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The Waters Deep

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Relationships

I dreamt about you last night

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You were sickly and in a wheel chair.  But then you were swept up on what started out as a zipline, flying between electrical wires that changed to a magic carpet twisting and turning through the sky that was filled with giant bright colored animals.  I was worried you’d fall off.  You could barely walk.  I had to look away.  I was walking down a road with all the people I knew and loved.  I was looking for my sister.  She was magnificently beautiful and I had heard she loved you too.  I was afraid she’d take you from me.  Afraid you’d love her more.  I wanted to find her.  Threaten her.  Tell her to stop.  Then you were there again.  Walking beside us with a cigar in your mouth.  Laughing and joking.  Everyone’s attention was on you.  Everyone loved you.  You loved everyone.  We rode on your wheel chair for awhile.  Your arms around me and mine around you.  Then you were gone.  Off to visit and laugh and love with someone else.  I was invisible.  Watching everyone from far away.  They were walking faster and faster.  I wasn’t going to keep up.  I was staying behind.  I waved goodbye but everyone was moving forward, to something I couldn’t see yet.  I felt sadness but not sadness.

Chopping up the past

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What do I want to do? I mean really do?

It’s a weird thing to wake up at 50 and realize you finally have the time and resources to ask yourself that question.  The clarity to see that it’s not selfish to do so.

The excitement to discover that you love yourself enough.

What makes me happy?  Fulfills me?  Serves me?  What are my passions and life goals?

Am I living a true and authentic life while doing the best I can to love and help others?

Learning from the patterns of generations that came before me.  Recognizing and being willing to talk about them out loud.

I come from a long line of women who didn’t love themselves enough.  Who didn’t allow other people to love them.  They chose hard lives and hard living which resulted in a lot of bad relationships, of all kinds.

Generations of family who struggled knowing how to be family because of the inability to be self reflective without judgement, to love and be loved without fear.  To trust each other.

I’m gifting myself and my children and grandchildren a new heritage.   I want to be open to everything this life has to offer.

What do I want to do.  Love.  I want to do Love.

 

 

 

 

 

Saying No & saying Yes to Self-Love

Saying NO without an explanation is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

I said Yes to everything.   It’s how I ended up in two marriages I knew weren’t going to be good for me and in jobs that made me miserable.  I really committed to my Yes.  Then I was mad at everyone but me, not realizing I had all the power to change it.

I’d say Yes to almost anything.   A dinner that I didn’t want to go to.  A task I didn’t want to do.  An errand I didn’t have time to run.  A family reunion I knew I should avoid.  Yes.  Sure.  Ok.  Words that so easily popped out of my mouth.

Brain is saying, “Stop it.  Say No”.   Mouth is saying, “Absolutely, I’d love to do that for you”.

The struggle is real.60024135_125x125

 

I’d like to say I’ve totally got this one in the bag now.  I don’t.  But it’s getting better.

Pause.  Let Go of the urge to just say Yes, because it’s the easy way out.  Press my lips together as I consciously review if saying Yes is going to ‘cost me’ and if I have the energy reserves to do it without resentment.

I’ve also learned that a simple and kind, “Oh I can’t”  shuts the door on any attempts to convince you that you can and you will.   If you give People excuses or little white lies they’ll see a crack.  They’ll poke their foot in and start wiggling that door open.  They’ll get out the mighty ‘sword of guilt’, and chop the door hinges off.

Once that little excuse or lie comes out of your mouth you’ve really just said Maybe, and will soon be using up extra energy bucks to stomp around the house mad again.

As a child I was taught to do what other people wanted me to do, without question.  ‘No’ was met with a swift smack on the head.  It was disrespectful and rude.   It was Selfish.  

This is a truth I’ve had to un-tell myself.  It’s work.   But it’s worth it.

Saying NO, with no explanation why it doesn’t work for you, is a quick boundary we should never be afraid to put up.

It’s an expression of Self Love.

Evolving from Fight or Flight

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Most of my life I’ve struggled seeing the beautiful life right in front of me.

Joyful moments.  They never rang true.  Never lasted.   If I waited long enough or just peered around the corner I’d see the bad things coming.  I’d create them if I had to.

I was stuck in the belief pattern that Good things don’t happen to me.  Good people don’t happen to me.  I don’t deserve to be Loved.

As a child I lived in constant fear.  I was always in Fight or Flight mode.  There was no downtime.  Either parent could blow at any given time.  Sometimes separate and sometimes together.  You did everything with one ear open.  Listening for trouble.  Ready to hide when it came, if you were fast enough to get out of the way.   If not, you better be ready to fight.

We are genetically engineered for Fight or Flight.  It’s how we have survived since the beginning of time.  When that DNA is fired up as children we end up carrying it, like a torch,  into our adult life.  Drawing to us the same kinds of relationships that require us to rely on that familiar response system.  There’s some comfort knowing your terrain.

For me, it took a dark knight of the soul to break free from those patterns.  A complete breakdown of everything I knew to be true and a rebuild of my thoughts and beliefs.   I didn’t do this alone.  I got myself a great therapist who helped me unpack a few shipping containers of trauma.

I still have moments where I’m feeling absolute Joy and my brain will start wandering into dark territory.  I’ll see it.  Recognize that it’s Fear.  Breath deeply and let it go with my breath.  Touch my heart.  Give myself permission to be happy.  Really happy.  In every cell of my body.

I bring myself back to the moment I’m in and focus my thoughts on just that.  The Bliss.  I remind myself that I really do deserve to feel all the joy that comes to me.  All the love.  I’ll say the words out loud.  “You deserve this Joy.  You deserve this Love”.  Breath.

Fight or Flight.  I see you.  I just don’t need you anymore.  There’s been an Evolution.

Then comes the gratitude.  The overwhelming gratitude for a beautiful Joy filled life.

 

 

 

Are you an emotional thief?

Are you taking emotions that don’t belong to you?  Sucking them through the air, wrapping them around you like a wool cloak, letting nothing else in.  Wearing it as if it was yours in the first place.

When they are happy joyful emotions it can lift you up when you are feeling down and blah.  But if it’s not yours you can end up feeling emptier than you were in the first place.   Hollow like a chocolate egg.  Easy to crack open and see that there’s nothing but emptiness inside.

Sad, angry or depressed emotions are even harder to shake off.  They penetrate and lay just under the surface.  Thick enough to confuse you into thinking they might be yours.

When I get a surge of any emotion I like to pause, look at it and make sure it really belongs to me.  Examine the circumstances.  Ask the questions, “Am I really angry?”.  “Does this make my heart feel happy and content?”.  “Why am I sad?”

“Is this mine?”

If the answer is No, bat it away like a beach ball that has been flung at you.  Say to yourself, “Nope.  Not Mine”.

You can have empathy for other people.  You can feel happy or sad for them.  But if you wrap it around your shoulders and pack it through your day, you won’t have the energy to pack your own.

Beach ball.   Not Mine.  Not today.

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