Confessions: Mismatching Socks and My Deepest Longing

She doesn’t look for her keys before leaving the house. When you meet her as planned, she’s on time. Out of the car bounds an active kid, shirt ironed, as his mother materializes with a rock of a baby in an easy arm. Of course Mom’s groomed. When did she have time to paint those nails? She greets you with eyes and a smile that say she pulled off a restful night and she’s good to go.

And then there’s me.

Last month on the way out to the park, I realized my socks didn’t match. I had grabbed the white one and the checkered brown from separate piles off the tired path out of bed. I didn’t want to go back upstairs so I shrugged and drove off. The disinterest in the impression I make in public is an offshoot of my young, willful self. I was known for the different-colored socks in junior high – usually one red, the other purple. didn’t see why they had to match. So the asymmetry this time wasn’t so crazy of me, only I am thirty years older. I plainly looked more off than like a trendsetter. The women I know match – even purse to outfit.

And here I am, one of those days. My plans, my body, my emotions don’t seem to…work. I’m a Hyundai from the 70s. Dang ignition’s sluggish and the car gets temperamental when she’s finally on the road. Why the overcast view of the week ahead, the brooding storm clouds in my spirit? My son’s laughter makes its way to me through a thick wall of emotional static. I want to really see him but need to clear my circuits. I pry loose the helpless confession. Discontent and fear. Not sure which wins out but there they are, wreaking havoc. I wish this were different, wish that came easier – and I fear they won’t. I redesign my life in my head.

The nerve. How many people wouldn’t jump for this life? But hold on. Can we say this? Can we compare lives like we do houses? We don’t know all the stuff that goes on in a home, in human hearts. We all have closets we keep shut, some locked. Apparently Superman wasn’t so special – some of us have x-ray vision too. Last week someone who had been very kind and friendly to my family decided I was too imperfect for her and her circle. The ax fell from nowhere. I’d had no inkling I had been under scrutiny, especially because I had not seen her at all this year until a week before she wielded her hatchet. I had never uttered a bad word about her or anyone we knew. In any case, I somehow wasn’t good enough for her. Well Super Woman, here’s some more ammunition for you. Days like this, I in fact do remember my textbook Christian answers. I’ve taught the Bible. I know who I am and Whose I am. And I still feel like a failure, precisely because I know better. It’s not low self-esteem. I believe we are all full of ego. Why is compassion something we have to work on? “Love your neighbor as yourself” is one commandment, not two. We are told to love others as seriously as we take our own needs. If only I were more grateful, really grateful for all I have and for those who love and need me. I could disable the discontent. I am responsible for the perspective I take and how I respond when life seems to move against the grain of my hopes. I ache in my fallenness.

I’ve thought hard, blogging the past year, about what keeps us shuffling forward on the journey. Hope. Without it, tomorrow is nothing and closes in on today. I disagree that love is man’s greatest longing. Unless you’re Daddy Warbucks, all your love for me won’t keep food on my table and put my son through college. Hope is the picture you paint in your head of yourself and those you cherish in a better place. Ironically, hope is what drives you in your plans to kill yourself. Yes, I dare say because I was there as a teen. Bottomed out, you are so miserable you trust that anything will be better than where you are. What gets us through our daily fears is the hope of a good living, a happy family, improved health. You keep on through another round of chemo, holding on to the brighter picture ahead. But it’s a deeper kind of hope we nurse. Assurance of redemption, that our sighs and disappointments will not merely lead out to fresh air that makes the vault of our past feel like a bad dream. But that we will one day see – whether in this life or the next – the storyline to our suffering. We want to see the writing on the walls of our despair, know that we haven’t lived senseless years. We pray God or whatever we trust in will make right the wrongs, show mercy for our transgressions and vindicate us where we suffer. I hate waste, of time especially, and remind myself of the truth that’s found its way as a popular aphorism. I don’t want to waste my sufferings. I listen for the lessons they have for me. Onward and upward? My God makes this possible because He wastes nothing.

135 thoughts on “Confessions: Mismatching Socks and My Deepest Longing

  1. Wow. That was so moving. And I agree so much that our time here should not be wasted, should not go without going to show something. You have much to teach others, just as we all do. We just never really know who is impacted by us, what they learn, how. I hope this comment makes sense. It is coming from within after I just read this post, so it has something to do with whatever I took away from it.

  2. I’m so sorry about the loss of a friendship and fellowship! That was an elegant response to something done out of cowardice and insecurity! I’m glad you refuse to take shame in what makes you different, even in light of this recent event. As you know, there is a community, here, that values your contributions, so don’t look back! 🙂

    • *Side grin* You ROCK, Marcus. Everything you said (referring to the first part of your comment) is right on. It wAs a loss like that and though I didn’t say it, I actually could not help seeing it as coming from those things. As to your encouragement, you don’t know that I’ve come really close to a post on YOU GUYS. The impact you all have had on me in emotionally hard times. All I can say is thanks so much for taking the time.

      PS I went ahead with this post not only bc it came to me in honesty but bc the Race has in fact really been about feeling like an outsider. Spilling the beans now, that we’ll be exploring this umbrella theme in the month ahead. =)

      Xxx (Couldn’t resist the hug),
      Diana

      • Wow! The response to my comment was nearly as powerful as the post itself! I am glad (and honored) to be part of the family that provides encouragement and support for you. Though I am pretty sure that my emotional impact usually veers towards frustration. 😉 I am surprised I wrote that much. I was speechless when I read the response at first.

      • He he (not too much frustration). J/kddng.

        My supporters have really made it nothing less than a transformative experience to write on AHJ, Mark. It’s been powerful. Sure, I do much of the legwork, my sweat equity here is high. But there are many times when the comments come flooding in I feel carried along. Just amazing.

        (So keep blogging, you!) =)

      • Wanted to share my reply to Curt:

        You know, Curt. Something happened from reading your terribly sweet comment. I realized that though I really had moved on by the time I wrote this (so that I was using the incident more illustratively on the broader point of my imperfections), my readers actually helped bring about full healing. I realized how light I’ve felt. Now THAT is incredible.

  3. Hi Diana. Thanks for a poignant and moving look inside your heart, mind and life. Comparisons, perfection and living to meet the expectations of others don’t work, at least for me, though I routinely forget! You describe what I consider our universal search for meaning. We hope our struggles, achievements and dreams matter. I vacillate from hope to despair routinely and don’t have the comfort of a belief in heaven, though I do believe we have a spiritual core that pushes us forward with the carrot of hope and/ or the stick of pain and despair. For me, love is the end point, when I can love it all, the difficult people, the challenges, the good and bad. Thanks for another thought provoking and heartfelt post. blessings, Brad

    • Hello, my friend. I appreciate hearing from you on this one along with the reciprocal glimpse into the different songs in your own heart. A bit of hope and some good stick of pain and despair. Thankfully, a little bit of hope goes a long way. I knew I was veering off mainstream in what I said about love but arguably, love vs hope really poses the chicken-egg question. They are one, in some ways, depending on one’s worldview. Your goal to love in all things is the noblest thing I know, Brad. But I think it would be hard for you to press on if you saw no hope in it. A longer conversation than what we can manage through a comment box, really. =)

      You bless me dearly,
      Diana

  4. Do you know there’s an entire webstore called, “Little Missmatched.com?” And it started out by selling different looking socks as pairs. I also think there should be an online dating site for all the single socks that emerge from the dryer. But let me pull myself up by the bootstraps (or at least rise above the ankles!) for the rest of this comment. Hope. I almost named my daughter “Hope. ” But I didn’t want to lose Hope when she got married. Seriously, this post of yours is incredibly eloquent and meaningful for me. Your point that Hope is what drives a person during their plan of suicide just knocked me out! I only hope in some of my humor posts, a reader might derive a little insight, here and there. You inspire me! Thank you so much for these vulnerable posts, Diana!

    • “But I didn’t want to lose Hope when she got married.” LOL!! You had me chuckling with your opening and I was shaking my head by the time I got to this one. Oh, Stephanie. I can only imagine the dinner-table laughter at your place. Indeed there is a lot more than humor in your zainy, brainiac posts. I have appreciated how you’ve embraced…ME in my writing.

      Feeling the love,
      Xxx

      D.

  5. Diana, I empathize with that hurtful event because I have been through it. It leaves a sting and there is no immediate soothing poultice. The knowledge that we know Whose we are keeps us in balance and gives us assurance of Whose opinion truly matters. We are never perfect because we are unfinished. Only He determines our polish and purpose. But He is always smiling on us with arms open wide.

  6. This is such an important question – “what keeps us shuffling forward on the journey.” I think you’re right, it has to do with hope and finding meaning, especially in our hardest of circumstances.

    P.S. Mismatched socks are awesome!

  7. When people no longer wish for my company I send them a blessing. They have likely just done me a favor. And for the record, the hippest thing going in grade schools of NYC is mismatched sox. Power on.

    • I grew up in NYC. =) A teen (homeschooler, mind you) out here in CA told me last year that such sox were cool. I was ahead of my times lol. And I love your attitude about parting ways with some folks. My husband and I saw it was much better this way. We’ve been saved a lot of grief that was waiting around the corner. Thanks.

      *High five*

  8. This is absolutely beautiful. Indeed our Hope is not in the things of this world! And a couple mismatched socks or words should not make such a grand difference in the end. Matching is boring! I’m so sorry to hear that you had a sad experience with a friendship. It does hurt, and especially if you wonder what happened. So I wish you peace with it, and from reading your post I think you’ll find it. Thanks so much for sharing. I love reading what you write, and even if I usually read while remaining silent, I appreciate all the thought in your posts!

    • I appreciate every word. Thanks for taking the time and for confirming the faithful reading. Means so much. As I’m telling the other readers in running through these comments, I’ve been fine about her. It did rock me that day bc it was so ridiculous, the way she cut it off. But it is for the best and I’m actually GRATEFUL to be able to live my life apart from her or the incident after hearing from you all!

      Xxxxx
      Diana

  9. DIAAANNNA! Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt reflection piece. Thank you for reminding me that it is HOPE that carries me through my journey daily!

    I felt encouraged by your closing sentences! “I don’t want to waste my sufferings. I listen for the lessons they have for me. Onward and upward? My God makes this possible because He wastes nothing.” Thank you!

    Amy 🙂

    • Hey you, so glad to hear what hit home. I’m always grateful for the chance to encourage you. You’ve walked some rough patches, but never let on how heavy the worry can threaten to be. Keep shining.

      Xxx

  10. There is beauty in your words, Diana.
    Reminds us all … let us gaze at His beauty.

    PS
    I love you, Diana!!!! You are perfect for me and my circle 🙂

  11. As the cliche goes, everything happens for a reason! ‘Not just letting go off the sufferings & trying to find out the storyline behind’ – makes me ponder… Yes, I agree, not sure to what extent, though!

  12. What a fabulous snapshot of time.
    I love that we live through so many of these snapshots of time. If one is difficult, we learn (something) from it and move on to the next.
    Great writing, thank you for sharing.

  13. Diana,
    I know that I have had the same conversation you wrote about, with myself. I remember thinking, “Why would I let another person have this power over my emotions?” The answer I came up with at the end was that the picture another person had of me did not match the picture I had of myself. And, this hurt my feelings. Is that junior high-ish? Maybe, but I think we are all 10 year old children inside our aging vehicles. As always, one of the glories of your writing is that you are a voice of truth and people recognize that. I enjoy the readers’ comments, too. You have a brilliant group gathered here. So, glad we met.
    My great hope is that everything will be in order and make sense, at the end, of the journey. That is what keeps me going. If it is all God’s cruel jest, I am going to fly around the universe for eternity saying, “Oh, crap!”
    Ginene

    • “Maybe, but I think we are all 10 year old children inside”. Yep! Another truth I planned to bring up someday. I appreciate your epiphanies, G. That IS the offense, isn’t it? That they don’t think of us as well as we do of ourself. Oh we’re so full of it LOL. I really laughed at your closing thought. Yes, love it: we hope for order and sense. Two things that make up the universe! Why would the cosmos run in such exquisite poetry of reason and man run around like beasts? Even the animals in the wild listen to what is good and appropriate, follow the rhythms and timing of wisdom.

      Thanks so much for the encouragement. Am so blessed for your company.

      Diana

  14. Your statement “We want to see the writing on the walls of our despair, know that we didn’t live senseless years,” resonates with me. Why-why-why? Losing a relationship is painful and we hang onto the pain because it doesn’t make sense. We need to know why. So we fabricate the logic, rationalize the behavior and tell ourselves we’re past it when we’re really not.

    • In this case, I hadn’t known her long so I really did get over it quickly. =) I have to. I can’t carry dead weight around. Too busy. And I was fine not knowing why because my conscience remains clear and God knows. NexT!

      But thanks for sharing your thoughts, Gail. Always so appreciated.

      Diana

  15. You are such a mix of intelligence, heart and grace. It is a privilege to read what comes out of that head of yours! I can’t imagine someone not wanting you for a friend; you’ve so many wonderful things to share. Well, sometimes one must shake the dust from one’s feet, and head on up the road. It’s nice to be witness to the road you take.

    • And yOu, Kate, have been one incredible cheerreader (cheerleader + reader), O fellow writer. I couldn’t imagine her not wanting to be my friend either LOL!! Full of myself. The dust is way back on that road. It’s already a new week and I’ve so much to do, think, write.

      Love u, Kate.

      Diana

    • I know, I know. A lot of people rise in defense to my “own-race-bashing”. They’ve come far. But my power locks stopped working as soon as I reached the end of my 5-yr warranty. Got the wheels new in 2001.

      • The best of cars these days are made from recycled vege cans and crumple up in an accident. You can take your pick from among the recalls too. lol. The really old cars were made out of iron and could bounce off each other in an accident. So when you are ready to buy your next car just throw a dice and choose out of the lot according to the dice.

      • lol That is very interesting, Ian. I’m skating on thin ice here comparing Japanese and K cars but that year, I was so surprised to find that the J cars I had considered better-made actually gave when I pushed in on the front door with my li’l thumb. I don’t see that I’ll stop urging people to go Japanese, though. Gee. Perception.

  16. “Friends” have mockingly called me OCD, but I am *not* OCD! I was a born perfectionist. I have always been such a raging perfectionist that my husband still razzes me about it. I never ask him to help me with house cleaning, because he would literally sweep dirt under the rug rather than try to find a dust pan to pick it up.

    My own natural tendencies were encouraged by my parents’ training (“Good better best, never let it rest, ‘till your good is better and your better is best”). I’ve worked to relax over the years, but still have a gripping desire to “fix” everything.

    Fortunately, my children have been blessed to be able to blend into almost any social setting. In particular, my daughters are able to take part in babysitting friends’ children, cleaning up or preparing food in any and all houses, but I am not. The desire to be helpful is deeply engrained in me, but I absolutely cannot work in disorganized settings. You cannot imagine how miserable that can be.

    Let me say that I do not despise the type-B personalities. I envy them. I envy their ability to let unusual situations roll off and be forgotten.

    Psychology Today has an unusual link. Supposedly this test measures just how perfectionist we all are.

    http://psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com/take_test.php?idRegTest=3262

    • As I mentioned to Brad here, our gift is our curse. Too much of anything is its inverse – even in the world of nutrition (that’s why we don’t just eat berries all day. Any extreme is counterproductive). Motherhood exploded my perfectionism, but eventually became the bloody battleground where I learned to lose. I think this must happen – or we can really hurt those we love. At least in my case.

      My husband would LOVE for me to take this test. PROOF in his hands!! Ha ha ha. So dya take it? It is safe under this post. I hope to get to it when time is not so disagreeable. Thanks for sharing, Beth. I appreciate knowing you better, each comment.

      Xxx
      Diana

  17. “I’ve thought hard, blogging the past year, about what keeps us shuffling forward on the journey. Hope. Without it, tomorrow is nothing and will close in on today. “<—This. Hope. Well, can it be that hope is truly the one great destination for the forlorn, the broken, the destitute? Methinks so. Whether it be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual bankruptcy, there are two directions that we can Angry Birds fling ourselves towards – hope or further despair.

    Over three years ago, when I walked out of the addcition treatment center, I didn't have much money. I didn't have a place to sleep. I didn't have a job. I didn't have job prospects. I was kicked out of my house and didn't have communication with my wife and young son. I felt that my life was threadbare in so many ways. But I had one thing in my back pocket – hope. I had hope that things would turn around. I put my faith in the Maker (something new to me) and let hope hold sway over my life. And it worked. Oh sure, people loved me – I had lots of that. But that wasn't enough. It wasn't enough to get me to stop drinking, so how would it help me to get my life back on track?

    Hope is where the earth solidifies beneath our feet and lets us hold on further. It's the light that comes through the crack in the dark. It's the shifting and uplifting air that gives me breath when I am down. Hope brings forth a whole new perspective, even if it is barely a breath. But a breath is sometimes just enough. Now I am not talking about blind faith, although it can manifest that way. Hope is ethereal at times, and I just don't know what factory manufactures it, but I will take it (even if it's a Hyundai factory). Hope is where it's at.

    Loved this post, and the mismatched socks speaks volumes to your personality and outlook.

    Blessings, Diana. Top notch.

    Paul

    • So precious. We’re obviously in sync, Paul. It was situations like yours, desperate seasons I have known, that I had in mind in speaking of the hope. (And I am just so thrilled to see you on the other side, writing and thinking with you, being able to look back – though I know there still are many, many more miles to go before the beasts of unrest, fear, and temptation sleep). I do disagree you should put your hope in Hyundais – unless you really, really have no other way to get around.

      Love,
      Diana

  18. 1. My daughters purposefuly mismatch their socks all the time.
    2. The years have no sense but are not senseless, I think. And we don’t live in the years, anyway, we live in the day, always the front-most march of matter supported by the entirety of creation up to this moment. It’s an exhilarating thing, and dangerous to look back too long, or look ahead for that matter. In our end we’ll all be part of that supporting structure, no matter how well matched our socks are. So it’s more what you did in those socks that matters. I think! –I’ll have to ask my daughters.

    • 1. =) !
      2. hmmm: “dangerous to look back too long, or look ahead for that matter”
      3. “In our end we’ll all be part of that supporting structure, no matter how well matched our socks are. So it’s more what you did in those socks that matters.” Thanks for the encouraging reminder that we’re all leveled at the end of the road. All the kudos here is actually making me consider mismatching my socks again today.
      4. I’d love to hear what they say, Jeff!

      Xx
      HW

  19. OK, I was all ready to respond with one of my standard cavalier jokes, then get into my deeper comments, but I got stuck. Please to explain, “Ironically, hope is what drives you in your plans to kill yourself.” For once in my life as a casual poet understanderer, I’m at a conundrum. So does hope keep him alive for a better life, or does failed hope depress him so in the opposite direction, or does hope for the freedom of death drive him?
    Please let me know, cause I have some good fart jokes our 5 year old taught me today that I’d like to get back to.

    • GAH, I’m about to turn in after 48 hours of intense thought over this post and you keep the wheels turning. I know, I know, it WAS a conundrum. Hence the word IRONY. But hey, when you wanna do yourself in – and I don’t speak of it lightly bc there are many out here writing on that – obviously you’ve fallen off the bell curve, which includes reason. When you’re that low, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. But it hurts so bad you don’t have the capacity to think of a better life per se, you’re just running from (not to. HA! RUNNING metaphor. I DID it! Tapped your lang) and yes, the prospect feels like freedom. If you’re not sure what’s on the other side, you can project your dearest wishes (hOPES!) into the black hole and jump. Keep those kinds of jokes OUTSIDE this blog, please.

  20. I find your description of wearing unmatched socks to be very HW. You used the word “asymmetric” to describe this fashion statement. I would suggest that your approach to life is asymmetric – and that, to me, is the way to go. For instance “asymmetric warfare” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asymmetric_warfare ) is the newest and latest way to win wars with a minimum of resources committed (and damage done). The principal is the same in life: use the differences between people, knowledge bases, attitudes, desires, etc, to create value in life and business. A lot of growth (personal, corporate, business, military) is strategic – that is to say we all have the same resources so how do I get more, use what we all have more effectively than the other guy does, reproduce more of the same, or even corner the market on what is viewed as most important.

    To me, the better way is to explore and leverage the differences – not only in life but in Faith as well. Think about it, if you have 6 pairs of different colored socks and you only wear them by pairs, you have 6 possible choices. If you choose to wear them independently you now have 36 possible combinations. That’s a lot more fashion statement possible. In fact with 12 items (6 X 2) using strategy you have only 6 options – or 50% ratio of options to items. Using asymmetry, you have 36 (6 X 6) options – or 300% ratio. Quite a difference. When you started the Race series, you were obviously exploring asymmetry – how do we each create value (personal) in our lives given the different starting places and circumstances? Quite a few of the interviewees identified seeking commonness as the means of success. And yet if you looked deeper, they actually leveraged their unique personal circumstances to be successful.

    Another powerful concept that comes out of this is that individuals often identify with a group or other individuals based on sameness – such as certain language used by certain groups (i.e. the loss of your “friend” because you used a word she did not agree with) or same class and financial level. A great deal of this is a result of “image” which is the observed integration of a person or behaviour into expected norms. This is a very superficial judgment (akin to a graven image in the Bible) that looks only at surface and manipulable characteristics. True integration occurs in the soul – how one sees one’s self as a part of God’s world, how one reacts with the most valid emotions in any given situation, how does one find peace/meaning/fulfillment, how does one think, how does one forgive, etc. It does not surprise me that your friend disowned you HW because she was judging you by image not integration. It also does not surprise me that it surprised you – because you don’t judge others in that manner, being much more concerned with matters of the soul and their expression than you are with how you appear to others.

    When you think about it, image is strategic and integration is asymmetric. In this world, others can and do control a great deal of our options, so image is not negative unless used for judgment. It is important to pay attention to image but to judge with integration. If ever the two are contradictory, integration trumps image always. If the word “crap” is the best word to describe what you feel or see, then to use any other word would not be true to integration. And screw those concerned with image.

    The work you have put into your writing is so obvious to all of us HW. The passion and attention to detail and effort are amazing. And all that shows clearly in the end result. Thank you for your continued sharing and honesty and hard work. You and your accomplishments are greatly appreciated.

    • Virtually speechless.

      *Collecting myself* Paul, I quit asking when you’re going to fill the pages of your own blog. WhEn are you going to write your book???

      1) All your insights are simply fascinating. Your first, interesting because it really gets to me to see leaders appoint the wrong people for jobs. I know you really cAn write a book on the topic from experience (though you did no such foolish thing). What scratches at me to see this is the ensuing inefficiency in the subgroup that affects the larger group.

      2) The permutations got a smile out of me, Paul. I would’ve been dumbfounded if I didn’t “know” you.

      3) As wary as I am to borrow metaphors of things God spoke strongly on in the Bible, this some food for thought: ” very superficial judgment (akin to a graven image in the Bible)”. I think you did nail that one. Idolatry. I’m spilling some beans from the concluding Race post to come but we see what we want to. Worship perception. You brought to mind Martin Luther, Galileo, those who shook the Church in their way and made those wanted to preserve their own image uncomfortable. And ShE – like many Christians – has a strong idea about what Christians should look like, esp those she keeps in her group. For all my years in the east coast, I can still be naive. I wAs baffled to be sentenced because you get what you see from me. I don’t play games. (No time, for one thing!) And wouldn’t you know it, I gave some serious thought to rewording that line last week (which I still might, should a satisfying alternative come to me) but I’ve left it as is bc it did communicate my truth. I joked with Hubby last wk that you can now number me among the greatest writers. Excommunicated for my art! I shan’t retract.
      Incidentally, you remind me that not only is it a gift that she and I have parted ways (though I didn’t care for the presentation) but it would’ve remained inefficient for us to stay together.

      4) I may quote you in a future post, your passing thought on options and control.

      Paul, your closing commendation – unnecessary, really – dovetails my replies to Manyounighted on the impact you all have had on me (try as many bloggers do to keep it the other way around). You read and enrich the blogs of many good, thoughtful writers and I remain so grateful for your time and powerful encouragement. You send me forth this day with some neat things to think about.

      HW

  21. D, I like reading your posts because you often articulate what I’m feeling. Daily discontent, I know, can be a heavy weight to labor under. I think it drives me to write. Hope is the feeling I have when I am writing. By the way, I often say crap or worse, but am always welcomed here. You deserve the same.

  22. None of us are perfect, although we may try to appear so to others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived at work with my ratty house shoes on instead of my “professional” shoes. And as for being dropped from a group for not being “perfect” – that person was never really your friend. Friends overlook flaws in others. I know it hurts regardless, but just remember – you stuck with that group even they none of them were perfect, either. I think that makes you a better human being.

    Kudos for this post. I’m so glad I finally wised up and started following you.

    • =) So terribly sweet. You reminded me! GASP. My husband wouldn’t toss a dilapidated pair of slippers he has for puttering around the garage. A pair you could seriously imagine on homeless feet. Well, last yr I was running around like mad trying to get my son to martial at the gym. I was so focused on his water, snacks, and the 20 other things I pack when going out, I discovered on the way there that I had those slippers on! I had nothing to do but remind myself that the gym doesn’t revolve around me. People weren’t looking at ME as much as I might think. They were all busy shaping their own body. =) And you know what? I made it through the hour. I know no one there remembers.

      This is really awesome:
      “you stuck with that group even they none of them were perfect, either”

      Thank you so very much for the follow. Means a lot that you would take the time to chk in in your busyness.

      Love,
      Diana

  23. Diana, I am so sorry that your “friend” has hurt you. Your response is amazing, as are you! This happened to me many years ago and it still hurts, of course I did not respond as well back then. I would “hope” I would do so differently now. I will have to think on the “hope” of life. I have pondered the meaning of life often in the last few years, and I am still not sure what keeps me/us going. Thanks for giving me another way of looking at it! As always, great post. Phyl

    • So sweet of you to comfort me, Phyl. As I said to many here, I’m fine. I had to get on with it – too many balls in the air. And I have to take care of my heart and mind. I have really appreciated seeing you HOLD ON. I know it’s often harder than words can tell.

      Onward and upward,
      Diana

  24. As always, Diana, you offer a lot to ponder. First, a friend who doesn’t accept you for the way you are, isn’t much of a friend. It’s his or her problem, not yours. And it is his or her loss. And knowing you through your blog, I would argue it would be a big loss.

    I’ve always felt if you do what you love to do, have some fun along the way, and contribute back to society, you will lead a good and valuable life and be relatively happy. That’s enough for me, although I realize your faith offers you more.

    And you are right about hope. It’s what pulls us through the darkest night and let’s us believe there will be a new dawn.

    As for outerwear, I am right there with you. LOL Here’s a little story. I once walked in late to an awards ceremony where a California Legislator was being recognized for some important work he had done on tobacco legislation. Several hundred people were present and I snuck in quietly. But he spotted me and stopped right in the middle of his talk. “Now I know this is an important award,” he announced to everyone, “Mekemson has a tie on.” 🙂 –Curt

    • You know, Curt. Something happened from reading your terribly sweet comment. I realized that though I really had moved on by the time I wrote this (so that I was using the incident more illustratively on the broader point of my imperfections), my readers actually helped bring about full healing. I realized how light I’ve felt. Now THAT is incredible. Affirmation wasn’t on my mind. The confession of an ungrateful spirit was what I had wanted to share. I fwded your kind word on whose loss it was to my husband.

      As to the tie, I totally got it, you backpacker, you. Ha ha. You did HIM the honors. 😉 You have that in common with my hubby. He looks so handsome when he walks in from work but runs first thing upstairs to climb out and into a T and shorts.

      Thanks for being here.
      Diana

      • I am sure your husband is handsome in his shorts and T-shirt, too. (grin) Sometimes I get lost in my own interpretations of how life treats me. I have to back away and take a broader perspective. Usually, I discover life is pretty darned good. 🙂 –Curt

      • 1. You guys have brought this to the forefront of my consciousness this wk, how we interpret our selves, our life, and how what you get is conflict when others’ perceptions of those things don’t jive with yours.

        2) As to the pretty darned good life, how different the world would be if we went around thankful in that regard!

  25. Matching is so overrated don’t you think:)? This is the age of contrast and the abstract! Let those unmatched socks lead the way!! And you put it so aptly. We should not compare lives to one another. But it’s basic human nature. There’s this saying in my religion, and I think it exists in basically all religions of the world. It goes something like: “When you see a person, who has been given more than you in money and beauty; then look to those who have been given less.” This is not to prove ourselves mightier than others, but to keep us humble and grateful. Contentment is the biggest fight we face and this is one sure shot way to battle it. God truly is great for he has bestowed us all with so much more than we deserve. Amazing post as always D.

    • God truly is great for he has bestowed us all with so much more than we deserve.

      This is the heart of it, of living as we ought, Nida. It’s where I try to stay. Try.

      Keep shining,
      Diana

  26. You are right Diana, we talk so much about love, and love is so very important of course, but without hope we are dead. I fear losing hope, and I have been so close at times. It is horrendous. We need vision and the hope that drives our vision so that, no matter what, we can still keep going and never give up. Even when we aren’t perfect. And who is? I’m very sorry for the way you were treated. Nobody deserves a hatchet job out of the blue like that. Hugs to you my friend… (and emailing shortly). x

    • Love the feedback, Sherri. Not only for the sweet affirmation but the passionate word on vision and the hope that keeps it alive. Else darkness closes in. Thx for taking a moment.

      Xxx
      me

  27. Perfection in painted nails and matching socks is just a surface thing. Anyone can do that if they care to waste the time. I prefer messy hair and clothes grabbed on the run to go with an interesting life where every day brings a new surprise. 🙂

  28. Hey, Diana. Been mulling over this honest piece as I clean up and make dinner ( what, again? Didn’t we just make/eat dinner yesterday? 🙂 Enter stage left: GUILT. Yes, I am incredibly grateful that we actually have food to eat….). My heart went out to you in your shuffling dishevelment/rejection/exhaustion/scarcity of hope. You could be my twin!

    I think a lot about the valuable point you make: we can never know what goes on behind closed doors, within another’s heart. One of my mantras is Thoreau’s wisdom: “[m]ost men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Which, to me, argues forcefully for compassion, connection, love. While we all shuffle along to the best of our ability, it surely is fantastic to receive a smile, hold a hand, share a laugh, yes?

    Meanwhile, the “perfect” mom with the perfect outfit, manicure, kid, marriage, life plan? She doesn’t exist, as you know, as much as she may have haunted me these many decades, along with her cohorts–the perfect wife, lawyer, dancer, friend, daughter, cook, neighbor….Thank goodness my wise husband continues to remind me of their imaginary status. I believe fatigue, isolation, lack of fulfillment, and driven personality traits fuel the power of that cast of characters. Thanks, always, for the thought-provocation, and perhaps even more, for the laughs :). Dinner, anyone? Xoxo

    • BRAVO!! Chloe, huh, how do you manage to outdo yourself, each comment? You got yourself in some doo-doo here (did I say that, on AHJ??). You’ve set the bar high. I’ll be expecting you to enter stage RighT, next time, on YOUR HEAD, pirouetting in the air.

      I LOVE everything out of that head of yours this evening. Quite appreciate your response to Thoreau. (Why does “desperate” sound SO familiar??)

      I’m rereading some parts. As to having to eat…AGAIN, it points to our need of regular, consistent spiritual, emotional nourishment. Not to fill ourselves with junk in any way but what is best and whole. But dang it, it’s all a lot of work.

      Love,
      Diana

      • Thanks so much for your enthusiastic response, Diana. I believe you are spot on with the essential role of nourishment–so easy to become depleted in general, but especially if you are sensitive and a parent/caregiver. The irony of needing to WORK to feed yourself when you are already running on fumes (yay–was able to work in your Hyundai/car metaphor :)) does overwhelm at times, no? Keep on shufflin’, girl…now I need to shuffle off to rehearse this crazy move of pirouetting on my head that I need to go work on. xoxo

  29. So much strength and resilience and beautiful words. So sorry to hear about that axe falling – easier said than done, I know- but it sounds like that was the Universe effortlessly making space in your life for a tribe that is in greater resonance with and appreciation for all that you are, Diana. xo

    • You really leave me in awe, Diahann. I had worked through it by the time I wrote it and had included the unpleasant surprise as a piece in the mosaic about my imperfections and broader struggles. But I welcome the encouragement and comfort. Your (plural) words actually served like one giant hand that sewed my heart back up. I discovered my readers helped bring full healing. It’s been amazing. I am so grateful for you.

      Diana

  30. Sometimes hope is all we have, but it can be enough. I do agree with you wholeheartedly that we don’t know know the struggles that are part of each person. I always say that I only show what is ‘above the line” and that leaves quite a bit below that isn’t visible. I have a friend twenty years my senior and she’s lived through a lot of pain,but she taught me years ago what you just shared, and says often, “God doesn’t waste anything.” I have combined that with hope so many times and literally held on for dear life. Every day holds blessing and some challenge. Some are just a lot more challenging than others, but I trust for the blessing even when I don’t see it. This was a strong and supportive piece to read. Thank you.

    • I sure appreciate hearing you echo the lessons I’ve learned the hard way. Exactly what I meant, that the thread of hope can be enough to hold us when we otherwise would let go and fall. Always heartening to see others plowing through: ” I trust for the blessing even when I don’t see it.” Thank you so much for blessing me.

      Spirit to spirit,
      HW

  31. Thank you for this post. It was so well written I was pulled into your world and felt your emotions. You are a talented woman and awesome communicator. And… I feel your sadness for the callousness of one-you-thought- a- friend.
    Love the socks!

    • *Big smile* What a greeting into my day. I am so blessed for amazing readers like you. Your (plural) encouragement and counsel actually took me to even higher ground (as I’d worked through the disappointment by the time I wrote). My heart has been full of gratitude for my community and the conviction that I don’t need “friends” like that. And wouldn’t you know it…I actually mismatched again after the writing this wk. Accidentally. LOL!

      Blessings,
      Diana

  32. Diana, I love that God ‘wastes nothing’. Your words are rich in both emotion and wisdom in this post, and I agree that hope keeps us afloat. So many times I’ve been overwhelmed by circumstances such that I can only grab onto a verse that speaks hope and hang on until I feel safe again.

    People can bless us so richly and hurt us so deeply. Thankfully there’s the Rock who never changes. I can’t do this journey without Him.

    My socks usually match–but most of them are threadbare. It’s a badge of honor because I’m a mom.

    Hugs & blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  33. Who cares for perfect? All those people who so desperately put all of their energy into the image of themselves they want to cast into the world… I think they are very empty inside.
    Three cheers for mismatching socks!

  34. Sweet Diana, as usual I find I can’t leave a post of yours without reading through the entire litany of replies and conversations that follow it. The so-called Friend who ditched you can’t begin to compare to the cloud of witnesses with whom you’ve surrounded yourself here. I can see exactly why you recovered your poise relatively quickly after being undeservedly slapped: there’s no room in Friendship for that human-judgemental foolishness, and more than enough hearts open for business elsewhere. 😉

    Hope. Yes, indeed, the very engine of our forward movement, not just toward an unseen (but trusted) great future but *through* the present moment. You may be right that it’s hope of something—anything—better driving a would-be suicide, but I can only assume from my perspective that it’s an even larger kind of Hope that pulls her back from the brink. I am one of the true fortunates, in that I never quite reached the level of dark hope that made me willing to kill myself, but there was a brink I hung from by my fingertips all the same, and it was absolutely Hope that reached down and pulled me back upward.

    I thank you, and so many of your great community here, for that reminder on a regular basis. Every one gathered by your firelight here has come to the circle in Hope, looking not so much for assurance that we look right or use the approved terminology or fit in with the rest because of how we meet any set of criteria; simply looking for reminders of the root commonality we share in needing and desiring hope. Perhaps that’s a hoping-for-hope tautology, but I do think you’re right in designating Hope, the one genuinely open-ended thing in our existence, as the characteristic by which we best recognize redemption, renewal; eternity. Thanks for your faithful keeping of the flame and letting us all in on the conversation.

    xoxo!
    Kathryn

    • CHiLLs! I believe this isn’t the first time you leave me with them, Kathryn. Love it. All of it, the generous praise of course and the deep encouragement. Who wouldn’t?? The cloud of witnesses that humbles me and lifts my head, the powerful picture of your hanging on the brink by those fingertips. (And I am at this point so thankful for the darker future with HeR that I have seen I have been spared from. =) Interestingly, my husband and I mused recently that these witnesses know me better than she did in the knowledge of my deeper thoughts on a wide range topics.) You know I’m not just about lighting my own flame but passing it on, touching it to yours, Kathryn. Light on!

      Onward and upward,
      D.

  35. So much honesty, bluntness, and being real on this post. I LOVE IT! It even goes back in the beginning when you talk about imperfection, and how it’s okay to not look right all the way and that it doesn’t matter how the society sees it. I also love the fact that you didn’t favor ‘love’ so much. It is as if when people can’t turn anywhere, can’t respond to a question, all they answer with is love, like it’s an excuse now. “I don’t want to waste my suffering.” We need to learn how to recycle even in life. 😀 I have to be honest that last one, I need to work on it. Thanks for the inspiration. One of the best written blog pieces I’ve ever read.

    • Shoot, that’s awesome of you to say this was one of the best. Thanks so much. Actually, I did the asymmetrical socks again – unintentionally – a few days ago LOL. As to having to work on it, eh — that’s what I write about. All the stuff I need to work on.

      Thanks for being here.

      Xx
      Diana

  36. Thanks for your comment. Your title also intrigued me so I came to check out your world a little. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the posts (many very moving) and will follow.

  37. Just popping in to say hello… and to mention that people who drop you from their lives for superficial reasons don’t deserve you anyhow. Their loss.

    Hope you have a great day!

    A.

    PS – Thank you for taking the time to drop by my oft neglected blog once in a while… it always cheers me up when I see you’ve been by, even when I haven’t been around much myself!

  38. Sweet of you to encourage me like that. You all have been so wonderful – I thought I was over it by the time I wrote this but I found complete healing from all the love! Thx for saying hi. =)

    Xxx
    Diana

  39. Thank you for liking “Balanced Rocks.” I agree that hope is important to have in one’s life, especially when hardships and tragedies occur. There is a Jewish proverb that I have thought about over the years: “He that can’t endure the bad, will not live to see the good.” Hope helps you have the patience to endure suffering.

    I also share in your hope that our suffering is not pointless. While I do not like being disappointed, frustrated, or sad, I have learned some valuable lessons from painful experiences.

  40. Pingback: 5 Seconds | The Sophomore Slump

My Two Gold Cents in the Holistic Treasury

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s