Why won’t you listen to me?????

Nothing breaks my heart more than watching someone I love suffer.  That is why when a loved one shares their pain with me, my default position is “fix it mode”.  Ugh – so wrong, usually they just want me to listen and I need to fix… you think its because I am loving and kind — NOPE its because I can’t tolerate how it feels to watch someone suffer.  I know that a person’s suffering is where they find growth and change.  I can’t change their pain or take it away from them without causing more harm – disempowerment. Trying to take away another’s pain is like saying – let me help you because you don’t know how to help yourself!

I especially can’t stand when a loved one is suffering because they think they aren’t good enough or that they will never be good enough.  It kills me because usually the people I know that feel this way are people who are AMAZING!!!  Ugh.. why won’t they listen to me?  Why don’t they hear it when I say they are amazing? Why don’t they believe it? Because my friends – no one can tell someone else how amazing they are and have it stick.  Sure it will feel good for a moment but the compliment will wash off.

I know what is needed its listening. I know the best thing to do is to tell my loved ones I am here for you, I am listening.  Oh – I can do this and it works great, then five minutes into the pain and oops fix it girl comes back again… I really need to work on this.

Today I am going to walk through the fear of experiencing my loved ones’ pain and allow them the opportunity to heal in love – Self Love!  I will work on allowing those I love to have their pain.  I will be present and listen.

Goodbye Friendship, Hello Loneliness!

The solutions that roll through my head are quite entertaining.  I was upset with something that a friend asked me and my immediate solution was “we can’t be friends anymore.” This friend has helped me navigate tough decisions, helped me see things I could not see about my own behavior and one blip and my solution is to end it all. FEAR – I felt hurt and I wanted to protect myself from it happening again.  Funny thing is this friend didn’t even know how I felt and with my solution she wasn’t going to get the the opportunity to hear it. 

I realized over the last year that this is what I always did.  What I find most amusing is why I choose this solution. It’s so I don’t have to tell the person I am hurt because I don’t want to hurt their feelings or risk losing them as a friend.  Crazy thinking !!! Obvously, if I end the friendship, I am both losing the friend and hurting them.   

What’s super strange about this old solution in this situation is I was dealing with a friend who appreciates the need to speak up and wants to work on things – so of all the people in my life she would be one of the easiest to talk to.  

Anyway I sat with it for a night and decided I loved my friend, she didn’t know how I felt and our friendship was worth taking a risk for.  What is the worst thing that could have happened? – she would be hurt and stop being my friend – clearly with my old solution I was willing to deal with that already so not so scrary. 

I asked my angels for help and made the call and Woah-  we talked like adults and the issue didn’t seem so big anymore. I didn’t lose a friend,  an important friend who provides me with a lot of guidance. We are probably closer now and each have a better understanding of boundaries and each other. 

I can’t say it’s easy but we must take risks and walk through fear to have love. The kind of love we want in our lives. If I never said anything and cut my friend out of my life, my world would become smaller and I would carry a resentment around. I could have not said anything not cut my friend out of my life. Then I would have a friendship without trust and what good is that. 

Anyway, today I chose me, my sanity, and my friendship over fear! It feels great! I feel empowered. 

I must say one of the keys to this situation being a success is the practice of Pause and Talking to another person.  Waiting to choose what to do and talking with my partner helped me better understand what I felt and that some of those feelings were intense because the situation kicked up against some of my past stuff.  It’s so much easier for me to walk through fear when I understand that current situation is also being charged by a lifetime of history.  

Today I will recognize where my past is dictating my feelings in the present and pause – then I’ll walk through the fear and chose me!  I know love is on the otherside.  I hope you do too!  

Feelings – quick run and hide! 

During my morning commute to work I was reflecting on my last couple of years and the process that I had gone through to become the “Me” that I am today and I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of life. 

 I stepped off the T and I became overwhelmed with grief and sadness. I realized I was grieving the unhappy, lonely and what I would call tortured child I once was!  The amazing thing was I could walk down the street and feel this overwhelming sadness and cry and feel immense gratitude at the same time.  I have never been able to feel anything other than happiness (usually fake) and anger for 48 years.  It is amazing to feel very sad, cry and feel very calm at the same time.

In the past, I have always felt agitated and needed to escape almost immediately if I had any remote feeling or potential feeling that might be related to in any way to sadness. I was pretty sure I would die a horrible death if I felt it and I was pretty sure I would never stop crying if I allowed even one tear out.

Wow, what a difference today.  I came to a cross roads where I once again wanted to die from the internal emptiness and pain and the only two options where deal with the feelings I had buried for so long or kill myself. Forced to walk through the fear of feelings I guess. I felt and I didn’t die!  

Ok that said I missed a lot of work and I barely functioned while I was processing 48 years of feelings but I survived and today I’m no longer afraid to feel or cry.  I of course had help.  A couple of different types of help – a support person to talk to a friend so to speak and the universe. My friend suggested asking for help from a power greater than myself ( my feelings solution hadn’t worked so why not). Ya! not so easy. I thought this religious freak is trying to convert me. Nope, I learned she didn’t care what or who I was asking for help from so I agreed to and I asked a spoon for help. Lol – Spoon today is love the universe whatever but it wasn’t me and it wasn’t another human. It was like an imaginary friend!!!? Crazy 48 years old with an imaginary friend. Well I didn’t care I was in a state of I want to die type despair and now I had a friend that could always be there and didn’t judge me. I cried a lot to this imaginary friend and it was safe. Eventually, I became more comfortable crying in front of other people and allowing them to console me. I processed so much hurt and pain it was like a year of purging. Awesome!! 

I figured it was complete by now – nope – damn onion. 

I am now at a stage where I feel currently happy but I still am mourning the childhood I never had or the one I had. It makes me so sad to think of lil me being physically hurt or insulted by those adults that should have loved me. Funny, I was always able to feel so terrible for how my sisters were treated or how other children were treated but not me. It would have been an acknowledgement of my pain and once again I will say I would have died or been consumed with the pain. 

Yay for today !! I am so grateful that I can accept my sadness and share my abuse without feeling shame. I’m so grateful to those that helped me learn a new way of life that invovles taking emotional risk and allowed me to see that I can feel! 

Today I walk through the fear of feelings by allowing them to rise up in me, I allow myself to cry and I shared my pain with another person and my invisible friend.  Sound crazy ? Maybe, but for me today I’m free and I’m happy! I no longer have the crippling pain from the sadness that robbed me from the first 48 years of my life.  

If you are hurting alone please seek help there is freedom out there! Share your pain! You don’t have to walk through it alone. 

 

Mighty Me …

Mighty Me to the rescue; most likely whether you like it or not! I have had one of those weeks where it I keep hearing bad news about friends or friend’s loved ones. Nothing kicks at my need to fix as much as hearing about the suffering of those that I care about. I want to take their pain away – it doesn’t  matter if it’s their  path to go through their current situation or if this is part of the master plan. I have decided that I am the Mighty Me and I need to fix it.   Oh so wrong but oh so hard to change. 

What is my fear in this situation ?? I’ll be honest I’m not entirely sure. Maybe it is the fact that none of us truly have control over anything or maybe I just fear the feelings of sadness I feel when someone I love is hurting. I really don’t know. I’m ok with that for now as long as I can recognize the need to fix and stop myself (maybe not always right away but eventually). 

 I am glad I know the ultimate thing is to be present and hold a space for my friends and show them love and kindness in their time of need.  

The most simple personal example of the difference between me holding space and loving a friend and me trying to fix happened earlier this week. 

A friend’s son overdosed and died. I wanted to say “at least his battle is over and he is in a better place” this is me trying to make her feel better (probably more likely make her want to punch me).  What I did say was “I am so sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine how you must feel!” IHonesty ! How refreshing!  I was glad I caught myself and spoke this way.  I acknowledged that I can’t know how she feels but I’m sorry for her loss.  She responded well – and thanked me for calling.  

If I responded in fear and my need to fix with “your son is in a better place” – I’d be lying – maybe he is maybe he isn’t but who the hell am I to decide or to shut her down ! I might as well say – you are not feeling the way you are supposed to be feeling – you should rejoice he is better off.  Mighty Me with all of the answers! I wish! 

I think I’d rather walk through the fear of leaving it as it and allowing my friend her pain. I can still give her a shoulder to lean on or a hand to hold. I don’t need to take her feelings away  with some trite line.  

Today I’m going to try to walk through the fear of the discomfort of allowing others to feel their pain! I’m going to leave Mighty Me out of it and bring just me ! I have found that is enough and usually more than expected.  

Live in love my friends and if you are suffering please know I care and I am sorry for your pain! 

OMG, You’re Home!

Oh, to love like a dog! If you have a dog you know what I mean. No matter how long you’ve been gone, no matter how well or unwell your last encounter with them was or whether you remembered to bring them a treat, they are just happy to see you.

Yesterday afternoon my partner text me and said I’m going to take you out to eat when you get home.  I wrote back “are you sure you want to do that? I know you don’t feel well and you have so much school work to do.” She didn’t respond and I went back to relaxing and trying to sleep during my commute home. I walked in the door excited to see my partner and she says “I made dinner.” I looked her straight in the face and said with an air of disappointment, “oh, I thought we were going out.”

Why did I say that? Not because I wanted to go out to eat but, because the “plan” had changed!

I know me and I do not like a change in plans! Even the most simplistic plans!  

If I were a dog I would have wagged my tail, ran in circles, rubbed up against her and then darted for the kitchen to eat! Oh, to love like a dog!

I know if I were a dog that is how I would have reacted because I wouldn’t care about the “plan” (probably wouldn’t remember the plan at first site of my loved one).  I would think to myself I have loved everything she has ever made in the kitchen and I would know she took the time away from her studying to create something healthy for me out of the love and kindness in her heart.  Ultimately, as a dog I would just love her unconditionally and be very happy to see her.

Instead of a tail wag – she as met with disappointment! A dog never greeted me at the door with disappointment!

I was so grateful she made dinner and it was delicious and the thought of going out was actually dreadful to me after a 16 hour day of being out of the house! Yet, I still met her with disappointment! It may sound crazy but I know for me a plan is security (even a plan I don’t want to execute) and this type of security is what I use to defend against my fear of the unknown!

I’m going to practice walking through the fear of the unknown and try to consider “plans” possibilities and not security blankets.  After all we don’t have control anyway ! Maybe next time I’ll greet her like a dog or at least with the love and appreciation she deserves!

Wag on my friends! 

Changing w/ out Permission

I am currently walking through some fear – ok you do realize I don’t literally walk through the fear, right? It just means I am acting when I fear the action or I am not acting when I fear the lack of action.  What??? Yeah, I am not sure that was too clear.  This is what I mean, if I fear calling someone to tell them something difficult, I make the call anyway.  Once I have made the call, if the person doesn’t respond well to what I say, I don’t call them and take it all back out of fear of losing the person.  So you see action when I fear the action and no action when I fear the lack of action. Ultimately, avoiding my fear by acting or not acting doesn’t usually bode well.  In both cases I am denying myself – MY TRUTH.

So like I said in the beginning I am walking through some fear these days. I find that I have changed but many people in my life haven’t and they are not accustomed to my new way of doing things.  I didn’t think it would be so hard for people to understand the idea of self-care.  I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised since it is so foreign to many people.

I have made choices for me over the last year and much of my family, some friends and even some co-workers believe that my choices were about them and they haven’t responded well.  The difficulty is how hard its been for me to understand why some of my closest loved ones can’t see how different I am.  They only see that I am causing them hurt by not being my old self; someone who just bends over backwards for anyone regardless of my own needs.  The thing is when I acted like that I didn’t do those things out of love and kindness; I did them out of fear of loss.

Today I don’t fear the loss; well that is a bit of a lie. I fear loss and sometimes feel lonely because my loved ones don’t see me; the real me, the authentic me that I am becoming.  They don’t see how happy I am.  It hurts because for the first time in my life I have the ability to love my family and friends but they are unable to even recognize that about me.  Oh well – not trying to be on a pity pot – I hate that behavior !!! I just want to point out – that I am walking through fear because I want to run toward those that are shutting me out and explain myself and defend my actions; but, I know that is my fear talking and me trying to manage a situation I truly can’t control.  So I will walk through this fear and sit and not act and have faith that it will all work out.  I will act by continuing to be my authentic self. True to me!

If you are struggling with something similar stay strong my friend and walk through your fear – hell we can walk through it together!

Invitations to Chaos

I get a lot of invitations to chaos. You can substitute the word drama if you prefer but to me they mean very much the same thing. When I am involved in drama, my life becomes chaos. I don’t accept the invitations today because I want to live in love (a topic for another time) and have joy in my life.  

I used to think it was so much easier to live in chaos and drama because I never had to think about my behavior, I never had to be present in the day and I never had to feel my feelings – I just ran on the adrenaline of each and every little problem I was either faced with or told about.  Yes, you heard me “told about” I didn’t need the little problem to be mine to have it run the day for me. I could take on another person’s chaos or drama with a vengeance!

Today I am trying not to live in chaos but calm – so I have noticed I get a lot of invitations to chaos. I don’t think it is possible to avoid chaos and drama entirely; however, I try hard not to accept the invitation to it.  The easiest invitations for me to turn down are the ones that come from people who live in a constant state of chaos.  These are obvious to me because I recognize the life style (having lived in it for so many years).  It is a life style where there is one drama after another that interferes with the routine of daily life and gives us good reason to stress (because as we all know, stressing out about an issue helps it so much – NOT).  Once the dust settles, another incident occurs it may or may not be a dramatic incident but it is made into one!  So I say something like “I am sorry you are going through this, I hope your day gets better and you can get some rest” and then I begin the fight against my co-dependent need to fix the person’s problem. I encourage my co-dependent self with the knowledge that jumping in and becoming a part of the chaos and drama team won’t solve anything for these types of people (formerly known as, my people) but it will take away my calm (which may be needed when a real serious problem arises).

I struggle most with the invitations that seem harmless and are subtle.  A small suggestion or comment from someone like “did you see what so and so did” or “I can’t believe what so and so said.” These invitations when accepted can derail me for a whole day, week or even more.  Last Monday I got a subtle invitation to chaos. I belong to a group and in this group, members sign up each day to speak by placing their name on a calendar.  A woman came to me and said “did you see so and so put his initial on every single weekend day for the entire month.”  I said no I hadn’t and she added, “well, he can’t do that he is trying to control who speaks each weekend by reserving the days and then picking the speaker.”  I paused (oh – the value of the PAUSE) and I took a deep breath and I said I can’t go there, I can’t get involved, I can’t control his behavior and I can’t afford to spend my day angry at something I cannot control.  

You see the thing is, I was nervous and I was full of fear in that moment of pause – I thought OMG, what is she going to think of me, she is a strong woman with no qualms about sharing her opinion of others and often to the entire group – I was full of fear! The “pause” gave me the extra moment I needed to walk through the fear into freedom and love. The freedom to live my day the way I envisioned; free of chaos, drama and resentment.  It turned out to be an amazing day, it was my friend’s birthday and I was able to be present for her because I wasn’t perseverating about the man who put his initial on a calendar (sounds silly now).  Truth is the initial was G and as it turned out the weekend days were being reserved for guests.  Our group gets a lot of guests in the summer time.  It was a nice jester that I would have missed had I joined the chaos and drama team.   

Don’t be fooled my friends, comments like “did you hear what she said” and “did you see what he did” are little invitations, hooks, to reel you in to be a part of the chaos and drama team!!! Walk through the fear of another’s opinion – save yourself and save YOUR day, don’t bite!!!!