Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thoughts on a New Day


I wrote the following post on my blog in 2007. I am startled by how little has changed for me, despite some pretty significant best and worse events. I'm happy to share this because I believe it's a true part of who I am, who I've become.



Blog Entry Thoughts on a New Day

This weekend I had a reason and opportunity to look back my first twleve months of blog posts. I was reviewing the poems I've written to choose one for an upcoming and wonderful collaborative project. It's been just about a year since I began this blog and just about a year since I took my first writing workshop. It's been just about a year that I became aware of deep love and starting living that way.

I am surprised at the change in me. In one form or another, I've always been a glass-half-full optimist. I can remember sitting in first grade smiling at my secret knowledge that the world was a friendly place and I would be able to find my way in it.

I remember being slightly surprised that I was voted "personality plus" in my high school graduating class of 660 kids.

I remember moving to Germany and landing the one coveted job I had no business applying for.

I remember when I started my counseling and consulting business. I knew I would succeed and I never doubted it was just about the best job in the world.

I remember how cool I was when I married this handsome guy with a college degree and together we bought this sweet small house on a half acre of land in a beautiful coastal community.

I remember the depths of love raising my spunky daughter and the first time I knew without question that I would willingly and easily die for her.

Over the years I have been extremely fortunate. I am surrounded by good decent creative talented people. I have a good good life. I am loved.

When I started this blog, I wanted to achieve some blend of wisdom, optimism, and inspiration. Who better than me, the beneficiary of so many good breaks and opportunities, to talk about life and love?

But, as I re-read my posts this weekend, I can see that something has changed. It is still me. I still laugh and appreciate and look and hope for the best. I still walk my dog and write my books and poems and relish the chance to eat a pizza by myself. But within me something new has taken root. It is deep and real and it makes me the same way. I am a more authentic person. My ego doesn't do battle so often anymore, and when I give my word I know I can keep it. There are now a handful of people I love so much I am standing in front of a moving train to protect them.

All this sounds good--all the positive growth I've hoped for when I think of the person I want to be. But my transformation is not what I expected.

For one thing, I cry more often. I can tell straight off that deep love is not all it's cracked up to be. The more I love, the more it depletes me. I can more easily give of myself, but sometimes I need to plan for the aftershock , when I will be wiped, or sad, or afraid in a way I haven't known before. Sometimes I have to digest that my needs are secondary because the needs of someone I love matters more. The worse change is that I now love at a distance and that means I have to live without the benefit of proximity and spontaneity.

Sometimes I cry because I know I will spend too many days adjusting to what is nothing short of longing. Sometimes I cry because I know and accept that while there are no limits to love, there are limits to when and where and how it can be shared. There are limits to the way the world is and the way the world works.

For another thing, I see misfortune around me and as always I am mobilized to want to act against it. I have been in the helping profession most of my adult life. I have been able to reach out and help out without internalizing the pain I see. I'm particularly good in a crisis. I'm a good counselor. But lately I've come to know that, every day, I know less and less--not more and more. And ask me how to deal with the sorrow and threat that has befallen the planet these days and I am at a loss.

I've noticed my recent posts lack the hopeful exuberance of my early ones. In some ways I am weightier, not lighter. And in other ways I am more serious, not sillier. I did not expect this.

This is not a final chapter. I am not feeling sorry for myself, and I would not change one thing. I still believe that most of us are good people doing our best. I believe our best is enough. It's just that I have begun to live differently. I am just now understanding that people and circumstance have changed me and the change is now part of who I am. It will affect who I become. I hope I become a better writer because of it. But most of all I hope I become a better person. That means, unfortunately, that I still have a long way to go and alot left to learn. It means I have become vulnerable. I can be hurt, because I've knowingly forfeited some of my protection.

And it means that at least a chunk of my learning is loving in a way that I willingly accept what is possible and what is not. Acceptance. There's my word of the year so far. Acceptance. If I really get what it means to live from a place of acceptance, how then shall I live?


  1. Hi KJ...thanks for sharing this...even though you got more serious you are still fun! Deep love, the kind you would burn the world down for is hard, the hardest thing in the world to have, to hold, and also to loose, and the love for children fall squarely in that category....


  2. Hi chris, thank you thank you for saying I am fun. That is high on my list of compliments!

    Your comment is so wise and true. The loss part is a hard fall. Can't get more human that love and grief

    And our children: no deeper love for sure

    I owe you an email; it's coming


  3. yes, you are fun. lovely to read this from years ago, I think you are just more YOU

    1. aw, mim, thanks. that sounds so good

  4. Hopefully, as time passes, we all only get better at what we have always been.
    I first liked you and visited your blog because I read your comments on someone else's blog, and you were fun. And today,,,,even though some of your posts are very deep and make my brain hurt, you are still fun.
    Do you know how important that can be to another's day?
    Yeah, I think you do.
    Hope you're feeling tons better by now,,,

  5. Babs, yes, I'm intense and I'm an imp. Thank you for knowing me and liking me anyway :-)

    Sometimes I think too much.

    I know you're an imp too....

    Which I love :-)

  6. Oh gulp. I feel like you filleted your soul for all of us to devour. Thank you for your honesty. It is amazing and more than a little unusual.

    I have to ruminate on this one.

    Love and caring,


  7. No devouring me, sweet sharon. But I'll cook for you :-)

    This is an example of maybe being too intense. I was comfortable when I wrote this five years ago; now, maybe yes, maybe no. I don't know if ruminating is good for the garden? :-)

  8. "If I really get what it means to live from a place of acceptance, how then shall I live?"

    Uh FREE-unencumbered-exuberantly-without inner turmoil

    That's how I answer that question kj

    I love you too


    1. Okay, so with this definition I inhabit this space part-time, even though I pay full-time rent!

      No more leases for me, mark, I'm a tenant at will :-)

      Always super nice to hear from you. And with mush no less . Aw thanks my friend

  9. Shouldn't it be that as we get older we become more authentic, more open to pain and also more open to joy? I think we rack up more of all of it - the good and the bad, that which lifts us up and that which tears us down. I don't regret that I cry more easily than I used to, because I also laugh more readily.

    1. All wise good thoughts cs. I don't know if I laugh more because I am a good laugher, but I do know that I am better company to myself

      Love love

  10. I remember this post! Clearly you write memorable words, dear KJ.

    1. Aw Andrea, it's cool we go back so far!

  11. I love that, KJ! You have a talent for writing so succinctly about what's truly important! I am so glad we "met" through blogging... Love, SIlke

    1. thank you very much, silke. i'm super glad too!

  12. Oh gosh, the final chapter doesn't even coincide with our last breath. You do have personality plus Ms. KJ. I think I was voted most responsible, or some such dribble. Blech! I think it's wonderful that so much has changed, yet so much remains. Gives hope to us all :)

  13. .
    well, annie, i'm smiling. don't you think we would have snuck cigarettes together in the girls' room?
    maybe? :^)