The Commitment

A couple days ago, I had what I thought would be my last phone call with my life coaching group. I had told them a month ago that our Wednesday afternoon time slot was not working for me so I would have to leave the group if we couldn’t change it to another time. Well… after much discussion (some of it quite emotional), we didn’t change the time. And, I’m not leaving the group.

You see … after a month of trying to figure something out, with some of the ladies expressing that they’d be very sad not only for me but for themselves were I to leave the group, two of them spoke up with a bit of anger and annoyance towards me. They felt frustration; that my excuses for not being able to re-arrange my schedule to accomodate a standing, weekly engagement was just that — excuses.  They felt they were getting an ultimatum from me but no commitment. And, though I felt a twinge of hurt, I wasn’t offended at all nor did I take it personally. Because… they were right.

In the months we’ve been having our conference call sessions, the last 10 minutes of this call taught me the most about myself and my life.  Heck, maybe it taught me about life in general.

I realized that were I to make a definite commitment to being in the group, that were I to make it a priority in my life to participate in those calls, all those conflicts I said I had would begin to fall away. I realized that the Universe would shape around me, my desires, my goals so that I can my commitment.

After all, if we want something bad enough, we make it happen, right? Even if our goals aren’t accomplished the first time around, we keep trying, push past the failure, until we get what we want, or something that is better.

“We go from pimps to prophets, liars to logic
Zoo to drug abusers, survivors of the projects
My mind sets to clarity, predicting me well
A sign past the tragedy, commitment to self”

A conscious breakthrough I had in that group “meeting” is that I’ve been hesitant to make any kinds of commitments in my life these past few years. I can make excuses like (yes, this is the one that popped up in my head immediately) I’m unconsciously waiting for a great change to occur what with the 2012 shift coming and all… but, really? how’s change supposed to occur if we don’t consciously make the effort for it?

“I will live my life full of conscious
I’ll be the god amongst monsters
I’ll exercise more often
I’ll walk my talk and keep talking”

And, day after day, while I sit here at my computer desk trolling through Facebook and dating sites while watching t.v. and just baffled by the fact that I get nothing done and my house is a mess and why can’t I find time for myself and my kid…. gah! and, duh! I had made no absolute commitments – to helping my son with his college apps, to losing the 10 lbs. I gained this summer, to getting my home in working order, to really, really making a go of my business (which is gonna be my only livelihood in less than a year). I think about those things, but I didn’t, in my heart, commit to making those things happen.

And, why? Well… my inner shrink tells me I have a fear of failure (I was diagnosed with it in college). And, there it is again — fear. Now that I know what it is, now that I’m aware of it, I can change — my outlook, my actions, my verbiage even. I can create, or re-create, the reality around me.

“In the midst of the risk we became better people
Life is a movie, I’m a change the sequel
We owe it to ourselves, evolve out of Hell
Even for my folks behind bars in the cell
Stay well, it’s still a challenge
Reflect upon greatness, embrace it to your balance
Ultimate awareness comes from when you seek the truth
See, life is a journey, plans and patience
Know that you’re worthy, transformation
Manifestation of creation as we know it
Red’ll rip redundant abomination of culprits
The life they giving you is all subliminal
Now we must commit and take back our principles
Turn hate to satisfaction, anger into action
Greed into giving and passive into passion”

The lyrics above say it perfectly. I’m changing my story, my sequel. Do it with me … come on… change your reality, change our reality. Make the commitment. I have.

The Commitment – by Sabac Red

I have died everyday waiting for you

“…Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
for a thousand years
I will love you for a thousand more.”
—Christina Perri

Last night I saw my “soul friend” (I’ll call him “Milo”) for the first time again in a year. There was no hug, no hello, no good-bye. And, he tried his very best not to talk to me, though we were seated half a table away from each other. Just the thought of it now makes me sad. Last April, he’d made the very difficult decision to stop talking to me. He thought our friendship was hurting everyone around us. The only time he broke his silence was to reprimand me for gossiping, or so he thought it was me feeding his girlfriend (ex, at this point) lies about the two of us. It was causing her hurt. Never mind the pain it caused me to be accused of something like that…

Two weeks ago, I had sent him a final email telling him that I will love him for the rest of my life; that, whenever he feels lonely, he only needs to remember that there’s someone out there (here) who carries love for him and sends it to him, energetically, daily. Two weeks ago, I had “abnormal cells” that might have been pre-cancerous. Last week, after surgery to cut out those cells and knowing I had done everything to I could to complete my karma with Milo, I erased his number from my cell and archived the hundreds of emails. I think both the surgery and my actions were physical ways to wipe the slate clean.

“…How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall..”

Last night, as I was sitting at that dinner table, trying to assess my feelings and still give off positive feelings to my friends and son around me, I got a sad text from my sister. She had just had a very difficult conversation with the man she had just started dating and who she obviously (to me) had already fallen in love with. Turns out he decided he doesn’t want children. And, my sister has been trying to have a child (even before she met him). His feeling is that they do not continue the relationship because it would prevent more pain in the future. If she succeeds in getting pregnant, that would be the deal breaker for him and… what if… what if he, and she, are more attached at that point. There would be a lot of pain.

Why are we all so afraid?

Last night, I made a conscious decision to go to that dinner. I did not want to skip out on spending time with my friends (and all-you-can-eat bulgogi) because I was afraid of my reactions and being around one of the guests. If, at the last moment, it didn’t feel right to me, then fine… I would have left. But, I did not want Fear to make my decision for me ahead of time.

Why would this man my sister is seeing make a decision to cut short their possibility for happiness now because he’s afraid they may both be hurt later on? It is already inevitable. We hurt those we love, we are hurt by those we love… sometimes, there’s a happy ending, sometimes the ending sucks. But, in between it all, there is that wonderous, beautiful time. And, that love may still exist afterwards. What’s so bad about knowing that someone loves you, and you return that love, even if you cannot be together?

Does it take the possibility of having cancer for people to value the time they have? Life is so short. Tomorrow, I may… well, I may not have a tomorrow.  So, let me love you for today, for this moment.

“…Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this
One step closer…

I have died every day waiting for you.
Darling don’t be afraid
I have loved you
for a thousand years
I’ll love for a thousand more.”

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

“How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone ?” — Bob Dylan

My new year starts in mid-December, on my birthday… my new year of life. For most everyone else, it started two days ago, on the 1st of January. Everyone is excited about all the new possibilities, leaving any difficulties and failures behind.. a new year, a new life, new opportunities…

I made my resolutions and started living them. I figured out my motivating words for the year: dogged determination and discipline. I was, and am, totally excited about what 2012 will bring, not only for myself, but for our society as a whole (I mean…gosh.. I subscribe to the “new age” understanding that this year will be one of raised energies, etc.).

Then yesterday morning, I had an interesting dream. I dreamt of my late husband, something that only happens when something really sad is about to happen. We were walking hand-in-hand when I had a overwhelming feeling. I beckoned to him to come closer then, very hesitantly, whispered, “I love you.” It felt like I didn’t really want him to know it or that I didn’t want to admit it. He said, “I love you, too” which was nice, but I thought, “I don’t want him to say this just because I did.”

What an odd dream. In my half-awake state, I tried to figure it out because… it was my husband, and of course I loved him. Why the hesitation? At this point, my phone beeped with a text message, but I decided to ignore it and go back to sleep and back into my dream.

It was my neighbor texting me. She had found my cat’s collar and… tail.
This cat adopted me, and my patio, as her family and home. She’s a feral cat, a survivor living in our complex for years, from a kitten. She lived on our patio, and I fed her, for at least a year before I got attached. For over a year, I refused to acknowledge her as “my cat” (even though I named her), telling neighbors she was a stray. Refused to buy things for her, had her eating out of a broken Tupperware. My neighbor bought her a bed, a little house, blankets, a dish… I jokingly said she was my neighbor’s cat living on my patio.

Well, I got really attached to that darned beautiful, black cat with the expressive yellow eyes. I said she was a perfect witch’s cat. I don’t like cats. I’m a dog person. But Micah (My-Cat) wanted attention like a dog. She met me at my car when I drove up and walked me to it when I left. She walked me to the mailboxes (a block and a half away) when I got the mail. She “conversed” with me through my screen door, asking for company, for love. And, I gave it to her. I begrudgingly (at first) gave her love. After all, every living thing, no matter its circumstance, needs love.

What kind of way is this to start a new year? How cruel that she should die (and horribly, at that, taken by a coyote) just when we finally acknowledge her as a part of our family and acknowledged our love for her? But, I guess, more importantly, the question is not ‘why did she die’ but ‘what lessons am I to take from her life, from having her in my life and knowing her’?

There are always so many lessons to take from a death:
– practice non-attachment
– live each day as if it were your last
– cherish every moment you have with your loved ones

other lessons I took from knowing Micah?
Keep an open heart so that love can enter it, in whatever form.
No regrets. I cannot think “I should’ve let her live inside” because she was a free spirit, and I had to honor that.
and, That Spirit (Micah’s and John’s, my late husband) is with us, part of us, always.

I know that, as I go through my grieving process (I’m crying as I write this), I will find more lessons… right now, I’m just grateful.. for the opportunity to give that beautiful kitty a better life than she would’ve otherwise had. I’m grateful that the little wild thing let me love her. I’m grateful for the past year Micah was in our lives.

I guess it’s great and all to look forward to new opportunities ahead. But, it’s just as important to look behind, with lots of gratitude and understanding of lessons learned.

Here’s to you Micah … wherever you are (kitty heaven?).
And, here’s to the rest of you out there.. that, whatever 2012 brings you, you will always find the goodness and the love in every experience and relationship the year brings.

blue skies…smiling at meeee….

..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

I am Woman, hear me roar

Last night, I went to a good acquaintance’s house (I think she and I need to hang out more to be considered friends). Four of us women: two of us recently split, two happily married for over 16 years.

The divorcee and I are good friends. She has really been there for me since the beginning of the end of my relationship. She herself asked for a divorce from her spouse over a year ago, when she finally decided that she could no longer live a life that clashed with her principles. Her husband had been having emotional affairs the entire 20 years of their marriage. It was supposedly “ok” because they had never been taken to the physical level.

The other two women were spouse-less for the evening. One told us of how she and her husband got to know each other as pen-pals before he went to Hungary to meet, then propose to, her. A true love story. The other woman made mention, during certain points of the conversation, of how she was now digging herself out of her self-constructed hole. She had lost her home in San Diego’s Witch Creek fire two years ago, and we sat there in her freshly constructed, newly decorated replacement dream home. She had needed the quiet time of self-imposed reclusiveness to … well, recover, I suppose.

It was an evening taken out of a movie — a “girls’ night in” evening in which the characters got insights into each others’ lives and caught glimpses of each others’ true selves. And, as I watched our scene and listened to the stories, a feeling of immense gratitude came over me. Here I sat with three amazingly strong women. Each incredibly courageous in her own way: in rebuilding a life for her and her family, in pursuing a new life in a new land, in leaving a life that was emotionally destructive.

I briefly wondered how it was that these women came into my life, at this time, when I needed to remember the equally strong and courageous woman I have been in the past. But, I know in my heart, God/the Universe/Source…whatever you wanna call the Almighty Being that connects us…has reason for everything. People come and go in our lives to teach us and support us. And, we are in their lives as teachers, too, whether or not we know it.

And,… I feel grateful.

As a side note on resources and the concept of people in our lives for a reason, you can google “soul contracts.” Also, a book I recommend in a previous post is Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential by Caroline Myss.

Left Unfinished

“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.