Sunday, January 25, 2015

Finding what has been lost - Grace

With life you get hurt. Sometimes it is just little things said to you by people that say they love you other times it hard hurts where you feel like you have been gutted and left for dead. You think you will never be the same and that is true but what can you do but keep moving.

You know you have lost small chunks and big chunks of yourself but you learn to function as this new person you have become.  You get use to feeling less than the person you were and eventually you accept that this is the person you are and then the memory of who you were fades all together. 

This is the point of acceptance and it feels pretty god to give up or give in. You can stop trying so hard and spend your time doing something besides thinking about trying to get back to the person you were. I feels like freedom.

You get on with it you do what is required of you everyday. People look at you the same they don't know that there has been a shift within you. You don't know this yourself except you have more energy you feel a little lighter and a lot less emotional.

Finally one day out of the blue something happens that makes you laugh. It feels peculiar but it starts to happen more often and then there is the singing in the shower.

Many months later you realize that without explanation you have returned to yourself. You are not the same but actually better. You know that something extraordinary has happened and you accept the grace that has been given to you. Once again.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Better Dream - More letting go

I heard the phrase "a better dream" today and it struck me by the power of these few words. Life for me has been about achieving a dream of emotional happiness. Finding the dream of a life where all the boxes had been checked and in the end would make me feel love and satisfied with my life.

For most of my life I tried many different ways to create the dream that seemed to work for a lot of people. I lived a very conventional life during two long term relationships. The the relationships didn't survive and when the second ended I nearly didn't survive. I had lost my best hope of achieving the dream I had in my mind.

I have been forced to look at what I have done with my time here on earth. Some would say it is just life but I expected better or I expected that it would be easier to to create a life with another person and I expected that it would be permanent.

I have always been a dreamer thinking that everyone finds the kind of love the love we see in the movies or the kind of love my parents had. The kind of love I might add that nearly destroyed my dad when my mother died.  I am have been like him with every relationship lost I have felt devastation. A bit dramatic but it felt like death each time.  I held tight to the dream of living life a certain way experiencing the ups and downs and having someone standing beside me.

I have given up on the pursuit of that one dream for a better dream. The dream of living each day with the expectation of wonderful moments where ever they come from. With some painful maturity under my belt I can admit I have no idea what will make me happy today or any day in the future.

I feels really good to be free from the responsibility of searching for something. I can reclaim all that lost energy and just live my life and that is what I am doing. I can have a better dream one that doesn't have to look a certain way. I can be open and let my life flow towards me instead of chasing an old dream that never really worked for me anyway.

A better dream......

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Three of Me - Living life a new way

I have been a selfish person most of my life. This doesn't mean that I didn't do a lot of things for people or that I didn't make plenty of sacrifices of my time and energy but most of the time the pain in my mind got top billing. I lived despite the circumstances I carried around in my mind.

I have experienced a lot grace throughout the years and have be reborn emotionally many times. At the end different episodes of my painful life I would emerge happy and lighter but in time something else would happen and I would enter a new period of pain and again a rebirth.

The difference for me this time is that I feel like I see myself from outside myself. I can look at how lost I have been and see that this kind of pain and suffering is a selfish pursuit. It couldn't be helped  I was trapped with only my own mind to give me advice and that was a dead end proposition.

But I feel healed in a way I have never felt before. I can see that I have been my only friend and my only enemy all along. I have discovered grace once again and I am feeling extremely grateful today.

I believe we have three parts of us that live inside and we must find harmony within ourselves in order to find peace and happiness. We have our mind of course and then our emotional self and last but not least the spiritual self or our core self.

The mind is easy to explain. Your mind believes you can think yourself out of any problem. Your emotions show up when the mind can't solve the problem usually with a meltdown or a burst of anger. Both are just distractions and provide us with a temporary solutions and we can get caught in a loop that just fills our time.

The harder part to describe is the spiritual self or the real self. It is a part of you that knows what you really want at that moment. The part of you that says ugh when you agree to do something that doesn't truly feed you. It is the part of you that patiently waits until the other two are exhausted before saying just the right words that change your life. It isn't interested in a discussion or how you feel about things it just knows in that moment what you really want.

The trouble is that when life hurls rocks at you starting at an early age it seems our mind or our emotions take control and we spend our lives unbalanced feeling like we are just not right going back and forth between thinking and emotions.

My mind has always controlled me and my emotions played second only emerging in sadness and suffering. My thinking self knew sadness was the logical outcome in certain situations so it was acceptable to let my emotions take center stage for a certain period of time.

It never seemed like a war within. It all seemed normal just part of who I was. I was mostly unhappy and felt sadness even when some my dreams came true.

My awakening came when my mind and emotions were both exhausted and there was no one left to run the show. It was quiet there for a really long time and it was uncomfortable for a really long time. I didn't know what was happening. I had never lived in silence before but I didn't have a choice this time.

One day one moment I heard a voice. Not audible so don't lock me up but a small voice that said "you are doing this to yourself". My mind was so weak at that point it barely had an opinion. I didn't change a thing I was doing but I started to get better. I have always wanted to get better but this time my mind didn't have a plan. This getting better as you know took awhile but I had nothing but time.

My core self is managing my mind and emotions these day. I say managing because my mind isn't always willing to do what is best for me and demands top billing and my emotions don't honestly reflect the reality of the situation or the truth about why I feel the way I do.

My mind and emotions grew from my childhood experiences and it is taking time for them to grow up and see I am no longer a child. My spirit wasn't affected by those experiences because it only lives in the moment. It has been watching and waiting for its turn and that time has come.

With  this balance life feels more like a vacation than a war. I am looking forward to what life has to offer now instead of bracing myself for more of the same. I know there will be ups and downs but now I know I can face them without fear.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Insecure - Getting over myself

I found myself alone tonight. I thought I was going to church with a friend but he said he would prefer that we just have dinner at my house. He then left me a message saying he was at the church.

This stuff happens with us a lot but it felt particularly hurtful on Christmas eve. My mind went right to this is where you are in your life. You are depending on someone that isn't capable of considering your feelings. It isn't his fault we who have been hurt a lot don't really understand how what we do or don't do can hurt other people.

I believe today that you should do what you want no matter what it keeps you from having resentments later. I do think you should consider how your decisions affect other people but in the end if you say yes to get along that ultimately there will be resentments.

What is a good balance? I have been at both extremes thinking so much about what someone else needs that I have lost track of my own needs. I did this because I wanted to see myself as a good person. I also thought that if one day I need the same support I would get it. That didn't happen. Today I realize that when I say yes it has to be without strings.

When I say no I try to communicate my decision in a thoughtful way. What I wish my friend had done is say "hey I changed my mind and decided I needed to get out tonight and decided to go by myself". It would have been honest and I wouldn't have felt rejected.

I am not without fault I have hurt a lot of people in my life. It wasn't intentional it was while I was consumed with my own pain. I only felt my own pain and didn't understand that other people have pain too or that I was inflicting the same kind of pain I was struggling to get over myself.

I can't say that I am all emotionally open now. I don't think I will ever be an emotional spicket it is too late for that now but because I am no longer consumed by my own pain I can be kinder to others.

I got over feeling left out tonight because I know I was feeling vulnerable because I am alone and it is a holiday where normal people have something to do or someone to be with. This of course is a story I tell myself it supports my old life story that I am not lovable.

I got over it because it is just one night and I don't have to do what I have always done and mentally feed this idea of not being lovable.

Tomorrow I will be with my friends having Christmas dinner and tonights insecurities with be long forgotten unless I want to revisit those thoughts tomorrow. It is my choice.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snowman Pens and getting on with life

Here we are with the holiday right upon us it never feels quite real to me. I think because the weather doesn't change too much here and because I lost my sentiment for all of it when I found away to be happy most of the time instead of picking just a few days out the year and squeezing all the happiness out of them that I could.

My co-worker bought us all snowman pens and then went around chastising those of us not using them. I use to be like that. Today she described reindeer cupcakes for next week. The rest of the time she is very unhappy and sees life as out to get her and life fulfills her request daily.

I have settled into my new job quite nicely and business is booming. The fear I had of never getting my mojo back has disappeared. With my confidence back I am selling at top speed. I really love what I do and I actually love my customers most of time.

I will admit as an introverted salesperson I do have to space out my appointments or take a nap between them. I learned that I feel the energy of the people around me that's what makes me good at what I do but it also makes me want to make them happy no matter what the cost.

This is a habit from living in a home of dysfunction. When I am at my best I step back and stay out of their drama and there is a lot of drama in design. The choices the money the mess it brings out the worst and best qualities. Everyone is happy to start with and then the thrill wears off and in the end  they feel like they are the only ones experiencing problems with their project.

When it is over usually a few weeks after completion they couldn't be happier. The have the kitchen of their dreams and we have moved on. New customers new dream kitchens.

Where I work now there is a steady flow of new customers which I like. Repeat customers are good but sometimes you know too much about them and what you are up against. I guess I deal better with the unknown than the known these days.

It is good to be out of survival mode. I am have been surprised by the energy I have without the fear dragging me down. Happy to be free and just getting things done.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My story - The end of a journey

I wanted to write tonight and let you know that I have changed.  I can't really explain what has happened to me but it feels like I have reached the end of a long road of searching for something.

Did I find what I was looking for?  I think I found myself it is true that I was here all along but I didn't know it. I thought there was something wrong with me because I have been rejected a lot.

I thought I was rejected because at the core of me I was somehow wrong. I wasn't like anyone else no matter what I did I felt different.  I was always on the outside. Even in my family I just couldn't go along with the program.

I tried hard to find and love what other people seem to think was important but it didn't stick. I could hang in there for a while until something inside of me started to turn sour. I only acknowledged the way I felt by telling myself that something was wrong with me.

Since I didn't know what it was or how to fix it my answer was to stay busy. I found projects, people and problems to solve. This kept the self loathing at bay for awhile but eventually it seeped to the surface and repelled everyone in my path. I drove away the people I loved into the arms of others.

In the end the pain of being me caught up with me and I surrendered and committed to finding out how to change myself. I found the program of Al-Anon. I found a place where everyone was working on changing to become  better people. It felt like a really good investment and l felt like we all had the same goals.

I found a family there and also learned that my beliefs were causing a lot of own pain. I realized my need to manage everything and everyone was a real problem because nothing in life can be managed. The best I can hope for is to manage my thoughts and to try to stay honest with myself.

This was all great and made my life a lot easier but I was still just treating the symptoms. I didn't know that it was the belief I had about myself that caused all the pain. It was the belief that I was unlovable.

The changes I made did make it easier for me to fit in and find someone to love me for awhile. It happened again the self loathing seeped to the surface. I hid it by being compliant going along with what was expected. Living a good life but not enjoying it. I didn't want to be there. I was set free again and it nearly killed me.

I had done everything right but it wasn't enough I wasn't enough. Now what? I had to start over with no clue. All of what I had learned before seemed like empty words to me. No magic cure this time.

I tried returning to what had worked before I even tried to reconnect with my family thinking that I needed to belong but I still didn't. I had to face the truth I was dead in water with no place to go.

I stayed there in that dark place for what seemed like a lifetime. I was alone and the pain was unbearable. With time I accepted that this was what the rest of my life would look like. I stopped resisting and just went through the motions of every day.

I stopped wanting or asking for anything. I let go and I got better everyday. I did anything that gave me comfort I didn't have any expectations of myself.

I started to see I didn't need anything and the darkness lifted. I was all I needed just as I was empty but full of grace. I had taken this journey alone and learned that I was enough and worth saving and I was loved.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Denial - New Eyes

I watch a lot of shows about transformation and today was no exception.  When a prominent chef is ask to come help a failing restaurant and the owner is in total denial about how bad the food is or that the menu is so complicated the servers can't explain it. I thought how can he not see what is so obvious to everyone else. That my friend is the way denial works.

For me I have huge pockets of denial about my own life.  First living with alcoholic and believing every lie that came out of his mouth even when my mind was screaming something is terrible wrong to being part of a business that was doomed to fail. Again my mind screaming this is not going to ever work I couldn't give it up.

Today while watching the show I thought, why is he doing this? Why to we refuse to see the truth until it is so painful that we can't breath or we have panic attacks?

I believe the cause of my own denial has been the future I have predicted for my self is over. I have to face my own fear of the unknown. If don't admit there is a problem then I don't have to start down that road of the many bad outcomes my mind can imagine.

Because of my unpredictable childhood I wanted to find a "normal life" and settled in where every day would be be nothing but happiness. Seriously I thought I could do this I could control the universe every detail all the time. I was immature with those beliefs. It wasn't my fault I grasp those ideas at a time in my life when the best I could do was survive. A child in survival mode sizing up the world from that perspective.

Of course life kept dealing out one crisis after another I made the assumption that I needed to work harder to prevent the next one. This worked and things got better and then I found myself there again surprised at the cards life had dealt me.

What has changed for me is that the last time when I had totally done my best and things still fell apart. The truth is I thought I was bad. Something was wrong with me and despite all the spiritual work I had done I could never be fixed. I would never be a finished product worthy of the good life that other people have. This idea made me want to die. I was not good enough and I had proof.

How crazy is that? My whole life's thought process was a child's survival mode. If I do things right and I am good then everyone is happy and life is good. If you aren't good and you disobey then your mother gets sick and dies and the rest of your family goes there separate ways and you are left alone.

I didn't want to left again so I started working on myself to become someone others could love and would never leave. Everybody left and this was proof enough for my eight year old self.

My life has been tiring living this way thinking this way. Waiting for the next mistake and I have made plenty and interpreting the fact that I have been left as proof that I am bad just like I was at eight.

No one told me in all those books I read that you can't be good enough for people to love you. Either they do or they don't. It isn't conditional on your performance all the time. Sure if you are a monster then you might spend more time with less people but some people really like monsters.

Today I try to not let the little girl in me take the blame for everything that goes wrong in my life. I try to accept that life is just life and everyday can bring good times or bad. Most days I accept that this is the case for everyone and no one has a magic formula for being happy all the time.

I really felt for the guy today that couldn't believe every belief he had about his life and his situation wasn't going to work. With the proof laid before him the success of the changes made against the failures of his own ideas was just too much. Change and maybe succeed or not change and definitely fail. I vote for change.

With the evidence so overwhelming he did have a breakthrough and accepted that to succeed he had to let go of old ideas and beliefs and try to look at his life with new eyes.