Long Exposure – How I’ve Changed


Of all the people I know, I’ve changed the most over the years. Still bits of me that have always been me are here, but most of me is different, just like the cells in my body are different.

I’ve grown a lot over the last 22 years. These 22 years have been both the hardest and the best in my life. I lost my parents and discovered that yes, I can live without their guidance. It was hard at first, thinking of myself as an orphan, albeit an older orphan. I particularly missed Dad upon his leaving, as I had just become closer to him after Mom’s death. I had always admired him and wished we were closer, but finally we were. He was a steady hand at the tiller of life for me.

I have learned that in order to live and be happy, I must be compassionate toward myself and my fellow beings. Compassion was a hard lesson for me to learn as I wasn’t raised with it. I learned that I was emulating someone else’s ideas of life, not my own. Compassion came rushing in.

I have learned to stop judging. Even using the word “I” so much makes me nervous. Searching for other words to use in place of this, helps me to stop judging any other beings with whom I come into contact. Living in a dualistic world we are given to judgment but it is unnecessary. I do not need to tell myself what is bad and what is good – as I’ve heard many people say, it’s all good.

Tolerance is another habit formed in my later years. I’m a political person and have always been passionate about my beliefs. Many a screaming match was had with Dad over politics. Now, although I don’t agree with lots of people, I no longer judge their beliefs bad or good. It’s all good.

Spiritually I have come the farthest. In my twenties I gave upon God. I no longer believed in the Christian religion – in fact I had issues with it for as long as I can remember. Probably because my mother was a Bible-thumper, I chose not to thump along with her. I found other things in which to believe. Years later, working as a psychic, my belief in God came back. You cannot counsel people on their lives without believing in God. It was not me giving them advice! But I was still adrift, not believing in Christianity or any other religious doctrine. Until I found yoga, bhakti yoga, to be precise. Hinduism spoke to me. I found myself when chanting the name. I am saddened that a country that has this rich religious background has degenerated into a society where women are not safe. But I see it as a part of the Age of the Kali Yuga and then become more comfortable.

My family has changed in many ways. It has become smaller by two and the poor health of my husband had colored many a year. Being alone and being responsible for his care was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t know how to do many things and was very concerned that I was doing it wrong. He wanted to stay at home, even though he wasn’t being well taken care of here and even though he knew it was hard for me and for DS. We had a crisis of spirit one night and it forced me to realize that we couldn’t keep going on the way we had been. Even though I felt guilty for relinquishing control of his well-being to strangers, it had to be done. Both for my sanity, our son’s sanity and his. Sometimes you just can’t keep going in one direction when it is too depressing. It was depressing. Now I can visit him and be cheerful and full of enthusiasm to see him, unlike when he was at home, when I was too busy to visit with him, too tired to prop up his spirits.

We won’t go into the physical changes! Actually they aren’t that bad. I’ve never been a Twiggy type so I’m comfortable in my skin. When I look in the mirror I see my mother except her hair wasn’t as gray as mine. Not being ready to be gray, I thankfully can make it go away. The extra pounds aren’t as easy to erase and will require determination. That’d be grand but first I need to figure out how to quit cooking and baking! Wowsers.

Me. My understanding of who me is has changed. Thank.God. The concept of me as a drop in the ocean has grown. My understanding of my place on earth has grown. I’m immensely grateful.



6 Comments Add yours

  1. Rachael says:

    How lovely of you to say so. Thank you.


  2. jennifer…precious…love…so nice to know you


  3. Jennifer says:

    In my case it was easy – Mom!


  4. Denise says:

    So much insight and so well expressed.

    It’s a shame about your Dad. You got close in the end. But isn’t it a strange thing figuring out what it is that keeps us apart so long?


  5. Jennifer says:

    Not at all!


  6. I absolutely love this! Do you mind if I borrow the idea?


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