Thursday, July 11, 2013

thinking, feeling, loving and fighting

Last night I could see gray clouds rolling away as quickly as they had rolled in at the beginning of the week.  I finally started to come to again. Numb limbs were replaced with feeling. The real sky even exploded into a cotton candy sunset just to prove all was right in the world.

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And now that I am finally on the other side of it I can take a deep breath.

I will be there again, I remind myself in order to also remind myself that I will always come out on the other side okay. It's the middle, ugly, murky, gritty parts of life that make us grow the most. Where exquisite meets excruciating and explodes into painful and beautiful color. The days when the Starbucks drive thru worker chipperly asks, How is your day going? and you just want to say, It's okay. I know you have to ask me, but you don't have to pretend with me. I'm horrible. Let's just share a moment of silence. When basic things are much more difficult than you remember, those are growing pains, Friend, and we just have to ride out the wave.

Sometimes I confuse feeling and thinking

Feeling is almost never wrong. It simply is. It's just born in us in moments. It can be a swift rush or it can stay a little while. 

Thinking can help rationalize feeling, which often aren't rational in the first place. Thinking frequently lies to us and is often unkind. Prolonged periods of thinking about the same topic is a dangerous dark alley. Look around, if you are there, please get out.

Three weeks ago I guest posted on a blog called Momastery. Except it's not really a blog, it's an empire of truth telling and heartfelt living out loud. It's a little scary, because sometimes telling the truth is scary, but sometimes not telling the truth is even harder. The Momastery Momma, Glennon is the real deal. She's a feeler and weaver and connector. It was a scary, beautiful, overwhelmingly amazing day. It brought me many new friends, connections and realizations. I felt heard and connected in a way I firmly believe I am called to be. 

That day I received an email from Glennon.  Are you sitting down? Was all it said. A horrible, wonderfully, exciting email to receive. Turns out G sent an editor at Huffington Post my words. She said that she loves me and thinks my voice is important and she wants to run my Momastery piece on Huff Post Parents for all the people in the world.  

And I read that email and cried some of the most beautiful and healing tears I never even knew were possible. A couple of weeks later I was connected to the editor via email. I wrote the editor and didn't hear back. A couple of days turned into a few weeks. I asked G, who followed up- but now still nothing. I LOVE Glennon for trying though.

And boy did I think that through. I was in that dark alley. Because I then turned the email into the opposite. My voice is NOT important. My story doesn't matter. And I've carried it with me since then. And then I thought, I probably won't ever write a book, because Huffington Post wouldn't even publish one article. And all of this has been blocking my writing and my heart and it's been part of what has been hurting me. 

I was talking to my friend Nick last night, and as I was telling him I just started to cry. Everything was and had been much too much all week. He told me such simple words that luckily sunk in. I believe in you. He reminded I have not and never will write for mass appeal. If Huffington Post called me tomorrow and asked me to publish my work, of course I'd jump through hoops to make it happen. But I don't need it anymore. It would have fed my ego self- but not my soul self. I needed to go through there to get to here though. 

I am not writing so the Huffington Post can tell me I am good enough or not good enough. I am writing for my Sisters and my Family. I'm writing for Jamie in Kirkwood, for Jarka in Slovakia, for Barbara and Lani in Fresno, for Jennifer in Indiana, for Nick in West Hollywood and for every single one of you who has felt more understood and more connected after reading these words. We need each other

And MOST importantly, I am writing for my boys and for every person given the label of different

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And last night I realized I THOUGHT my disappointment but I hadn't FELT it. So I finally felt it. I just sat there outside on a lounge chair and FEELED away. I cried. I felt sad and disappointed and angry and confused and then resolved. And then poof. It was mostly gone. I finally stopped checking my email every 18 seconds today to see if Huff Post wrote back. It was finally gone and I was free. 

My time will come exactly when it is supposed to come and not a second before. And my words were on Momastery- which is absolutely a HUGE honor. Funny how easy I forgot that and spiraled down to somewhere ugly. 

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I will still write a book called, Little Lightbulbs Daily. And it will be about Life and all the little moments when lights came on in our World. It will be glorious.

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Today I even got to go shopping to buy myself a Congratulations on NOT getting published by the Huff Post gift. I told you retail therapy works on the small things! All on sale too Friend!

I am nothing less because of this. My words mean nothing less because of this. In fact, I am more. I have learned. When I FEEL it through, pain and disappointment teaches me. And when I (over)THINK it through, pain and disappointment hurts me and breaks me down. 


I am brave about autism. I have made friends with it. Don't equate that with me liking it, I just know its not going anywhere anytime soon, so I've set it a place at the dinner table. Chances are it can't survive my cooking- I've got a strategy, Friend. 

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Parker at Behavior Therapy today.

I've told autism, Let me intimately get to know you so we can best work together. In doing so I will get to know me better, my triggers, my strengths and my weaker muscles so that I may strengthen them.  I don't know if I should call it  fighting autism anymore. When I fight it takes energy and it makes me so sad. I hate confrontation. But when I figure out a way to make peace with things, a way to get along- even if I don't like it or get it- I am so much more at peace in my heart.

I'm a lover, not a fighter.

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I'm serious, Parker would NOT put this book down last night. Smart cookie that boy.

I don't know the answer for you, but you do. Tell me Friend, is it possible for you to make peace with the very thing that hurts and scares you too?



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  1. Huff Po is definitely missing out. Or maybe they are still going through all your posts trying to find the best one. That will take awhile since they are all so good. My 3 year old and I love reading your blog. Well, he really just loves the pictures :) especially the one of Greyson's feet behind the sofa pillow. I use your blog to teach him about kindness and how everyone has something that makes them different and special. I hope he is rarely left and never the one leaving someone out. You are making a difference!

  2. I have 3 adult children and I teach pre-kindergarten and I LOVE what you write!!! I love Frank for being Frank! We need more people like him in our world!!! YOU are a gift to parents and teachers and grandparents and every human being by just being you and telling it like it is! I look forward to every word you write!!!

  3. You are a Rock Star! Dont worry for a second about the Huffington Post. Your words are touching the lives of so many people! Thank you for writing, and sharing your story!

  4. Just so you know, your words are touching the world one person at a time. I share your words with everyone, every chance I get! Because you use your words to express the truth of the human heart.
    And I thank you for your words.

  5. The more you help the word get out - the closer it will be to even shed light and offer hope and help to children in other countries too. I stumbled upon your blog and the same night I saw on the news how children with autism in Africa are considered to be caused by a witch doctor. So incredibly sad to think that kids are getting zero therapy zero funding and no intervention whatsoever. But the fact that a mother's story mad the evening news was very hopeful!

  6. I love you!!! You are amazing!!! :)

  7. "You are exactly where you are meant to be" right now. These are words that I have to keep telling myself when I'm in a place that I don't understand (and really don't like!).

    I found you through Momastery and your writing captivates me in the same (yet different) way that Glennon's does. It is honest and real ... and there are so many ways to interpret your words. You have so very many important things to say ... yet so say so very, very much by writing about those small moments within your day.

    Your photography and your words tell such an amazing story. Keep doing what you are doing and the 'Huffington Post's' will come. In their own way. In their own time. But they will come. This time before 'all that' is here for a reason. I'm so very glad to hear that you have found your way back ...

  8. You are writing for Mar in Wisconsin ...

    The photo of Parker beside the book "Loving What Is" is simply gorgeous ...

    I haven't written in several years ... Your story has encouraged to write whether there is ever an "audience" or not. One would make me an author, but I can be a writer any day I choose. You've given me epiphany and hope. I need to write for my own soul, and I let the "no one's listening" affect me too.

    You're a gift.

  9. Your posts bring tears to me eyes, usually on a daily basis. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes sad, but mostly they remind me that I am Brave as well. Either way, I guess they are making me FEEL, and that's whats important. I'm an over-thinker as well and I swear some days my overthinking can drive me insane! I don't even know what I'm saying anymore but please know that your posts are changing my life. You are an amazing writer, never has anyone been able to move me with words the way that you do. Looking at the pictures of your beautiful boys melts my heart, much like looking at my own boys. I just hope and pray with everything inside of me that the world will love and accept them the way that us mammas do. Keep up the good work! K

  10. Friend :) I wish you could see the smile on my face and in my heart. I love reading the comments here and on your FB page. Things like the first comment here "I use your blog to teach him about kindness" WOW! That is how YOUR words & feelings are impacting another person's life, and she is taking YOUR message in & making it a part of her life AND teaching her children. WOW! Your words are doing exactly what you intended - changing the world.
    It's like God said to me when I found myself single & pregnant at 38 "Silly Girl! You don't make the plans ;) Your story is already written. Trust me, it is beautiful & will reveal itself in due time". Yep - my God talks with emoticons :)
    Honored to be mentioned. Love & happiness to you, sweet Momma. Jennifer

  11. You are writing for Jennifer in TX.

    I am so inspired by you.

  12. You are also writing for me, Katie in Paso Robles

    My son's deafness scares the $hit out of me and hurts me, but because it is who he is, I love it as well.

  13. You're writing for Michelle in Ontario, Canada!!

  14. You are righting for your 2 precious J's in Canada!

  15. I have two typical children but lost my first hubby to a brain tumor when my oldest was 1. I feel your words to my core. I'm here reading, please keep writing. And share where that marvelous dress came from!

    1. Banana republic! 45% off ;-) Thank you for sharing. Love that you are here. Xoxo

  16. I am so grateful you share your blog with us, which for the record I read WAY more than I ever read HuffPost! They are missing out. While I read many blogs and enjoy them, yours is the one I really CONNECT with. We are on parallel journeys and you put everything into words so beautifully. I often read your entries nodding and crying at the same time. Thank you for writing for ME and my 3 year old son with super powers. And by the way, I am loving the color palette of your new clothes. Retail therapy for the win!

  17. Thank you for writing, you are writing for me and my son. Our journey is different, but the emotions are the same. You have a gift and you are brave enough to share, even when disappointment comes your way. Hugs to you!

  18. Thank you, again, for sharing! I found you through Momastery and am delighted to read your words. I love truth-telling, even when it isn't pretty and shiny. I also love connection - and you and your blog do that well. You are writing for every mother - because we all face different kinds of challenges with our kids. However, I think all mothers want the best for their kids. All of us who read you can feel it, can relate, even if our kiddos aren't facing autism.

    One thing in this post that I will respectfully disagree with: feelings/thinking. I USED to believe as you wrote above. After years of therapy, I have come to learn that feelings are manifestations of our thoughts. We think a certain way, so we feel emotions corresponding to those thoughts. That's why changing your thoughts quite literally changes your feelings. It was an break-through moment for me. Still, I sometimes feel sad, angry, depressed or lonely, but I know that if I choose to think different thoughts, my feelings will change too. It took me a bit of practice to get the hang of it. Even now, when I'm in a deep funk, it's habit to say, "It's not my thinking! Life just sucks! It's hard! Not fair!" Blah. blah. blah. But there go my thoughts...and look who is following behind... yep, my feelings... ;)

  19. You are writing for me, an African-American attorney mom of two beautiful girls (oh, and wife - could we maybe talk about marriage someday? LOL), living in Texas. You are an incredibly gifted and remarkable writer. Your words are transcendent and powerful. My guess is that the editor went on vacation, and as soon as she returns, she'll say that they can't wait to have you start writing for HuffPo. But even if that never happens, I hope you already know how excellent you are in every way!

  20. Like others, I found you through Momastery and perhaps that's better than the HuffPo, heh. Your words have touched those of us who read your blog and we keep coming back for more because you articulate so beautifully what we all feel. You may not be on a national publication but you are building a community which can be far more important.

    1. Beverly- It took me from there to get to here, but I TOTALLY agree with you. We are a village. So glad we are in it together!