I AM NOT ASHAMED

You know… there have been times on this blog that I’ve choked on something I’ve written out of rum-soaked pain. I’ve regretted saying and writing the things that were destroying me inside.

Today I went back and un-protected the passworded bits of poison. The coin has two sides and I am not ashamed. There have been battles and bruises and bludgeoning in this war toward my authentic self and the opposition has been surprising – internal and external.  To disguise the wrong would be to hide who I really am and be just as much a hypocrite as I have fought hard not to be.

Welcome to the Singlestream. Home to a woman called Bushlings who accepts that she is flawed and is no longer ashamed to feel.

Have a wonderful day with yourself! I’ll be doing me right alongside you doing you. LOVE IT.

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Breakup Checklist

Every single woman needs one.  In fact, every single human being needs one.  Because if you are operating in today’s world you will come across false starts.  And they will hurt.

A friend of mine going through a heart-rending divorce shared with me in a facebook conversation some years ago what he calls his Breakup Checklist.  I have asked his permission to share his insights.

THE CHECKLIST

“#1. Pull together your “support team” of family and friends who can help you deal with this crisis. These are the insiders who know you, know your Ex and can talk you through everything.  These are the people who will pick up the phone at all hours of the day to allow you to express your sorrow, remind you of your self worth. Put your team together and get their support.

#2 Find a counselor.  Your friends can be there for you, but they have lives of their own and they are not professionals. Hire a professional who can talk to you about the situation and help you sort things out clinically. Help you to understand yourself, your inner demons, and why the relationship fell apart. They can asses whether you are just sad or clinically “depressed” and in need of temporary medication (nothing wrong with that).  Note: counselors are great! But do your homework. find one that is highly recommended.  Sometimes the most expensive ones are the best. They can afford to charge those prices. The cheaper ones are desperate for clients.

#2b -Face your new reality – Part of the problem with not having these written down is that you forget some things.  Right around the time you are meeting with a counselor, that counselor should be helping you face your new reality. This bad situation is happening! Your worst fear is real. You can’t go back. you can’t change it. You have to face it head on and deal with it.  Stare the dragon in eye and let him know you are not afraid. For me, this was realizing that my wife IS cheating on me. It wasnt a one time thing. She made a conscious decision. There is no going back. It can’t be undone. Why am I hiding the truth from people? In hopes that I can keep it quiet and take her back after she is done with the other guy? Get real. “When someone takes an opportunity to show you who they really are….BELIEVE THEM!!!!!”

#3 Get Busy – Start filling your days with activities that will distract you from what is going on with you. You should “pre-schedule” these events.  Start planning trips, vacations, classes (art, martial arts, athletic related, etc), visits to friends, shopping trips. Fill up your schedule. Consider this the equivalent of a cast on a broken arm.  Distract yourself while your heart is healing.

Take care of YOU!!!! You will heal by LOVING YOURSELF and NOT HATING the other person.

#4 – Have you phoned God? – get your spiritual life together. Maybe all of this happened because God has been trying to get your attention and you haven’t been listening. Start spending more time in church, prayer, and meditation.

#5 – Do some emotional housecleaning. You need to conduct an emotional assessment of where you are. Are you angry? Hurt? Depressed?  There is a time for anger in the healing process, but Anger will only take you so far and it WON’T get you to the finish line. You need to start focusing on more positive emotions – FORGIVENESS, peace, calm, happiness (step #3 activities should bring smiles and happiness into your life). Ask God to help you release your anger. Ask God to help you forgive. You would be surprised how much forgiveness and releasing anger will help YOU feel better. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die…… (think that will work?).

#6 Start Taking Care of Yourself – Focus on your new life – ALONE. And do what you need to do to move forward. Have you been talking about finding a new job? do it. Thinking about moving to a new country/state? do it.  Do it for yourself.  Treat yourself to the things you like. Spa day. Exercise. (Note: keep it healthy and positive. Don’t soothe yourself with sweets and dessert. You will only hate yourself later when you get fat) That flight to see your friends? Buy yourself an upgrade. Take care of YOU!!!! You will heal by LOVING YOURSELF and NOT HATING the other person.”

How do you handle breakups?  What would you add to this list?

Trust the Glue

Each one of us over millenia have reflected a distinct and unique part of the Light.  We are each created in God’s image and yet we are unique.  Every one of us is a mirror created to reflect His identity, his Light, in flashes of lightning, mellow sunrises and passionate sunsets.  He is like the sky and each of us a tiny sequin.  No two sequins reflect the same picture and the sky is so massive that there will never be enough sequins to reflect it all.  This is the basis of a Christian’s identity.  Whether or not we believe God called us into being or that there was a Big Bang, or, like me, believe that God’s enormous voice called out a Big Bang, it is not how it happened but what happened that ties us together.  We found ourselves here.  Reflectors of His image.

Then came imperfection.  Like a hammer it shattered the mirrors into shards and pieces.  Now there are little bits of the image cracked apart by black emptiness of holes, scars and craters.  Some have fewer or smaller pieces than others.  But all are cracked.  Each crack hurts – the edges are sharp and jagged.  The pieces come into conflict with each other and the pieces of one slice into the creatures around.  This is the brokenness that is the basis of Christian sorrow.  The horror that salvation saves us from.

Grace was born.  The glue born of the Light that stuck the pieces together.  The stem cell that generated new pieces of mirror in gaping cracks.  The solvent that rinsed the tarnish off the pieces and let them better catch the Light.  The healing balm that erased the pain of jagged edges.  This is the Christian salvation.

We are mirrored beings cracked and broken, reflecting light in places of darkness.  Some consciously choose to shed their pieces, succumbing to the will of the deep, moving like the demons and tearing off the pieces of others’ images.  Putting out their light.  Their reflection.  But never ever destroying the Light.

Then there are others, torn between light and dark or simply oblivious to the battle of the two.  Blinking and turning they now reflect and then they don’t.  They are unaware or reckless to the knowledge that they are a mirror designed to catch and explode in beauty, in the Light.  Their pieces are neglected, tarnished, and dangling by an edge to the image.  Some yearn to be beautiful and pure without knowing how.  Others have no idea that they aren’t.

So fragile are we and so beautiful our pieces that we cannot begin to comprehend our own complexity.

And then there are the Children of the Light.  Caught up by and addicted to God’s love.  Coming out of the dark, some are drawn out by a glimpse of a sunbeam, others by a lightning storm, others still by simply opening their eyes to dazzling brilliance all around them.  All are cracked.  All are in some state, each a unique state, of disrepair.  In the Light the glue goes to work, the solvent begins to rinse, and the stem cell is planted in the heart.  There is healing and pain is attacked and prevented.  The pieces no longer hurt as they did and the sharp edges of others cannot cut through the glue.  The process is intense, life changing, image changing, but first and foremost it is heart changing.

So fragile are we and so beautiful our pieces that we cannot begin to comprehend our own complexity.  Much less so is our ability to grasp the complexity of our God and our Light, bigger than the sky that two eyes alone are unable to fully see.  So unique was each original purpose and destiny and so unique is our damage that we cannot begin to understand the extent to which we are broken.  Our own brokenness is a mystery to us… how then can we expect to understand, decide on, and judge the brokenness of others?

But even more mysterious is our gift of Grace.  The one thing that is never changing, never tarnished, never dark.

We are but pieces of glass yearning for the Light.  Our wholeness depends wholly on the glue.

RUSH

Last night I met my match.  Exactly what I needed.  Had me leaning into the curves and squeezing tight with first fear and then curiosity and then excitement but always adrenaline.  Sure… the day had been spent in work and stress and productivity and focus.  But the night was spent in a rush.

After the first ride I came off shaking.  Aftershocks.  Was that really 90 miles per hour?  Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff.  Long exhale.  When I got back on it was with new understanding – a brand new appreciation.  Total exhilaration.  The rush of naked speed.

Today I have a new goal.  A new resolution.  A semi-financial goal to meet a carnal need.  By next year this has to be mine.  I have to own this rush.  Remember this please – on the 5th of September 2011 I decided that on the 5th of September 2012 I MUST HAVE IT.  ALL to myself.  Available 24 hours a day to rock my little world…

© Brent Mclennon photography