Relationships

Love as Presence, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

He walks along beside me, towering over me holding my hand.
When I speak, he listens, interested, present.
He couldn’t offer me a higher compliment or kindness.

To be treated as if I matter, as if my words had value and weight brings meaning and presence.
Sharing his ideas and creativity, listening, hearing, feeling the change within my being his presence offers,
reminds me it is truly no accident he is here.

My Life works as a result of so many factors coming together.
Every person every friendship, romance, even illness and seemingly tragic events,
formed as a conspiracy or accidental occupancy of a million things
coming together each as they should be, were intended to be.

Only to be learned from and honored in retrospect.

Then the aloof one arrives, throwing his arms around my neck.
“Come on” he says, “Come with me”.
My heart opens into a permanent prism of love and iridescent light.

Life stretches behind me as well as way in front of me in gratitude
for the many accidental elements creating my lovely past.

And, life is stretching out before me into my endless exciting future.

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.

A Seemingly Insignificant Lesson in Loving Fully, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

A Seemingly Insignificant Lesson in Loving Fully, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

It is not enough for me to believe in love. I want to love fully. I don’t know how to do this, but I am learning. I am learning in small, seemingly insignificant ways. 

Ongoing Life...Ongoing Therapy, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

Ongoing Life...Ongoing Therapy, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

I have been in therapy for over 20 years, most have been here at the Estuary. I’m still coming and I now get to write for this place. It is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that I get to write, something my soul has been longing to do since I was a young child. The curse is that I have to write and now I’m being held accountable. 

Love Letter, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Love Letter, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

This is a love letter.

A love letter to my husband, to my family, to The Estuary Staff and to our clients.
 
Every moment I spend thinking of you, talking with you, helping you, laughing with you is a lovely relational act where you become present to me and I am present with you. I gaze at the space between us as I look into the eternal You. Every breath of US is an eternal breath of You and Me.

A Deeper Practice, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

A Deeper Practice, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

In January, as many of us do, I began a new exercise regime. I made a plan to meet my middle daughter at a 7:30am yoga class. Unaware of the time it would take to travel across the city on the first day of school after the holiday break, I was surprised I arrived to find the class door still open and time to spare. 

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“Forgiveness is nothing less than the way we heal the world".

   -- Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiveness 

I was a terrible oldest sister.
 
In our dysfunctional family filled with addiction and anger, yet held together in intense love and loyalty, I raged and cried and felt isolated.

Friends in High Places (a.k.a. Angels), by guest blogger Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

Man’s a foolish creature, always at war.
Surrounded by his angels, that he chooses to ignore.
~ Nathan Bell –  “Dust”


The lyrics above are of a song I recently discovered thanks to Apple Music’s “you may also like.” That feature is an angel itself. I’d probably still be listening to MC Hammer or Color Me Badd if it weren’t for modern day technology. Or Paula Abdul. 

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I have been watching a special “comedy” routine by Hannah Gadsby. She is a wonderfully strong person who is intelligent, funny, well educated, and successful. She taught me lots about feeling connected in a way we all long for, beyond gender and power.
 

She's Not Mine, by guest blogger Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

It’s 4:30 in the morning. Actually it’s 4:33, but who’s counting?

Obviously, I am.

I’d love to be able to tell you that I’m up because I’m committed to my yoga, or that I just finished my hour-long meditation practice, but if you’ve read this post here, or if you have known me for more than a week, you know that anything that requires “practice” is not going to happen.