Getting Back to Basics

Well I must say, I am in a really amazing place right now! I hope it’s contagious 🙂

I have taken a step back from the chaos of the past six months and it has given me great clarity.

I can see now how easy it can be to lose sight of where we are headed in life. Even when you think you have it all figured out, life has a way of derailing you down a path you never planned.

Sometimes it is a complete dead end and you end up having to track back through the mud and the muck of past lessons you have not quite mastered.

Other times it is simply a detour…you get lost along the way for a bit, but eventually you begin to recognize old patterns and you manage to follow the breadcrumbs right to where you were meant to be.

I wouldn’t say I hit a dead end…it was more like I picked up the wrong trail of breadcrumbs for a while, went in circles for a bit, but eventually ended up back where I needed to be.

It was a humbling experience.

I thought I was an expert at positive thinking. There was no way I would ever fall back into feeling negative all the time! I was wrong, but it was a good reality check for me. I discovered a lot of areas in my life that I still needed to work on and old self defeating behaviors that I thought I had mastered.

I learned that I still have a tendency to take on more than I can handle sometimes and that I have a very  hard time admitting that to anyone…especially myself.  For me, failure in any form is perhaps the feeling I hate the most. Rejection is right up there with it, but that is easier to swallow because it is more like an incompatibility than something you didn’t succeed in. When I interview for a job and I don’t get the position or I go out with someone new and it doesn’t go quite well, I simply chalk it up to not being the  right fit. Failure on the other hand carries all the weight of the expectations associated with the goal you did not reach or the relationship that didn’t work out. Moments of failure are like poison to my normal routine of positive thinking.

It is easy to stay positive when everything in your life is going great, but the real challenge is finding a way to do it when everything seems to be falling apart. But once you do, you will find strength you never knew you had and  discover all the  power to change your circumstance within you.  You are no longer filled with anger and sadness, because you are too preoccupied with finding ways to better your life and the life of those around you.

After this recent reflection, I have a greater appreciation for my life and all of the people in it, regardless of their role. I believe that everyone enters our lives for a reason. Some may treat us poorly, but in most cases those people are the catalyst for some major growth.  I think that is why forgiveness is so freeing. When we place all the blame for our circumstances on others, we carry around the weight of all the pain we associate with them. Replaying significant moments over and over in our mind, stirring up old negative feelings, until it completely prevents us from ever moving forward.

But when we forgive, it is like purging the mind. We are able to look back on those moments with gratitude because we know the role they played in helping us become the person we are today.

Sure it is easier to sit around and bellyache about the painful things that have happened to you in the past, but you are only wasting the small amount of time we have on this earth. Nothing will ever change until you step up and take charge of your own life.

It is not the fault of previous lovers that you are afraid of love or the fault of your parents that you are insecure. It is yours.

Your life went on after those experiences and every day you had a choice as to whether or not to try and move forward and you didn’t. So year after year, you not only carry the weight of the past, but you add to it. Until one day, you begin to accept your fears as simply being a part of who you are. They become an excuse for you to take the easy way out and just settle for your life instead of creating it.

And that is all fine and good if you are happy, but are you? I mean really happy? Or are you just settling for the life you think you have to live?

I know it sounds a little harsh, but it’s true. It would be very easy to blame my mother for all of my insecurities, abandonment issues and fears of failure. And I am pretty sure most would agree she played a role, but that was then and this is now.

Recently, I asked myself those questions. I took a long hard look at every aspect of my life and made myself answer honestly.

And I am not ashamed to admit that my answer was NO for a lot of them. And that was okay because I took it as a challenge. I moved my energy from feeling bad about the less desirable aspects of my life to figuring out what it was that bothered me and finding a way to turn things around.

The difference it has made in me has been transformative and still expanding every day.

I am not saying I won’t run into another detour, but let’s hope this time I make a few less circles around the trail!

 

New Beginnings

For the past few days there has been a robin at my house that has been relentlessly attacking the windows. The most obvious reason is that it is mating season and he most likely saw his reflection so he was persistently staking his claim. So, I covered the exterior windows to remove the reflection, but he didn’t go away. In fact, as I was getting into my car to leave, he flew at my car window and then just sat on the hood looking at me.

“What do you want?!” I said looking at him through the windshield. He just tilted his head and flew away.

Frustrated, I just rolled my eyes and left.

A close friend of mine reminded me that birds are messengers and that he was trying to tell me something. I had no idea what that could be and then today it hit me.

For me, seeing a robin usually fills me with great joy because they are a sign of spring and spring is a time for new beginnings. However, this robin was making me angry and just seemed to be adding to my already sober and defeated mood.

My life since last fall has been in a bit of turmoil. I won’t go in to the details, but lets just say that every aspect of it has been a challenge. From work to house repairs to my love life, everything has been in what feels like a constant state of upheaval.

Each day it was becoming harder and harder to find peace. Something I had thought I mastered. I was very wrong.

The downward spiral started in September and by March, when I was beginning to think I had a handle on everything again, my greatest weakness reared its ugly head.

I felt broken and ashamed.

Mostly, I was disappointed in myself for allowing others the power to take my joy away, for letting their actions dictate my self-worth and my mood. I was better than that! I have done the work, found my center, my peace. So how in the world did I end up here again?

Because I am human.

Because I am a person who feels with great intensity and loves from the deepest caverns of my soul. I look for the best in people and when I don’t see it, I just look that much harder.

Call me naive, but I think the words we utter to another, whether it be a boss making promises to an employee or a lover professing their love, should be taken as truth or never spoken.

Perhaps that is the lesson here.

The only intentions one can truly count on are our own.

Last night for what is now going on almost a month, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned til 3AM playing the disappointments of the days past, over and over in my head. Until it all became too much.

The emptiness in my heart so heavy I could hold back the tears no longer. So I cried. And I begged the lord to make it all go away. Pleading with him to take away this pain, this love and the memories that keep swimming around in my brain. It had been a very long time since I felt this alone, this defeated, this heartbroken.

In that moment, I would have given anything to be angry. But with all the love in my heart, it was just not possible.

Catching my breath, still pleading for a resolution, I eventually fell into the only place of peace I have found these days…sleep.

I awoke this morning with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment that I had to struggle through yet another day.

And then it came…the anger. What a relief!

Sounds weird I know, that anger would be a relief, but it was.

Just feeling the anger, reminded me of who I was. I was no longer debilitated with sadness anymore, but rather empowered with madness! Not just at those who hurt me, but at myself.

How dare I allow the actions of others to bring me back down to a place I swore I would never be again. They have no power over me unless I let them and why did I let them?

I let them because I gave them much more credit than they deserved. I was not unworthy of their kindness or undeserving of their love. If anything, perhaps they were unworthy of mine?

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.” – Bob Marley

And for me, after anger comes clarity. You see, I am a person who believes in second chances, but there is rarely a third. Once I get pushed to the limit, there is usually no going back. For by that time, I have learned too much to revisit old feelings. Call it self preservation I guess, but by the time I have reached this point the words of another that once had so much power lose all meaning.

I know people can change and I will never rule out the possibility of them doing so. After all, this life is a learning experience for all of us. However, actions become their only hope in convincing me that the change is real.

And more importantly, this entire experience has taught me that I still have a great deal of growing to do myself. They say that timing is everything and as humans we want what we want and we want it right now!

It is important to remember though that perhaps the reason we are not getting what we want is because either we are not ready for it, it is not ready for us or it simply is not meant to be. And if it is not meant to be than there is surely something even better waiting around the corner. We just have to have faith that it will come to us when the time is right.

When I think about my little robin “stalker” now, I can finally see the message. Anger was door to the peace I was seeking and joy the window to new beginnings.

For anyone who is feeling down, left behind or unworthy, I hope you found this helpful. Just remember, you are the creator of your own reality and only you should have power over the way you feel.

Never give that power away.

 

Image courtesy of PaulR at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

My Thoughts on Relationships

When did dating become so complicated?

My guess would be that it was the moment when human interaction was reduced to hiding behind a screen rather than having a real face to face moment with someone. An energy exchange rather than a text message.

And I feel like dating isn’t even dating anymore. It is like there is only ‘hooking up’ instead of searching for something real. I mean finding a hook-up is easy and great for the moment, but what happens if I am looking for more than that? Are there any decent men left in the world who want more than just a quick a meaningless moment of passion and lust? I mean don’t get me wrong passion is great, but how much better is it when you know the person you are sharing it with cares for you deeply.

This week alone, I have had several opportunities to “meet up” and honestly, I’m just not really into it anymore. It’s too easy and way too predictable. I think I have come to a stage in my life when everything has changed. I am so unbelievably bored of the dating game.

I am not going to chase you or entertain your overused excuses about being damaged. We are all damaged. However some of us choose to rise above our circumstances, to find our strength among the heartbreaks of the past and the fear of the future. Others are not as strong and I don’t know about you, but for me weakness is such a turn off.

I have been told by most of my previous lovers that I am one of the most laid back people they have ever dated. Not in my younger years of course, I was a bit crazy back than, but even so I have never really been the controlling type.

Which is probably the reason most of us have stayed friends over the years. To me a relationship is about give and take. It is built on respect and honesty. And if you truly care about someone than neither of those should be too difficult to master.

You both give it a shot and it either works out or it doesn’t. And if you are mature enough, after some time passes, your heart begins to heal and you can both be thankful for the experience it gave you.

Oh and let’s not forget the all essential communication.

I do not find it sexy or mysterious to wonder how a person feels about me. Quiet the opposite really. A man who is not afraid to say how he feels or go after what he wants, now that is sexy!

I get that love is scary. We have all had our fair share of heartbreak, but you can’t boohoo over it forever. I was badly burned by a deceitful, disgusting man several years ago before I moved to Colorado. Talk about damaged. I had allowed him to manipulate me into a place where I no longer knew my own self worth. I swore to myself that I would never again fall victim to the dangers of love.

But then one day, I realized that by doing that, I was essentially giving him the power to dictate the rest of my life. Getting over someone and moving on are much different. Sure, I was over him. I had no desire to ever see him again and I had forgiven (not forgotten) all of the heartless things that he did.

However, my heart was still bruised and I was scared. Terrified actually. I hit such a low place after we parted. A place I never wanted to be again. Not all relationships end badly as I mentioned before, but in cases such as these, we grow and grow and grow.

I learned more about who I was, what I would and would not put up with and most of all what I truly wanted in a relationship. And that was not something magical or perfect by any stretch. All I really wanted was something real.

Two uniquely flawed people supporting one another down the road of life. Inspiring and loving the other despite their disagreements and woes. So simple, yet so hard to find.

I knew it was a gamble and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready, but I knew that I couldn’t hide away forever.

And then, along came this person who lit a fire inside of me. It did not manifest into the love affair I thought it would, but I am thankful.

Grateful because I honestly never thought I could feel that way again about anyone and that in itself gave me hope.

Not too long ago, one of my guy friends told me something that I will never forget. I was talking to him about someone that had recently told me they had feelings for me and then immediately after just blew me off. I was asking him how I should handle the situation, since now a days all this dating stuff is clouded by ridiculous suggestions of how we should and should not behave.

He laughed at me and said, “It’s really quite simple…If a guy really wants to be with you, there is no stopping him, no fear, no worry, nothing…So if he is blowing you off, then chances are he doesn’t”

Simply put and really, it answered all of my questions.

No response, is a response.

It is foolish for me to try to figure out what anyone else is thinking and if their actions do not match their words, then chances are their words mean very little.

The only actions we can control are our own. And if we remember to stay true to ourselves, without exception, then no matter what we do we will always have the assurance that it came from the heart.

You are worthy of all that you desire and never let anyone tell you any different. Those that do are not looking out for your best interest…usually they are just looking out for themselves.

 Now, go out and find them! 🙂

Image courtesy of Dynamite Imagery at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Blinded by Hope

Oh what a fool…

Those who give their hearts to another.

The sweet taste of deception on their breath.

A child I was

In those all too gracious hands.

A beautiful love

Struck down in its prime by fear

Never to know it’s true potential

It’s power

It’s magnificence.

Drained 

Battered

And bruised.

Not by its failure.

But rather

A baracade of bruises 

Broken hearts

And all together

Awful things.

A fight for love 

Is not a path for the weak

The weary

Or the insecure.

It is a dual for the chosen

A proud moment in time.

One where love conquers all

And all fear is shattered.

It is a love worth fighting for

A future worth the risk.

A battle for the determined

The diligent

The true.

Great love 

Does not stem from the willing

The easy

The meek.

It blooms from the weary

The forgotten

The wronged.

For only they 

Know the true value 

In all they have yet to love.