Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Squawky Bird

For the last two weeks when we pulled up into the parking lot at church and there was this bird standing on the river rocks that lined the parking lot.  The bird looked like it was about to attack us.  It was squawking and ruffling up her feathers and I’m going to admit she was pretty scary.  After before and after church both days that bird just had it out for us. When we went to leave one of my daughters threw a rock at the bird because she was scared.  She thought that the bird was going to attack us and she thought the bird was being mean but after looking a little closer we saw that in the rocks there were some eggs that were the exact same color as the rocks and she had her nest right next to the spot where we usually park. After realizing this my daughter felt really bad. My kids have been fighting a lot lately and really just saying, “She's mean...” It made me think of this squawky bird and how she was misunderstood and how she was acting “mean” only to protect something.  What I want my girls to understand is that sometimes people my be acting out only because they are feeling threatened, or they feel that someone they love is being threatened, or they do not feel loved or accepted. One of my daughters was upset and said she was "mean." My kids have been using that word like crazy! Argh it is now a bad word in our home! Anyway I explained to her that she wasn't mean but just a "squawky bird" who was being misunderstood.

 Not only did it make me contemplate my girls relationships but it made me contemplate myself and my reactions as well as others reactions towards me.  When someone is acting out towards me I need to be slow to judge and slow to be offended because it is most likely not personal.  Also, it is most likely no issue on my part but it is usually something the other person struggles with. It is more important to look deeper and smarter than it is to retaliate.  I just read an article about a study saying that peoples addictions are driven by a lack of being loved and having a community and feeling apart of a community and having a healthy and safe environment.  Basically loneliness.  In today’s society there is a lot of loneliness and we need to reach out to one another and lift each other up even if they are being a squawky bird.  The more we love the more changes we can see.  However, the other thing to remember is that even if we choose to love and to understand others they may never change.  They may always "squawk" at us.  The other thing that I love about the squawky bird is that even if I change my behavior towards someone there is no guarantee that they will change their reactions towards me.  I honestly believe that is is possible to repair hurt, to reclaim love, and break down barriers. There simply is just nothing you can do sometimes.  This bird will probably squawk at us next week too.  Realizing this only helps build realistic expectations.  I do not think it is necessary to change sometimes except our expectations.

Lessons in progress:

Don't be too quick to judge.

Recognize our intentions and motives and easily forgive ourselves.

Change anger to love and see if the squawky bird stops squawking.

I won't always change others by changing myself but I will change myself and therefore bring more peace.

Try not to squawk when I'm misunderstood and just realize that unless I've helped someone understand my side they will not automatically be understanding.

Monday, April 6, 2015

My Purpose

My Purpose is here
Here on Earth
Doing my Part
Finding my way
Setbacks they come
Coping is key
Keep Going
Keep Trying
They need you
You need them

Plans are Futile
Follow the Lord’s Plan
Not mine

Stop, Think, Breath
Solve and then continue
Trust, Grow, Learn

Hope Follows Action
Act, Serve, Love, Release


-Lindsay Casey

Monday, March 2, 2015

It’s Still Good

Words cannot describe the disappointment, pain, and anger I feel.  I am so very hurt.  Everything in my mind tells me that it is done it is over and so therefore I need to be over it too.  I feel unjustified to be angry I feel like I have no right to be upset for I have a wonderful baby safe at home.  Why my mind and body cannot let go of the pain and move forward?  Going to the hospital the night before my baby was born my body was filled with so much anxiety that I cannot describe the feeling into words.  I was in such a state of emotional turmoil that I could not make a concise choice to safe my life.  I depended on those around me to help me make good choices.  It is never a good feeling to feel like your own mind does not function because your guts want to burst out of your stomach.  Labor progressed that night and as it did I felt so alone in my pain and anguish.  All I could do was make choices based on past experiences.  I did not make all the best choices but how could I, the clouds would not clear out of my brain and the pain would not ease.  Time was coming closer to having my baby girl born into this world as my body ached in pain I wanted nothing more then to have my baby in my arms safe and for the pain and anxiety to ease.  As she was approaching the earth the world around me spun as I was asked to do do an extraordinary feet.  “Get Her out NOW!” I remember them repeating to me....”Get Her out NOW!” “Get Her out Now!”  The calm exterior trying to mask the worry in their voice as her heart dropped.  I pushed with all I had and could not get her out.  What have I done.  I kept trying and on the third try I finally got her out.  Blue and limp she arrived with the cord wrapped around her neck four times.  She started to cry and breath and I was finally relieved to have her on me.  I felt her thick black curls stuck to head and tried to wrap her in my arms while an awkward annoying nurse tries to help me and then the nurse needed her and said I would have her right back.  Of course I wanted her to be okay so of course I let her.  She stole her and didn’t give her back as I lay there almost bleeding to death as puddles of blood rushed to the floor, and looking over at my baby yearning to hold her as some kind of bandaid to help ease the pain.  No one could help me  get my baby because they were trying to save me.  The baby lay there crying and the nurse doing her charts and having no clue what she was doing to my heart.  As I asked for my baby over and over.  My bleeding stopped and she was going to bring her to me.  She lay next to me slow close yet so far away there was nothing I could do there was nothing I could say, I could not change what was happening no matter what I wanted.  How could this nurse be so insensitive and have no clue what she was doing to my heart.  Why wouldn't they help me the way I wanted?  My baby almost given to me, almost there,  and then my body started to shake.  My body shook so uncontrollably that there was no way I could have held her in me arms safely.  “I want my baby!”  As everyone around did there best to help me, I shook and I shook and I shook.  For two hours my body was out of control and I had no where to turn I could do nothing to stop and to get my baby.  I wanted her so badly.  All I wanted this whole pregnancy was the moment I got to hold her in my arms and reach hold her close to my body.  She had been mine in me and no one else could take her and now there she was and I could do nothing to have her in my arms, NOTHING!  Get her, Husband, just go get her! No!  He wouldn’t leave my side.  Finally, as my body started to calm, they brought her to me and I just looked down at her and had a sense of relief as I put her to my body and I felt her close to my skin.  She started to nurse and I just nursed her as long as she wanted because I could not bear to let her go.  I still shook off and on but held on tight to my love.  I could not loose control again because I might not get her back when I asked I might not get what I wanted.  That nurse had no right to make that choice for me. She was my baby and she took it upon herself to make a choice that was not hers.  I honestly hate her.  She broke my heart and took away something that I can never get back.  I hate her!      The day went by pretty well and the other girls got to come to the hospital and meet her and I got to see my family together.  Then as everyone parted the headaches, dizziness and pain started.  I tried to sleep and feed my baby but I was not succeeding.  Finally, I gave in and let the nurse take her.  I slept and the baby slept and there was some relief.  But needless to say I had some separation anxiety.  I had to get a blood patch the next morning which my husband was supposed to make it for and was late as I cried through the scary procedure.  A kind nurse massaged some oils on me and aided with some relief, I felt somewhat better and thought I might be able to go home.  My husband was anxious to go.  I could barely get up and walk around and without even seeing me the doctor released me.  No iron tests and no care from her and I was released.  Again with anxiety rising up in my soul I was not able to make a good choice and let those around me help me make those choices.  All I could do was go off of past experience and in the past I would have been fine to go home.  While back at home I had major headaches, chest pain, hearing lose, numbness, tingling, and so dizzy I couldn’t walk.  I couldn’t go back to the hospital because then I would be away from my baby.  I couldn’t do it.  I would manage.  When one night a Panic Attack hit me so strongly the chest pains and shooting pain was so strong that I thought I would die there.  Trying to stay there.  I held my baby day and night not to let her go as much as I could.  What a joy but the full joy of having a newborn was gone because I was in so much pain and in such a cloudy fog in  my brain that I could not feel much of anything besides that.  I feel like my joy was stolen away and I wanted it back.  There were so many people who reached out to me and blessed me and my family I am so grateful for the love others had for us and the great blessings we received during this time.  It took me two months to recover and fear of stroke from tingling all down the left side of my body from head to toe.  I wished my husband would have helped me more...but how could he really understand what I was going through and what would have helped me most.  I now have a beautiful baby that is alive and healthy and I am alive to enjoy.  I cannot dwell no the pain because I want to enjoy the now.  I must feel it and let it be.  Every time I see a baby, every time I hear a birth story, every time I see her baby photos, the feelings swarm back into my heart hard to push away the pain.  So don’t push it away.

When the event is triggered by something happening today I can:
1.) Let the feelings in and let it be.  Do not push the feelings out or try and stop them or deny them and the feelings will do what they are meant to do.
2.) After I have felt through it I can think more logically and come up with the story that makes it better....Something I learned....Something I can help others with....Something that is real and true.
3.) Amongst all the pain there is good and I need to focus on the good and feel through the bad.  
4.) Forgive those who trespass you as I would want others to forgive me.  Forgive myself.  The Lord will make up what was lost.  
5.) Do not let the pain of the past shadow the good of today.  Take control of my feelings today and do not give power to those who did me wrong. 
6.) Do not let the bad ruin all the good too.  She is here!  My Miracle!
7.)  Think it through beginning to end seeing both the good and the bad all the way through.
8.) Most things are out of my control.  
9.) I did all that I could do at that time.
10.)  Do not "What if” or “Should Have” the story.  I can not change it! I can only come up with what it means to me today to move forward with JOY!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I’ll just do it! It will be over soon enough...

...while I believe these words can be helpful in some ways such as when it comes to cleaning the house or changing stinky diapers, I had an "aha moment" the other day that made my whole outlook for this weekend change.

I had someone ask me if I could do a Dance Party for her Daughters Birthday.  I initially said no because she planned the party on Sunday.  Well, she changed her date and I was available and my husband was not working so I said that I would do it.  Two days before the party she had to change the date and time again because of a conflict  The only time she could get was when my husband was working.  I agonized over the decision of whether or not to do the party because now it meant that I either had to pay a sitter, and make no money on the deal, or bug a friend to let my kids come and play, and I had already been on the fence over the deal because I am really busy with school, kids, and church.  While I do not mind finding sitters for my kids on occasion this was not something that I really wanted to do.  I knew I would be unhappy filling my time preparing for the party and doing the party.  I told the lady I would call her back and let her know what I decided.  I did not want to let this girl down on her birthday.  So I thought, “Well, I’ll just get it over with!”  Wait a minute! I just stopped in my thoughts.  "Get it over with."  What was this, doing the dishes?  No, it wasn’t, it was my life.  It struck me so profoundly that I called her back right away and told her that I would not be able to do the party.  This is my life and if I keep making choices that I just have to “get over with” then I need to make a different choice.  I had the most amazing weekend with my kids and I did not regret my decision one bit.  I was not responsible for the girls feelings, she did not need me to have a wonderful birthday, especially if my attitude wasn’t there, and I was able to spend time with my kids and not rush around.  It feels good to be confident in my choice and not be unhappy either way, because without this realization I would have been unhappy with either choice because I would have been happy with either choice ;) I know I think too much, both choices matched my values and were good choices.

Photo by Tenika

Lessons in Progress:

1.)  Timing is everything!   I was sitting down tonight laughing with my baby and thinking if I was working right now I’d miss this moment right now.

2.)  If I keep making choices that pull me away from what I want, I will never do what I want, I will never find my passion or enjoy it anyway.

3.)  There is a season for everything!  My service is for my kids right now and later I might have time for a dance party.

4.)  Making choices to make others happy will not bring me success or joy.  Making choices based on my values and joy will.

5.)  Life will be over soon enough...Make the choices for your life that will get you where you want to go, not ones that will be over soon enough.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Emotional Responsibility

I am working on managing my Anxiety and Anger.  The story of my life.  I have a ton both of those things but I have made a lot of progress.  I have learned how to control myself and take responsibility for my own emotions. Am I always able to do it perfectly? No.  But seeing progress gives me hope to keep trying.

One thing that I did not see before in myself was the fact that I find myself responsible for others emotions.  This is a huge anger trigger.  Anger comes from either not making a choice or feeling like you can still do something to fix something.  I get a lot of anger from feeling like I can fix or change other peoples emotions.  It is not possible, so the anger grows, when I do not get rid of the responsibility, the anger continues.

We have a rule in our house that you can eat fruits are vegetables anytime you want.  If they end up ruining their dinner because they ate too many carrots then for goodness sakes, who cares!  So, one of my daughters asked me if they could eat some grapes.  My answer was, “You know the rule, but just remember that dinner is coming up.”  Well, she continued on making a big fuss about it and went on and on about how I would not let her eat any grapes and her sister was eating grapes and it was not fair that she could not eat any grapes and yadda yadda.  Anyway, instead of letting her decide that she did not want to eat any grapes and just let her own her own decision, I bit.  Oh man I was angry.  The realization is that I became emotionally responsible for her instead of empathizing with her.  I took the blame and responsibility even though it was not mine and therefore I became angry.  I have also realized that I do this in many other instances and I allow others to cause me guilt and I make choices based on feeling responsible for someone else somehow.  I have realized people who tend to do this to me.  I need to recognize this and remember where the responsibility lies and not allow them to make me feel this way.  I also try to lesson my time with them.

Lessons in Progress:

1.) I am not responsible for others emotions.

2.)  Show empathy and kindness but do not feel responsible.

3.)  It is freeing to be able to make choices that I need to make and not make choices based on the emotions of others.

4.)  I am a kind person with high morals and I would not make a choice to purposely hurt someone so there is no need to feel responsible when someones feelings get hurt.  I can apologize and admit where they may have thought that but I will know my heart and I can be okay with what I have done.

Babies snack time! No grapes for her!

Doubt to Confidence

It is a strange realization when you realize that the love that you have for yourself is conditional.  The love that I have for myself is conditioned upon what I am able to accomplish.  If I am able to get a lot done, finish all of my goals, accomplish what I set out to do and when my life is going well and I am living up to my expectations of myself I am confident and making good and decisive choices because I love myself.  When I am not doing the above things I am not confident and I have a hard time making choices and I second guess myself.  Those are the times when I do not love myself.  If I could continue to love myself despite mistakes and setbacks then I would be able to bounce back out of those setbacks much easier.  Rather then having to prove to myself that I am worthy to be loved I could just forgive myself and move on making confident choices again.

I am shamefully a yeller.  I am fully capable of being a sane and level headed mother but when I do not love myself and when I feel guilty and when I do not love myself I also feel like others should not love me either.  I tend to want to be a grouch and distance myself from others.  I was having the worst night and unfortunately for the plate involved because it ended up shattered.  I was just yelling about everything mostly about everything that I had asked the kids to do which they had not done.  Not that my rampage was not shameful enough and of course the guilt was building up I then had the sweetest children in the world, if I do say so myself, tell me, “We love you Mom.”  What sweet spirits full of unconditional love for me.  I am humbled and learning from their sweet example to me.  Despite my rampage and the broken plate they still loved me, could I do the same thing and love myself and others unconditionally just as my kids did for me and the Savior does for us.  Through this experience I can see a glimmer of light as to what the pure love of Christ is,  It is unconditional and perfect.

Lessons in Progress:

1.)  When you feel like you are not good enough, have not done enough, and are not confident in your choices...choose to love, yourself.

2.)  "We’re not sayin' you can change him,
‘Cause people don’t really change.
We’re only saying that love's a force
That's powerful and strange.
People make bad choices if they’re mad,
Or scared, or stressed.
Throw a little love their way.

Throw a little love their way.
And you’ll bring out their best...

We need each other to raise
Us up and round us out." (Wilson, Frozen, 2013)

Love can change how we treat ourselves, others, and become vulnerable to others.

3.)  Getting hurt is just apart of life we are going to disappoint ourselves and those we love but love, forgiveness, and trust are what we are learning and unconditional love can help pull this off.