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.

It’s Not Okay

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 really is easier to let the arrogant, selfish, and demanding turn you into a victim. It’s easier than fighting it constantly. It is also a misery, a mistake, and a piss poor excuse for a life. Tell the truth now, it may be easier, but you don’t like it. If you do, that’s a different blog, for another day.

Yeah, yeah, they’ve got so much potential. They were raised that way, if you just do this, or act that way, well the evil spell would be lifted and you would ride away together on the white horse of…total bullshit. Don’t perpetuate, or enable. Don’t paralyze yourself into a silent, closed-hearted, unforgiving and judgmental way of existing.

The truth is, sometimes we try to stay in relationships that should not have become what we allow them to be. That painful marriage would’ve been a great friendship if left alone, or what was meant as a learning growing dating relationship was forced into something more than both parties were capable of maintaining. Sometimes, by forcing what we think our future should look like, we turn a learning experience into the torture chamber from hell. Truth is, some people shouldn’t get married. They are happy living for themselves, taking care of themselves, making decisions for themselves, and don’t have the makeup to perform as a team, or couple. Nothing wrong with that, until they decide to couple up.

God help us. Then you’ve got a really nice person, not capable of putting someone else first, and causing misery and trauma to another. On the other side of that is the love sick nurturer thinking that if they do enough, or give enough, or try hard enough, the solitary one will magically transform into the sharing, giving, person of their dreams. Wrong on both sides.

What we have here is two wonderful people destroying each other by inches. They should not have paired themselves. Bad match, not bad people. Unfortunately we’ve been raised (most of us) that such relationships are forever, and we lock ourselves into the pain of two people never being what the other wishes they were, or needs them to be. So when somebody has to be the bad guy (or gal) both parties lose~because it’s a lie.

Falling in love is just the doorway. At some point in time, all of us make it to the doorway with someone. A true loving relationship means going in, going deeper, mutual  courtesy, respect, trust and commitment to working out the kinks as they come up. A lot of people don’t have the courage; the spine, to work through problems so they can be released. Some just don’t care enough about another to do so. Both views of thought are a death knell for a growing relationship of future value.

Sadly we also have so many long term relationships that cause a person to say to themselves, “Woe is me, I’ve been crapped on for years, this is all there is, it’s too late to fix, or start fresh, I’m too old now, I don’t want to be alone, who will take care of me…”. Seriously.

I guess I’m aggravated at all of us. Well, okay, the majority of us, since I do know of people who are matched well, or have made themselves be an excellent match for each other. The point is, life is too short to be less than you are, no matter who you are.

It is not okay to use the force of your personality and desires to obliterate another’s ability to be who they are, and it’s not okay to accept a life you were absolutely not created to live. Hello. We are all different expressions of the same creator. What if there were only one song played over and over every day? One food to eat, one painting to look at, and sigh? What if we all looked the same, did the same job, held the same opinion?

That’s hell, right there. So all of us need to honor and respect the unique expression each of us brings to the table. Not mock, or belittle, or try to erase. Sometimes that means you can build something strong with someone, sometimes it means letting go~so both can bloom.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Numbing The Soul

How do I numb thee? Let me count the ways…it could be smoking cigarettes to “mellow out” instead of addressing an issue, or person, who irritates me. Maybe it’s eating to much, and too wrong, to fill an emptiness of heart instead of healing it. Maybe it’s drinking one too many so I can pretend that what’s wrong doesn’t really bother me~just for one night. It can be spending too much, being addicted to excitement and unable to commit to reality, or becoming a workaholic because that’s where you really matter, and know your shit, right?

Everything we do, that is not experiencing the moment we’re in, is hiding from it, or running from it, or ignoring it completely. It’s a waste of time, of life.

So if I live my life too loud, too “in your face”, too aggressive~I’m not living my life, I’m at war with it, and everyone in it. I’m confrontational, arrogant, intimidating, and riding rough-shod over the emotions of others who don’t have my mad skills of manipulation. Half the people I meet may think I’m a big slice of awesome to look up to and the others can’t stand me and think me a witch (or a derivative of ). What I’m being is unreal and unkind~I’m defending my safe space.

On the other hand, if I live my life untouchable, invincible, and unable to be harmed or hurt by others~I’m not living my life~I’m suffocating it. I’m cold, unemotional, uncaring, and uninterested. I just want to be left alone because I’ve taught myself to really not give two shits about what’s happening around me. What I’m being is a ghost, a shadow.

Now being a trained professional in both these methods of living, I can tell you that at first there appears to be excellent selling points to both. Option A means I don’t take any shit from anyone ever. And very rarely will anyone push past my first line of defense~I make sure it’s not worth it.

Option B means that no matter what is happening around me~I am unshakable, I cannot be reached or harmed, the opinions or feelings of others matter not at all. I have rendered myself invincible~I’ve created my safe space. This of the two is the worst option, once you are here it is hard to WANT to get out of it.

The downside to creating a Fortress of Solitude is that when I turn the volume down on the bad things in my life that I don’t want to (or can’t seem to) fix, I also turn the volume down on my ability for joy, and love, and hope, and happiness. There’s only one volume button, and it controls it all. So it’s feel it all~ or not at all.

So, stepping away from this numbing is a very intricate and difficult thing. If I open myself up, and bad things happen, and someone is critical, or demeaning, or condescending, or cruel~there is a moment where I freeze. I have to breathe for a minute and the first step is to throw water on my inner witch. I cannot act or speak in anger. Then there’s the fine line to tread without going over into “screw that, I don’t care about you anyway”, so that it’s not hurting me anymore. Breathe.

Breathe, and realize we are all struggling, and that if someone doesn’t have the courage to jump off the merry-go-round of bullshit attitude and treatment, then who will stop the madness? How will we ever be whole and real and worn out from loving and being loved like the Velveteen Rabbit?

“When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” ~The Skin Horse