By Way of Introduction

Part Two in the Series–A Journey to Belonging

I have been in the middle of three of my motivating influences the last few days…trying to get some direction on how to finish this right. Barbara Niven, Liz Gilbert, and Brené Brown have been and are part of my continued growth. So, on to the sharing of my journey to true belonging.

What brings about change? A crushing defeat, betrayal, a deep soul effect, loss? Perhaps the “normal” depression and anxiety? Or maybe just a nagging something, a dream not achieved. At different times I have experienced some of what I’ve said.

Liz Gilbert received some ideas on how to improve her book. More than once she heard that one of the lead characters needed some attention. Changing the character in any way would change the whole book. Her response, “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be done.” So here I am, this just needs to be done.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Barbara Niven at a gathering of her fans in 2015. My friendship with Barbara is an excellent example of my trying to fit in. She has a gift that made me believe I had value, that I really belonged. Her affirmations guided my life. Then came the set up.

I love animals (but not to the degree Barbara does). I was a Hallmark (but not like most), nothing I did was enough to get her attention. She trusted me with painful feelings of betrayal. But it wasn’t enough. Eventually, what I always did came true. I blamed her for her lack of support and cut off communication.

And then I found myself wanting something different from always getting rid of people, something different from always being alone. But I really never did get rid of her. One of Barbara’s affirmations: “You’re never too old to become what you were meant to be,” started me looking back around my 65th birthday. A fleeting thought…I want to live till I die. Another of her affirmations (paraphrased)—when you get up off the mat one more time than you’re knocked down, you are a success.

I’m not sure of the timeline of the next events. The truck stop experience was a significant period. (I took some time to read my past articles and came up with an understanding that what you are reading here is the backstory to much of what I wrote.)

I was stranded at a truck stop with no phone, little money, and what I know now to be  shame gremlins biting at my heels. BUT, I did have Dr. Brené Brown’s books. So I studied, walked around, lived on bananas, studied some more, and wrote. Truck drivers fed me occasionally.

Eventually I got back to familiar surroundings, but something was different. The buildings were the same but they looked different. Something in me must have changed. I went to my safe parking place in my safe park and sat still, remembering.

Next in this series—The Remembering