Rain and Memories

It’s cold and raining again.  Kind of unusual weather for Texas.  This is the first steadily cold winter I can remember.  Usually, we have bi-polar weather that can’t make up its mind from day to day.  One day it will be 70+ and the next in the 40’s. 

I’m not complaining.  I like the steady cold temps, I’m not sure I’m carried away with the grey days though.  The rainy grey days make me feel mellow, and somewhat sleepy. 

It reminds me of grey days I spent with my mom growing up.  Often she would make chicken and dumplings, have me help her roll out the dough then cut it in strips to put in the pot. 

Rainy days were great for reading, watching old movies, listening to music, or just spending time cooking.  It’s pretty much the same now with my kids.  I like rainy days now and then.  There’s something soothing and nice about listening to the sound of the rain and watching it trickle down the windows. 

Cherry Coley (c)

Life is about Choices

Life is about choices.  Oh, I know we’ve all heard that before and we all know it’s true; the question is how true is it?

I have had to battle the demons from my past the last few days.  Those memories that haunt and an attitude that wants to settle around me like a dark cloud and seep into my skin to become a part of me again. 

A close friend of mine told me that I should stop writing positive drivel and write about a lot of the crap that I’ve experienced along the way.  I told him that no one would believe all the stuff I’ve been through, not that it didn’t happen, but that there is so much of it.  Truly, most people experience one or two major mishaps in life if they are unlucky enough, but I’ve had so many that even I sit and shake my head in wonder at why I am still here at times.

He also told me that I have a great talent for description and that if I have something to say then just say it.  Well, okay, but I will do it my way, not yours. 

For the last few days and especially last night, the darkness tried really hard to reassert its self and last night I went to bed feeling like I was losing the battle, that I had failed and should just write everything that happened, reliving it all in vivid detail as I did.  I had nightmares all night.

The thing is, while I was experiencing living with an abusive, narcissistic, sociopath and that was after being in a rather odd relationship with another one previously, I had become a ghost like reflection of who I once was.  In those years I was just a shell of a person functioning on the outside, putting up a good front so that things would seem normal to those who looked on. 

I still had a positive attitude even then, though I struggled with it and it was only surface deep.  I still believed in better days and that the sun would shine.  

In talking to my friend something defensive in me woke up.  It wasn’t a whimpering, sad shadow either.  He kept asking me how I could be so positive after so much.  My unwavering answer is because NO ONE CONTROLS ME!  No one controls my attitude and my outlook except ME! 

Whatever the world and life throws your way, you CAN come out stronger, better, but it’s a choice.  You have the power to CHOOSE how you apply the events and mishaps in your life.  You can learn from them and become stronger, or you can let them take you down, dwelling on them, feeling anger, revenge, helplessness, and relive them over and over.  I choose to learn, to get up and to keep going.  I choose to believe there’s more that life has to teach and offer.

I don’t just think the sun will shine again and that better days will eventually be here….I KNOW. 

For me, it’s no longer faith as much as it’s experience.  When you’re up against that cliff and there’s nothing to do but to step off the ledge, you can be sure that God is going to catch you, or teach you to fly.  The thing is that in order to go forward, you do have to move, faith is grown by action, not waiting and life is about choices.

Cherry Coley (c)

A Bit on Understanding the Law of Attraction

photo by Cherry Coley

Have you ever stopped to think that God never intended for us to be satisfied?

Think about it, if we ever got to the point of complete satisfaction, would we be happy? What more would there be to strive for, learn from, work on if we were completely satisfied?  Would you really even know what that looks like?  Most of us are still working on finding our specific purpose in this life.

We are internally programmed that once one desire has been achieved or fulfilled, we immediately find something else better or more interesting to reach for.  This programming ensures that we keep moving, keep growing, keep living life the way we were intended too. 

What we focus on and put our energy into is what we attract into our lives.  If you focus on the “lack of” things in your life like: not having a relationship, not having enough money, possessions, a good car, a job you like, whatever it might be, to continually focus your mind and energy on the negative aspect and endless wishing from a perspective of being resentful, worried or discontent, you will bring more of the same thing into your life.  You will not bring positive things into your life as long as you dwell in the realm of the negative. 

 The old saying about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is true in the sense that as soon as you change your attitude, your thoughts and start applying your energy to focusing on improving yourself from where you are right now, you will start to attract positive things into your life.  It may or may not happen immediately, in many cases it doesn’t and people automatically start to lose hope.  However, chances are events are put in to motion the second you make your concentrated effort to change, but you have to open yourself up to see not only the changes in yourself, but in your surroundings as well.  This takes time and practice to be able to see the opportunities that are starting to appear in your path.  This is where a good friend or life coach comes handy.  By discussing events or circumstances in your life as they happen, they can, in essence, hold up a mirror and help you see things you may have missed.  A life coach can offer a different perspective and help you set reasonable and easily obtainable goals along the way.  I know in my own life, the coaching I have received has been the most important aspect in my personal growth and being able to put bad relationships, and an abusive marriage behind me. 

 Make no mistake; it is hard work to change your perspective and attitude on a consistent basis.  You will not always feel the sunshine and hear the birds singing, but brighter days are on the horizon and finding yourself and then being true to the person you are inside is well worth the effort. 

 In future posts I will be sharing bits and pieces of my personal journey.   It is my hope you will find something in my ramblings, nostalgia and life lessons to enjoy or take with you on the way.

 In the mean time, remember you attract more of what you focus on into your life every day, whether you intend to or not.  Make an effort to see the bright side and look for opportunities to improve or learn from your experiences. 

 Cherry Coley ©

The Merry Go Round

I think there are some parts of life and relationships that are very much like a Merry Go Round.  Let’s pretend just for a moment that you’ve never ridden a Merry Go Round before.  You go to the amusement park and you are drawn by the music playing, you follow it until you find where the music is coming from and you discover a Merry Go Round. 

For a long time you stand there watching the Merry Go Round, looking at what it does, listening to the music, taking in the sights, the smells, the way it turns and that some of the horses move, and some don’t, the speed, the colors and lights of it all.  You watch as other people interact, getting on and off the ride, laughing and smiling as they take their turn.  It is fascinating in some ways and you could potentially just stand and watch it for hours, days, both up close or from a distance and still enjoy looking at it.  Some people become so entranced and love Merry Go Rounds so much that they buy miniature music box one’s to enjoy in their homes.

While it’s nice to enjoy the Merry Go Round in this way and much safer because, of course, there’s no way to potentially get hurt by the Merry Go Round just watching and listening to it. At some point the question becomes, is just watching enough?

 You cannot truly experience the Merry Go Round unless you first slow it down or stop it and get on.  Standing on the sidelines watching and listening will never compare to being on the actual ride.  Only when you get on the ride can you actually tell what kind of paint is on the ponies or if there are chips in the enamel.  You can’t tell from a distance if the paint is smooth like glass, or soft to the touch, if the paint has a deep texture where you can feel the groves and ridges on each pony or animal, or whether there are splinters and weather worn places.  You can’t, from an observation standpoint, ever know what it actually feels like to get on that pony, hold the bar and feel whether it will hold your weight, move smoothly, or if it will shake a bit.  You can’t even tell from an imagination standpoint, what it might feel like to sit on one of the seats of the stationary, painted parts of the ride and whether they are uncomfortable, or if it’s a pleasant place to be with the wind softly passing by as you glide on the ride.  Even if you are a real visual person, it is hard to fully imagine what it is like to walk the wooden plank floor while the ride is moving or even when it slows down and stops unless you actually do it a few times.

Life and relationships are much the same as experiencing the Merry Go Round.  You can potentially sit safely on the sidelines observing the ride itself, watching the passersby, enjoying the music, and imagining what it would be like, but if you never take a chance, and reach out to seize the opportunities, then you will be safe, but you will miss out on the experience. 

There are people who enter our lives every day; each one is different, with their own personality, their own experiences to share and with something different to offer.  Maybe it’s time to notice, reach out, make a new friend and expand your horizons.  Maybe it’s time to go after that thing you’ve been thinking about trying for years.  Seriously, would you rather wind up with regrets that you never tried, or fond memories of trying but things possibly not working out the way you wanted or planned?  What if by trying it didn’t work as you planned, but because of the experience you found something even better? 

Cherry Coley (c)

Ripples of Kindness

There have been many times in the past few years when I second guessed myself,  wondering what to do and which direction to take.  When I left an unhappy marriage to start over it was basically a “close your eyes and leap into the darkness” move on my part.  I was immediately caught by friends around me who stepped up to help the minute I left that ledge.  I would not have made it if it were not for moments, words of kindness and encouragement.

There are different turning points in life.  Major events that happen to change our perspective, change our direction and sometimes our environment.  When we lose someone we care about, whether a family member or a friend, it can make life hard at times, challenging on whole different levels, the days can seem darker. 

It’s good to remember that when someone is taken from us, no matter how it happens, that person still lives on in your heart, your memories and in how they changed and affected your life.  You never really lose the effect they had because we all touch each others lives along the way.  Remember the smiles, the laughter, the joy along the way.

Then stop and think about the days when you’ve been in a big hurry, but you still stopped to offer a smile, open a door, be kind to someone else.  No good deed goes unnoticed.  For every kindness there is a ripple effect that goes out like a drop in the ocean, it starts small, but the effect keeps going and builds.  So, even in your haste, you may have been the person that made someone else’s day.  Your kindness may have caused that person to slow down and enjoy their morning, then to be kind to their child, co-worker, or friend.  Never under estimate the power of a smile or a simple act of kindness.

Even the smallest light shines in the darkness.