Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Letting Go

"Letting Go" From The Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll (put in my own format because I cannot find his original formatting) 
To let go doesn't mean to stop caring, 
It means I can't do it for someone else.

To let go doesn’t mean to cut myself off,
It’s the realization that I cannot control another.

To let go is not to enable,
But to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness
Which means the outcome is not in my hands

To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for,
But to care about.

To let go is not to fix,
But to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,
But to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
But to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective,
But to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny,
But to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
But to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
But to take each day as it comes.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
But to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,
But to grow and live for the future.

To let go is fear less
And love more. 

This past week, 2 main concepts keep coming into my mind. Life does that, sometimes [Well, I'm not going to give life the credit, I'll give it to the divine plan and the powers of the human mind], giving you a theme for the day.  The two focuses of my life right now are letting go and agency. The two concepts are friends holding hands, really; walking side by side. Letting go is allowing others their agency, while reserving your own. It's sorting through what you do have control over and what you don't. All anyone really has control over can be summed up into 3 things: personal thoughts, personal feelings, and personal actions. Everything else is someone else's control/agency. 

I've been thinking about my daughter, and how she can ride a bike but wont let herself; and how she can swim, if she'd just trust the water. Letting to, to me, is like that. It's realizing that the water is not your enemy, but your friend. It's realizing that the bike works with you, not for you. Letting go is just...trusting. And not the "okay, world, I'm going to jump, you'd better catch me." but, "Lord, I know that you see what I cannot, and I'm okay with that." Letting go literally, physically, feels different. I had no idea! Letting go is a calming in every muscle, because when you are calm, the water lets you float. When you relax, the bike lets you balance. And when you let go... life does the same. I wish I knew how to spare the world of so much fear and negativity, because I see how hard it is to not let go (and quite frequently have to remind myself of the difference), but I never learned that skill. Instead, I ache for a world - for loved ones - and pray that someday, they can learn for themselves - 

To just let go. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Cleaning List

I'm going to eventually go in and add tips and care guides, but for now, here's the cleaning list I made for myself. Just thought I'd share. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Who I Used to Be

As I've mentioned, I have really changed in the past year and a half. I know who I am and I love myself for it. It all came about by removing shame from my life, which is why I have such a strong testimony of it. Once I got shame out, suddenly, I was allowed to love myself, and through that, I was able to let the Savior heal all of my festering wounds. And they were many!

So, I've been thinking about who I am now, and about this blog, and about what I said a year ago. It's time to update my Who I Am page. Because that's not me, anymore. But I didn't want to lose who I used to be. That's part of me, too.

So... here is the original. This is who I used to be.

Keira? Who's Keira?
Good Question. Next?

What do you do, exactly?
I have no idea. Next?

Why Seven?
Ah, good! One I can answer! Finally!
In college, I took a Religious Contexts class. I also studied an Old Testament Symbology class. And while taking said classes, an interesting thing came to my attention. The number 7. In the Old Testament, and throughout Hebrew religions, the number 7 appears over and over. We took a day discussing that biblical numbers are often symbolic, i.e. the number often tied to sacrifices is symbolic to help those following the Mosaic law in remembering the reason for the symbol. 7 is the symbol of perfectionwholenesscompleteness, and exactness. It sums all of these concepts up, and many more. They all go perfectly together, and yet are different concepts in my mind. I like that there is one word that can put them all together, even if it's just in my head. And I guess that's what I'm looking for. Perfect completeness. Whole perfection. to me, completeness means the project is done, but not necessarily perfect. I can have a complete object that has lots of nicks and dents. And perfection, at least in mortality, is rarely complete. I can be a perfect piano player, but by being so, I'm probably terribly imperfect at something else. In order to be perfect at something in this life, I will have had to sacrifice something else, creating imbalance, being incomplete.
Symbolism in a biblical context suddenly made sense. And made Leviticus and Deuteronomy a whole lot easier to understand! And enjoy, for that matter. Imagine my surprise when in my Religious Contexts class, the number 7 was still rampant! It's everywhere! And I've yet to find a time when discussion of the concept of 7 didn't fit into my understanding of it. Holistic religions, Ancient Egyptian, Chinese culture, art, it's everywhere!

No really, who's Keira?
Okay, if you must know, I'm a terribly inconsistent woman who tries to conquer the world before bedtime, and sometimes succeeds. I tend to channel Martha more than Mary, and constantly get so caught up in a single idea that I let everything else fall into chaos around me. I'm the queen of good intentions, but have terrible follow-through. I have a strong sense of right and wrong, and it gets me into trouble sometimes. I'm bold and have big ideas. In the past 3 years, I've gone through some seriously icky times and some amazingly wonderful times. And that's part of the problem. My identity has done a whole lot of changing lately. The woman I thought I'd be is not the woman I am, which is also not the woman I was even a year ago.
I love to socialize, but rarely convince myself to. I love to cook from scratch, but have to work up the motivation. I over-achieve, over-plan, and over-analyze, all the while never reaching my expectations of myself. I am great in a crisis, but make up for it when times are good (but I'd really like to change that, so I don't have to go through quite so many crises in order to progress). I love anything wedding, symbolic, or homemade. I don't have a favorite color, only favorite color combinations (and they change regularly, usually with the seasons or a current project). I have a knack for gauging what people are thinking before they ever say anything, which can get me into trouble if I'm not careful. I purge my house all the time, and yet it's still cluttered.  I love to research, miss college, wish I could always stay home with my child/children, and secretly wish that I could simultaneously change the world and crawl under a rock and hide.
If you'd like to know more about me (seriously? More? Wasn't that enough?) you can read posts labeled Pieces of Me. They're anecdotes I found personally relevant and decided to share.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Update From the Gallows...

Okay, that's a sarcastic title. I'm really just fine. I haven't been posting on my blog because I needed time for things to settle down.

It started with my computer acting up (it's still temperamental  but I've got a battle plan to tackle that... when I get around to it. The thinking part's done, anyway, and that's the biggest hurdle).

And then ... drama in "Salem."

As my testimony of empathy vs shame has grown, some people I love haven't been able to accept the change. I don't fit in the same family dynamics I used to, and that has caused more than one rift over the past year and a half. Some have healed and are stronger now, and I am SOO grateful and thank my Heavenly Father for that every time my heart goes back to the pain. And some... Some may never heal; and that deeply saddens me. Especially because I can't go back; I cannot undo the change. I know better now. In my own little allegory of the cave, I just can't bring myself to go back and stare at shadows on the wall when I have felt the warmth of the sun.  My eyes don't focus in the dark anymore and I don't belong.   I guess I tried a bit too hard to help others understand, and it's really caused some rifts I am deeply sorry for. Not really sorry for my actions - because they were calculated and balanced, and my heart has a peace in regards to what I did - but sorry for the loss of relationships. I don't care about being right, but I pity those that cannot understand that it's okay to be wrong. I grieve for the made-up happiness I had in my head, because it was never real. I was never where I thought I was in family dynamics. And that realization has caused more ache and sorrow than any I anticipated. It also brings healing, however, because now I can step back, not try so hard to stick to a false position, and can accept that I was never there to begin with. No matter how much you try, you cannot change how someone sees you. You  can only change how YOU see you, and then maybe (and only maybe) others will notice, too. And if they never notice, that's okay, because when YOU see you, their opinion wont matter, anymore. When you really get to know yourself, and accept yourself, the black and the white, other people's opinions slide right off of you.

Yes, there's no denying... I have changed.

But in the midst of all of the drama, life has gone on.

  • My house is STILL being spring cleaned (never again will I endeavor to do it all at once. From here on out, one room a year! Or at least not by myself... And by myself I mean the one that has to stop and get people ready for school/work, the one who has to stop and cook breakfast/lunch/dinner, the one that has to stop when life happens so she can be of service to people.) I think I might put up some tutorials, or at least some after pictures, because that might make it all a little more worth it...
  • My garden is in... mostly... and mostly the way I want it. I really just need to win some kind of lottery that I don't even buy tickets for. That would be great... My dreams are still way bigger than my pocket book. It's pretty, though. I'll post pics in about a week, when the rest of my seedlings are ready for life outdoors (we always have that one freak frost after memorial day... I'm not gonna let it win).
  • I'm studying for the Praxis test that I will be taking very soon. And I KNOW it's what is right for me. I opened the study guide, and this immense peace washed over me! I had been questioning it, because I'm so tired of kicking against the pricks (meant biblically, not slang-ly) and pushing against a mountain that is not moving. And so many people have such a negative attitude about it! I know it's needed, but so much damage has been done this year in public school, I really don't want to clean up a mess I tried to prevent. And it seems as though I'm at war with the world whenever I even broach the subject, so I've kept my feelings in my heart.
  • My Angel Sister now has an angel in heaven. The whole situation has been too personal for me to write about. Soon, I will, though. I need to get some things out of me instead of locking them up inside. I just can't yet...
  • I'm having flashbacks of a childhood I don't remember and really wish didn't exist. But I can't talk about THAT either.
  • We are currently sailing off of a cliff of faith as far as jobs go and praying something will be waiting for us at the bottom. 
  • Ranger's family ... has a lot of pain in its future, and they think it's what they want. And I both refuse to get involved and refuse to stay silent while others are "burned at the stake" for things they may or may not have done. And it's causing personal conflicts. Where is the balance there?  It has also really shaken my husband, and I don't know how to deal with that while dealing with my own personal conflicts. 
All in all... I just couldn't bring myself to blog. I didn't want to be put on trial for how sad I felt over being put on trial. I didn't want to draw any attention to myself. I didn't want to stop what I was doing and sit at a desk when I was too overwhelmingly busy, and I just didn't have words to say what I need to say. But now is time. 

Now is time. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Child Highlight FHE

Purpose: To help each family member pay close attention to one another and to give each child a sense of belonging in a family. 

Possible scriptures: The Child’s Favorite scripture or John 3:16, Matthew 7:11, James 1:17, or Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 (God’s birthday present);  or Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, Psalms 8:4-6, or Jeremiah 1:5 (Individual Worth); or John 13:34, 1 John 2:10, 1 John 4:21, Doctrine and Covenants 88:123, (Love one another)

Possible Songs: The Child’s Favorite song, A Happy Family (Children’s Songbook page 198), or any birthday song.

Possible Materials: Any items that are significant for the child being highlighted (awards, favorite toy, a picture they drew or a story they wrote, baby pictures, favorite book, something they collect, any musical instrument). You could draw an outline of each child on butcher paper. If all else fails, this is a good printout to put in a scrapbook by A Day in My Life.

Preparation: Begin with prayer. Collect items that are significant for the child being highlighted. Really get to know the child being highlighted. Focus on what makes them who they are. If possible, conduct an “interview” with the family member.

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Introduction: Say that there is a special person in your family this week and you would like to focus on them. Ask the VIP member of your family to sit front and center (you could make the seat special somehow, if you’d like).

Discussion: Introduce the child being highlighted and what makes them so special. Include thinks you know about them, as well as any information collected during an interview.

From the VIP: Ask the child to teach the family something that they know, read their favorite story, or show a cool trick.

Challenge: Pass around a booklet with enough pages for your family, or an envelope with paper to everyone in your family except the VIP. Have each family member write something special or a good memory that they have had over the past year. Compile the notes into something that the child can keep safe and refer to over the next year. Challenge the family to keep the memories that they wrote down in their mind when they are with the VIP and notice if it makes a difference in how they treat that person all week.

Resources:   Believe it or not, there are not many resources I’ve found for this lesson!