Tag Archives: self

Unknown strength to change.

10 Nov

Habits, according to Merriam-Webster, are acquired modes of behavior that have become nearly or completely involuntary.  Some can be deemed good habits, some bad.  Some easy to break, some ingrained in us forever.  Each one of our now intrinsic routines can be mapped back to both positive and negative experiences in our past, each experience shaping our behavior, our outlook.  Time passing only further solidifies our actions, and our justifications for our mindset.  Just like Webster said, these actions essentially move beyond our control, we act without conviction or thought.

As I enter a new phase of my life, I move past my soul-searching mindset to self-identification.  I don’t mean identifying who I am as an individual.  I mean understanding the base of my soul, the base of my heart, to identify the very foundation of how I react and more importantly, the why.  Self realization is a funny beast though.  Without the help from someone other than myself, I’m not sure I even posses the ability to consciously library my habits, both good and bad.  I’m not sure if anyone has the ability to do this on their own…

I am lucky to have an open and honest support group around me.  Not only do they point out my strengths, but they also deliver my weaknesses to my attention.  Thankfully, the serving platter is usually delicately etched.  However, even on the most carefully planned approach, self-identification doesn’t always come with a sugar-coating making the pill easier to swallow.  I think we have all felt that gut-wrenching bottomless pit of guilt that can quickly move right into our hearts when we realize our faults, especially when we come to find we have hurt someone we hold dear.  However, if we take the opportunity to show our weakness to ourselves, really unveil it, and not only catalog it but work to understand its origin, we can morph our bad behavior into new and positive reactions.  After all, we cannot change anyone other than ourselves.

I recently found myself in a situation that allowed me to play the other side of the exchange, and though I cannot claim my actions as smooth or graceful, I was truly blessed to see and feel both sides of the issue.  In finding the courage to initiate and follow through on a hard conversation, I found the courage to practice a new approach myself!

As a child who grew up in a deceptive and unsound environment, my inherent gut-reaction is to shut down, crawl into myself and walk away.  As much as I am uncomfortable saying this, it was not instilled within me to stand up tall, take a deep breath and face a situation head-on. Although I have had moments of brilliance in my past, it has not been my normal response to stressful or unstable situations.  The instinctive walls to my heart would have been immediately built and my true emotions barricaded.

This time, something was different.  After the walls were already built and my arms were already crossed, somehow the walls crumbled away and I opened my arms up with trust.  Trust that an apology was sincere.  Trust that we would never again find ourselves in the same situation.  Still at a loss for what was so different, I look back on this moment in awe of myself.  Where did this strength come from, what made me so courageous?  How did I let go of the pain and distrust so easily?  How did I change my actions and reactions so quickly and easily?  How do I have so much faith in my decision to open my arms instead of crossing them even tighter and turning away?

I am not sure I’ll ever truly understand this moment.  However, I am somehow more at peace with myself over letting go of past pain – realizing that I was not in the same environment as I was in my past.  I have faith it was the right way to move forward, and I am thankful for whoever or whatever gave me the strength to change my own ways.

Worse than Hallelujah – honestly…

15 Jan

It’s no surprise that I’ve found myself at a loss of words lately. After my trip to the ER two nights ago, I am again, left with an overwhelming sense of uncertainty in my life. Yes, it was a productive trip in that a new, additional diagnosis was made – which honestly comes with little to no comfort behind it. Although the news was not terminal, that I had zero support system beside me to reach out and hold my hand through it left me my own yet again to push through it “realistically”. Fuck. I am so exhausted of “being realistic”, “being the champ”, “being the inspiration”, “being the strongest person you know.” Let’s be clear here. I’m no one’s champ. I’m not strong now. And if I were an inspiration, it would be for what you should NOT to do, or feel or say…

My latest trip to the ER stared… Well truth be told, it was several weeks in the making, as my doctor deflected my repeated cries for help with honestly valid answers such as “it’s side effects of the extremely high dosage of prednisone”, “we tapered you too fast”, “you are going through withdrawal” etc. I can’t fault him. I was going through so much. This amazing man who I look up to (who is usually sarcastic to get you through the really hard days) has transitioned his care-taking strategy with me by now taking me by the hands and hugged me on more than one occasion over the last few months while I simply cry and break down at every single appointment for no reason at all.  Sure, it was obvious that the prednisone really was affecting me negatively. So I get his linkage and can’t even say he was deflecting my cries for help. He did encouraged me to use the pain management available to me. Telling me not to be worried about looking like an addict, I clearly needed it. But then when the call came in to him that I was bleeding, it was clear that the pills were to blame for slowing down my system a little too much… I just couldn’t win!

Anyway, my amazing dr stopped answering his cell this weekend, so I had to call the oncall DR this Saturday who was quick to simply put me on me on more prednisone. Ok. Great. He promised relief by morning. And guess what! I had relief… For the first time in almost 3 months I enjoyed my morning walk with the dog, I caffeinated up, ate and went to work decorating the craft nook and office walls!

Then the pain started to creep in and creep in some more. Shit.. Called the oncall DR again. He said to get to the ER, he had no advice. And click he was gone… Ok. Now it was time to try everything in my arsenal as the thought of the ER and another hospital admittance scared the living shit out me!  Out came the yoga mat, and some seriously earthy crunchy music. Nope. Ouch. Ballet stretches from my 15 years at the barre… Ouch. Hot bath.. The negative energy just intensified. Added Epsom salts. Stupid idea. Polish off the Dilaudid I had left (only 4mg) with some yummy hot tea, fluffy blanket, pillows and my entire petting zoo with music. Pain just got worse as the minutes ticked by.

Ok now that was all stupid . Now I am loopy and dizzy from drugs, it’s foggy and I need to get to the ER.. My pain has only intensified in the last 3 hours, and I am now in no shape to drive. Thankfully, a local friend agrees to take me with the promise he can drop me off at the door and avoid watching me fall apart inside.  Score.

Just as I expected, they immediately treated me as if I were a drug addict simply looking to score some pain meds for the night – even though I clearly had a bag packed with me ready to be admitted to the hospital.  I took my begging for a bucket to throw up into it, and bleeding out of the IV they started to take blood samples.  Don’t forget, they don’t actually GIVE drug addicts the drugs they so crave… So I was left with a dangling IV starter dripping blood all over me and my bed… awesome. .. I’ll spare you the real image… 3 hours later, a doctor finally comes in who seems to get it.  She states that my inflammation levels are indeed all over the charts as are other markers, so an IV is finally started – drains almost immediately.  Clearly I was dehydrated – couldn’t they have figured that one out by all the water I was asking for?  40MG of Prednisone administered moving me up to my dreaded 60MG (I’ll get into this within a different post).  Finally in comes the Dilaudid and anti-nausea meds.  Neither work.  They inject me 2 more times with Dilaudid… STILL NO RELIEF. You have to be kidding me.  I’m trying to walk around, trying to do stretches, crying… the nurses keep looking at me like I’m an idiot… I’m asking for them for recommendations to make the pain go away – they said to quit moving and lay still.  Oh sweet nurses, you have NO idea what this pain feels like!  Finally around 2am, the DR comes in and suggests a muscle relaxer.  I said OK – whatever you’ve got, I’m happy to try.  RELIEF!  I actually fell asleep sitting up!  It relieved the pressure around my joints enough to actually let the pain pills do their job!

They then checked me for the flu – since I was healthy, they decided the hospital was not a safe place for me (oh yes, then came a long lecture of why in the hell I would subject myself to the hospital during a flu epidemic… excuse me, did we not just go through HOURS worth of pain management trial and error and clearly my pain had risen from a 7.5 to a 15 in a matter of those hours?  Did they not see what had transpired in front of them?  Anyway, we agreed to send me home with all the medication they would have kept me on for a few days in the hospital… only guess what… she didn’t give me the one that was the key to it all… Valium, the muscle relaxer… honestly…

A dramatic taxi ride home (the taxi driver refused to take me to an ATM to get him cash then cussed me out in some language I do not know for not having cash when we got home – mind you after he drove past my house THREE TIMES, I eventually just got out of the taxi and said goodbye and walked home). I was finally home…

Then, onto the radio comes Amy Grant’s, Better than a Hallelujah… you have GOT to be kidding me…

“We pour out of miseries, God just hears a melody, beautiful, the mess we are.  The honest cries of broken hearts are better than a Hallelujah.”… Well… I guess God must just LOVE Crohn’s patients, because we sure are NOT out rejoicing.  We sure do give Him some pretty awesome melodies of miseries… Hope he enjoyed this one… Because I wasn’t enjoying singing this song.

Power Surge – Day 4

10 Dec

Now that 32 days have lapsed since beginning a 30 days challenge, I guess I should get onto day 4…

Today’s passage drew on the scenario of a power surge – and what follows. How the lights gets brighter and flicker resulting in a darkness. Our immediate thoughts dashing to the duration of the darkness anticipated, typically sending us searching for our candles and flashlights. Throughout the next passing minutes, hours and days (with support of our generators) we realize our dependencies to the crashed power lines dangling around us. This really hit home to me in more ways than one..

In times like this, we typically struggle to get through our days – we miss our DVRs almost instantaneously, and tether our iPhones, iPads and laptops to our generators and cars for what feels like constant charges to remain connected to the “outside” world. Our smartphones replacing our home networks, providing us with temporary HotSpots to provide us with continual VPN access. Hours later, we realize we are hungry and realize the microwave is worthless, then it gets real when our showers are chilled. This scenario is actually real – it happened to me a few weeks ago during Hurricane Sandy. I thought the world was over when I couldn’t work due to my iPhone not being HotSpot enabled while my mobile WiFi was crashing. Life was hell – or so I thought..

Little did I know that there was another power surge going on in my life – and one that would send me truly spiraling and grasping for anything to hold onto. During Hurricane Sandy, I was on the top of my mountain, and the real darkness came in illness form (see previous post for details). In said post, I mentioned that I was going to make some tweaks to my life, I just didn’t yet know what they looked like yet. Well, I still don’t have a solid plan, but now I have a better framing structure to build that plan off of.

Bouncing back to the book now… the authors really struck a chord with me on this one. To make change in our life, we move from will power to real power. But where the heck to we get our real power from and what is the difference? The book talks about will power being our power and real power being God’s power — we as humans don’t have the real power to make change in our own lives. It all happens by him… I am quiet undecided and almost put off by this in reality. This could be my inner control freak lashing out, but at the end of the day, I just cannot accept the fact that I am not driving my life at all. Must spend more time on this topic – I am at a loss on this one today; HOWEVER, I do really like the idea of will versus real power in concept. I will definitely be spending a lot of time here, both practically and spirituality.

In reality – I am realizing that there is a lot missing from my life, not just a relationship with my Creator. So it is time that I start to re-engage and bring some of the long-lost and never-found facets (back) into my life. A few of the areas that I have identified thus far are:

1. Creator Connection – I have finally said it, and more importantly written it down. If I have an issue with the Big Man in the Sky, then its about time that I address it. I don’t yet know what this will look like – or what my first conversation with him will sound like (if I had to guess, it’ll be a mess), but I finally have a real motivation to set this straight, or at least try. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completely written him off over the last 10 years, and I have tried time and time again to work on this relationship. However, something hasn’t clicked for me here yet. I’m not going to push it – but I’m going amp up the energy a little. And I have this bible quote to thank for it. After searching for a passage for essentially 3 years, I finally found it! And I will be purchasing a copy of The Message Bible tomorrow – It may just be in the right language for me.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)

2. Spiritual Energy & Health – As most things in your life hinge on this, this is a priority. I don’t take spiritual health/energy as the text book “God/human relationship” as the book does. I am expanding this to include spiritual self-grounding in general with Yoga and Eastern medicine. Possible avenues here include acupuncture, herbal remedies etc. Immediate need is to get healthy, not to grow. Healthy things grow – must get healthy first. (This is in addition to medical health.)

3. Perennial Pruning – I am self-admittedly not good at cutting the decaying portions out of my life to make room for new and positive adventures. This is going to change, but not over night. The book brought up that in most vineyards today, the head gardeners train the pruners for 2-3 years before letting them cut the branches, because pruners can ruin the entire crop if they don’t know what they are doing. This aspect scares me, and I know this will be painful – but ultimately, it will be beneficial and productive.

5. Constant Connection – To myself and per the above. I plan on doing this two fold with constant communication and constant confession. Why not start an open dialogue in the morning with the Big Man (once we have worked out our issues) – sharing concerns and expectations for the day and keeping it going through the day. Immediate honesty when realizing I should have said or done something, or shouldn’t have – then moving on. Owning it, learning from it, and leaving it – acting on it if necessary to rectify mistakes as required. Consider it an ongoing catalog of life events and how I feel about them. I’m not sure how much will be written in journals versus simple cognizant thought. Likely journaling the large issues/blessings to learn more about them.

My goal is not to change who I am in any way, but to better myself and heal what is broken in my life. This is an evolution and something that will likely change and morph more than I can imagine today. Cheers to the New Litz.

SuperWoman – Apparently a bad thing.

30 Nov

Well – It finally happened… My luck ran out and the true power of my illness was spotlighted this Thanksgiving Holiday as I was admitted to the hospital on Friday, November 23rd.  After battling an attack for three weeks, I finally gave in and called my (amazing) doctor’s cell phone who sent me packing for the ER and a hospital admittance… I had no idea what was about to hit me, and I am not sure I will be as willing to go the next time if I have a repeat adventure because of it…

The illness bit abridged for anyone wondering: My Crohns has spread to a completely new area.  By the time I sought medical help, the inflammation was too sever for pill-form medications.  After ten days of pills, it became event that I was not absorbing them, so IV medications were necessary to get the attack in check.  I had an IV for from Friday night until Tuesday evening to pump in everything from steroids and two antibiotics to muscle relaxers and pain relievers.  I also went through 5 or 6 large IVs – I lost count.  There were CT scans, EKGs and portable X-rays (everything in my own private room except for the CT).  It was also my first CT scan in years without throwing up – thank you to the anti-nausea meds right before!  I lost roughly 10 lbs, when I should have gained 8-10 lbs in that time on pill steroids – you do the math.  Let’s just chalk this up to hard time.  Also thrown in there, some good old-fashioned, character-building family drama – but I’m not about to touch on that one yet.

Turns out that my SuperWoman Cape can hurt me.  Damn do I hate it when I’m wrong, and I sure found this one out the hard way.  Turns out, my attack wasn’t just stress as I had originally thought.  Unbeknownst to me, my body was actually trying to tell me to slow the heck down – that it was in some serious state of shock.  Nah, I just kept on pushing from one thing to the next.  Truth be told, I don’t really regret it either.  Blame it on my age, my immaturity, my lack of concern for myself – I don’t care.  I was living my life like a “normal” 28 year old.  I was rocking it out at my job, I was making a home for myself, I surrounded myself with amazing friends, and I was finally meeting new people again!  I was loving to dress up again, putting on make up, high heals, and accessorizing myself like the woman I was again, the woman I have always been.  I actually was ENJOYING MY LIFE, shame on me!

Now, I am on doctors orders to relax only and get my stress in check – and I’m about to figure out how to do that – or at least start trying.  Since I’ve been released from the hospital, it has been a serious challenge (I didn’t realize how many panic attacks can occur in one afternoon for fear I am missing something).  This is almost torture now, but I am starting to slow down a bit and think about myself first.  This is something I don’t think I’ve ever learned how to do, kinda funny when you think about it actually.  How can I be “well-rounded” if I never come down from high stress levels?

I am currently listening to soothing music, after a bubble bath, sitting at my kitchen counter (I think I’ve only sat here twice since closing in April, and certainly never alone!)  It is kinda nice to be completely unplugged from work, have the TV off and a candle lit – though my thoughts are a little suffocating at the moment.  I’m sure that will calm down soon.

Step one: Stop living in the corner office of my home.  Yes, working from home is amazing – but no more negating the living aspect at home too!

Hear me when I say this – I do NOT regret that I was living my life.  However, through this humbling experience, I did learn that I need to make some adjustments to HOW I was living my life.  Ok – so, that’s admittedly as far as I’ve come.  But progress is progress right? I will take baby-steps today, especially after the week I’ve just had.

And no, the experience wasn’t all bad.  Even though I am admittedly very angry with the big man in the sky, I do recognize the blessings He has bestowed on me.  I am humbled by the support team I have and I would be doing a great disservice if I didn’t list off my THANK YOU LIST:

NOTE: YOU MAY NOT READ INTO THE ORDER OF THIS LIST, YOU MAY NOT GET OFFENDED IF YOU ARE NOT LISTED BY NAME, THERE IS A PLACE FOR EVERYONE ON THIS LIST. IF I SERIOUSLY MISSED YOU – JUST YELL AT ME & GET IT OVER WITH 🙂

Angela – For being my rock – plain and simple. Oh yea, and… The ride to the ER, sitting in the ER instead of bedtime with your baby, for driving to my house countless times to pick things up for me and bring to the hospital  walking the dog/feeding the cats/getting the mail.  For never letting me completely fall.  For marrying the most amazing man who supports me too and keeps me laughing.  Oh yea, and putting up my Christmas Tree, building my craft desk, SmashBooks and Ikea trips!  Ok, I’ll stop before I make you cry, too.

Sethiya and Slawek – For taking my dog in for a week like he was your own, and loving on him as I would.  The pictures and video have been amazing.  I can’t wait to get my hands on him again, but you have saved me – there is no way I could have walked him yet.

Matt, Mark, Kellie, Andrea, Maddie and Hannah – For your countless support over the phone calls, text messages, gmail chats, facebook posts, flowers and books (since I can’t send Amazon shipments to my own address like a total blonde).  I could never get through a day without any of you.

Greg – For the multiple hospital visits, trashy magazines, movies on loan and soduko book.  I can’t wait to be back at the bar! And messages delivered by Greg from  Tyler and Los.

Maytanee – For visiting me in the hospital with bag in hand – magazines, novel and Christmas tree decorations and that amazing smile of yours.

My management staff, co-workers, and business unit – For the more than generous gift for food delivery over the next few weeks so I can stay out of the kitchen if needed, flowers and balloon! To Felix, Phil and Sean for visits to the hospital and at home.  For encouraging me not to work and focus on my health (seriously, how did I get so lucky?).  To Sean for driving me home from the hospital and all over Northern Virginia to find a pharmacy that stocked my Rx.  To Kippy and Stephen for the flowers.

Diane – For being there for me, after all these years, with words of encouragement that resonate through me like a stone in a still pond. I need not say a word more.

“Sykes Sisters” (even though you aren’t both Sykes anymore) – For the ongoing Crohn’s advice and support.  For the beautiful plant that will live in my home office every day.

Sean and Sara – For visiting me in the hospital, making me feel normal, the treat for crafting and the Christmas movie on loan!

Wilson – for visiting at the hospital – loved our random catch up sess!

Melissa, Arek and Ella – For the amazing Polish soup – it was the first thing I was able to eat!

HollyBerry, Megan, Stacie, Colby, Jenny T, Jenny C, Los, Alex – For your constant text messages that kept me going

Mike – For the Crohn’s advice.

Joel and John – For being my “Dad’s” and keeping me focused on whats important nearly daily (outside of this).

Cieran – For being a rock across the pond – no really.  For staying with me on Facebook in Scotland nearly 24/7.  Who knew a IT support call at Axios could lead to such a dear friendship.  This friendship is going no where!

Valko – For your heartfelt call and countless “bless their hearts” that make me grin.  I love you like a sister!

To everyone who stayed with me on Facebook, G-Chat and random text messages – I have been so blessed by each and every one of you – and I don’t want to name you all for fear I will miss someone and hurt your feelings.  You kept me going and I count each of you in my blessings.

And to one more – thank you for walking through my hospital door Monday morning, the calls, the messages, for making me smile and taking care of me when you could.  Please be safe.

Your Most Valuable Resource: Time

18 Nov

Wow – I sure made it far into my 30-day challenge before dropping off the face of the Earth.  I supposed I just might not be cut out for organized blogging… but the (way too) early break did come due a life challenge.  So, I guess it is fitting to blog while I get myself back on track?

Day 3 is titled “Time Squared, Spending Your Most Valuable Resource”.  Quite ironic that I’ve now had essentially a week to mull this one over, as all I have had is time on my hands.  Attempting to hide my bitterness by not blogging has failed miserably, so why not just talk this one out.

The book talked about a simple equation – one I’m sure we have all heard ad nauseam: Increased Energy + Increased Engagement = Sense of More Time.  (Quality over Quantity).  It went on to speak about how 6 months could pass by in our lives quickly or painfully slowly – and encourages us to ponder what would make the difference in each of our lives.  What would it take for each of us to become fully engaged in our own lives, so that time is well spent, instead of us being paralyzed in fear of the future.  It is all in the way we invest our time – in ourselves, and in those around us…

Over the course of the last week, my disease has taken control of my life.  Its headstrong, controlling personality jumped right into the happy little life I was starting to create and began to splatter mud all over my almost perfectly clean canvas of a new start.  It has in essence stripped me on my independence (temporarily) and replaced my lightheartedness with a cabinet full of medication.  There is not much quality time going on, unless you call curling up with the dog in bed with a constant stream of Netflix movies and TV shows engaging.  Dammit!  Though, I do have to give a huge shout out to my best friend who has done an amazing job of keeping my spirits up – which included basically taken on a renovation project in my house for me.

With this down time, I have to admit that I have pondered what the truly sick people do when they only have 30-days left to live?  They spend their time in hospitals slipping away – they don’t spend their time making amends, and thinking about their most valuable resources, figuring out how to re-create themselves into the image they always had imagined.  They ride our their last wave trying to stay comfortable, not standing up to their biggest fears.  There it is – the huge flaw with this book – and I hate it, the title of the book.  Terrible.

But, in the spirit of having more than 30-days left to live, I suppose I will attempt to stay the course of the challenge… As much as I don’t want to continue based on the sole fact that the premise of this book is a simple marketing gimmick…   But I am thankful that I do have (God willing He doesn’t have alternative plans for me soon) more than 30-days left in me.   I have the time, or I will as soon as this attack is over, to stand firm on my own two feet and live the life I had always imagined.  Here is to getting back on track.

The book did make a great point… “Time once spent can never be reclaimed.”  Amen to that.

FairyTales… Without happy endings?

3 Mar

My favorite part about growing up was tying on my tap shoes and lacing up my toe shoes.  No matter where I was, the dance studio, our high school’s stage, my home studio or one of the many stages I competed on, I was able to visit a world full of dreams and hopes.  A world unlike the one of reality.  A world that melted away the pain of the day – both physical and emotional.  I was able to temporarily transform my reality to a creative and peaceful world.  This freedom from the pain is also what I miss most about my childhood and my young adult years.  Today, my joints, bones and muscles ache too much to withstand a long walk — I’m beginning to think my dancing days are officially over for good.

Today, I look back on my life with anger and the hopeless feeling of being defeated.  In high school, I remember explaining to my friends that I understood my family’s turmoil.  That I just wasn’t one of those people who was blessed with an easy childhood.  I explained that I thought everyone, at the end of their lives, would have all gone through the same amount of pain.  I was just going through my pain early in life so that I could be blessed with an easier and happier adulthood.  I honestly believed that…. And I still, up until today, believed that, with everything I had. 

This week was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  This week I finally reached the “ENOUGH” phase; and it made me think back on the trust I held in karma.  My trust that things, someday, would get easier.  What a joke.  They say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  And “God only gives you what you can handle.”  Honestly, I’d like to know why God hates me so much.  What did I do to piss off some greater being out there?  What did I do to deserve all this? 

Yes – this is a very different outlook than my last post…. And I understand how out of character this stance is for me.  But enough is seriously enough today.  I hope I wake up tomorrow and can find the silver lining in all this again.  I hope I wake up tomorrow and want to face the day – anxious to see what the day has in store for me.  I hope this denial of the reality of my life goes away – or gets easier to cope with.  Because today, it sucks.  There is no other way to put it.  I think the positive outlook on life is a crock of bullshit.  What can possibly be good about an illness without a cure?  An illness that strips me of my independence and threatens to strip me on what makes me “me”.  It sure doesn’t look like things are about to get any easier, especially when what is supposed to be my “miracle drug” is making me so sick I have nothing left but to vomit stomach bile, makes me lose 75% of my vision for days at a time and makes it too painful to even take the dog for a walk everyday…

Seriously, what did I do to piss off the big guy in sky?

Fine Lines – Not everything is black and white.

23 Jul

So much of our lives is not clearly defined. Not everything fits into the “box” that we deem our lives. Not everything is black and white. So much of our lives is not visible through the clouds – bold or bright. Clearly outlined – standing out strong. Somewhere between the high and lowlights of our lives, we find shadows. Tiny little diagonal lines taking up the space of the unknown.

The question is, are we comfortable with the haphazardly place dashed in our lives? Do they throw us off course – forcing us to attempt to neatly organize the mess into a readable life story, shifting the lines to make up the words of the stories we will tell? Or do we simply accept the new acquired decoration on the walls of our minds as we stumble along the rocky path of life? Should we tie on our shock absorbing sneakers to cautiously navigate this rough road? Nervously checking our footing before each step. Or should we take it in stride, donning our most colorful heals? Accepting that we aren’t perfect, that we haven’t perfectly pre-planned every single motion, allowing ourselves to stumble and eventually fall down completely?

Is the fall worth it? The bumps, bruises. The dreary shadows of our worlds? Is it worth it to allow our arms’ contents to spill as we fall? Attempting to jump to a larger rock with the guts and gusto of a lion – but watching the glass shatter as it slams into the rock before us? Reaching out to catch the fruits of our labor only to smacked in the face by it? Is the victory and achievement of finally perching ourselves on that coveted rock worth it all? Or is it better to carefully remain on the smooth dull rock of yesterday?

Truth is – we will never know which is best. We make decisions, even when we don’t realize it, that affect every aspect of our lives. We will never know both what it is like to cower on the lower rock and to triumphantly stand above the waters. It is one or the other – black and white. But those fine lines that create our shadows will eventually find us in any location. In any situation. Sometimes the shade is cold. Sometimes it is a welcomed break from the heat and rush of life. In the end, it is the fine lines that hold us all together.

*Inspiration taken from Kent Moran’s “Fine Lines” – “There is a fine line between love and hate. The best decisions and the worst mistakes. A fine line between hope and fate. It starts with understanding…. It’s not so black and white, there’s a lot of fine lines.”

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