Today is the longest day of the year, at least if you’re living in the Northern Hemisphere.  For our Southern friends (and I mean a little further south than Arkansas or Louisiana), they’ll be enjoying the shortest day of the year which is our pleasure on December 21st.   Of course, the more extreme regions of the earth don’t see things the same way, but then, as is typical of any extreme, the point of view typically differs from the norm or average. 

In reviewing my experience with Bank of Internet and my attempt to refinance the house with cash out for my remodel, I am not only reminded that if something seems to good to be true, chances are it is, I realize that they are an organization which deals with extremes.  If your numbers are extremely good, they’re your best pal in the world and will bend over backwards for you, but if you fail to measure up in one of their many categories, they pull out the old bait and switch to try to suck you in, and if you don’t want to play the game by their skewed rules, you become extremely unworthy of their time.  Needless to say, after Plan D has been implemented and the remodel is complete, I will be extremely unlikely to call them again. 🙂  Fortunately, the lesson was learned with minimal harm and just a bit of inconvenience this time.  If nothing else, I’ve learned to set my limits and cut my losses when those limits can’t be met, and in most cases, I still manage to get what I wanted in the first place! 

I believe that the ability to shake things off more easily and move forward is directly related to the amount of scar tissue acquired from life’s many lessons.  Scar tissue means our wounds have healed fully, but it also serves to protect us from the extremes of the first wounds we acquire.  Maybe that’s where the term “thick skinned” came from.  After being wounded several times, our skin thickens because scar tissue is a different consistency from our normal, soft and silky outer covering.  Callouses are the same way.  A part of us gets rubbed raw a few times, and pretty soon, we develop callouses to protect the softer inner layers.  Nothing but living life will allow us to create these protective layers.  Failing to allow scar tissue and callouses to form means that we don’t allow the wounds we incur through the business of living the Human experience to heal, and without healing, we tend to focus on the pain rather than the lesson.  It also takes less to cause us harm when we walk around with open wounds, and pretty soon, we’re unable to truly experience the joys and sorrows life has to offer.  What a shame so many people go through life as what we so often hear as “the walking wounded”.  When thought of in terms of scars and healing, this concept becomes quite easy to visualize. 

In many ways, before I started writing about my parents’ suicides, I was one of those walking wounded, but wasn’t able to see past the pain and the walls I’d erected between myself and the world.  Not unlike others in similar situations, I saw myself as fine and fully functional.  Nothing could have been further from the truth!  And the proof was in my lack of connection with other people.  Yet it wasn’t until I’d allowed some of the wounds to heal that I even realized how out of touch and disconnected I had been.  Erecting walls instead of scars does shield us from the pain, but at what cost? 

Even worse, how many lives did I fail to touch because I refused to allow the natural healing process to occur?  Granted, part of the lesson I needed to learn was certainly wrapped up in learning to allow myself to heal, and I’m sure I followed the process I needed to, but I am sorry that, in the process, I turned my back on the rest of humanity.  I only hope that in learning the lesson I will have the opportunity to give something back after all I have taken away.  I am grateful, though, the the light came on while I can still do something about it. 

In the last few months, I have become more and more aware of my lack of connection, the gaping hole in my life that used to be filled with friends and family.  In delving into the reasons for this hole, I realize that my own withdrawal is the root cause.  Yet it isn’t entirely bad that I spent time in this vacuum like existence as, ultimately, it made me search within to find that I was holding myself back and clinging to things I no longer needed.  It’s a lot like getting rid of physical clutter.  You have to pick each item up and determine whether or not it still has value for you.  If it doesn’t, you have to let it go.  And just as I’ve let go of clothes and shoe, magazines and other items which were taking up space in my house, so, too have I let go of feelings and thoughts which no longer serve me, nor allow me to become the person I need to be.   I don’t expect to ever reach a point where I have a life that’s completely free of clutter, but I’m heading towards the place where my clutter will be more agreeable, more pleasing to the senses than that which I have gathered around me for the last 20 or 30 years.  And part of the “clutter” I look forward to embracing again is the warmth and connection of friends and family.

In Love and Light.