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    _RAMONA   42,909
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(Gone?) Fishing

Friday, August 24, 2012




Much smaller lake...
Much smaller boat...
Much smaller fish...
Much better weather...

...But for me, this is what our family's annual fishing derby feels like.

We started doing this five years ago for my Dad's birthday.... I mean, what do you get a 72-year-old for his birthday? One of my Dad's favourite things to do when he wasn't working was fishing. I NEVER fished with my dad, and I don't like fishing.... but this is what 'honour your father and your mother' (no matter how difficult they make it) looks like for me.

It's times like these (and this year this whole month of August) I find myself asking questions like:

"In situations where everyone is broken and pathalogically needy, where does generosity toward others end, and compassion for yourself begin?"

"In situations where your well-being is threatened, where does self preservation end, and selfishness begin?"

"When it comes to peace, how high is too high a price to pay... and who pays it when everyone's hand is out and grasping for their share?"

"Living in a world where entitlement is at the fore, and where sacrifice (except for the 'other guy'... in my family my role has forever been 'other guy') is largely forgotten, how does a servant's heart retain it's equilbrium and remain vibrant?"

"How do you achieve 'balance' in your life when you eternally feel like that ship above... when your mind and heart are the repositories of the scars from a perpetual 'perfect storm'?"



I'd love to tell you I have all the answers (H3CK! I'd love the answers for myself! ...and if YOU have the answers, PLEASE, share!), but my struggle of a lifetime continues... and while I struggle, and heal, and grow, and screw up, and and even occasionally shine with brilliance I am finding ways to balance and build a life which allows that...













...by being still and allowing the storm to simply wash over me and blow itself out for the time being (knowing from expereinece that even the biggest storms do *comparatively* little damage).

...by remembering that I cannot be hurt without my cooperation.

...by dancing to the rhythm of the thunder and the music of the wind as it swirls around me.

... by laughing, and despite the tone of any given moment, taking joy in the knowledge that I may live it as I please (my chosen perception of the moment and my particiaption in it are what determine how the moment will be realized in my future).

...by loving, accepting, embracing what I can, and turning the rest to God.

... by hoisting my own sail and using the momentum to carry me where I want (am called) to go.

"As a servant, it is important to remember who (or what) the master is. A servant of a higher master must listen for the orders that have authority, not let the fellow crew order him/her about."
~~~~~~~ THANK YOU, Jennifer (BLUE42DOWN)! ~~~~~~~



No matter where, or for what, you are fishing this weekend... remember who you are, and don't apologise!

May today and every day bring to you a ridiculous abundance of whatever you need. May all your concerns, struggles, anxieties and fears fall like ashes as you rise on eagle's wings, SOARING above all that would hinder you along this tremendous adventure of being and becoming all you are created to be. May the grace of God simply "overtake" you moment by moment. May the joy and victory of the risen Lord be yours in a very personal way... may you always be overwhelmed by the grace of God, rather than by the cares of life!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}
Ramona






(quote by CHRISTINE MASON MILLER)


...Because YOU are not defined by your circumstances!

JUST DO IT.

UNTIL.



'BEFORE' Pictures (May 31, 2009 - September, 2011) & Continuing PROGRESS (February 2012)! Next pictures September 1, 2012!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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(I'm now keeping these right under my nose... in addition to being part of every blog I post, they are printed off and taped to my bedroom mirror)


Measurements, Musings & Motivation to MOVE!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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(UPDATED/rewritten: JUNE, 2012)


I've Reached My Goal Weight!!!!!!!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!
(Tom Venuto)


UNTIL. (My 'Just Do It' blog)
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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DONE Girl Love...
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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(the footsteps into which I place my own feet)


Leaving NORMAL
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Words CAN Be Enough... page 3
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Paleo... Do you really know what you're talking about?
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Breakfast is Served! (RECIPES)
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBELULITA 9/6/2012 12:40PM

    This (amazing) blog made my brain hurt because I thought the answers to the questions: "In situations where everyone is broken and pathalogically needy, where does generosity toward others end, and compassion for yourself begin?"and "In situations where your well-being is threatened, where does self preservation end, and selfishness begin?"were TODAY,HERE AND NOW.My thought process was pretty much the same for the rest of the questions because I've learnt from bitter experience that personal sacrifice is never acknowledged or even appreciated...and that in turn can turn you into a bitter person for having continuously put your heart on the line knowing it will get hurt again.

But then, I truely believe you did give yourself the answers with the rest of the blog.If you can truely do those things at the critical times then you are taking yourself out of the part of being able to be a victim and empowering yourself to be in control of how you respond to the situation. Can you really do it? I guess that would depend on how emotionally secure you are on the day in question.... "by laughing, and despite the tone of any given moment, taking joy in the knowledge that I may live it as I please (my chosen perception of the moment and my particiaption in it are what determine how the moment will be realized in my future)".This is such a powerful statement to live by.

I have removed myself from the life of some of my family members where they can no longer hurt me, and also got rid of my friend of 20 years (and my only "friend"at the time) when I realised that it was ,and always had been, onesided and that it was hurting me too much. I never regretted losing any of them even though I loved them all desperately, but they were bad for my self-love and esteem. If I'd have had the benefit of seeing your philosophies back then I may have stayed in their lives longer but it wouldn't have been a good thing OR ME in the long run. However, they weren't my parents and I didn't have a child in the middle of it all to complicate things...NO,not true actually,my favorite aunty is God-mother to Aimee but she has now been out of my life for 3 years after unforgiveable acts of cruelty against my grandmother and my mother.Some hurt goes too deep.I think when the bad acts were done against you yourself you are more prepared to try and carry on with the relationship, but when it's done against people that you would die for it's almost impossible to get over.

Now my brain really IS hurting and I think I may have gone completely off on a tangent and lost my thought thread. The bottom line is that I though I had the answers to your questions without doubt, but now I'm forced to think again.

I guess it's all about making absolutely sure that the boat is definately strong enough to sail on the stormy sea it's destined for before it leaves the port. If not, then it should stay anchored in it's port. emoticon emoticon



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CJBAGGINS 8/30/2012 1:15PM

    I love that servant/master quote that you attribute to someone named Jennifer. That's very wise, and sums up the entire blog for me.

Stay strong, my friend. God can't do as much with puddles on the floor.

cj

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WATERMELLEN 8/29/2012 9:48PM

    "How do you achieve 'balance' in your life when you eternally feel like that ship above... when your mind and heart are the repositories of the scars from a perpetual 'perfect storm'?"

It helps me to remember that pretty much all of us have minds and hearts in the same scarred condition.

Helps a bit in the compassion department (for others and for self); and in the humour department (that pole on the tighrope); and in the "entitlement" department (coming from a "rights-oriented" culture here in Canada, I really struggle with my perverse rejection of "entitlement"!!).

Great great blog: you make me think and I love that.

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OMELYN 8/28/2012 12:29AM

    I have no words of wisdom here. Just thanks. On a day when I profoundly needed to to be reminded you brought straight to me how immensely blessed I was and continue to be in my crazy family, nuclear and extended.

I would guess that at some point the the scale will cease it's unsteady wobbling and you will know by which way it tips if the benefit to anyone outweighs the cost to you. Or if it is definitely worth the contact. In the mean time keep up the good work and your armour at the ready...don't want any more serious injuries.

Sorry I was so late on this one see my newest blog...for the myriad of reasons.
love you

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SALONKITTY 8/25/2012 11:09AM

    Hi Ramona....your blogs are so wonderful. You write about a lot of things I don't really put into words, so I appreciate reading yours very much, as they really speak to me. I think they speak to so many of us here. Thank you, your writing is truly a gift and I feel fortunate that you share it with us.

As for dealing with dysfunctional family members, I've had to stop all contact with them in order to preserve myself. I tried being the "bigger person" for most of my teenage life and my 20s. But when I hit thirty, I was just DONE. So I haven't spoken to my mother in 11 years. She hasn't seen my son since then, either. I told her back then I'd be willing to try again at a relationship with her if she sought counseling, and she refused. So that's where we're at, as far as I'm concerned.

I really don't like that I've had to do that, but I simply can not be healthy in any way when she's part of my life. I've done the same with my younger sister, though much more recently (couple years back). I just can't have their sort of chaos around me. It makes me physically and emotionally unwell, and I'm just not willing to do that to myself anymore. Not for anyone!

My favourite aunt told me I don't have to consider "familial duty" or consider them my family, at all. She said "make your own family". So I've done that with a combination of other relatives, good friends, and of course my dear son. I think a family should make you feel good, support you, and be people you want to do the same for, and who can appreciate that. You have so much love, Ramona! Share it with those who can return it. We should all know and respect that relationships are two way streets...

Stay strong and take care of YOU!

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JKPONYGIRL 8/25/2012 10:50AM

    Ramona,
Sometimes I am lost in your blogs because I just cannot fathom how you have managed to heal.

I come from such a different world than you do and my personality is one that would never allow me to let myself be hurt unless for the sake of my children. My mind is logical and not very religious, but every word you write grips me and strikes me as profound.

While I have no answers for you (other than dramamine, I love to go fishing though I have not been in years), I am so moved by the answers you inadvertently provide for me. Thank you.

"I see it like this: I am always better able to allow my DD freedom directly proportional to the confidence I have in my own ability to 'save her' if necessary from whatever consequences her use of that freedom brings... God can allow us perfect freedom in all things because HE KNOWS ALL and can save us from ANYTHING."

This somehow struck me today. All I can do is picture myself on the beach worrying about my children and my nieces and nephews swimming in the ocean.

Thank you for teaching me something about myself today. It is my own ability that is in question, not my family's. (which I imagine is something you face all the time)

I think we both need to have more confidence in ourselves. We derive our strength from different sources, but we both need to be strong and stay strong and BELIEVE that we are strong.

I hope I have not said anything out of line here, I know I am making assumptions about you, but I really just want you to know how you have helped me today and in turn I hope that I am helping you in some small way.
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_RAMONA 8/25/2012 2:48AM

    Amen, Christina, AMEN!
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"BUT in my case, I needed to step back and take care of myself (first) before I could deal with the patterns in my family from a place of independence."

I see this as refusing to cooperate in being hurt... and I, too, withdrew for a number of years... and, believe it or not, it is better now... though I have, in recent years, once again redefined the 'rules of engagement'. It's better, but somehow never easier, or less painful (though safer because my husband now stands beside, and sometimes in front of me). And now I sacrifice (and protect) so my daughter can experience whatever good there is to be had (and through grace, if nothing else, I continue to be transformed).


Comment edited on: 8/25/2012 4:15:02 AM

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CHRISTINASP 8/25/2012 2:44AM

    You posted your reply at the same time I posted my comment, Ramona, so I just now read what you wrote in response... You asked 'what do you think'...
"If it's not good (or loving, or honest, or edifying), it's not of God, but even and especially if it's not any of these things, God can and will make it so... it's my job to invite Him in to do so. God is, in all things, a gentleman... he will not force himself in where he is not welcome."
This is very much my own line of thinking. I can add that in my own experience and idea, what's important is that I open myself up to God's truth and not make my own (ego)version of life. Not that this is so easy to do...

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CHRISTINASP 8/25/2012 2:40AM

    My personal answer to my toxic family was to, at some point, cut off all contact and to keep it so for a few years. It was, back then, the only way I could find the breathing space I needed to feel and be ME.
Later on I did get back in touch and I think my taking a distance (and a stand) allowed then for new conversations and exchanges to occur. Not that it was easy to get there but we do have a (much) better relation now.
I thnk it's a beautiful thought that one cannot be hurt without one's cooperation... BUT in may case, I needed to step back and take care of myself (first) before I could deal with the patterns in my family from a place of independence.

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_RAMONA 8/25/2012 2:38AM

    THANK YOU, everyone, for commenting on my blog today! It's meant the world to me!

I decided to record my thought process here:

"I know that God equips me for battles by giving me the skills before I need them so I can be a warrior." AMEN.

(Though that is what terrifies me sometimes... I acutely feel the tempering of my armour.)

"I do cling to the belief that all things happen for a purpose, even when I can't see what the purpose is."

I struggle with this one... I don't actually think I believe that everything happens for a purpose/reason (unless for Satan's amusement...or the consequence of man's fallen nature... can be considered a purpose/reason), just like I don't believe everything we 'see' happening is God's will (though my understanding, or lack thereof, is not what determines God's purpose/will... many things I don't understand, yet I can see God's will in it... though it many be long after the fact).

I think a lot of senseless, purposeless things happen all of the time (part of that free will we've each been given despite God's all-knowing presence)... yet, if we have the faith and God-given grace (one of the ways in which he equips us for battle) to allow it, God will create goodness and purpose where originally none could be attributed.

I see it like this: I am always better able to allow my DD freedom directly proportional to the confidence I have in my own ability to 'save her' if necessary from whatever consequences her use of that freedom brings... God can allow us perfect freedom in all things because HE KNOWS ALL and can save us from ANYTHING.

This is the belief to which I cling: that no matter how senseless, purposeless, and bereft of anything good... God - through me, through others, through miracles big and ones nearly imperceptable - has the power to perfectly transform, and return to a state of grace, ANYTHING.

This is the only reason I can continue to ask the hard questions, lovingly and repeatedly place myself in certain harm's way, step into the storm as a warrior. I don't believe that certain aspects of my life have ever been God's will for me, but of even those things he has created exquisite grace... and an expression of His perfect love... through me, and in me.

If it's not good (or loving, or honest, or edifying), it's not of God, but even and especially if it's not any of these things, God can and will make it so... it's my job to invite (and have faith in) Him to do so. God is, in all things, a gentleman... he will not force himself in where he is not welcome.

What do you think?

Comment edited on: 8/25/2012 12:00:14 PM

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EBEAMS 8/24/2012 10:37PM

    Ugh. My stomach turned over at all of your questions. I don't have the answers but I do cling to the belief that all things happen for a purpose, even when I can't see what the purpose is. I know that God equips me for battles by giving me the skills before I need them so I can be a warrior, albeit a soft hearted, thin skinned warrior.

Have the best time you can!

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JUNEAU2010 8/24/2012 8:34PM

    Every time I think you cannot be more profound, cannot speak as if you were reading the book of my life, cannot say exactly what I need to read, you continue to hit the mark.

I hate fishing, too! Have a great weekend! Make sure it includes TLC time for you!



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DIET_FRIEND 8/24/2012 7:40PM

    You have a lot on your mind and are able to express it so well. Families bring out the best and worst in us all.

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BLUE42DOWN 8/24/2012 4:16PM

    == ... by hoisting my own sail and using the momentum to carry me where I want to go. ==

Interestingly, my answer to a couple of those questions was in line with this response you came up with. As a servant, it is important to remember who (or what) the master is. A voluntary servant must decide when and where their services are most needed (not demanded, NEEDED) and sail for those ports. A servant of a higher master must listen for the orders that have authority, not let the fellow crew order him/her about.

emoticon for a thought-provoking blog.

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NEW-CAZ 8/24/2012 3:43PM

    Love your blog Ramona! Families are wierd creatures, infuriating and delightful.
Just sometimes you want to disown them LOL


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BERRY4 8/24/2012 3:38PM

    Wow! You do have a wonderful way with words, Ramona. And I personally LOVE word pictures, and you put it ALL together!

So well put--the tug of war of relationships and family. No easy answers!
Where does one find the BALANCE for personal health and well-being when others would seem to attack it from all directions?

Here's to keeping that "center" amidst the storm. -- The only way possible is to grab on tight to the heavenly Father's hand and rest in His mercy and grace to apply to even your situation(s)!

Sending you a emoticon !

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