My Beloved


For the first time in maybe fifteen years, I will have a cleaning lady/person/housekeeper…what ever. She will probably be temporary until she finds her ‘life’ job, but it matters little to me in how I feel about her.

My best friends and I have always said that if WE had wives of our own, we wouldn’t be assholes about it. We would appreciate their hard work, the time given, the effort, the planning, the thoughtfulness, the absolute wonder of having a wonderfully clean home that frees us to enjoy our time off when we are not working. We would not be husbands to our wives per se, we would be grateful wives who had wives.

We would give them their hard earned money with a loving heart. We would show endless and heartfelt appreciation. We would pick up after ourselves and spend time thinking how we could make their efforts easier for them to show our gratitude and respect. We would occasionally leave extra gifts and ‘thank you’s for no apparent reason. We would give them lavish, incomparable presents for their birthdays and Christmas.

We would always speak kindly to and of them. Harsh and inconsiderate words would never pass our lips in regards to them. They would feel so valued and honored by us that they would never consider leaving us to become a ‘wife’ to someone else at our expense.

Yes, I will do my daily duties to not impede her from doing what I ask of her. I will keep up on my personal responsibilities of dishes, laundry, the daily sweeps and wipes that must occur. Her efforts will free me to come home grateful, and enjoy my off time -guilt and aggravation free.

I will no longer spend entire days off and/or weekends cleaning the pit of doom that I had no energy left for after the work day. Therefore, she will be saving me from certain prison time in payment for lighting my spouse on fire and putting him out with an ice pick. Possibly I exaggerate my resentments, but I think not.

OMG, you say? Why not just tell him to pull his weight as a partner, you say? Can you not deal with this like an adult?

Laugh. Out. Loud.

After years of resentment and blame, I spoke as clearly as God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. I spoke like a man-straightforward with no way to be misunderstood. I said I was tired of carrying the whole load, that if he were a roommate I would have evicted him by now, that something was going to change either with his efforts or without. After six weeks of no difference in cleaning/partnership behavior, I was looking for the lighter fluid and realized what I had to do. I texted him immediately as he was out entertaining himself that fine weekend day, to let him know I was going to get estimates and hire a housekeeper to eliminate my anger over this never-ending situation.

So here I am. Anxiously waiting the honeymoon of my first cleaning. I am happy she’s coming, I’m anxious that she not feel overworked. I will guard her with my life-so help me God.

I have to wonder at the ego of a human being expecting these wonderous things from another human being while behaving like  an inconsiderate ass hat. What great thing do you bring to the relationship table, I ask? What is it that you give of yourself that has such value that no real effort or input is required from you at all?

And of myself, I ask this question: why did I decide to marry as opposed to hiring out as a housekeeper?

I misunderstood the path to becoming The Beloved.

My Bad.

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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.

I Know What Love Is…


This morning, as I was doing the Open Heart Meditation, I had my hands open receptively and was breathing in…out…in…out…and I felt a furry nose land in one hand and a crazy licking dog in the other…and I thought with a smile~ahhh, there’s love right there…my two goldens giving love to momma.

The amazing back story to this is that a few months ago, when I first started meditating, it SO pissed me off to hear a bothersome sound or be “interrupted” by my dogs. I mean, I’m trying to MEDITATE right? HOW ANNOYING!!  lol.

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Like many “going to church” Sundays when parents are yelling for kids to move along, or get ready, or get in the car, or whatever. Who we really are at the moment gets in the way of who we are trying to be. The interesting part of that is~we don’t have to try so hard. All we have to do is relax and let go.

I’ve had a VERY trying couple of days. There were a few times I was looking the old me right in the eyeballs, telling myself mentally to STAND DOWN. There is value, reason, facts and righteousness in that part of me, but no peace. No true north. No lay my head down and feel good about my behavior at night.

When I first started this journey, I PRETENDED to not be angry. Ha!! Ever tried that? It is stroke inducing, I can vouch for that. I looked very successful at what I was trying to do, but on the inside…I was a volcano waiting to erupt at any moment, or maybe an old building ready to implode on itself.

Now is better. Even on my bad days. Even when I see it coming on the horizon, I know it’s not worth it. It doesn’t keep me from feeling the strain, but my decision is made ahead of time, and my reactions~those I can live with as I go along the road I’m travelling now. No pretending. Just me and the real deal.

I know what love is. It’s not pretending and saying I love you while actions say get the hell out of my way. It’s feeling a furry nose in one hand, and a licking dog in the other, and smiling to yourself because “Ahhhh, here’s what love is, right here”. It’s actually BEING the spouse, partner, companion, friend. Actually pulling your weight, and giving support, and being the love someone needs instead of letting them carry your ass too many times. Let’s be who we say we are~no more pretending for the public.

I know what love is. It’s not the words, it’s the living of them.

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.

 

 

Heart of Stone


This last year or so has been an epic quest for me to find my heart. My adventure started in a dull and dimly lit place, where no one could hurt my feelings or ego, because I didn’t care enough to be hurt. No one could ever stomp on my dreams, because I packed them away, and rendered them unimportant . It was a safe, colorless, monotonous place of emotional paralysis. For a lot of years, I preferred it that way.

On the flip side of that, when I wasn’t busy not caring about life, I was borderline rage/confrontational. I wasn’t going to take any crap off of anyone.

I’m not sure exactly when I realized that I couldn’t feel anything wonderful either. I couldn’t turn off the painful stuff if I wanted to feel the good, and I couldn’t feel any quality of emotion when I was shut down to protect myself.

What a dilemma, and how exhausting it was. I finally became fed up with being unhappy about my little diatribes, and my attitudes, so I began to give myself instruction toward peaceful living.

Please understand that when I first stepped out of my dimly lit and lifeless room of monotony, I had no clue how to move toward peace. I only knew I had to find it. Somewhere out in the great unknown.

I began by acting peaceful. This first step was awesome for the rest of the world, but for me, not so much. There were many times I was certain that I would implode from the pressure of my self-control holding in my anger, or explode from my failure to do so. I read, studied, read, studied, meditated, yoga, read.

I became my own patchwork guru of survival and thrival (I know, I did just make up a word). I didn’t want to LOOK peaceful, or ACT peaceful. I realized at some point I needed to BE  peace, and it was buried beneath all this ridiculous garbage of life I carry with me every day. I mean, it IS my garbage, so why would I just dump it?

I found a yoga teacher, who became a sister/friend to me. I was able to say to another human being how hard and locked up I felt inside, that I felt I needed to bust my heart open. The constriction of it was no longer acceptable to me. I wanted to be the me I vaguely remembered who was unafraid of joy, or risk, or honesty of emotion. The fearless girl. Mendy was amazing. I really don’t know how she came to be my gift at that time, because I didn’t have anyone I felt safe enough to be honest with about what I dreamed or wanted. I felt and heard her genuine acceptance and belief in me and what I would achieve, and it has given me confidence to continue on.

I have learned to decide, when I become angry, whether to address the cause at the time~or accept it’s not worth my attention and let it go. I’ve learned to expect to be treated differently, that I get to decide who I am and what I do. Absolutely no one else has that power or authority over me. I’ve learned people are the most important thing, and that I am one of them. I’ve learned to be kind to me, to listen to my intuition, to hug my inner brat for wanting to lop off heads and just let it go. Let it go.

I am learning that my excitement doesn’t need to be contained or watered down so people are comfortable with it. Isn’t that what led me to my locked up sad place? Yes it is. I can be brave and try things other people won’t. I can be fearless and give up things that no longer serve me. I can dream as big as I want and know that what the Universe has for me is even bigger than what I can imagine for myself. I don’t have to stay where I am and be who I’ve been. I can keep changing every day until I run out of days, and I’m excited to see what version of me I’ll become next.

I am softening my heart, doing the work to open up to life so I may actually live it. I will open my heart, unafraid, so I have the ability and the desire to love my family and friends, and be involved in a community of like-minded individuals because we’re really all a part of each other anyway.

I will be strong enough within me, to accept you as you, and not the potential clone of  me that I want to turn you into. I won’t change myself, I’ll just uncover me by dumping my garbage where it belongs, and admiring you for doing the same when you’re ready.

Let’s crack it wide open, let the Light in.

Mommie Dearest


The one thing I have always been sure of, beyond any doubt, is that I would be a wonderful mother. I knew I would do everything in my power to give my son unconditional love, trust, faith in his ability to find his way, support in his dreams, belief in his ability to achieve whatever his goal, and a safe place to rest his heart. Always.

While I believe I did the very best I knew how, with the knowledge I had at any given moment, I have come to that moment when I’ve learned too much. I know what I could have been, and done, and shared,  with more heart and wisdom. It is a humbling place, and it could be a heart-breaking place if I let it.

I would have given more support to who he was becoming instead of who we, as parents, thought he should be. I would have honored his spine more and worked to protect him less from those who had different ideas of who he should “become”. I would have gone to Wal-mart and picked up a spine for myself, adding mine to the strength growing in his. I would have encouraged the lean towards guitar, and art, and skiing, and a mohawk. I probably couldn’t have stopped trying to dress him in color, but I digress, that is just me.

I have discovered an interest in a class called “Parenting By Design”, a 4 week tele-seminar being taught by Elena Brower on behalf of the Handel Group. I have thus far stopped myself from signing up because my son is an adult now, fairly recently out of the USMC after a short trip to Afghanistan.  But I am still a parent, a mother, striving to be an example of how to communicate, solve relationship issues, love unconditionally, forgive the same way, accept each person as they are without the pressure of expectations from others. To diffuse my rage and anger at the world for his disappointment and disillusionment. To stop myself from the horrible pressure of fixing what I “see” is wrong for him, because IT IS NOT MINE TO FIX.  And it may just not be wrong at all for him at this time in his growth.

I thought I only wanted him to be happy. But I’m starting to realize that I want HIM to want to be happy, to find that within him, to seek peace for himself. I am beginning to understand that he will not get what he deserves in life until he thinks he deserves it, and that for me to want him to be happy for my sake is very selfish indeed, not to mention impossible.

So I am sitting here tonight, thinking that since I am still his parent, his Momma, what does that mean for me now? Do I still want to be an example of what unconditional love looks like? Yes.  Should I be an example of respectful communication, and honoring boundaries? Yes.  Should I embody forgiveness as a strength and freedom? Yes. Am I capable of showing him that joy comes from within? I’m working on that.

I’m leaning towards a helping hand from Elena’s seminar  so that I can grow up to be a really awesome Momma, a person capable of changing a heritage of guilt and obligation to a legacy of love and growth. I’m leaning so far, I’m about to fall over. And I REFUSE to believe it is ever to late to change the legacy I pass on to the next generation. Starting with one, no matter how old he is.