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The Lotus

lotusAirial wrote that, “The lotus flowers live in ponds. At night the flowers close and sink into the muddy waters, only to emerge perfect and pure when the sun rises.”

She challenged me to write about a moment in life when things got dark and to reflect on when the light returned. There have been a few times in my life when life was dark, but like the lotus flower, so far I have always emerged from the darkness and resurfaced into the beauty of light.

Some of my darkest times are related to loss of loved ones. I am not good at forming shallow connections. I gravitate toward deep bonds. I do not love half heartedly, I offer the best parts of myself to my loved ones, and wear my heart on my sleeve. My open heartedness and vulnerability are at the core of my inner beauty. Being and loving this way comes with risks. Its who I am and I don’t want to be any other way. I am risk taker.

Some love dies a natural death while other loves die or whither of neglect, lies, and betrayals. One time the harm was so great I nearly drowned from the pain. Nearly, did not resurface like the lotus. How I get through dark times has been with love, care, and nurturing from the kindest of friends. I’ve learned over and over that I cannot be an island. As an introvert it is all too easy to allow oneself to become and island. Me & my books & movies! This last time though, the lesson stuck. When I look back on it now I think of Dickens and remembering that suffering is never a waste if we learn from it. I learned a lot that I wish I hadn’t needed to learn, but learn I did and although I was bent and broken – I hope – into a better shape.

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape. ” Charles Dickens

This was a writing assignment to earn a Lotus Pin for NYC Littles Scouts, Troop 212

 

Reflections: A Year, A Month, & A Day

kaizen I’m at Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida and winding down from my first vacation in over three years. Over the weekend I have had time to relax and to reflect on the path I found myself traveling this past year. I’m goal oriented and over the years I have often looked at my life and made immediate, short term, and long term goals. You can write these things down or just think on them, but sometimes you can find yourself in places you never imagined and that goes for good and bad. The one thing you can count on as a constant is change. A year and a day ago I was someone fragile and struggling to find my way through darkness. I moved onto my own apartment in Brooklyn. It was a very hard time for me, but looking back and seeing my growth I am very proud of myself. Continue reading

On Packing Up and Letting Go

I am still at the “not yet” phase, but each day I feel more healed from the harm that was done. I feel more of the incredible woman I was before someone I loved gave me this box full of darkness. Each day I am closer to feeling that this too was a gift…

In Others' Words...

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.  It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

Mary Oliver

house

In July of 2012 I was packing up my house to put it on the market. I’d filed for divorce. My soon to be ex-husband had quit his job, and I’d been a stay at home mom for nearly 13 years. There was simply no way for us to stay in what I had once considered to be our dream home- the house I’d truly believed we would live in forever. Where we would have family reunions, where the kids would get married in the backyard, where we would grow old together. The day we moved in I saw all of those things stretched out in front of us.

backyard2

Cut to less than two years later. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t have cared less about leaving that house…

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The Frog in the Well

Frog in Dark WellI moved to the US when I was a small child, Spanish was my first language, and English was my second. A part of the English language I have never mastered is idioms, phrases, and expressions. A week before the New Year was coming about, I was having a helluva day and as tough as it was, what I thought was “Two steps forward, one step back.” I stopped and thought to myself, “Is that the right way to say it?” I believe the more common expression is, “One step forward, two steps back.” The former us dealing with the story of a frog trying to get out of a well and the later more well known as being used by Lenin in his work “The Crisis in Our Party”. The day I was having a week or so ago, as bad as it was, I still felt that overall my life was moving in the right direction and that I was making progress like the frog in the well. Life is sometimes about getting up, brushing our dirty knees off, and taking those small steps.

I’ve got a lot of good things happening in my life. I have a new job with good benefits, where I am treated with respect and valued, I have a new home and regained privacy, and I have my family and friends who love me and support and encourage me during hard times. The first time in over three years I had both of my daughters with me at the same time and we spent the entire last week of December exploring New York City together. Some people talk about family, biological and chosen, and too often there is the either/or and not both. Worse is that there are some people who have neither, but hold onto a façade.  I think how sad it is that a person has to create a false truth surrounding their family, biological or other. It is when I think of this that I feel so deeply and see so clearly how very much I have to be grateful for in my life right now. I hear my leather sister’s voice and it says, “You have to make space in your life for good to happen.” It’s not always easy, but I do it anyway. I’ve been taking steps forward. Continue reading

My Credo 2015

The clock will turn at midnight and we will have a New Year.   I’ve heard it said that some men use “The Godfather” as the Magic 8 ball to answer all of life’s questions. My girlish counterpart to that is “When Harry Met Sally”. Here I find comfort, joy, laughter, and odd Magic 8 Ball solutions to some of life’s questions. Its New Year’s Eve and along with My Credo. I’d like to share this little New Year’s clip from my favorite movie

This is my Credo. It’s a personal inventory of what I believe, how I feel, and things that have internal meaning to me today. My fundamental beliefs and guiding principles. I started writing a yearly Credo in 2009. Now & then, as time passed, I added, adapted, or deleted parts of My Credo. Here is my 2015 revision…

I believe in love.

I believe love is wishing others happiness. To everyone I was once very close to and feels that maybe I left them behind, I want them to know that although we have gone down different paths, in my heart I wish you happiness. I still love you all, just differently.

I believe I can love, I can lose love, and still want to risk doing it again.

I believe in the power of vulnerability. That my vulnerability is beautiful.

I believe in the power of laughter. Surrounding myself with joy.

I believe in smiling every day and being a source of positive energy.

I believe in living courageously. Being whole hearted. Continue reading

Two Wolves

Two Wolves

Two Wolves

I’ve started writing about four other different journal topics, but I can’t find the resolve to finish any of them. As I sit in the playpen, I talk to my little sister and tell her about the struggle going on inside me that says to “Write something happy, pleasant, and joyful, instead of topics that are serious and a bit intense.” And her reply is, “Well, who is telling you that your journal has to be about writing things that are happy?” and I blurt very quickly, “I do!” I sat for a few moments with these thoughts and the idea that came to my mind was that of The Bad Wolf. There are days when The Bad Wolf comes out and wants to feed.

After an hour passes I nearly scare myself at the damn epiphany of what I have just written. It has been a week and a half since I wrote about the paper bound journal I once kept. The one with the final entry titled, “The Book of Anger”. Suddenly the words haunt me that is it not me who tells me that I must write about “good things”, but it is someone else’s voice.

I woke at some ungodly hour this morning and suffered several hours of fighting The Bad Wolf alone, before my leather sister woke up and came to nurture me and give me strength. She is my solace, my calm in the storm. As I talked to her I remind her that it is coming up on the anniversary that I came to visit her and told her the truth about my unhappiness. She reminds me that it is normal around anniversary dates of events that involve trauma to have deep emotions. Sometimes it is very hard to forgive oneself, more so than it is to forgive others.

Today, it was a struggle, but I refuse to give The Bad Wolf even a morsel.

Today, The Good Wolf won.

Two Wolves – A Cherokee Parable

(thanks Jenna for telling me this story)

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.”

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”

Journaling

JournalingIt’s not uncommon in power or authority exchange relationships for the dominant person to require the submissive partner to keep a journal. There is no one way, standard, or set of rules for keeping a journal. The most common types I have heard of are the old fashion paper bound style and online style. Most commonly the dominant partner has access to reading the journal, but a rare few tell their charges that the journal is solely for them and that the dominant will not be reading it. Just as the style of journal keeping varies, so does the intent and purpose of its existence. Continue reading