This wasn’t her. Walking through the park looking at the faceless souls, aliases lost in the chaos of life. “Hi, how are you doing today?” The greeting was done in an effort to feel again. “Fine,” the stranger solemnly said. The stranger’s face never looked up. The response seemed to be contrived from the deep feelings of the stranger who would rather keep them to herself. She could relate. Sometimes you needed to say something to make sure you were alive and breathing. But exposing the alias was not an option. Facelessness was in control today.
“Where is she?” Allia thought to herself, almost speaking aloud. Although it would not have been strange since most in the park did the same. She had not seen Christine for quite a while. She looked around the group in the park. Allia did not even see Dane, Christine’s significant other. The faces were familiar but the faces she had become familiar with showed the aliases covering the details of these circumstances. Or, did the circumstances bring the aliases?
Allia knew there were a few in the park here by choice. They had given up on trying to make sense of the events they had been thrown in life. Kinda like the baseball game when the last ball is thrown. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, two strikes and three balls and a runner on third. The score is 3-2. The crowd is silent but excited with grand expectation awaiting the move from the pitcher and the batter. The batter is focused on hitting the ball out of the park so his team can win the game. The runner on third anticipating the base hit or home run that would bring him home. The pitcher winds up to throw the ball. Here it comes. Fast and swift. Right over the plate and the swing is a second too late. Strike three, you’re out!
The batter is visibly upset. Throws the bat. Half the crowd cheers, half the crowd oohs and aahs. Feeling the disappointment of the batter and the runner on third, the crowd has intensified the moment. Coming back from the nostalgia of enjoying her favorite sport, she scans the park one more time in order to make sure she didn’t miss Christine. Allia never thought she would truly understand the plight of the homeless, the faceless-aliases of people who were either thrown into or chose to be in this situation of living on the street. Sleeping where they could. Eating where and when they could. Every once in a while the good Samaritan would show up making a big difference for that day, but only that day. The next day, the apparent facelessness would continue. Today she understood this plight.
Allia was one of the faceless-aliases in the park today. Her search for Christina was futile at this point. She didn’t imagine any dire circumstances. She would just return tomorrow to see if her search would be fruitful. She only wanted to enjoy a moment with someone who could understand. Someone who would be able to see her, and not the alias of circumstances now out of her control? Allia’s alias moved forward through the park being one of the faceless in the group today.
My billboard would say that I am always working on improvement. My personality gives me the freedom to accept that change is necessary in some areas. That freedom doesn’t mean it has been easy. After fellowship with my Father in Heaven, I then move forward. There have been times when the changes were necessary and other times when the change was not needed. I have discovered that in trying to make sure everyone understands me created difficult moments for me when they didn’t understand. I have also learned that there have been many moments when I didn’t understand myself.
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This topic is very dear to my heart because I needed to make changes in my life and it was all about the boundaries. From my ex-spouse, my children as well as my friends, I needed to establish what was acceptable in my life. I was being pulled in all directions because I had no boundaries established for myself and yet was crossing boundaries in their lives because of the need to help them get through difficult experiences.
Needless to say, I did some research. The first book that I read which elaborated on healthy boundaries is Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
This book was fundamental in helping me to understand that there were times I had to say to no. No to extending myself beyond my true capabilities and no to allowing others to impede on me things that were not my choice. I have added the link here so that you can review the book at your leisure. It is definitely another book that I will re-read as well as add to my 2016 book journey. John Townsend also has several additional books on boundaries that break down this subject into the areas that compose our lives. From personal relationships to the working environment, he shares the process on how to do this effectively and in a way that you can respect yourself and others. The key to this is that you will need to read the book but do the inner work necessary to understand where your boundaries are; what you can and cannot do as well as accept from yourself and others. It takes reflection on how you live your life and what you would like to see different.
Being involved with a narcissist caused me to seriously consider what needed to be changed in my life. Part of understanding the makeup of a narcissist is accepting that there is nothing you can do to change another’s perspective or behavior when it has nothing to do with you. Definitely a boundary. When looking up the definition of boundaries, it reads “a real or notional line marking the limits of an area or territory.” While we understand boundaries in the physical aspect, I had to learn what that meant in the emotional area. It was certainly sobering and when I realized that it was so unhealthy not to have these boundaries for everyone’s sake, it was an awakening moment. We do incorporate boundaries when raising our children for their safety. I did not realize the destruction I was bringing to myself until I realized and accepted that as adults, boundaries are still just as critical. I needed to establish some.
It is necessary to understand that this is not always an easy process. We get used to doing things a certain way and when incorporating change, it’s not always welcomed by others or by ourselves. It is necessary to become aware when reverting back to old ways as well as reinforcing those boundaries with others when they forget as well. However, for all who desire emotional health, boundaries are fundamental, necessary and critical to reaching that goal.
With thoughts of boundaries, the inclination is to consider the limits of the boundary. However, the healthy aspect is the freedom to do what you know you can for your benefit as well as the benefit others, particularly those you love. Boundaries allow the realistic perspective on how to truly live this life in a healthy way. Everyone will not have the same boundaries. However, the great part of this journey is understanding what yours are. Being honest and real with yourself and those you love. The process is truly challenging but the reward is certainly worth the effort.
In responding to this prompt, I respond to the prompt by first doing the writing exercise of writing for six minutes about what first comes to my mind when thinking about this word phrase. My thoughts go to my children as one of the items on the list.
I feel frozen when they are hurting and there is nothing I can do except encourage them and even that does not seem to be working. Over the past year, all of my children have been in a place of pain, a couple more severe than the others. When expressing their pain and understanding that they are feeling their way through this journey called life, it gets difficult. I believe that there are times when they have to really experience the painful process for their own specific details about their journey. I certainly had to do the same.
The frozen part is not really comforting. It is a place of stillness that does not seem to help the situation. However, I do understand that the being still is also a necessary part of this journey. Being frozen (and I don’t like cold much less frozen), doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t helpful though. I was reading about being there for others and part of that reading talked about just listening. Although it may seem like you are frozen, you aren’t because being a good listener is a verb. When I think of the ground being frozen(winter), I realize that under that frozen ground, new life is springing forth. The same goes for our frozen times, unwanted but nonetheless necessary.