Saturday, February 17

Oneness and Silence


I’ve always had a hard time with the “we are one” concept as it pertains to us all being connected. Although I do feel oneness; I feel entirely alone. As just ONE. I have experienced being 1 of 2, but for the most part, my life has been me and The World. I really struggle to understand this universal oneness and always have. I feel so singular and alone being shown in every stage of life not to trust anyone, not to rely on anyone, and that singularity is what the deal is. I believe there must be people out there that feel this too, and there must be people out there that never feel they are alone. That “universality” people speak of as us being part of—I want to know better.

On the smallest of levels I can feel joined to others. I can understand hardship, I understand love, I know joy, and I’m very aware we “share” in these. But the singularity I’ve felt my whole life has me reading a book called the Language of Silence and feeling awe at what he describes, and wishing that I could know too what he explains when he talks about this oneness; having telepathic communication with a monkey named Just Joe.

In the chapter Thought Bayonets, he says:

“The silent but effective correspondence that went on between Just Joe and myself, during those intimate sessions, was never the functioning of “a superior human brain in my skull” with “an inferior monkey brain in his skull”. Just Joe and I, in that rather uncommon experience of ours, were individual inlets and outlets for the everywhere-present and everywhere-operating Mind of the universe –like rays of light and warmth in their relationship with the sun.

The more practiced I became in finding how to establish the right kind of two-way thought traffic with that monkey as a fellow state of consciousness the easier it became for us to move along together in a mutuality of knowing … of being … of doing … of sharing … the easier it also became to speak silently to that monkey so that he could instantly understand me, and for him to speak silently to me so that I could instantly understand him. He and I were accomplishing, through the lovely and invaluable language of echoing heartbeats, a language that is ever moving from out of the silence through the silence and into the silence. But a language, I also had to learn, that can be spoken and heard only by those whose hearts are sufficiently pure for such cosmic inter communicating.”

I feel rather speechless at reading this. Its so eloquently written and so full of the genuineness I seek everywhere in life. Because the closest I come to not feeling so alone is when I feel a persons genuineness radiating. What seems to always accompany their genuineness is love, and love is the only real doorway to feeling less singular. And maybe that is stating the obvious. This is probably true for everyone.

Staying on the subject of what J. Allen Boone writes about in this quote but slightly changing topic, I have to mention something that keeps shouting at me to acknowledge. Two posts ago in Trauma Drama I write about a rabbit my dad pulled out of a bush by the ears, and as it screamed in terror, he held it there and shot it. As I read J. Allen Boone’s words about echoing heartbeats and it being in and through silence we communicate and understand one another, my memory of the screaming rabbit has me not just horrified but wanting to apologize because I’m not in that space of having a heart “sufficiently pure” that I could hear that rabbit before it was too late. That sounds corny to even my ears, but if you can imagine how J. Allen Boone would hear me say it (he’d understand perfectly) then you might feel what I’m feeling—a desire to know that silence, a desire to know that oneness; the “Mind of the universe” operating “like rays of light and warmth in their relationship with the sun”. We are existing in a state of separateness. The MAJORITY completely unable to relate to communicating with a monkey or a rabbit. And since nobody is also reading the Language of Silence to relate to what I’m finding so fascinating, this is almost a blog post for myself. Unless someone finding this relates to my clarity/confusion and also wishes to know that silence where the mind if the universe is open and audible. Handing over understanding on levels we dream of.

Well, I dream of.

Can you imagine what it would feel like to experience  "a language that is ever moving from out of the silence through the silence and into the silence".

I will admit… I don’t believe I’m alone, even if that’s what I feel.

Monday, February 12

My Who, Your Who. Who are you?

I admit I obsess about a few things, so you end up finding themes in my posts here. One of my biggest comes from my being detail oriented. Because of that… I’m hyper-aware of differences and comparisons on this thing I tend to obsess over. Which is ones ability or inability to determine WHO they are.

Which internal and external factors are within your control, and which of those play the biggest parts in determining Who You Are, and are not?? I’m not saying there’s a set answer, and it will actually be different for everyone based on what they focus on in life; where they put importance and attention, both for themselves and others. So, I’ve kind of already made my point, but you know I can’t stop there.

I’m going to tell you first how I even approached this subject to begin with. If you read my last post you heard some of what I grew up with. My father was emotionally, mentally, and physically abused by both of his parents. He became a violent narcissistic individual, and many more undiagnosed labels. (Some of which I think I’ve non-professionally diagnosed pretty accurately.) What this did (his messed up ways) was make me hyper-aware. From the earliest age I was on the edge; ready to jump if he said jump. Ready to fly if I saw something coming that required my speed. His crazy ways had me hyper-vigilant for what might happen and how I might need to react. I suppose a simple way to put it is I was tuned up all the way a child could be on the survival dial. This made me the enabler I excelled at later in life being married to an alcoholic. I was never Natalie. I was “Ready”. Ready for what? Nothing really-I didn’t actually have an action plan. I was just like a bird-dog waiting for the word “go” paying attention to every detail I might have to “go” for. My belief being I could somehow bring calmness, quiet, diffusion, not getting hit, or possibly prevent any situation from getting worse that arose, DESPITE my inability to see the obvious: I was a powerless child. My mind had no concept of this fact.

Getting back on track with this information, I was in a state of frozen bird-dog just watching every detail I could. THIS is how (saying this for my friends that comment on it) I notice so many things that others don’t, and why I’m so great at reading facial expressions and intonation. Clearly, I was trained. Just like a dog.

Again, back on topic, I’m obsessed with this thought that my genes are not the details that dictate MY “Who”. I want to insist I’m in charge of my Who, that my dad COULD HAVE decided HIS Who. The way he acted, the way he reacted, whether he made a fist or picked up a gun. Because at the end of the day, what your hands do in relation to others near you IS within your power of choice.

The WHO you show the world you are, is not in your genes. YOU make a million choices a day and many of those are decisions about your WHO. AND… I have to tell you with as much seriousness as I can in this moment –Who you are –affects Who others are!

Yes, clearly my grandmother and my grandfather both being shitty people gave their child some shitty genes, but the bigger issue is Who They Were TO HIM. They both had a reputation, and neighbors even had stories back when they were alive about how awful my grandma and grandpa were. Their Who affected his Who. But this is my whole point… be a piece of shit… be an awful human… or be someone awesome… It’s YOUR choice!!

They hper-vigilance and “nothingness” I became because of my father is FAR greater than whatever genes he may have given me. And what I did, what I chose, and Who I became is MY choice. If you know me, if you want to meet me, you meet someone that no longer sits as a bird-dog. I don’t wait to be affected or to move. I decide my Who. And now, every choice I make from how I act, to what my reactions are, is done by the details of my Who and their Who. (happiness being the destination)

So if you find yourself wondering why people treat you a certain way (just as my father might) you should really take a long hard look in the mirror and see your Who. THAT is why people treat you the way they do. THAT is why your interactions with others seem to have a pattern. You are showing your Who on a daily basis, don’t be surprised if people get to know it, expect it, and stay away. Or… come close.

I get a lot of people show me they see my Who and they like my Who. I reckon I’m on a successful path to happiness, not as a bird-dog or an enabler, but instead someone accepting responsibility for her Who.

Sunday, February 4

Trauma Drama

(written a couple months ago because I couldn’t share it immediately)

Unfortunately I’ve had to analyze the word Trauma today. I feel like the reason is so fucking dumb on one hand, and yet the reality of my feeling a word as big as “trauma” has me writing.

First of all I have to acknowledge we all have issues. Nobody gets to have a perfect life with a perfect childhood, and nobody reaches adulthood unscathed. Fact. AND… and… one doesn’t even begin to reach adulthood until one is around the age of 40. So all of you 30 year olds… don’t be think’n you are grown up. You have so much more experience and perspective in this decade of life, before you are even close to being a “grown up”. And THEN… being a grown up seems to be largely about accepting how hard life is and how you “process”, “deal”, “fix”, “realize” things. Because you don’t really process, deal, fix, or realize things until you get old enough to look back and do so.

So… this word “trauma”. I’m personally using it in a situation that I am accepting in my 40’s that it was in fact traumatic for me. Anyone at any age in my life could have told me that this story/experience was traumatic, sure, however, it’s more that I have realized it myself that has me finally able to label and look at it.

Anything involved in a traumatic situation can be attached to trauma. So as much as I want to belittle MY particular thing, I know full well that any of my friends coming to me with a “traumatic” experience, even if it involved STRING or WATER or a PILLOW… it wouldn’t matter what their trigger was for a traumatic situation, I would listen. I would care, I would accept that their experience was real and a problem for them. And if they were telling me their story, I would do my best to offer perspective that MIGHT help. I would not belittle it for a friend, so I need to not belittle it for myself.

If I am perfectly honest, I’m so gawd-damn annoyed I’m even feeling this and having to accept something so “little” is a “big issue” for me. I seem to have two sensible sides of my brain at play here. One side is saying “get over it, it’s not a big deal”, and the other sensible side is saying, “It doesn’t matter how little it was, it was in fact a traumatic experience, and so you can’t just get over it, you need to deal with it, and in some way… heal if you want to move on”.

With both of these things in mind I say to myself: “How does one heal trauma?”

I think the best answer and one that most people would come to, would be to get counseling. The two times I had counseling in my life, they were about me crying over upset, and then someone telling me the sum up of: “what I’m hearing is…”. So I automatically in this instance have to wonder if blogging my upset about this “trauma”, is all I need in order to “get counseling”? Although nobody will necessarily read my words and offer advice, it seems to me that the larger aspect of counseling help is just in the telling of the story.

So here I sit, having cried far too much today over something that in my mind should not be this upsetting.

Before I tell the story, I have to say I’ve asked myself if it is hormones. I would kind of like that “out”. If this were just hormones, it would go away. Unfortunately, I can’t just wish that into reality. I have an issue. It’s a stupid issue. It’s one that is exclusive to me and my story, and frankly my trigger isn’t the way to fix it. I don’t actually know how to fix it. So… clearly, it’s not hormones.

I can tell I’m delaying. I’m not sure how this story will unfold, so I should just tell it.

I’ve said many times that after my father has passed, I will tell/voice some stories about him and how hard childhood was with him as my father. Not that he was so especially shitty as a father… no, that’s not really it… I do on some level feel that when one is overall not a top quality human BY CHOICE, one should not be surprised that there are “stories” to tell about them. Without a need to disrespect him or treat him poorly, I’ve said that these stories don’t need to be told while he is alive. And then today jumped into my face and my “trauma” over this particular story it has me writing.

When I was 10 I helped my dad build a chicken coop, and a pigeon coop. We lived on a third of an acre, and I was the daughter that fit the role of “son”. I was the one that helped with all the projects, all the building, installing, hunting, construction things. Mostly the “help” of a 10 year old is hand me this, hand me that. I don’t remember all the details of my helping build these coops… but I know I was the 2nd man in this 2 man construction outfit. I’ve recently learned firsthand that stress affects memory, and my childhood was full of stress, so I should not be surprised that I do not have solid memories of all things. Broken memories with vivid visuals is what I have. Sometimes it’s exact sentences I remember, sometimes it’s the full picture. I guess the clarity really depends on the level of stress I was feeling in the moment.

My father was a very unstable individual. He was violent and it seemed far too often without conscience. I don’t dare label his level of actual conscience, that is not the point, but when someone acts in a way that by all accounts looks like one having no conscience, then… ya… we can wonder if conscience is there.

When I say unstable, I really mean angry with the inability to stop himself from being violent. I was hit by him many times before we finally left when I was almost 12. Between the age of 10 and 11 is when the chicken and pigeon coops were built, and we had somewhere around 26-32 chickens… I used to know this number because I had to count them. The exact number escapes me now. One day when my dad came home from work, he took his anger out on the chickens, not us. You could argue this was a good thing… but what he did was kill all of our chickens with a baseball bat.  No, I didn’t have to see this happen, but I have a memory/visual of a garbage can full of dead chickens. I have no memory of the WHY. Who upset him? Was it a person, was it the chickens? God knows. All I know is that chickens… squirrels, dogs, cats, rats… no animal will EVER deserve to be killed by baseball bat.

This is one of the facts I mentally refer to when I say I am nothing like my father. It is entirely outside the realm of possibility for me to kill an animal, and in such a violent way.

At the time… I did not cry. I did not question, I did not react in any way because it was not for me to question anything my dad did. Even being hit by him… it was his way… how it had always been. He always hit us, he always broke things, he always shouted, he was ALWAYS violent, so this was “the norm”. I almost wish “the norm” was something that wasn’t awful throughout my life, but the reality is that violence is not ok. NO part of me could turn his violence into something acceptable. I never became violent, I only saw who he was and knew it was not alright. Nothing he did was acceptable to my construct… to my conscience… to my creation. HE was the foreigner, HIS actions were the ones that stood out as unacceptable to my nature. I remember going hunting with him and him reaching into a bush and pulling a rabbit out by the ears. He had chased the rabbit into the bush, and then holding the rabbit at arms length he shot it. Nothing in me said this was acceptable. Nothing in me ever has. I have no desire to kill an animal, never have.

The chickens were replaced, we ended up with the same number again, somewhere around 30, and I was 11. My dad got yet another job and he told us that if when he got home on his first day, if the house was perfectly clean, he wouldn’t get mad, even if his first day had been terrible. So with the bribe of no anger, he went to work and we proceeded to clean an already clean house. Mom was the bread winner with a job she’d had for many years, so she was not home while we cleaned our hearts out.

Every morning the chickens were let out of the coop, and every afternoon, along with the two ducks, we put them back in the coop. I remember I was cleaning the kitchen sink when I noticed the time and went out to put the chickens away. Two of them refused to be corralled, and despite trying a few times, I decided that I would just go back out in a little bit and put get them into the coop. This was a common occurrence that a couple chickens would not feel “finished” and need more time hanging out in the yard.

Well, as you may have just guessed, I forgot about those two chickens as I continued cleaning. Dad came home from work, and instead of coming in the house to ensure it was spotless, he went out to the chicken coop and clearly counted the chickens and TWO were missing. His appearance from work entering the house was something explosive about the two chickens. I ran out into the yard looking for them, couldn’t find them, and as my dad freaked out shouting about these chickens, I moved into the next door neighbor’s yard to search… just in case.

This is where my memory is clearest. My dad was fuming, and as he often did when he got this angry, his mouth frothed. He picked up some rocks and started throwing them at me. “Find those chickens. Go find those chickens or don’t bother coming home.” Part of me knew that the chickens were never far away, so I could see this as him over-reacting. And part of me started to wonder, where the heck would I go if I didn’t find them? For a brief second I considered telling the police I couldn’t go home because I couldn’t find the chickens, but my sensible nature won out, and instead I wandered further than I ever would have guessed the chickens could have traveled. I went through the block to he houses on the next street… knocked on doors, and asked people if they had seen two chickens. House after house I knocked, until I had covered all the houses they could have traveled to. I retraced my steps, and I headed back through the neighbors yard that I started in, and although I did not see my dad as I approached the spot where he threw rocks at me, I did see the chickens. They were in the lilac bush IN OUR yard, next to the fence where I stood. They obviously would have been there the whole time… Literally yards from where they always wandered, and just chill’n in the lilac bush. My dad had been less than 5 feet from them as he threw threats and rocks. I walked back around to our side of the fence, I got the chickens out of the bush, and they went directly into the coop without any issue.

I do not actually remember telling my dad they were in the lilac bush, but I did. What I remember instead is him getting so mad at me he threw a big metal cylinder object through my bedroom window. Then he went into my bedroom, picked it up again, and through it back outside.

Just below my bedroom window was a doll bed with my dolls and stuffed animals. Strewn across it, my floor, and my bed were a million pieces of glass. His only words I remember were to all three of us (my older sister of 15, my younger sister of 5, and myself) that we had to pick up every piece of glass both inside my bedroom and outside on the ground. This we did until my mom got home from work, and we finished as my dad sat in the living room telling the whole awful story to my mom… as though something was actually terribly wrong. He told her that he should have thrown the stove through the wall, and he used these words: “Next time I’ll start on people”. Those were the words I remember, and those were the words my mom repeated when she told the story of why we left the following morning for good. NOT that his words made sense; even as to the why.

In complete fear and panic we packed up everything we could and put it in a storage garage while dad worked at his second day on this new job. It was far more likely he would quit and come home than it was likely that he would stay and finish a day’s work. So we hurried, and somewhere around 4:00pm we left him with a plate, fork, knife, and spoon on the kitchen table in addition to a $20 bill and an empty house. My mom clearly knew this job was not going to last either… but she finally had to put our safety ahead of everything.

What I hadn’t necessarily considered until this moment, was that she was probably telling herself… “all this… over chickens”. We tried to leave when I was 6 and we disappeared to Canada, but he found us and came and got us; promising everything would be different. We went home, and nothing changed until the day after he freaked out about the two chickens missing.

It was years later that I realized the irony that he could beat chickens to death with a baseball bat, but needed to freak out over two simply missing. I think it’s fair to say that it was with that realization I grew up a little. He was never upset about two chickens missing. He was upset about who knows what. It would take a special kind of hypocrite to kill 30 chickens and freak out about two being in a lilac bush.

I don’t need to convince myself I am nothing like him because I’m clearly not. That level of stupidity is impossible to relate to. I don’t understand him, I can’t relate to such severe anger, and frankly, I don’t find myself one bit attracted to causing “drama”. What his drama did… what it always did, was create trauma for his wife and children. Trauma and drama are not part of me. Which is also why I’m writing this. I do not want to hold onto this trauma… it’s like creating drama as an adult.

The reason this trauma appears so real for me today is because of it hitting home what “having chickens” means to me. The story of why that seemed real today is a moot point, but it came up and I kind of fell apart. It’s impossible to sum up in a sentence, or even two how trauma is real… it’s attached to anything, it’s caused by anything, and as desperate as I feel like I want to minimize it, I can’t.

Although this trauma almost feels like I’m just making drama, I’m not. Nobody is making drama when they have a shitty experience attached to something small and find themselves needing to work through it so they can finally set it down. For me, I need to write. I can allow my mind to trust the writing to be the safe keeper and not continue playing the story on repeat.

When talking to an enlightened friend about it, he said that everything from childhood is a bigger deal. That’s where trauma’s easily occur. When we agreed on how helpful it is to write about these things, he said “It’s like the writing closes the loop that the brain was continuing to keep open. By putting it on paper, there is no longer the need to replay the open loop over and over”.

Sunday, January 28

Statistical Uniqueness

If I could coin one phrase in my lifetime, it would be Statistical Uniqueness.

We are overwhelmed by political correctness, labels, being offended, victim mentality, and I would like to point out the obvious.

Who you are… all the things that make you YOU, come from your life experiences, your feelings, your choices of perspective, your genetics from your parents and grandparents, your life lessons, your pains, your successes, and every gawd-damn thing you could think to list. So… clearly, no two people on this planet could possibly be the same.

EVER.

Not in any way. It is statistically totally and utterly impossible. Even twins have different life experiences because they are not one person… so even twins have Statistical Uniqueness. It’s like a universal law… ya, I just said that. There is no fucking way in the entire universe that anyone is going to be the same as someone else. There will only ever be similarities.

That being true, and there are few things in this world I’m willing to label with giant fucking letters of TRUTH, but this is the biggest… and I will… so that being true, I have to ask why anybody is arguing about political correctness, skin color, labels, or anything that comes close to words that relate to people having their feels hurt on a scale that is global or social or correctness or “wrong”.

How is this even a thing so dwelled upon in the world when Statistical Uniqueness is the reality. It’s like we are so fucking stupid we can’t see the obviousness staring at us… people don’t even LOOK the same, how could all their insides be the same? And we want to argue about differences? Huh? We are all different! Get over it. Stop looking like a dimwit, and see the obvious. Are you really going to get caught up in the word used for the color of your skin? White people aren’t white!!! My fucking pillow cases are white. Must we spend so much time concentrating on skin color? Can’t it be “skin” and that’s all… it changes when sunshine rays hit it… it’s not even constant. Are we children? Will we always be children? Will we argue for the sake of arguing because we aren’t smart enough to stop? Smart enough to accept Statistical Uniqueness.

It can also be blamed on the internet… everyone gets to have an opinion. Even me… sitting here typing up my opinion. We all have some level of narcissism that is internet based because we have the ability to put words out there that COULD POSSIBLY be seen by countless eyes. That possibility puts importance on the words one has. 40 years ago… only thousands or tens of thousands of people “heard you” if you were important enough to get heard. You had to be a president or a leader, or an influencer in the world. Now… a person saying “hide your kids, hide your wife”… has their words heard by tens and hundreds of thousands all over the globe.

Ok… assume your voice is important, assume you are potentially as important as a president. Fact is you have Statistical Uniqueness. Very few people might want to hear your words, very few might agree with you, and now, MILLIONS of people are able to do this same thing… HAVE A SAY. There is no longer importance in having your words heard. Let alone possibility you will say anything that should be globally agreed with. FACT.

Sunday, December 31

Resilience vs Resistance

I’m not sure what’s happening. It’s not just happening to me, but to others around me. Relationships are ending. Not that I know too many details about the people around me I’m referring to, but there seems to be a pattern. In these relationships, one party is Resilient and the other is Resistant. Clearly I won’t be sharing examples from my friends’ breakups, or mine, but the fascinating nature of this synchronistic time has me compelled to analyze.

How is it that a resilient person ends up in a relationship with a resistant person? I’m such a firm believer you should be in a relationship with someone LIKE YOU, and although  all of “us” (those I know who are Resilient and going through a break up) thought we were getting into relationships with people we believed we had things in common with. It turns out that there is this fundamental difference of whether or not a person can bounce back, bend, extend, grow or plants their feet in the ground and refuses to move.

I have to get clearer. I feel like I’m skimming the surface.

Life is fucking hard. Most of us go through a bunch of shit. Some have to experience shit that others will never know. This journey of body, mind, heart is no smooth sail.

Furthering this point, there are two kinds of people seeing life is hard. Those who wish for smooth sailing despite the shit, and those who don’t believe smooth sailing exists. Those of us who wish for it know that the only way to ever get it is to turn ourselves into a sailboat. Our Resilience keeps us flexible in our attempt to continually try and figure out how we become this boat that will one day finally sail smoothly.

The Resistant ones refuse to believe that working on themselves to be come a sailboat is eve possible. They act like it’s and urban legend while watching the resilient ones flourish. And they do it WHILE trying to explain away why what they are doing in their resistant state (not working on themselves) is serving them just fine. What’s almost crazy about his thinking is that they are standing RIGHT THERE experiencing no change, no growth, and the relationship being destroyed because of this opposition of Resilience and Resistance.

As a resilient one I don’t get it. Life isn’t easier when you won’t work on yourself and your past. We all have “issues” and ignoring them makes life HARDER. Why would I want this hard life to be harder? I am not a reveler in misery –I want happiness, I want comfort, I want love, I want peace of mind, I want self esteem, and I want to be an incredible sailboat.

What will I be using to build this boat? All things flexible. An open mind, the ability to heal, the humility to say I’m wrong, the ability to put the drill in reverse and remove the rusty screws I’ve hung onto for too long. They will not serve me as I get stronger.

Where do I find a resilient one like me? How do I know sooner who the resistant ones are? The closest resilient friends also going through breakups need this question answered too. I’m not sure. Maybe we need a Resilient quiz.

And it’s only now that my mind begins to wonder if the resistant ones will ever figure out that working on themselves and being resilient is the key to it all. Was I once resistant? Have I always been resilient? I am not sure. Seems so, for the most part.

I fall, I break, I collapse, I melt. That’s life. But it’s because I’m resilient that I get up, I heal, I rehydrate, and I put myself back together. Giving up and becoming a resistant one who does “status quo” is not how I reach “smooth sailing”. In fact this time around my boat is so well constructed and flexible, I survived this storm pretty good. I don’t have more repairs than I can handle, and that’s thanks to the greatness of my boat thus far.

Tuesday, December 12

Shelves & Tables

I put a lot of effort into “working on myself” which to many is a silly statement –kinda corny too. I see that, but it’s accurate. By working on myself I am working on life getting easier. On my being more flexible. On my growth and my success at this being human thing. I have good bad examples of people who don’t work on themselves, and man, I’m not going to choose that route for myself. I also have one really amazing example of somoene who has been working on themselves for over 20 years. I see the difference; it’s worth doing.


I’ve experienced the difference of not doing self-work, and doing it and its actually necessary now. I’m not going to swim in anything shitty whether it’s my doing or anyone else’s.

So… the shelves and tables is one of the tools I use toward finding life easier. For dealing with issues that arise and being able to move forward. Which is why I should share it.

I will start with the table.

When I have something I’m spending a lot of time thinking about, or need to make a decision on, I find it most useful to take this thing (whatever it is) and imagine setting it on a table in front of me. Whether it’s an emotion, a situation, a friendship… anything. I use the table as a way to extract myself from it, take a step back, and look at it from all sides as an outsider. (This is only hard if you’ve never done it before. So it DOES get easier.) One of the reasons this is so helpful is that it’s kind of like a friend coming to you with an issue, not being attached to it means you have clearer perspective. You have good advice for friends and when you “set it on the table” you too can have good advice for yourself. I find it also helpful to finally see my underlying feelings. The stuff I’m denying, or the stuff I think I’m only slightly feeling. Setting it on the table gives me the opportunity to be very honest with myself without it hurting. This is especially helpful to me because I always want to be sensible. Putting something on the table helps me be as sensible as I possibly can be and even admit difficult things to myself.

I am forever saying “lets set it down and look at it” This is the setting it down thing. It’s the most useful tool out there for self-work.

The second tool is the shelf. This is almost the same idea as the table -as I’m removing something from myself. But instead of the goal to be the ability to look at it, the goal is to allow myself to walk away from it for a time. Thing is, we get so attached to ideas and feelings and situations, it becomes impossible at times to throw things in the garbage… so just putting it on the shelf is like giving your mind a small vacation. You know it’s not gone, you know where it is and you can go back to the shelf anytime to pick it up. Yes, a benefit is being able to see it clearer, as with the table, but you can see it clearer and still be walking away. The table is used for examining and self reflection while essentially problem solving. The shelf is the freedom from that. 

Monday, November 20

Relationships and Bread

Is it funny that a divorced girl has relationship advice?

I have a friend that recently said that she believes she has a problem. She only manages to get into relationships with a certain type of person. She sent me a link and as I read through it, I can see that she could be right. I have known her for over 12 years, so I can see her point.

As I read, I felt I had so much to say to her, I decided to write a post. Maybe someone else can use this perspective too. Not that I think I’m so problem solving, but perspective is one of my “things”, so maybe I have something useful.

The link she sent me explained what someone who is a “Love Avoidant” is. It said this:
 
“Love Avoidance is an “intimacy disorder”. When people have an intimacy disorder, it means they all share a profound fear of intimacy. (e.g., closeness, being known, vulnerability, sharing thoughts/feelings)

In a Love Avoidant’s mind, intimacy with another person is equivalent to being engulfed, suffocated, and controlled. Too much closeness with another feels literally like losing themselves, and yes, can even feel like dying. (That is how intense their fears can be) Consequently, in romantic relationships they have a heightened focus to make sure their partner keeps from getting too close.

A Love Avoidant does not embrace intimate connection - but embraces ‘defying it’.

The Love Avoidant partner may send just enough mixed messages to keep the fantasy alive— just enough to give you some hint of what “might be” possible, or “could be” possible, or “would be” possible.  Yet the REALITY is: What is possible will NEVER actually be. Any sporadic crumbs of connection you get, is as much as you will ever get with an Avoidant.”

This might not be a long post simply because I don’t think I’m in a place to change anyone, or offer how to change, I simply have something to say that pertains to a successful relationship… and this topic of avoidance actually helps me make the point since what we read in this article is contrary to a successful relationship.

This subject has been on my mind recently, not the avoidance part, but my thoughts on successful relationships and ones ability/inability to change their view on the person they are in a relationship with. You know how the beginning of a relationship is such a great time… you get excited to see one another, you don’t take one another for granted, you don’t annoy each other… So many relationships change after the beginning and don’t recover, while you are left saying, but it was so great in the beginning.

One of the little reasons I DO have an opinion on this is because of what my ex-husband and I DID do in our marriage. (And for the record, it was alcoholism that finally destroyed my marriage. I was really in love with the sober him, and not the drunk him). For some reason throughout our 12 years, every day we said hello like we had just been apart. It was a greeting. A way of saying I’m happy to see you again. A way of showing love and appreciation anew, even though we had only been sleeping or spent the day at work.

One of the things that you notice about relationships that are “old” is how the partners talk to each other. They no longer use intonation that says I love you, I appreciate you, I’m happy to be in your company. Instead, the intonation turns to annoyance, impatience, and even (I have heard many times with married couples), intonation that says “you are annoying and stupid”. If you know me you know intonation is a HUGE deal to me… it’s another level of communication far stronger than language, and actually takes language to another level…There’s proof in how a robot would say “I love you with all of my heart”. Ya, not super effective.

When people do get used to one another, they also seem to find the other embarrassing at times… I have a friend that when she drinks, her boyfriend gets so embarrassed by her, he no longer has fun. Instead of letting her “own” her silliness, which is actually cute-as-all-get-out, he takes it upon himself to be embarrassed FOR her. If only he let her own it, he would put himself in a position of being able to laugh at her cuteness and humor along with the rest of us. His discomfort is totally unnecessary, and just looks like a way for him to be an ass.


What is this thing that happens as relationships get older? It’s perspective. It’s the way we change the way we see one another. And honestly, I don’t think it’s conscious. I think people allow it to fall into existence by NOT paying attention, by NOT listening to themselves, by not consciously caring about their intonation, their perspective, and how they interact. Then they wake up and find themselves in this crappy interaction… they allowed it like they would allow a loaf of bread to sit on a counter and go moldy instead of making awesome sandwiches, or French toast out of it… and then buying MORE bread to do the same with. Go ahead… ignore the bread, let it go moldy, but don’t then go looking for another loaf of bread to make moldy too… covering your soul in loaves of moldy bread is not the path to happiness. What is the path to happiness? Avocado sandwiches, cinnamon toast. Bread dipped in potato soup… Eat that fucking bread and enjoy it. And KEEP eating it. The more moldy bread you pile up on your counter, whether it’s all inside of one relationship or multiples, it doesn’t matter. Moldy bread never made anyone happy.

Never get so used to your partner that you don’t see the mold growing. Because that mold affects you BOTH. There is no one-sidedness to it, you CAN’T succeed if anyone is allowing unconsciousness in the interaction. You must be paying attention. You must listen to yourself. You must give a shit and care about how you are living lives in a connected manner. Find me a happy relationship where one or both partners are unconscious and not actually trying to have success. Being IN a relationship DOES NOT mean happiness follows. The majority of relationships look unhappy. People default to letting the bread just sit on the counter because it is easier than making a sandwich. They don’t say “I’d rather have mold”. No, what happens is mold. It just happens unless you eat the bread.

So… it’s almost like I left the subject of a Love Avoidant. Since I have been talking about people who just don’t try. Avoidant’s are trying. They are trying to make sure no sandwiches get made while hoping no mold grows. They are paying attention on some levels, because they are wishing for no mold instead of just ignoring the bread to the point of mold. But they are also saying “Not going to use it… not going to mess it up, not going to let it mess me up"... and they stare at it, possibly even hoping that keeping a close eye on it will stop the mold.

Wrong.

Mold (the poor relationship) will 100% grow if you do not eat the bread in time. And what IS eating the bread? It’s laughing together, it’s looking each other in the eyes, its letting each other be genuinely themselves and loving their uniqueness and communicating it. It’s saying hello every day because you are happy that person is in your life. It’s paying attention to your tone of voice, it’s cheering them on when they have a dream, and letting them cheer you on too! It’s BEING CONSCIOUS about all aspects of what you are both doing in this thing you call “a relationship” and you are making some fucking delicious sandwiches together… even coming up with new ideas for that boring loaf of bread. It’s watching others grow mold and saying “I’m not going to do that”.


Eat your bread if you’re lucky enough to have bread. And enjoy the fuck out of it!

Thursday, November 2

Tainted/Cynical/Skeptical, Inevitable?

As I approach yet another birthday, and feel this sense of “older” that I both love and hate, I come to write about cynicism. How can one grow older and continue learning that people disappoint, continue learning that life is a ball of hardness wrapped in layers of giggles, smiles, tears, and heartache; while NOT growing cynical? It seems a bit impossible really. (Just like learning there is no Santa, that you are too big to trick-or-treat, and that the Easter bunny is just a pagan symbol that represents energetic breeding.) Getting older comes with getting wiser, and with the wise-ness comes cynicism.

I’ve said before that I don’t want to be the person that allows a broken heart to shut off my heart entirely. Having seen this living example, and not wanting to be like that person, I still find it a conscious choice I have to make as I find myself being faced with emotions and feelings that look, sound, taste, and feel like something that could rip me open again to bleed love and adoration all over my tear-stained bed.
 
But to even open my mind to that memory, I am looking into a possibly non-existent future of pain. What if my current crescendo of what might be love does not peak and rip me open to experience the diminuendo of breaking heart and putting oneself back together with invisible stitches? What if the skeptical and cynical nature of these thoughts are a complete waste of energy and actually a creation of burden for myself I needn’t choose?

Ya, I feel like cynicism is inevitable, but rationally, I have to accept it is still A CHOICE. And really, my choice of feeling it is experience based, so I have to consciously set the experience down making me more cynical and tell it I am not going to carry it like a weight. Better than calling it a weight, would be to call it a gallon of paint. If the experience creates this gallon of cynicism paint that I fill my hands with, I have to then deal with the fact it’s not light, it’s not easy to multitask with it in my hands, and the frequency with which I open that gallon of cynicism, shove in my paintbrush, and paint it onto things around me is MY CHOICE. If I set that gallon down, I don’t forget it just because I set it down, and that too needs to be pointed out. Setting it down isn’t going to make me forget history, it isn’t going to make the cynicism paint disappear, and so there SHOULD be some part of me that can relax a bit without the need to be painting everything and carrying that heavy thing around. It requires being conscious of it!

Can I avoid painting it all over something that currently looks very beautiful and feels very right? Can I also stop the cynicism from becoming skepticism? A quote that fits this subject perfectly:

“Skepticism is as much the result of knowledge, as knowledge is of skepticism. To be content with what we at present know, is, for the most part, to shut our ears against conviction; since, from the very gradual character of our education, we must continually forget, and emancipate ourselves from, knowledge previously acquired; we must set aside old notions and embrace fresh ones; and, as we learn, we must be daily unlearning something which it has cost us no small labour and anxiety to acquire.”  -THEODORE ALOIS BUCKLEY

There is no better way to put it. One becomes tainted, cynical, and skeptical after experience… I’m keen to turn all experience into useable knowledge, and therefore, to say “no small labour…”, That is exactly right. But how capable am I to “…continually forget and emancipate” myself from knowledge previously acquired and allow myself those fresh ones?

CHOICE

CONCIOUSNESS

PRESENCE

Am I someone strong enough to move forward? Am I strong enough to not paint everything and shut all my doors to not be open to what would ultimately equate to happiness? I think I am. The fact I HAVE been through the need for those invisible stitches, the fact I have thicker scar tissue, the fact I even own that can of paint… this all points quite clearly to me being strong enough. If I ever decide I’m not strong enough, that is a choice. See… the nature of decide proves it’s a choice.

If there were a giant “sum up” to this subject, it would be the fact we are ruled by love and fear. We by nature -love, we by experience -fear. Ya that’s the oversimplified version of this subject and it lives in that giant section of the library only labeled LIFE, but if life is what we are doing… how deep do you want to tip the scales to fear? How deep do you want to tip the scales to love? Yes both are painful, but if life is to be lived, where those scales tip, and what paint you are painting, is your call.

I’m going to try and do my best. Maybe somewhere out there is something I’ve heard about. They call it success.

Tuesday, October 10

Word & Deed

The devil is in the details. I see so much in the people around me. First impressions are interesting and often I just let the aether give me a sense of a person. (I’ll have to elaborate on the mass of information I get from aether another time) But as I get to know them, the details from them are what talk to me the loudest. This no doubt comes from a childhood with the need to be hyper-aware for my own safety. Some of my earliest memories have me breathing slow and shallow to stay safe (or so I felt) I have survived on the details I suppose. At times it feels exhausting, but nonetheless I forever benefit. Even when it’s the details that tell me a friendship or relationship needs to change.

I know I’m an actions speak louder than words person, but this is because so often there are far more actions than words. And it’s the details I’m looking at anyway. Sometimes when there are only words, there is still detailed information that lies behind them. We have all experienced being unable to find the right words in explaining something, only for the person we are talking to to totally understand anyway. Words are just one form we use to communicate and tell people things.

I call myself a communicator, but communication is not what I do when I notice details… instead I make choices. Choices on perception, perspective, relationship, and action. I’m not going to let someone know change has occurred. Nor am I going to educate them on the details I got from them that caused the change in me. That has to do with my not needing to control a person, as well as not wanting them to know how to hide the details in future from me or someone else.

When noticing details, it is CHOICE that determines some things:
1. How willing am I to ignore it and let them continue?
2. How awkward would it be if I called attention to what I’m being shown?
3. What is in my power to change?
4. How will I move forward if I want change?
5. How will I move forward if I allow status quo?

Me personally, I let them show whatever they want to show and I change my respect. (Most of the time.) This kind of relates to my Analyzing Kindness post recently where I decide whether or not kindness will remain part of how I interact with that person. The level of kindness is directly related to the level of the details I’ve seen that say this relationship can’t stay the same. Their details become my knowledge.

THIS is how I find the top quality humans of the world. Which suddenly sounds like Im making myself so pedestal perfect like… NO, -every person either does this too, or doesn’t. Noticing details and turning it into education for you to benefit from by finding the people YOU see as top-quality is your freedom to DO or NOT do.
I DO.

Sunday, September 24

Real Connection

I spend a lot of time thinking about the NEED people seem to have for others to agree with them. Whether it’s political, religious, philosophical, it doesn’t matter. The majority of people want anyone and everyone to be on the same page as THEM. And it seems to be getting worse. The tone of so much controversy out there is non-yielding and more insistent than ever that they are “right” in what they are saying, and you should see it the same as them.

I have a great theory as to why this is… but most people aren’t conscious enough to consider it or even step back and see what’s at their core of needing others to agree. They aren’t even able to see that it’s something they are seeking. They are looking for people to get them, people to connect with. And the fact that many don’t agree/connect is upsetting to the point that these people WANT others to change to be LIKE THEM.

Break it down, this is nail/head. It’s unacceptable for countless people out there that others are not “on the same page”. Hell, the mormons spend millions upon millions trying to get people to agree with them. Not to mention other religions, soapbox corners, political debates, and on and on.

People can’t seem to see this because most people can’t break down something so general to the human condition. A NEED for Connection. If sameness and agreement were a detailed quilt, the need for connection would be the design cut out and stitched numerous times to build that quilt. But what most people are seeing is just a quilt, not the design or the detail that created it.

The longer I live the more people I meet and the more I see that no two lives experience the same things, so no two people can be the same. Our vast differences in everything means that the likelihood of finding people who do agree with you, and connect with you are slimmer than ever. Which really seems to be pointing to people being less and less tolerant of differences… and therefore a need to argue it. See, that need for connection is a big deal. If it weren’t we wouldn’t have war. Differences wouldn’t matter. But look at the planet… differences are such a big deal anyone can be talked into the NEED for war with people who disagree or see things differently. (and yes, I did just simplify it like that because if you aren’t someone who has looked at the non-american side of war, you are too closed minded to be reading this. Exit the building now.)

Back on topic. We should be searching for connection with a healthy form of agreement and a healthy measure. That healthy measure is what this is about -because we need that sense of others being like us. And no, this is nothing to do with appearance, skin color, school, town or click… I’m not talking about all the rich blond girls hanging out together… I’m talking about that amazing feeling that comes from being understood. And I think this is what people are desperate for and can’t articulate or wrap their heads around. It’s so part of us we can’t stand back and look at it. “I need connection” “I need to feel understood”. So few are saying that.

Your BIGGEST RELATIONSHIPS in life are you feeling understood and having a connection with someone because of it. It’s also how these relationships end. You stop understanding and you stop feeling connected. Have you ever had a friend that gets your subtle jokes? Who sees the little things, who doesn’t need you to explain yourself? That’s the NEED I speak of, the need we all have. This is how we get a best friend, and how we get married. We connect, and it’s on levels that are closer and greater than with the general public… because statistics insist it works out like that. It’s not easy. We are all so different.

I tried dating someone for a couple months and quite quickly he started saying “I still haven’t figured you out”. I allowed /accepted I might be an anomaly, since I’m different than your average JoAnna, but it didn’t stop. He continued to say it, while hammering two nails into the coffin of this dating-death each time it was said. There is nothing in me cool with being unable to be figured out. I’ve spent years writing about the need for connection, what connection looks like, and relationship dynamics. Connection is not something you can fake, I’ve known the real stuff. “I still haven’t figured you out” directly translates into “we are too different to connect”, and I already know most people don’t “get me”, so I’m one of the few aware of the quilt design being there, and it being the main factor in the beauty of the quilt. I too am looking for connection and for someone to see what I see.

We ARE all different. Connection is RARE. Ya we all want it, ya, on a giant scale would be cool, but there’s these two things that also come into play: Individuality and Freedom. These are huge. People can and should be themselves. LET GO of any needs or desires to expect anyone to be like you or to make the same choices. Freedom, real freedom only happens in the mind. Same-makers out there, Fuck the fuck off and let everyone have that freedom to think whatever they want. And THEN, when you do find those rare friends who “get you”--Love them. Hold them. Treat them like the gold they are and don’t let them forget you care about that connection. Again, it’s rare and real and being conscious of it is part of the success in having it.

And this, my friends is how we consciously healthy people end up connecting physically with someone. The desire in us doesn’t stop at mentally wanting connection. Ya, that’s obvious… when you do connect mentally, you often connect emotionally, and it makes sense to include a physical connection too. And lets talk like we are all consciously healthy people… meaning we are conscious about our connection. Healthy; in that we don’t have a need to fuck like rabbits indiscriminately because we just defined what a real connection is. So really, it’s even harder to find this type of connection: mentally, emotionally, and physically all in one.

What do you think happens when you find that? And you are conscious of all of it?
Magic, that’s fucking what.

Most people don’t even know about their need for connection, much less enter a connecting relationship knowing what they are actually doing. What if both parties did? Both felt all levels of connection. Both were conscious of the choice to take it physical, and both brought magic. That makes a new kind of energy that is the real shit, the big Kahuna. The thing that is missing for most people. The thing people everywhere are needing and seeking. Real Connection.

Is it any wonder people find it so hard to have a great and long-lasting relationship? Is it any wonder they need the world to agree with them? Connection is missing. It’s not remotely easy to find connection on more than one level. Most of us do know someone who has it, but it certainly isn’t common. The less conscious and present people are, the more shitty relationships flourish.

I’ve known Mental, Emotional, and Physical connection, not quite all at once, but I tell you what, all three are the stuff dreams are made of.

I know a guy that seems to find really awesome girl friends. Top quality women; some of them. But he never seems to wake up to their awesomeness. I doubt he’s ever conscious about even one of the aspects of connection, and he loses them. Usually because HE can’t stop looking for connection without knowing what he’s searching for and without knowing it might be amazing with the current girl. If only he woke up to what he was doing, what he needed, what he had, and became consciously healthy, he might be able to stop searching and revel in something wonderful he already has in front of him. (Well, had.)