Heavenly Sign

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An actual cloud spotted today on the way to my writers’ group meeting

I think Mother Nature is trying to tell us all something…or at least me.

Today my friend and I were driving to my writers’ group meeting and as we both looked up, there it was. A cloud shaped like a heart. It seemed almost three-dimensional. But it was beautiful. And its message was unmistakable to me.

We stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to get some coffee. I had to pull out my phone and take a picture. It was fleeting, this cloud, for moments after I’d taken it, it melted away.

I struggle with loving myself frequently. Daily, you might even say. I have this deep-seated belief that I don’t deserve to be loved. Sure, my family loves me, and I them. But I don’t love myself. I believe everything that is happening to me is because I deserve it. I know I’ve done some awful things in my youth, in my twenties, when I was testing out who I was and what I could do. And get away with (and no, I didn’t break the law). But we all do, every one of us.

Living in New York City didn’t always help, either. I absolutely loved it there. Life could be rough, but there was so much life going on all at once it wasn’t difficult to go on overload. Never found any meaningful relationships with men, but managed to have wonderful friends. And when I landed my dream job, I was happy. But then old ways fell into place. I grew deeply depressed. Lost friends because I became impossible to deal with. Felt strongly I deserved to be punished. I became suicidal, and thanks to a terrific friend who is still rather close, she talked me off the edge.

It’s no secret I’ve had a terrible time finding a job that pays for me to survive. Working retail sucks, it really does. It’s very hard work, demanding physical and mental powers to make it through the day. My back is killing me. Varicose veins riddle my legs. My eyes are dried out and I breathe stale air. But Phipp’s hired me, so I reward them with my dedication. But I’m embarrassed to be there. Again, I feel as if I’m being punished and this is all I deserve.

But I also landed a one-day-a-week job at an arts organization I’ve been affiliated with for years. I love being there. They have faith in my abilities and have said it’s a mystery to them why no one has hired me. There’s hope I’ll get more hours in the new year and shrink mine at Phipp’s. Budget talks are next week. I hope the board says yes to bringing me on.

So yeah, call it a coincidence, but this heart shows up as I’m headed to my monthly writers’ group meeting – and underscores my love of writing. My agent and I will talk on Monday about my book. She’s already said my main character needs work. We’re going to discuss what needs to be done. I’ve struggled with writing as of late; self-doubt creeps in again. It’s hard to want to write when I’m working six days a week.

This heart has different opinions, though. It’s floating there, declaring that I should begin with loving myself. Believing in who I am. Never giving into fear. Trusting that my abilities will once again get me where I need to be in life. For love in the sky might be fleeting, but its message is clear. Without beginning to love myself, nothing will be possible. With love, I can change the universe.

 

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