You Matter


I don’t like being misunderstood. It pisses me off. The minute I detect misunderstanding I step away and shut the door behind me. End of story.


I was more of a black and white thinker years ago maneuvering through the world judging good/bad, safe/unsafe, fun/not fun. Two worlds two sides necessary for my survival.

My safety lies in understanding and categorizing. Then I know where I stand with my safety, my sense of well being and my sense of self.


I’d rather forget this fact, but I grew up with a sign in our basement that said “As a rule, man is a fool, When it's hot, he wants it cool; When it's cool, he wants it hot, Always wanting what is not.”


I’d like to think I’ve grown into more shades, seeing the hues beyond the black and white of life. I work at erasing memories from my childhood but they never leave. I deny thoughts about my lineage and they don’t go away. Erasing and denial are not the answer, but old habits die hard. I feel like a dog with a bone, constantly hunting for the perfect place to bury my treat.


Maybe the question is not why. Maybe there is no question. Maybe there is only acceptance. I am the way I am.


I expect at some point I will tire of hunting for an answer and move into acceptance. But I tend to resist until I choose to end the game on my terms, in my time. I choose acceptance and hope I listen.


Hold Out Your Hand

by Julia Fehrenbacher

Let's forget the world for a while fall back and back into the hush and holy of now are you listening? This breath invites you to write the first word of your new story your new story begins with this: You matter. You are needed—empty and naked willing to say yes and yes and yes. Do you see the sun shines, day after day whether you have faith or not the sparrows continue to sing their song even when you forget to sing yours stop asking Am I good enough? Ask only Am I showing up with love? Life is not a straight line it's a downpour of gifts, please— hold out your hand


Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you so much for your beautiful words this morning. As wonderful as your blog is, the one thing missing that this group provides is hearing your words with your voice, and the inflection and cracks in your voice. When you allow yourself to be empty and raw with us, that is a community you created, which inspires us to remind ourselves and empowers us to empower ourselves to build a community of safety and love and support around us. Which is not something we are used to. We can create our own community and you demonstrate this. I had this vision of taking this wounded self, that was me, wrapped in bandages and encased in concrete with a moat around me. And when you and others allow yourselves to expose your nakedness and perceived emptiness, it enables me to fill in my moat and build bridges and take off my bandages and allow the air and sun to hear me. I am so grateful to have found this group. Thank you.

  • Thank you for the reading. In the mediation, I went immediately to a reading that was at my mother-in-law’s house. A big article about how to save someone who is choking. There was an image of a man choking and someone behind him trying to save him. This image was a little disturbing actually. It was an old newspaper article that had clearly been there a very long time. It scared my kids a little bit. It was uncomfortable. What I realized during the meditation, I moved through the fact that I had a hard time breathing at that house. There was judgment and conversation that wasn’t authentic. I feel like I want to do a ritual. I thought of taking it down. I want to release that. I need to process that. I’m okay just the way I am. Thank you.

  • I think that sign was the start of beating myself up for feeling the way I did. I think it’s natural, a lot of us tend to want what we cannot have. I’ve come to see that acceptance is the answer, and I don’t always like acceptance, things that happen with people, work, my health. If I don’t accept it and am always fighting it, I’m miserable. I always want what is not, that constant struggle. I have a sign in my house, ‘have a good day unless you made other plans.’

  • Thank you for your reading and for your presence. Today it was very meaningful to experience you in this way. Acceptance is what I meditated on. Recently, I heard a description of acceptance that made sense to me. When I try to feel what is acceptance, it’s a big complex thing and my understanding of it is the tip of the iceberg. I appreciate the sentence, “Acceptance is not getting rid of something, it’s letting it be with compassion.” The moment I read that, I softened in my insides and I became tearful. I was registering this is something important for me.

  • Thank you for creating this safe space. I loved your writing and the poem spoke to me. I created a sign that is next to my bed, framed. It says ‘yes.’ So that I see that in the morning, because I am such a resistor. I try to remember that whatever comes my way to say yes. The idea of the open hand, I’ve struggled with that a lot. If you keep your hands open, there’s a lot that you won’t hold onto, a lot will fall. But I agree that acceptance doesn’t mean you are helpless. It means that’s what is present for me in the moment. It’s not easy, and I keep forgetting. Even though I see it every morning, I forget to say yes. That’s why we have signs to remind us. That’s the purpose of them.

  • Thank you. When you were talking, I wrote down, “before I get to my yes, I have to have my no.” It’s something I learned about myself which has been extremely valuable. When I want to go to yes and the resistance is there, I used to fight the resistance. What I am trying to do is follow the string to see what is behind each piece. What I am recognizing, in order for me to have my yes, the resistance is my no. If I can stop and say ‘no’, I’m not taking it in. Once I have that, it’s like a solid footing so that I can take the next step to yes. Otherwise, I stay in that struggle. That no can be just a split second. I just have to go through that door.

  • Jana Stansfield wrote a song, ‘It Doesn’t Mean I’m Not Strong.’ It’s about crying. I heard that during the meditation. It’s a true statement.

  • Thank you, very powerful topic. Acceptance. I always wanted things my way and I never understood the word acceptance until I joined the 12-step program. They say ‘acceptance is the key to all my problems.’ It took me a while to understand that. I didn’t ever believe in a God, but I did learn to believe in a Higher Power. I now live by the phrase, ‘thy will not mine be done.’ It makes life easier. When I don’t want to accept something, that phrase goes through my head. Thy will, not mine, be done. I had to make a decision -- do I want my serenity or do I want my way? I dedicated myself to my serenity and accept things the way they are. Because my serenity is more important than anything else. Acceptance is the key to all my problems.

  • I used to think acceptance meant I agreed with what is happening. It doesn’t mean that. It just means I have to accept thy will be done. I thought I had to agree with it to accept it. But that’s not what it means.

  • I continue to have disturbing dreams from my past and then wake up early in the morning, thinking and feeling. A miracle needs to fall from the sky for my family member and my need to provide for him. If I don’t in the way he needs, he can’t survive. I am glad to come here and have the comfort of everyone and give comfort back. I don’t want it to be a one-way street. Thank you.

  • Thank you for trusting my daily ritual of this and thank you for spending time with yourself. Thank you for your words and thoughts and smiles and acceptance. So appreciated. I hope you all have a gentle day, whatever weather you are experiencing. Bless you all. Thank you.

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