The heat of the semi-South has descended upon us. Having to catch up with everything means fits and spurts of everything and that’s just how I can handle the outdoors. Out then in. Out then in. I think that’s how I handle life too. I talk myself into hopes and dreams. I go get it until I can’t anymore. And now I’m recuperating and resourcing myself back down from the packed calendar of events and car wreck trauma. I am sweaty but feeling safe again.

I see now how my childhood was fraught with traumas. However, I find in these toasty sandwich years of caretaking and aging, that I have been the one traumatizing myself with the choices I’ve made. And that boundaries aren’t only to hold ourselves in safety from others, they are also held within.

Keeping ourselves is an enormous job. A housekeeper’s many tasks turned inward. And many of our inner houses are in disrepair. They are shabby with neglect. Some sort of injured appliance’s metal screeching in the background in need of repair. A baby crying in a crib. The kitchen never fully cleaned. The TV left on full blast day and night. Good intentions and hope crumpled in piles on the floor in need of cleaning up and being hung back on hangars, order restored.

This is a very painful way to live. Mental pain hurts as much as physical pain. Lack of hope feels like an elephant on you. Personally, helplessness makes me angry. And being cut off from help is a horrible feeling. Whether or not you recognize your choice in it, you are still there by the fact that you haven’t chosen anyway else to be.

Help Me, you say. Help me help myself you say. What else can I do? Do that. What else can you do? Do that. Who in my life doesn’t help me? Ask them to leave. Ask yourself to let them go. This soul and body tending is no one else’s task but ours. Our lives require our own plans. We take care of the children inside with compassion and consciously be thankful for our beautiful gifts.

PS. My anxiety had the better of me for the majority of my life. It had it’s own ideas about how it did and didn’t want me to treat it. Only when I had a panic attack did I realize I could no longer live that way. I’ve found many many ways to help lower my anxiety, not all of which initially I would have thought I’d choose. But in the end, I choose Me.

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