Comments

  1. Barbara Keller says

    The writing part. The part of me that gets ignored, told to wait while everything in the world gets done first, so that there is never any time to write. Unless I steal it. Like now. No permission asked or granted – I just did it. I have books, stories, articles, songs waiting on the desk, in the files, in the drawers, long forgotten, that never get finished because something in me believes this is not work, not important, not serious, not essential to survival and it’s always relegated to the bottom of the list. Even if I put it on the calendar, I ignore it. I consider this one of the tragedies of my life. I edit for the newspaper. I write an article now and then if it’s needed, but that’s not the same as getting lost in a story and working till it’s done and feeling better about everything. It is a permanently unresolved conflict.

      • Laura says

        Yes, me too! I can really related to what you have expressed. Part of me considers writing an indulgence, a luxury. But it has become clear to me, though I do have to keep learning this lesson over and over, that expressing myself creatively is essential for my well-being.

      • Ilana says

        Laura’s right. I’ll be the first. I so recognized the feeling of stealing my writing time. So carefully parceled out. Not until the dishes are done and the laundry folded. I’m glad I’m not alone but I wish we all felt the right to nourish ourselves this way. Thanks for saying it! IM

        • Bobbie Anne says

          Ilana, I too wait until the dishes and laundry is folded before I write. Maybe the writing should come first.

          • Ilana says

            I agree, thinking about it clearly. However, when I have done that… i so often feel guilty. But thanks for the reality check!

    • Bobbie Anne says

      Thanks Barbara, I feel the same way too. Take the time out to write. It is important to write just for yourself!

    • Debbie says

      Barbara – the idea of everything else coming first, being more important is something that I can really identify with. Thanks for capturing these feelings so well and succinctly!

  2. Fran Stekoll says

    I am neglecting to take care of my body. I try to stay in a set routine during the week with water aerobilcs, tia chi, walking and bicycle riding. Some days
    I am on track, others I am not. The other area I’m neglecting is in writing on a regular basis. I keep telling myself it’s like a work day and there’s not excuse for not spending hours on writing and on planning menus for eating properly.
    Since I have lymphadema I am supposed to eat properly and use certain devices to maintain the water retention in my legs; but I tend to ignore the symptoms and the solutions. I don’t consider myself a procrastinator; but I do see myself as not being organized and structured. Now that I’m totally alone I find myself having more me time which I’ve never had in my 77 years of life. My writing verses “Wisdom Bumps” have been syndicated, copyrighted, and have a protected domain name. There is no more excuses not to proceed with publishing. I know that if I don’t take care of myself in healthy eating, exercising and publishing, When I pass on, what
    I’ve accomplished will have gone away and not been seen or heard by anyone. I know if I can accomplish what I’ve procrastinated, Monitery rewards will be enjoyed. If I don’t stay healthy I will face my demise earlier
    than expected. I see myself as my own worst enemy. Since I wrote earlier
    about finally loving myself first, it’s about time I read, believed and lived what I wrote. I have no one to blame but myself for being an under achiever.
    Procrastinator: Putting off important chores from sun-up to whenever? OK
    cop out and ignore- Tomorrow may be never!!!!!!

    • says

      Dear Fran, It takes a lot of courage to admit this! So here’s one for you: I neglect my teeth. I’m not sure why, but I can never consistently keep a habit of flossing my teeth. Every time I get my teeth cleaned, I start a new regime, but it inevitably falls away. I’m not sure why. I’m careful about so many other things regarding my health.

    • Debbie says

      Fran – Ah, why do we avoid that which we say is wanted? Such a mystery! Thanks so much for sharing these feelings that exist for so many of us!

  3. Laura says

    I neglect to get enough sleep. I am just now beginning to understand more of the reasons for this. While I have always wrestled with insomnia and being easily overstimulated at night, now this is worse due to several chronic illnesses. But the big piece I am now learning — and one that is hard to admit without judging myself– is that I wish someone would take care of me. My needs were not met as a young child (understatement) and I have spent my life learning to take care of myself. In the evening/bedtime hours, there’s a loneliness that creeps in. And that is the part of me that yearns for comfort and security from someone else. I am reminding myself and believing more that these are all normal human feelings and needs. I’m trying hard to have faith that facing what feels so raw will translate into positive change for me.

    • says

      Thanks Laura for the honest sharing. Welcome to the Roadmap Blog. Self-care is a hard one, but it is always where we have to start. Giving ourselves the care we may have never gotten enough of.

    • Ilana says

      Laura- I’m so glad you shared this. It is something I struggle with quite a bit as well. Your statement that it is hard to admit without judging yourself rings so true for me. It has taken me years to even admit to myself that I want someone to take care of me and I therefore neglect myself, sometimes. Thank you for helping me feel less alone. IM

    • Debbie says

      Laura – what a courageous post! I can so easily identify with your statement – “I’m trying hard to have faith that facing what feels so raw will translate into positive change for me.” Feels like this has almost become a mantra in my own life. Thank you for sharing these intimate fears with us.

  4. Randi Taylor-Habib says

    Older workers are often asked to neglect their life and job experiences now in order to “fit in” with younger workers and appear more “flexible”. This results in a lack of problem solving using the experiences of those who have experienced similar problems in the work place previously, out of fear of seeming pompous, and resulting in lost revenue.
    Starhawk spoke about this a few years ago when she came to Portland, that younger environmentalists needed to be more open in respecting the elders who had been at this a long time, but the post-recession work place is incredibly discriminatory against elder workers, creating a climate of fear where older workers are afraid to voice ideas and opinions. The only advantage that younger workers bring are energy, which can be duplicated through physical fitness, and openness to innovation. But those who have innovated for many years have more experience bringing innovations to light. The true limit on innovation is not older workers, but older share holders and management who are not willing to accept change due to retooling, or because the status quo benefits other industries they are also invested in.

    • Debbie says

      Randi – this is an interesting issue. As I am reaching a “mature” age in the workforce, I have seen all that you so beautifully express. And I have also come across those who are “set in their ways” and resist change – often those who have been in the workforce for some time with varying levels of authority. And lately, I have been experiencing more those younger workers hungry for an “advantage” in the competitive market who are turning to those with more experience to be mentored. I can only hope this trend continues and spreads. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  5. Beverly Boyd says

    What I neglect
    I gave this prompt quite a lot of thought. Initially I was ready to go on a “guilt trip” over the many things on the too long “todo” list that I carry in my head. I took time to write some of them down. There were twenty time consuming projects. There was nothing as mundane as mending a hem or cleaning the refrigerator, which I manage to do often enough.

    Eight were writing projects I have started over the years when my seven children and then a full time job left little or no time for focused attention.

    Two I am passionate about and do hope to get those done.

    A few were personal care things, like deciding what kind or hearing aid to buy or get a better set of false teeth! Somehow, next week always seems to be a better time to start making those appointments.

    Then there are ones that take up three to six cubic feet of space that would be nice to have for another purpose, or even empty! What a concept!

    The biggie is a large, and I mean LARGE inventory of old prints that my late husband, who was a traveling art dealer most of this life, left me when he died. Bless him. He developed this great inventory thinking it would provide an income for me. I tried traveling with the prints for a few years and enjoyed the activity, but it was not for me. That was his work not mine. Now it has become an albatross around my neck, taking up the back ten feet of my side of the garage. I can’t really move from this place where I live while I still have it. It would take up a small bedroom-sized-space, or I would need to get storage neither of which I can afford. I’d like to feel I am staying in my present living situation because I want to, not because I can’t figure out what to do with the darn inventory. It is probably worth the same as a modest house but much harder to sell even in this economy of slow house sales. I’ve thought of just about every possible way to dispose of it without going into business, including inviting all of my friends to a ceremonial bonfire!
    What DO I neglect? In fact, what is neglect? The dictionary says: to fail to give proper care of attention or failure to do something because of carelessness or forgetfulness.

    I did not neglect to sell or otherwise get rid of that inventory. I knew that while it sat there it was gaining value. A few months ago I finally got tired of not doing something with it so my family will not be burdened when I die and probably not get anything like its value.
    For the last five months a friend who fortuitously needed work when I needed help has been working for me. I’ve paid her for at least one hundred hours Between us we have put in nearly twice that amount of time. She has been worth her weight in gold! I actually sold some gold to pay her!
    She reminds me of myself when I was the energizer bunny: younger; stronger; tire less easily; more able to focus. Yesterday we completed a really big part of it. As we were finishing up she remarked, that after all this time working together she finally understood what the scope of getting rid of the inventory involves.

    So since March, the other projects are definitely on the back burner: possibly for a few more months until we can get to a place with the inventory project that is more manageable.

    Have the other things on my todo list been neglected? I don’t think so. I have made a conscious decision to make the inventory top priority for a while. I have also moved ahead on some of the space consuming items and hope soon to free some space in the garage to make it easier to work on what is left

    In the meantime my yard is consciously neglected, though I love to garden. Maybe people will think I am being politically correct at a time of severe water shortage! I know that watering, weeding, digging or pruning will put stress on my body and my time that I will need tomorrow for the “work”. So I consciously choose to let my garden go for this year.

    I’ve decided not to “guilt trip” myself. Instead I pat myself on the back for making a positive choice, sticking with it and looking forward to getting back to what I love as soon as possible.

    • Beverly Boyd says

      Having this blog is great. It helps me keep my writer mojo going without having to commit to a larger project.

    • Debbie says

      Beverly – I applaud you for sharing the definition of neglect;
      ” In fact, what is neglect? The dictionary says: to fail to give proper care of attention or failure to do something because of carelessness or forgetfulness.”
      Based on Webster – I am less guilty of neglect than willful avoidance. Somehow the distinction feels important. Thank you for your post.

  6. Ilana says

    Neglecting The Photograph

    I know that the part of me that I’m ignoring will come back to haunt me. Not only me, but my children and my husband as well. I just can’t find it in me to do anything but ignore it. I am actively ignoring it. It’s not an easy thing to forget. I just don’t have the energy, strength or courage to do it.

    I am not taking pictures of my family as we grow. I know this is a major offense. Any good parent would read this and immediately begin to lecture me about what I am missing out on, what I am robbing my children of. They’d be right but for this moment let’s put aside the crime and what it says about me as a mother to look at what it says about me as a person.

    If you looked at my scrapbooks you would learn a lot more about me than just what’s happening in the pictures. During my high school and college years, I am featured in almost every photograph. At the time, my younger brother, called me selfish and at first I believed him. Then I began see them as pictures of events, times and places that were important to me. Now I see these carefully preserved moments as a desperate attempt to validate my existence; prove that I was there and prove that it mattered that I was there.

    Move on to my graduate education and this mixes with pictures of a man. The purpose of these scrap books is much more simplistic, and easier to understand. I was falling in love. The books are filled with pictures of us doing all sorts of crazy things. One of those things was getting married. Another was finally graduating in spite of obstacles that had, for so long, seemed insurmountable.

    Then comes my first job, the birth of my first child… You’d see that I even learned to scrapbook with some actual art to it. I invested in fancy paper, stickers, pens even a corner rounder and other tools to cut the photos into fancy shapes. You’d also notice that fewer and fewer of the pictures actually feature me. At first glance you’d think that like any mother I was so enamored with my child’s face that I just put in her pictures rather than my own. If you looked more closely, you’d notice that she is not the only one in the pictures. As a matter of fact, you’d see her father, grandparents, uncles, teachers and friends.

    The birth of my second child may go further to hide my absence from the pictures. If you noticed this and asked me about it I would answer you in one phrase. “Camera Shy.” I hated the way I looked after carrying and giving birth to my children. You’d nod your head and point out that the few pictures there are of me seem to be candid shots; profiles of me not even looking at the camera. I was apparently unaware a photo was being taken. In reality I was carefully crafting that illusion. Posing to look like I had been caught off guard allowed me to give the camera my profile because that angle made my face look less fat.

    And now? My books stop when I was pregnant with my last child. My son has two pictures in the scrapbook that are carefully framed and decorated with cute little captions written in glittering, lavender ink. Both of them are ultra sounds. All his other pictures are carefully taped to the outside of the page protector, still waiting to be cut, decorated and properly framed. These photos run out before his first birthday, three years ago.

    I could go with the obvious excuse. “I’m so busy. There’s not time.” And it’s the truth. With three children, a household to run and a marriage to nourish, I don’t have time for the things I do want to do, let alone something I’m avoiding like the plague. It would be so easy to gloss over the devastating truth that this writing prompt has forced me to finally face head on.

    I do not want a record that I existed.

    As a young adult I needed desperately to prove that I existed and that I had a right to. Now, I am done trying to prove it. I’m here. There’s nothing any of us can do about it.

    Every week I get the prompt and fight the invasion, into my writing, of the battle that I am so deeply entrenched in. Why does everything have to be about incest? Why is my every waking moment about what my brother did to me? How my mother taught me to blame myself? How my father encouraged each act of betrayal? How my younger brother, once my best friend, has now abandoned me? I hate it. I want it gone. I want it gone so much that a lot of the time I want me gone. I wish that I could become invisible and no one would have to see the ugliness that I am trudging through every single day. Why the hell would I want to take pictures and make scrap books of this ugly, horrible time in my life?

    Maybe this time will end. Maybe, one day, I will have overcome this demon. If I’m lucky I’ll go back to taking pictures and making scrapbooks. If I get really lucky, maybe I’ll learn to love myself and finally include pictures of my own face. I don’t know. For now, though, I have to neglect this part of me. It is hard enough continuing to exist without taking pictures to chronicle this ugly space of time. I am doing the best I can. That’s going to have to be enough.

    • says

      Your piece hit me over the head, especially when I got to this line: “I do not want a record that I existed.” Thank you for that incredible, bald honesty. I really recommend you get a hold of this book: Women in Shadow and Light. It’s a book of incest survivors photographed how they wanted to be seen. I think it might be a very powerful book for you to read and explore: http://www.janlafontaine.com/womeninshadows.html

      • Ilana says

        Thank you, Laura. I will look up the book. This week I took a risk. I didn’t sprinkle any sugar in. (to lighten the writing) It’s been a very difficult week and I haven’t got any sugar left. ‘Don’t know what that did to the writing. I’ll have to go back and read this when I’ve got my head above water again. Either way, thank you for letting me post. IM

    • Terry Gibson says

      Ilana, your story resonates loudly with me. You reminded me of how I have been as well. Not allowing photos of myself. If someone had a camera, I would slink behind everyone or just leave. I couldn’t stand my pictures, my voice, my body, and I couldn’t tolerate others witnessing that ugliness as well. I hope and pray that you and I both–as well as other women whose feelings match ours–are afforded the time to grow into viewing ourselves with softer, gentler, more loving eyes. We are alive. We are beautiful, even when we can’t imagine feeling that. And we aren’t ugly because of what someone else did to us. Because of their harmful, despicable actions toward us. I hope as you move into the new week, that some of the agonizing pain you are in now subsides and lets you breathe more easily.

      • Debbie says

        Wow – you both are hitting my buttons on this post! My sister and her daughters came to stay with my dog two weeks ago while I went on retreat. One evening we took a sail around the Santa Monica Bay – and my sister snapped a picture of me. I started cutting up, like always, because of not liking my picture being taken. But to my surprise, instead of looking silly – she somehow captured something about me that I really like. I was on the water, in the sunshine, the wind was blowing – I was in the moment. Sure I have gray hair, am overweight, but I look really happy. I realized I like the woman in this picture. I can’t ever remember saying that before in my life.

    • Debbie says

      Ilana – what a powerful and meaningful sharing from you. Thank you, thank you! I feel like it must have been difficult for you to write these words, much less share them with this community. I think back over your posts of the past months that I have come to know you virtually – and I see changes. You have found your voice. The words and feelings are coming out of you and being shared in a safe place – with others who may have some of the same scars. For me, when the feelings started to come alive – it was a difficult time. The feelings of self-loathing so intense, I stuffed them with food and drowned them with wine; for years!. I am sending you such thoughts of love right now. And a lifeline – hold on. While you may not see the beauty you bring to the world, we can. It is my hope that one day you will look back at one of those early pictures and see reflected in those young eyes, that girl-woman whose gifts have enriched the world of those around her.

  7. says

    The part of myself that I neglect is myself. I have donned wigs and burkas, head lice and chow mein, yet through it all I only see the web of lies that I have created. Honestly, I know this sounds a bit dramatic, but it is only now– at 40 years old that I am finally beginning to realize that my “former” life as a hobbit was a shame.

    You see, I protected myself fiercely with my wigs, only to wake up one day (i.e. today) and realize that all this protection, while it helped me to survive, did not allow me to thrive. I realize I have been unhappy for most of my life and that the true path to happiness lies not in doing what I need to do to survive, but in doing what I need to do to create my best life–which I am now very busily doing (i.e. making up for lost time..) Well, although i’ve been a busy bee healing those parts of myself which are only now beginning to shine, I’m still kicking myself for waiting until now (even though even I know it couldn’t have really happened any sooner).

    So now I am in a position (perhaps) to finally reveal the parts of myself which I heretofore thought had to be hidden, lest they become tangled in a web of deceit as they were in the past. I can shed my “image” and reclaim my lost identity. I can reveal to the world that “yes!”–this is the true new me that was always here– never lost, never forgotten, never hurt, and never even touched.

    Now, I will only allow responsible, supportive people nurture me–and I them. Now, I will be able to protect myself “for real-” for it is only through true hatred that anyone could really affect me at this point–and as far as I know, no one in this world bears any “true hatred” for me. (And even if they did, they would not get very far in my book).

    So I introduce myself to the world in my first true “coming out.” (I hope you like me, because I know that the incredible souls who have helped me create this courage are the reason I feel I can finally reveal my newfound identity).

    • Debbie says

      Sangeeta – thanks for sharing such an honest assessment with us. I especially like these lines “So now I am in a position (perhaps) to finally reveal the parts of myself which I heretofore thought had to be hidden, lest they become tangled in a web of deceit as they were in the past. I can shed my “image” and reclaim my lost identity.”
      Hooray – for you! Reclaim, share and grow! Welcome!

    • Ilana says

      Sangeeta- Beautifully put. The whole piece has a wonderful shape to it. I felt like I was opening a box and seeing all of the beautiful things inside. First it was wrapped and hidden but slowly you let us see inside the box and then ‘introduced’ yourself to the world. I would like to challenge one part, though. “I hope you like me…” I think it is far more important for you to like you than what any of the rest of us think. Keep posting, like so many here, you have so much to teach. IM

  8. Dawn Hickman says

    What don’t I neglect? I’m so busy throwing distractions in my way that I don’t know if I’m coming or going. Therapy, group all the things I’ve done over the years only give me temporary relief to my insanity, and the thin veil of sanity I show the world threatens every moment to reveal the truth. I’m afraid to write my story and rip my world apart. Even just writing this I feel the lid shaking and the pain bubbling over the rim. So I screw it back on and prepare for bed so I can get up at 5 in the morning to go to a job I hate, being around people I can barely stomach. Wishing I could just stay home. Where I’m safe. Feeling very lost today. Thanks for listening.

    • says

      Dear Dawn, Welcome to the Roadmap Blog and thank you for your courage in admitting how lost you are feeling, how far you are from your real self, how much you have had to hide and cope to protect yourself. Acknowledging that is a first step toward saying, “I want more from my life. I want to live.” Come back here for support any time. Lots of the people who post here have been where you and understand. You are not alone, no matter how alone you feel.

    • Debbie says

      Dawn – Welcome to this online community of others on the, often, terrifying journey of self-discovery. Joseph Campbell, in his teachings around the hero’s journey, talks of that time when the hero (that’s you!) realizes she must embark on a task fraught with danger. There is always a time of denial and bargaining, for the hero, when all other alternatives are investigated. It is only when it becomes clear that the path to redemption lies through that of her greatest fears – awareness slowly grows that this very realization has changed the hero already. While no one can every truly know how another feels, there are many here who have empathy for at least some of what torments you. We can find courage in community.

  9. Terry Gibson says

    As I start writing this, I remember a prompt I worked on recently. In many ways, I’d like to be a pickled brain. Well, not entirely … I’d have to be fully functioning in my jar. I could think up a tweet, post or craft a love poem, and it’d automatically be displayed somewhere on one of the gazillion social networks. I’d do much by harnessing the power of my mind.

    The other reason behind this new aspiration is that if I was just a brain in a jar, I wouldn’t have to fret and be afraid about the next thing to go wrong with my body. Back. Hip. Feet. I could avoid issues of sexuality and emotional intimacy. People couldn’t say to me: “You’ve just got to get up in the grill of another jar, or maybe even a real flesh-and-bone person. Take a chance, you wuss.” Wouldn’t that be revolutionary?

    It certainly would! However, now that I’m finally skinny enough to please society and myself, I look too weird in Levis. Also, when I skooch over on the sofa to be close, I can’t go back. Someone might pick me up, wonder why a jar is on the sofa, and place me on a mantle. Just the way I’ve been living now.

    No, I don’t want anything to go that far for me. Besides, I’d miss hugs, luscious kisses, the feel of a lover’s hand in mine, pouring my words on paper until I’m spent, and the rush of excitement when I realize I’m in love—bunches of life’s good stuff. I’m re-dedicating my efforts to get healthier–tackle rheumatoid arthritis, my hip and back issues, and helping myself land, even though with a start, on my ‘feet’.

    I’ve got to really p-u-s-h myself to get where I want to be. I must be disciplined and yet relaxed in my new schedule. I want to be more economical with my time, words and where I put my energies. I want to believe that I’m worth all the effort. I want to believe that good things can happen to me too—as they already have. I no longer want to neglect my body, my feelings, or think it just doesn’t matter any more about me, while I’m so genuinely encouraging of other women to reclaim all aspects of their lives. I no longer want to believe I’m too scarred and maimed for anyone to like me again. I want to continue taking risks although they exhaust and scare me.

    A brain in a jar? No. I want this body. After all, it houses my central processing unit. I need it and want to enjoy all it has to offer. To neglect and hate Terry no more, is my new motto.

    • Debbie says

      Terri -

      I could not have put this any better myself. So many of my feelings mirror what you have written. Just as I was reading your post – a song came on the playlist “Unfold – Acoustic Version” by Marie Digby. If you don’t know it, listen. The ending refrain goes on softly ” I will allow someone to love me”. Between your post and this song, I am deeply touched.

      I love these words!
      “I want to believe that I’m worth all the effort. I want to believe that good things can happen to me too—as they already have. I no longer want to neglect my body, my feelings, or think it just doesn’t matter any more about me, while I’m so genuinely encouraging of other women to reclaim all aspects of their lives. I no longer want to believe I’m too scarred and maimed for anyone to like me again.”
      Thank you!!

    • Ilana says

      Terry- I had to read this piece, think about it and then read it again. You’ve said an awful lot here. I so connect to you feelings of “It doesn’t matter about me” even as you encourage the rest of us to reclaim our lives. It reminds me of a hot-line call I answered when I was working as a rape victim advocate. I told her no one deserved to be hurt as I silently added, “Except for you, Ilana.” Sometimes we can give to others and still be unable to give to ourselves. This feeling of ‘she gets it’ made my response to your last line, “To neglect and hate Terry no more, is my new motto.” So much more powerful. It became an empowering chant a cheer, encouraging me as well to adopt the motto “To neglect and hate Ilana no more.” Thank you for being so honest and giving of your story that I can connect with it and learn from it. IM

    • Terry Gibson says

      Thanks Ilana and Debbie,

      As always, I appreciate all comments and insights. Just thought I’d add that I felt this way before the retreat. I just returned yesterday so have yet to update this. I’m behind in prompts but will finish Dry Spell tomorrow. Looking forward to catching up with everyone.

  10. Debbie says

    At first glance, this seemed to be such a straightforward prompt. All I had to do is look in the mirror to see what has been long neglected; my physical health. However, after an incredible week at Commonweal combining both deep introspection and intense community, I am digging for a deeper, more authentic answer.

    Now when I look in the mirror, I see the outward manifestation as a symptom, not the cause, of long standing issues. As I peel the onion of my personal history, the weight of long neglected aspects of my soul life become achingly apparent and I feel the burden.

    There are some basic nutrients of inner life that I have long known; places of physical beauty, meaningful music, inspirational words and quiet moments to rest. But I am realizing these are only the most basic of sustenance. They are not sufficient. They do not provide enough to construct the building blocks needed to promote the strength and stamina necessary in realizing my potential over the coming months and years.

    In order to grow, I must cultivate the ability to truly sit with myself with inner and outer stillness. I recognize that I have internalized much of the consumer culture which pushes us to add more to our lives and soak up time in mindless activity. Diving deep below the surface feeling of boredom I will become reacquainted with those neglected aspects showing up as shadows of opportunity in my life.

    It is time to exorcise the ghosts of fear that whisper words of discouragement and rejection in my ear when I consider reaching out to others in friendship. While in no danger of losing my status as a card-carrying introvert, I am realizing how much I really enjoy being able to plug into a sense of community. My current solitary path does create these opportunities. So I must invest of myself, reaching out to find ways to engage with intention. Makes my heart flutter to just write these words. Clearly I have a long climb out of the pit of fear around this issue.

    Rather than browsing through tomes of self-help advice, I am turning within for guidance needed. A favorite quote over the years “The problem is not knowing what to do. Rather it is doing what we know.”

    All that I need is already contained within, long neglected. No one else will ever know if I am successful in cultivating the inner gifts laying dormant. It will only be me, in moments of brutal self-honesty, who will understand if I chose to take the path of growth or retreated in fear. And that is the most haunting thought of all….

    • Ilana says

      Debbie- I love this! The best line, so beautifully put and so wise, “All that I need is already contained within, long neglected.” It forced me to realize that yes, I do have the strength and tools I need to take care of myself. I’ve just neglected it for so long I’ve forgotten I had it to begin with. Wow, it is amazing what I learn when I read what you and many others post on this blog. Well, done! You have taught and I have learned. Thank you! IM

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