by Lisa Lillibridge to treat or consider (a person or a group of people) as alien to oneself Merriam Webster I want to blame I need to blame someone else something else anywhere else for my inner tornado alienate vilify repeat easy breezy automatic, unconscious our world’s challenges far too complex and exhausting to metabolize entirely on my own quell my fears confirm my programming please just tell me who, what, and where I should other today my team’s constant drumbeat deliberate, unyeielding laboring 24/7 to justify their clouding of my inner knowing click, forward, like, share, and tweet fair and balanced the daily diary of the American dream all the news that’s fit to print immutable and distracting like a howling airplane baby poor mum damn baby damn mum poor baby othering seductive like an ice cold beer hot, salty french fries or another slice of chocolate cake how did I other today? those people are not my people that problem is not my problem that place is not my place alienate vilify repeat conformity is obedient and compliant far easier than looking in the mirror and down into my own heart I know I should not utter a word until I’ve walked at least ten steps in someone else’s work-boots sneakers high heels wing tips flip flops or bare feet but I do we all do and it’s destroying us
On this Mother’s Day, I really wanted to be honest with myself about it all. Mothering my kids has been heart-shatteringly beautiful and sometimes just plain heart-shattering, without the beauty part to soften the daily blows.
I can’t change anything and regret is a waste of energy anyway. If I try to tamp the regrets down, I know they will leak out in uncomfortable ways at inconvenient times.
Recently I noticed the TOP RACK ONLY button on the dishwasher. “Jeff and I will be a top rack only couple probably a few nights a week when the girls leave for college.” When I said this to myself, it made me cry inconsolably. Damn, that’s bleak.
These episodes are getting more frequent now as our nest nears it’s emptying…clearly a time for a little extra grace.
When Ellis, Lucy and Willa were growing up, I often did a quick review at the end of the day, asking myself one simple question: Did I love them more than I was pissed off at them? I don’t remember ever answering, NO. It was all the encouragement I needed to wake up and mother them another day.
Happy Mother’s Day 2018!
Last week I was in South Dakota for a funeral and a wedding. In between those emotional events I found some time to drive back roads with my husband, see the stunning late August countryside and find some much needed quiet. I’m always reminded of how much the prairie landscape resides in my cells, bones and heart.
This landscape gives me clarity, helps me understand my choices and guides me back to my personal True North when I get off course a bit.
South Dakota is my interior geography, no matter where I am in the world.
Recently, I had to draw a compass at Courage Camp in Bristol, Rhode Island. I laughed at myself because the way I still figure out directions is to imagine I’m standing on the front porch of my childhood home. It’s there that I’m most confident in knowing my directions. (photo below)
Standing on the porch I know which direction the sun sets and how to get to Nebraska. With that knowledge, I can find my way most places.
I often think of my intrepid ancestral homesteaders who ventured West, uncertain of what they would find in the Dakota Territories. However, and more importantly, perhaps they knew they could handle whatever the prairie offered them.
I understand that now, at the tender age of 50, in a way I didn’t when I was younger. I don’t know what’s next, but I know I can count on my interior geography to help guide my way.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my “shitty roommate”. This is my personal inner voice—she makes me doubt myself all the time. She puts those snarky thoughts in my head that I’m “not good enough”, “not reaching my potential” or “if only you were more like…”.
Shame is the inner language of self-attack and self-blame AND shame is my shitty roommate’s jam.
Instead of trying to kick her out (which is exhausting and nearly impossible), I’ve decided to get more curious about her…even love her up a bit. Yes, she’s manipulative AND she also has pushed me. We’re really quite competitive. When she has my ear, she’s granted me the opportunity to self-correct behavior that doesn’t line up with my values, seek forgiveness from those I’ve wronged or offer myself a little grace.
But now, it’s time to change the rules of engagement using one short sentence.
The more I say it, the more power it has for all sorts of situations in my life.
When I question her language, my shitty roommate just puts her headphones on and leaves me alone until the next time…and there will always be a next time. She hates those three words, however, we do seem to be getting along a little better lately.
I’m taking my daughters and a friend to a benefit for the Vermont Women’s Fund tonight. We are viewing the film Dream, Girl about women in entrepreneurship. Then we get the privilege of a Q & A with some bold, female leaders in our community.
I created these images today. I’m beyond compulsive about my South Dakota two-lane images. I’m all for a good creative obsession if it isn’t hurting anyone else. Here’s the Dorthea Lange quote I love. I wasn’t kidding.
“Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.”—Dorthea Lange
Today as I searched through my images I kept noticing shots with girls & women and shoes & boots…four of my favorites subjects. All of these girls and women possess character, strength and a certain moxie.
Here’s the trailer. You can do a screening in your area. http://dreamgirlfilm.com/
A little preachy I know. Forgive me. Have a great weekend!