Change…The Greatest Teacher…

Listen to this song and…think about where you are now, where you were yesterday and where you want to be tomorrow? Would you change to get there, to be a different person, a better person. It is up to us, to facilitate our rebirth. Life and the universe will give us abundant choices and some will be easy, but mostly they will be hard, tear us apart, break us and bring us to our knees; But there will also be joy, kisses, friends, smiles and laughter, reaching out to pull you close as you sleep, to teach us that we can love and be loved. Life…our teacher, bringing us people to mirror our growth so that we can find our belief in ourselves; to see the deeper truth of who we are, what we are destined for. Look for the signs that the universe gives you, the gifts it bestows on all of us. Be aware and open to seeing them, feeling them, being a part of the immense power of beauty and spiritual energy that is in all of us. The connection we all have in this life is the ability of love, to empathize, to offer understanding and compassion. The more we give love, the more we get love in return for it is an ever flowing and abundant fountain.

This year has brought me to an awareness of my gifts, my abilities that I tried for so long to hide, to be ashamed of, pieces of me to hate. I am now learning to see my gifts as ways of connection, empathy, compassion, and healing. To be aware of the gifts of the universe in the huge smile of the little boy as he waves to a complete stranger, in the baby squirrels stealing walnuts out of the tree, and the little girl who walks up to me to touch my hand and say hi. Those gentle and genuine smiles, offers of connection on our most basal levels. I am learning that holding on to things, people, ways of thinking, control is the chaos we inadvertently cause to disrupt our path. The lesson of the phoenix, who rises out of complete destruction, out of the ashes to become new, is one that I am learning in this lifetime. Seek and you shall see, surrender and you will flow in the path the universe has destined to you.

I have found my voice, this gift inside of me that was hidden so deep, locked away to be found through the loss of self. This destruction does not have to be as painful as mine, but I was holding on so tightly to what I thought I needed to be secure, old and outdated ways of thinking.  Security in love as we are told to have, the job and status that brings us money and pride. When in reality is just our belief in ourselves, in others, the connections we give and receive, the lessons we learn and teach; The people we love and leave behind, the loves of our life and the heartbreaks, it is all the birth and the death of self. These are the things that truly matter, the connections we made, the empathy we gave, the hand we held and the arms we hugged with.

One of my favorite movies is Jacob’s ladder. This quote from the movie summarizes my year for me so well that I had to share it:

“The only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that won’t let go of your life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they’re not punishing you, they’re freeing your soul. If you’re frightened of dying… and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. If you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels freeing you from the earth.” 

I will change, I am leaving behind the person I was, I am letting go of my attachments, releasing those that no longer serve a purpose, no longer build me up, no longer bring love and support. I will utilize this change to heal, to start fresh, to be who I was always destined to be…Who are you destined to be…

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Heart in a Box…

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This Post is dedicated to my tribe of one here in Portland, the Thelma to my Louise, the LaVerne to my Shirley…Nanc-Pants who without I would probably be dirty, real smelly and hanging out under a bridge like an angry troll. I wrote the poem below a few months ago but I kept changing it and adding to it, and probably I still will. I want to touch on our lessons, the lessons of learning that what we give out to the universe, give to others, do for others, we must realize we will not always get the same in return. Humans, we are a hard bunch, the inabilities of some are the strengths of others. Some will never have the kindness, compassion or empathy that we posses, others will never be emotionally mature or available, and still others, will just be, well…assholes. We always have the choice to continue, or to give up. My hope is that giving up is not in our vocabulary, that we don’t let any of our past stop us from living; we all learn to let go of the ghosts that swim in our heads, haunt our hearts and as we look inside we find inner strength and the beauty that lies within. Crazy as we all are sometimes, remember that “there is a fine line between sanity and insanity when it comes to love and war”, and I know this personally.  So we get up, brush ourselves off and we go on, we lie to ourselves until it becomes truth; that hollowness will become a lesson, a deep one, this is my promise to you.


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HEART IN A BOX

This heart

in a box

Loved so fiercely with such force

It broke  in two

Pain like ice then fire

Drowning within

 

This heart in a grave

Bury it

you who broke me with all your worth

Lovers becoming, become strangers
Screaming in my head

Moving within the realm of darkness

Even empty hearts give off light

 

Scars unable to heal

Rippling and Rough

Transformations of what is within

without we will perish

Light is a factor of darkness

 

Touch me, love me, fight for me

Hate me, leave me, break me

Breathe is taken, pain is the gift

What is whole is broken, what is broken is whole

 

Darkness

Light  the absence of all

The mirror reflects what is becoming

The ghosts of what we have been

The ghosts of those we have loved

 

The arrow, piercing, lessons learned

Perfect love to cast out fear

The soul is rising, ashes and dust

Growth is a factor of pain

Lessons of the trees

Forgiveness

life and friendships…

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Skip was my first friend, he was much much more than a friend though he became my better than blood brother. Our moms were pregnant with us at the same time so we were destined to be friends, even before we were born. We went to preschool together, grew up together, junior high and high school, first loves and heartbreaks, he taught me how to drive his dads car, an old Ford LTD. He tried to teach me to drive a stick, but that didn’t work out too well . When he died in 2010, I felt both sadness for me and relief for him. I watched him fade, slowly becoming a ghost, the shadow of the healthy man he was to a skeleton who cried in his hospital bed because he couldn’t eat the in-n-out burger and shake I had brought him. I remember vividly breaking down outside his room, so angry that life wasn’t fair, this was not the way our lives were supposed to turn out. We were supposed to be friends till we were old, matching rocking chairs, grumpy and cackling together. But life doesn’t give us what we want, often it just gives us what is, even when its heart wrenching, breaks us, takes away the thing or person we love the most, it sucks so bad sometimes and I still don’t have the answers. It took me almost four years to watch the DVD they gave out of him, I think part of me felt that when I finally did it would mean he was truly gone, that he would never again make me laugh so hard till I peed. I miss him when its warm at night and the sky is full of stars, when I yearn for that friend who knows you better than you know yourself, I miss him often.

I have had a thousand friendships in my life, some came and went like a cool spring breeze, others left like icy winter wind, and a select few stood the test of time and life; Solid foundations that became family. This year I have been working on letting go of  guilt, guilt of lost past friends, ones who did me wrong, or ones I had wronged in some way. I couldn’t hold onto that guilt anymore, it was heavy and I couldn’t carry it all.  I also found my tribe, the few who stood firmer than others, in my train wreck of a life here in Portland. When I was falling apart here, a few people became my rock, my strength when I had none. The day I broke and took myself to the ER, the day I call falling into the rabbit hole, I had never felt so alone in my entire life, so broken and hopeless. But a small handful of friends (and a great therapist) helped me through this dark time. I am still struggling but without the few who were honest and strong with me I would not be here, I would not have been able to get back up. Love is like that, it loves us even when we are unlovable, it gives us strength when ours is lost, it sees our truth when we lie to ourselves, it hugs us when we just cant get up and it forces us sometimes harshly to get the fuck out of bed and deal with it. I carry a small piece of each of them in my heart, and when I start to falter or shake I hear their voices pushing me on, some louder than others…

My therapist tonight looked sad as I was leaving her office. We had been talking about the pieces of myself that I had grown up learning to hate. I told her of the anxiety and guilt that I had and how so often after going out or hanging out with certain people I would go over and over in my head to make sure I didn’t offend, or talk too much or was too loud and she called that self policing. She told me these thoughts and memories of myself gave her such heaviness and such grief . That she has never seen those things in me, that instead she saw so many beautiful strong funny parts to me that I cannot see, that are instead clouded as negatives causing such sadness in me. She looked like she might cry and in that moment I was filled with such strong emotion. These were words that as I was growing up should have come out of my moms mouth. We should all be told we are special and unique and beautiful. I cant even imagine the kind of person I would have become if I had been told differently growing up. I am proud of who I am, but imagine the strength if I had been taught to love myself instead of hating. For me as a teenager these words instead came from the mouth of my friend Lisa’s mom, Patti P!! She always made me feel special for my “personality”.  I will forever cherish that, being loved for who I was, wholeheartedly. I hope that every little girl has a Patti P in her life, that when she is called bossy, intense, loud, or talkative, that there will be another to instead call her strong and passionate and tell her she has depth and to be proud of these qualities. If we were all told to love ourselves from a young age, imagine how the world would be…