Posts Tagged With: self awareness

let’s keep it to a minimum

Do y’all ever feel like this?
I do. Like, every day of my life.

Nothing is currently ‘bad’. Neither am I annoyed about anything.

I just want to live a less complicated life.
And that starts with me.

So, while there is always dumbfuckery afoot in the world, I’m paying particular attention to my own personal dumbfuckery.
On occasion, I actively engage in my own dumbfuckery while considering it the dumbfuckery of the world at large.
I’m my own worst enemy.
Aren’t we all?

How much of what spins me up each day/week/month, or at random, is my own dumbfuckery letting its freak flag fly?
More than I’d like to admit.
And that’s OK too.
Because I’m more aware now than I’ve been before. Perhaps I can stop the dumbfuckery in its tracks by simply being aware.
I mean, if I can’t vanquish the dumbfuckery, I can at least keep it to a minimum, right?

I’m beginning to wonder if my new mantra should be something along these lines:
Be aware.

I wrote of getting my ducks in a row, and I think a big part of that is shifting my perspective. Paying attention to what I’m putting into the world more than what’s already in the world around me.
I can be the catalyst for change.
Dumbfuckery abounds.
But, by paying a different kind of attention, perhaps I can keep my own dumbfuckery to a minimum.
And wouldn’t that be lovely?

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

so far, so good, what’s next?

Now, you know I’m a planner.
I like lists and calendars and color coding by subject.
So, once I recognized what I can and cannot change, I broke it down further.

I ask loads of questions.
I know that.
Y’all know that.
My family and friends know that.
But what’s different about this process is that I answered my own questions.

I asked and answered questions to come up with a plan.
I used the same system of dividing the page in my big sketch book so I could see it all together.

The first question is:
What frustrates me?

*stagnation
(no real growth, no movement, no real participation in life or household, etc.)
*lack of effort to create growth or movement
*caring about (these things)
*wondering if it will ever change

OK, now what do I do about it?

How to stop being frustrated?

*accept that these are the choices YBW and Thing G are making
*accept that nothing I do will change their choices
*focus on myself and my choices
*accept that this is the situation I’m in…until…?

So far, so good. What’s next?

I know it’s hard to read.

Ways to feel more comfortable.

*let go of wife and ‘mom’ guilt
*stop apologizing for choosing growth
*accept as much as possible
*pay attention to myself and where my power is
*be kind and courageous
*stop judging
*accept limitations (cannot change situation, only how I function in it)

Ways to regroup if I’m triggered.
(frustrated)

*immediately stop and breathe
*quickly assess if it’s something I can change (if not – do my best to accept and let it go, if so – make the appropriate change)
*accept that this is my work and I may not ever be met with the same
*remove myself gently from the situation
*tap into vast support network without engaging in ‘shit talk’

OK, so in the meantime I have a plan.
But…

How to remain sane in the long game?

*accept this is my work
*accept change may never come
*be peaceful in the knowledge I did all I could do the best way I could
*love

I don’t know how or even if the situation will change.
I do know that if I can do these things I will feel better. I will make the relationship with my husband more positive.
Maybe that’s all I can do?
While I know I have magic down deep in me, I only have power over myself.
If these changes I’m making serve only to keep me from being frustrated, angry, and resentful in an unchanging situation, at least I’m content in the knowledge I am going at this in a mindful and loving way.

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accept don’t judge, or the time of ‘if this then that’ is over

When I got to work on my me things, I meant business.
I used my big sketch book so I could see both what I can and cannot change at the same time.
I wrote in pen so it remains as I wrote it. It is unchangeable. (the irony is not lost on me, further proof of my commitment to this process)

What I cannot change:

*the living situation
*YBW’s point of view
*Thing G’s willingness to do or be
*why it frustrates me

This is what I’ve been on about. I want all this stuff to change. I want it to be different.
I can’t do anything about these things.

What I can change:

*how I function in the living situation
*how I choose to behave when I’m frustrated
*the way I go about discussing it
*what I pay attention to
*how I apply myself

This is where I have the power!

These are the things I can do something about. Now to figure out the how.
I think it must start with to what am I paying attention.
The trick with this is to decide what I need/should/desire to pay attention to.
I’m hopeful that by paying attention to the ‘right’ things, I’ll automatically change how I go about functioning, and behave when I’m frustrated. Perhaps not get as frustrated?

Is that how I can facilitate change?
Not that that’s the goal.
I. Cannot. Change. Any. Thing. But. Me.

I have to figure out how to shift my whole ‘it’s the principle of the thing’ point of view.
I mean, is that really getting me anywhere?

Maybe the concept of ignoring that which bothers me isn’t quite right. How can I accept it without it bothering me so much?
This is a conversation to start with my therapist.

I think I need to brainstorm a bit more.
Maybe it’s baby steps, not jumping in up to my ass.

Accept, don’t judge.

May be key.
This is the situation I’m in. What can I do or not do to be comfortable and content in it?

The time of ‘if this, then that’ is over.
I can’t change the situation. I can only change myself within it.

You might find yourself asking:
How much responsibility can one person take in a multi-person situation?
Is it equitable if one person is making changes for the betterment of the group?
What happens when one member of the group achieves their change making goals and the situation remains the same?
I’m asking the same questions.
Stay tuned for the answers…

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salty or empowered, the shift in me

So I was exposed to the former husband while at Thing 1’s for the baby shower.
Thing 1 said, “Momma. The salty was coming off of you in waves.”
I was horrified!
I was not salty with purpose. I was there to celebrate my baby having a baby. It wasn’t about me. It was all about Thing 1. (and Husband N and Baby K)

Thing 2 says, “Oh that’s just (dad) trying to stay relevant.”
Thing 1 says, “He just wants to remind people he’s there.”

Like most narcissists, he resides in a world created by his compulsive need for adoration. When he feels threatened in any way, he tends to back pedal, blame, or talk mad shit about his perceived attacker.
Most of us simply go along with his behavior to avoid potential ugliness. Life really is so much simpler that way.

Only I was consciously different last weekend in that I simply did not engage his behavior.
I did not engage in his attempt to hug me.
I did not engage his attempt to draw me into ‘inside jokes’ or his telling of stories.
I corrected him when he falsified events with embellishments.
I was respectful and polite, but I did not behave as though we have any special knowledge of each other.
Apparently the former husband was feeling the salt because he brought it up to Husband N who directed him to discuss his concerns with me.
That will never happen. He will talk mad shit about me to anyone that listens, but he won’t have a frank discussion with me about anything.
Interestingly, he talks the maddest shit about me to our daughters. What he chooses not to realize is that they tell me what he says about me.

While we were there, he said two particular things to me that rubbed me the wrong way. But instead of engaging him, I simply responded with honesty.
When Thing 1 walked out of the room, his eyes followed her then he turned to me and said, “You did a wonderful job.” I looked up, smiled, and replied, “I sure did.”
I worked my ass off to be the best possible mother to my daughters. I know I did a good job. I know my girls are good humans. I don’t need his approval.
Much later on, he said to me, “I’m glad you’re going to be with her for the birth.”
I literally had no words with which to respond, so I just nodded.

These things may seem benign to the casual observer, however in the comment about being with Thing 1 while Baby K is born, he’s essentially giving me permission to mother my own child.

It may sound as though I’m over here like, ‘let’s talk mad shit about the ex’. But in reality, it comes from a desire to express the shift in me.
I made an entirely conscious decision to change my behavior around him.
I chose not to engage in his performance.
I kept my focus on myself, on my daughter, on the celebration.
For the first time in over thirty years, I set clear boundaries.
I was not fearful, did not walk on eggshells.
I was empowered to simply be myself.

I’m going to say that again.
I was empowered to simply be myself.
My true self.
The me that trusts what she knows.
The me that loves fiercely and without fear.

I did not engage him.
There was push back. Husband N got it the same day.
I suspect there will be further push back, my girls will get it in mad shit talk about me.
I don’t care.
Husband N has no fucks to give when it comes to his wife’s father.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 know what’s up. I hate their dad uses them that way, but I can’t solve that problem for them.

I will always be polite and treat him with respect because I love my daughters and that’s the behavior they deserve to witness. They also deserve to witness a woman with strength and dignity. A woman who loves and lives passionately without fear.
I deserve to be that woman.

I will never again accept any one else’s version of who I am.
I am my own version of me.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

*poof* I had an epiphany

I had an epiphany as I journaled one night last week. (perhaps it’s been a couple weeks now)
I journaled in response to a suggestion that I’m taken for granted by some of the people in my life.

I questioned if I could love others without sacrificing myself. I questioned why I can’t seem to say no. I questioned why I feel compelled to always do what’s expected of me, even if it’s unrealistic.
I mused that it comes from being a little girl and feeling like I had to work hard to be loved. That if I was a “good girl” and did what I was “supposed” to do, then I was loved. If I wasn’t good or didn’t do what was expected of me, love was withheld from me.
And *poof* the epiphany occurred.

20161120_165249-1.jpg

I over-function to be loved.

I’m a chronic over-functioner.

Will Meek PhD describes over-functioners in this way:

Over-functioners (OFs) are usually seen as people who “have it together”, are detail oriented, organized, and reliable, and are typically viewed as being reliable workers, partners, and parents.

Classic characteristics of over-functioning include being overly focused on another person’s problems or life situation. Offering frequent advice or help to the other person. Feeling anger when help is not “appreciated” or the under-functioner (UF) doesn’t change. And frequently feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and neglecting self-care. Over-functioning can be seen as a type of “enabling”, even though the intent is the opposite.

That explains how I get myself into these situations where I’m taking care of everyone else and not myself. How I’ll make sure everyone’s everything is done, or their needs are met before I even begin to consider my own. And most of the time, I’m too worn out to consider my own needs, therefore I neglect them.
Turns out the only good thing about getting sick with the brain edema is that I was forced to consider my own needs first. But since I’ve been “well enough” I’m going back into my old patterns. And especially while Thing 2 was here.

Becoming aware of why I over-function is HUGE! If I know why I do it, perhaps I’ll be able to stop doing it. Ah, but then guilt and fear show up and panic me. If I don’t do (whatever) for (whomever) I’m not a good (whatever). And that means I’m not going to be loved.

Does that seem odd to you?
Will my doing (whatever) for the people in my life make them love me more than if I don’t do it?
Logic would suggest the answer is no.
But every fiber of my being is screaming yes!

This is something I will work hard to understand and change.
It’ll be better for me, and for the people in my life.

I must learn to say no in a kind and respectful way.
I must learn to understand that love isn’t based on what I do for others.
I must learn that it’s perfectly acceptable to put myself first.

I’m not loved because I do what’s expected of me.
I’m not loved because I’m a “good girl”.
I am loved because I am me.
Just me.
Just being me is enough to be loved.
I must never forget that.

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love is my intention

I recently decided it’s time for me to go back into therapy. I did a little research and found someone I thought I might like. After a bit of phone tag, she and I finally talked for about twenty minutes and made an appointment.
I saw her Tuesday and we instantly began to connect. She has a decent sense of humor and appreciates my snark.

Before we said goodbye, she asked me: What is your intention for your life? How do you intend to live your life? She told me the answer must be one word and one word only. That then I would have to define this word. Not via Webster’s or Oxford English, but my own definition. What does the word I choose as my intention mean to me? She suggested I use all my senses. What does is look and feel and taste like? She wanted me to journal this.

This fascinated me. I was electrified at the idea of this task.
From the moment she asked the question, my entire being knew the word I would use.
But I stopped for a second and promised myself to sit with it for a while before answering. And I did. (sit with it, that is) The word never changed.
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I came home and wrote in my journal.

What is my intention for my life? How do I intend to live my life?
one word
The word is: love
How do I define love?

love is everything
love is paying attention to myself and everyone around me
love is being mindful
love is dancing in the rain
love is jumping in puddles
love is warm and soft
love knows what’s up
love is spending time behind the lens of my camera
love is writing
love is the girlie giggles of my girls together
love is learning
love is books
love is music
love is movies
love is kindness
love is a sincere apology
love is feeling everything but never feeling terribly overwhelmed
love sounds like giggles
love looks like a beach sunrise
love smells like an old bookshop
love is a bicycle bell
love is delicious kisses
love tastes like fresh strawberries
love is baseball season
love is the crack of a bat
love is the cool crisp air of autumn
love is Saturday mornings on the porch with YBW
love is me at home in my own skin
love is great conversations with dear friends
love takes its time
love is knowing what’s right in my gut
love is feeling hopeful
love is being peaceful
love is being creative
love is collaboration
love is being stimulated in my brain
love is sacred memories
love is knowing I always do my best
love is a hot bubble bath
love is cool drinking water
love is emotionally embracing everybody I care about most
love smells like peonies
love is art
love is the arts
love is pointe shoes and tutus
love is faith
love is being kind
love is doing what’s right even and especially when I don’t want to
love is learning from my mistakes
love is defending the innocent
love is teaching and learning
love is new experiences
love is robin birds
love is a good pedicure
love is creating
love is strength and vulnerability
love is taking a big breath
love is being patient
love is fighting the good fight
love is knowing I’m enough

Now I’m not sure if that’s exactly what Mezeline had in mind…but that’s my version of how I intend to live my life…with love.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

teeny little significant things

It’s the little things. The teeny little seemingly insignificant things.
These little things make the biggest impact.
I got a teeny little thing with huge impact this morning in the form of a text message from YBW.
I’m not going to tell you what it said, because, well…I don’t want to. And that’s not really what’s important. What’s important is the act of writing and sending the text.

Each of us gets caught up in our own “stuff”. Makes it tricky to remain aware of what’s going outside our own heads. I had a long talk with my friend and mentor the other day. It was lovely. But it took so much of my energy. I’ve been trying to have an important conversation with Thing 1 for well over a week now. I honestly haven’t had the emotional energy. Haven’t seen Sundance or even talked to her for a while. Haven’t even been doing simple hashtag communications with my sister in law.
I’ve been to much in my head. I’m working on slowly shifting my focus outward. It’s hard and I feel lazy…but I’m working at it.
That sweet message from my husband this morning furthered my effort and helped me see he’s working at the same thing.

Tomorrow is September 1. The start of ‘meteorological fall’.
Now, most people see fall as the dying time. I see it as a time of starting new. Perhaps that’s residual from all those years of new children in the classroom in the fall? I don’t know…
But I’m looking at fall as a time to start everything new. New attitude with old projects. New projects with excitement.
Perhaps the wretched hot and humid weather will decide to become new and bring cool crisp air for me to breath. And temperatures that don’t cause you to break out in a sweat the moment you walk outdoors.
But I’m not expecting that until October…Indian Summer is the way of early fall in the Metro area. I know this. I’m just feeling hopeful!
Hope springs new for this little red haired girl in the Autumn.
I’m ready to do the hard work.
This used to be my “catchphrase”…it’s been a long time since I felt like using it…but to life in general, I say a great big, “BRING IT!”
(Until I wake up tomorrow in a foul mood…then I’ll be back to my grouchy self and have to start all over again.)
oscar
Sometimes, Oscar is my spirit muppet.

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sense of urgency: true or false

I woke early this morning with a sense of urgency.
I find this peculiar for two reasons. The first being that I didn’t even get in bed until after midnight, then to be that ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ before 6:00? #needmybeautysleepyo
The second is that I have a simple day planned. Quick and easy errands, and meeting with a couple of lula consultants to swap out inventory. #lifeofleisuremuch
This is not earth shattering stuff, people. So why this acute sense of urgency?

Actually, I’m not sure that’s the right question…for once in my life I may not need to ask why. #stopthepresses
I have a sneaking suspicion the question should be more along the lines of: Is this a true sense of urgency?
Not why is there urgency, but is the urgency real or is it false?
A false sense of urgency (must find thesaurus) is nothing more than excuse to spin your wheels. I have no patience for that. I spent enough of my life spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. #aintnobodygottimeforthat
Of course, this doesn’t feel false. And I’m really examining it. Like, with tweezers and a microscope examining it. And here’s what I’ve come up with.
It is a true sense of urgency. But it has little to do what I may or may not need to accomplish in the world today. In (my) reality, it has everything to do with who I am and want to become.

It took me forty years to realize that I was smarter and more capable than I’d ever been given credit for. And that every choice I made, good, bad, indifferent, got me to that place within myself. The best part was that I actually liked the me I was.
At the time, forty years was my entire life. I had been kept down by the naysayers and never really knew it. I didn’t believe in myself because I’d been taught negative inner speech and spent a lifetime listening to it.
When I discovered I was brave and strong and capable I was finally able to tune out the naysayers. #damntheman
I was creating my own new and positive inner speech. #imatotalbamf

Of course, life actually gets in the way of this knowing and it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to hear that old negative inner speech as I go through the motions of daily life.
I flounder. I get lost. But that spark of knowledge is always there. I simply must remember to look for it. I found a glimpse of it recently! I even wrote about it, here.
Knowing my truest self has been a curious journey. I’ve been run off the road a few times, I stopped for food and fuel and chose not to get back on the road. I drove the party bus, not caring about the journey, just having fun. But I am a destination girl, the journey makes me weary. Luckily, I’ve met my truest self and spent sacred time traveling with her. Makes the journey less tedious.

This sense of urgency inside me is to remind me to keep tightly the knowledge of who I am and what it means. The sense of urgency is to guide me on my journey. To keep me on the right path. To help me create new positive inner speech, because if I do that enough, my brain will seek these new patterns and no longer fall into the old negative ones.
This sense of urgency is the fire in my belly stoking itself. To keep me from becoming complacent. To help me not let life get in the way of knowing.

I find it’s very rarely about what you accomplish out in the world.
I find it’s almost always about who you are and are becoming every day.
Be the truest you.
Not the “best possible you”. That’s holding yourself to external standards. #ohhellno
Be the truest you. Only you know what that means.

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. ~ Golda Meir #word

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spirituality and doing it to death

The Kills is my soundtrack as I journal this morning.
This may seem counterintuitive as I’m writing about spirituality, but it’s working for me.
#enigmagirl
Please listen responsibly.

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