A Little This ‘n’ That

This morning is foggy here. First time I have seen fog, though I know it has settled over the bay at times, once enough to close the huge Sunshine Skyway bridge that goes across Tampa Bay. It’s quite warm for early in the morning, about 65 or so. Feels a bit like New England though, with the fog.

I had this peculiar conversation with a friend last night. It started out fine, but ended up with some kind of game going on that I just wouldn’t play. God, I hate games, at least in person-to-person conversations. Whatever, it was weird. I thought I was just being a friend to someone who wanted to talk. I keep thinking the friend had been drinking or something. IDK, but I hope I don’t hear from them again. Too much trouble, chaos. I don’t hear from them much, but this is a repetitive cycle with them, that I’m a little sick of.

I have been messaging with a couple of nice, kind, smart men, both of whom seem to enjoy carrying on a give and take conversation, unlike the date from hell I had last week.. One lives 25 miles from me (my favorite so far) and one lives about 5 miles from me. The one that is my favorite is very laid back. I need laid back. Both tried to reach me yesterday, and couldn’t. I was just busy with the cookies and the boat parade thing. But I’m going to call them both back today. I explained that I’m normally not this busy, and I’d really like to talk to them. Well, one of them I have been talking with. The other has messaged me a lot, and was gong to the gallery in St. Pete to see my jewelry.

I’m feeling good this morning, even though that weird conversation last night spun my head for a little while. Well, I took measures to keep it from happening again. I have a wonderful life here. People that are hell-bent for terror and chaos are not welcome in it.

Today I go for my therapeutic back massage, and then off to my sisters on the island for a little R & R and sister time. Kind of ridiculous to call it R & R time, that’s really all I have, lol. But just the same, it will be really nice to get over there again.

Love and light, everyone.

Free to Love, or Not

I’ve been doing the Deepak Chopra/ Oprah Free 21 Day Meditation “Creating Peace from the inside out, The Power of Connection.” I think I have done all of the free 21 day meditations that they have put out over the last 5 years. I always get something out of them, always.

Today’s email with the link had this quote at the bottom by Thich Nhat Hanh.

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

Really, that says it all. That’s the ideal, to try to achieve, isn’t it?

We all crave connection.  It’s part of the human condition, we are hard-wired to want connection with other people.  How do we connect on a deep level, yet still allow that person to feel free?

Is it hard to do? Hmmmmm. Depends on if you hold onto petty jealousies, possessiveness, if you are a control freak, if you come from a place of fear, and lack. Then, yes…..it’s hard to wade through all that, and just let someone you love be free to live their life out as best they can.

If you come from a place of unconditional love, then, you want the people you love to be happy, right? Whether or not that includes you in their life. Whether their journey takes them far from you, or brings them to you.

Don’t we all want to be in a relationship with others that allows us to be our best selves? To encourage and empower our loved ones to find their own way? We throw so many complicated issues into the mix, and it’s really just simple. Love….real unconditional love, allows freedom.

In my life, my best example is that of my son. When I wanted to move to Florida, he chose to move 2000 miles away, to Colorado. Did I like that? No. Of course not. What normal mother wants her kids that far away? But did I try to lay the guilt on him, and make him feel responsible for my happiness? No. I encouraged him, and helped him to organize the move, and helped him to settle in, and have been there with him every step of the way, as he found his own way.

Do I miss him? Every damn day. Every minute. We are as close as ever, if not moreso. I’m proud of him and the way he is making his own way in the world, independent of me.

So it goes for other people I love. I want them to find their own happiness. I want them to choose to do the right thing. I don’t want someone with me out of obligation, or overwhelming guilt over something they did in the past, or fear of some kind. I want people in my life that freely chose to be there, and that I have freely chosen to have in my life.

Thich Nhat Hanh is such a wise man. I keep one of his books, maybe two, beside my bed. So that if my thinking begins to get small, and selfish, I can open to any page, and read, and regain my center.

Love. Unconditional love. It’s a goal. Not saying I achieve it all the time. But it is where I aim.

Love and light, all.

(Very) Early Morning Musings

I woke at 4:15 this morning. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I was asleep at 9:30. I lay in bed for about 45 minutes, just thinking about things. Moving, the foundation cracks, lol, the men I’ve loved.

The moving, the house selling, it will all be over soon. So, I just have to make my way through each day, and do what needs to be done. Taking it one thing at a time, I’m sure I’ll get it all done, easily.

The men, idk. I was thinking about my ex. His name is the same as my son’s so I don’t use it on here, because I don’t want to confuse anyone. But it’s Bruce. I was thinking about the fondness I still feel for S, and how I have none for my ex, who I was with for 40 years. I guess the difference is my ex, B, eroded that love every day for years with his control and abuse of me, and my son. I don’t wish him any ill, I don’t have to, lol. He’s done a damn fine job of fucking up his life with no help from me. I wish him love and light, all good things, but I know with his last breath he will blame me for his problems.

I thought about how, when he was in control, he used to occasionally have these 2 or 3 day brain-washing sessions with me, before my son was born. He would brow beat me, and yell at me, and threaten me for days. I couldn’t leave the house. I was his captive scapegoat for all the ills in his life. And back then we had very few ills. We had enough money, a decent home, a yacht, but still he had to make me feel less than human anytime I began to feel happy and secure. And then he’d say, “I love you, I would think you’d listen to me, knowing it was for your own good.” Geezus. It was for his. To have himself a servant who would do everything, who was dancing around trying to win his favor.

One particular time, during one of those brain-washing sessions, he decided that I did not deserve my 1 1/3 carat heart shaped diamond. He ordered me to give it to him. I refused. He got up from the couch as I sobbed, went in the kitchen and got a pair of pliers out of a drawer where he kept a few tools. He came back, and grabbed my hand and broke the setting, so that the diamond fell out. I am sure, 100% positive, that if I’d fought him he would have broken my hand. He was 6’2”, about 240 lbs, and had arms like most people’s thighs. Very strong, he was a nationally ranked swimmer at one time.

He put the diamond and the broken setting in an envelope and put it in a kind of jewelry box in our bedroom. Folded up tight, so it was about a 1” square. I always knew where it was. I believed that some day he’d realize what a good wife I was, and how I was trying so hard to do everything he asked (while he did nothing at all for me, but I guess I believed I didn’t deserve it) and he’d get it reset one day.

He never did.

When I moved out of the house in 2007, I opened the envelope and took the diamond. I left him the broken setting.

But that just illustrates how dysfunctional he was, and I was, and we were. That we managed to have my son after that is amazing. But thank God, my son is a blessing to me borne of that pain.

S…..well, he betrayed me when I loved him the most. My love for him didn’t die over time. It never had a chance to die a natural death. I grieved and grieved, and still do some days. It’s easier when I never hear from him, I’m much more able to see the dysfunction that surrounds him, and was part of our relationship so much more clearly. I know it would never have lasted, even if there were no B, because I wanted more that he’s capable of giving. It’s been almost 2 months now since I’ve heard from him, and I am fine with it. I have some fond memories, tempered by the reality of his nature. I can love him, who he was to me, I can be grateful for that time in my life. I am so happy to know that after my long miserable marriage, (and long miserable divorce) I can still love someone so passionately, so intensely.

I don’t think he and I can be friends, though. I’d like to be, but I don’t think B will allow it. Even if I’m in FL, 1500 miles away, she would be jealous. He says she’s not, I say, you don’t see it. She’s a master of the passive aggressive stuff. Never wants to talk to him again, until I do. Then she does. Never wants to be with him again, until I am, then she still loves him. Whatever.

I know that I can’t go there again. I can say never say never, but I gotta be real. He is never going to want to make the changes that I’d like to see in him. I think he is much more comfortable with the game playing, the push pull thing, and with misery and unhappiness than happiness, because he sabotages his own life constantly in an effort to prove to himself he’s not worthy. I will always tell him he is. I would, am, always here for him if he wants to talk. But I know he can’t trust himself, so he doesn’t trust me.

I will say, one reason I loved him so, was because he let me be me. All the time. Even though I talked too much, lol. He knew how to quiet me down. Take me to the beach, or somewhere, tell me a story, put on some music that was new to me and tell me about it, or take me to bed. But the freedom I felt with him, after being with a man who tried to control what I said, wore, how I wore my hair, how I walked, yada yada yada, was blissful for me. For that I will always love him. Now that I know what that’s like, I intend to find it again, in a man who is capable of loving, who seeks the light, and is happy and likes himself.

All good lessons with these men. Painful, but good. I know myself, I’ve found myself through the pain that I experienced with them both. I can say to my ex, I love you and I wish all good things for him, he is making himself pay for sins he thinks he must have committed, I am sure. I can say to S, love always and all ways, because that too is true. Because I do. I will. All the betrayal, really, that S orchestrated, was him, sabotaging himself, setting himself up to fail. He hurt me, yes, but for me it’s temporary. I can find my way out. I don’t look into the abyss. I walk away from it, even if I’m on my hands and knees crawling.

At peace this lovely morning. Nice to put things into perspective.

Love and light, everyone.

Sleep and Trust

sleep and trust

For years I was such a bad sleeper. I guess that’s normal, living with a sociopath whose purpose in life was to create chaos in yours, and your sons. Never knowing what you might wake up to. Wondering if the earth would tilt on its axis by morning. I took over the counter sleep aids for years on end. Never went to bed without some sort of help, and often, they didn’t help. I’ve taken 4 Tylenol PM and not gone to sleep.

I often wonder if I did any damage to my body all those years. I figure not sleeping probably would have done more.

Since I moved out of that house, it’s been rare that I take anything. It took some time to wean myself off of the fear of not sleeping. I wasn’t physically addicted to the sleep aids, but I had a lot of fear of not sleeping at all, and having to go to work and be functional the next day. Now, I know if I don’t sleep one night, I will sleep the next. So I don’t generally take them.

Last summer though, when the carpal tunnel was really bad, I got prescription Ambien which helped me to sleep through some of the pain. That particular ailment gives you the most pain when you are sleeping. I’d have to get up multiple times during the night to run my hand under warm water, to relieve the throbbing. The Ambien got it down to just once usually.

As soon as I was through the surgery and the carpal tunnel was no longer an issue, I found out about Betty Boop. Which sent me into another tailspin, in which heartbreak combines with trust issues, mostly, not trusting myself. After all, there were myriad flags flying, and I chose to believe the obvious lies I was being told, and not to see the truth that had been slapping me in the face all summer trying to wake me up.

If you follow my blog, you know that relationship did not end there. You know that he tried to keep me in the periphery of his life, that he could not let me go, even though he’d chosen her. He continued to break my heart on a regular basis until really, about 6 weeks ago, when he asked to come see me after leaving me about a dozen voice mails and I finally talked to him and said, no. No, we aren’t going there again.

I reclaimed myself.

I have not talked to him since. I had some short communications with Betty Boop, but then blocked her so I won’t even see another email from her. She made up a lie, for her own benefit, telling him I’d done something I had not done. It wasn’t a big thing, but it just doesn’t sit well with me. She and he are welcome to play all the games they want, and feed each other the lies they need to hear, but leave me out of it. I’m not angry, I just can’t get drawn into that childish adolescent stuff again.

I realized last night that when I called him and left a voice mail just telling him that it was a lie, I’d unblocked him, and had not reblocked him. I reblocked him again last night. Again, not because I’m angry. Not because I have any bad feelings at all for him. But because I am moving on, I don’t want to be part of that little drama any longer. He loves the triangulation. He’ll have to find another 3rd leg to make her jealous with.

The point is….after I did it, I slept a solid 7 hours. I’ve done that a lot lately. Even with all the agita over the hot water heater, and trying to find a mover, and trying to train 2 people at work, I’ve been able to sleep. Because none of it is emotional. None of it makes me question who I am. I’m beginning to trust myself again.

Today I woke refreshed from a good night’s sleep. There is a very gentle rain falling outside, so I can’t sit out there, but I opened the slider to my deck to let the fresh air in, and listen to the peace of it. The stillness.

I am beginning to absorb, assimilate, that my dream of moving to Florida and retiring is manifesting. I guess there is always a ying yang with it, and the yang to that ying is that my son won’t be with me any longer. I know it’s time for him to fly on his own, I know he will love Colorado. I know it’s an adventure for him. I know I’ll still talk to him every day, and that our bond can never be broken.

But God, I will miss his chaotic energy in my life, his youthful exuberance, the plethora of friends and young people constantly running through my house.

I’ll get through it. I’m trying to just look forward to driving cross country with him. That will be a wonderful way to say goodbye to our old life.

I’ll keep the Ambien by my bed, for those few nights when it’s hard.

The rest of the time, I’ll just sleep. I’ll have my life back, completely. There will be no triggers down there to remind me of what I thought I had, and didn’t, nothing to remind me of all the pain I endured. I will just enjoy the fruits of my work to heal, and continue that process in my “Avalon”. My place of healing and new beginnings.

Love and light, all.

Closure is Vastly Overrated

No closure

I’ve been doing the Deepak Chopra / Oprah 21 day meditation on losing the weight.  I’d like to lose another 10 or 15 lbs before I move. Just to be a new me, really the old me, long ago, when I was young..  I’ve lost a couple lbs (first I had to lose the 4 lbs I gained on vacation, lol.)

As it turns out though, being overweight has so much to do with our emotional state, at least I know that’s true for me.  Being hungry for lots of things, often manifests in food. For the longest time, I’ve wanted real closure with S.  All the endings, lol, and there have been many, have always been ugly, have always left me confused, and in pain, or angry. This morning during the mediation I realized that what has happened is my head gets stuck on replaying over and over the words, the scenarios, looking for hints, looking for something to hold onto.  It’s a loop, that I get stuck on, and I’d say many of us do.

Today I woke with no angst, or desire for that old life.  Then listening to Deepak’s quiet voice, I realized that I have to question that loop I get stuck in occasionally.  Is it real?  Is it true?  (And I say that in my best Byron Katie voice.) And, does it matter?  Does it have anything to do with what goes on now?

No, is the answer to all of it.  It has always been chaotic with him, it has always been extreme, it never made any sense and never will.  I have to stop the loop in my head that wants it that way. Just shut it down, and realize that my life and his no longer intersect because they are not supposed to.  The love and the passion that we shared is really the only thing that I choose to remember. Whether or not he perceives it, or chooses to remember it that way, I have to let go of.  And just move on.

There is no closure.  There wasn’t with my ex either.  My ex, is a mess…..I love him, I don’t want him in my life in any way.  There is only chaos, and still…he seeks power and control by trying to make me feel bad that I left, that he’s broke, that I salvaged what I could.  S…I love him too, but also can’t have him in my life.  Again, there is only chaos, of a different kind, but chaos nonetheless.  I saw, in January, how he was quite willing to bounce back and forth between me and B, when it suited him.  I hope he finds happiness, but I don’t expect he will.  There is no closure with people who live in their ego.

So…we have to break the loop that keeps asking for it.  The one that keeps asking “But why?” to all the myriad questions.  Suffice to say it’s over, there are better things ahead, and just move on.  Trust in the universe to right the wrongs, to bring your dreams to you.

In the meditation….he talks about breaking the loop that always brings us to eat as the answer.  That identifies all hunger as actual need for food.  I think those of us who have loved narcissists, or abusers stuck on power and control, just have to give ourselves closure, by breaking that endless loop that races through our minds.

And really move on.

Every day, I am able to do that more.  Yesterday I was stronger than the day before.  Today, I am stronger than yesterday.  The memories I choose to keep, are tempered by truth, and I detach myself from them.

Moving on….it starts slowly, one small weak step, then another.  At first away from the pain and heartache, but at some point, we begin to walk toward something, our dreams, ourselves.  I have begun to walk briskly toward my dreams.  Those memories are shrinking into the distant past.

Was it real?  Wast it true?  It doesn’t matter.  It’s over.

Life is good.  Make yourself a beautiful dream, and start taking one small step toward it.  You don’t need closure to do it. You just have to start walking.

Love and light.

 

Trying to Get Back to Myself

I just watched a documentary on Lama Garchen Rinpochet, who is considered to be a Buddha.  My friend with whom I am staying last night and tonight, had the great honor of meeting him.

Evolved, to say the least.  He travels the world, for the purpose of bringing love to all sentient beings.  All, not just some.  People cry, sob, for the love he gives them. You can see pure joy on their faces.  .

Unconditional love.

And that’s how we become happy, according to the dharma.

I believe it. I am finally getting back to the place where I know that unconditional love is my way.  I know that is when I am happiest, when I am acknowledging that believing in unconditional love means, loving people, without judgement, despite what you may feel on some other, less evolved, level.

The documentary reminded me who I was, who I wanted to be.  The nastiness of last week set me back.  I felt like I had to reclaim my life, my memories, what was MINE back from those who wanted to take it from me, pretend it never was, that it didn’t exist.

Tonight I remembered, I realized, that it’s mine, and try as they might, they can’t take it, so why get upset?  My life, my experiences, my truth, and my unconditional love can’t be taken. By anyone.

So,  the investment I had in bringing the truth to light, caused me to experience some really ugly emotions, some mine, some theirs.

I realize that there are people who are attached to their pain, to their story, that believe spreading it around will make it thinner for them.  But the opposite happens, and it becomes pervasive.

I have released all attachment to that outcome. I know what is mine, in my heart, and can’t be taken by that darkness. I know what was, what is, and I know where I want to go.  And that’s back to forgiveness, and unconditional love, and sending love and light to all, including those who tried to take it from me. They  need it most of all.

Love and light….. 🙂

Sacred Sunrise

I woke at 5 am this morning, listening to the peacocks behind the house with their loud cawing. It was first I’d heard them, and I smiled, knowing “I’m in Florida now for sure.” Not that there are peacocks everywhere in Florida, but they seem to flourish in this old historic neighborhood.

I had plenty of time to get to the town dock for the sunrise. There were 5 or 6 of us this morning, and it didn’t disappoint. The sky was glowing pink when I left my house for the 3 minute walk to the dock. It was breathtaking. I got a couple of shots.

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Then as it came up over the horizon, due to the cloud cover it was a perfect, well-defined golden orb, not unlike a full moon.

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It felt like a sacred experience, for a few moments. I thought about how every incident in my life brought me to this place at this time. I’m grateful for it all. Even the last few days, as unpleasant as they were, gave me clarity, and definition. About what I want, what I want to attract into my life, and what I want to let go of and never experience again. A new day dawns, ripe and ready for all the good things in life to come a little closer to us all, if we allow it in.

I know that still, everyone does the best from the level of consciousness that they are in at the time. I have been frustrated and angry that my life, my history, my memories have been toyed with by someone else, for purely egoic reasons. And denied, to please the one with the big ego. It is dysfunction at it’s highest.  I allowed it to wrap around my level for a time, and bring it down.  I have let go, unwrapped it, cut the cords binding it, and rise again.

I still have to recognize that that’s where they are, and that I can’t expect more, nor stay angry about it. It’s done, it won’t happen again. I feel like I was a distraction to them, that they could agree on. Like Brene Brown calls it “common enemy bonding.” It’s not real, it’s not lasting. There are still lies that haven’t surfaced, but they just don’t matter now. Who cares? The issue with the lies is between them, I am removed from it, thankfully. I always say the truth will float to the top at some point. My life moves on, theirs does too, and how that story ends is anyone’s guess, and I’ll never know. Nor will I care. I don’t know that I’ve gotten to a state of forgiveness over it yet, it’s a little fresh, but I know I’ll get there. I work at that, it’s something I want to achieve, so I can go on without holding onto the anger and negative emotions of a past which really has no bearing on me or my life now.

I’m going to my high school friend’s today for a couple of nights. I’m so excited. We don’t know what we’re going to do, but I know we’ll have fun. I know even though we haven’t seen each other for a couple of years, we will fall in like we were never apart. These girls know how to laugh, and love and have a great time, and bring in the goodness of life. WE’ve been friends since we were 13 or 14. It is going to be a welcome change, as it has been with my sister here.

It’s all been exactly what I needed. I’m looking out my sis’s window, at the bouganvilla cascading from an old intricately woven tree stump. And reminded how much beauty is in the world, and that that’s what I want to focus on now.

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Life is good. Really, it is. Love and light. And laughter.

Rising, Rising Strong

Woke up happy today! Even though it was my cat Maggie who woke me at 5:30, snuffing and purring around my head. I don’t know why she did, it’s not her normal MO. But whatever. I laid in bed for about 15 minutes, luxuriating in the fact that I did not have to get out of bed and get ready for work. I slept well, again.

Feeling more centered and grounded, and myself than I have in a long time. There are no unresolved issues in my head. I have a lot going on, like, a real life. No illusions, it is all real at the moment, and not something I have to roll around in my head constantly wondering what is really going on. I have vacation, plans with friends, a house to get ready for sale, things to do.

There is no drama. I can’t believe what a difference it makes, to have the drama out of my life. I sleep, for one thing. I am smiling a lot more. Thinking clearly. God, it’s so good to feel like maybe all that stuff really is in the past, and I only have good things to look forward to at the moment.

I guess some people, just love the drama. I like it in a movie, or a play. But in my life? Uh uh. No. Not at all. To live it? Nope. I leave those who love it, to live it on their own. I remove myself….

Real life, real truthful, honest life is so much more interesting. Knowing who you are, and what you want is so much more fulfilling than the wondering what is going on, or the creating a situation where no one knows what’s going on. I have extracted myself from that situation.

The sun is out today, bright, beautiful. It is cold but warming. I intend to take a long walk today, hopefully I’ll find a friend to go with me. Life is also bright and beautiful at the moment.

In the words of Rumi…

You have seen my descent

This is me

Heart on sleeve

Brene Brown says that allowing yourself to be vulnerable is the most courageous thing you can do.  I totally agree with her.

S used to say all the time that I scared him to death.  I think this was why.  I was not afraid, ever, to say how I felt, to put it all out there. To risk saying I love you, with no guarantee that the emotion was returned.  And, as it turned out, it wasn’t.

But you know, what other people think of me is none of my business.  But if I love you, I want to make sure you know it.  Make sure I never have regrets about not saying something.  I never ever want to think, “oh maybe if I’d just said that, I’d just shown him”.

And I don’t. I have no regrets, about any of the men in my life.  I put myself out there, I allowed myself to love fully, intensely, passionately, completely, beyond what I ever thought was possible.  If it wasn’t returned, it was these men’s problem.  I will do it again, I will risk the pain all over again, because the reward of loving that way is so worth the risk.  I’ll find him, the man who knows this.  I know it.

Yeah, if I’m going to leave a lasting impression in this world, let it be one of loving without reason, beyond limit.  Any day.  Anything else is not living the way life is meant to be lived.

Love and light, all.

Mercedes Benz

I’m considering taking my last blog down. I had such a difficult morning emotionally. I had all these memories from my marriage, a difficult night’s sleep with that picture of my son all bruised in my head. Some overwhelming guilt, and it all blended in with S’s recent actions. I don’t think the gray pouring rain day was helping me either.

But anyway, I pushed through all that stuff. I sat with it, which for me means writing about it. So I did, two blogs on all that nasty, abusive stuff that my ex put us through. And one on S. It’s just that I think I’ve maybe over-dissected the thing with S. The outcome will always be the same, he betrayed me yet again. Even if he didn’t say that to her, he said it to me. He thought it. He is an asshole. I am done. I hope I’m done expending any more energy on his loser ass. If he’s sick, I’m sorry. Actually, I mean, sickER because he’s already sick. I am sorry, but I don’t want to know about it. I don’t want to be encumbered by that knowledge.

Tonight I’m in a good place. I am back to my basically happy self. I know I have a really nice life. So many good things are falling into place, and so many bad things are falling by the wayside.

So…I won’t take it down, because it was cathartic to write it. But it was a wave, it was temporary. The real me is back. Don’t read too much into it, it’s just another level of letting go.

In other news, lol, I was sitting at my desk today, and started singing Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin. One of the other 60-something women I work with sang with me. I decided at that moment I needed that song on my iphone, so I bought it for 99 cents. I need to go back and look again, because there is so much good music by Janis. But I thought I’d put up Mercedes Benz tonight, because….it’s just the way it is sometimes. Love and light all, and enjoy the song. If you don’t know it, you are young it’s short and pretty funny. And true….