Monday, March 31, 2014

The addict in me.

His movies, frankly, terrrified me. The Talented Mr. Ripley had me running from the room. So much so that I didn't watch his films: he was so gut-wrenchingly real.
You would think Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death would not have been noticed by me. But is has impacted me so very much. Daily. Because, unbeknownst to me at the time, he was an addict in recovery in all that jaw-dropping brilliance. A life led full-bore. Authentic. And then he relapsed. About the time I got sober with my food addiction. He accelerated as an addicted personality, with multiple addictions, at a break neck pace and then died in a humiliating manner (my recurring fear as an addict): One a father would surely never wish for his children to see. Or a friend to bear witness, too.
And so I want to learn from him. To honor him. To realize that the lie of that first bite, first drink, first whatever you and I are addicted to, is exactly that -- a lie! And it will kill us. We don't all get second or third or fourth chances at recovery. It is not something to be taken lightly. At least, I am dead certain that I can't have that attitude. For if I do, I'll soon be listening to the seductive reasoning of "I can handle it now" or "moderation is the goal" or "I've been sober/abstinent for ___ years, obviously, I've got this down now."
Understand: an addict is NEVER cured. They are only one of two things: acting out in their compulsions or in recovery.
I give up on being cured. There is; however, a solution. I'm in one. I'm grateful for that. I want others to know there is hope: not in a cure, but in a simple day by day recovery program. Today. That is all I really have.
All any of us have.
Make it count!  Even if it seems immeasurable.  It matters.
You matter.
Bet you knew I was going to say that!
Erica Robinson

Sunday, March 30, 2014

You Matter. Be Brave.

All right, Friends. I've been writing and erasing for over an hour.

So, be brave.
Do the thing(s) that make you you and don't be afraid of what everyone thinks.
Say the things that need to be said.
Good and hard.
Stand up for yourself.
Allow yourself to play, experiment, explore and figure out what you like and what your preferences are.

It can be intimidating.
That's o.k.
Some people may not like you.
That's o.k., too.
Be brave.
Be willing:
- To try.
- To fail.
- To succeed.
- To be not only awesome and amazing, but also an occasional dork and sometimes even a dud.

Be brave.
Erica Robinson

Source for video via YouTube: or

Friday, March 28, 2014

You Matter. It is elemental.

For the ego maniac: this post is not for you. 
For the timid soul, the quiet soul, the wondering soul: please step forward.

It is very important for you to understand, Dear Reader, that you are important. Just as you are. Whether you are a child of four, who is completely obsessed with Darth Vader and light sabers or a young teenager exploring how to express your uniqueness, or a young man who is supposed to have it all together and really feels like it's all a sham, that it will all fall apart in a moment, or a woman past menopause, past children, past caring about what to serve for dinner, or the elderly man of 95 who wonders why he is still alive: you matter.

You have experience, strength and hope that others need. You see the world slightly differently, and it helps all of our perspective to see it from yours. You are brave. You don't give up. You endure great things and show us that we can endure too. You have a quiet faith. Or a questioning faith. Or maybe just a vast puzzlement mark when it comes to God. That's o.k. too. God can handle that. Just keep being you and being open to finding out the truth about yourself, God, the world. 

You matter. You may not see it now, but it's true. As true as the sun and moon and air and water. It is an elemental truth: you matter.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

You Matter. You Have a Gift That Others Need.

Do you believe those words?
Probably not.
If you are honest with yourself, and quiet, you have perhaps convinced yourself that "I am nothing special...not really."

Of course, there is always the flip side of this. The ego-driven personality, who believes themselves to be the Supreme Being of the Universe and that the world and everything in it must revolve around him/her.

Yet, if you look at the sentence above "You have a gift that others need", you will see the balancing act in this "mattering". That key is "You have a contribution to make".

If you view your life as one of service, as one where you can make a positive difference on the world, then you know deep within that you actually really do matter. You can, if you want to. You can start right now. Even if you are only 9 years old. You matter. And your actions, no matter what your age, define your impact on the lives of people around you. And like a pebble tossed in a still pool of water, that ripple of good you do, goes on and influences people that you do not know and will never meet.

So, don't forget to look around and see the unique genius in others. Things like:
- C, here at work, is earnest and hardworking. He carries himself well and has the beautiful blend of talent and humility that make him a pleasure to work with. You actually want to work with this fellow. If you get a chance to, you are a lucky duck indeed.
- BB has a genius for making all of his friends feel special. Even the much younger ones. He is learning the art of diplomacy mixed with patience and kindness.
- Our local post office has a reputation for meaness and rudeness. Today, the opposite happened. Everyone was nice and smiling. I didn't realize how tense I was going in there, until I started to leave and it hit me, "That was the way it's supposed to be when you go to the Post Office."

And my "mattering"? Well, most recently:
- I have a genius for comforting: sick children at 2 a.m. included.
- My courtesy to sales clerks and fellow shoppers is contagious. Imagine that!
- My food tastes amazing, both for me and my family!

You matter. How are you helping the world today?
Erica Robinson

Source for image: Angela Maiers

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Matter. We Matter.

So, I won't name any names, but someone in my close circle sent me a Calvin & Hobbs clip about "whining, instant gratification" and asked if that's what I meant by, "You Matter."

Obviously, that certain someone has yet to watch the video I suggested. :)

So, have you observed three other people doing something that matters?
- J at work does an amazing job helping clients feel comfortable and at ease with doing their own content entry. He is calm and easy-going and folks walk out saying, "I can do this!" It's a two-for-one win in my book!
- Miss Muffet will persist in something until she understands it. She may be frustrated and on the verge of tears. She may even be crying in frustration, but she doesn't give up. Never. She never gives up. I love that part of her personality.
- Bear got grounded from video games for throwing a temper tantrum. He was very sad, but he took his punishment and made the best of it, which included playing in the water hose in 45*F weather when I wasn't looking. Good learner. Good imagination.

And have you observed the three positive things you did that mattered yesterday?
- I kept at a project that was spiraling out of control and got help from teammates to get the job done. Some parts late, but no longer out of control.
- I honored my service committment to the food group I am a part of. Even though the easier thing would have been to call and cancel.
- I took 30 minutes at the end of the day to clean off the counters and turn back the children's beds and soften all the lights, so that the "mood" said, "This is a peaceful, calm, serene space. A good place for rest and sleep."

So, we're into Day 2 of mattering.
Start noticing and writing.
Source: unknown

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You Matter, Yes, You Do!

This weekend, in my online rambling, I stumbled across Angela Maiers' Ted Talk about "You Matter" and how important it is for every human being to feel that they, as their own person, matter. And being recognized as mattering, matters.

Please listen to the talk. It can change your life, if you'll let it.
Change you, because you will view yourself, and everyone around you differently.
And if you've ever wondered what your purpose on this planet was, well this can be one of them: to know deep down that you possess a genius that no one else on the planet has or will possess, because it is a part of who you are. And that others have a unique genius too. And that we all matter. And, ironically, it is more often than not the little things that matter.

So, here is my challenge for this week.
Take a notebook (any old one will do, I'll be using my journal) and make the daily intentional effort to notice three positive things that other people did... things that mattered. They can be big or little things. It can be the gal in the grocery store who was so cheerful as she stocked shelves and wished me a blessed day, or the little boy who noticed my wig and gave me a double thumbs up. Or the spouse who unasked gathered and took out the trash. Write them down. Now, the bonus challenge is for you to do three positive matters that are you. Ask the curious question. Smile kindly at the teenager stalling out in the road as they learn to drive stick shift, terrified. Allow yourself that cup of tea with a friend. Write those down.

Let's do it for a week and see how our attitude on life in general is.
You up for the challenge?
Erica Robinson

Monday, March 24, 2014

Self Care

So much has happened over the span of 48 hours, it's a little hard to know where to start,  so before the day is done, I need to honor my commitment and write: something. So, we'll forget about the week's writing plan and just talk about the major shake up that is going on in my life, right this very moment.
My bladder is falling out. Hanging down in places where it is not supposed to. And no amount of muscle strengthening excerises are going to help, because the muscles are shattered. It is freakish and awkward and humiliating. And I didn't even realize it till my spouse pointed it out. Good grief!!! The doctor was kind enough to see me today, and I'll have another appointment with a specialist on Wednesday to talk about what my options are. Miss Muffet was home sick with a cold, so she tagged along. Full of questions. More and more awkward.  It was; however, important for me to let her understand what I was doing (vaguely). "Something is wrong with Mommy, so I need to go to the doctor and have a check-up." And, "Yes, I am going to be o.k." And, "When something is not working right in our bodies, we take care of ourselves. We ask for help. We pray and do what we can to be healthy." 
The very few folks I've told want to say that, "Oh, well that is because you had five kids and your girly parts are just worn out. 15 months ago, I went through 4 surgeries to deal with those falling down, torn, broken parts, and now, here I am again,  with another repair needed and I'm barely in my mid 40s! Am I some classic car that requires ongoing upkeep to keep from being a rusted out pile of junk? Maybe. I do know this: whether I live only one more day or 50 more years, I am LIVING all out with whatever time I have. That, for me, means purr, hum, sing, dance, roar, and worship; certainly not languish.
Understand though, it's not just having kids that did this. It's being a farm girl and lugging around feed sacks and hay bales. Later, it was enormous bags of wet leaves in suburbia.  It's being the she-wolf, who would drag/heft things way too heavy for way too long, because the job needed to get done. It was the impatient girl who felt all things had to fit on my timeline and would forcibly make it happen at the cost of my health. It was lugging around an extra 100+ pounds of fat for more than 20 years and the strain on my entire system and havoc that caused this. It's because as a girl who had had five kids, I had a convenient, weakened girly place for things to go "pop" vs being a guy who would bust a gut hernia. It's all those things, and probably more.
What saddened me though was the doctor's comment that I could just do nothing about it. That a lot of women my age did nothing about it till they were in their 60s or later. And then they faced complications from being 20 years older and having the surgery.  My 97 year old godmother waited till she was 95! Why do we women abandon ourselves in such a way? Just suffer in silence? 
You are worthy of self care. I am worthy of self care. We are better when we can function fully.
My days of hefting and dragging and lugging are over. As much as it chaps my backside to be "helpless", my body has thrown down the gauntlet.  And I will respect that boundary.  I must. Or I will break more and more.
So if I don't offer to carry more than a gallon of milk,  have mercy. And if I turn pale and excuse myself abruptly,  grant me kindness, for it is just my body reminding me how it has suffered.
So, here I am, imperfect. And that's o.k.
Erica Robinson