Sunday, September 23, 2018

Destruct to construct

This is an on going process.  Right now I am totally destroy my sewing room with the purpose in mind of having shelves for my projects that will fit the containers that I have.  First I am pulling everything out to make room for the building project.  This means there is stuff every where in our living room.  Almost finished one set of shelves then realized if I complete them as they are, I will not be able to reach the pull chains for the fan and light in the middle of the room.  Bummer.  I allowed myself to put it on hold until Monday.  I am feeling anxious but I remind myself that I am setting the due dates to have things done.  They are mine to change as needed.  I am so excited to go through things.  Some haven't been touched in years.  I also took courage in my hands and give a few things away.  Please understand, this is a huge success and I am so excited about it.  DH offered several times to help but I want to be able to say I DID IT! Step by step I am making choices to control my life.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Inside Job

I felt sad today when someone criticized Elizabeth Smart for sharing her video on choosing happy after her ordeal of being kidnapped.  It was an awesome video that she shared but the person making the complaint expressed that it was 'easy' for her since she had support from family and friends.  The reply I wish I had written but didn't because I pointed out the uselessness of comparison instead,

Dear complainer,

Happiness is an inside job.  A person can have no trauma, family and community support and still be unhappy.  Happiness is not about circumstances or the people around you.  Those things influence but I learned from reading both Viktor Frankl Man's Search for Meaning
And Corrie Ten Boom The Hiding Place

that even in the most wretched places people found hope, happiness, and a reason to live.

Begrudging Elizabeth her happiness will do nothing to improve your own and does not diminish her progress.  Like crabs in a pot, pulling others down does nothing to rescue you out of your mess.

I am not going to say the journey to happiness is an easy one.  I don't believe that it can be turned off and on like a light switch or if you can you might be dealing with severe dissociation.  What I do believe it is something we learn to see, create and share.  If pursued exclusive to all else, it is never found.  Happiness to me is a byproduct of living a life filled with sharing, caring, creating, and serving.  It is built on resolving past hurts.  It can be accomplished in the most wretched places.  Betsy, Corrie Ten Boom's sister, asked her to thank God for the fleas.  Corrie was dismayed but grudgingly thanked God for the fleas.  At a later time, Corrie learned that the guards for the most part left their barracks alone because of the fleas. Betsy had a gift for finding happiness in the most unlikely places.  I'm not an expert on happiness, depression dogs me most days.  What I learned painfully and thoroughly, happiness does not come from someone or something else.  It is not a thing to be found tucked under a rock.  It is not required for living.  It is not what many people expect it to be.  It is sometimes fun but many times linked with sadness and grief.  The light shining through the clouds is my best description of happiness to me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hearts still hurt

Today I visited the Field of Healing.  A flag flying for every person that lost their lives during the attack on September 11, 2001.  It is a day I always remember.  I take pictures and cry.  I feel the pain of thousands of loved ones missing those that they loved.  I feel the pain of thousands of dreams ended in just a few hours time.

I write about this every year.  It was a turning point for me.  I will never be the same again.  That is why it is called a life changing experience.

Today I am sharing another person's perspective of that infamous day.

Again I am crying.  I believe that crying is a sign of healing.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sometimes the answer is not right now

I am over my head and taking in water fast.  Last night I dreamt that a dam was blown up.  Yea you get in over your head very fast in that situation.  It is hard for me to back down and say, "This is too much for me right now."  I noticed that some of the same problems come back into my life.  I want to be able to conquer all challenges.  I went on a mud run with my daughter several years ago.  There was a muddy obstacle course.  I climbed nets, scrambled under barriers, and slogged through mud.  But when I got to a wall my whole body started shaking.  I couldn't do this one.  I would say I did 95% of the course but not that one obstacle that day.  It is still difficult for me to call "Uncle" and give up on a task.  However, sometimes that is something I need to do.  Not this challenge not today.  Maybe another day as I grow and strengthen but not today.

I could give you many quotes about quitters.  You know them, "Quitters never win and winners never quit."  However, painfully I learned that sometimes I need to say, "Not this challenge, not today."  Many times I didn't have an opt out choice.  When I found out I had cancer it was about this time of year 17 years ago.  I was devastated.  There was no back out and not do this option.  The only way I had was through.  But there are times when I can say,  "No."  What comes to mind is the song The Gambler.

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run

I realized I am a situation where I made progress, a lot of progress, but the situation is still much bigger than me.  I am allowing someone else to help me.  I am making plans of approaching things differently.  I am not sticking with the status quo because the status quo isn't working for me.  Be creative, be courageous, and be willing to say, "No."  I don't know how things will pan out.  I will encounter these challenges again I am creating a plan to shore up and strengthen me and accept that we all need a healthy team working together to succeed.  I learned team building from counseling and Team Froglogic.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Spiraling down

The advantage I have now is I know the symptoms.  I understand the causes, most importantly I know how to find the solutions.  I noticed a trend in my blogs of things aren't fun.  I'm not happy.  I'm stressed out.  I was exhausted driving to work this morning.

STOP THE BOAT!!!!!!!!!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a scene in a boat where things get more and more intense until Willy Wonka shouts, "STOP THE BOAT."  Everything stops.  When my counselor first told me I could do the same thing, I didn't believe him.  I felt so out of control and so baffled where all the anxiety was coming from.  STOP is a powerful word.  Sometimes I use distractions like computer games or art to help my mind slow down and finally come to a stop.  Why stop?  During stop I can sit with my emotions the hurt ones, the scared ones, the frustrated ones, the angry ones, all clamoring for attention.  When I stop I take the time to pay attention.  My emotions no longer need to scream to get my attention.  Some people call this paying attention to the inner child.  In some ways that spiraling down frantic feeling is my inner child throwing a temper tantrum trying to get what she needs because I ignored her for too long.  Stop.  Listen. Stop spinning all the problems together and breathe...take apart all the separate pieces.  Stop trying to solve all the different problems at once.

Part of my spiraling down is a reaction to too many problems coming at me at once.  I need to stop and sort things out.....

1.  Which problems are actually my problems? Part of my past behavior was taking on my abuser's problems trying to please them by 'fixing' things for them.  Of course, I can't fix someone else's problem so I failed and felt more frustrated.  Learning to recognize a problem not being mine to solve is a big help.
2.  Which problems are bigger than I am?  These kind of problems I turn over to Heavenly Father, big problems are His department.
3.  Which problems need more information?  Sometimes I need more information to solve a problem. Or maybe a new perspective will resolve the issue.
4.  Which problems need to be broken down into smaller problems?  No one eats an elephant in one meal.  Break down problems into more manageable pieces.  SMART goals come in handy for this.  I wrote about SMART goals in this post
5. Accepting that I am not going to solve all my problems in one night.  Be kind to myself as I tackle different problems one or two at a time.

STOP my downward spiral. STOP my spinning thoughts.  Use my self-care tools, art tools, and planning/creativity tools.  I have options.  Thriving is not a problem free life.  Thriving is tackling problems and finding a way through each challenge.

Rocky Theme song played here.

I found my fight song.

Plants can split rocks to survive and thrive. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Brain Fog

Whining, complaining, and thinking about fun or lack of it got me to realize when brain fog sets in nothing is fun.  Brain fog can come from several sources emotional distress, illness, sin, tiredness, depression, trauma, and many other sources.  I am starting to learn that when brain fog sets in I need to pay attention to what is happening in my life.  Something is off.  It is like running a temperature when sick, it is a general alert to the body that I'm not feeling well.  Not feeling well can mean body, mind, emotions or spirit.

A quick search on the Internet machine and this popped up:

Brain fog, also commonly known as brain fatigue, can be a mild to severe episode of mental confusion that can strike without warning. When this occurs, it is common to experience a lack of focus, poor memory recall and reduced mental acuity.

That is a fairly good description in my estimation. The article added a few more things that can cause brain fog.  It listed several solutions more sleep (I wish), better nutrition, quit smoking/drinking, less stress and increased antioxidants mentioning one of the products they sell.  Generally brain fog is an early warning sign that I am neglecting myself.  Need to get back on track with self-care.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Sharing Fun

Today I shared my joy of pour painting with someone else.  Her ideas are way ahead of mine.  She plans to use the pour painting as a background to other paintings.  It is a beautiful idea.  We had a great time exploring pour painting.  Different colors and techniques led to a total of 5 different paintings.  It was fun sharing what I enjoyed.  I realized that fun for me is sharing something beautiful.

My sister reminded me to stop being so hard on myself.  The other thing I learned that some of the games I play are not about having fun.  They are either distractions or road hazards to slow down my racing mind.  Life is too much, 5 minutes playing a mindless computer game puts a check on my thoughts and brings them back into a more reasonable pace.  How do I know this?  A meme online shared the joke and it struck a cord with me.

I spent 5 minutes alone with my thoughts, remind me to never do that again....very scary.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

My talent

I can make a chore out of fun.  Yup.  I try to have fun and it ends up becoming a competition with myself or another thing I "have" to do or I have to do X amount of work before having fun then I am too tired to do the fun thing.  I did a mystery crocheting project for fun.  Now I am at the last to weeks instructions and it is big and the instructions are confusing.  It is not fun.  I fall asleep working on it.  I dread trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing and how I am going to make it look like the picture.  Crumbs I feel like I am the only person that can mess up having fun.

Then my sister writes about her struggle with having fun.  My friend talks about her struggle with taking time to relax and have fun. I read the post on the 2 Facebook groups for PTSD and guess what my talent is not special.  Many survivors struggle with fun, relaxing, vacations, free time, and all sorts of things that are supposed to help reduce stress actually add to the stress.  How mixed up is that?

So now I added the drawing to my relax/fun struggle.  I am fascinated with what I am learning.  Yes I did day 2 four times because it wasn't looking right.  Stop - just Stop.  This is supposed to be fun and I don't need to produce a museum worthy can even look like a Picasso for that matter.  It is supposed to help me regroup and realign my thinking in a more positive way.

Heavy does one cope with failing to have fun?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


This is one of the powerful tools I used when trying to cope with tough stuff.  I am not a  "born" drawer.....

I found this on Facebook and thought I would share....I hope the original author doesn't mind and I am including the links if you want to give it a whirl.

Have any of these myths kept you from realizing your dream of drawing?
---> MYTH #1 — “Artists are born, not made”
Bull honky! Just like no one is born walking, talking, or riding a bike—no one emerges from the womb with miraculous artistic abilities.
Sure, some folks may have an easier time picking it up, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have to work to develop their skills.
Learning how to draw is about learning how to see… it’s developing an “eye” for visualizing the shapes, angles, and subtle details hidden within the world around us. If you can open your eyes to these “visual secrets” — you’ll never see the world the same way again!
So, don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others and feeling like you “don’t have the gift.” Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone moves at a different pace.
Find a process that works for you, set your own pace, and enjoy the journey 🚀🚢
---> MYTH #2 — “Freehanding is the only real way to draw”
Nope, it’s not. Imagine this scenario with me…
You want to learn how to snow ski. You’ve never worn a pair of skis in your life and your most extreme activity as of late was a brisk stroll through the mall…
BUT, you’re bound and determined to throw yourself down a mountain (for some reason).
You show up at the slopes, rent some gear, take the chairlift to the very tippy top of the highest slope the resort has to offer…
You’re off! Down the mountain at blistering speeds!
Trees blurring as you flawlessly carve your way down the slope on your very first attempt…
That’s just not how it works, right? THE REALITY is that learning how to ski takes time and practice.
And that practice doesn’t happen in a classroom or in a simulator…
...It starts on flat ground or the “bunny slopes” where you can experience the thrill of skiing and make your mistakes without bone-shattering falls down an entire mountain
In a similar way, freehand drawing is a great goal…
… but if you start there, struggle, get frustrated, and give up on drawing altogether because you couldn’t freehand a project—how can you expect to improve?
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t strive to be your best—not at all.
I just want to encourage you to start on the “bunny slopes” — use whatever method you need to get started — so you can jump in and actually experience the joy of drawing for yourself!
---> MYTH #3 — “Draw from your head”
I regularly hear aspiring artists say things like “I love to draw, but I can’t draw from my head.” Or “I can only draw when I’m looking at my subject or a reference image—not from memory.”
I’m not sure where the idea that we need to draw from memory comes from, but I do know that most artists (even the masters) regularly turn to reference images or live models when drawing.
Learning to draw is as much about *seeing* as it is the act of putting something down on paper…
I think Frederick Franck summed it up well when he said:
"I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle."
There is no shame in drawing from a reference image or from life! In fact, the more we can study what we want to draw, the more likely we are to hear things like “wow, you really captured her personality” or “I can almost feel the breeze blowing in that field when I look at your drawing.”
Keep on drawing what you see!
---> MYTH #4 — “I could never draw like that…”
Well, not with that attitude!
It’s so discouraging to hear people say things like this…
The reality is that they could draw better than they ever imagined possible if they would let go of this mentality.
There is power in the words we speak! When we tell ourselves we can’t do something, we essentially ensure that we never will.
But I get it…
I know this line of thinking doesn’t just materialize out of thin air…
I’m convinced that folks start thinking this way because they have believed the previous three drawing myths!
When you’ve been told that “artists are born, not made,” it’s easy to interpret struggle and failure to accomplish unrealistic drawing goals as simply “not having the gift.”
When you see a master artist quickly and skillfully drawing a portrait freehand, it’s easy to imagine that he or she’s been drawing that way forever (the 15 years of intense practice couldn’t have anything to do with it 😉) and that using any sort of drawing aid or alternate method must be “cheating.”
When you watch reruns of Bob Ross effortlessly pulling beautiful scenes from nature, seemingly from his head, and laying them quickly down on a canvas, it’s easy to believe that’s how we should all operate as well.
But, what you don’t see are the 2-3 drafts of the painting that Bob would paint before taping each show...
My point?
There’s a whole lot of misinformation out there and drawing can feel a bit like a magic, or something meant for a “chosen few”...
But I want to invite you to give learning how to draw another chance…
… let go of what you think you are capable of…
… forget the myths that you may have accepted as truth…
… and try my FREE Napkin-Doodle Challenge!
✒️It’s a 7-day, GUIDED drawing adventure (if you will)🖌
I’ve picked seven, everyday, achievable subjects and broken them down with step-by-step instructions that you can follow and complete in 10 minutes or less a day!
An easy to draw subject is provided (so you don’t spend precious time fretting over what to draw)…
Each step is broken down and explained (so you have a clear path forward)…
Every project introduces you to concepts and principles that will help you understand how to draw just about anything (because that’s what we’re all after, right?)…
I’ve hand-picked these seven specific subjects and I’m going to show you how to see them through the “eyes of an artist.”
We’ll look past what we think we know about the subject and focus only on what’s actually there…
… the shapes, angles, and subtle variations in line width or placement that all work together to create the illusion of three dimensions on a two dimensional piece of paper!
We’re not trying to draw realistic masterpieces…
These won’t take hours, days, or weeks to draw…
You don’t have to have to a degree from an art school… 🎨
All you need to bring is yourself, something to draw with, something to draw on, and a positive, can-do attitude — I’ll email you a link to a new project every day for seven days
The whole process is tightly structured on purpose — you can think of it as training wheels:
There to help you get started quickly so you can actually enjoy the ride and not get discouraged and give up prematurely!
It’s fun, it’s good for your health, and it doesn’t take much time!
Will you join me? --->
Access is instant. And you’ll get a new project in your inbox every day.
See you there,
Ben Makin

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Sometimes I use pondering as a way to tackle a problem.  To some people, pondering looks a lot like worrying.  I decided the difference to me is that when I worry I don't plan to do anything about what I am worried about.  When I am pondering I allow the subconscious to gnaw on a problem and the conscious mind keep it nattering away so it doesn't get lost in the recesses of my mind.  There are some really deep dark holes in there.  When I come across information that can be added to the pondering I reshuffle information so I can look at it in a different way.  I am discouraged by the behavior of a person I need to work with.  It is all the signs of working with my mother.  I am not amused.  Some how I missed my sister's Sunday blog and didn't read it until today when I was pondering this problem.

Sometimes God doesn’t change your situation
because He’s trying to change your heart.
What can I learn from this experience?  I confirmed with another person that the challenge isn't just me.  I am very aware that I am ultra-sensitive to some behaviors.  Non-verbal communication is more important to me that words.  I get all this.  How can I reframe this situation from one that is negative and turn it to a positive situation.  I know it can be done.  I have done it myself more than once.  I am going to look at this from a number of different perspectives.  I am going to use my words, try new ways of interacting, and choose healthy boundaries for me.

During counseling one of the more interesting techniques is reframing a situation.  It is turning things around and looking at it from different perspectives.
Cognitive reframing is a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives. In the context of cognitive therapy, cognitive reframing is referred to as cognitive restructuring.

I am going to look at my situation as an opportunity to set healthy boundaries, make healthy choices for myself, and do the best I can to be a positive influence on a situation.

Monday, August 27, 2018

It could always be worse

There is an actual book by this title.  However, this time it is my life.  I was concerned about being in a mostly male classroom, I was moved out and put into a class with a teacher that uses shaming and intimidation.  I would rather be with the mostly guys situation.  I believe both shaming and intimidation are counterproductive in a classroom environment and she is setting me up to be the bad guy.   I'm proud of myself for checking in with a teacher I trust and following her suggestions.  I am going to have plenty of opportunity to recognize my need for boundaries and setting out what my role in the classroom needs to be.  I need to build trust with the students and that cannot be achieved by intimidating them.  I don't know the person well so I am working from my perspective with little understanding on her point of view.  Yup, I'm feeling like I am out of the frying pan and into the fire.  Ugh.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Elephant and 10 blind men


It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl: "God bless me!—
but the Elephant Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried: "Ho!—what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 't is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"'T is clear enough the Elephant Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he,
"the Elephant Is very like a rope!"

 And so these men of Indostan Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong!

MORAL. So, oft in theologic wars The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant Not one of them has seen!
This story is applied to religion but would work equally well with PTSD.

I am reading several different books and websites on PTSD/CPTSD.  My own experience with PTSD started when I was 5, diagnosed when I was 45 and still struggle with it at 60.  I listen and read and pay attention and each person know their experience with PTSD.  So called "Experts" are blind to much of what is happening with PTSD since they rely almost exclusively on what people report about their experience.  Sorting through all the stuff and information takes effort and patience both of which I am lacking some days.

I say to every person that has PTSD or CPTSD or whatever set of letters you are living with, your perspective is yours.  Someone else's perspective is theirs and may add information to yours but their information is still run through your own personal view. Your journey will take many twists and turns and be influenced by those you decide to interact with in your life.  Good luck with sorting things out.  It is a work in progress and I am also still trudging along on this journey.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Treading water

How long can you tread water?  Should of built the ark.

I am feeling overwhelmed and barely keeping my head above water so to speak.  I have so much to do but I seem to get in my own way.

I am doing a new kind of crochet project.  They send the instructions a little bit at a time.  With the start of school I am loosing ground and getting behind.  Then tonight I realized I flipped the project and am doing a row in reverse direction.  At first I was going to take out the stitching to correct it.  Instead, I am letting the 'mistake' stay and calling it a new design.  The stitch actually looks quite good from either side.  However the colored shades will have an interesting twist to them.  I might actually get away with the error.  It was so hard making myself not correct the mistake.

I decided to stop saying after school.  If I catch up fine, or I'll build a raft instead of an ark, down sizing.

Cracked but still functional.  

Sunday, August 19, 2018

New Directions

Every year I get a new assignment at school.  Years past it would stress me out.  I dislike change, especially change I have no control over.  This summer I contemplated the dilemma of changing assignments every year.  I had no doubt change would happen just like it has for the last 7 years.  Fairly good indicator that change is here to stay.  I learned in nature that although constant change occurs it usually has some element that remains the same.  So I looked for the similarities in the the changes.  I finally found it.  No matter what program I am assigned to there are students that need help in understanding the content.  My talent is reading directions and explaining it in a variety of ways.  If I know the person I am explaining things to I can tailor the explanation to them.

Change arrived, I am working in Auto repair, film, and one-on-one with a student.  I was assured last Friday since someone else was hired that I will be changed again in one week.  Another new thing I am doing is treating the assignment that I am in as if I will stay all year.  When I get changed to a new assignment I do the same thing there.  There are opportunities all around me to help others.  Where I help doesn't matter.  The fact that I can help in a variety of ways makes it possible for them to move me to where ever there is a place to fill.  

I am very proud of the fact that I passed the Auto safety test right along with the students.  Facing new challenges every year is giving me an opportunity to look at change in a new way.  Bring it on. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Too sensitive

I've mentioned before that I work at a high school.  I keep up on information about how to work with students with behavioral issues at school.  One that I am learning more about is sensory processing and the living with being too sensitive.  It was startling to read a chart that described me so completely.  My counselor also told me that I was too sensitive for the environment I am in.  He described that some people are like puppies that love to rough a tumble bite and play and no feelings are hurt.  Others are more like bunnies wanting to sit quietly and be left alone.  I'm a bunny in a puppy world.  I am starting to recognize students that are bunnies expected to function in a puppy world.

I discovered that I can't turn into a puppy however I can learn a number of helpful skills.  I am learning to recognize when others are being playful but not malicious.  I am learning to express a need for quiet time and leave me alone time.  I am learning that bunnies can be quiet ferocious.  Don't piss off the bunnies.  Puppies are startled when bunnies turn ferocious.  Sometimes they really were just kidding and I need not take their behavior seriously.  I can share my perspective to help them see that not everyone appreciates the same type of play.  I spend a lot of time alone because I spend 7 and a half hours with people at work and sometimes I need to be alone.  Taking a day off to be alone is a legitimate reason to call in sick. I'm sick of too much information, too much commotion and just too much of everything.

A chart like the one above helps me see that:
1. I am not alone.
2. There are ideas and ways to cope.
3. Too sensitive can be an asset when it is understood.

Hyper-sensitive I often anticipate the needs of others.  I look out for and am aware of others that are also feeling overwhelmed.  I am willing to give other people space when they need it.  I check in with others to make sure that I am not overstepping boundaries.  I stay aware of non-verbal clues that other people may miss.  I still need to be alone a lot but I no longer feel guilty about it.  It is simply a need that I have.  Nourish that need and I can function better the rest of the time.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Revved up

Our theme for this year at school is 'Bringing your A game.'  I wonder how often I drag in my D game then wonder why things don't go well.  Or I start with the attitude, "I'm going to fail anyway, may as well get it over with."  Please, understand.....I am a great believer in failing....means I tried something new.  I also believe in determination, perseverance, stick to itness, and whatever else you call that element that knocked down 7 times get up 8.  I got straight A's on more than one occasion.  It is not about being the smartest or the fastest or the prettiest it means hard work and not resting when others are kicked back or out at a party.  Doing well doesn't come naturally for me.  In junior high I was a B/C student with a few A's and more than one D.  The whole spelling thing is a bit of a miss for me.  I was called stupid and a variety of other names that all meant the same thing.  In high school I had a new school and I decided to "Bring my A game."  I did it with a bunch of hard work and many struggles.  I struggled over and over to get those sought after A's.  But the person I was trying to impress just didn't care.  I watched class mates get teased for getting good grades, I kept my grades a secret.  I had someone cheat using my paper and I was blamed for it.  Somewhere in the middle of this hormone fear driven era I learned bringing your A game doesn't mean knowing everything before you start.  It doesn't mean you don't make mistakes, fail, screw up or give up.  It means every single day you get up.  My body hurts, SO.  I feel afraid, SO.  I'm tired, SO.  Bringing your A game doesn't mean things are easy and natural and doors opening before you get to them.  (Sorry even in Star Trek there was someone behind the scenes opening doors for actors.)  It means hard work, struggle, correction, guidance, determination, grit, and so much more.

When it comes to counseling and healing, you need to bring your A game.  Too many poke at counseling with a stick without actually engaging in the process then moan that counseling failed.  Too many want the doors to magically open for them and everything is all smiles and brightness.  Too many times, I'm the one expecting my healing to be the floor cleaner that is Once and Done.  Fortunately, my first counselor burst my bubble and told me to get to work and bring my A game.  I knew how to do this.  I still remember the scorched Earth conversation that boiled down to step up and engage in counseling or GET OUT.  Some people would call it tough love, I called it a great blessing and the kindest thing he could have done for me.  I brought my A game.  I knew how.  I practiced it over and over in school, I didn't understand I could bring it to life.  I don't have a teacher grading me any more but I have my own desire to improve fueling my determination to bring my A game to my everyday living.  I'm excited.  I'm revved up.  BRING IT OWN.....I got my A game in place.  Working hard and determination, two things that are often underrated in the healing process.  Cheering for anyone that is choosing to take on life and choose to heal.  Cheering for you if your just poking a stick at it too.  I'm hoping you will get opportunities to learn about bringing your A game.