Hermes’ Shoes

Repost of sorts.

Today I find myself walking with Hermes’ shoes on. Bits of fairy dust seem to have caught in my hair like shards of light in a forest of tight mountain pines. 3 hours into my day, I discovered I was full of gratitude. Where did it come from? I would like to find this spiriting again. I can’t help but admit, being thankful must be good for me.

People talk about gratitude to the fellow traveller of life as if it were pill, or morning chore to get over before play. But today, it came to me like a music-gram at my door. And there it is, the opening of the door.

Today my kids reminded me that no matter how much we get in life, (the little cherubs!) we will always want more. Coming out of Barnes and Noble post cookies and purchases, they were still listing off their desires. Us adults are not so different, we just package our orders differently. However, wanting more and ingratitude are different and not necessarily related. We agree with Nathaniel Hawthorne in “The Birth-Mark,” that we can have gratitude despite it.

“My poor Aylmer!” murmured she.

“Poor? Nay, richest, happiest, most favored!” exclaimed he. “My peerless bride, it is successful! You are perfect!”

“My poor Aylmer,” she repeated, with a more than human tenderness, “you have aimed loftily; you have done nobly. Do not repent that with so high and pure a feeling, you have rejected the best the earth could offer. Aylmer, dearest Aylmer, I am dying!”

So how do we “open the door” to gratitude amidst the wanting? Open your door any way you can, my friend.  I’ll watch and hope to learn from you.  Today mine opened without me even realizing the part I played.  Thinking back now, I remember that last night I asked my husband to pray for me. I believe that was the way I opened the door. It was a friendly thing to do.

Self Care Tip – Cultivate being thankful. Be a friend to yourself.

Questions:  How do you open the door to gratitude in your life?  How do you want more without losing gratitude?  Please tell us your story.

The Spider Sat Down Beside Her – Mental Illness

Self-Care Tip #178 – Find your courage and answer to stigma.

The Little Miss Muffet scenario explained by D...

Image via Wikipedia

Something as simple as taking pills can sabotage us.  The act of putting it in our mouths signifies all sorts of things from religion, to freedom, to personal identity and beyond; even someone who is trustworthy versus not.  Pill – take away her children.  No pill – could be president.  Pill – discredit whatever he says.  No pill – worth listening to.

Martha is a mother of four lovely girls.  Her husband is divorcing her and she wonders what he will do in the process.  She’s been depressed in the past and anxious with a history of panic attacks.  She took two years to get over them using breathing exercises and other therapies. She didn’t use medication.  I don’t need to tell you what her husband thought of meds or of her during that time.  It was a miserable time for her.

Now, during this new stressful time, she has relapsed in mood and anxiety problems and is terrified that if her husband finds out, he’ll take the kids.  Martha sees mental illness as a bullying tool for anyone to dump her over.  Little Miss Muffet is a story she often has compared to her situation.  The spider is the mental illness she feels is dangled over her to her demise.  Martha is bullied and scared away.

Taking pills makes me feel like I’m crazy!

Note: it’s a type of crazy she interprets as being something different from the crazy of mental illness.  For Martha, the crazy that comes with medication therapy is more sinister and discrediting than the worst experience of terror any of us have ever gone through, i.e. panic attacks.

Every day, we who take medication for emotional illness have to answer to those accusations.  We contend with the fingers pointing our way, the jeering in our memory of loved ones and the boxed presumptions we find ourselves in.

This may sound a little dramatic to some out there, although familiar.  To others, it is an understatement of what they courageously confront to take care of themselves.  Each of us must come up with our own answers and find our own courage.

Martha finally decided on medication treatment and within two days she was amazed to find that she could eat without throwing up and no longer felt anxious.  She still insisted that taking medication was only temporary but getting a pill dispenser had helped her get past some of her daily battle with stigma.  She just opened the lid and poured the pills into her palm, threw them back and swallowed without looking.  Martha found it easier not to dispense each pill each day out of each bottle.  It was also easier for her to keep this information secure in the confines of our office.  For Martha, for now, this was how she answered.

Question:  How do you answer to stigma?  How do you maintain your sense of freedom when other forces tell you that you are not free?  Please tell me your story.

Remember Love to Feel Bigger Than Your Self

A Mothers Love. The Hand of a Child.

Image by Steve Rhode via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #175 – Remember Love.

Yesterday was my son’s birthday and today we partied over him.

How old are you?

He looks at his fingers and sees how many come up before he answers,

Four.  I’m four!

Right now, he feels really big.  He blows his lid if anyone says otherwise.  And because he’s never been above the bottom twentieth percentile on the growth curve, and because he’s four years old and the youngest of three, and because he’s so small, when he says, “I’m big!” looking serious over, yet under you with his bottle cap eyes, it’s really hard to keep straight.  But more often I do …until he loudly says,

I love you the whole day, Mommy!  The whole day!  You are my friend!

Then it’s over for me.  I can’t stay off of him.  He’s just too beautiful.  His open forwardness humbles me and I remember that it’s Love that makes us great.  It’s Love that brings us to our knees.  It’s Love, more than this stack of years, inches and knowledge that makes my son bigger than me when I forget Love.  He doesn’t.  He’s just too small to.  Four years of Love is big.

Questions:  What has helped you remember Love lately?  What has made you feel bigger than your own self?  Please tell me your story.