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Love distanced but not lost

Ending a long term relationship can be hard.  Especially when it feels like they are all you’ve ever known.  It’s natural to want to keep them close to you even after the break up.  Some people are able to do this but not everyone can.  However, sometimes trying to keep them close can actually end up hurting more.  It’s hard to look at the person who was once your everything and not be able to treat them that way.

What most people fail to acknowledge is that you lost more than just a lover.  You also lost your best friend and that part may be even more painful.  Going from together forever to strangers weighs heavy on the heart.  Some days you want them back, others you pray to never see them again.

You can’t change the way you feel but you can feel your feelings and then let them go.  Just because you miss them doesn’t mean you should go back to them.  You can’t expect your heart to let go of a connection like that so easily and in the end it is only time that can tell whether they will have a place back in your life and at what capacity.

I believe that we are all connected energetically and when you spend so much time with someone and love them deeply that connection can be very strong and can remain long after the relationship is over.  The bad news is that it makes it hard to get over them, the good news is if you are quiet enough you can still feel them, no matter how far away they are.  But instead of torturing yourself over it the best thing to do when they cross your mind is to remember the good times and wish them well.  Some loves are best kept from afar.  Uma Thurman has a great quote:  I still love the people I’ve loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them.  You can continue to love them as much as you once did but you don’t have to let them know it.

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A matter of choice

I’m not sure how or why but for some reason this month has been different.  I guess I have been different.  There has been a lot of stress, drama and down right bullshit thrown my way but somehow none of it has managed to get to me.  It’s eerily strange if I am to be honest.

There have been moments when I felt as though my worst nightmares had come true and yet even believing that I somehow managed to feel okay.  Have I finally learned how to let go and trust what is?  Maybe this is temporary, maybe it’s permanent, I don’t know.  But what I do know is that it’s different.  Things are different.  I am different.

This month is far from over yet I feel like I have already learned so much.  Not just about myself but about other people as well.

I have learned that some people are as ugly on the inside as they are on the outside and that one should never underestimate the grip that greed can have on another’s heart.  Some people are heart-less, not that they don’t have a heart because I believe that everyone does but some have shut it down so badly that there is barely anything left.  I can’t help but wonder why or how they got that way.  What happened to them in their life that was so bad that it caused them to shut down their heart that way.  Was it a series of things here and there or just one really bad experience?  I feel bad for them.  Even when they are cold and spiteful I can’t feel hate for very long, I just feel…pity?  I’m not sure exactly but I see more than what can be gathered from their actions alone.

Humans have the capacity to be cruel or kind.  It is a choice.  I sometimes find myself getting vindictive and angry over certain trespasses but it doesn’t last for very long.  Holding that kind of negative vibration doesn’t feel good to me.  This does not mean that I will let someone walk all over me or that I will not fight back but if I come back at them it is more from a place that seeks justice not revenge. Maybe it’s the Libra in me but I like to have the scales balanced.

I find it ironic that a bad person will push and push and push a good one because they assume that being good is being weak.  What they fail to realize is that maybe that good person was not always a good person.  Maybe that good person knows that they have the capacity to be ruthless but they choose to be kind instead.  That is not weakness, that is strength, to know that you can demolish someone but instead show them kindness and patience, that is no easy task.

To me the weak ones are the ones who set out to hurt others because to me it shows that they cannot handle their own pain.  They have to transfer it on to someone else and unfortunately that is not too difficult to do.  What is difficult is to stand in your own pain and face it, to feel it long enough to transmute it into something higher.  That is true strength.

Over the past five years or so life has shown me that some people are bad.  I don’t know when my rose colored glasses came into play but I know now that I cannot hang onto those anymore.  The world does have its demons just like it has it’s angels and although you may not be able to always avoid or stop them you can be more aware and take precautions to prevent them from taking full advantage of you.

Not everyone is nice and not everyone will treat you the way you treat them.  There is evil in the world and in man, I feel like I’m finally able to accept that now.

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No more promises

Everything is in a constant state of flux.  Nothing in this world is permanent, nothing in this world is still.  We like to use words like always and forever but in actuality they are just that; words.

How can we promise each other anything that doesn’t exist in the now?  Things change, people change, perspectives change, thoughts change, feelings change.  Everything changes.  

So how to you maintain anything long term?  

First, you accept that no thing is forever, time is an illusion and all you have is now.  So if you want to keep someone or something in your future make sure you are keeping it close now. 

It’s the little things that happen from one moment to the next that build your tomorrow.  

Show gratitude for what you have and let go of expectations.  

Live now, love now.  And if tomorrow you find it gone at least you’ll know that you did all you could.

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This is going to hurt

No one likes to suffer.  Most people will do anything to avoid pain, whether physical or otherwise.  The only thing worse than being in pain is seeing someone you love suffering from it.  It makes you feel helpless because no matter how hard you wish you could take it from them or feel it for them, you can’t.

This is a difficult thing, to watch them hurt, but sometimes pain is necessary because sometimes pain is part of the healing process.  Our problems don’t develop overnight, they are a culmination of repeated habits.  Yet, when the shit hits the fan we expect to be able to do away with the aftermath right away.  But things don’t work like that.  Sometimes, the pain is needed, sometimes the pain must be felt and when it can’t be avoided then we must learn to accept it.  Accept it and use it as a tool to learn.  Learn from our past mistakes and have the consequences of our actions burn so loudly that when the pain does finally stop we never forget what caused it in the first place.  This way we do not repeat our past folly.

Sometimes you have to watch the one you love hurt.  Not for your own good but for theirs.  It’s so temporary.  Once you see the progress being made and the healing begin, even though the pain is still felt you can rest, knowing that it’s just part of a process, a passing phase that won’t last.   You have to be able to watch the one you love die because what is dying is not them but only a part of them.  A part that they are better off without.  You must allow yourself to trust the process.

But when you have no faith, it leaves a lot of room for fear.  And fear, as we all know, is the real thief of life.

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To ends and new beginnings

We are 11 days away from embarking on a new year.  Looking back, I’m not sure that I would have done anything different.  I feel that we always do the best we can with what we know and I learned a lot this year so I’m sure next year will be different in that I will be making less of the same mistakes.

I think this year has given me insight into what I actually want to do with my life, at least for the foreseeable future.  It also let me figure out what I don’t want to be doing which is just as important.  I feel that 2017 will be a great year of growth and less of a struggle than 2016.  For me 2016, at least the latter part of it has pushed me to let go.  It is not a giving up but a gentle surrender to the divine and its plan for me and my life.

I have a fairly large list of goals for next year but feel pretty optimistic about accomplishing them.  After all, I was finally able to conquer my sugar addiction, something I had struggled with for a while and tried several times to no avail.  I feel like me doing that makes anything else possible because there was a time when I thought it was impossible to do.  If I can do that…what can’t I do?  I also finally committed to this blog which I actually started over a year ago but didn’t publish or share any of it until fairly recently.  It’s strange how things fall into place when you stop forcing them.

Another big thing that 2016 has taught me is that persistence, no matter how scattered, if consistent enough brings about progress.  It excites me to think what else I can accomplish in 2017.  I’ve got quite the list of things I’ve always wanted to do and no doubt a push by my higher self to do the things I was born here to do.

There are still some core issues I have to work out, ones that have haunted me for years but I just got to take it one day at a time and do what I can from where I am and hope for the best.

I hope you all take some time to reflect on this year, the good, the bad, the ugly – think about these things and then let them go.  Don’t bring anything negative with you to the new year, let it stay in the past.  Forgive yourself or whoever else you need to and move on.

If you haven’t already set some intentions for the new year I highly recommend that you do.  Write it down and put a date on it and if you fail, then set another date, keep going until you get it done.  Fear should never be the sole reason that you do not do something that you want to do.

Enjoy what’s left of this year and bring your best to 2017.

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Working for Love

Everyone is different, every couple is different, so you can’t say that this is what happy looks like because happy for one might be misery for another.  But for me a happy relationship is one in which I feel safe.  One where I trust the person I’m with, not just with being faithful but with everything else.

I’ve been married for 7 years but I’ve known my husband for 12.  We met when we were only 19.  It’s kind of crazy to look at it that way.  The person I was at 19 is so far removed from who I am today.  We’ve had our ups and downs like anyone else but what I’ve loved most about us as a couple is that no matter what life throws at us we always find our way out together.  My husband likes to say that someone’s true character comes out when they have to face adversity, well we’ve had our fair share and I’m happy to say that what hasn’t killed us has only made us stronger.  We’ve had our foundations shaken up a few times but we’ve always been there for each other.  No matter how bad or dire the situation we would keep each other’s hope alive.  I remember us laughing and commending ourselves on our “feast” of grilled cheese sandwiches after we had both unexpectedly ended up unemployed.  We’ve been down to counting pennies.  One Christmas in particular we were broke but instead of being miserable about it we decided to make the most of it so we went to Walgreens on Christmas Eve, about 10 or 15 minutes before they closed, we each had $20 which was a small fortune for us at the time and we made it a game to go around the store and get each other gifts without bumping into each other and seeing what the other person was buying.  We laughed about it for days.

We survived a very long year of him not having a driver’s license and then 4 of only a hardship.  He was there for me when I’d come home upset about a case.  He was there for me every single time I was crying over the things addiction had done to my family.  And I was there for him when it hit his.  We’ve comforted each other through the deaths of pets, friends, family members and dreams.  He’s been there for me when I couldn’t stand the sight of myself and I’ve been there for him when he’s felt worthless.

He calms me down when I want to explode.  He gives me space when he knows I need it.  He makes me sandwiches in the middle of the night when it’s too cold and I don’t want to get out of bed.  He supports me whenever I go diving into something new even if he doesn’t totally agree with it.  Our relationship isn’t perfect but it’s perfect for us.  He tolerates my music which is rather impressive seeing as how I tend to fall in love with one song at a time and play said song on repeat for days, something that would probably drive most people mad.

I could write a laundry list of things he does that annoy me but they are all little things that I don’t care to have fixed (don’t tell him that).  Our relationship works because we work.  When we have a problem we talk it out.  We each have boundaries and we make them known.  This is what allows us to push and pull each other towards growth without crossing the line.  I feel like there is so much more I could write but my goal was just to show you that good relationships do happen, they are out there and they are possible for everyone but they are something that require patience, resilience, perseverance, forgiveness, strength and above all love and respect.

When we met I don’t think either one of us was looking to go into anything long term, it just happened.  Looking back, I’m grateful for every shitty relationship I had before him because they gave me perspective.  If I hadn’t gone through them I would have never been able to appreciate him and have what we have now.  When I met him I was still heartbroken from my previous relationship but I stuck around because he treated me different.  He put me first and that is something that I had not experienced up until that point.  Feeling that contrast gave me hope.  When I ended my last relationship I knew what I didn’t want but not really what I wanted.  Meeting my husband showed me what I needed.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve cried plenty on his account but like Bob Marley said “The truth is, everyone is going to you.  You just got find the ones worth suffering for.”

So if you are having a hard time with relationships right now don’t give up.  Don’t give up on love, don’t give up on yourself, just give up on shitty people that don’t treat you the way you know you deserve.  And in case no one has told you…you deserve the best.

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Ending Forever

This year has been a tough one for a lot of people.  It seems like there is an overall collective consensus to let go of what is no longer serving us.  On the surface it appears chaotic but it really isn’t, it’s just our lives shaking off what’s not needed to make room for what’s best for us.  I want to write this post to commend all of the women who have had the guts to leave their long term partners who failed to see their value and appreciate their worth.

So many fairy tales are fed to little girls of how we need to be saved by a knight in shining armor and once we meet them we ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.  For most people falling in love is easy.  However, maintaining that chemistry and connection long term proves to be more difficult.  I feel like my generation, at least within my culture, has been conditioned to tolerate disrespect, abuse and infidelity.  “The sanctity of marriage must be upheld” they say but what is sacred or virtuous about staying with someone who keeps hurting you?

You need more than someone who is supporting you financially.  You need someone who is there for you emotionally as well.  The problem is we like to hold on to yesterday and hope for a better tomorrow while we forget that life is happening now, today.  If you are being hurt now and unhappy more often than not, then now is the time to do something about it.  I’ve already blogged about second chances so I’m not going to go into that but suffice it to say that it is okay to move on with your life now, whether they are ready for you to do so or not.

The opinions of others matter not, especially when it comes to your relationship.  No one else knows what you go through; all the pain, the tears, the repetitive lies, the cold-hearted denial whenever you try to confront them, the long nights, the debating on whether you should stay or go and if you do go where would you go?  What about the kids?  And what if they promise to change?  Was this somehow your fault?   How could they do this if they really love you?

You question your entire relationship and your worth as a person.

Stop.

When they say things to hurt you, when they do things to hurt you, when they make you question your own sanity and what you see and what you feel… that is not love.  It is not your fault.  It is not something you did.  You couldn’t have done it any different because that is all you knew at the time.  Don’t beat yourself up.  You are worthy of someone who cares for you fully, who respects you and treats you properly.  Someone who goes out of their way to make you smile.  Someone who no matter how angry they are at you still treats you like they care.  I promise you that there is a person out there who knows how to love you the way you deserve to be loved.  It’s just not them.

Mothers, we teach by example.  Staying in an abusive relationship, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, is never in the best interest of a child.  If you want to protect your children show them how you take care of yourself.  Teach your daughters that you do not stay in a relationship like that and teach your sons that it is not okay to behave that way towards someone they love.  Appreciate yourself, love yourself and respect yourself.

The immediate chaos, fear and uncertainty that comes immediately after you finally decide you’ve had enough will one day fade to nothing and you will realize that you are not only better off but happier than you ever were with them and those few months of readjusting everything in your life are worth the years that follow.  Don’t give up on yourself.

Whenever someone I care about tells me that they have or are leaving their long term spouse/partner I congratulate them.  I do this because I know it was not an easy decision.  I know it was not a conclusion that came over night.  I know it took months, maybe even years to decide and actually follow through.  I don’t ask you if you are okay because I know you are not.  How could you be?  But I also don’t worry about you because I know you are going to make it out okay.  I know that having your roots ripped out of the ground is only going to make for more fertile soil when you are ready to plant some new seeds.  I just hope that the seeds you plant are all your own and that your new partner (if/when you decide to try again) is an accessory to your life not a foundation.  The foundation should be all you.  Your last relationship should serve as a reminder as to why you should be able to stand firm all on your own.

We need to learn to love without attachment.  Be with someone because you want to be with them not because you feel like you need them and vice versa, your partner should be with you because they love you and want to be with you, not because they think they need you.

Once it’s all said and done, take some time for yourself before you go rushing into anything new.  You’ve been with them for so long that you now have to re-identify who you are as a person and that takes time.  Figure out what you want and what you don’t want out of your next relationship and know which ones are non-negotiable.

Date but don’t fall in love.  Coming out of a long-term relationship is rough, especially when it was an abusive one.  I think spending time with other people is a good thing (if it’s the right kind of person of course).  Let them show you how it feels to be respected, cared for and wanted.  Let them remind you of how awesome you are.  Do what you need to do to get yourself right again in your own mind.  Just be careful to not fall back into the same thing.  Life has a funny way of sending us the same problems or same kind of people until we learn what we are supposed to learn, so if you are supposed to learn how to respect and love yourself then make sure that you accept nothing less than someone who sees your worth and holds value to your heart.

So like I said in my opening paragraph, I want to commend the brave women who have stood up for themselves, if you are one of the many women I know who have gathered the courage they need to say “no more” and move one then I commend you and thank you for setting an example for other women and for future generations.  And if you are one who is still in these shoes then I hope you “find the courage to grow,” please know that it is never too late and just because you’ve been making the same mistake for years doesn’t mean you have to continue.

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