The gears turn, spin slowly, grinding. Resistance is evident in the crunching, the squealing of metal upon metal. But then, something shifts, and everything clicks into place and smooth rotating begins. All is working as it should, at least for now.

I don’t know if all the gears have shifted into motion but there has been a click in myself. Sometime this week, I was able to step back and see myself with some clarity. The light was not glaring; I wasn’t squinting into its glow. Rather, I felt illuminated, warm and accepting of what I was observing in myself. It wasn’t positive things though. I was having to be aware of things that need to be different for me.

Do you know me in my real life? Have you spent any significant time with me? If so, you would probably describe me as a confident and independent person. I certainly give that impression. It’s who I want to be. However, this week, I realized just how dependent I am on others, on their opinions of me, on their emotional support. In the first moments of drama or crisis, I am picking up the phone or sending out a veiled references on Facebook. Why can’t I trust myself to be in that moment? To allow the emotion of what is happening to be mine and mine alone? When did I become so dependent on affirmation and acceptance from others? And I’ve become wishy-washy about who I am and what I want – Trying to make my life fit into the confines of this label or that label instead just being true to myself.

Is it my religious upbringing that has caused me to not be able to trust myself, my own heart? Maybe so. Too many years of being told that the heart is deceitful above all things. Too many messages of condemnation, of warnings. Too many pointing fingers of accusation.

Here is the truth for me. More than anything in my life, I want to be a loving person who brings grace and peace to others … to my family, to my friends, to the community and world … and even to myself. I am seeking a path to be that person. Is it a Spiritual path? I can’t see how it can be anything but that. But that’s about all I know for now, for today.

This has been a rambling path to get me to the point I want to make though. I’ve made some references on Facebook that I might be checking out of there. I think that is likely. I don’t want to say so with certainty because maybe this is just my working through what the next steps will be. But I am beginning to see that Facebook too often gives an instant venue for emotions which need to just sit within me for a while so that I can look at them, observe them, weigh them and use them to determine what I need to do for my own well being and for those around me. I am beginning to see that Facebook can be used manipulatively. And I am beginning to see that Facebook is too snippet oriented. Share a link here, a photo there, a video or two with just a few words of comment, of unformed thoughts. I have come to the conclusion that I’d rather take time to think, to write and to form my own thoughts. In fact, it’s not just a preference, I think it is something that I need to do.

I feel like I have lost the ability to be firm in what I know, what I believe, what I am seeking. I’ve become double (or triple) minded and am letting others define me and define my journey. Today I am saying that I am done with that.

So for now, here is the decision. I probably won’t be on Facebook too much. I am sure I will check in once in a while to check on my kiddos. . I will still use it to send out messages about my book club. But I am going to focus on writing here, on my art, on reading, on being with my family. And I am going to breathe deeply and rest in the peace within, knowing that in my best moments I am caught up in the practice of living, of loving, of super-happy-joyful laughter. I am not trying to measure up to standards that someone else created base on their life experiences. If your life is successful, I celebrate with you. But this is my life and what works for me and mine is uniquely our path to follow.

I post this with full knowledge that there are some quite vague references here. Clarity will come, more posts will help make sense of it and more posts will come. These are my words. I hope there are those out there who are reading, who will step out and join me for a few steps, chat for a while, share your stories.

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