You Deplete Me


You know who I’m talking about.

God forbid, sometimes we might BE that person. Let’s pray not. I hope never to return to that state of being.

The people with such powerful negative energy that you can feel your joy draining as you draw ever closer to them. The vampires of enthusiasm, the black holes of happiness, the terminators of positive re-enforcement.

The saying about the five people you hang around most? It only takes one. But there are many available to latch on to you during your downward spiral. You must be ever vigilant, especially around those growly bears you live with and love.

The key to living and/or loving growly bears is to consistently work on changing yourself only. NEVER attempt to change the growly bear. This only exhausts you, and causes resentment in the hearts of both parties concerned. Simply working to undo the damage you have done with your own attitude can be a fine example to others.

I used to think fighting fire with fire was the only way. Now I know that’s an excellent way to burn everything to the ground. Creating twice as much gloom and doom is not the answer. It erodes even the tiniest bit of peace I can find.

When I got tired of not having a haven to be happy, a refuge of peace and support, I began to look inside myself and build one. I had to start with me, and continue with me. Sometimes, I had to just walk away, then gently set a few boundaries of self-respect, and once in a while~ a little straight talk (very KIND straight talk).

Like every other practice, with repetition and re-enforcement, I am learning to deplete the negative forces in my life by removing my energy and focus from them. I focus on the good, the possibilities, the gratitude for the awesome that is right now. It is so true that what you feed is what grows.

Please don’t feed the growly bears.

Breaking the Chains


Time is a factory

where everyone slaves away

earning enough love

to break their own chains.

~Hafiz

 

The funny/sad part of this is~the love we are working so hard to earn is our own. The respect we want is self-respect. The eyes we want so badly to smile at us, are our own. We want to be proud of us, to know that when all else fails, the love and integrity we are will carry us. We will be victorious, we will break our own chains.

The other funny/sad part of this is~we put ourselves in the chains we need freed from. We are the ones who set the limits on our achievements, dreams, and willingness to take risks. We are the ones that said, “NO! Do what you should, not what you desire.  Be responsible, punch the clock, take the crap, do the duties, dim the light, don’t be ridiculous, foolish, stupid, wrong.”  We did that to us, no one else even helped until we gave them permission, WHICH WE DID!

I can be who ever I want, and do what ever I want. So can you. I can be a writer, poet, healer, teacher of meditation, mother, wife, daughter, friend. I can be and do all of these things. I can be a chaser of dreams, a healer of hearts, a lover of beauty, a sharer of joy. I can be a guide to the heart, and an example of how to know if you have one to find! You can’t stop me, nobody can, except me.

We live so small, think so small, dream so small. When we begin to transform ourselves by asking the first questions of who am I? and what do I want? we step into a power so astounding that many step back out quickly and consider themselves lucky. I’m more like the character in Pleasantville who refused to give up the color she was starting to see in her gray tone world. I’m with you sister, I like living in color and I’m not going back.

What Does Not Kill…


Today made yesterday look like a trip to the Enchanted Kingdom. Yesterday was such a steady ongoing call to the Dark Side that by bedtime I felt like a champ for maintaining good behavior. Little did I know what was in store for me today. Today was a balls out challenge to everything my ego ever supported.  I was in a situation at work that so insulted me that in a flash of a moment, all the mean, righteous “smack down” I ever worked so hard to dissolve, rose up in a heartbeat like a great monster tsunami to gleefully obliterate the irritating fly in my ointment.

For a moment, I could actually feel the victory of leaving this person boiling in the humiliation I was so ready to drown them in. Seriously. Did you actually read the last three sentences I just wrote? Not only did I really write them, but today for several critical moments, I meant them with my whole being.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t  have given any of this a second thought. But this is not a fairy tale, or an episode of Dexter. This is my constantly (I hope) evolving self, who at the moment of critical fail, chose not to use my well-known weapons of mass destruction. Fearing my lack of ability to speak with any kindness or wisdom at all, I put myself on momentary lock-down until my potential “begging to be a victim” escaped with his dignity intact.

I cannot express adequately the difficulty of this feat. My unfortunately legendary and much feared head-lopping abilities were appalled at being held back, and my ego begged to set things more than right. My mind kept telling me that letting this person get away with such a professional atrocity was not good for man-kind. Sometimes it is very important to smite someone most severely to teach them how not to behave. Seriously again. Can we re-read this paragraph?

I did the right and kind thing. Everyone lived happily ever after. Okay maybe not yet, but tomorrow after I calmly and kindly ensure that it is understood what will and will not be acceptable in the future, I will at least be at peace without losing the progress of my heart. But I will admit to you that IT IS KILLING ME. But that’s just the old ego talking.

What does not kill me, makes me strong. What does not kill me, makes me strong…

Pray for me. A lot. Thanks.

Back to the Dark Side


Today started out wonderfully, I woke up early enough to begin my first of 21 consistent mornings of yoga before meditation.

Those were the two wonderful things. The rest of this day has been a bit of a struggle with familiar irritations, and reactions. My ego saying “yeah, I’m right, and I will obliterate you with it!”. I wrestled with these things, but as of this moment haven’t allowed my feelings to negatively affect my behavior. I’m pretty black and blue on the inside though. Ha, ha?

Health insurance rates doubling for my people at work, a variety of ridiculous crap to address  after taking a day off Friday, a rare headache, some personal sadness with co-workers, and then the super effort required to keep myself in line when I perceive  repeated attempts of others to brow beat, manipulate and control people I love. I am doing my level best to change my perception to “repeated cries for love, attention, and self-esteem boost”.

I’m not there yet. But I am behaving as if I am so I don’t have to regret anything I put into play before I gain some truth and settle back into my heart.

Everybody has the occasional off day, but it feels like a hair shirt to me after a long stretch of balance. Tomorrow is a new day, and I can forgive myself for my insides without having to apologize for my behavior outside. This will be a red-letter event for sure.

I used to think (and sometimes still do) that it takes stepping up in the face of, the courage to confront, willingness to wield the mighty sword of justice to kick butt and take names to truly be a person of strength.

Now I know how much strength it takes to stand firm, speak the truth with dignity and grace, and be willing to be kind and forgiving to myself and others.  Unfortunately for me today, I have a lifetime of the last paragraph, and these new perceptions are brand new. So quite honestly, I have seriously pulled muscles withholding that which I must not bestow on others.

I am building my character, and it is painful pulling back from the Dark Side, but it is worth it. It will be. Tomorrow.

 

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.

 

Seeking Truth


We are  the Truth that we all seek

hidden behind the lives we share;

the struggles we have are each complete

life lessons to bring our truths to bear.

We are the Life that we all seek

disguised beneath the tedious toil;

the clocks we punch, the time we keep

and yet we dance on sacred soil.

We’re the Compassion we all seek

soft beneath the callous heart;

everything we deem as weak

is the injured place to start.

We’re the Forgiveness we all seek

woven through our judging minds;

knowing we are incomplete

in isolation, and acts unkind.

We are the Magic we all seek

distracted by our “worthy” goals;

knowing with each painful breath

we suffocate our very souls.

We are the Light that we all seek

dark with efforts made in vain;

caught by knowing only we

have the power to ease  our pain.

We are the Love that we all seek

growing gently in our hearts;

may all the powers that ever be

help us heal our broken parts.

We’re the Eternity  we seek

immortals from before our birth;

 Light of all Life, let light shine free

to show each soul it’s priceless worth.

~Shelly~