Eye of the Beholder


I began meditating consistently two years ago to protect myself from the possibility of prison due to involuntary manslaughter…or maybe even justifiable homicide. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a vigilante ~ or perhaps more (like the commercial) The Fist of Goodness, balancing the scales of Truth, Justice, and the American Way It Oughta Be.

For some reason, while I didn’t do very well at standing up for myself, I was awesome at championing others. This would frequently lead to my desire to verbally level the playing field, with my actions following closely behind my desire. I was a super hero for the underdog, but sometimes (probably wanting a noble purpose for my temper) I jumped in too soon, and on the wrong side of goodness, breaking my own heart in disappointment when I realized I’d been duped.

I went from a job two years ago that was so pleasant, and not at all taxing, back into the management arena I’d hoped to never experience again. Being not at all the same person I’d been my first trip through, I had somehow lost my tolerance for what I considered stupidity, poor planning, lack of leadership, and my most frequent thought was:

“Oh. My. God. , are you SHITTING me?”.

I went from La La Stepford happiness into my version of Children of the Corn, or Silent Rage, or hey~Linda Blair spitting pea soup all over the place.

Kids, it was not pretty. I knew I was making myself sick; I was letting circumstances poison and rot my thinking, and in desperation signed up for a 21 day online meditation course. I began to meditate like medicine, the nitro pill that kept the heart attack from killing me, the counselor that helped me begin the day calm enough not to blow by the end of it…usually, and somewhere along the way I was able to see myself before I reacted to circumstances around me.

I began writing again as an outlet for survival purposes, and yoga kept me from twisting heads off in my mind.

I had accidentally created a momentary pause button between my first thought of what needed to happen~and what I actually chose to do. It was amazing.

I realized I wasn’t the evil twin sister I appeared to be, neither was I the white robed bodhisattva I yearned to be. I was a multi-faceted blend of all the parts it took for me to be me. I was the watcher of my ego, anger, and angst. I was the witness to my level of integrity high or low, my compassion or lack of, my judgment or acceptance of myself or whatever existed in my world at any given time.

I was the Beholder, and in the eye of the Beholder, all parts of me were valid, vibrant, and vital. All sides of me, no matter how it looked through the mirror darkly, were to be held, loved and listened to. All of me has something to say, something to share, something to teach.

I learned through the silence of meditation, and the momentary pause of the Beholder, that my Shadow is just as important as my Shine. If I let go of the reactivity and see what the triggers have to show me, then they become gifts of wisdom, yes? And if I hold my anger close like a beloved child and listen to what it says, in what wondrous ways will I change?

Do I still have moments I want to be the Fist of Goodness? Yes, yes I do. But if I throw in the Bodhisattva and a pinch of Jester, I just may have a winner~in the Eye of the Beholder.

Behold your own magnificent self.

No Flowers


What if, during these apparently disturbing times of unrest, there was no one willing to smile for a moment? What if, during the storm of what’s coming, raining all over what is, there was no one to point out the rainbow of hope? What if the morning news kept beating us with political screw ups and forgot to share the stories of triumph, hope and perseverance? What if all we could see was the endless desert, blinded from seeing the beauty of the sunrise or sunset, it’s simplicity, or simply became numb to the dreams inspired by the flowers brave enough to bloom there?

I am weary and heartsick of being trapped in the quicksand of pessimism, discontent, and disbelief in humanity that I find myself surrounded with. Fighting against those who perpetuate this only causes their grip to become stronger, and me to sink faster into a depression I am unfamiliar with. It appears to do no good to explain that I can see what is so wrong without dwelling on it 24/7, or that I agree with much of the opinions that fly about~I’m just not willing to rage in a manner that hurts my cause of hope. I wondered just last night what would be expected of me if I were to be diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only a few months to live? Am I expected to weep and wail for the duration of my life at the unfairness or hopelessness of it all? Or would I be supported in any way in my attempts to enjoy and celebrate what time I had left in between my moments of weeping and wailing?

While I can’t answer that question, I can tell you that I don’t want any part of a world without love, compassion, hope, or flowers brave enough to bloom where they shouldn’t be able to. I won’t help create that world, and I’ll have no part in perpetuating it’s existence.  If we are doomed to a world of war, rioting, liars and lack of leadership, then I only have one thing to say:

Leave me alone.

Let me be.

Let me smile and laugh and joke while the fires that can’t be contained burn us to ash. If you’re right and the apocalypse is coming any day now then leave me to my singing, dancing, writing, dreaming, hoping, and loving where I can. Let the last thing somebody sees be my smile before being obliterated by Armageddon, the last thing they hear-my laugh, the last thing they feel-my heart wrapping around them so they know when all is said and done IT WILL BE OKAY.

I don’t want your world, and you don’t know how to believe in mine. That’s fine.

Just don’t pluck the flower that is brave enough to bloom in the desert and grind it under the heel of your anger.

Let the rainbow comfort somebody, even if it can’t be you. Let the flower bloom.

desert flowers rainbow

Broken Open


Protect yourself, toughen up, live in the real world, don’t be so sensitive. I’ve told myself this so many times. Be the same, blend in, don’t rock the boat, you expect too much, life isn’t a love story, or an adventure, or full of magic or miracles. I’ve heard this from others and replayed it plenty over the years. So I did that thing you never want to do and I listened to all of it, and I did a great job of making myself what I finally became: numb.

The good thing is, when my heart finally hardened enough, nothing hurt me anymore. “I don’t care” was my mantra to myself in a never-ending loop. When faced with negligence, judgment, hostility, hate-spewing, whining, subtle slams of criticism, or being severely under valued~I felt no pain. Moving right along with my “I don’t care” mantra, I breezed through mediocrity and monotony with expressionless grace. I quit writing, because I had to feel to do so, and I had nothing I wanted to say anymore.

Enter the truth. I noticed that I couldn’t feel the good things either. My joy in anything at all was missing. I saw nothing in full color, and felt nothing that truly touched me. I forgot how to love, and how to let myself be loved, with very few exceptions, and it frightened me.

I sat down one day after finding an old MAPP assessment I received, years ago, when I was unsure of what direction I should take, the results of which I disregarded as I tried to turn myself into Super Woman. After page three, I realized to my dismay that I was crying. Silent tears just falling as I read about the young woman I almost remembered being. I also realized with no doubt at all in my mind that I LIKED that girl. I missed her. I wanted to be her, and I should have been.

So here I am. Trying to open this bear trap of a heart with a crowbar. Reading, writing poetry, listening to music that makes me dance, practicing yoga, and meditation. I am working on softening my heart every moment of every day that I can. It’s not easy when the life that I let shut me down is still happening every day. But I am getting somewhere. I’m thinking for myself, and asking questions of myself too long ignored. I’m re-calibrating my soul in a way. I’m leaving my assessment out for frequent reading as a map to the new world, a way of finding joy, adventure, and miracles again.

I want to keep trying, crying, and loving until I’m broken open~and when it happens, my world may not be the same as I thought it should be, but what I am, and what I have will be real. The love I feel, and have, will be worth it. Both for the giver and receiver.

I want to be the open-hearted girl, the lion-hearted girl, the “too much” girl. I want to be that girl who cares too much, cries too much, gives too much, writes too much, and laughs too long and too loud. Come home girl, I miss you.

Beloved Family


I create my own family. I don’t know when this began exactly, nor does it matter, but every so often I find someone (or the universe places us just so) who I need to bring into my heart. I have a radar for those people who have been waiting for me to adopt them so we can save each other, just a little bit, from the smacks in life. There is really no rhyme or reason to it, I mostly imagine two souls recognizing each other and clicking together like little magnets that have just been searching for the right moment to complete the connection and then continue to grow together.

Now, I must admit, I have made the mistake before of recognizing a heart that has been sadly lacking in attention, and respect and proceeding to forcibly adopt someone who was not at all wanting to be loved on. Lol, I laugh only at myself and my exuberance. I can be an overwhelming force when I feel called, and not all people want to be saved, or feel they need to, from a lack of affection or respect. I see what I see, and I act accordingly, but sometimes I have to tell myself that people grow at their own speed, and their needs and openness to love change as they do.

I hope not to be misunderstood in this~I don’t think I’m any great anything to help the world at all. But I do what I do, and I am what I am, and I’ve learned not to apologize for it. I recognize who belongs to me, belongs in my life, and belongs in my heart. It can be less than five minutes in their company and they become mine. Part of my family, part of my heart, and part of my life. Even if I see them rarely, or don’t get to spend the time I want with them, I will defend them and support them in any way I can because they belong to me. And yes, I will tell you up front, my love is blind and it is proud I am of it. They are mine through their weaknesses, their struggles, and their glories~it matters little to me. I am proud of them through it all.

I am not invincible, there are the very few who have smacked me back enough, or prefer to keep such distance that I either can’t get through, or quit trying out of respect for their need of what they have. It hurts me, and goes against my natural behavior to honor that, but I am no longer willing to be foolish or miserable at what I consider my failures to connect.

Even with spouses, (especially?) it can be most difficult to maintain or grow common ground when they are wrapped up in their own preferences of behavior, but that is for another blog, at a later date.

With all of this in mind, I express gratitude to the universe for the family I was given at birth, and the family I have collected for myself. You know who you are, willing or otherwise lol. I am grateful. Amen.

 

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.