When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change—Wayne Dyer.
When you change…
This week I have been getting notices on my Facebook memory feed of two events that happened a year ago. The first was my interview with Josh Conners about his play “Small Town Queer.” We had scheduled it for the morning, considering the time difference between Corner Brook, NL, and here in Moncton, NB. When the time came to do the Facebook Live, I had all kinds of trouble connecting with Josh online. I became more and more frustrated and upset with every failed attempt to add him to my live feed. I was in tears as I apologized repeatedly to whoever may have been watching.
After deciding to take a break, I reached out to someone for help, certain as I always am that it was my fault that it wasn’t going right and that I was upset over more than just what was happening with the interview. It only took me a few minutes to realize that this person was not who I needed. I ended the conversation and reached out to my friend Shelley Butler who immediately heard the pain in my voice and spent the next 20 minutes listening to me and getting me to breathe again. Soon after that, I was able to connect with Josh and we had a lovely chat about his project.
Within a week the firestorm over the JLO and Shakira performance at the Super Bowl had ignited with posts and comments splashed across social media. As I read each one, I felt emotions well up and posted my own reflection.
I could feel myself starting to change. I recognize the anger of unspoken words and putting my energy into relationships that did not honour me. Even now, I have rewritten that sentence 3 times, trying to not upset someone.
…the way you look at things,
During February and March of 2020, I began to take notice of my feelings in a new way. I had splurged on a Danielle Laporte daily planner that came with workbooks to help me discover my core feelings, and I relished the work. My chosen word for the year was Intuition, and I leaned into it every chance I had. With this came a certain knowledge of what I wanted for myself. I had made commitments to help coordinate an event in April, but it was feeling less like something I wanted to.
The news of Covid-19 had started to filter out. With so much uncertainty it seemed like calling off the event was the smart thing to do. I looked at this as an opportunity to step back from things that were not bringing me joy. I left Facebook groups and muted then unfollowed pages.
Then came the lonely months of lockdown and quarantine. At first, I was lost in the aloneness, then I gradually started to enjoy the time with myself. That expensive, beautiful planner was empty, but the workbooks were full of thoughts and ideas and FEELINGS.
I spent much of my life being told that my feelings were too much, and for the first time, I could feel the bigness of them. The circle of “my people” became smaller but truer.
The things you look at…
As the year progressed and we moved in and out of quarantines and phases, news of Black Lives Matter, Indigenous peoples, and systemic racism filled the news. I investigated these issues to educate myself and acknowledge the benefits I have received for no other reason than my white privilege. I am a work in progress.
The word I chose for 2021 is “Sanctuary”, and I mean to create it in my home and in my heart. It is easy to make choices about where I spend my time and energy.
This brings me to the picture that accompanies this post. It is of a piece of embroidery that was a Christmas gift from my daughter Meaghan. During the time she was off work due to Covid-19 shutdowns, she taught herself needlework, a skill used by both of my grandmothers.
She had taken the name of my blog and changed the order of the words, giving it new meaning as well as articulating exactly what I had gone through over the past year.
The threads that tie us together are strong. Beauty is all around us to see. The circle of life reaches from one generation to the next. Life is what you make of it.
It has taken me over a month to put these words down and press publish again. I was (am) afraid that the changes I am going through won’t resonate with some people. Then this week I was reminded once again that change is growth.
The only thing that stays the same is that things change.
This Life Is Whole.
This life is holy.