Me In The Middle of Creating My Life

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 A New Creation

~ A poem about finding expression through art ~

One thing that tough times have taught me is to look to the center of things….. the center of me where I hope to find a way to move forward through whatever is going on in my life. It’s not always easy, especially when there’s a lot going on and things get really overwhelming. What works for others is not always the answer for you.

During one period of my life, it seemed I was searching nonstop for ways to get through the stress, chaos and upheaval that kept coming my way. I walked (a lot!), I exercised (a lot!), I meditated/prayed (a lot…), I wrote and created poems (off and on….) (Sometimes I partied (a lot!), Sometimes I drank (moderately…), Sometimes I totally stressed out! (a lot!) …. And that’s OK too! 🙂

It was during this time when I discovered the power of creating through ART. It’s my go-to escape from life’s tough times and it has never failed me. You don’t have to be perfect …. just express yourself and let go.

So I’m sharing with you a poem I wrote, during that chaotic time, about discovering my life through the joy of creating art.

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 A New Creation

Dormant stirrings of artistic talent
Laying in wait for expression
Smells of turpentine and linseed oil
Stretched into my memory
Carefully laying out the tools
For bringing thoughts to life.

Palette of colors
Arranged in warm and cool sequence
Easel with stretched canvas
Assorted brushes and knives
All symbols of promise
A new creation ~ a new hope.

At last a participant
No longer the spectator
Lost in concentration
Hours pass like minutes
Strong mystical feelings of peace
This was my universe and I felt free!

Maternal love nurtures new life
Returning to touch and nourish
Inner sense of Letting Go
Stepping back to set free
Contemplating the finished product
A genuine part of me.

Mary Lou Q

Sketches © Mary Lou Q

Me in the Middle Holding Space for My Country

Holding Space

Holding Space for My Country

My country is having a meltdown…… and I’m holding space for her.

When I began seriously writing my story a few years back, I was motivated by an underlying sense that outcomes in our personal lives are greatly influenced by the political climate that’s unfolding at the coinciding time. Our attitudes, whether we admit it or not, are formed and shaped by our political ideologies and vice versa ~ Our political ideologies are shaped by our convictions and character for the good or bad. It’s how we navigate through those outcomes that can make us or break us.

I’m holding space for me and my country. What’s unfolding now is not normal and very uncertain. I’ve been in this place before.

[Liminal space ~ When you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer.]

When my children and I were abandoned and were spiraling down into a very vulnerable situation, I found out who the people were who would be there for us. It was unknown territory that was not normal and very uncertain. I learned that it was sometimes up to me alone to make decisions and move us forward. I held liminal space for myself. When it wasn’t clear who I could trust, I learned to trust myself in the midst of uncertainty and confusion.

Now, I’m holding space for my country.

We’re not sure of who we can trust anymore. Sources we thought we could trust have been proven to be false. People who we thought we knew in our personal lives have shown a side of them that has alarmed us. We’re setting boundaries to protect ourselves.  Our country is showing signs of trauma in dealing with the recent events. I’m holding space for America and hoping she’ll find her way.

My journey in life has shown me that we all have experienced trauma at some point in our lives. I’ve learned to recognize those events that trigger my own PTSD responses caused by the trauma that I’ve experienced in the past. This moment in our country’s history has become one of those events. We have a president who shows all the signs of an unhealthy personality. Signs that I’ve come to recognize as red flags and abusive over the years. How do you detach from the country you love so much when you see it in an unhealthy relationship?

We’re all in that liminal space right now. I’m holding space for myself and allowing my country to be responsible for its own baggage. It’s been a long time coming. We have left the ‘tried and true’, as dysfunctional as that was, and are now moving into a totally unknown territory.

My circle of trust is in my faith that divine grace and goodness will see us through. Wherever this takes us we’ll have the strength and courage to take the steps we need to take. I wake up each day grateful for being alive and wanting to devote my time to the things that bring me joy and peace. Right now, I feel a sense of sorrow for this country I love. I believe America needs to go through this learning experience that’s still unfolding.

I’m holding space for America through these growing pains and hoping to see her move forward to a better place.

Holding Space #2

© Mary Lou  ~ 2017

Images from Pixabay

Me in the Middle Turns One Year Old (#FlashBack)

anniversary-2x

What a difference a year makes!  

My One-Year Anniversary badge from WordPress got me thinking about what inspired me to start blogging in the first place and what I’ve gained from this whole experience.

Me in the Middle was the beginning of my sharing my life story with family and a way for me to write about things I needed to let go of so that I could move forward in my life.  It was my hope that through sharing my journey I might encourage others and pass on lessons learned.  It turns out that, in one year’s time, I’ve been able to do that and so much more.

At first I found other bloggers who met that need for support through experiences of abuse, trauma and PTSD .  Bloggers who encouraged and supported each other in a positive way.  Then my enthusiasm for blogging grew and I began to open up my focus to many different topics and directions.  The WordPress Team and Community inspired me and helped me with any questions I had.  Soon I was connected to a wonderful group of blogger friends that have moved me well beyond the need that had initially brought me here last year.  I found that ‘Letting Go’ is an on-going process of being mindful of when we’re allowing our thoughts and emotions from flashbacks of the past to disrupt the wonderful experiences of the present.

One of the major influences in making this transition was the A to Z Challenge 2016.  I used it as a way to bring together all the lessons learned through my life.  It was a real purging and letting go of the past.  So, what a difference a year makes!

one-year-old

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When I first created my website I posted an Invitation to Guest Bloggers.  I wanted to open the door for others to share in their surviving and thriving stories.  I re-posted the invitation again in May and the response was wonderful!  Take a look ~ Here ~.   I’d love to hear your Me in the Middle story.  

So, for FlashBack Friday I decided to post one of my first post at the very beginning that started me off through this great year of blogging.  Thanks to everyone for being a part of it!

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It’s FlashBack Friday~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of your that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by MICHAEL G D’AGOSTINO from A LIFE EXAMINED–That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on September 27th, 2015.  To see the original comments to that post you can click on the title below to be taken to the original post. 

I chose this post because it was one year ago that I created my WordPress Website and this post is one of the first I published.  I believe it’s relevant because it shows where I was back then in September 2015 at the very beginning of my blogging experience and just how much blogging has helped me to let go and move on in life.

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Me in the Middle of Learning to Stand on My Own

I found Two Poems I’d written ~ in those first years ~ when I was coming to terms with the reality that the person who I thought was there for me was never really there.  I was learning to stand on my own and to find ways to push through all the walls that were coming down.  I was learning to believe in the possibilities that might be opening up for me.  It took every ounce of creative effort and courage that I could muster.  Writing poems during those first years was a way of finding expression for what I wasn’t able to make sense of while I was experiencing it.  When I reread them from a different place, a more improved view, I saw how important these exercises were.  They were stepping stones to carry me through that time to a new and better place in my life.  A life that keeps moving forward with Hope while wrestling with Life’s paradoxes.

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Divorce

Not sought after ~ this divorce
Thrust upon me as last resort
Insanity running its full course
Destroying trust and mutual support.

Sacrament now turned nightmare
Unraveling years of hopes and dreams
Document once sealed our covenant
Now document seals our parting means.

Final period closing painful sentence
Marking wreckage left behind
Will one day find me free of malevolence
Allowing forgiveness and peace of mind?

© Mary Lou

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Choose Life

Currents of humor and understanding
Toward the human condition
Life’s path created by paradoxes of life
Challenging past held beliefs
Toward unique revelation
Sun shines on evil as well as good.

Forms of life-force and truth
Point toward responsible kinship
Belief in goodness and care for humanity
Moves me out of my own poverty
Toward unique evolution
Choose Life ~ that my future may live!

Poems andSketches © Mary Lou

Me In The Middle of Blogging 101 ~ Being A Good Neighbor

My Uncle Jack ~ RIP

My Uncle Jack ~ RIP

My Uncle Henry ~ RIP

My Uncle Henry ~ RIP

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“Those who serve in our military risk the greatest hazard, and often lay upon the altar of liberty the greatest sacrifice, in defense of our decisions as a self-governing citizenry. No expression of gratitude for their valor, then, is adequate, but the constant vigilance and effort of each citizen to ensure that our decisions, as a people, are informed, reasonable, and just.”

~ Thomas Jefferson ~

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The assignment for Blogging 101 ~ Being A Good Neighbor ~ was to visit four of the blogs that I’m following and leave a comment about one of their posts.  Today, Veteran’s Day 2015, had some very meaningful expressions on respect and honor for those who have served in the military.  I chose four of these blogs that I visited and wanted to share them with you:

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