When Life Stops You ...

or seems to, remember what matters to the heart.

This weekend, I found myself disappointed ... at a critical time in the work I've been doing. I think of myself as a person who "hears" because I "listen"--but I realize now that I have to reevaluate that belief. While I'm sure of my intentions, I don't always convey them. 

In 2002 and 2004, my life turned on its axis. First, I lost my first-born granddaughter. I felt ripped apart and I just knew that it was a pain I would always feel. More than 10 years later, I find that I think of my granddaughter often, especially when her brother is around. I wonder about the what ifs ... if she had survived is the biggest what if, but there are others as well. I got through it (or rather I get through it when I have those pangs of regret). What I do know is that I would not change her being born or the time I had with her. And I know that if I had known I only had 7 days with her - well, I'd take every one of those days, hours, and seconds, too.

Of course 2004 was a little different. My mother had prepared me for her leaving, but I resented it very much. Just because I'm the oldest? Well, that wasn't the reason she did. She KNEW that I had to be the one (although I'm still processing why) and she KNEW that I would go over it in my mind for years to come (we know our children, don't we?). Still, it seemed that it was right. She brought me into the world, her first born. And I was with her when she walked into eternity. What a gift. I have what ifs as well. God knows what they are, but I dream of my mother often and not my granddaughter. My mother visits me in my dreams, but my granddaughter is perpetually a baby and in my heart.

Processing our lives is a life-long adventure. Like this last week. I thought I was giving someone a chance to see it my way, to get on board with the bigger vision. And I failed because it became about "my" vision, "my" wants and not the whole. And maybe that is why after falling into my bed early last night, waking up filled with mucus, head and chest hurting, that I think it was what happened last night that makes me evaluate whether my health is tied to my disappointments, especially when they come on the heal of the other. Am I reading the signs? Am I paying attention? Is what I hear really being said, or what happens?

We started ICDesignSTUDIO in June 2013. I had been working on it since 2011--the idea of teaching marketing, public relations, and graphic design as a skills set for working in community. I've evaluated it, gotten feedback, and it seemed that I have the support--but truly, I don't have it like I thought I did. Which says to me, that I heard it wrong, I got it all mixed up.

When I am sick, I dream. A lot. One dream figures into the other and I know that these dreams are trying to tell me something. And so, I created the design you see above. Disappointments come and go. I have a plethora of them. That's life. Still, I can't let disappointment continue to knock me on my ass. Can't say that it is the disappointment that does it, however. Not really. What happens is that what I am hearing is not what is being said. I'm working towards what I hear and not what is being said, and that means that I've worked harder in vain for what will not be than what will. It's a rare moment in time, but clarity does come when you stop long enough to grasp it.

Tonight, I'm a little stiff, a little woozy, but clear. You can count on it. And with clarity comes a new way of doing things. It is not a warning for anyone, but it is a resolve. I'm resolved to do what matters to my heart and working with young people, giving them the tools that in the end will create a better world is my soul's calling. Like the quote I found in the Swaziland annals: If you say it can't be done, move out of the way of the person who is doing it.

Finding out that there are those who would see me fail or fall doesn't bother me as much as believing that they do. When you find out that they don't ... let them go. Don't let the person who says it can't be done, make you believe it, too. We moving forward. The graphic above was my clarity and it is just the beginning. 

By the way--if you don't want to be run down--move out the way. I'm on the road again. Tomorrow is a brand new day!



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