Tag Archives: letting go

Allowing myself to exhale…

I love going back and reading things I’ve written in the past.  Even more so when you realize that your life is so much better than it was.  I am still making mistakes, but different ones. I still have doubts and insecurities and dreams that aren’t very different from those of the last few years, but I’ve also been committed, optimistic, frequently more in control and well…that shit has paid off.

The other day I was sitting on the couch and looking around my new place…still thinking about what I could do with this or that, imagining how much nicer it will be once the walls are finished and the new fan goes up…admiring the little touches I’ve added.  It hit me that I still can’t believe I finally got out of the old place.  Nearly the entire 10 years I was there were spent in turmoil. I debated back and forth constantly over trying to make it my own and dumping and running away from it as fast as I could.  There was fear of course.  Where would I go? Would I even be able to afford to move? What if I moved and hated the new place even more? Is it fair to my kids to stay somewhere I don’t want to be or take them from a place they call home? Am I going to make a grown-up decision all on my own and have it turn out to be ok??  What if it’s not ok??

With all the work I do and all the proof that I’ve enjoyed in my life, I still get scared.  Still, although it sometimes takes me a while, I do take that faithful leap into the unknown…and most often land on my feet.  Right now, I’m on my feet yet still immersed in a little disbelief that I finally did it. I have my first home, bought on my own, decorated exactly the way I like it.  The quote on the wall about finding time for the things that make you feel happy, to the pictures and books on the shelves, the sparkly wall and the cow picture…it’s all mine.  I do not have the exact life I would have hoped for in the beginning of my new single life journey, however I am able to recognize that not only am I in a good place, it still has room to grow.  I am not stymied by my situation, and I am incredibly thankful for that.

There are times I find myself avoiding any down time for fear of falling back into old pattern of bullshit mental talk.  I can vividly remember too many days in the laundry room thinking about how I should have done this or that, or reliving conversations trying desperately to understand what the fuck happened or how I could have made a different ending, or preparing myself for future encounters so that I could be more in control and ready.  There was too much quiet time spent beating myself up, or crying over stupid shit, or just plain being afraid of never having a life worth a shit and wondering if I had made a serious mistake. Grrrr, I hated that laundry room.  I also hated the sleepless nights unable to turn my brain off wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

That doesn’t happen anymore. I have found some peace that I embrace with every molecule in my body.  I am grateful for it every single day. I know too, there is nothing wrong with me…there never really was, there were just wrong choices I needed to come to terms with.  Of course, there are still things to work on. I’m still growing…and that’s a good thing.  There are also still challenges…I’m ok with those too.  Who wants a boring old life where nothing ever happens to shake things up and get you out of our comfort zone.  From the looks of it, there are a lot of people like that, it’s a shame.  Challenges and setbacks are beautiful gifts we should all welcome and embrace. They are the catalysts to greater lives and there is just no way to get there without them.

The Stallion and I are growing together too.  Our relationship has blossomed into something quite beautiful.  Reading post after post about how it was time to let him go and how it was never going to be anything more than a casual encounter gives me a little twinge of pain in my chest. I know that if I had been more mature, more self-confident I would have walked away…but honestly I’m glad I stuck it out.  He is just another reason for me to be grateful every day.

My boy has started his first job, and come to terms with the fact that his choice of college major isn’t working out for him.  He’s going to take classes at a local college for a year and re-asses what he wants to do moving forward.  It’s a mixed emotional rollercoaster for the both of us, but we’re both playing it pretty cool.

The girl is making a list of colleges she wants to visit and we have our first official road trip scheduled in a few weeks.  We are going to take a couple of days to visit Memphis because she’s a bit of a music geek, I’m a super cool mom…and I’m going to miss the hell out of her when she goes away.

Life just doesn’t stop moving…and we along with it.  So be thankful for the good and bad times, acknowledge the lessons in both and give yourself some credit.  We’re all doing the best we can and it’s never wrong to give ourselves credit where credit is due.  Life is beautiful….it’s OK to exhale.

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.

 

 

Surviving vs Thriving

“You have been conditioned to survive.  You are very good at it.  If there is an apocalypse I want to be with you, because I know you will survive…you and the cockroaches.  What you do not know how to do is to thrive.”

That is what my therapist told me yesterday.  He couldn’t be more right.  I am a survivor.  Look at me still keeping the house going, paying my bills, getting food on the table, car’s still in one piece and running, I haven’t failed at my basic responsibilities.  I’m also anxious, unhappy and unsatisfied.  Yeah me I win at basic survival skills….but fail at a life worth living.

The job is dead end.  I know this. There is no where for me to go, no steps to climb, no room to grow or even fulfill my own potential. Where I am right now is where I will always be.  It will not take me anywhere…ever.  If I ever want to have more than just my basic needs met I’ve got to get out of there.  Homework assignment: Get back online and apply all over the place…stay away from small companies and look for larger corporations that will allow me to grow.

The man is a dead end.  As much as it breaks my heart I know that is true.  Much like the heartbreak of ending my marriage…no matter how much I wanted things to be better, I knew they never would be what I needed, with him.  The truth is that the hunky stallion gave me a peek into something I had never experienced with a relationship. It was beautiful and exactly what I always imagined I relationship should be.  However, it was just a peek.  Then it stopped.  “If you were acting like a mature confident strong woman would you have stayed this long?”  The answer is no.  I would have been done when he said he didn’t have time to give me anything.  What THAT woman would have said is, I like that feeling you gave me, I want more of that and will seek out someone who can give it to me. Instead, I begged for him to give me what he does not have.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Under the Tuscan Sun.  The movie starts with a woman who is confident her life is good.  She soon finds out her husband has been having an affair and want a divorce.  Her life was NOT what she thought it was and she received a very painful awakening.  She goes on a journey of self, following her gut and making what most people (even herself) would think were absolutely crazy choices.  In one scene she has a meltdown.  Screaming how she bought a house for a life she doesn’t have.  When asked what she wanted…she replied.  People to cook for, a family, a wedding in this house.  At that point she was thinking of one particular vision.

At the end of this movie the man who had originally asked her what she wanted came to her and pointed out that she had gotten everything she had asked for.  For the first time she was able to see that indeed she had.  She was cooking for the men working on her house, her friend and baby were living with her…and there had indeed been a wedding.  Everything she wanted…but not exactly how she had envisioned it.

What I love most about this movie is it takes you where most of have been at some point.  Painful realization that the life we are living is nothing like we imagine it to be.  We do the pity party, the break down, the cursing the Universe and everything in it because we have been given a shitty deal.  It isn’t until we pick ourselves up and break out of our little comfort zone that we see how much more life has to offer.  Instead of “I can’t”…give a little “what the hell”.

I could go on doing as I have been…on autopilot, making due with what I have.  Would anyone really fault me for that?  Probably not…although I think eventually people will get tired of hearing the same old sob story over and over again.  I don’t want to hear it myself.  So there is a choice to make, one that anyone of us can make at any point in our lives.  We can stay stuck, surviving…or we can shake things up a little and start thriving.  Let go of those things that are not working for you…the job, the friends, the house…the man (or woman), whatever is keeping you stuck.

Get busy living…or get busy dieing.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Things will never be the same.

I had a bit of a breakdown, completely lost my shit and had and epiphany all in a span of 5 days.

It’s been quite a week.

I’m not going to go into details of the breakdown (cause I’ve been there before), or the losing my shit (yeah, that too).  I am going to tell you how all of that got me to a clearer understanding of myself, in a way I haven’t before. (even though I totally know I should have by now)

I’m reading the book The Conscious Parent.  What I like most about it is that it isn’t telling you how to discipline your children or how to get them to behave the way you want…It is about understanding yourself, as a child and as a parent.  It is about finding truth behind what it is your children do and the things they trigger in you. It’s also about accepting them completely, as they are, who they are…right at this moment.

I am completely and immensely grateful for having read this book.

Anyway….after my breakdown(don’t all great stories of triumph start in the gutter?), and after losing my shit (the hell storm before the calm), I was in sort of a “what the fuck am I doing?? why do I keep doing this shit??” state of mind.  While I was reading the chapter about the roles we play as children, when I got it.  I am chasing love and acceptance.  It was absolutely clear that was my role as a child, my role as a sought our romantic relationships, and the same role as parent.  What was so eye opening was that I do it with my children too…every single trigger is about my feeling loved and accepted.

Ok, here it is, I’m chasing love AGAIN!! Instead of stepping back and making some room for it to come to me I’m trying to control a situation I know damn good and well is not going to change no matter what I do.  I was not accepting things as they really were.  Still trying to say the right thing, or do the right thing, or take the blame for anything and everything…just to make him love me.

I chase and chase until I’m exhausted.  With my mother, with my father, my ex-husband, friends, lovers…Every fucking person, every fucking time.  Chasing love and acceptance from anyone who has rejected me, but claims to care for me.  This shit has got to stop.

I told my counselor and he agrees.  I was nurtured for this role…and I have perfected it.  I’m exhausted.  Chasing love is a lot like running, and I really don’t like running.  Why do relationships have to be so hard??  Well, he says, good healthy relationships AREN’T hard.  The one’s I try so desperately to hold on to are.  Shit, I don’t want to do hard anymore.

HOW do I snap out of it??? How the hell do I stop myself from doing it with the next schmuck??  If I keep chasing every idiot who will not ever love me…I will never have room for someone who will.

The answer is to just stop and ask.  Am I chasing or am I allowing???  If the answer is chasing…get the fuck out, shut the damn door…turn your ass around and high tail it out of there.  You don’t have time for this crap anymore.

So all you handsome narcissistic assholes, charming emotionally unavailable and/or emotionally immature men….This chick is OFF the market.  For YOU that is…off the market for anyone who needs someone to chase them.  Off the market for anyone who triggers that part of me.  I’m not chasing anymore….Done.

Things are never going to be the same.  There are going to be a few Universal tests coming I just know it.  I laugh cause I know it’s not going to be easy, but maybe a little easier than it would have been a year ago.  I’m going to be unpredictable to those who know my type…and I’m sure that, again, I’ll piss a few people off in the process.  I’ve had some experience at how changing affects the people who desperately need you to remain the same.

Ok, I’m all fired up and ready let go of the role of Chaser.  Now I just need to have a little faith that no matter what my past has been like, there is someone for me out there.  Someone who does not need me to chase them, who will not withhold their affections as a weapon, who will love and accept me completely.

Here I go…

Be open to the lesson. Haven’t I said that before?

So, I’m going to sound a little like a broken record here…but please bare with me.  If there is anything I hope that you can take away from my crazy life lessons it is this…

If you want help then ask.  If you are seeking a sign or a message or something that helps move you in the right direction ask for it.  Then let go of any idea about where you think it should come from and just be open to receiving the answer that you need.

This time it came by way of trying to manage my financial affairs.

There isn’t one single area of my life that doesn’t need some work.  I need to get into better shape, I need to manage my money better, I need to find a better job, I need to work on my relationships, I need to be a better parent….and so on.  Most often I find myself trying to tackle everything at once thinking I can chip away at each area and make some progress.  Problem is…it’s exhausting and ultimately I find myself overwhelmed and not really any better off at all.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was read more.  So I set an intention to read at least one book a month.  Not overwhelming myself but just pick one.  The first book I chose was Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  I could use a little guidance in the area of finances and I thought I’d take a chance and see what I could learn.  What I got was a little more than I bargained for.

For starters…I did learn what I need to do to get the money thing under control.  So, I’m on a temporary spending freeze, with a budget in place, a small emergency fund open and I’m chipping away at my debt.  The lesson was to start with one thing, the emergency fund and do whatever it takes to get a foundation.  I’m lucky enough to have been given a nice check for Christmas and decided a part of it needs to be set aside inaccessible unless necessary.  Done.

After step one, then you move to step two.  Establishing a budget, and start chipping away at your debt.  Start with the smallest and work your way up.  Makes sense.  Work on one piece of the problem until it has been eliminated and then you move on to the next.  Since this is going to take me some time…I’ve decided to stop there and work on this till it’s done.  Thanks to the public library, the book will be there when I’m ready to move on to the next step.

Um…didn’t you mention something about a lesson??

Well yes I did.  In that book Dave emphasized the importance of working on one step at a time.  Yes we all want to save for retirement, pay off our debt, take care of this need at that need…but ultimately you need to stay focused on one single goal before you can move on to the next.  If I’m putting money away AND trying to pay off my debt, it’s going to take longer to pay off the debt, and I’m not really going to be saving a lot of money in the process.  So, pay off the debt FIRST.

One step at a time.  One project at a time.  Stop spreading yourself so thin that you take longer getting to the finish line on any one of them.  If you’re like me…you end up giving up on all of them cause you feel like you’re never going to get to the end.  Right? So thanks Dave! Financial lesson = life lesson.  Work on one step till you reach the end.

I’m not going to give up on all my endeavours.  I’m still working on getting healthier, being a better parent, and cleaning up my finances.  I am going to give up on the dating thing though.  Not because I’m still holding out hope for any particular situation to suddenly change…but because I have a lot of work to do for me, and right now Me needs to be at the top of the list.

I cannot change any area of my life if I’m just putting minimal effort into all of them.  Nothing will really change for the better…and I’ll be tired and bitter.  So for now the main focus is my finances…which actually kind of spreads its self to other areas of my life.  Keeping on budget means being creative with dinner ideas and teaching my kids how to use what we have and be less wasteful.  Spending freeze means no eating out and no poor food choices making the progress on getting into better shape easier.

So I took out a book to help me with my finances and I learned how to manage my life as well.  This time I’m not going to get overwhelmed and give up on everything.  This time I’m going to stay focused on one small goal till it’s met before moving on.

 

 

 

Accepting my fear

You can’t always get what you want…but you might get what you need.

This is the running theme of my therapy sessions. It is an opportunity for me to rethink what I’m looking for…is it something I want, or something I need.

There is no doubt there is fear.  That’s evident in just about every choice I make.  The trouble is in the pinpointing the fear and figuring my way out of it.  This is where I seem to get stuck.  Am I afraid of never getting what I want, or afraid I might get everything I want and fuck it up? A coin flip either way would probably be spot on.

I can let go of a lot of stupid thinking…one I can’t seem to shake is the thought that I don’t deserve, not worthy.  Sure there have been plenty of reasons for me to have come to this shitty conclusion.  Abandonment by my father, mental and emotional abuse from my mother, being married to an emotionally unavailable man.  It’s not to hard to absorb all of that and come to the stupid realization that you must not really deserve to be loved.  Trouble is, I know it’s all bullshit.  So why can’t I work my way out of it?

Lately there have been reminders…that I am allowing things into my life to constantly re confirm this load of shit.  As much as I keep telling myself I know I do deserve better…I don’t really believe it and so I keep attracting to me that which reflects my true and inner belief. Aaaahhhhhhrrrrrr…..mother fucker.

Here is my smart intellectual self seeing and recognizing all this.  No longer do I need to be beat down to nothing to finally have my moment of enlightenment.  That’s a small victory. The bigger victory would be to actually do those things that would put myself at an advantage.  Instead…I wallow, helpless and broken.

My counselor told me to think like the smart confident woman that I am and do what she would do.  Ok…smart confident women don’t sit around and feel sorry for themselves.  They don’t take shit from people.  They don’t keep doing the same thing over and over and hope that this time will be different.  Nope.  That smart confident woman takes charge of her life…she expects the best of herself and those around her.  She sees when she is giving in to fear and stops in her tracks before she falls flat on her beautiful face.

This time I’m going to work harder to listen to her.  She has given me the courage to accept that I was suffering with my relationship with the hunky stallion because I was attached to what HE was doing..or not doing.  The next step is to stop settling.  He is a beautiful sweet caring man.  No doubt there.  He knows just the right thing to say to make me stop and not give up.  Smart confident me says that words don’t mean shit if there is not action to back them up.

It’s a dual lesson.  One for him…back up with some action.  Most importantly is the one for me….back up with some fucking action.  I’m not going to lie…I’m scared as shit.  Perhaps that’s the bigger lesson here.  I’m scared of staying where I am…and scared of moving.  Which one is the bigger fear??? Staying right where I am.  So, once again, I’m about to take one giant leap of faith and rip myself out of this miserable dis-comfort zone.

I see a pity party for myself.  I see a stumble here and there.  I also see eventually there will be something amazing…For this moment I’m going to just settle for better than this, and tip toe myself forward.  Stop allowing my emotions to take the lead.  Stop thinking sex is the same as honest affection.  Start valuing myself more.  Start taking action.