Childhood

Conflicted: April 2021 NaPoWriMo Day five

Exhausted
Brain dead
Thinking and walking through molasses

Overwhelmed
Mixed emotions
Scattered thoughts, discombobulated

Anxious
Breaking down
So much to push through and fight

Fearful
Poor health
Self-care to care for others

Hopeful
Fingers crossed
Aspirations may soon be met

Loved
Generations together
Smiles and laughter ‘midst the angst

I decided not to use a prompt today. I just ended my work week after about two weeks off. Weekend graveyards is a tough schedule and I seldom get 3-4 hours of sleep between shifts. So, my brain couldn’t process the complexity of the prompt.

My laptop gave up the ghost and won’t turn on. So, my writing will now be done using the phone app. *sigh*

My posts will probably be shorter.

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Rising from beneath: April 2021 NaPoWriMo, Day two

Today’s prompt is inspired by Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” It’s based on our own personal journeys. What might our experiences be if we took a different path?

No matter how many times I wanted or tried to veer from the path I was on, I wasn’t able to. Having travelled this far, I realize I don’t want to have taken a route other than the one I’ve been on.

Why?

People. My children and my grandchildren might not exist. Or, if they did, they wouldn’t be who they are. I wouldn’t have or know the people in my life, not the way they are now.

My life has always been challenging and full of stress. It’s made who I am. There’s more work to be done. I like who I’m becoming.

Rising from Beneath

I was told I could be anything I wanted…
But I wasn’t taught how and
I never met anyone who was.

I was told that if I had knowledge I would have power.
Helplessness was all I knew…
despite my accumulated information

I was told, “Aim high! Shoot for the stars.”
From my depths my aim was as high as other’s low.
I shot just to see the stars.

Years of climbing, fighting, struggling
Always landing back in the hole
Anchored by the trauma of my past.

Cycles of poverty and neglect,
Generations repeating the past.
Lord, let me be the last.

Breaking through, crawling out
Eyes blinded by daylight
Skin scorched by the sun.

Someone (not Churchill) admonished one and all,
“if you’re going through hell, keep going. It’s no place to stop.”
no longer energized, yet, here I am…still going.

I think it’s a good fight. It’s been a hard one.
Redemption, restoration, rebuilding
Self and relationships once lost.

Constantly feeling weak and lost
Continually infused with life’s breath,
Molded by refining love.

But wait, there’s more…so much more
Five decades to grow up.
Here’s hoping for another 3-5.

New battles rise up,
New fears to face.
The war against self goes on.

More to see, more to be.
My future resides with me.
My path lives in me.

Entering the Kingdom of Heaven: Lessons from Rise of the Guardians

I finally had the chance to watch “Rise of the Guardians” with Luna the other day. Being a Dreamworks production, it didn’t disappoint. I now want to get the books to share with her as well.

While watching it I recognized symbology from a variety of cultural, mythological, and spiritual belief systems. It made me glad I’ve cut out my awareness of reviews and commentaries on these things, because I am pretty sure this wonderful movie probably was denigrated and attacked as an effort to subvert religious values of our Christian nation.

I’m a Christian, but, it really bothers me when this happens.

Our country was founded of freedom OF religion. The intent being that any citizen of our nation would have the freedom to believe whatever they choose to believe and practice the tenets of that religion without persecution or government intervention. They can also choose not to believe or practice any religion at all. Therefore, the USA is not a “Christian” nation. It is a nation where Christians are co-citizens with Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Neo-Pagans, Agnostics, Atheists and various denominations and sects of these and other belief systems. We do not have a right to expect our beliefs and religious mores to be adhered to by government or public institutions. We do not have a right to hold anyone, other than ourselves, accountable for teaching or disseminating our belief system. We have the responsibility to respect others in the manner in which we wish to be respected.

So, when I watch movies with Luna which aren’t specifically Christian in nature, I do not expect them to conform to the familiar symbols and figures of Christianity. Instead, I look for the themes and messages that align with the values I’ve learned from my faith. Values like hope, love, faith, community, cooperation, kindness and the like.

The characters in Rise of the Guardians are the guardians of childhood innocence: Wonder, Hope, Memory, and Dreams. They oppose fear and the things that strip away these intangible qualities of innocence.

So many of the conflicts and damage in our world have their roots in the neglect, abuse, and loss of childhood innocence. Identifying root causes and diagnosing mental health disorders often requires understanding and knowing childhood events. Many healing and recovery practices have people face their childhood experiences and memories where the loss of innocence took place. A significant number of self-help and personal development teachings include learning and practicing things that were an automatic and inherent part of being a child.

Those of us with unstable, disorganized, chaotic and insecure childhoods lose the innocence of childhood at too early a stage. Some fare better than others in their capacity to hold onto some part of these things. Some find the ability to still believe and pass it on. Often, though, without intending, willing, or trying we wind up in life patterns that perpetuate it.

We lose our wonder, hope, memories, and dreams.

We stop dreaming so we stop trying to achieve the dreams. We forget the joy and freedom (if we ever knew it) of exploring, getting to know the world around us, and the excitement of making new friends. We stop hoping for the things that fulfill us – unconditional love and acceptance, being part of something, bigger than ourselves, which encompasses us – and stop investing the time and effort to bring the dreams and hopes to fruition. Our sense of curiosity and wonder, which lead to gratitude and appreciation for the world around us and the people in them, leaving us uninterested and apathetic.

Loss of innocence is part of the process of growing up and happens quite suddenly and painfully for many of us.

Part of the maturation and growth process is reconnecting to that innocence. Letting wonder back in, remembering what is meaningful and significant, allowing dreams to flow, and allowing hope to conquer fear.

This is what I got out of the movie. Regardless of which mystical, religious, or mythological context the characters were based in, this movie illuminated and reflected values inherent in my Christian faith.

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Matthew 18:3
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

“. . . and said, “Yes! I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you won’t even enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”

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