Monday, February 7, 2011

This I Know...

Been doing some blog reading this morning. I probably shouldn't be. I do have homework and housework that are calling  my name. But I am sick. I have a fever and no energy and its times like these that all I want to do is lay in bed, reading blogs and listening to Doris Day. I know... Don't judge me. 
But when I get sick - I miss my grandma. She had a way of making everything perfect when I was sick. She would bring me my oatmeal in bed...and get this, not only bring my oatmeal but my own little sugar bowl and milk pitcher. So although I am now eating stale cereal out of the box ( a far cry from the pampering at grandma's) I am listening to some Dorris Day...and that does make me feel like she's here.

So as I came across these blogs and articles. They struck a chord with me... Check them out.

Single, Female, Mormon, Alone

 They all had a common thread. One I can relate with. But can't we all? Haven't we, those of us who have the "dream" life they write of in these articles and those of us who maybe don't fit quite so well, haven't we all experienced loneliness and pain. Isn't that what its all about. To me it is. I tell myself that every time I face a hurdle that seems bigger, more challenging and threatening than the last... "It's not supposed to be easy. That was never the plan." 

I have been really happy lately. Something that I wasn't sure I would ever feel again. People told me I would. However, in the moment it was hard to imagine a time when I wouldn't be, hmmmm what's the word, well, broken. I felt utterly broken. My family...broken. My heart...broken( that's putting it mildly) My faith and trust in others...broken. 

Now the funny thing is, its not as if all my problems have disappeared. In a lot of ways there are more. So...although some of my problems are still here (and with no end in sight)  I feel better able to handle them. I have learned so so so much through this last year. Enough that I almost want to say I am grateful for these experiences...almost.

As I have read these articles and have contemplated the last years of my life I found myself making a list...

1. To be gentler with myself.
I no longer obsess over my every misstep. I can see that each "mistake" or "failure" was an opportunity to learn - to polish off more rough edges - I can see the wisdom and growth that they brought. I was once petrified of failure. I remember being paralyzed from making any decision in fear of making a mistake. I choose now to see and treat myself the way I would treat my own daughter. Carefully. Gently. And with love. 

2. I have few regrets.
I can say that I am at peace with where I am in my life. I read this quote recently, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” I feel that I am right where I need to be...regret is useless to me.
This is supposed to be me having few regrets...hahahah.

3. The POWER of positivity.
We have heard about it for years...but its not just some "psychobabble" it really works. I have learned that you can find the good and uplifting and beautiful in ANY situation. Really...ANY situation. It has made all the difference to me. I am not perfect at it...but it was a skill I realized was going to be essential to my survival early on in this process and I use it everyday. Sometimes I forget...I start to worry...especially about my this is hurting them, what they are being exposed to when away, how they have and are still being hurt by the decisions of others and how completely unfair it is...and then I stop and remember. Remember that they are loved more than I can ever imagine by a Heavenly Father, remember that they have strengths and abilities and goodness in them that can meet these challenges, and remember that these experiences can make them more of the men they are intended to be...that they, like me can grow and learn in powerful ways from these experiences.

4. Investments
Even the smallest investment in myself pays great dividends. I have learned that investing love, a commitment to healing, time to learn and laugh with friends even in very small quantities pays back 10 fold. I am a better mother, friend and woman as I take time for me.

5. I have learned to trust myself.
This may have been the hardest one for me. For years this nagging voice inside of me convinced me otherwise. I trust myself, more that anyone besides my God. I know that I( and all of us) can do anything.  I can take care of myself, make wise decisions, and thrive in the toughest of circumstances. I know that me + God = enough. I will never let that doubtful voice convince me that I am foolish, gullible, weak or incapable again.

6. Love
I have learned to ask for and receive love and help from others. It's hard for me to do so...I really hate asking for help...being a burden, however, I am learning to ask and that's a big step for me. I have found that I have learned more about love in this year spent alone than any other time in my life. I have found friendships that have saved me. Literally. I have found that love and support may not always come in the way we envision...but its always there for us if we accept it. 

This learning has changed my life in ways I am not sure I can even describe. So, this may not make sense to anyone else...and that's okay... I just needed to do it for me.  Almost as if I am carving my name in the side of a tree...letting the world know I was there. I want to say, I have been here. This is what it looked like.


Rachel Holloway said...

Andrea--I love learning from you. While your trials have been many, I am so grateful for the incredible lessons you have learned and your willingness to share them. I always feel so inspired to be a little better after reading your posts... Thank you...thank you...thank you!

Lori McPherson said...

You are even more incredible than I remember. Keep fighting! You are one amazing mother, sister, friend, woman!

~Hartwig Family~ said...

Andrea- I love reading your thoughts and feelings. Your an amazing woman and I hope only the best of things for you.. KEEP GOING GIRL! HUGS!!!

emilia. said...

thanks for re-posting the link. i really love what you wrote. i'm happy nicole hardy wrote her essay because i think it gave all of us a reason to talk about something we don't usually discuss so frankly.


Great family!