Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dear Elizabeth Gilbert

Dear Liz,

(Yes. I'll call you Liz if you don't mind. After all, you are one of my dear friends)

On Sunday morning, I woke up and grabbed my phone from my bedside table as I usually do. I checked the Facebook group that I run and then switched over to my personal page. I was pleasantly surprised to see a reply from you.
I wrote this…

Oprah Winfrey hired me to do
P.R. for my dear friend
Elizabeth Gilbert.
She will be on
Don't miss it.
"This is so beautiful! Thank YOU!
And you wrote back …

I’m sure you are busy in your life hanging out with Oprah and the gang.  Yet, of all the people who shared the post about you being on Super Soul Sunday, you took the time to reply to me! My heart smiled as I read your reply.  I did a happy dance. It felt as if you knew that my soul needed a gentle touch in that moment.

My heart has been heavy lately with a lot of tough decisions regarding my son. He is a young man with high functioning autism who is transitioning into adulthood and driving me completely bonkers in the process. I’m hearing this good whisper saying,  "It’s time for him to go."

The whisper has actually screaming at me lately. Oh wait a second …that was him. But anyway, the whisper has been saying, “Release him to the world so that he can grow into the man that he needs to be. He will not do that as long as he is with you.”

He shows the promise of being a wonderful citizen of the world. He will be a man with challenges and he will conquer them.  He will need support to make this happen, but what he doesn’t need, is to be coddled and protected by his mother. I just don’t think he will grow into a man until he takes some steps away from me.

The whispers have also been saying, “You can’t keep living this way Karen. You are giving way too much of yourself.” I can hardly make myself out in a mirror. My inner light is fading. The walls are closing in on me. This world that I have created is now suffocating me. I have spoiled them all, including my husband and my mother.

I too have been spoiled.  I have been given the gift of being a mother full-time for my boys. However,  in giving everyone so much of my focus, I have almost been erased. I think of them before I feed myself.  I think of them before I pee! I think of them before I exercise and subsequently, I usually put it off.  It’s become a bad habit.

What does this person need from me now? Here you go.  Slowly, I am giving away a small piece of my soul.

The whispers are saying, “You have given to them out of love and protection, but it’s time to let them fly. It’s time for you to start flapping your own wings and start living instead of just existing.” 

After I saw your message on Facebook, I flipped on the t.v.  and watched you on Super Soul Sunday on OWN.  You sat there chatting with my girlfriend Oprah, but you spoke directly to me.  It was like you were sitting there having the chat that I, specifically needed to hear.

“If you stay on this path you may literally die or die in pieces.” Liz Gilbert 

I’ve been feeling like I am dying a slow death. This life that I’m living is a part of my path, but it is NOT my path in total. I am called to do more.

“Good whispers scare you. They open you up.” Liz Gilbert

You’re a writer Karen. You have a gift to give to the world. Your family is a part of your world. They are not your ENTIRE world.
You don’t like Texas. This is not where you are meant to spend the rest of your life. Stop doing what everyone else wants you to do. Empower them to do for themselves. Get yourself in a position to pay someone to do the things you no longer want to do. They will probably do a better job anyway. You are meant to travel the world. You are meant to be in the places where you are loved simply for being who you are. You are meant to have a relationship with your husband. He’s supposed to be your lover and your partner, not just the dad, the breadwinner and the guy you share a room with.”

“The good whispers scare you. They open you up. Bad whispers shut you down. You can’t listen to them." Liz Gilbert

My good whispers say, “It’s time for him to move to the next step of his life.” The unknown variables of that scare the shit out of me. The good whispers say, “You are supposed to write a larger piece of work, that will reach farther and help more people.”
My bad whispers say, “You do not have time to write today. You don’t have time to exercise. You can never finish a long term project. You have too much on your plate.”

“Obstacles help you gain what you need for the battle.” Liz Gilbert 

The difficulties that I face right now are what’s making me stronger.  My destiny is to encourage others through my writing.  To tell them that they can get through these obstacles and and make it to the other side.  It doesn't really matter what channel that writing comes in on write now. The point is that it touches someone.

I made this and shared it on FB and Instagram

This was one of my favorite quotes.
The voice in my head says to me, "You’re not smart enough. Your grammar is horrible. You can’t focus. No one you know has ever done this. What makes you think you can?"
Who is that shit talker? She really needs to shut up! 

“Sometimes you have to shape the quest to the reality of your life.” Liz Gilbert  

As much as I'd love to run off to Italy, France, Bali, anywhere but here reality is that right now, I am a mother, a wife, a caregiver.  I write a blog that touches many all over the world.  My writing helps them and let’s them know that they are not alone in this difficult journey raising children with autism. What I’m going through each and every day with my boys, the good and the bad and sometimes hilarious, I share and someone’s life is touched. I make someone laugh. I help them realize they they are not crying alone.

I am also called to write a larger piece of work. Perhaps that hasn’t happened yet, because I’m still walking the path of raising these boys. My journey with them is not complete and it does require a lot of focus. And remember Karen, you don't focus all that well. 

You reminded me however, that even if I can’t do things exactly the way I want to do them today, I need a plan. I need to set up my "coffee can plan" and put something away in it every day toward my goals. I will write something every day. What I’m living and what I’m doing right now, is a part of my spiritual journey.

“Grace says I don't care what you do, you're splendid, magnificent and I'm here. I'm right beside you and we're gonna get through this.” 

Thank you Liz, for helping me to give myself a little grace.

And guess what?

I will see you and my girlfriend Oprah next weekend in Houston at Oprah's The Life you Want Weekend.