From Arrogance to Love


I have never really paid much attention to the story of the mythical Narcissus until today. To me, it sounded like a short corny story about a conceited guy. Boring. Until I read a small chapter of The Exquisite Risk by Mark Nepo today, it didn’t strike me how most of us suffer from his same affliction.

Not that we gaze endlessly at our reflections, enthralled by the love of our own beauty~no, it’s more painful, and damaging than that. Especially, but not exclusively, women gaze endlessly and hopelessly at our reflections~judging ourselves less, or fat, or old, or ugly. We are obsessed with how smart we are not, how untalented, and uninteresting we are in comparison to the entire rest of the world. We are full of our superiority in our inferiority. Our troubles are greater, more challenging, dare I say insurmountable?

We are so certain that the entire world is about us and our inability to shine like others. That the skills and gifts and blessings we downplay and degrade are even ours to own. What a load of crap.

In learning to break down my beliefs about myself, somewhere along the line I quit being ate up with myself. I quit judging myself so harshly, quit down-playing gifts and talents that I flat-out know for sure don’t come from me at all! I quit acting and believing as if I am the cause and effect of every dang thing around me.

It has been quite hilarious being me in recent months. I laugh a lot, mostly inside, but sometimes it just busts out. Somebody told me I was beautiful the other day, and instead of immediately being embarrassed and awkward, I just smiled and said “thanks!”~I mean, seriously, I don’t have a thing to do with that, that’s all on my parents and the Creator being creative I guess. Sometimes, when I’m done writing and send my poetry or songs or whatever off into email land, I’ll come back and re-read them and just slap my hands together, laugh and shout out to the Universe “DAMN, you are GOOD!”. I know it’s not coming from me, just through me. Just like beauty, or love, or forgiveness. Through me.

That’s what I want to come through me. Love instead of ego, forgiveness instead of judgement, creativity instead of excuses, gratitude for the more than enough instead of whining about the lack. I want to be excited about the days I’m given, not feel like each one is some kind of punishment.

When did we learn to make life a tragedy starring us? Why not share the stage with the Universe and give the proper credits when due? Why be obsessed with our “less than” or our “lack” that only exists in this ego we are eaten up with.

It’s arrogant, self-absorbed, and ungrateful to live our lives stuck to the mirror of self-judgement. We must get over ourselves. I am certainly trying. And believe it or not, it is a huge relief when you accept it’s not at all about you. It’s about all of us, together, expressing life, as one~in all our different ways.

Let’s put the mirror down, and go live this life.

 

 

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Pandora’s Box


Lately, I have moments when I scare myself.

Like that feeling you get when you give something a little push, and it starts a chain reaction that shifts everything in sight, or you open the closet door and everything falls out on you. Yeah, it causes a chaotic mess, but what’s left is clean and open.

When Pandora opened her box, she released all the evils into the world, and realizing what she had done~she slammed that lid down as fast as she could, but it was too late~there was no more containing the bad.

The worst part of the story to me, is the part no one ever tells. When she slammed the lid back on the jar (yes, it was really a jar, not a box) it was too late to keep the evils from the world, but still trapped in the bottom of the jar~the only thing left inside~was the Spirit of Hope.

Seriously, now, that is a bad BAD situation. That is where Pandora and I part company. When I opened my jar, and all the negative, evil, wicked, mean, bad and nasty stuff flew out I was RELIEVED. My whole jar was made of Hope, and I carry it with me everywhere.

The scary part is this~I know things now that I didn’t before. I know what I want. I know who and what I am. I know what I’m supposed to do. The OTHER regular old do the duty and quit your whining and be a Stepford Human  me is like “OMG DON’T YOU EVEN MAKE ONE MOVE. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT”. Me and myself are kind of eyeballing each other right now. You know~nobody move, nobody gets hurt. =)

So I compromise with me. I take a step at a time. I enroll in school, and send in my writing, and meditate. I tell myself the truth every day~I am becoming who I am meant to be. It’s the journey that’s important and exciting. The journey that is the adventure.  There will always be a new destination, because it’s all in the journey. I am JUST now figuring that out.

It is this new knowledge that keeps me sane, and holding on tightly to my jar of Hope. I tell myself that I can take being where I am and doing what I do because it is refining me for what’s next~it is setting me up for flat-out tears of joy gratitude when it’s time to step out. I do understand that who I am goes with me everywhere, so I have to work it out and grow. If I don’t, I’m just carrying the ugly with me in the jar.

Nope. No thank you. I’m collecting only good dreams and schemes for my jar of Hope. No uglies. Done with that.

So here’s to Pandora, and letting out the ugly, and holding onto Hope.

 

Hungry Ghosts


In Buddhism there is a phrase I love~hungry ghosts. This is the term for those with big empty bellies and small narrow throats who are starving for nourishment but can’t take in enough to satisfy their raging hunger. They are incapable of taking in all that is there for them until they can open enough to receive.

This is a common problem today for most of us. Wanting love, respect, affection. Having the desire to be truly seen by another, truly heard. But being incapable of receiving all that is there for us because we are hard of heart, and narrow of mind. We feel we must protect ourselves from hurt, disrespect, or injury so we close off and shut down. Our hearts become narrow and hard due to our cynicism and all we want is locked away from us, by our own behaviors and choices.

It is so easy to keep ourselves “safe”, and so damned sad that we feel we have to. We train ourselves to become cowards, unwilling to take any risks, or give any opening to softness. We have become our own prisoners of war, with no one to wear bracelets in our memory until we release ourselves.

The amazing thing is this: when we open our hearts and step out, those we feared would hurt us in some way are cowering there in their own prison of safety, looking at us in hope and wonder that they too might be able to unlock their hearts and step into life. We can be, by example, the saviors of the souls we protected ourselves from so unnecessarily.  And if they still fear, and throw rocks through the bars, we can give them our compassion and understanding until they are ready to breathe the fresh air of possibility.

And then, with a heart wide open, we can take in all the love that is here for us, and thrive.

 

“I Ain’t Got Time To Bleed”


I don’t take time to bleed; I never have. I keep going no matter what is happening around me. Looming financial collapse? I just get two more jobs. Physically ill, or sick at heart? I keep working, fulfilling duties, and moving forward until it goes away-or I just shut down.  A hard heart doesn’t bleed, nor does it experience the fullness of  joy.

In some ways I feel like a wild animal regaining consciousness only to find itself caught in a trap,  seeing the damage and feeling the pain of the injury it was unaware of until this moment. The sad part of that picture is that I rendered myself unconscious, I set the trap, I caused the damage and the pain.

So here I am, on the front porch, crying over spending eight to nine hours every day in a work environment where people will cannibalize each other without thought. All of us under stress, strain, and scrutiny. I prepare myself every morning with prayer and meditation, I do all I can to diffuse and soothe and appreciate, but sometimes it’s not enough. Not for those who work with me, and not for me.

The interesting part of this is that I don’t feel like a failure. I am just no longer someone who thrives in that kind of environment, and the only thing I’ve changed is myself. I am exhausted from  making myself the protector of all, the buffer of bad things, the fixer of all wrongs. Who can do that? Certainly not me, but I am caught in a web of my own making and must diligently, relentlessly, and with extreme prejudice~extract myself from the make-believe world I’ve been living in.

Seriously. I’m just a girl who writes blogs and poetry, who wants to shift my life towards helping others through the same problems I wander through. I just want to write, love on my puppies, my family, and my friends. I want to build a community of people recovering from hardened hearts, narrow minds, and judgmental spirits. I want to get to know people who need me to see them, and show them how priceless they are.

I’m tired. And sad. And ready to chew my own leg off to get free. I think I’ll go with plan B though =).

 

Masks We No Longer Need


What I most want to bring to the world today is…me. Just me without all the labels I’ve acquired over the years. I want a clean slate, a fresh start, a do over. So I’m going to have one, or maybe more. I’m going to do-over until every word I speak resonates with the kindest truth, every effort I make is done with the most genuine love for me/you/the world. I’m going to  grow stronger and more understanding~letting go of what no longer serves me, and situations where I am unable to serve at my highest level. I’m going to grow more courageous and leave behind all the “should”ing on myself I’ve become accustomed to punishing myself with.

I dwell in the midst of circumstances I find appalling until I feel like I’ve learned my lesson in that place. I don’t allow myself to cut and run when I want to, I wait, and ask myself…”what arrogant part of me has been buffed smooth by this”? I’ve taught myself to change the thought of hating something to accepting that it’s a step in the right direction, not my destination, so there is no room for hate~and no cause.

I was disappointed earlier this evening by learning that the cost of starting school for a wellness coach certification was just straight more than I could do right now with my family happenings. I let myself wallow in depression for about 20-30 minutes before it overwhelmed me so I hopped on the tread climber and burned away calories and sadness for an hour.

So many masks over the years, so many roles I play along with everyone else. This big ridiculous drama, that should be an adventure, this black and white silent film that should be in color with surround sound, is coming to a close. It’s time for me to take a bow and step up. I will find a way. I will start training no later than September of this year. I promise myself this. I pinky swear myself, and I know I’ve got to keep that shit.

The Face of Death


Death opens a doorway I know that everyone will pass through to move from this life to the next. I don’t see her as an ugly frightening monster of terror, or as Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black. I picture death as a mother welcoming her children at the door after a long, and sometimes dangerous adventure. I imagine a beautiful, wise, and loving face with kind eyes. I think she doesn’t always wait patiently by the doorway, I think she ventures out here and there to send out little memos to her beloved children that this life passes all too quickly. It could be the loss of a loved one, a frightening test result, or a horrible wreck with a miraculous survival story.

Sometimes she encourages me to live a truer, fuller life in something I read, a song I hear, a touching moment in a tv show or movie. Death is the bringer of life whether it be a transition to the next mystery, or a directive to live NOW. I appreciate every reminder, because I truly want to LIVE for the rest of my life. I want to throw myself into the adventure of discovering all there is in the time I have. I want to be and do everything I dream of.

I will not live my days as a pathetic little puppet, hopping back and forth at the whim of someone else’s plan. They can live their own dreams, as I plan to live mine. I can and will do what I chose with my life as our Creator presents me with the opportunities I have ignored so frequently in the past.

I have the power to stay or go. Say yes, or no. I can change my mind, my life, and rewrite my story. I’m not letting someone else do that for me~no way.

When I do greet death at that doorway, I hope to see a twinkle in her eyes and a curve to her lips that lets me know she really enjoyed the show, and admired my impromptu performances.

That’s the face I hope to see.

The Point of No Return


You are not alone. We are in this life together, you and I, although the loneliness that fills our hearts at the crossroads makes us feel very much on our own. It’s a tough place to be; too far along to return to blindness, and too new to being awake to feel very much confidence in our new selves. The point of no return.

More often than not these days, it feels like we are even strangers to ourselves, even though our new self-awareness gives us a feeling of freedom and power that overjoys us. Some of our friends find us a little too different, and don’t really know how to handle themselves around us. Others seem to soak up all of our excitement and discoveries, and run along with us as we go. Sad and happy, fear and courage, doubt and faith. We are so familiar with one side of the teeter totter, and not so much with the other side. It can be a lonely place, even though we stand at the crossroads with many others.

What do we keep in our lives? What do we lay aside? What and who is worth the effort to learn and blend and mend into this new way of being we have found? How do we speak our truths, hold on to our integrity, and keep our hearts open for the miracles? We are brand new and we are raw nerve. We are the butterfly fresh out of the cocoon, wings damp and fragile, colors blinding even to ourselves, and we’re thinking, “Holy Shit!! Are these wings?? I can fly now? WTF??? This totally rocks, and I’m terrified with happiness!”.

Have you EVER heard a butterfly say, “I’m just going to sit here and blend okay? I mean, nobody else is flying right now, right? So I really don’t want to call attention to myself~I AM just a souped up caterpillar after all”?

Hell no.

Hell. No. We don’t pick a road, up we go.

Let’s spread our wings, leap of faith…fly!

FLY.