Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Forgive You I Forgive Me

My journey as a human, a lover, a maker of mistakes, a forgiver, and a searcher, has taught me so much. After recently experiencing some significant life shifts and much self reflection, I have come to this.
To my detractors, the judgers, the doubters, the ones whom could not look me in the eye, and love me when I needed you, I forgive you. I forgive you for not understanding, not having the time, having too many doubts, or being too constricted by your beliefs of how things should be, to stand with me where I was. I forgive the absence of phone calls, invitations, and your reluctance to offer a shoulder or an attentive ear. I forgive you because I am you, I have been there, I have failed to be present when I was needed. I hope I have learned more acceptance, more patience, and how to better hold space for those that I love.
To those who have held my hand, thank you. Thank you for not questioning, not needing answers, for letting me be. Thank you for wiping my tears and helping me breathe through the rough stuff. Thank you for not burying me with shoulds, and worrying me with questions. You gave me what I needed most. Unconditional love and room to make transformations. I hope to use you as examples of what to aspire to. Thank you.
Most importantly, I am learning to be me, my most authentic self. That is when my life is filled with more love and more joy. I owe it to myself to respect and treasure my own being, to forgive and love myself, to fill my own cup, and only then will I have abundance of love, grace and forgiveness for those around me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Torn: A look at Separation

Nobody told me divorce or separation would rend me in two. It would shake me to my core and expose my every fear, every anxiety, every wound, past and present. I would literally die a little. And continue to die a little for years to come. There is the before me, the one who knew what the future held, confident and self assured. I had my goals I attained and goals for my future. Then there is the after me, lost, confused, doubting, and grieving. Everything I thought I knew…gone.  Tiny deaths occur as I navigate each loss. My identity as partner, the future I had planned, my innocence, all die, slowly and painfully.
No one told me how much it will hurt to wrench myself from an entanglement it took so many years to build. Even when there is no blame, no wrong doer, I still cast about for a reason why. Sometimes there is no reason why, there is just growing apart. This should make it easier…but it doesn’t.
This is an all out assault on who I thought I was what I thought I wanted, where I thought I was going. Make no mistake, this is heart wrenching, anxiety inducing, and painful. I spend entire days in bouts of uncontrollable tears, and fits of rage, and night after night of sleeplessness and nightmares. Some days I don’t know how I will get through; on others acceptance and growth begin to seep in. And slowly life moves forward.
No one told me only a few of my friends and family will understand, support and listen. The rest will turn away, as if my pain was contagious. I see the judgment in their eyes, and while it hurts a little I still understand my tiny deaths are just too much for them. I become skittish of love and find it difficult to trust, I want to run and hide and never rely on anyone again.
Some days I'm just fine, but triggers wait right around the corner to pounce when I least expect them. Places, things, and conversations, once benign, become ugly reminders of my hurt and anger. They are lurking there to turn a good day into a bad one. A gift from my old love is now a symbol of broken promises.
But still I go on. And slowly but surely the new me begins to appear. I start to build a new future, quietly and discretely in my head, taking small steps. I begin to embrace the change. The days of anger and grief become farther apart. The new me is a little sad and a little jaded, knowing life is trickster, but now I have grown.

The new me is learning to trust again, mostly in myself. The new me wants love again and knows it’s worth the risk. The new Me knows the challenges and knows the pain, and knows the rewards. And even though  I have been rent in two, and shaken to my core, I know that love is worth every bit of it. Even if that love is just a shadow of what I thought love was. And so I go on. One foot in front of the other, and slowly the future begins to look bright again. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Let it Burn

A few situations have crossed my consciousness lately and have caused me to reflect about letting go, releasing, and being positive. There is a limit to this kind of coping; I recently read an article that said being “too nice” can contribute to depression. My sister likes to call this being Pollyanna Sunshine. I don’t think putting on a happy face is always the best answer.
At what point does this “letting go” turn into denial, and lack of strong boundaries. Our anger or grief are emotions that are there for a reason. They lets us know something is not right. Putting those things aside consistently in favor of “being positive” will in the long run cause resentment and unhappiness.
Life is full of reasons for righteous anger, life is not fair, people are thoughtless, and shit happens. Yes we want to come out on the other side and walk in the light, but to get there we may have to mire through some truly ugly and painful things. To ignore their existence only puts them off, it does not extinguish them.
Giving your anger and grief or whatever negative emotions you are feeling, validity, and finding a way to express them is the only way to move on. Give them what they are asking for, space and time to burn themselves out. Do not tolerate people in your life that create strife, if they can’t be avoided create strong boundaries. Then instead of being left with resentment, you can be left with strength, and self respect.
“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” 
Maya Angelou

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Fiction Imitating excerpt
She leaned back in the creaky lawn chair and gazed up at the sky through leaves of the large tree that grew in the yard. The days were beginning to get warm and the sun felt good on her skin. If she could just sit there like that for the rest of eternity everything would be just fine. But she couldn't and it wasn’t.
Slowly she lowered her gaze to the paved driveway and took in the view. An old dresser belonging to her son, a basket of books, a set of china that had been a wedding gift, and had done nothing ever but gather dust. Most of her old work wardrobe, and some children’s toys. It was her whole life, laid out before her like so much junk. Her whole life it seemed, for sale, or worse yet waiting to be thrown unceremoniously into the trash.
That is what the sign on the fence may have well read “Unwanted life for Sale to highest bidder.” Slowly a warm tear trickled down the side of her face, the memories seeping in of happier times. Wiping the tear with the back of her hand she picked up a Pooh Bear out of the basket of toys and remembered the family trip to Disney land when her youngest was just a babe. She never imagined then, what her life would be now.
That old familiar feeling of grief and fear came again; it was the one thing she could count on anymore. Her throat closed up, a heavy weight descended on her chest, and gnawing ache began again in her stomach. The feeling gutted her, everything she thought she knew, the very ground she had built her life upon, was swept from under her. She was now rootless, floating, and lost, and stood weeping in her driveway.
It was strange for her to think of all the bits of her life strewn about the drive, and how it looked like so much junk to someone else. What was the point of it all anyway? Well, she thought, that about sums it up. Unwanted life. She felt as if she would never be able to pick up the pieces again. Defeated, she had hit rock bottom. 
But slowly, the feeling subsided, she knew she would recover. Never again would she be able to look at life with naive innocence and think that it would sit still for her. She knew it would challenge her, bend her, but not break her, not this time. She sat back down again, took a deep breath and again looked up at the blue sky through the leaves of the tree. The sky, the sky would always be there. The sun would continue to shine, the rain would fall and life would go on. She would just have to go on too. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Divine Within

I have been deeply moved by words, by music, by dance, and by other forms of art. I know that the really good stuff comes from someone who was willing, who was brave enough to lay bare their soul, to become vulnerable. At these times they are able to tap their divinity.  
I believe there is a part of all of us, at the very core of every human being that possesses wisdom, compassion, a sense of universal connectedness, or divinity, that is beyond comprehension. It’s beyond conscious thought. The brief glimpses we are given, at birth, death, in dreams, and in those rare and deeply profound moments we feel and see more deeply than we allow ourselves on a daily basis, those are our divine moments.
I know I am capable of so much empathy, compassion, wisdom and love, more than my fragile psyche can allow on daily basis. I feel the more life challenges me, the more I am forced to reckon with, the more this becomes true. I feel like it’s a “becoming.”Like I am always becoming something more, something better than before.
This “becoming” has no agenda, it can’t be taught, it can’t even be learned. It just is. The only thing I know is I wish to live in these “divine moments” I want to savor this “becoming.” And more than anything, I want to be given the words to express, my gratitude, to paint a picture of my path to share. I want to move and be moved.
Like a caterpillar, a lowly crawling worm at the beginning of its life, to a beautiful delicate winged being, we all have something inside of us to share, something beautiful beyond words, fragile and fleeting. Just like life itself.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Fearful Friend

I have made friends with my fear, I know it has purpose. I know it enough to find out what it is trying to tell me. I  know it enough to tell it when to back off. It shows me what I need to know, sometimes laying bare all the dark shadows of my insecurities. It shows me how to be brave, and does not make me lose my way in dark. My fear points me in the right direction, and does not misguide me with doubts.
I have made friends with my grief; I also know it has purpose. I weep and still see that there will be joy. I feel loss and know it is also growth. I am not alone, but know I am tiny part of something greater than me.

Some days fear and grief are my only companions and on those days I know I have denied them too long. I know it is time to listen and be still, to hear what message they have for me to take the next step on my ever winding path. Change is welcome constant, something I have learned to accept, to dissect, to take what I need from, to build a better version of myself.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Turning Your Back

I have realized more and more of late, so much of the world as we perceive it is viewed through our personal lens of experience. Some people are born into what I call small or narrow worlds, and stay there throughout their lives. Their comfort zone is small and rarely do they want to challenge its borders. They refuse to let in anything that conflicts with their belief set.
Others are born into bigger worlds, where their belief sets still remain strong but are more flexible to changing environments. They embrace challenges to the “norm” and opportunity to question the status quo. Their belief set leaves room to understand and accept more variations.
When these two worlds collide it can be ugly. These small world people tend judge harshly, expect others to fit in their strict boxes for the “norm” and are often hypocritical, because of the conflict of trying to fit a unique human spirit into the neat boxes of the perceived “norm.”
Bigger world people, being imperfect humans as well, struggle with accepting these small world people in their lives, the narrow minded trying to push them and shape them into something they are not. The two groups often wind up turning their backs on each other.
I would use for example a very old man set in his ways, feels confidant he knows how to live a good life and he should be respected and listened to. Put him in a room with a very young man, free spirited, tattooed, pierced, and ready to challenge the world.  The old man will see a foolish boy screwing up his life with his radical self expression, and the boy will see a stubborn old man, who sees nothing of the changing world and who he wants to hear nothing from.
In actuality, they could potentially have so much to learn from each other. If for a minute they could look at the world through another lens. It's easy to lose sight of what we lose when we turn our backs, experience, relationships, and growth.
This is something I struggle with regularly. I have no desire, or room in my life for those that judge harshly, or stubbornly cling to the idea that their way is the only way. Somewhere in my mind I know I should learn from them, but sometimes it’s easier to just turn away. Ironically I judge the judgers. 
This reflection has come from a recent negative interaction with someone close to me. In a way I should not have been surprised, looking at the big picture I realize this persons reaction was on par for the lens through which they view the world. It's always good to remember this to put things in perspective. This can help you to forgive or let go. You have your lens to view the world and they have theirs, sometimes this will mean walking away.