Written by Barb Greenberg, Rediscovering U
With the 4th of July coming fast, it felt appropriate to write about independence, and how as you move into your new life, you can be a strong, independent woman. I imagined Wonder Woman standing with her hands on her hips staring out at the world with confidence and strength and of course, looking great. Then my mind screamed, “Stop!”
I know a lot of amazing, strong women, and none of them look like that. And I would be very nervous if they did!
I realized it’s not being independent that makes them so strong. It is being dependent that gives them strength. They are dependent on great friends and mentors who support. guide and encourage them. They are dependent on their connection to something larger than themselves, a Higher Power…by whatever name they choose to call it… that source of love and compassion and healing. They are dependent on laughter and tears and hope for the future, even in the darkest of times.
One of our guest speakers talked about, of all things, the root system of the giant Redwood trees. She shared that the roots of these majestic trees do not go very deep into the earth. Instead, they intertwine with each other. And being interconnected, they are able to grow strong and powerful and beautiful.
We may worry about being dependent, because sometimes what people depend on can be unhealthy, dangerous, or smacks of addiction of some sort. But when we choose wisely to depend on things that bring light into our lives, the possibilities for our future are unlimited.
Written by Barb Greenberg, Founder of Rediscovering U
I was meeting someone at a Caribou and looked at their trivia question for the day. “In what country did the French horn originate?”
My first thought was, “If I answer this right I’ll get ten cents off my drink!”
My next thought was, “How many trivial things do I focus on while losing touch with what is truly important. The answer is a lot…especially during my divorce.
“I didn’t file those papers in the right place. I said something really stupid to my attorney or my ex, or worst of all, to my children. I didn’t fold the laundry. My mortgage company can’t find my property insurance information. I went to the grocery store and forgot to buy onions, and how can I possibly make my casserole without onions and oh no, I can’t find my car keys. (they were in the grocery bag!).
I allowed myself to be so smothered in trivia that I no longer noticed what was truly important. And though trivia can be very enticing, it was time change my focus to the adventure of finding what was truly of value in my life.
Where do we look for value and for meaning? It’s not on our cell phones. It’s not on our computers. And it’s not on our TV, no matter how big the screen is.
Maybe it’s the whisper in our ear, the tap on our shoulder, the shiny sparkle that catches our eye….those things we forget to notice or dismiss as unimportant. I have a sense this is where true meaning waits patiently for us. These things remind us to pause. They remind us to focus on what we hold dear, to evaluate what is precious to us, what adds purpose to our lives, and to feel a deep gratitude for the gifts of good health, dear friends, and moments of unconditional love.
As for the question, “In what country did the French horn originate?,” I have no idea!
I had quite a bout of shame last night. It literally overwhelmed me, and I curled up on the sofa, mumbling and scaring my two cats. I had made a decision earlier in the day and within thirty minutes I was certain it was the wrong decision, and before I knew it was was wandering in “The Gray Swamp of What Will People Think.”
I was certain people were judging me, but it was more than that. I was giving their judgments tremendous power.
How many of us judge ourselves by what we THINK others are thinking? And then, how many of us choose to believe the harshest of those judgments?
Soon we begin to make decisions on what we think others are thinking – about how we look, what we say, what we do. Judgments that bombard us and can cover everything from the assessment that we are destroying our lives, to condemnation for not polishing our toenails. Who made up these rules anyway?!
It’s exhausting. Instead of checking in with ourselves, we’ve been checking in with everyone else and have become disconnected from who we really are. On top of that, no one is really paying that much attention us anyway!
A woman in one of our first workshops told me she felt terrible shame about getting divorced. When someone asked her why, she thought for a moment and then got a look in her eyes as if a light bulb went on over her head. “I feel shame,” she said, “because I had always judged other women who were divorcing.”
Shame can definitely remind us to not to judge others. It can also reminds us to be more compassionate with with others….and with ourselves. We do not know the stories each person carries with them, and sometimes we forget to honor our own stories.
Brene Brown suggests that the best antidote for shame is empathy..and the words,”I Am Enough.”
I was downtown Minneapolis for meeting at a Starbucks on the Skyway level of a large office building. After the meeting I went to get my car out of the parking lot, and my wallet was not in my purse. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I keep desperately digging for the familiar feel of my wallet. Maybe it’s there. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe all will be back to normal if I can just wrap my hand around it. It was gone.
I ran back up the escalator to the coffee shop, knowing it wouldn’t be there but checking anyway. I ran back down the escalator to the security desk in the building’s atrium, where a kind, tired security guard helped me find phone numbers for my bank and my visas and then went off duty and walked away. I sat with my cellphone, calling, and trying not to scream at the automated voices until I was transferred to a real person in the right department, one of which said, “Oh yes, someone already tried to charge over $1,000 on your card. Don’t worry, it was declined.”
I called the police and made a report over the phone. The parking lot attendant let me get my car, and I drove home on side roads since I wasn’t concentrating all that well. That night before I I fell asleep, I had flashes of the end of my marriage.
I had a sinking feeling then too, I desperately hoped things were not as I knew them to be, thinking if I could just get a handle on the situation, I could change what had happened. I became exhausted collecting papers for my attorneys, running to appointments, and fooling myself that I was calmly holding it all together.
It’s been three days since my wallet was stolen, and I’m still exhausted. I keep trying to move forward, determined nothing is going to slow me down. But things do slow us down, and we should let them slow us down. No matter what the world around us says: fast cars, fast food, fast internet connect, fast downloads…slowing down is vital for healing. Ah, yes, it’s time for self care, and I know how to do this!
I went for a walk, it gave me a burst of energy just before I collapsed into my living room chair.
I planned on eating well but was too exhausted to get up and go into the kitchen.
If a motivational book had been nearby andI had the energy, I would have thrown it across the room.
It turns out for me, and maybe for you, the best self care is patience.
Having your wallet stolen is nothing compared having your dreams stolen, and having the foundation of your life gone. So please be patient with yourself, with the process, and with any self care steps you choose to take.
If you can’t go for a long walk, go for a short one. If you can’t stroll in nature, go outside and lean against a tree in your yard. If you need get into bed at 8:30, turn off the TV, put down the extra paperwork you brought home from your job, and go to bed!
Listen to your body, listen your heart, be patient, and you will hear the whisper of new dream being born and new foundations being build.