Shrapnel of My Life

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds

Romantic Heart form Love Seeds (Photo credit:

I love words and phrases that instantly deliver a powerful picture. So I thank Claude Anshin Thomas‘ for using the term, ‘shrapnel of my life’ in his first book, At Hell’s Gate, A Soldier’s Journey From War To Peace.

As a soldier in Vietnam he actually did receive shrapnel wounds …more than once. He says, “Everyone has their Vietnam, everyone has their war.”

The comments struck me hard and encouraged me to continue to examine my psychic shrapnel. The kind of ‘stuff’ that leaves scars all around: doing things we might regret, sometimes over and over again. Or, things from long ago that we perhaps wish we hadn’t been involved in.

I trust the axiom, ‘when you need something ask for it and whatever is necessary will show up’ . All I’d have to do is be mindful and not miss the information and experiences when they present themselves.

This time a blog post  called Becoming the Person You Were Meant to Be by Anne Lamott  provided a starting point.

“…So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spandex that keeps us smaller and contained? You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. 

“… I had to stop living unconsciously, as if I had all the time in the world. The love and good and the wild and the peace and creation that are you will reveal them, but it is harder when they have to catch up to you in roadrunner mode.

“……Every single day I try to figure out something I no longer agree to do…You can say no. No is a complete sentence.”

I use Ms. Lamott’s insights to micro-frame parts of my path of shrapnel. I sit quietly — a lot.  I see what comes up and note it.

Mostly I have a great, insightful and sometimes painful questioning times all on what I’ve started to call “the Anne Lamott freight train.”

I’m buckled up for a wild ride!


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