A Green Witch Oath

Blessed earth I heed your call,

Embracing creatures great and small,

With sun kissed skin by pale moons light,

To guard nature evermore from this night

Dancing wild winds, Warmth of firelight,

Water flows and love for earth grow.

Behold my heart, fierce with might,

To nurture, honor and balance bestow.

This night I vow to thee,

With great love and respect,

To care, bless and protect.

For a green witch I be.

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anna anna

 

Anna’s day began, again, to the sound of her mother calling.

“Anna! Time to get up. We need to leave on time today. Don’t want to be late for school.”

Anna awakes. Sits in her bed for a moment to let her head stop spinning and her brain wake up a bit. She slips out of bed and walks a few feet to the bathroom. Steps on the toilet to get on top of the counter top. She is still too small to look directly into the mirror. And well, standing on her tip toes just takes to much prolonged energy this early in the morning.

As she sits on the sink, she washes her hands under cold water, shakes them dry and rubs them on her face. The closest she will get to a shower this morning. As usual she woke up late again.

She then stares into the mirror, a daily routine. Staring at her wet face and big brown eyes. Everyone is alway saying how pretty her big brown eyes are. And her beautiful long dark eyelashes. Yes, she thinks to herself, they are pretty. She agrees. Then notices her dark blonde hair, it is a bit frazzled from sleep. She never was a sound sleeper. Her hair is a little oily making it look more brown than blonde, but not bad, it will do until she can shower.

Staring at her reflection she dazes off into another reality, or is this the alternate reality and her true self is on the other side staring back at her wondering what things would be like if they were different?

Eye to eye with herself, her mind wanders…

Anna picks herself up, and back into the bedroom to find something to put on for the day. She goes to her closet, then her dresser drawers and realizes she has so many clothes. How does one person have so many clothes.

“Anna! I mean it, get out here. We are leaving in 5 minutes with or with out you. If you are not ready on time I am going to tell your father!”

Anna’s heart sinks into her stomach which is already churning and now turning upside down. Visions of her father’s disappointment flash through her mind. Frustration clear in his eyes, the frown on his face, the imminent punishment to follow. Maybe a week of extra chores or separation from time spent with friends. As if not living up to his expectations wasn’t punishment enough. She did not like letting him down. Though he always encouraged her to be herself, he expected her to respect his wishes. She had realized by the age of five that what she thought was right and wrong could differ from what her parents thought was right and wrong. Obey she must, but give up being a free spirit, that just would not do for Anna. Determined to behave as she must yet set on not loosing herself in the process. A combination that left her often falling short of who her parents wanted her to be. Her siblings seems to have it easier. How is it her brothers and sisters always seemed to do the right thing at the right time?

Realizing she doesn’t have much time frantically she quickly throws on a pair of jeans. Grabs a pair of white socks with little bead tassels. Taking a moment to admire the shape, size and texture of the little sown on embellishments. Then throwing her shoes on lacing them up quickly as her eyes skim her closet one more time for a shirt that will make due.

What to wear, what to wear, too many choices. Perhaps a dilemma some would relish. But Anna’s mind is already too busy and having such a large selection does not make it any easier. The first shirt, way too pink. The next, yep kittens, that won’t work. She grew out of those printed images it seems a long time ago. The third, nice, but long sleeve, the afternoons are still too warm these days. There is really nothing in her closet she feels like wearing. Back to her dresser with nicely folded shirt after shirt. Finally settling on a neatly pressed brown v-neck shirt with an embroidered flower on the bottom right side of the hem. Pulling it over her head. She then grabs a light weight matching brown cardigan, thinking it’s still too cool in the morning to go without it. Inspecting the pearl buttons that match her socks, perfect!

“We are leaving!” Mother yells as her voice is trailing out the door.

Up and running down the hall, one arm in, then the next. It took a little finagling to get the second arm in the sleeve as she hurried to catch up.

Out the front door. Down the driveway to the curb in front of the house. Opening the door of the Cadillac SUV. Using all the willpower she could muster to refrain from remarks about how unnecessary it is to have such lavish car, just to go to school. She giggles quietly to herself, why are people so materialistic, it’s not what’s important. She hops onto her seat and buckles in as the key turns to start the engine. Off to school. She will not be late today.

Sitting at her desk she pulls out her blue notebook that says journal on front and a sharp pencil. Every morning the teacher, Mrs. Beasy reads sentences. She will repeat it once or twice but then the class has to write the sentences from memory into their journals. This is the worst part of class. She finds this task easy and boring. Thinking to herself, what if I write whatever I want? Some fascinating wild short story. Certainly it would be marked wrong, a mistake, an error. As if somehow, conforming to get it right would make her worthy. Worthy of life, of being liked, of being accepted. It would somehow make her good enough. What bull crap. These sentences are ridiculous.

A little while later Anna had enough. Looking around making sure no one was looking she opened her desk and pulls out a piece of paper, folding and placing it in her pocket along with a small pencil.

Drawing was a regular thing with Anna. She isn’t really that good but that doesn’t matter to Anna. She just needs a release, a brake from this cookie cutter life. The rational thinking part of herself knows she has to raise her hand to be excused to the restroom. I hate raising my hand she thinks. With everyone in the class turning to look at me. But the other part of herself, her inner fire and will power, pushes the hand upward without a thought. So up goes the hand anyways, because that is what needs to happen.

“Yes Anna?” Mrs Beasy asks.

“May I please go to the restroom?”

“Can’t it wait Anna? Recess is in 30 minutes.”

“I really need to go, sorry.” Anna replies

“Go ahead, but make it quick. You have two minutes”

“Thank you.” Anna smirks as she slips out from behind her desk and hurries out the door.

In the restroom, pleased to find it empty, she finds a stall in the corner. Once inside, puts down the toilet seat. Grateful these bathrooms are clean. She takes off her sweater and pulls the paper out, pressing agains the wall making it easier to draw. Noticing the scribbles of writing on the walls, she decides to use it for inspiration and begins to let her imagination flow onto the paper.

As she nearly finished pouring her soul onto paper she realizes tears are pouring from her eyes. Stop crying, why are you crying! She is lonely, she knows this all too well. But the day is nearly half over. She only has to make it a little longer. She can shower when she gets home and wash away all the energy of this day and of all her classmates. Lemmings, herding together, pretending not to be as lonely as she is. I will survive, being alone is not always so bad she tells herself.

Whipped her eyes, whipped them again. Blew her nose with some toilet paper. Opening her eyes as wide as possible and fanning them with her hands to dry them out. She will put her long blond hair over her shoulders and in her face a little, keeping her face down. Don’t look anyone in the eyes. It’s almost recess. I can do this, she told herself. She had already taken more than two minutes, she was sure of it. She ran back to the class room. Slinked inside and sat behind her desk.

The recess bell rang. Hearing the snickering of classmates laughing and asking why she always sat alone was almost too much to handle. It was better to be alone than to sit with a group of kids all pretending to be someone they were not. No, she would sit under this beautiful tree and eat her fancy lunch in peace, keeping to herself on the lush green grass, in the shade, on the far side of the playground. The trees make much better friends than those other kids anyways.

That afternoon, her mother picks her up from school. Does not ask her how her day went. Just says “Please hurry and get inside. Let’s go. Hurry up. I want to get ahead of the traffic.”. Thank goodness, that is not a question she wanted to answer right now.

Back home, chores done. Chores always come first. After all what is it her dad always says, “It is import to have good work ethics to make it through life.”

She whizzed through her homework as usual.  The teacher always so proud of her straight A’s but too blind to see how much she craved a challenge. Her parents, clueless as the only thing that mattered were the grades, not whether she enjoyed it or not.

Then straight to the shower. Clean, laying on her bed, door closed. She could hear all the sounds of her busy, noisy siblings on the other side of the door. They were in the middle of some project or task. She didn’t want any part of that. She was where she wanted to be. Alone, in her room. Free to draw or lay there and daydream until dinner time. All the commotion in the main part of the house was always too overwhelming and unsettling to her.

After a dinner, gluten free pasta, handmade marinara sauce with turkey meatballs and sparkling water. The cook always did make a tasty meal.  She finally went to sit down and watch some television. Whatever show they happened to have on in the living room. The only time they settled down enough for Anna to be with her “family”. Far from a fairy tale but she would take it. It is better than not having a family at all, others in the world have much worse than her. She should be grateful, and so she will be, she tells herself.

Done for the day, she jumps up onto the bathroom counter. Now turning on her pink rectangular boom box. Looks at herself, a daily routine. She thinks to herself, who is she? She often wonders this but thinks she may never know. Then, looking deeper into her eyes as if she could see her soul she wonders if others can see in her eyes all the hurt she feels sometimes but tries not to show.

Eye to eye with herself, her mind wanders…

Anna picks herself up, and back into the bedroom to find something to put on for the day. She goes to her closet, then her dresser drawers and realizes she has nothing clean to wear. What will I do, she thinks in a panic.

“Anna! I mean it, get out here. We are leaving in 5 minutes with or with out you. If you are not ready on time I am going to tell your father!”

Anna’s heart sinks into her stomach which is already churning and now turning upside down. Visions of her father towering over her, yelling, as he folds his thick old well worn brown leather belt in half causing each half to slam into each other making a loud crashing slap of a sound. Thwack. Thwack. Intending to instill fear. It works. Making her jump every time. She does not like that belt. Though she was sure to always be careful to not make any mistakes. She had realized by the age of five that what she thought was right and wrong differed from what her parents thought were right and wrong. They seemed to change their minds to justify getting whatever it was they wanted. Whatever made their lives easier. They were lazy. That just would not do for Anna. I will be good, and not what they deceive themselves into thinking is good, but what is truly good and honest. And I will work hard, doing what is right even if I do not feel like it, even if it is hard, she thought to herself.  For now, while growing up in their house she would learn the art of figuring out what it is they want from her and comply. It was their house, their rules, their money paying for all she had, the little that she did have, it was the only logical thing to do. And for this she got the belt much less often than her siblings. How is it her brothers and sisters can’t see this as clearly, not understanding what they need to do, how they need to act, to keep from getting hit? She will do what ever it takes.

Frantically she quickly throws on her one pair of jeans. Grabs her socks from yesterday. Taking a sniff. They don’t smell too bad and her feet don’t sweat that much, they will be fine. Throwing her shoes on lacing them up quickly as her eyes skim the messy floor of her room for a shirt that will make due.

The first shirt, way too wrinkled, not a smooth spot on it. How does a shirt get that wrinkled? The next, yep a hole, that won’t work. The third, food stains on the front. Why is she such a sloppy eater? She really needs to work on that. Finally she picks up a beige long sleeve shirt with some sort of printed image on the front, shakes it out. Only a couple wrinkles, it’s the one. Pulling it over her head. She then grabs her pink puffy winter jacket. It looks like her dad’s blue down jacket, but it’s not down, just cheap stuffing nicely sown into pink thin plastic material that is supposed to resemble leather. It’s doesn’t.

“We are leaving!” Mother yells as her voice is trailing out the door.

Up and running down the hall, one arm in, then the next. It took a little finagling to get the second arm in the sleeve as she hurried to catch up. The days are still cool in the morning, she can keep the jacket on until morning recess. By then the wrinkles will be smoothed out enough. They will hardly be noticeable.

Out the front door. Down the driveway to the curb in front of the house. Opening the sliding side door of the old brown 12 seater van. Using all her strength to slam it shut again once inside the vehicle. The “shit-mobile”, because it looked like a large brown turd on wheels. She giggles quietly to herself, aptly named by her siblings, the name fits. She hops onto her seat and buckles in as the key turns to start the engine. Off to school. She will not get the belt today.

Sitting at her desk she pulls out her blue notebook that says journal on front and a sharp pencil. Every morning the teacher, Mrs. Beasy reads sentences. She will repeat it once or twice but then the class has to write the sentences from memory into their journals. This is the worst part of class. Heart racing, concentrating as much as possible. Thinking to herself, what if I can’t remember the whole sentence? I don’t want to get it wrong! I hate making mistakes. As if somehow, getting it right would make her worthy. Worthy of life, of being liked, of being accepted. It would somehow make her good enough. Though, she rarely did get 100% as hard as she tried. She was not good enough, but would never stop trying.

A little while later Anna smells something. What is that? looking around making sure no one was looking she opened her jacket a little and was overwhelmed with stench. Oh no! She frowns. Holding back tears, Why?!

Internal conversation was a regular thing with Anna. She always had a hard time making friends and well, at some point she started talking to herself to help her solve her problems as she had no one else to go to. And the few times she did have the opportunity to speak with someone, she wouldn’t dare, in fear of them perhaps finding she had done something wrong. She didn’t think she had done anything wrong, but what if she had? The rational thinking part of herself starts thinking, I hate raising my hand. With everyone in the class turning to look at me. But the other part of herself, her inner fire and will power, pushes the hand upward without a thought. So up goes the hand anyways, because that is what needs to happen.

“Yes Anna?” Mrs Beasy asks.

“May I please go to the restroom?”

“Can’t it wait Anna? Recess is in 30 minutes.”

“I really need to go, sorry.” Anna replies

“Go ahead, but make it quick. You have two minutes”

“Thank you.” Anna squeaks as she slips out from behind her desk and hurries out the door.

In the restroom, pleased to find it empty, she finds a stall in the corner. Once inside, noticing the dingy walls with scribbles of writing and etched words. She takes off her jacket. She had started to perspire a little and now with the jacket off she can see that from the help of her body heat and the little bit of moisture from her skin the animal urine stain, previously unknown to her, was now very noticeable and it smelt bad. A good two thirds of the shirt was covered and stained with piss. Wet piss now. Tears came pouring down her face. Fighting back hysterics, it’s hard to breath.

Calm down Anna she says to her self. Calm down. Stop crying. The day is nearly half over and at least you have your jacket. You can keep it on, no one will know. Keep to yourself. See sometimes it works out good to not have any close friends. Keep your distance and hopefully they won’t smell you. No one can know. If they knew they would send her to the principals office and call her mom. That is the last thing that can happen! Her mother would be embarrassed, maybe humiliated would be a better word for it and upset to say the least. The blame would be on Anna even though she knows she did nothing wrong. She doesn’t even know how to do laundry yet. But, the punishment would be unbearable. Much worse than the spanking she feared this morning. No, she had to endure, whatever it took. She could get through this day. It’s just piss anyways, it will not kill her. She can shower when she gets home. I will survive, she tells herself.

Whipped her eyes, whipped them again. Blew her nose with some toilet paper. Opening her eyes as wide as possible and fanning them with her hands to dry them out. She will put her long blond hair over her shoulders and in her face a little, keeping her face down. Don’t look anyone in the eyes. It’s almost recess. I can do this, she told herself. She had already taken more than two minutes, she was sure of it. She ran back to the class room. Slinked inside and sat behind her desk.

The recess bell rang. Hearing the snickering of classmates laughing and asking why she did’t take her jacket off? Wasn’t she hot? Was almost too much to handle. As they ate their fancy lunches and ran around the playground in groups of three or more, in the now 80 degree weather. Or maybe it just felt that hot in her sweaty pissy jacket. Keeping to herself as planned, on the lush green grass under a tree, in the shade, on the far side of the playground. Thinking, they can’t smell me, they are not close enough. They are just being mean, because that is what other kids do. And the trees make much better friends than those other kids anyways.

That afternoon, her mother picks her up from school. Does not ask her how her day went. Just says “Get inside. Let’s go. Hurry up. I want to get ahead of the traffic.”. Thank goodness, that is not a question she wanted to answer right now.

Back home, chores done. Chores always come first. After all that is why her dad says they had children, to pick up after him. What else are we good for if not that. He was joking, but then again not really.

She ignored her homework as usual and went straight to the shower. It was boring and always frustrated her, and she had no one to help her with it. They  rarely asked anyways and even if they did, they never checked. The teacher only ever gave her looks and shook her head when she had nothing to turn in. And it did not seem she ever spoke to her parents about it. As long as she didn’t get F’s or too many D’s she would be fine. And she behaved well in class and did well enough on the tests to manage that.

Clean, laying on her bed, door closed. She could hear all the sounds of her busy, noisy, large family on the other side of the door. They were constantly bickering, fighting or picking at each other. She didn’t want any part of that. She was where she wanted to be. Alone, in her room. Free to lay there and daydream until dinner time. All the commotion in the main part of the house was always too overwhelming and unsettling to her.

After a dinner, nasty cheap spaghetti made from that Hunts spaghetti sauce in a can, which was really just glorified ketchup. And even so there was never enough sauce on it. Of course her parents didn’t mind it, they had a block shredded cheese between the two of them to spread over the top of theirs, but that was not for the kids. Neither was the soda. Just water or coolaid made with double the sugar. She would take the water, thank you. She finally went to sit down and watch some television. Whatever show they happened to have on in the living room. The only time they settled down enough for Anna to be with her “family”. Far from a fairy tale but she would take it. It is better than not having a family at all, others in the world have it worse than her. She should be grateful, and so she will be, she tells herself.

Done for the day, she jumps up onto the bathroom counter. Now turning on her pink rectangular boom box. Looking at herself, she thinks, who is she? She often wonders this but thinks she may never know. Then, looking deeper into her eyes as if she could see her soul she wonders if others can see in her eyes all the hurt she feels sometimes but tries not to show.

She climbs down. Turns off the boom box. Walks back into her room and crawls into bed.

Many mornings later…

Anna awakes. Sits in her bed for a moment to let her head stop spinning and her brain wake up a bit. She slips out of bed and walks a few feet to the bathroom. Looking straight into the mirror. She washes her hands under cold water, shakes them dry and rubs them on her face. She then stares into the mirror, at her wet face and big brown eyes.  Staring at her reflection. Much older now, her eyes do not seem as big as they used to. It has been some 30 years since she has started this daily routine.

Eye to eye with herself, her mind wanders…

She ponders on the disconnect she has always felt while looking at her reflection thinking on who she really is. Considering the many years she has spent learning how to let herself out of the box she built in her mind for herself as a child to keep her safe and comfortable. Not realizing at the time how much damage that box would do to her subconscious and the amount of healing it would take to come out of that box. The hard lesson’s learned, over the last 20 years, that she was indeed loved and worthy. And then yet the longer amount of time it took to not just think this but to know it deep down and feel it as well. Discovering this new feeling and having to dig through a dictionary for hours, word after word, definition after definition to find a word or words that would fit this new amazing feeling she felt. Only to find the perfect two words, self esteem. So simple yet so profound. And then the time spent determining what it was in life she really wanted. She had come full circle to the self that she was as a child before she allowed herself to be formed by those around her as a defense mechanism to simply survive. And she could finally be herself without fear.

An open book, nothing to hide. Starting to let others see her hurt and pain, even if it is not always easy. It is how she grows and learns and it is a part of life. And no regrets for everything she has endured and all the decision she has made up to this point have made her who she is today. And she is awesome! And she loves herself, who she has become, who she is. Laughing fear in the face, hear I am. You have no control over me, never really did. I just convinced myself you did, and that was a lie.

And it dawns on her, I am not on one side of the mirror or the other. I am the mirror. I have the power to create the life I want. I will choose to reflect all that is good and right. I will make my own path in this world and in all the other realities out there.

What will she see when she looks in that mirror back at herself again in say another 10 years? She does not know. It is a mystery. But she no longer fears it, or her place in this world. It excites her, for she knows whatever she sees will be of her own making. For now she is truly and fully awake and free.

 

Spirits precious support

What an amazing experience I just had.

Last night our beautiful kitty passed on. It was at home and as peaceful as could be expected considering all the circumstances. We had a veterinarian assist him. He went peacefully with no pain. It is heart wrenching to say the least. He was and is our baby boy.

The week prior to his passing I was being visited by a turkey vulture. I had seen him several times. Then the night of Goliaths passing the vulture was fly circles overhead, over my home. With wings spread. A stunningly beautiful and large bird.

Today, I naturally spent the morning cleaning up around the yard. Planting some plants around where our boy is laid to rest last night.

Early afternoon we had a crow visit in the backyard, on the fencing and down in the yard. Shortly after that I standing in the driveway and this beautiful golden dragonfly shows up and is just flying around dancing on the wind for like 15 minutes! At times coming down to face and waist hight flying around my head, coming within maybe a foot of my face.

Then I saw a beautiful hummingbird in the tree. And a crow shows up again and swoops down close and lands in the tree. Pretty sure he was looking at the dragonfly but didn’t bother it. It was watching me and the dragonfly. Then out of nowhere a large beautiful monarch butterfly just flies in front of my face within 8 inches, just flying by.

All this time I’m still watching this beautiful golden dragon fly that gets close enough for me to see that it has these beautiful orange-ish red eyes and golden wings and a golden brown but more gold body. Then out of nowhere again I look over and see this stunning hawk flying by overhead, over our house with wings spread, pretty low almost at roof hight.

And at one point during all this when it was just the dragonfly, it chirped at me! It was loud too, so unmistakably a chirp. I am certain it came from the dragonfly. Do they even chirp? I had no idea they could do that. I have to look it up.

The whole experience was breath taking and amazing. The breeze was just the perfect amount. The Crow eventually lost interest and left. A while after the dragonfly left. Then I noticed bees on the lavender, baby birds chirping in the tree, and then a couple birds chirping and playing with each other in their.

I am just completely surrounded by Spirit and Guides right now. It was absolutely amazing. I have no doubt that our boy is with us in spirit, he is well and blessed. He is just pure love and light.

So amazing.

Is drinking lemon water healthy?

Lemons are acidic, right? Well, yes and no.

It is a common misconception that drinking lemon water is not good for you because it is acidic. Most of us interested in healthy eating know that it is best to eat a diet high in alkaline foods. Outside of the body and technically inside the body prior to digestion lemon juice is acidic but once digested it is alkaline.

But what about the teeth? Doesn’t it ruin the enamel on your teeth?

It can, if you were to suck on lemons all day, exposing your teeth for extended periods of time, this could damage the protective enamel on your teeth. However, drinking lemon water in moderation, say up to one glass a day, does not result in extended exposure and so it is not destructive to your teeth. This is the only con to consuming lemons or lemon juice that I am aware of. Considering this and the countless pro’s to drinking lemon water it is considered healthy.

Your stomach is protected from the acid in lemons and after the digestion process, when the lemon is metabolized it actually has an alkalizing effect raising the PH in your body. It leaves what is called an alkaline ash in your system that your body removes through urine. Thus, making it alkaline in the body.

The best way and time to drink your lemon water is warm and first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Doing this will help to flush your liver eliminating toxins daily. You can also opt to brush your teeth afterwards to further safeguard your teeth if you still have some concern about them being exposed to the lemon juice.

Some of the additional benefits of drinking lemon water are, but not limited to:

It is high in vitamin c, helps digestion, promotes clearer skin, can curb your craving for sweets, can help lose weight, and can help prevent bad breath.

How much lemon juice should be consumed? It varies, I usually squeeze the juice of an entire lemon into a cup of hot water most mornings when it is cold outside. But I love lemons and don’t mind the bitter taste. You don’t have to use that much and can add a bit of raw honey if you want it sweat. Any amount of lemon juice added to a cup of warm water each morning will be beneficial to your health.

About a road less traveled

I just read a great post by Broadside. My response is lengthy and well quite a bit more personal of a post than I anticipated posting when I started this blog. But I feel this is such an important subject, that I will share.

Do we need role models? By Caitlin Kelly

My response to the title – YES! More specifically we need positive role models.

She starts off by referencing a poem by Robert Frost – The road less traveled. This is by far my favorite poem of all time from the moment I heard it! If you have not read it, even if you are not a fan of poetry, it is worth the read.

At the end she poses the questions. Do you have role models to help you figure out your life? If so, who?

My immediate thought was no, I don’t currently have any role models, and I rarely have.

Then a minute more thinking about it I realized that is not true. Far from it. I often have to catch myself like this when my first response is negative and take a deeper look. And anything worth looking deeper into is worth sharing.

The fact is, with few exceptions (young children for example) we choose our role models, they don’t choose us. They can be anyone. Someone you know personally, who they are as person entirely, maybe just one aspect of their character (Ha, because we all know none of us are perfect) or even through something they have written. Their influence as a role model can be good, bad or in between. In any way, they can have a profound impact on our lives and can affect how we view ourselves. This is why understanding how role models play a role in our lives and selecting your role models carefully is paramount.

As a young child, my role models were my parents. Whether I wanted them to be or not. This is where my initial negative response comes from. Not because I have not had role models in my life but because my parents were not the role models I wanted them to be. But my parents, like all others, are human. And I have no control over the people they choose to be. But as we get older we are able to identify this, then choose who we want to be and likewise who our role models will be. Oddly enough when this “Aha” moment first came into my life I was a young girl, barely a teenager. When my mother, of all people, shared a poem she had just read, The road less traveled by Robert Frost.

A little back story. At about age five, I discovered that my ideals were different than my parents. Of course, at that age I did not know what an “Ideal” was. But I for the first time I truly understood the difference between right and wrong as it applied to me in deciding when I would do what is right or wrong, not just because my parents said so. In fact, from that point on I disagreed with decisions they made often. Unfortunately , I grew up in a sheltered household that was very “my way or the highway”.  Being so young, this caused a dilemma for me. At first my willpower was strong and I just kept my opinions to myself. Responded how I was expected to respond. But with few outside influences, over time came to believe that there was something wrong with me because I did not think or view things the same way they did. This negative “life lesson” I had learned from what I would consider bad role models in my life took me many years to unlearn.

When I first heard this poem, and saw it in a book. That spark went off in my head. There is more than one road. I can choose the road I want to walk. Maybe disagreeing with my parents perspective was not “wrong” after all and it is just a part of who I am. I can walk the road less traveled. Was there really nothing wrong with me? It seemed too good to be true, but it had to be true, enough people in the world must have different viewpoints in order for something like this to be printed and sold to the masses. At that moment I chose to let Robert Frost, through that poem be a role model to me. And a good one at that!

Considering of course that I was still a child and needed to respect my parents while I lived in their home. Besides nothing they required of me was illegal, they just a had a different view on life than I did. And so, I did as instructed and was the daughter they wanted me to be.

But I also was now free. Free to learn how to be myself again. To find again who I was when I was five. To start the long process of self-reflection to find my true self and personality that I had worked so hard to bury deep inside all those years. An individual, free to accept that I can be whoever I want to be and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  True, I could not show it outright for a time. Until I was an adult and on my own. But that was okay, knowing this was going to be a long hard process anyways because my thoughts had changed but all the old feeling were still there. A little (many years really) quiet time in my mind to sort things out was not a bad thing. I was now moving in the right direction and could choose my own role models. Even if they had to come from books.

We do not have control over how we are raised. But if it had not been for the experiences I had growing up, I would not be as strong of a person as I am today. For that I am grateful for the all challenges I have faced.

As fate would have it. Around the same point in time I started taking martial arts. I chose my instructor to be a positive role model. As I got older, over nearly a decade our relationship had developed through many stages. In all, he has been and continues to be the greatest role model in my life. He has always challenged me to be myself, no matter how scary that can be at times. For that and many other reasons he is the most amazing person I know. He is my best friend and now my husband of almost 18 years.

I came to be someone who knew many people but really had few friends. I often chose friends who had something about them that I admired and aspired to.

Currently I have been blessed to know a couple more people over the last few years who I can get alternate perspectives from when I find myself questioning my own perspective on things. It is always good to have three very different people to bounce things off of, to then ponder and determine what your true thoughts are on life matters. I value their opinions and admire much of who they have chosen to be as people.

The first of my three, of course being my husband.

Second, my personal trainer who through example has greatly inspired me to find value in experiences over things. I have never really considered myself materialistic but I have a new-found appreciation for finding value in experiences.

The other is my acupuncturist. Such a kind and caring soul, she finds joy in helping people heal.

All are always willing to give their point of view when asked. They are in my opinion excellent role models and I am grateful to have them in my life.

Through it all the good, bad and in between have helped me open my mind, helped me discover who I want to be and guide to me to who I am. I regret nothing because I love who I am today.

As my husband would say “Change is the only thing constant in life, get used to it”. My take on that is, if things are going to change, make them change for the better. And change in the form of growing and becoming a better person is a good thing. Anyone who can help you achieve such growth is a role model worth having in my opinion.