Shame On Me?

Shame On Me, a blog by Bernadette Rose Smith

I’ve been lost in a circle of shame. Lost with untold stories. And my partner in crime is not here to release me. He died of cancer.

I tell others that there is no shame in a mess. That it is all usable by the Divine. To turn that mess over to God and watch the miracles multiply.

It seems I hold myself to another, less forgiving, measure.

I found the quote above in a Somerset Life magazine that was tucked into a care package of goodies intended to help me heal from flu/bronchitis complications after my breast surgery. Dropped off by an earth angel who had no way of knowing the key to freedom her gesture – and this quote – offered.

I was in agony. Not from the flu or bronchitis or even the breast cancer. They paled in comparison to the hurdle mounting within me. Read more

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When grief answers first … wait.

When Grief Answers First

When grief answers first, it isn’t pretty. And, sometimes, it’s raucous and self-involved. At least that’s my experience with it. Maybe I am more messy than most – though I suspect not. I suspect that what I am giving voice to here will not seem strange – or sacrilegious to the preciousness of life – if you have spent intimate time with grief.

Singular grief sucks. Multiple grief sucks. Overlapping grief sucks. I’ve done them all. When that gut-punch, double over, drop-to-your-knees moment hits, it is hard to imagine that there is anything beyond the pain.

When I found out I had breast cancer – just months after Ray took his last breath – grief spoke first. “Well, here’s your ticket out of all this pain. Your work here is done. It’s been a good run.”

When losing someone or something you love becomes a reality, it throws off the order. Ray’s run with a cancer that ended in death turned my days – and my morning prayer time – upside down. The pain felt in his absence left me with a desire for connection at any cost. Even if it meant I spoke to Ray first – and God second. Something I never did while he was alive.

My healing hierarchy fell out of balance while cancer cells feasted on estrogen without supervision – or should I say without “super vision.” When the small lump grew and ate away breast mass, I witnessed what the physical demonstration of grief must look like in a part of my body designed to nurture life as well as receive pleasure. Read more

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Forgive it Forward: Grievance Trafficking

Forgive it Forward Grievance Trafficker

Gathering grievances is tedious and soul consuming. Past, present or future. AND have you noticed how short-lived their collective pleasure is? No matter how many you manage to gather they NEVER make you feel better for very long. There is no magic number that brings a sustainable relief.

AND if you are grievance gathering to get off a guilt hook (like in a relationship) … well, that never ends well because it never ends. The other ‘guilty’ party will always accept the challenge to top your grievance with one of theirs. Think about it. Read more

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Gravity: while under the influence

So You Think You Can Dance: Gravity

g r a v i t y
1. The natural force of attraction exerted by a celestial body, such as Earth, upon objects at or near its surface, tending to draw them toward the center of the body.
2. The serious nature of something because of the worrying or significant consequences it has or could have.

 

What do you do when gravity meets gravity? When the one form of gravity meets the other and you find yourself living under the influence?

gravity while under the influence of loss
gravity while under the influence of disease
gravity while under the influence of frustration
gravity while under the influence of politics
gravity while under the influence of impotence
gravity while under the influence of insecurity
gravity while under the influence of religion
gravity while under the influence of debate
gravity while under the influence of media
gravity while under the influence of loneliness
gravity while under the influence of hunger

When gravity collaborates with gravity – some might say conspires – what saves your life? What keeps you going or starts you up again?

 

Wile E. Coyote Falling
Do you become a Wile E. Coyote cavern …
floating feather
… or a feather that never again touches down to caress a face?

 

There are events in life that cause us to visit the extremes depicted by these two pictures but most times we find ourselves caught somewhere in the middle – where my question remains the same.

 

 

 

What saves your life?
What allows you to get up and live your life anyway?

Is it working? Is it really working? Then share it here because some of us are open for trying new ideas or in need of a jump-start.

Could you do better? Should you do better or different? Then share that here because there are those of us who will certainly identify and let you know that you are not alone.

As I watch the media report another horrific event and witness a multitude of copings with gravity I can’t help but feel this is a conversation we all need to have because, like it or not, we are under the influence of gravity – together. Read more

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Blue Angel: forgiveness is freedom

Blue Angel

A hurried back porch morning.
Thrift store bowls sound clinking calls.
Rescue strays greet their meal ticket with circle-eight purrs
around her feet
and get down to the business of a ritual feed.

Her eyes cast up.

Bright blue innocence contrasts a stark winter sky.
A blue angel bobbles high on a breeze.
Let loose, perhaps, by the child of an early morning shopper
in the Kroger lot down the street.

Caught in a downdraft the blue angel dips to the neighboring yard.
The woman smiles a goodbye
and turns to go inside.

She later returns to gather empty bowls.
Bright blue innocence contrasts slumbering branches of the fig tree
in the corner of her yard.

Impossibly deep.

Kodak clicks document the angel’s plight.
Metaphor flashes of figs uneaten, branches unpruned,
dead limb alongside living.
Clicking. Clicking.
Exhaustive angles flicker freedom, flights of fancy,
forgiveness.
Gifting. Gifting.

She cannot bear a slow latex death through hurried days.
Camera down.
Ladder in hand.
She returns, she thinks, to free it from its prison.
But a turn from the garage by stands innocence
open-winged lift out.
Not cage but cradle.

Forgiveness is freedom.

Bernadette Rose Smith

Blue Angel Horizon

Inspiration is unpredictable.

That’s what makes it so magical. When it strikes it has that first time freshness – like falling in love – that defies the dull, deadening impulses of the mundane. We might yearn for inspiration. Even create an environment that encourages it. But, in the end, inspiration will not be bought nor controlled. That we might take delight. Read more

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