Just Me

It’s just me.

Just me sitting here another day, wanting something more.

Just me wondering why I am so scared to chase what I want.

Wishing I could be more than a Just.

Only I have no idea how.

I am nothing but a Just.

 

But its not just you.

Just you is a presence that cannot be shaken.

Just you does more than some people ever dream.

You are more than a Just.  So much more.

Only you have no idea.

There is nothing Just about you.

 

It’s just me, and it’s just you.

It’s just us, and what a wonderful Just that would be.

Just.jpg

Photo Credit: Unknown

Advertisements

Meet Sophie

I have always been a fan of the underdogs.  The scrappy ones.  The fighters.  The ones who aren’t suppose to win but do.  I think it is because I have normally been an underdog, the type of person that people under estimate.  I also have a weak spot for strays.  It doesn’t matter if they are animals or people.

It was just a normal night in the Summit house, when my roommate and one of our friends came back with a little bundle.  She had climbed up into a farmers engine to stay warm, and ended up riding all the way into the city with him.  Until he stopped at a gas station and she climbed out and found my friends.  They brought her back to our house.  I held her in my arms and it was love at first sight.

Frozen cuties.gif

Don’t take me for some crazy cat lady, but I couldn’t help but feel like we were meant to find each other.  That in some way we belonged together.  I just knew from the very moment I held her, that I was never going to let her go.

Sophie

I know I told you, it was love at first sight, and I was not going to let anyone take her from me.  It was not without challenges though.  I had to convince my roommates, some were easier than others.  Next came a very well planned out speech to my landlord.  There was a lot of uncertainty during that week, and with that came the tears at the thought of losing her.  But my some miracle, probably the same one that brought us to each other, she became officially mine.

She makes it easy to love her.  She is the sweetest and most fearless cat I have met.  She will love anyone.  The only time she ever makes noise is when she is purring.  She sometimes follows me around like a little puppy dog.  Its quick adorable.

I took her to her first vet visit last night.  I had guessed she was probably about 6 months old.  To my surprise the vet told me that at not even 5 lbs, little Sophie was already about a year old.  She did not grow normally due to being malnourished during her first year, and it was likely that she would never grow to be the size of normal cats.  To break my heart further, the vet also told me that the tip of her tail had fallen off due to frostbite.   And she currently didn’t have enough muscle mass to be able to hold her tail up.  He gave her medicine for her respiratory infection, ear mites, and roundworm. She was a trooper through all of it.

I think that is why I fell in love with her right away.  I could tell she was ridiculously tough but also immensely sweet.  A combination which is just as rare in cats as it is in humans.

It breaks my heart to think of her being cold and all alone with out any food.  How can something so sweet and little have such a hard life behind her?  We are also just starting the heart of South Dakota winters.  Meaning we have negative temperatures with windchill making it even colder.  I can’t help but thinking that if I hadn’t found her when I did, she would have likely not survived the winter.

I think it can be easy to save that I saved her.  While that is true, I think it is more accurate to say that she saved me.  I can’t explain it other than she has just made my life better.  Sometimes I think she is a little angel sent to me in cat form.  I know she will always be in my corner, because she is a fighter like me.

She is my little badass survivor.

Sophie 2

 

 

Lessons on Love Part 2

It is no secret that the people we love the most have the biggest ability to hurt us., because they should have known better.  We understand that the world is not fair.  We expect strangers to let us down or to be rude to us.  We don’t expect that from those we love.  Which is why it hurts so much when they do.

People are complicated.  At least I know I am.  We have layers of the battle scars love has left us.  We do irrational things when we feel vulnerable.  We become sensitive to actions and words that were never intended to hurt us.  But they do, and we are left just as confused by it as the person who hurt us.

We barely understand ourselves sometimes, and yet we expect those we love to understand us.

Relationships are complicated.  It is just as complicated no matter if it is a relationship with a family member, best friend, or a significant other.  Any relationship worth having takes work.  It takes constant communication.  Because we have all been hurt and we all have the ability to unintentionally open up an old scar.

It will happen.  It does not matter how much someone loves you, people are complicated and we hurt each other even when we don’t mean to.  When this happens we have two ways we can react, love or hate.  We can get angry, we can hate them, and we can try to hurt them back.  Or we can choose love, which is immensely harder to do.

Hate is me focused.   When we hate, it becomes all about what we need, how we were hurt, how we didn’t get what we wanted.   If we focus on only us, we think others are out to get us.  We get angry when people don’t treat us how we think we deserve to be treated.  We become frustrated when life doesn’t seem to give us what everyone else is getting.  We get so stuck looking at our own two feet that we cannot see everything else that is happening around us.

Hate pushes other’s away, love pulls them closer.

Love is seeing past our own reflection into someone else’s reality.

Love requires us to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view.  It is understanding that they never meant to do us wrong.  In fact sometimes we may realize that we were the one being selfish.

Love is realizing that a relationship isn’t all about us.  When we love someone that means we have to put them before us sometimes.  We have to forgive them.  We have to fight for them.  We have to trust that when they say they love us they mean it, even if they don’t always show it.

For most of my life, when people hurt me I push them away.  I don’t fight for the relationship, I just run away from it.  It is hard for me to trust people – to be vulnerable with them.  It is only recently that I have started to respond in love.  To forgive someone when they have hurt me and to know that sometimes I react irrationally.  It is a lot harder, and I do mean A LOT harder.  But is also worth it.  Because when we work to restore relationships they always bounce back stronger.

hands

Photo Credit: Unknown

 

Dear You – I Know You Thought You Loved Him

Dear You,

I know you thought you loved him.  I know that you got swept up in what felt like a fairy tale.  I know you believed that it would all work out in the end because he was your soulmate, or so you thought. And finding your soulmate means something, or so you thought.  And he felt the same way, or so you thought.

He promised he would never leave, because you told him about all of the people who have left you and he understood how hard trusting someone can be for you.

But he left anyways.

And you know that in his mind he was trying to protect you, but the only thing you can feel is that he did what he always promised to never do.  And how can you forgive that?  How can you forgive yourself for opening your heart up to be broken?

But you have to forgive yourself.  You have to silence the voice in your head that tries to remind you over and over again that you should have known better. You have to learn to trust your instincts again.  Yes they were wrong, but they were also a little bit right.  You have to learn to reconcile that.

You have to learn to move on.  Dearest one you have to move on.  I know it is scary.  I know that you are too scared to open your heart because you just think it will get broken again.  Rightfully so, you are still picking up the pieces.

Because sitting here scared isn’t going to fix anything.

You have to let yourself love again. It’s about learning to love, and yes I really do mean learning.  Its about learning to allow yourself to fall in love, and to be in love.  Its about learning to be foolish in love, because love defies reason.  Its about learning to embrace the fear of being vulnerable with another human, knowing the risks of what could happen if things fell apart, but also knowing the reward if they don’t.

I know you believe yourself incapable of love, but I believe otherwise.  I know that you think your heart just healed to break, but you are wrong.

It’s okay be gentle.  Of course it hurts baby girl, of course it hurt.  Its okay to let yourself cry, even on the days when you thought your heart had healed.  It’s okay, but also know that you are strong.  You are stronger than you know.  You are tough and resilient, and you can move on.

I know you thought you loved him dear one.  I know it still hurts, some days more than others. But you will love again and it will be magnificent, just like you.

Love,

~ L

Peonies

Photo Credit: ZsaZsa Bellagio

Be Kind

Be kind,a reminder to myself and to you.

Be kind, because life is not always kind.

Be kind, even to those who are mean.

Be kind, because we are all humans and we all hurt.

Be kindest to those which are hardest to be kind to.

Be kind to those who seem tough, its an act, they cry too.

Be kind, because hate doesn’t fix anything.

Be kind as kindness begets kindness, but the same goes for hate.

Be kind to those who laugh at you.

Be kind to those who hate you.

Be kind, because the world needs more of it.

Creative-Beach-Pictures

Photo Credit: Kristen Duke

Love Wins

If I am being honest I still haven’t decide how I feel about the issue.  I know that is wishy-washy to blog about an issue I don’t have a fully established opinion on.  Then again it this may be a nice breath of fresh air instead of everyone trying to prove why they are right.

But really this day is about more than legalizing gay marriage.  It is about love.  It is about the idea that some people are more deserving of love than others.  And I am not talking about the right to get married.  I am talking about the right to be treated like a human being.  Not a freak show.  Not someone who needs to be fixed.  Not someone who has done anything deserving of all the hateful comments they receive.

You may have your opinions on this issue.  That is okay.  It is good to have opinions.  It is good to know where you stand and to stand up for what you believe in.  But in the world of social media where we can hide behind our Facebook statuses, we seem to have crossed a line.  The line that says it is more important to be right than to communicate and see both sides.

We have set our goal on being right, no matter who gets hurt in the crossfire. 

This issue is a hard one for me.  I think that is why I have had such a hard time deciding where I stand.  I grew up in a very conservative community.  I still have those conservative roots in me.  That part of me grew up believing that homosexuality is a sin.  Just like drinking, dancing, and gambling.

Then I watched this video

And so help me if I didn’t get all emotional.  Because it is impossible for me to watch two people in love and not want them to be able to spend their life together.  Just like it is impossible for me to get to know someone who is a homosexual and think that they are horrible sinful people.

Which is why I decided to not decide an opinion.  It is not up to me to decide if it is right or wrong.  Just like it is not up to me to judge anyone.

Here is the secret: it doesn’t matter what I decide about the issue, because that isn’t going to change how I treat the people. 

Its an issue about people.  It is an issue about love.

So despite how you feel about gay rights, let this simply be a day in history when love wins.  For one day, let this be a day when the hate stops, a day when people can accept others for their differences.  Let this be a day when we can just put aside our differences and see each other as who we really are: human beings desperately in need of each other’s love.

Lessons on Love

Ed Sheeran’s Afire Love is one of my favorite songs.  I can rarely listen to it and not get  a little teary eyed.

V. 1 Things were all good yesterday
And then the devil took your memory
And if you fell to your death today
I hope that heaven is your resting place
I heard the doctors put your chest in pain
But then that could have been the medicine
There you are lying in the bed again
Either way I’ll cry with the rest of them

V. 2 Things were all good yesterday
Then the devil took your breath away
Now we’re left here in the pain
Black suit black tie standing in the rain
And now my family is one again
Stapled together with the strangers and a friend
Came to my mind I should paint it with a pen
6 years old I remember when

I lost two grandparents to memory related diseases, so this song really hits home for me.  If you have never listened to the song I would recommend it.  You can listen to it here, just make sure you bring a box of tissues.

Family is a weird concept.  Family can mean the people we are born with, the people we are married to, our extended family, our immediate family, or friends who feel like family.  There many definitions, and angles, and possibilities, and people to what a family can be.  All of which leaves slightly overwhelmed and lost in what our family actually is.

It has not been an easy few years for my family.  Although I don’t think any of us would claim it has been hard, it has defiantly not been easy.  Just when we thought that we made it, that we would be okay, our sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and wife left.

Gone.

No goodbye.

No explanation.

Just gone.

How do you begin to explain to your wide eyed and way to young nieces and nephews that she just isn’t coming back?

Losing a family member is painful.  Having a family member intentionally leave you is worse.  A ghost appears, haunting you in the spaces that they use to fill.  Reminders of them are like knives that cuts through our hearts just when you think it has healed from the shattering.

We go through the stages of grief, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards.

Stages of sadness;

Stages of anger;

Stages of confusion;

Sometimes all of these stages at once mixed with unrelenting demand for the answers we know we can never have.  

So how do we cope?  How do we move on so that we can begin to love again?  How are we suppose to open up our hearts again when they already feel so rubbed raw?

My family recently got together for my niece’s dedication.  We filled up two rows at church just like we always do when we are all together.  It is a beautiful thing.  I was in the back corner of our mob, and I just watched my family interact with each other.

The pastor was talking about marriage and building a foundation of love that will last.  The whole time I just watched the way that they loved each other.  I thought about the foundation may parent’s molded into our lives.  The type of foundation that was weathered, but still stood strong.

Family

It was then that I knew we would be okay.  Better than okay, because somehow through all of the anger, sadness, and confusion we had found each other.  We had learned what it means to be a family.   A family who had arms to welcome us home and shoulders to cry on.  A family that absorbed each other into our lives fluidly as we came and went.  A family that taught me about love, the real kind of lasting love.

They taught me that love is learning to rely on each other, like clinging to a tree when all of the ground is crumbling underneath your feet.

Love is fighting for someone when the other person isn’t strong enough to fight for themselves.

Love is open arms with open hearts, even if those hearts are still a little raw.

Love is family, no matter what definition that may be.

Whispers of Love

I was reading a story about a new mother who just had twins.  Lots of people came to see them in the hospital and as well meaning people do, they would hold one of the twins and say in their baby voice something like, “You look like you are going to be a football player.”  The mother would gently take her baby back into her arms and whisper, “don’t listen to them, you can be anything you want to be.” I think I will probably be that type of mother.  The type of mother who is overly protective about the words society tries to whisper into my sweet baby’s ear.  Because despite the saying, words have the power to hurt us more than sticks and stones ever could.

I like to think that God is that type of father too.  Society doesn’t stop labeling us once we grow up.  It seems that everyone everywhere has an opinion on what type of person we are or should be.  Sometimes they keep it to themselves, and sometimes they feel the need to let us know we are not doing a good enough job of being ourselves. It is impossible to escape this feeling that we are not enough – that we are not doing enough – that we do not have what it takes to ever be enough.

It is in those moments that I believe God pulls us into our arms starts whispering love back into our tattered soul.   He whispers for us not to listen to them because he created us to be smart, loved and valuable.  He whispers that He has made us to do wonderful things with our lives and no one but Him can tell us otherwise. Continue reading