X Y Z…
Remember the “A, B, C” song? First three letters of the alphabet begin the song, and the last three, “X, Y, Z,” end it. The final lyrics in the song are, “Now I’ve said my ‘A, B, Cs. Tell me what you think of me.” I’m now at the end of the alphabet with this series of blogs (26 in total) about words beginning with each letter of the alphabet, and I must admit, many of these pauses have truly challenged my self-acceptance, desire to remain neutral, yet committed to finishing what I started, remaining true to doing what I said I would do. I have hoped you’ve enjoyed some of these blogs. Honestly, however, my greatest delight is that I’ve now reached the end of the alphabet, and won’t be writing about something because it contains the letter of the week on a weekly basis. I’m happy dancing as I write this litany of freedom. It’s down to the end, and I get to deal with the three letters with the least inspirational words I can imagine. Xenophobia (fear of strangers)/x-ray? Youth, Yoke, Yoga, Yearning? (These words I’ve already addressed this year.) Zenith/Zero? (Not really inspirational measurements for literary excellence, in my opinion.) In this pause, I will change my process as I write the last weekly alphabet blog for this year.
The learning I’ve experienced with this alphabet adventure is that life is not about kudos or soliciting praise or likes for what I write. I write because I feel called to write, almost like I feel called to breathe. Many days I don’t feel like writing. This weekly Pause has kept me writing beyond my daily journaling practice. It has been humbling to publish something not well-written and gratifying to publish something I strongly advocate and feel excited about. I’ve learned there are beginnings and endings to experiences. The endings always morph into another beginning of something else so I never consider them the absolute finale because everything becomes new, one way or another.
I’ve learned that I don’t write for an audience. I write for me. Graciously, we are connected at levels of awareness we don’t always recognize or appreciate, and often, my thoughts/words may touch another in an affirming, perhaps pivotal, or incentive manner. The writing itself expresses my thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the subject of my writing. Some subjects I love and others I tolerate. Some facets of a weekly blog inspire me to greater awareness, and some aspects drag me deep into “my stuff.”
Writing, for me, mirrors life. Some days life flows and other days, to flow is a struggle. When I feel challenged to accomplish what I planned with intention to create, I remember my mother, Mary Alice. My mother always admonished me: “Finish what you start.” This edict colored my childhood. When chores, homework, or a project weren’t finished in a timely matter or by appropriate, advised, or congruent methods, there were consequences. If I said I was going to do something, I was expected to do it. If I started a project, made a resolution, or set an intention, I was to be true to my word and complete it. I was to do my best, mean what I say and say what I mean, and to follow the standards and rules that were set for me by my parents and teachers. These precursors to the four agreements guided my upbringing in the Hohlfelder household.
Needless to say, I wasn’t always successful at following these rules. I often felt shamed or blamed, not enough, a failure because I gave myself no wiggle room with these absolute standards. I developed a strong perfectionist judge within myself, one who could never be good enough. Not anyone outside myself was this inner critic. I was my creation, my adaptation to experience, unique to Carol Margaret Hohlfelder.
As I grew life experiences over decades, I learned that I am not what I do, and that who I am is not defined by my association with others. What others think of me is none of my business. I am what I create myself to be, and in my quest to be the best me I can be, I’ve learned that congruence matters. How I act, what I think, how I feel matter in relation to how I choose to respond, contribute, and what I commit to be, do, and have. The best way I know to be congruent is to accept, forgive, and take care of myself. To live by vision and with intention. To bring to others what I want to create for myself and our world: Joy, Love, Peace, Inspiration, Gratitude, Grace…. Lots of different words describing attitudes, feelings, and thoughts that are healing, connecting, and worthy of aspiration by and for all.
I’ve rambled a bit in this “X Y Z” blog, but I’ve followed my mother’s advice and finished what I’ve started. I’ve preferred this discourse to pontification about zenith yokes of xenophobia.
Thank you for traveling from “A B C” to “X Y Z” with me.