Honoring Your Anger

One of the less cool things about being super sensitive in this world is that when people do things that hurt, they REALLY hurt. That incredible depth of feeling for the amazing stuff… we don’t get a pass when it comes to the hard stuff.

There are times that I can feel my friends recoiling at having to hear yet another conversation about Mr. X and how heartbroken I am. I find myself isolating to deal with the pain because I don’t want to be a burden to them.

And that’s okay. I think there are parts that are meant to be processed alone and truthfully, talking the same things out over and over again are a recipe for distraction. To truly process we have to be willing to sit in the thick of things and evaluate from our own vantage point what went wrong, what needs to change and what patterns we are reliving through our relationships that are a detriment to our growth.

One of those things that needs processing is anger.

Anger gets a bad rap. Especially if you are a woman. An angry man is someone to be feared, or a real go-getter, a man who “gets things done.” In contrast women who get angry are labeled as “bitches, difficult, too emotional.” It’s a ridiculous double standard. We are all human, we all feel anger, we all need to process it.

Anger is a driving energy. The pain of anger forces us to change. We aren’t meant to stay angry for long. It is a powerful force that comes in hot and strong and leaves destruction in its wake. I am not talking about physical destruction, though that is one outlet, I am talking about destruction of those things that are no longer of service.

For as much as I want to release Mr. X in love, and I think I have done that, there is anger there. This is a completely normal response for anyone, and I am sure he feels some anger towards me too. That’s the thing about ending any relationship, there will be moments of feeling slighted, being unseen, unappreciated… that’s why things end. Even as we can see all of the love and show the world how much we appreciated that other person and the gifts they brought to our life, there will be some anger.

Mine boiled over last night. I have been feeling off all week after saying goodbye to Mr. X. The last correspondence between us was loving and honoring of each other but it ripped open the scab of not being chosen. Ripped it hard. All of my past relationships came bubbling to the surface. I realized that I was mad about so many things. So much has been sitting unprocessed. I have been focusing so much on trying to force a friendship in a place where I was not ready at all for that. I thought we could move into that without more space than we have already taken, but if there is one thing I learned it is that if there is to be a friendship after a broken heart there has to be a completely different relationship, which requires deadening the old bonds, breaking them apart and starting fresh. There needs to be solid communication about new boundaries and wants/needs in the new relationship. And that cool off period takes as long as it takes which is usually the decision of the person who was walked away from.

It’s a shit deal all around.

I have been forcing so much. I have been trying to adjust and change my feelings instead of sitting with them like they need to be. This week has felt like total shit. Like moving through sludge. After we talk there is always a day or two recovery right now, but this was lasting forever and I realized it was because I hadn’t allowed my anger to come to the surface. It felt like anger went against the grace and compassion I was trying to maintain. The reality is, by not allowing myself to feel angry I was dishonoring myself, as well as him. Neither of us acted perfectly. We could have done a lot of things better. Acknowledging the anger was acknowledging the depth of pain. It was acknowledging that he is human too and fucks things up. It was acknowledging that I have never spoken up about what I truly want in a relationship, and it propelled me forward into a new way of showing up.

When I have a strong emotion come up the first thing I ask myself is what is causing this? My first reaction is always “because someone did something to hurt me.” ALWAYS. This is a product of my conditioning. And it’s okay. I recognize it and go deeper and ask why did that thing that that person did hurt you so much? Usually the answer is I felt abandoned or unsafe. Then I go even further and ask myself in what ways did I abandon or make myself unsafe? When those parts are acknowledged and brought to light I can process the energy and move forward and figure out what I need to do to give myself safety and to feel seen again.

Issues in relationships come from trying to get our needs met. Our needs are a product of how we were conditioned. When we can recognize and give ourselves the things that we crave most then we bring back our power and authority. It is okay to need things from other people, but when we can see the deeper why behind the things we do we can communicate and cultivate our desires in a healthier way.

I used to feel safe with Mr. X. This is a long standing theme in my life. The need for safety. When that safety felt threatened because he was moving in a way that supported his highest need, my system went into overdrive… blaming, shaming. Even if these thoughts weren’t said out loud to him they were residing in my system. Bringing them to the surface, saying what I needed to say (even if it was at 2 AM to myself in my car) allowed me the space to go deeper into my needs and inspired me to see how I could start showing up for myself better.

One of the amazing things about finding someone that you love is that it often feels like a huge breath of oxygen. It feels like a safe place to rest, to land. It feels like the connecting of two souls who can move hand in hand through the world. It feels like never having to face the world alone again. When we become too reliant on that, we become codependent and bumps in the roads feel like canyons. Taking care of yourself first, honoring your feelings and needs without judgement, giving yourself compassion in even the darkest of hours… these are the things that will allow your partner the space to show up fully, to love and be loved in the highest good and to create a partnership that is a balance of what you both need.

Do not be afraid to love, to show up fully as yourself, but know yourself first. Be the best version of yourself that you can be. Know the darkness and the corners of your mental and emotional being. Attend to your needs. It is the only way to be able to fully and openly receive someone else. ❤ ❤

Photo by Jack B on Unsplash

A Word About Mental Health

I am one of those people who thought that seeking a therapist was something only people with “serious” problems did. I was not one of “those people.” I was smart and successful by most standards and I was doing just fine.

Until I wasn’t.

My thoughts about mental health came from deeply entrenched concerns that I had about what it would mean if I needed to talk to someone. For me, that would mean I had a big problem. I watched my mother battle deep depression and mental health issues that all but left my brother and I deprived of a childhood. I watched medications strip away her memory and remember seeing her day after day under the covers in her bedroom, too sad to move. I thought that if I reached out to someone I would become that.

I had been to one therapists as a young adult at the bidding of my mother. I remember being sat across from a man with a moustache when I was in middle school. My mom sent me because every day before I would go to school I would cry and beg to stay home. I am, and always have been a very sensitive person. The energies and personalities in the world were so overwhelming to me and being around a lot of people was like torture. Instead, this “gentleman” felt that my issue was an unhealthy attachment to my mother and that this meant I must be a lesbian. Every session he would try to get me to talk about that. I remember he told me he thought I was smart and he wanted me to take an intelligence test, which my mom wouldn’t let me take because she felt that if I did my ego would make me “too big for my britches.”

My next shrink has just gone through the trauma of being assaulted while on a walk with her dog. She was very scared and not in a place where she could help me process anything.

The next told me that EVERYTHING that was happening in my life was SO PAINFUL. It became a bit of an internal joke for me. I was not allowed to be angry or sad or frustrated. I just had to go straight to the pain. She meant well and I can look back and see her process a bit better now, but at the time it was not what I needed.

So you can imagine, I was reluctant to reach out to anyone.

I have never been super tethered to this earth. Thoughts of suicide have always floated around my brain. Too bored here, apathetic, maybe we should end it. Too much pain… there was comfort in knowing there was a way out.

Now I find myself in a profession with an incredibly high suicide rate, I have severe compassion fatigue and burnout, a relationship I care a tremendous amount about is changing significantly and there is tremendous loss, I am in the midst of trying to figure out (again) what I want to do with my life even though I never envisioned myself doing anything else. Add in a pandemic and some civil rights action and man… it’s quite a shit stew.

And one night I hit a break point.

I now think that people who seek help in the darkest of hours are some of the strongest people. To come through the darkness or to be in it and know that you need a hand and to reach out… this takes a strong individual.

I started seeing a shrink a few weeks ago and while I was a bit hesitant at first, it was one of the best decisions I have made.

At some point in my life I lost my true sense of self. I became so used to putting myself in other people’s shoes, in an attempt to find my home base, that I forgot to look within myself. Now I become so confused sometimes about what is me and what is other people.

So I reached out for help.

I like this therapist. She lets me talk. She lets me process as I need to. She validates my feelings and encourages me in a way that I respond to. It feels self indulgent sometimes. It feels embarrassing sometimes. But I persist because I know it is helping me through.

I would encourage anyone who is going through pain so deep it threatens to asphyxiate you, to please reach out to someone. Reach out to a therapist, a friend, reach out to me…. just please reach out. There is so much pain in this world right now. There is no shame in asking for help!

All of you is loved and accepted here. ❤ ❤

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

The Unexpected Side Effects of Healing

I was of the (incorrect) assumption that once I had healed “enough” I would feel light and free and unburdened.

To me healing meant sticking up for myself, holding boundaries, speaking my truth.

I finally did that in my relationship with Mr. X and I did feel light and free and I also felt like shit. The thing that no one tells you when you are a people pleaser is that setting boundaries is going to hurt like crazy because you KNOW you are hurting the other person. As soon as I said what I needed to there was immediate self talk, the kind that goes, “you are making a mistake, you don’t hurt people!” It is in these moments that I was forced to take a deep breath and realize that the upper level may be saying it was a mistake but when I felt into my heart I knew what I was doing needed to be done.

Boundaries are amazing. They show people how to love us. If they are not in place then people will love you how they think it is acceptable to love you and when there is not alignment there with what you truly need then that is a train wreck waiting to happen. I am the conductor of many of those trains.

I live in the perpetual world of “If I don’t speak my mind, then they won’t leave. If I bend backwards enough then they will see my worth.” This is such deeply ingrained, flawed thinking. I can recognize it now even as I am doing it. At some point I reached the threshold of pain that said enough is enough, but damn it took a long time to get there.

Every day now is a constant redirection of the conversation in my head. It is a consistent reminder of why I chose me and I keep having to choose me again and again. It is not easy, this work.

As I look back on my life I realize that I have NO IDEA what I want, what lights me up. Every job I have taken, everything I have done in my life has been with a push from someone else. Even as I sit in a “good” profession I am not sure how I got here, or if it was really something that I wanted or just something I wanted to see if I was “good enough” to do.

I get really scared sometimes that my heart will not find anything of its own to latch onto. That I will always need another person to spark joy in my life. This is codependent as fuck. It’s interesting though that I spend LONG periods of time not in relationships. And I isolate myself quite a bit from the world. I sometimes wonder if I am doing this in an attempt to keep out the input from others so I can find my own path.

Before engaging in another romantic relationship I have made a promise to myself that I will find solidity in me. I will find out what sparks me, what I love, what I hate and embrace those things. I live so much of my life in the middle. I see all of the sides. I understand most parts of human nature, I can stand back and watch it like a movie playing. Doing this means that a lot of times I don’t engage. And when I don’t engage I quickly fall back into apathy.

These realizations have been tiring as fuck. I am finding myself all at once too exhausted to do much and eternally appreciative towards myself for stepping into my own power. There is so much mental and emotional processing going on that I am having to give myself a lot of space and compassion to just be, to let happen what needs to happen and to allow my body the rest and replenishment that it needs. And honestly, I don’t have much of a choice. My body has decided what it wants and done so in a way that does not accept me ignoring it.

I am grateful for this reminder to slow down, so listen within, so do what I need to do for me. I try not to land on frustration in not accomplishing more or taking as many forward steps as I like, and I remind myself this is all happening along side unprecedented global events.

This is a shout out to anyone out there going through shit, on top of the shit we are all collectively experiencing. You are doing great. Just keep doing.

Much love to you all. I would love to know what some of your struggles are right now on top of pandemic/civil rights/death hornets/sand storms and whatever other disasters 2020 has thrown our way. Drop them in the comments if you can find the energy. <3<3

Image by HeungSoon from Pixabay

Announcement Time!! and… Being Yourself


I did a thing.

First off, I left FaceBook because it was bringing more stress than good in my life. That’s not the announcement.

The announcement is……. *drum roll please* I now have an Instagram page. So exciting I know, I am only like five years behind the times. BUT…. it’s @thefrazzledromantic and I try to post a short little musing or thought daily. So if you are so inclined, please pop on over. I am working on integrating these two platforms but it’s gonna take me a minute to get there.

On the subject of being yourself….

Why is that so hard? Why are we so afraid to show up as us, as perfectly imperfect as we are?

I will tell you why… connection and the fear of not having any or losing what we do have.

In my experience I do not show up as me because I feel like a big damn weirdo and the deeper you dig the weirder it gets, so I keep people at surface level and learn to mold myself into whatever situation I am in. Sometimes I speak my truth and just keep blabbing on about how I experience the world and I get a ton of those raised eyebrow type looks. I am learning not to care.

I think I have it easier than some people in a way because, while I have struggled to find “my place” in the world, I didn’t grow up in an environment that was exceedingly strict in any one area. My parents did not raise us (me and my brother) in a religion and only later in life became devout themselves. We weren’t members of things or in a class where there were certain expectations, though I am sure there were some that I am not recognizing. And for me, while I haven’t felt like my voice was strong early on in life, I do see where many times I just flat out refused to do something just because every one else was doing it. Much to the chagrin of my parents.

Even for as independent as I was, I still feel prey to all of the messages we receive as children (and women) in the world. Act nice, be quiet, fit in. I never really pandered to those ideals but I also wasn’t brave enough to go boldly into who I was so I ended up somewhere in the messy middle, knowing that what I was being told probably wasn’t the best way, but fearing being completely ostracized. Ironically enough, me doing this means I don’t have a big community in my life. I like people who are honest and down to earth and authentic and it’s hard to attract people like that when I am not living fully into those parts of myself. I am honest, but only enough that other people stay comfortable. I am authentic but only loud enough that it doesn’t rock the boat.

Fuck that!

I had my coaching class today and it was all about creating a brand that aligns with who you are and why you do what you do and the over riding message was…. BE YOURSELF and your people will come.

I think we are all told this, and I am sure many of us think this is what we do, but how many times have you been out with friends and someone has said something you don’t agree with or maybe it’s downright hurtful (i.e. racist or sexist) and you’ve felt that clenching in your gut but kept your mouth shut? Or how many times have you gone to a family function or other event when you were completely exhausted because it was the “right” thing to do? I am not saying to move about the world like a selfish asshole. There are definitely things that we have to do and responsibilities that we have to uphold that sometimes we don’t want to, but denying ourselves again and again leads to a dimming of our voices. We tend to pander to the crowd and go with the flow of whoever we are around until we realize we are living a life that does not fulfill us.

It is our weirdness, our “flaws” and trials in life that make us unique, strong in our vulnerability and ultimately what will attract other like minded people to us.

So many people are afraid of losing what they have, even if it isn’t that great, because let’s face it, the unknown is hella scary. It feels safer sometimes to stay in a mediocre relationship where you know the pitfalls and there is relative safety in understanding how to manage the ups and downs than it is to go blindly into the unknown and hope we find something that works for us. The reason we don’t know if there are other people out there for us is because we have never been brave enough to look. We have accepted what we were born into, who we were told to like or love, how we were told to show up in the world, instead of blazing a path that was uniquely our own.

I have a hunch that when we start to do this and we live from a place that is brutally us, the pool of who is in our life will change. We will lose people. But we will also gain others and the people that come will be attracted to the real self that is showing up. Those are the people I want in my life.

It is easy to look at other people and see their gifts, or see their uniqueness in their “flaws” or to see someone standing on a stage telling a story that we feel in our gut, that we resonate with, a story that we have never been able to tell ourselves. It is much harder to look within and see the inherent value in what we have to offer through our experiences and how we move through/interpret the world. But the thing is…. and I have said this before, our stories are SO powerful and exactly what someone else needs to hear. We are all unique and how we interact with the world is very individual but perhaps how we express ourselves will be just the way that someone else can understand so we can make true connections and find a tribe that is full of love and encouragement and inspires us to find our fulfillment. ❤ ❤

What is some thing about you that you are holding back from expressing?

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

The Power of Story Telling

One of the biggest struggles for many people during this time in the world is knowing what is “right.” What is the right story? Is the virus a huge monster waiting to annihilate everyone or it is being oversold in the mainstream media? Is the death of George Floyd the catalyst for the next Nazi occupation or is it a total farce made up by big government to push us into socialism?

Obviously, these are extremes and the truth is there is no “right” story. The stories that we hear are all true in certain ways. There are aspects of both sides and everything in between that is happening in this world.

There is one story though, that is the most important. That is our story. The story we tell ourselves.

People have this amazing capacity for storytelling and when those stories are solidified they become real. Almost immovably so.

I think with everything that is going on one has to really think about the stories that they have been told, who has done the telling or the teaching and evaluate the source. As I am discovering more about my own ignorance I am realizing that the stories that I heard growing up and in school were very passively let in. The things that teachers taught, just one more thing to learn enough to pass a test. A test created by people with their own agendas. The insidious part about that, is that even when we passively hear stories, they start to create pathways in our brain that, as we age, become solidified. This can come in any number of forms. If I am told repeatedly that no man will love a “big” woman, then this becomes a subconscious pattern that I don’t even realize I let inform my world view. Even though the evidence is contrary when viewing the world, that thought might creep in every time I take a bite of ice cream and I might feel guilt and shame.

If I am told that racism is bad but that that was a construct that only existed with the advent of slavery and now that slavery is over, there is equality, then that is likely the world view that I will move through life with. It often takes a pretty big event in our lives to realize that we should even evaluate our stories. And that is where our society is at. Story evaluation.

There are a couple things we can do when looking at stories. We can refuse to look with an open heart and mind and continue in ignorance. We can completely lose ourselves to shame and guilt over what was and try to prove that we are not the result of our story, or….. we can change our story.

Humans have this tremendous ability to alter their realities. We hold enough power to completely transform ourselves over and over again.

This is thanks to a little thing called neuroplasticity which is basically a fancy word that means the brain has the ability to rewire and relearn new patterns. We can rewire thoughts, patterns… old stories… and replace then with ideas that serve us better. This is accomplished through the basic framework of duality and perspectives.

Sadly, as we live in an instant gratification society, this does not happen overnight. In fact new patterns take months to solidify. It takes diligent effort and work. It is very simple, but not easy in any way.

Constant. Conscious. Effort.

If I had to identify one thing that has resulted in the biggest change in my life it would be the incredible power of perspectives.

I have a friend who tells me, “if you are going to play the ‘what if’ game then you have to play both sides.” This is where duality comes in. When I was starting the process of reframing my life it was very difficult to see anything other than what I thought I had right in front of me. In my case I was conditioned from an early age to see only the fear and awful parts of any situation. Anything good that happened to me I would hold my breath knowing that it wouldn’t last, it wasn’t meant for me. In order to change these thought patterns I had to start by finding the complete opposite thought. It was only in going to these extremes that I was able to create enough space that I could start to see all of the other possibilities in any given situation.

What I learned was that in any scenario I could come up with a perspective that served my version of my highest self. A perspective that showed that the world was working for me instead of against me.

Does this mean that I always choose a better alternative? No, not yet. Sometimes I meet myself with a hard line of resistance attached to an old idea or paradigm. I can see other perspectives and know which one would be best suited and still choose something else. And that’s okay too, because life is dynamic. There isn’t a wrong way or a right way to do it and everything changes all the time. I know the choice to change my mindset is always there. So sometimes I go down a different road, explore that for a while, educate myself see how it makes me feel and then go back and choose something else. I am nothing if not a perfectly imperfect work in progress.

When we have the perspectives that we want we are able to craft a new life. A life where our lenses have cleared and we are able to see opportunity and resources instead of giving into a victim mentality and helplessness. In this way we are able to start to live an empowered life. Pretty soon that becomes normal and we start to attract things that serve us better and we find ourselves on an upward trajectory and when undesirable things happen we are better able to handle the bumpy transitions and maintain momentum in creating the life we really want.

The power of perspectives can be used in any situation. We can use it with reference to something that is going on in our personal lives, but we can also use it to evaluate the world in a broader sense. We may realize that the stories we have been told are all we know, but once we open our awareness to the fact that there even ARE other perspectives then we can start expanding our capacity.

I don’t know what is right for the world. But I do know what is right for me. Shifting perspectives to promote inclusivity and love for all has meant that I have had to evaluate some of the stories that I was told, stories I have told myself and all of the other junk that has settled in my energy system. It has been and continues to be a redirection, a reframe, an expansion of awareness and a compassionate pursuit.

The people who are willing to look at and change their stories (if they need to be changed) will be the people who find harmony and joy in life because in this deconstruction one will find themselves. As the inner knowing becomes stronger and the voice amplified a person will no longer be content to passively receive input but will become a purveyor of exactly what messaging their heart resonates with. ❤ ❤

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

Arriving

I have always hated the quote, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” I lived my life in frustration over that quote. What did THEY mean, it’s about the journey??? What journey??? (As an aside I should put in here that the “they” referenced is actually Ralph Waldo Emerson, a pretty badass and quite famous dude, so I listen to the “they” with reverence).

I always pictured myself “arriving.” Much of the arrivals, I realize now, were preconceived ideas about what it meant to be a successful woman in the subset of society that I lived in. White, middle class, picket fence, 2.5 kids. If my parents had their way I would have remained without higher education, barefoot and pregnant at 20. Not that there is anything wrong with that…. if it’s what one wants.

For me, I always knew I was different. If you told me I was adopted I would have believed that without question. I always wanted more, wanted to see the world, to experience new foods, sights, sounds, cultures. I remember my parents getting so mad at my brother as he worked his way through college. They would always retort “isn’t this life enough? Why do you think you are better than us?” I took those words in and realized we weren’t better, we just wanted different.

I always waited for that arrival. That feeling of success when I was a doctor, success when I had a good man, a family, a house.

My life has looked NOTHING like that. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

When I become a doctor I felt….. excited to be done with school. That was about it. There was no moment’s pause to even consider what I had done. I was just… moving on to the next piece. That’s when I started to take that quote a little more seriously. It was about that time that I realized I was still, and would forever be, on a journey.

I wish I could say that I have stopped waiting, but there are days that is exactly what I do. I wait for the feeling of success to wash over me. I wait for that feeling of happiness. I wait for whatever. And I realize in that waiting that I sometimes miss what is right in front of me.

This journey has been epic, this journey of transformation. And it is true, the journey is the beautiful part because there is no such thing as a destination. We may hit milestones, we may tick boxes but the only destination we are assured of is the final sleep.

Now, as I walk through this world, I see the beauty in this journey. The beauty in the uncovering pieces of myself, the beauty in breaking down barriers and stories. I see the greatness in other people and see more and more that we are all connected, that we walk alone but we are all on the same journey. Our paths may wander in many different directions and some will stop and stand in one place for a while, but for many we will keep walking. We will question everything, we will approach the world and each other with curiosity. We will listen to stories of those that look nothing like us and we will take them into our hearts knowing we are all from the same energy soup.

Life is a journey. It is a beautiful, hard, painful, ecstatic journey. A journey where we can be sad but feel joy, we can love someone and know they cannot be in our life, we can sing and laugh and a second later burst into tears. We can approach it all with curiosity and wonder and we can move through life with the innocence of a child and the tenacity of a viking. We can be and do whatever we want. All of the resources are here, we just have to be brave enough to see them, open enough to receive them and confident enough to know that what we create is unique and necessary to this world, simply because we created it.

Enjoy your journey. Recognize that even as we are alone, we walk together. Be brave enough to take the first step and the next and the next. Know that sometimes you will trip and fall and skin your knee and sometimes you will fly higher than the mountain tops.

Embrace your journey, approach it with curiosity and know that each moment is its own perfect destination. ❤ ❤

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Happening “to” versus “for”

I have had some really massive shifts in the last 48 hours and it feels really really good.

One of the biggest realizations was about things happening for me versus happening to me. Empowering mentality versus victim mentality. It’s taken so much work to get here and it is a constant balancing act to keep from tipping back into old ways of thinking, but for the first time since I started this personal development journey I feel like the balance has shifted into this new realm.

It’s really exciting actually and I am really proud of myself. And in many ways I owe much of this to the push that I have gotten from this situation with Mr. X. I have learned SO MUCH from that relationship. It has really shifted my world view in so many ways.

And still I am devastated. Devastated for the loss, for the distance, for the space. And that’s okay. This was a love that broke open so much in me. There was a deep vulnerability and caring that I have never experienced before and a very tender caring. It is totally normal to grieve. Honestly, I love that grief and I love that it is persisting because it shows me just how deeply I can love and be loved. I don’t have to sit in it, but I can appreciate its presence and take it into my heart and honor it for the depth that lives in me.

The difference now is that I can clearly see the roll that situation has played in my life. I can see the benefit it has brought. It is still tough to think that our journey may be over but I am, for the first time in a long time, excited about the future. I have gained so much clarity around what I want from life in the midst of this shit storm. I have been able to shift my focus to that and that feels AMAZING!

This life is a journey and so much of it the last year has been spent waiting. Waiting for a shift, waiting for a decision, waiting for clarity. I realize now that I have all of those things and I gained them not through waiting at all, but through conscious effort. Every. Single. Moment.

That’s were for vs to comes in.

I grew up thinking everything happening in the world was happening to me. Didn’t get a job, someone was out to get me. Failed at school work, clearly the professor was an idiot. My entire life was shrouded in this haze of victim hood. Flash forward to today. I have spent the last several months correcting every thought, reframing as much as I can. Sometimes it was a miserable failure, but also the most massive arena for growth. I realized somewhere along the line that I was the one standing in my way. I was the one perpetuating these thought patterns. I was the one gripping and writhing and holding on to the only way I knew. Everything was happening to me and I was always waiting for the next shoe to drop. I would hold my breath when something good happened, knowing it wouldn’t last, that it was a mistake for it to be happening to me.

Now…. now I realize I create my life. My mentality creates how I see it and the best part is that I can change my reality at any time. All it takes is making a shift, doing the work and stepping out of my own way. I can take every situation in my life and ask what it’s doing for me. I can thank people for showing up as they are and the the lessons inherent in our interactions. I can pick out the gains just as much as the losses these days and that is a HUGE shift for me. For the first time in my life I am proud of myself. I am looking forward to new challenges so I can continue growing.

When the script can be flipped to something that is empowering and forward focused then life becomes a bit more fascinating. There is, instead of fear of what’s happening, a curiosity that presents itself. I can ask “hm, I wonder what this situation is trying to teach or show me?” Life also becomes easier from the standpoint of reducing fear around new things. I am less afraid to try new stuff, to go out into the world. I put less weight on the decisions I make, knowing that they are all lessons and are leading me somewhere and there is more emphasis on the internal ability to course correct and trust in my own intuition. It’s really cool actually.

I have had glimpses of this in my work the last few months. There has been this kind of knowing of some path that I was traveling down and people have told me this would happen, but I didn’t really believe it fully until now. In many ways I still feel hesitant, like stepping out into the sun after a long, cold winter, but I know it will get easier from here.

This relationship happened for me, so that I could have a love experience and discover my capacity and my strengths. It’s really true that everyone we interact with is here to teach some kind of lesson, it’s all about seeing it as such and honoring that person for the role they play.

As I come around to this situation with Mr. X, this new mental framework is rippling out into my work and making it more tolerable. I am still making decisions and moving away from my current profession but I can indulge in the steps with a little more ease.

This year has been and continues to be brutal in so many ways, but for me, it has been the most growth I have ever experienced. Between my personal relationships, work transitions, discovering what I want out of life, a pandemic and now a civil rights push, my mind and heart have been stretched in ways I didn’t realize they could. There are a lot of things I thought I knew and was solid with that I am finding instead a real capacity and need for expansion.

As Glennon Doyle puts it, it’s Brutiful.

With this shift my heart feels… lighter, more open, tender and delicate but also strong and resilient and I cannot wait for the next adventures, whatever they may be. ❤ ❤

A Grand Illusion

I used to think that in life there was a destination. A point of success or achievement that would make me feel like I made it, that I had things figured out. I have spent a lot of time running towards this unknown goal, feeling like I was always chasing something that was just outside my reach.

The longer I move through this life the less I seem to know or understand, mostly about the outside world. And the more I discover about myself the more there seems to be to uncover.

It is in the uncovering that we can begin to play. We begin to understand how our “reality” shapes our world view. We start to see into the future to our reactions and play with the what ifs. If I hit this button here, what kind of reaction do I get or if I change how I interact with this scenario how does that feel? It is with this internal play that we are able to change our life, to create new normals, to build the life we want to lead.

The grand illusion? That there is one single destination. That there is one place that will bring us to full understanding, to having it all “figured out.” For me, figuring it out meant I would no longer be in pain. But there is a difference between pain and suffering. In pain there is the capacity for tremendous growth. In fact, most of my growth has been brought on by pain. Suffering is self induced. Suffering is the resistance to what is happening in our world. Suffering comes when we sit in and amplify the pain we are experiencing, when we hold on to the hurt instead of simply becoming curious and accepting that it is there. Here we have a choice. The choice to suffer or free ourselves from that burden and accept what is.

Back to the destination. I think there are people out there who reach a place where they are comfortable and choose to remain there and maybe for them there is a sort of destination, but for me I cannot imagine finding one way to live my life and just sticking with that.

Along the journey there are endless chances to try new things, to find the lessons and growth in all of the emotions. To experience not just pain but also joy and happiness. To wake up gratitude and appreciation and play in the fields that those gifts bring.

The illusion is that we are already here. Each moment is the destination and in each moment we get to decide what the next step will be. To suffer, to pain, to fear, to smile or laugh. So enjoy each moment. Know that it won’t last but will build on the next and the next. There will be good days and bad and a world of contrast. This is the journey, this is the destination. This is life. ❤ ❤

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Paradox

I have never felt like I belonged in this world. It has always been a bit difficult to keep my feet tethered to the ground. Sometimes I am so in my head that I forget where I am and what I am doing and I can lose long spaces of time. I go somewhere that is deeper than myself. Maybe it’s a meditative state or some other brain wave than what we normally survive in. For me it feels a little like being high.

I have always felt that there was something not quite “right” about me. I don’t make connections with people often, I don’t feel things like other people do. I am a pool of paradox. I don’t connect often but it is all I long for and when I do connect I want to be completely engrossed. I feel nothing from most people but I feel too much to be comfortable in the world. I am addicted to love and finding love but my heart does not easily open. I am broken but whole. I am confident and uncertain. I am the deepest depths of love and the darkest of fears. I am sad and joyful. Dark and light. I am all things. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Everyone seeks belonging. For me I have never felt like I belonged anywhere. I was never “home,” instead a perpetual wanderer with a hole the size of Texas in my heart. I would go down these rabbit holes to see what fit. I found a little part of me in the Myers-Briggs test, I found pieces of me in a group of forward thinkers, I found lots of parts of me in the people who were going through struggles and hardships.

I recently took a peek at the enneagram (at the very basic it is a method for personality typing, but it’s much deeper than that) after listening to a podcast (Unlocking Us) with Brene Brown and Chris Heuertz. A good friend of mine LOVES the enneagram. It has given her a much clearer understanding of herself and a tremendous amount of comfort. For me it was much the opposite initially. The first time I took the test I came up a 4. I read a little bit about it and yeah, it fit well enough but I had little tolerance for being stuffed into yet another box, it’s never that simple with me. Along comes this podcast and they were talking about each of the personality types and the struggles that each has and why they suffer like they do. As I was listening there was a paradoxical awakening and joy at finding more bits of me and a deep sinking as I realized I suffered like ALL of the numbers. Every single hardship that was talked about, all of the ways to feel inadequate…. I felt all of them. Viscerally. They say there is often a number that you resonate most with and yes, a four was a punch in the gut, but the rest…. all of them sliced my heart. So I took the test again and while I scored highest as a four…… I tied for almost all of the rest of the types.

I have always felt like I have lived a lot of lives. Lots of people tell me I am an old soul. I have been through wars and famine and all kinds of things. I don’t know how I know this, I just do. So as these types were being explained and I was checking all of the boxes I felt at first, that maybe I was just plain crazy and actually mentally ill. Maybe I actually had a BUNCH of different personalities! And then I laughed and remembered this is a human construct to try to understand people… and we all have a little bit of all of these personalities in us. And me being balanced across them all meant not only that I have the capacity for all of the gifts that these types have to offer, but it also means that I can connect and empathize with most people.

As I move further and further from the life I am currently living, and start to align my inner world with my outer one, I am starting to see these things about me that I have always shunned as actually really powerful.

I DON’T fit in boxes. I am not able to be “figured out” by many because I haven’t even figured myself out. I will never be exactly what anyone thinks I should be.

And I am okay with that. I am better than okay. I don’t fit, and that…. that “brokenness,” that estrangement…. it makes me really valuable. As I am not like anyone, I am also like everyone. I fit with no one and everyone at the same time.

As I look back on patterns in my life and the relationships that I have had I realize that anyone who I have let close to me has been able to use me as a catalyst for some really life altering changes in their life. I mean, really big. Sometimes I come in like a wrecking ball. I see what people aren’t saying and I excavate it and gently brush the dirt off and sometimes violently encourage people in moving. I haven’t known this was what was happening and now that I am recognizing these situations I am better able to adjust a little more patiently and lovingly. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I wreck shop, but we always survive. There is always growth and movement.

As I sit with my own broken heart I am tempted to fall back into the darkness, to latch onto my suffering but I realize that in this moment I can choose a different road. I can see that what I have been through and what I am going through is all in preparation for whatever is next, whatever is better and more elevated. I am growing. In the depths of despair I am growing stronger and more resilient. I am finding my voice and using it. I am finding love in myself and showering me with it. From little niceties to kicking my ass into doing what NEEDS to be done for my future self, I am doing things different. That is really all anyone can do. Be better. Choose different.

As Chris Heuertz says, “[about fours] are misunderstood and they get bullied in the literature because they are sort of hard to wrap our minds around in terms of character structure but this is the person who has this ache within them that they don’t know where they fit in. They don’t know where they belong…. There can be a deep sadness and ache and longing and yearning that brings meaning to the fours…. When the fours are seeing beauty in everything what they are simply trying to do is see an echo back inward. If I can find what’s fabulous about this person, this meal, this environment, this song, maybe I will pull that thread all the way inward and see, maybe there is something like that here… There is a lot of shame that drives the ego structure of the four.”

As Brene continued they talked of terminal uniqueness. Bullseye.

As for the strengths, “The fours bring equanimity, emotional balance of being able to live on the spectrum of highs and lows, joys and sorrows without over identifying with any of it, and finding the beauty in all of it, and fours will see that for us and in us.”

I don’t really think there is anything more beautiful than that.

Embrace who you are. See the things that you don’t love about yourself as assets and contributions to your own uniqueness. These are the things that make up your song, your dance. These are the things that, when accepted and integrated, will change the world. ❤ ❤

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Path of Healing


A beautiful friend of mine reminded me the other day that healing was not a linear path.

I am reminded of this today.

Healing requires repair, regrowth, rebirth.

Sometimes healing is the warmth of the sun and the feel of the breeze as it tickles the finest hair on your skin. It is comforting like a warm embrace of a loved one.

Sometimes healing is walking into an ocean of demons and slaying them one by one as they come to pull you under.

Healing is not linear. It can be all of those things all at the same time.

It is a path that winds and turns and there are boulders and fire ants but also the most pristine clear pools of water that exist on this earth. It is flying through the stars and laughing with the moon and tempting the devil to touch you.

The last week has been very raw. My skin has been stripped away and each moment has been pure acid.

And I am reminded also, that the path I travel is also a choice. I can let myself be pulled under by latching on to all of the bad things I find which in turn amplifies that darkness, or I can find the smallest particle of light and focus all intention on that and amplify that.

When you have grown up in darkness the natural thing to do is reach out for that comfort of what surrounds you. The effort it takes to sort through the ashes and find the tiniest glowing ember is monumental at times. But once that ember is found and breath laid upon it and the glow intensifies until a fire is burning once again…. that… this is healing.

Sometimes healing is a gentle exhale. It is a reminder that you are strong. That you have been through darkness before, but that you have also experienced light and will do so again. It is realizing you have choices, you have power and whatever decisions you make, even if they are the unexpected are never wrong because they lead you somewhere. Somewhere with more wisdom so that the next choice can be made and the next and the next.

Healing is trusting that all of these decisions are leading somewhere bigger than this moment. It is trusting yourself. It is the gentle blush of intuition that lands in the heart.

We are not born broken. We are cracked and open to bloom and bend and shift and constrict with all of the moments in our life. We break, so that we can rebuild. We buckle under the weight so that we can make a stronger foundation.

We survive. We heal. We thrive. ❤ ❤

Image by Захари Минчев from Pixabay