Beneath blankets of blue,
Critical, medicinal chains,

Is clothing,
Made of me.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

“What do you want?”
“What are you looking for?”
My ears register these words asked of me.
“I don’t know.”
Bright-eyed reply of mine;
Frantic in my mind’s building anxieties.

What are the stories we tell ourselves, and why does it even matter?  In conversation with friends, new friends, I found myself excited and overwhelmed simultaneously.  Just what was bothering me?  Just what exactly felt as freeing as a friendly smile?

It was something she said, “What does it matter?  It is the story we tell ourselves.”  Yes, it is indeed the story we tell ourselves.  So vital!  I can move throughout my day, telling myself how tired I am, how difficult it is to lift my knee, or wonder if things will ever be the same again.

I can chastise myself for sitting back down, using the walker instead of a cane, stopping at 8 instead of 10.  I can push myself, and tell myself a story.  Inside my mind large flashes of noble banners:

~ More! will help you win! ~
~ You must prove yourself! ~
~ Do Not Be Lazy! ~
~ If you stop now, you risk atrophy! ~
~ Are you doing everything you possibly can?! ~

This week has been a difficult one.  I was loosing function once again.  Struggling for breath.  Struggle for motion.  Pain, numbness, fear settling in.  My attempts are to simply ignore these things, and I will smile and give you my “Pollyanna” best.

In truth, I grit my teeth, as I always did.  A little girl, muscles tense, hands on hips; “You will never get to me!” Is this really the story I wish to tell myself?  Does this really help my cause?

Yesterday, no matter how I tried to will my body forward, bed was where it resided.  By afternoon evening, all ice packs came out; called to active duty.  Muscle by muscle I wrapped them in ice.  My chest, my feet, ankles, calves, neck, and hips.

Through the night, as I fell asleep in my cool blankets, my body recharged.  In the morning a miracle happened.  I arose, I showered, I exercised, stretched, and meditated. I went about my day in a slow meander.

What do I want?  Information, health, the pursuit of happiness.  I want it ALL!  right?  Truth is I do not know.  I simply just want to BE.  To express how alive I feel.  The love I have for my world.  

The story is, there is no story.  There is no need for any one image, any one path, any one story at any given moment in our lives.  I, we, are enough.  Resting or active.  Moving or still.  Own it; deep in my bones; own it.

Thank you my dearest world.  You bless me with what I need when I need it.  Sharing it forward as a steward.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

Adaptations in Progress (detail), 48
Adaptations in Progress (detail), 48″ x 42″, charcoal, pigment, ink, graphite, paper, tape, ©CKS, 2002-16-present
Posted by:Connie Karleta Sales

artist, poet, educator, public speaker and thriver! Smiles and unpaved roads are the way I roll :D