Shine & Reflection

Spent a week of freedom with my 12 year old son, drove North to live in a Jellystone Campground with several other families in the Catskills. It was a week of Joy and Insight and Learning of the best kind.

I drove up there and managed it all on my own (more or less) and was not miserable being solely responsible.

I was free to mingle or not, play or work, whatever, since Noah (my companion) could be trusted to let me know if he needed me for anything. Only managing the needs/desires of ONE other human is so easy that it might as well not be a thing.

I smiled. A LOT. Just caught myself smiling & smiling with no further input from my environment.

Unlike previous years, I was not side swiped or otherwise hit with unexpected guilt/fear/pain while there or in my travels. Nice.

It was absolutely astounding to me how much I’ve Changed and Grown since the last time I was able to hug these people. 

Because it’s an annual pilgrimage, that I skipped last year due to my emotional/spiritual pit of hell, I couldn’t help but reflect upon who I was and have been and am now, in relation to this trip.

Summer of 2010 I remember, in retrospect, as the start of some very deep misery in my soul and a whole boatload of depression. Since then, I’ve bottomed out and climbed back up. Well, “climbed” implies too much concerted effort on my part. My efforts felt aimed, in the moment, more at surviving and/or finding Joy moment-by-moment more than at any sort of long term solution or survival (which felt way too overwhelming at the time). In other words, just like the spiral INto the depression, the spiral back up and out felt more like a ride I was on than fruits of my labor. I think I am one of those people who has to process some things in the dark as well as in the light. And aside from all the “You shouldn’t feel this way” and “What if it’s always like this?” thoughts, it was manageable and felt important and the pain, like that of natural childbirth, while overwhelming at times was not something to be feared or escaped, but something to face head-on and embrace. If only I knew then that I could honestly Trust that pain.
I remember struggling and surrendering and doing a WHOLE LOT OF WORK just to enjoy enjoyable things like floating on the river and riding roller coasters. And today I am doing those things without the effort.

Now I really understand what my dear friend Amie means when she talks about loving and embracing depression as a part of myself. I thought it was a bunch of sweet talk but now that I am on An other side (not The other side, there are SO many sides!) I see that dreading its return or seeing my emotional life without shades of gray does not help in any way. I still feel compelled to DO things that Keep It Away, but I do also see the folly in believing that If I do x then y shall never happen, guaranteed. It’s not as easy as not getting drunk (don’t drink alcohol = not getting drunk…..Simple). There are moments when, if I pay attention, I can see and name feelings that are not on my top ten list and watch where they lead. Little things like that, I imagine, would keep me feeling better longer, but either way I’ll learn a lot about me.

I know I started this post reflecting on We Shine. These friends of mine have helped me learn to trust mySelf as I’ve grown in trusting my kids to grow into the adults they want to be. Glowing from the inside out, I’m happy to be home again and immersed into the work of daily living, grateful for my air conditioners.


I wanted to post this ASAP because I am desperately wanting to WRITE WRITE WRITE and if I wait for it to make sense or get edited, I’ll never post 😀


~ by merialiss on July 1, 2012.

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