Thursday, September 30, 2010

Equality of the Sexes?

Earlier this year, I wrote a post on things I've learned about men since I've been in a relationship with Gentleman Jack. It occurred to me that that post needed an addendum.

In that post, I wrote that men are used to rejection and women are not. Men in relationships will frequently tell their woman 'yes' because they want her to be happy.

A man feels like a REAL MAN when his woman is happy.

The reason that this realization hit home so well for me was because my ex-husband at the end of my marriage said to me, 'You always get your way.'

I felt bad about that. I didn't intend to always get my way but when I looked back on it, I realized that whenever I didn't get my way, it was bad news for him. I would feel unhappy. Then he would give me my way so that I would be happy and therefore, he would too.

I believe that there should be a healthy balance of yes and no for both parties. Thankfully, Gentleman Jack does too! I'm learning to use my words to ask for what I want...and getting more comfortable with being told 'no' (though it so rarely happens!).

*smile*

We both believe in fair and do our best to give and receive lovingly.

***

Speaking of fairness and the opposite sex, I've noticed a few trends.

  • Men seem to age better than women. Society doesn't put as much pressure on men to look like they're 20 year olds. In fact, many men get better looking as they age! Is it the pressure that ages us as women? Why do women celebrities get picked on for gaining weight but male celebrities don't?
  • Women can ask for sex. If a woman walks up to a man and asks for sex, she will at least get a smile. If a man did it, he would get slapped.
  • A woman having sex with another woman while in a relationship may not be considered cheating. Yet, if a man decided to sleep with another man, it would absolutely be cheating. Why is this okay?
  • No one ever talks about men who suffer from domestic violence. Is it ok for a woman to hit a man but not the other way around?
  • It is assumed that, in a divorce, the mother will have primary custody of the children. It seems that some divorced men can go on with their lives, after divorce, as if they are single... while the mother of the children, in many cases, has to change her life and career dramatically. On the other hand, many single dads with primary or shared custody seem to get overlooked when it comes down to educational or medical decisions. The teacher or doctor ask, "Where is the child's mother?" never asking the single mother, "Where is the child's father?"

Can you think of any more?

I guess there really is no such thing as equality of the sexes. I'm ever learning soooo much about just how different we are!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

To love is to be vulnerable

I did ask Gentleman Jack to come with me to San Francisco for the wedding and he declined.

I understood. He felt he wouldn't know anyone or would be in the way. He was a little unsure about my mourning over Jim and thought it best that I share that experience with others who knew Jim.

He was very supportive of the trip and was excited for the fun I was having.

Yet, as happens occasionally, we both felt a disconnect. I suppose since our primary means of communication is over long distance and since there was a 2 hour time difference, lots of downtime between communicating left us both feeling a bit off. We were unable to work out a routine of texting or talking, like we have normally. Even short phone calls don't always work with us. We're never talking for less than a half an hour, at least!

By Sunday evening and Monday morning, we were both more than frustrated. On my flight home, I could feel his hurt and I was angry.

I wasn't angry because he was feeling hurt or disconnect or worry or jealousy.

I was angry because he hadn't TOLD me his feelings yet! There's nothing I loathe more than passive aggressive behavior!

I arrived in Dallas on Monday afternoon and immediately had a text from him. I'd been praying the entire flight home that I would be given the strength to allow him space. I wanted to give him room to feel comfortable sharing his feelings... instead of attacking him out of pure assumption.

I called him from baggage claim.

After a brief chit-chat about the flight home, he spoke gently, "Baby, I'm feeling very disconnected from you right now. It scares me. I'm so afraid that you're going to want to live that life, out there, and leave me far behind. I keep asking myself why you are with me?"

My heart melted like butter.

"THAT is exactly why I love you, my sweet, sweet man!!!!"

***

We talked more about the trip that evening. We also discussed the myriad differences in our lives, what sort of friends we have, activities we love, etc.

I think he would have enjoyed the trip. I didn't know that many people either. He assumed it was going to be a bloggy convention of friends who all knew me. I loved the people watching and the gorgeous views. He would have enjoyed that too. There were many romantic moments that I would have loved to share with him.

He didn't know. Because we were unable to talk, he was conjuring up scenarios in his mind, feeling further and further away from me.

I'm guilty of this too, when he has a busy weekend.

[sarcasm font] I guess it is also one of the joys of a long distance relationship. [/sarcasm font]

We both decided that over time, we will learn to be comfortable and trust in the silence of the other. Time away from each other doesn't take love away.

***

Our discussion about this was interesting to me.

All of the things we don't have in common could be frightening. We very obviously enjoy different things and have different outlooks on certain things in life.

However, the very fact that he shares who he is with me... even when he isn't always proud of the "him" that he's sharing... the fact that we are accepting of each other, even when we disagree... those things seem so much deeper and beyond the superficiality of hobbies or types of friends we keep.

He has my heart. He's earned it. He makes me believe in true love.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Secrets of the bride

Rachel had been very secretive about the wedding plans, only dropping a few hints on her blog. She even kept most of the surprises secret as we set up for the wedding on Friday afternoon!

We knew there would be cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. We knew there would be a slushie machine for the children.

Ya know what? Let’s just throw the word traditional out the window!


The bride wore a green-hued dress designed and made personally for her from a local designer. She also wore a funky pair of green boots. The groom wore jeans, boots, a button down shirt and sports jacket.

He was walked down from the house by his mother. She was walked in from the gate by her father and her daughter. The entrance music: a harp version of All You Need is Love, by the Beatles.

The ceremony began with a welcome speech by the groom’s step-father. The minister was a friend of both the bride and groom. The wedding guests enjoyed hearing the back-story of this match made in heaven.

You see, as Rachel explains on her blog, this mutual friend tried unsuccessfully to set up these two for years. It was an accidental meeting, at this friend’s book reading, that the stars finally aligned.

I scanned the crowd and saw smiles and heard laughter. This was something you don’t normally get in a wedding ceremony. And everyone LOVES a great love story.

Rachel’s sister read a poem by Rumi…one of my favorites.

Then it was my turn.

Up to this point, I had been focusing on my breathing. I looked away as Rachel approached the chuppah with her father and daughter for fear of strong emotion. For a half an hour, my mantra was “Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. BREATHE.”

I stood in front of the crowd. I looked out at everyone. I spoke.

"As you can see from the wedding program, our friend Jim Everson was to speak today…"

Water works.

I couldn’t help it. I stepped back and was nearly hyperventilating. I looked to Rachel and apologized. Tears in her eyes too. I looked to her Lucky Guy. Tears in his eyes. I looked at Rachel's daughter. Tears.

BREATHE!

I read my speech. Two pages of words describing the kismet of Jim’s presence in the lives of the bride and groom. How they met on Jim’s 44th birthday. How he proposed as they left Jim’s 45th birthday celebration. The man that Jim was. What he meant to me, to Rachel, to Rachel’s daughter, to Lucky Guy. How we’d lost him exactly one week ago…

I can’t say that it was easy. I broke down several times as I read. I couldn’t look into the crowd as THEY were tearing up too. Tissues were passed. I finally finished, hugged the bride and groom and announced, "OK! Now let’s get on with the happy stuff!"

And there was LOTS of happy stuff!

The bride and groom wrote their own vows, in secret from each other, yet very similar in tone and in gratitude. The groom also said vows to Rachel's daughter promising to "always be here for you". There wasn't a dry eye in the place!

They vowed to each other to be accepting of their differences, proud to stand at each others' side and look forward to many adventures and laughter together every single day. We all hooted and whooped as the ceremony came to a happy and joyous finish!

The food showed up and surprised everyone.


Yep. A taco truck parked outside the gate and took orders. Not just any taco truck. Korean tacos. Chicken corn dogs. French fries with Korean spices. Chilled spicy noodles with pear, carrots and cucumber. Pot stickers. Egg rolls. Kim Chee.

*drool*

The food was to. die. for.

There were M&M's with the bride and groom's names. A unique cake topper made by yet another creative friend of the bride. The cake topper was then placed atop the stand of rock-n-roll cupcakes.



There was champagne and wine and drinks and blue raspberry slushies. There was music and dancing. Oh my goodness... LOTS of dancing! Laughter, smiles, love!

The new family, bride, groom and daughter, then did a family concert playing Journey's Don't Stop Believin'. Rachel played saxophone, her new hubby played guitar and Rachel's daughter sang along, joined by her friends.

Everyone was friendly, happy and genuine.

I was stopped many times during the evening and offered condolences at the loss of Jim. What made me feel really good about speaking on Jim's behalf was this:

Everyone told me that the speech made him real to them. Every single person told me that they either wished they had known him or felt like they did.

It only added to the magic of a perfectly romantic and authentic evening filled with joy.

He would have loved it!

See more pics of the wedding on the bride's blog!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not every wedding has a Potty Palace and a Wishing Tree

Friday morning I boarded a very early morning flight to Oakland for Rachel’s wedding. The wedding wasn’t until Saturday afternoon however, as I came bearing no gifts (as requested), I felt the least that I could do was assist in the setup of the wedding location.

Rachel met me at the baggage claim and we hugged. Have you ever spent time with someone whom you’ve felt like you’ve known forever? It was as if I’d only just seen her the day before… and yet, it also felt as it had been ages ago.

In Rachel’s car were dozens of gorgeous flowers to be used in the ceremony.


We were driving immediately to the home of her future in-laws: a beautiful home with a tiered tree-lined patio. This was where she and her groom would exchange vows.



Since I had been traveling since the early morning, I was starved. On the way, Rachel and I decided to stop at a restaurant that was one of Jim’s favorites. The management was stunned as we told them of his passing. We toasted to him over our salads. I could already tell that the mention of him would bring tears to both of us.



Our day was spent with an army of Rachel’s friends, her future in-laws and her own family busily preparing the chuppah (a Jewish traditional arch), candles, bouquets, a sound system, cleaning the patio, setting up tables and a potty palace.

What is a potty palace, you might ask?



Since the wedding locale was her in-laws' home, Rachel and her Lucky Guy decided to have portable bathrooms on the street in front of the house. In order to make them more presentable, one of Rachel’s very creative friends built a screen, on location. I giggled at that thing as she put it together…and especially as I explained it to every curious neighbor that drove by.

The bride and groom definitely used their imaginations to create a lovely location. Rachel included a Wishing Tree on one of the top tiers. Everyone was invited to write down a wish for the couple on 4 X 6 cards and hang them from the tree with ribbon.



The bride was a busy girl...


But when all was said and done... the final decor was just perfect!






Nearing the end of the day and after the wedding rehearsal, we were to meet at Lucky Guy’s home for a dinner for out of town guests. My body was beginning to feel the effects of being up since 1:30 PST, however, I pushed on through the evening, enjoying the company of really, TRULY great people.

Both Rachel AND her man are very lucky, indeed.

The next morning, lists were made, emotional breakdowns soothed, and the bride-to-be was sent off for a day of beauty. There was also a bit of panic as the groom-to-be seemed to be missing in action. He’d gone off on a bike ride to settle his own nerves.

One of Rachel’s friends and I went for a drive in a nearby park and took a few photos. What an amazing area to live!



We arrived at the wedding site early afternoon and continued the wedding preparations.

The guests began to arrive and the party was beginning without a hitch. Friendly smiles, warm welcomes and a few fellow blog friends of Rachel’s who recognized me! Hi Dr Leah!! Jim’s best friend, Phil, was also in attendance. Jim had designated Phil as my date and Phil had already learned quite a bit about me. I hoped to give him some comfort, during the ceremony, when I was to speak about Jim. Unfortunately, Jim’s words that he’d written for the wedding were never found. Rachel and I co-wrote the speech I read… both of us in tears during our collaboration.

To be continued tomorrow with Rachel's wedding secrets revealed!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Best laid plans...

About a month ago, I received a phone call from my friend Jim (Depot Dad).

After some small talk about his worsening health and the hopes of a few more experimental drugs left as options, he directed me to the reason for his call.

But wait... let me back up a moment.

***

As some of you may or may not know, I found Jim's blog through Ms Single Mama's blog and followed his comments on Rachel (Single Mom Seeking)'s blog.

Jim actually surprised Rachel at this book reading to meet her for the first time. He was smitten. He's also quite the handsome flirt!

Rachel and Jim became fast friends as they only lived an hour away from each other.

***

Because of his cancer diagnosis and several disheartening phone calls with him, I decided to fly to San Francisco to meet him in December 2008. I also befriended Rachel and David (Dadshouse) on that same trip.

Rachel spent more time with Jim, becoming closer friends and a wonderful support to him during his illness. Naturally, when her Lucky Guy proposed (right after Jim's birthday party!), they both agreed that Jim should play a part in the wedding.

I also received an invitation to Rachel's wedding but was at a loss as to whether I go to California for her wedding or travel there sometime earlier to see Jim.

I was hoping to do both on one visit.

However, Jim's health was rapidly declining....

***

Now to get back to the phone call from a month ago.

"I want to ask you a favor," Jim began.

Well, I couldn't WAIT to hear. I'd been wondering how I could help from 1000 miles away.

"I may not make it to Rachel's wedding."

Before I could protest, he continued.

"I'd like you to stand in for me. I'm going to write something and I'd like you to read it for me."

I was breathless.

"Absolutely! How can I refuse that?! But you'll be my date! We'll go together!"

He played along with my hopeful offer of being his "arm candy". Then, as we were getting off of the phone, he said,

"I'm very sad that I won't see you again."

And my heart broke.

***

After the phone call, I was amused and slightly perturbed by his making the decision for me. I REALLY wanted to see him. I bugged him about being my date for the next few weeks until he became silent...



So, Jimbo, this one's for you.

This weekend, Rachel, her new husband, your best friend Phil, and I will all be toasting to you, our friend.

I know you'll be there sending blessings to all of us.

I hope angel dust tastes good with champagne.

Love love love love love.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Practice of Love

There is one post I've written that I go back to over and over again. It is one of my favorites.

It is a post entitled: Meeting you where you are

I actually revisited this post earlier this year when I wrote about allowing.

In the original post, I wrote about how yoga and A Course in Miracles both came into my life exactly when I needed them. I also wrote how they met me exactly where I was, at the time, and continue to meet me as I improve in my yoga practice and learn more about my spirituality.

In that same post, I stated that I believed love would meet me where I was too.

I believed that no matter what baggage I carried, no matter what sort of healing I had left to do, someone would come into my life and meet me exactly where I was then and fit me perfectly.

I was right.

***

When I think back on that post, however, I have overlooked one beautiful thing:

My spirituality and my yoga are both ongoing practices.


In each of them, I have learned to accept myself right where I am. I have learned that there is no perfect yoga pose - it changes day by day, depending on how I feel. There is also no one-day-I-will-be-enlightened perfect spirituality, either. Enlightenment takes place in the now, not in some illusory moment in the future. Both yoga and my spiritual studies are evolving practices in acceptance. They both allow me to find peace right now as I grow stronger in both, without even trying.

Why have I not learned that about love?

Perhaps love is an evolutionary process of practice as well. Maybe instead of trying to see where love will take me, instead of wishing I was better at it, instead of hoping for some perfect manifestation of the best love there is... maybe I need to find peace as I grow stronger in allowing love right here, right now.

Perhaps if I stop putting pressure on myself to have perfect love, just as I stopped trying to have the perfect yoga and stopped looking forward to an enlightened future in time and space, maybe I will see the perfection of love in this moment in time.

After all, if I've learned anything from yoga and A Course in Miracles, it is this:

Happiness, love, peace and joy are not something to aspire to. They are as readily available to you the next breath you take.

Do you ever stop and acknowledge the very air you breathe?

Your next perfect moment is that close.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally published on a real life friend's blog: The Practice of Love. Thanks Tisha.


And yes... we REALLY did meet and become friends because of Harry Connick, Jr.


And because of that, my favorite (and my Gentleman's too!):

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I don't feel it when he kisses me there...



Yesterday, I went in for a 1 year post-surgery follow up appointment with my plastic surgeon.

I'd had some concerns since my tummy tuck surgery last August.

(For more posts regarding the surgery, thoughts before and after, check out the posts labeled 'surgery'.)

My concerns were nothing major, really... just some unexpected things.

For instance:
  • When I do ab workouts, instead of the regular abdominal soreness, I feel a stinging pain.
  • I am still not able to focus on my core when doing yoga or other exercises. It's almost as if I don't have muscle control there anymore.
  • Numbness. Lots of numbness.

The problem that I have with discussing these items with my plastic surgeon is that HE'S A PLASTIC SURGEON.

His answer is:

"Honestly, the women who have this surgery just want to look good in a bikini. They don't 'work out' or do 'abdominal exercises' or even know what a 'core' is."

*sigh*

In other words, do you look good? Then I did my job. Buh bye.

I guess I'm not a normal plastic surgery type of patient. I didn't have the surgery to "look good in a bikini".

Ok, yes, that is an added bonus.

I did this surgery because I honestly thought my tummy was retched looking.

Remember the before and after photos? (And it looks even better now!)

I was ever hiding my stomach when I was naked. I couldn't even stand when a man would touch me there. Yes, a tummy is a wonderful erogenous zone but when I was kissed there... I cringed.

"I know you don't feel it when your boyfriend kisses you there now," the plastic surgeon said, "but it does look better now, right? Surely the fact that you feel better about it aesthetically, helps you?"

OK. I guess so. Certainly, a new landscape helps when I peer down and see my man's face going lower and lower...

But it definitely makes me think twice about considering a breast lift. Nipple feeling is VERY IMPORTANT!

What about you? Would you go through body augmentation for appearance and sacrifice feeling?

I've heard the same about penile surgeries too. Yikes!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our little extensions

I have been in sort of a daze for the past week but on Saturday, something reminded me of a post I've had in draft for over a year.

It was a phone exchange after Gentleman Jack found that his son Carbon Copy (a straight A student), got a C progress report in school:

R: My worst fears about (CC) have been realized! Brought me a progress report with a "C" cause he hasn't been doing his assignments. Sometimes I really hate my life!!

T: Stop. Don't hate. It is HIS responsibility. Ask him how HE feels about this. If HE feels bad, then he will do something about it.

R: But he doesn't, baby. He has proven it over and over again. He would not have the great grades he has had it not been for (the ex) and I riding his ass!

I am scared to let him fail but know he needs to. I told him that earlier, not the scared part though. I feel like if he were to fail, he would hate it enough to never do it again.

T: You have to get to a point where you allow him responsibility of his failures. You cannot blame yourself for them.

You are providing him with love, guidance and support. He is a PERSON. He has a choice because he obviously has the brains but chooses otherwise not to work.

I don't blame you for wanting to protect him from failure. But sometimes we learn our most powerful lessons from those failures.

You can tell him that you're disappointed but then EMPOWER him. Let him know that he has the skills and he can do something with them. Tell him that it's up to him.

And when/if he fails, try to avoid the frustration. He'll feel worse. Just encourage him and let him know you believe in him.

Maybe you should sit and make a list of his positive traits so that you won't focus on this "failure". Then encourage those traits in him. What you focus on, grows.

You know, in a new relationship, you do whatever you can to please because the other person sees so much good in you, right? But if that other person is always focused on your failures or disappointments, you give up trying, right? Our kids respond the same way.

We forget to keep that positive focus on them.

I think that we, as parents, forget that our children are people too. Instead we see them as extensions of ourselves... and therefore their failures as our own.

***

On Saturday, I came to the realization that if we see our children as extensions of us, then I wonder if we then treat our children's indiscretions the way we would treat ourselves?

I've witnessed Gentleman Jack being this frustrated and hard on himself when he "fails" at something. I've done it too. It is when I feel this way that I am the hardest on my daughters as well.

When I treat myself with gentleness, lightness and understanding, I also act more loving with my children.

Maybe it IS true after all. Maybe the old oxygen mask analogy is true.

If we can take care of ourselves, be loving to ourselves, we will be that to those we love as well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Death = Discomfort

It was an exhausting weekend for me - on many different levels.

I'd had an idea that my friend Jim would pass away on Saturday. He'd had emergency surgery on Friday that was extremely risky. I was already worried about losing him most of last week. I was in a deep sadness after seeing his last Facebook status on Wednesday that said, "I'm sorry, everyone. I did my best."

This weekend was also my daughter Rose's 9th birthday. She'd asked to host a sleepover and invited 10 of her closest friends.

Yes, you read that right. 10 9-year-old girls.

And Grace was there with her 6-year-old friend too.

12 girls, ya'll.

I should be given the Mommy of the Year award for that. I'm just sayin'.

Most of the day on Saturday, before the party, I sat at my computer with my cell phone in my hand. I knew the news was coming.

Rose and Grace were my little party planners all day. Rose was obsessively cleaning house and Grace was putting together party bags.

I tried to be present with them. I tried.

*sigh*

The party was a huge success, thankfully. My girls are growing up fast.

***

This weekend is also the 3 year anniversary of my father's death. And Gentleman Jack lost his father 5 years ago this week. I remember September 1... Gentleman Jack said, "September sucks."

Yeah well...

Funny enough, he's been having some difficulty with MY processing of losing Jim.

I'm sure some of it is subconscious jealousy. I mean, I am mourning, feeling extreme emotion over this man that he doesn't know. And to top it off, I knew Jim from the blogosphere... something else Gentleman Jack doesn't understand. He can't figure out how someone could mean so much to me when I'd only spent the maximum of one weekend with him.

But countless phone calls with Jim over the past few years have brought us close. When we met, we clicked as we knew we would from our blogs. Jim was the sort of person who always cared for everyone else. He SHARED who he was... not just with me but with many others in the blogosphere and elsewhere in his life.

It's difficult to explain...

***

My man wants me to be happy. I understand this. I honestly think that when I am sad, when I am processing something, he fearfully thinks I will get stuck in some sort of quagmire and never crawl out.

I ALWAYS crawl out!

Sadness and death are two things that seem to make people uncomfortable. In my experience, most of the time, the people who are the most disquieted by them have been the men in my life. I know it is a helpless feeling...

"I know you're just an emotional person," he told me last night, "but I don't like to know that you're sad. It's not like you didn't know Jim was going to die. I thought you'd be better prepared for it. I don't want to sound heartless but I almost feel like you're choosing to feel sad."

I've thought about this. Yes, I do choose to feel sad at times and I told him why.

"This world feels like a VERY heavy place for me. Many times I feel the weight of it and need an outlet. My 'choosing to feel sad' means that I am acknowledging the pain of it, the heaviness of it and now that I am sad, I can find release with tears and emotion. Once I've done that, I can be buoyant again."

***

I've witnessed the discomfort of death plenty over my adult years.

I've seen people grieve before and after a death. I've seen others not grieve at all. Some grieve silently while others look for someone to share the loss with. Some grieve for minutes. Some grieve for years. Some postpone their grief for some not-so-convenient future date.

Some people get angry. Others feel that they weren't involved enough. Guilt sets in. Some will show up out of the blue and lay claim to the person as if they'd held the hand of the dying when, prior, they were no where to be seen.

Others lay claim to the property of the dead. We become such scavengers in this place. Our belief in lack makes us appear very ugly at times.

Death is change. Change causes fear. Fear is the cause of most everything we do or see that we perceive as 'bad'.

I understand this.

I also understand the human psyche and how my personal processing goes.

When I feel that the world is attack, a place of torture and pain and guilt and sin and death, I most surely cannot find support or peace here. Not in the world of attack.

But when I turn it around and see the world as a place of love, blessings, birth and rebirth, joy, lightness, then my peace is acknowledged. I am aware of the gifts that I've received, no matter how briefly they appeared in my life.

I am turning it around now that my friend is at peace.

I'll be buoyant again soon.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peace now. Be still.

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“Death is not extinguishing the light;
it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore

The angels are certainly rejoicing for the laughter
and beauty you are now sharing with them.

Lucky angels.



We love you Jim.
February 6, 1965 - September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Favorite Depot Dad posts

As I stated before, I'm still holding vigil for my single dad friend, Jim, who writes his blog at DepotDad.com. (See the candle on my sidebar. Let me know if you'd like to burn a candle too.)

I've written a few posts about Jim here on my own blog. The man has inspired me since we first followed each others' blogs, began talking by phone and then finally met in December 2008: Inspired.

Then his fight with cancer took a downturn last spring: Keep the laughter alive... in which he gave this advice:

"If there's one thing I could tell my friends...It would be to BE HAPPY NOW. I've spent too much of my life unhappy and.... there's just no time for that. You have to make the choice to BE HAPPY. It is as simple as that."

He fought through that time and found a drug treatment that seemed to be working. Then another scan revealed the tumors coming back with a vengeance. Once again, I asked readers to offer support: Sending love.

And it kept getting worse but he kept fighting. I wrote again about him and this time added one of my favorite (and first!) posts written by him: I have no words...

This man is a CHAMPION!

I love seeing posts going up around the blogosphere in support of Jim. It is totally deserved.

Thank you to:

Not Your Average Single Momma

Momma Sunshine

Canadian Bald Guy

QTMama

Jolene

MindyMom

And tweets and ReTweets from:

jolene_TBD
Hubman
SoccerMom
Dr. Leah and Singlemommyhood

And of course, Rachel Sarah (who always keeps us in the loop!)

Jim has many friends!

Today, Jim is undergoing emergency surgery to place a stint in his lungs to help him breathe. The tumors have expanded and multiplied on his lungs so quickly that he is unable to breathe. The saddest part of all of this is that the cancer started as a mole on his scalp under his hair. It wasn't detected until it had spread to his lymph nodes. The fact that it is now on his lungs makes me ill.

So, I'm sending more prayers for this complicated surgery. I will be visiting him a week from today. I'd really like to see him again.

Call me selfish.

I would also like to direct you all to his blog with this... a few of my favorite Depot Dad posts. (There are too many!) The first one was written recently and, ya know, speaks volumes.

Getting hit

Then there are the video posts! Love these stories:


(I still remember him telling me this story as we ate lunch in downtown San Francisco.)


(Love that laugh!!!)

(Found another one!!! Ahhhh! Forgot about this one!)





Love you Jim.

Love love love love love

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Note to Self

Cancer is a bitch.

That is all.

Keeping his light alive

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I'm holding vigil for my friend Jim who is rapidly losing his battle with cancer.

Please hold him in the light. Please send wishes of peace for him and his beautiful children.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It really comes down to this: We're Different

This is TOOOOO funny. And very, very true.




I could watch this guy all day...

Check out this one about men and their sex drives.

Viva la difference! Might as well have fun with it, right?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

But is it REALLY that simple?

I talked to Gentleman Jack about my blog post from yesterday. He laughs at my revelations. He's a guy... he already understands what guys want.

I'm sort of giggling at myself too. My interest in understanding men has even usurped my magazine reading! As we stood browsing in the drug store before heading out to fish on Saturday, I chose Men's Health magazine to read rather than Women's Health.

Hey. I'm a girl. Don't talk to me about dieting and beauty routines and how to do girly stuff. I wanna know what you're putting into our men's heads!

(It also didn't hurt that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was on the cover. Hello?)

I told Gentleman Jack that I understood the need to "make myself happy". I also said I thought a man probably doesn't even care if his woman looks like a rockstar goddess if she's treating him and herself right.

He added, "But women want to feel like their man THINKS they're a rockstar goddess, right?"

Ok, yeah. That's true. If we do all of that to take care of ourselves and our own happiness, we do want to be noticed for it. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to look better than the next girl that our man could be fantasizing about.

And men will fantasize. It's what they do. Trying to stop it because we think it's cheating won't work. I don't think they can even help it!

Also, I told him, just because we do all of that for ourselves, it doesn't mean that our men should sit back and not put forth an effort to try or to recognize all that we do... for ourselves, for our men, for others.

"But if you're making yourself happy, why does a man NEED to do anything? Aren't you doing it already? For yourself?"

"Absolutely!" I agreed, "But it's just like masturbating. It's fun and it works to do it alone but when someone comes along that can help you with it, it's SO much more enjoyable!"

Women do want recognition for our abilities to hold ourselves, our lives and our men together. Maybe it's not expected of us to do those things for the men in our lives but we WILL do it. Nurturers. That's what we do.

We also, as women, have to work on the balance of those things. I've realized too many times that when I begin to feel resentment, it means that I've given too much, overstepped my boundary, and now expect something in return.

"That's the really tricky part," he said, "Because some women WILL set up expectations. I want to show love the way I show love! I want it to be something I do because I want to... not because it is expected or demanded of me."

I get this. But yes, that fear is there, I think, when it comes to relationships.

Am I enough for this person? Will they recognize and appreciate all that I have to give?

Maybe it comes down to speaking the same Love Language?

Maybe it comes down to accepting and feeling worthy of the love that is offered?

Maybe it comes down to the very art of choosing to allow every moment to unfold anew.

Whew. That's a tough one.

But I'm trying. We both are. That is a good thing about a long distance relationship. Every time I see him, it feels as if I've not seen him before. Every little thing he does, from greeting me with a smile, to awakening me with a freshly made smoothie, to building a deck chair and umbrella so that I won't get sunburned... all of those little things make me feel loved.

I hope he always tries. And I hope I always notice.




"To let ourselves be cherished for who we really are would be to violate our [past] edict that we are flawed, and to arouse our fear that if we do, feel, or think certain things, we'll be neglected and abandoned—in the most primal sense, left to die. So to receive love is to risk death. This drama plays out because the part of our mind that holds the [past] injunction is timeless—today is the same as yesterday. None of this is conscious, but the bottom line is that we reject love in order to stay alive.

You can't consciously achieve self-love by loving yourself. To end self-rejection, you have to learn to love in another what you hate in yourself. If you don't know what that is, you can find out by noticing what you project onto others, what you criticize repetitively and with emotion. If, for example, you accuse your partner of being an angry person, you may have submerged your own anger. When you learn to accept the hated trait in your partner, you will simultaneously accept it in yourself. Self-love is born out of love of another."
~ Harville Hendrix, Receiving Love, Transform Your Relationship by Letting Yourself Be Loved

Monday, September 13, 2010

Simplicity

Saturday afternoon, he stood on the front of the boat, rod and reel in hand, muttering to himself about which bait might land the biggest fish. I sat comfortably on the back deck of his fishing boat in a beach chair that he'd lovingly rigged the evening before with a giant golf umbrella to shield my pale skin from the harsh stinging of the mid-day sun.

Perhaps I appeared to others in this tournament as his "princess". No matter to him. He suggested they all were more than likely jealous that they, too, didn't have a "beautiful and good woman" on the back of their boats.

"Baby, I need to know that you're OK back there," he said while casting a line into the brownish waters of this Louisiana river. "If you can take care of yourself, I can focus on what I need to do up here."

I smiled from my "throne" and reassured him that I was absolutely fine and perfectly happy.

As I watched him, focused and assured, from my happy place, I realized the perfection of this metaphor. This, after all, is all that he asks of me.

Take care of yourself so that I can focus on all that I need to do.

***

Sunday morning, I attended church with this man of mine.

It was a topic that was discussed a few weeks ago. He hasn't attended service in ages though his family is well known at this church. I don't recall exactly how we began talking about this. I do remember his hesitation, however.

"I've not asked you because... I didn't know if you'd be interested. You teach that Course in Miracles stuff and this is just regular church. Would you...? Do you think you'd mind joining me because I really want to share it with you? I really want to be there, with you by my side, holding my hand..."

A man who wants to share his love of God with me.

How could I resist?

That morning, I stood in my Sunday best, in between this man who called me his princess the day before, and his son who wrapped his arm in mine and laid his head on my shoulder.

I listened as the deep voice, a voice I had yet to hear, came loudly from my love. He sang hymns proudly and with conviction. He lowered his head to pray, eyes closed tightly as he squeezed my tiny hand in his. After the service, we walked around the congregation, through elderly couples who had known him since childhood and he confidently introduced me as the woman in his life.

***

What I'm learning in this relationship is simple, really.

I must take care of me. I must not depend on him to "make me happy"... a pattern I've noticed in past relationships and even relationships of others in my life. Interestingly, I've rarely heard a man demand that a woman "make him happy."

Men do what they can to make themselves happy. We call them selfish. But when a woman is happy, a man feels like he is doing something right.

A believe my man wants to feel respected and admired. I think we both want the attention that comes from that admiration, of course. As I watched my love on the deck of his boat and in the pew at church, I'm not sure I've seen a more contented man.

Perhaps that is all that a man needs - or at least MY man. A woman who is happy, respectful and loving. A woman who wants to share her happiness with him. An appreciative woman to pamper and adore. A woman with whom he can hold hands, sing loudly and love God. So that he can focus on what he needs to do... to feel like a man.

Ironically, what he ultimately wants to do is make his woman happy.

My heart swells with love for this man.


The over thinking and over complicating is something I do to myself. I hope, as time goes on, I learn to trust in the simplicity of our being together. It is such a beautiful thing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What will you admit to?

vis.ualize.us

It's that time again. Ya'll had so much fun getting it all off your chests last time that I've decided to do it again.

Anonymous admissions, hot sexy secrets or never-told-anyone-before confessions...

To get us started, I will share a secret too.

Hey, didn't I already do that by admitting to giving up sex on a really bad first date?

I think that's enough of an embarrassing secret for this month!

Now you. Spill it anonymously or own it! And then come back to read what others admit to.

Ready?

GO!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More clues of a first date gone bad


Continued from part 1

As my date, HardBody, and I began discussing his personal life, he immediately admitted that he didn't believe in monogamy.

Clue #4...

I was shocked but as I thought about the 10 years I'd known him, I rarely knew him to have a girlfriend. We discussed my previous sexplorations as well. He then curiously asked if I'd be willing to have sex with our waitress while he watched.

Clue #5...

Even still, I would not take any of these clues to heart. I was told that this guy had feelings for me! He'd admitted them to our mutual friend. In the time I'd known him, he had always been wonderful and respectful to me. A great friend. Perhaps he was having an off night or felt nervous.

Ah... if there's anything you should know about me, it's that I'm very stubborn. When I see something I want, I will take all sorts of abuse to get there.

Apparently.

After dinner, we walked down the street to a bar to hear a live band. As we listened to the music, I began to feel a bit frustrated. He was ogling every woman that walked by...

Clue #6...

...and yet, as we sat side by side, he slid his hand, sensually, from my knee to my thigh. I was confused but to be touched that way felt wonderful. When he then leaned in and kissed me, I could feel the melting warmth between my legs.

I needed sex.

We discussed getting away to a more private place. We couldn't go to my house because of the kids and we couldn't go to his house either. We noticed a hotel nearby and decided to get a room.

I didn't care anymore. It was obvious that we wouldn't be "an item" but I wanted attention. I wanted someone to want me again. I wanted someone to fuck me like I hadn't been fucked in years. (And yes, I said FUCK. Because it had been at least a year since I'd had sex with a man.)

He, despite all the damn clues, still seemed like a very willing and able candidate.

Go ahead and judge me.

I waited in the car while he went in to get a room. When he came back out of the hotel, he sat back in my car and looked at me sadly.

"Nope. I'm not going to pay that much for one night."

I asked how much and was shocked that he was so unwilling to shell out what didn't seem like much at ALL (and I know what he gets paid) to have some fun with me. Was I not worth it? This man who apparently had crushed on me for YEARS and he wouldn't even pay for one night in a hotel room with me?!?

Clue #7...

He then suggested that we pull into a parking garage near by and move into the back seat of my car.

Clue #8...

Now, this was when I shut down. I was too far in to back out and I still very much wanted sex... but I was no longer feeling it.

Then, when I had to physically move a booster seat and an infant seat so that I could "make out", uncomfortably, with this very disrespectful and cheap date, my head was hurting from rolling my eyes so much. And my heart was filled with SOOO much Mommy-guilt!

Clue #9...

But I *did* stay in that uncomfortable back seat... just so that I could be kissed and fondled and admired. He at least said naughty and nice things to me. Even as he did so much to please me, at that point, I felt nothing. Not a damn thing. It was too freakin' late. I actually had a vision of myself filing my nails as he munched away on my freshly shaven girl parts.

Big Ass Clue #10!

I know, I know... I can hear the chorus of "Oh no! T!! You didn't!!" ....and yeah, I can't lie. But it does make for great blog fodder, right?

I had really high hopes for this one. When I told our mutual friend about the date, he sat in shocked silence. He agreed that it didn't even SOUND like the same guy. He proposed that nerves must have got the better of HardBody that night.

Perhaps.

Although, it wasn't the date of my dreams and he was far from the man of my dreams, I was able to experience and learn a great lesson - with a friend no less!

Strangely, we've never discussed the date. I've never even seen him act like he did that night, before or since! He continues to be a very kind, loving and respectful friend to me. I guess some people are simply better as friends only.

I came away from that date with the new-found ability to recognize that I should trust myself in those situations. I learned to be more discerning on other first dates. I learned to trust my gut when it's screaming, "Run away!!"

I also realized that I wasn't a desperate woman, though I may have appeared to be that night. I knew I deserved better, even then, at one of the lowest points in my life. I knew that I wanted to feel adored and loved. I guess I just wasn't ready for it at that point. And I wouldn't be for at least another couple of years.

Maybe it takes a few bad dates to help recognize the good ones. Maybe, as with the donkey in the well story, we have to have some dirt thrown on top of us in order to climb up out of the darkness.

Live, love and learn, ya'll.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

10 Clues You're on a Bad First Date

It was only a few months since I'd asked my ex-husband to move out and already people were trying to set me up on dates.

Isn't it funny that people feel uncomfortable with a person just sitting with their pain? Don't sit still! Have a plan!!

This particular man, (we'll call him HardBody... because uh huh... he does have a nice hard body...), was (and still is!) a friend and former co-worker. At this point, we had known each other over 10 years. I always enjoyed his company, working with him, talking to him and yes, even flirting with him. He also gave the most excellent hugs.

I was in no way ready to date but I did feel very lonely and sexually frustrated. A mutual friend admitted to me that HardBody always liked me. He said that HardBody had very strong feelings for me and if anything, would be a very safe first date for me, post separation. I figured, "How could I go wrong with a friend? And a nice looking one at that?!"

HB was very excited to hear from me. He did know about the separation and was shocked... as he liked my ex-husband very much too. Still, he jumped at the chance to take me out to dinner.

He asked to meet at a really nice restaurant/martini bar. I dressed as sexy as I could because, well, it'd been a very long time since I'd felt sexy. My toddler and infant were staying with my mom that night at my house. I didn't know when I'd be home and was secretly hoping it would be a very late night.

I arrived, sat at the bar and ordered my first martini. Mmmm... that first sip seemed like a first breath. I'd been through so much over the past year. I deserved to be treated well this evening.

HardBody arrived and lifted me from the floor in a giant embrace. I couldn't even remember when I'd last been hugged like that. He ordered a drink and we sat down to chat.

He asked how I was doing and for a little more insight on what happened in my marriage. I talked about it as little as I could as I was still feeling very raw. We finished our drinks and he began to look around.

"So," he asked, "where do you want to go eat?"

Clue #1: If you're already at a really nice restaurant and your date asks "where do you want to eat?"... the date probably isn't off to a great start.

I suggested we eat there since he'd suggested we meet there. Why not? I'd been there before and the food was great.

We sat at a table and began to talk about his personal life. It had been a while since we'd talked and I was eager to catch up. Besides, I wondered if he was dating anyone seriously.

Clue #2: If the waitress comes to take your order and your date speaks up to order before you do, it's probably not a good sign.

Clue #3: If your date then orders a salad for dinner, when you know he has the metabolism of a hummingbird, it's also probably not a good sign.

I was skimming the menu of scrumptious entrees when, stunned, I felt obliged to order a salad too. I certainly didn't want to order a nice meal when my date was only eating a small salad.

*sigh*


To be continued... part 2

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On Edge

Photo from Vi.sualize.us


Last week, I was on the ledge of misery and unworthiness. I was also on the ledge of breaking up with Gentleman Jack.

That was the day of our ugly fight when we no longer saw each other... but instead dumped heaps of baggage on our very honest and loving relationship.

I knew I didn't want to make a decision based on fear, anger or reaction to an argument. Instead I decided to sit with the idea. I thought about it. For hours.

What would my life be like without Gentleman Jack in it?

The very thought of it left me feeling as if my skin had been ripped from my body and alcohol poured on top of me. Raw. Stinging. Excruciating.

I would mourn. But I know me and I know how I react after and during a mourning period. I would move forward with the lessons I’d learned. I would do whatever it took to get back to who “the new me” would be. I would find all sorts of ways to forgive him and forgive myself for our shortcomings.

I would meditate and read more of A Course in Miracles. I would sit in stillness. I would lean on my faith and trust that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

I would go to more yoga classes. In the past month, I’ve gone once, 1 TIME, to yoga. I would find solace on my mat, breathing in love and breathing out unhappiness or low self-worth.

I would ride my bike more. I would schedule more cycling events and outings with friends. I would get back to the gym and swimming. I would possibly plan to work up to another triathlon and/or obstacle course event. I always feel like a bad ass when I cross a finish line.

I would be present with my children. I would absorb their childhood innocence, playfulness and love. I would be silly, put on a big smile and squeeze them until they begged me to let them go.

I would call up my friends, my mom or my brother and make plans. I would even be motivated to reconnect with my estranged sister. We would plan lunches and evenings out – not to pick up a new man… no it would take me a while before I’d be ready for that. We would nurture the simple joys of quality time and laughter.

I would be present at work and in everything I did. I would continue to look forward, keeping my chin up. I would allow myself to feel the pain and ache of losing him but know that I did what I thought was best. And I would root myself firmly in the NOW so that I could baby step forward to strength and love for myself and those around me. I would dissolve the feelings of unworthiness. I would breathe easy again.

Then… something occurred to me.

I have all the time in the world to do those things NOW. There is no reason, at ALL, why I cannot dissolve the feelings of unworthiness NOW. There is no reason on earth why I can’t breathe in the love NOW. I have no reason not to trust right NOW and know that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I can know that I’m doing what I think is best for me, right NOW.

Why am I not doing these things for myself NOW?

The distance of time and space between Gentleman Jack and me can serve me well. I have plenty of time available to me to continue my self-nurturing. I have no need to sacrifice the things that I would normally do for myself. I have fallen into some past pattern of look-what-I've-given-up-for-you martyrdom. I haven’t been asked by Gentleman Jack to change who I am. In fact, the only thing he does ask of me is that I continue to be the happy girl he fell in love with.

And that is up to ME.

I can do all of those things and STILL be supported and loved by him. I can take care of me and still have the added bonus of his adoration and affection. The obviousness of this revelation stunned me so much that I actually laughed out loud!

I swear sometimes it’s like the universe slaps me up the side of the head with a big, fat DUH?!?!

Perhaps I wasn’t standing on a ledge after all. Maybe I was standing on a precipice of greatness.

Monday, September 6, 2010

You make it hard to be faithful



I was driving home for lunch last week and heard this song on the radio.

If you know anything about me, you know that I cannot simply enjoy a song. I listen to lyrics. I want to understand the meaning behind the song.

So, as I listened to the vocalist sing to the "other woman" on the phone... and how they "never moved on"... while his girlfriend was in the other room.... I was sick to my stomach.

I guess this is another reason why I self-analyze so much while in my relationship with my Gentleman. I don't want that feeling of "never moved on" about my ex or Soldier. While I was married to my husband, and certainly the entire time we were together, I was also very much in love with someone else.

And it wasn't my lover during my affair.

I loved him too during that time. I was also crazy in love with my husband during all of our time together. At one point, during my marriage, I felt like I was in love with 3 different men at once.

Now, many of you might ask, "How is that even possible?!"

I have no answers. I only know that feeling of...

"Why didn't we work out?"

"I've never moved on."

"I still think of you."

"I dreamt of you last night."

"Sometimes, I fantasize it's you when my husband and I make love... And sometimes I fantasize about my husband when you and I make love... "

Ugh. Just typing that makes me feel like I could lose my lunch.

I want to be completely present for Gentleman Jack. I want to tear down these walls, find the deepest fears and doubts and wipe them clean. I want to be whole in my relationship.

I want to make love with my eyes open.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer weekend moments of happy

Photo from Vi.sualize.us

The strangest part about how I was feeling in my low last week... is that today, I can barely relate to who I was just a few days ago.

I did realize that my biggest fear was of the future. And fear of lack of control. Thankfully, those lows always lead me to some new revelation. I guess it's that whole dark night of the soul thing.

I've also realized in the past few days that perhaps this is a big shift from who I was to who I'm becoming. I'm actually becoming all the time. Moving towards something... and never stopping to appreciate where I am now.

When I look back on who I've been for the past 40 years of my life, I was always aiming for something, defining myself. Right? Isn't that what getting to 40 is all about? Who will I be in this world?

Maybe this is the time when I can stop aiming. Maybe this is when I can just plan for things I want to do instead of things I have to do.

I don't HAVE to get married or have children. I don't HAVE to aim for some big time career or some giant house or some lofty goal. I always felt like I had to have that in my 20's and 30's and I did reach those goals.

Maybe my 40's will be all about just sitting with where I am now and appreciating it.

Maybe my future plans will be more about what bike ride I'm going to do next or the next weekend I'll get to see my Gentleman or taking my kids to the next Harry Potter movie. Maybe it's not about me anymore. Maybe it's about watching my kids make THEIR lofty goals and reaching them.

Maybe it's time I take the time to be happy being happy.

Simple enough, right?

Sounds like a grand enough goal for me.

Hope you're enjoying this last weekend of summer. I am. :)


"A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life."
~ Abraham-Hicks

Friday, September 3, 2010

Note to Self

You worked really hard on yourself to find someone who loves and accepts you just the way you are.

Now that you have him, are you working just as hard to love and accept *yourself* just the way you are?

And are you allowing him to love you and accept you just the way you are?

That's the really tough part.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"What if" I see this differently?

Gentleman Jack and I had to have a serious talk the other night while I fought my way out of the darkness.

We'd already had a ugly argument earlier in the day where I, enraged, shouted threats, hung up on him and threw the phone across the room.

Um... yeah, I haven't done anything like that in years.

We were in attack-defense/counter-attack mode. We were no longer seeing each other. We were using phrases like, "Yep, there you go! Just like my ex!"

Ugh. I don't wanna see my ex. I wanna see my love. My sweet, sweet, man.

"What I see is a form of vengeance: Today's idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world. Having projected his anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him. His own attack is thus perceived as self defense. This becomes an increasingly vicious circle until he is willing to change how he sees. Otherwise, thoughts of attack and counter-attack will preoccupy him and people his entire world. What peace of mind is possible to him then?"
~ A Course in Miracles Lesson 22

***

When we talked later that evening, after a nice long cooling off period, I explained to him my state of mind. I was "what iffing" myself into a frenzy. The uncertainty was causing fear. And fear was causing me to see nothing but negative. In that negative state, I was pushing and reacting and hiding and spiraling big time.

What if we spend all of this time together and end up not being a good married couple?

What if we never get to the marriage point?

What if I can't handle the man I love 24/7?

What if we never get a 24/7?

What if... what if...



"Hey, I get it. I'm scared too," he admitted.

But again, even though we're frightened of the same thing, we handle it differently.

I obsess on the uncertainty. He won't even try to look too far ahead out of pure fear.

I had to figure out why the uncertain future scares the crap outta me.

That was the only way that I could see out of the cycle of fear. I knew if I could change the way I was seeing this, it would make a world of difference in my relationship to my man... who asks nothing more of me, than I do what it takes to make myself happy.

***

When I was dating seriously the first time around with my now-ex husband, we had nothing BUT plans. Our future looked bright. We planned the things we'd do before we married. Then we planned our marriage. We planned our careers, babies, building a house, retirement. It was all planned out.

Then *CRASH*.

Ya know, divorce happens.

Ever since then, I've realized, I've tried grasping at some sort of future plan. Maybe the kids and I would make it on our own? Maybe Soldier and I would get married and I'd be an Army wife? Maybe the kids and I will make it on our own and I'll be a bisexual eternally polyamorous single woman who does triathlons and has a rockin' bod? Now... I'm stuck in the maybe's and sometimes the negative, horribly scary what if's.

What I'm trying to remember is that even when my future was planned it didn't work out according to the plan. So maybe life isn't supposed to be plans. Maybe life is supposed to be surprises and lessons and happy moments and going with the flow.

Gentleman Jack asked me to change around my negative what if's into positive ones.

"What if," he proposed, "our relationship never ends? What if we don't end up like we did in our marriages? What if we grow old together, happily and crazy in love? You never know. All that I know is that as hard as this is, I'd rather have you in my life than out of it."

I agree.

Because when I ask myself the two questions he asked me the first time I almost broke things off:

Do you love me?

Are you having fun?


The answer to both is still yes.


"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at... change."
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Work in progress

I've been listening to and watching a lot of Dr. Wayne Dyer's PBS specials/audio books lately. He writes and speaks about manifesting. He was in the movie version of The Secret but he now teaches beyond it. He is also a student of A Course in Miracles.

I've not had much interest in The Secret/Law of Attraction lately. I do believe that we can manifest. Yes. I agree that we have that power. The problem is, from what I've noticed, we don't always realize what we may manifest.

Sure, we can stay positive and focused on something and make it happen. We also have lots and lots of subconscious thoughts that attract and manifest as well. I believe this is when we look at things in our lives and say, "I didn't choose that!"

Dr. Dyer said something that helped me to understand this phenomenon.

"We don't always attract what we want. We attract what we are." (paraphrasing)

Basically, we attract from our beliefs about ourselves and the world. And again, not all of these beliefs are within the frame of our conscious mind.

***

I say all of that because I have been doing lots of soul searching about my relationship with Gentleman Jack.

I've found myself stuck in a downward spiral. I love the man. SOOOOOOO much. We have a great time together. He is truly wonderful to me.

But when I try to imagine a future with him, there are things that piss me off too. There are things that he does or doesn't do in his life that frustrate me... things that have nothing to do with me but irritate me nonetheless.... things that showed up in my marriage and other past relationships.

I left those relationships so I wouldn't have to deal with those irritating things!

Ahhh but what you don't understand, says the universe, is that you've never healed the thoughts that brought those things in your life to begin with!

*sigh*

I guess it must be true. The one thing in common in all of those relationships is me.

Grrr... and thus I have to look at it and sit with it. I have to shine a light on it and try to figure out why I allow those things to bother me so. I also have to look at why I have such a need to fix or change these irritations instead of allowing him to be.

Otherwise, I will run screaming the other direction over a future fear and miss out on the loving and positive things that Gentleman Jack has brought I've allowed in my life in this relationship.

***

One of the core beliefs that I think Gentleman Jack and I share individually is: "What if I am not enough?"

Of course, the sameness of beliefs is probably one of our deep attractions to each other. This belief shows itself in all areas and in both good and bad ways. Attraction is attraction - it doesn't see good or bad. It just is.

The (sometimes problematic) difference, however, is how each of us handles that belief.

I tend to follow the premise, "Give and give until it hurts. Then give some more. Bend over til your back is almost breaking. Surely they will love you for it."

And Gentleman Jack seems to live by the creedo, "Give and if it's not enough, it's their problem, not mine. Love me as I am. *beats chest in defiance*"

I forget boundaries and have a martyr complex. He puts up a fortress of defense.

I get resentful when people take too much and don't give back. He gets resentful when what he gives isn't enough.

I don't think either one is healthy. Neither of us gets much benefit from handling ourselves this way. There's a balance between the two somewhere, right?

***

There is still much work to be done... on myself, my beliefs, my fears, and the trunk of baggage that's still hiding in the attic of my subconscious.

There is still much that I have to understand and feel comfortable with in my relationship as well. This starts with looking at our sameness and not our differences. Or rather... both of us being aware that we handle our sameness differently.

Can I learn to allow and accept our differences?

In the meantime, I will lean on my faith. Again.