Tag Archives: self growth

A clear perspective

I make no secret that I have been in counseling for several years. There is no doubt in my mind that it has saved me in more ways than one.  It did not save my marriage, it did not save my relationship with my mother…it has saved me from thinking that there is something wrong with me.  Sometimes it’s all about validation…I am not wrong for feeling the way I do.  Other times it’s giving me a new perspective on the reasons I am the way I am, and why I feel the way I feel.

Love:

“Wait…are you in love with him?”

I was completely taken aback by that question, and to be completely honest, the thought had come up just a few days earlier.  The answer to that question is as complicated for me as almost anything in my life right now.  The bottom line, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I want to be in love….I feel like after nearly 3 years together we should be in love.  However, love has always been a volatile emotion for me.  My relationships have been wrapped in my taking the blame for all that is wrong, and teaching people that it doesn’t matter how bad you treat me…I will always love you, I will always forgive you.

So what it boils down to is that I do not know what true love is.  I do not know how to be loved in an honest healthy way.  Of course, I do know what it should look like, how it should feel…yet I can’t seem to wrap my little brain around how any of that relates to me.  The task I have been given is to allow myself the opportunity to have the kind of love I truly want.  Dare I say, the kind of love I deserve.

Change:

A couple of weeks ago I had a night where I couldn’t sleep.  First off, I was completely and totally grateful that it wasn’t one of those nights that I was hyper-focused on a conversation, a comment, or feeling.  What did that mean?  Why didn’t I say this or that?  If only I had done this… Ugh, I have had way to many nights like that in the past and it sucks.  This time, it was just calm reflection, but still, the mind would not quiet.  After an hour or so I decided to get out my journal, and write it out.

Each area turned into no less than 3-4 pages.  Apparently I had some things to get off my mind.  The job, the home, the man, the friends, the ex, the smoking, the goals, the weight….There was a lot of shit packed in there that night.  The common thread seemed to commitment (or lack there of) and follow through.  Why oh why can’t I take that great idea, thought or intention, and follow through, focus and commit to any of them.  Well, it seems that I may tend to overthink (I know I was shocked too) (not really) (I’m not fooling anyone) and as was recently suggested “hyper-focus” on emotions that have no real value to the situation.  That isn’t exactly the phrase he used, but the bottom line is I  spend too much time thinking about things, applying inaccurate emotional value to things, situations and people, and not giving myself enough credit or acknowledgement that sometimes and some things are just out of my control.

I have not quit smoking because I am a failure and weak in my commitment.

I have not found a better job because I am not good enough or qualified enough for anything better than this.

I have not sought a better relationship because I don’t really deserve anything better than just the crumbs someone is willing to offer.

I can’t followed though on my yoga, house projects, meal planning, etc etc etc…because you just aren’t good at taking care of shit.

As it has been explained to me…I have a little more in common with my son than I may have been willing to admit to.  None of these things are character flaws…they are more traits of someone with ADD.  I am too focused on having a mediocre life, because it is something familiar and predictable. It is just easier to blame myself for the mediocrity than to actually accept that I could do better and pursue it.  So, it’s time to admit that I might need a little help.

It was suggested, that if I got a little help with what’s going on with my brain, I might be able to stay focused enough to follow through on all those areas of my life that are lacking.

I am not a bad person for having a hard time quitting smoking…I have an addiction that needs to be addressed.

I am not a bad person for wanting to leave my current job…it has served its purpose and I deserve an opportunity to be in a position where my strengths can be appreciated and I can be allowed to grow.

I am not a bed person for wanting a more fulfilling relationship filled with love and commitment…I deserve to be with someone who wants and appreciates what I have and is eager to return the feelings.

I am not a bad person for not staying focused on the tasks that need to be taken care of…I can give myself permission to accept that I need some help.

It’s going to be an interesting journey.  Somehow I’m going to have to admit I am not the flawed person I have been telling myself I am…I am human, sometimes we need a little help, and a clearer perspective.

 

 

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Lessons I clearly haven’t learned yet

It’s been clear to me and probably anyone who has read this blog that I have adhered to the “maybe this time will be different” rule in my relationships.
I’ve done it with my mother.
I’ve done it with my ex husband.
Clearly I’ve done it with the hunky stallion.

What I’ve come to realize is that it isn’t just with relationships that I hold steadfast to this rule. There are at least a few other areas where this has come to light. Let me explain.

Online dating: For the last 5 years I have gone on and off online dating. When I go on, I have good intentions and hopes for some type of real connection. I get frustrated after weeks or months of the same lame offers. Either I’m attracting creepy guys, overweight horny guys, young horny guys, good looking horny guys or older men who send me the strangest emails….I’ve connected with a very few decent guys, but there has not yet been any real connection. So I quit. Then I get lonely, tired of not ever meeting anyone anywhere and go back online again. Of course I change up my profile a bit, add different pictures, try to express that I’m really interested in a long term committed relationship. After getting the same type of responses I delete my account and the circle continues.

Summation: Online dating is not for me.

Diet: This year I decided to take a hold of my eating habits. After a year of working out and getting my body in better shape, I find myself frustrated with still having a jiggly belly. Trainers tell me that I need to work on my diet. I bought a book with some really healthy and easy recipes, all clean eating balanced meals. The result after just a few days I am bloated and unable to poop (keeping it real people). I talk it over with my trainers and they are perplexed and I’m recommended to either keep going with the hopes that eventually things will work themselves out or add in Probiotics. After 5 days of not getting any relief and the pain of it overwhelming, I toss in the towel and order a pizza. Everything is back on track. A few months later I decide to try again, maybe my body was just in shock. This time I’ll add the right dietary aids and some additional “tricks” I’ve researched. Same results. Bloat, constipation, pain, pizza…relief. Just this last week I thought I’d give it another try…Fuck, after 4 days its a bacon cheeseburger to the rescue.

Summation: Clean eating does not work for me.

Online shopping: I love a good deal. I hate shopping in general. So when I see a great deal online I want to jump on it like the 10 tank tops for $20. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I am no longer a size Large or X-Large…so I ordered adult medium. I couldn’t believe how small, really tiny they were, not a big investment so I gave them to my daughter. Next were a set of yoga pants, size medium…I couldn’t get over the camel toe they created, so I gave them to my daughter. Next was the oh so cute black and white sweater that was only $12. Turns out it was being shipped from China. Ugh…it’s a little snug in the armpits but I can work with that, so that’s a partial win. Recently I decided to order a couple of cold weather items. 6 tops, one to be a gift for the girl, the rest just for me. I ordered all my tops in large or X-large cause I think I’m finally getting that online and real life are very very different. I get 1/2 the order, one is too short in the arms and the other one looks more like and child large than an adult large. My daughter once again benefits. I desperately tried to go online and see if I could get the remaining order in the X-large only to be told they have already shipped. Keeping my fingers crossed but admit that my daughter may be the beneficiary of a couple of more tops. Dammit.

Summation: Don’t buy cheap shit online or at the very very least check the size chart and see what size you are online and not in your imagination.

There is much work to be done with me for sure. Forever a work in progress….

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.

 

 

It’s A Learning Opportunity…Dammit

I violated the number one unspoken rule at work this week.  Don’t do anything to bruise the boss’s ego.

I broke it.

It was totally unintentional, however when I was summoned to his office, opened the door and he immediately stood up to confront me…I knew exactly what I had done.

If you are a psychology major, this encounter would have been quite a treat to observe.  For me, it was an all to familiar scene.  There are many similarities between my mother and my boss…and I am quite often reminded.  This one was unfortunately, a pretty brutal and emotional reminder.

As he stood there in front of me, I kept reminding myself that this was not about me, this was about him.  However, it wasn’t long before I felt like I was 9 years old being reprimanded by my mother. He was furious with me.  Shit. I took my verbal beating, apologized for my mistake, tried to defend myself (to a degree) and tried to exit quickly to “fix” it.  As I left the room, I pulled the door behind me and it slammed.  Uh oh…maybe, just maybe.  Nope, he immediately opened the door and called me back.

Again, the “slam” was not intentional, and again I knew what it represented.  All of the sudden I felt myself shrinking.  No longer was I able to hold my demeanor.  It would not have taken too much more to have had me broken down into tears.  I was humiliated, degraded and intimidated.  Everything I was supposed to be in that moment for the sake of his ego…and everything I’ve worked a lot of fucking years to not allow myself to feel.

It took a good 5 mins to compose myself enough to not cry.  It took another 15 mins to calm down and see the entire encounter for what it really was.  After 30 mins…I was ok.  I was able to, for the most part, let it go.  The situation in my mind was clear.  I knew what I triggered in him, and I knew full well what he triggered in me.  For the rest of the day, I was able to conduct myself in a professional manner, as if nothing had happened.  He, however, held on to it all day, and I’m pretty damn sure he’s still stewing over it.  There will be a meeting about my conduct…and I know, another opportunity.

My counselor rubbed his hands together “I just love an opportunity like this.”  Haha…yeah, great.  This opportunity wasn’t a complete failure on my part.  It did bring to light an ever present tender spot for me.  The goal is to be in a situation such as this and NOT allow it to trigger that scared little girl.  As much as I was totally aware of what was going on when I entered that room, and as much as I told myself it wasn’t about me…I still allowed myself to be affected. I took it personally. Fuck.

The opportunity will keep showing up until you have learned what you need to learn.  Any way we can skip this particular lesson and move on to something a little more pleasant??? No?  Damn…  So if I want to stop leaving an open door for assholes who want to humiliate me for their own selfish narcissistic needs to enter, then I’m going to have to learn how to stand there in front of them and not react. Not take it personally.  Not be engaged.  Until I do, this will not be the last time it happens….and he will most certainly not be the last asshole.

This is not about me.

I will not participate.

I will disengage myself.

He does not represent who I am as a women, a professional or a human.

He is nothing to me.

I’ll be able to put this into action soon…I’m ready.

Bring. It. On.

Dating Part 11/Getting Real with Myself

Ahhhh…..romance.  It’s a funny thing.  Here I am a bright, confident single mature woman…most of the time.  However when my my unexpected romance started to dwindle a little bit, I fell into that pattern of getting too much into the crazy thinking even smart women do, and not enough into reality.  He was becoming less attentive, and I was feeling like I was losing him.

So, the day after I let it sink in that this beautiful romance was drifting way…I reached out to a friend of mine.  Cause if there is anything about me, it’s that I know how to reach out to who will tell me what I need to hear, even if it isn’t what I always want to hear.

Me: So my romance is fizzling

Her: What? Why?

Me: The signs are there. Not as attentive, he’s still online and the last time we were together he pretty much said he’d see me whenever. Sigh, I should feel worse than I do.

Her: Do you feel that way because you have felt this was doomed from the beginning?

Me: I think it’s cause it’s jut the same as every other relationship. I’m just getting used to it.

Her: That is bullshit and you know it. Every relationship is not the same and your not used to or you would not feel anything.

Me: Damn girl…Ugh. I just think I should feel sadder. I let myself believe he was different and I was special. I wish I would stop doing that. But I don’t feel like shedding a tear.

Her: When you go in to a relationship your supposed to think he’s different and your special. If we went into it saying he was going to be a shithead and we weren’t special hell there wouldn’t be any relationships. I am sure some woman would still do it but the smart ones would not and human race would have died out.

Me: LOL…I love you.

Her: xoxo

Me: He’s so damn cute…Ugh. Thanks for talking me down.

Her: Your fine, I would have been worried if you were and emotional wreck…maybe over the loss of extra curricular activities.  I would cry like a fool if I lost that too.

I love my friends.  She’s right when she said I had it doomed from the beginning.  From the moment I agreed to meet him for a drink, I kept telling people I was going to hell, that this was wrong and it was not going to work.  On the flip side I also said that I was just happy to accept what the Universe was giving me…and I was going to enjoy it.  Unfortunately, what I was really doing was waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop.  That’s what I do.  I don’t like it.  I have worked hard to stop, but still I fall prey to those old comfortable stories I have been telling myself my whole life.  You don’t deserve it and it will fail.  90% of the time I practice what I preach…Acceptance, faith and all that, but that 10% sneaks up on me in those quiet hours and what happens is I end up doing the same stupid things, getting the same stupid results.  Cue the 2×4 crack right across my face.

So when this romance started, I proceeded to set up the fatal trail.  I sucked the life out of it so that I would be ??satisfied?? when it finally ended.  After all, then I could tell myself I took full advantage of what I could when I had the chance and convince myself that was enough.  It isn’t enough.  It is called smothering.  What guy wants that?  Shit, what woman wants that??  Anyway, I did like so many of us do and let that 10% control me and I choked the life out of something that could have lasted longer or turned into something much better.  Honestly, I even knew I was doing it.  What I didn’t do was stop when I realized it and take a breath.  I allowed those negative thoughts to convince me that I had only a short time and I had better start shoveling in as much pleasure as I could before he turned and ran.

When I look at it I realize this person came into my life because I had come to a point where I finally fully accepted that what I was doing wasn’t working and that I needed to step back.  I was rewarded for seeing the truth…and I showed my gratitude by proceeding to beat it to hell with the false illusion that I have come to  believe keeps love slipping through my fingers every time.  I don’t deserve it.  He was telling me he was sticking around and yet I couldn’t just let myself trust in that and relax.   I couldn’t just be the woman he wanted and accept the affection he was offering.  Now here I am, kicking myself again, only this time there are no tears.  Maybe the reason it’s not left me devastated is because I’m taking responsibility for my part in this.  Let’s look at this lovely man as a test from the Universe to show me where my weakness is.  Maybe next time when I see myself leaning in too close and shoveling in what is being offered I should sit back and let one of my friends in.  Clearly I need a little intervention when it comes to relaxing and letting myself enjoy the moment instead of watching the sand slip slow through the hourglass.

“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.” — Henry Cloud

The only one here who has any control over what happens next is me.  I can continue to do the same things I’ve always done or I can start doing something different.  Choosing something different….