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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 17 - Jonathan Livingston Seagull

When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen -- there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', Richard Bach
 
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Today was just one of those random, awesome days the universe passes out from time to time. My biggest gratitude for today is that I've learned to recognize them and appreciate them.
 
Today I'm grateful for:
 
soft lessons. Having learned my lessons well and good, I am rewarded occasionally.

awesome days. They are not perfect, that just adds to their awesomeness.

Sundays. Bet you didn't know they are my favorite day's of the week.

Kelly healing. She is a stronger woman than I. I am proud beyond measure.

the phrase "I lub you too" I had it coming and it made me grin.

David, Ari and Jackson. The royal trio. I miss them but I will see them soon.

the possibility of saying "I do" again. I would. Again, and again, and again.

long walks with a short hamster. We walked over an hour. Perfect temperature, amazing sky, my life's soundtrack in my ears and a heart wide open. All I could feel was joy and freedom.

tired hamsters. I think I finally managed to tucker him out.

only ONE puddle and NO piles in the house. Good boy Roy!

no on call calls after 10:30 P last night. Though I did have to have a fridge fixed before church. I have earned my purple cape this weekend.

God. He made me this way and he ain't sorry. Go figure...

my Mom. She is my rock and my stand-in. The older I get the more I appreciate her and the more I love her.

being in stage 4. According to marriage counselors, marriage has 5 states. It takes between 6-10 years to get to stage 3. Most marriages do not survive stage 3. The stages are: Frivolous, factual, frustration, feeling, freedom. OK, so I'm at 4 1/2. Hey, got to have SOMETHING to shoot for right?

the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. My shrink made me read this book early on in my recovery. It changed me somehow. At first I didn't think I got it and felt I was missing something, but later, when I was doing my assigned "free write" it all came pouring out.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Well the database is down here at work so I thought I’d take a moment to do a free write on “Jonathan Livingstone Seagull”. While I could not connect with the story I did connect with the message. The main message I got, the one the author stated loud and clear is “The joy is in the discovery” but his message was layered. Under the main message, were layers, more softly stated. I feel quite pleased with myself that I got them. The joy is in the discovery is the foundation upon which all the other layers are built.

Jonathan hungers to learn to fly. He feels flight simply for survival is a waste and that his fellow seagulls are blind to the joy he feels. When he is outcast, he is fine. Lonely yes, but his discoveries teach him that he can sleep in flight so he dose not need the flock to protect him. He discovers that if he dives into the water, he can reach the best fish and therefore dines instead of eats. His discoveries do not just fulfill his life, but they enrich it.

Once he is old and flies to heaven, he learns to love. I should say, he rediscovers love. He always had it, he simply had not discovered its power. Soon he discovers that he is not limited by the constraints of his body. If he can think it, he can do it. All these discoveries lead to one big one he never even notices he learns. Forgiveness. One day, he simply forgives his old flock and decides to leave heaven to teach them. He never experiences an AHA! Moment, it just happened.

While I don’t connect with the story, I can see clearly the writers’ brilliance. The “joy in discovery” aspect hits you in the face like a wet fish but each following message is more and more subtle. One building on the other to create a whole. I discover more about the book as I write about it here. It’s like eating a jalapeƱo. The heat intensifies once you have swallowed it. The more distance I put between me and the book. The more I “Think” about it instead of “Read” it, the more I connect with it.

 I think the joy in discovery is what is keeping my feet firmly planted on my new path. I LOVE what I’m learning despite the pain & struggle. My newest AHA! Moment came just this morning while outside smoking. It may be more of an “Eh?” than an “AHA!” but I’ll take it.

I used to do things without knowing why. Good or bad actions that I did without thinking. While I don’t waste time “calculating” my actions, I discover that there is most often a reason and the coolest thing is now I can “State” the reason. Let’s take cutting my hair as an example of what I’m talking about. 5 years ago, I cut all my hair off. If you had asked me at the time why I did it, I would have said “Because I’m tired of dealing with it” the reason sounded plausible, but internally I knew it was a lie. I did it on the spur of the moment and I had no idea why I did it. I also went to EXTREAMS with the cut. I went from 4 feet of hair to 4 inches. The result was I was devastated. I HATED it and swore I would never cut it again. Within a year I knew I was simply to old for that much hair but I had so little I was proud of in myself that I clung to it. It’s what made me feel pretty and special. I dragged around all that hair for another 3 years.

 This time, it was different completely. The journey I was on had taught me perspective. I knew my hair was just hair. I was ready for a change. I wanted my exterior to reflect how I had changed inside. I was now growing, proud of what I had accomplished and excited to learn more. I’m no longer afraid of my “inner self”. I used common sense when I cut it and did not go drastic and I added just a touch of vibrant red to reflect how alive I feel. I had intended to go ALL red with blond highlights but in the end, felt that would have been a mistake like the last time and to extreme. I love how my hair turned out. “I” love it and if you ask my why I cut it, I could tell you. “I have grown and I no longer need my hair to make me feel good” My new hair dose make me feel good, but I do not “Need” it to validate me. My hair story is a rather lame analogy of what I’m feeling, but until I can think of a better way to explain it, it will have to do.

 I meet with Chris today and he and I have much to discuss. I need him to help me break down the wall again. I MUST deal with my feelings of guilt and stop questioning. On Friday I got to feel how much love I have for June and it’s overwhelming. If I can reconnect with that love, I will be able to be Junes mother again and not just her guardian. I’m tired of being disconnected from her. It’s time to face the guilt.
 
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Had to sneak in ONE of the Pixie and the Hamster :)




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