Thoughts, Beliefs and Other Stuff

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For the past few months I have done quite a bit of soul searching. I did my “infinite possibilities” training and started meditating and visualizing again. Within these new parameters I discovered a few interesting truths about me. Some of them are pretty amazing and others are not so inspiring. The most important part I’ve re-learned is that my subconscious selection process in regards to my life choices showed some interesting patterns I wasn’t aware of. OK, let me rephrase that, maybe I was aware of the patterns to a degree, but not so much about the power I have to choose. I had truly forgotten.

In the past I was often baffled by my ability to make fairly good career moves. Sure, I can report some failures, but for the most part I had chosen pretty well when it came to my professional life. I was also pretty good in visualizing and creating most material things I’ve wanted, like cars and my house. My friend selections can be reported as quite successful, too. Again, a few choices resulted in failure, but the overall outcome was good and I still have a handful of super close friends I’ve had for more than 10 years. 

My health has always been challenging, starting when I was in 1st grade. However, I can report that I dealt with my challenges quite well; and still do. I never gave in and I never gave up and while I am often in a lot of pain, fibromyalgia doesn’t get the best of me. I can honestly report that the refusal to give up and choosing how I look at my condition keeps the outcome under enough control to not fall into complete and utter despair and instead, live a fairly qualitative life. The one thing I never truly mastered was relationships of the romantic kind. Again, not all were bad. As a matter of fact, the majority of them were decent. However, just like with the few bad friends I had, the small handful of bad relationships were so bad that they managed to instill certain negative behavioral patterns, because I had come to believe that my inability to “foresee” the outcome and to pick the right partner, meant that I was somehow deficient, incompetent, unworthy and non-deservant. It never occurred to me that these beliefs were lies. It never occurred to me that, besides choosing to be there and stay, it truly wasn’t my fault when people treated me badly.

One of my friends and role models recently posted Part 1 of this article on FB. I am going to post part 2, but you can read part 1 by clicking on the link on the top.

http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner-part-2.html

Along with all the things I’ve learned recently, this article hit me like a ton of bricks; in a good way! I am now understanding that it is all my choice and with that comes a strange new freedom. I finally start to see that the “romantic” notion of love is not what makes a relationship successful. I’ve learned this lesson just recently, when I realized how much easier it was to be with someone I consider my best friend (the one who can withstand the “traffic test”), the one who can make me feel home (not judging me by superficial standards, having enough in common with me and giving me a genuine feeling of belonging) and finally, a person who is determined, or shall I say, committed to being with me and consistently act, speak and choose in ways that demonstrate said commitment. All the other stuff is fluff!

There used to be a time when I had checkboxes – I got rid of them. No, it doesn’t mean I dropped all my standards. I had to learn the difference between standards and superficial ego as well. I used to feel guilty for wanting someone who is financially stable. It didn’t even mean super rich. It meant that he is able to take care of himself and that he has ambition and passion, because I am a person with a lot of ambition and passion. I am someone who strives to have the best life possible and I can’t have that with someone who is unstable – financially, emotionally, mentally and physically. I used to feel guilty for having the minimum standards, because I despised superficial people my entire life. Until I realized that hair color, body type, car and all this other “fluff” meant nothing. Yes, I have one “superficial” thing (he has to be taller than me) and I found that it’s OK to want that. I also understand that there has to be initial attraction and chemistry, although I have to say that what causes this “spark” has drastically changed over the past 10 years.

There was a time when I had a type. My type has always been super tall and “unusual” looking. Long hair, tattoos, goth/punk/rock look, piercings, etc. drew me big time. I’d seek these types out and stubbornly refused to date a “normal” guy. I failed to accept for the longest time that these were not only unimportant traits, but that these were utterly wrong choices for me. With the look usually came a lifestyle, a way of being and speaking that didn’t fit me at all! I had nothing in common with the extreme types, because, as it turns out, I was way too normal and grounded for them. I thought that looks do not define a person, because I always felt that my looks didn’t define me. And while we may not always be able to judge a book by its cover, we can judge by who they are being, after numerous encounters and having spent enough time and space with them. Deep down inside I held another wrong belief, namely that people that looked different were different; in a self-confident, successful and sexy kind of way, which meant that being with someone like that would make me equally as self-confident and awesome. The belief was false and in many ways, I paid for it with a lot of heartache and sorrow. Until I learned the truth!

The truth, as it turns out, was that the looks were less important and didn’t account for chemistry! Sure, initial attraction matters, but what trumped all was how a person makes me feel, consistently. I suddenly found myself looking at everyone, but especially men, in a completely different light. I paid attention to how people made me feel and to what they’d bring out in me. There are some people, places and situations that just make you feel amazing and continuously bring out the best in you, therefore challenging you to grow and keep getting better in life. The trick was simply to have more of those experiences and less, if not to say none, of the negative, draining and disappointing experiences. It was a matter of choice, a matter of changing my mind and a matter of changing “my vibration,” if you will. False beliefs, insecurity, fear, sadness and anger only attracted the same into my life. I had to stop being these things, in order to stop attracting them into my life. I had to stop believing that I was this flawed and horrible person, based on what other people had done, said and chosen!

I now feel a change in my mind. It’s not as tangible and not quite as steady as I want it to yet, but so far it brings a certain peace of mind, happiness and laughter into my life. I am, for the first time, thrilled to be me – alone! I don’t need anyone to make me happy. I want someone who is willing and able to contribute. I am not willing to settle for just a body by my side. I have decided to rather be alone than with the wrong person. I have decided that happy, peaceful and awesome people are welcome, wanted and allowed. I have decided that each and every one of us has a wavelength, a frequency on which we are sending if you will, and that I want my partner to be on the same channel and frequency, sending vibes of laughter, love and awesomeness. When I die, I want to do so with a smile on my face, knowing that I conquered my demons and lived the life I was meant to have and deserved with every part of my being. So in closing, I’d like to add the following from TUT – A Note from the Universe:

Having preferences doesn’t mean you’re judgmental. Carmen, whether they’re likes or dislikes. They just ensure that as the  winds of divinity are blown through your heart, the melody is unlike any other. So have them, Carmen. Have them BIG time. – The Universe –


(Not) The One

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Some of the best ideas for writing come to me when talking to friends and yesterday, one such conversation took place. My friend expressed regret for not pursuing the “one who got away.” Without going into too much detail, the story unfolded somewhat like this. He was with “the one” for almost 3 years. She dumped him for an ex. He felt strongly that if it was meant to be – and there was true love between them – she’d be back. Based on this belief, he decided to not chase after her. She never came back and that is where he thinks he may have failed. He felt he should have “fought for her.” I, however, disagree. I feel he did the right thing and I don’t think he lost “the one.”

I am not going to speak for others, but the way I see it is like this. When someone leaves me, it isn’t my “duty” to chase after him; unless I caused the breakup. When someone chooses someone else over me, I see absolutely no reason to attempt winning that person back. Being dumped is bad enough; but losing my dignity, too, while attempting talking someone into being with me, especially someone who clearly does not want me, makes no sense. I am not saying that people don’t make mistakes. I am not saying that someone who leaves shouldn’t be forgiven or even be taken back. But it isn’t my responsibility to make it happen. I feel that the one who broke the agreement and the trust should be responsible for reestablishing the bond, and actually do the work to make it happen. 

The truth is, at least in my experience, those who dump you generally don’t come back. The reasons are plentiful and include shame, guilt and “feeling bad,” but sometimes the reason is much more simple: They didn’t want me! They chose someone else over me and not only moved on, but forgot about me. I was a temporary solution to maybe fill a need. No amount of pain on my side, no amount of chasing and sorrow, guilt trips or anger will change that. I wasn’t it, someone else was/is. Done – end of story.

See, I expect anyone who is a grown-up to do the right thing and own up to their mistakes. So when someone walks out on me, I’ll do absolutely nothing. As crappy as it sounds, I’ll suffer, mostly silently, because nothing is worse than being dumped by someone you loved AND having your friends beat you up for missing him. But no matter how much I hurt, I will not contact him. And yes, if that means he is lost to me forever, it gives me all the answers I needed – including the one that hurts the most: he didn’t love me and he doesn’t want me back. The “he will see what he’s lost once is gone” is BS. I don’t buy it. Nah, he doesn’t see that he’s lost a precious thing, or he wouldn’t have left to begin with/been back already.

The most destructive pattern we can fall prey to is beating ourselves up for not having been enough. Nothing beats down one’s dignity and self-worth more than chasing after someone who doesn’t want us. I’m not saying that one should be a self-righteous jerk. But I am saying that it isn’t up to you to pursue any person who disrespects, hurts, lies or walks out on you. As such, I have always upheld the simple policy of “you think I’m not worth spending time and space with or being with? Well, that’s OK. I’ll miss you, I’ll morn you, but there’s the door.”

If a person who is supposed to respect, love and care for you does not find it necessary to come after you and clean up their mess, if someone has no ability to apologize, own up to their crap and fix it, then they are simply not worth it. All that means is that they would do it again. It takes self-reflection, humility, integrity and decency to truly own up to being an ass and why would you want to be with someone who has neither of these traits? Your worth is not determined by others. It is determined by yourself; so when you allow people to treat you a certain way and then go and chase after them, you essentially say that it is OK for them to mistreat you. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the message I want to send.

I am using a simple philosophy in life for both, friends and  relationships. If I screw up, I’ll clean up my mess and attempt to make it right. If they deny me this opportunity, well, I can at least say that I tried. But if a trusted and loved friend, partner or family member betrays me or walks out on me, I’ll let them go. I choose to be around those who know that their life wouldn’t be as bright without me in it – even though I am not perfect and can be a royal pain in the butt. But that is love and exactly what I want in my life. Life is too short to chase people who don’t give a damn. If someone leaves and doesn’t come back, it’s because they don’t want you, not because you “let them go.” 


I’m Not Ready (Nor Will You Ever Be)

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Life is all about opportunities. It’s about chances and about not always knowing what will happen. Life happens, love happens and work happens and often, the best things happen in the most inopportune times. Grabbing the bull by the horns and ceasing the moment is the one thing that will make us stronger, help us learn and allows us to really learn from mistakes, as well as figure out what we truly want and need.

A huge copout I hear from people is “I am not ready.” Interestingly enough, when I look back on my life, I can honestly say that this is one of the few statements I’ve never made. Ready? Ready for what?

The thing is that each and everyone of us has issues, baggage, problems, flaws, things we battle and pasts we are dealing with. Every person has made mistakes, maybe some rather big ones, and maybe some smaller ones. No one is perfect; and that’s OK! Personally, I always felt that the strange idiosyncrasies and flaws people have often made them more beautiful, likable and lovable. The point is that, the older we get, the more we actually may shoulder in terms of how we feel and what we are battling. I’d like to believe that I am one of the people who consistently and steadily works on her stuff – sometimes more successfully than other times, but at least I am not giving up. However, I have yet to find the point where I can say “Yep! I am ready.” That thought honestly never comes to my mind. What ever life throws at me, I tend to be more in the “yay” mode than think “oh dear, what will I do now, because I am not ready.

I have come to believe that saying I’m not ready is a really bad excuse for saying I am too afraid to act. Maybe I didn’t want to act, or do what would bring me to the next level. Maybe I am lazy, maybe I am a procrastinator and maybe I don’t have the tools and don’t know how, so instead of acquiring them, I am just going to distract myself from the issue at hand and when life strikes, I’ll retreat into my shell and whine that I wasn’t ready.

I have found one thing to be true. I am never truly ready for the big stuff. But… I am willing to give it a shot. I am willing to acquire the tools I may still lack and I am willing to jump right in and make a decision. There is a cliff over there? Oh yay! Let me run right up and jump off of it!
To my surprise I generally found that I was perfectly able and in that sense ready to deal with whatever came my way. While I may have suffered set backs and heartbreak, I never really shied away from giving it my best and going for it. There is something truly empowering of being in the moment like that, even if it may lead to failure!

In my twenties I had an excellent therapist, Dr. Fulmer, who once told me that everything I do in life depends on only one thing – making a decision! The confusion, the fear, the stress and anxiety all stem from the simple inability or unwillingness to decide. Because when we decide, provided we are people with integrity, we actually have to DO something. We can no longer hide behind excuses and cliches like “I’m not ready.” When we say “yes” we have to do whatever it takes to support that decision and when we say “no” we also have to do what it takes to support that decision; and we forfeit the right to complain about a bad thing, if we are not willing to make the decision to leave it!

I believe that sometimes, based on the state of mind I am in, things might be challenging, difficult and seem impossible. But I’d also like to think that I am always ready. Not being ready is like hitting the lottery and keep on waiting for another ticket to win; meanwhile holding the first winning one in hand, unable to do anything with it.

With all of that, I’d like to now share this TED talk on vulnerability. I guess this demonstrates yet again that maybe, we didn’t think we were ready, but some of us are at least willing to still do, instead of claiming we’ve tried (which is the equivalent to really not doing anything).


I’m A Good Woman – So What?

inside_your_head__by_lightchaserHow often have you sat aside a female friend, who was bawling because her relationship ended, while repeating “I’m a good woman. Why can’t he see that?” For some reason, when things go bad, we have a tendency to sit there and rattle off all of our good traits – “I’m smart. I’m successful. I am pretty. I am…. And I am a good woman.” But is that really what we should be going on about?

A week ago I created a vision board. I’ve spent 3 hours carefully selecting words and visuals I had printed out, found in magazines and bought in sticker form. I created a giant visual to remind me what I stand for and what I truly want in life. Why am I mentioning this here? Because I think when we keep sitting around and desperately attempt to tell us that we are “good women” we are missing the point completely.

Getting what we want in life has little to do with being a good woman or not. It has, however, everything to do with honesty, accountability and integrity. Everyone experiences hardships and loss. But if we keep finding ourselves staring at the ruins of yet another failed relationship, or worse, marriage, it’s time to look at our core character and personality traits; namely when it comes to how much stock we put in truth/honesty, accountability and integrity.

Let’s look at truth and honesty. When we choose the same bad situations and people time and time again, regardless if we are doing it in our professional lives or personal relationships, we are violating the principals of truth and honesty – especially with ourselves. We all have instincts and gut feelings. These tell us usually from the get go, or at least after a certain time, when things are off and not right. Being honest with ourselves would dictate that we acknowledge and see these bad situations for what they are, and then make decisions accordingly. But usually, we ignore any and all signs, lie to ourselves and keep choosing what doesn’t serve us. We call it strength, loyalty and love, even though our actions are not aligned with either one of these nobel notions.

Moving on to accountability. Looking the other way and ignoring the obvious is not strength; neither is remaining a victim. There are things that happen to us that are bad and that we have no control over; but when it comes to relationships in all of their forms, we are fully responsible for how much we are willing to put up with. We are accountable for our actions, thoughts and words and while I fully understand how we are psychologically and neurotically hardwired to repeat behavioral and thought patterns, we also have the ability to “wake up” and change them – if we so choose. We are responsible for how our life works out, no matter how much we claim it isn’t so. We have more power than we are usually willing to give ourselves credit for and can extend said power to leave what doesn’t serve us behind, instead of continuously choosing to settle. There is no power and greatness in settling for what you know isn’t right.

Everything we are depends on our word, followed by the actions to support these words. Integrity is, in my opinion, the most important trait we have and without it we are nothing. We can’t tell ourselves that we are “good people” while we keep falling out of integrity with ourselves and others. If we say we won’t stand for certain behaviors it should mean something. Sadly, we allow emotions and strange justifications to run rampant and control the outcome of situations – situations we often chose and allowed ourselves to be in. Not standing for certain behaviors doesn’t merely mean that we whine about behaviors from others, no, it also means that we will not engage in the same destructive, dishonest, crazy, mean, selfish and cowardly actions we accuse those around us of.

It doesn’t matter how “good” of a woman you are, if you don’t believe so yourself. Being good means being good with yourself first. If you can’t stand for your own values, if you don’t have enough self-worth and confidence than all the talk of being a good woman is useless, because you will keep settling for less than what you deserve and ever wanted. Not being good to yourself also means that you will keep drawing exactly what you said you didn’t want.

The price we pay for not being good to ourselves is much higher than just a bad job or relationship. Consistently living a lie, by engaging in a life and situations we neither chose, nor wanted does something to our very being and soul. We run the risk of slowly and steadily becoming bitter, angry, desperate, disillusioned, dishonest, depressed and weaker. The more we become our lesser self, the less we are the good person we claim to be and the more we are willing to settle and perpetuate the cycle, making more bad choices, engaging in more self-defeating behaviors and attracting more of the wrong partners.

I am a good woman, but have done a bad job in being good to myself. So I am telling all the other good people out there, male and female, you can’t be good to anyone if you can’t be good to yourself first. Good is a state of mind and shouldn’t just be reserved for every thing and being who waltzes in your life or presents itself to you. Good should be reserved for yourself first and then those who’ve earned it and deserve it.


The Abyss and Why I’m Still Alive

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My entire life I’ve carried an image in my head; an image that very much represents the picture I have chosen above. I have always called it “the abyss,” and it represents life and death, sanity and insanity. I remember becoming aware of it the first time when I was in 3rd grade. But, before I continue, I want to make it clear that this isn’t a cry for help, because I feel suicidal and it isn’t a cry for attention either. I am writing this, because I know that there are other “abyss walkers” and I want to let them know that they are not alone and that you can somewhat live with this. Lastly, I’d like to extend a slight warning – the material is brutally honest and may even be uncomfortable for some.

How does one end up at the abyss? I don’t know about others, but I was dragged there by years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse that started when I was about 4 and ended when I was about 18. The trauma I experienced, due to the long period of time it occurred, caused my fibromyalgia, because my brain has “dialed up” all sensory perceptions to super high, at all times, and therefore misfires, interpreting nerve signals as pain and making any type of stimuli, like loud voices/music and sounds, as well as heat, cold or emotional responses stronger, amplifying them and often making them almost unbearable. The inability to no longer “dial it down” but being incapable of registering stress and hence, the ability to walk away or avoid, makes life as if I am living with a giant antenna on my head; one that never sleeps, never stops and has turned me into a recluse, who finds any type of prolonged interaction with most people painful, frustrating, overwhelming and difficult. But the physical, emotional and mental pain are not necessarily the ongoing building blocks to form the abyss; no, what causes the abyss is the overwhelming feeling of not belonging here, on this planet.

When one feels as deeply as I do, nothing is easy. When one lacks the ability to let go and stop “looping,” life becomes an ongoing cycle of torment, trying to stop it, then succumbing to it and starting all over again. Years of therapy and studies in philosophy, psychology and religion helped me get better, but my brain chemistry is permanently altered and trying to change it is what is so incredibly daunting and leaves me feeling defeated and exhausted.

My relationships have been predominantly bad. Not all of them, but the vast majority of them. Fear of intimacy, severe anxiety about being abandoned and the constant doubts I have in myself have been relationship killers. Nothing, though, beats the fact that I send out a signal, a very powerful one I might add, that keeps attracting men who actually confirm my deepest fears. I attract superficial men, who criticize my exterior, sometimes vocally, sometimes in a subtle, passive way, and/or find me otherwise inadequate. I attract commitment phobes, who cannot commit, don’t know what they want and are quick to leave or cheat. I attract a lot of selfish, cruel, severely damaged and cold-hearted men, who cannot feel and usually numb with alcohol, computer games, work, porn and other ways that keep them from truly connecting; men who mercilessly lash out and strike when I speak up or attempt to explain my feelings. Men who judge me worse than I could ever judge myself or others. I attract my father and I attract my mother’s boyfriends, over and over and over and over. So the majority of my life I have felt alone, lonely and abandoned, especially in my relationships. And this dance, this dance of attracting people who cannot love me, then push me away and lash out at me, as well as attracting the same type of selfish, backstabbing and unpredictable people in the companies I often work for, this is what pushes me closer to the abyss.

Everything I do, no matter when, where and how, is near the abyss. I walk as close to the wall as I can, carefully setting one foot ahead of the next, until I get pushed. Then I start slipping. I claw my way to the top again, then slip some more, feeling overwhelmed and rendered powerless when the feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing and fear wash over me. The feelings are so strong that all I can think of is dying, because I am not sure how much longer I can hold on and how much longer I can be the tower of strength the majority of people in my life believe me to be. The absolute fear of potentially being alone forever, because I cannot attract anyone who feels as deeply as I do, leaves me feeling with despair. Was I supposed to have children? Was I supposed to be alone? Maybe I should devote my life to helping others; but isn’t that what I am doing and have been doing anyway? Why are people so shallow, ignorant and selfish? Why…

I know that it is all about loving myself. It’s been a challenge but I don’t stop trying and going for it. I know that I can change the frequency, even though I have failed so far in doing just that. I have, however, deleted any and all dating profiles. My exterior, which misleads people into thinking that I am a wild, crazy party animal who also numbs (I’ve never gotten into drugs or alcohol) cannot be overwritten by a sincere and honest profile that no one reads. My pictures, my looks are misleading, not just in the dating arena, but in all other areas, too. When you live in a society that puts almost all stock in appearances only (the essence of California), it makes it hard for me and all of those who refuse to look mainstream to be “seen.” Why haven’t I simply “conformed” and blended in? Because this look started when I had no identity and had to protect myself from other predators, back when I was a teenager. Asking me to change my look is the same as asking a person with dark skin to be more white.

The abyss is a part of me. I have managed to stay more on the inside by the wall, and less by the edge that would make me fall. It has taught me to avoid severe danger of slipping, by not abusing substances or becoming addicted. The abyss also reminds me how far I have come and teaches me to not be selfish and exercise compassion. For were it not for said lack of selfishness and compassion, I would have jumped a long time ago, instead of keep on balancing, carefully, one foot in front of the other.

I sadly feel incredibly unloved, unwanted and misunderstood. But as a friend of mine just told me “just because you feel that way doesn’t make it so!” I know this, why else would I still be here to talk about it? I ask but one thing of people “don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t assume by looks and appearances and remember that your actions and especially your words can make or break another; especially an abyss walker.”

 


Deja Vu – The Power of Change

 

 

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I have this feeling of deja vu – a lot! I find myself in various situations – jobs, people, relationships, friendships, places, etc. and can’t shake the feeling that I have been here before. The reason for this, most of the time, is that I have actually been there before!

There is something truly awfully amazing about the fact that we, as human beings, have the tendency to choose the same stuff over and over, even if it hurts us, even if it doesn’t serve us and even if we feel with all our heart that we don’t want it. Oh, but we do!

From a pure neurological standpoint, our brain maps all the time. We are hardwired to choose what seems familiar, even if we don’t actually like that familiar thing! And yet, we flock to it like moths to the light and this is how we keep repeating our cycles, over and over and over. All the while claiming that we are innocent and that it wasn’t our fault or our doing. We mourn the loss of something or someone, we regret the wrong choice, we turn around and bam! choose the same thing or person again; and then again.

I have paid close attention to my cycles, my choices and my life and found that I am an absolute expert and master in not only choosing the same, but insisting that I didn’t. Until I find myself again, hit with the proverbial universal 2×4, going “OUCH!” that’ll leave a scar. Technically speaking, there is nothing wrong with that, were it not for the fact that it makes me feel so incredibly miserable when I find myself yet again in another s***storm of my own making. Were it not for me again feeling despair, sadness, anger, hopelessness, rage, disappointment…well, you get the point.

The truth is that nothing changes. Not a damn thing changes, as long as you cannot change who you are being in the world! As long as I cannot get a grip on my underlying, not so subconscious choices anymore, I will keep getting what I choose and sadly, deserve. Nothing changes until I change and I won’t change until it costs too much to not change. What a mouthful, huh?

Sometimes, you just have to make a 911 call to that higher self of yours, no matter if it is in form of talking to a higher power, talking to yourself, talking to your inauthentic conscious mind, a friend, a therapist or whatever else you want to talk to; but you just have to do it. You have to pick up that receiver and you have to make the call, because otherwise, you are and will always remain a slave. There has to be a declaration, a commitment if you will, with your spoken word. There has to be accountability in order to manifest the change, or it’s just going to be another empty promise.

I’ve made a call. I’ve made a promise. I’ve made a declaration to stand for myself and to stop choosing more of the same. I’ve got the message pretty clear and I’m declaring my commitment to change myself. To change my perspective and to change my choices. I am choosing happiness. I’m choosing me and I’m choosing the life I want to have. Off come the shackles and off comes all the bondage and the cage that are attached to them. Deja vu, you suck. Change, I embrace you my new friend! Time to form a few new neural pathways. Yeehaaw!


Love – Just is…Not What We Thought?

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I recently realized that my understanding of love and what it truly is has changed; and keeps changing as I get older and wiser. While some may wonder now if I have gotten cynical, bitter, disillusioned or “sad,” I would argue that quite the contrary has occurred.

Like most girls, I grew up hoping for, what Hollywood at least, sold as the perfect love. You’ll meet your soulmate, usually by some amazing divine intervention, you lay eyes on each other and everything else around you stops moving. And from that moment on you are one, forever. You have kids and a family and you buy a house and you grow into the amazing unit of unwavering unity we were all taught we are entitled to have. Then I grew up and things changed.

So, I wanted to share how I evolved from a wide-eyed romantic, to someone who still believes in love above all with all her heart, but merely adjusted what the meaning of such love truly is and most importantly, how it comes about.

See, even as a child I wondered if undying love and everlasting bond exist. Being the product of a mother who was married five times and a dad who was also married five times, along with an aunt who is currently on her third, miserable marriage, all I ever saw is that love fails. Until I realized that it isn’t love that fails, but our expectations and our very being as we grow older and define what is important to us. This is also when I learned that love, in itself, is not enough when it comes to the real world. The real world which requires us to pay bills, have jobs (sometimes jobs we didn’t want, but jobs that paid the bills) and a certain willingness to conform, if we want to be somewhat successful. I learned that human beings are much more complex. I learned that feelings change, especially when you add emotional baggage, addiction, fear, anger issues and other unforeseen forces into the equation, such as basic compatibility! Yes, I’ve learned that love is not unconditional at all. Love is quite conditional, because love depends on so much more than just a warm fuzzy feeling.

Love, I have learned, is not a chemical reaction. You know, this crazy “in-love” feeling you have, when nothing else matters and you literally do see the world through rose colored glasses and stubbornly refuse seeing who a person truly is. This is when you accept and settle for things that you would otherwise never tolerate, such as the fact that someone may have severe issues with being honest. Or the fact that they drink too much, feel too little, do drugs, lie, have no ambition, and on the list goes. No, you stubbornly refuse to listen and to see, because you are in love! And this is also when you learn that this chemical, all powerful attraction lasts an average of 6 to mostly 12 months. Then reality sets in and you are stuck with whom they truly are; which is when the issues begin.

As I grow wiser, I have learned to understand love as a true appreciation and deep respect for another and who they are – short-comings included! Out the window went the expectation for someone else to complete me and be nearly perfect. I realized that looks and attraction fade, but that character and being generally do not. I set out to find someone who I can respect, genuinely like, sit and talk to, spend time and space with and someone who helps me grow and accepts me for all that I am, just the way I am. I realized that love is still an attraction, so yes, initially I still need to find the person attractive, but what constitutes this attraction and in order for me to stay attracted, there are traits that overwrite the original expectation and wishful thinking of the tall, dark haired, probably slightly “bad” boy who would sweep me off my feet. Instead, I found that the key to my heart takes a different set of skills these days. The key is through intellect and my mind first – can he hold a conversation about anything and especially the things that are important to me/interest me, can he make me laugh, can he challenge my beliefs and opinions and does he have the ability to listen and speak? Is he honest, self-aware and kind, or does he numb, distract, run and pretend? Does he look at me and think “blah, blah,” I just want to have sex already/watch TV, etc., or does he share his thoughts with me?

I have found that all I truly want is a best friend and true partner in crime. I have read studies who claim that your man should never serve as your friend and I couldn’t disagree more. While I don’t want him to be my only friend (I sure as hell don’t want to discuss my PMS with him), I want him to be my closest friend and confidant, because if he can’t be that, he can’t be my lover either. Yes, the saying that the largest sex organ is the brain is true. If he can’t stimulate my brain, he can’t stimulate my heart and if he fails in that, he won’t stimulate my body for long either. As a person who never was truly interested or capable of one-night-stands, this holds even more true.

I am finding that being able to form a friendship first may be the key for me to build a loving relationship. Because if I don’t have to censor, which I won’t when I don’t feel I need to be “on,” like I do when I am dating, and if he still loves being around the true and raw me, chances are, we can, are you ready, grow in love.

I have learned that I grow in love, I don’t fall in love anymore. My heart is not closed. My heart is open, it’s just that it takes a different and probably larger key to get to it these days and I think that’s OK and will keep me from settling for mad chemistry and lack of substance. The best bond is that we choose to have, not the one we are forced to have because we are addicted to someone, can’t be alone, feel miserable, lonely or otherwise inadequate. And I happen to make that choice easier if I find that being around someone makes me happy and feel at ease – just the way I do when I am around my best friends.

So here is a cheer to being with your best friend, lover and partner in crime, versus your prince charming and opposite that is supposedly so attractive.


Pseudo-Psychers and Other Enlightened Folk

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Your partner just dumped you. You are reduced to a snotty pile of misery, while your heart is being ripped out. And at this precise moment, one of your friends tells you “it’s just another lesson in life that will make you stronger,” or “I wonder what the lesson in this was.” Another all time favorite is “why do you think this happened/you’ve attracted this?” Let me tell you why! Because I sometimes have my signal wrong. Because I fell in love with someone I should have ran from. Because I took the wrong job. Because I sometimes make stupid decisions. Who cares?! Thank you for making me feel even worse by implying that I deserved what happened. That’ll bring me right out of my sadness and give me a whole lot of new found strength. NOT!

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the deal. If you are telling me this while I am sobbing my eyes out, chances are big that I’m going to punch you in the face. There is nothing, absolutely nothing worse than pseudo-psychologists and New Age BS when you are down in the dumps. Yes, when I am over the initial sadness and shock I absolutely want to dissect what happened and make sure I don’t repeat my mistakes, but please, spare me your enlightened crap until I am ready.
Having lived in CA for almost 23 years, I am fully aware how eager we all are to become much more enlightened beings. Boy, do we run to therapy (ALL types of therapy we can find), Kabbalah sessions, yoga workshops and self-help gatherings, so we can be ready to spew our new found pearls of wisdom, which we generally don’t use ourselves – EVER – with those who are unfortunate enough to be in our presence when the proverbial shit hits the fan.
The thing is that none of this stuff has made us compassionate, or even tactful enough to get that the last thing our friend needs right now is our Zen BS; especially not after we have spent the last couple nights stalking our ex on Facebook, got in a fight with a co-worker and/or engaged in other signs of douche baggery that clearly show that we don’t really live what we preach.
Sometimes, I really had to catch myself, because I wasn’t aware that I started doing the same crap to my friends. After all, I’ve learned social queues and behaviors by watching those around me, something that most of us who weren’t born and raised here do. Hence, after a few years in beautiful CA, I’ve started talking like everyone else; and boy, aren’t we one giant ray of friggin’ sunshine at all times?! We don’t get sad, we are cheerful and we don’t engage in our “lower selfs” by being too ego driven or a victim. We embrace all our smacks in the head and, just like Jesus, we turn the other cheek and yell “May I have another.”
Of course, none of it is authentic. What we really want to do is punch the jerk who ripped our heart out, or the boss who made us feel small, right in the face, drink a bottle of wine, cry ourselves a river and conclude that we truly are the saddest person in the world right now. And what we really want to hear from our friends is that we are beautiful, smart, capable and awesome and that we will find the right job/relationship, because this one was a doozy.
The fact that we have been conditioned in this society to always be positive, because we don’t want to be “Debbie Downer” is something that I once happily embraced, until I realized how fake it all was. I am a positive person, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel anger or sadness and express it when bad things happen to me. It doesn’t make me a negative person when I break down and cry, temporarily hate myself, or the world, and engage in a bit of self-pity. I don’t think it has ever helped me to hear that I will be a better person while I was suffering. What has helped me were those who, sometimes silently, sat next to me, with their arm around me, telling me they are sorry and helping me to plot the demise of the person who helped cause my pain. There is a huge difference in supporting your friend and enabling someone who just keeps creating drama in their life. I am lucky for having had friends who stood up for me, stood with me and had no problem allowing me to feel whatever I needed to feel at the time and allowed me to go through the process; which sometimes took me a while.
Which brings me to the last part of my rant: Stop telling me that no one makes me feel anything and that I am in full charge of all my emotions! I’ve got news here. I am human, I have feelings and they do get affected by those I care about. It doesn’t matter if it is work or home, when those I trust hurt me, treat me unkindly or make callous and mean remarks, my feelings will be hurt. That doesn’t make me weak, it makes me human. So please, keep the “he didn’t make you feel that way, you chose to allow him to make you feel that way” BS to yourself. In return, I’ll swear I’ll help you plot the demise of those who cause you pain, hold up your hair, while you puke from drinking too much and cry with you; unless you need that pseudo psych/new age BS, in which case I’m going to tell you that you’ve got what you’ve deserved, because we all create our own karma and merely have to learn to attract what we truly want
😀

 


I Am All That I Am – And that’s fabulous!

I Love Me Written inside a Heart Drawn in Sand

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I am very aware of how much I am like a wave. Like the constant ebb and flow of the ocean, I, too, find myself flowing in and out of various states of consciousness. But, above all, there are times when I remember, yet again, how important loving myself truly is.

I have been struggling sometimes with this concept. Sadly, I am still giving way too many f***s about others at times and it shapes how I look at myself. But, sooner or later there is always the “aha” moment again, where I realize that I need to just learn to give less f***s and go back to my core.

The thing is that I really, really don’t want to sound like one of “those” sad women, who rattle off their emotional resume; you know the kind who cries in her beer/wine and goes “WHAAAAHAAAA!! But I am such a good catch. I am smart, I am successful and I am pretty…” yada yada yada. Because honestly, this is not so much how I truly view myself. When I speak of loving myself, it is much more an honest glimpse at myself, my accomplishments, my failures, my strengths and weaknesses, sporting a slightly crooked grin, doing a little shoulder shrug and then, whilst shaking my head, going “yeah, you’re OK, girly.”

Sure, there are stunts I have pulled in my life that still have me scratch my head, going “WTF happened there,” but overall, I am OK with the choices I have made and the path I am on; even though I have no clue where it may lead. And you know what? That’s quite OK, too!

My entire life I have admired people who were taking risks, were extroverted, sure of themselves, unapologetically in people’s faces and stood firmly in who they were. I envied them, until I realized that I have quite a bit of these qualities myself. I mean, who else decides “I’m going to move up North!” and then goes and makes it happen within a mere two months.

Looking back at everything, I do love my willpower, my determination and the ability to bounce back, no matter what and still feel overall joyful, happy, cheery and even idealistic. I am glad that I haven’t turned bitter, miserable and angry. I am happy that I still have a twinkle in my eyes, still ask with all sincerity “really????” and mean it and that I have my heart, which is still wide open and a bit bleeding for all those who are less fortunate than me.

I am grateful that I am able to pay it forward. I am grateful that I am I – unapologetically so, in your face, dead honest and crooked grin sporting.


Dating – Poison for the Soul

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There is nothing, absolutely nothing more demoralizing than online dating. But what’s an introverted woman, who hates bars, to do? The choices are limited and so, again, I find myself sporting not one, but two dating profiles online.

I am not going to bag on men only. I am going to be an equal opportunity hater here, so if you are easily offended, here’s your way out.

Everyone online loves to cook, is athletic, enjoys long hikes through the wilderness and strolls on the beach, enjoys traveling, is sincere, honest, caring and nice. Except that most of it is made up. Women lie about their body type, men about their height, both lie about their age and post old pictures that no longer represent how they look at all. But all of this is not the worst part. The worst part is the fact that people on these sites are almost always as incapable of having an honest, true and intimate relationship, as they are capable of being honest with themselves. They actually believe their own BS and that makes it a gazillion times worse.

Everyone looks great on paper and no one talks about who they really are. And just like in marketing, you are encouraged to lie, by being positive, and not stating negatives. I’ve stated that I have fibromyalgia. I’ve also stated what I don’t like, but feel guilty about that.

The thing is that who I am doesn’t fit in a box that asks me to describe myself. My pictures give a glance, what I say does, too, but how can anyone truly know me from these tidbits? I don’t want to be judged and labeled, but this is what online dating is all about; an endless stream of judgments, based on superficial expectations of what is considered right/wrong, hot/sexy/beautiful and worthy or not. The whole thing makes me want to curl up, but I feel one has to put oneself out there.

I guess, at the end of the day, one has to be careful what one puts out there, because sometimes and maybe even frequently, you attract the one thing you’d never wanted to begin with. And lastly, one has to remain hopeful, because if I am out there, someone who is like me will be too. And that guy will be thankful that I put myself out there and that he found me.