Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

This was a difficult subject. So much of what I photograph is from nature and there is nothing broken there. My posts though, convey through images my journey through life and there was a period last spring when I felt broken. Here is one of the photos I shared in a post during that time…

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Broken.”

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Recreating Tracy

There’s a quote that goes something like this:

When you love someone you give them the power to destroy you. But trust them not to.

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I was destroyed. I felt as though everything I had believed in, everything I felt and thought was true…wasn’t. And my world crashed.

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In AA we call this hitting bottom. You can be sober and still hit bottom. I never knew that until these past few months. And I found that when this happens I have choices. I can start again. I can learn and grow from the pain. Or I can stay at the bottom.

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I chose to see it as an opportunity. A time to rebuild, recreate, rediscover who I am. But this meant some work on my part. It also meant that I needed to first feel all the pain and anguish. I had to allow myself to feel it all and not run away or try escape from it.

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Then I needed to take a good hard look at myself and my role in it. Looking back through the wreckage of my past…relationships and experiences and mistakes. Looking for clues and answers. I had to look honestly at who I was. Because I don’t want to hit this same bottom again.

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It isn’t pretty this self examination. But it’s what we do. What we have to do to find serenity and peace when our world falls apart. We are works in progress. Always. It never stops.

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And this process involves finding ways to forgive. Ourselves and other people in our lives. Forgiveness is freedom. Hanging on to resentments and bitterness is not and only plunges us deeper into the abyss.

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I found I am stronger than I thought. I found inside of me a joy, that despite any darkness in my life, always finds a way to shine through. And I found that I possess many wonderful qualities and that I can work on the not so wonderful ones. They are not permanent flaws or defects.

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And most of all I found that my heart, while seemingly broken, really isn’t. Just bruised a bit. The human heart is an amazingly resilient thing. It is limitless in its ability to mend and heal. It can and will feel love again. It is what a heart is meant to do.

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So I’m recreating Tracy. I’m polishing some of the tarnished parts and discarding some ideas and thoughts that no longer are needed.

And keeping the essence of who I am…

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Reflection

Any change in life requires a period of reflection.

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A time of looking more closely at ourselves and our lives.

A time of asking questions…

What am I learning?

How am I growing?

Where am I going?

The answers are not always clear. They are often clouded by our sadness and grief as we cope with the changes life has given us.

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Reflection means looking deeper.  Stripping away our layers. Opening up the wounds and feeling the pain. We can’t move forward until we’ve felt what needs to be felt.

And then we can let it go…

We can learn the lessons it’s trying to teach us.

We can grow in new and exciting ways.

We can begin down a new path.

Reflection is the mirror that allows us to truly see…

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Salt Water Cure

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One of my most favorite of all quotes.

And I have found it to be so very true…for me.

Tears

Tears of sadness. Tears of grief. Tears of heartache.

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All kinds of tears. Sometimes a thought or memory brings tears to our eyes .

Other times our crying is deep and long.

Agony and ache pours out from deep inside our hearts and down our cheeks.

I sometimes wonder how can I have so many tears?

But tears happen for a reason. They allow our pain a way out.

When something is no longer painful…the tears for it will stop.

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Sweat

There is nothing quite like the feeling that comes after a strenuous hike.

I may begin tentatively, unsure of my footing, legs and heart weary…But I keep going.

I keep going until the sweat pours down my face…and I reach the summit.

And for those few moments in time, everything is forgotten…

 I feel euphoric instead of sad. I feel successful instead of defeated.

I feel replenished instead of empty.

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The Sea

Everyone knows the healing power of the sea.

The ebb and flow of tides…so like our emotions.

Infinite and vast.  The sea and sky seemingly endless.

Our grief seems so small in comparison.

And the ocean reminds us…life goes on.

Soon…I will make my way back to the sea…to finish this healing process.

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Then perhaps I can say goodbye to this part of my life

Turn the page

And say hello to the next chapter…

Beautiful Thoughts

It sounds a little hokey…this idea of beautiful thoughts.

Especially while in the grips of coping with a loss. My thoughts can be anything but beautiful.

Yet each day I try.

I try to begin my day thinking of beautiful things.

And end my day remembering the beautiful things I experienced that day…no matter how small or few.

Beautiful places I have discovered…

Beautiful things I have seen…

Beautiful things I have felt…

 Today, I think, is going to be beautiful…

Dance in the Rain

One of my favorite sayings in A.A. is

“Life isn’t about avoiding the storm, but learning instead to dance in the rain”

(Author unknown)

There’s a storm in my life right now. The ending of a relationship that I thought was forever.

The storm is inside me. It is inside my heart.

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 It rages loud and strong. It rages quietly and painfully.

No matter how many years of sobriety I have…there will always be storms.

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Some storms are little. A quick shower and it’s over. Others are dark violent storms that seem to last forever.

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Every time a storm comes into my life, I have to relearn again how to dance in the rain.

Yesterday was full of torrential downpours.

So I tried to dance…

The storm will continue to rage.

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I’ve learned to not avoid them.

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My dance is still a little awkward…a little shaky…

But I’m dancing.

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Finding Faith

 

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Faith is a funny thing….

Sometimes you feel it, deep within your heart and soul.

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It calms your fears and eases your pain.  It gives you a sense of peace and hope. It protects you and keeps you safe. It is huge and encompassing. It is small and gentle.

Faith…believing that anything is possible.

And other times you seek it.

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Times when you can’t find your way because you are blinded by the darkness. You know what faith feels like. But when overwhelming  fear and doubt and worry combine, it can seem as if faith has left you…all alone in a storm that rages around you.

This is the path I find myself on right now. And I don’t recognize it.

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A pink slip, handed out to me and every teacher in my school, because our budget did not pass. Our wonderful little school may have to close.

It will be ok we are told. Things will work out they say. We are not sure we can believe them.

Our faith tries to speak up.  But the dark and harsh reality pushes it away.  This is almost too much. Fear looms and threatens…

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My faith.

I want to run and hide.

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Old thinking comes back into my head. It steals my hope and tires my spirit…

The world, always so sparkly and bright

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Seems dull and pale.

Tears brim…I fight them

But they spill over

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I pray and ask why? Why is this happening?

But no answer comes.

More than anything I want to know…

Where did my faith go?

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It has never left me before.

I was always able to fan its flames back to life.

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There are only embers now.

I want to believe what Edward Teller says.

My heart desperately wants to cling to the hope that out of this, my faith will return and teach me to fly…

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For now though…I walk lightly and quietly

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Looking, searching, seeking faith

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