“Whack! Whack! Whack! Whack!

With each blow he slays or saves.

Demons show in his eyes,

So bright: like the sun, like the moon.”

– IkkyΕ«

Slaying or saving. What are we fighting and what are we fighting for? What are we trying to save? I’m not sure why I constantly fight myself, but I am tired of fighting.

My kids are going away soon for the summer. They spend a big chunk of the summer with my mother and stepfather every year. It is my reprieve and reset. Last year, I worked and in my spare time fell in love and really enjoyed that.

This year, I’ll be working of course, but I’ll be applying for jobs and traveling for interviews, hopefully. And getting my house ready to rent. I am accepting that all signs point to “time to move on” and I may have been living in fear of change.

I keep thinking of this quote from Vanilla Sky, “I want to live a real life….I don’t want to dream any longer.”

When I started the summer of yes I knew I wanted to say yes to everything that came my way. I felt like I had to make up for time I’d lost denying myself the freedom to take care of my own needs and wants. I did to a large extent. I also realized that that denial of myself ran deeper than just saying no to fun experiences.

It ran down into my soul and the denial of my Self and my feelings. It ripped my eyes open to these patterns of behavior that I was in lock step with. I’ve spent a lot of time since then uncovering all the patterns and all the habits and all the beliefs that make me, me…. for good and bad.

Compassion for myself is still a constant struggle. When I started the #summerofYES in 2016, I set my intention toward “falling in love with myself.” What grew from that intention was a deeper knowledge of who I am and appreciation for what I’ve experienced so far and compassion for the difficulties I overcame. Where I struggle now is having compassion for my responses and reactions. I expect that I should be able to always be calm and understanding and accepting.

Fuck that. I am not always calm and understanding. In fact, when people confound me, when I feel most misunderstood or have misunderstandings with others, is when I am least calm and often hardest on myself. As I grew in recognizing this, I realized it occured more and more often.

And now I am here. Looking forward to a second #summerofYES, maybe a #summerofFUCKYES, with slightly more open eyes, softer heart, less hard shell (hopefully), and the desire to be more intune with what is most true. If that means I cannot always “love” myself, but I can more easily accept my flaws and rougher edges that could be enough. Hopefully, no more “whack, whack,whack” hacking at myself and the parts I cannot accept. No more demon eyes turned inward. Summer is a time for growth and now is that time.