Positive to Positive, Negative to Ground

Bamboo arrows

Bamboo arrows (Photo credit: dog.breath)

Today I’ve been visiting with a friend, who is fighting hard the mindset of a victim. Don’t get me wrong, she has enough in her life to feel persecuted and put upon by, but I really hope she doesn’t lose the battle.  This is what I wish I had said.

My sweet friend,

You are not a victim.  Not every arrow you see flying through the air was meant for you.  Duck.  Don’t let it land on your heart and make you bitter.  Sometimes arrows hit targets they weren’t aiming for.  Don’t be that person who walks around accepting the direct hits, none of which were meant for you.  Sometimes people are who they are, without considering how it affects other folks.  Inconsiderate?  Yes.  Intentionally cruel? Alas, no.  Sometimes it just “be’s” that way.

I remember an episode of Gilligan’s Island when a “witch doctor” made voodoo dolls of the castaways.  Supposedly people who have voodoo dolls of a person can make that person do all kinds of crazy things, by moving the figure or poking pins in them and things like that.  No one, NO ONE AT ALL, has a voodoo doll of you.  No one has control over your thoughts and actions and moods and behaviors. Unless you give it to them.   It’s all up to you, dear one.  How about trying to treat your voodoo doll, YOURSELF, a little kinder?

When someone drives really slow in front of you and you are running late and driving with a sense of purpose, they are not doing it to make you crazy.  It has nothing to do with you.  Same thing at the checkout counter with the person doing a price check on every item before committing (and sorry about that by the way).  The neighbor with the big truck who cranks up and drives off with a roar of a loud engine at 11:15 every night.  Again, none of this done with you in mind.  Arrows not meant for you.  No mal-intent at all.  So much in this world happens that you could take on your heart.

Don’t.

Just don’t.

You have a big, precious heart, but you are quite unkind to someone I care about and I have to call you on it.
Yourself.

Love yourself and learn to let some things go.  One of my favorite phrases when something happens lately has been, “Yeah, that’s about right.”  It’s my way of SMH’ing and LOL’ing all rolled into one.  And that’s how I hope you will be able to cope.  Just let it roll off your back and laugh it off.

Turns out my little guy Cooter has been listening better than I thought.  Two weeks ago my cousin came out to teach my girl about her car, especially how to use jumper cables.  He even brought her a pair.  “Most folks have a good battery they can let you use–not everyone has the cables.” (Smart and generous. Love him.)  He explained it step by step.

Picture courtesy of carandriver.com

Picture courtesy of carandriver.com

This evening when I was speaking with you, Cooter heard me say to you, “Be positive!  Positive. Positive. Positive.”

That’s when he piped up.  “Negative to ground.”

Out of the mouths of babes.

Just yes.

How did my cousin explain that?  You don’t put negative to negative because it could blow things up.  Oh my land, ain’t that the absolute truth?  Best thing to do is exactly what Cooter said, “Throw that negative to the ground.  Drop it and bury it.”  Well maybe not exactly, but you see where I’m going with this.

Don’t feed those negative thoughts that try to creep in.  You’ve got this.  You are NOT a victim.  People in your past hurt you, and I wish I could change that.  But you, you are stronger and better than that already.  If you let your heart soar and throw down the negative that is keeping you grounded, you will reach heights not even imagined.  You have it in you to do great things.  More than you already have.  Now LET YOURSELF.  It’s okay.  Give yourself the grace you give everyone else so freely.  LET YOURSELF go and do and be and soar.

And if one of those arrows does happen to hit, I’m here to listen and love and sit with you as the pain subsides.  But don’t go chasing those arrows and looking for them to hit you.  You are not the one the arrows were looking for.  Let them pass.

Or, in the words of my wise Daddy, “Don’t go borrowing trouble.”

I love you, my dear, sweet friend.  Now go and do.  And be kind.  Even to yourself.

Always, Me

***SMH (shaking my head)

***LOL (laughing out loud)

Prom Night

My girl.  Her Junior/Senior.  No, really, it’s her first and last prom.  It’s a long story but this is her junior and senior year, so this is it.  THE PROM.

She hemmed and hawed as we do about whether she would go or not.  In the end, she wrote her own check and bought her ticket.  Let me just tell you this is HUGE.  I am so proud of her.  She was intent on going and having a great time.  With friends.  I love that.  I didn’t have her courage or grace when I was her age.  The jury is still out on whether I have as much as she does now.

So we went shopping.  In the end she chose a beautiful dress that was just perfect.  From the GW Boutique.  I’m telling you, we love shopping there and can get the best bargains ever.  I was proud of her choosing to shop there and then so thrilled that she found THE DRESS.  (Aub, are you saying yes to the dress?  Why yes, yes I am.)

THE prom dress.....Take 1

THE prom dress…..Take 1

She then planned out her shoes, found them at a different location of the GW Boutique.  Yesterday she got some inexpensive stuff to do her nails and today she did them herself.  I am telling you, this girl can make a party out of nothing.  She just has that gift.

This afternoon she visited our sweet neighbor friend and talented hair stylist, and she got her hair did.  It was beautiful.  So we had all the puzzle pieces together, time to put them in place.  She started getting dressed and came to me to help her zip up.  Oh y’all.  I just about cry when I think back on it. Just a few hours ago.  My girl.  Beautiful.  I tried to zip but I didn’t have my hands in the right place.  So yeah.  This happened today.

This zipper is broke.....and so was my heart.

This zipper is broke…..and so was my heart.

I just pulled wrong and too hard.  I tried y’all.  Really I did.  We got out the needle nose pliers and I opened up the zipper to slide the other side back in.  Oh what a mess.  My heart sank as each minute ticked by.  She was about to miss her prom.  Because I.  Messed.  Up.  If I had been my Granny or my Aunt or my cousin even, I would have ripped that zipper out, HAD the right one here to replace it, and stitched it back in, and she still would have been on time.  Ahem.  No.  I heard my girl say, “It’s okay.  I just won’t go.  It will be all right.”

Not.  On.  My. Watch.

I love this child.  I try not to spoil her.  But I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I’m going to let her miss her prom, after she made the decision to go and got her outfit together with such a good attitude and open heart.

I started barking orders.  Rare for me.  (Never mind, I can’t even type that with a straight face.)  So I said, “Get your dress shoes, take your boots just in case, throw on clothes, we’re going to a store, and this is GOING TO HAPPEN.”

And you know what?  It did.

We had a twenty minute ride to the closest store that might possibly maybe have a dress in stock.  She had called them, and we were hopeful.  In the meantime she was texting our other dear and treasured neighbor friend who was pulling dresses from her closet and texting pictures in case the shopping trip was for naught.  Have I mentioned I have great folks all around me?  Love my neighbors.  Yeah, these folks make that an easy commandment to follow.

We laughed as we made a game plan for our dash-in-try-on-buy-and-dash-out mission.  Failure was not an option.  Despite the rain, she kept her cool and her hair in place.  We walked in and saw a beautiful selection of dresses right away.  My eyes went to the chartreuse immediately (yeah, it’s kinda my thing) and Aub’s went to a cute black and white number with BLING. (And she can pull off some bling!)  She did indulge me and try on the chartreuse.  She thought she looked eight years old.  I thought she looked like Tinkerbell, and it was very cute.  But the black and white one…..her eyes lit up.  The price was right, and the pashmina wrap was on sale (needed–the rain had dropped the temp to 55 already!) and there was a cute pair of earrings to match.  And with that we were at checkout right on time.  We asked the cashier for a pair of scissors to snip the tags off.  (Remember my broken filter? Yeah, I told her about the zipper.)  “Oh when is your Prom?” she asked.   I checked the time.  “Ummm, now.”  Sweet young woman.  Headed to the same college as Aub next year–for nursing school.  She’ll make it.  I saw it in her eyes.

Aub changed in the car–avert your eyes people.  She kept it decent, and we were on our way.  She was only fashionably late, thank goodness.  And all was well.  I am so proud of her for turning her back on a bit of a rough start and setting off for an evening of fun with friends.  I love this girl.

My girl, turning her back on the past, and headed for the future.  You go girl!

My girl, turning her back on the past, and headed for the future. You go girl!

After seeing her off, I called my cousin.  I shared with him the evening’s events.  I told him how bad I had felt about not being able to fix the zipper.  “Eh, it’s good to know what you can and can’t do.”  And he is right.  I could have tried.  But many broken relationships and a month later, Aub might have had some semblance of a dress left.  When it comes to stitching and sewing up something that delicate when it’s that important with serious time constraints…..”ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Tonight I am thankful for a girl who dreams big, who is strong and wise and beautiful inside and out.  I am thankful that we were able to go to a store and get a backup dress.  I am thankful for our conversation and laughter and meeting a new person and hearing her story.  I am thankful for kind and gracious neighbors who are a part of the village helping me raise my children.  I am very thankful for great hair spray that withstands major humidity and many dress changes and tremendous stress.  Finally I’m thankful for the words of wisdom from my cousin–trying to make myself into something or someone I’m not…..yeah, FOR SURE ain’t nobody got time for that.

And just for fun, and with much appreciation, the original “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”