A strong and blameless place…..

Hello fresh beginnings.
I so welcome, you.
I’ve been away from my blog and am grateful for a shiny new jumping-back-in place.
I’d felt swept away end-of-year,  caught up in a fast tide rising,
and miffed about the undertow that grabbed me away.
Truth:  it wasn’t the undertow that shut me down
but the fear that I couldn’t create my best stuff to contribute in the soup.
Couldn’t get my words out meaningful enough or make my art artful enough.
Or my camera couldn’t find light enough to see the stories like I wanted to tell them.
I’d be found out if I said the awful stuff rolling around in my head.
and wanted instead some soulful beauty to share.

Wasn’t this this bitter version of myself best quieted away until I could sort my crazy out?
No and yes and all the maybes.

Short and oversimplified:  I was terribly mad.  At my partner.
And scared of the financial chaos I felt trapped in
-it felt like a funhouse with moving floors and smoke and mirrors and scary clowns
I’d fallen down hard too many times and couldn’t find the door.
I just wanted to see clear and feel safe
and didn’t know how to take care of myself and also love the ones I love.
And mad at myself for not being smarter and smoother about it all.

In the rumble of truth-seeking and help-finding I discovered a something
that will ride along shotgun as I travel this year.
I can be a blamer.
A hardcore,  deep in my DNA blamer.
It’s how I learned to protect myself from shame.
I’m a pro at shifting it fast so I can quickly understand and feel some safe ground.
Even when I don’t understand at all.
Just that thin illusion of control.

We all live with our narratives.
Some of my mine were soaked in blame.
And what I’ve learned is that,
when we reach for blame,
confusion and chaos move in and set up camp.
(thank you most excellent marriage counselor)

I want to love more and blame less.
To take responsibility for my own stuff and stand my sacred ground.
To thrive in my marriage and in my relationship with myself.
The little word that grinned back at me this year feels like strength to my heart,
a good walking stick for the climb.

I’ll come back and unpack more later:
just sharing now the word:  blameless

Love to you and your journey this year,
and peace with every step,  even when the way seems blurry.
There is a way.
May your exquisite heart be light.

“When you cease to exist,  then who will you blame?”
– Bob Dylan

“May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.”
– Ranier Maria Rilke

30 Comments

  1. Elephants Child on January 1, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring.
    I am always so grateful to be invited to travel some of your journey (similar but different to my own).
    And also battle with blame, though mostly my fingers are turned on myself.
    Welcome back – and here’s to a happier, healthier year to come.

    • jennifer on January 1, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      Oh yes….blaming myself is my go-to move with my children:) Yes, just as much a muddier of the water. Sigh.
      Thanks for the warm welcome, Sue:) You’re a true friend.
      -Jennifer

  2. Julia on January 1, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Dear Jennifer, I’m always so happy when you show up here after an absence… We all have our own private battles and lots of the blame is pointing at me, believe me. I often get scarred from all the pointing. The wounds heal but the scars remain. You are not alone in the confusion… I could write a book about it but not as eloquently as you. Wishing you a healthy new beginning in 2019. All we can do is do our best.
    Hugs my dear friend.
    Julia

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:52 pm

      Sending buckets of love and grace, Julia, into the places of pointing:/ I hate that for you.
      I can imagine with your family farm you understand very much the dance. Big warm hugs and much
      encouragement to you and your farm-world. Fresh wings and a light heart i pray:)
      -Jennifer

  3. Barbara Shallue on January 1, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    I’m glad you’re still here. I know how it is when the words won’t come because they are tangled in emotions and BUSY. And I understand the journey of turning the focus on myself instead of at others. Big hugs to you! I’ve learned there’s no such thing as perfect.

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:49 pm

      Tangled and busy:) Yes:) Nope, not perfect and how boring would that be:)
      Sometimes just hard to find the lines when sharing personal stuff…don’t want to dishonor anyone.
      Not a loved one or a reader. Sometimes that little battle inside my own mind is all I can sort out
      before my energy all leaks out. Family business and new job on top….you know. Thanks for being there
      and so kind; I appreciate so much. With love, Jennifer

  4. Lady Fi on January 2, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Oh, this resonates with me so much. It is easy to blame others rather than look at oneself… Thanks you for your beautiful words of hope.

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks for sharing your heart here, Fi; always so encouraging.
      Much love and appreciation,
      Jennifer

  5. jeanie on January 2, 2019 at 6:44 am

    Blameless. Oh, yes. Loving more and blaming less — a difficult but wonderful goal for all of us.

    Life gets in the way. Some of us blog to help keep us sane; some of us find it too stressful. Just know that we (at least, I) am always grateful for your visits. I put no expectation of perfection in art, words, concept, or photography on you. Only that you are of your heart, even if it was a one word post but all you. And you do you very well indeed. Big hugs and good wishes for 2019!

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      Yes to all of your much – appreciated words, Jeanie.
      Thanks for being here. And yes, I’ve been on both sides of that blogging equation. Sometimes it feels like
      it saves my soul and other times just too much. We just ride the waves as they come and let ourselves be where we are.
      Your share: thanks so much for saying what my heart can forget in a New York minute. Even when I say it with everything I’ve got.
      What a gift to hear those words from you, friend; thank you.
      Love and the warmest hugs,
      Jennifer

  6. Dulcy on January 2, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Lovely words Jennifer. So perfect for me today. Funny how that happens 🙂
    xo
    Dulcy

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:14 pm

      I love it when that happens, Dulcy:) And when you come by to visit…..so much thanks:)
      I appreciate you and the beauty you make and share (and are)
      – Jennifer

  7. CherryPie on January 2, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Happy New Year, Happy New Beginnings 🙂

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks Cherie; bright beautiful beginnings to you also:)
      -Jennifer

  8. Robin on January 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    I love coming here…to get caught up on your journey. We all live with our narratives, don’t we? And how wonderful we can all support each other in this virtual world even though we may be afar. Sending light your way…

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:12 pm

      Yes, and I feel your support and send so much thanks and love back across the virtual waves.
      Thanks for being here and for being wonderfully you,
      Jennifer

  9. Robin on January 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Oh, and that first image? Pure magic.

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks, Robin:) Nighttime in the forest. I’m smitten:)
      -Jennifer

  10. Susan Troccolo on January 2, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    …”and didn’t know how to take care of myself and also love the ones I love.” This is the sentence of yours that jumped out of your heart and into mine. (Also that you are mad. I am too right now – mad at my partner of forty years.) These holidays put an awful lot of pressure on us don’t they? I just want to say: you are not alone. Four words we need so badly to hear from time to time. No, I’m not blogging, but I am reading and writing and publishing. I’ll send you something in the spring. For now, just this: you are not alone. You give so much to so many. How could you ever think it would always hold together? But it will likely stitch back stronger in that way that love has…Sending Peace at Heart, Susie T.

    • jennifer on January 3, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      Being mad takes alot of energy, yes? I’ve been mad many times, but mad-mad – this takes a toll.
      Working through the emotions and taking responsibility is not for the faint of heart. Easier to blame and stay mad.
      Bravo to you in your writing and publishing and working through the mad places and sharing your beauty here for us
      to all hold and take to heart, feeling less alone:) I so appreciate, Susan.
      Yes, in that way love has:) Receiving peace deeply and sending thanks and love, Jennifer

  11. Janet Savold on January 4, 2019 at 8:43 am

    LOVE!!!!!!! Blame less and blameless!!!!

    • jennifer on January 14, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks, my seester:) You are golden:)
      Love,
      me

  12. Susan on January 4, 2019 at 11:48 am

    I so love your truth, your big, soft, open heart, your incredible images, your words, your strong caring about it all, your sweet friendship, your bravery, your showing up, your kindness, your fight … well, you know I’ve always been a fan.
    Thanks for the encouragement to get back to blogging, it is such a special connection.

    • jennifer on January 14, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      Gahhhh, these words were a carepackage of encouragement to my heart, Susan. Thank you!
      I love that we’re both stepping back into the waters again – can’t wait to meet you in the river:)
      -Jennifer

  13. Sharon Leaf on January 4, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Your words make it all sound so romantic. Poetic.
    Mine in a nutshell: Me: “it’s all your fault!!”
    Him: “no, it’s your fault.”
    Me: “Yes, it’s all my fault!”
    blah. Blah. BLAH!!

    • jennifer on January 14, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      I get that:)
      Messy business, life:)
      Oceans to grace all along the way,
      Jennifer

  14. Eva on January 6, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Wow…this one hits home with me right now. Thank you for giving me the words for what I’ve been struggling with too. Love you and your words my friend!

    • jennifer on January 14, 2019 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks for having a listen and for sharing your experience, too, Eva. I love your heart:)
      Much love to you and your journey this year as you’re guided along the way,
      Jennifer

  15. Lucille Christie on January 6, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Oh Jennifer ❤️
    This pierced my heart as I can relate to your
    Words. Sweetheart ❤️ Your humility in all
    These powerful feelings amazes me and I too
    Need the walking stick for a new beginning
    This year.
    Thank you seems so inadequate but
    Thank you dear one. May our new beginnings
    Sing a sweet love song in our atmospheres .
    Love you 😍
    Lucille

    • jennifer on January 14, 2019 at 7:03 pm

      May our new beginnings sing a sweet love son in our atmospheres…….how beautiful, my english-teaching friend:)
      Gosh, yes. Yes and yes and yes:)
      Thanks for sharing your waterfalls,
      Jennifer

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