Sunday, October 31, 2010

Painting a New Me

It was the nicest day here and I finally got around to planting a bunch of plants given to me over a month ago. I have felt real guilty seeing them there in the driveway but I have been too swamped to do anything about it. So today was the day. Nobody was out in the neighborhood. I guess with church, Halloween and football they're so many choices. I could hear screaming so I am thinking our team was winning or some one's team was winning.

The plants looked dead some of them but I planted them anyway and hope for the best, sometimes plants can surprise you like that. I cleared out some old asparagus ferns that the previous owner probably planted 20 years ago I had to dig them up. I am sure I left enough behind that they will return when they are ready.

I worked in the studio this morning and painted some and then took an inventory of the paint colors I have. I have really evolved with my thoughts about painting. I had it rough in high school with all the super stars in the art class. The teachers always catered to them. Once my favorite teacher ask me and another average student to paint the sunset for the school play. We were excited and honored so we painted a fiery sunset and it took us all night. When the play opened and the curtain was raised it wasn't our sunset it had been over by one of the superstars.

We were crushed and I didn't want to ever go back to class. She could have told us we were so young and already felt insecure about our talents. But she was probably twenty something herself and didn't know how to say it wasn't what she wanted.

I didn't try to paint again until my mid twenties when I was unemployed and then only under the direction of the Bob Ross method painting on TV. Happy little clouds. I still have them and yuck. I was so afraid of being judged or feeling silly so as long as it looked like everyone elses I was happy. I was so sick an insecure.

I didn't paint again until this last breakup. When you are in a relationship your free time is not your own. It is made up of compromises and if that doesn't work you end up not doing anything but watching tv. I never really realized I was giving my life away a piece at a time or I should say an hour at a time.

So here I am alone and back to my first love creating. I like all forms of creating and watch all the shows that have to do with the creative process. Everything we touch and see was an idea in some one's mind or in the mind of God. It never gets old to me and if it does I will just create something new.

Since I came to Al-Anon, after my first marriage ended, my need to please others and feeling inferior, has just about vanished. I accommodate when it is a win win situation but what I have realized lately that I have to really listen to my gut before I say yes to do something. I can easily get to where I say yes because I can't think of anything else at that moment that I would rather do. But having nothing scheduled actually gives me time to think about things I do want to do.

Sorry, I went off on that tangent it is a big issue for me and something I have been trying to understand. Doing something is not always better than doing nothing.

Now I paint what I want. I like to paint ordinary things. I painted some light bulbs a couple of nights ago. So what, I am not that girl that was jilted in high school by her favorite teacher. Let's face it art is purely subjective and unless you paint like the masters, which was already done by the masters, who cares.

I evolved in the program and my art has followed. Relationships change even the relationship with yourself. It is good too, that the girl inside me can let go of feeling inferior and accept the gifts God has given me. It has been a long haul.

Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Flat Line - Bored to death

Home alone tonight watching bad movies, actually Flat Line a not so bad movie from the early 90's with all the famous twenty somethings. Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon. I also think one of the Baldwin boys was in it, I could be wrong. They were med students and decided they would experiment with death. Medically stopping their heart for a number of minutes and bringing themselves back.

After each had their turn they were experiencing some scary unresolved issue that haunted them until they faced it in this life. For some it was by making amends an for others it was by seeing that they were children and couldn't be held responsible.

It is the past that holds me back or really how I look at the past that holds me back. Tonight for me I feel restless and tired from the work week and not feeling like doing anything. I have had enough TV and so am sitting in my newly created den doing a little writing, which always makes me feel better.

The distant past doesn't haunt me so much anymore it is the not so distant past that has showed up. I know that everything is as exactly as it is suppose to be but is is me that is impatient.

Overall I have had a good day, I closed a deal this morning, visted a job site and then bought some new canvasses at half price. So I am bored tonight, I guess they're worse things. It is quiet and I am happy to feel like my house is finally becoming my home.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Finding the new me - I am enough

After rearranging my house I of course I had to think about why I did that. It was perfectly suited for entertaining and large gatherings. What I realized is that is not who I am anymore.

For the past two decades I have made more food than you could possibly imagine and served more people on a regular basis, than most people do on the the holidays. What I realized is, I have moved on. Don't get me wrong I loved cooking and entertaining like my version of Martha Stewart.

It felt good serving up bowls of love and creating the family I lost as a child. I needed to find out that even with all that I couldn't feel secure the way I did as a child. As an adult I have found that that love is conditional and the only way to make sure you are loved 100% of time is to love yourself. It isn't easy to think of yourself as lovable but we expect others to think we are lovable.

I have spent the past few months facing my own insecurities and loving myself despite them. Looking at the core of me and facing the fear that I am not enough. Enough for who? Me, I am not enough for me. New flash, I can change that thought I can't change whether or not I am enough for someone else but I can be enough for me.

It sounds a bit dramatic but this longing to be good enough for someone has held me back in so many ways. I feel somehow free for the first time in my life.

Last night I painted for the first time in a long time. In rearranging my house I converted a room that would be used for social occasions into a private studio. In a matter of a couple of hours I had a new painting. I feels really good to be a peace.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Letting Go - Again

The meeting has been postponed for now. For a moment I just wanted things wrapped up as I stated, yesterday. But I guess the timing isn't exactly right. God's time is perfection, mine is not. So I will wait and it will all work out the way it is suppose to, this I truly believe.

I am good with this delay, because I am busy and stressed with my schedule and truthfully it threw me off when a date was set. I just wanted to be done and free from the thoughts of what might have been.

I was re-reading Eat, Pray and Love last night and her summary of what she learned from her time in prayer and I could understand with such clarity her thoughts on love and our nature to seek a spiritual path. The peace we find when we step aside and let our higher selves run our lives. Without the fear and worry without grasping for something or someone to fill the void and satisfy our hunger.

Seeing everyone from a higher place, a spiritual place, can remove the feeling that it is personal and that ultimately we are not worthy of what we want so badly, love.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Can I trust myself?

It seems that sometimes I am last to know my true feelings. I have been blindsided time and time again by my own emotions. My mind says every things fine, you doing great, not obsessing content maybe even happy and then boom out of left field I am overtaken by sadness, depression and even love.

In relationships I am always the last to recognize the attraction or even the distance that has taken place. Why is that, am I so out of touch with myself that I don't notice or am I in my head most of the time and my heart is doing it's on thing.

I have set up a meeting with someone that I loved and lost. The timing was bad and it would have never worked. So we are meeting again for the first time since the drama has passed and we are both in different places.

It is my nature to analyze and process something until every nook and cranny has been analyzed. It is my way. It is my brain that does this, I can't be done until I am done. I can't be free to move on until I have completed this cycle.

So do I think there is hope, maybe. Does it really matter at this point, maybe. Can I accept the outcome no matter what, maybe. Do I have expectations, maybe.

The bottom line is I feel good about this and I think I need this to move on but, I don't trust myself.

Can I trust myself?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trading Spaces - Moving on

I spent the last two days rearranging my house. I have done this since I was about five starting with two twin beds a dresser and a desk. My Mom would find me laying up against the wall pushing the furniture around with my feet. She would roll her eyes and close the bedroom door, except during the time I had groovy beads instead of a door. She was a strict parent but only when it had to do with right and wrong, everything else was in the category of " how important is it? "

I was strong willed to say the least and she picked her battles with me. I am lucky even though she died when I was 11. She gave me a strong since of myself early on and it was a good thing because after her death I was on my own. I was a leader and not a follower and that kept me away from drugs and self-destructive behavior, I was no angel but the damage wasn't permanent, I don't think.

So changing my space this weekend says two things about where I am spiritually, first that my energy is back and second that I am ready for change, whatever it may be. I am not scared of the future anymore and I have accepted the past. I have been stuck in that in between space for so long, not knowing if I would ever be free again and just when I gave up, the funk of depression moved on.

I have a new space in my head and in my house. I am sure my mom is shaking her head about now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Standing in the Light

I was moved by an interview that Oprah did with Lisa Marie Presley about her relationship with Michael Jackson. It made me realize that it doesn't matter where you come from or how much money you have addiction still has the same effect on our lives.

She spoke about how special she felt when she was with him and when he let his guard down and let her in how she just wanted to stand there in that light and soak it in. But then the drugs would become more important and he would withdraw and leave her in the dark.

I understood what she meant and remembered how intoxicating it was to be in that light. I was special, I was a let in a part of an elite group. Sick attracting sick was really what it was all about. I needed for someone else to make me feel special because on my own I was nothing. I didn't have my own light so without theirs I was in the dark.

I could see it on her face even though it was 10 years ago the addiction to the addicted. We are the same lost and looking for something to fill the void left by whatever. Someone to save me to take me away from myself really. The voice in my head telling me that I was nothing if no one needed me.

I was surprised by the reaction I had to this interview and wondered if I could still get sucked in? I know I could, but it would be eyes wide open and no one to blame but myself.

I make my own light now and so that makes their light a little less bright.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting Fired - Sponsorship

I received a note in the mail this week from my sponsee letting me know that she has found someone else to do the steps with. It did not come as a surprise because for one I have been out of pocket and she has reached the 4th step and wants to find a quick and easy way to get through it. I say, good luck with that, I am still working on mine.

I think of the steps as more fluid and on any given day you can touch on some or maybe even all of the steps. I can understand the need to just do something I excel at doing something it is the waiting on my higher power to work in my life that I have trouble with.

She didn't like the Blue Print for Progress because it was to detailed. She wanted something to the point. I suggested the Big Book no one gets to the point quicker than AA since time is of the essence for the addicted. She said she looked at that but she didn't see what resentments had to do with the 4th step.

Resentments for me are where you identify the people that hurt you, first as a child and then as an adult. It takes maturity to face those resentments and see how they are holding you back. I was hurt as a child and my resentment is from a child's point of view and seeing that always helps the healing process for me.

Accepting that most of the things that have hurt me in my life were not about me but about the other person. I was just part of the fall out it wasn't because I wasn't lovable or good enough, I was just in the line of fire.

The flip side of the 4th step is even harder, who have I hurt? Because of my own stunted growth and immaturity I did things that I am not proud of to people that were in my line of fire. This was hard and ultimately making amends was a humbling experience and still is. I couldn't do this until I found compassion for myself and then I could relate. Before my walls were thick and my emotions were shut down.

So I have been fired, it is not personal and I feel that I have done my best. I am not perfect and don't have the answers for anyone. We each have our own journey and everything is in perfect order. I hate that phrase and only once in a while in the best possible moments of my spiritual life can I really see it and believe it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Under the water

I woke up sad yesterday and couldn't face the day so I didn't. It was my day off but I wanted to go in and get caught up but I couldn't make myself do it. I thought I was free from feeling like that but apparently not. I didn't beat myself up too badly but I kept thinking of all the things I could or should be doing.

It reminded me of the weekends after my husband left me. I spent Saturdays doing chores and being with friends and then Sunday the loneliness caught up with me and I wondered if I would be alone forever.

That time in my life didn't last forever and this time won't either. I met someone after three years of grieving and 16 years later I am at the end of another 3 years of grief.

I read the a passage from Courage to Change this morning I think it was yesterday's and it talked about that we are never in exactly the same place again, even if it feels like it. Spiritually we have grown even if we can't see it in ourselves.

My emotions aren't fact and the reality is that I have only been alone when I have wanted to be alone in my life. The three years that it has taken me to grieve is part of my own internal plan. I haven't been ready to move on and get back out there.

The days of sadness are pretty far apart now and it has been at least a month since I couldn't face the reality of my life. Progress not perfection is the fall back position. So I was under the water yesterday and today my head is just above water and tomorrow will even be better.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In the water

My day on the water was spectacular. I have never been in a kayak, once a long time ago I did go on a canoe trip. My ex got sea sick in boats so it wasn't something we did. The weather was amazing and the conversation interesting. It was strange to talk for three hours without actually seeing someone and not be on the phone.

It has taken me a long time to get in a small boat, I have been on some bigger boats but not any that I was the motor. I actually love the water and live on a little inlet. I think this is why I love Syd's blog so much and envy his stories of sailing. As a child I had the opportunity to sail once a summer and have some great memories. As an adult once when I was in my 20's my husbands friend from work had a sail boat and took me out for a few hours and I can still remember every detail of that day.

I am tired and my arms are weak but I kept up and did my share of paddling. I felt a little sick from too much sun and had headache by time I got home. I took some aspirin and I decided to soak in the tub to help my arms, but as usual I don't have the patience so I am writing instead.

I am grateful to do something different today and something that has been on my list for awhile. Being outside and doing something physical is a spiritual experience for me and makes me feel more a part of the bigger plan, what ever that is.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reality Check

I went to the counselor yesterday and I took a list of the things I needed to talk about. I can't really afford to go very often so I wanted to make the best use of the time. I didn't actually right it down but I felt I needed to get some specific answers to make sure I am not headed down the wrong path.

She of course believes there is no wrong path just different choices. I like that because it goes along with my belief of looking at everything from a higher spiritual place. I beleive we are spiritual beings and our lives here are a small part of the journey and we learn want we need to learn and then move on.

I haven't really wanted to understand why I haven't wanted to go back to my old schedule. I don't want to attend meetings, see friends or really do anything other than work. What I concluded and she confirmed is that because for the past 3 years I have been in such an emotional state that all my energy went into just staying a float and to do that I needed support and meetings and any distraction I could come up with to survive. On top of this work was really slow and I had all this free time to spend with friends doing whatever.

When I took time off and stepped back I realized that I was spiritually drained and needed time alone. Now work has picked up and I am spending my energy dealing with customers and probleming solving. I don't have the energy for both and I have to take care of myself and that means right now working.

When I went home last night I was exhausted. I called ahead and picked up some food and went home. I was too tired to even watch TV so I turned on my favorite movie and prompty fell asleep. I woke up around midnight and got ready for bed. I am now back at work and will be here late today trying to meet my customers expectations.

So I am just and introvert that needs a lot of down time to recharge and since my customers are getting my energy I have nothing left for anyone else.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Foggy Friday

I am heading off to my counselor in a little while to talk about some wheels I have set in motion the past few weeks. I feel strong enough to deal with it on my own but I thought it wouldn't hurt.

I am at a crossroads in my life where it seems the universe is starting to work with me instead of against me. Owning my reclaimed power recently has started opening doors and getting attention. What seemed impossible before seems possible now and somethings don't really matter anymore.

I met with someone in the program this morning who is aware that I have stopped going to meetings and in a round about way tried to get me to commit to meeting her at a meeting on Sunday. I kindly declined.

I am going kayaking on Sunday and it is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Each person must find their own way and I have struggled with this many times. What works for me, may not work for someone else.

I appreciate the concern but for now I feel nothing but freedom and it feels great.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting Bumped - pay backs

Last night on my way home from work I was tired and little distracted. I stopped a light and suddenly I got bumped it wasn't a hard bump, but enough. I looked behind me and a the driver behind me was actually missing. I could see some part of him doing something but clearly not focused on the fact that he bumped me.

The light turned green and I thought, what should I do? It isn't always safe, to jump out and confront someone, so I pulled off and as he passed wrote down the license plate number. When I got out and looked at the bumper it looked not perfect but not like it had been bumped.

I am a different person than when I started this spiritual journey. I probably wouldn't have ever jumped out or maybe I shouldn't say ever. It would have ruined my day though and my self-righteousness would have over flowed. It did bring back a memory of my own bumping past.

When I was in my 20's I had a Tercel and it had giant black bumpers I was a young whipper snapper and always in a hurry when leaving my complex. On more than one occassion I would look and see the car in front of me move forward and thinking they went I would pull out. You guessed it wham, I never did any damage, but I always got an ear full.

Stuff happens when your young and distracted and thinking of all the things life has to offer. When, where you are going is more exciting than the car you are driving. It brought back a funny memory of being once young and reckless. So I guess it was a little pay back for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The truth only belongs to me

I had another crack of dawn meeting this morning and got a chance to see the sun rise while speeding down the highway. I feel so grateful to be happy again that I felt emotional and was actually listening to music in the car. I haven't been able to do that in a long time.

The truth is my perception or idea about something. It isn't any one's reality but my own and when other people don't join in and put the same energy into my reality I get really pissed off.

I can only see my own perspective and deal with my own emotions. I am a slow learner, I just can't take things a face value or suck it up and move on. I have this huge learning curve that I face every time my life gets turned upside down. I have to analyze it to death before I can bring myself back from the dead.

This is my way and apparently the only way I know to process change. I think the analyzing just gives my heart a chance to heal.

So I am happy to be happy today and I am grateful I have work to do and I should go do it now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Burning the Past

I spent some time on Saturday cleaning my home office. The final frontier of grief, the paper work. I have paid for my neglect with the paper work but I really couldn't deal with it. I managed to keep the lights on but my phone did get turned off twice. You might be judging me now but I did my best, who needs a phone anyway. At least I have helped other people, during this time, even when I couldn't help myself. I was paralyzed by the reality of my life.

One emotional hurdle was in a bag of receipts, I found a postcard with a picture of my x's parents on it. They were on a month long trip to Australia and sent it to us. My gut reaction was to burn it, so I got out the lighter and set it on fire. I was standing there holding it and watching it burn and then the fire went out. I took that as a sign, so instead I put their picture on my home altar with other mementos of people that I love or have loved.

I am still a little hurt after 13 years not a word from them, but I am not angry anymore. I have stopped feeling like it is my fault when people leave. It isn't about me it is just how people are it is easier to let someone go than to face an uncomfortable moment, I get that. I have given of myself out of love and know that I have left something of myself behind in any relationship.

If the relationship is solely dependent on me to keep it together then it isn't really a relationship, is it?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Plastic Fast Food

I went to house this morning to bid on a job and when I got to the neighborhood every house on the block was in perfect condition except the one I was going to. First there was no house number the yard was full of weeds and there was a broken down motorcycle with a tarp over it and rusty cans of paint holding down the tarp.

The first thought I had was alcoholism or addiction. Of course that is a judgement on my part but experience tells me that it only gets worse on the inside. This does happen quite often in my line of work. You never know what you are walking into and I try to keep an open mind and just know I am exactly where I am suppose to be because that is where I am.

I turns out that they she lost her job then they had to sell their bigger house and then her daughters husband lost his job and they move in with their two children. The house is small and now has seven people living there. Her grown son started a kitchen fire an nearly burn down the house. The husband parents got sick and she moved them from Texas and then the father died and the mother has Alzheimer's and is now living in facility.

While she was telling this story the granddaughter was continually bringing me plastic food first a wiener with a bun then one without a bun and then a burger which I thought was a cookie and finally a piece of fried chicken and did I mention I was being sniffed by two big dogs.

The mom told me she had given up and said she used to be a neat freak with everything in perfect order but with all the changes she just tried to make it through the day. I get that, I have been there and I think sometimes a crisis can bring you back to ground zero, whats really important. You can live with much less and tolerate much more, no energy to focus on non-essentials.

I will probably get the job and help them to get the house back in order and spread some experience strength and hope. Today I am grateful to have my own journey.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Nothing Stays the Same

I am writing when I should be working. I have a lot of appointments and not much rest since the home show and I am a little weary. Still grateful but tired and could use some r and r and I will get it this time next week.

I had an appointment near my old house and my old life today. It seems strange like that wasn't even me who lived there. I always felt something was missing but I thought since I had a life a lot of people would envy that I should just be grateful an entertain myself. So I stayed like always until infidelity booted me out the door. Even though I hadn't been happy in a long time, leaving the safety of the known for the unknown shattered my life.

So what is certain? Not really anything except we won't live for ever or maybe uncertainty. So it is time I get on with life. I have grieved and in that grief I have honored that relationship. I am content to let it go and face the rest of my journey with and open heart and strength I did not have before.

If you are in pain and you think it will never end I am proof that it will. Just when you think my god I can't take one more day of this, you might just wake up and it's gone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back in time - Reflection

I worked the local home show this weekend and spent two days on my feet with my biggest smile and my best energy. The show was successful and ended a 6 tonight. I have already received one email for an appointment this week so life is good.

I shared the booth with someone we do a lot of work with and had a few moments to share about our families. I was telling him about my dad and what a really good man he really was and how my parents had the kind of relationship that most people envied. Mutual respect, commitment and love. They didn't always agree on discipline or politics and my mom thought my dad was too passive but to us they always presented a united front. Arguments were conducted behind closed doors and they never stayed mad for long.

My dad and I parted ways when I was young which I have written about before but we did love each other and said so before he died. He was man that came from a family where emotion was not a virtue and he managed to be loving in his own way. He loved us and passed on his analytical mind both me and my sister. I got his ability to fix things and attention to details.

It has taken me until now to let the past go fully and completely and to actually admire my dad. Commitment in relationships is hard to come by and he was committed, not to me, but to my mother for 20 years and after she died another 20 years with my step mother.

He was funny. He regularly farted in the car and blamed us kids. He would laugh hysterically at TV shows even when he was in the room alone. He could eat more than you could imagine and never put on weight. He would chase my mom around the house with bugs which as kids we thought was hilarious.

So to you dad I send my love across the not so great divide an know that we will meet again.