Wednesday, May 10

Ok, Jump!

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to skydive or paraglide. At some point in the terrifying sky-high process you will have to jump. Jumping is the hardest and scariest pert of everything and far too many things in life can feel like being thousands of feet above the ground and being told it’s time to jump –then to just fucking FALL.

I think it’s that I’m too sensible for my own good –jumping (in order to fall) is not something I should do to remain healthy and IN ONE PIECE.
 
And yet…
People do jump often!
Daily.

And what do they get? 99% of the time exhilaration is what. How much exhilaration do I experience being a non-jumper? Ya, you guessed it… very little. Not that I’m saying I find myself needing that level of excitement in my life, I’m not. What I’m saying is there seems to be a lack of ability TO jump for me. Reward or not.

Some of my biggest realizations and lessons have come to me SINCE turning 40, and I’m constantly saying where would I be if only I had learned this at 25? Further ahead is where. But even as I say that, on my “cosmic scale of self-evolution”, I know full well that I was still a baby at 25. I don’t think I could have grasped a quarter of the things I’m realizing now.

Which makes me say: What are you going to do with this piece of information now girl? You going to benefit? And I hear myself replying –That looks like jumping. Even if it’s just moving forward with this new information about myself I’m still so damn unsure. (As I perceive it to be my hovering at the edge of the mountain cliff or at the open door of the plane.)

I feel like this is where I admit: Nobody gives a fuck of you jump Natalie. Only if you don’t’ survive would anyone care. And guess what little lady? You 100% will survive. It’s not actually a mountain top or a plane. It’s your courage, your ego, your self-perception, and your WILLINGNESS to be brave again after you jump. Which by the way is more like the height of the front step. “Mountains out of molehills” is what I’m doing, and if I insist I’m a tiny ant, then a mountain that molehill will be. But I’m not an ant, it’s not a mountain, I’m not skydiving or paragliding, there is NO actual falling.

The REALITY is that I’ve constructed a FALSE REALITY where fear is nicely hidden in the cracks and crevices so I’m able to pretend it’s not there, and in some areas it’s not. But in others it’s the glue holding the whole false perception together.


This is where I look at all this information and tell myself: Make a big deal of it if you want, it’s still only the size of the front step. So jump, or just walk.

Saturday, April 1

Balancing Act

I feel like I've spent so much of my life unbalanced, that I now know quite well what Balance is. I also think it's fair to say that for me, balance is not just the obvious, and the main things I'm going to type here, but it's also little things like not hanging onto something you should just get off your chest... it's having an alcoholic drink when it's needed, and it's singing a song when you have not sung for a few days... so also in my mind, balance is like a web of many scales, that are all different sizes but still connected. When all of the scales have their balance accurate for their size, the web rests. When the scales are all off balance, the web is bouncing, stretching, breaking, and continually needing repair. THAT lack of balance is uncomfortable. So in order to be comfortable, everything on some level is a balancing act.

The tricky part... is finding out what balance is when your web has never felt still. This aspect (for me) has come through what I feel is attached to the word WISE. I've had to learn many tricks, had to fall apart, and had to figure out how to put things back together and test "balance".

Obviously what "balance" is for everyone is going to be different. Because some people have a larger patience scale than others... so what balances that part of their web will be different from others. Same with the giving scale. Some have more to give... too many scales, too many things that can make us feel unbalanced.

So with this making sense, I need to introduce the part that you have to pretend you haven't heard before. Because I'm saying it from that WISE space, not the brainwashed space. And that part of balance is realizing and accepting that the body and mind need some things... and these things are pretty standard across the board for most people.

The first one is Sleep. Unfortunately, most of our bodies need about 8 hours of sleep. A Third of our day given to sleep means that we are emotionally more capable, physically more capable, and sleep seems to be the key to not getting sick, staying full of energy, and frankly, finding that space we call "good mood".

The second one I will call Accomplishment. This aspect of life is where we earn money for food, for our home, for our gas to drive our car... We are lucky if we have a job that we enjoy, because a giant chunk of our day is spent accomplishing something for someone, and they give us money for it. This aspect of balance is also HUGELY important because it means we can live in a world that requires us to have money in order to survive. (Shitty but true)

And THAT brings me to the third part of this balance trilogy... and I will call it Happiness. This third of the main balance web is the part where we keep our sanity. Having sanity is also a pretty big deal. We NEED to laugh, we NEED to play, we NEED to feel carefree, and without this important piece, our scale can topple over by being so lop-sided. And then what? You are so stressed you can't sleep or be productive... and if you can't have fun, you can't sleep, and you can't be productive... what do you feel like overall? A PIECE OF SHIT, that's what.

So... back to my simple point... If you can't divide every day into three parts, and accept there are also lots of little aspects that need a wee bit of attention, you will either go crazy or make yourself physically sick. Neither is ok.

Now the part where you say "I've heard it all before"... the general goal to aim for is 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work, and 8 hours of play. People think it's too easy. too cut and dried. BUT if you try it and accept it will HELP YOU live more comfortably in every area, you too will become a cheerleader of balance because you will finally feel your web settling. It isn't really until you know what that feels like that you will be sold. I wasn't... but in desperation I tried it. I made sleep and happiness both as important as working.

It's not like you don't know if you need balance. I can guarantee nobody reading this is unsure.

Friday, March 10

The Offended Generation.

I made a connection recently. I’ve noticed more and more people these days are saying “sorry” without any reason. They could brush against you, stand in front of you for 1 second too long, or any no-big-deal thing that happens. Often I hear “sorry” and I don’t know why I’ve heard it. Some of us are constantly saying, “don’t apologize” but it’s like a current culture habit people have to think an apology is needed for every little thing. It’s so common it’s been on my mind lately… but so has something else… and I think there is a connection.

The generation that contains 20-23 year olds is in love with being offended. They want to insert themselves into any opinion, into any situation, and they are continually searching for something that might prickle someone’s feels. Then BAM! They have a reason to be upset and offended on behalf of someone or something, and if they are lucky; themselves. This then gives them reason to complain publicly… and this too is part of it. “IT” being the connection I’m pulling together.

I’m a pretty sensitive person. I see kindness as vital, I see respect as HUGE, and so the fact I’m saying what I’m about to say is not contrary to being a good person, treating people ‘right’, or anything even close to derogatory.

I lived in England for 10 years, and with people getting upset and offended so easily, I have an expression continually ringing in my mind. “Put your big girl panties on”. Or as its said in the US: “Grow up”. Whether you are male or female, the message is kind of a harsh one because someone NEEDING to tell you to stop being such a baby about something means you probably are being a baby. The act of “feeling hurt” is a decision you make. Some people do the opposite and say “so what?”

The world is NOT a nice place, mean things are said often, people ARE rude, but that doesn’t mean you need to act like you aren’t capable of saying something back… that you can’t call an asshole an asshole, that you aren’t able to stand up for yourself, or that you need to turn the situation into one where your feelings are hurting and you can’t do anything about it.

If you are willing to stand up for yourself (or someone else) and if you have to say “shut up” do it! Situation over. Don’t go home and write about it on facebook, or twitter, so you can get a bunch of people on your bandwagon of hurt feelings. Grow up and realize that being offended is your choice, your childish choice. You don’t have to choose to be the child and be “hurt” by words. Didn’t all of our parents teach us “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? Do you know why that is true? Because you have CHOSEN for it to be true. What people think of you is none of your business. What they think of a stranger is none of your business… what you think of THEM is none of their business… This is easy stuff folks. Grow up.

Lets say someone is rude to my face about something that embodies me either physically or personally. Yes, I’m going to feel bugged immediately… How long I CHOOSE to carry that around is my decision alone. Nobody is telling me to take that rudeness and fill my pockets with it, sharing it with everyone I come in contact with. If I do… I’m deciding to do it.

I am not saying I never ever get offended, but actually, in order to offend me, you have to really know me, know what would hurt me, and then choose to hurt me. The choosing to hurt me intentionally is how I feel offended. And really, what that does is just destroy my ability to respect a person. Which is like them deciding that they want me to think less of them, so I do. This is not common. People don’t tend to insist on hurting others, so I rarely feel offended.

How often am I bugged? Pretty often, but I put on my big girl panties, and I get over it. Ya, it’s common to tell a friend how big an ass someone was, then to agree people don’t need to act like that. Generally the being bugged ends with the telling of the story. Like the words spoken in telling it puts it outside the body and therefore outside the mind. This is a common practice for me when I feel bugged. I say it out loud… and gone.

Eckhart Tolle talks about this same thing in being attached to “the story” and the “pain body” needing to keep repeating “my story”. The ability for one to see that your story does not bring you benefit or happiness, will then give you the ability to move on. Can you see how emotionally healthy it is to do that?

I’d like people to realize that so much apologizing is not only unnecessary, but dangerous to society. What are you actually sorry for? Your existence? Your momentary hesitation? Your standing there for a second too long? Because sometimes that’s all there is in the apologizing for nothing, and don’t you dare apologize for existing. Don’t apologize for standing up for yourself, for standing up for someone else, for anything trivial. That is not the world we want to live in.

The last part of this connection is in my noticing people apologizing for their phone speed… I work in a job where people use an ap. Sometimes people have to log into the ap, and so need to take a few seconds to enter an email and password. I can’t believe how often people apologize for doing this. I am on a one woman crusade to try and convince people that if we can’t wait those couple moments it takes to get into our technology, well then we may as well not even be using it. I remind them that conditioning by internet speed does not mean we ourselves have to apologize for not being lightning fast at everything we do, because 20 years ago we weren’t apologizing for anything attached to phones or speed. Have we become Pavlov’s dogs? MUST we salivate every time we hear a bell? Are we really that far outside of choice? Gawd I hope not.

Tuesday, February 14

The kaleidoscope of LOVE

It makes sense to say love is a kaleidoscope, and everywhere you turn it shifts… who you look at, the angle you take, how the light enters, where the silhouettes are… and the reasons for which you hold it up to your eye even factors in.

Love and what it encompasses is an individual perception thing. Some don’t love much, some love overboard, and some have to learn about loving. I might be one of those that had to learn. I say might because I feel like I’ve always been a loving person for the most part, but as I look back at evidence, showing love, expressing love, and following through with love, I was lacking and have changed as the years have passed. I’m also looking at what reasons I have behind loving those that I currently love, and who these people are to me in life.

I don’t think there are two people in this world I love the same way. Just as I can’t get two exact images looking through a kaleidoscope. There are too many reasons, why’s, levels, and factors.

Again, it’s perception… If you need something in life, and someone shows up with that thing, fulfilling that need, you will perceive them differently than you would any other. Examples always make it real for me, and I always resist sharing personal examples only to relent when I feel I’m not getting where I want to get… so examples it is:

Quite some time ago, a friend appeared out of nowhere and offered encouragement. I don’t remember if I knew in the moment how deeply I needed to be encouraged, but I did. I was telling myself that something that was exciting to me meant nothing, and I shouldn’t bother sharing it. My encourager appeared and said they wanted me to keep going. Suddenly I wasn’t the only one finding this thing exciting, and I had a reason to share. This simple little thing was giant for me. My encourager was completely clueless to the need I had, or the long term effect of it. It was actually pivotal for me. To be clearer, pivotal means: of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else. Almost the exact definition of what encouragement means to me.

Another friend is a safe listener. Which is a two-parter skill. Listening is one thing, but making someone feel like they are safe in the things they say, that’s something expanded. The safety part is a complicated thing to explain because although it’s one word; feeling safe only happens because of many little things. And frankly, not many people WANT to listen, so just listening is pretty damn cool too. My safe listener wants to hear the shit with the good, the uncomfortable with the funny, and it doesn’t seem to matter what I say on any given day, my safe listener doesn’t let me feel heavy… which is how they remain safe. My knowing I’m not causing any harm by what I say, even if I’m whining.

Understanding and being understood are a big deal to me. Which would also be labeled as “relating”. The inability to relate to someone keeps you outside their circle. The ability to relate, creates bonds, it bridges, it builds, it is a foundation that proves to be more vital than anything put atop it. Because the contrary; being misunderstood --is destructive. It hurts. It’s harmful to love, relationships, friendships and happiness. The feeling understood element is why your best friend becomes your best friend. Feeling as though someone “gets you” is how we aren’t ever completely alone. What I love about a person who gets me, is that I can use less words. I can say one sentence and that’s all it takes for my feelings to be understood. Ya, I’m pretty wordy, as you have evidence for here, but LESS words AND being understood… that’s pretty damn awesome.

Self esteem --the subject I might harp-on about most in the world, because I have so much to say on it… Here too it’s a big deal because when you have someone who sees you, and I mean really sees you, you can’t help but like yourself more. It’s like they give you glasses with some of their vision in it, and you are able to see who they see, and love being that person. I have a friend that doesn’t even mean to alter how I see myself, but their sheer adoration for me makes me love being me. It communicates the need to stay genuine, true to myself, and a stupid way of saying it… they give me permission to be me. Why the fuck I should appreciate it in those words “permission to be me” I don’t know, because if I imagine someone who is an ass, that I don’t love, my mind says “I don’t need your permission to blow wind out my ass, let alone to be myself”. But the friend increasing my self esteem is like continually touching me with a magic wand turning me into gold so I stay who I am, and like being there.

Lastly, this will sound redundant, but bear with me. Some people LET you love them. How I put it in a book I wrote was: “There’s a difference between those people who let you love them, and those who won’t. One is a joy. The other is painful”. I did that painful thing far too long. I think I had to learn that lesson the hard way. But now it’s in… I get to experience love that’s not only wanted, but appreciated. I get to feel the joy from “allowed” to love. Anyone not “letting” me love them now, will simply not be loved to any great extent. Simple. The not letting is also non-reciprocal… so why would you want to waste love? Good question, so don’t!

Love is a bloody beautiful kaleidoscope, I hope you too get to see it with awe and grandeur today, faceted, full of shape and color, as I do. Not just as a choice between two shitty heart shaped cookies with mangled frosting pushed around a few times before landing on your desk and labeled “love” from some random well meaning nobody.

Happy Valentines Day to my Dearhearts.

Sunday, January 22

Dear Grant,

I know it’s weird that I’m doing this publicly, and doing it in writing, but this feels right. I struggle to tell you in person how important you are to me. And not just to me, but to all of us who work with you. Ya, we each signed a sentence or two on your going away card, but had each of us been given a sheet of paper, those would be full too.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to thank you every time you show me you are a top quality friend, but honestly, your level of thoughtfulness overwhelms me. My words of thanks are so dim in comparison to your actions of caring… so I say them with the inadequacy level I am feeling them. I almost wish you weren’t so amazing, so I didn’t have to feel like I’m a crappy friend in comparison.

I think back to the times I got upset at work and you brought me vegan ice cream. I know you did it because you felt like you couldn’t fix the reasons I’d get upset, so you would fix what you could do, which was make me smile… and not just smile, but enjoy myself eating delicious ice cream.

In fact, you are the only friend I have that brings me food in a desire to give me joy, and I never convey enough how much that means to me. For some reason I can’t. You know I’m a crier -all it takes is me acknowledging how much I appreciate your friendship, and tears well. Despite all evidence, I actually don’t like crying. I seem to end up in tears over too many things these days, and thank goodness my coworkers seldom see me with a wet face. Like you, I always want to be a source of joy and smiles, but unlike you, I sometimes fail.

I’m not sure what I will do without you. You are like the foundation to a house that goes 100% needed, and for the most part taken for granted. We all need your perspective, your experience, your age, your kindness, your willingness, and most importantly your thoughtfulness. Your absence will create a giant hole, and there isn’t anybody who will be replacing you… who even could?

If you already know how important you are to me -it wouldn’t be because I’ve succeeded at telling you. I haven’t told you enough. If you already know (and I totally think you could) it would be because you are so good at reading my eyes and my heart. Which I also know you do. So much goes unsaid between us, and I think that’s because you don’t force me to be understood… you just understand. I rely on that too. You know things about me you don’t expect me to explain, yet you show you get it. Thank you for that also.

I’m sorry work gets frustrating to you, I’m sorry I get frustrated and tell you, but surely you know that the sanity comes in the reliance that we know and understand what each other is feeling. Learning you’d decided to leave was a bit heart breaking. I know going “home” is the main reason, but I feel that on a tiny level… we did fail you. (the royal we) We all have our limits, you saw me reach mine and make big changes, I’m just bummed yours includes us losing you.

I know I will see you after you read this, but honestly, nothing has changed, I’m still unable to say these things to your face without bursting into tears, so I hope you don’t make me. We love you Grant! We always will.

I’m still going to keep wishing you come back. (Even if you blow up instagram with beaches and aqua waters every day! I will still be wishing your view of the sunrise was Maple Mountain and your view of the sunset was West Mountain.)

Another thing unnecessary to say is: “don’t forget us”, I know you won’t.

Tuesday, January 10

The Gold Standard

It was actually to my surprise in December 2016 to hear people talking about what an awful year it was and that they wanted it to be over. I hadn't had conversations with people in real life about how shitty the year was, and so I really thought it was just me.

To which I want to make a side point actually... it's incredible how often I feel the "it's just me" thing, only to find out No... no... impossible... no Natalie, you aren't so unique that you could be experiencing something and nobody else is. So if you ever find yourself saying like I have, "it's just me", YOU'RE WRONG. Nothing could possibly be just you. Statistical fact. Impossible. Whatever you may be telling yourself.

So, back to the point... gawd-awful year for many. I found it to be a year of good lessons, with the biggest ones being painful; as the most beneficial lessons always seem to be. And because I'm very much a people person, and a detail person, I'm forever noticing random shit and trying to find places for it in my head. I have this thing... I've had it since I was a child -the desire to be wiser. I felt like my teens were just a giant block of time where nothing changed, I didn't get smarter, I didn't become a better artist, I didn't feel creative or clever, or interesting, or even capable of carrying on a good conversation. And I wasn't wrong... I was such a nothing teen... and yet I wished... I wished for all those things. That one day I'd be smart, creative, funny, interesting, able to talk to anyone about anything, and on some level at least... wise-ish.

2016 definitely had an effect on me, and at the end of it (starting on Dec 31st) I began to feel wiser. The lessons I learned this year all point to older and wiser. I think I even lost some levels of patience. Like I outgrew the ability to be lenient with being treated poorly. Starting early in the year, and stretching right to the end, I think I decided "no more" with five people. I didn't add it up until just now when I tried to think of the times I stood up for myself and was honest. Five is a lot. Not when compared to all the people I talk to and spend time with in my very social jobs, but it is when I think about how much patience I've lost for having my words twisted, being taken advantage of, not listened to, and treated like I'm not worth 2 minutes of clear communication. And really all of this is because I also had the complete opposite from even more people. I was listened to, I was appreciated, I was respected, I enjoyed incredible communication, and to use a term I've mentioned before -treated like gold.

The sum in this equation after a slightly rough 12 months IS a lack of willingness/patience for poor humanity toward me and others. I'm wiser, I'm more judgmental, I'm looking at details, I'm paying attention, and if you are a poor caliber human based on "the gold standard" shown to me, I will be pleasant to you, but I won't waste time on you. I sound like a narcissist I know well... that person would say this too... but I'm feeling like I've reached this point through pain. One of those five people would argue that I need to endure whatever, take the shit with the good, stick it out forever. Well, I ain't Jesus. I'm not going to. I'm more inclined after 2016 to say "fuck you for not being a better human". "Fuck you for not being kind". "Fuck you for having NO desire to communicate, understand, or listen". "Fuck you for walking all over me multiple times". I'm the one who needs to give the biggest shit about me, and my 'giving a shit' is getting bigger. Interestingly, each of these five people did not like me standing up and saying I'm not cool with this. I didn't say "I'm done", to three of them, but all five relationships ended after I said "This isn't going to keep happening". Some dragged out, but by December 31st, all of them were done and I spent new years eve feeling so much hope for the coming year my evening was filled with writing. It was nice.

If I hadn't noticed before, I'm noticing now... High caliber people come in at HIGH and stay there. This is part of their gold standard. They show you over and over that they are amazing people in word and deed. Just as the poor caliber people do... but I am going to try my hardest from now on to not make excuses for the poor ones, and accept sooner there is no gold standard there. Move along.

To 2016 I say "Ouch, good riddance, and thank you". (maybe depending on my mood, a "fuck you" to it also.)

Postscript:
The photo for this post is not mine. It is taken by someone that exemplifies the gold standard in every way. Someone who has been a champion for my sanity countless times in countless months. Believed in me, encouraged me, cared about me, and thoroughly made me feel like I matter. As I've said, The gold standard is bloody high!!!


Friday, December 16

Comparisons & Happiness

The older you get the more you have in your library of life. The stories accumulate, the pictures increase, the lessons become vast, and the ability to compare is totally different than it was when you were 8.

Years aren’t the only thing that increases the size of ones library. Paying attention as the lessons come at you and then cataloging them so you don’t have to learn the lesson again. And not just that, but the ability one might have to relate a lesson to other aspects of life. Two people could be the exact same age, but one could have a million more lessons in their library to draw from and use for comparisons.

Each of us has had very different experiences that mold us into the person we currently are. People come into our worlds in every shape and dynamic. Some coordinate, some don’t. It’s the comparisons of previous relationships/lessons that save me much time and heartache. I have learned there are those that coordinate, fit, work, click, and allow ME personally to decide what does and doesn’t serve my happiness.

I say it that way because I decided in my teens what the meaning of life is. Even at a young age when I was tucked up in religion, I had that giant light bulb of realization for me -that the meaning of life is happiness. The aim, the goal, the point, the reason for it all… is to be happy. Not that this has to be the meaning of life for anyone else, but due to the size of the light bulb for me… this is MY meaning of life. And frankly, every person gets to decide what their meaning is, or that there is none. Our only real freedom is what we think, and some give that freedom away to be TOLD… only to regurgitate something that is NOT from their own heart and mind. Which is different from saying one can learn OF something and decide to incorporate it into their belief system.

I digress…

If the meaning of life for me is to be happy, and my library of life has many examples for me to compare things/people against, I should really be a little more honest with myself when a relationship (two people relating) looks and feels like something that isn’t bringing happiness. Thing is, I’m a classic enabler… doing my best to be happy, making sure others are happy, and trying to lighten the mood wherever possible. “Everything’s ok, and here’s why…” I buck up, and just ‘do’ with a jolly fist punch/bent elbow through the air, telling myself that everything will be ok if I stick it out.

This is not utilizing my library. Nor is it following my core belief for the meaning of life. Because enabling is insisting I don’t have to use the library, and that I don’t have comparisons to draw from. Years of conditioning made me the amazing enabler I am today, but being an enabler is false happiness. It’s the goal of happiness and it stops there. Enabling is something I need to stop because I have a pretty f***ing amazing library. I have some INCREDIBLE people and relationships to compare others against.

And bluntly, when I have friends that make me so excited to see their name flash across my phone, and others that make me feel dread, therein lies the ease in using the library. Right there is my comparison.

My muse told me the other day: “There is goodness in the rubble and we choose to keep sifting…way past the point of diminishing returns.” My muse is right. The enabler in me wants to keep sifting, insisting, and trying, despite what one could call “proof” there is no longer good reason to sift.. I have the comparisons, I have the information I need in my library. How about using it?

Friday, November 4

Who matters?

It’s fair to call my current thoughts on “mattering” a fixation. I’m a little overwhelmed by the thought that one day the person I matter to most in my world (my mom) will be gone. Typing that is even hard. My mom lost her mom in her 20’s, and I can’t even bear to think what that would have been like. My mom has spent my whole life showing me that I matter to her, in more ways than I could possibly explain to anyone. So although she’s number 1 on my list of knowing who I matter to, I’ve been wondering who might also be on that list, almost thinking I will be needing a reason to live when one day my mom is gone. Who do I matter to enough to want to live?

Shit, that sounds almost suicidal, no… that’s not how I mean it. Life is full of doing things because we need to. If there were nothing needing us to do anything, I have a feeling there would be very little happiness overall, very little fulfillment, and lots of depression. For example: I need to have a house, therefore I need to go to work, doing so because the work needs doing. Ultimately it’s people that need me doing that work, and in that circle of neediness, they are fulfilled, I am fulfilled, and I have my house. Dumb example, but it works.

So in needing to have a reason to live, mattering is at the core for me. The majority of people have children and being a parent automatically means you matter to your child. Everything about their life puts you in a position of mattering. Once I divorced, and not having children, I realized there really weren’t many people I mattered to. It was back then after the divorce that I realized I had so few reasons to eat, to get out of bed, to do anything. The main reason living next to me every day for 12 years was gone, and nobody knew if I got out of bed or ate or lived… except those few that I mattered to.


Mattering and being loved are not the same. Someone can be loved without mattering, but mattering is another level of love. Mattering is where love becomes a knowledge, not just a feeling. Mattering isn’t as ethereal as love. If love were a book, mattering would be having read the book.

Love tends to be reciprocal, mattering is not necessarily so. To matter to someone does not mean they will automatically matter to you, or vice versa. It’s likely when one matters to someone, the someone will matter to the one… but that is conditional upon circumstance, perspective, perception, and a number of things including priorities of any given individual. Mattering is a choice, it creates reaction, it cements action… it’s so many things I struggle to explain because it’s almost impossible to turn love into something non-ethereal. So there, mattering is more solid.

It is here that I am required by my heart to admit I am loved by many people. I wouldn’t want anyone that loves me to think for a second I don’t know it. I do. I’m so incredibly lucky to be loved by some amazing humans.

It’s the lack of knowledge in mattering to some that matter to me that has been making me so analytical as of late. It was also the realization of a friend treating me like gold that I realized it’s impossible for someone who treats me that good, to not matter. It’s a level of communicated importance… that’s what it is! That’s what my mother has done. She has communicated to me in so many ways that I’m gold to her, that I’m important to her, that I MATTER.

Knowing I’m worth mattering doesn’t make me matter to anyone because mattering is something that becomes… it’s created… it happens through time and experience and is shown TO and felt BY because of dedication and attention… again, importance.

Understanding the craziness that passes through my heart is something I really strive to do. I’ve said it before, the heart feels, the mind thinks… getting the two to communicate and understand each other is so satisfying when it happens because it doesn’t happen often enough.

These are heavy thoughts that will border on nonsense for some. I’m not writing to be understood, I’m writing to understand. This fixation of mine has me over-thinking life, over-thinking communication, and most importantly has me feeling a bit too uncomfortable for my liking. The desire to matter in life is a real one for me… not yet sure to what level my need of mattering is… I just know it’s there.

Tuesday, October 18

Caves

I’ve found myself in an uncomfortable dry spell of writing, and I’m finally willing to admit it has everything to do with the realization that some friends weren’t friends, or at least aren’t anymore. That uncomfortable space of having shared so much, to only now want to retreat into a cave and be unseen by them has me not wanting to write or share my thoughts out of annoyance they might read my words and know something of the person hiding in the cave now.

I make it sound like that is an embarrassment… like I am almost embarrassed for the loss of friendship. No, it sounds like that but it’s more a desire to be invisible to them specifically. Now that I’m in the cave and wanting this, I have rewound and replayed numerous events and conversations that have me wondering why I was so invested in being wheel number four to these 3 individuals. Yes I loved them, yes they loved me, but the events that unfolded that led to my unwillingness to be one of the four corners of a smooth ride has me seeing that nothing changed but my willingness. I said “no more”. I said “I want change”. The other 3 didn’t get to have a say in my decision, because it came at a point beyond remaining comfortable, so I did the cave thing and although they know where my cave is… I wish they didn’t.

What’s also annoying, is that this feeling of wanting to disappear; it's childish. You know that little girl who you tell she’s pretty and since she doesn’t want you looking at her, she covers her face. I feel like that annoying little girl, but the desire to cover my face is very real. It’s led me to not write and share. Writing has always been an inherent desire. I’ve let people who don’t deserve to control me, stop me from doing something I love to do all because of where I’ve put them in my head. I chose to enter this cave.

It could border on paranoia… that I think they give a shit. The funny thing is there are no signs they give a shit, I just really really don’t want them to give a shit! So I’ve let it affect me.

I belive whole-heartedly in the power of decisions. I clearly decided something that harms my creativity, and I need to not undecided it, but instead make a new decision that is bigger than it. Wrapping my head around what decision that is, is where I am now feeling stuck between wanting to write and still being unable to let myself flow because of who might read it.

And there it is… I’ve just told myself that what others think matters, when I’ve spent years preaching and believing that the only person whose opinion matters is your own.

I’ve seen the harm that a cave creates. I know that isolation is not the answer. I’ve watched it make others closed-minded and intolerant. I don’t want to be one of those people, so to resist isolation is a hard one. It is only in isolation that you can cry with your ugly face, that you can be depressed, that you can eat, drink, or wear anything and even if it leaves snot on your chin, chives in your teeth, or a contorted bed sprawl,  and nobody in the world knows. That is the appeal of the cave. Plus I’m a thinker… the cave provides insatiable thought/analysis/conclusion/decision. I’ve done it before with a broken heart, and the cave helped. But this time around, there is discomfort in the need for the cave, and the staying in the cave. I think this time the way out of the cave is to bite the bullet and write, irrespective of it being read by anyone or everyone.  Ya, I feel like I’ve left my clothes in the cave and come out naked, but that won’t kill me. Staying in the cave might.

Tuesday, June 28

The Unguarded and their EASE.

There is so much that frustrates me about my job, and so much I love. The people I work with are definitely part of the love and it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say some have become the highlight of my life. Which I’m sure would sound pathetic to some, since I don’t have children or a husband to say that about, but for me, that possibly-pathetic-fact means that I have that space open to seeing the specialness in anyone and them being a “highlight”.

And let’s define what I’m considering “specialness”. It’s an inner beauty. A window people provide to see their genuine nature and for you to feel love for them. We all know someone who has the ability to listen to you on levels the rest of the world won’t. They don’t just hear you, but they relate to you, interact with you, share with you, and respect you… and vice versa. Which might be me realizing that one has to be special in order to see someone who is special.

And then… not everyone who is special is unguarded, that’s an additional element I’m thinking about lately. Unguarded is hard to describe because it’s a way some people have. Same with the guarded. The guarded ones are hard to read, hard to understand, easy to offend, they are stiff, they don’t show emotion or communication with their expression. They won’t use words to help you know where you stand or where they are coming from. They are difficult in multiple ways that leave you feeling like they refuse to understand, refuse to communicate, and refuse to relate on a genuine platform. So really, I just explained what someone unguarded doesn’t do.

And that’s also why I refer to their ease. The older I get the less I have room for things that frustrate, confuse, or unnecessarily takes energy from me. Dealing with or trying to understand a guarded person is so much harder. They often have an aloof control drama that has to be part of all interaction with them… which is very much a way to steal energy. Many of us even say, “I have no more energy for so-and-so right now”. Without actually realizing that yes, they take energy. We see it more as being too tired for them to be in our space any more for a while. Same goes for people playing “mind games”… they are after energy. Speaking of which, just interacting with them and allowing them to feel powerful or as though they can control your feelings is how they take energy without your permission. So NO interaction is the only solution there.

I have two young people in my life right now that are like poster children for this thought about being unguarded and guarded. They are 17 and 19. To write about them in the same sentence brings me feelings of anxiety because I would be horrified if the 17 year old ever met the 19 year old, and the amazingly beautiful unguarded nature of the 17 year old was tainted by the 19 year old. I’m suddenly feeling all protective at the thought because I see the unguarded person as so incredibly perfect in her ability to be herself when she tells a story, asks a question, or just sits and hangs out, content with herself and life. The 19 year old is yes, two years older and might (MIGHT) be guarded because of those two huge years from 17 to 19 when you suddenly have to grow up a chunk. Sure personal circumstances and pain in life are factors in how guarded or unguarded a person is, but I think it’s possible that the 19 year old was far less guarded at 17. Plus he is a guy. So Ya, I’m comparing apples and oranges because girls have so much more emotion overall, it’s easy to interact with more emotion when you have it to begin with. I know guys in general are more shallow in everything, but for my point, gender doesn’t matter because I know guys who are Unguarded, and they are a joy to interact with.

While I have this guarded/unguarded nature on my radar and I meet new people (which is constantly) I am buoyed up in my hope for the world the more I see the unguarded ease in strangers. Just lately, I think I need more hope in people.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I have a “thing” for self esteem. I’m preoccupied by it constantly, and write endlessly about it. Although I’m not going to turn this into a self esteem essay, I do want to just hypothesize that a guarded person is far less comfortable in their skin than an unguarded person. Being unguarded means that you are making gestures, expressions, feeling chill, and seemingly far more comfortable with yourself than someone who appears to be “unable” to show the same.