I've been a prick… a finger-pointing, judgmental, a$$h0le… a “chip off the old block”… a “goody-two-shoes” who has lived a façade or in an internal prison for most of my life. I’m “coming out”… not in the current, cultural way that it usually means… but I’m tired of living in an internal prison, locked within my old mindsets, my old ways of doing things and thinking. Perhaps you could liken it to a very, very, VERY belated “teenage rebellion” which, for me, while living at home, was equivalent to annihilation and the only way I could survive was to go under… hidden… for fear of what would happen, if I didn't.
Oh, yes, there’s been the church-going, Bible-believing, praying part of me, too. And, yes, I truly believe there is an awesome God who loves… others… and I've tried to believe He loves me, too, but when you've lived underground for so long, it’s sometimes hard to believe there is a place called, “Daylight.” I've been seeing shimmers of that “Light” and love and care and kindness in some most extraordinary ways.
Believe it or not, I have found a community of kind people, who welcome me as part of a family, in an online, model car club. It’s uncanny what a kind word or a thank you can mean to me. It’s weird to truly build relationships of trust with other people who I don’t even know and to believe they aren’t going to hurt me… at least, not intentionally. I learn from them that, even when life isn’t a bunch of roses, and the thorns in life “hurt like hell,” life goes on. Many live with internal or external pain or disabilities or difficult life situations, and yet, they each find a way to go on with their lives and be encouraging and kind to one another. This is new for me, and I’m sitting here in tears, letting the pain of living in an internal prison of fear and survival be released, as I realize, that this is how life has been for me, but there’s more to life, beyond the pain, beyond the fear, beyond the internal prison, I have lived in for years - for decades, in fact.
This morning, I saw the following “poster pic,” posted by a Facebook friend, and it really made me begin to think about how I've been living in an “internal prison.”
After I pondered it and thought about how it applied to me, I wrote:
“I believe this is true, but for me, it sounds easier said than done. Instead of being in a literal prison, I have sometimes felt as if I were in an internal prison. Internal ones are a bummer!”
After that, I saw this, which caught me by surprise and I had to think about it for a while, too:
After thinking about it for a while, I wrote a response that surprised even me!
“What an interesting quote! I always thought that I enjoyed sharing love, joy, and encouragement with others because it felt and was good, for me and the other person, and it was kind, but now I can also see how not experiencing those things or experiencing much negativity and disrespect has given me a reason to share the opposite with others. Thanks for the interesting quote!”
Then, I was “hit” with another one that took some moments to “wrap my head, heart, and soul” around.
Again, I wrote a response that surprised me, but it’s the truth, I believe:
“Wow! You have some very interesting quotes here! I've never looked at life this way, probably because I'd rather forget the ‘not so nice stuff’ but perhaps this is true! Thanks for giving me much to ponder! “
After this, I was in tears.
Someone touched my heart in areas that have been bruised and hurt, with lovingkindness and gentle humor, with silly things, like this:
Of course, I laughed and smiled. Someone cared enough to send me these personalized messages. Many members of the model car club community joined in to participate at my impromptu birthday party at the make-believe location where we have cruise nights, drag races, and fun at the campground, lake, mud hole, etc. They joined in with stories of their own, cruised by in their cool cars, or told stories about car keys being stolen by a large monkey, who eventually finished up all the food in the picnic area!
I began looking at inspirational quotes online, and more tears just kept flowing and flowing - from places of deep and hidden pain and darkness, tucked away “for posterity” but now, finally finding a way to be released - with a good release of pent-up, unnamed and unprocessed feelings from long ago, that have waited for the right time to be felt. These feelings began to flow and release me from the dark prison in which I have found myself.
I found inspirational quotations (*) such as:
“Life is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters…”
“Pay no attention to those who talk behind your back, it only means that you’re two steps ahead of them.”
“Your life is a result of the choices you make… If you don’t like your life it is time to start making better choices.”
“Pain makes you stronger. Tears make you braver. Heartbreak makes you wiser. So thank the past for a better future.”
And other quotations (**) such as:
“The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground.”
“Believe you can & you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“To strengthen the muscles of your heart, the best exercise is lifting someone else’s spirit whenever you can.” – Dodinsky (NOTSALMON.COM)
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.” – Mandy Hale
“Your opinion is not my reality” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
“Stars can’t shine without darkness.”
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”
“Pain doesn’t just show up in our lives for no reason. It’s a sign that something in our lives needs to change.”
“Let your faith be bigger than your fear.”
“You are only confined by the walls you build yourself.” [OOPS!! This sounds like what I have been writing about!! The internal, prison walls!!]
“Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside.” [OOOOHHH!! Interesting!!]
Thank you to all who have been part of my healing process. Yes, my healing will continue, but with friends who love me and care about me, just as I am; there’s nothing better. Interestingly, I have rarely found this type of friendship at “church.” Yes, “birds of a feather, flock together” but as another friend mentioned recently, some of us just “don’t fit” into the current, regular mold. In fact, since we are ALL unique, there truly isn't another person, just like you or just like me.
I’m going to spend the rest of my life, getting to know me and letting you get to know me, too! And, I will do my best to show acceptance and compassion towards you and your uniqueness, too!
I originally wrote this in July 2014, and will change the date of this post, in a couple weeks, to reflect the date I completed it.
I have decided to share this piece with you, my blog readers, as a way of sharing my life experiences, learning, struggles, and journey.
I hope you enjoyed the uplifting quotes and poster pics, too!
I rated this writing as PG13 because of some of the language.
Precious Linda (2014-11-26)
The first three poster pics are from: https://www.facebook.com/inspiring.posts/timeline.
The cat picture can be seen at: https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t34.0-12/10564613_1444446125819244_1780294187_n.jpg?oh=61ef57754d1169918a1603f43a3900c9&oe=54788444&__gda__=1417187093_e6dc03500b18dd2062eaf2342659d153
The photo with the flower that was eaten can be seen at: https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t34.0-12/10581366_1444707382459785_1396412739_n.jpg?oh=061bda08dcc0c7483efb2ff1662fb406&oe=5478EA5E&__gda__=1417216746_c767b1f78738b67811e94dfe4d15f253.
(*) The first set of quotations is from: https://www.google.com/search?q=inspirational+quotes+about+life&tbm=isch&imgil=CBKgfujxynqL5M%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-%20tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcRRO2eksBnegtflOeLAbOkRJ1NMwquHHPlrWNN0HJGYah1S_2UIcA%253B660%253B660%253BXmHUslchBMPYMM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Frishikajain.com%25252F2012%25252F04%25252F08%25252Flife-quote-2%25252F&source=iu&usg=__44g7lPZ6iFLvAuLHPZP8lX942ls%3D&sa=X&ei=DpzPU9Zkxe2gBIb3goAD&sqi=2&ved=0CDEQ9QEwAQ&biw=1232&bih=870#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=CBKgfujxynqL5M%253A%3BXmHUslchBMPYMM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Frishikajain.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2012%252F05%252F417306_279654318770491_266307820105141_599462_1302102688_n2.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Frishikajain.com%252F2012%252F04%252F08%252Flife-quote-2%252F%3B660%3B660
(**) The second set of quotations is from: http://www.dumpaday.com/random-pictures/inspirational-quotes-week-32-pics-2/
This was originally written on July 23, 2014 and published on this blog on November 11, 2014 at 7:52 p.m. Today, December 14, 2014, I will list it as published on July 23, 2014.