the universes we create

Confessions in Silence

Has it nearly been an entire year since I’ve written to you? I’d say time flies, but as years go this one seemed longer than most.

*gentle chuckle*

In some ways, I feel as though I’ve been selfish. Primarily because most of what of what’s written here has been for me. All the things I needed to say to myself I’ve shared with you. Let’s be clear, I know very little about anything significant for the world in general, rather the knowledge I’ve gained only truly applies to my particular journey. I write this because it’s true, but also no one solution can solve every problem. In my arrogance, I attempted to relate the micro of one journey to the macro of everyone’s journeys. For that, I must ask your forgiveness.

Some of you have been so dear to me,  the best of humanity. Others have taught me amazing lessons about who I thought I was or wanted to be, and you deserve my thanks as well.

I’ve learned there’s a difference between helping someone and simply supporting them. My previous course was to do as much as possible to “lighten the load” for other people. In the process, I stole their journeys by not trusting them to manage situations on their own. It also exhausted me because I tried to control circumstances that weren’t mine to control. The result – I screwed a lot of things up and take total responsibility for my actions.

By the way, I’m still working on the jumping in to rescue part.

I’ve learned that it’s not my job to live up to anyone’s expectations, and it’s not anybody’s job to live up to mine. Whoa. Talk about a mind-blowing moment. It happened when someone close to me was making demands about what they thought I should be doing. I said, “It’s not my job to live up to your expectations,” and the line went silent for a moment, then everything changed in the conversation. You see, my expectations for myself are unreasonably high. So much so, that I’ve spent a lifetime beating myself into the ground for not meeting them. This, of course, bleeds out on occasion to other people, until reality slaps me a few times, and I back down. That didn’t stop me from imposing mine and everyone else’s demands on myself, then one day I couldn’t, just simply couldn’t keep going. Mentally exhausted, emotionally strung-out, and physically incapable, I stopped, which may actually be the very first wise thing I’ve ever done.

Of course, I’m still working on that part too.

I’ve learned that my compulsive obsessive need to prove that I’m valuable to people ends in unfulfilled promises and allowing people to take far more than I have to give. The blame for this behavior lies squarely on my shoulders. With no boundaries and far too many “sure, I can do that” conversations, I’m quite effective at painting myself into a tight corner, all because I can’t muster the word no. I ask for little to nothing in return, hoping they’ll see I’m worth giving back to, but not expecting I’m worthy enough to receive anything at all. This isn’t some deep rooted thing from childhood or something my parents did or anything the world has ever said to me. It’s a fault within myself that says if something is easy for me to do, and I can push everything aside to make the time (even when I can’t) I should do it, and maybe, just maybe someone will pat me on the head like a fluffy little puppy dog and tell me I’m a good girl. The sick thing – they do. I mean, like sometimes it’s embarrassing how much they do, but something inside says, “if you knew me like I do, you’d know you’re wrong, so please stop.”

That lesson made me withdraw from the world for a time, mainly out of embarrassment. Really, I couldn’t face what I didn’t complete and couldn’t stand up for myself when people accused me of things I hadn’t done because I felt guilty about everything else. Still, I’m completely responsible for every yes, every incomplete commitment, and every time I tried to “help” even when I couldn’t do it or shouldn’t have been involved. The compulsive obsessive need for validation can be an unrelenting bitch of a thing to conquer, but I’m working on it.

To end this post, I suppose I should say this is my confession. So often people, including perfect strangers, seem to confess everything to me. It’s almost crazy compulsive. I know things about people I shouldn’t, some of it I just try to forget because, these secrets about them, never need to be known. And maybe what I’ve  told you today didn’t need to be written, but then again I heard somewhere that confession is good for the soul.

*quiet laugh*

Or maybe I’m finally giving myself permission to be an imperfect, ordinary, everyday human being.

 

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Categories: lettng go, the fear that binds us, the universes we create

Believe

butterfly on flowers

 

She told me to wish on a star because it will make my wish come true. Somewhere between stardust and sunbeams when dreams feel so real you can smell the rain, I almost believe. Then sleep falls from my eyes, and I’m hit with the starkness of reality.

She said that grown-ups can’t be happy because they’ve forgotten how to dream. In the fervor of her argument when her tiny hands fly up in exasperation while conviction invades every word, I want to believe. Then it’s time to come in from the chill, and I’m hit with the emptiness of silence.

She gave up on the little lost boy in a green hat when she turned seven. While I watch her scan the twinkling horizon for a hint of fairy dust in hopes that some dreams are worth holding on to, I begin to believe. Then her head drops along with those beautiful blue eyes, and I’m hit by tiny fragments of shattered hope.

She’ll tell you the greatest gift I ever gave her was life. Between the smiles and tears, hopes and fears, lost dreams and found things when I’m sure all strength is gone, I do believe.

I believe in her… and that is enough to make me believe in almost anything.

Is it possible to believe in something or someone so much that we live in the illusion of what or who they might become until reality catches up with our dreams?

In both writing and life I had embraced a type of idealism that dissuaded the possibility of anything save goodness and the best version of people. After spending far too much time in the bitter slice of what others accepted as real, I’ve chosen to return to a life that might resemble illusion or a dream land to those on the outside. As with my current relationship, this is a weighed and balanced choice because the purity of child-like innocence accepts the actuality of magic where reality cannot.

I believe in people, and their ability to do magical and creative and kind things in this world. What do you believe in?

Categories: angels on earth, belief, childhood, choosing faith, Drive by life, innocence, Rob Thomas, the universes we create | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Energy Fields and Emotional States – letting go of things that don’t serve your soul

00 energy fields

 

Have you ever noticed on bad days how the dog barks and cat pees on everything, electronic devices go wonky and die, and you hit every red light and road closure on your way to work?

Our energy fields impact everything around us. We actually project minute negative or positive waves based on our emotional state. Negative fields will drain electronic devices and other people because we’re attempting to pull in their energy to recharge ourselves… while carefully ignoring the boundless waves available from the universe that are generated within us. This is partially due to conditioning and the examples of parents or other dominant people we encounter throughout our childhood. We do what we’ve known, and their example often teaches us to look for that recharge externally. Everything from coffee to people become our power-up stations, and we don’t even realize it’s happening.

But our energy fields and intentions affect more than just electronics and people.

My girlfriend and I were sitting in the kitchen relaxing when a stinkbug crawled across my desk toward my coffee cup. I watched it patiently, then said, “Dude, stay away from my coffee. Like we’ll have serious issues if you climb up that cup.”

It scratched at the base of the coffee cup and moved to the corner of the desk, then flew off to a nearby window.

“They must not take me seriously when I talk to them,” my girlfriend said.

“Well, do you see them as conscious spirit beings or are they just mindless insects,” I asked.

“Hmm,” she said, staring out the window.

Whether the stinkbug actually has a soul understanding of anything is something I’ll never know for certain. However, I believe intention and the energy we project can be a powerful thing. It can become an unhealthy loop of drain and depression or an uplifting emanating field of peace and joy, both impacting everything and everyone around us.

So, I have a few things for you to consider. Only hold on to what resonates with your soul.

When you’re having a bad day or hard time and you call a friend to unload, do you feel better while they begin to feel drained or depressed?

Dumping is nothing new. We all need to get negativity out of our system, but there’s a healthy and unhealthy way to do it. First, be honest about the situation without judging yourself. We all screw up sometimes or make decisions out of some emotional need or reaction, one we often don’t even realize is an issue.

Second, look into the other person’s universe. What are they struggling with? Trust issues, insecurity, pain they can’t let go of, fear? We have a host of hidden reasons for our behavior, but what I’ve come to understand is any overt emotional reaction is often a result of internal battles about unresolved past issues. The current situation mirrors them just enough to stir up our need to fight or run.

Third, are you taking on things that aren’t yours? Consider the possibility that you’re trying to prove something to someone who might not be ready to accept what you have to give. I have a habit of taking on people’s trust issues like some freaking crusade. In my mind, everyone should have someone they can count on and trust. When I come across a person who feels as if they don’t have anyone on their side, it somehow becomes my personal mission to prove to them that they’re not alone, that someone actually cares. Here’s the problem, it’s not my job or mission. I can support and love them, but this is something inside their soul they need to heal, and no one can do that from the outside. So, slowly, very slowly, I’ve stopped crusading across the world.

If I were brutally honest, it was also a way to keep me from addressing my own battle with trust. If I could prove it to them, then maybe one day someone might do the same for me. Because we run from healing, and I’m just as human as everyone else.

How we get the energy we need matters. When we hold on to past baggage and things that don’t honor our souls they drain our internal batteries. Our first instinct is to find anything exterior to temporarily “fix” the problem. If that doesn’t work, we go to extreme measures, lashing out in a cry for help because taking a hard look at life without judging ourselves and others is pretty damn scary.

Imagine saying, “Yeah, I totally screwed that up, but it’s okay. I’ll either be honest about it and move on or make amends somehow if the other person is open enough to allow it, either way I can’t hold on to something that doesn’t serve my soul.”

Do you feel anxiety at the mere thought? Does your chest tighten? Did the cat just get and start scratching at the furniture? Did your phone or computer just glitch?

Be aware of how much your emotional state affects the things in your universe. Don’t be afraid of the past and view it with an impartial eye because the only thing that lives there are lessons. If you’ve learned from those experience, then let them go. Finally, and this the most important part, stop carrying things, internally or externally, that don’t serve your greatest good.

Big love, peace and light. Bubble out. xo

Categories: allowing the positive, conscious choices, honesty, peace, spirituality, the universes we create | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Update: Living with Lupus, Publishing, and what life looks like when I live it

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Winter has been tough on everyone. Just ask the guy next to you. I’m certain he has more than one complaint – weather, money, illness. We’ve all been battered, and the massive shift in universal energy is throwing all kinds of crap in our face, but this isn’t a bad thing.

We all have illusions to break and walls to break down. This time has been good for that at least.

For several years my body progressively became more difficult to manage. Pain, constant pain I suffered through in silence, racked my joints and muscles, the winter being a particularly difficult time. But now I have an answer.

Systemic Lupus. Yay me! But not really.

The diagnosis came barrelling in with a lovely expiration date. That’s right, the docs gave my one remaining kidney 8-10 years at best. To make this a little more OMG, they said I wasn’t a candidate for a transplant. Needless to say I was shell shocked. I’ve since found other, less cryptic doctors, who have given me hope. Yes, hope! Combined with a steady ingestion of Prednisone, I’m feeling much better.

The lovely addition of two beautiful children and one of my best friends in the world to this too empty house has given us all a renewed sense of peace and joy. Little things, so very small, have been flowing together to ease the stress and inspire us all to love and support one another. For that I am eternally grateful.

Thank you, Universe, for having my back.

Next in line is publishing. Last month I pushed through a flare-up to put No Name Lane: Diary of an Angel up on Amazon Kindle. It’s a journey, part fiction, part personal, but all about breaking away the thought processes that keep us from joy. With any luck it’ll add a little more light into the universe, and we could all use more of that right now.

00 No Name Lane

To end this rather short update, I am coming back. Just need a little time to settle into this new joy. When someone tells you life comes with a time limit, it puts a lot of things in perspective. And I didn’t realize how much of life I was missing by wallowing in a pool of stress and obligations. Let’s face it, we’re gonna have bills and homes to care for and kids to manage. But those things don’t have to be a noose. We know they’re a part of being on this planet, so why not shrug, smile, and chase a three year old around a living room that’s covered with toys and blankets.

Those are the moments worth living. If we don’t truly reach out and cherish the people around us, then we’re facing this all alone. In the long history of our world, man has always banded together to share resources and support one another. It’s only been in the last several hundred years that we’ve broken away for it, and a progressive steam of hopelessness and loneliness followed.  Why we screwed with a good thing is beyond me, but I’m gathering a tribe, a group of incredible people for mutual love and support. Somewhere in there we’ll find a hell of a lot of joy as well.

To top it all off, you’re part of it. Yes, YOU! Why? Because I’ve seen your heart, the joy and pain, and no one should have to live either alone because, like I told a little seven year old the other day, we’re better together. Yes, I went Jack Johnson on you. ~winky smile~

Love you bunches, and look forward to talking again soon. Mwahhhh!

Categories: allowing the positive, angels on earth, breaking illusions, children, Choice, choosing faith, love, separation and society, spirituality, the universes we create | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

When the Universe Conspires to Teach Us

“Five for ten, and I’ll spot you something that looks like a soul, but feels more like thinly stretched taffy from Coney Island,” I said to the face in the mirror.

My face in the mirror. Took me long enough to recognize her, but I tend to like the hard way when it comes to lessons. The only way to learn something from the inside out is to throw yourself into it completely, twist crap around, then jump in deeper. Sooner or later the bottom reveals itself in colors of ‘oh hell no’ or ‘bring it on’.

My latest project, No Name Lane, thrust me into the spiritual deep end to take a solid look at completeness. I ripped apart illusions with a fine pointed pen, then strolled through the wisdom of incredible teachers, all of it ending with a very stark realization.

I am complete within myself.

What does that mean exactly? Well, as best as I can figure I don’t need the presence of another human being to make me whole. While I’ll totally conceed it would be nice to have a romantic partner again, the lack of such won’t destroy the foundation of who I am. Whoa. Yeah, made my eyes uber wide with something between shock and glee. Not the kids singing musical numbers in high school. But actual contented happiness.

As writers, 90% of the stuff we write is usually for us. It has nothing to do with narcissism. More like because we’re so prone to living in illusion due to our craft, the universe finds any way it can to get the point across. For us, it’s words on a page. For that guy hiding in the back, it’s his obsessive need to listen to Donna Summer albums. Hey, I don’t judge. We all got our thing.

My thing is to break down everything over and over and over and… you get the point. I like to see events from every angle possible, then I ask three questions.

What did I gain?

What did I lose?

What did I learn?

Those twelve words are the way I evaluate every past and present experience. No judgement for anyone involved, no assigning right or wrong, just a comprehensive walk through the lessons of really good teachers. Yeah, I was that annoying person in college who had a file box full of research for a 20 page paper. Being thorough never killed anybody, unless they got a paper cut, then it turned into an infection and…

I’m getting off track. #ADD

The current wisdom is not to look back into the past because they say depression lives there. But how can you avoid repeating the same cycles if you don’t take the time to learn from the class life has already offered? I’m not saying stay back there forever. That’s just plain insanity because you can’t actually live in the past, but The Lion King had some pretty darn good thoughts on this subject…

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.
[laughs]
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.
[swings his stick again at Simba, who ducks out of the way]
Rafiki: Ha. You see? So what are you going to do?

We can’t run from who we’ve been or the events in our lives. However, we can absolutely learn from them if we’re willing to put aside blame, ego, and the part of us that loves to judge ourselves. If perfection was a human quality, the planet would be empty because there’d be no point to living.

Life is a journey of lessons through our experiences and choices. We need the contrast of lack to understand fullness, of darkness to appreciate light, of no love to embrace the beauty of unconditional love. Without delving completely into the depths of absences we may know fullness, light and love, but will often fail to understand the precious nature of such gifts.

After many years of relationships with no real break, I hadn’t been able to see, in the constant presence of others, what I’ve found in complete aloneness. I am enough all by myself, and contented in that realization. My past, my teachers, and a heck of a lot of contrast taught me that. How fortunate a gift to be given from a universe that conspires for our greatness.

If your path takes you into the arms of another loving soul, then embrace it because love should always be welcome. But know, in the arms of that person, you are complete within yourself with or without them. Completeness only requires we recognize its existence, not the presence of another being, no matter how wonderful they are. When we truly see past the illusion we are broken souls into the truth our wholeness, we can love on a level of unconditional that will make the universe blush.

 

 

Categories: angels on earth, belief, breaking illusions, conscious choices, spirituality, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

My Broken Road of Blogging and Social Media

Blogging has been a love/ hate relationship from the beginning. When this all started I used it for very personal reasons. It was a vehicle to break illusions, confront fear, and meet other people because words are good for all three.

In my life, I often tap out events to see them from a different perspective. I’ve found they look completely different when I get them out of my head. The result is that I learn far more about myself and other people. If these posts help someone else in the process, then so much the better because we grow from other people’s experience as much as our own.

That’s the purpose of a collective consciousness, to share each laugh or tear and in the telling of life stories become more of our true selves through these teachers. I’ve had many who’ve opened my eyes to a larger universe and helped me avoid otherwise painful lessons. Not always because I’m as human as the next person and, sometimes, very stubborn. But eventually I see the light of wisdom in the advice I receive.

The problem I recently faced with all of this is one I hadn’t anticipated. This tool for breaking through illusion and fear has caused a fair bit of turbulence in my personal life and relationships. Though I explain time and again the purpose of writing out my life and struggles, they eventually offend or upset someone.

So I have two choices — walk away from social media or stop worrying about what people think. The second being the more difficult because I have big love for the people who are or have been in my life.

It’s an excruciating decision.

“You’ve become an amazing woman,” a good friend recently said. “When I met you two years ago, you were this unsure girl who accepted everything everyone did and let people walk all over her. You’ve grown so much, and I’m happy I got to see it.”

These changes were forty years in the making and took every ounce of strength and courage. It nearly broke me, and by that I mean I was ready to send my daughter back to California and fade off the face of the planet.

It’s interesting people say, “Love yourself and do what’s right for your life.”

It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? Because what they mean is… do it so long as it doesn’t change anything with them. We admire people who blaze their own path, but demonize them when they fall short of our expectations. No one is immune from this human failing, not even me. But over the past several years, I’ve come to understand that I won’t understand why or how people do things, but I respect their journey, even if it’s far from mine. And I’d hoped for the same respect in return.

But when I started saying:

“Hey, I want to help, but I just can’t.”

 

Or… “Look, if you want to be here you need to start contributing because I can’t afford to support you.”

And… “I’m not going to be your part time playtoy, so if you want a relationship let’s do this thing.” 

That’s when I found out who was here to be part of my life and who wasn’t. I found out who truly respected me and who didn’t. I thought I’d be more angry, but not really. I mean, sure I’m sad because we’d put a lot of time and energy into those relationships, but they also created a lot more turmoil than I’d realized.

I have many fond memories, and they’ve all been wonderful teachers of one kind or another. So none of the time we spent together was wasted, at least not from my perspective.

 

Looking back serves one purpose, to see my strengths and failings in any given moment, and possibly do it better in this one. In my mistakes and successes, I find lessons and teachers. In my words, I cut through the crap and find the reality outside the complicated mess of thoughts and emotions twirling through my head. Though these posts have evolved, this process hasn’t changed, but I have through it.

So, I suppose I answered my own question in the course of writing this post. It isn’t a big screw you to world, but rather points me back to something I wrote this summer.

Authenticity because anything else is slow death.

Just as I don’t have the right to tell any of you who you are or should be, no one has the right to tell me either. We might be able to try on other people’s shoes, but we can’t walk in them because their road is paved by a lifetime of experiences we can never know.

Ultimately, we have power over one thing – Choice. Not the outcomes or consequences, but we choose the path to our next lesson. And mine is a dirt road where maps or GPS have yet to conquer. Though I may hit a pothole of two, I have a feeling it will end up being one of the biggest adventures of my life.

And in this very moment as I write these words, I’ve decided you’ll find out about it right here, if you choose to join me. 🙂

Categories: answers, breaking illusions, Choice, love, relationships, the universes we create, what once was | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lesson of the Mirror

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People were complex bits of total awesomesauce and hotmess. We all had baggage no one would ever see because people could also be very judgemental. So we rarely opened up to them, preferring to live a somewhat detached version of ourselves to remain safe. While I understood the desire to be safe, I’d found opening up could be an amazing experience, even if I risked momentary damage to the softer parts of my soul.

A good friend of mine had someone in his life I’d grown very fond of. She was a bit on the extreme spiritual side, but her perspective often caused me to look at situations from a completely different angle. I cherished her wisdom, even though I didn’t connect the dots the same way she did because my experiences were unique to me.

When she and I first met, my friend warned me that she could be a meddling busybody and ultimately only cares about herself. He said she was superficial and judgemental. While this may have been his experience knowing her, I’d found her to be honest, direct, and insightful.

Over the years, I’d run into this time and again. One or several people denounced someone else, which led to some invisible, unspoken line of separation. But we often forget…

“The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to

every man the reflection of his own face.

Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon

you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind

companion; and so let all young persons take

their choice.” ― William Makepeace Thackeray

 

 

When you found that elusive inner peace, you saw the world through a different eyes. No enemies, no judgement, no invisible foes intent on causing you pain. Instead, you’d see the goodness of all men. And let me tell you, there’s a hell of a lot more good in people than anything else.

When people constantly saw an enemy in the face of what otherwise might be a friend, it was a reflection of something within them. A part of themselves that usually was their own worst enemy. Lets face it, no one could put us down the way we could, right?

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Can you do it without turning away? Is the reflection the one you hoped to see? Can you look in your own eyes and see love looking back? Or do you glance away quickly so as not to be forced to face all the things you can’t stand about yourself?

Many years ago a dear friend had me do an exercise I’ve started again, and one I’d like you to try.

For the next thirty days, stand in front of the mirror close enough to look in your eyes directly without distraction. It’ll be difficult at first, you’ll want to look away, but resist the urge, and say…

“I love you.”

“You are precious, and I’m here to keep you safe.”

“You are an incredible person, and I’m so thankful to know you.”

“You…” get the idea.

Say all the things you’d wished a friend, parent, lover, or spouse might say.

At first, you won’t believe it. Your mind will contend this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, and that idiot who wrote this post is completely insane. Why? Because we’re not used to loving ourselves, we’re not used to saying good things about the person we’ve become. We listen to all the people, who were just seeing a reflection of themselves in you, as a repetitive stream in our heads of why we aren’t worthy.

“The beginning of love is to let those we love

be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them

to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only

the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

~ Thomas Merton

 

How many times a day do you twist to fit someone else’s image of who you should be or what you should do? How often have you tried to reflect back what you think someone wants to see, then find they no longer want to be your friend?

I’m far from being a saint, but I do cherish the teachers who come into my life. And recently I met one who reminded me of the lessons of the mirror, and that when I’m at peace and my intentions are focused on love, don’t twist anything about myself to make someone more comfortable. Because ultimately, people only see in others a reflection of what is inside themselves.

During that brief span of weeks, I couldn’t face myself in the mirror. Now I looked without turning away and saw exactly what I’d hoped to see once again.

Categories: allowing the positive, angels on earth, choosing faith, conscious choices, magic, peace, relationships, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

10 things I Learned by Crossing an Ocean

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I’ve seen this quote a lot, especially lately. Its purpose is to tell people not to invest energy into someone who’s not willing to give it back, or at least part of it. Why drain yourself when they don’t really care, right?

Wrong.

 

Wait, listen to my reasoning first. Here’s the thing, while they’re refusing to jump puddles, I’m having a hell of an adventure crossing that ocean. It’s not always about the time or energy you’re investing, but the things you get to experience in the process.

People refuse to cross oceans out of fear. They don’t think they’ll have the time or energy or anything worthy to give back. Even hopping a puddle is intimidating sometimes. You ever seen Poltergeist 3? That dude got sucked right down into a puddle in the middle of a parking garage. Seriously, those freaking things can be wells of darkness. And what if they turn into giant oceans and sweep us away? See, even crossing a puddle can be frightening.

My last two relationships took me places I’d never been. Whether actual states or emotional states, I expanded my universe by meeting new people and going places I might not have otherwise gone. In the process, I learned important things about life.

 

  1. Love is always worthy of a hundredth chance.
  2. Giving a hundred percent means I have no regrets whether or not something works out.
  3. People are bent on explaining their vision for their future and even if you listen to all of it… for hours on end, sometimes they won’t in return, but it doesn’t change what you’ll want for your future.
  4. We ALL see the world from one perspective, ours, and often won’t agree because we’re a summation of individual experiences. But sometimes we will. Cherish those meetings of the minds.
  5. People can be draining and impossible and selfish and a general pain in the ass, but they’re also loving and cuddly and giving and kind and worthy of every ounce of our time and energy.
  6. Leave nothing unsaid, unwritten, undone. Go all-in, whether or not they’re willing to, and do it without regret because you’ll regret not doing it more.
  7. Do it wrong, screw it up, get emotional and passionate, embrace every moment from beginning to end and live out loud.
  8. Waste time. Literally waste time on something you think will be nothing because you’ll find it was everything when it’s gone.
  9. Be afraid, be terrified, tell yourself a thousand times how none of it will work out, then get the hell off the sofa and do it anyway. Every success and every failure teaches us more about ourselves than any self help book. You only learn by doing it and, whether you have to cross the freaking ocean a gazillion times or just jump over a puddle, you can be proud you had the courage to stand up when everything else in life was telling you to sit down.
  10. And one final thought as you journey across those sometimes unforgiving waters of life…

 

 

 

 

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At the end of life, when time slows and darkness descends, what do you want to remember? Sitting on the sofa, afraid to cross that ocean because people are draining and aren’t willing to go all-in, so why try anyway? Or that one summer when you journeyed somewhere new to meet someone incredible, knowing they only needed a temporary distraction, but which ended up being one of the most loving and connective moments of your life.

You get more than you think, and most of it isn’t tangible, but all of it worthy whether or not they’re willing to do anything in return. Sometimes the greatest gift we give is to those who can’t give back, those who will never see you walking the ocean because they’re still looking down trying to figure out how to jump over a puddle.

Categories: Choice, journeymen, patience, peace, relationships, the fear that binds us, the next step, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dropping off the Edge of the World – a look at Truth v. Fact

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For centuries people believed the world was flat. In fact, they defended this belief so strongly that anyone making a claim to the contrary was considered crazy. It took several astute philosophers, greek astronomers, and three misguided ships to awaken the consciousness of the larger populace.

When the new world had been discovered, many thousands of people sought refuge from persecution. They desperately flocked to this country to find a little piece of land to build the life they envisioned. However, even with an intimate knowledge of pain and suffocation, many willingly enslaved others.

The slave trade thrived and grew, gaining a footing of enormous proportions in this country. These half-men, as many saw them, were brutalized all in the name of superiority and profit. It took a select few with a broader definition of the meaning of humanity to break the chain, and give these people the respect and equality they deserved.

Perception and truth are funny things. Something is a fact of the world until a few brave souls stand up to challenge it. The group will often fight because change is difficult. As humans, we want a firm grasp of our reality – unmovable facts that define the shape of our world  and who we are. The anxiety and fear intimately tied to change rules every decision the group makes, and those in a position of “authority” often use these emotions to manipulate actions, thoughts, and beliefs.

For fans of The Walking Dead, you can see this clearly in the town of Woodbury. The Governor used the rescue attempt of two characters as a call to arms to attack a smaller group just trying to survive. He painted them as a threat, terrorist bent on taking over the town and destroying the peace they’d fought to create. His truth, created out of fear and revenge, became the townspeople’s reality… until they realized he was freaking insane.

Why do I use fiction instead of something going on in the world today?

Well, that may be the easiest question to answer. Because fiction often mirrors society, only on a tighter more intense scale. What we’re capable of seeing from a more objective standpoint can be a better example than current events, not because it can’t be argued, but people are more willing to calmly discuss something that doesn’t directly affect their lives.

Before we “choose a side” of any issue, we must first consider the lessons of the past. How much of what we believe as a society has been disproven or changed? Hell, when I grew up, Pluto was still a planet. But millions of children will never know this because the shape of their reality has been forever changed.

Anyone asserting anything as an absolute truth is simply talking about their truth, the way they see the world at this very moment. That’s not say it’s a lie, but it’s also not a fact.

Here’s the difference in bullet point format:

Facts –

  • I was born June 26, 1973.
  • I have four sisters and one brother.
  • I was married twice.
  • I birthed three children and lost a fourth in my third month of pregnancy.
  • I currently live on a farm in West Virginia.
  • I haven’t died yet.

My Truth –

  • No political party has the definitive answer on how to run the country well.
  • God exists because I believe he does, not because anyone else tells me so.
  • There are energies and things in this universe we will never be able to explain or record.
  • Man is inherently good.
  • We are all beings of light with a greater purpose only the universe knows.
  • Separation is an illusion. We are all connected whether we choose to recognize it or not.
  • We will not change until we release fear and doubt.
  • There are no ultimate truths.

There’s a distinct difference between fact and truth.

Facts are actual recordable data at a specific moment in time, some of which may change – like Pluto being a planet or my father having more children I don’t know about – but for the most part they’re stationary points in history. It was a fact that people believed the world was flat, but not an actual fact that the world was flat. So, we have to be very careful about what we point out to be absolute. I know for a fact the sun will rise each morning… until it doesn’t.

Truth is based on individual or group perception. It’s usually followed by an extremely emotional argument about how someone else is right or wrong. While interesting and provocative, it can also be very divisive. Man has proven its willingness to fight to the death for these truths, causing pain and chaos. Not one of our more endearing qualities as humans, but certainly a defining characteristic.

So, here’s where I screw with your head.

Given that people believed the world being flat was an absolute fact, can we say for certain that anything we know without a doubt to be fact is more than a personal truth?

Fact – I haven’t died yet.

Truth – But I suppose it depends on whether I’ve actually ever lived in the first place. 🙂

Categories: Choice, Fact v. Truth, separation and society, the universes we create | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Authenticity because anything else is slow death

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A butterfly landed on my hand today while I sat in the car listening to the radio. For anyone who knows me, it’s a regular thing to just hang out in the car with my feet propped up. I suppose it reminds me that I’m never stuck anywhere. I’m here by choice and can leave whenever I choose.

Anyway, this butterfly spent well over three minutes poking at my fingers as if nectar would pour out of the tips. His antenna flipped forward, then back up,  and no matter how I moved my hand it didn’t flutter away.

Starstuffs, one of my favorite reference sites for animal totems, says this about butterflies:

“Major transformations and transmutations taking place, outcome is different than expected. Symbol of joy, color, gentleness, lightness, and change in life. Awakens us to dance on the winds of life, teaches that growth doesn’t have to be painful, allows us to discover the important issues in life for conscious transformation. Can you discern what is important right now? Don’t sweat the small stuff, be joyful and thankful for your blessings.”

More than the transformative message of this experience is a greater truth I’ve come to realize —

Inner peace is an active pursuit.

It takes a conscious effort to remove or ignore negativity, not just within but from others as well. When I allow outside opinions to be the barometer by which I determine my worth or change the core of who I am to suit the whims of someone else, I’m giving them power over me. More over, I’m giving them my peace.

The fragile peace I’d started to gain in my universe was nearly destroyed. It’s funny really, how the harsh words and condemnation of someone we love can cut so deep, can make us question our very character. And for a brief moment, I did. I sat crying in a puddle, wondering what happened over that weekend to make someone think I’d ever actively or passively seek to hurt anyone.

Then I realized something I’d said days before, “I won’t be anybody but myself. If you want me to be someone else I should stay home.”

Authenticity.

I’ve come to a peculiar time in my life where being anything other than myself is impossible. I carry my passion and peace everywhere and won’t hide how I feel or who I am.

It translates to my writing — actively, viscerally, authentically me. All the passion and purpose I possess bleeds in black and white just as certainly as it does in my real live life. And that was the problem.

During the course of a phone call, I heard the message loud and clear — it’s okay to myself in quiet intimate moments when no one was watching, but in the bright daylight of other’s view I had to be someone else.

And here’s where the new tagline for this site was born…

Authenticity because anything else is slow death.

Comparatively, I’ve learned very little in four decades on this planet. But a chance encounter with a butterfly reminded of the most important lesson. Inner peace is an active pursuit. It requires being myself unapologetically, recognizing the truth of my existence, removing negativity, accepting unconditional love and blessings, acknowledging my failures and successes as small steps towards a larger goal, and never using the opinions of others to measure my worth. It also requires a great deal of honest self reflection.

Nothing is more smothering than hiding a part of myself. Like the totem butterfly suggests I’ve reached a point of conscious transformation. In that quest, I’ve found my peace again. I’ve found love of good people. I’ve found love within myself. I will not sacrifice it for anyone, but I do hope to one day to craft a life with another soul actively seeking inner peace.

Categories: belief, certainty, Choice, contentment, hope, love, relationships, self reflection, spirituality, the universes we create, writing | Tags: | 3 Comments

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