Tag Archives: gratitude

What a beautiful world this can be

May is almost over…and so is (almost) all the shit that has been driving me crazy lately.  My son graduated high school last weekend.  Seriously, I still look at him and remember when he graduated preschool.  Oh my has he grown.  What was most beautiful about his graduation was his joy.  He had a smile that just lights me up…I want to see more of that.

His graduation party was a success….again, too see a young man who was happy and smiling.  I couldn’t ask for more.  However, I was grateful to have a house full of wonderful people.  Former coworkers, new coworker, old friends, new friends, family I haven’t seen in way to long.  The day was beautiful, and the house was filled with laughter and joy.  There is a long standing joke with my friends about how the weather always goes south when I plan out-door events.  Not this time.  I’m going to say that my shift in attitude may have played a huge role in that…for had I stayed in the darkness, the rain would undoubtedly come.

A few weeks ago I was reminded that I needed (desperately) to let go of doubt and worry.  So I did.  What happened was that the little twitch in my eye went away, and good things started falling into place.  Things were finally aligning in a good way….because I was able to embrace the good and let go of the bad thoughts.  What you think about, you bring about.  I was tired of waking up every morning filled with doubt and gloom.  That is a choice, just like choosing to wake up with a grateful heart.

It isn’t as though the next few months are not going to come with challenges.  In just a few short weeks we will be on the fast track to  getting my son ready to go away to college.  There is no way for me to truly express how excited I am for him…and how hard it is for me to grasp this new phase of his life, and mine.  No matter what, I will bring to this coming “adventure” (my son tells me I use that word incorrectly too much, ha!) with a positive and grateful attitude.  He has opportunities ahead of him I wish I had taken advantage of when I was 18, but then if I had, he may not have been one of my greatest blessings.  I’m not sure how I’m going to handle not being able to see his face everyday.  Knowing that he’s not just behind his bedroom door…annoyed at me for popping in.  I am blessed, elated and trying to manage the little bit of fear and loss that will surly stir once he is gone.

Even though I attribute May to having been a busy and highly emotional month for me….there is still a lot of work to be done over these next few months.  Time to buckle down and get my ass back in alignment with my plans.   I gave myself a break in order to deal with the self inflicted emotional rollercoaster I was on, and now it’s time to get back to the real work.  Cleaning up and clearing out.  That includes fear, doubt, worry as well as physical clutter.  It also means focusing more on moving to a better place for work and relationships.

The challenges are not over…and it is a blessing that they never will be.  What is over is allowing negative emotions and thoughts to overshadow those challenges.  I’m moving forward with a renewed sense of purpose and gratitude….and that is how I will face each new challenge.  Even if that challenge is simply to NOT give in to the pesky dark voices that whisper in my ear “You’re not going to make it.”

Yes I am, asshole.  Yes I am.

Don’t Stop Believing…Hold on to that fe-e-eling

Gratitude! Finally…Things are starting to look a little better. Honestly, what is really happening is that I am looking at things a little better.

I am a firm believer that you get what you expect from life, even if you don’t want to think you do.  When you walk around bemoaning life and circumstances, you get more things to keep you down.  If  you are willing  to look at life in an optimistic way, truly be optimistic to your core, see the good that is around you, you will have more good things to see.  Even if it’s as simple as being grateful for matching socks.

It’s not that I had forgotten that. I did allow myself to succumb to the less that pleasant moments and circumstances.  Yesterday I came across two videos that reminded me that I have more control over my life than I’m sometimes willing to admit.  I cannot control the asshole who thinks only of himself and is unable to appreciate what I am doing.  I do not have any control over anything or anyone outside of me.  What I do have control of is what is inside of me and how I feel about those things outside of me.  As much as I would love for there to be peace, love and compassion with everyone is my life…I can only create those things within myself.  I can show them peace, love and compassion and not expect to receive it in return.

Since I’ve loosened up my grip on all the unpleasant shit that’s been going on, things have started to show up to reaffirm my better attitude.  Little things, but each and every one of them has been acknowledged and accepted with a full and grateful heart.  This is how I keep that ball rolling.  Gratitude, for even the little things.  Case in point, thinking the item I was returning was the $9.95 item when in fact it was the $34.95 one (yes I should know what each item was, but whatever)!  Having warm weather and no rain on my son’s graduation…and allowing me to wear the kick ass dress I bought.  Finding just the right outfit for the boy, and him finding the dress shoes he already had.

These are not life altering events…or at least not on the surface.  Feeling grateful for each of these little things helps to align yourself with more things to be grateful for.  Which in turn, can most definitely be life altering.  This lesson has been shown to me over and over and over again, I’ve mentioned it before…and I know it is truth.  So much so, that those videos I watched reaffirm these truths, because when you ask to be shown, it will be shown to you.  Your truth…not what you hope to be true.  That’s a point too many of us fail to accept.

There is an underlying deep belief in me that everything will work out.  When I hold on to that, redirect myself to that truth when I’m feeling overwhelmed, the Universe delivers.  I know there are a lot of people out there that do not believe this, and I’m sure I can’t convince a lot of them with just my words…but that’s ok, my life and the “luck” some people think I have, is tied directly to this truth.

So, next time I’m lying awake feeling overwhelmed and broken…I will bring myself back to gratitude for all the little things that are right.  I will embrace it with every fiber of my being.  This, and this alone, will pull me out of the darkness and back on the path to the life I am blessed to have.

 

 

No matter what…I’ll be just fine

Yesterday I learned, that no matter what, my mother would rather hold on to her painful feelings than hold on to me.  Seriously, it’s not a surprise.  This is not something that I hadn’t already learned many years ago…and over and over again over the last few years.  Yesterday, she drove it home, once and for all.

During my divorce, she told my soon to be ex husband, she was not going to help me out “she needs to suffer”.  When I brought this up to her, she denied it, as she always has denied the ugly things she says about me to others.  At that moment, I decided, I wasn’t going to ask for help.  I was going to have to do this without her.  So I did.  I managed to keep my head above water without her support, without her financial assistance.  She told me, all I needed to do was ask, but until recently, I chose not to.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to ask for some assistance.  I could use a little financial help to fix some things on the house.  Big things.  Do I NEED the help, not really.  Could I use it, most definitely.  So, I swallowed my pride, and reached out.  She was happy to discuss what was going on.  Lunch was scheduled…and I went on about my life.  As, I stated previously, I am not a stupid person, so I knew exactly what I was walking into with this request, but ultimately I decided it was finally time to see if she was willing to back up all her offers and help the only child she will ever have.

Turns out, the kids would be off the day of our scheduled lunch.  That would mean I would have a little emotional buffer.  She wouldn’t be nearly as ugly with her words if the kids were there to witness it.  That was a curve she wasn’t expecting.  When I told her that the kids were coming, she was taken aback, and chose to purchase her own lunch, and leave me and the kids to fend for ourselves.  Ok.

We all made a lot of small talk, and it was about time to “get down to business”.  She asked what I needed the money for.  I told her, she offered to have her own people come check it out. I didn’t turn down the offer, but assured her, I had people too who were willing to help.  Then it got personal.  Honestly, even after less than 24 hours I can’t remember how exactly it started…but it turned into a battle of why would I ask her for money when clearly I have the money to do the work.  So why would she help me if I didn’t really need the money, I just didn’t want to use my own money.  I had my reasons, valid reasons, and I did for a min try to convey that.  As it got more and more personal, with my daughter sitting beside me, I stopped and said “You are right, I don’t NEED the money, but I don’t have a lot left and it’s all that I have.  I decided to ask, if you could help, if you wanted to help, great.  If not, I would take care of it on my own.  I had to ask, or else I wouldn’t know.”

There were more personal attacks.  Did I ask anyone else for money? Why don’t I ask my father, he didn’t pay child support (I’m 44, I think it’s too late to ask for back child support don’t ya think?).  Did they give me money?  I told her, they have given me some money, and I never had to ask.  However, I don’t have the same relationship with him that I do with her.  Her reply, “we don’t have a relationship. We don’t have anything.”  She’s right.  I guess 44 years of being her daughter, 40 years of being her only supporter.  30+ years of being her personal verbal and emotional punching bag, didn’t earn me any credits.  There were more personal attacks, and finally I had enough.  I told her I hope she could appreciate how difficult it was for me to even ask.  I told her she didn’t have to justify herself for not wanting to help, and I wasn’t going to justify myself for asking.

She reminded me of how I kicked her out of my house, yelled at her and told her never to return.  I reminded her that even so, I still reached out to her time and time again and let her in. Why would I do that?  Her response, obviously because you want something. She said that she knew what I thought of her. I said “do you? Do you really know?  What do I think of you?”  She replied “I don’t have to tell you.”  I told her she was right, and I left.

When we were walking out my daughter said “I was getting so angry.  I don’t like when she says things about you that aren’t true.”  I told her “to her, they are true.”  We talked about what happened.  We talked about my feelings about why I don’t want her around her and her borther.  I just don’t want her to do the same thing to them that she has done to me.  She told me, she was glad I wasn’t like her.

I’m sad, a little.  It would be nice if she could put aside all her pain and anger and just be grateful that she has a daughter that would still be willing to let her into her life.  She isn’t.  I fear she won’t ever see things that way.  Her pain is too much ingrained in her to be able to see past it.  IT is more important for her to hold on to, than to let go of any of it, and reach out to me.

With all of it, I’m still grateful for what she has given me. She makes me a better person…a better mother.  Her attitude and behavior remind me of how never to be to my children.

They say the best revenge towards those who wish you ill, is to live a good life.  It’s unfortunate that she will never see, but I do indeed have a pretty damn good life.  No matter what, I know I will be just fine.

I’m back….

I am finally finally finally feeling like myself again. Nothing has changed for me really. I’m still working at the same shit job, my puppy is still gone, and there is still no special someone in my life. Even so, I’m feeling free and whole and alive again. It’s like I’ve finally started to fully accept what is and embrace it all completely.

My life is constantly flowing…sometime it’s calm and smooth, sometimes it’s wild and turbulent. Sometimes I get this wild surge of energy and get motivated to get things done, to get out and take the world by the balls and ride it hard. Then I get this tiny hint of self doubt and I pull back and hide behind fear. This ebb and flow follows every aspect of my life. Take for instance choosing paint colors for the house. I pick a bold lively color for a room…get all excited, love it and rejoice in my act of fearlessness, then comes the next room…I chose something safe and boring. Shit. Why can’t I live every moment with that same excitement and freedom? Who knows. Pick any part of my life, men, nutrition, exercise, parenting, it’s in everything. When it creeps in, I try to acknowledge it and choose the bold…I’m not always successful. I keep trying.

In my most recent explorations into self awareness in regards to love and relationships, I came to realize that I’m not afraid of getting my heart broken. I’m not afraid of being rejected. By no means does that mean that I like it, or want it…I’m just not afraid of it. What I am afraid of is shutting down and giving up. That scares the shit out of me. So I try and try to remember that as long as I have breath…I have another chance. Another chance to do it right, or not. Another chance to experience something new, or something like before. Whatever comes my way I’m open and ready to the experience, the lessons and see just where it’s going to take me. When I take a good look back, at all the “relationships” I’ve had these last few years, I see so much growth and awareness in me. I am not where I want to be, and yet I am a long long way from where I used to be. I believe in love…and I believe it is out there for me. There is no way I’m giving up on it because I’m afraid to get my heart broken again. Fuck that shit…I’m too tough a chick to let that happen.

This weekend has been filled with beautiful blue skies and sunshine. I love that…even if its cold as hell, I step outside and breath in the cold crisp air and turn my face towards the sun. I am alive. I am grateful! Today I choose bold, tomorrow maybe I chose safe and boring. What keeps me moving is that I know I’ll never be stuck too long in either of those choices that I forget that this is life…and I am embracing it fully and completely.

It’s not about Perfection

All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself. ~Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”

I have been in a situation (or two) where it has been brought to my attention that I have so much missing in my life. I’m not “with” someone, I still have some weight to lose, I don’t have a good job, don’t have don’t have don’t have….Ugh. This usually comes on the heels of me feeling exuberant about my life. Talking about all the things I am grateful for, or just simply being Happy.  That is when I need to be reminded that, in all fairness, I have so much more to be unhappy about.

Bullshit!! Honestly…it’s exhausting living where all you see is what is missing.  Everywhere you turn you are disappointed by what you don’t have, or what you “should” have, never what you do have.  Day in and day out the world reminds you of how little you are and how little you have. Just look, or if you can’t, there is always someone who is willing to point it out to you.The reality of it is…there is always so much to be grateful for! If you focus on those, even if you can only find a few at first, the Universe will begin to show you more and more.  Soon you will begin to see the world around you full of things to be joyous about.  It really is all about what you choose to focus on. YOU. Not the asshole who sees the world in only regret and want…but you who can choose to see the world as beautiful and giving.
For the sake of argument, I’m going to fully admit, I don’t have everything I want. My job isn’t fulfilling nor does it really pay enough to keep me above water. I barely have enough to get by, and my credit card debt is growing.  Currently, my love life is lacking.  I don’t have someone to come home to, to make breakfast for, to cuddle and watch Glee with. Things in the house are falling apart, and I have no idea how to fix them.  For some people, it would appear that I have nothing but bad things, and not much to be happy about.  For some people….but not for me!

I have a job where I am liked and appreciated.  It does help to pay at least some of my bills. I see people everyday that make me smile and I return the gesture.  I have two beautiful (smart) kids that I get up early to make breakfast and lunch for, even though I know they could do it themselves.  I have friends that make me feel good, and enjoy my company.  With all of that…I still have faith that the other stuff will work itself out.  I don’t worry.  I accept and I embrace all the good that is around me…and the Universe opens my eyes to more and more good things everyday.

It really comes down to you.  What is it you want to focus on every day of your life? Lack or Abundance?  Bitterness or Gratitude?  You have the ability to make that choice at any given moment.  Shit is going to happen.  Curtain rods will come ripping out of the wall leaving a huge gaping hole and the realization that you do not have the knowledge, let alone the tools, to fix it (Yes this just happened to me this week).  I have two choices…let that crap define me, or let me define myself.  It sucks, but it can’t take me down.  It will get fixed…and surely I will be the one to do it.  In the end, I will look back and say “I did that!” and pat myself on the back…I may be the only one, but that’s ok too.

My life will never be perfect.  For one thing, perfection is NOT what I am looking for.  There are going to be times when things fall apart, but that doesn’t mean I have to fall apart with it.  I will never have the body I had in my 20’s, I will probably never be a millionaire and it could be years before I meet that special someone.  I’m ok with that.  I’m ok with that because I can sit here right now and find a ton of things that are right and that I’m grateful for.