Puzzling patterns

“No one yelled at me”. The unwelcomed words surfaced. So easily the people who heard barely took the message seriously. As the comment echoed back to me, the stories the words revealed saddened my heart. Before and after, I whispered to myself. Before and after. Now is different, very different. Joyfully, the echo dissipated with acknowledgment of the deception.

I breathe in deeply, delighted with the spirit of community, here, in this moment. I remind myself of messages which create this amazing sacred day. Attraction rather than promotion. My thoughts wander to Occupy Wall Street protests. Are they attracting, promoting, or yelling?

I try to stay out of the way and to avoid getting hurt. Ladders, saws, tools I’ve never seen before surround me. I struggle with feeling out of place. There are other things I do well, but here, in this moment, those skills are not a priority. This is an old familiar struggle. The one where I know, absolutely, that I will walk into a room, a meeting, event, and be told, “What are you doing here? You don’t belong here”. Not true, absolutely not true. The people beside me would be shocked if they were aware of my thoughts.

I look for patterns to help me know what is needed, how I can help, with an interest in learning rather than withdrawing. Changing the pattern is uncomfortable. So is hammering an upside down nail. Lumber covering the yard, framing exposed, it’s a work in process. Next week, I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with friends. I’ve taken the puzzle that used to be familiar, shaken up all the pieces, and slowly created my own pattern. The tools were unfamiliar at first. Now, they appear effortlessly. Gratitude. The Clark Kent of new patterns. Someone blaming me for their unhappiness? ~ Gratitude that I no longer believe I am responsible. Unfamiliar with a new environment? ~ Gratitude for moving beyond my comfort zone to expand my experiences. Memories from the past? Gratitude for trusting the promise of an unfinished puzzle.

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