Recognition, Remorse, Repair = Resolution

I woke up at 1 AM last night, on the nose. And as so often happens, my mind tried to resolve unresolved issues. Like my ex, who I will have to deal with until he signs the quitclaim he has to sign. The thing is, with him, that I’m sickest of, is him trying to use me to manipulate my son into talking with him. I don’t do it, won’t do it, but I’m so tired of him going around and around in long, ridiculous circular conversations about it. I’ve said I was going to block him, when this last legal thing is done. I hope I can follow through on that.

The reason I say “hope” is because I don’t know if I have the heart to cut him off from his only access to even know how his son’s doing. However…..his actions have been, and probably always will be, about control. My problem is that I know his need to control things come from the shame he feels that he’s not worthy of unconditional love. He was brought up in a household where love was earned, and could be taken away, and often was, on top of being extremely abusive both physically and verbally. This was an upper middle-class family, he grew up in material wealth, and was taught that it was what was important. To understand that, is to feel sorry for him, because it so messed up his own life.

However, he was so abusive to both my son and I, I have to eliminate him from our lives. Just have to. My son has, for all intents and purposes. And I will too. My idea in the middle of the night was that I would send him a letter, so that he couldn’t talk over me, or pretend he didn’t hear me. And tell him that he is cut out of my life because of he has never acknowledged, owned, or apologized for what he did to us. I will list some of the things he did, so he has to look at them.  He apparently does not know that I know he physically abused my son as well as emotionally and verbally abused him. My son told me, when he came to live with me. I will tell him that I know. Then I will tell him that until he is able to accept responsibility for what he did, he needs to stay away from me. And I will suggest, that until he can do it for his son, he won’t be welcome in his life either.

This way, I can eliminate him but also give him a path back. I cannot deal with his absolute insanity. His re-writing of history. His tales he weaves to manipulate and draw me back in. The lies. So many lies. I am grateful my son has been able to just eliminate him, because he knows that’s all his dad will try to do to him. I’ve kept that door open out of compassion for my ex, but I think I need to put it in proper perspective, and hold him responsible for his behavior in a much stronger way.

I’m going to prepare the letter to him, and send it as soon as the sale of my slip is completed. I just have to do something to keep the dogs from barking on my phone (his ringer is dogs barking), blind-siding me, filling me with dread, triggering PTSD from all the years of abuse I suffered from him. I need to take my power back, and put the truth out on the table with him, again. It’s not the first time I’ve done it, but with the passage of time, he seems to think that the slate is wiped clean. I want to make it clear that until he can recognize, feel remorse, and attempt to repair the damage he did to our lives, and even moreso to his own, that the slate will remain engraved.

Once I figured out what I would do, I almost got up and wrote him the letter. Then, decided it didn’t need doing at that moment, and that I needed sleep more immediately, since a friend is coming over this morning, and because I have open mic night tonight, and I have to get to Walmart today too. I have probably a week until this sale is completed. Instead of getting up, I relaxed and fell back to sleep.

Resolution to issues is always a good thing. You can’t always get it with the other person, as in this case. But you can get it with yourself, and decide on a pathway that will give you peace of mind. You can eliminate toxic people from your life. It seems I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. All of them have a way back if they want to take it. Recognition, remorse, and repair. Real change. And if they don’t want to take it….well, love and light to them. I hope they are able to find peace with themselves and their actions but they are not welcome in my life, until they can do those three things. Recognition of what they did, real remorse for what they did, the kind of remorse that causes real change in behavior, and then, repair of the damage.

Resolution is a good thing. Love and light everyone.

Pondering Mindfulness

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Perusing my FB page this morning, I came across a mindfulness program, which lasts a year, for $27 a month. There were great teachers in the program. If I was rich I might consider it. But I’m not. So I won’t buy it, though I did sign up for a free video.

I will though, try to focus on being more mindful. More present in the moment. More in tune to the world around me. Instead of spending a lot of time focusing on what I want it to be, I will try to accept it the way it is.

Now, acceptance and approval are two different things. I can still work for change, and I think right now it’s important to do that, with a mentally ill president and a bunch of fools around him buying into his power and control thing. But it’s like the riptide, you gotta swim with it, accepting that you are in a riptide, and then swim out of it. Fighting the fact that the riptide is what is, could kill you.  It’s what Brene Brown calls “leaning into the discomfort.”

I have found myself so angry at what’s been going on. Angry enough it made me almost get into arguments with people who even agreed with me, because I felt they weren’t understanding it enough. And they were, they were as angry as me. It is easy to make that step, and it’s only a step, from anger to hate. And hate is never where I want to be.

So, first I must practice extending love. Teach with love, react with compassion. Find joy in the day even though. When I find myself ready to make that step from anger to hate, my foot poised above the step, I know then I have to take some time to myself, to remember who I am, what my purpose here is, and count my blessings. Again.

For instance, I read an article from the NYTimes, or maybe Washington Post, explaining how tRump and his policy wonks are gaslighting us. And I know they are, I have been gaslighted by my own husband and it’s terrifying when you realize someone is trying to make you feel crazy. Then I read another, from one of those two prestigious papers, telling how husbands are far more deadly than terrorists in this country.

And knowing that, I need to still find joy in the day. I sit on my sisters porch, I wave at her neighbors out for their morning walk. I listen to the birds, and smell the salt air, and feel the breeze gently caressing me. I have spent a week with my two sisters, and I know I am so blessed, there is so much to feel blessed about.

All I’m saying is, be mindful of your blessings, as well as of the things that need changing in this world. When it’s time to fight for the common good, fight. When it’s time to sit back and know the world is indeed a beautiful place, sit back and be grateful. Feel the gratitude for everything you can think of. Family, friends, the food in your fridge, the air you breathe. Gratitude.

I truly believe that love is the only power that can cure this world. Hate begets more hate, anger begets more anger, fear begets more fear. And love begets more love.

Like Marianne Williamson said, in The Return to Love, “We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.” I will try to mindfully react to things by extending love. More.

Love and light, all…..

A conversation

Sitting in silence, in my small, old, adorable bungalow, thoughts run through my mind of what was, and is no more, and what is, and what will be. Observing the journey is all.

I think about the conversation I had with my close male friend last night on what’s happening in the world, and why it so triggered an emotional response from me. His calm, loving, focused care of me as I explained to him how much I have been reminded of my ex, and how last weekend I so felt that darkness over me again. When I told him, in a very abbreviated way, about my marriage, he asked, “What did you do when that happened?” (My ex just going off on me or my son for any random thing, just to cause chaos.) I said, “Usually I just got quiet, because to say anything just made it worse.” He nodded. Then I said, “But eventually, what I did was leave him…..” And he smiled. Because he saw that I realized that I actually didn’t let my ex kill me. That I took my own power back.

Now, I think how if I ever complained to my ex about anything, like I was sick and felt awful, even when I was in labor (!) he would have to make sure he told me how much worse he had had it than me. That I still didn’t know what pain really was. (I was trying to give birth to a 10lb. 15 oz. Child, 22 1/2” long, who was posterior. No, not much pain there…..idiot.) Always he had more, he was worse off, my pain or whatever I felt or experienced was negated.

You learn not to say anything, because you will feel worse.

With S, he always would say, “Whine whine whine….” as if I was just making up something to bitch about. Never wanted to listen to my troubles. Could never extend an ounce of empathy toward me. Because it was all about himself, always and forever. I guess I thought that was an improvement from the treatment I got from my ex. S was just telling me to forget about it, I guess, it wasn’t important. Even though it apparently was, or I wouldn’t have said anything. I was looking for support, he couldn’t give it so told me to forget it. Stop whining, as if I were a petulant child. Now I see who the petulant child was though.

I can already tell that L would be there if I needed him to be. He would not negate my feelings or emotions, by telling me his problems were worse, or that mine didn’t matter, minimizing my feelings, so I should move on. He’s much more like my friend that I talked with last night. We may not be on the exact same page politically, but I feel, at least right now, and it’s very early to even go here, that he would not negate my feelings, and try to make his dominant.

Once I let my friend last night know how I dealt with the triggering (by taking a couple of days off, walking, meditating, reading) and got myself centered again, and grounded in unconditional love, looked at me and said, “It’s insanity. What’s going on is just insanity.” His first action was to make sure I was ok, then he expressed his feelings on it. I knew we were on the same page about it anyway, we have had a lot of close conversation about our beliefs and feelings.

He’s a gift to me, really. He is quite a bit older than me, and married to a woman who is in a convalescent home with the final stages of Alzheimer’s. He is loyal and faithful to her, a trait which I totally admire in him. I think we serve each other well. He reminds me what I really want in a partner, and shows me how amazing it could be. I imagine being physically intimate with a man who can communicate, and feel empathy the way he does, and know I will not settle for less. I think I also offer him the companionship of a woman, and the sweet, intimate conversations he misses with his wife.

So many blessings, and so many lessons I’ve learned. So many gifts I’ve been given. I have to remember that in the end, I believe tRump will be his own worst enemy. I know he’s going to cause a great deal of pain and hardship in this country, maybe the world, before he is driven from power. I’ve never experienced growth on any scale, without pain. But in the end, he’ll be gone, impeached, or imprisoned, or at least not re-elected, or maybe even worse. The world will right itself again. I believe what you think about expands. My ex thought only about making me penniless, and ruining my relationship with my son. I thought only about having a beautiful home with my son. My ex ended up penniless, and has no relationship with my son. He attracted to himself what he wished for me. The universe only hears the wish….not where it’s directed. I ended up with a beautiful home, and a close relationship with my son. I don’t wish ill on anyone, not even tRump. Meaning I wish he would see the light, and become someone who could stand up for it, but I don’t wish him dead or any other ill. I wish love and freedom for us all. That’s what I want to manifest, so that’s what I’ll focus my thoughts on.

Enough philosophy, lol. Time to get another cup of coffee. Love and light, all.

Uncomplicated Love

“Think of someone you love who is uncomplicated to love,” the meditation guide instructed. I thought, of course, of my son. And as thoughts are liable to do, immediately after my son, I thought of my mother. And then of my father. And then of my two sisters.

All of them, uncomplicated to love, and to be loved by.

I have never known different with my family. Even when we had our disagreements, our rough patches, I never doubted that we loved each other, and that if pressed, we would be there for each other. Ever.

How friggin’ blessed I am, is something I’ve come to know as an adult. Really not until I was well past the half-way mark of my life did I realize the depth of that blessing.

I remember back when I just assumed all families were like mine. It seemed incongruous that my best friend’s father (at age 12) could put belt marks on her legs, but he did. She didn’t make a big deal of it, so no one else did. I can’t imagine what it was like, to be a 12 year old, going through puberty, and have your father take a belt to you. I remember my own father, at times in his frustration with my misbehavior as a child, raising his hand. That, the raised hand, was enough to make me know I better stop what I was doing, or saying. He never brought it down on me. I think it would have killed him to hit me.

I was SO naive.

I have known and loved men who were beaten by their fathers, whose mothers stood by and watched, thus enabling the brutality of a child. I think I made it my quest to prove to them that they were lovable, that they were in reality, as deserving of unconditional love as much as anyone. I wanted to convince them that it is possible for someone to love them purely, with no conditions. I cannot imagine a more painful thing to live with than the belief that you innately do not deserve love and belonging. Would it not instill false shame, to think you weren’t worthy of your parents love? And shame is such a destructive emotion.

I was unable to achieve this. It took me a long time to actively give up the quest. And that in itself, is not a good basis for a relationship anyway. There is no common ground. But, I love them, still. And wish they could see themselves the way I saw them. I wish they knew that all the love they think they missed is inside them now, given to them as a divine right. No one can take it from anyone else.

My childhood friend, has somehow managed to retrieve a relationship with her siblings now. They are very close. She has held onto the friendships of her youth. She’s coming to see me, and our other friend who lives in Daytona across the state, in January. This group of girls is like my family. They reconnected with me after about 40 years, and we picked up where we left off.

I think though, that it is part of my soul’s journey to love others the way that I’ve been loved. Am loved. It’s always the underlying emotion, the baseline. If I’ve loved you, I will always love you. If I never see you again, I will always love you, always wish the best for you, always feel the pain I know you feel and always send out whatever I can to assuage it. I may not like your behavior, I may choose to withdraw from it, but the love I felt, only came through me. I did not create it, I just channeled it. And will continue to do so, actively or passively.

So this was my post-meditation blog. Kind of a deep, heavy meditation, and it seems I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and introspection around this broader subject lately. I hope I’m not boring….not bringing the kiss of death on myself, lol.

Love and light, all.

Liz Gilbert on Truth and Kindness (and lies….)

I just saw this on Facebook.  It’s a post by my hero, Elizabeth Gilbert, on Truth, Lies and Kindness.  BOY, does she nail it.  Just nails it.  As someone who has had my life turned upside down by the lies of others, and who has been attacked for my passion to have the truth out on the table, this was amazing to read. I was accused of wanting to play God, because I insisted that the truth be told.  When, in reality, it was the liar that played God, manipulating me and others lives for their own benefit, with the most enormous pile of painful lies imaginable.  Liz Gilbert explains my need, and my pain, and my truth better than I have ever been able to.  Read on…..
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Dear Ones –

The biggest emotional trouble I’ve ever gotten into in my life always stemmed from the same dilemma — when I was torn between telling the truth, and being kind.

Both matter immensely to me.

Both of these virtues (truth and kindness) are top-notch, A-grade, golden-ticket qualities, recognized by every human society in history as being essential for basic goodness.

I want to be unfailingly honest, but I want to be a REALLY NICE PERSON.

But here’s the thing: I’ve traditionally had trouble figuring out how to be both. Because sometimes the truth really hurts people, and I never want to hurt anybody. So — for most of my life — when I had to choose between truth and kindness, I always went with kindness. Because my need to not hurt people was bigger than my need to be truthful.

Also, isn’t it a fact that most people — no matter what they may claim — actually don’t really want you to tell them the truth? (Or so my reasoning went, anyhow.) As a Ethics Professor of mine taught me back in college: “Most of us grew up in families where our parents DEMANDED the truth, but they couldn’t DEAL WITH IT…and so we all learn how to lie.”

Didn’t the world teach you how to lie, too, in order to keep things peaceful and smooth? So aren’t you doing people a favor, when you them what they want to hear? Isn’t that nice of you?

No.

Here’s the thing I have finally learned, after years of struggling and suffering over this subject:

White lies are OK. Other lies are not.

There is such a thing as a harmless little white lie. The best anecdote I know about this came from President Jimmy Carter’s mother, who — when her son was running for president — was visited down in Georgia by a pushy New York journalist, who demanded to know, “Is it true that your son has never told a lie? Seriously? NEVER?” Mrs. Carter thought about it, and said “Well, Jimmy has told some white lies….” The journalist thought she had Mrs. Carter in trap and said, “Aha! But isn’t a white lie just a lie, all the same?” Mrs. Carter said, “No, white lies are harmless.” The journalist said, “Give me an example of a harmless white lie.” Mrs. Carter said, “Well…remember when you came into my house today, and I told you that it was very nice to meet you? THAT was a white lie…”

Mrs. Carter was correct: If you can’t tell little white lies sometimes in order to be polite to people, than you’re a sociopath and a jerk — so don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. Tell your neighbor that her cake was delicious — who cares? The world does not hinge upon such things, but it’s fine to be polite.

But this is not what we are talking about here.

We are talking about bigger moments, bigger lies, bigger truths.

There will be times in your life when people need to hear the truth from you — real truth, that will have real impact on their real existence — and when you decide “protect” that person with lies, then you are actually not protecting them at all. What you are doing is demeaning both them and you.

As that same Ethics Professor taught me, twenty-five years ago, “Whenever you lie to somebody about something that affects their life, you are manipulating that person and infantilizing them. By denying somebody essential information that they need in order to make intelligent decisions about their own future, you are effectively making all their decisions for them. There is no greater act of disrespect you could offer to an adult human than to make their choices for them, by lying to them, or by withholding essential information.”

Or, as my friend Martha Beck has taught me: “The truth is always an act of kindness, even when it seems like it will hurt. And a lie is always an act of unkindness, even when you believe you are being protective.”

For years, I told lies to people because I didn’t want to hurt them. Some of this was because I am “a nice person”, sure. But some of it was because I was “a scared person.” And some if it was because I was “a controlling person”. (Which isn’t very nice, when you really think about it.)

It took years of terrible consequences and suffering for me to realize that I wasn’t doing anybody any favors by hiding the truth from them, again and again. By lying to people out of kindness, I was being neither honest NOR kind. What I was practicing, in fact, is what the Buddhist call “Idiot Compassion” — which is when your cowardliness and your weak-heartedness makes you pity people instead of respecting them. Idiot compassion is what keeps people in relationships with abusers. (“Oh, he can’t help it! He had a hard childhood!”) Idiot compassion is what makes people engage in “pity sex”. Idiot compassion makes you cover for people, instead of challenging them. Idiot compassion is at the basis of all codependency. Idiot compassion makes you say yes when you need to say NO. Idiot compassion makes you easy to manipulate, but also makes you a serial manipulator — because you are always controlling people when you lie to them. Idiot compassion is called “idiot compassion” because it makes an idiot out of you, but it also makes an idiot out of your victim, because what you are offering is not protection, but patronization. By building a house of lies — no matter how pretty it may look from the outside — you are keeping everyone trapped.

As my friend Iyanla Vanzant says, “Respect people enough to tell them the truth.”

Respect yourself enough for that, too.

If there is one lesson I have FINALLY learned that has actually transformed my life, it is this: Whenever you are called to choose between truth and kindness, choose truth.

Trust me, in that moment you will actually be choosing both.

ONWARD,
LG

How I Deal With the Pain of Having Had A Narcissist in My Bed (A Sequel)

This is actually a sequel, I guess, to the narcissist post immediately preceding this post.  In the same newsletter from Oprah.com there was this excerpt from Marianne Williamson’s book “From Tears to Triumph, The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.”

So many people don’t understand how I can forgive my narc, how I can say I still love him, how I can wish good things for him. I think Marianne Williamson explains it here. My quest, my journey, has led me to believe in the power of unconditional love. I believe it is the only thing that can destroy the darkness in people, and the only way to raise the consciousness of all people, is for all of us to try to extend love whenever, wherever we can.

I know he was a classic narc. I know he’s not always happy about that. I know he finds himself in darkness so often, and can’t find a way out. I know he’s been fending for himself since he was tiny, and I know the pain he’s suffered. He’s a classic narc, whose narcissism grew out of some really horrible circumstances.

This article I just copied and will paste below one paragraph from, explains quite well where I am with my emotions for my narcissist. I think the book will probably be next on my booklist to read. I have always said that great beauty can be borne of great pain. I hope this can still be true for my narc at some point in his life, that he’s able to see the soul I’ve always seen and let it shine.

Here are Marianne’s words, with a link to the whole article if you’re interested. Love and light all.

And that is the ultimate deliverance from suffering—the realization that we can be better people because of it. The spiritual journey from emotional pain to inner peace entails a transformation of our personalities, from being someone weakened by suffering to someone honed by it. Yes, we must look at the darkness within ourselves, and forgive others for the darkness that we see within them, in order to experience the miracle of love that only forgiveness brings. Yet, in so doing, we emerge victorious. And within that light, endless miracles abound. For miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. We grow less imprisoned by our fears as we release them to thoughts of love. No longer in denial about our issues, we atone and learn to forgive ourselves. No longer blaming others, we are able to forgive them. We experience a cosmic re-parenting from which we grow, at last, into the adults we were meant to be. This is the greatest story, the story of all stories, and it is the story of every one of us.”


Read more:
http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/the-unexpected-route-to-a-spiritual-miracle#ixzz4GY4zsREc

Stained Glass Windows

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My book club is reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection this month.  It’s a quick read, and kind of sets the basis for her next two books, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, which for me had a huge impact on my life.  The quote above was in the book, and I read it last night.

Isn’t this true?  I could go on, about people who never let their light shine, people who want the external light to make them become beautiful, people who don’t believe they even have a light. I have known these people.  But lately, I feel like that has been me.

My light hasn’t been shining lately, from within.  I have been angry, hurt, disappointed, betrayed by the actions of others.  I read this quote and realized I need to stop.  I need to cut the cords (again) that connect me that way.  It’s not the kind of energy I generally like to carry around with me.

Everyone has their own journey, and I know mine doesn’t include constant unhappiness any longer.  No one can be in a constant state of happiness, but I can get back to my overall normal state of being happy,  being grateful for all my blessings, of forgiving and letting go, of seeking the light, not the darkness, and it’s the light within me that I want to pull the layers of darkness off of.

My lesson at the moment, is that when people behave in ways that dim my light, to walk away from them.  To let them go.  There are so many people who are innately unhappy.  I feel for them.  I have had an overabundance of empathy for them, and tried to help them find their way out of the dark.

It’s not my job.  Not to be cold, but to be real, to acknowledge that everyone has their own journey, and I can’t over-invest myself in trying to help those who are determined to live in darkness.  Everyone has a light buried somewhere in there.  They can deny it, they can cover it up, it still burns.  The fact that I could see it and want to see it shine, doesn’t make it my job to uncover it.

Everyone has autonomy over their journey.  We can’t know what anyone’s soul’s journey is, and there is always free will added to the mix.  Everyone has their karmic lessons to learn, and everyone has the choice to learn them or not.

It’s not my job to teach them.  It’s my job to learn my own lessons, and let the light within me radiate out.  If I am to teach them, let it be by example. Rumi says “The wound is where the light enters you.”  Leonard Cohen says, “There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.”  I think I’ve been wounded again recently, that cracks have been reopened.  But I hope now, that enough light has gotten in, that I can continue my journey back to source.  I wish those well, who still cover their light.  My journey takes me away from them, from that sadness and pain.

As usual, my prayer is that the Universe work it all out for the highest good of all.  Love and light to all.