part of me that was left. Growing into the person God intended me to be has come at a huge cost I wont lie. To be clear though, a cost I would gladly pay again to find myself. Some have not liked this new change,this new me, but as I stated I'm on a journey here and I can only pray that in time they see I'm just taking time to become and develop me and not a purposeful pushing of others out of my life.
 God uses every trial,every pain,each burden,blessing and gift, to shape and mold the inside of a man. I truly feel like a lump of clay and whether I'll be a vessel,crock or cup I have no idea but I will be something purposeful I do know that. 
There was a comfort that was present when my parents and big brother were alive..knowing just from their age alone their wisdom was priceless and trust worthy. They always had the answers,they were always in my corner and they always had my back. They always helped me find a way or at least a good place to start. They always knew where I was coming from and when I would screw up they never had me coming from a malicious place, I never had to defend myself because they knew me, they understood me. Sometimes friends and family both can forget who you are and draw their own conclusions as to the why and how you do things. As my mother used to say its easier to remember the bad then the good and as my father used to say it takes 10 atta boys to make up for one aww shit..
When that comfort & security was gone I had only to look upward and then inward. Both of which at the times seemed mighty bleak and empty.
Every day has been a process. I never fully realized how much I actually depended on them or others to help answer the questions or find the way I couldn't seem to on my own until i was left alone to answer those questions and find my own way.  It's been very hard to break a life long habit of the "I cants" and turn it into the "well damn it I have  to at least try". Soon will come the "I cans" but its a process. 
  Accomplishing something I never thought I could, living through something I never imagined I would survive has been a tremendous self confidence booster...I really thought I was self aware before but now I see I didn't have a clue..
Now im getting it.. I tried to be all things to all people. No fault in that really. But you know what??? I'm not God first off and secondly though I found joy in helping others,the problem was I had nothing left over for myself when I was in need & I've grown tired of giving up on me so easily. I gave it all away to others. Now I'm learning to save some in reserves for me. A gift of saying no. I'm not resentful either..That's not my heart or my point. I love with every fiber of my being. I can see the good in everyone and everything much easier then most. Its second nature to me.It comes far to easy to help others and neglect myself. The end result was, it also became far to easy to say I cant, because I never did, I always let someone else help me figure out the answers. It was almost like I just shut down inside. You can spend so much time and effort helping others that when you need to help yourself there's nothing left,there's no well to draw from,there's strength to muster. I was at the point of empty,with nothing left.As my good friend used to say, "sometimes just rolling out of bed to put your feet on the floor is the biggest victory you'll have that day."
Now my energies are not exhausted from helping others and I simply and rather quickly grew tired of asking for others help and I've decided to give myself a try. You go to others when you've exhausted or near exhausted all your resources, not before you even try. Lesson One.
And I'm not having an attitude, there's no anger in this for me, no resentment or payback. Though some may think I have pulled away in reality I'm really just  pulling myself together. My thinking hasn't come from others letting me down because the opposite is true, I have incredible friends and family but rather the time has come for me to stand on my own two feet and put the same deserved effort I put into others into myself now.  
I've leaned to hard on others in my past. When in truth I could have helped myself but let others who had their own baggage shoulder mine instead because I was so exhausted and worn out. It leaves a person pretty darn humble I'll tell ya.
  My life now, in all aspects, has been quite the challenge and I'd be lying if I didn't say it feels like a test at All times. But if the end result is a better me, a more self confident me so I can take care of myself kinda me, and  only then truly & wholly be there for all those who've aided me in this journey then I'll be most doubly blessed.
Psalms 118:24 "this is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."