Monday, January 7, 2008

What's The Word?

I saw this post and I was inspired. Here are a few excerpts:

Several years ago, my friend Kathy and I decided that, instead of making resolutions, we would pick a word that would guide us throughout the year. It would be our touchstone....

...Get quiet over the next few days. And pick a word for the year.

Just one word. That’s all.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action....

...(for instance,) You spend a few days pondering words that will inspire you. You realize in an “Ah-Ha!” moment that you tend to cling to lots of things. You’re scared to let go. So you choose the word “Release” because it inspires you in a bigger way than “Get organized.”

So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. “Release,” you say softly. You start to let the clutter go. Eventually, you realize that you’re still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. “Release,” you remind yourself. You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. “Release” applies to some of the extra weight you’ve gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. “Release” is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.


What's MY word for the year? I'm not sure.

But now that I think about it, I've been using words and pictures for a while now myself, as I grapple my way back from depression. Last winter I learned to Rejoice In Femininity, after reading stories of transsexuals who were born feeling like women in a male bodies. The things they went through, the commitment they had, the determination to do what it took to be true to themselves-- all these things made me realize what a wonderful blessing I have to feel like a woman, and to BE a woman, and I should rejoice in it and enjoy it. That's why I started wearing makeup last spring. That's why I lobbied for Hubby to give LovelyDaughter his blessing on getting her ears pierced for earrings. I even bought myself a "big girl" watch, a dressy gold watch, instead of my practical one with the black band.

Another word I've had in my head is ATMOSPHERE. I've been inspired to create an atmosphere in our home, an atmosphere of sunny cheerfulness. That's what inspired me to re-paint, and re-arrange.

That word got its start in a picture I have that LovelyDaughter drew. It shows a little girl dancing with God in a circle of light, while all around them it's dark.

All around me in my home for a couple of years, it's gotten darker and darker. GuitarGeek has had heavy struggles with adrenal fatigue and mononucleosis and other nasty things, keeping him exhausted and discouraged. Hubby has been slowly collapsing under the weight of depression, so our self-employed finances are not doing well. DrummerDude is also fighting depression, partly because he never really bounced back from the year of the broken ankle and his own bout with mono. Our son MB3 is suffering normal teen angst, which, I think you'll agree, can be a heavy load under normal circumstances! Therefore, I have felt terribly weighted down and worried, and, because I'm not strong enough to carry everyone else's burdens, falling prey to depression myself.

But now I have that picture on my wall, and I look at it every day. I say to myself, "I'm dancing with God in a circle of light. It may be dark everywhere else, but it's light when I'm dancing with Him." I envision myself as that little girl, happy, trusting, with the darkness at bay. I hang on to that picture, because Mama may be sad when everyone else is down, but if Mama is happy, everyone else feels better. I want to walk in an atmosphere of contentment and joy and peace. Maybe it will spread to those around me, and maybe it won't, but that's okay.

Now I'm rolling more words around on my tongue, tasting them for inspiration.

JOY

TRUST

DELIGHT

YES!

CHILD-LIKE

BEAUTY

and my previous words:

ATMOSPHERE

REJOICE

How about you? What word would you choose to inspire you for the coming months?

4 comments:

Marti said...

I suppose the word would be "service", or "unity".

I started the day very disconnected. I suppose that's the place that you reach after you're as frightened and lonely and depressed as you can possibly be, and have no energy left for any of it. In the midst of it, I heard from a friend in Texas whose wife is verbally and physically abusing him and the kids to the point that he's had to divorce. My heart so went out to him that it's propelled the day forward to the point that I can actually get off the couch and go make my son some lunch.

So many are suffering right now. Peter tells us this:

I Pet. 5:6-11
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."

We can use our last strength to put our hands to our heads in despair, or we can reach those hands to the one next to us, also suffering, and let them know, 'I'm here--you are not alone'.

You need to let me know if my posts are too heavy for your blog, so that I can stop leaving them. I read all of the "oohs" and "ahhhs" and "neats", and am reminded of my differentness as expressed through my philosophical rambles. I've come to a place of peace with that as well--I am who I am, and just need to learn where to be as me and where not to be as me.

In the spirit of service and unity, I will redouble my efforts to pray for your household, as the tears start as I read and reflect.

Love you all.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I loved that post too. I am going to go with the word "Active" as I am very much a slug and hate movement, but I know movement is vital to avoiding the rainy winter depression.

As for your poor guys, I am so sorry for them, and you! It is so hard to hold everyone else up. Just remember, sometimes men need a woman to save to help kick them back into gear, so if it gets to hard you feel free to sit and cry and tell them that you need them.

Hang in there. I love the idea of walking in your own circle of light.

Marti said...

"Circle of light" was the name I was mentally giving to those joined hands. I suppose the positive term for the feeling that inspires that would be more appropriate than 'spooky' is 'awe-inspiring'. There is one Spirit of God leading us all.

Marti said...

This is going to sound like a concept from another direction on the circle of light, but all are part of the same whole. Jesus told the disciples, "I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:23)

I originally sent this as an e-mail to two friends that have some Native ancestry, and have also struggled with depression and fear. I've since found broader applications for it; it's a universal truth that we need love to keep the spirit within us vital and healthy.
_____________________________

This caught me eye, since I'm always interested in learning something about this part of my son's heritage, but I thought it also illustrated a great message.

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"A CHEROKEE LEGEND
The Invisible presence of God in our Lives

"This is a Cherokee Indian legend regarding the youth's rite of passage.

The father takes his son into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. The boy is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning light shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is declared to be a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises in the night. His imagination tells him wild beasts surely are all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blows the grass and earth, shaking his stump, but the boy must sit stoically, never removing the blindfold.

Finally, after a horrific night, when the sun comes up, the young man removes his blindfold. And at this moment, he discovers his father sitting on a stump beside him. His father was on watch the entire night, protecting his child from harm."

Our Heavenly Father promises that He never slumbers nor sleeps; that when we walk through the fire and flood of despair He walks with us; and that anytime and anywhere if we call He tells us, "I will answer and shew you great things" (Jeremiah 33:).
Jesus never leaves us alone or forsakes us during our night of darkness and tribulation, he is with us always.....

JESUS INVISIBLE PRESENCE OF GOD is in the kingdom of God within us, Jesus Christ in us (Col. 1:27; luke 17:21).
1st Timothy 1:17 says: " Now to the King eternal, immortal, INVISIBLE, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen"

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The patience and the inventiveness of God in His quest to teach us testifies to His parenting skills. The same story in the Gospels looks like this (according to Mark's abridged version):


Mark 4:35-41

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side."

Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"