A new Day

July 29, 2013

A day of disappointment, yet a day of gratitude.  Another loss in this chapter called life.  My new job seemed to have been going well.  I enjoyed the work, and felt like it was an area I could excel in.  I found my energy level could maintain itself as long as there wasn’t too much stress.  Unfortunately, my coworker who was training me, wasn’t happy with my performance, and when she isn’t happy, then she prevails.  As a result I was let go.

I have found that I have one major gauge when it comes to conflict – is the person willing to communicate and work through the conflict?  Through the years I have met many people, some who were highly moral and some who appeared to be more self protective.  Regardless of their moral outlook, the biggest area where conflict could be resolved was a willingness to be humble and talk through the issues.  Unfortunately this wasn’t the case with my coworker.  As much as I wish to rant and rave, in the end it doesn’t really matter.  I will strive to communicate, and be open-minded.  However I can’t control other people and don’t tolerate regular insults well.

The upswing – I enjoyed my little time reentering the working world.  I love learning new things, love learning about the law, and enjoyed being an advocate for those who are going down the wrong path.  I took pleasure in giving grace to people even when they had made serious mistakes or were caught in the system.  I could be kind and hopefully make their day a little easier by treating them with dignity.  I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses, in spite of literally no positive feedback.  I created my own systems, made changes with my mistakes, worked well with clients, gave it my best effort and tried to be positive.  I didn’t do as well without structure, in some of the details, and with unclear roles and situations.

It is hard not to feel like a failure when things don’t work out.  To some degree I have a clear understanding of my own role, and can protect my own hurt with feelings of anger.  I asked enough questions to seek better clarity, but the more that was spoken, the less that made sense.  I am grateful that I didn’t disclose about my fibromyalgia, as this would have made it even more complicated.  I don’t have to question whether they were using it against me, though she could have known through her LinkedIn search.  The reality is part of it was my doing, part of it is who I am, part of it was the environment, and a great part of it was the people.  I can gain comfort in knowing I tried my best, and sometimes things just don’t work.  May grace be given to me.

The beauty of the struggle is that this is when I like to write.  I have much less to say in the good times – which there has been many.  Somehow I feel more in touch with my soul in the pain than the mundane.  So as much as I prefer to have the glory, perhaps it was all meant to be…..



Merry Christmas everyone

December 24, 2012

Hi, my fellow writers and readers.  I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

The last few weeks, it seems everything has gone by quickly.  Lots of distractions in the holiday preparations – shopping, baking, decorating and seeing friends and family.  My routine and diet have been changed, and order seems to be less predictable.  At times this has been great fun, and other days it can be a challenge to keep up.

We plan on spending the holidays with family members, and making phone calls to our loved ones.  We tend to spread it out over a few days, as it is less chaotic and makes for easier and more meaningful conversations with people.  We spend more time playing games with the kids, and cooking/baking in the kitchen.  We enjoy a Christmas service and reflecting on what matters to us.

Christmas is one of those holidays where I like to create the best of memories.  I hope for family peace, family fun and a sense of the Spirit around me.  I enjoy giving and receiving the gifts from people who care about me.

As much as I hope for the best of memories, often the holidays can bring sadness and anxiety.  Life is full of conflicts, losses, personality conflicts, past issues, and health problems.  The more I can accept this as part of what makes us who we are the more I can dive into the greater meaning of Christmas.

Christmas for me is about love, peace, forgiveness and hope in my relationships with God and other people.  It isn’t about perfection, finding the best gift, or having a life without conflict.  As I learn to see God’s light shining like a star, in the midst of what is before me, the clearer vision I will have of how to reflect and act in the moment in front of me.  I pray that this season guides me to what is of most importance, bringing a foundation for the start of another year.

Merry Christmas All.  Elissa

Relationships and humilty – the darker side of life

November 29, 2012

Recently I have been having an inner battle with exposing the darker sides of life in order to reach out to someone who is struggling.  Much of the time I feel content in dwelling in the blessings of life and portraying an optimistic viewpoint.  I prefer to dream, plan, and encourage others to live in the moment, follow their values and seek meaningful relationships.  Talking about chronic pain, mental issues, dysfunction, crazy thoughts I might have, and addictions are topics I would rather stay in the shadows, or allow a slight exposure for a sense of humanity.  However when someone is hurting, it is hard to look the other way.

Sharing about the darker side can bring panic and fear.  What will people think of me?  Will I lose respect from people I care about?  Will they use the information to harm or threaten me in the future. Integrating these parts of myself can bring shame and fear of abandonment until full acceptance gives grace. I prefer to compartmentalized and move on losing this part of myself verses taking these pieces as the masterpiece they can become.

Opportunities always present themself in life.  Every difficult situation I have encountered has the potential to bring good, especially as I face the truth and find strength to move forward by both digging deeper and taking steps to make necessary changes.  I feel this responsibility to offer my experience, my compassion, possible guidance to resources, and wisdom that has guided me along the way.  I also need to be open to learn, to hear, to challenge my viewpoint, so I can learn what others have to teach me and to see the beauty in their life.  I don’t know if it will make a difference, but I can’t ignore the opportunity.

What I know to be true is that each of us has a unique path – what works for one doesn’t always work for another.  However, my greatest growth and wisdom has come from hearing stories, seeking truth and prayer, and finding resources through people and words of wisdom.  My greatest teachers have all have different opinions and values in some area, yet can still be a guide for enriching my life and growing spiritually.  I have learned to connect more easily with those who come in humility, willingness to listen, gave some hope, cared about me and were able to enter into the darker aspects of both my life and their own.  They had an inner strength , compassion, grace and love, and wisdom from their own experiences, yet were open to learning from the experiences of all they came into contact with.

May each of us keep our hearts open to allowing life to unfold in the most mysterious of ways – seeing the light shine in the darkness.

Step 12:  Having had a spiritual awakening because of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in our lives.

Do I buy new shoes or hide in a shoe box?

September 24, 2012

How best do I cure myself when I start acting like a crab?  I am feeling irritable because too many things are not going according to my plan and time-table.  I could write a whine a log, but generally that will just make me a whining crab and not really help me feel better.  The simple version is I am feeling overwhelmed because my husband is out of work, I can’t work, conflicts with people, I have some cold/illness that is clinging on, the joys of fibromyalgia and my knees still hurt.  So maybe it isn’t all that simple, yet I really don’t like feeling angry and frustrated.

I must admit, just coming up with my title post, put a smile on my face.  For some reason, that stems back to early childhood, shoes have a way of altering my mood.  With over 50 shoes in my closet or in the garage, I have plenty to choose from without even leaving my home.  The shoes I wear the most are more on the practical and sporty end, since the majority of the time I leave the house it is to do something active.  I wear my Adidas tennis shoes for running, walking and racquetball several times a week.  My soccer cleats, not the ones my younger daughter has conveniently made her own, but the other pair, are used for soccer practices/games 3-5 times a week.   Though I prefer the soft leather Pumas, over the other 3 I own, I would rather have my daughter be successful on the field with a great pair of shoes I happened to find on clearance for about 25% of the cost.   My black Teva sandas are my favorite shoe in the summer.  Keeps my feet cool, but allows me to run and hike if need be.  I have discovered I can even kick a soccer ball in them, they truly are the best.  My favorite winter boots are my Uggs. I think I spelled that right.  I used to make fun of people willing to buy such expensive shoes until I tried on a pair at Nordstrom Rack.  I immediately fell in love, and figured I deserved to not have my feet hurt.  After trying to rationalize to my daughters the cost of the shoes, I called my husband and asked if I could have them for my birthday.  The wonderful husband he is, said “yes”.  The other 40+ shoes I own are used so much less frequently.  My black leather boots are the next highest and then some clunker platform type of heals.  Being 5’4 (on a good day), I like the extra height but can’t walk in narrow heals.  Platform shoes don’t look as elegant, but makes me feel taller and some days more powerful.

Today I have several options to change the course of my day.  Hiding in a shoe box would give me some momentary relief.  I could escape from people for a little while, so that in my tiredness I don’t say something I will regret.  I hate feeling out of control with my emotions around other people.  Unfortunately this happened a few times this past weekend.  I can feel safe in my box, free from making decisions, bring my i-pod for some music, and hang out with my shoes :).  A little break could be a good thing, but eventually I will want OUT.  Though boxes are fun to draw when I am bored, I don’t particularly like the limitations and would need to create a skylights so I could fly away.  Buying a new pair of shoes would be a great way to go.  I could spend the day shopping for a new pair of boots or sandals.  I could find something with some zeal and show off to my family while ignoring their looks of “not again”.  Though the truth be told, I don’t feel like shopping, well maybe on Craigslist.  Perhaps after the post….

The surprising thing is I now feel energized and clear-headed.  Amazing what a shoe talk can do.  I may not be able to run today, but I can go for a walk and listen to some music.  I can do some Internet browsing to dream a bit, maybe plan ahead for my birthday shoes, October isn’t far away.  I also am capable of making apologies to the people I lost my temper with.  I can have conversations with people and learn to communicate better when I am tired.  Part of life is learning and growing.

On the shoe note – my plan is to see how many different shoes I can wear today.  I can do my hiding on the couch for some rest time and Internet shopping.  Maybe I will buy a new pair of shoes today – but if I don’t – I will be sure to really experience the feel of the shoes I already own.  Perhaps start with some slippers —–AAHHH.

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