G for Generosity, of Spirit

I woke in the middle of the night last night, which is not unusual. For some reason, Brene Brown’s anagram, “B R A V I N G” trust came into my head, and particularly, the last letter of it, G, for generosity.

If you have not seen Brene’s video, The Anatomy of Trust, which is well worth watching, you might ask what generosity has to do with trust. It refers to generosity of spirit. That when someone does or says something that you could take as hurtful, you don’t. Instead, you extend generosity of spirit to that person, and say something like, “you know, what you just said kind of stung, but I know you didn’t mean to sting me, and we’re ok. I just wanted you to know that’s what I was thinking.”

Be generous. Remember that we are all flawed, and we all say and do things that don’t exactly reflect what we want to reflect, and we all accidentally hurt others, and we don’t mean to. It’s a very human flaw.

It’s good to say something, and include the generosity. Why say something? Because it allows growth for both people, to put it on the table.

I know for a fact that I have not always been generous in my thoughts of what people have said. I still have that hyper-vigilance thing going on, where I want to defend myself from all attacks. But sometimes, I’m tilting at windmills, you know? Sometimes what was said was only in jest, or perhaps without a lot of thought, but was not meant to hurt me. There was no evil intent. I was wasting my time fighting something that was never meant to cause me harm. And in the process, hurting others with my accusations.

I think the thought about generosity came to me in the middle of the night because maybe it was just time for me to learn it, to understand it, to see it, to own it. And to realize that I don’t need to take everything that’s ever said with such seriousness.

And maybe it came to me because there are 4 planets in retrograde, or going into retrograde or coming out of retrograde shortly. Who knows? It came when it was supposed to. Lesson learned.

Love and light, everyone.

Smiling A Lot This Week

Happiness and gratitude are my partners this week. I guess one doesn’t come without the other, and I am surely both.  Just smiling a lot.

Having so much fun hanging out with my son. I love the adult he’s become. He’s still funny as hell. He has a kind heart. He is passionate about some things, like the EDM music he mixes. He has 1 for sure gig in two weeks at a Denver club, and maybe one at a 420 festival in Denver on Thursday 4/20. Someone is trying to get him into the line up. I guess Denver is a world hub for this kind of music. He’s just a good kid, a good sense of right and wrong. He has an incredible work ethic, too.

I am so grateful, so utterly grateful, that he’s such a good kid. 25 yr old good kid, lol. I’m grateful that he wants to hang with me, that he wanted me to stay up and watch a movie with him last night, that he can tell me anything, and does.

He says he wishes he had family close to him in Denver, and I so wish he did too. I had no family in CT when I moved there when I was 21 or 22, and I am sure that’s one reason I was so sucked into the relationship with my ex. Isolation is not good for you. We’re social animals, us humans.

We spent a couple days and one night at my sister and brother-in-law’s house. It was good to see them, they loved seeing my son. Everyone has drama in their lives, but really, he has none, and hates it. He doesn’t have a girlfriend at the moment, and when he does have one, the minute they introduce drama into the relationship, he’s outta there. I guess he had enough drama growing up for 15 lifetimes.

The weather was really hot the first few days he was here. Now it’s cool, highs in the low 70s’s. 57 overnight! Tomorrow it’s back to the 80’s but not as humid as it was, so it’s all good. Been very windy though. The Gulf of Mexico looked a lot more like the Atlantic with crashing breakers. We went to the beach one afternoon, but only stayed an hour, because we were getting sand-blasted by the wind.

This morning I’m going to help him on his taxes. Tonight I’m going to take him out to the Italian restaurant in town. I’ve been dying to try it, it has a good reputation. He might meet a couple of my friends today. I told him I brag about him a lot, so they all want to meet him, lol.

I will be so sad to see him go tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll go out there this summer, just because he has used up his time off until September. If he can run a 3 or 4 day weekend, I would go, but we’ll just have to see.

It’s been awesome. Love and light to everyone.

Couldn’t Be Much Happier

He likes my little house. That’s a big deal to me, because he was not happy at all that I sold our house in CT, and decided to move here. Change is hard for him, and we were so happy in that house, after the years of abuse with his father. We were ok in the rented condo I had for transitional space, but the house we had there was a dream come true for both of us. Now that he’s happy in CO, and has a life there, he is happy for me, and he really really likes this cute little house. Kept saying, “You did really good Mom. I get why you just had to buy it.” Because, he felt for the longest time that buying this house pushed me to sell the house in CT immediately. But fact was, that house was going on the market when it did, and he gets that now. You have to sell between March and November up there, because very few people buy a house in the winter.

It’s so funny, how it used to irritate me so much to find his stuff stuck in the couch, or spread on the coffee table, his shoes on the floor somewhere, or a light left on somewhere. And now…it just makes me smile. Like, oh, this is how it always was. It is so familiar, the way the things our children do are.

We can, and did, just sit in the living room, each in a recliner, and talked for hours yesterday. The TV was on for noise, as was the habit in our old life, but we just talked and talked about our new lives. I could tell he loved the familiarity of our furniture from the old house. You’d think there’d be not much to say, because we talk every day anyway, but there was. He was way too tired to do any sightseeing, and I think it was cool, that he just kind of wanted to stay here and reconnect.

My son loves to mix this EDM music, and he uploads it to SoundCloud and has like 5000 followers. He got a gig to play the Saturday after Easter at a club in Denver. He played there once before, and they liked him well enough to invite him back for Saturday night. He doesn’t get paid, but he gets his name out there. He’s meeting a lot of the artists that have made it really big. He’s really breaking into it. He says he spends most of his free time making new recordings. I love that he has a passion for it, that he follows his passion. He landed in the right place to follow this passion, since he says Denver is probably the hub in the world for this kind of music, and the wild shows that go with it.

We’re both looking forward to going over to the island tomorrow to see my sis and hubby. My sis has a big really nice apartment over the garage, overlooking her pool, that he and I always stayed at. I told him maybe we could share my mom’s old room, where I stay now, in the house. He looked so disappointed, lol. He said, “Idk, Mom. I really need my own room, you know I stay up way later than you…..” But I know it’s just because he loves that space, it’s like a really nice hotel suite. So I’ll tell my sis that he’s staying up there, so he can watch TV late, and go to bed late and sleep late, lol. Just going to tell him to come to the house to shower etc….so she doesn’t have to clean it all up for one night’s stay.

He also knows my sis is a great cook, and the food will be awesome, lol. And we’ll hang by the pool, and the hot tub and go to the beach. It will be fun. My sis just loves my son too. I know at one time her hubby was appalled that I wasn’t insisting he go to college, but he’s doing so well, I know my brother-in-law has changed his mind on that. And it’s hard not to like my kid. He’s funny, and kind, and smart. His priorities are good, and he’s set his own boundaries, that make it easy to be with him.

I’ve had a few moments of wishing he lived close to me, but I am trying not to get too attached to those, because that stuff will just ruin the time we have. Just going to enjoy having him here, and then begin to plan the next time I’ll see him. Probably in the summer sometime, I’ll head to CO for a few days. He has all kinds of places he wants to take me now.

Couldn’t be much happier this morning. Love and light all.

Just Wondering, WTF Was I Thinking?

wtf

I guess that phantom phone call got me thinking, about WTF I was thinking for so long….

It seems long ago now, suddenly. How much I loved a man, and how much I was betrayed. What strikes me this morning is I am trying to fathom what I was thinking, then. To love someone so much who will never love anyone but themselves. And that, only superficially.

I say superficially because this man doesn’t love himself enough to behave in ways that make him proud. He doesn’t love himself enough to take care of himself. He doesn’t do the things in a relationship that take care of it. He only makes sure he is getting his needs met, which translates to getting his ego fed. If he meets the needs of the other person, it is as part of trying to get his needs met, it’s not out of genuine care and concern. And I think that’s true across the board for him. I think he may use different ploys for different people, but it remains the truth. I’ve watched him.  I’ve also watched him pursue behaviors that result in reinforcing his low self esteem, setting himself up so he can say, “see, it’s all I deserve.  I’m a bad person.”

So anyway, I’m just wondering now, with all this time passed, WTF I was thinking? I’m not angry, I don’t dislike him. I have said over and over I will always love him, and, well, I guess I will. But I love everyone, or try to. Him no more or less than anyone else at the moment. But what I was thinking? IDK, do you think when you’re in love? He had lots of lovable qualities, I guess. The first being that he could make me laugh. He was funny, creative, smart. We had a wonderful physical connection. But he was completely self absorbed. When push came to shove it was always him first. He treated me so badly at times, and I just kept coming back for more, believing that he just needed experience unconditional love.

I guess the distance between us now, the physical distance has given me some perspective. I guess that move has enabled me to meet men who are funny, creative, smart, AND kind, gentle, loving, and generous. Men who try to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Men who squeeze your hand when they’re happy, sitting at a table with you. Men who behave in ways that will keep drama out of their lives, and people in.

Since I believe that our purpose in this life is to learn lessons and evolve our souls, I guess he was another life lesson for me. Now, far enough away from it, the complete lesson is coming into focus. At least part of it is, I think, to know that I can love that passionately, that fiercely, that deeply. That’s a good thing to know. He was practice. I’m sure there’s a man here who can match my ability to love, and celebrate it.

I suppose, based on the phantom phone call dream, that the connection we have had will remain, but will probably remain dormant. It originates on a level I can’t really comprehend, and will most likely always be there, but will not take over my life anymore. Life is for living in the present moment. His journey is his now, and mine is mine, and the paths have diverged far apart. That’s the present moment.

Glad to be moved on from all that. Stomach bug and car accident not withstanding, I’m very happy with the move I’ve made. It was 85 yesterday and I was at the beach. Not dressed in multiple layers and still shivering, lamenting the fact that I was burning up a ton of fuel oil. Yep, life is good, and exactly what I’ve dreamed of.

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

The Eclipse and Relationships

Tonight is the lunar eclipse.  I’m not sure it will be visible here, there are some low clouds coming in tonight, but they may hold off til later.  I found an article about the eclipse, which included some information about the eclipses possible effect on relationships, and it’s astrological significance.  It actually, in the context of my life, seemed fairly accurate.

S was more knowledgeable about astrology than I.  I am an Aries….He used to accuse me of being pushy, “ramming” my points home, when I wanted something or believed it.  I think he was right.  I have been trying recently, to push not so much with my head but with my heart.  I can still be assertive…but I’m trying, mindfully, to be kinder about it, more loving.

The article states “Saturday’s full moon falls in the first degree of fire sign Aries, which is why this eclipse carries strong energies related to assertiveness, action and individualism.”  In the days leading up to this, I have been assertive, though not demanding, about what I want from a relationship.  And S, too, has been assertive about what he wants.  And the two are not the same.

This paragraph really struck me:

“This eclipse marks the ending of the lunar tetrad cycle along the Libra-Aries axis that began in April of last year. Each of these eclipses has challenged us in different ways to assert our own personal needs, while also recognizing the importance of caring for others. Since this cycle began, many of us have experienced intense personal and relational challenges and growth. Many of my relationships are barely recognizable compared to where they were when this cycle began last year. It is time to reflect upon these changes, transformations, births and deaths, and integrate how they shape your path for the future. With endings, come new beginnings.”

And yes, my relationship with S is barely recognizable  compared to last fall, when we saw each other once or twice a week.  When he asked me, on a drive, if I could “Just sit there and be beautiful.”  Lol.  Sweet memories, is all.  Everything changes, evolves….and who knows where any story will end up.

I had talked with S about watching the eclipse with me tonight, but this morning, it seems that that concept is pretty much off the table., since I have not heard from him since Friday, when he rather curtly dismissed me, because I stood my ground.  I know he was probably frustrated, and not understanding me, I have always relented in the past, and I have steadfastly told him that I love him.  I think the two ideas are incongruous to him.  I had been ignoring reality, imagining that it would be different than it was, before.  I realize the truth now, and have to make changes that I can live with, decisions that don’t cause me to blow up in anger, frustration, at myself, for believing what was not true, and burying my own emotions.  In the words of Iyanla Van Zant (paraphrased, I cannot find the original quote),”The things you bury, do not die.  They rot and fester and make you sick.”

I wish him well.  I send him love.  I wish him peace.  He will always have a very special place in my heart.

Another relationship that has transformed in the last 6 months is my relationship with my older sister, who is a Libra…the other side of this axis.  Contentious at best last spring as she dealt with really hard issues for the first time in her life, to a closeness now that I absolutely treasure.  I will see her in 3 weeks, when her daughter gets married, up in the incredibly beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  I cannot wait to spend 4 days with my family.  My younger sister is coming with her 4 adult children and I think possibly her grandchildren.  I can only hope.  It will be lovely.  Just lovely.

This is the link to the article, if you want to read the whole article.  There’s other good information in it on the eclipse as well.

http://themindunleashed.org/2015/09/5-facts-about-sundays-total-lunar-eclipse-including-how-it-could-affect-your-relationships.html

Sorry…I Couldn’t Help Myself

You know, everyone has to learn their lessons in their own time, in their own way.  You don’t have to teach them, in fact, you can’t.  You’re not the jackass whisperer.  Go on about your life, and be happy.  But remember if you have the choice to right or be kind, always choose kind.  Then you’ll always be right.  (So says the Dalai Lama….and I think he’s very close to the source….)