Posts Tagged With: true self

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.

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

I am the strangest, weirdest, most complicated woman I’ve ever been.

Do any of us really know our self?
I’m talking about our true self. The one that inner speech, and socialization, and life choices..relationships, jobs, residency…work so hard to alter.

I’ve been reminded of my true self lately. Mostly though conversations with people I met because of this blog, and my precious sister in law, but also my obsessive journaling.
I find it curious how you sometimes can’t see yourself until you observe your reflection in another or written on a page.

I have so much negative inner speech in my brain. I don’t feel the need to place blame for how it got there, I just need to remember to ignore it more frequently than I do.
Allow me to quickly explain to you about inner speech:
Imagine adults going ‘round with great big highlighters and highlighting things a child might experience. Whatever gets highlighted, is reinforced. The problem with highlighting a child’s behavior, is that adults tend to judge a child’s behavior. This judgement (or highlighting) creates their inner speech. The thing is, adults are particularly good at highlighting “bad” behavior. However well meant these intentions to highlight are, if all that’s being pointed out is what’s wrong with the child’s behavior the child can only focus on what’s “wrong” or “bad” about who she is.
Consider this, brains are pattern seeking. So if all that’s ever been highlighted in a child’s brain is negative that’s where the focus is.
So, I am working every day to see through new eyes, to encourage my brain to pick up on new patterns. To highlight that which is helpful and kind and loving.

In my past if I’d been told: “Your mind jumps all over, like a jack-in-the-box on speed. You say some odd, perplexing, annoying, infuriating things.” I would have heard these as “bad” things, negative traits. My inner speech conditioned me to that. But I’m realizing these are actually compliments. I’m challenging the people with whom I communicate. Go me!
In my past if I’d been told: “You said deep things that resonated with me. I should have taken notes. You are doing a good job of taking care of yourself. It’s something many cannot do.” I would shrugged it off. I wouldn’t have been able to handle the sincerity of these words. I honestly don’t think I’m doing such an excellent job of taking care of myself…but I get better at it every day.

I’m seeing myself as the strangest, weirdest, most complicated woman I have ever been. In the best possible way! I am seeing myself as the most loving, caring, nurturing woman I have ever been. I see this because I’m paying attention to my reflection.
We all need help to see who we are. We can’t see it for ourselves.
It’s like trying on clothes alone. You’re in the fitting room and you’re wearing the most adorable (whatever) you’ve ever seen and the moment you put it on you’re looking at your flaws. Oh, my belly is pudgey there. This is too tight across the bust. My bottom looks too flat. Your body language reflects this, you’re not standing up straight, you’re not smiling. But what if you tried that same (whatever) on with a friend in the fitting room with you, their view of you helps guide you to what is lovely and wonderful about the (whatever) you’ve tried on. You’ll see that your posture is different, you’re smiling, you’re seeing what’s really in front of you instead of what you expect to see.

When you can see yourself the way you’re reflected through the eyes or words or point of view of someone who cares about you, you are seeing the truest you. Sure everyone has an agenda, but in that moment you don’t see your own inner speech reflected back at you, you don’t see that person’s agenda, you see the bright and shining you that they see.
One cannot be loved for absolutely no reason.
Nobody will honestly love the worst in someone else. You are loved because that person sees the best in you.

So the lesson here is to begin to see yourself as the ones who love and care about you see you. When you begin to see yourself in this light, you will begin to realize how much you are. How much you have to offer the world. If you begin to see yourself in this light, you will become an even better/healthier/more luminous version of you. Eventually you won’t need to see yourself through the eyes of others, you’ll become accustomed to seeing that you through your own eyes.

But keep those loved ones handy, sometimes we all need a little positive encouragement.
Just like Katharine Hepburn, we all need Jimmy Stewart to occasionally remind us that: “There’s a magnificence in you, Tracy. A magnificence that comes out of your eyes, in the way you talk, the way you stand there and the way you walk. You are lit from within, Tracy. You’ve got fires banked down in you, hearth fires and holocausts. You are the golden girl, Tracy. Full of life, warmth and delight.”

And if there is ever a moment when you can’t see yourself in this light, always always remember what Christopher Robin said to Pooh, “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

I am a Goddess. I am a warrior queen. I am a fairy princess. I am a plain old regular girl. Aren’t I the best!?!
Does this mean I know my true self?
Nope. But I’m learning every single day.
And really what more can I ask for?

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

miscommunication is a bite in the ass

YBW came home Thursday ready to talk about the weirdness.
I felt better prepared because I’d written about it. He was ready to talk because he read what I wrote.
As it turns out, there was gross misunderstanding. (I can’t even feign surprise.)
He thought I was angry. He thought I was quite fed up with his YBW “shenanigans” so he was putting forth great effort to change his behavior. He also was feeling a great deal of fear after being hurt physically by me. It stirred up residual feelings from living with his second ex-wife.

I was horrified that he felt fearful of me. The only way I know to fix that is not to punch him in the arm anymore. This will be hard for me…it’s my “go to”. I don’t mean to hurt, it’s just a thing that started from having a brother and cousin and then the former husband as a way to make a point. Never hard enough to really hurt, but enough to get their attention and shift their behavior.
Is it a positive or healthy move? Of course not, but it’s what worked.
When I punched YBW in the arm, he was closer to me than I realized and the contact came swifter and with more force than I’d anticipated. He was actually hurt. But I’m realizing that he thought I was angry and hurt him out of anger. And that triggered his hot button of fear.

After we talked about the “kitchen incident”. I explained that I had no anger, that I was just messing around. Both Thing C and Thing 2 were in the kitchen with us, it was nothing more than us being silly about language and I never felt anything but playful.
The fact he thought I was angry and that it was my motivation to hurt him nearly broke my heart. That’s when my tears started. I honestly don’t think he believes me. That will have to come in time.

It turns out that when I was expressing that I noticed an imbalance in our being “handsy” with each other he thought it had to do with the kitchen incident and was under the impression that I was completely fed up with him being goofy.
He was trying to change to make me less frustrated.
It seems to me that he thinks I believe that he’s stupid, ridiculous, annoying, etc. I think he’s playful. Does that become tiresome occasionally? Of course it does. But I am self aware enough to know that I become tiresome occasionally too.

I told him that I liked him for who he really is. That if I’d been with him these six years it was because I liked his personality and for him to suddenly not be him was no way to “fix” anything.
He told me it would take a bit for him to relax enough to be himself and asked for me to be patient.
I told him that I would do my best not to rely on the arm punch.

Yesterday, things felt closer to normal. We went to this Salvadorian joint and had an early dinner yesterday, we came home and watched the Nats lose to the Marlins. We communicated realistically both verbally and physically. (And my bottom got patted while I brushed my teeth.)

Here’s my biggest thing:
I don’t know how to help him hear what I’m actually saying versus what he thinks he hears.
I don’t know how to trust that he’s not going to manipulate me if I make myself vulnerable to him.
Not because we’ve experienced either of these with the other. These are old patterns. Hurt caused by other people who came before each other in our lives.

I made a specific decision to trust him the first moment we were in the same physical space after months of dating over the phone and via email. In that moment I chose to be fearless. I have not regretted it in six years.
I know he’s not passive aggressive.
I know he’s not manipulative.
I know he’s not trying to undermine every forward step I take.
I trust that.
But I spent seventeen years walking on eggshells waiting to make the wrong move and suffer the emotional repercussions of that.
Waiting for “the other shoe to drop” is a pattern I work every day to break.

I am safe in this relationship. I know it like I know my own name.
I believe that YBW feels safe in this relationship. He’s trying to break his patterns too.
He’s been told he’s “less than” for so long he probably doesn’t even hear my words when I talk about his character and his kindness. He’s beautiful inside and out. That is his true self. He doesn’t know that. He doesn’t believe that.
I can’t change that for him, but I can keep expressing it in the hopes that one day he hears my words and not the words left over from his past.

I’m still not sleeping through the night. But I am sleeping in the bed we share and I’m not struggling to lie next to him.
It’s progress.
There is a great deal of love in our lives. I love YBW like I’ve never loved another man. I didn’t know I could love someone who didn’t come out of my body with this kind of unconditional love. I waited my entire life to find him. He has no idea that he elicits that kind of love just by being himself.
All that love doesn’t erase the past. But I hope that it can heal it. I hope it can create a new kind of relationship upon which to build the rest of our lives.

I’ve been told I’m more stubborn than a mule. (Thanks, Mommie.)
This statement is true, however unkind it may have sounded hearing it my whole life. Therefore I will use that stubbornness as I continue to chip away at old patterns in both of us. Eventually I’ll get there. And I will stop feeling like I need to wait for the other shoe to drop. And he will start hearing what he truly is and perhaps even begin to believe it.
And I’m hopeful we’ll continue to love and be loved the way we do. Playfully and earnestly. Only it will be better because we will use our past lives as foundation upon which to build this new way of being.

Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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