Nov 302012
 

**first published Dec 2009

In preparation for Melton Christmas Picture 2009, Craig asked a friend to take pictures of us in our backyard. When we told Chase it was family picture day, he immediately started crying hysterically. I kid you not. Craig looked at me accusingly and I hung my head and promised both boys that I’d be on my best family picture day behavior. Chase asked if that meant I wouldn’t cry or yell. I said I’d try really hard. We actually had a nice afternoon in the backyard and the end result was some good shots, like this one.

 

I loved this picture, until I looked closely at myself. LOOK AT MY EYES. Sister and I have this affliction that we used to believe meant that one eye looked smaller than the other in pictures. We only recently admitted that our affliction is actually that one eye IS smaller than the other. In addition to this freaky affliction, my eyes are also two different colors. One greenish, one brownish. People have been nice to me about this situation my whole life until a few weeks ago when Sister and I went to lunch after a day of shopping. The teenage waitress walked over to our table and when I smiled up at her she threw open her annoyingly normal eyes and yelledOH MY GOD. LOOK AT YOUR EYES! CAN YOU, LIKE SEE OUT OF THOSE THINGS?” I tried to be nice about it because I love Jesus, but sister threatened to “kick her in the shin” quite loudly which made me feel better. When I got home and told Craig the story about the mean waitress, he looked surprised. Like WAY TOO surprised. Then he looked at me closely and said “WHOA. Cool.” Seven years, people. He’d never noticed.

Anyway, this was the only picture that could possibly work for our Christmas picture, so I did what I do five times daily…I emailed husband and sister to get their reactions.

I forwarded the above picture without mentioning the eye problem so I wouldn’t bias them.

This was sister’s response:

Sister, it’s wonderful. The kids look fantastic and you look beautiful. A little deformed, but still beautiful.

I thought maybe I’d have better luck with husband. But this was his response:

Honey, eye love the picture. It’s eyedeal.

Jerks.

So I emailed Adrianne, who’s a wiz with photoshop and is always airbrushing herself. I told her that I had an EMERGENCY and could she PLEASE fix my eye so I could send out our Christmas picture without friends thinking they needed to start some sort of foundation for me.

She said Sure Thing.

A few hours later I got this “solution” from Adrianne, along with an explanation that she decided to fix the whole family.

 

 

Craig has this picture on his office desk.

He tells people that it was taken to capture the family’s shock after I served an edible lasagna one night.

Adrianne ended up fixing my eye, so now we look like this:

 

Not too bad. I was happy.

But I felt weird sending out a doctored picture of myself for Christmas, it felt like fibbing. It’s like Popeye (to whom I must be somehow related) said… I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam. Uneven multi colored eyeballs and all.

So we ditched the whole family picture idea and went with this:

 

Merry Christmas, Monkees. Eye love you.

G

Nov 272012
 

 

It’s just another awakening. That’s what it is. I know that.

I was awakened when I got sober, then again when I got Lyme, and once more when I got The News. Every five years, I seem to get lulled back to sleep. Then comes the cold water to the face. I wish the Universe would use something more like those gentle alarms that mimic the sunrise.

 

 “Glennon, Deeper Inhales. You want to focus on the inhale. Your inhalation should be longer and deeper than your exhale. It’s a metaphor for life, breathing. Receive, Glennon. You need to receive as freely as you give. Receive. It’s safe.”

 This is what my breathing teacher said to me last week, while she sat by my side and coached me. About how to breathe. I don’t breathe right. Yet. But I’m learning.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.

When you’ve had a year like mine, one is very tempted to start over. Riiiiight at the very beginning. One is tempted to look at one’s family and one’s career and one’s everything else and say to all of those lovely things:

“I am going to need you all to back off a bit while I figure out what the hell is going on. I am going to excuse myself for a moment, life. Godspeed.”

After I mentally backed away from my “life”….slowly, very slowly… the first thing I noticed was that my body didn’t work. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t really wake. I spent far too much time in bed, staring at the walls. Wishing someone would paint them. Trying to take deep breaths.

I pondered those sad things for about three weeks until one day this thought popped into my head:

“We should go to the doctor.”

At times like this, it is important to consider one’s self a WE.

One is herself, and one has a guide. That guide might be God or her best-self or her conscience or Jesus or Pokemon – whomever. Every one gets to choose and name (or not) her own guide. It’s just best to decide upon the voice of the wisest soul one knows and carry that voice around as a consultant. My guide, whom I call God, suggested we make an appointment with a very, very special doctor.

During that appointment, my doctor said this:

“None of your organs is functioning correctly. Not one. I don’t know where to start with you, honey. But we’ll get there. I can help you. Slowly. This is going to be a slow process.”

Help is so slow. Hate that. Tennie Mccarty says to her readers and patients: time takes time. That is the really annoying thing about time. How much time it takes.

My doctor made some suggestions and told me to come back in a week.

Next I (we) went to a therapist. I went even though I knew deep down I wouldn’t be sitting down to talk. Not right away at least. I was all talked, all worded out. And I was convinced that my problems were not going to be solved by my brain or anyone else’s. I was having body and soul problems. I needed someone to help me with those things. Body and soul.

When I got to the therapist’s office, I saw a flyer on the wall for Breathing Classes. I recognized it right away as a bread crumb meant for me. Follow the bread crumbs. This year I learned:

 

 Listen to your instincts. Your inner guide is more sensible than any outside voice. You know more than you think you do. So when you see, smell, or hear a bread crumb from God, a little “voice” or feeling that suggests:  Next – this. Do it. Don’t let your critical and uninspired mind talk you out of doing what you need to do. Your body knows. Your soul knows. Listen and Do.

I registered immediately for breathing classes. With an open mind, rapidly shutting-down body and hole-y pajamas, I went to class.  During the ninety minute session, I fell into a meditative state for the first time in my life and heard my next bread crumb.

I heard this, clear as day: Eat.

I left the breathing class in a rush, no time for good byes. I felt hungry, ravenous even, for the first time in five years. For the first time since my Lyme diagnosis. I got home and ate. I didn’t eat Kind bars or protein shakes or gluten free oatmeal. I mean, I ATE. Potatoes and chicken and burritos and fruit. I’ve been eating, almost non-stop, for two weeks. I‘ve put back on seven pounds or so. It’s good. I can tell it’s really good.

I went back to my breathing class the following week. Again, I fell into a deep meditative state. This time I heard: let it go, it’s not yours. And I heard: I am with you. I am you.

I am not certain of what either of those things means.  I don’t really care. I am just soaking them in, still. Weeks later. I am soaking in the fact that I heard something. Felt something. Which means that I am NOT ALONE. Which means that this “guide” I am so sure is always there but really I’m not at ALL SURE really IS THERE.

I know, it’s all crazy. And I just don’t care. It’s all unbelievable- the (seemingly) bad life stuff is so unbelievable that sometimes we have to share the good unbelievable stuff, too.

After my second breathing class I sat in my van and cried and cried and cried some more. At first I cried confused tears and then weak ones and then mad ones and then, by the end, I cried warrior tears. I was all wet from so many tears. And red. A little swollen. And fresh. Maybe even a smidge happy and new.

Because I thought: This is what is happening since I decided to say goodbye to self-doubt. To follow my own personal bread crumbs even if the path looked un-blazed and I couldn’t see past the next crumb and most folks seemed to be following a different trail of crumbs completely. This is what is happening ever since I decided to trust and take care of my self. Since I decided to quit trying to explain myself TO myself or to anybody else.

I am learning how to breathe, cry, and eat.

Like a brand new person. First things first. Then maybe other, more complicated things. Later. Time takes time.

Talitha Kuom. Get up, breathe, walk around, eat. Then sleep again. Repeat.

 

Life, healing, recovery. They are, perhaps, simpler than we think.

Don’t think. Just listen and do.

 

“After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around. At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.” – Mark 5

Nov 222012
 

This year — in less than two weeks — the community at Momastery, through Holiday Hands, partnered five hundred families with Monkees across the world who were delighted to lend a hand to make the holiday brighter this season.  It is impossible to quantify the selfless giving during this year’s Holiday Hands, but certainly well more than $200,000 in gifts, rent, repairs, and food changed from joyful to grateful hand as a result of the program.  Perhaps the most important exchanges were the thousands of letters and prayers of love, support, and encouragement. Everyone who listed was served with at least $100 worth of support.

Here’s what grace does:

A mom in need posted a request for 2T clothing for her little girl.  Within minutes, 12 Monkees rushed to her offering to give her what she needed.  The Mom writes:  “I’ve cried more in the past ten minutes than I have in the past few years. . . . I am overwhelmed with goodness!”

A mother of four wrote that she somehow got incredibly behind on her $252 water bill, putting her at risk of getting evicted.  A Monkee, whose husband was deployed, paid the entire bill.

Another mother wrote how overwhelmed she was by all of the strangers that reached out to help her family.  She said she was especially moved when one Monkee wrote to say the Monkee’s father wanted her family to have his Christmas gift in the form of a gift card.  She said “I haven’t felt this kind of Christmas spirit since I was a child.”

Another Monkee paid another total stranger $3000 so her aunt could pay off her uncle’s funeral bills and not have to be hounded by debt collectors.

A mama was given a car seat for her baby.

A struggling couple was given counseling to try to save their marriage.

Families were given Thanksgiving meals that otherwise wouldn’t have been served.

There is not room enough or time today to list the blessings that were exchanged.

When the listing of needs came in, each one had a common theme:  Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the stress and the fear and the not enough.  Overwhelmed by how brutal the world is.

When the gifts came in, the notes of gratitude had the same theme:  Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by all the goodness and the generosity and the so much.  Overwhelmed by how beautiful the world is.

Brutiful.

All across the country, for two weeks and for weeks to come, hundreds of women will go to their apartment doors, mailboxes, and email accounts and feel angel warriors rushing to their aid. They will feel and know that Love Wins and that We Belong to Each Other.  They will carry on for another day, their faith renewed by you that they can do hard things.

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.”

― Thomas Merton

As I sign off with goose bumps and tears welling, let me say to you…Monkees – savor each bite of your meal tonight, knowing that you have fed your neighbor first. Knowing that even if you are alone, you are NEVER alone.

Love and acceptance and deep, deep gratitude-

Sister, Lou, Liz, Allison, Amy, and Glennon: Your Monkee See- Monkee Do Board