OMG, You’re Home!

Oh, to love like a dog! If you have a dog you know what I mean. No matter how long you’ve been gone, no matter how well or unwell your last encounter with them was or whether you remembered to bring them a treat, they are just happy to see you.

Yesterday afternoon my partner text me and said I’m going to take you out to eat when you get home.  I wrote back “are you sure you want to do that? I know you don’t feel well and you have so much school work to do.” She didn’t respond and I went back to relaxing and trying to sleep during my commute home. I walked in the door excited to see my partner and she says “I made dinner.” I looked her straight in the face and said with an air of disappointment, “oh, I thought we were going out.”

Why did I say that? Not because I wanted to go out to eat but, because the “plan” had changed!

I know me and I do not like a change in plans! Even the most simplistic plans!  

If I were a dog I would have wagged my tail, ran in circles, rubbed up against her and then darted for the kitchen to eat! Oh, to love like a dog!

I know if I were a dog that is how I would have reacted because I wouldn’t care about the “plan” (probably wouldn’t remember the plan at first site of my loved one).  I would think to myself I have loved everything she has ever made in the kitchen and I would know she took the time away from her studying to create something healthy for me out of the love and kindness in her heart.  Ultimately, as a dog I would just love her unconditionally and be very happy to see her.

Instead of a tail wag – she as met with disappointment! A dog never greeted me at the door with disappointment!

I was so grateful she made dinner and it was delicious and the thought of going out was actually dreadful to me after a 16 hour day of being out of the house! Yet, I still met her with disappointment! It may sound crazy but I know for me a plan is security (even a plan I don’t want to execute) and this type of security is what I use to defend against my fear of the unknown!

I’m going to practice walking through the fear of the unknown and try to consider “plans” possibilities and not security blankets.  After all we don’t have control anyway ! Maybe next time I’ll greet her like a dog or at least with the love and appreciation she deserves!

Wag on my friends! 

Re-opening my Heart 

It seems as though it would be so easy to close my heart off to others. I sometimes fantasize about doing it because I would love the gaurantee of no more disappointment, hurt or sadness of any kind. I know it wouldn’t work for me because I would also be closing my heart off to love. 

I have to admit though the idea of not feeling any emotional pain is appealing. Sometimes I get tired, hell more like exhausted from feeling. I  had lots of practice by the time I was 10 years old! Before I was 10  I had experienced a parent hitting me with a bat while I slept, a few punches in the face from a parents’ spouse, being thrown across the room by my hair, being molested by a known person and also an unknown person, being beaten up by a friend, called a cry baby by a parent, forced to eat food I didn’t want to eat, starved when I wanted to eat, and had witnessed countless acts of violence against women and children. I would like to say it all stopped by the time I was 10 but it didn’t. I’m exhausted just rembering the hurt. Lol. 

In my adult life,  I  choose to be around healthy people.  I think sometimes I’ve  been  through so much I can handle anything.  Not so, I’m sensitive!   A friend will say something to me and I  feel my heart break , it  might  be something simple and I’m crushed.  I want to shut the friend off, cut the friend out of my heart and close down.  I don’t, gosh it feels like it will kill me not to shut down but I know I’ll go back to being lonely and not feeling any love.  I’ve realized most of the people in my life today don’t want to hurt me it just happens sometimes. Sometimes what is said to me or done isn’t that big of a deal but I’m tired or hungry and run down and the comment or action appears so much greater than it actually was.  This is especially true if it bumps up against my past pain. I might look at the comment through a broken hearted child’s eyes instead of a healthy emotionally developed adult’s. 

You know I’m all about the love and I know my hurt stuff is all about the fear. So I get some rest and eat some food and sleep on it or pause and regroup. Then when I feel up to it I walk through the childhood fear and open my heart again. I remind myself I am lovable and I will be ok if I get hurt again and I can cry.  It’s amazing how much crying helps ( I used to think it was for wimps – now I know how much strength a person has to have to actually allow themselves to feel and cry). 

I am a survivor and when I was young that meant just getting out alive today it means actually living and living to me means loving. So I will keep walking through the fear of re-opening my heart when I get hurt! 

Im going to take a chance on love ! Walking through !!! 

Changing w/ out Permission

I am currently walking through some fear – ok you do realize I don’t literally walk through the fear, right? It just means I am acting when I fear the action or I am not acting when I fear the lack of action.  What??? Yeah, I am not sure that was too clear.  This is what I mean, if I fear calling someone to tell them something difficult, I make the call anyway.  Once I have made the call, if the person doesn’t respond well to what I say, I don’t call them and take it all back out of fear of losing the person.  So you see action when I fear the action and no action when I fear the lack of action. Ultimately, avoiding my fear by acting or not acting doesn’t usually bode well.  In both cases I am denying myself – MY TRUTH.

So like I said in the beginning I am walking through some fear these days. I find that I have changed but many people in my life haven’t and they are not accustomed to my new way of doing things.  I didn’t think it would be so hard for people to understand the idea of self-care.  I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised since it is so foreign to many people.

I have made choices for me over the last year and much of my family, some friends and even some co-workers believe that my choices were about them and they haven’t responded well.  The difficulty is how hard its been for me to understand why some of my closest loved ones can’t see how different I am.  They only see that I am causing them hurt by not being my old self; someone who just bends over backwards for anyone regardless of my own needs.  The thing is when I acted like that I didn’t do those things out of love and kindness; I did them out of fear of loss.

Today I don’t fear the loss; well that is a bit of a lie. I fear loss and sometimes feel lonely because my loved ones don’t see me; the real me, the authentic me that I am becoming.  They don’t see how happy I am.  It hurts because for the first time in my life I have the ability to love my family and friends but they are unable to even recognize that about me.  Oh well – not trying to be on a pity pot – I hate that behavior !!! I just want to point out – that I am walking through fear because I want to run toward those that are shutting me out and explain myself and defend my actions; but, I know that is my fear talking and me trying to manage a situation I truly can’t control.  So I will walk through this fear and sit and not act and have faith that it will all work out.  I will act by continuing to be my authentic self. True to me!

If you are struggling with something similar stay strong my friend and walk through your fear – hell we can walk through it together!

On Being Perfect

Well, I should have titled this “On Failing at Being Perfect.” I say failing at being perfect because gosh knows I try to be perfect – the operative word –  TRY.   I really wish I wouldn’t have my heart set on such a goal because I am dooming myself to dealing with a lot of disappointment.

What does being perfect mean to me? It means maintaining a heart full of love and responding to others with love.  Seems like it should be easy – I don’t have to have a certain job, I don’t have to look a certain way, I don’t have to know certain people, or have achieved certain things, I just have to maintain a heart full of love and respond to others in love.

OMG it is really hard! You know why – EGO! My dang ego gets in the way all of the time.  As I have mentioned before, my Little S self responds in fear and Big S responds from a place of love! Well Ego is Little s’ best friend.  

Ego is always willing to jump in front of Little s and yell – “HAVE NO FEAR, EGO IS HERE.” Gosh help me when this happens.  I definitely do not respond in love – If I can catch a pause like I’ve mentioned in a previous blog I might save myself a little remorse and the need to apologize later but my friends, we all know that doesn’t always happen.  

Little s and Ego interact something like this.  I’m tired or not feeling 100% and a friend says a basic statement like “you hurt my feelings.” Little s jumps right into fear of losing a friend mode – before I can jump down on my knees and ask for forgiveness and beg the friend not to end the friendship –  EGO comes to save the day! Ego in it’s infinite wisdom scans my memory bank for anytime this friend may have hurt my feelings and decides it is a good time to point these incidents out. After all,  if the friend realizes he/she is just as hurtful how could they possibly leave. Suddenly, the whole conversation has gone south and I feel worse.  

Once Ego takes over I usually get the pause I should have taken earlier because now my friend and I aren’t talking or the friend has left in a huff.  Usually, about 2 seconds into the pause, Big S has an opportunity to rise to the surface.  This means it’s time to put aside the Ego and walk through Little s’ fear by reaching out to the friend.   Big S basically opens my heart and allows me to tell the friend everything that happened inside my head and heart and to apologize for hurting his/her feelings.  It would have been much easier to respond with love in the first place; however, I have learned that each time I fail at perfection I am given an opportunity to open more lines of communication with a loved one. So I’ll keep recommitting to trying to be perfect and I’ll keep failing at it.  It will give me plenty of opportunities to walk through my fear into a deeper love.  Try it you might like the results – but ease up on the expectations of the receiver not everyone knows how to respond to change in their loved ones at first. So it may take time to see real results. Keep walking through your fears my friends.  

On Loving

When it comes to loving another, one is presented with a ton of opportunities to walk through fear.  This may sound crazy but I examine my thoughts and my feelings through two versions of myself; Little s and Big S.  Little s is the 3d self, the work in progress that still responds to situations based on my past experiences and fear. Big S is the self I want to be; my aspiration.  Big S responds to situations with love.

I guess the best way to explain them is to give you an example:

My love wants to go to school and follow her path to do what she knows she was meant to do.  Little s’ response to this is if she goes to school she’ll meet new people, learn new things and won’t want to be with me anymore. Big S’ response to the same situation – I am so glad she wants to go to school and follow her path. I wonder what I can do to support her (I love Big S, just saying).  You see fear and self centeredness from Little s and love and selflessness from Big S.

So in each and every situation I am faced with in my relationships I TRY to walk through the Little s fear and act on the Big S love. Walking through Little s’ fear sometimes means asking for help to have it removed, sharing the fear with another person (sometimes this helps me see how ridiculous the fear is) and then acting as if my only response was that of Big S’.  I do this because I want to love unconditionally and that means supporting the person I love in what they feel is best for them; even if – OMG I can’t believe I am going to write this down, even if it means supporting them in leaving me.

If we aren’t willing to walk through fear to show our true selves to our loved ones or we aren’t willing to walk through the fear to support them in their path, our relationships will either carry on based in fear or they will die.   Either way – the fear of losing our love manifests. 

So , I will continue to walk through the Little s fear and respond with Big S love. Try it – I bet you will begin to witness both yourself and your partner grow and  you will begin to enjoy life in a whole new vulnerable way – a rich way!

 

Invitations to Chaos

I get a lot of invitations to chaos. You can substitute the word drama if you prefer but to me they mean very much the same thing. When I am involved in drama, my life becomes chaos. I don’t accept the invitations today because I want to live in love (a topic for another time) and have joy in my life.  

I used to think it was so much easier to live in chaos and drama because I never had to think about my behavior, I never had to be present in the day and I never had to feel my feelings – I just ran on the adrenaline of each and every little problem I was either faced with or told about.  Yes, you heard me “told about” I didn’t need the little problem to be mine to have it run the day for me. I could take on another person’s chaos or drama with a vengeance!

Today I am trying not to live in chaos but calm – so I have noticed I get a lot of invitations to chaos. I don’t think it is possible to avoid chaos and drama entirely; however, I try hard not to accept the invitation to it.  The easiest invitations for me to turn down are the ones that come from people who live in a constant state of chaos.  These are obvious to me because I recognize the life style (having lived in it for so many years).  It is a life style where there is one drama after another that interferes with the routine of daily life and gives us good reason to stress (because as we all know, stressing out about an issue helps it so much – NOT).  Once the dust settles, another incident occurs it may or may not be a dramatic incident but it is made into one!  So I say something like “I am sorry you are going through this, I hope your day gets better and you can get some rest” and then I begin the fight against my co-dependent need to fix the person’s problem. I encourage my co-dependent self with the knowledge that jumping in and becoming a part of the chaos and drama team won’t solve anything for these types of people (formerly known as, my people) but it will take away my calm (which may be needed when a real serious problem arises).

I struggle most with the invitations that seem harmless and are subtle.  A small suggestion or comment from someone like “did you see what so and so did” or “I can’t believe what so and so said.” These invitations when accepted can derail me for a whole day, week or even more.  Last Monday I got a subtle invitation to chaos. I belong to a group and in this group, members sign up each day to speak by placing their name on a calendar.  A woman came to me and said “did you see so and so put his initial on every single weekend day for the entire month.”  I said no I hadn’t and she added, “well, he can’t do that he is trying to control who speaks each weekend by reserving the days and then picking the speaker.”  I paused (oh – the value of the PAUSE) and I took a deep breath and I said I can’t go there, I can’t get involved, I can’t control his behavior and I can’t afford to spend my day angry at something I cannot control.  

You see the thing is, I was nervous and I was full of fear in that moment of pause – I thought OMG, what is she going to think of me, she is a strong woman with no qualms about sharing her opinion of others and often to the entire group – I was full of fear! The “pause” gave me the extra moment I needed to walk through the fear into freedom and love. The freedom to live my day the way I envisioned; free of chaos, drama and resentment.  It turned out to be an amazing day, it was my friend’s birthday and I was able to be present for her because I wasn’t perseverating about the man who put his initial on a calendar (sounds silly now).  Truth is the initial was G and as it turned out the weekend days were being reserved for guests.  Our group gets a lot of guests in the summer time.  It was a nice jester that I would have missed had I joined the chaos and drama team.   

Don’t be fooled my friends, comments like “did you hear what she said” and “did you see what he did” are little invitations, hooks, to reel you in to be a part of the chaos and drama team!!! Walk through the fear of another’s opinion – save yourself and save YOUR day, don’t bite!!!!   

Simple rewards in service to others.

So many people say to me “I can’t believe how easy it is for you to speak in front of people,”  “well you are comfortable in large groups” or “you get don’t get nervous socializing.” They are WRONG! Don’t judge people by what you see and hear there could be so much more going on for them.

I used to be the queen of planning parties a month in advance and then spending that month building into a frenzy and then the day before being so nervous deciding I hate all my friends and wondering why I do this to myself.  I bet those of you that know me are thinking this stress and fear freak out was about food, planning or something to do with the party itself.  NOT SO, its people – my mind starts to tell me that I sound like an idiot, I have nothing of interest to say and everyone will see I am stressed, I will probably pass out from the rising heat of anxiety in my body and then I conclude with no one will probably come anyway.

You would think the thought of no one showing up would calm my nerves.  NOPE –  not comforting!  This my friends leads to the awareness of my most scary fear – no one likes me.  The party time arrives and I appear to all the guests that I am fine. Partly because once they are at my house I realize I like my friends and partly because unless I called to tell everyone its cancelled this event was going to happen whether I liked it or not.  Truth is people tend to work themselves out at a party and if you are hosting you don’t really have a lot of time to socialize.  However, I as you have read would have wasted the entire month stressing about the party and losing that month of my life to an event in the future that I truly had no control over anyway.   Thank goodness I don’t have to live like that today (not to say this fear doesn’t rear its ugly head – I just have a way to deal with it).

Today it goes more like this –

A couple of months ago I finally decided I would follow my dream of writing and I found what I thought to be the perfect workshop for me.  I told a friend I was going and as the date got closer I wish I hadn’t told her because now she would know if I chickened out.  Ugh – but today I am committed to following my heart even if fear crops up.  I drove to the site of the workshop and started to panic about going in and meeting new people and I was wondering what business I had going to a writing workshop!!! So I did my “go to” solution to all things fear – I asked for help from goodness knows what – just something out there other than me – I like to call it Spirit!  I put my head down and asked for help and when I looked up I noticed a sign on the side of the building. In larger than life print it said “BE A LIGHT.” I knew right then and there that I would be fine.  I could go in and be of service to others by listening and being kind even if they didn’t think I was a good writer.

We are much braver when we think of doing for others than when we think of doing for ourselves,  so – I got out of my car and walked in to the workshop – no longer thinking of ME (my favorite topic) and I was rewarded. I had a blast.  I was nervous don’t get me wrong – but the key was to stop thinking about me and think of the others in the group. It worked!!! When I saw the friend who knew I was going she said, “you are beaming, clearly you are following your path and you are a “writer.”” At first, I said “no I am not” and then I said, with a smile  – “I wrote today, so I guess I am.”

Is there something you want to do that fear is keeping you from doing? I urge you to follow your heart’s longing and walk through the fear.  You never know it may just be as amazing as my writing workshop experience; if not, you can try something else – point is you won’t know unless you walk through the fear my friend!