Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's just a rug

Not the actual rug... that one is gone...

In our attempts to pack and move I have been experiencing anxiety and depression...
There is so much stuff that I had deemed important and worth keeping. Now I look at it and realize, no it's not important and I must let it go.

Some things have been easy. One can only hoard so many empty butter tubs before it becomes ridiculous.

Some have been harder. Last night I carried an old, faded, falling apart rag rug to the garbage bin. It had been in my mother's home when I was a teenager. She had put it in my room and every morning my bare feet would hit the soft cotton and I would stand there a minute orienting myself to the day ahead. I left for college and the rug stayed waiting for my weekend visits and holidays home.

After I moved to NYC and got married my mother died. On that trip home I packed up the remainders of my childhood, including the rug and took it all back to what was now "home". The rug traveled through every apartment in NY that the hubster and I shared. It traveled back to KY when we returned. All our pets over the years have slept on it. It began to show its wear and tear after one too many trips through the washer and dryer. Still I kept it, clung to it. It became "shabby chic" then just shabby. It was past the point of repair.

Finally last night I held it up, the braids were frayed and unraveling, I contemplated trying to mend it. There was no way to undo what time, 7 cats, 3 dogs and 2 humans had done to the rug. It was time to let go.

I folded it over my arm, my fingers caressing the oh so soft faded cotton, I walked into the dark rainy night and placed it gently in the trash bin. I closed the lid on a rug, but held onto the love, the memories and the feel of soft cotton under my feet.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A tough day for my boys...

I love my job as I have stated before. But yesterday was the toughest day in a stretch of tough days...

All my clients are teenagers and over half are teen males. I adore them all. But the boys break my heart at times.

These past 2 weeks all my clients (4) at one particular school have been in ISS (in school suspension). Some have had the school file beyond control charges against them. When I meet with the staff, they are angry with these kids, very very angry. They tell me they have given up on them, in front of them. The staff tells me in private, the kids are pulling a fast one with me and are not telling me the truth in our sessions; that they are wasting my time; that there is no help or hope for these boys.

They are not in my sessions. They do not see when a "macho punk" breaks down and cries, asking me politely for tissues which I go get. They don't see the pain and despair in their eyes when they are talking about how they are afraid the judge is going to remove them from their homes and send them away. They don't know that underneath the bravado, there is a wounded child wanting some one to listen without judging.

Also they never get to hear the funny, cute stories. They never get to witness when one of the boys realizes some truth for the first time and their eyes light up and they beam. The never get to see how they respond to positive reinforcement or praise for accepting responsibility for their actions.

I know at times they lie to me. Everyone lies. But I figure that it will take a while before they realize they can tell me the truth and know I will not yell at them; that I will accept it and help them to figure out what to do to rectify the situation.

The staff is not there when I go into the homes and see the barren shelves and no food in the house. Or when the parents sit there, struggling to provide for their kids when they have no money, no job, no way out of the poverty cycle; when the parents depend on the kids to help with the bills, help with the chores, help with survival.

I don't blame the staff. They are overwhelmed. They have so little time and so many kids. One staff member was in tears yesterday. I could see the fatigue and frustration in her eyes as she met me to take my client back to ISS. I feel for them too. I could not do their job any more than they would want to do mine. We all have our place in these boys' lives. I know they need discipline, I know they need to be accountable for their actions, I know they lie and deflect and at times hate therapy. But I also know I can't give up on them when everyone else has. Too many people never gave up on me and while I can never repay them, I can take their compassion and mercy forward and gift it to the boys as it was gifted to me.

They are not bad boys. They are hurting boys...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Forgiveness on my mind

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

I have mixed emotions about the news. I mourned on 9/11 as I had lived 11 years in NYC, but while I do not mourn his death, I do not celebrate it either...

On 9/11 I remember asking what would happen if we forgave instead of going to war? I got no answers then, and I still question what would happen if a love so big would forgive atrocities? Would it not only change us, but also the enemy, as they would feel mercy and forgiveness at a level never known except for the Christ?

And could I forgive so great a wound? Have I shown that level of mercy in the world? I know I have shown compassion. I have shown love. But have I had to forgive such a great fault?

As a person of faith, I realize I am the beneficiary of great mercy and forgiveness and I am humbled by salvation.

I may be unable to fulfill the act of forgiveness, but shouldn't I at least try?

I long for a world where we lose our egos, we care more for one another than ourselves and we strive to love unconditionally and forgive as we would like to be forgiven...