FMF: alive

After a very busy week (during which I didn’t even have time to reply to the comments on my last post – sorry sorry sorry to you all……I have now done so….thank you all for your kindness), I’m joining in with Five Minute Friday.

This week’s word: Alive

(My first thoughts went, immediately, to Andrew, such a valuable and valued member of the FMF community…)

night-of-the-living-dead[1]

START

An evocative word this week – even more so than usual – coming, as it does, in the aftermath of yet more senseless deaths (I know all of our hearts go out to those affected by the events in Turkey and Brussels) and as we pass through Easter, a time of deep reflection on what being alive signifies, on what our responsibilities are in this life.

It’s become so watered down, it’s almost a bumper sticker, a sort of plaster for the self-help generation, but it’s a fact…

…life is precious.

We only get so many days to be alive. We never know when it’s our time. When our time will come to exit life.

Yet we often live our lives on mute, on standstill……moving through our days as if they’re endless, as if we get to press repeat on our journey here on Earth. Continuing with habits that don’t bring us joy, that don’t lead to us realising our best selves. Not doing all we can to make our time on Earth mean all it could.

But our days? They’re not endless and we don’t. There’s no repeat button.

Hopefully we’ll be gifted a long life.

But maybe we won’t.

I reflect on this often and remember Mary Oliver, who taunted, so powerfully, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”

I smile when I think of this because I remember my old life, which used to be wild – full of adventure, full of travel and laughter and real, tangible, gems every single day. A life that brought me so much joy, made me feel so alive. Like I was grabbing life itself and shaking it and squeezing the juice out of all of it.

Those memories make me smile whilst shedding tears of nostalgia.

I feel – have felt for a long time now – an ache, a deep soul-level longing – for more. To not only know I’m alive but to feel like I’m truly living. To use my capabilities more often, for more.

But the baggage that weighs me down seems to get heavier each day (trauma is a many-headed beast, a veritable hydra of shocks and nasty surprises). Daily rainstorms turn the baggage to lead on my back. Concrete powder wetting and setting at my feet, slowing me down, rooting my feet to the spot whilst my body is ready, poised for action.

I look at my now….not wild, not exciting, not full of adventure…but, still, a life that makes me smile. My littles, a source of constant joy. My role of ‘Mama’ enveloping my time. Finding lifelines where I can, how I can. Slowly pulling myself up from my concrete bath and loosening weight from my baggage.

My smiles are now internal smiles, of the ‘resigned contentment’ type, that this is where I am. Knowing that this utterly boring has to be enough for now. Has to be. Or all is lost.

I lean on gratitude: it’s my miracle maker. I’m thankful every single day that I’ve woken up, that I’m alive. That I came through – am coming through – insidious abuse and that I manage to keep the hydra under control. And that she seems to be retreating, slowly but surely.

And I’m hopeful that things will change, that somehow I’ll be able to find the wild again, that I’ll hear it’s call and one day be able to run free after it. It’s a waiting game that’s teaching me patience and the wonder of grace.

It’s horrible, this stasis: is there anything worse than being alive (and healthy) and not really living?

But how how how?

[This is the question I need answering, You. Please].

END

P.S. I am hoping to get I Will Bloom up and running properly again and am going to be running a series on contentment – like the How to Fall in Love With Your World series – and would love to have some volunteers for guest posts…..hopefully my request won’t fall flat on it’s face and that you’ll come forward…..email me for details at iwillbloomblog – at – gmail dot com.

I promise I don’t bite.

Helen xxxx

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20 thoughts on “FMF: alive

  1. Tara says:

    Mary Oliver’s words are so good. They also remind me of dear blogger and author Kara Tippetts who asked “What will you do in the mundane days of faithfulness?” I’m so thankful for what Jesus did for us. I’m in the #5 spot this week.

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Oh Tara…..love that idea from Kara Tippetts……what to do with the mundane (other than find hope from the beauty there *is* in it?)…..I try to grow in my faithfulness, in my shaping. Loved your post. Thank you. Helen xx

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  2. great post helen. i haven’t been keeping up on reading blogs lately. am trying to do better. you describe your situation so well! i love the visual…”Concrete powder wetting at my feet, slowing me down, rooting my feet to the spot whilst my body is ready, poised for action.”
    I would never have tho’t of that as a way to describe my slowness…but it is quite graphic for sure:)

    thinking of you on this high and holy weekend that has so many downright gritty applications for all of us. Christ conquered sin and death for good. satan knows he is beat…but while he is in his death throes, he is going to do what damage he can! whatever damage he does will not be lasting. for now, that is our hope.

    blessings during this weekend as we remember what Christ did for us:)

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Martha, thanks…..so much! I’ve also been *very bad* at visiting blogs recently (just too many other demands on my time and I’ve been *writing*, which has felt *good* but which doesn’t leave much time for anything else…). Blessings to you and yours. Helen xxx

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  3. ❤ to you (also interested in guest posting – very good topic!)

    visiting from FMF — Sarah Jo

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  4. Christy says:

    Helen, sometimes we need boring moments in life…if everything was always exciting we wouldn’t appreciate living 🙂 This song always comes to me when I think of life being precious. And I love Wes’s acoustic version. He’s been through a lot too. Hope it blesses you today Hugs and blessings friend. Have a wonderful resurrection Sunday! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsuXUe8lIA4

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hia Christy, oh, absolutely…..but too much monotony can be dangerous…..! I didn’t know this song (or singer) and thank you so much for the introduction to him. Absolutely loved listening to it. Thank you so much. Helen xxxx

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  5. Beautiful post Helen! I will keep you in my prayers. I too live a much different life these days. Life altering chronic illness stretching the normal to a new normal. Counting the gifts in the first hardest days kept me moving forward.
    Prayers
    Tammy

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  6. Julia Putzke says:

    Umm, your writing is lovely. And trauma can definitely suck life out of you until you’re just confused, but there is still beauty to be found in the mundane – like birdsong. (I’m kind of interested in guest posting too. Never done it before, but curious..)

    Visiting from
    Fmf ❤️

    Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Julia, oh, absolutely, there is so much beauty in the mundane…..but I’m feeling a little stir crazy now…..would *love* to have you as a guest poster…..email me….(iwillbloomblog at gmail)…..looking forward to making it work….Helen xxx

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  7. Every shed tear. Every harsh word. Every offense. Our earthly struggles should make us that more audacious to live and live in the midst of mountain and valley. Gratitude and contentment–that, Helen–is full living. Loved this post! -Jess

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hey you. Your choice of the word ‘audacious’ really resonated with me. Thank you for that. And, yes, I agree: gratitude and contentment are the answer to living fully. Thanks so much for popping by (and for your beautiful response to ‘alive’). Helen xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So awesome to be reading your blog again!! This is a really great post and I enjoyed reading it. Look forward to reading more; and hearing more about your series!

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  9. hafong says:

    Happy Easter, Helen. Lovely reading some of your Five Minute Fridays. I’ve been distracted by Instagram lately, too and trying to find my way back to more writing. Sometimes I hear my own voice in your words.

    Lily

    Like

  10. m1cey says:

    I love your blog. I love your perseverance. I’d be happy to share a story in your series. If you want me to. I’ve got a story to tell. Happy Easter!

    Like

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