Falling Upwards

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one thing I can tell you is you got to be free… March 26, 2010

… come to together
right now
over me
— The Beatles

I haven’t posted in ages ‘cuz I thought I’d pretty much given up this blog. This cyber-world had become a place for me to vent and re-create myself. I, now, no longer really need to vent –the anger is almost all gone — and, I’ve been working internally and with awareness to transform myself into a truer Me. That being said, I’ve often thought of posting if only to share the wonderful books, blogs and websites I’ve come across in my journey to Self. So, I’ve decided to share what I’ve found. They’ll make for shorter posts, which makes for easier reading. yay! 🙂

Today I’m reading, and recommend, Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist. This book is considered to be ground-breaking and a classic.

Granted, I’m no longer in a relationship, but had I known the concepts introduced in this book a couple years ago, the Ex and I would probably still be together, and in a loving, truly committed relationship. (My Ex says the same.) And, in reading this book and understanding its concepts, I know it will help me in future relationships. As with some of the other books I’ve recommended, Passionate Marriage goes deep into the concept of “differentiation.”

Warning — the author does get very explicit with some of his patients’ sexual acts and sexuality. Also, this book is over 400 pages. But, hey… the time investment is well worth saving your relationship, right?

Here’s the link to Amazon for this book.

More posts and references to inspiring and helpful books, blogs, websites and podcasts can be found in my category “resources.”

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quote February 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — frannymarie @ 10:47 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Haven’t posted in quite a while… so much has gone on. But, I just read this and thought I’d share (one of the many stages of healing, I guess).

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. ” — Maya Angelou

 

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!