Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Big Is My Brave?

“You were made for me”. These words were spoken to me recently. They were not spoken in the context of some romantic setting with gushy and otherwise suspicious rickety emotions. They were spoken with clarity and determination, as if we were just sitting in the car or across the table in a burger shack, stated as matter-of- fact.  You would think hearing it would make my heart jump, or, more likely for me, cause my eyebrow to raise in my usual disbelief. I loved hearing it, and my reaction surprised me. Of course I smiled when I heard it and it warmed me. I have to admit I had a little internal chuckle, because I already knew this was true, and thought for a moment, what if he is just saying it, not knowing its true, and I know its true...*chuckles*...Just sayin'.   
I am enjoying getting to know this man. I am sure I gave him enough heartburn in the beginning to last a lifetime, far more than he ever plans to give me, and frankly I am very impressed that he stuck it out and allowed me to come along in my own time and way. He was instrumental in that. Not too many men come along who are willing to help you get unstuck or gain clarity or become centered when you are not. This man is impressive. I am sure that he will not puff out his chest when he reads this rather he will simply want to know why I think what I think.  Sometimes, that is the hard part, expressing what I think in words. Ones that make sense in particular are a challenge.  Perhaps my past associations with others served to beat my words out of me and caused me to simply put my head down and push through the weeds that crowded out the path of my life. Perhaps the tick borne disease that I am determined to vanquish robbed the words from my brain.  Perhaps my asshole ex-husband simply choked the free speech out of me and once disentangled, I forgot to bother setting myself free. I have no idea. What I do know is that this extraordinary man came along, saw me for all of who I am and can be and decided I was worth his time and caring.
I remember telling him on the phone the first time that I knew the reality of me. I knew that a woman like me is not for everyone. I do not make or keep many friends at a time, I do not like crowds and I most certainly do not enjoy or wish to be a participant in anybody’s “drama”.  I remember sharing that with him recently and how in the past the bullshit stories a man told me resulted in angry phone calls from his surprisingly alive-sounding “dead” wife.  I told him how upsetting this was at the time but like with most things that shake me, a little time and a little sex, seem to make the whole affair amusing. Usually the time does not include the bull-shitter, nor does the sex. What is most impressive is that this man seems to have some vision, and regardless of what he currently had been doing, felt I was worth his brand of TLC and attention.  It was and continues to be what I need, and enjoy.  The best part of this whole experience is getting to know who he really is, and realizing that he is really quite likeable.  Not too many people have what it takes to call me out on my crap while still protecting my soft spots. No one has ever shown their strong and soft sides to me at the same time like he has. I have to admit, I am more and more taken every day.  I made it clear that I am always a bit jumpy, always waiting for the boot to fall. I hope that it never will.  What I am learning is to quit worrying about things I cannot control and only focus on what I can control. I knew this of course, however within myself in all of the chaos of illness and changes, I simply forgot.  I think he reminded me in the best way possible for me to be reminded.  Most people do not have that kind of moxie, and self-esteem these days. Many women might consider it Neanderthal for a man, but somehow strong and not horsey for a woman. If being an Alpha leader makes a man a caveman, I will be dragged off by my hair any day, but the proof is always in the pudding.
Where does all this leave me? I think I am in the beginning of a very good path. A sane person might feel full of fear but I do not.  Amidst the changes and challenges with relocating, and starting everything anew, I found tremendous comfort and resonance with this song by Sara Bareilles, “Brave”.  I like this video, its full of everyday people doing not so everyday things.  I think I can leave behind my fear of speaking out and being heard. I think I can stop worrying about cracking the eggs beneath my feet, I cannot fix them anyway. It is time to go forward and see how big my brave is.

Monday, August 19, 2013

What You Need

As far as watching television goes, I have been stuck in a time warp for as long as I can remember. I rarely watch a program that is new.  I usually find it years later once it is old. I am pretty sure that it all got started when I was young and became fascinated by the repeats of Bonanza and Star Trek, which I retreated to the basement in the house I grew up in to watch in black and white all alone, instead of watching whatever was new upstairs in what was once referred to as “living color.”  It was not that I had anything to escape from I just liked our basement, the coolness of it, the feel of it, and the darkness of it.
Somewhat later, after college and married, I stumbled over scheduled repeats of The Twilight Zone”.  I can still remember my then husband looking up from whatever work he was doing, having come alongside my latest addiction, and saying, “Zone?” That would be the cue to drop what we were doing, hit the couch or crawl onto our bed and tune in for a flight of fancy through time.
Lately I have been seriously agonizing and torturing myself over a decision I have to make concerning the next steps in my life. Last night it was brought to my attention that I was really afraid for no good reason.  I think my angst amused this person, seeing as his whole life and career was built on creating solutions for people like me, who were just flat out afraid to do the thing that they knew they had to do.  He pointed out that I really did have attractive, very safe choices.  He even pointed out how both of those choices could blend, and connect.  He asked me why I was crying and I just got more emotional and choked out the words” I don’t know.”  I think deep down I was both annoyed and impressed that he did know.  I do not really think I said it but I did appreciate him telling me what he thought.  I think I cried last night because I already knew what I wanted to do, and how I am going to go about doing it.  I think I cried because I was afraid that I could not do it. His simple answer set me free and bound me to a journey. He said, in his deep, commanding John Wayne-ish voice: “Why not?”  Dammit but I had no answer.
Today I was sitting in a crappy meeting for my crappy job, looking to my right and then to my left, taking a bath in the ambiance of stupid, and heard the words in my head from an episode of the old Twilight Zone.
It was a story about an old peddler who had a knack for selling someone just the thing they would shortly need.  In one case, he sold a lonely single woman sitting in a diner a small bottle of stain remover, which she could not see why she would need. She bought it anyway because he told her he had what she needed. Some minutes later, a man came into the diner who never noticed her at all, except when he was somehow bumped and had something spilled on his shirt. She had what was needed and because of that, met the man of her dreams.  I started to daydream thinking that maybe that is really the whole solution here. Realizing that I already have what I need and I just have to buy in and step on ahead.  As the meeting dragged on with me seated in between what I have come to believe are the polar opposites of stupid, I thought about the last scene in that episode, where the old peddler speaks to a two-bit bullshit artist planning to take advantage and steal from him.  The old peddler listened politely to the man who smiled and puffed up his veneer of goodness covering up a cesspool of lies and deceit, and then simply said, “ I have what you need, free of charge “ and gave the blow hard thief a pair of shiny new shoes.  The man, laughing, thinking he conned the peddler out of this great pair of shoes, slapped them on, laughed and left thinking that he was leaving the company of fools.   Shortly after, you only hear the screech of the tires, a thud, and the cries for someone to call an ambulance because a man was just hit by a bus.
The old peddler smiled at the single lady, who was now staring into the eyes of the man who would deliver her happy future and said: “Sticky shoes.” With a tip of his hat and a gleam in his eye, he was gone.

New Moon Abundance

August 28, 2012
I spent the morning wandering around the shore area near my parent’s home in Connecticut because I got it in my head that I wanted to hunt antique stores in the area for a particular type of glass that I collect. My mom was patient and great fun, despite the fact that she has absolutely no interest in this kind of thing at all. My mom always says something like “Why would I want to run around shopping for the same items that after the depression, I could not wait to throw out?”  I was very impressed this morning, when we got a little turned around looking for one of these places, when she pointed to my smart phone and told me to “Get that thing to tell us where we need to go.”  It was a fun little ride, which yielded nothing but some warm good feelings. I also scored a yummy Panera lunch after our little journey, and could not help but remind myself just how lucky I am at age 52 to still have a Mom (and Dad, who would never have come on this kind of adventure) to hang out with.  I think it’s amazing that I have these parents who are willing to drag themselves all over Connecticut to entertain their transplanted Virginia daughter. I am sure that I have not lived the life, married and divorced, that they would have chosen for me but I never feel the slightest bit put down or diminished as a result of it. The bare facts of it are that while lots of people issue platitudes and bold statements concerning others, I, without doing so can simply say that I do have the absolute best parents in the world.  I am not so sure, but I try really hard with my limited abilities to be as good to the two children I was blessed with so that one day they might be able to say something so matter of fact about me.
After our lunch we decided it would be a good idea to put on the television and sit in recliners.  I think we both dozed on and off through some fun afternoon talk shows, that because of my work schedule had no idea even existed. In between we talked about things that were on my mind, and some that were on hers, when I heard something on the television that caught my attention enough to look it up later. The talk show hosts said something about tomorrow being the time of New Moon Abundance. I had never heard of that before, so I chose to look it up.  As I read what little bits I could find about the new moon phase and the powerful role that some believe it can play, I had to admit some hard truths about myself and that it was true that each person has a choice as to how they process and react to the things that they encounter along their life’s path. I also had to admit that something happened to me about three years ago that poisoned the well of my intentions along with my good feelings, and no matter what I did at the time, and along the way, I could not seem to shake the angry and negative feelings that were eating me alive from the inside out.  Looking back on these years I realized that I have become someone who I never wanted to be.  I never thought I would allow the actions of another person to cut me so deeply, and poison me so completely that it rendered me nearly emotionally paralyzed.  Regardless of what anyone said to me, I clung to the ridiculous belief that there may have been some understandable reason for what happened, and that perhaps he was also a victim of some outside force of evil as well.  This afternoon I finally verbalized the truth. I was hurt by a person who while appearing somewhat nice, was probably the most selfish and self-loathing person I have ever known.   I decided, in agreement with my mom, that rather than “changing” in the face of what admittedly was a horrific personal loss, he simply lost the energy to hold up his dishonesty and simply reverted to his natural self.
Over the past few months I have been honored with the presence of a far-away friend who entered into my life as a result of a question I had asked about something he had written.  That in itself is nothing unusual for me. I have done this on many occasions and as a result have come to know some very incredible people.  Regardless of how negative and bitter I have become over my recent past, I am not too far gone to realize the value of people and relationships, even if I have guarded my emotional self in a fortress with a poisonous moat surrounding it and a welcome mat that says: “GO AWAY”.
This afternoon when I was listening to the program about New Moon Abundance it occurred to me that this is the sort of thing my far away friend might have been talking about, as he has questioned my ways of thinking in what I realize now have been gentle and masterful ways.  In fairness he was not the first friend to foster an opinion or pose questions about the way I have been behaving, but he is in fact, the first person to ever take the time to get to know me well enough to do it in a way that made a real difference.
When reading on the subject of abundance and living with intention, I realized that in the course of these last few years I had lost my will to live with positive intention. I had ceased my forward momentum and could no longer recognize my once innate ability to know that regardless of whatever path I chose, things were going to work themselves through one way or the other, and that everything was going to be okay.  It occurs to me that I am really not sure that there is any one tactic or tool that opens up the channel of positive energy that allows good things to come one’s way, but I am open to the idea that with the proper discipline and behavior, good things can and will happen for anyone who is focused and open to them. I also agree that while wanting big things, it is also important to focus on the little things because it is the accomplishment of these that create the stepping stones to the accomplishment of the big things.
This evening it dawned on me that the two people who have impacted my life in the most dramatic ways have something in common. Both have been slammed in the face by the most devastating losses that God or the Universe could come up with.  How it was handled made all the difference in the world. Both were caught completely off guard, both were leveled emotionally and shut down emotionally. Neither had any idea what their next move should be. The glaring difference between the two is that one was a coward, retreating into his self, diving down a black hole only to poke his head out into an alternate world of deceit and pretend, and the other paid his appropriate dues of grief, remained a resident of reality, determined courageously to simply keep putting one foot in front of the other, not knowing what was going to happen next, but determined to hold his head up and remain willing to help others no matter how heavy it felt to do so.
I have known a lot of fascinating people in my life, some really amazing and positive influences, and I can humbly say that I come from one of the best families in the world, but I have never in my life been able to say that I have a hero until today.
Here’s to thinking differently, here’s to living with positive intention, and here’s to finally taking my turn and going for what I want in this life. I have learned the secret that he spent two months trying to tell me.  Open your eyes, look only in front of you, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. You do not have to know where you are going, only that you are on your way.  It is all going to be okay.