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Unspoken Goodbyes…

Posted in Blessings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2013 by Tanya

Unspoken Goodbyes

Undoubtedly one of the most difficult things to come to terms with are unspoken goodbyes.
Regardless of who it was that left, how or why…their absence creates a noticeable void.
Sometimes, even if the person that left was you, words left unspoken can drive you to distraction and leave you replaying scenarios in your mind.

They may often decrease in occurrence, but they exist nonetheless. Unwelcome shadows with the power to dim, if not obstruct your sunshine.

It’s that maddening missed opportunity that often plagues us after the fact.

What might you have said, had you had the option?

People who have passed on unexpectedly. Friends or loved ones who have elected to move on.
Those people you have chosen to walk away from without any form of real closure.

What is it that binds our thoughts with emotion and the desire to punctuate the end of every
sentence?

Why is it that even when we are certain we’ve moved on, part of us remains to attend to that
which was left unspoken?

For me, I believe there exists a need to ’cause no harm.’ Consequently, I worry that in some
ways perhaps I have and I find that to be completely unacceptable. I’m far from perfect, but
I don’t wish to be callous either, particularly with someone else’s emotions.

It troubles me that there are those people whom I irrefutably loved in my lifetime that elected
to exit without a goodbye and I am left with an overactive imagination and the question of ‘why’?

If I were to merely draw upon logic and reason, perhaps I could justify overriding my emotions
with a definitive refusal to care…but somehow I doubt that. Because I do care…very much.
It’s an extremely large part of who I am and who I’ve become.

Which leads me to an alternate reflection of unspoken goodbyes:

Unspoken gratitude.

Despite the awkwardness or regret which can often filter in with the absence of a goodbye,
at some point I regain the ability to turn the majority of my attention toward a more positive
light.

I begin to sift through memories still cherished and able to produce a smile. I reflect on
all of those things which made that particular moment in my life a necessary and vital piece
of the puzzle that helped to decipher who I am today.

It’s never easy and of course it still hurts. But for me it’s imperative if I’m to maintain any
sense of sanity or understanding. I find it far easier than drowning myself in despair over
something I often have no control over.

If I am able to be grateful for that person’s presence in my life, rather than being bound by
their absence…then I am able to look upon that time together as a gift and move forward.

“People come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime”….and I believe that to be true.

There are a multitude of lessons to be learned if we allow ourselves the opportunity to listen
to their echos…even in the absence of a goodbye.

Monarch

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Life Lessons

Posted in Blessings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by Tanya

Image

This weeks lessons centered on the importance of extending kindness, gratitude, compassion and respect in every imaginable facet.

Initially in these scenarios, my immediate reaction might have been one derived from frustration. Instead, I discovered myself in the simultaneous positions of teacher and pupil once again.

It would have been relatively simple to voice my frustration and anger in each of these situations. Yet, despite my feelings I was able to exercise what I believed to be the appropriate course of action and perhaps lend a bit of enlightenment to what could have potentially resulted in entirely negative exchanges.

My students, if you will, were individuals approximately twenty years my senior and thirty eight years my junior. Neither scenario proved to be an easy task, both parties were reluctant and resistant to express rationality or entertain room for reason or the possibility of error. The situations demanded a demonstration of endurance, patience, humility, compassion, trust and love. A little nurturant tutelage was in order for all of us.

Anyone that knows me well enough, also knows that I rarely back down from a challenge. On the contrary, they often inspire and fuel me toward new heights of self standards, discovery and awareness. Each new challenge, undeniably tests my levels of endurance and patience and these two in particular were anything but mediocre in ominence.

The week began simply enough, ordinary in every way.

I received a phone call just prior to heading out toward work and I immediately felt the scales of positivity begin to tip. En route to work, as my thoughts began to spiral through imagined confrontations, I could feel my jaw set and begin to flex. Upon my arrival I quickly assessed that the situation was far more grievous than initially anticipated. Anger had reared her ugly head and it was a very uncomfortable and ill fitting reunion.

A gauntlet had most assuredly been thrown and demanded a response. And as ridiculous and uncanny as it might sound, my first intuitive response was one of gratitude. My next thought of course, was that rather than make a rash decision based predominately on frustration…perhaps I should enlist the advice of my supervisor. Imagine my surprise when she suggested we spin my initial response of gratitude rather than the expected confrontational stance.

Although I had hoped that the inevitable call would get lost in the airwaves somewhere, my phone rang anyway, just as I already knew that it would.

My greeting was met with an onslaught of accusations, anger and negativity. I swallowed hard and extended my gratitude and appreciation anyway. There was a nearly undetectable shift in the tone of our conversation, then more negativity. Again, I flexed my jaw and reiterated the magnitude of her generosity and was met this time with a slightly softer tone, then still more negativity. I exhaled, bit my tongue and began to detail how her efforts ultimately served as a catalyst for the valuable project we had imagined. There was a brief pause and then kindness manifested with a response of “You’re very welcome.”

My jaw dropped to the ground, a smile nearly reverberating across my face as I hung up the phone.

The problem was not completely eradicated, but kindness, perspective and communication were established and they are often the key components which serve as a springboard to all others.

One down….

The next morning my phone rang again and set into motion another chain of events which initially left me reeling in their wake.

Listening and gathering facts was imperative to squelching the frustration, anger and disbelief battling in my head. The enormous gravity of the situation warranted all of my time and attention and it required a level of tolerance already stretched beyond normal limits.

So I dug in…deep…and allowed myself the necessary time to breathe in and emerse myself in the whole picture, rather than adopting the narrow perspective I might have. It was an uncomfortable and precarious position to straddle the fence and explore all possible viewpoints. But it was also necessary to reaching
a fair and amicable resolution for everyone involved.

After a considerable amount of listening and discussion, I was able to reach my own determination regarding what had occurred. At that point, three simple words whispered into tender young ears, dispelled countless fears and anxiety. “We believe you.”

Although this problem has yet to be completely resolved either, what had transpired up to this point, could have been altered dramatically had I allowed myself to be led by my anger and frustration.

Ironically enough, for the past three weeks I have been involved in leadership trainings which began by completing a Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. Results determined that my personality type is ENFJ, very Creative individuals, widely known as the Teacher, the Giver and the Smooth Persuader.
I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

Somebody obviously has a warped sense of humor. 🙂

If taken at face value, my week in it’s entirety, could have been considered fairly miserable. Yet once again I find myself smiling that I stumbled across more mountains, scaled and conquered them both and managed to maintain gratitude, compassion and love.

Who knew?

  
mountains-azalea-sunset

In the Eye of the Storm

Posted in Blessings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2012 by Tanya

“When the world is in chaos, we can still have our own inner peace and maintain a sense of calm in a sea of unrest.”

-Madisyn Taylor

People who manage to maintain a calm and peaceful demeanor, despite the turmoil around them, seem to possess a magnetism that draws others to them. This calm exterior permeates from within and becomes instantly infectious and gratifying to most everyone that surrounds them.

Moments of confusion and chaos often precede blessings of clarity. During times of perceived darkness, it serves our hearts and perspectives well to remember that storms exist to afford us the opportunities to delve deep within ourselves and to extract whatever is necessary, from a pool of resources we had long since believed to be exhausted.

Maintaining a sense of inner peace and calm is imperative to successfully navigating through life’s storms.

If we can learn to locate and focus on the stillness that resides in the innermost chambers of our hearts, then we can derive and maintain composure in nearly any situation that occurs.

It isn’t mandatory that we comprehend the chaos, many of us rarely do. Neither is it realistic to believe that we could accurately predict how circumstances might unfold. Rather, what is important to remember…is how to access our own inner peace and calm, particularly when life’s storms begin to gather.

Cultivate your inner clarity through meaningful activities that perpetuate stillness and quiets your inner voice. Meditate, go for a walk, sit with nature, write, sketch, paint…create.

Whatever you choose to do, allow your heart to embrace the stillness and discover the haven reserved for you. Illuminate your soul with such tranquility, that it will lead you through even the most tumultuous of ebony storms. You will emerge victorious a midst a whirlwind of chaos…stronger, wiser and with clarity and the presence of mind to calm it all…

Again…and again…and again.

If we remember to delve deep, despite the chaos, everything we’ll ever need…already exists inside…patiently awaiting…our discovery.

“Do not be deceived by your senses,

Your feelings of fear and uncertainty,

For even as the tempest may howl,

Just beyond

Lies a serenity,

That you would

Not find otherwise.”

Learning to Navigate

Posted in Random Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2012 by Tanya

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written, there’s been rarely a moment to catch my breath. But today, gratefully, it’s been a good day…so I thought I would take a moment to share.

The journey that I’m referring to began approximately ten years ago, when my nephew Tyler was born. Reading my former blog entry will bring you up to speed.

Tyler & I moved to the Cape with my girlfriend Janet approximately three years ago and during that time, things have been trying to say the least. Initially, I felt as if I had awakened to an artist’s dream…I was fascinated and mesmerized by the beautiful and breath taking scenery that surrounded me. Oceans, beaches, wildlife, galleries and artists everywhere…I was immediately rooted within my version of heaven on earth. But all of this was quickly overshadowed by a storm brewing within my son.

Tyler has undergone countless evaluations and received a multitude of diagnoses. And although I’m certain this list is far from complete, so far the doctor’s have determined that he has Asthma, Allergies, ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome. The latter brought about a trip to the Boston Children’s Hospital for a heart catheter ablation this past June.

We have been to countless doctor’s, specialists, counselors and behavioral therapists in an effort to not only secure the proper and most appropriate care for Tyler, but also to address the behavioral issues that have recently begun to spiral out of control.

Tyler is an extremely bright boy and his development was not hindered in the least in regard to speech, walking and learning among his peers at an early age. Quite the contrary, Tyler was quickly dubbed ‘the little mayor’ due to his friendliness and talkativeness with others. He maintains a seemingly infinite wealth of knowledge and facts and is eager to share these with anyone willing to listen. He possesses an inquisitiveness that rivals none and has an imagination to match. Academic evaluations have deemed him above average or superior in most of his subjects, but socially he has begun to stumble.

Tyler’s early years were anything but usual, and he dealt with far more than I care to remember at such a young & impressionable age. Despite everything, we have arrived here…to this place of reckoning, awakening, frustration and tribulation. And now the three of us have been thrust into an arena where we are uncertain of the rules, the game plan or strategy techniques. The adults at least, are well aware of the risks & what’s at stake…but how to relate that to a child who is struggling to understand EVERYTHING….?

This summer has been wrought with behaviors, tantrums and frustration. After nearly eighteen years in the field of Human Services & Special Needs, I’d like to believe that I’m a patient person, that I possess an understanding, compassionate, empathetic and loving heart. But I would be remiss in complete honesty, if I didn’t say that all of these things have been strained and stretched to the limit these past few months in particular. I love my son with all of my heart…and he is my son, I knew it the very first moment that I held him. My sister has countless struggles of her own, and although she believes she will always be his mother…she has, in truth, been absent from day one. But this is not about her, or her struggles, or her inability to be the nurturing parent that Tyler deserves. This is about a little boy, struggling to feel comfortable in his own skin, anxious to belong, to fit in…to feel safe and loved.

Over the past few years, I have watched Tyler grow and evolve from a friendly, talkative little boy…to a child frightened of his own shadow, terrified of bugs, uncertain of his friends, unwilling to leave my side and wishing he were dead…simply because it’s bedtime.

I distinctly remember the little baby I held in my arms, the toddler so willing to please and help out…and the little boy…who begged me to stay. This is not currently that child. This child is angry…beyond words. This child, despite his intellect, reverts to baby talk and tears. This child wants to be in complete control of his surroundings and his world…this child, assumes that everyone hates him, nobody cares about him and everyone should simply die. This is the child I am currently struggling to support, the child I want to save, protect, empower and love.

He currently growls from depths, I never knew existed…spewing hatred and vile things that look abnormally wicked on his sweet and beautiful lips. I know that this hatred is meant for neither Jan or I, but it doesn’t help to lessen the pain that it ultimately inflicts. There is a tumultuous storm of anguish and emotions brewing inside of my little boy…and although we’re doing everything in our power to ultimately assist him…we haven’t a clue how to save him.

That doesn’t mean however; that either of us have given up. Despite the frayed nerves, frustration, feelings of powerlessness and confinement…we’re still here. We’re still trying and still reaching for answers that we hope one day soon…will come.

In the meantime, we haven’t wavered from a path of structure, consistency & love. What more can we do?

Despite everything, I still see the same little boy that I held in my arms and promised to love & keep safe. This path, may not be the same one that I initially envisioned…but it’s our path…and if nothing else…it’s a path still woven with LOVE.

Always Something to Be Grateful For….

Posted in Blessings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2012 by Tanya

 

In the grand scheme of things, I doubt that I am any different than most other folks. Although I do tend to toss in the occasional curve ball now and then, just for giggles and to keep everyone on their toes. 🙂

 

Most days, I tend to remain pretty positive and optimistic and focus on trying to leave a little something, that perhaps wasn’t here the day before. But every once in awhile, despite my best efforts, one of those dreary, sorta days sneak in and try to rain on my parade. Unfortunately, although I’d like to believe I’m simply immune to them now…Truth is, I’m still just as vulnerable as everyone else.

 

There are still times, when a careless comment is able to pierce this rusty, old armor and derive even the smallest amount of pain. And although I’d also like to believe that I’m basically, pretty well ‘behaved,’ even I have my moments when I know with complete certainty that I could throw the mother of all tantrums, crushing everything in my wake. That’s usually about the time a little alarm sounds off somewhere deep inside of me and I realize that I’ve strayed horribly off course.

 

Reeling myself back in and regaining my composure and a proper sense of perspective can sometimes be an excruciatingly daunting task, particularly when my emotions are involved. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve also come to realize that harboring any ill feelings or negativity towards others is beyond detrimental to me. It ultimately robs me of all of those wonderful facets that have evolved into who I am today. And at this point in my life, I don’t intend to relinquish that for anyone.

 

It’s taken alot of soul searching, self inventory, mis-steps, mistakes and growth to get to this place in time….but it was worth it.

 

Now, when faced with those things, people, comments or actions which threaten to steer me off course, I try to refocus my energy in the direction of gratitude instead. The negativity doesn’t warrant my attention and serves no purpose other than to derail me and inflict pain in some way…so I choose to dismiss it.

 

When I turn my attention towards gratitude, I begin to uncover the blessings that surround me on a daily basis and my spirit is immediately uplifted. A very simple, but effective technique for placing distance between myself and negativity. It seems I always manage to come full circle…just to discover what I’ve really, always had. A gentle reminder, I suppose, to slow down occasionally and breathe in my surroundings and the blessings that abound.

 

It’s that attitude of gratitude that lifts me to where I need to be and reminds me that I genuinely have so very much to be thankful for in my life. When I take this attitude into each new day and share it in some small way, with the hope of brightening someone else’s day…how can blessings do anything BUT multiply?

 

There is always, always, always….’Something’ to be Grateful for.

 

I’m’ just me’…but I want to be the ‘best me’ I can possibly be.

 

Have an absolutely wonderful day 🙂

The Chrysalis Project

Posted in Pulseline with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by Tanya

Like most children, I spent a good portion of my youth fantasizing about who I might become when I grew up. And although there were a multitude of choices to select from, I usually exercised the child’s prerogative to change my mind on a daily basis. However; one of the things I always knew I would become was an Artist.  Even at such a young and impressionable age, I also knew that more than anything else in my lifetime, I wanted to discover a way to simply ‘Touch Souls.’ Although a clear method for this phrase has continued to elude me, the underlying concept has never changed.

Much of my adulthood has been centered within the Human Service arena, a surprising, yet rewarding detour into the lives of countless, extraordinary people. Artistically, my experiences have been varied and rewarding also, but not quite the particular caliber I would prefer. So I continue to challenge myself to be accountable and to strive towards excellence in every respect.

While contemplating all of this recently, I was struck by the realization that although I had always assumed my first love to be art, it was actually a close second to helping others.  Why something that was right in front of me had managed to elude me for so long is beyond me. But from this realization was born an idea….a brand new project to satisfy both passions in a creative arena meant to inspire, encourage and engage people in helping each other through random works of heART.

I have been working diligently to set up another website and accompanying blog with all of the specific details. I am absolutely elated at the prospect of sharing this project with everyone and hope with all of my heart that it creates the ripple effect I expect.

As soon as the sites are completed and ready for debut, I will post the appropriate links here.

In the meantime, have an absolutely wonderful day!

Disconnected

Posted in Poems with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by Tanya

I thought of you today

And wondered how you’ve been.

It’s been awhile now

And then, those letters

I’d meant to send.

Times are tough all over

You know how things can get,

What with kids & work & bills & things

Just slipped my mind

I guess.

I’ve picked up the phone

A hundred times

And knew that I should call,

But it was always too late

Or too Early,

So I just didn’t call at all.

I knew I should

Just make the trip

It’s really not that far,

But then,

There’s the price of gasoline

And the hassles with the car.

I read about you

In the paper tonight,

And I just can’t believe you’re gone…

I should have made the time for you

While you were…with me…

All along.