Falling Upwards

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hey soul sister… May 21, 2010

You see, I can be myself now finally
in fact there’s nothing I can’t be
I want the world to see you’ll be with me…

… Hey Soul Sister
I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do
tonight
— “Hey Soul Sister”, Train

A few weeks ago, I started getting to know a man I’d met last Fall. We’d only said “hi” in passing at the martial arts studio my kid attends. But, God only knows how or why, we’d started texting; about the studio stuff at first, then more esoteric stuff. I guess it happened when I put myself out there and texted something to the effect of “I’ve known you before.”

About a week before that text, I was talking to another martial artist at the studio. He was telling me that he and his partner are soul mates, and in his beliefs (Judaism), God splits a soul in two, puts each half into two persons who are destined to meet in this life and complete each other. A neat and tidy understanding of soul mates. From my end, I was not surprised when my text friend answered that he knew, as much as any man could know anything, that we have known each other before.

My understanding of soul mates is not typical. First, I don’t believe that you can have just one — because, frankly, I believe Love to be boundless since God is boundless. And, my understanding of soul mates is atypical in that I believe those connections are created over Time, through several lifetimes. (Mind you, I wasn’t raised to believe in past lives, but only a dozen years ago learned the truth of them.) I have a high school friend who is one of my soul mates. She and I went to a psychic fair 12 years ago and decided to talk to a past-life psychic on a lark (neither of us believed in past lives). The psychic told us details of one life we shared together, when she and I were mates/lovers. Other people in our current life were also there. My friend and I looked at each other, both a little freaked, and knew, just knew, that what this woman was saying was true. My friend and I are soul mates. And, somehow, we knew that instinctively from the moment we started hanging out. We have a strange connection, perhaps some would call a deep friendship, so that no matter how many years have passed, it’s as if we’ve never been apart when we do re-connect. And, we are very attuned to each others feelings when we are together. Makes things between us… easy, synchronistic, effortless. It was through our past lives together that we developed this friendship.

I’ve come to learn, over the past couple of weeks, that when you refer to someone as your “soul mate,” there is a romantic, intimate connotation. This saddens me because I’ve been referring to my new friend as a soul mate though I know that, in past lives, we were not romantically connected — just playmates. I think I’ve caused a bit of ruckus in telling other friends about him, though I’ve made clear that I’m not interested in a romantic involvement with him at this time. Besides, he currently has a girlfriend, and having recently been on the “innocent party” end of an affair, I cannot bring myself to play the role of “other woman” — not now, not ever.

It also saddens me that society’s understanding of Love is so limited. I have been, for two weeks, trying to figure out a way that I can be friends with this man without that friendship hurting anyone. Here’s the thing with my soul friend (I’m dropping the “mate” because of those stupid connotations) — we seem to have a connection that defies explanation, logic. With intent, we are able to pass energy to each other. Draw from whatever belief system you prescribe to — that energy.. it’s Love. In the presence of this man, my spirit calms, I am aware of everything around me, I am present, and when I feel his energy, I feel bliss. There is nothing romantic or sexual going on. There is just joy. In the words of a spiritual person, I am in God’s Love. How can that be a bad thing?

It became a bad thing when one of my closest friends sobbed in my ear last night, as I was telling her of my feeling for this man, that I am having an emotional affair and how could I do that? She divorced her husband of 20 yrs because he loved another woman though he never had a physical relationship with her. And, she reminded me that I was more hurt by my Ex falling in love with another and not-so-much that he had sex with her.

But, this morning, I can’t help but think that those hurts had more to do with the agreements between the parties. My agreement with my Ex was one of monogamy; an agreement he broke without my knowledge. And, for me, the pain wasn’t so much that he could fall in love with someone else — after all, Love is boundless –but that he kept the truth from me; kept it all a secret. I’d like to think that I would’ve been understanding if he’d come to me and let me know of his growing feelings for this other woman. Then, we could’ve changed our agreement. It was the pain of all the lies (those of you who’ve read this blog know that more lies came to light eventually) and his inability to be completely truthful that led to our break-up.

So, last night, out of perhaps undue influence of my friend’s tears, I sent my soul friend some text messages that … were mostly not my own words. I had forgotten, in the cloud of tears, my Truth, my understanding of Love and friendship and told him we could not be friends. I could not separate the emotions and the limited understanding of those around me from what I know, in my heart, to be truth — that …

We are all capable of incredible, boundless, limitless Love. That we are all soul friends to each other. That we are all connected through this Universal Energy some would call God. And, in these connections, there is bliss, compassion, awareness … all those things that our religious leaders, mystics and saints preach, pray for and hope for.

But, it is up to each Individual to accept this concept. And, it’s up to each and every one of us to strive for it, fight for it, desire it … as an outcome for our civilization.

If, because of my hasty words my Soul Friend, I never connect with you again in this lifetime, then please know that I am grateful for the lessons you taught me these few weeks; for the knowledge that I can live in bliss because the joy is inside me, and you showed it to me. Thank you. And, to You and all my other Soul Friends — I send you Love.

 

blue skies…smiling at meeee…. December 30, 2009

..nothing but blue skies
do I see….

When I started this blog, it was all about emotion — raw emotion — and an outlet for it. I’ve since done a ton of reading, had many appointments with three different psychologists (gotta shop around for the one who fits) and taken up, among other things, meditation.

What I have learned with all this is that emotion does not serve a person well. It clouds your judgement so that you cannot make decisions well. And,… it’s usually so cloudy that you can’t see the blue skies behind all the bad internal weather, and there always are blue skies.

I read a quote recently that said something like “A breakup is the Universe’s way of telling you that you deserve better.” And, yeah, I’m sure it goes both ways. ‘Cuz even if I convinced myself that my Ex was perfect for me in so many ways, and I for him, there was still something there that was not quite right — not for either of us. Otherwise, things wouldn’t have gone done the way they did. So, once you go through all the darkness and pain, all the rain of teardrops, the thunderstorms of emotions.. what’s left? I think if you’ve ever been through a thunderstorm, you know.

As my clouds clear away, the skies are looking pretty bright and clear. Clarity has come to me by way of a new perception, a different way of living and looking… and … being.

There are no more woulda, shoulda, couldas. And, no more regrets of what the future might have been. Instead, I’m learning to live in the present, be grateful and joyful of my life as it is Now. And, I’m learning to take personal responsibility for my current situation, knowing that I am where I am in my life because of choices I have made in the past — none of it wrong. It just… IS.

I’d told myself that, in this blog, I’d include the resources I’ve come by that have helped me in this process. One of the things I’ve been learning about is (Zen) Buddhism. Here’s a great website that explains it: http://www.zenguide.com

 

Left Unfinished November 16, 2009

“Why was I born?
Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
Been times when
I wish that I had just never been
Why did you have me?
Or better yet why’d you leave?
So to the parents who could fuck
But then abandoned me ”
– Machine Head

This doesn’t really apply to anything except that I was looking for a song lyric or title that said what I wanted — “Left Unfinished” — and this is what popped up. Funny that.

It’s funny because one of the books I’ve read in the past basically says that most of our issues comes from our parents, and their parents. They’re handed down through generations.

I haven’t been writing here for a couple of reason. One, we broke up about 2 1/2 months ago. But, the main reason is that I felt this blog was so negative. It was getting me down, and the thought of writing was getting me down. Recently, a friend from college found me. Turns out, he’s got his own blog and is also going through a divorce. So, he inspired me to, at the very least, finish this thing I have started. And, bring it up to a positive level.

One thing about this blog that has been nagging at the back of my mind (that happens when you leave things unfinished).. I’ve been meaning to list the books that have really helped me through this whole process, if only to help someone out who is out there looking for this info. I know I’ve mentioned a couple of them in past posts. But, here’s a list of a few I started off with:

Extraordinary Relationship: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions
by Roberta M. Gilbert, M.D.

The Monogamy Myth
by Peggy Vaughn

Dance of Anger
by Harriet Lerner

For those with a Christian bent –
Jesus: The Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived
by Mark W. Baker, Ph.D.

For those with a Buddhist bent –
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

For those who are Both –
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality
by Anthony de Mello (a Catholic priest who sounds like Buddhist)

For those with a New Age bent (like myself) –
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life
by Judith Orloff, M.D. (an energy psychiatrist)

I am also currently reading

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

The Power of Intention
by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
by Caroline Myss

and,
The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron

There are several more not listed here that I’ve devoured the past few months, but this’ll give you a start.

From here on out, I’m definitely Falling Upwards.

 

ch..ch..ch..changes! August 26, 2009

Filed under: infidelity — frannymarie @ 5:13 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This afternoon the BF and I will have our “talk,” when he’s gonna tell me what he decides. Yup… I put the ball, the racquet and everything else, in his court. He gets to decides whether he wants this relationship to continue.

Ok.. so you may think I’m naive or stupid or both. Why should he get to decide when he’s the one who cheated? Well, pretty simple really..

I have already decided. I decided what I can and cannot live with. I have decided on what my guiding principles are.. first and foremost, complete and total honesty. I have always been an honest person, even when it’s to my detriment. I can’t live with lies because, frankly, they’re confusing, and I don’t have the patience to deal with that shit. not very insightful, just… lazy, I guess.

Through this process, so far, I have also come to realize the person that I am. I AM made of a very strong moral fiber, but I am also very open-minded. I CAN be very flexible, but not when it compromises my principles. I believe in truth, equality and the American way, which I think is mostly independent thought. I am one of the nicest, most supportive people you will ever meet. And, though I haven’t gotten there yet with Him, I can be forgiving. But, I am not stupid nor will I stand for anyone abusing me or mine in any way. And, no.. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up yet because I am only now beginning to remember how to dream and aspire and be inspired again.

So, back to the beginning. This afternoon, He will tell me what he has decided: what kind of person he is, what his guiding principles are. And, he will tell me if he thinks what he has decided about himself will mesh with I have decided about myself, and if we can then begin to build a really good life together or if we will now say “good-bye” as significant others and “see ya later” as friends.

Whatever his decision, whatever the outcome, there will be Changes. And, as we all know from reading self-help books, Change is good. I could be gripped by fear right now because change is frightening, or I could be giddy with expectation if I knew there was going to be a positive outcome.

I am neither. I am.. here.. waiting, wondering. at times, scared, at times, hopeful. Until that moment he walks through my door, I will keep telling myself, “Change is Good.”

 

lemon tree, oh so pretty… August 23, 2009

… and the lemon flower is sweet”

After 3 or 4 years of hemming and hawing and thinking about it, this summer, I bought a lemon tree to put in a container on my patio. I thought long and hard because I wasn’t sure that a tree could grow in a container and because my patio doesn’t get much sun. I decided I’d thought about it long enough and I’d never know ’til I went ahead and did it. You can read a life lesson from that alone.

But, here’s the story of my lemon tree —
At first, I paid a lot of attention to the tree. The container is on wheels, so I’d move it from sunny spot to sunny spot to make sure it got its 8 hrs of sun a day – or close to it. I watered it daily and even sang my little song to it. The tree budded and flowered like crazy, then many little baby lemons began to grow, even as it continued to flower.

I was ecstatic, envisioning dozens of lemons for my autumn meals. Sadly, many of the little lemons never made it — dying and falling off the tree as fast as they grew in. Was I watering it too much? not enough? Was it getting enough sun or not enough? I didn’t know, and the more attention and care I gave it, the worse it got.

Then, July came around and I found out about the BF’s affair. Well.. I could barely take care of myself and my kid, much less a lemon tree. It was sadly neglected. It stopped flowering, all but three lemons died and dropped off, and the leaves began to turn yellow and drop off, too.

I felt a little guilty, but mostly, I decided that this was not the lemon tree owner I wanted to be, damnit! I was not gonna let this tree die because of either too much attention or too little. So, I bought some plant food (gotta love that MiracleGro!) and watered it to its roots one day and which I now do about weekly, with light waterings in between. I left it alone, no more moving around, and just let it… be.

Gosh darned if the little tree didn’t start sprouting a new set of leaves. I didn’t even notice at first. And, one hardy flower — just one, but as sweet smelling as a dozen would’ve been. The three fruit are still there and growing. There is new life to my little lemon tree — new, vibrant, hardy life.

That lovely, little lemon tree is a nice metaphor for my relationship with my Guy. You see, we have what the books call a “pursue-distance” relationship. The more I tried to get close to him and pay him attention, the more crowded in he felt, so the more he distanced himself away from me. In fact, he distanced to the point that he had an affair and added a “triangled relationship” into ours. And, given that our relationship was also one of “conflict,” having the affair only served to really blow our existing issues out of proportion.

In order to recover from this affair, he and I have been doing a lot of reading. Those terms, above, come from the book Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta M. Gilbert. It was recommended to us by the therapist, even before our first session, and is based on the Bowen theory of family systems.

The BF has read it four times; I’m almost through my second time. With the therapy, I think it’s helped us a lot. And, I do mean… a lot! He and I are now taking steps to detach ourselves from each other (the therapist said that we are hyper-fused) and become more self-actualized — more emotionally responsible (for ourselves) and independent. This is not an easy process and will be years long. Who knows if he and I will still be together. Heck… we haven’t decided if we’re together now. But, we’ve learned that we’ll not make that decision while we (either he or I) are emotional. Those decisions will be based on principles, both his and mine, separately.

I’m learning that I need to take care of myself and not hyper-focus on that lemon tree. Too much attention, and it can’t handle it. But, I do need to feed it enough water and food to grow. And… it definitely needs the space (to be left alone, I mean) to mature. I guess I should say, to be allowed to mature.

The lovely fruit we get from all this is that, no matter what the outcome of our relationship, we will each, as individuals, be happy. And, unlike the song, I think that is one sweet treat!