What’s the point of evolution if you never move past what you started out as? If you spend more time looking back than you do facing forward, can you truly claim to be progressing? And if you waste more of your time and resources protecting the comfortable version of the past that makes you feel good, honest or not, than you do investing in the hard and messy work of creating the future, will you have what you need to thrive when that future arrives? Because it will. The past is over. We can learn from it and move on, be better. Or we can cling to it, refuse to be honest about it, focus our attention on it and when our future arrives chances are we won’t be ready, and maybe won’t even recognize it.
I went through a difficult period in my late thirties. My husband was terminally ill, we were about to lose our home as he had been unable to work, and my kids and I were pretty much basket cases. As hard as it was, we walked through it. Losing my husband, relocating to the other side of the country, and struggling to get back on our feet took the next decade. It’s a time I don’t remember much about other than everything changed.
Years later, and a bit of therapy later, I realized I had spent that decade and the next one waiting for the next shoe to drop. Waiting for the next bad thing to happen. In so many ways, usually ones we often don’t see or understand, trauma conditions us to alter our expectations. It teaches us to live in silent fear, fear that the bad things will repeat over and over, fear that we will never get back to a place of joy.
What we don’t realize when trauma holds us in its grip, is that joy isn’t a place. It’s something that lives inside us. If we nurture it, if we understand that we’ve been hurt and we need to heal, joy is waiting inside us to do just that. That’s its purpose.
It’s a question that’s haunted me for months, even before I found myself quarantined at home with lots more time to think about it. There’s a saying that talks about how we were made for times like this. Yet the question remains, what is it I am made for? To suffer and die? To be a hoarder, or a hermit? Exactly, specifically, what is it “I” am called to do?
If you’re struggling with this like I am, here’s what I’ve come to understand: Push out the light. That’s it. When the darkness (i.e. hate, fear, greed, etc.) gathers around you, being a small beacon of light can seem pretty useless. You’re a pinprick in the center of a black void.
But it isn’t useless. Light begets light, to think creatively. Build up the fire, turn up the power, push out the light that lives inside you. How? By meeting the negative with the positive. By connecting with other small pinpricks of light. By consciously, intentionally, deliberately choosing to focus on the light both inside of you and in those around you.
Push out the light. Broaden the circle of light. Extend the boundaries of light. We will get through this. And we will do it in the light.
Wow. Hope these authors get lots of love in return for going through this.
If you’ve been following me on twitter @CaffeinatedFae you have probably seen the huge scandal about Cristiane Serruya who has plagiarized at least 51 books, 34 authors, 3 articles, 3 websites, & 2 recipes. I’m creating this post so that everyone can support the real authors and buy the books that were so amazing #CopyPasteCris thought they needed to be stolen.
Looking for more explanation? Here are some good places to look Courtney Milan’s post, a comment from one of her ghostwriters, & Smart Bitches Trashy Books’ Post, & Nora Roberts’ response. Amazon links provided by Jeanna Louise Skinner. You can follow her at https://twitter.com/JeannaLStars. Barnes & Noble links provided by me.
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There’s been a whole lot of commentary this week (if you don’t know that, then I salute you for finding the best hiding place in the world). One of the oft repeated words in this communal diatribe has been variations of the word “unity”: we need to unite, to unify, to come together. This word means different things to different people, a truth made clear by the discussion, but still, unity isn’t a bad idea.
I participated in the inaccurately titled “Women’s March” (there were men, children and dogs at mine) in my home city this past weekend where I saw perhaps the best ever idea of how to understand the unity we need (not to mention the best use of Barbies ever). I’m going to put it here and let all of you take from it what you will. My kudos to the person who put this together:
“I have six locks on my door, all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.” – Elay…
Source: The Week That Was
“I have six locks on my door, all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.” – Elayne Boosler
And it was certainly a week. Normally I’m not a person to panic when home alone at night. I figure I have three yippy little dogs, so I’ll know if someone’s breaking in long before they get to me. What I didn’t plan on was their yipping being the source of my panic.
The other night, after finally getting to bed at an unreasonable hour, I’d hardly drifted off before all three dogs started barking. Since I thought I’d heard a noise to, I didn’t shush them. Instead, I got up, checked things out, found nothing, so attempted to go back to sleep. I’d barely drifted off again when they started back up. This time I hadn’t heard anything. It was getting closer to time to wake up than to go to sleep so I needed at least a couple of hours. I got them calmed down but before I even calmed myself down, a strange video started somewhere in the house. A video that was some girl talking about a stalker with a knife. My granddaugher, who likes to fall asleep to the TV, had left it playing. Needless to say, I wasn’t at my best the next day. Panic and no sleep will do that to me.
From the “Wow, somebody paid attention in science class” category:
I do my best to donate to Kickstarter campaigns that blow me away. This one really did.
About ten years ago, my daughter and I sat down to watch a Billy Connelly movie. It was about a man who sued God for a natural disaster (I think that might have been the name of it too). The movie was passably good, nothing to get too excited about. But there was one scene we kept replaying over and over again because it made us laugh till we cried. It was a silly, pratfall scene with Billy in a restaurant, but each time we watched it, we thought it more hilarious than the last.
My daughter was going through a difficult pregnancy and a hard time all around. We really didn’t have much to laugh about. I realized then how much we need laughter during the hardest times of our lives. There are so many things in this crazy world to be stressed about. We worry not only about the future, but the present as well. Many of us are angry, and rightfully so. Many of us are scared, and rightfully so. A good laugh could help all of us.
The other movie I keep thinking of these days is the scene in one of the Harry Potter films, where Lupin teaches the students to look at their greatest fears and use the “Ridikulous” spell. What they fear is reduced to something silly and not so frightening. I look around me and see a whole lot of Ridikulous things today. Maybe I need to brush up on that spell.
If you’re interested in how some folks who found themselves under a really oppressive regime turned to humor for their fight, check out my post on the Gnomes of Wroclaw:
I’m back!!! Time and life had me going there for a while, but the new year, and my vision for it, brought me back. There’s enough ego in me to feel I have some things to say to the state of the world. Hopefully, most of them will make you laugh. Or feel a bit proud of us.
I’ve thought a lot about what to wish for this year. There’s no lack of things to make me worry, or get angry. The problem is those don’t feed my soul. Give me something to laugh about. Or a reason to think “thank God, somebody was paying attention in science class.” Once we were innovators, problem solvers, people who found the humor, and the joy in life. Let’s see if we can get back to that in 2017, okay?
P.S. The tree in the background fits my new path. It’s like a giant eyeball, sort of like 2017 is watching you!
Today I’m hosting fellow author Pamela S. Thibodeaux,
who’s here to talk about about herself and her release Keri’s Christmas Wish.
Take it away, Pamela!
I am 100% panster so when I sat at the computer with one scene in mind, Keri scrolling through her newsfeed and grumbling “bah humbug” over the ‘Christmas in July’ propaganda, I had absolutely NO idea where the story was going or what would happen. I was introduced to Energy Medicine a couple of years ago and find the whole concept of healing the body – or actually the body healing itself by correcting energy imbalance–fascinating. Along with EM, I’ve discovered the power of positive thoughts and prayers (see: You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay). Add to that, my belief in the afterlife and the books & movies affirming those beliefs, and well, this story practically wrote itself. What is so amazing and encouraging for me is that Keri’s Christmas Wish is the first romantic story I’ve written in its entirety since my husband passed away in 2009. Oh, I’ve had things published that were already in the works, but other than a couple NF pieces, it is the only thing written from start to finish. Hopefully this means I’m in a much better place emotionally and other books/novellas/stories are sure to follow.
For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?
A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?
Find out in Keri’s Christmas Wish
Snippet: She awoke in another dimension. Keri had no idea if she was in Heaven, but neither did she fear Hell. Her surroundings were reminiscent of a dense forest at dusk. Shadows danced against a sunset where brilliant colors bled from the sky. A light shone in the distance but as she moved toward it, Keri felt as though she plowed through molasses. Unease pricked her skin. The sound of water drew her deeper into the woods until she stood at the base of a vast waterfall and rapids so swift she dared not attempt to cross the river.
The light grew stronger, brighter. Beckoning.
I need to get to the light.
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU
Author Bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”