Learning to Lean The Other Way

A nice thing happened last night. I hadn’t heard from L all day, but I knew he was driving to meet his friends, and when he did would be all caught up in their doings, having fun, so didn’t expect to. On Sunday I had asked him to send me a picture of himself, a selfie, because he’d taken down all his pics on the dating site, so I didn’t have any. I jokingly said, “I don’t want to forget what you look like.” He replied that “you are so sweet! But I am not good about selfies.” So I said, “well, maybe one of your friends can take one and you can send it to me.”

Last night going to bed, I was just thinking about him, wondering where he was, because they had a few places on their itinerary, and hoping really, that he was having a great time. And I heard the text alert go off, and he sent me a pic his friend had taken of him at the finish line on the Daytona track. It’s from a distance, but I was able to zoom in enough to see him well. He said, “Does this qualify as a selfie?”

It was just so nice, not just the picture but the fact that at the end of the day, he remembered my request and cared enough to honor it. Wow. I may have a keeper here. He actually knows how, and seems to want to, build a relationship.

It’s still so new, too new to tell if it will go anywhere or not, but clearly, the foundation is being built one brick at a time. And not being torn down in between, nor is anything being withheld in some kind of power play. No game, at all.

It’s so refreshing. I have gotten so used to leaning into the discomfort of a relationship. Now I am leaning into the joy of it. Which is actually a little scary, lol. I am trained to expect the rug to get pulled out from under me, to wait for the other shoe to drop. But every day, I am less afraid of that, and more willing to believe in the possibilities.

Love and light….

A Few Words on Words

words

Words….

I have been accused of being too wordy, by some. Funny, my ex-husband, in his pre-alcholic days, disliked my reticence. I learned to keep my mouth shut around him, so he’d have nothing to get fired up about, nothing to twist into some crazy attack on him, nothing to make me defend myself against.

I once told his mother, who was calling him at 8 AM, that he’d call her back when he got out of the shower. OMG, the tongue lashing I got for telling her he was in the shower at 8 AM. Geezus. When you live with someone like that for almost 40 years, you learn that the less you say, the less he knows, the better off you are. (Why I stayed is another story, in fact a book, but abusers are good at making us shoulder the blame for their anger.)

When I left him, I gradually found my voice, and my words, and I vowed no one would ever silence me again. Much to the chagrin of at least one other man.

But what else do we have, to express ourselves? Rolling of our eyes? Hand signals? Hanging up the phone? Withholding in bed?  I’m sure I use the first 3 of those, in combination with the words.  The last?  Not really my style….

All that stuff….may communicate pleasure or displeasure, but it doesn’t let someone in. Some people don’t want anyone in. Fear. Afraid if someone gets in they might get hurt. We all probably have that fear at times.

My greater fear is that no one will ever get in. That forever, I’d be alone with my thoughts that I didn’t have the courage to be vulnerable enough to say out loud.

I can say “I love you” if that’s how I feel. There could be a million reasons why it’s not said back. But there also might be a reason to say it. Like, it’s just how a person feels. Maybe me saying it first takes away the fear of saying it back. Maybe not. But maybe. And it may be worth the risk to me.  The bigger gamble for me would be to spend my days wondering “What if I’d said it?  Would he still be here if he knew?”

I like the truth out on the table. I like things to happen based on the truth. Not on games that people want to play. Not on being manipulated into a position. I know who I am. There is kindness underlying my truth, most of the time. Unless I sense injustice. I hate injustice.

But words, written words in particular…have taken me from the dark days of an abusive marriage, they enabled me to help my son to climb out of that same dark cave. The words brought me through an intense affair that ended in terrible betrayal, to the joy I feel in this moment, because the words have allowed me to be true to myself. They have allowed me to tell my story, to form relationships with like-minded people, all over the world. They let me see what is in my head, and decide if what I was thinking, and what I’m saying is actually true.  I have discovered, along the way, that the truth rings.  If it’s not ringing in my head, it’s most likely not true.  At least for me.

Just some thoughts on words.

Gratitude and Release

thankful

I didn’t think I’d sleep last night, but I slept well.  I went to bed and lay under the covers with the kind of chill I get at the gong baths that starts from the inside, my heart and solar plexus chakras, releasing.  I did my gratitude list, I was grateful for my son, my warm bed, my home, my two sisters, my parents, my life.   And then I fell fast asleep.

It did me a lot of good, to speak my mind, to say to him, and to her, what the truth was from my perspective, and demand that I not be made into something I was not.  That my relationship with S not be made into something prurient, and shallow, because it so was not.  Anyone who reads my blogs consistently can see that.

When I was being grateful for all those things, I also was grateful that I am strong enough to stand in my story.  That I could articulate what was true, what was undeniable.  That I didn’t have to sit in the shadows and swallow a lie.  I am so grateful that my life has taught me to stand up for something.  To stand up for myself.  The fact that someone I loved cannot stand up for himself, or me, is his problem.  He will live with that karma.  If she stays with him, she will also have to deal with it.

He has so much fear.  For some reason, he feels that if he admits to caring for me, not even loving me, that it will take something from her.  How silly.  Caring for one person doesn’t negate the love you have for someone else.  She can’t be that jealous, that he couldn’t care for someone else when she wasn’t in his life.

My conscience is clear this morning.  I am ready more than ever to go on my vacation, free of emotional encumbrances that bind me to the past.  I am more ready than ever to make this move for the same reason.

It’s all been hard, so hard.  Some of the hardest shit of my lifetime.  And trust me I’ve been through a lot of shit. It’s not as hard as the problems I had when my ex was trying to keep my son from me, but it’s running a close second.  I trusted my gut now, as I did then, and as I freed him from abuse, I have freed myself from betrayal.

I always have to remember, that everything that happens to us brings us to where we are.  I like where I am, I like who I am.  Therefore, I am grateful for all of it, and all the lessons I was taught.   I also try to remember that many wise people say our purpose in this life is to learn lessons and evolve our souls.  I have felt the power of speaking up for myself, not because of it’s affect on anyone else.  If there is, or isn’t, an affect on anyone else, I likely won’t ever know.  But I feel the power within me, that I loved myself enough not to swallow another lie.  And that’s a wonderful thing to know, that I can do that.

 

On Being Half-Dead

Burial Cost

This poster was hanging from the ceiling of the bar I went to Friday night.  It’s kind of a western themed bar/cafe.  This sign tickled me, lol.  I took a picture, but I’m sorry about the quality.  I had to zoom in to make it legible, and it lost a lot of definition in doing that.

It made me think about how people walk around so unaware of the beauty and possibilities that life has.  If you’re walking around half-dead, then you can choose to be buried, quite inexpensively!  Or, you can choose to breathe in life, and rise.  There is always another choice.  As long as we breathe, there is another possibility.

There are thousands of them actually.

How do we choose?  It’s so easy to make the wrong decision, and end up far from where we want to be.

I think first, you have to believe that inside of you, and every sentient being, there is a center, connected to the One Thing, borne of the unconditional love of the universe.  Even if you don’t feel it at the moment, believe it is there.  That’s the  beginning.

And then, trust your gut.  Trust your third eye.  Trust your intuition.  Trust the way a choice makes you feel.  Don’t think about it, FEEL it.  Feel what is right for you.  And trust that.  It may seem harder.  It may seem unreasonable.  It may seem stupid.

People asked me why I would even want to talk to S, let alone be with him after what he did, last summer and fall.  But I trusted my gut.  There was something else I needed to know, to learn from one last go-round with him.

I don’t regret it.  I learned what I needed to.  And it allowed me to have clarity and let go.

I am trusting my gut on this move to Florida.  I am terrified, if I think about it.  Overwhelmed.  The logistics alone, of getting the house ready for sale, selling it, retiring, getting my house packed up and moving to a new place where I know 3 people well, 1500 miles from the place where I am comfortable every day of my life, all by myself?  It seems crazy.

I trust my gut, that it is absolutely the right thing for me to do. And I move ahead.

I got through my long contentious divorce, trusting my gut, going with the flow.  It’s how I freed my son, just listening to that inner voice.  Making choices that absolutely freaked my attorney out, and proved to be the exact right thing to do.

Sometimes, it requires stillness.  Sometimes you need to sit somewhere, and just clear your head and let the energy of the Universe fill you, and guide you.  Giving yourself a few minutes of stillness every day can give you the space to just know.

If you make a mistake, so what?  There is always a way back, or another path you can choose to get where you want to be.  If you know where it is you really want to be.

Sometimes we think want to be with a specific person, that we won’t be happy unless we are.  We make a mistake that sends that person packing, never to be seen again. Is that cause to lay down and die?  To spring for the $22.95 and get ourselves buried?

What did we really want?  What were we expecting to feel when we were with them?  Can we just realize that what we wanted them to fulfill in us, can be fulfilled in another way?  By ourselves, by our passions, or by finding someone else?  Was the mistake that we made a mistake?  Or just, a lesson, a signpost to point us in another direction, towards more personal fulfillment?

Thousands of choices. Every step is a choice.  If you run into a wall, change your course.  Find a way around it. Even the great wall of China has a beginning and an end.

Why waste a lifetime walking around half-dead?

 

Trying to Find My Courage

courage vs comfort

I have so much to say this morning, and feel like I should just not say a lot of it, at least not right now.  Talking to Scott dredged up a lot of old stuff, that I’m hoping will settle back down where it was.  Not longing, but anger, disappointment, confusion.  My head is spinning, my emotions are a little raw again.  And I don’t want to write anything that can be taken wrong, that might cause pain to Betty, that will fuel a divide that is already huge.

He said that Betty told him I was still in love with him.  It sounded as though she said it not in a jealous way, but kind of as a revelation.  I told him, well that’s not news Scott.  I told you I will always love you, and I will.  But that doesn’t mean I can be with you, or accept your behavior, or would ever trust you.

He asked me what I wanted from him now.  I thought about it….but nothing.  I want nothing.  I want to move on, I want to fall in love with someone who can love me back as passionately as I can love.  I am happy that we talked, even though it came to no good end yesterday.  I hate cutting off communication with anyone, I don’t think that refusing to communicate ever eases anything. Not that I want to be communicating with him the way we used to, constantly.  It is just easier to know we can communicate, than thinking that  we can never talk.   Especially with this frigging connection that we have, or at least that I have with him.  Sometimes I feel compelled to let him know what I’m feeling, and it’s nice to know I can, especially when it has to do with his health.

I have to talk and write, to work things out.  I had to stay silent in my marriage for so many years, just to stay safe, just to keep the sleeping dogs sleeping.  If they woke they were vicious.  I refuse to do that ever again.  It almost killed me then, really. When I left that marriage I was diabetic, way overweight (I’ve lost about 40 lbs since then) and my heart was beating irregularly, pounding in my chest.  I prayed every night, literally, “Please God, don’t let me have a heart attack while I sleep.  I can’t leave my son with his father as his only parent.”  Thankfully, that prayer was answered night after night.  When I moved out, it stopped the very first night I was alone, and it’s never come back.

I started writing during that time.  I started writing down what I was living with because I just thought, “I have to write this down.  No one will ever believe this.”  I discovered the therapeutic benefits of writing it out.  My ex didn’t know I did this, though the journals weren’t hidden.  He went through my room a number of times, to see if I was hiding money, because once he found $85 I had squirreled away.  He had to see the journals when he rifled through my drawers and closets, but ignored them, because for whatever reason, he was not interested in my thoughts.  Until I brought them to court, and the judge showed an interest.  Whatever.  I wrote them for me, but they had a bigger benefit than I ever imagined they would.

I won’t go there again.  I’ve learned to have the hard conversations.  Scott asked what he could do now,now that he’s done all this damage.  And he apologized.  I thanked him for that, I told him it was a good first step for him to recognize and feel remorse for the damage he did.  But what could he do now?  He seemed genuine, as if he wanted to know.  I said, “next time you have a choice to tell a hard truth or a pretty lie, choose the hard truth.  Just choose the truth.  Practice it.”

I’d like to tell him to journal his day, to look back and observe his behavior, to see where he was selfish, and where he stood up for something.  But that’s my method, it’s not his.  Even though, I’ve read bits of things he’s written and he’s very talented.

All of this pain, every bit of it, could have been avoided by the truth.  Well, ok, I still would have been hurt and sad to lose him, but I wouldn’t have had all the other emotions around it.  I would have gotten past it, through it.  All of Betty’s pain, and his current pain, would be non-existent.  I acknowledge that the pain I would have had, I could have just looked at myself, and taken responsibility for it, because I dismissed 100 red flags because I didn’t want them to be true.  I loved being in love, I loved him beyond reason, and refused to accept anything that said to me, “NO, not now, Deb, not this time.  Don’t do it. Stop…..”  Because I thought he just wanted to be alone, and work things out, I thought too, that someday he’d not want to be alone.  If I’d known he was in love with Betty, I would have let go.  Quickly.  It’s the one boundary I will not cross.  It’s the only one I ever set.

Yes I’m a little fixated, as was said in a comment to me on my apology blog.  I need complete understanding to let go of things, or as much as I can get.  And really, I had it, I will have it again, I will gain clarity again, once all this stuff that was dredged up settles back down.  I have been moving away from it, in small, but steady steps.

I am looking forward to my lunch date today.  We’re going to a new Mexican restaurant.  It will be fun to meet this man that I’ve been talking to all week.  I have no expectation though.  It has been nice, so far.  Sometimes meeting in person makes it better, sometimes you find out there’s no connection.  But it’s a brave thing to do, to put myself out there again.  It’s a step in the right direction, toward where I want to go.  Brene Brown says that making yourself vulnerable is the most courageous thing you can do.  I think she’s right.

Love and light.

Adder:  My date is off.  It’s fine.  He had a what appears to be a valid reason, and said maybe we can meet after work one day next week.  But I knew when Scott’s energy got thrown back into my life that this date might not happen, it’s just the way it is.  I was not focused on meeting a new man, I’ve been, obviously, focused on still working my way out of this old relationship.  That’s the way the energy ripples out.  I have some work to do still, and until I get it done, nothing will work out the way I dream about.

 

Which Will You Be?

strength acourage

Strength

Measured in lies

Measured in pain caused

Measured in lives destroyed

Is weakness.

Is less than zero.

 

Strength

Measured in open hearts

Measured in joy given

Measured in lives connected

Is power.

Is heaven on earth.

 

Courage

Measured in willingness to lie

Measured in willingness to deceive

Measured in willingness to devastate

To crush, to harm

Isn’t courage.

It’s cheap cowardice.

It’s emptiness of a soul.

 

Courage

Measured in Willingness to to be honest

Measured in willingness to trust

Measured in willingness to show oneself

And be seen, truly be seen

Is courage.

It is wealth of spirit,

It is fullness of soul.

 

Which have you been

The weak morally bankrupt coward?

Or the courageous, powerful rich spirit?

 

Which are you?

 

Which will you be?

Update

I had emotions today ranging from pure anger at the bold-faced lies I was told, to that feeling of great sorrow for him.  It seems that the height and depth of the emotions are evening out.  None of them last long anymore.  Thought about sending him the song “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan.  Because I think at the end of the day that’s what I wish for him.  But I ended up on middle ground, knowing that the journey which he needs to take is one he has to embark on himself, and take by himself, and choose by himself, and I need to not add my energy to the mix.  He always said to me he’s never been alone, he’s been in relationships for 40 years.  He has the opportunity now, to do some real work.  I hope it’s what he’ll choose.

It is generally exhausting for me anyway,  our connection has always been so strong.  I have a couple of crystal pendulums and when I’ve received strong energetic messages from him they have been confirmed for the most part.  I am learning to let them come and go.  I am trying to pay attention to what I need, and let the rest go.  I told him he was dead to me, because I don’t want any on-going communication, and because I can’t take finding out one more untruth.  But I think I will always care for the man I loved, the one pre-Betty who was trying to be someone.  I will always love the child who steers the riverboat.  He was headed for the deep, but now he’s in it, and he has to find his way back alone.  I hope he can do it.