Category Archives: Laughter

Women Who Run With The Wolves

 

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BITTERNESS

Dear Ones –

I’ve always loved this quote, from WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

There is such deep truth in this statement — that all of us will have to choose at some point in our lives whether to become bitter or not. And she is right — the choice usually comes in middle age.

Why? Because if you have been around for three or four or five decades, the fact is — some really crappy things have probably happened to you…just by EXISTING.

You’ve been dumped; you’ve been lied to; you’ve been betrayed; you’ve been physically harmed; you’ve been disappointed; you’ve disappointed yourself; you’ve had people fail you and you have failed yourself; you’ve been fired; you’ve been discriminated against; you’ve been unfairly blamed; you’ve been taken for granted; you’ve been stricken with disease; you’ve been impoverished; you’ve lost the people you loved most in the world; you’ve been screwed and sued and abused and used…

I don’t care who you are, or how pretty your life may look from the outside — after a certain number of years, it’s just a fact: some shit has gone seriously wrong for you.

But this is where the interesting part begins.

Because now you have choice.

What kind of a person are you going to be, from here on out?

What’s the rest of your life going to look like?

If you decide to become a bitter person, who could blame you? Chances are, you have a list of offenses as long as your arm to justify that choice. The world is a hellhole full of liars and scumbags, and you are its victim, and you can produce 87 reasons to prove it — and nobody can dispute your claims, because it’s all TRUE.

Or, you can become something else.

There are two kinds of happiness, after all. There is “innocent happiness”, and there is “weathered happiness.”

Innocent happiness is the sunshine happiness that comes (usually in youth) when nothing bad has ever happened to you. This is the easiest happiness there is. It’s the gift of not knowing better. It’s sweet and naive and blessed. It’s lovely and sugary…and guaranteed — eventually the world will beat it out of you.

After that, you have a choice. You can turn bitter, or you can embrace what I call “weathered happiness.” There is nothing naive about weathered happiness. It is fought for. (It is often even fought AGAINST.)

Here is how you earn weathered happiness — by fighting for the light, even when all signs points to darkness. You dig through your history with tweezers and you pull up every single scrap of evidence of goodness that has ever happened to you, and build a lifeboat for yourself out of that goodness.

And there is goodness, when you stubbornly search for it.

You hold onto EVERY bit of evidence of grace that the world has ever demonstrated to you — no matter how small or glancing — and you build your new life upon it.

Every person who has ever shown you a kindness – you put them in your file of evidence. (Because even when you were being betrayed by everyone, you were not being betrayed by EVERYONE; there was someone, at some moment, who showed you a kindness…even if it was just for a day. Even if it was just for five minutes on the bus.)

Every act of generosity you ever received, or witnessed, or participated it — you file it away, and cling to it.

Every tiny bit of luck that ever happened to you — even if it’s just finding a penny on a sidewalk — you stuff it in your pocket and you say THANK YOU.

Every moment of beauty you ever got to see — you hoard it.

Most of all, you grab every scrap of evidence that life has MEANING. And if none of the standard paradigms of meaning (standardized religion, for instance) work for you — then you create your own damn meaning.

You take all this evidence of goodness, and you put it in your boat, and you sail that boat away into the LIGHT. Most of all, you absolutely and categorically refuse to become bitter, no matter what the hell WHAT. You leave that to others.

After all that has happened to you, you may say, “My innocence is gone. I will never be the same.”

That is true. You will never be the same

But it’s possible that you will be BETTER.

Up to you.

Be careful what you tell your daughter because she’ll believe you

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“I wuv you mama, you my BEST fwend,” she mumbles from the sacred dark.

She has one tiny palm pressed against each of my cheeks and she smells of baby lotion and her dad’s Doritos. The night light shoots stars and the moon into orbit around about her and I’m star struck to be her mother.

The girl who never wanted a daughter. The girl comfortable in her world of sons and boys and not a scrap of pink in her wardrobe.

This tiny, wisp of a daughter of mine, she has soothed my scars and kissed me better from the inside.

She is a unique.

And while she sleeps I click through all the ways the world wants to tell her she’s anything but.

In 2013, the media taught loud and hard and brash that she’s a product– marketable and disposable.

The beauty industry told her from its glossy pages and store front ads that in the eye of the beholder her appearance must fit into a teeny tiny little size zero box with its edges tightly, perfectly manicured shut.

That women are literally shrinking before our very eyes.

How does a mom strap that Hello Kitty backpack onto her only daughter’s tiny frame and send her out the door, down the three front steps and into the world when there are so many wolves abroad?

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.FGFQoODz.dpuf

“I wuv you mama, you my BEST fwend,” she mumbles from the sacred dark.

She has one tiny palm pressed against each of my cheeks and she smells of baby lotion and her dad’s Doritos. The night light shoots stars and the moon into orbit around about her and I’m star struck to be her mother.

The girl who never wanted a daughter. The girl comfortable in her world of sons and boys and not a scrap of pink in her wardrobe.

This tiny, wisp of a daughter of mine, she has soothed my scars and kissed me better from the inside.

She is a unique.

And while she sleeps I click through all the ways the world wants to tell her she’s anything but.

In 2013, the media taught loud and hard and brash that she’s a product– marketable and disposable.

The beauty industry told her from its glossy pages and store front ads that in the eye of the beholder her appearance must fit into a teeny tiny little size zero box with its edges tightly, perfectly manicured shut.

That women are literally shrinking before our very eyes.

How does a mom strap that Hello Kitty backpack onto her only daughter’s tiny frame and send her out the door, down the three front steps and into the world when there are so many wolves abroad?

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Maybe that mom models brave, instead of fashion. Maybe she dresses her daughter in words that wrap her around with confidence and courage and bellows into the wild dark – “You shall not pass!”

Maybe that mom writes love letters with every ordinary moment between the helpings of macaroni and cheese that say in so many unsaid words:

Daughter you are more than the sum of your limbs and hair and eye color; you are a living, breathing galaxy of wonder. I am awe struck by your eyes.

You are wildly loved and crazy brave especially on the days you choose to live out loud even when you are terrified.

You are sneakers and high heels, you are mud and princesses, you are not playing dress up when you model grace and forgiveness.

And you are not alone. Your sisters Madeleine, Malala, Sarah, your big sisters Nadine, Maud, Ann, Antjie, Christa and Stefanie, my mother and your soul sister, Jo – they’re just up ahead.

Follow in their footsteps daughter.

Sing your own song. Make your own art. Make it messy.

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.FGFQoODz.dpuf

Maybe that mom models brave, instead of fashion. Maybe she dresses her daughter in words that wrap her around with confidence and courage and bellows into the wild dark – “You shall not pass!”

Maybe that mom writes love letters with every ordinary moment between the helpings of macaroni and cheese that say in so many unsaid words:

Daughter you are more than the sum of your limbs and hair and eye color; you are a living, breathing galaxy of wonder. I am awe struck by your eyes.

You are wildly loved and crazy brave especially on the days you choose to live out loud even when you are terrified.

You are sneakers and high heels, you are mud and princesses, you are not playing dress up when you model grace and forgiveness.

And you are not alone. Your sisters Madeleine, Malala, Sarah, your big sisters Nadine, Maud, Ann, Antjie, Christa and Stefanie, my mother and your soul sister, Jo – they’re just up ahead.

Follow in their footsteps daughter.

Sing your own song. Make your own art. Make it messy.

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.FGFQoODz.dpuf

Maybe that mom models brave, instead of fashion. Maybe she dresses her daughter in words that wrap her around with confidence and courage and bellows into the wild dark – “You shall not pass!”

Maybe that mom writes love letters with every ordinary moment between the helpings of macaroni and cheese that say in so many unsaid words:

Daughter you are more than the sum of your limbs and hair and eye color; you are a living, breathing galaxy of wonder. I am awe struck by your eyes.

You are wildly loved and crazy brave especially on the days you choose to live out loud even when you are terrified.

You are sneakers and high heels, you are mud and princesses, you are not playing dress up when you model grace and forgiveness.

And you are not alone. Your sisters, your big sisters, my mother and your soul sister, Jo – they’re just up ahead.

Follow in their footsteps daughter.

Sing your own song. Make your own art. Make it messy.

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We won’t be afraid of the chaos of a girl growing into all her divine, God-given potential. We won’t box it in or try to keep the world out. We will fling open the windows and dance in the rain storms.

Grow, daughter, grow.

Throw back your hair and don’t worry about your legs being too skinny or to thick.

Worry about them being strong so they can carry you across borders and boundaries; over divides and barriers into the lives of the beautifully different people that will always reflect the corners of your soul you most need to get to know.

Run daughter, laugh. Lift up your eyes and remember the sky is always brighter than the shadows would have you believe.

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Sink your teeth into new ideas. Reach your roots down into the soil of this family and revel in the boring ordinary of the familiar. It will give you the guts to venture into the strange and awkward.

You are more than the sum of your closet and less than the inflated importance of the award shows.

Fight me, disagree, storm out but don’t ever stop knocking your way back in. My heart is your home and you can’t outrun your DNA. I am the start of your story and you can’t write me out of the ending even if you spend years trying.

I will always come for you.

When you don’t know where you’re going. When you’re the most sure of yourself you’ve ever been. When you’re holding onto faith with just your fingernails.

Daughter, I will come. And I will always say the words that need saying even if they terrify us both. Even when we’ve both gotten it wrong.

I will not stop telling you what I wished I’d said yesterday.

I pray tomorrow you’ll still believe me.

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.FGFQoODz.dpuf

Fight me, disagree, storm out but don’t ever stop knocking your way back in. My heart is your home and you can’t outrun your DNA. I am the start of your story and you can’t write me out of the ending even if you spend years trying.

I will always come for you.

When you don’t know where you’re going. When you’re the most sure of yourself you’ve ever been. When you’re holding onto faith with just your fingernails.

Daughter, I will come. And I will always say the words that need saying even if they terrify us both. Even when we’ve both gotten it wrong.

I will not stop telling you what I wished I’d said yesterday.

I pray tomorrow you’ll still believe me.

Throw back your hair and don’t worry about your legs being too skinny or to thick.

Worry about them being strong so they can carry you across borders and boundaries; over divides and barriers into the lives of the beautifully different people that will always reflect the corners of your soul you most need to get to know.

Run daughter, laugh. Lift up your eyes and remember the sky is always brighter than the shadows would have you believe.

Sink your teeth into new ideas. Reach your roots down into the soil of this family and revel in the boring ordinary of the familiar. It will give you the guts to venture into the strange and awkward.

You are more than the sum of your closet and less than the inflated importance of the award shows.

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.FGFQoODz.dpuf

“I wuv you mama, you my BEST fwend,” she mumbles from the sacred dark.

She has one tiny palm pressed against each of my cheeks and she smells of baby lotion and her dad’s Doritos. The night light shoots stars and the moon into orbit around about her and I’m star struck to be her mother.

The girl who never wanted a daughter. The girl comfortable in her world of sons and boys and not a scrap of pink in her wardrobe.

This tiny, wisp of a daughter of mine, she has soothed my scars and kissed me better from the inside.

She is a unique.

And while she sleeps I click through all the ways the world wants to tell her she’s anything but.

In 2013, the media taught loud and hard and brash that she’s a product– marketable and disposable.

The beauty industry told her from its glossy pages and store front ads that in the eye of the beholder her appearance must fit into a teeny tiny little size zero box with its edges tightly, perfectly manicured shut.

That women are literally shrinking before our very eyes.

How does a mom strap that Hello Kitty backpack onto her only daughter’s tiny frame and send her out the door, down the three front steps and into the world when there are so many wolves abroad?

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.FGFQoODz.dpuf