The Evolution of Energy….

pic5The collective and universal energy that is within all of us is what connects us. The world is ever-changing, evolving and we need to participate in this evolution if we want to continue our soul growth. When we feel connected to something we make an effort to be a part of that which we are a piece. Forgiveness is a part of this collective consciousness and has been on my mind lately, forgiveness of others, of myself. This is not a post of loss, though in order to understand the healing and lessons we have to understand the hurt and pain that brought them. So it may seem to start off with loss but it will end with hope…so it begins…the journey…pic4

I look back at where I was a year ago and even where it all started a year and a half ago. I remember starting 2015 off with such hope, filled with endless possibilities. I had a complicated relationship with my father but I still had a father, a car I loved, a new job, a new city, a best friend, a boyfriend who loved to hold my hand.  I had a grey fur baby with fur so soft I never got enough of smooshing my face into it as I woke up. All good things come to an end, for we cannot hold onto forever…then I  see myself curled in the shower broken with loss, for where there was hope was now empty. I no longer had a father, a boyfriend, a car, my friend of 20 years or that soft grey fur to cry into. I can smell the soap, and feel the coldness of the tiles on my face, the memory is so vivid. That shower became a place of tears and screams and so symbolically I cleansed my soul as I washed my hair. I sang the same songs over and over, pathetically holding on to what was no longer mine. I was sick….with loss.

Then 2016, now this year I started with hopes of healing, it had to better, it just had to be, and by some accounts it was; but it was also an extension of the loss and lessons of 2015. I had gained a new car through the loss of my father and though I lost some friends I gained a few amazing ones. I still had one parent but then my mother had a stroke, and then radiation and that fear it brought to the surface of losing another parent forced me to make peace with so many issues that had lived within my heart with her. I had to find peace in order to survive. pic3

So the realization came that in order for me to find that true internal peace, to find my center, my truth I had to really delve deep and come face to face with lots of shitty deeply hidden trauma, pains, heartbreaks, loss, and parts of myself that I needed to face and work on. Control we learn is based on fear and well let’s say this about me…I had a shit ton of fear… so I tried to control lots and lots of things, circumstances, people, myself, my surroundings, you get the point. That does not make for super healthy relationships, or healthy anything but it can alienate. So I went to therapy, I meditated on it, I wrote about it and I started to heal it.

I learned that through loss we can become more open, maybe it is because we have empty pieces of ourselves we are trying to fill or maybe its because we are at such a point that we feel we have nothing left to lose and so we search for an answer, any answer for the loss to make sense.  Whatever the reason I think that often we become more open to being connected to the whole, the need to feel connected to something, what some call the soul consciousness, god, the goddess, but what I call the universal energy. pic1

I have gained so much, amazing people, self-acceptance, self-love, forgiveness, and so much acceptance and love from the universe that it inspired me to want to do for others this same thing. I realized that what had seemed so important to me last year just did not taste the same, or seem as relevant, the meanings were lost or changed. My degree’s, my job, material things these are just things and we cannot take them with us when we leave this existence. What we need is to find those things that make our hearts soar, the love and passion that make our knees weak, the things we love the most we should put our energy into and not the negative or the things we fear. For as that old saying goes what we feed is what will grow. I am hopeful that at this time next year my life will be so different, and I am embracing change instead of running from it. I am looking at the loss of my job as an opening for a new adventure.  Human connection, spiritual connection, we all need this so that we can heal as a collective, grow as a collective and love as a collective. This is just the beginning…Join me on this quest, leave me comments and let us connect so that we may learn, grow, and heal together. Let us all figure out a way to feed the beast of love and starve the beast of hate, anger, and deception. Love and Light….magic-2

The Art of Toxic love…

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“Someday my pain, Someday my pain will mark you”-Bon Iver

This week I have been pondering toxic love, the relationships with of those who stay together in a unhealthy pattern of chaos. We all have these friends, parents or even been part of this couple ourselves. Loving someone else is hard, really fucking hard. It may start out as a blissful I don’t mind your quirks, your so funny, I can’t stop kissing you kind of love but then it will eventually fall into a few categories. The we are so comfortable and happy kind of love, the you annoy the hell out of me but I still love you kind, or the I love you so much that I will accept any kind of love you give me and this is the one I want to talk about today. Why do we sometimes stay with someone or force them to stay with us because “we” love them. I have often seen people, even some friends who are in  these kind of unhealthy toxic relationships knowing the truth deep down. I know relationships are hard work and require constant effort, good communication and open and honest dialogues to grow together; but so often these needs are glossed over.   IMG_2208

I too have thought this way in my past, loved someone so much that I just wanted them to stay, no matter the consequences;  knowing deep down that it wasn’t in either of our best interest or that the other person was not in it 100%. Sometimes love is so fierce and powerful that it overtakes us. The need to be loved is so strong in all of us,  we all want to be loved, accepted and wanted; but when this need overrides our truth and our best interest we have reached a critical point in our soul growth . I see people who stay with another because they have been “worn down” to stay, heard others comment on how its just easier to stay with someone than to deal with their crazy behavior when they break up. I am so baffled by this, that a person would rather live an unhappy half-life because its “easier”, yet so many people walk away from really amazing connections and relationships because they didn’t want to put the effort a truly great and loving relationship requires. Its so ironic to me, they are both cowardly excuses, but why do some people leave so easily while others stay even when its unhealthy. pic 2

This is a question that I have been really meditating on, is it the person, is it the relationship itself, the other person. What makes someone selfishly want someone to stay, because truly that is what it is selfish knowing that the other person really is not happy; instead of seeing the truth they allow themselves to be in a delusion state of acceptance. Why is it ok to accept this kind of love, what makes someone stay when they do not love the other anymore, just losing themselves within the chaos. I know that this is deeper than just this post, for it blends with my other one about self-worth and self love. If we knew our own power we would not need to rely on another to fill the voids. So it seems that maybe its two peoples low self worth that both wants and needs to stay in this type of an unhealthy behavior pattern. Its the dance of delusion, wanting to believe something so badly that we make ourselves see what we want instead of what is.

 

pic3Love sometimes is more powerful than we give it credit for.  I know there are so many reasons why people stay: loneliness, need, the kids, religion, but whatever it is I hope that they can find a way to be honest with their own heart. Toxic relationships do so much more damage when we stay. They hurt not just the two people in it but the kids or families or sometimes friends that are swirled into the storm. I am too trying to learn that leaving is sometimes love. That in itself is the powerful sentence here that culminates this post!! “Sometimes Leaving IS love”

Maybe I write all of these posts as my own healing and growth but just maybe they will find their way to people who need them. Like the scent of the first blossoms of spring, lingering in the air finding their way into your senses. Whatever the reason I will still keep writing, even if it is just for me…

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Questioning Our Worth…

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I have been meditating and thinking about the subject of our own worth. I wonder why it is so easy for so many to determine our worth based on another. We get into relationships, be it friendships, lovers, co-workers and we will not always have happy endings to these. People hurt each other, betray each other and leave each other, that is part of life. When we are the ones being hurt, betrayed and left we are often left to wonder what we did, what was wrong with us, why did this happen to me. I was recently driving to work and a flash of my last relationship hit me and my first thought was sadness and what was wrong with me that it ended the way it did. I then wondered why was I thinking this way, why was I taking into me the totality of a relationship that was between two people. Why was I basing my worth on the ending of a relationship that was not all my fault, nor what I wanted.worth_2

It is this question that I think we should all meditate on as we pass through a universal energy that is asking us to delve deeper into ourselves to heal, let go and quit letting our wounds control our worth. We have the power to stop thinking a certain way, we all carry this power within ourselves but we often forget. Often it is a loved one, friend or even a new lover who reminds us that we are beautiful and worthy of love, helping us to see our own worth again. I wish that every human would not intentionally hurt another living breathing soul but I know this is not reality. I do know though that we can each do our part to push this healing energy to the forefront and thus allowing it to be felt and used by others. Build a bridge inside of yourself and cross that ocean of all of those shattered dreams, broken hearts, inner demons, deep wounds and move on. If we can learn to love through our pain and grief we have opened our hearts when it was the hardest to do so, but this is when true growth starts. I know how hard it is to get up and move on, for this is my biggest lesson. Letting go and moving on is not in my vocabulary, I hold on for dear liferumi-suresh.

Memories can sometimes be our most powerful tool or our own undoing, this is our choice. I often wonder why my relationships did not work, why certain friendships ended and I can dwell in these memories but I do not allow myself to stay there or I know I will never leave. I have met people who cannot leave their past or people behind, they live in these memories, dreams and in a reality of their own creation. For some this is a form of self, a way to survive but I would never advise someone to live this half-life. Reality is often ugly and harsh but it can also be beautiful and full of magic. I am working daily on inner peace, what it is, what it means to me and how I can better myself, become a healthier happier me. I realize that like everything in life nothing that is easy is ever worth it.

I am often blessed by the universe with amazing people that are often put in my path at the exact moment I need them or they need me. It is a gift that I think is bestowed on many, but is often overlooked. I think if we all try to be more aware and conscious of life and ourselves, our inner truths that we can then become more connected to the whole. I struggle on a daily basis with my emotions, sometimes I let them take me back to that dark place and let them guide me to healing. Some days I lose and I can’t get out of bed, I mourn the people I lost, I dwell on my mistakes, I feel less than and worthless, I view the world as a scary and hurtful place; but there are many days where I win the war, battle by battle with sadness, anxiety and depression. I try to make people laugh, to see the best in the world. Every day is a new opportunity to win!!

So you see our worth does not have to be so difficult to find, for it was within us all the time, hidden in that deep part we hide. Let it out, let it soar, do not let others define it, do not define yourself by others, let your heart define you, your courage, your passion, your beauty, LOVE…let that define you…

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“Love… is everywhere but V-Day”

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Since its that time that many people are scrambling to buy chocolates and flowers as a way to express their dying devotion to another or else scrambling to find a last minute date to prove they are not the loser they feel they must be since they are still single; well I feel inclined to write a post about love as it is to me. To all this I say, guess what…you are missing the entire concept of loving both yourself and another. It should not take one day to prove your worth or worthlessness or your devotion to another. These are things that should be done continuously and with purpose of growing and evolving with another. Even if you are single this is what we should all be working towards for the purpose of the future so you are whole for your future mate, your growth and evolution must come first so that you are 100%. Our worth should not be based on opening a card, eating a box of candy or smelling the flowers. It should be based on our truth, our passion, loves, our strength and our character. Dating is hard, and as we get into this internet age its even harder to find that person to connect to, that said when you find that person who you have that electrical connection, who makes you stir with passion and you cant stop holding their hand or kissing them, keep them. Work at it, step up and be an active member in your relationship. Don’t give up when its hard, don’t quit on the other person, the best things in life come with work and that goes for love as well.

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It takes courage to love, it takes strength and patience but it also takes giving a fuck about another human being and their wants, desires and feelings. I have seen so much selfishness lately in love and dating, cowardliness, running away, deception and its debilitating to my soul. We should not be in this world to see what we can take from each other, what we can manipulate someone into giving us or what we can acquire from another. We should be here to give to each other, to teach, learn, grow and evolve ultimately through love. It is through connections that we grow, and though these connections may not last forever we should learn to leave them with the grace and love just as we entered into them. My hope is that if love fades and we leave it is done with kindness, so that what is carried within is good positive karma. Leaving is never easy, not for the person being left nor the person doing the leaving but if we leave with cruelty, anger and vengeance that leaves another broken we are acquiring that karma that will be carried until it has been worked through, a crappy karmic circle. Who wants to carry all that shitty karma, why not just have the balls to talk and be honest and leave the other person with a sense of closure. We should give to another what they deserve from us, and in that we would also get from them what we too deserve. It is not a one way street, upon giving we are receiving, its not so tricky as it may seem. It is not as elusive as we all sometimes perceive it to be. In taking you are only taking, in loving you are both giving and receiving love back from the greater energy that is in all of us.

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I am most proud of always trying, of having strength to not run away from love, friends, or jobs. Ok sometimes I was a stupid asshole that held on tenaciously when I should have jut let it free…but we are all sometimes weak and ultimately will walk away from something, and sometimes this is done in our best interest. It is my hope that when this is done, it is done with kindness and not with anger or revenge so that we will all grow just a little in our spectrum of energy. Imagine if we all did this, what a huge growth of goodness would come of this. We are not here to be broken but to heal and work towards wholeness; but life is life and we are often broken, shattered humans walking around trying to find a piece to fit inside of us. Thinking that it is another that will ultimately make us happy, to fulfill our lives. What we should be looking for someone to compliment us not to complete us, and often this is confused. “you complete me” is total bullshit, you are you and should complete yourself, love yourself enough to not need the love but instead want it in your life. We should not have to save or heal our partners to love us, we should never settle for less than we deserve, for those half-loves, broken promises, dreams left undone, love left unsaid kind of love.

We reap what we sow, we get what we give, our lessons will be given until we learn, our karma will be with us until we work through it. Life is short, we never know when we may go to that great gig in the sky so be kind, love fiercely and with hope, without fear and regrets, these are what I want for all of us. Look for that someone that makes you laugh, that makes your heart flip flop at the mere sight of them, that ignites passion deep inside of you. The person who wants to be better for you not because of you. Love everyday and not just on some crappy holiday that tells us to. Happy un-valentines day my fellow humans….

WTF…On Dating…

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Dating, truly it is such a shit show, its definitely not the good ole’ days where you go out and actually meet people in real life, instead its swipe left swipe right. In my twenties I had so many opportunities to meet people, in my college classes, through friends. Now at 40 the options are either POF, OK Cupid, or gag…Tinder. Over the years I have my own funny dating nightmare stories. So here it is world, WTF is wrong with dating, Some of my funny shitty stories for all of you out there to not feel so alone in the crapfest that is dating haha!!

So my first time online dating, I was in Grad School and tried E-Harmony for a month, big no huge mistake haha… you are not allowed to pick people or even see them until you have gone through all of these questions and emails then boom up pops a picture of a 400 lb guy, who lives at home with his mother, Not Cool, Noooot Cooool. My first and only date from this website was with a guy who had really good pictures, seemed like he had his shit together. As I was sitting in the restaurant waiting I looked up and in walks my own Seinfeld moment.  This guy had little hands and I mean tiny like the guy with the baby hands in that damn Burger King Commercial. They were so small and delicate that I think I threw up in my mouth when he tried to reach for my hands, ugh.

While living  in Guerneville I dated probably the only straight single guy in the entire town and he ended up being a hoarder, and when he came to pick me up I couldn’t even see out the back window of his car, and had to sit on half of the front seat (needless to say I used A LOT of hand sanitizer when I got home, A LOT) and his nails OMG I still am trying to figure out what was wrong with them, nutritional deficiency, half demon? EPIC FAIL.

Then I move to the beautiful bay area, and my dating life became rich with WTF’s. One guy showed up and he was not just short, but shorter than me and I am 5′ 2″, so his 5′ 7″ was a complete lie, but worse he was as wide as he was tall, can we say Myspace Angles!! He then proceeded to tell me how he was upset with his ex-wife who was taking his unemployed ass back to court so she did not have to pay him Palimony anymore (His Ex was a nurse, working her ass off and he claimed he was saving her so much money babysitting their child, um saying that your babysitting your own child means your an asshole). Also rule #1, don’t talk about how you are a sorry ass loafer on a first date, probably a sure sign that there will not be a date #2.   I had to just get up, shake my head and walk away from that one.

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Another date was with a guy with a tiny eye, maybe it was just lazy I don’t know but I just focused on the other one, (I know i’m an asshole). He seemed nice and had a great job at Amy’s Organic. I picked an Italian place by my house where the food turned out to be pretty terrible.  When the check came he said since I picked it and it was terrible he thought it was only right I pay the tab, um are you shitting me, no he was not, Neeext. On to a super hot firefighter guy seemed like a huge plus plus until he showed up at the bar he picked to meet at, then said he didn’t drink could we go to Starbucks for coffee, sure not a problem let me close my tab. Then when we get to Starbucks he proceeds to read the paper while I sit at the table and ignore me for an entire half-hour, well that is where I had to just get up and walk away, what an absolute tool. It is times like this I want to just tell them if they wonder why they are still single, well…its because your an asshole. Then there was the guy who was actually kind of cute with lots of tattoos but then when our bill comes he says he forgot his debit card, so I had to pay for the dinner and drinks. This was not necessarily the worst part, that came when we were leaving and he asks if we can continue our date and go to a bar, um you have no money so your pretty much asking me to continue to pay for your night out, yeah that’s a negative.

The Worst though was probably the guy who showed up an hour late (I know I know, never again will I wait more than 15 minutes). He then asks me to drive him to a local spot (he had a buddy drop him off, again I know huge red flag). So I drive to my local Irish pub and we sit down at the end of the bar. Since this is a regular hang-out of mine I know the bartender and we are girls so we are chatty. I order a cider, he proceeds to order about 3 double jack and cokes to my cider and turns to me, puts his legs on my chair and says to me that he doesn’t think we are connecting.  We seem too different but that he still thinks I’m hot so how about we hit up the hotel across the street and get naked. I think for once in my life I was speechless, mouth hanging open speechless.  Um yeah, that’s not gonna happen, not in this lifetime or the next. He then gets up and moves to the middle of the bar to charge his phone, and starts playing angry birds, so the bartender starts talking to me about a fellow regular who had just past away. I try to include my absolute mess of a date and he turns and glares at me, saying “are you talking to me? Because it looks like you are talking to her, so are you talking to me?” then he throws his drink and gets up, says “fuck this shit” and walks out. Worst part is he leaves me with his tab, and I did not have enough money to cover all of his drinks. Needless to say,  all the regulars laughed about that complete mess of a date for quite some time.

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Now on to the shitty act of being ghosted, I mean come on to me this is just plain ole fucked-up people who have no idea of closure. I was reading an article about it and I loved what it sais about people who Ghost their Exes: “A person who has a pattern of in-completions in their connections with other people accumulates emotional baggage, maybe even shame, and a loss of self-respect over time…when we treat others without kindness or respect, it takes a toll on our sense of self. The notion of karma or the saying, “what goes around, comes around,” sort of captures this idea (http://www.cheatsheet.com/author/sheiresa-ngo/). Yeah I would like to add to this, guess what…your a fucking asshole if you do this!! Grow some big balls and quite being a whiny coward and at least say “Hey I’m not feeling this so yeah bye”. But talking to a person, dating and then just playing the disappearing act, ignoring calls, texts and emails because you are a shit is a sad excuse for closure.

Dating is nothing like it ever was before, we now have a million single people to swipe through, post our best pictures and become someone we are not. People can catfish, lie about their age and height (cough cough…Men) or their age and weight (cough…Women). Back in the day we had to have guts to go up to a person and say hi, now we can hide behind a computer and so rejection is less personal. This allows for people to think beyond their actual dating potentials and we have become a society of singles living in text message, online catfish relationships. Which really is so much better than actual human contact right where gasp, we can get hurt, our hearts broken. This bubble of self preservation is just crap, fearful people making excuses for everything and becoming picky picky picky, searching for flaws instead of the beauty of another. We are all different and though we may love somebodies picture or profile its ultimately the chemistry that will decide if it will get beyond a first date. This I think is what makes people draw out meeting and instead of dates we get texts, not even phone calls anymore. One guy here in Portland who loved sending me pictures of himself, like everyday. It was quite annoying and pathetic to me, almost like he was just searching for some kind of validation or compliments, never following through on meeting. I had to quickly tell him that I was not here to be his personal motivator coach so I will have to start charging for my compliment services if he wanted to continue, never got another text haha…

This is why the show Catfish has become so popular, and truly heartbreaking. People are afraid to be who they truly are, themselves. Most of the time its people just seeking a connection, one they think is real but they are just deceiving themselves as much as the other person. I wish I had the answers to this dilemma but I think that this is our dating reality at this time. I can only wish and hope that more people take risks and just be themselves, to go out and meet people in person, to not hide behind a computer and become real people again. To let go of the notions of delusion we are living in, am online relationship where you have never met the person is NOT REAL, Red Flags people!! Red Flags!! If he says he is a model, astronaut and is just stuck in another country because he lost his passport could you please send him $5,000 in a cereal box to help him, yeah you should totally do that, pronto. So go hither my fellow daters, and follow your instincts less you end up on the Dark Side…(enter twilight zone music)….

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Love, What the F@#$ is it…

 

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Love, such a simple four letter word, yet it has plagued us crazy humans for thousands of years. Poems, stories, sonnets, songs all written in the name of love. There have been countless books, essays, thesis’s all trying to convey what love is, what it means, where it lives. Is it an emotion, a feeling, a chemical imbalance or just a word. All of us have loved something in our meager lives, a pet, our family, our friends but what about the love that takes over our entire being, the one that makes us quake in our shoes, put stars in our eyes and changes our entire universe. I mean its crazy how much we can feel for another right?? crazy and scary, crazy and exhilarating and sometimes just crazy. Love can be unrequited love and that in itself is pain and heartbreak, but mostly love starts out with two people who want each other filled with a bit of lust, amazing love in the beginning, then comfortable let me shave your back kind of love and then it can grow and evolve with each person changing together as a couple or it can become the obsessive crazy I can’t live without you love, and worst of all it can become the I don’t love you anymore, I’ve fallen out of love with you, I lost love for you kind of love. I have always wondered how do you fall out of love, is it like falling out of a tree where you just bump your head and then walk out the door to a new life or is it a slow tumble down a hill that loses momentum bit by bit. I think its probably different for everybody, some can just cut out and be done while others like myself hold on, sleep with it, hope with it and sometimes let us define us. Mostly I think it’s a lot of bullshit, made up of cliches that people say about the meaning of love, what it is and how we are supposed to feel about it.

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I am an emotional sap like many, also a complete asshole and sometimes the kindest most generous person you’ll meet and I dislike so many of the cliche explanations I read about what love is. Love is blind, bullshit it totally is not, Love sees all and sometimes it starts with a really hot guy or gal. I mean come on, lets be honest it has a chemical hormonal component and there has to be some kind of physical attraction there, (ok sometimes it can be blind if your Mother Teresa and helping orphan kittens or something). Love means never having to say your sorry, umm screw that it absolutely means that you should be able to put your ego away and say your fucking sorry for being an asshole!! Love is unconditional, mostly this is true for the love we get from our pets and our parents but in a relationship most of it comes with conditions, such as respect, kindness, honestly, loyalty,  faithfulness,  attraction, chemistry, for we expect that if we give our love to another we will be treated with all of the above and if we are not then sometimes our love is conditional on these, out of love for ourselves. Loving someone means you want to see them happy, even if its not with you, oh no that one is total crap, I want the person I love or loved to be happy, mostly haha, but not with someone else, at least not in the beginning of a break-up, as I want him to be happy with me. I think most people feel this way, and then feel guilty when others tell this line of bullshit, when they are still angry or hurt at the person who just stomped on their heart. This of course depends on the situation, if its a bad one then please be happy the fool is with someone else and not you, but its painful to watch your ex move on, and its not a pleasant feeling to see them with another person, unless that person is you know the downgrade haha then by all means feel happy deep deep inside haha…

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Its been 6 months of grieving for me and I have heard it many times to get over it, move on, let go, not worth it, his loss, he is a loser, emotionally unavailable, blah blah and you know what fuck all of that. I will grieve my time and I will do it on my terms, not any books, or other peoples idea of moving on. Losing love is grieving, and I will be honest early on I was confused at who I was shedding my tears for, who my heart was more broken over. The loss of my boyfriend moving back to CA or the death of my father. I felt like an asshole and a terrible daughter that I prayed more times for him to come back than for my father to be alive. But I think that is what love can do to you, it can fumble up your heart, make you do crazy things. It allows you to lie to yourself sometimes, but ultimately the universe will swoop in to remind us of what is to come is so much sweeter than we ever expected.

I always say there is a fine line between sanity and insanity when it comes to love and war, and it is the truth. If you try to tell me you’ve never driven by your exes house or work, facebook stalked them, called and then hung up on them (ok this is prob only for those in the 80’s and 90’s haha), driven by their hangouts, asked about them then you are a liar. So I guess love is different for everybody, to some its a feeling they carry in their heart, others maybe its a bitter chip on their shoulder fuck you its just a word, and others might say well scientifically its blah blah. So I guess who cares what it is really as long it helps us to grow, helps us to want to become better people by loving someone, even if they leave and stomp on our itty bitty hearts. Well that is my pre-holiday blog rant on love haha…Enjoy and Happy Fucking Christmas!! 😉

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Healing in the holidays…

 

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Letting go has always been one of the hardest life lessons for me. I hold onto my grief, my heartbreak, my childhood, and I pull it close to me, wrap it around me and lose myself in the dark recess of my memories. It is heavy these burdens of pain, wounds so deep that I cannot dig them out. I think grieving is such a personal burden, it is such a hypocrite, alienating us yet at the same time yearning for comfort and healing. I try to remember, to think about the moments but I cannot, I find myself afraid, fearing that if I think about this loss I will fall down that rabbit hole and never get out this time. I am afraid that by losing the one person who I could define myself by, that I will cease to be me, my fathers daughter. It was complicated this relationship, but I think most are between father and daughter. Mine was brilliant, impatient and the one person who I felt understood who I was; even if he never told me this.  I never thought that pain could be like this, so cutting, so deep. This is one of the hardest post for me to write, but ultimately one of the most healing.

My relationship with my father was not perfect, it was not warm and fuzzy for he was busy and impatient with me often but it never mattered to me. I wanted so badly for him to be proud of me, to love me. I wanted him to think I was a special part of him, a Mathison true to the core. I think he did, my cousin told me he did at his funeral, but it seems these are the times that people utter those phrases, “he loved you” he was so proud of you” “he is in a better place”, maybe they are true, maybe they were just words but I will choose to think they were the former; that in his own way he was proud of me and that he saw so much of himself in me.  I am angry, I am hurting, I am sad and I try to talk to my mom, I miss her, I love her in my own hauntingly beautiful yet painful way. I try to forgive, to let go and parts of me are unable, I don’t understand why I hold onto it. I am tired of trying for validation, understanding, forcing something that needs to be let go. I don’t want to get angry, or frustrated but Its like I am trapped inside my own self. I see myself doing these, I tell myself to let it go but I am stubborn, and ignore even my own self, I am my own undoing.

I will try to fix my relationship with my mom, she is all I have left, along with a scruffy puppy who I adore and a little wee kitty who drives me crazy. Christmas is full of miracles, they say it is a magical time when dreams come true, wishes are granted and the impossible is possible. I am hoping that this year will end with healing, and that love with prevail above all else. I have always held onto my hope, even when I was hopeless and I am digging deep to find every ounce I have and bring it to the surface to shine…for magic is in the air…

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My Truth…

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I had a feeling…

quickened my breath

was my own undoing

felt an internal burning

tightening of my thoughts

I had a dream…

that I was kind

heard my fathers laughter

touched your face

was forgiven

I had a nightmare…

that this was real

grasping at the ground

felt my fear

was locked in my own prison

I had hope…

heard my own laughter

felt my hear flutter

felt the rain

 I was forgiven

“Life is whispering…Are you Listening”

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So often I have heard, “How do I go on”, “how will I get through this”, I have even uttered, screamed these same words myself . How do we go on, the sad fact is I don’t have the answer. I think its different for every person out there, and we get to choose how we move on. How we get through these hard times, these rough patches, has no real solid answer for us as a whole. We just do, at first you live on autopilot. You wake up every day and you tell yourself today you will get out of bed, you will then feed the dog, then take a shower, it becomes almost methodical; done without conscious thought, like when you get home from work without any memory of the drive. The old saying that time is the ultimate healer really has some validity to it. With time some things do get easier, and your able to laugh and then you feel bad for laughing, guilt for being happy. But the truth is that its our own selves that hold onto the past, we create our own prisons, we feed our own demons, we choose to stay in what is comfortable; to some this is the darkness of their own minds, trapped in the thoughts they create or pretending things didn’t happen, instead pushing them further and further into the recesses of their subconsciousness; and for others its giving their feelings a voice, singing or writing about them, but ultimately it is time that forces us to heal, for the hardest part of grieving is watching the world go on.

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The universe will always finds a way of humbling us, to bring us into ourselves, find our true nature, our strength. For me it was stripping me of my security like when your parents throw away your old blanket that smells of childhood. My relationship, my father, my car, job security, the comfort of home, my soft grey fur baby. Sometimes the level of sadness in me is still so great and depression my old friend comes by for a visit. Silently I continue to struggle with accepting that my life will never be the same and I carry the burden of reconstructing myself piece by piece, finding the true nature of all of my parts and trying to fit them together to make the complete puzzle that is me. I no longer have the comfort and security of the life I had before. I no longer have my father, for the plain comfort a father can bring or to help me through my rough patches. Night has become a place of unsettled anxiety, I wake up every night at 4 am heart racing, gasping for breathe feeling such an immense sense of fear. Afraid of what is coming next, what else the universe is going to take from me.  For the universe will always call back what is no longer necessary.

The universe will demand its due, how it is chosen to pay her is not always our choice, but how we choose to survive, to heal, and go on is. I don’t know what separates the survivors from the ones who cannot, the strong from the weak. Survivors just do, they realize they have no other choice but to go on. I don’t think its a lack of something for the ones who cannot move on and heal, it is sometimes the ability to feel too much, the overwhelming sense of losing oneself to the grief, the fear, the sadness. For some that is just too much to bear, so they hide in the prison of their minds, wrap themselves in the darkness and lose the hope that is needed to start a path towards healing. I think having a support structure, arms to hold you up when you are weak and those who sing your song back to you when you have forgotten the words is vital. I hope for every soul who is hurting and broken, covered in grief to choose to find the light that is illuminating their path instead of wrapping themselves in the darkness. I know the comfort that the darkness can bring, how it can suck you in so deep that the path out is hidden, so… I say, always bring a flashlight….

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“The Girl Made of Ashes” (Updated)….

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I.

She stood looking out at the sun rising casting sprays of light, reflecting a cascade of orange and yellow over the waves. She felt him even before he touched her, gasping as the heat of his touch singed her. It was like this with them, and she felt overwhelmed by the depth of sadness in it. He burned like fire for her and she was so willing and ready to become ashes for his touch. They spent most of the morning sitting quietly entwined on her balcony, watching the rippling of the water. They knew that it would not last, this peace, allowing themselves the morning to relish in it, trying to hold onto it as long as they could.

Love is like that, filling us with the need to hold it so tightly and hide it within, when in reality it is the lightly held grasp of a feather that is the truest form of love. She knew deep in her heart that he had to leave, it was his destiny after all and she couldn’t stop him from this. He had hidden in this cottage by the ocean with her for so long now that she forgot that forever was not in their cards.  Theirs was a different story, one of longing and need.  When she finally turned to him she glimpsed the flicker of fire in his eyes, afraid they would turn the waves that crashed in her heart to steam. She reached up and touched his face; he was so beautiful this boy she loved. His eyes deep wells of blue and often she felt like she was drowning in them. He whispered her name, “Cassandra” but she just shushed him and like a ghost drifted up and inside.

She had waited so long for him, feeling the physical ache of missing him. She had survived without him and would survive again till he chose to return to her; as he always did, for fleeting moments of warmth, his need for her to quench the fire that burned inside of him. She felt such possession of this, this need that radiated through her heart. She was powerful, bestowing her love on him, allowing him pieces of her magic.  Time was different for them, feeling like forever in her heart with fleeting moments in his.  She knew when the full moon rose tonight; he would have to leave and would not return again, until the need for her grew too much for him to bear.  She wished there was a way to merge their souls into one place, not the fluid state they had dealt with for years. She was ethereal, a whispering breeze to his rooted sense. She did not want to stop him from being who he was; but she knew that his heart beat with it.

She had stupidly, in a moment of fleeting weakness asked him, “Why do you love me”? He of course had answered with proclamations of his love, his depth of devotion to her. The same things she had heard from his mouth for longer than she should believe it. She sighed, she knew he loved her, she just wondered why he kept coming back to her for only tiny moments in their lives. What was she offering to him that kept him coming back to her; was she feeding his ego, or his heart? She had gazed back at him with thoughts of lying with him, their hearts beating in sync.

He really did have such a deep devotion to this magical woman, as she did to him. “When you leave you always take a piece of me with you”, she had whispered to him as she touched his chest, and felt his heart flutter. No sooner had the breathe of those words left his lips, a slow rumbling erupted that grew until it blocked out all other sound.  The ground felt like it was being ripped out from under them, the thin line that separated their worlds was being merged, and it was fuzzy and wavering. The two of them blinking, feeling like they were being shifted out of existence.  Little did they know that their world was at that moment being changed, their destiny rewritten, and everything they thought was set in the stars was being erased.

II.

When we are little we put our ears on our parents chest, as we grow, upon the chest of our lovers; we are soothed by the rhythmic beating of their hearts.  It is the sound of life, a binding to us.  We are taught our heart is the giver of love, that if we give it to another we are giving a piece of ourselves.  This magic, this power we all hold in us, it beats everyday as a reminder that we are all connected, that life goes on. We hold a responsibility to honor it, to honor ourselves, to honor others.  She did not feel that her heart was being honored though, at least not in the way she did with the one she held. She was growing weary, What if the rumbling ground yesterday was a sign that she needed to finally close that door to him, to let him go without a promise to come back. She was just so tired, emotional drained by always being the one waiting, which was excruciating for her. Finding the inner strength to let go was almost as hard to bear as the thought of losing him. She knew deep down that giving him comfort, a place to run too was her way of helping him to escape reality. She was the humble girl who lived in the cottage on the cliff, deep in the woods where rarely anyone had the courage to venture. The town never gave a second thought to the unassuming girl in the woods; but little did the town realize that her tiny cottage had the best view of the ocean, that it caught the gentle breeze while they were stifled by the heat that settled in the valley.  The ocean blew in new life through her windows every morning and took the day with the receding tide every night. Hers was a place of magic, where you could manifest love just by believing in it.  She had grown up here, with her Grams in exile from the town, but she always felt she was the lucky one to live in this special place. Grams had been gone for so long now that she often forgot what she looked like; having to pull out the worn and dog eared picture she carried around of them when she was little.

Under the moonlight is where she felt most alive, warmed by the lazy glow of the moon. Many people embrace the light to find their strength, but for her it was always hidden in the dark that she found hers. She tended her moon garden, it was her place to escape to and think and reflect. Tonight she would be thinking about Sebastian leaving, how much harder it was this time. She started cutting back the Sea Thrift, Bellflower and moonflower,  breathing in the deep scent of night blooming jasmine thinking how badly her heart was hurting this time. Heart ache is such a weird word as it really does feel like a physical pain, the stab of each memory taking your breath away, sometimes bringing you too your knees. The evening primrose was just starting to bloom and the dragon flower coming up; it was always so magical here for her under the moonlight in her garden. She felt most alive, often just lying on the moist earth absorbing all of the energy of the plants around her. This was where she came to think, meditate with the help of the plants and trees she cultivated with such care. She loved being surrounded by the pine, willow, alder and ash trees; they were an array of differences that together were perfect.

 

(I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my new short story…until we meet again)….Love and Light

Note: this material is copyrighted and the property of Julie Mathison, no one has permission to take, borrow, copy or paste this anywhere on the web, in their own blog or to pass of as their own writing….21SEP2015

The girl I used to be…

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I couldn’t breathe and woke up startled, I sat up and came face to face with…The girl I used to be. She looks like me, I reach out, she feels like me, smells like me, but she is laughing, she is happy for she was the girl I used to be. She pulls me up telling me to get up get dressed there is so much to see and do. But I just pull the covers over my head and tell her to go away, say that I am not that girl anymore. She is the girl I used to be though so she is loud, funny and coaxes me to get out of bed. She tells me we can do anything we want, explore, go to the beach, wine tasting, antique shopping. The girl I used to be is friendly, outgoing and loves to meet people, lives and breathes laughter. I am sad I tell her, I don’t know how to laugh anymore. I don’t know who she is anymore, I tell her she is a stranger to me. She explains to me, this girl I used to be, that my friends miss me, they want to hear my quirky stories, to bring my useless facts, and to hear my boisterous laughter over the crowd; they want the girl I used to be, but I say, I am the girl I am now. Grief, broken hearts they change you I scream, I am not you anymore. She follows me into the shower and sits on the toilet as I try to ignore her mindless chatter.  She is unrelenting, the girl I used to be, following me, chattering on about all of the things I am missing out on. The world, fall is in full bloom, good wine, good beer, new friends, old friends, new love, infatuation, listening to the ocean, playing Frisbee with my dog, and most important laughter. I try to ignore her, drink my coffee and read my magazines in peace but alas she is the girl I used to be so she just sits on the couch sighing with her arms crossed and pouts. She wins, this girl I used to be, and I try to make a deal with her, bargain my day, my time. I get up and get dressed and think about the girl I am now. I am empathetic, compassionate, I spend more time internally than externally, I watch, I feel, I listen, I compromise, I leave dirty dishes in the sink, I forget to vacuum, to dust, and I write. I look for her, this girl I used to be, I go from room to room, looking, perplexed when I find her as I reach out, startled as my hand hits the glass…

 

 

Never Forgotten…

I wanted to finally share on here the Eulogy and Obituary I wrote for my dad, It has taken me a few months to be able to open them again and read them, and to finally put up his pictures in my house. I still wake up feeling like its not real, that he can’t really be gone. I hope he was proud of me, and that I can carry on the legacy he left behind….

EULOGY

I remember once when I was little, I was crying to my dad, he said Julie come back to me when you’re not emotional and talk rationally. I remember crying but I’m a girl, I’m emotional and I don’t even know what rational means.  I laugh about this story as an adult because that was my dad. He was brilliant, logical and theoretical but when it came to me also impatient; my mom always told me I was just like my dad and in truth I am my father’s daughter. I am a scientist to his engineer, I think like him, I have his logical mind, his intensity, his need for structure and also his impatience; but I was also blessed with his curiosity, his tenacity, and love of learning, always needing to know why and how things worked. He often loved to remind me that as an engineer he created what I just studied, and as usual he was right.

My dad loved camping, mostly he loved his Drifting Sams RV group, and going to Quartzside every year.  Camping was truly his other love next to my mom. Growing up he took us every year for our annual family vacation, though in those days it was tents and a camper shell, not the Glamorous 5th wheels he has owned with my mom. He loved taking us outdoors when we were little, to watch meteor showers with his telescope, my brother’s dirt bike riding, flying model airplanes, and to Indian guides. I beat him at cards, even at 5, so he stopped playing with me, he was a sore loser.

My Dad was a good man, he treated people fairly, he was the first to step up, offer help, money and support to anybody in need.  He taught me to never pass a hungry person with an offer to feed them. He gave my friend a car once, it was called the pay it forward car…that was just the kind of human he was.  He was a devoted husband to my mom, a dedicated father and he was the hardest working man I ever knew. He taught me so much. He was fair, honest and had such integrity. He loved his family, the Mathison clan is a strong one, and we are forged by the same mold. We all have the stubbornness, dry witty sense of humor, love of debating and devotion to our family. My dad will be so greatly missed by so many, especially by my mom, the love of his life for 48 years. I look out at this sea of faces and think that my dad did not even begin to know or understand how loved he was, how huge of an impact he had made on so many. He is now a part of the great energy among the cosmos that will forever be a piece of all of us, as one can never be truly lost or forgotten as long as they are loved and remembered in our hearts. There will be those days that we will remember and miss him, cry and scream at the universe for what it has taken away from us. It is this that will allow us to grieve for him bit by bit for we must mourn and go on…life will insist…I loved him, my dad, I will carry him with me always, I will miss him forever…

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 OBITUARY

Bennett James Mathison was born March 31, 1946 in Whittier CA to Kenneth and Lucille Mathison. A resident of Bakersfield CA, Ben passed away suddenly in his home of a heart attack on Thursday August 6, 2015 he was 69 years old. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Martha, one daughter Julie and two sons Mike and Mark and his four loving canine companions Cheyenne, Skye, Lady and Angel.

Ben attended Don Bosco Technical Institute and graduated cum laude from California Polytechnic University, Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He started his own independent consulting company Medcomm/Micro-Log in 1988, and also worked as a Chief Engineering consultant at ProSoft Technologies. Ben was an engineer to the core; he was driven, dedicated and tenacious. His favorite saying was “Scientist study what is, Engineers create what has never been” by Theodore Von Karman.

Ben loved camping and fishing with his wife in his 5th Wheel RV with their Roaming Sam Group. He was a devoted husband and dedicated father, and always the first to offer a helping hand. He enjoyed astronomy, his telescope and was an active member of the NRA. He will be fondly remembered by many for his witty sense of humor and love of debating, along with his boisterous laughter. Ben will be forever missed by many, he is now part of the great energy among the cosmos that will forever be a part of all of us as one can never truly be lost or forgotten as long as they are loved and remembered in our hearts.

What my 25 year old Self learned through Divorce…

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This is an article I  wrote for the Huffington Post blog series Divorced by 30, I hope they accept it!!

 

I have always tried to be honest about my shortcomings. Tried to be aware and perceptive about my faults, what I needed to work on, where my weak spots were; but that does not necessarily mean that I have always faced them with grace or dignity or that I didn’t push others in the forefront to hide mine. I am human and stubborn and many times I screamed that it wasn’t my fault, there were times I didn’t listen, that I didn’t fight fair that I fought to win, that I just wanted to be heard and  didn’t listen, didn’t learn. I am guilty of all of these things, of saying hurtful things when I was angry, of walking away instead of listening, but I never stopped trying.  I can honestly say I never gave up on the hope of love. The love that we as little girls are spoon-fed, told over and over in our books, cartoons, movies, that we will be saved, swept away by Some guy who will be our perfect match, our soul mate.

I met my so called knight in shining armor when I was 21, it was Halloween 1996 and I was out celebrating at a local dive bar with my friend Andrea. I will never forget seeing him through the smoky haze of the bar and then gathering up the guts to walk up to him; I was so nervous, hands shaking, he was so handsome, and I thought so out of my league. But he just smiled up at me with such a big smile and said absolutely when I handed him my number, asking him to give me a call sometime. He was beautiful this boy I would love, who I would lose myself so completely in that it would take me 4 years to get back up, gain my strength and be me again.  We had so many fun times but we were young and young love never seems to have that lasting stick, it seems instead to be all about heartbreak and lessons. I married this one though, because I wanted it to be forever and at 23 that word, forever, was obtainable.  At 40, I wonder if there is such a thing, forever love.  We were young, passionate, and stubborn and though we loved each other, love it seems is never enough. After two years together and living together for one of those, we ran off to Las Vegas. Young lovers on an adventure,  just us and there was something about us doing it alone that added to the excitement. Afterwards though I felt cheated of a real wedding, no family or friends to celebrate with, no dress, champagne or cake. It also created a strain with his large Hispanic family who felt even more cheated than me at not being a part of our getting married. We lived happily for a year, but reality always has a way of creeping in and it just became too hard to hold ourselves together. He cheated, and I was broken, and our story ended, though not so easily.  There was many tears, late night phone calls, and showing up and driving by places just to catch a glimpse of him.  I was a mess, even though I did initially leave and was the one to file for the divorce; but I felt so betrayed and I knew deep down that I deserved so much better than what I had been dealt. My Dad did not agree with my choice of divorce,  he was catholic and believed marriage was for better and for worse. He never realized how hard it was for me to make the choice I did as my Parents were still married, and stayed married for 48 years till he passed away this past August. I wanted that, that forever kind of love.

Being divorced at 25 is not easier than being divorced when you are older, but it does leave you with a certain young freedom; for when it comes to loss we reach a bottom through our grief, our heartbreak and so we sense we are free since we have nothing left to lose, becoming reckless, free in such a dark sense.  I think society is more forgiving of the drunk, sobbing hot mess of crazy at 25 then it is at 40.  I can say now that I am glad I got divorced, but back then I thought my world had collapsed and I was so completely broken and lost. I am able to look back now, 15 years later and see that it was never going to last. We were two young kids playing house. We were loving each other as an escape, not as a way to grow and evolve in a true partnership. We had different hopes, ambitions; we were raised in completely different worlds. We did not spend the time talking about our future, kids, our fears, and our hopes. We just loved each other blindly, thinking this was enough, but it never is. Divorce is sadness at its most poignant; it is a depth of heartbreak that changes you, changes the way you look at relationships, for you have seen first hand that happily ever after love doesn’t always last, at least it didn’t for you. I learned from being divorced at 25 that love is hard, raw and breaks your heart, but the truest form of love holds your hand through the shitty times and loves you through the hard times. Loves you even when your not lovable, Loves you when the passion fades, the sink is full of dishes and your looks are waning. The truest form of love stays, even when its hard. I grew because of my divorce, it changed me, it made me aware of myself and what my worth was. I realized that I had to believe I deserved that kind of love, and that being afraid of losing it everyday, holding onto it so tightly just crumbles it to dust that blows away when you open your hand.

 

 

The Strength we find, The Lessons we Learn…

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Life is meant for us to be broken open, the core parts of ourselves faced to ultimately become what we were meant to be. I am trying so hard this year to understand and learn from all the curve balls the universe has thrown at me. I had such high hopes that this year was going to be the year. A Job that paid well, promised me advancement, a relationship that I thought was finally the one; full of love and respect, a city I had dreamed about living in since I was a teenager. Its ironic that what I thought was my dream became my nightmare. I never thought moving to Portland would be my undoing, but that is what it has become, breaking me open and stripping me to naked vulnerability. It seems like yesterday I stood in my new driveway, a grin from ear to ear, completely in love with arms of security wrapped around me. Today I stood in that same driveway, drizzly rain making my hair frizz and my sweater damp. I still wake up sometimes thinking that it was just a dream and I will laugh at the universe, but reality always sets in and my arm falls onto the cold side of the bed.

It seems the year is not yet done as I lost another piece of my heart this past week, my beautiful soft grey fur kid, my beautiful Isadora. She was my soul pet, I bottle fed her as a kitten when I got her at 4 weeks old. I remember the day she became mine was a full lunar eclipse, and so I named her Isadora, which means “gift from the moon”. I guess its only fitting, some kind of cosmic circle that I lose her on a lunar eclipse.  I had 13 years with this amazing creature and I will miss the smell of her fur, her purring as she slept next to my head every night.  I yelled at the universe tonight, I told it I only have two things left that I love in this damn world, my dog and my mom so please leave them. I think that when we lose one parent we become hyper vigilant in our fear of the loss of the other. We look around at what else we have to lose and we worry so much about those losses, maybe as a way to cover up the grief we are trying not to feel. The cake topper of this last 6 months is I found out 5 days after losing my Isadora that I have squamous cell carcinoma, skin cancer, though it is treatable and by itself would not be as scary but after the past 6 months the news really rattled me. My hand shaking in my work cube as I listen to my dermatologist tell me the next steps we need to take. I felt weak as I let the tears come, allowing myself to be afraid. I decide at that moment I will no longer live with fear in my heart.

I have come out fighting, swinging at the universe.  I did not break, I did not blow away in the wind, I stand firm and I am learning to bend and sway, I am surviving.  So instead of losing my strength, my grace, my hope I am screaming into the wind “I am not surrendering, I will not break!! I have found an inner strength I didn’t know I had, a gift of writing hidden deep, I am accepting my journey and not looking to the end. I was told by a wise friend that I was the “grass is greener” girl, always looking to the next job, the next place I was going to live, that it would be better there; but what I have learned is that by living that way you never get to love and experience the moments, the job you may hate but may still hold many lessons or the amazing people you met by moving to that crappy city. I was never able to just be in the now, to be still and at peace with where I was in that moment. I lied to myself, saying it was my ambitious nature, to always strive for more. In reality it was a safety mechanism of not having to live, not in the moment, it was fear winning.

I printed out a quote from the Dalai Lama and I look at it everyday. I am learning to accept and live in this moment and feeling, embracing everything, even the negative feelings, the scary ones. I can no longer run, I can no longer hold his hand or lay my face on his chest at night, or fall back on the strength of my father, bury my face in my cats soft fur, sit at my aunts kitchen table and discuss my family history, or drive my trusty Durango that has taken me to everyplace I have lived since leaving home. I have been broken open and forced to learn acceptance, release, and ultimately letting go.

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I have made a promise to myself, not to anyone else, not anymore, just to my heart. I will accept my challenges, I will face them with grace, kindness and compassion. I will grow and learn through these lessons, I will feel what I need to, accept what I must and change what I have the power to change. I am a survivor, and that is what we do, for we have no other choices, giving up is not in our vocabulary. We are all given choices, crossroads, forks in our paths, challenges, encounters and it is up to us who we choose to be at that moment and how we respond, with anger, selfishness and bitterness or with kindness, empathy, gentleness and compassion. I have and will always strive to do the latter but I am human and I have slipped and chosen the angry path at times. Though I am now learning that I do not have the capacity for that anymore. I can not take others anger and their lessons, I can’t even take mine.

I end this Post with the hope of new beginnings, that as each door is closed another is opened. New places, new adventures, new friends, and maybe even a new love if the universe deems me worthy. I hope for everyone who is reading this, everyone who is struggling, that they find their inner strength. That you choose to not give up, That you choose the hard path, choose to find and accept your lessons, to evolve and become your higher self. That you choose Love, Laughter, Kindness, Empathy, Compassion, Understanding, and Acceptance. Love and Light to the universe, even if it sucks big at times….

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The topics we fear, the realities of depression & suicide

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I read an article today about a women’s choice to take her own life. I don’t know why this particular one hit  so close to home but it did. Suicide, depression, mental health, these are all things that we find so hard to talk about, but they are the exact things we all should be talking about. The fear, the stigma of living with it, knowing or loving somebody with mental health issues all point to us as a whole to come to terms with the truth. Depression affects around 14.8 million individuals a year, and women are two times more likely than men to experience depression. With over 30,000 reported suicides every year, a shocking two-thirds of these are caused by underling depression. These are staggering statistics and along with the fact that depression is often over-looked, misdiagnosed or left untreated, is so disheartening at the thought of so many people struggling through life; embarrassed, hiding behind a false sense of self.

The cold reality about suicide is that it leaves such a hole in so many lives. The person is gone but the pain has just begun, and many times it is completely unexpected leaving a sense of anger and guilt with the ones left living. Feelings of “If I only knew”, “I wish I could have saved them”. These are the thoughts that eat away at the ones left to deal with the after affects. It is a selfish way to die but we need to stop using guilt as a way of solving the issue and instead be honest about the reality and open up a dialogue that is safe. If millions are affected by depression, and this causes two thirds of the suicides each year then imagine the immense number of people that are being affected by mental health issues by being a sibling, a parent, a spouse, a lover, a friend, a co-worker, a mental health professional. That is millions of people who can make a difference, who can be honest about living or dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts or about living with a person who has these issues.

Depression is not a weakness, instead it is a safety mechanism, a really screwed up one but it is one that only the few that suffer through it can see. For we feel too much, we feel everything too much, and as such we hurt more than normal, we are afraid, anxiety ridden, and just plain fucking sad. Depression is the trickster that tells you over and over that you are worthless, that life just isn’t worth it, That living is just too hard; it takes all of your fears and intensifies them, affecting your sleep, your appetite, things you love, it affects your relationships with everybody!! It makes you lie in bed in your pajama’s crying your eyes out because of a hallmark commercial, fills you with guilt when your dog whines to go out and you don’t even have the energy to play Frisbee or ball with your best pal. It makes you turn your phone off and hide from the people who will see the truth. Depression wants to alienate you, to have you all to itself so you will believe what it is telling you.

As a collective unit of humans we need to take the stigma from talking about it away so that living with it loses it sense of secretiveness. We need to allow people living with it to feel comfortable asking for help, without fear of judgement from family, friends, or coworkers. The ability to find help is so muddled, the resources available are convoluted, leaving the people searching for help like they are jumping through hoops, climbing ladders to nothing, doors to nowhere. The mental health community needs to be reformed, with the proper sources addressing the issues within to allow for help to be more accessible. Trying to find a psychiatrist mean first finding one that is excepting patients, then having to get on a waiting list to be seen, and the earliest is usually 4-6 weeks before you can even be initially seen. Trying to find a therapist you connect with and trust can takes one to many, and then the issue of any medications that are deemed necessary. This leads back to the need to find a doctor or psychiatrist who can prescribe, the waiting game and the circle of frustration is only beginning. If you find a great counselor, therapist or psychologist, a doctor who can prescribe anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications you made it through round one. Round two comes with the slew of medications, and finding the right one with the least amount of side effects, that is round 2 to infinity.

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I gained a personal perspective on the mental health community as a whole when I moved to Portland OR. I had a mental break when life got too hard for me to bear in this state of my undoing. I was alone and without a support structure, with sadness and anxiety like I had never felt. I was scared at my own thoughts, and how I was feeling. I had never felt so dark and alone in all of my life so I drove myself to the emergency room to seek help with the idea I would see a doctor, ask about some anti-anxiety drugs to help me. That was the beginning of the one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. I will forever be filled with sadness when I think about this experience, I felt like a criminal. I do understand that medical care personnel have to be careful, their are many individuals who are truly suffering and try to hurt others or themselves. But I was not one of them, and I had to sit in the waiting room with a guard watching me, then taken to a room where I was forced to give all of my belongings, including my phone, and then undress in front of the nurses, and its not only women in there. They make you take everything off, jewelry, underwear,bra, and put on scrubs. I was so embarrassed, crying, saying this was making my anxiety so much worse. The rooms are glass so they can sit a orderly or guard outside to make sure you don’t try to leave, or hurt yourself. I tried to make myself so small, but I could not curl inside myself enough to hide from all of this. The looks, pity mixed with fear, maybe she really is crazy, feeling maybe I was. I sat in that room for four hours, locked inside my own head till a doctor and psychiatric nurse came in to talk to me. Then it was dolling out medications, quietly getting dressed, walking out in the drizzly dark, feeling the true sense that I was completely alone.

That was just the beginning for me, round one. Then it was calling my insurance, the employee assistance program through my work, and the local mental health facilities to try to get a psychiatrist appointment, the 4-6 weeks waiting game. I was lucky it only took me two tries to find my therapist, a psychologist who I love and has been the most amazing guide for me through this journey. Then it was finding a primary care doctor, who I too got very lucky on my first try. After that it was medications, after medications, trying to find the correct one, the correct dose, dealing with the side effects. I am left with the choice to either feel sadness so complete that I cant get up or with headaches, nausea, muscle pain, dizziness and hopefully this one no weight gain. This is real life, this is reality for millions of Americans, the ones who want to be better, struggle to find their way back and are trying to beat the odds. We are more than a statistic, we are warriors, we are fighters and sometimes we lose. I want less people to find it easy to let go, and more people to reach out. I want education about this, the connections between individuals suffering and those who can help, accessibility of programs, support groups, I want honest dialogue. I don’t want to win the battle, I want to win the war….

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The Echo of Life….

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I saw my heart today, listening to the sounds the valves made, felt the warm gel on my chest. It was magical seeing the beating of my heart, it was not broken, it was still beating. I was surprised by the level of  peace and emotion it brought in me.  The soft whoosh sound of the womb, blood flowing within us, so peaceful and comforting. Since my father died so suddenly, the emptiness he left has been unbearable at times, but my echo-cardiogram brought a bittersweet realization. He is not gone, his blood beats in my heart, his genetics are ME, he lives on in me. As I sat watching my heart, listening to it I thought I heard his laughter, whispering to me these things. I felt alive in that moment, and I wanted to make my heart proud, to make him proud. Responsibility, I will forever hear my father in my heart, I will remember the destiny of our DNA that entwines us.

Often when we are little we put our ears on our parents chest, as we grow, upon the chest of our lovers; we are soothed by the rhythmic beating of their hearts.  It is the sound of life, a binding to us.  We are taught our heart is the giver of love, that if we give it to another we are giving a piece of ourselves.  This magic, this power we all hold in us, it beats everyday as a reminder that we are all connected, that life goes on. We hold a responsibility to honor it, to honor ourselves, to honor others. If we are given the heart of someone, to love it the way we would like ours to be loved.

Responsibility, this word keeps resonating in my mind. The feeling of feeling responsible for ourselves, for others, their sadness or happiness, of trying to fix what is not ours that is broken and why do we not feel as responsible for our happiness. I know there is a lesson in this, that we cannot hide behind other peoples pain to forget our own. I have always struggled with guilt, born out of my childhood, and the need to take on other peoples pain and traumas. I am a healer, a fixer, and at the core of this is my heart. My heart reminds me that I must honor it, honor myself. I must see its strength to heal, to feel it beating still, the blood in and out, piece by piece, becoming whole. Put your hand to your chest every morning, feel it beating, and remember that is your destiny, to live. I hope you my reader to find the same magic within yourself, the awakening of self. We all have a choice, everyday to start over, to become who we wish, hope to be. We are fluid beings, not meant to be static but instead to flow with the ever changing universal energy.

This lifetime, however you believe it to be; your first and only or your 100th, we still have an obligation to live it, with depth, grace and courage. To take responsibility for our actions, our regrets, our mistakes, and to let them be our growth, our healers, our lessons. Of course we don’t have to choose the difficult path of growth, we can stay static and thus become stagnant beings.  That is our choice, our free will. There will always be those who choose the easy path, who want everything to be easy, given to them and that is the saddest thing the universe feels. They are losing out on such beauty, for even through hardship or grief there lies beauty, hidden behind some deeper meaning. It lies in how you choose to see it, to deal with it; With grace and courage or with fear and resentment. Sometimes the universe only gives us one chance for a lesson, other times it keeps bringing it back over and over until you learn it. Those are the lessons we should see as the most important, for it wants you so badly to get it right. I wish so much love and light to the world, that we all are given the ability to see our lessons of this lifetime.  At the crossroads of life, take the winding thorny path, just bring a set of shears and wear a sweater….

The Journey of the heart…

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THE JOURNEY OF THE HEART

You will look for me

In every face you see

The eyes you gaze into

The hearts you try to open

I will be in a part of you

hidden so deep

You will search for me

In every feeling you face

in your own prison you create

in yourself

In your lessons

I will be in your heart

You will seek me in your journey

In every path you cross

every detour you take

In every mistake you learn from

You will mourn for me

In every piece of your heart

In the tears you shed

In every heartbreak

I will be a memory

The faces we hide behind….

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I hide in a face of me, my mask that I chose so carefully, as I cover myself with armor, this shield of sadness. It has such power, invisible yet with the ability to surround me in loneliness. Depression is made up of many faces, those of us who have the group jacket can attest to all of the ones we hide behind. Breaking free from the chains that bind us, in the strength to get up and go on, one day at a time. Medication, meditation, praying, begging, yoga, walking, therapy, mantras, screaming on the inside, feels like its all in vain. The phoenix rises from the ashes of nothing, rebirth and regeneration from the depths of sorrow.

I carry around within my sadness a vanity, gained in my youth, the start of my quest for perfection. The perfect child, daughter, student, friend, girlfriend so I never left the house without my hair and makeup done, looking perfectly put together, with my mask on tight. Thoughts that this is enough to hide behind, to blend into life; but when you carry around a deep sadness, it radiates even if your hiding it behind that perfect mask. I have seen the physical way people move around or shy away from me like they can feel my sadness reaching out to touch them.  It is like trying to swim in quicksand, the more you try the harder you sink. I am trying to realize that it was inevitable that we would be free from the binding of love between us, and that letting go will not break me. I have been sleepwalking through life, and I know that it is time to wake up.

“Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition”…what do you recognize in the mirror of your love…

Trees with wounded hearts…for D

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I don’t believe that anybody ever starts a relationship with the premise, ok we should prepare ourselves for the inevitable end; but for ours maybe that was the forethought. Two cancers, afraid of being loved and fear of rejection strong within our sense of being. Love is a mystery, a terrible beautiful thing, we give all of us to another wrapped up in a bow and hope we are treasured and protected while in the care of this other. Most times, this just isn’t the case, instead we get back a tattered and torn box with the bow discarded.

Searching is long, sometimes tedious, but when we find the one we laugh with, falling asleep in the scent of them, seeing their truth reflected in our eyes; well we think we are the luckiest people in the world. We believe what we say is real, what we feel must be sacred. Sometimes we lie to ourselves, because we want something so bad or because we are afraid of our own truth. Being lost, lonely inside and searching can often bring about false wants, false promises.  I wanted so much, for you, from you, and I believed you thought the same. You see we are not so different, for I lied to myself too. I blinded myself to the truth, seeing what I so desperately wanted to be the truth of us. Seeing your unhappiness nearly broke me so completely, I couldn’t stand the thought of being the cause of such pain in someone I loved so deeply, fiercely. I know that lost empty feeling, of breaking down, believe me I know what giving up feels like. But you got to be the one, with just the premise sorry, I’m a coward.

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I have beaten myself up, lost myself, falling and suffocated as I drown in the depth of your sadness and mine. Giving up, losing hope, all of this just simply put, sadness at its most poignant. I feel so small in this great big universe, stumbling trying so hard not to fall. I feel pathetic at times, with the thought I would have done anything for you, gone to hell and back to make you happy, us happy. How do we lose ourselves so completely in another, and how do we find ourselves again. Maybe we don’t, maybe we lose who we were and growth is having to become someone new. So we gather what is left of us, and we look back and we go on. Life is built on broken hearts, songs and poems written about them, stories told, support groups, medicated minds, movies we see ourselves in.

Going in circles, our heads spinning, addicted to sadness, addicted to you. They are all the same, all of our stories. Resonating the same depth of what we lost, surrendering to our selves. I wish I had all of the answers, the magic cure, I would be rich in more ways than money. we cut ourselves so deep sometimes, watching the blood trickle out as we hope the pain will follow. No amount of our own pain or sadness, no matter how broken or lost, the moon still rises, its ethereal glow, healing the wounded hearts of the trees.

the rise of nothing…

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The feeling encompassing me, its empty and numb. I try not to name it, afraid that if I do I will feed it the power it needs. It lies dormant while I grieve, I am mourning the death of love, the death of my father and the death of who I was, for I will never be the same again. That person is no more, that person does not exist and can never be found. How do we fall, become someone we don’t recognize when we look in the mirror. Living in fear, with anxiety and depression, who is this person. I was always able to look within and find strength in my struggles, I have lost this ability. I feel like I am trapped in this person, screaming to get out, banging inside my head that I’m here, I’m still here. But on the outside I am unable and afraid to feel. Depression is a wiley ole’ fellow, sneaking back up on you after you threw out your antidepressants, just days before your dad dies, because they made you gain weight. You felt ok, then Bam… your old friend is back with a vengeance, stroking your head while you cry in your dads pajamas unable to get out of bed for four days.

Its like everything has changed, but nothing has changed, as if I am quiet and calm while screaming on the inside. I don’t sleep, only for short periods, I feel haunted.  I feel anxious, I feel tired, I feel sad, I feel fear, I feel confusion, I feel too much, but I feel nothing. I have been slowly trying to open all of the locked doors in my heart, in my head, to let out all of the caged memories. Its scary, looking at ourselves with open honest eyes, as we may not always like what we find. facing our fears, our own shortcomings. I sometimes wonder if our memories are our own karma haunting us. The feelings that some memories evoke are so real; you can smell them, taste them, and almost touch them. I don’t want to be a part of anything anymore, I don’t want to call my old friends, I don’t want to be a part of a family structure anymore. I want to be alone to feel nothing, not answering the questions, no explanations, just emptiness from the issues that arise from caring.

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What happened to love, to romance, to the fierce fire that burns in all of us. “If this is love I don’t want anything to do with it…oh why does it hurt so much”….”ah, because it was real”.

 

 

Sunday Short…

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I pull on my fathers pajamas, the ones I took from his drawer. the catholic cross that he wore when he was a boy I pull over my head, tuck it gently into my heart and I write. The breeze is soft and cool, floating through the open window carrying the chattering of birds. I can hear the squirrels eating the walnuts, and I smell the rain on its way. I miss him, My dad, I miss so much, I miss my heart and I mourn the life I thought I would have, the love that doesn’t exist anymore. I mourn the words I never got to say, like ashes, I blow away into the wind, to become a part of everything.

I don’t want to go back, yet I don’t know how to ever say goodbye. Letting go, release, have always been the toughest lessons for me, ones I have yet to master. I am always haunted by the hopes of the past. This year I think is the year of learning to let those go, of moving on to a new chapter. Within all of us hides pain but learning to face this pain, our past, our fears is the beginning of learning to live without regret. I love this quote it rings so true to me…”sometimes people say you should do the right thing, but sometimes there is no right thing, and you just have to pick the sin your willing to live with”…My sin, the one I carry with me is in loving, you, still….My heart tries to heal, from so much and its a daily struggle but one I think i’m winning. Love is magical like that, there always seem to be an abundance of it, and giving it never stops the flow, it only adds to it.

I have learned to give up control, little by little. Slowly, I laugh, and I leave dirty dishes in the sink, and now forgo vacuuming to instead throw the Frisbee outside for my dog. I eat my leftovers, walk on the squishy grass without shoes, and I don’t argue my point anymore; if someone is to see it, they will do so on their own. I am learning, to let go of my childhood, to love others for who they are, not pushing them to be who I see in them. Control is about fear, about loss of control. In my childhood I had none, so I developed my own. They are heavy, these controls and I don’t want to carry them anymore, so I am taking them and throwing them into the abyss.

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“You have wounds that have never healed, you have lived with them so far you don’t even know they are there anymore, Pain has deep roots. The only way to dig it out is through forgiveness”

 

Love and all that Jazz…

 

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A part of me wanted to start this post as a way to be angry and feel sorry for myself for all of the ways my heart has been broken. But a little breeze fluttered by bringing with it a cosmic nudge that whispered in my ear, “ now would that really be beneficial, would your lessons be apparent that way” well universe, first off F-you, second F-you for being right.  So I will instead write about where I made mistakes, about my shortcomings, fuck-ups, screw-ups, where I hurt others, and so in turn hurt my relationships.

Nobody is perfect, though such a perfect statement, such irony; but I will say I have always been honest about my shortcomings, my lessons. I am very aware and perceptive about what I need to work on, where my weak spots are, but that does not necessarily mean that I always face them or that I don’t push others in the forefront to hide mine. I am human and stubborn and many times I screamed that it wasn’t my fault, there were times I didn’t listen, that I didn’t fight fair that I fought to win, that I just wanted to be heard and thus didn’t listen, didn’t learn. I am guilty of all of these things, of saying hurtful things when I was angry, of walking away instead of listening, but I never stopped trying. I never stopped loving, I never quit!! I can honestly say I have never given up on love; I have had two loves in my life, C and D (and I am not lost on the fact that they are in alphabetical order, I mean I am organized so it makes sense), and I gave both of them my all, complete trust and vulnerability.

My first adult love relationship was C, I was 21 and it was Halloween 1996 at the Glendora Lounge. I was out with my friend Andrea, dressed as a sexy nurse since those were the good ole 20 year old days. I will never forget how I walked up to him, gave him my number and asked him to call me sometime. I was so nervous, hands shaking, he was so handsome, and I thought so out of my league. But he just smiled up at me with such a radiant smile and said absolutely. He was beautiful this boy I would love, who I would lose myself so completely in that it would take me 4 years to get back up, gain my strength and be me again.  We had so many fun times but we were young and young love never seems to have that lasting stick, it seems to be all about heartbreak and lessons. I married this one though, because I wanted it to be forever and I was 23 so to me that word, forever, was obtainable.  At 40, I wonder if there is such a thing, forever love.  We were young, passionate, and stubborn and though we loved each other, love it seems is never enough. He cheated, and I was broken, and our story ended. There was of course so much more in the middle of that, crazy fights, lots of tears, emotional roller coaster rides of them but that is another story that I am not yet ready to tell all of.

My second go round with love was 13 years later, it was 2013 and at my friend’s wedding. I danced with D, he was the younger brother of the groom and I knew he was young but honestly I never realized how young until it was too late. I was already so deep, drowning in this one. Love is so relative, its different for everybody and though I loved my ex-husband it was such a young type of obsessive love. This one was different, it felt different, smelled different, it was an all encompassing type of love. It turned out to truly be the hardest love lesson, for I loved him, so completely and fiercely. I loved this one with fire in my veins, and stars in my eyes. I tried so hard to do everything right with him.  I had closed myself off for so long from love that when D came around he hit me with such a force that I was knocked off balance, and before I knew it I was love drunk. I miss him, the ache in my chest is still sometimes physical, though it comes less frequently now. With D there was such a karmic connection and understanding so when he left, all three times, I forgave him instantly, for I was him 20 years ago. I have such a deep empathy to him and I could never hate him, he did what he had to do for him. I was angry, and hurt, and I am still both of these things for he broke my heart so completely. Even though I still wish I could have closure, and that the ghost of him would leave my dreams, I will never hate this man. I will forever be unable to say a negative thing about him, for him I will love in a hidden piece of me forever.

This post will be my first official step, of release. There have been many tears shed for this loss, but I still feel so empty in my chest, like I am missing a piece of me that I will never get back. This heartbreak was so different, with C I was so angry, I felt I was owed so much. With D, it is just utter sadness, a loss so hard to bear that it was the first time I have literally been brought to my knees with grief from love. Death of my father did this too but in a different fashion, a different dimension of loss. I am having to learn how to fill the empty parts with other loves, of friends, my dog, and just breathing in love from the universe. When C cheated and I left I felt lost and broken but I was young and had so much still to learn and look forward too. With D I feel like I am shattered, unrepairable, that this was it for me, and I am afraid; afraid I will close myself off, board up my heart this time for good, that I will quit living.

There is a also a freedom when it comes to loss, reaching the bottom. You feel you have nothing left to lose, so you become reckless, free in a dark sense. This freedom I am embracing, along with anger my other friend. We this trio, are ready to jump, to fall, we are giving up in the truest sense our fear. For I have nothing left to fear, and nothing left to give, but I am trying. I am bit by bit, piece by piece, digging myself out. I have found small happiness in the laughter with new friends and co-workers, The antics of my Sage puppy,  I think I just cracked a smile, well maybe more of a smirk, and it could be just gas but hey its a start…

“Anger my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again”

I have a story inside of me, all of us do, and it unfolds day by day, piece by piece until that moment we realize we can finally tell it. Some of them are happy, some sad, some angry, and most all of the above. Today my story is about anger, why I have embraced it, and danced with it, and how it has become my fearless partner. Anger allows me to yell and scream, to listen to Pantera and Metallica and just be angry. Playing in my mind is the scene from the movie Legend where Lily is being wooed by darkness, and she is dancing with the dark dress and swaying until the next moment she has merged with her dark partner; as if she has become the dark part of herself, clothed in darkness, surrounded by it, loved by it. Darkness is not always evil, without darkness there can be no light. White is the absence of color, where black is the absorbence of all colors, so in essence darkness is when we have absorbed too much; absorbed all that the world has given us at once and we cannot reflect anything back, instead it has been absorbed within us to become the dark part of ourselves.

Anger is the best friend that keeps you out late, the friend who lets you pull out flowers, kick trash cans, act like as ass and still have your back. Anger is sometimes the fuel that allows us to get up every day and go on, because when we are angry we are not a sobbing, worthless mess. My anger is my best friend at times, and others my worst enemy, but I think that this is true for most people. Working through the steps of anything, grief, addiction, heart break, they all have steps that require us to get angry. To be able and OK with feeling this, allowing it to be beneficial and be a part of our growth factor. That is the choice that we ultimately have.

You see it doesn’t mater how smart, beautiful, or funny we are for we area all trapped inside that box in our heads where we go to hide, to grieve, mourn and scream at our regrets, our fear, our brokenness. We all have that space we hide in, escape to, board our past up in. Some of us stay there, and fall deeper into the abyss. while others crawl out inch by inch. I don’t know what is the defining factor between these two, but strength must be one. A favorite quote of mine is from Jacob’s Ladder, it is one of my favorite movies and I cry every time the part where Louie the chiropractor is fixing Jacob. quoting Eckhart Louie tells Jacob “The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that wont let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they’re not punishing you”, he said “they’re freeing your soul. So if your frightened, of dying and…you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth”. This quote means so much more to me as I read it now. I feel so haunted, by ghosts of the past, seeing my life full of devils pulling me apart. Maybe it really is just the universe telling me that I have to let this go.  Letting go, release, forgiveness, loving myself, are all also part of my story, all journeys that I have yet to master. I have to move on and realize that in trying to free my soul maybe I am not being torn apart but being freed.  We can be afraid and allow our fears to stop us from living, loving, and experiencing life or we can be sad, angry, hurt, grief stricken and deal with these feeling and grow within ourselves. This song is dedicated to those who run from life….”Can you fight the urge to run for another day? You might make it further if you learn to stay”… sometimes the lessons are in the pain, sometimes they are learned by those who stay….

Forever…we are changed

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On Thursday August 6, 2015 at 6:02 am my life was forever changed, I wake up to my mother screaming into my phone, “your dad, he just had a heart attack and he died, he died, he is dead”…  All of a sudden the world stopped, all of the air was sucked out of the room and it was so quiet, then instantly its glaringly loud and i’m screaming. I didn’t understand, I was half asleep thinking this must be a bad dream. Our reaction to grief is never foretold, I screamed, so loud, I couldn’t stop screaming and soon my landlords were banging on my door. My wails echoing in the dark room,  sounds so primal. These sounds are dredged from a place that we cannot fathom or reach except through these times, its a door only death can open. My dad died, he died, I never thought those words would be mine, my dad, he was supposed to live forever.

This year I cannot fathom how much the universe must hate me, it has taken away so much already, and now to take away the one who took care of our family, he was a provider, a father, a husband, and he was the hardest working man I ever knew. The man who every other man in my life will be judged by. It is too much, I do not know how to even begin to go on. It was so sudden this loss, he had just been up visiting me in Portland two weeks before. My heart was already so broken, being left alone in this screwed up city, while I was still grieving the loss of my aunt. Then three months later the universe takes my dad. These kinds of things are too much for me to bear, individually they broke me, collectively they shattered the already broken shards to dust. My heart is broken and I do not know if it will ever be fixed. I want to crawl into the deep underbelly and just stay, but I can’t, I have to be strong for my mom. to help her pick out the pictures and music for his tribute CD, write his obituary, his Eulogy, make a CD of his favorite music to play at his service and take his clothes to the mortuary. I felt so numb watching  my mom hang his suit, fold his underclothes, and my first thought was I don’t think he needs underwear mom. Going through all of his drawers, finding that he kept everything, all our pictures, cards, stupid pictures I colored him. Letters from my mom, all the postcards she sent them while they were dating, all his old pictures, he kept everything. I felt so much anger, why he had to be the one that died while my POS brother in jail still got to live, why my other brother got heart surgery and his still beats. Why did my dad have to be the one who’s heart  doesn’t. I never got to talk about life with my dad, fix the brokenness of our family, our relationship. The last words my dad spoke to me as he was leaving my house were “don’t be too stressed up here, not like me, its not healthy”. That was it, I hope we said we loved each other but I cannot remember if we did. I regret so much, I wish I had done so many things differently. I worked my entire life trying to make my dad proud. I carried so much with me, trying so hard, grasping for perfection so that he had at least one good kid. On the way home from his funeral I rode back to my parents house with my cousin Jo and her husband Kevin, she told me how proud my dad was of me, how he talked about me all the time, and when I was little he would beam at me, that he loved me.  I wish he had told me, I wish I had known all of this, while he was alive.  I feel like there is so much I didn’t know, didn’t understand about him, as a man, as a father. I wanted to use this last vacation to connect with him, to talk about the past and fix the broken parts but it didn’t turn out that way. He was so impatient with me,  yelling at me, so easily stressed and I will forever have to carry that with me. I remember telling him he was going to give himself a heart attack being so stressed all the time, I will never forget that I said those words to him, like a foretelling. I loved him, I will forever miss him, my life will never be the same again.

Tell your loved ones how much you love them, how much they mean to you, let go of grudges and fear.  Live your life, but live it with kindness, empathy, compassion and forgiveness. We really never know when our last breath will be, or the ones we love. In your lifetime what will you leave behind, how will you be remembered. My dad will be remembered for much, and I will hold all of my memories of him close in my heart.

My dad has a tribute page that can be visited by anyone, you can read his obituary and leave messages or memories of him…  http://www.greenlawnmortuaryandcemetery.com/obituaries/Bennett-Mathison/

 

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The Death of Self

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The death of me… I feel like I am mourning my life, my past, who I was, it is emotional, this death of self. I wonder how long I will be punished, for my hurt, my pain, my choices. Sometimes I feel the universe pulled the carpet out from under my feet, forcing me to fall. Depression, anxiety, the twins that everybody is afraid to speak of, and the things these two make us do. They are like the bad friends you had in high school who pushed you to smoke, ditch class. These two, they push you to see yourself in their light. Your worthless, you should give up, your a loser and that is why you do not deserve to be loved. Like vampires they feed bit by bit, taking over. Your depth of emotions become theirs and so softly, so lovingly they help you fall. People squirm, look away when mental health is brought up, unless they too are part of this fucked up club. Honesty too is the fucked up lie that we so often hide behind, but the truth is that depression is not being afraid of death, it is the fear of living. Of facing ourselves, our truth, so we give in to this dance with our two best friends and we believe what they are telling us. The loss of hope, the feeling that there is just nothing left to look forward to is heart wrenching. Having to get up everyday wondering… it will just be the same as yesterday and the day before, and the day after. I chopped my hair, I bought angry music, I cry in the shower everyday, I am afraid of never being loved, really deeply, the kind of love that never leaves those are my truths. What are yours….

There is a quote that I love about love, “it is a risk to love… what if it doesn’t work out…ahh but what if it does” being vulnerable sucks, sucks big time, it’s scary and shitty, but being vulnerable opens us up wholeheartedly to be able to absorb, to learn, to experience and in essence to change a little bit of ourselves, it’s growth pure and simple. It’s sad that we have to experience such pain and heartbreak in our lives but without it we maybe we would not cherish the beautiful moments that touch us to the soul, or to be able to connect and empathize with others. Maybe it’s all part of the master plan after all…eh

“Letters she never meant to send”

Letters she never meant to send is a short story I started last June, my second heart break, they say three is the charm so maybe with my third one this May Magic is afoot and this story will come to fruition. This is the first Chapter…

Note: this material is copyrighted and the property of Julie Mathison, no one has permission to take, borrow, copy or paste this anywhere on the web, in their own blog or to pass of as their own writing….04AUG2015

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Memories are like ghosts, they haunt us, lingering with the energy we feed them.  Often we live in our memories, remembering with sadness, longing, and regret. Our memories are ours and ours alone, differing from truth, in the way we want to remember them. Sometimes our memories are loving, lingering with fondness, sticking to us like honey on our fingers, other times bitter, like dark chicory coffee.  Lost, living in the past, remembered as better, better than now, better than what is, better than what we are afraid may come.

She woke with the light slipping through the windows, making odd wavy patterns on the wall like rippling water. She slowly remembered her dream; he was in it again like a veil of moonlight…haunting her. The memory of the dream was both sweet and sad, like the last bite of something you loved. She sighed as she threw the covers back over head, getting up just wasn’t an option yet. She reached up and felt the wetness on her face before she realized she was crying, again. She had to move on, to let go. She knew all of this, a hundred times over, but knowing and doing are two separate demons. She thought about the dream, what was it this time? Longing, regret, sadness, loneliness…or maybe all of the above. She sat up, drying her tears, a thought that was slowly coming to light in her head… that his weakness had become her strength.

She got up and rummaged in the old box she kept under the bed, it was full of all of her letters and she knew that letter was in there somewhere. It was time to send it, or burn it. She felt something stir inside her, like fluttering in her chest. There were so many letters in the box, the lost letters that always seemed to magically find their way to her. She didn’t know why, never questioned it, it was just who she was. People always found her, actually their letters always found her. Since she was young people always seemed to feel the magic she carried inside, and they always felt the need to give her their letters, the ones they needed to write, but never meant to send. So she kept them, holding the pain, heartbreak, anger, need, and love these letters were filled with. She never read them; she always put them in the beat up box she kept under her bed.

Today she realized she needed to release them, burn them and bury the ashes under the curly willow tree she had loved for years. She had brought the tree back after her short but beautifully happy time in the forest, it was a scraggly sapling when she carted it home and she had loved it into the magnificent tree it now was. She slowly withdrew the first letter, it was written on pink flowery paper. She remembered the sad broken hearted girl who she had sat next to on the bench.  The girl looked so lost, clutching a crumpled letter; it was wet from the tears dripping down her chin. She felt such sadness radiating from the girl and wanted so badly to tell her it would get better, that the pain would fade and float away, a tiny bit each day. But she knew she couldn’t, so she just quietly sat next to the girl, watching the crows land on the trees. After a few moments the girl looked up and she felt physical recoil at the emptiness that she saw in those eyes, only a broken heart could feel this empty, this lonely, and she understood that. Slowly she took the letter that the girl let drop on the ground. “Don’t worry” she said, “I’ll find the right place to put this”. The girl had gotten up, turned and looked like she was trying to say something, thank you maybe, but she just sighed, and started to tremble as she walked away.

The letter was so sad:

My heart aches today, not every day, but today I can’t catch my breath. I lay here and cry, how pathetic this is. How I allow you the power still, to hurt me. How can a single moment, a single heartbeat change your whole world. How can you love someone one moment, then not the next? I cannot understand this, why do I lie to my own heart. I just wanted to see you, one last time, why could you not grant me this. After all you had done, I deserved for you to at least face me. It makes me think you really are a coward when it comes to love, to life; living your life afraid, of rejection. I am so very proud of my own heart, never letting fear cloud its ability to love. I love fiercely, passionately and without abandon. I am not sorry I loved you, but I am sorry you didn’t deserve it.

I miss you today, not everyday…But today, today I’m thinking about how you smelled, kissing you, your touch. I can’t hold onto your image in my head. I’m trying not to be angry, trying so hard to not hate you but sometimes I fail.  Most days I am fine, I’m moving on. But there are still those days, like today where I just couldn’t get out of bed, where the sadness that lurks beneath takes over, but In the end I’ve found pieces of myself, pieces I thought were lost”

This one especially hit home, she knew that feeling all too well, emptiness was her best friend these days, lurking everywhere. She walked to the fire pit that came with the house; it was a beautiful fire pit with a bronze lid filled with carvings of the moon, stars and the sun. She sat under her willow tree holding the letter. She felt all of the pain and heart ache from the letter fade and float back into the void, then she burned it in the pit, left the ashes and went back to read another.

 

 

Darkness

 

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we think we always have forever….

Our heads are full of ghosts…we are often haunted by what we were never able to say, never able to experience, the places we never went, the people we never loved,  most often the people we did. It’s never until something or someone is gone that we realize what we took for granted. The small things, those inconsequential moments of a single touch, a smile, a hand on your back, lips on your neck, the touch that radiated such warmth when you would reach for me in the middle of the night.  It’s these moments that end up as ghosts haunting us, in our dreams, our memories. I remember your face, like a million different pictures in my head. Fear that one day I will wake and not remember, and then you’ll be gone, forever… from my head, from my heart.  I could pick you out of a darkened room, your smell, your touch. Love given freely is a gift, but the greatest thing about love is that in giving it we are learning our own lesson, it’s a beautiful circle of truth. Welcome to my realm, blacktreerealm…

“There is always a fated quality about falling in love, but if you are lucky enough to find that person, do not allow fears to get in the way”