It’s Not Okay


Shelly Aspenson ~ Living Write

This is a reality check. Take a moment and look at your closest relationships. It doesn’t matter whether it’s looking at your behavior and treatment of others, or theirs towards you, or both. Just take a good, honest look. I’m referring to your long haul relationships, the ones that have existed for long enough that it seems to be okay to dump hard on them on a daily basis.

A relationship of any kind is meant to be a partnership, an exchange of energies that strengthen both, a motivation for growth and prosperity for both parties, not for one at the expense of the other. My favorite example is marriage, although friendships run a close second. In christian vows, the pledge is that two become one, not one become the other, with the weaker party disappearing into the atmosphere.

This particular event requires growing some self-love, and a spine. It…

View original post 717 more words

Advertisements

I Will Save You


I now understand how it happens that we don’t know how far we have fallen until we finally stand up. I thank all the gods that be for the series of catalysts, be they people or situations, that called me to wake up and begin changing the world I live in. If we have become slowly accustomed to giving to the point of emptiness, or living in the silence of acceptance, or allowing ourselves to become so dimly seen, then the thought of standing may be a terrifying thing. We could remain paralyzed for years, or even a lifetime by the thought of taking back the power we gave away.

We tell ourselves that it’s just this one time, these few words, this single circumstance, just this time that we have to swallow what goes down like a fist of shredded glass. We repeat to ourselves what they tell us, that love isn’t like we believe, that we are being unrealistic and unreasonable, that we should be grateful for what we have.

Now, I am all about gratitude, but that is some serious bullshit.

If we are willing to love someone with everything we have, if that is who we are, then we should hold ourselves in reserve for someone of equal courage. Love is not for the weak and spineless. Not the timeless, soul-mate, eternal kind of love. It is hard and harsh sometimes. We get burnt and mangled by the refining. We will cry and laugh and sigh from the soul. We will feel.

To do this, we must be willing to face fear, and do those necessary things anyway. We have to go to Walmart and buy ourselves  a spine. We have to open our mouths and say those things, do those things, and own those things that change our world. We cannot remain in the fetal position hoping that love will find a way. For crying out loud…

We are the way.

Let me tell you what happens when you quit dissolving yourself into other people’s reality. You take steps that cause those around you to stare in fascinated horror. Then you take another that gives you even more power to work with. Then you begin to create the life you only wished for from the bottom of the mess you became. It’s the most wonderful and terrifying feeling you will ever know. There are times I almost expect to throw my hands in the air and see lightning bolts shoot into the sky.

That’s how powerful living your own life is.

I remember the words that moved me to action, the feelings that fueled the movement, the realizations that opened my eyes to my decomposing existence. I remember everything, and I am grateful for them all. I remember, not too long ago looking into the mirror getting ready for work one day, and I just stopped and looked at myself in the eyes for a moment. It took me a heartbeat or two to realize I was waiting for something. So I finally spoke the words I’d needed to hear.

I looked at myself and promised, “I will save you.”

And I will.

The Storm of She


Shelly Aspenson ~ Living Write

{source} {source}

She stood before him in chains, bowed as if to protect herself from the words that struck like stones. She heard him dismiss the words she spoke, as easily as she had allowed herself to be brushed aside repeatedly over the years. Her heart shuddered as it fractured one last time before letting go.

As she stared at the floor, her eyes burned with fury at herself for the foolishness of all her decisions leading to this moment, and then she let that go too. She had permitted disrespect and neglect for so long that it felt odd and empowering to raise her head and smile into his eyes.

He was rendered mute by whatever it was he saw in her expression.

She straightened to her full height, topping him by two inches. She would never make herself smaller for anyone again. She stared directly at him…

View original post 406 more words

The Storm of She


She stood before him in chains, bowed as if to protect herself from the words that struck like stones. She heard him dismiss the words she spoke, as easily as she had allowed herself to be brushed aside repeatedly over the years. Her heart shuddered as it fractured one last time before letting go.

As she stared at the floor, her eyes burned with fury at herself for the foolishness of all her decisions leading to this moment, and then she let that go too. She had permitted disrespect and neglect for so long that it felt odd and empowering to raise her head and smile into his eyes.

He was rendered mute by whatever it was he saw in her expression.

She straightened to her full height, topping him by two inches. She would never make herself smaller for anyone again. She stared directly at him, and he winced at the sorrow he finally saw there. She lifted her hands slowly and let everything that chained her to him fall away. He began to sweat, and shift away from her.

“I don’t belong here anymore,” she said. “Everything I needed to learn here is complete. There is nothing to forgive either of us for, we call to ourselves the lessons we need to learn, no matter how long and painful the teachings.”

He began to rage at her, afraid and helpless in the face of the woman he no longer recognized. He tried to sway her with guilt, with grief, with sympathy and with logic. He painted a dark and ugly picture, and the black clouds rolled in and lightning began to strike all around them. The earth shifted beneath their feet and he lost his balance, trying vainly to find something solid to stand upon.

But She remained still as the earth settled beneath her, and she lifted her face to the power of the storm coming.

Every move she made then, changed the landscape around her. The rain began to fall as the sky wept tears of joy for her. The thunder moved in her heart and shattered years of silence. The lightning continued to flash and illuminate everything she had always been too afraid to see. As he ran for shelter to the only life he had known, she threw her arms wide and laughed at the first real joy she had allowed herself in ages.

For the first time in forever, light began to show through the dry cracks in a heart that had atrophied. Hope, desire and dreams began to grow in profusion where there had long been nothing but dust. She finally looked at herself through her own eyes, instead of the eyes of another, and she no longer hated who she saw.

The darkness swirled with the light and the rain washed every bit of regret away, exposing the glitter of truth to reflect the lightning flashes. She looked out at all the possibilities she had hidden from herself, and they were more beautiful than any rainbow she had ever seen. She welcomed the fury of it all, the disruption, the remaking of the landscape around her.

She reveled in the storm that came from the very heart of her. She was the storm, and she destroyed all that was. 

And she had never been happier.

A Talk With Both Of Me-Choosing Who I Will Be


I would like to introduce us to both of me. I am who I was raised to be, who I taught myself to be, and who I think I should be. On the other hand, or maybe I should say beneath the surface, is the me who is strangely familiar even though I’ve ignored her existence most of my adult life.

When I do what I think I should, the other has begun to refuse to comply gracefully. I can go through all the right motions, carrying a bridge burning rebellion in my heart all the while. I will sit at a stop sign much longer than necessary, fighting between making the right turn and flooring it in the opposite direction. I’m the one who hated The Bridges of Madison County because when her truck pulled behind her lover’s truck, and she had her hand on the door handle while he waited for her to decide, inside I was screaming “get out of the goddamn truck and run up there”. Get out of the truck, woman.

I am a fictitious character carefully disguising the madwoman beneath.

I have only recently discovered this phenomenon. It was quite by accident that I found that certain voices, situations and words call to the part of me that is very inconvenient to deal with. I cause waves, rock the boat, and make everyone uncomfortable including myself, all the while grinning like a lunatic on the inside. Mostly.

This quickly growing reality is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I can’t even tell the difference between the feelings anymore. It’s as if the most real and basic part of me has been pulled out of some kind of self-imposed hibernation and is unapologetically hungry.

To live. To stretch. To grow stronger in spirit, voice and heart.

Here’s the thing…I’m not sorry. Not. Sorry.This is like one of those sad stories where someone is let out after too many years of solitary confinement for a short time, only to realize they are going to be put back in. Oh, hell no. Not going back there, it’s freedom or die at this point, and I’m not playing.

It took me 10 minutes to start my car today, because I didn’t want to go where I was going. When I convinced myself to do so, I kept turning and taking longer and longer ways to my destination until I finally had to say enough. Enough. Get out of the truck and go where your heart is. If I’m going to keep waking up morning after morning, it had better be worth it.

And I’m the only one who can make that happen.

This has nothing to do with being in love with anyone but me. I’m not looking for a warrior, I am one. I love and value those few who recognized my heart even when I refused to, and let me suffer until I saw the truth. That’s really hard to do. They are my heroes, my heart, and the loves of my life. I can only repay them by refusing to go back to the Garden of Weak and Feeble.

I was the snake, the apple, the fallen, and now the guardian that refuses to let me return to that false place. I did it all. To me.

So the truth of the story is this…there can’t be two of me. Pretense does not exist well when truth is burning. False facades fall away when your soul decides there’s hell to pay. It’s time to shred the script I adopted long ago, and live my own story. Life is short, so it’s past time to make mine matter. To me.

Sink or swim. Fly or fall. Live or Lie. Truth or Dare…

Until maybe, one day in the not too distant future, you’ll say to yourself…”I’ll have what she’s having”…and you will.