Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quilting Bee #27


Wendy created this fun little quilt!!

Hi everyone!! You may have noticed the change of decor...it was time for me to put on a bit of my darker side and get a bit gothy for Halloween! Most of you who know me a bit ....know I am not really dark. Honestly I can't really create dark artwork..I try..it just comes out cute. But you may have noticed..playing with the photography well..it seems I can be a bit dark there! Next Saturday is the big Halloween blog party and I am getting an early start. Getting myself in the mood to set a spooky table for the party.

So..don't be scared come on in and make yourself at home..still cozy and I have set out a fun quilt & some delicious soups today with hot fresh baked bread! Can you smell it..mmmmmmmm. And the soup... well there is; cheddar cheese with broccoli, or with bacon, potato, egg drop, chicken with wild rice, the most delicious veggie soup you have ever tasted, minestrone, and one of my favorites, New England clam chowder. So pull up a chair and join me!!

I was thinking about regret this week. We all have things that tear at our hearts. Things we have done, thing we have not done, choices made, folks we have hurt. Maybe even deeply wounded ourselves. We all have it...regret. I have my fair share of things I have created that I would rather shy away from and keep locked away. But the truth is.. in those wee hours, they tend to creep out of their holes and make themselves known. What we do with them determines whether we can move on and grow or stay stuck.

When I was going through my divorce I made some choices that effected not only me for years to come, but deeply and painfully effected my girls. Honestly at the time I thought I was making ok choices to take my children and move across the country. We were not safe, he was a threat. Such a threat that I hired a bodyguard, who later traveled with us across the country also. Many of you know this man is now my husband Jim.

The reality was, I had to go back to a southern state to go to court. In short it went badly. To this day no one can explain how an abusive man managed to convince a judge to remand his daughters back to NC into his primary custody. A man whose own psychiatrist testified that he had anger management problems. The testimony against him was damning. Yet... this preschool teaching, Girl Scout leading, Sunday school teaching, homeschooling Mom with no record of anything, ever..lost her children. Why you ask? Well the judge said he didn't like the fact that I had taken the children away. No worry that my ex was abusive..or that the girls had been safe and happy in Idaho for two years. There were ripped from me and that forever changed us all.

My last trip with the girls to Target & the airport, were two of the most painful experiences of my life. Buying them new socks and undies and a few sweet treats from Mama. The airport destroyed me & them. We just sat there and sobbed. We were not ok for months and months. I truly came to understand why people commit suicide during that time. Although I never came close myself, I truly understood the deep pain and regret that would drive someone to leave it all behind. It left me terrified and shattered. But eventually it also made me stronger.

My regret..was not that I divorced him..but that we left NC. I believe if we had stayed it might have gone differently. They are both here now, which I am deeply thankful for..but the damage to my beautiful daughters is mine to carry..the regret mine to hold or let go of.

So what do you do with that kind of regret? I share this, as it is without a doubt some of the most painful and regret filled times of my life to date. What do you do with that gnawing regret that follows hell? I guess I wanted to share this with you because I so frequently read posts by wonderful, dear folks struggling to wade through deep, painful regret. Here is what I have learned. I hope maybe my experience will help.

There is only one good thing about regret..to learn from it. What is the lesson you are being asked to learn? What do you need to ask forgiveness for? What do you need to forgive yourself for? What will you do the next time you face something like this? How will you use this experience to help others? These are the only good things to come from regret...the learning.

Beyond the learning..regret is pointless. It is the past. There is nothing you can change no matter how you weep and gnash you teeth at it..it is over and you cannot change it..ever..it is done. Let it be done.

Someone years ago told me a story about a pebble and a pond. Regret is the pebble you throw into the pond. That is where it should stay. When you insist on revisiting it..you wade back into the pond and fish it out - sometimes over an over again. It is pointless. So throw the pebble you are holding and walk away from the pond. Take with you only the lesson that pebble has given you. Be present!

One more very important thing about having regret...you have to forgive yourself. This is so deeply important. We all make choices based on where our heads are at that moment. Some are good, some are not so, some are horrid choices that damage others & ourselves. It happens..it happens to most of us at one time or another. So..be gentle to you, let regret stay at the bottom of the pond, walk away and be present. To keep it beyond the learning does not serve you in any way. Take your lesson and get unstuck..move on and be free of it. You will find a wiser,stronger you on the other side of letting regret rest.

One last little thing.if you are reading this and it rings true with you..I am sending gentle hugs to you..can you feel them? If you feel moved to share a regret or something you have learned from regret with us, please do. Let Fly with that pebble!

I think I will have some clam chowder and some delicious hot bread and maybe some Earl Grey tea. Mmmmmm...won't you join me?? Thank you for joining me today! You know I love to have you come by!! Namaste, Sarah

20 comments:

Halloween Spirit said...

Sarah you are so insightful. My Grandfather did commit suicide because he was not allowed to see his kids. His ex wife (not my Grand ma) Took them to an orphanage and told them their Father was dead. When he and my Mom went to get them they wouldn't allow him to even see them. They drove off with his little boy running behind the car, yelling Daddy! This was in the 1950's. My poor Mom then lost her Mom to cancer within the same year, and my Brother 5 years later. We really need to enjoy the good times. Nothing is here forever. Do not take anything for granted.

Dede said...

I too prefer to throw that pebble in the pond and not wear it around my neck. Yes, we are all human and we are all going to make mistakes, some even that we regret. Holding onto regret will only make us unhappy and very unproductive.

The clam chowder sounds so yummy...

(((HUGS)))

Barbara said...

Dear Sarah, I love the story of the pebble. As for the rest, you're right. Nothing but to move forward in the now. I believe we all have our own angels watching us. Each of your kids has one (or two) watching out for them. And their own journeys to run. You're doing the best you can with the knowlege you have and that's always the best we can do... (((Hugs!))) xoxo B

Joanna Jenkins said...

Your post took my breath away. You are so brave.

Sending love and prayers to you and your girls.

xo

yoborobo said...

Sarah - you are very brave, first to have done what you did to protect your girls, and second to share this with us. I had a rocky childhood (like many) and I have to say, it taught me many things: compassion, the value of love and friendship, and the ability to judge whether a person is good for me or not. Hard lessons, but ones that I have taken with me. So will your girls. They will be as strong as oak trees, and that strength will get them through life's bumps. I'm so sorry you had to go through this, and so grateful they are back with you now. xo Pam
PS I have an award for you on my blog! :)

Snap said...

{{{{{{Sarah}}}}}}

I hope your story helps others. The pebble in the pond ... AMEN!

(I do believe *writing* is in the genes of you and your sisters.)

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

An important and beautiful post, dear Sarah. Your insights are hard won, meaningful and psychologically sound.

We do our best and cannot control everything. Seems to me your impulse to protect your children was wise and a lot of what you regret was due to the whim of a judge and you could not control that.

You are one talented, sweet, kind, wise, warm woman and your children are very lucky to have you as their mother.

Suecae Sounds said...

Sound advices indeed. I was so regretful, anxious and depressed before that suicide actually wasn't far away.

It is hard to explain unless you have actually been there yourself. How years of illness, bullying, traumas and bad choice in people who you associate yourself with can take you further and further down into a downward spiral.

But I know know that things can turn around. Step by step. How art, music and positives can save people from drowning in the past. And part of the wisdom is what you point out: let that pebble rest at the bottom of the sea.

Sherry Byrum said...

Wonderful Post Sarah!! I have the same kind of regrets as you although the circumstances are different. I made decisions that effected my sons and they never let me forget it. What I learned was it wasn't just me that made up the family. All the other adults involved had a part. I had to look at only my part. When I did I realized most of the harm had not even come from me. I say that because I think in your circumstances it definitely is not your regret to carry but his. You may have suffered from being seperated from your girls and they may have too but they would have suffered if you had stayed too. You gave them an example of a strong woman who had sense enough to save herself. So many women stay in an abusive relationship for the kids and it never turns out good. I think you did what you needed to so they had somewhere to go when they were old enough.
The system is still on the abusers side. I've had experiences lately with my grandchildren and can not believe the decisions the judges made. They gave the children back to the monsters that abuse them.

Like you I too go chasing after the pebbles, usually late at night when I'm trying to sleep. But I am a child from a marriage in which the man stayed for the children and it did not turn out good. We all have to learn the lesson of forgiveness, forgiveness sets us free. We also like to try to safe our children from experiencing pain but its a painful world and what we can do for them is become the best person we are capable of being and be there for them when they need us.
Sorry I had such a loooong reply but it is a subject close to my heart. You are a wonderful mother right now, today. And that's all we have anyway is right now. The present.

Emmy said...

Thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry you and your girls had to experience this. I can't even imagine.
And so so good for you to learn from this and to share with the rest of us. That is such a good analogy. Thank you for that.

Renee said...

Sarah what a meaningfull post. You are probably helping so many people by writing so honestly.

I think you need to let the regret go and work on what you can now. The regret is useless.

I love you beautiful friend.

Love Renee xoxo

Sarah said...

Thank you all!! You words have touched my heart!!
I have let go of it and have moved on! The girls and I have spent alot of time dealing with the past and letting the pebbles rest!! Thank you all for coming by!! Hugs, Sarah

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I've started a reply to this post three times and each time, closed the box without leaving a comment. This was so touching with so much deep sharing...I thank you for letting us in on your regret as painful as it was. You are a wise woman to know that any regret is for a learning purpose and to then throw it away as the rock in the pond. regrets will feed on our weekest moments and eat away at us unless we cast them aside and realize they are the past and not the present or future. They are all what has brought us to this place in time. My regrets? I know of many things that I wished I hadn't done but take them as pieces that have molded me to who I am today.
As always, Sarah...a favorite Monday meeting place for me. Hugs out to you and yours for living through those regrets and being WHO you are today!

Grace said...

Why is it so hard to let it go sometimes? Most of us have regret and I admire the way you have dealt with it.

Makes me even more thankful for my mostly happy childhood. And it gives me even more incentive to help foster a healthy and rewarding childhood for my children.

You inspire me. I appreciate your honesty. Glad to have found your blog.

clairedulalune said...

Dearest Sarah, you have me crying here hon! I am so sorry to read of your heartache and helplessness through that horrible time. So happy to read of your happier times as you threw that pebble with all your might! I think you are wonderful! ((((hugs))))

Holly said...

You know what I would regret? I would regret not having the chance to know you and like you very much now that I know you are here.

That would be a true regret!

Sherry Byrum said...

Hey I left you an award on my blog!!!! Go see!!

merelyadream said...

Me too sarah LOL I left one on my blog :)

holdingmoments said...

A very open and honest post Sarah; pulled a few strings here.

The pebble and the pond; yea, I think I'll always remember that now.

Laura said...

Wow. Sarah, I can't tell you how timely your post is for me. All I can say is that sometimes, that pebble seems to grow wings and fly right back no matter how hard you try to leave it behind. :(
blessings
~*~