Saturday, November 5, 2016

Damaged Goods

Last month, I experienced a significant loss in my life.  The truth is, I experience and feel this loss every single minute of every single day.  You'd think I'd have wilted down to nothing with all of the tears that have poured out of my eyeballs over the last month.  Every night, I pray to be healed and that all will be well in the morning.  And, every morning, when it's not healed and it's not well and the tears are still there...I pray just to make it through the day.

It's difficult to keep it together.  It's hard to force a big smile and act like everything is okay and like this doesn't faze me one bit.  But I struggle and I do my best to not break down so no one knows I'm falling apart inside.  And, if I do break down, to hope to God no one notices my splotchy eyes and puffy face.  I'm not sure how many tears one person can cry in a day or where this abundant tear supply came from in my body, but it's there and I want it to stop.

I keep agonizing over what is wrong with me.  I worry that I'm not pretty enough, skinny enough, funny enough, good enough, loving enough.  And, I wonder if I had said enough or done enough for my loved ones so they knew they mattered to me and that I always had their backs no matter what.  I know I drop the ball all the time and with certainty, I'll continue to drop the ball.  But I can promise that I'll always try to do better with each passing day.  No one is perfect.  But I can say that I've always done my very best for those I love and care for.

People say mean things to each other all the time, especially when they are hurting.  I know we're supposed to let mean comments roll off of us and see them for what they are, but how do they not stick when someone you love and trust says something mean and hurtful?  How does anyone overcome that?  How does anyone not question their worth and value in times like that?  I was told that I'm damaged goods by someone I trusted and who mattered to me in the deepest and truest of ways.  And though I may not see this person everyday, I hear those words come out of his mouth too often.  Reminding myself that I have worth and value when those words play in my mind is the battle I fight every day.

I guess thinking about it, I realize that I like that I have deficiencies and that I'm damaged goods because it's taught me lessons and made me more sensitive to other people.  Certainly, my biggest deficiency is that I worry too much about the future, about people and about situations.  But I'm okay with that because it shows that I want to do the right thing in life and make the right decisions for me and others because it means I care about others, how they are doing and my impact in their lives.  It shows I want to do better and that I strive to do better.

So I guess it's a good reminder that unless a person makes an effort to truly listen and hear, to truly see, and truly understand a situation or a person, that only we know who we are and what is in our hearts and no matter what hell is going on around us, we should be strong and proud of that.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Going Through It

Life definitely gives us lessons over and over until we learn what we are supposed to learn.  Right now, I'm going through it.  I'm questioning why the things that happen, happen.  And, questioning why things ended up they way they ended up.  I am working on figuring out what to do with where I'm at now and how to do better next time.  I'm learning that if you're saying to someone, "Can you believe..." that's victim mode and you cannot dig out of victim mode by acting that way.  Changing things digs you out.  Faith and trust in who you are and in God's plan digs you out.  
I believe it's important to keep peace and to make peace when conflict has occurred.  Leaving a situation toxic (through arguing, name calling, punishing) is so bad.  Communication and peaceful (hopefully, loving) conversation solves a lot.  A little bit of understanding and compassion solves a lot.  Saying "sorry" helps a lot.  The ego is so attached to not being wrong.  
Consequently, it's important to make peace but not at the expense of yourself.  I often cave in and apologize just to shut down the conflict because I cannot handle conflict.  It's important to stay strong, empowered and stand up for one's self (in a loving way).  Life is tough enough.  Dealing with the extra crap, meanness, ridiculous conflicts, unloving comments from those that should be our biggest fans and loved ones is such a waste.  I wish life was more about sending positive vibes and less about sending daggers.  I wish people responded, communicated, listened with intention to really hear what the other is saying...instead of reacting.  
Needing the approval of another is a waste.  If we seek approval from others, we stifle ourselves and never take a step.  No matter what we do, we will always be wrong to someone.  I'm learning more and more to get quiet and listen.  Listen to what my gut is telling me, because that's my intuition leading me to better things.  I need to trust my instincts more and listen to my body and mind when something isn't feeling quite right.  Most importantly, I need to trust that I can make decisions that are right for me, regardless of the good opinions and judgments of others.  

I found this quote from José Micard Teixeira that I adore and had to share.  He sums it all up so nicely:

Make a reverence to who you are. See yourself with different eyes and find in you what didn't want to find those other times when you looked at yourself. Don't judge yourself for the life you had. Don't condemn yourself for everything in which you thought you failed or got it wrong. Don't beat yourself up for allowing others to disrespect you or lie. What's important is what you are going to do about all that. You know very well that you can't change what's happened. What you can do is change today your attitude towards yourself and not others. Only if you change your attitude towards yourself, you can change how you act with them. Only if you change the way you behave with yourself, you can improve the relationship you keep with yourself and, consequently, with everyone else. Understand once and for all that there's no one else like you, not even someone better or worse than who you are. There are only people who are different from you, just as you are different from them. For that reason, make a reverence to who you are. Surrender to yourself. Commit to your own essence. Don't fool yourself anymore, and don't be dishonest with your heart. Always choose what makes you smile inside, what makes you take back what is most pure in yourself, what protects you from comparisons and lies, from anger and illusion, what takes you closer to the pieces of you that you thought were lost forever.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Being Brave

My loved ones would most likely not describe me as very brave.  In fact, I shudder at confrontation and absolutely do my best to avoid it.  Recently, however, I took a HUGE leap of faith and I confronted once and for all a situation that has impacted me and my loved ones for far too long.  I tried to do the right thing through the right channels.  I look back now and think, why the hell did it take me so long to actually have the balls to take real action, action that would have real impact rather than my unsuccessful requests.  Most people don't have any problem standing up for themselves right away.  I, on the other hand, sit there in shock and unable to speak because I'm so knotted up and upset inside that the words don't come.  Eventually, the words do come but in this case, they remained ineffective.  So I decided to trust in the system and get some help.  I felt confident and hopeful that decisions would be made to offer fair resolution and I put my trust in the process and in the standards set forth from those tasked to resolve the matter.

I was so focused on resolving the matter and doing what was right that I thought nothing of the consequences.  It never occurred to me that doing what was right and putting my foot down with a firm "NO!" would yield such stressful changes.  Not to mention the extreme disappointment in the system that was meant to protect me.  

I don't know how to handle the disappointment I feel right now.  I feel so much anger at how this has impacted my life in such personal and profound ways.  This has invaded my personal life and my most important relationships and with never any care and concern for how this affected me or my loved ones, it went on.  

How do people move on from that?  How do we pick ourselves up after doing what we were supposed to, trusting in the process meant to protect us and then getting let down?  I've learned some hard lessons through this, one of which is that doing what is right, doesn't always yield "right" results.  Or rather, what I thought was a "right" result.  I can only hope that life will just work itself out and things will fall into place.  Positive thinking...positive thinking...

Right now, I worry about the future.  Fear of my new role in my day to day life...will I be good enough, will I excel, will the ship be steered back on course?  The unknown can be scary but I know it can also be something ultimately better as we learn and grow through experience.  Where will I land and will it be peaceful, productive and wonderful?  That is my wish.  

I am trying to right my course by focusing on the fact that I stood up for myself, my rights and my feelings when usually I keep my mouth shut until pushed to the edge.  I stood up for my loved ones who have been burdened by this and most importantly, I set boundaries for what was right for me.  For that, I can be proud of myself.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Battle Scars

I've been terrible at writing consistently in this blog.  Well, perhaps I've been consistently neglectful.  The truth is that someone broke my heart and for the past three months, I've been living in a fog of despair, depression and the most agonizing pain I have ever experienced.  Sounds dramatic I know, but the emotions, feelings, thoughts and worries that loss conjures are dramatic, they just are!  Truly, does anyone really go through a loss and come out unscathed? 

And man, do I wish I could stop feeling, hurting, and missing this person I love and yet loathe at the same time.  I keep asking myself how someone that claimed to love me with such determination and such passion end up betraying, cheating, lying and being so cruel to me. 

I suppose there's a significant difference between love based on lust, looks, an instant chemistry and a love that's a union of two souls who just know they are meant to be present in each others life.  To  really know each other and the inner workings of their heart as well as their hopes, dreams, fears, and what they really think about everything.  Wouldn't that be a beautiful love to encounter, even for a short time?  To know that someone really cares...protects...guards your heart and protects you from harm and always strives to keep you safe.  That's the dream.  That's the gift.  I sure hope I'm lucky enough to be given that gift someday. 

Thankfully, I've had a lot of support as I work my way out of this sadness, confusion and pain.  I've received support from people I'd never in a million years expected to receive support and kindness from.  I'm so beyond grateful for that, for them. 

I've learned that everyone is going through something...battling something...experiencing gut wrenching sadness...wishing, hoping and having faith for things not seen and yet with each passing day they still find a way to keep that faith even through the sadness of one more day passing without wishes fulfilled.  It just shows that we must be kinder, gentler and more understanding with each other.  Because, life is a real bitch sometimes and all we have is what we can give to others.  I hope it's all good things, after all, what is the point if all we do is bully, hurt other people, and feel anger and pain.  Let's all try to be kinder. 

I learned that forgiveness is the only way.  Someone I thought would always be in my life as my safe haven and my friend turned out to be the one that caused me the most pain and hurt.  Yet, through it all I try my best to forgive this man each day.  After all the bad emotions run their course, somehow I manage to forgive.  He will never know, but forgiveness isn't for him, it's for me.  I suppose that's what life is about:  being honest, giving and receiving kindness and love, forgiveness and the lessons we learn from these experiences that help to make us better and more loving people. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

GIVING THANKS, EVEN WHEN IT'S HARD

Thanksgiving Eve is upon us and it got me thinking about what I'm thankful for that I'm really not thankful for.  If this confuses you, it should make sense, read on.  This Thanksgiving will be much different than I expected.  Not what I hoped for, envisioned and longed for.  It made me think about all the ways we get derailed in life and what, if any, good comes of it.  So here are a few things that challenge me to look for an opportunity to give thanks.


For the time I spent with my loved ones that are no longer in my day to day life, even though I wish they were.  Sometimes I wish I could go back and never have met them because it's painful not having them around me, but that would take away such beautiful moments and memories that I'll carry with me always and for that, I'm thankful. 

For the times my family challenged me.  Even though they challenge me in ways I never want to be challenged or encourage me to do things I absolutely don't want to do, I know they love me and only want me to be happy.  For that I'm thankful. 

For heartache, because without heartache I would never have known deep love.  Even though it is incredibly painful, I know I loved completely and for that I'm grateful that I had the capacity to love that much. 

For the lessons I learned about parenting.  Being a parent is the most difficult job in the world and the sacrifices people make for their children are incredible.  So are the ups and downs a parent experiences.  I have gotten a glimpse into what being a parent is like and while it has brought me incredible joy, it has showed me how hard that role is.  Still, I learned that is a role I hope for in my life: to experience motherhood in the truest sense of the word.

I'm also thankful for times I've had to wait (in traffic, in long lines, or for something I want so badly that I can't sleep at night).  These times teach me patience, a virtue that I don't yet gracefully exhibit.

For times of solitude.  Even though I much more prefer having people around me, I know times of solitude present perfect opportunities to regroup, reconnect to self, and get lost in things I enjoy. 

For a commitment I made to myself to only consume food that truly nourish my body.  That means I must get used to cooking.  Cooking is not one of my strong suits and I've been known to botch something as easy as pancakes and set the smoke alarm screaming and the dog running for cover.  Still, my lack of skills in the kitchen make me appreciate how my grandmother could make the most delicious homemade apple pie (crust and all) and butter horn rolls from scratch that took a full day to prepare or how my mom spends an entire afternoon making Lefse (a traditional Norwegian flat bread) and they made it look so easy.  I'm grateful for those memories.   

Finally, for cold weather and Winter approaching.  I dislike cold weather, snow, sleet and hail but I love getting bundled up, snuggling and drinking hot chocolate by a fire and I'm thankful for those moments.  

Sometimes life presents hard times and significant challenges.  Those are the times when it is most important to look for reasons to be thankful.  Happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finding My Way

While I haven't blogged in a long while, I decided to lean into blogging again by incorporating inspirational and beautiful writings of others.  Hopefully with time, I will find my voice again soon.  In the meantime, I will let others speak for me.  


“You have no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So I've brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.”

~Rumi




Monday, April 1, 2013

Expanding Horizons

A few weeks ago, I let my friend Jodi talk me into trying Bikram Yoga.  Normally when I think of Yoga, I think of a serene, relaxing, stretching workout that doesn't strain me too badly.  This particular practice takes place in a 105 degree room with lots of half naked sweaty individuals all bending in lots of different positions for 90 minutes.

You could call this a bonding experience.  Sometimes people have bodily releases, we all struggle to make it through.  I like to call my hot yoga classes as the torture chamber.  Its hard to withstand 90 minutes in that heat and it's especially difficult when trying to bend my out of shape body in 26 different positions.

But, yoga is a practice and should be a daily practice.  I'm learning and it's forced me to be mindful about what I put in my body and how well I take care of myself.

I've been stressed out.  MAJORLY stressed out.  I let things get to me more than I should.  I carry burdens and I drag the weight of the world on my shoulders.  That gets exhausting.  Maybe stepping into this healing (HOT) practice will lead me out of the stressful stuff...