Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ June

“The eagle opened its wings and circled up into the air”

OPEN ~ unfold or be unfolded; spread out.

The WordPress WordPrompt for June is OPEN.

For me, the word OPEN has an accepting and welcoming feel to it. Life experience has taught me that it’s good to be accepting and welcoming of the lives, opinions and choices of others as long as I don’t lose my own integrity. Being open to life as it is and living in that worldly reality needs boundaries that protect our own life and our own reality. To Openly embrace the reality of the world and humanity while standing courageously in what we’ve learned in our own life is the definition of OPEN. To hold space for ourselves and others as our lives unfold. This is freeing! It leaves us open to learn and understand while still deciding where we fit into that learning and understanding. This is freedom!

“Open your eyes! Look within! Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”

~Bob Marley ~

“Be open minded but not so open minded that your brains fall out!”

~ Groucho Marx ~

“The open heart sees, feels and absorbs the beauty of the world.”

~ Sonia Choquette ~

Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ May

“You never know how STRONG you are, until being STRONG is your only choice.”

~Bob Marley ~

I found this writing by Brené Brown while visiting a post by Jennifer Juneau Looking Back While Looking Ahead.  It’s only been recently that I’ve embarked on the journey of ‘Looking Back’ all with the intent to continue moving forward and ‘Looking Ahead’.  Writing about our life story, the good parts and the not-so-good parts, pulls together a pattern that reminds us of who we were all along the way.  A pattern of strength and courage through our struggles that becomes clearer when we become an observer from the present  time and allow ourselves to look back.  We can do this at any time and at any age.  The insights we gain and the freedom we experience keep us ‘rising strong’.

~ Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted ~

“There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned how to rise

With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look at it in the eye.

We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.

We are the authors of our lives.
We write our own daring endings.

We craft love from heartbreak,
Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.

Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home.
Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong.”

Brené Brown

Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ April

I’ve been waiting for the April WordPrompt from the WordPress Team. It’s been a slow process of getting back in the groove for blogging. And now I begin! Pondering the word GREEN!

The Green Heart emoji 💚 depicts a classic representation of a heart, colored green. It is commonly used to represent love, support, close bonds, and admiration for things that have some relation to the color green, from nature to sports teams that use green.

Looking back over the years I find the color green leading me forward to LIFE and RENEWAL. A little girl learned the miracle of a small seed sprouting into a green plant by placing the seed in cotton and placing it in a glass. Each day carefully watering it and checking to see any signs of life. In Girl Scouts our uniforms were green. We’d work toward badges that included nature.

Junior Girl Scout Nature Badge

Ireland is the heritage of my family and green reminds me of Ireland in many ways! On my two week visit to Ireland we travelled the back roads of beautiful green scenery especially on the West Coast. The Shamrock is: ‘While trying to convert the Irish into Christians, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the holy trinity with each leaf representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three leaves of a shamrock are also said to stand for faith, hope and love. A fourth leaf is where we get the luck from.’

a low-growing clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, used as the national emblem of Ireland.

Even our society has recognized the color green as a sign of well being, moving forward and healthy growth. Our traffic lights are Red on top, Yellow in the middle and Green on the bottom. Red alerts us to those red flags, signs of danger to our well being. Yellow encourages us to proceed with caution and be aware of possible risks. And GREEN tells us it’s safe to proceed and move forward. Sometimes some unforeseen event will happen as we’re proceeding and moving forward. And that we can’t control.

‘Traffic signals control the flow of traffic through intersections. Even young children are taught what the three colors of the traffic light mean: Red means stop, yellow means caution, and green means go. Although traffic lights are now used for automobile traffic, their initial use came before the car’s invention.’ (TitleMax)

So there you have it! Why GREEN means good things for me (and you?). I like to wear green and more likely in March. I’m always thinking of Spring and Ireland!

Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ Bridge

WordPress is helping us break the blogger’s block. It just might work for me! It’s got me thinking about the March word prompt ~ BRIDGE.

Looking back over my life I can see the different ways that I saw a bridge, sometimes real and sometimes a metaphor. A bridge is a way to get you to the other side when it would be impossible to get there without a lot of difficulty.

It’s like a midwife assisting the birth of a new life. When we’re born we’re thrust into the world and the midwife is there to guide and make the process less challenging.

Growing up there were two bridges that come to mind; one is the George Washington Bridge and the others are the smaller bridges over brooks, creeks and streams while exploring nature around my area which was pre-suburban at that time. The GWB was ominous and high above the Hudson River, carrying us away from our little village in New Jersey into the concrete jungle of the big city. The brooks, creeks and streams were fun to cross over, leaping from stone to stone or across logs that were laid out for crossing the water.

One symbolic bridge was the moving into adult life which, for a young woman back in the late fifties and early sixties, was marriage and starting a family. Part of that symbolism was that the man you married would be there for you in a supportive way throughout your life together. A bridge to support you emotionally and financially during good times and bad. ‘Love is all you need’, only it wasn’t all you need.

Around 1970, as a mother of four little ones and watching the upheavals brought about by the Vietnam War, I turned inward to find peace and hope. My husband had moved from job to job and then unemployed. It was stressful times for us and for our country. There were songs that moved me to trust and hope that we would make it through. One was ‘Let it Be’ by the Beatles and the other was ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters‘ by Simon and Garfunkel.

That song, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters‘ had two meanings for me at the time. One was inspired by the Jesus Movement (Charismatic Renewal) which opened me up to a simpler faith. “The Spirit is within you.” The other was for myself ~ to be a bridge over troubled waters for others in my life. It brought me a centering peace. It helped me focus on my immediate responsibilities and Trust.

From that point on, bridge became a metaphor for me of finding a path to my inner strength ~ to be a bridge over troubled waters for myself in my own life guided by Love. At times it was through reaching out to others during a time a crisis and seeking a bridge to help me cross into better times. I learned the limits of others in their ability to be that bridge for me. I learned that I was, for the most part, alone on that path and trusted that there would be a bridge there for me as I moved forward.


Me in the Middle~Random Act of Kindness

I want to share with you a wonderful act of kindness that totally blew my mind.

After our big snowstorm I went out to start my car and found that the battery was dead. I called road service, and someone came and jumped started my car. I was so grateful as there is a labor shortage and it took a while to find someone. He recommended that I have an auto parts store check the battery because it’s about 5 years old and they can install a new one if needed. He waited to be sure I was okay while I drove over to get my mail and get rid of garbage.

When I went out again to start my car the next day, it wouldn’t start again. I called the local auto parts store and was told I would need to get it jump started and drive it over to them. When I explained to him that I already had it jump started and this is the second time the car wouldn’t start. I was concerned because I’m handicapped and older and didn’t know if the car would stall out on my way over.

The person on the phone then said “Hold on. What make, model and year is your car?” I told him and he asked where it was. I told him it was in the front parking lot of my apartment complex. He asked if I could be out by the car and he would be right over.

He came right over and we chatted the whole time he worked on removing the old battery. When I said “At least the sun’s out today!” and he replied “Every day is a beautiful day!” He lifted my spirits and I told him I liked his attitude. After we talked more and he continued to put in a new battery, I turned the key in the ignition and the car started up beautifully!

I asked him how I should pay, by calling the store or here with him? He looked at me and said “You’re fine! Happy New Year!” I looked at him, not sure what he was saying? “You’re fine! I was given a second chance at life and the Lord wants me to live it out by helping others.” He went on and told me more and started to get into his car. I handed him the tip that I was prepared to give him which he declined at first, and I insisted. “What’s your name?” I asked. “God has always brought good people into my life just when I needed them. Thank you so much”

At first he hesitated, “It doesn’t matter.” he said. And then he paused, “My name is John

God’s Love is everywhere!