happy friday my friends. i am so honored to share my dear friend Gloria's story... it touched me on so many levels and taught me priceless lessons. i know i am better for reading this beautiful, beautiful story.
So here is Gloria's Truth... her words, her pictures, her "IM BETTER FOR IT". ************************ Ok... I was born to a young mother and father
who I don't think was ready to be a dad,
or maybe better than that he had a terrible dad himself.
I see pictures of my father when he was a young boy
and can clearly see the sadness in his eyes.
( i am better for being able to recognize that)
I am going to share one of my best
childhood memories of my father.
We were hanging out by the basketball court
and I am in this little pink plastic car.
He gives his friend a quarter and he pulls me
around the court and when my sees me coming around
he lights up.
I was about 3 or 4.
It was beautiful I had my daddy very present with me
and because its one of the few memories
I have of him and I remember it well.
I know my dad went away for a while after that
because i don't believe I saw him for a long time.
He would show up once in a while when he was able.
He dealt with this addiction that
had a really strong hold of him.
He was not able to really keep it together
long enough to be a dad.
Let me say that when he did show up,
all I saw was my happy dad.
I am so glad that he showed up
even if it was only for a little while .
( This taught me to have a grateful heart )
I also remember sitting in his VW Van,
it was purple with tan interior.
He played his guitar and sang to me.
I felt so proud that my dad had such a beautiful voice
and so much talent.
What I remember the most about that moment
was how much passion and heart he had when he sang to me.
I grew up believing that stair way to heaven was written for me.
( I love that )
My dad was an amazing musician.
He was a talented poet.
He had a heart of gold.
My grandmother would tell me ...
"Your dad wouldn't kill a fly if his life depended on it."
He was a sweet man.
I know he was not around much but I didn't care.
I adored what I got when I got it.
Much of my childhood was spent waiting,
I don't mean waiting in a sad way, or a bad way...
It was more waiting in anticipation for
this amazing man that was my dad to call.
I know he did some time in jail
because my grandmother would tell me...
"OK we are going to go visit your dad
he is in grown man school where
everyone wears orange jumpers."
I believed that too until I grew up,
but it was great visiting him.
He was never sad around me.
It was all about his skinny little girl.
So, where does the I am better for it come in...
What I learned from not having it all...
Is that I needed to learn keep my heart OPEN.
When I did not have resentment towards my father
or bad feelings, everything I received from him
was this amazing gift.
I would tell myself...
I know he is going to leave soon when he arrived to see me.
Then I would say to myself, I want to make how ever
much time I get with him equal double.
Then I would be really present.
I would look at the weather and remember is it sunny or not.
Then I would look at my dad.
What is he wearing,
how long is his hair,
I would look at his smile.
I would take it all in.
( I ever really got more than a day with him)
so maybe that helped.
I let go of what I thought I should get and
learned to love what I got.
I never expected anything so everything I got was a bonus.
I am really better for this experience....
My childhood was very colorful.
I think what I learned was how to take a situations
and find the beauty in it by taking my expectations out.
He taught me to love that moment.
I don't think I have ever felt sorry for myself
in regard to not having a dad because
of the attitude I somehow taught myself to have.
That was Love... what you are handed now.
Love him completely so when he leaves
you can still hold on to that moment.
My heart is full of Love for this man and
I am clearly better for it.
As timing would have a couple days ago
I found this letter that my dad wrote to me the day he died.
I don't remember seeing this letter before this week.
To my little Daughter,
My Darling Gloria,
sorry I let you down as your father
you never let me down as my daughter - Please be happy for me.
I want you to always be that way all your life-
When we meet again I will make it up to you
what I should have done for you but I didn't
know how to when I was in the physical body-
I am sorry my baby, little thing.
You will always be mine remember that.
So take good care of your family for grandpa now.
Oh my baby girl I love you so you'll never know,
say hello to them all for me everyday. ok
Daughter remember I will always be there
Always your dad
I am better for it...
because i learned to keep my heart open to love,
with out passing judgement....
thank you my gor-juss friend! thank YOU. to get to know Gloria better and read more of her lovely views on life... go HERE!
if you have a story to share, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org OUR STORIES MATTER!!!
Since I was a little girl my mom has called me “Sunshine”.
I’ve always tried to look on the bright side,
believe the best of people and situations,
count my blessings and stop to celebrate the little things in life.
I think living with joy has always come easily
because I truly love life, people, and simple pleasures.
Several years ago I purposed to become
the most positive person I knew.
I haven’t always succeeded but I have tried
to remain positive and celebrate life every day.
Of course there have been difficult times in my life,
But through it all I’ve always come out of things
with a deeper appreciation for life, love
and and the wonderful things that are available for me to enjoy.
I write a lot of gratitude lists and
write a lot about celebrating the big and small things
that I’m thankful for.
I try and bring goodness to the lives of those around me.
I strive and be a loyal friend, passionate wife and loving mother.
My art is bright.
Most of my paintings have uplifting words or phrases in them.
I feel like I do a pretty good job
at being happy and spreading happiness.
My blog is called “Happy Mama” for the love.
You get the point :)
Recently a big mess of sadness has entered my heart.
Old sadness that was never really full acknowledged before
has come to the surface, and new sadness sets in
as I begin to unearth the cause(s) of it all.
As someone who typically focuses everything I have
on the “good stuff”
you can imagine how uncomfortable I feel
sitting with this sadness, trying to listen to it,
and wanting to learn from it.
Some of this sadness is coming from seeing someone
I dearly love in pain.
In recent weeks I’ve come to realize
that there is nothing I can do to make it better,
and that is painful.
But the main source of this sadness sets in
as I look back on my childhood years.
There were definitely times of joy
and happiness in my childhood.
I've always been able to identify and celebrate those memories. Recently though, I've come to see very clearly
that I grew up in a house where
emotional abuse was common place.
Control was had by one person.
Only certain emotions were acceptable, and
if you said or did the wrong thing on the wrong day,
you’d be sorry.
Authentic feelings were stifled by fear, control, and manipulation.
Anxiety became a way of life for two small girls and their mama. Our carpets were made of eggshells
and our hearts were made of glass.
It didn’t take more than a few minutes of yelling
before my heart was broken again.
Sometimes it only took one cold look from him
to make me collapse into myself.
Sometimes it was just the knowing that
the work day was over to send me into a cloud of dread.
Dinnertime was coming and we didn’t know
what to expect from him. Was it a good day?
Would he be happy to see us? Or was work stressful,
his life overwhelming, and he would lash out
at the first person who dropped a cup,
or disagreed with his opinion?
In the worst of it, usually hours of rage-laced yelling and fear,
my little self went to a place of darkness.
A place of hopelessness and fear.
A feeling like nothing was ever going to be okay.
I so desperately wanted it to stop, for things to be normal.
To go to bed every night knowing that
I wouldn’t wake up to yelling.
To spend my day thinking about childish things
and not worrying about what was going to happen next.
To not see the sadness in my mama’s eyes.
To not live in a house where tension
was the fifth member of the family.
When I think of my little self, my sister and our young mother
holding tightly to each other in those years,
I think of a strong bond.
We loved each wholly and every moment
of fun and togetherness we had carried us through the bad days.
When it was just the 3 of us, I was on top of the world.
Life was good and fun and full of laughter.
I sometimes wonder what life would have been like
had we always had that safety.
When I think about all of this, I just cry and cry.
I cry for what might have been,
what kind of life would we have had without the fear,
the sadness, the worry.
Who might we have been without the
yelling, the roaring, the raging?
Who might we have been with stability,
safety and a true sense of well-being?
Recently I started sharing about my sadness on my blog.
It’s been a big change since the focus of my blog
has always been about joy, gratitude and
enjoying the good things in life.
It took me several posts to begin to feel comfortable
writing about these uncomfortable emotions.
Since I began sharing about this
I've been delightfully surprised by the outstretched hands,
open arms, and HUGE hearts of friends near and far.
I am so thankful for each drop of kindness
that’s been offered to me.
I'm also completely blown away by the number of people
who are now or have gone through something
so similar to what I'm experiencing.
It's comforting to know that I'm not alone on this journey
through the cloud of grayness.
Others have come before me, and are with me now,
traveling the path toward healing.
There is a pureness, and absolute beauty in vulnerability.
I didn't realize that sharing some of my tender pieces
would reach out to the tender pieces in others
and connect our hearts together in such a meaningful way.
I’m thankful for each word, each memory,
each painful piece,
each truth that has been shared with me.
I cherish it all.
Hearing the stories of other’s sadness has
touched me and given me courage to face
the darkness of my pain.
There is something so stunningly beautiful about the
power of human connection.
I am just in awe of it.
As I face my fears of feeling exposed and
step forward into the truth of my story,
I am amazed by the village waiting to embrace me.
My soul is soothed with every loving exchange with my husband, my family, my friends, and new soul sisters
I'm having the honor of getting to know.
I will never again underestimate the power
of telling the truth, and honoring my story,
especially the ugly parts.
It’s taking me time and practice to let go of needing
to always be happy, always wanting to feel good.
I think I’ll always crave joy, because I just love it :)
But I’m learning that sadness serves a purpose, too.
I’m learning that saying “I’m struggling” is a good thing,
because it allows me to let go of holding everything by myself
and open my arms to receive the love and support waiting for me. I’m learning that being vulnerable is good,
when you have people you can trust with that vulnerability.
I’m learning that talking about the ugly, or broken,
or scary things is soothing this heart of mine.
I’m learning that connection is
amazingly powerful and healing.
I’m learning that I’m not the only one.
I’m learning that mothering my own babies is
helping me heal my broken pieces.
I’m learning that I can reach deep inside
and comfort that little me who was scared and sad
and just wanted her mama to be happy.
I’m learning I can mother that little me and let her know that everything would turn out okay, that she would be alright. I’m learning that I can stop ingesting the pain of others. I’m learning that happiness is wonderful, and joy is at the core of my soul, but sadness and gray skies are part of life sometimes, too.
I’m learning that I can heal. I’m learning that some things can’t be solved by the end of the day, that sometimes I just have to accept it for what it is and let it be. I’m learning that every phase of life is a season and I’m in a gray season right now.
My heart is always full, as I’m a full-hearted person. In this moment I'm accepting that while joy is there, sadness overflows right now. I accept that and I'm trying to embrace it. It's part of my path, my truth, my unfolding story. The sadness takes me to places in my heart that have been unexplored. It shows me the beauty of my broken pieces. It reminds me that there is always hope, that healing is a necessary and healthy part of life.
With courage from somewhere inside, and the support of my village, I’m walking towards healing. This sadness is making me a stronger person and I suspect when I come out on the other side, I’ll have a whole new appreciation for my story and the stories of others. Soon enough the sadness will leave and joy will return full force but until that happens I’m here feeling how I feel, healing as I go, painting my way through the tears, talking about it, and writing it all down.
And the sadness? I'm beginning to think that I'm better for it. Yes. I am better for it.
Thank you beautiful, inspiring, loving Lisa. Hop on over and visit Lisa here: