Category Archives: Writing

Shadow Self

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What keeps me going is what the world calls coincidence but I call GOD moments.

Today an extremely personal art piece because of one of these so called GOD moments. Perhaps the most personal piece I have ever done. I want to be completely free and I’m always moving towards that.

Free in every way possible and being honest, brutally honest seems to be the only way to be free and to rise above things that keep me bound or make me believe I am bound.

This link is to a free offering called.. Into the Shadow part 1. Where you can find information on the why.. It is a free course offered this month of April 2018 by Tracy Algar. I am in a face book group she runs and this course is being shared there.

It’s where I found myself earlier today simply having a look at the art others had posted and found it encouraging. I then decided to grab some magazines here at home and do some collage art unrelated but inspired by what I had been looking at.

So as I began looking for things to cut out I randomly found an article on the very same thing I had just been reading in her course!!!! Coincidence or what!?! Call it what you will. But I take these things as neon arrows that this has relevance for me.

I decided to have a go at my own ‘Shadow’ piece but chose instead oil pastels to create it.

Often I am feeling a plethora of feelings but not always knowing how to articulate them or even what direction to go for in prayer to God to help me with it. Art is a way to sort through and express my heart at the deepest level.

When I look at this piece below what am I thinking? I feel much more honest than I’ve ever been before. I seem to focus on faces more than any other thing and have for awhile now. Obviously being a deaf person my eyesight is a major thing and I need to be close to others to understand them. Faces to me are about intimacy and particularly so being a loner of sorts, a single parent and often am on my own now that the children are growing up. My art seems to be focused more often than not on a solitary figure because that’s where I’m at.

Face to face thing is imperative. I need to be in anyone’s face to communicate in any way but also I think I am frustrated and angry that it’s hard to communicate and such a struggle all the time to find a willing face to communicate with at the same level.. Face to face communication is actually rare for me these days so there is more of an urgency to be in your face if that makes sense.

My heart another huge factor in my life. If its not a heart thing I am not really interested in it or lose interest in it quickly. I am drawn very much to truth and people who speak from the heart no matter how different they might be from me.

Emotions are precious and beautiful to me and I am a ‘feelings’ person so my art is going to reflect that. But I do feel more a loner for it too because most people I am associated with do not share intimately or like I do so I feel alone because I need too and everyone else around me does not. So I do tend to hold it in when I’m with anyone which is not good for me or I freak someone out when it seems to pours out without end in sight..

With few to share it with or who I feel wish to be hear it and not many around that are likewise yeah I get stuck with it and it can keep me blocked or it’s simply easier to dwell in my own little world to cope with it..

But also unfortunately my heart has been damaged by life, feeling isolated.. by people who don’t try to get me but also I consider it to be mostly damaged by being my vulnerable self in a way that is an absolutely necessity for me and yet for the most part is speaking to thin air and that feels plain weird.. I am acutely aware of this void around me.. It is my hardest battle and it IS NOT FOR ATTENTION I talk about it but I consider it necessary for SURVIVAL. I have had to fight for a place like a little bird squawks loudly if it wants to thrive. Only my squawking is done with my art now lol and there are days I don’t do it.

Being quiet and in any way half hearted or not true to myself I feel crippled and that has severed me from even myself and keeps me from wanting to be in the company of most anyone. I truly do not see any real reason to exert myself in the world or with anyone if I can’t relate or be relative to anyone else. Art just for myself no thank you. Please don’t suggest that cause it’s strange just like talking to oneself all the time is strange. I can’t communicate with another person like you can. If you don’t get that you never will get me.

I disconnect from the world to survive this and I find my own way through. It’s why I write so much here.. pour myself into it for hours.. It’s probably a couple of months worth of conversations you’ve enjoyed every day but I’ve missed out on..

The severed head is really a savage way to speak my rawest truth that I’ve felt decapitated by feeling unless I do it your way I’m wrong.. Suffering disconnection when others around me have not realised I need them to value me and accept me as I am how I am. That being who I am is not an evil thing. The evil thing is not facing the world in a way where I’m free to be me.

My emotions are who I am. I cannot survive if I do not express them. Yes I realise even doing this that I need to stop shrinking because of what people think or how they function. But I should hardly apologise for needing people. I just need them differently to you..

We all.. human and creature need each other but we all have different ways to need each other. I need to speak honestly and I also need to know I’m seen & heard sometimes even if I’m not understood. I realise though that I have to stop feeling wrong for doing so period.

It’s a very dark world if I am expected to live without sharing from my heart. I did not draw in my ears because I can’t hear and I do not focus on what I cannot do.

My eyes are actually closed in this for that is how I appear to the world who will not see my heart and that can be people who should know me better but don’t go beyond the surface. I will look different to them. But they will not be focusing on the truth of me at all.

My reality is that my eyes are wide open and I have nothing to hide. I thought of the scripture the eyes are the window to the soul and it may not be very clear in this art but the whites in my art first started as flesh than I coloured them with yellow. The whites of my eyes are now yellow in this piece. I feel people think I am ill instead of seeing me as a living, feeling, breathing spiritual person. But I am actually lit from within because of HIM and Spirit is where I live majorly from (where HE is). I believe that if majority see only my flesh they miss out on me almost completely so to them I’m disconnected or broken.

Yes I need to see myself differently. I will say that even though my heart has been broken it will never extinguish my Spirit thankfully so I have surrounded my heart with yellow to symbolise that.

My cheek shows a rosy colour! Pink is my emotions. My mouth is upturned to more a smile than frown. My eyes are open. My tears help me release emotions don’t ever be afraid of them. I’m looking straight ahead. I am focused. I live from my heart and spirit. My brokenness does not stop me. HE is with me. HE is life, hope, health & strength in my weakness.

It is with complete fearlessness that I share my most vulnerable self with you. People around me have failed me as I know that I have failed others when I am only a shadow of myself. I will remain hidden to anyone who does not see my heart because that is my truest self.

I am not begging or hiding here or ashamed. It is with boldness and vulnerability I reveal my shadow self and raw naked soul with it. Spirit is my realm and where my Spirit is.

I am.

Any arguments. HE created me take it up with HIM.. 😊❤️🕊

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Hard pressed on every side but not crushed

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The answer to the question I asked before I started journaling surprised me.
In visual journaling we are asked to set an intention or ask a question before we start.. it kind of guides us as we journal.

I was surprised because it was a hard question and I kinda feared you know what would come out of the inside of me.

Hardest battle of my life to be honest and one I have felt most alone with. Like being just under the surface of a calm ocean but madly struggling.. but because everybody else only sees the surface they cannot see the struggles or the difficulty of it and some deny it is even a thing at all.. They go about their lives as if nothing was happening.

I am finally coming to peace with that. I have felt angry that I cannot share it with someone. Burden shared is a burden halved. Frustrated that I could not be supported or believed. I cannot survive though carrying around anger. Especially seeing I am mostly a peaceful person. In fact I would probably go so far as to say I don’t get angry. I cry rather then release things in anger. I am quick to forgive but I have learnt that this does not mean staying around to keep being hurt. Major change right here that I am proud of. But it has come at a cost. Not being understood but still I feel strong that I can stand up for what I believe in. You do not know how many times I have considered just slotting back in to how it used to be. Just so I was not on my own anymore and you are not ruffling up people’s feathers. Just to keep the peace. But see there is something about being true to yourself and at peace I am also learning. That it does not mean there is no conflicts. In fact I think the more you seek truth and peace the more conflicts you will find yourself in. But you have to learn to stand despite the conflicts. You have to learn that it will put you at odds with others who have settled and who just accept the way it is. They get jealous and they also will either fight you tooth and nail or completely close up to you. They cannot understand you and they will either fight or flee. I am not good at arguing. So if people do not agree with me they give up very easily and don’t stay around but I can survive it because I have found my peace within by being honest and being myself. I have nothing left to hide.

I have to learn to accept my own personal truth as not needing validation. Learning process for sure. I suppose all my life I have leaned on others for validation and been a follower. Learning now that I cannot do that and find inner peace because there just have been very few that I can follow or whom was able to understand where I am coming from or feel the same. So I have had to put my roots down deep where I am. Just like a tree where it finds all it needs by developing strong roots. The tree gains strength from finding its sustenance in the deep and it can stand solid through storms and the testings through time.

There are positives to this battle thankfully.

My question/intention was.. What is it about my sister that so upsets me?

The visual journaling I did was very positive for me to look at and if anyone is a deep truth seeker they should also clearly see where my heart/soul is on this. I can see growth in me. I can see gold and immense purpose in myself. Oh my goodness how powerful this piece of art is… no matter how simple it appears. I know exactly what it means too. I was actually excited today to sit down and do my writing here. I can feel a real inner pull on me to write. To share. To think about it. I love expressing how I feel. It is not till I do this that I can genuinely see just what has been happening in me even in times of what feels like ‘nothingness’. Long long periods of dormant and low activity which thanks to GOD are actually achieving something after all.

The green is growth. It looks like lungs. But it is more my gut that I was thinking about. Kidneys maybe even. But they are the deeper parts of me.
I think of the scripture. “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of water will flow within them.” John 7:38
I didn’t use blue though which is different to rivers of water. But water bring brings growth doesn’t it and believe me I have done years of crying which I can see now is bringing growth!!!!!
In fact it makes me think of the green of planet earth when seen from above and how it is surrounded by the beautiful aqua blue of the oceans of the world. In the very beginning of what we know as time. Spirit was hovering over the waters when HE started saying the very words that creation sprung forth from.

Blue to me also means tears, washing etc.. I love that I didn’t have in my journaling about this question anything relating to sadness.. That is so very encouraging because I do know it is always a fear that everything that has happened to me has made me a victim to depression but my art is NOT saying that at all. I could so easily be depressed because it has been SO DAMN HARD with my sister. She is a key person in my life. My sister. We are both single mothers. Both having gone through divorces. Both have teenagers. Both have disabilities. We both have and do rely on our parents for help. Because I house share with my parents and they help my sister so much it has been doubly hard the closeness of this battle and especially the cruelness of not being seen or rather feeling alone in it. I also will say in my families defense and the people around me who could have helped. That I am different to almost everyone I am related too or have had close contact with. I am created to share and NEED to share. I am a creative person and I think all of my life it was not something I was raised to do or was used to be surrounded with others who did. It was not encouraged, nurtured, talked about etc.. I was like an ugly duckling in the wrong family. Just a way to explain it.. not complaining about it or judging others. Just explaining that I have probably struggled all my life because I have not been able to be true to who I am in an environment where others were the same. I have relatives who are creative and sadly we don’t connect even though as I have been more creative I thought it would happen easily. Ways to go still in relating to others.

In relation to my sister as to the why ask this question now. I have chosen to distance myself from her. Something that is not my choice at all but I have felt is the only way for now. Too much more to it than is possible to explain for this days sharing but only here I will share why it has upset me so and my thoughts about my answer via visual journaling.

In short because I struggle to be myself with her and she has also said when we last sort of had it out.. when I tried to communicate more deeply.. ‘Your heart seems to be locked up tight.’

She felt that.

You can see that she is right that this is truth. But not that I want it to be locked up and that is where it runs into a wall because unless I can explain more and why.. she will not experience more. But I cannot seem to get any further because when I have overflowed lol.. And I can go on and on as you can see. Nothing comes back from her depths and I have felt defensive instead of myself and definitely not free flowing. I mean obviously we are not the same. But unless I can say some things and feel heard it all seems to stay with me and that is as far as we get. There is going to be a flow with two people who are communicating and free with each other and it is going to benefit both I believe. Not harmful or needing of either to hold back. We have not had freedom and I have not felt safe. Our hearts and souls are treasures after all which deserve respect, grace and the kind of love that allows us to be who we are with each other.. Warts and all.

So this green shows that I am wanting to flow despite our relationship in the past and currently. And I want deep. Which is why the black box appeared.. The black was not anything to do with me. Rather it is what has happened to us both when I cannot share naturally. When what I most desire which is obviously still huge to me runs into a wall..

I am so glad to see the flow is still there and does not seem diminished.. It has not stopped perse. Like I mean it is still there.. it has not dried up no matter what people think or even my sister thinks. I still want to share life with her. I have not always known that about myself. I have had anxiety even being around her. Strange because I am peace loving person and have a lay back personality. So when I consider all that our relationship has been and things said and not said. Anxiety rises up. So I am glad looking at this I am not seeing anxiety here in my art.

It is just I cannot and have not been able to flow with her. I am most comforted that I am not angry and I am not sad according to my journaling. I am still wanting relationship but I recognize that what I do want is healthy relationship. To be myself fully. To share deep things. Green signifies growth. But the fact that it is not blue. Blue symbolizes to me an exchange of relationship. I have all this growth inside but it only comes up to a point. It is not returned to fully complete the cycle I suppose you could say by looking at this art piece. It is not meant to be one way. One sided. It is meant to be for both my sister and me. To help each other. To be a safe place. A support. A confidant to each other. The pink symbolizes how my art and self expression helps me be who I am. A part of how I function. It is not that I do things I do to be different but rather it is who I am and being who I am helps me to bring up the deep things. Totally necessary. Shows that the way our relationship has been has hindered my whole self with my sister. So much more to say and so much more to be and so much more to contribute but its vitally important that I am free to communicate in my own unique way. That is where the treasure of me is.

The gold color I used is perhaps the most beautiful thing of all. I think of this scripture.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7

It appears to be a GOD thing that this is who I am. This is how I am created.

Only recently I found a t-shirt at a op shop or you might call it a thrift store. It has the word ‘Power’ on it. The timing.. Lol I know immense hope for all that is NOT happening in my life when I bypass the very humanness of myself and concentrate on Spirit. GOD in me. GOD in this human body. If all my sister sees is the black.. Well she misses the treasure of me and she will only see the earthen vessel. If I cannot communicate my truth and be myself as I am to my sister she is going to miss the treasure. Anyone is.

Using art expression God has transformed my sadness to growth and given me abundant life within that desperately desires to be expressed to my sister and anyone else I am sharing life with. Some see art as just a very personal and intimate thing to help oneself. But I see art expression as my way to be who I am created to me. To shine my light/light of God who is working with me and a way to communicate as a deaf person too in this world. Spirit is what animates life itself after all.

I can see HIM working especially in my hard times, despite my humanness it is the most powerful thing on earth because when you really see SPIRIT is working so intimately within you, it is a very deep and soul satisfying message of life and hope. Seen crystal clear even in the simplest of things like visual journaling.

I am comforted for all that my life has been and all that my life has not been.. The difficulties only shine HIS greater purposes to me even brighter. I am finding joy right now in sharing this.

HE appears to me in midst my art obsession of collecting and hoarding art supplies because they are what I use to tell my truth and GOD meets me here within my humanness and hoarding art supplies.. And God IS involved in my art no matter how simple, despite how my outer circumstances do not make sense and how disconnected I might appear. Despite how many relationships I struggle with and the blackness that shows to the world. The introvert that I can be. The differences to others. The struggle with my sister.

There is still treasure to be found.

Bypassing my rational brain using visual art journaling I am able to speak from my heart not my head that likes to worry about things and wonder why this has happened the way it has and which struggles to communicate like the rest of the world does. I do shut down and lose focus when I think about how my outward life is and do not concentrate on the power and presence of SPIRIT. Flesh is weak. Spirit is strong.

Art expression shows what I truly feel inside it shows my super power :).
It is the truth after all and yes I too am surprised by how pure my heart is here. Glory to GOD!!!

Despite the black displayed in my art. The hardship.
(2 corinthians 4:8.. We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed.. Perplexed but not in despair; )
I am filled with gold.
My struggle to express myself has had incredible internal benefits because I need GODS help to keep my inward focus.
That’s how I found abundant life within. (Kingdom of Heaven is within)
I see enormous growth and flow which is a miracle even if its very different to how it looks on the outside.
(GOD looks not at the outward appearance but at the heart)
I am not filled with anger or sadness or lack or even blackness..
I am filled with light..
His power is best shown when I am sharing powerful truth even from within my own difficulties.

Light

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Isaiah 9:2
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

I love the light shining from clouds. Sun rays breaking through. They amazingly encourage me no end.
Heaven piercing through to earth. I took this photo while I was walking my dog one day and I love everything about it. It was like a spotlight, so direct this particular ray breaking through. My Iphone seemed to capture the remaining daylight as much more dark then it actually was but it works to highlight the sunbeam of light even more.

I have noticed these much more in my latter life and there was a period of time when I saw rays of light every single day I walked no matter what time I walked outside and I have seen them many more times and most of the time I have to take a photo. God has encouraged me through them because this latter part of my life has been hardest. I need HIM more than I ever have before. I have felt very much like a person walking in darkness as the leading scripture I shared says and it was exactly as if a light had dawned just for me and it gives immense hope.

My circumstances may not have changed too much but I have changed inside. I have hope within where it felt hopeless before and just seeing this strengthens my spirit.

God is that light to me. It felt very much that HE was shining it just for me at that moment. Right place right time. Exact message I needed to help me keep going.

This word is part of a series of words that together with other people I met with in December last year via a face book group and daily we were supposed to art journal about them.  For Advent LOL but I am slowly still plodding through. Hardly any time of late to do art and before that not very much motivation or desire. So I am persisting through even though I do not really know why. I think perhaps they are helping me just keep going and knowing that I didn’t give up is good for me to make myself do it.

I know remembering this photo and tying it in with the word encourages me again today. That is the power of God and scripture too.. One verse.. Sometimes just one word is all it takes to speak to me. Time or apparent circumstances seem not to disempower spiritual matters. Light is God to me whether it is for Advent, past, present or future. Spirit always packs a punch though it can come differently and in any form which is why it’s so wonderful at helping you see the divine in the every day.

Spirit is strong. Spirit is current. Spirit is good. I love that I can tie in photography, art, words, timing, God, Spirit, faith, scripture, art supplies, my art journal, personal sharing in putting this together AND share it on social media too.. ❤️️❤️

Touched By An Angel

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Just a lovely moment I wanted to share..

The Spirit is moving!! God does use angels to touch our hearts!! Connecting us in a myriad of incredible ways even across the world.. providing comfort, inspiration and strength.

I love Instagram it’s where I get so much inspiration.. meet with countless creative souls and also share my own photos & art.

Today I found myself at the Instagram account of Roma Downey. She posted a photo of her close friend Della Reese who recently passed.. It’s of a keepsake printed for family and friends as they came together to celebrate her life..

I’ve loved and admired both these women because of the tv series “Touched by an Angel”. Anyway I left a comment on the post saying something like “You will see her again one day.. but I know it’s hard to wait ❤️️.”

Not long after she liked my comment..

ATM there is over 3,000 comments and I don’t know how many were there when I posted but to even try to respond to so many is amazing..

Anyway what was most amazing is that I felt that exact moment in my heart.. I literally felt something touching my spirit when I saw a message pop up on my phone that Roma liked it..

I stood there a moment hand to my heart and experienced a real connection which is hard to explain but there’s an awareness of a connection with Roma’s spirit at that exact moment.. Heaven moving inside you l really don’t know how to explain it.. but it feels exquisite..

Once my feet touched the floor again I had to immediately go back and share that because something tangible was happening.. Roma is grieving.. it’s hard to say goodbye to someone we love no matter how many lovely memories and times we share.. you just miss their presence..

I just hoped that sharing that small moment might do the same and comfort her heart.. of course not even knowing if she’d see it..

Spirit transcends our grief, time barriers and also distance in some amazing way.. Amazingly she did see it!!

Snap shot of what I shared and Roma’s response below.. 😍 I realise re-reading it I spelt Della’s name wrong 😩.. somehow though Spirit & Angels work though our imperfections too.. we really do need to see the heart sometimes because flesh so easily err’s..

Also a digital art piece I did because of all this.. Using a photo of my own angel statue from my art desk.. It’s like a pictorial black out poetry piece except I’ve blocked out pieces of the photo using words from items in my desk as the poem.. and added a few images to it as well.. Poem is not the right word though but I’m trying to explain how I did it.

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Expectation

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I am doing an Advent 2017 challenge via face book. Run by Mary Brack. I will add the link here. People are still joining in so come find out what’s it’s all about and join with us.

Advent 2017

The word I am up too lol is ‘Expectation’ and I laugh when I say it because I am already a day or two behind because this was for the 5th of December but that is American time not Australian.

Reading scriptures Isaiah 64:1-4 and Lamentations 3:24-26

I did a journal page and the words in italics below just flowed out of me as I thought about it so I will leave it as I wrote it on the page. Random thoughts just in case anyone is interested and can’t read it directly from the page.. the word ‘Quiet’ stands out in the scriptures I read..

It is good to wait quietly for the LORD to save. Lamentations 3:26

I am really not a quiet person. I speak loud, apparently snore loud, sing too loud lol and live loud because I cannot hear to do anything quietly or to gauge what is the norm. I slam doors, slam kitchen cupboards.. Even wash dishes loud.. I have been told..
But in a group of people I tend to be invisible and quiet because I cannot hear to join in. And I don’t know what is being talked about so I cannot really add anything to any conversation going on plus I am shy.. I am really too quiet apart from my own little deaf inner soul.. I hope ha ha I am loud in some way bravely putting this into the world.. it’s my hope..

But I do still feel quiet in my art cause it is so simple and doesn’t really stand out and wow people :).. I say that because I want to be a light in darkness..

And though I put it out in the world via social media and internet and art is my way to communicate. Not too much feedback so it is rather a lonely quiet stubborn journey.

So as in life and art I am apparently quietly doing my thing.. I think this is why the word quietness in this scripture really just reaches out and comforts my soul which longs to be a much louder part of the world but isn’t at least not in the way I wish.

To be a part of the world we are all living in but circumstances tend to shush me and I do wonder why and is it all for something so yes you do need to keep believing, keep trusting and just expecting that YES it is for some good.

All of my life combined has made me feel I am in the background for so many years.. But that God said it is good to quietly wait for revelation/salvation it just encourages me to ‘shine on’ as I am.. Loudly or quietly whatever the case may be.

I guess this IS supposed to be Advent.. Religious flavoured leading up to remembering the birth of Jesus into the world. I just tend to tie it in with my own life as I am right now.. But like the world waits for all the things God has promised to come to pass and really that can be a struggle when the world and our private life groans with stress of life and different trials.. We all wait and carry expectations for our faith, life in general, our dreams, for our family, Christmas coming soon, the new year of 2018, our future hopes and for our world all of which is yet to come to pass..

The word quietness jumped out at me. Resonates with my soul, my experience of life, faith and emotions. Parallel world I live in. Introverted, deaf, doing my own thing. Yet God calls it good. I’m so thankful HE knows. In a world full of noise, people have to stand out but many do not.
They fight to be seen, acknowledged, accepted.
Do thier thing quietly. I think of all the people who ‘could’ have seen the angelic hosts announcing the birth of Christ, it was the shepherds. Quietely tending flocks of sheep. Quietness doesn’t describe the hustle and bustle of Christmas crowds. Loudness booming everywhere.
The cries of the needy, lost to the world buying more they don’t need.
We all wait though expecting more.
The answer to what life means may just come quietly.

Untitled

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I can’t think of a suitable title. So ‘Untitled’ is perfect. There are no words for how I am feeling today.
I am vulnerable and weak. Apart from a very late night pickup of teenagers at an out of town party.. Running on little sleep. I have been fasting food since Friday night or rather that was the last time I ate.
Prayer and fasting. For a very close friend. My best friend. The reasons are private but this friend has been more loyal than anyone else I know. The scripture says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. And this friend is all that. Today I could break it but I don’t want too at least not yet. The scripture “when I weak, HE is strong”… is resonating inside me right now. I feel that power too. My stomach is growling and loudly but I feel this surge and I know it’s GOD in me and that is just a little too good to want it to end. And I NEED that. My friend needs that. Our world needs that. And I can use it.. I can use the emotion the spiritual elation. That hunger for food mirrors the emptiness of my life and the crazy life of lack that dogs me. The areas that crave connection to the point I have thought at times of not existing at all in this world. Because it has felt too much to bare. Too impossibly hard to yearn for physical connection I have missed out on and fall so short with. I know even though I am a loner, a self confessed introvert I still need soul connections. I need someone else but close and deep not shallow. Yes even I need not to be alone or not feel alone.

It reminds me of a movie I watched called ‘New Moon’ when Bella misses Edward. He suddenly removes himself from her life and she is desperate for him. Absolutely lost and desolate without his presence. But she finds out when she is in danger or testing her human limits that he appears to her and she goes out seeking similar so she can see him again.

Once before in my life I relied on religion and it was everything. Form, rules, obedience and routine to ritually act out what the bible says and what others who believed were doing too, what I believed Christianity was and what was expected of me. I would attend with my family and I was desperate when I had my own family for us to all be in the building together but my than husband was not as passionate the same as me and more often than not was not with me and it felt empty and I started to feel alone even in a crowd. We didn’t share it in life or religion the same.. Often I just went religiously with my children for a long long time desperate and hungry but you just say hello I am fine instead of tell it like it is. It was hard with 5 little children to do it without help and sometimes I was so busy with the children going in and out of the service for different needs I wasn’t gaining anything at all. I have attended a church since I was an infant in my parents arms up til maybe 4 years ago. Maybe its longer :/

The point in sharing this is. When I stopped going, when I lost that huge part of my life. My desire for God was still very much there I just wasn’t able to rely on those things anymore. I had to have GOD 24/7 not just sundays and with fanfare. I had to have HIM with me always and I knew HE was there because HE said HE was and I believed HIM. I just felt the trappings were distracting me and depressing me. Cause while I sat there all I could think of was all that I was missing and it sucked.
Due to traumas I have gone through I just couldn’t fit in a service with people’s backs to me. Unable to hear what was going on (deaf) and feeling so disconnected. It felt very fake and I couldn’t do it any longer. I was also failing miserably at keeping the show going. My performance level was zip. So much mental energy at keeping my family together that had now separated. And just found myself tossing out everything that drained me and kept only the most important things close to my heart. That was in every sense of the word. Physical, mental, people etc… If it harmed me, I lost interest, it went or eventually I weeded it out. Many people weeded themselves out lol without my help. 🙂 Perhaps it was God or it was just my way to cope. I don’t know.

Spiritually though my story feels like it was just been beginning. When you are not relying on one way anymore you adapt and do things differently. You flow into a new way, a different way and Gods Spirit became my comfort, joy, peace and strength. My everything. Art became so very important too like it was my hands on and my physical way to be a part of the process so that I wasn’t just sitting numbly I was flowing and active.

Creativity in expressing myself and how my spirit was moving and flowing. It became a main way to communicate though because a majority of people in the world do not see art/spirit the way I do I lost even more contact with people. I guess the more I slipped away from outwardly living the more important it became to me and the more people lost contact with me too. I don’t blame them for not getting me anymore. I just missed what I could have with them. What I wanted with them.. Deep soul. Getting each other and not just here and there but always having it. I don’t mean I needed to be in their faces or they in mine. But there are people you don’t see but when you do see them you just pick up again where you left off. You aren’t stressed in any way by time that has passed or anything one might call as lack. You just enjoy the here and now. Why on earth can’t I find those people???

On-line was easiest it still is. People who are heart people or spiritual people get me most. And strangely even with little contact you have depth and connectivity that is amazingly satisfying but it is a different realm. Many still do not recognize it but if you are aware or even start to be aware your eyes are opened to something pretty amazing.

I guess that is why today that weakness from no food is so powerful. Because I am diverting myself away from regular patterns and relying on being full with food and that physical energy. I am not eating and I am not thinking about food, not concentrating on my physical needs. I am tapping into my spirit/soul realm and despite the growling stomach and the need to get up and feed my body.. I am aware of a force within myself that is strong and fired up and its the me I am most in touch with and perhaps 95% do not know. God with me. In me. Helping me.. Me and HIM as one yet separate…
I mean honestly that is miraculous. It is so loud and clear to me that all is not lost. HE has not left me like so many humans have. HE is beautifully present and ridiculously crystal clear when I am not physically strong or not caught up in the ‘Do this.. Be that’… just wow.

I am better able to be aware of things normally that are quiet or even absent in myself. Like even as I am typing this my clarity of events and feelings are coming together in ways which are beyond anything I have realized before. I have read about how if you can keep on this path, push yourself out of comfort zones, push through doubts, blank pages, writers block, life block, gremlins of the art world/or one might call them demons or doubts about yourself even.. Just Being…
That tell you everything you are not and repeat to you all your failures and that paralyze you from growth and improvement and just enjoying life. You reach a place where you are literally tapping into sacred ground and into the highest power.. I suppose people might flinch and say ‘New Age’ which is a no no in Christian circles but only if you throw out the baby with the bath water. It is all God, Jesus, Holy Spirit to me yet in me. HE is the one I credit but this is the miracle that the kingdom of heaven is within. So I get to be the container of the most spiritual proportions in my own unique quality. 100% me flavored lol. The fragile vessel that HE says shows HIM up best. That there I like.. I like very very much.

You wanna see GOD. Just look inside me. ❤

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Emerge

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I have been very fortunate/blessed in the last couple of days. I recently got a new car Subaru Liberty well it feels new to me and a big step up from my old car that died and I started an on-line workshop I won called “21 Secrets Tell Your Story”..
Today though I am hesitant. I completed the first artists’ contribution I suppose you’d called it. And I just feel so underwhelmed by what I produced. Not that it isn’t what I was inspired to create or that I wasn’t enjoying the content and that my heart wasn’t in it. That’s not it. It’s because I feel I should do so much better. I have been doing art expression a long time and I still feel so simplistic in the way I do things.

But you know I don’t have to share this with anyone but I am choosing to do so. I want to feel uncomfortable and pushed out of my comfort zone. I want to be unafraid. I want to shoulder through. I was not as playful as was suggested. I think I tried too hard and thought too much and that was not what the lesson was about. It is not what the teacher Carissa was saying.

I had extra challenges with the videos because there are no captions. But I have an Iphone ap that captures most of what she said although it takes extra time to go through the material. I enjoyed the journaling that I did as part of this workshop which surprised me because although I try to write some every day more often than not I don’t. I think journaling and writing is my strongest creative gift. Visual not so much but I still do it because I enjoy it.

The image of the two troubled figures with their backs to each other with the little child like souls inside reaching out. Is an image my brother sent to me awhile back. He said it reminded him of me. I hardly see or speak to my brother so we do not have a close relationship but you know he has said a few things personally that shows he understands me and has done many kind things for my family. That through the years it’s clear there’s a deeper bond that goes beyond the physical.

My life rests on such as this. If I didn’t think there was more to life than the every day or outward appearance of things I don’t think I could survive. It is why I do not excerpt my physical presence in this world as much as I could. I feel and believe that there is a greater reason we exist, live, move and function in this world. The inner life is deeper, more connective, more intimate and more powerful than anything in the physical realm and if we are aware that spirit lives on and surpasses all that fades, the broken parts we can’t fix or the struggles that appear without meaning. It can change the way we approach and view everything else.

I think this is where my greatest power lies. My Spirit within is my truest life force and my highest self. So this image though I drew it myself and it has smudged some. Is the basis of this whole piece of art. I feel very much like that troubled caged figure with my back to others for a majority of life but it does not represent who I truly am and what I believe is really happening..

The smaller bright yellow child represents my spirit which desires true intimacy and where the most important connection happens and it is where I choose to focus on more than any outward appearance and it’s how I want to be seen and known in this world. I will add another photo of the image that might show up more clearly. It is an important piece of art to me which represents my life. It is symbolic. Spirit strong. Flesh weak.

I am not much concerned with my physical presence so I know I probably come across opposite to who I actually am because I do not have a very strong social presence face to face. I used the skin color as the base of the page to show that I have drifted to the background because of this. It also says that I lived a majority of my past life physically being less than honest about who I was and I did not know the power of my soul or the spiritual realm.

God is love tis the banner over me. A huge force in my life and my strength in weakness and through whom I choose to focus which gives me a greater reason to live.

HE is the core power in my world and truly gives me wings. As I was doing this piece too. This bible verse came to mind. I love when that happens. ‘My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 I am a faith girl too which again resides with what we are charged to do as we live as a new creation.. to not walk by sight but walk and live by faith!!

My Spirit is my highest existence and is exactly the reason why I do not give up. My Spirit is where I experience peace and freedom and why I share my life story no matter how simple or different to others it appears. My Spirit infused by HIS Spirit and with this comes lightness and the buoyancy to keep going. Words and color and images and sharing my faith give me the greatest joy. Relying on the power of SPIRIT to transcend my humanness through the freedom of creative arts and social media.

 


#metoo

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If I compared my story to others I wouldn’t share it at all. It doesn’t seem bad enough. It was just one moment on a night many years ago. But like other deep issues I have shared openly about in the past. Being honest and authentic is powerful and freeing and can help others as well as help me..

Too many times I have missed the boat. I have waited too long to say something and the moment has passed by. I am doing so now because others are too. It did happen and it was scary. I was lucky it was not far worse and that I woke up and could get away and that it never happened again. I felt vulnerable after wards. I often think of my own daughters and how I want to protect them maybe if they read this it will help them think about who they are with and what can happen. I hope they know they can always tell me anything. I will share with them who it was because I believe you think it cannot happen to you. But it can and it can be a shock that it can be someone one knows.

There is a time to share and a time to be silent. I think this is the time to share. Especially when many others are sharing openly too. Who knows what God can do through us sharing our stories. Who might be helped and that we might somehow open eyes to prevent things like this happening again if that is possible.

I had to search for the meaning of sexual assault because if I didn’t know I would think it was only rape.

But it also means attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats. Usually a sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person’s body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person’s consent.” ~ From a google search.

I was 18 or 19. It is very hard for me to share this because of what actually happened and who did it. I am afraid and I don’t think it helps anyone to name this person here. I am not going to say much at all actually. But I was drinking one night with some other people and went to bed alone not far away from where the other people I was with slept.
I was living in a caravan and I am pretty sure I would have locked my door but I cannot be 100%. I do not know how drunk I was. But I was sleeping soundly so soundly I didn’t hear anything until I was woken. I woke up to find someone in bed with me and they were touching my body in very sexual ways. At first after the intital shock wore off and I guess I must have been still groggy because I didn’t freak out though I am sure my heart was racing.

I at first thought it was my boyfriend at the time; he was sleeping somewhere else close by.
I think because I was so alarmed I was too frightened to speak, so instead cause it was still dark. I used my hand to feel if it was him. Tried to recognize his body and what he felt like in the dark. My hand felt along the body up to this persons throat and I remember feeling a chain around their neck. Now my boyfriend did not wear jewelery?!? So I immediately knew it was not him. Because of the people I was with before I went to bed were not far away and this person was one of them. I recognized who it was and I got out of that bed as quickly I could and fled. I was bawling when I got to what I considered a safe place and woke up my boyfriend. I don’t remember much else. My cries woke up the other people and I had no desire to return to my caravan till the next day.

Nothing like that has ever happened again. The person who was responsible I do not know when they left the caravan and what happened to them after wards. I actually don’t think I ever saw them much again if ever. Apart from the people present I told no one else perhaps one or two others years later on. I couldn’t sleep well for a long time. Even though this person was not around I would check and recheck that I locked the door. I would sleep facing towards the door (as if that would protect me) and for a long time I couldn’t sleep easily without fearing someone would come into my caravan again.

I don’t think it was any more than that person just touching my body under my clothes and being in my bed with me and of course the shock of waking up to find this person in my bed. But I was either sleeping soundly or drunk and don’t remember anything more. I don’t recall any evidence that my body had been raped thank God.. But it is still eerie and scary that I did not hear anything (I am deaf now but back than at that age my hearing was perfect)and that I did not feel the bed move or feel the person climb into bed with me. It was a caravan double bed and I slept on the side closest to the door. There was not much room around the sides of the bed and I think the other side was attached to the wall? But I cannot remember. He was on the other side of the bed and like me had been drinking earlier and was not a small sized person. That gives me a very weird feeling but I know I did nothing to cause it. It was something that happened to me. I know other stuff since.. But I can’t say it because of what it relates too. Yes perhaps sharing this people I know will add things up or guess but if so please speak privately I just feel this is all I want to say right now. I am unfortunately fairly transparent though I am trying not to be here not to protect this person but because it is my story and that is all it is meant to be. I am not trying to make trouble for anyone but just share what happened to me.

It is something one would consider very hush hush.. And it was a long time ago I am 47 now.. I wish I could say more. But I really don’t feel I can.

I am so glad people are speaking up about sexual assault. I just hope awareness and bravery change things for everyone.

I want to thank Cristy for sharing her story today on face book. Often these days I have little motivation. Little to no direction. Though when I saw the #metoo surfacing around social platforms I thought should I share my story too? I have been thinking about it and her sharing opened the door for me to share today. To share anything these days is a miracle for me. So much has shut me down. To find something/anything these days to connect me to others is so precious beyond words. It is powerful beyond sharing what has happened. It is knowing you are not alone with what you face in this world and others bravery invites you to do the same.  I just feel empowered like I haven’t for quite some time and therefore I do not completely disappear or shut down but I have a reason and opportunity to speak up too.

To share like this when I feel so little going on in my creative life and my physical life is more like a stunted plant. It is incredibly encouraging and gives me hope for everything else. I am thanking God for HE is what keeps me going. I see all things work together for good. HE uses pain. HE uses things in our past. HE uses our brokenness.. HE uses people in our path. HE uses our gifts such as my writing and desire to share openly. So even though so much in my life doesn’t make a lot of sense. I can trust HIM to use this too.

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Contradiction

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Prompt – 

The Contradictions of my life include..

I had to look up the meaning of contradiction lol. I definitely love the meaning and it really does sum up the continuing story of my life.
Definitions for contradiction
Noun
opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas

One of the major contradictions has been my religion and how I live and express my faith.

If you were to scroll through my face book feed for example you might have a hard time pinning down my exact beliefs. In fact it might not show outwardly that I am much of a Jesus girl at all but anyone who truly knows me knows my heart. I have gone a different path from the outward signs and believe it or not it has not been easy. But I am getting freer.

All my life basically I have spoken, read, acted a certain way. Christian way. It is hard after 40 years to divert I can tell you. I have not thrown the baby out with the bath water at all though it may look like it. This path I have taken has unfortunately appeared to separate me from the main flock though. But like deafness which did the same this experience has changed me and helped me learn much more about God and myself than I knew and thought was possible. I know my boundaries very well but because people and distractions have been minimal Gods presence is more evident to me and I know within myself what is of me and what is not.

A living between worlds you might call it. What I always thought I knew opposed to what I am knowing and learning now because any type of survival living increases your knowledge. Truth is beautiful and it has been a huge step out of my comfort zone. Finding God via HIS Spirit with me in the here and now and that HE is always present and that I don’t need props to experience spiritual life gives me so much space but that has also meant separation from people which has been peculiar I can tell you. Still getting used to that.

The thing is it’s what you find on the edges and beyond that is so fascinating and not at all what you thought it once was. Of course it is hard, very very hard to go against the grain and live differently. The guilt oh my. The disconnection and I am deaf too so I’d honestly say it destroys you and builds you into a whole new person cause it makes for a very hard, dark, cold and lonely world when people turn their backs and nothing remains the same. You either return tail down defeated, shrivel up and die or find a whole new way to live. Spirit and Art has been my way through. I truly meet Gods Spirit in this whole process. Like a steady bubbling river always flowing and the awareness of even the smallest of details around you seem to line up and everything has deeper meaning and purpose but it appears to come at a cost you disappear off the radar. No longer can you live via external appearance and behaviour.  It has to be an inside job.

It forces you to actually think about what you believe and why you believe the way you do every single day. You are not just relying on what you are doing or what you are saying or what you have always done. You are actually thinking and in the moment every moment not just going into auto-pilot. Believe me when you are in midst the majority a lot of it is simply talking, doing and living like everyone else because that’s what you’ve been taught and you don’t realize it but every time someone affirms you who believes the same it keeps you in line. You will want to stay away from anyone outside that and that should be a warning sign because God is everywhere. We are all His children, people just do not know & realise the whole truth.

If everyone else around you is the same. It’s easy/easier to be that way especially if you only associate with similar minded people. Stop in any way doing or being like everyone else or being around people like that and suddenly you are faced with a dilemma you start to be challenged on all sides. I have been careful not to just throw everything away. I especially want to be real not fake. Such as.. if you say I am feeling fine when actually you are not.

I want what I believe to radiate out of me because it’s who I am within my heart rather than outward words or actions. Being deaf has taught me the value of looking into someone’s eyes/face, reading body language, the power of touch and just how an acknowledgment no matter how small when you can understand can change the direction of a day. I don’t want to force what I believe on someone or expect them to do what I do because its right or wrong. I especially love a quote by Rumi.

Out beyond ideas of
wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

I want anyone to be truly comfortable being themselves in my presence as I believe God wants us to feel in His presence. Same as in this quote. I think of nature and how we don’t go out into nature and argue with it as to how the trees are planted, how the flowers grow or the sun is shining or not. We just enjoy it for what it is. To show our enjoyment we might take off our shoes and walk in the grass if it’s a nice day. Or we stand somewhere safe and watch the thunder storm or we look in awe at a mountain peak or even climb it. We spend hours walking along a sandy beach with water lapping at our toes. We gaze up in wonder as the stars come out at night. If only we could be in each others presence and just enjoy it the same. Just as we are without trappings, expecting someone to change or trying to find fault.

I feel religion is like a competition and I am always a loser. I know it is supposed to be ALL about God.. But do this or do that or don’t do this or that. Its all comparative. Least on my own with God I can totally be myself. I don’t have to put on airs and graces. He sees and knows all that other crazy stuff anyway and I can just enjoy HIM and HE me and its natural. I speak like myself and I can sing loud or crazy or cry or laugh or moan. I can just thank HIM or pray for people or my world. I also do not feel guilty because I failed in some way or another cause I know HE loves me and HE did it all perfect anyway so I don’t ever have to ever feel a failure so I can drop the ever present need to better myself.. In religious settings you cannot easily be yourself there are trappings and ways to do or not do things.. You can admit sin and all but you have to deny yourself and although I am not against change perse or focusing on God. I think those things will happen and should happen naturally and I think also when you know HIM in a real way and you know HIS love for you.. you just do different when you learn the truth and it goes down into all those difficult hurt places and you do not feel the need to pretend, put on a mask or perform..

Art-wise being spiritually expressive I am not forced, not stunted, I am free, not doing it because everyone else is doing it and I can enjoy it or even when I might be suffering in my soul I don’t know but you are dealing with it in a way that naturally heals and helps you through the release of it where your not being held accountable by people or clergy, shame, fear or judgment and its flowing out freely by choice not because you have too. It is pure Spirit.

I hear God say he is looking for true worshipers who will worship in spirit and truth. Authentically and with a whole heart I can say this is my aim.

It is another world really yet it is found within my skin and flesh. Kingdom of God is within. So why should I be trying so hard on the outside when the most important is all within? 

Soul Smashing

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Day 21 Soul Smashing.. 30 day Journal Project. Obviously I have not done this in 30 continuous days lol.

“It’s hard to go. It’s scary and lonely… and half the time you’ll be wondering why the hell you’re in Cincinnati or Austin or North Dakota or Mongolia or wherever your melodious little finger-plucking heinie takes you.
There will be boondoggles and discombobulated days, freaked-out nights and metaphorical flat tires.
But it will be soul-smashingly beautiful..
It will open up your life.”

— Cheryl Strayed

Prompt..

It has opened up my life…

Oh absolutely. I mean it gives me a story to tell unlike anyone else’s stories. I am just going to share this little moment I had recently.

I have a heap of books on the go. Don’t look at my Good Reads account and my personal list of books I’ve added there.. lol I have SO MANY books on it that I have started reading and stopped and picked up something else. Oh my. My latest addition is ‘The Artist’s Way’ because a reference to it keeps showing up over and over and I am taking it as a sign. 🙂
In this book it suggests doing morning pages. 3 pages of writing anything at all just to get it on the page and out of you. Apparently this is supposed to help unclog our creative flow. Even if all you can say is ‘I cannot write today I have nothing to say.’ over and over. Getting yourself into a writing ritual and it isn’t meant to be pondered and it’s just for your own eyes.
I have done Morning pages for two days now.

I found myself writing about the difficulties I have had with other people who have gossiped about me and how it has possibly ruined my reputation or clouded people’s opinions of me. I will not quote myself here because it’s personal and I have never learned to write in such a way people cannot see right through me. I am not about ruining anyone else either. Of course I am not 100% about what things these tongues are saying about me. It is just that a lot of people have been indifferent towards me for quite some time and if I put two and two together I suspect that this is what has happened. I have had fall outs with a few people and I have spoken about such here on my blog and on social media. Never to out or gossip about people but to cope with it, survive it. Anyway I was sharing about this today in my Morning Pages and something else completely unrelated came into my path almost immediately after.

It has amazed me and indeed smashes my soul and is perfect for this prompt for Day 21 of 30 days.

I randomly picked up a book of Sonnets by William Shakespeare and was flicking through it. The thought bouncing around inside my head was that possibly reading one sonnet a day could help my creative inspiration or even just that I could see if the book was worth keeping. I have a very bad habit of collecting books and art supplies and ‘gulp’ not always using them. I have been slowly weeding out one thing daily and today I wanted to see if this one was worth keeping for reading, cutting up, or getting rid of. Yes I do cut up good books but most of them I pick up second hand at thrift stores so although it is still strange to cut up books I feel more justified doing so with old/used books.

At first glance I thought why am I bothering with such writing. Old style poetry/sonnets? Kept browsing looking for pics to cut out and keep and I was almost going to just ditch it when I found a sonnet with crow pics that caught my eye. I love crows. I see them all the time when I walk and I don’t know they seem to watch over me almost. Keep me company because they are simply always there.. I identify with them. They are seen as a bad omen by some yet I see great goodness in them. Birds created by God and HE takes care of them. Many scriptures about God caring for birds.

So I gave the sonnet No.70 my undivided attention. I can thank the recent Mental health and literature University course I’ve done for teaching me the value and strength of writing like this. To look deeper into it. Not expecting every word to make sense but to read out loud or ponder it and stay with it’s words and meanings and identify with the heart of the poet/author. I even went on-line to see if I could find the actual poets meaning of it. Lo and behold it echoed much the same as my feelings and thoughts I had written in my Morning pages, of course not in so eloquent of words but woah!!!

Just like that a bridge appears in my life. A bridge that connects me here in the future to the past, via my own frustrations and struggles and links me to what William Shakespeare for his own reasons wrote so very long ago. It is at this point I’m blown away with the unique timing of it’s appearing. The similarity spanning ages and my soul just sighs.

I can’t help acknowledging God immediately. I just sit and let the moment sink in. I just see so clearly as I study the words in the sonnet that the similarities found show something much deeper and far more reaching is at work. I think my jumbled and mis-matched life just makes it that much more of a miracle that this sort of connection happens. It kind of says to me something greater is working in and through us all which does link past, present and future.

I AM going to cut this sonnet out and use it in an art journal page. How mysterious that a sonnet penned so very long ago connects with me in 2017 and so beautifully describes to me similar feelings. It encourages me that all is not lost. Using Crows as well none the less.
Strengthening me that such things said about oneself shall not be to one’s defect! One’s worth shown to be greater simply because tongues have indeed risen against.

Such moments of connection do indeed happen so often in my creative life that I swoon over them and it is why I naturally want to be arty. Heart is overjoyed and my whole outlook is lighter. I feel a huge overriding sense of a past and present oneness of Spirit and at least at this moment can see it all melds together. That no matter what happens and how strange it might seem all peoples’ throughout time have experienced such. Identifying a similarity, a common thread and it comforts me. I am helped by these words in this sonnet which I will copy a pic from the book here below.. It is extraordinary.

I think to myself. For something as powerful as a connection like this to happen in a small tiny random moment in my life. How much more is happening out there to all of us that maybe we are not yet aware of but it IS still out there working beautifully and hopefully my sharing might make someone else notice soul smashing moments too.  Gives one incredible fortitude to think of the similarity of Spirit connecting us all.