Gosh, I have a lot going through my head right now. I can tell that there is quite a load of emotions, thoughts and feelings that are right under the surface. Things that are just there for me to process. Whatever it is, I'm just feeling heavy. And I can't put my finger on what all is in this head and heart of mine that is making me feel this way. Maybe it has to do with my husband being gone all week and feeling worn down. Perhaps it just has to do with the fact that I can feel myself getting sick and I haven't been sleeping well lately.
Whatever it is, writing is usually the answer for me when I'm feeling the need to process. Just pouring out my thoughts as they come...vulnerable and raw...can be cleansing in itself. And I've come to feel safe sharing my personal thoughts on this blog. So since there is such a random collection of thoughts rolling around in this crazy head of mine, bullets it is!
- Human Relationships. I'm convinced that everyone that comes into our life is put there for a reason. I think every relationship we have allows us to grow or learn in some way. Sometimes we have something to give and sometimes there are things for us to take away. Sometimes two people come together and form friendships where they both fill a role for the other, learn something about themselves or life, and then often end up moving on in different directions rather than staying friends forever. This is part of life. I think it is so beautiful that we can find friends in the most unexpected of ways. It is cool how people come into our life and play a part in making us whole, happy, and most alive. Kindred spirits, guardians, gifts.... I have several people in my life lately that I never would have expected to know. And I certainly wouldn't have expected that I would feel so close to them and care for them like I do. One of these friends is a girlfriend who I consider to be one of my very best friends. A friend I met through running blogs actually. Eventually our friendship turned into mostly e-mails and now it is a friendship where I feel like I've known her always. We call, text, send each other mail and pictures, and share our lives with each other through writing. And, although I consider this person such a dear dear friend, I'VE NEVER ACTUALLY MET HER in PERSON. Yup, I know this sounds nuts. A best friend that I love and I feel so loved by and I've never met her. But next week I'm flying to Boston for a girl weekend with her and another dear friend and I'll be meeting her , this beautiful friend, for the very first time (but not really because in my mind, I've already met her). I can't wait to give her a hug and thank her for the powerful role she has played in my life....she's the big sister that I've never had. And she's helped me grow as a runner, daughter, mother, friend, wife, self....and so much more. What an awesome gift. And to think we met in blog land.
- Childhood Play and Girl Night With Mom. Last night my mom came over to spend the night. We shared a bottle of wine together and sat on the deck chatting under the solar lights on my patio umbrella. We laughed a lot and talked about life. One of the things that came up was a topic about childhood play. I was saying how I was thrilled that the kids were playing so well and using their imaginations. Almost so much that I didn't want to put them to bed. This got my mom thinking about what I played as a child and she seriously but lightheartedly stated that all I used to want to play for a long time after my dad's death was "Let's get buried in the ditch". Okay, backstory...Some of you know that my dad died and that he is a big reason why I find so much peace and meaning in running. I've written about him many times on this blog but a quick version was that he was killed in an excavation accident where he was buried alive in a ditch (one post about this: The Deepest Part of My Running Heart...Running For Him). So after my mom explained to me how I would play getting buried in a ditch and I would get all my friends to play with me (and I'd insist that they do it right! Apparently there was a proper way to die in a ditch...I know...creepy!!), I thought of the power in childhood play. I thought of how important it is for children to engage in imaginative play...it is their way of making meaning of their world and things they are trying to process. If we take time to watch our kids play more often and really listen, we might just learn something about their little lives. Anyway, I posted a post about this topic last night but instantly felt vulnerable about posting. To us, we thought this ditch burying play was hilarious after the fact but to others, I am pretty sure they might not find it so funny. So, that's the reason for the deleted post for those of you that asked.
- It's Okay to Keep Processing. This talk and time with my mom got me thinking about my dad again. Maybe that's a little bit of the reason for my funk and heavy heart today. So weird how something that happened when we were so small can still affect us so many years later. For a long time I think I thought that I didn't deserve to grieve because I was so little when my dad died. I thought that I was silly for being sad about a dad that died when I was only 4 years old. But once my little girls turned 4, it really hit me. I saw them and how much they loved and adored their daddy and I realized how much it would affect them if they lost him...no matter how young they were. It would be HUGE for them. And that was when this blog was born...it was sparked by many things...serious injury, approaching a time in my life where my three kids were the same ages as my brothers and I when my dad died, needing an outlet during my first year as a stay at home mom, beginning to process my dad's death again so late in life and finding that much of it also resurfaced as I starting running more seriously again (since college), etc. Since then, this blog has come to be a safe place for me to be real and share my heart and thoughts with others in addition to sharing my passion for running, motherhood, and life! So thankful for this.
- Running and Spirituality. I know I've written on this topic once before in a few posts. One of these posts (A Personal and Sensitive Topic: A Window into the Spiritual Side of Runninghood) was one that told of a very powerful run where my garmin and ipod both died at mile 4ish of a 20ish mile run. It was no accident and in the end I came to a place where I was in tears. I felt connected to myself in a most spiritual way and it was if I was being hugged and told how special I was after years of not believing it. It was probably one of my MOST personal posts since I share so much of my history with religion, the damage it did, and why that has been such a hard thing for me. It also reveals just how spiritual running can be for me. It can be so much more than training or exercise. It has often been on my runs where I feel the most connected to God, the universe...LIFE. This has especially been true when I'm running in nature and during times of solitude and stillness. I've felt God, my dad, and my full self. This post was a post that was so cleansing and freeing to write...yet another way this blog has been therapy for me. I wrote it through tears in many parts but again, it was a post that WROTE me...the best ones always do. Here is just the end of that long post:
"So, yesterdays run....
It was a gift. My Garmin and Ipod shutting down were blessings. Once I realized that I was going to be running a very long run with only my thoughts to listen to, I began to pray. I prayed about so many things that I've been needing to focus on. I had a real, solid, quality conversation with my God. And I could feel God with me, through me, next to me. Towards the end of the run, it had been awhile since my long prayer. I was just focusing on my breath and my visions of my marathon. I was happily tired.
At mile 21ish I had a half mile left. Just then I started talking to myself but I didn't realize what I was saying really until I had tears running down my face. I am convinced that it was God, my God reassuring me of how much I am loved. These are the words I was whispering to myself when I finally caught what I was saying:
- You are amazing Amanda
- You are a child of God
- You are good enough and wise enough
- You have been given many gifts and you have the responsibility to use your gifts for yourself and for others.
- You were NEVER alone.
- You have always been loved and cared for deeply
- All that your life has been has been for a bigger purpose
- You ARE LOVED!
So, there we go. This is probably the most personal I've ever gotten on this blog. I rarely write about things that I'm this sensitive about but it was one of those moments that I just felt right about getting it out and giving you a bigger window into my world, my heart, my soul. "
Such good lessons came from this run. And it made me think more deeply about the topic of running and spirituality. I don't see a lot written about this topic. My hunch is that a lot of you find a spiritual element to running. No matter what your beliefs and not necessarily having to do with religion AT ALL. I asked about this topic on Runninghood's facebook tonight and I got some really wonderful responses that were just so thoughtful and beautiful. Thanks for sharing. And please keep sharing! For some of you, it is about worship. Others find running to provide moments of feeling connected to a loved one that passed. Really cool to read your thoughts on this topic.
Okay, how's that for the most loaded blog post I've EVER written? This is enough for 4 or 5 blog posts but hey, it was all in this head of mine at once so why not put it all out there as it comes. I feel so much better after unloading all of this. Even if NOBODY reads it but me. And maybe my mom. Thanks Mom.
Thanks for YOU,
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