Being Lonely vs Being Alone

I am so grateful for my daughter and my pets.  They keep me from being lonely.  At this moment my cat is scratching up against the screen of my ipad…. trying to compete with my keyboard.  She would prefer that I scratch her – but I promised myself yesterday that I would blog daily – and it’s 11:30 pm and I don’t type very well with just one hand.  My daughter and the dogs just left the room – after trying unsuccessfully to capture the cat.  Part of me is craving alone time so I can blog without distractions and then fall asleep in a silent house.   But I would much rather forgo that scenario and have those that I love near me.  I can always get away for a silent break – but when you are alone you cannot just summon the comfort of family, pets and friends.

My cat has now jumped off the bed.  My daughter came back into my room trying to capture the cat to apologize to her for trying to capture her before.  The dogs are barking because they want the cat too.  I am tired enough to fall into a grateful slumber in my cozy bed, knowing that I am surrounded by love and companionship.

Tomorrow I think I will blog from the coffee shop!

Time and Space and Random Thoughts

“I have all the time in the world to do everything that I need to accomplish.”  This is the mantra that goes through my head often.  Whenever I start thinking about everything I need to get done and wondering when I’m going to find the time to get it done, I say this to myself and it helps to calm me.  It’s going through my head right now as I type this…. because I’ve just realized that once again it has been months since I last blogged.

If only there were a way to transcribe my daily thoughts directly to my blog.  I would have the most amazing blog… and I would be that much closer to writing my book.  Is this what writers block is?  So many great thoughts go through my head, but when I go to verbalize them out loud or write them down, they get stuck.  I know it has something to do with my perfectionism.  When they don’t come out perfect, I get stuck trying to figure out how to say them the way they sounded in my head.  And then I start rambling and I get frustrated with myself…. and I give up.

Whoa…. Did I really just say that?  I am not a quitter, I do not give up!!  Yet it is what I have been doing.  I think I may have just had a breakthrough.  I have been giving up, by not really trying to do things unless I think I can do them perfectly.  This is not where I was going with this blog, but I’m going to keep rolling with it.  I am going to commit to blogging something each day.  And I’m going to post it no matter how random or rambling it is.  I’ve been wanting to establish some new daily habits and routines, but I have so many swirling through my head that I get overwhelmed.  I do not believe I can do them all, and I want to make sure I pick the right ones.  So what ends up happening is that because I’m not able to pick the perfect ones…. Yes – I give up and pick NONE.

I’m going to start with this one.  My daily blog.  Maybe this will be the name of a chapter in my book.  The book that I AM WRITING THIS YEAR.  The birth of the daily blog.  I like it.

I AM

Wow – it’s been over a year since my last post, and what a year of transformation it has been.  I want to start this post off by saying I AM HAPPY.  I’ve come so far in the past year, not despite of but AS A RESULT of my challenges.   I have proved to myself and others that GRATITUDE and the right attitude can make all the difference in the world.  I have chosen to view each and every opportunity that I am presented with as a GIFT that I am extremely grateful for.  And for this I have been blessed time and time again.  Is my life all rainbows and unicorns?  Of course not.  That’s not what life is about.  Life is about the journey, and making the most of every moment of it.

One of my most recent blessings is to be part of the brand new global movement  #IAmToWeAre.  This movement is to empower and inspire people to celebrate their “I AM” core values so that they can break through their limiting beliefs.  We are encouraging people to take pictures of themselves with signs that say #I Am with their core values listed, post them to our I AM facebook page @IAMTOWEARELEADERS.  We are also planning to take our inspirational message and core values training to middle schools and high schools to help build student leaders through community projects…. going from I AM to WE ARE.

#IAmAccountable #IAmAdventurous #IAmAmbitious #IAmBalanced #IAmBold #IAmBrave #IAmCheerful #IAmCommitted #IAmCompassionate #IAmConsistent #IAmEnthusiastic #IAmFair #IAmFaithful #IAmFit #IAmFocused #IAmFun #IAmGenerous #IAmGoodness #IAmGrace #IAmGrowing #IAmHappy #IAmHealthy #IAmHelpful #IAmPositive #IAmReliable #IAmResourceful #IAmSerenity #IAmService #IAmGrateful #IAmLoving #IAmHonest #IAmJoyful #IamStrong #IAmUnderstanding #IAmALeader #IAmMakingADifference

Filling in the Gap

I’ve started many blogs over the years, but this is the first time I’ve actually published any of them.   My first blogs were more like personal journals.  I never intended for anyone else to read them.  They were written to help me remember how I was feeling, because I am really good at blocking out painful experiences and eventually pretending they never happened.  They were also written so that I could process what I was going through, and so that I could discuss situations with my husband when he was sober in hopes that he would realize what he was doing when he was drunk and maybe he would stop drinking.  That didn’t work.  Occasionally I run accross one of them…. and I’m pretty sure that I’ve deleted a lot of them.

In October of 2015 I started a new blog, under a fake name.  I wanted to write about what I was going through, but I wasn’t quite ready to share my story with the world.  I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of my writings, and I didn’t want to hurt anyone in any way.  I was grieving the death of my husband just 8 months earlier, and my daughter had just been indicted by a Grand Jury on drug charges.  I did put the blog out on wordpress, and I did share a few of my posts with a few of my friends.  In December of 2015 my daughter went to jail, and eventually prison, and my blog fell by the wayside.  I was alone for the first time in my entire life.  My greatest fears of losing my husband and my daughter had manifested and for the first time in my life I was forced to look at my own issues instead of trying to fix everyone elses.

I spent the next 12 months finding myself, learning to live alone, and learning to break free from my codependency.  I even tried dating, but decided that I wasn’t ready to commit to anyone, and that it was going to take a very confident, secure man to be able to handle the fact that I wasn’t divorced and would always be in love with my late husband, and that I had a daughter who was getting out of prison soon and would be living with me.   My daughter was given a rider and a chance to get out of prison early – and she made the choice to view her arrest as a rescue and turn her life around.

I had a lot of support from my friends and family during this time of my life, and the thing that helped me the most in not only surving the events  but actually Thriving because of them was my Attitude of Gratitude.  I had learned just one month prior to my husband’s death to look at everything in life as a gift and to be grateful for it.  This was not always easy – but it was definitely effective.

On November 2, 2016 I attended a lunch of my WOWI group – which stands for Women of Wisdom and Inspiration.  We were talking about gratitude, and I told my story of my “gifts” and spoke of how I was grateful that my daughter was coming home on November 18th.  At that lunch, an amazing women heard my story and offerred my daughter a job when she got out.  Talk about overwhelming gratitude!!!  On November 3rd I attended a fund raiser by myself to support a friend.  I was being brave and putting myself out in the world again.  At that event a handsome and charismatic man sat next to me, we chatted during the event and he asked me to coffee the next day.  I had just decided that I wasn’t ready to date, and was up front and honest with him and explained why when we went to coffee.  He understood where I was at and still wanted to date me so I decided to give it a try.  He invited my daughter and I to attend a self help seminar that he was facilitating on the day following her release from prison, and he came to court with me on the day of her release to support me.  November 2016 was definitely a month overflowing with blessings and gratitude.  I even started blogging again!

I recently launched my web page and officially started my public blog.  I decided to go ahead and re-post my anonymous blogs from 2015 and 2016.  I’m actually writing this post on June 16, 2017 – but I’m using November 20, 2016 as the post date so that this post appears in the appropriate chronological order – filling in the missing gap!  If you are reading this, I thank you.  I hope that you find it insightful and entertaining.

Who Am I?

Wow – my last blog was 23 days ago – feels like just last week.  Since that blog I’ve gone silent in more ways than one.  Not only am I not writing – I’m not taking phone calls, I don’t want to talk to anyone other than my daughter – and even then I just sit in silence a lot of the time.  I’ve reverted back to spending days on end in my pj’s with the blinds closed.

Halloween was always the big Holiday kick off in our house.  We all loved the decorations, the dressing up – and seeing all of the kids come to the door for candy.  This year – I didn’t even buy a bag of candy for us.  We even took down the flags, turned off the porch lights and hid out in the back watching TV on Halloween.  I’ve been decorating for a Holiday open house at my studio.  I created some great invitations and have some fun ideas – but I haven’t sent them out yet and it was supposed to start tomorrow.  Good thing I’m in charge and can just change the date.  Maybe tomorrow will be the day I wake up and get dressed and decide to join the rest of the world again.  I pray for this every night.

This month would’ve been our 28th wedding anniversary. I’m so grateful for all of the time we had together – and for all of the love I got to experience.  My heart is broken.  My spirit doesn’t want to fly alone.  I still can’t believe he is gone.  I know he is here in spirit – but I’m still in a body and I miss him so much.  No matter what happened – all he had to do was hold me in his arms and say “It’s okay baby – everything is going to be alright”.

Nothing in my world is the same as it was 9 months ago.  Back then, even when I was feeling depressed or sad, I could still find my joyful self.  Now I feel as if I’m Sadness from the movie “Inside Out”, and everything I touch or come into contact with is infected with my sadness.  This is NOT ME!!!  I’m JOY for crying out loud.   Or have I just been pretending to be Joy???

I want to figure out who I am and what I want.  I want to stop breaking into tears at random moments.  I want to vibrate in Joy and not in Sadness.  Until I can figure out how to do this I don’t want to be around anyone.  I don’t want to bring my current friends down.  I don’t want them to worry about me.  I don’t want to meet new people and have their first impression of me be based on my current vibrational energy.  I also want to make sure that wherever I am vibrating – it is authentic.  I don’t want to have to fake it.  I’ve always said – just be yourself and those that are meant to be in your life will be drawn to you.  I always thought I knew who I was though.  I guess I never had to look this hard at myself before.

Whose Story Are You Choosing To Believe?

Our entire lives are shaped by the stories we create – and the stories that have been created for us that we have chosen to believe.  When we are born we know nothing.  Actually I think we know everything – we’ve just forgotten, but that’s a different blog.  Everything we know now is based on what we were told or what we where shown by our parents, teachers, friends, politicians, religion, media, etc.   As if this thought isn’t frightening enough – we are also programmed to believe that we shouldn’t question “authority” and in some cases we shouldn’t even ask questions.  I was an adult before I was able to get over my fear that I would go to hell if I even questioned any of the things I had been taught about God.  Once I broke through that one it was like the rug of my existence was pulled out from underneath me and I began to question everything.

I now realize that the world I live in was created by other people.  People who live in fear.  People who have bought into the whole control and accumulation game.  Piece by piece the foundations and beliefs that I have based my entire life on are starting to crumble – and this is a very good thing.  This means I get to create my life going forward based on what I believe – without  the need to control the lives that others are creating for themselves.  Fortunately many of my friends are coming to this same conclusion, and the new people that I am meeting are also of this same vibration.  Sadly, those that are still stuck in the control games don’t fit in my new story right now.  I will continue to love them from a distance and will welcome them back lovingly when and if our energetic vibrations match again.

Now I get to look at the stories that I’ve chosen to believe – and decide if I still want to believe them.  There is one in particular that I’ve been struggling with.  About 35 years ago I was told by someone that I thought was a very good friend “nobody likes to talk to you because you only talk about yourself”.  I’m really good at blocking bad memories – but this one has stayed with me.  I’ve been working on letting it go for several years now.  I’ve let the person go, but the belief was with me for so long it is taking a lot to break it down.

I am a great listener.  Complete strangers will tell me their life stories.  Friends find themselves telling me things they’ve never told to other people.  People like to talk to me.  Somewhere along the line though I stopped trying to talk to them.  Whenever I start to tell a story about me I start watching for signs that they are not really interested.  If I pause and they jump in about themselves, I just let them go on because they obviously don’t want to hear my story – they want to tell their own.  At the first eyeroll or sign of boredom I cut my story short.  I no longer try to converse with people while they are telling their story because I don’t want them to feel the way I feel when I get cut off or shut down.   I even had one friend put her hand up in front of me and say “let me finish” when I tried to make a comment about a story she was telling me.  It was a very boring detailed story about people I didn’t even know and she made me feel like I had to stand there and listen intently without talking.  WHY do I continue to attract these people to me?  I think it’s because I still believe that story.

I have a great story and people want to hear it.  I’m also a good listener for those that want someone to listen.  For those that just want someone to talk at…. I’m not around very long for them.  That’s the story I’m choosing to believe now.

About letting people down

Most of the time our fears are based on things we have created in our minds.  I believe that Fear really is False Evidence Appearing Real.  However, I’ve also believe that we create our own reality – so if we dwell enough on our fears we can bring them into our reality.

I HATE letting people down.  The sound of disappointment in a person’s voice can drop my vibration in a heartbeat.  I immediately become defensive – either for myself or for the person I feel they are disappointed in.  MOST of the time the person isn’t even dissapointed, or if they are it isn’t close to the level of disappointment that I am perceiving.  Once again – it comes down to my assumptions of how other people are feeling.  My assumptions.  My insecurities.  My projections.  My disappointment in myself.  It’s nice to realize how powerful I am in all of this – which helps ease the sting of owning all of it!!

The fear of letting people down can create a vicious circle.  For me, fear leads to anxiety.  Anxiety leads to illness.  Getting sick and not being able to attend something that I’ve committed to causes my fear to become reality.  Letting people down leads to depression.  Depression leads to isolation – If I don’t ever commit to anything then I can’t let anyone down.  Oh but wait – fear that my isolation is letting people down leads to me committing to things I’m not sure I’m ready for.   Committing to things I’m not sure about leads to fear, anxiety, illness…. etc.   I have been in this cycle for as long as I can remember… but I will not let it rule me any more.

I need to forgive myself for disappointing myself.  I’ve said I was sorry so many times to everyone else – when really the one person that can heal this is me.

If I can forgive me – can you forgive you???  Give it a try, I think you will like it.

The first step is admitting it.

I’ve decided it is time to take back my life – even if it is completely different than what I had planned for and expected. I’ve also decided that some of what I have been going through over the last several years, and especially the last 8 months could benefit others. Therefore I am going to attempt to journal this and share it for those that may be interested. I’ve tried this before – and usually never get to the point of actually sharing or publishing anything. So we will just see where this goes.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that everyone in my path was put there to show me something about myself. The people that push my buttons the hardest are the ones that I have the most to learn from. Seriously, why do they bother me so much if I don’t see any of their behavior in me? I know the answer to that is because they are mirroring a behavior or pattern that I also have, and most of the time I’m in big time denial that it is my pattern. Except now I know better. Still doesn’t make it easy to swallow.

My most recent revelation is related to my pattern of trying to please everyone. I’m a libra and I’ve always been the peacekeeper. Even as a child I remember trying to stop my parents from fighting. Not that they had any big fights – just the usual that every married couple has (yes every married couple argues – but I digress). I’ve always felt the need, perhaps even that it was my duty – to try and step in and help other people get along. Ironic isn’t it, that I get so angry and irritated with the people in my life that also have this pattern? Actually I don’t think it is ironic at all. I believe I chose to have these people come into my life so I could see how this pattern of behaviour is making me (and others) miserable. I believe that we choose our families long before we incarnate as humans. I believe that everything is in divine design.

I have many memories of becoming very defensive and even lashing out at loved ones because I felt that they were hurting others that I loved. I’ve yelled at my aunts for hurting my mother’s feelings, at my mother in law for hurting my husband’s feelings, and at my parents for hurting my daughter’s feelings. The problem was – none of these perceived victims asked me to get involved. In fact, they didn’t even “tell” me that their feelings were hurt. I just assumed. Yes, maybe they were hurt a bit – but they never wanted or expected me to go to bat for them. Had they asked that would have been a completely different story. But in all of the times I flew to their defense without them asking me to – I ended up hurting more people in the process.

Realizing this is huge for me. Especially now – with my whole life being turned upside down by the sudden and unexpected death of my husband. I have experienced a level of grief and depression that I never could have fully understood before. I never would have imagined that I could spend 8 months doing pretty much nothing and staying in my pajamas for days on end. I never would have imagined that I could care so little about what is going on in the world. And what is even worse – is that through some widows groups I have joined I never would have imagined that so many others out there are going through exactly what I am.

What I have realized is that we all have shit we are going through. I’ve been trying my whole life to juggle everyone elses shit for them. They never asked me to, and I never asked them if I could. So I shoudn’t be upset if I get coverred in other people’s shit. Time to wipe it off and worry about my own shit. Time to stop living in other people’s circumstances. Time to realize that by being more selfish – I can actually become even more loving. Loving of myself, which leads to being more loving towards others. Those that are meant to be in my life will accept this. Those that are also stuck in this pattern, I will gently remind them that I don’t need them to fix anything for me. Hopefully this will remind me of my own pattern and they will understand. If not, it’s not my shit to worry about.