06 Dec 2013
Tags: abuse, apologizing, authentic life, awareness, Carl Jung, experiences, forgiveness, guilt, humanness, I'm sorry, inspirational writing, life, love, mental-health, psychology, relationships, remorse, resentment, self-esteem, self-worth, shame, stories
I had a dream in the early hours of morning about a visit to a therapist. Dr. Carl Jung sat across from me with a giant desk in between us. I remember asking, “Dr.Carl, this is very impersonal. Is there a way we can sit next to each other without this desk in the way?” We moved to the area where I sat on the sofa and he sat on a comfy chair across from me. I began with apologizing for my brokenness. It was a long dream. I was woken by my boyfriend while crying. The details aren’t important. What is relevant is my sense of apologizing for my emotions.
I have always had the “I’m Sorry Syndrome.” And when someone asks me to stop apologizing I apologize for it again. I know where and how it stems from. There has to be a barricade to this agonizing need to please others. As women we tend to do it more frequently than men. Childhood traumas, abusive relationships and just pure self-esteem issues cause us to immediately sneak in the apology to smooth things over with another person. But, sitting across from Carl Jung I realized it wasn’t necessary.
We tend to apologize for everything. I apologize for interrupting, for feeling a certain way, for being early to an appointment, etc. Heck, I apologize just for laughing or crying while thinking I am making the other person feel uncomfortable. And, let’s not even discuss the apologies I shell out when the other person has done me wrong and I end up apologizing for them.
The word “sorry” is magical. It opens hearts and allows for forgiveness. However, that same word can be a crutch in not allowing self-worth to grow in a positive manner. We apologize for our parenting skills, professional choices, schooling, loving too deeply or not loving enough. We apologize for not wearing the right clothes, not having enough money, and having a bad hair day. We apologize for so many senseless acts based on our emotions. When do we stop this self-sabotage outrage of losing our self onto another? Why do we apologize when we find our voice and want to express it? Each time an apology is dished out we are serving a part of our worth and letting that person hold the key to our emotions.
I remember my ex never apologized…ever. So, I spent years apologizing every time he did something wrong or hurtful to me. I would end up apologizing for a fight or disagreement. The common answer from him was, “If you weren’t the way you are then you wouldn’t push me to act this way. I accept your apology.” Typical narcissism personality disorder to the oomph degree! In these moments an apology is like white-out. It is covered up but always still underneath it all. When you’ve wronged or hurt someone an apology is a must!
Some of the questions I asked Dr. Carl (as I kept calling him) were: “What is my purpose here? What do I do with myself from here on? What can I bring to this life?” I believe I had a few more universal questions in regards to my existence. I can’t remember right now. What I do remember is the feelings of shame and displacement. I recall the brokenness of remorse and guilt. In the middle of the conversation I can still feel the sense of self-criticism and judgment while apologizing for the past and the lessons that I’ve learned from such traumas.
As a child I wasn’t heard. My mother had me at 44 years of age. She was too busy going through menopause when I was just starting middle school. Puberty was something you did and never discussed. I apologized for my mood swings, for wanting to be with friends, and for needing to just be left alone without her around. I apologize for my ultra sensitivity, my need to be perfect in school, and anything that she could not relate to as a teenager in the 80’s. I was expected to be seen and not heard. This was most people of my generation. Now that I am my mother’s age I see the difference the generation gap created. The need to apologize is a weakness rather than a healthy characteristic when the resentment is for wanting to honor your feelings.
When do we stop this nonsense of putting everyone else in front of our own needs? When and how do we break the pattern of justifying what we want with an apology? When do we start to live authentically…now or the day we are dying?
I believe that a dream with an archetypical world famous psychologist was exactly what I needed to reflect and cease those things I keep struggling to fix. I cannot continue to be sorry for the person I am or continue to become. If I happen to ruffle a few feathers along the way I have to accept it is a reflection or projection of that other person. We must stop apologizing for evolving and wanting to live authentically. Let’s put the word “sorry” back to its real context once and for all.
“The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.” ~Red Auerbach
04 Dec 2013
Tags: Christmas, Christmas tree, decorations, deep awareness, divinity, experiences, God, growth, holding love, holidays, home, humanness, intimacy, journey, letting go, life, loss, love, missing, psychology, relationships, Season, spirit, stories, Tree
As things wind down this week, the holidays upon us, the stress of it all created by the commercialized sensationalism of the media I step back and breathe. All I want is peace and love. It doesn’t matter what day or month or year. All I wish for is the serenity of waking up and feeling the lightness of the life I have chosen to live. It is beautiful. In spite of challenges along the way (because that’s what makes it interesting) I can accept that simplicity is underrated. I crave for it even more during this season.
My boyfriend, Matt, shared with me months ago that he did not celebrate Christmas. I wasn’t going to decorate this year. A few weeks ago he said he wanted a Christmas tree. He hasn’t put one up in eight years. How can I disregard this? I used to go all out and put several trees in my old house. It looked like a miniature Biltmore Estate. Garland, decorations, lights…the pages of Better Homes & Gardens and HGTV seem to vomit everywhere. So, here in this simple new life I looked at this man that loves me and he asks for a tree. You better believe there is a tree going up and he will be the one to decorate it! Yesterday morning we bought a real tree. As we went up to the shed to get the boxes of decoration he became overwhelmed, “Babe, I only wanted a small tree with some decorations.” I respect that. I told him to pick whatever he wants and enjoy the process. I want him to enter our home every day and feel welcomed. I want him to find the peace and love I find each time I come home and snuggle in his arms.
“Welcome home!” I want my life to say that. I want it to salute every person who enters my space, not just my home, but my presence and feel the simplicity in those words. I want to create the atmosphere of love, blessings, comfort and peace. Whether they enter our home, the retreat center, or I enter their own space, I want to believe they feel those words. Home is the heart of our spirits. A house is a building, but home can be anywhere your spirit welcomes another. “Welcome home!” Welcome home to that place of simplicity, love, serenity, joy and communion. Welcome to the life your spirit craves to share with you and others. I am learning that the purest form of an authentic life is in allowing others to love and feel loved no matter where they are.
I will never forget a famous quote by the author Toni Morrison: “At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.” The beauty of arriving to the place of love and salutation is the best legacy you can leave for another…especially in this season that has been forgotten. Welcome home, my friends, welcome to your life. Find the joy in the simplest of things. I promise that the spirit of divinity projects an amazing light from that place. I invite you to come and enter as you share the story of you…!
02 Dec 2013
Tags: asking for help, children, deep awareness, experiences, faith, God, grace, growth, hiking, holding love, holidays, humanness, lessons, letting go, life, loss, love, materialism, meditation, mental-health, motherhood, mothers and daughters, mountain, outdoors, parenthood, psychology, rawness, relationships, spirituality, stories, strength, surrendering, true love
I woke this morning and hit a wall (literally and figuratively). I was half asleep walking out of my room when out of nowhere the wall socked me on the forehead. I stood back and looked at it is dismayed. What the hell? I continued walking down the hall rubbing the spot like a magical lamp, waiting for a genie to pop out and grant me a wish. It was there and then I broke down. I sat at the kitchen table sobbing. My daughter returns today from seeing her father. She has been gone a whole week. The last time she visited him was last Christmas with her brother. When they returned my son decided he couldn’t live with me any longer. Things were promised to him that were beyond my reach. Now, I wonder how her behavior will be when I pick her up at the airport this evening. Will she find the grass is greener in Miami? She’s my last child, the baby of the family. I cannot give her the material things her father can. All I can give her is love and time. He has a way of facilitating love with money and substituting it for the absence of time.
I sat down holding my head between my hands. I can’t do this again! This is not something I do easily. I can’t fight the emotions that come up when I think of my children and how two of them have chosen to keep me out of their lives. I understand that they arrived later in age and never adjusted to having a structured family. Regardless of their choices I love them and hope one day they can accept my unconditional love as a guiding light. No matter what I do or say it will never be of their acceptance. The only thing I can do is remain distance and send prayers every day.
There are moments in our lives that require a good head knock. We are constantly going and going and going while avoiding the emotions. I spent the entire week of Thanksgiving avoiding emotions. Yesterday I got up, bundled tightly with warm clothes and trekked up a mountain. I walked the 3-1/2 miles with such speed that when I got to the top my hips ached with strain. Each movement required me to suck in the tears. I didn’t know how I was going to come back down another hour and a half. Something happened while I was on top of the world. I sat down on a boulder and stared at the view. I was closer to God. It was there that I realized what was bothering me so deeply, why I had been so moody for days, and why I was so overly sensitive. Heading back down, knees giving out every so often, pain on my hips causing a huge discomfort with the descending steps, I allowed myself the gift of meditating. Walking meditation has always been a powerful tool for me. I put my instrumental music on my IPOD and I don’t know how I made it back down. Before I knew it I was walking into my house.
This morning’s head smack allowed the pent up emotions to subside. This season of giving is not fun when the finances aren’t there. My daughter will return with an abundance of “things” that I can’t provide at the moment. Now with my head throbbing, my body aching from yesterday’s hike, I can’t fight the inevitable: I have to honor the rawness and ugliness of events from this past year. I sit with tears trailing down my face. All I have are prayers and faith that whatever happens is meant to happen. Love is a powerful emotion. It is strong in binding and letting go. Love requires the soul to surrender. Its only expectation is that you listen attentively to yourself. My ego has been non-stop bickering and all I can do now is sit patiently and allow whatever is meant to happen.
You, reading this, perhaps have gone through similar experiences. You are not alone in disappointments, hurt, betrayal, ugliness, judgment, bigotry and distrust. You aren’t alone on your walk. There is a point that we require peace with our mental stability. I have avoided going to see a therapist for almost a year. Today, the head banging knocked some clarity into my stubbornness. I am too far inside my own emotions to see the light. It is time. With the holidays upon us it is not the best time to go solo in testing my strength. My hippie-unicorn mentality can’t fix this imbalance alone. My wish for you is that if you are in a similar space that you accept someone to help you. It isn’t failure. It is about self awareness, surrendering and love. The hardest thing to do for most of us is ask for help. You are not alone…ever! Mucho love to you.
30 Nov 2013
Tags: acceptance, growth, holding love, intimacy, love poem, myth, outdoors, relationships, romance, serenity, silence, snow, spirituality, true love, winter
Snow falls hard.
Whiteness equally distributes
throughout the pond.
I raise the blinds
letting the light illuminate you.
I nuzzle under your space,
burrowing into oblivion
as you gather my heat
watching serenity pounding
against the sweaty windows.
I raise your arm to wrap you
around like a coat
I’ve never experienced this before.
The beauty of the outdoors
is nothing like the one inside
as I inhale
taking your smell through the pillow,
your nose caving into my hair,
your breath warming my neck.
I want nothing else.
I can’t imagine the many memories
this will conjure up
in the future
when I lay witnessing
erasing the past
while making room
for the myth of you
25 Nov 2013
Tags: awareness, cuddles, deep emotions, extremities, holding love, humanness, intimacy, life, love, love poems, lovers, magnetism, poetry, relationships, romance, true love, warmth
You are never far
from my extremities.
On our bed
limbs journey towards you,
toes rubbing against
the warmth of your legs
nudging at flesh,
kneading through muscles,
digging for the promise
for assurance in
bridging the distance
between here and there.
You allow for it,
enticed by the hunger
of a give-and-take affection
as we silently converse.
Whenever I get lost
in a book or movie
I find your fingers
under mountains of blankets
for more love
between the quietude
that defines the comfort of us.
And in one moment
you take my hand
that last kiss of night
on the palm of my skin
to remind me
of the things
I don’t have to say.
24 Nov 2013
Tags: acceptance, awareness, beauty, cold weather, complaints, depression, discomfort, disconnection, diversities, divinity, Ego, emotions, experiences, growth, humanness, letting go, life, love, mental-health, mountains, outdoor, peace, psychology, relationships, serenity, spiritual writing, stories
It is 18 degrees outside. That’s what reads on my computer screen. I don’t know. To me it might as well be -5. I am allergic to the cold weather. Why do I live on a mountain, you ask? Well, we came during spring and moved in summer. I never experienced the cold. Had I been here during a 25 degree morning it would’ve been the end of my expedition to Western North Carolina! God had other plans.
I come from a tiny island in the Caribbean. It is always warm. I was raised in South Florida. Sixty degrees for us Floridians is like 20 degrees for everyone else. We get out the jackets, scarves and boots. I know I am acclimating to this weather after three years because when it is 50 degrees here I am in tank tops and shorts.
I have been told that my problem with cold weather is the lack of clothing. I don’t like to bundle up. I hate wearing layers of material. The other day as I was winterizing my closet and I was changing my sundresses to another space I became rather discontented. I don’t enjoy the thick sweaters on my skin. I don’t like the amount of extra crap rubbing on me. It just isn’t a part of my DNA. I like flowing and light fabric on me. I love feeling the sun on my shoulders, arms and legs. I like to get up and go and not worry about hypothermia.
This morning’s blog is not about complaining. It is about acceptance. We will always complain about something or other when it doesn’t align with our comfort. It can be about a job. It can be about a relationship. It can be about a new pet. Whether or not you embrace the issue is not as important as making peace with it. Is there a difference? You betcha! I can embrace a person who is annoying me and still feel nothing. The moment I find peace in their presence…then I am embodying their entire spirit. See the difference? It is about making peace with everything around you. You don’t have to like it. But, if you accept the discomfort and learn from it then you have given yourself the permission to find serenity. Our egos have a hard time letting go of discomfort. The ego will nag about it. It will create drama, twist and turn, churning the simplest issue into the most complicated event. Ego will always participate in the large spectacle of narcissistic behavior. “Look at me. I am so freaking tired of this and that! Woe is me! Can’t you see how miserable I am!”
The cold is just like any other uncomfortable emotion. It doesn’t feel good. Depression, sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, and helplessness are unpleasant feelings. We complain about them, sometimes allowing them to stay with us for a while. But, just like the cold, there are options to eliminating them. The ego will fight that rationale to no end. “No, I’m not going to the doctor! Nope, I am not going to talk to someone! Absolutely, no way, am I going to address this crap!” The emotions become waves of icy water passing through. Just like hypothermia there can be casualties.
I have to go outside to drive my daughter to work in this wonderfully delicious Siberian weather. As I venture to the unknown wilderness of discomfort I will make peace with the achy bones, runny nose, and the shattering of my teeth. It is only for a short while. What’s three to four months in a lifespan? Really not bad! Imagine all the discomforts we allow for ourselves in our lifetimes! Think of all we “put up with” for years when we have choices we can make to change.
I love these mountains. I love the seasons (minus the winter) but I can live with the cold. However, I refuse to live with anything else that brings me discomfort. I won’t tolerate long periods of putting myself through chaos. Peace and tranquility are my roommates now. Go bundle up and enjoy this day. Keep warm and make peace with those things that you know are only momentary. Mucho love!
23 Nov 2013
Tags: acceptance, allowing love, authentic self, beauty, body image, compassion, deep emotions, fabulous, fears, gorgeous, humanness, inspirational writing, letting go, love, Marianne Williamson, mental-health, negative talk, psychology, relationships, self-love, society, stories, talented, traumas
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”~ Marianne Williamson
Matt (my darling boyfriend) rolls his eyes and laughs most of the time when I compliment him. It bothers me that he doesn’t see his fabulousness. I find this man not only physically attractive but highly intelligent and stimulating. He brings out the best in me as I am always in awed of him. When I ask him, “Do you know how amazing you are?” He asks me to “please stop.” I tell him to take it and own it. When the tables reverse and he compliments me I ask him to “please stop with the nonsense and go check his eye sight.” Imagine that! I have come to realize that we are the sums of those traumas from the past and all the peeps we handed our worth on platters. It is time we take it back and stop fearing our greatness, fabulousness, and awesomeness!
I have never had a healthy acceptance of compliments, especially about my body or talents. We can spend hours analyzing the root of this issue. If hundreds of hours in therapy did not correct it I doubt that this post will. But here is the thing I have learned about compliments and self-worth: we truly fear them. For the most part we hide behind what society expects from us. An older woman who was my neighbor at 18 (she was 94) said to me, “My sweet young woman, when someone hands you a flower what do you say? You say ‘thank you.’ So, when a person compliments you look at them in the eyes (even if you don’t believe it) and accept the gift.” Over twenty years later I get the reason why. If you are forced to share the moment and look at that person (stopping everything else in your head) you may see that they are genuine. We have been accustomed to disregard our worth, the natural beauty in our existence, and beat ourselves up because we can’t fit in some kind of social acceptance or perfection.
Body images change with fashion and fads. Decades determine if size 10 is a healthy average woman’s size or size 2 is the new size 6. Should your collar bones stick out so you can use them as soap holders? Should you plump up your lips like a bee stung them? Is it healthy now to let your eyebrows grow out or should we still be plucking them into an arch that puts the shock factor on your face along with botox? I can’t keep up, can you? I stay away from those fashion magazines. I have never been good at following directions.
When I look in the mirror lately I don’t see myself. It isn’t that I sit there examining. It isn’t the natural beauty of my salt and pepper hair (finally able to see who was under all that fake color). I stare at the reflection brushing my teeth, often times in la-la land but catch a glimpse of a middle age woman who has come into her own. I feel sexier now than I did in my twenties when I had a breast reduction, liposuction and the insane habit of dieting until I would faint. I have many more laugh lines, wrinkles, freckles, and age spots. Each one of them maps out some incredible lessons. I have a flabby but healthier body that climbs mountains, drinks wine, loves lattes, and at times indulges in some delicious dessert that I can’t pronounce. And, yes, a few times a year I give everything a break and detox the middle age part of me giving up everything for a month or two or four until my friends beg that I go back to carbs, “please” because I am nicer when I eat junk.
I love watching the love of my life move. I love studying his strong middle age body. He might not like it but I find that each scar, dimple, and extra space is what allows more of him to love me. Each time I embrace him I feel like I am with the sexiest man alive and I can’t understand why a magazine hasn’t posted this on their front page. To me it is headline news.
As Marianne Williamson writes, “who are you not to” see yourself as beautiful? Don’t let society determine what is beautiful. At what age do we stop worrying about body image, and what needs to be done, tucked, fastened, or covered up? You are beautiful: curves, flab, scars, more or less. It is the body given to you to journey on this life. I don’t want to be perfect. Hell no! That’s a lot of pressure. I want to be loved by those around me because of how I reflect parts of them. If I can make you smile then I have done my part for the day. These days when you hand me a compliment I will take it as a flower, put it in a vase, and relish that someone thinks I am special, beautiful or whatever else your spirit sees in me. The returned words, “thank you” are magical in so many ways connecting us to each other. Now go flaunt your spectacular-ness into the world.