My Pain.

05/17/2021

I feel so sad because the ones I love 
are in pain and I can't do anything to help them. 
Their eyes are guarded, 
steel plated, 
protected. 
They seem to be saying they can't embrace me again, 
be open again, take in love again. 
It hurts me because I'm seen that way, too. 
Seen as a thorn, a caustic, rotting thorn. 
There to hurt, 
to judge, 
to kick down and suck out anything that was 
pure 
and good 
and lovely, 
all that was there before.
 
As much as I yearn to protect 
the hearts of those I love, I can't. 
And they continue to look at me in pain, 
questioning whether I be the rose 
or the thorn that hides behind. 

This is why I'm sad. 
Because my relationships are broken and are not healing. 

사랑 Diyana Love Wilson

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Your Center of Gravity

If you want to listen to this post (along with other podcast episodes) click the link below!

Imagine that your soul was like a flower, deeply rooted in a fleshy pot you call ‘body’. Each seed is round, small, and beautiful. They each settle into their beings, knowing that someday they will become something great.

The flower that lives in you may be a daffodil or lavender. I believe mine is a carnation with bright pink highlights.

The flower that lives in you reflects who you are.

As the seed split in your younger years, the fibers reached out and sprouted, creating a cotton-like bulb which grew and grew the more you knew and knew. Like tendrils they grasped to each other forming a solid form- a stem. Then leaves. Then a bulb. And finally a blooming bed of petals.

Now, Imagine that your soul was like this flower, deeply rooted in the fleshy pot you call ‘body’. Deep inside this flower’s makeup is created from who you are as a being. An artist, the funny guy, an activist.

What happens when you don’t nourish the flower within you? When you neglect your spirit?

Well, you droop of course.

Feed Your Soul

If I were put in charge of instructions for flowers at a given flower shoppe, the first instruction glued to the pot would be: “Daily encouragement and sunlight needed.

Everyone loves to see flowers. They’re beautiful, light, and carry an ethereal air with them wherever they are- in a home, an office, a dinner table, or the fields. Flowers make you want to smile and breathe in, to enjoy life for a moment. I believe that’s why God placed them here on Earth all those billions of years ago. To remind us to live.

With a gentle breeze or an abrasive gust, flowers stand up and brave the elements. They seem to always lean back into their designated direction- facing the sky.

Can you truly imagine as if the center of your soul is home to a beautiful flower?
Do you feel like your soul is alive and confident in its beauty or do you feel as if your soul is drooping and discouraged?

I have imagined my spirit like this for quite some time, and I occasionally ask myself, ‘Am I standing up inside or am I drooping?’ When I’m sad, the drooping feeling is quite poignant and I visualize an incorporeal version of me slumped in a box. While on the other hand, when I am feeling much better, I am standing up inside- my form is one with me, it’s walking as I walk and mimics me. Essentially, the bed of petals within me reach for the sun.

Elder Sabin once stated in his talk, “Stand up Inside and Be All In” :

…a father and his young son…went into a toy store where there was an inflatable punching bag in the shape of a man. The boy punched the inflatable man, who tipped over and immediately bounced back after every punch. The father asked his young son why the man kept bouncing back up. The boy thought for a minute and then said, “I don’t know. I guess it’s because he’s standing up on the inside.”

— Elder Gary B. Sabin

Conclusion

I pray this post was an answer to someone’s prayers to keep going and keep fighting. Continue to nourish the flower within you, be strong, and show your courageous beauty to everyone.

❤ Diyana

Happy Women’s Month! Love you all.

The Power of a Uniform

lds missionary

For this travelogue, we’re going wayyy back into February of 2019.

At this time, I had just started my mission and was pretty excited to be in a new state that naturally grew palm trees instead of importing them like Vegas did. Oops, sorry Vegas 😅

I was still getting used to the ‘uniform’ we were required to wear as ministers/missionaries of Jesus Christ- dresses and skirts. Sometimes slacks, but honestly, slacks in that weather was not great. On a usual Sunday back home I enjoyed the breezy, flowy feel of my dresses and felt confident in them. I would often plan out my outfits and choose the right shoes to go with them, deciding on the perfect hairstyle, etc.
But in Florida… in Florida I would grab the nearest dress to me, slip it on, and do the same with my shoes. I would proselyte in the muggy heat of summer daily, getting little rest and often times not enough shade.

The afternoon sky in Kissimmee, Florida, circa Feb 2019

My companion and I (she was actually training me at the time) would walk and walk and walk for several hours a day in Florida. I remember walking through the warm rain and heat waves, wondering, “How on earth am I going to do this?” It felt like I was running a marathon with inappropriate attire.

But I wore those dresses and I wore those skirts. Looking back, I’m still very proud of myself for doing that. I remember being called to a few last-minute service opportunities while in a dress.
It was fun and exciting, don’t get me wrong.

I loved serving and I still do. I ended up getting used to wearing dresses and skirts and it became second nature to me.
And yes, sometimes my dresses would get ruined and that was okay, because I learned something important while I moved out furniture from sewer-flooded homes:

I learned about dedication while in those dresses in Florida. I learned to be strong while dressing my best.
This may sound like a silly travelogue, but it means something to me and I hope it’ll mean something to you, too.

The clothes we wear really tells what type of person we are and I believe we would learn a lot from thinking about the attire we choose to wear. In my case, it was mandatory, but I learned to love it.

What good do you do in your uniform?

Me next to some Sandhill Cranes on a sandy hill, Kissimmee FL, circa Feb 2019

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Daddy’s Little Elephant Bird

“Daddy!” cried my daughter. She had gotten used to saying my name more often now that her mother and I had separated. It not longer made her cry when she only said ‘Daddy’ and not ‘daddy and mummy’.

I turned to see her running towards me in her purple tutu; one that I had bought for her 2nd birthday. She wore an orange t-shirt that had a bright yellow shooting star ironed to the front.

“Daddy!” She cried again. I picked her up and pulled her close to snuggle her. She giggled as my freshly trimmed beard tickled her face. Her angelic, sweet face.
I squeezed her cheek and said, “Now now, Abby, what shall we do today before Daddy leaves for work?”

Abby looked around for a moment, pushing her hand into her mouth. She looked around with her wide brown eyes and then squealed and lifted up her arms, signaling to me to let her go. I slid her down to the floor and she ran to her bedroom, pushing the door open slightly.

I checked my watch as she walked away and noticed the time. I grimaced. Soon enough we would need to go to the caregiver to drop her off while I went to work at the office. Would we make it?
I craned my neck toward the door and said, “Only one book, okay darling?”, assuming she’d be puling out one of her favorite Dr. Seuss books.
No answer.
I walked to the door and pushed the slightly ajar door even more ajar to see her squatting on something resting above a fluffy pillow. I laughed (to which she laughed as well) and squatted in front her. She was squatting over something I vaguely remember her mother buying for her.

I said, “Abby? What’s that?”
She giggled.
“What have you got under your bum?”
As I reached to pick her up she squealed and dashed away, carrying the toy egg she had been squatting on with her to the other side of the room. I hung my head and laughed.
“That silly girl of mine.” I smiled. “Okay, Abby, I’m assuming you want me to read ‘Horton Hatches the Egg’ to you. Correct?”
Abby nodded her head as she stuck out her tongue.

“Okay,” I said, “Just once, okay? Daddy’s got to go to work soon, darling.” Abby nodded.
I grabbed Abby and pulled her on top of my lap while placing the book on her lap for her to read along. I began by clearing my throat and began:

Sighed Mayzie, a lazy bird hatching an egg:
“I’m tired and I’m bored
And I’ve kinks in my leg
From sitting, just sitting here day after day.
It’s work! How I hate it!
I’d much rather play!
I’d take a vacation, fly off for a rest
If I could find someone to stay on my nest!!"

Abby acted out Mayzie’s part as I read, falling backwards when I stated her boredom, throwing her arms up as I read Mayzie’s complaints. I smiled silently- my little girl was going to be a star someday, I just knew it.

We read like that for the next 15 minutes- me reading with dramatics and silliness, her acting out the parts as we went. Reading to her like this reminded me of her mother. Her mother was often the one who would act out the parts we read to Abby to keep her entertained- I was never good at body movement or expressions.
I looked at Abby’s little pigtail atop her head- one that was very hard to master, by the way. She was so in tune with her expressions… just like her mother.

When my wife left us, we felt very alone. Much like Horton. I was left with Abby when she was still a baby, just several months old. I had to learn how to change her diaper while I cleaned the living room. Or to do her laundry while learning how to give her proper baths. It hadn’t been easy, but I had remained faithful to my little bug. I stayed with her even though her mother didn’t- couldn’t- oh, I don’t know.

We came to my favorite part and Abby said it with me:

"He meant what he said and he said what he meant, 
an elephant's faithful 100%!"

Abby squealed and rocked back and forth. I had to grab her head so that it wouldn’t bump the floor as she did so. “Alright, Abby, not too much.” She giggled and smeared her sticky fingers onto the page.

We continued to read and I realized just how much I related to good ole’ Horton. I really felt as if I had been abandoned as well. People had even mistreated me like they did him; coworkers, family-in-law. However odd it was, I related to a fictitious elephant.

We neared the end, and when I turned to the second to last page, Abby began to pout and shake her arms.
“No, no, Abby. You can’t do this every time. I need to work, darling.” She looked back at me and pouted. “No, sweetheart.” I whispered. “Your dad’s got to work.” She turned back around silently staring at the book.

I hated when she did this, it broke my heart, it really did. But I needed to be the good guy and the bad guy, I guess.

“Okay, one last page! Do you want to turn the page for Daddy?”
Abby grabbed the page with all 5 little fingers and turned the page; still quiet, but she wasn’t pouting anymore, which led me to believe she was willing to have a better attitude. I’d have to remember her good behavior for later on tonight when we chose a movie to watch.

We read on. Horton was finally found by Mayzie, and to both of our dismay, she suddenly wanted her egg back even though she had done none of the work. Abby shook her head as I read the line:

"The work was all done. Now she wanted it back."

To me, this would be a living nightmare. I would never give up my Abby. And Horton felt the same. Although he gave up the egg in the end, he was still sad to do so, and I don’t blame the guy.

We finished the book and I flipped the last page, shutting the book. “Oh, goodness.” I sighed, how heartbreaking. Abby didn’t pay me any mind but kept pointing at the back cover of the book.

I put the book on the ground and stood up, pulling Abby to her feet. “Okay, Abby we are done! Yay” I reached down to give her a high five, and she ignored me.
“Okay, so Daddy’s going to grab your backpack and shoes and wipes and…” I looked around. What else did she need again? How frustrating it was to do this alone.

I turned to find her and she was dancing in the middle of the room. I smiled and picked her up and danced with her.

It may have been hard to be a single dad, but I realize now that she really was mine. My own little elephant bird.

The End

I hope you all enjoyed this post!! It was inspired by the man, Dr. Seuss himself- one of my favorite authors of all time. He was so unique and kind. Because of him, I loved to read as a child.

His birthday is tomorrow (woohoo🎉) and I really wanted to commemorate this to him and thank him for his gentle teaching and creative storytelling. Here’s to the new generation reading Dr. Seuss!

If you would like to see more creative writing like this, please subscribe and like this post, too!

Have a great week, you guys!

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