Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Impasse under the covers

On what I thought would be the last morning with Gentleman Jack, I was really in my head. (It turned out that I was able to stay another day.)

I knew it would be another few weeks before we'd see each other again, so, I wanted sex.

Except he... wasn't in the mood.

That doesn't mean he turned me down. He was just not feeling 100% (I'd given him my horrible cold) and didn't initiate. He doesn't turn me down ever. That morning, though, I didn't feel like initiating either. So, it was a standoff that left me feeling irritated and not wanted.

I realized that I'd felt that way all week. I DON'T LIKE SHARING MY MAN.

What is THAT about?

***

Rare are the moments that my man and I are able to be completely alone.

We always have children around. He has full custody of his teen son so, seriously, it is a true treat when we can walk around the house naked...

This past visit we had all four kids and two dogs. We were surrounded by constant chaos at all times. Thank GOD for a master bedroom with a lock on the door. Still, though, I wanted more. I wanted his FULL attention. I didn't feel like sharing him with the rest of the world.

Would I get past that if we were able to be together all the time?

I don't know. I was married to a man who traveled with work 95% of the time and, though we were married, I gave up any social activities that required me away from home on the weekends he would be around. I only wanted to be around him. I wanted his attention. I loathed that he would come home and work around the house or in the kitchen or sit on the couch and watch TV all day long. I wanted to go DO something! I wanted him to PAY ATTENTION TO ME.

Even before that, when we were only dating, I HAD to have sex, every single time we saw each other. If I didn't get it, I would throw an all out fit.

Don't even get me started on how much I wanted (and didn't get) sex during our marriage...

***

I was a full-on brat to Gentleman Jack that morning. I commandingly told him that I wanted sex. He said he wouldn't turn me down but I was going to have to get things started. Grrr! Instead I crossed my arms and turned my back to him.

[sarcasm font]Oooo, what a turn on![/sarcasm font]

What is it, T, what is it that makes you do these things?

I couldn't let it go. I was pissy and told him I would masturbate instead.

"Why will you touch yourself but not me?" he asked.

ARGH! Damn him for being as hardheaded as I am!

But did I masturbate? No. And ya know why? Because I decided to feel bad for being so difficult and martyred myself instead.

***

As an aside, I'd like to say that if it were me, I'm not sure I could stand to be around me when I'm like that. I can barely stand myself anyway when I become a brat. He loves me through it. Wish I could do that.

He had to make a run to the store, leaving me to stew in my own frustration. He returned and made me an awesome breakfast smoothie. Then he calmly and patiently sat me on the bed to talk to me.

"Baby, I understand why you were feeling the way you felt earlier. I think you equate sex with emotion. I think that because I'm not crawling all over you, begging you to stay, you feel unwanted. You may not have even needed sex if I'd expressed some overly emotional need for you to stay."

Uh huh. Yep. Exactly.

"The difference is this," he continued, "we have to be happy that we had so much time together. We can't focus on the fact that it's ending. I'm so content and happy and satisfied, especially sexually, with you here. I don't feel a need for ANYTHING. I'm happy and I think it bugs you that I'm not sad. But just because I'm happy doesn't mean that I'm glad you're leaving. I'm happier when you're here! I just choose to focus on what I have, right now, rather than to feel sad that it's ending."

Then he wrapped me up in his love, hugs and kisses, once again, leaving me in humbled silence.

***

In a lot of ways, that's the way we're handling this relationship too. I'm afraid for the end. I'm scared about how it's going to hurt when we don't end up together because that's what's happened in my past. He is enjoying it, right here, right now, with no worry or thought about it going away.

Think of all that I'm missing by looking too far ahead, or too far in my past. I'm so much better when I can be with him, in the present. Such a gift.

Lessons and lessons to learn, ever still.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Legend of the Belltower


When I was visiting Louisiana, Gentleman Jack and I took my grandfather out in celebration of his 94th birthday. Papa has surprised me how "with it" he still is. I saw him fall into a deep depression when Mema, his bride of 70 years, passed away. He drinks bourbon and coke all day long, as he always has, but still manages to keep up with the calendar, his household chores, visiting friends, daily walks and even calling us to say hello now and again. He actually seems healthier now than he did a year ago!

At dinner, he regaled us with more stories from his tour during WWII. Jack and I found it ironic that his son, Carbon Copy, enjoyed these stories because many of his video games were inspired by World War II! Jack's teenage son and my 94 year old grandfather sharing a genuine conversation... was really fun to watch!

On the drive to Papa's house, I always pass this belltower. I remember being told the legend behind the tower as a child:

A father built the church and tower for his daughter, who was soon to be wed. Alas the wedding didn't happen and she ended up dying of a broken heart. He burned the church to the ground and all that is left standing is the belltower. Legend has it you can still see her standing at the top of the belltower, some nights, searching for her lost love.

I always smile when I pass that tower, for some reason. Guess it reminds me of a happy childhood and many memorable moments with my Mema and Papa.

And maybe, it's also a great reminder of the strength of a father's love.

Photo, legend and actual story about the tower taken from here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Martyr

I've spent the week with my Gentleman Jack and... it has been interesting.

This is the longest amount of time he and I have been together in one stretch. To make it even more interesting, I am in his natural element. I'm in his house in his town during a week that he still had to work at his job and the holiday was spent with his family.

When I'm not here, we text all day long, every day, and have remained in consistent communication for the past year and a half. I have a good idea of what his days are like. We also spent a week together with his family in Mexico. There really haven't been that many surprises. I have learned a few things that I didn't realize. I have noticed a few more faults that I hadn't been exposed to before. We have been challenged more this week than before.

But this blog isn't about him. I write about me.

So as usual, the biggest surprises have been what I'm learning about myself.

***


A recent revelation is that I have a martyr complex.

I questioned it recently when I very nearly passed out from not eating... but I made damn sure my man and his teenage son had eaten. I was frustrated with them for not realizing the "sacrifice" I was making by feeding them first. They didn't ask for it but I was irritated with them anyway.

Well, I KEEP doing things like this. I did it again this week. Frustrating enough is the very fact that not only am I doing it, but now I realize I'm doing it and so does Jack. Now, not only do I feel like some sacrificial lamb but I get to top it off with humiliation and embarrassment too.

My Gentleman, though, realizing what I'm doing, matter-of-factly calls me out on it. (I jokingly referred to him as a rubber band that I should keep around my wrist to *pop* myself when I do these self-destructive behaviors. He didn't like this analogy because it sounds harsh and abrupt but ya know what? I think I need harsh and abrupt. And besides, it feels like tough love to me.)

I can't stand passive-aggressive behavior and yet, there I am, doing it again and again.

I suppose awareness is the first step, right?

***

Looking back over past relationships and even friendships, I now see, plain as day, why I feel like I'm always doing for everyone else and not getting anything in return.

This week, I actually consciously chose to miss out on something I'd been talking about doing since before I drove over here! I used HIM as the excuse for missing it. All the while, I KNEW what I was doing. I was aware that I was choosing a reason to be upset with him. I knew I was purposely causing drama and for what? What good did it do me?

I missed out on what I wanted and he was upset with me for choosing to mistreat myself, yet again. He didn't fall for the "it's all your fault... see what I do for you..." crap that I try to throw on him. He was very cognizant of what I was doing and questioned me, "Why do you not feel deserving of these things you want for yourself? I am not asking anything of you. YOU are the one choosing to sacrifice yourself. Please stop."

And then he spent the rest of the week making sure I did take care of myself.

Like now, he's in the other room watching a movie with all four kids so that I can write...

I'm learning. I'm trying. And he's definitely in my life to make sure I succeed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Course in Miracles

I have received a few emails, from those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, asking about the spiritual text that I study, A Course in Miracles.


I've had my head in this amazing blue book since my ex-husband and I split up. Honestly, it has helped me through so much. The principals of the Course are finding forgiveness, peace of mind, choosing love instead of fear. The text was scribed by Helen Schucman, a woman who was a psychology professor at Columbia University in New York. She was an atheist Jew (ironically enough and struggled with the powerful spiritual messages she was receiving), avid scholar and admirer of the works of Shakespeare. The book leans heavily on psychology and spirituality and is written in Shakepearean Iambic pentameter.

In other words, it's not the easiest book to digest. That is why there are so many ACIM study groups worldwide.

Now, whether or not you decide to dive right in (and some people do), I will tell you that I did not.

The first time the book was mentioned to me, I picked it up, read a few pages and then promptly put it down. It just didn't fit. It wasn't for me. It made no sense.

That's the beauty of this book and this life. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

After the ex and I split, my dear spiritual friend, D, once again asked me to attend his ACIM study group. This time, I went, I read, I fell in love. Other students I've met have said the same thing: This book comes to you in your darkest time.

***

I had read other books, from the initial time I saw ACIM and when I finally learned to love it, that lead me to the Course. I've also read other books since... that have helped me in my growth and spiritual understanding of the Course.


I began with A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. I read this book ages before I was introduced to A Course in Miracles. Did I buy the book because the title sounded beautiful? Or perhaps someone gave it to me? Nevertheless, it has been on my bookshelf for years. She writes of a life of making good choices and bad. She speaks honestly. She is candid and funny. I love this book.



I read Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch probably 10 years ago or so, again long before ACIM. My friend D had also recommended it to me to aid in my constant questioning of religion and God. Love this book and have read it many many times.



After I became a student of A Course in Miracles, I went through even more questioning. It was tough, looking at the ego choices I'd made in my life. It was difficult to take responsibility for my thoughts and still believe that I was still loved and worthy of even more love. There are books written about the Course but this one, The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness by Gary Renard, this one took the cake for me. I felt that I had a much better understanding of things after reading this book.

These authors, as well as Tolle, Dyer, or Ken Wapnick, (all ACIM students) have all helped me spiritually and in life.

***

Again, let me re-iterate that there are many paths, this is simply the path that I choose and several have asked about it. I choose not to proselytize about my path. To each their own. However, if the demonstration of how I live my life inspires you, then perhaps these books/authors will too.

The craziest thing about studying this book is that I now see it everywhere. From movies (like Inception) to other spiritual leaders (like Joel Osteen) to life. I stand in awe at the teachers around me all the time.

Oh and if you loved the movie The Matrix, it was written by ACIM students too. Just sayin'. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Everyone deserves to feel beautiful AND worth it


My cousin sent this to me and I'm sure I've read it before. This time, though, it definitely hit home.

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men.....

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in..

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about

a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they

think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss

can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what

makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideas.

They give moral support to their

family and friends.

Women have vital things to say

and everything to give.

However, If there is one flaw in women,

IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

Photo credit to my beautiful friend, L. Thank you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sharing love for Thanksgiving

I am currently spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my Gentleman. I am fortunate enough to be able to spend an entire week with my man and ahhhh.... it's soooo nice.

We spent the first evening out with some fellow high school classmates. All of us classmates find it fascinating that we enjoy each others' company so much. Is it our history that brings us together? Or did we all just turn out to be pretty damn awesome? I don't know but when we do get together, we're all smiles and laughs and the funniest part of all? Many of us weren't even close in high school. In fact, I didn't even hang out with my Gentleman until we reconnected over a year and a half ago.

A few of our classmates have made their own high school reconnection that subsequently turned into a happy second marriage for them. They keep checking my ring finger and asking Gentleman Jack, "Well?!? WHEN!?!?" Then there are a few who are going through divorces and still others who are searching for their own dream partners.

I told Jack today that I remember putting a list together, before we were together, about the type of relationship I'd like to have. I'd decided then that I wanted an "inclusive" relationship vs. an "exclusive" one.

What I meant by that, and I have no idea why I had this thought back then, was that I wanted everyone around us to feel the love that we had for each other. I wanted people to feel joy around us, feel love emanating from us to them and their hearts would fill with happiness too. When we're with our classmates, it seems to be that way. We're always being told, "I LOVE you two together!" They all seem, no matter what they're going through, genuinely happy for us.

It's a really good feeling. I like sharing love and I like that others feel it too.

It's a good week for me and my guy. I'm all smiles here. Hope you're feeling it too.

Lots of love.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sometimes a kick in the ass is exactly what I need

I've written recently about the hormone problems that I've been having. I admitted to cystic acne... something that has affected me emotionally as well as physically. I am going through many treatments to resolve these skin imperfections including hormonal testing with my doctor which involves drawing lots of blood. My doctor finally diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue.

I also know, somewhere deep inside, that sometimes, our enemies are our greatest teachers.

***

I remember being diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my first pregnancy. I hated it. I was miserably depressed at the failure of my own body.

Then I learned that my father had diabetes. (I had no idea.)

I learned how to eat like a diabetic, giving me not only a healthy baby, but a healthier body and an awareness of foods that make me feel terrible.

Gestational diabetes... was a great teacher.

***

In between pregnancies, I was told that my cholesterol was too high.

I was trying to eat like a diabetic though I wasn't technically having diabetic issues any longer. I knew it was a genetic disorder that ran in my family.

With a low cholesterol diet and a diabetic diet, there is nothing else to eat, really. That's when I decided to go on Weight Watchers.

I learned to eat in moderation. I learned which foods affected my moods and my weight, when and how often to eat, and what to eat. Because of WW, I lost weight and was healthier than I'd ever been.

High cholesterol was a great teacher.

***

In the past month, I have avoided looking at myself in the mirror, hidden my face from cameras, turned off lights when I'm not wearing make-up with my Gentleman.

And ya know what?

NO MORE.

Because of this diagnosis, I'm learning, yet again, how to nurture my body. This time I have to make few dietary changes but instead need to shift back into the awareness of when to eat and what my body needs.

I have to change my attitude. Instead of kicking my own ass (as I'm known to do), I have to treat myself with gentleness. I actually find myself saying, "STOP" when my mind begins to flood with negativity.

I am learning that I must honor my needs and retrain my brain.

Instead of fighting these skin irritations, I will look and give gratitude. My body is trying to tell me what it requires to be healthy. How fortunate am I that the irritation of my health appeared in something as innocent as a few blemishes on my face that can easily be covered?!? How blessed am I that I see the message loud and clear?!?

I am learning, again, how to take care of myself.

Thank you, adrenal fatigue, acne, hormonal issues, for being my teacher.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taking care of myself

This week has been all about taking better care of myself, emotionally, mentally, physically. I've been feeling very calm, happier, stronger.

I've been breathing deeper and focusing on all good thoughts, especially the last 5 minutes before I fall asleep. (Why ruminate on bad thoughts for 8 hours?) I've been visualizing a future where things work out in ways I expect and leaving room for other surprising, more miraculous ways. I've been gentler with myself and still holding myself accountable for the excuses I make.

I've been doing yoga or resting my body. Colder weather always makes me want to nestle up with my girls or snuggle with the puppy dawg.

I've been eating yogurt every day - a taste I could barely tolerate until I found Greek yogurt. (Yum) I loaded up on new supplements for adrenal fatigue and replenished my vitamins.

I've been watching what I eat - working towards a better balance of carbohydrates/fats/protein.

I've started my usual wellness arsenal for the fall and winter months.

And here I am, mid-week... not feeling well.

Ironic, no?

The funny thing is, though my ears are cloggy, my nose is stuffy alternating with runny, my body is achy, my skin is clammy alternating with chilly, I don't feel bitchy.




Maybe my body's in shock or something.

Oh and did I mention adding PMS to the mix too?

But I'm ok. Emotionally, I feel pretty darn good. Even, damn good.

Gonna keep on keepin' on.

Stay well, my friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let your colors burst



Yes. Exactly.

Firework
Katy Perry

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
Six feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh-oh-oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh-oh-oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh-oh-oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh-oh-oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh-oh-oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh-oh-oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"You must unlearn what you have learned." ~ Yoda

I've realized lately that I'm not really in the mood for self-help books/programs anymore. As I mentioned before, I feel as if I KNOW the state of mind that brings me peace but I'm resistant to it. I keep making excuses to push it away.

Ironically, it is another self-help guru that is teaching me to change the excuses into something more empowering and life-changing.

Dr. Wayne Dyer

****

I have the DVR at my house scheduled to record any PBS specials that involve Dr. Dyer. He is also a Course in Miracles student, therefore, I can relate to many of teachings. He does teach about manifesting in this reality but I like that he takes it to a spiritual level.

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

According to Dr. Dyer's book, Excuses Be Gone: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits, we all have ingrained patterns of thinking that keep us from the peace of mind so readily available to us. After all, how can we achieve peace in our lives if we are not allowing peace in our minds? These patterns create our resistance.

He's not the first spiritual teacher that has appeared in my life with the same message. So have Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, don Miguel-Ruiz and yes, even A Course in Miracles. It is our OWN MINDS that create this resistance. Can we change our thoughts AND change our lives?

"Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world."
~ A Course In Miracles

***

So, in honor of changing my mind, I am adding my favorite part of Dr. Dyer's Excuses Be Gone program. Here are several excuses... and an alternate way of turning them into affirmations instead.

I'm thinking of putting them all over my house (and my man's house too). I really need to retrain this brain.

*************

Excuse: It will be difficult.
Affirmation: I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort.

Excuse: It's going to be risky.
Affirmation: Being myself involves no risks. It is my ultimate truth, and I live it fearlessly.

Excuse: It will take a long time.
Affirmation: I have infinite patience when it comes to fulfilling my destiny.

Excuse: There will be family drama.
Affirmation: I would rather be loathed for who I am than loved for who I am not.

Excuse: I don't deserve it.
Affirmation: I am a Divine creation, a piece of God. Therefore, I cannot be undeserving.

Excuse: It is not my nature.
Affirmation: My essential nature is perfect and faultless. It is to this nature that I return.

Excuse: I can't afford it.
Affirmation: I am connected to an unlimited source of abundance.

Excuse: No one will help me.
Affirmation: The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time.

Excuse: It has never happened before.
Affirmation: I am willing to attract all that I desire, beginning here and now.

Excuse: I'm not strong enough.
Affirmation: I have access to unlimited assistance. My strength comes from my connection to my Source of being.

Excuse: I'm not smart enough.
Affirmation: I am a creation of the Divine mind; all is perfect, and I am a genius in my own right.

Excuse: I'm too old (or not old enough.)
Affirmation: I am an infinite being. The age of my body has no bearing on what I do or who I am.

Excuse: The rules won't let me.
Affirmation: I live my life according to Divine rules.

Excuse: It's too big.
Affirmation: I think only about what I can do now. By thinking small, I accomplish great things.

Excuse: I don't have the energy.
Affirmation: I feel passionately about my life, and this passion fills me with excitement and energy.

Excuse: It's my personal family history.
Affirmation: I live in the present moment by being grateful for all of my life experiences as a child.

Excuse: I'm too busy.
Affirmation: As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.

Excuse: I'm too scared.
Affirmation: I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, because I know that I am never alone.


*************

I am excited about these. Being aware of the excuses I use - like being a single mom - helps me to move past them. This life is worth it to me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The best way to get over someone is to get UNDER someone else?



My brother and I are especially close. He is actually a male version of myself so... we get each other. He recently suffered a break-up from a relationship that was eerily similar to my previous relationship with Soldier. I know exactly what he's going through, emotionally, and how difficult it is to recover from the self-doubts that propagate as a partner of a narcissist.

I've talked to him, been there for him, encouraged him. I know he'll be ok, in time, and once he breaks the habits of communication with her.

Gentleman Jack and my brother are especially close too. They've become like true-to-life brothers. Jack understands too, what my brother must be feeling. His advice?

Go have sex with another girl.

Apparently this is standard protocol advice that men give each other after a break-up and according to Gentleman Jack, it is highly recommended.

Great. Just what a girl wants to think about... the fact that her man is one break-up away from crawling under some other chick.

The funniest part of this whole thing is that when I talked to one of my girlfriends about it, and how it irritated me, she grinned, tight-lipped, and said, "Um.... well, yeah. I've done that too."

And then I remembered my TNT.

I remembered how awful I felt after my previous breakup. I remember just wanting to feel sexy, in charge of something, touched, nurtured, craved. I remember lying in his arms later and talking again about the breakup and his holding me while I cried. Yes, indeed it DID feel good to get under someone else.

***

So what was with my irritation?

Witnessing my man and my brother bond over something that appeared to be so... animal... as they scoped out girls for my brother in the sports bar we were in, made me frustrated and invisible. My Gentleman was being (insert eye roll here) a guy and my brother was too.

This was a few hours after I'd decided to skip a very-needed yoga class and go watch a football game with them, my fave guys in the world. This was a few hours after I'd cooked breakfast for these guys and nearly passed out from low blood sugar because I needed to eat first (but didn't). This was the day after I'd not slept enough because my man wanted middle-of-the-night-sex (and I'm no dummy. Not turnin' THAT down!).

The point is: I wasn't taking care of myself.

It's not like I can blame them or have a right to get angry/irritated with them. THEY didn't ask me to do those things. I CHOSE TO.

***

What is it about me (and perhaps other women too) that we give ourselves up or feel guilty about doing things for ourselves? I've even noticed some of us in relationships do things for ourselves... but from a place of spite or in-yer-face "I deserve this and there's nothing you can do about it" sort of way.

Interestingly, what I've found is that I'm more likely to be this way in a relationship than when I'm not. When I'm single, I have no qualms about doing things for myself, including having a friend with benefits. In a relationship, however, I tend to put myself second to my partner.

This has gotta stop.

Jack has NO problem serving me a meal but if I want seconds and he hasn't eaten yet, he'll say, with no hesitation, "help yourself".

If he's tired, he's gonna go to bed or get some sleep. No martyrdom there.

If he's doing something and needs my help, he asks for it. He doesn't get all pissy like I'm supposed to read his mind and help him anyway. (insert eye roll again. sucks to be such a girl sometimes...)

If he wants to go fishing, he goes fishing. He likes it when I come along but if I don't, he goes and tries not to feel guilty about it, mostly because I tell him not to.

He's not being selfish. He is just taking care of himself. He has learned to be self-sufficient and honor his own needs, not out of spite but pure love of self. It makes him a better partner.

I also don't want to stop him from doing what makes him feel good. He doesn't want to stop me either but unfortunately, *I* stop me.

Why?

Why?!

If a guy wants to go do something that will make him feel good, like hop into bed with another girl right after a break-up, he does it. WITHOUT feeling bad about it.

Besides, who am I to cock-block my handsome brother? It *IS* called sexual healing, right?

This is one of the blessings of a long distance relationship. My past patterns are SO obvious to me because I have time to step back and observe. I have observed that this also only happens occasionally with Gentleman Jack... however, I still have to ask:

What is so built into me (thanks to my self-sacrificing mom - love u mom!) that I would choose a martyr complex instead of simply doing what it takes to make ME happy? And not out of spite but with the same good intentions that I would if I were single?

Can someone tell me that?!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stop resisting and choose again

"The path to enlightenment is not a path at all, it's actually a metaphor for the time it takes for you to allow yourself to be happy with who you already are, where you're already at, and what you already have - no matter what."
~ Notes from the Universe

I received the above quote last week and I heartily agree. The problem with my "path to enlightenment" is that I resist that "allowing" myself to be happy with all of the "who I am" and "where I am" stuff.

I'm at least aware when I'm feeling like this, right? Awareness is good. I know the only person standing between "me" and "enlightenment/happiness" is me... which gives me even more reason to kick my own ass, right? Am I right?!?

*sigh*

Unfortunately, no. I'm not right. In fact, what I'm remembering, AGAIN, is that I have to be gentle with myself. I seem to remember that in yoga, more often than not. I've pushed myself to do all sorts of athletic feats that I'd never attempted before and it was good, it felt great, such a sense of accomplishment. I could do those things, though, from a state of mind that gave gratitude to my body and I always paid it back with gentle, loving appreciative asanas and pranayama... or yoga, in layman's terms.

I should know this. When I struggled with weight, I was running 3 miles per day and lifting weights for 2 hours/day 5 days a week! I didn't lose weight. I wasn't even really healthy. Then, when I stopped doing all of that, when I stopped hating my body for not looking like I wanted, when I began to love it for all that it did for me, when I showed gratitude in the form of yoga, deep breathing and quiet calm acceptance, the weight fell off, my blood sugar was back to normal and my cholesterol was perfect.

The same happens with my attitude and my perception of this "reality" of my life. I can be a hater all day long about what I DON'T have and how much I feel like I need more... a better job, more money, that my man lived here...

Can I turn it around? Can I show gratitude in the form of quiet acceptance and calm? Can I remember that all is exactly as it should be and that life has a purpose that I cannot see?

"Life is not what you see, but what you've projected. It's not what you've felt, but what you've decided. It's not what you've experienced, but how you've remembered it. It's not what you've forged, but what you've allowed. And it's not who's appeared, but who you've summoned. And this should serve you well until you find what you already have."
~ Notes from the Universe

The funniest thing about this re-remembering is that I do know all of this. I've been fixing broken links in the blog all week and find that these posts I've already written cover all of this. I've actually inspired myself to look at things differently when I've been resisting everything else!

I know all of this stuff but instead of ALLOWING THE KNOWING to become the forefront of my mind, I resist it. I push it away. I block it like Wonder Woman with her golden cuffs. All the time frustratingly fighting myself, shadow-boxing as it were, and telling myself that all the crap I see, all the negativity, all the pain I'm feeling is nothing more than an outward picture of an inward condition (ACIM).

In other words, I've chosen the wrong teacher again.

"Perception is a mirror, not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward."
~ A Course in Miracles

I chose doubt instead of faith.

I chose fear instead of love.

I chose attack instead of trust.

I chose my mind instead of my heart.


Funny, I remember having a conversation with CBG about heart over mind... he chose his heart and has never looked back.

Even last night, Gentleman Jack made a statement about us that stopped me in my tracks. In regards to my resistance, he admitted that he didn't resist because "I trust my heart."

These guys... they have such faith, such strength, such trust... no resistance. They just know and they go. And they've been hurt just as much as any of us.

The really super-delicious cool thing about this life though? Our resistance doesn't kill us or trap us in hell. Our resistance is nothing more than a mistaken perception. A simple mistake. We always get the chance to choose again. Love is waiting patiently for that choice. We always get the chance to stop fighting, stop resisting, put down our fists and allow the love back in.

Allow our hearts to be our teachers.

To these amazing gentlemen... thank you for being my teachers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran

The other day, my brother and I were out taking a drive when this song came on the radio:



I still get emotional about songs, videos, articles or anything about soldiers. The funny thing is that sometimes... well... I feel like I've been to war too.

I supported a man I was desperately in love with for a 15 month deployment to Iraq. 15 months of holding my breath. 15 months of anxiety and longing. 15 months of dreaded silences between phone calls and heart-leaping startles when my phone would ring from Baghdad.

Among those left behind during deployments, many say that half their heart is deployed. So...yeah. That's how I felt.

No, I wasn't brave enough to fight in a war.

No, I wasn't brave enough to be married to a soldier.

But my heart served a deployment. A deployment where, ultimately, the soldier I loved died. The man who came back was a stranger.

The lump still rises to my throat when I think of those months. Tears well up when I think of the loss I felt. To those who were lost... to those who feel lost... to those who lost someone... ALL of my heart goes out to you.

Thinking of you and other veterans on this Veteran's day.

***

For the shortened back story of the soldier and me: The Soldier Story

Or if you just want to fill your heart with joy... and shed some happy tears, watch this:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Serenity. Courage. Wisdom.

God,
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Amen

These past few weeks, this month, hell this year has been really tough for me. I've had hormonal issues since the beginning of the year with birth control options and now, even more screwed up hormones. The doctor is now saying that I may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.

Basically, your adrenals control the 'fight or flight' response in your body. Combined with other glands and hormones, adrenals aid the body in responding to stress. If the body is under constant stress, the adrenal glands work too much, therefore causing other imbalances in your hormones.

In other words... I'm stressed.

Ya think?

On this great website and at the recommendation of my doctor, I am to follow Dr. James Wilson's lifestyle guidelines to aid in the recovery of my body. Among these:

  • Get in bed early (translation: get off the phone with Gentleman Jack and get some sleep!)
  • Breathe deeply, stay active (translation: get yer butt back in yoga 3x a week at least!)
  • Laugh more every day (*sigh* translation: be present, don't take things/yourself so damn seriously!)
  • Don't eat the foods that make you feel bad (translation: go back to keeping a food diary)
  • Eliminate things that cause stress (translation: Pfft. Yeah, um, ok.)
  • Do something enjoyable every day (well... my Gentleman doesn't live here or I would. *ahem*)

Don't get me wrong, I could stand to do any of these things and more! I am most definitely in a slump. From not getting enough rest to not enjoying food anymore to future-tripping about my man to blah, blah, blah. You name it. You know. You guys have been reading a while.

Getting rid of stress as a single mother of 2 almost sounds laughable to me anyway. But I'm tired of feeling like crap. I'm tired of the lack of motivation.

I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

All that I keep thinking is, "I want someone to take care of me!!"

Plain and simple, I need help. And since I'm not receiving more of that, I have to make some changes. More planning. More baby steps to making this life easier. *I* have to take care of *me*.

I've done this before. Right after the ex and I split, I planned meals in advance and decided on when I'd do chores, etc. I went to yoga all the time, read A Course in Miracles to stay connected spiritually, went to my chiropractor, meditated, tried to stay present with my children. It was all that I could do or else I'd have been completely overwhelmed. I'm feeling that way now... I'm so tired of working on getting this blog back to a new normal. I have too much on my plate, an unorganized schedule, no motivation or drive, a job that just isn't cutting it, two kids and a puppy who need my attention and a man with whom I love to spend time but don't get to see nearly enough.

Momma's gonna start assigning some new chores around here. I need to make lists and plans. Decide. Focus. Execute.

In the meanwhile, I will continue to recite the beautiful Serenity prayer that my grandma taught me as a little girl. I had no idea what serenity, courage or wisdom were when she taught me the prayer, line by line.

Now, I'd give anything for them. It's important to me AND to those I love. My health and well being depend on it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

She wants to come out and play

As I walked into the bar with my manager, I could immediately sense the negative energy being projected from across the room.

*sigh*

For weeks, I'd competed against the same group of girls in these singing competitions. My manager was convinced I would get noticed by talent scouts and be whisked away to starlet success. I was reluctantly and shyly following his lead.

There were many other hopefuls in the competitions, certainly, but not at the same caliber as this group of very talented young women. When I wasn't there, they competed against each other. They shared the cash prizes, dinners and other praise for the winners of the competitions. When I was there, though, I won. Every. Single. Time.

And they hated me for it.

So eventually, I bowed out.

***

I shouldn't have cared what they thought, now that I look back on it. I was used to being loathed by females.

By that point, I'd already grown up with a younger sister who was downright cruel to me. After I'd left home, she finally admitted that she was jealous of my outgoing "coolness" and the fact that her friends always wanted to hang out with me. I'd eventually avoid her friends... so that she wouldn't be mad at me.

Now I was grown up and living on my own; a 20 year old file clerk who was trying to pursue my dream. I'd moved from little town, Louisiana to Big D, Texas in the hopes of being a singer. My manager had fallen in love with my voice on first listen and was actively entering me in singing competitions, even on nights when I just wanted to stay home and veg out.

"You can be someone in this business," he told me all the time. "Don't let the competition get to you. They're just jealous."

After quitting the competitions, I went on to sing in bands... even very nearly losing a friend because she was asked to quit a band with which I continued to perform.

In my day job, I worked with older, unhappily married women. I was frequently talked down to, given the evil eye or told "it must be nice" about the fun, single life I led. I felt like they hated my youth, my exuberance, my vitality, my future-that-could-be-anything. So, I quietly did my job and tried like hell to make friends with them. Sometimes, I would purposely find drama in my life just to give them more reason to see me as a regular person. Not the beautiful, fit, outgoing, happy-go-lucky person that I was.

I grew tired of the hateful competitiveness.

***

"In order to please others, we loose our hold on our life's purpose."
~ Epictetus

Please don't read this post as boastful. It is certainly not meant to be. I've simply made note, lately, at how I've closed myself off and limited myself so that I didn't hurt others.

I eventually gave up on my singing dream. I also continued to quiet any ambition and light so that others would feel more comfortable around me.

The only time I did feel like a bad ass, and fully allowed myself to be, was when I went back to college to pursue a degree in information technology. I graduated after making straight A's, was offered internships and dream jobs, and went on to make a shit-ton of cash in my field. Then, I was a stay-at-home mom and was a bad ass at that too!

But separation and divorce and a husband who felt "outshined" once again found me dimming my light.

As a vibrant and sexual single woman again, I've learned to tone down my sexuality so that others won't be threatened or uncomfortable. I don't like making people nervous. Being too confident, being too comfortable in your own skin, enjoying life and finding reasons to shine... it either attracts or scares people. Or, unfortunately, gives people the wrong idea.

In the meanwhile, I've felt envious of those who determinedly pursued their dreams. I look up to those who OWN who they are, without regard to what others think. I'm inspired by people who speak their mind and live authentically.

I'm working on it.


I'm seeing sparks of that fire again. I've seen it here and there but now, at almost age 41, I'm realizing that my life and what I choose to do with it has to be more important than those who refuse to shine their own light.

I keep thinking... what could I have been?!?!?.... not with regret, but with a lesson learned.

It's a little frightening, again because I wonder who will fall away in the meanwhile. I don't choose to hurt anyone along the way.

I choose to find my inner bad ass-ness again.

I know she's in there somewhere. It's time to stop denying her. She wants to come out and play!


Can you think of an inspiring person that makes you want to find your inner bad ass?

Do people who live their lives, shine their light, and own who they are turn you on too?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blogoversary: A private celebration



(Oh my goodness, this video cracks me up. Is it Solid Gold?!?)

So.. *tap tap tap* .... is this thing on?

Hi everyone!! Thank you much for all of the kind emails and requests to follow this past week. I hope that I've successfully added everyone. What I found, however, in trying to take the blog private, is that there's a limit to how many readers I can have. And you guys.... you surpassed the limit.

So, it's a whole new domain now. And I'm working out LOTS of issues (like the loss of the most excellent blog roll *sad face*). Please be patient with me.

***

As I was thinking of a new domain name, I was getting more and more frustrated. In turning to A Course in Miracles, I remembered something I read there...

Something about changing our minds about things...

Do we look at life as a prison? Or a classroom?

As a prison, we feel trapped by life's circumstances. As a classroom, the purpose of life changes, does it not?

On this quest, I have learned much and still have much learning to do....from so many teachers....and aren't we ALL teaching and learning all at once all the time?

****

The silly 80's video posted above? See, there was this guy in high school. He was a senior and I was a freshman. He told me, within a few months of knowing me, that this song reminded him of me. (The song was current at the time.) I heard the song the other day and thought, "Yep. I can see that."

Because hell, I've been doing this bloggy thing for 3 years now... through SO much crap and SO much good stuff and now I've had to change things completely and yet... here I go. Nothin' is breakin' my stride. I may slow down now and again but I keep going. Even when sometimes, life is really tough, ya know? What other choice is there?

*sigh*

I JUST WANNA WRITE!!!

***

Hopefully, everyone of you has already seen this post about why I decided to take the blog private. (Thank you Single Mama CC). It has been very strange being so quiet on the blog over the past week. It's been weird and sad and good and bad and all of that. I'll have to write more of my thoughts as the week goes on. Cause you know, that's what I do here.

Thanks to all of you for following me here. I hope I can make it a comfy place for everyone. It may not be much... but it's MINE.

Now, who brought the wine?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last post? Let us be thankful...

I've missed you guys so much. This may be the last post here...

I've not been in a good place the past few days. And quite frankly, I'm sick of me. Then I began to notice a few quotes that are popping into my awareness. Like this one:

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice."
~ Wayne Dyer

"Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." ~ Lao Tzu

And of course, this one that is one of my faves:

"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


I've been playing along on my personal FB page too... trying to show some gratitude during the holidays.

I'm also throwing my own Gratitude Party this weekend. Much like the one I had in 2006. Coincidentally, I'm feeling just as angry with the world as I was then too. It helped me to gather my friends, change my mind and thank my way through some of the darkest moments of my life.

I'm trying to do it again. To motivate myself. To see what's right in front of me. To avoid "giving up the present" because I do "not see a future". (Gentleman Jack's words)

What the hell is wrong with me? I'm usually the one giving HIM that advice.

So, since I've not been blogging, I've at least kept my Twitter and FB followers entertained with my own #gratitude tweets.

Like these:

I am thankful for... my space heater that is keeping me warm. And this job that is paying me to sit here and tweet.*giggle*

I am thankful for the love of my children. How they put up with me is anybody's guess.

I am grateful for the way things work out, even when it seems like they're not. SomeOne knows better than I do.

I am thankful for everyone who participates in being thankful. I wish I could carry it with me always.

I am grateful to be aware of others' battles... it allows me to see my own a little differently.

I am thankful for random awesomeness that appears in my inbox... and my life. Inspiration is everywhere.

I am thankful that, seriously?, I have a man who loves me even when I can barely tolerate myself. How the hell does that happen?

I am thankful that my employer does pay for my health insurance. Even if the deductible is absolutely ridiculous.

I am thankful for the emails I'm still receiving to follow the blog once it goes private next Monday. Wow. Humbled.

I am thankful that my body is healthy, even if it is hormonally challenged right now.

I am grateful that, because it is slow at work, I was able to leave by 3, pick up my kids, rent a movie and snuggle with some hot chocolate.

I am grateful for this time with my kids... worth everything I do, it really is.

***

I've realized that my fear has taken over, just as it did in 2006. I couldn't "buy in" to the new life I was going to be leading. I was fighting everything that was happening to me. It didn't look like I wanted it to look like and I wanted change.

I wanted change and I was scared of change.

I had to stop and appreciate every moment so that the change could occur in its own time.... and I was ok with it as it happened.

Time to do that again.

Things are changing. The blog's going private. I'm figuring some things out, new hopes, new desires for life. Still a lot of unanswered questions.

But I have to be grateful for now.

Join me?

If you haven't already, email me your email address to be invited to the private blog.