Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Hurt me with the truth but never comfort me with a lie

I've experienced a major lesson of authenticity.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. There's no acceptable alternative or in-between. No need to sugarcoat or evade the truth. Be so honest that you're invisible. Transparent. See-through. No one can call you out on your truths if you have nothing to hide.

Reliability has always been a concept that didn't make sense to me when someone didn't display it. I'm astonished at the amount of promises that are broken because how hard is it to:
a) follow through
or
b) don't make promises you can't keep.
And this is because I had the absolute privilege of growing up with a father that never lets me down, and shows me that being reliable is one non-negotiable quality that I will not compromise.

If you're not in, you're in the way. Don't tell me what you're going to do, show me. Be committed to giving a minimum of 100%.

I strive to offer love and respect for every individual I meet. However sometimes it's necessary to make the conscious decision to do so at a distance.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

I Don't Intend To Survive, I Want To Live

You can never connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking back.

I have so many ideas and things I want to do. I never stop asking the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?". I love asking kids this and hearing their ideas. By the end of my life I hope I tried everything I wanted to try. Maybe I'll be an expert at some things, maybe I won't. I hope I get to experience all the adventures of trying new things and learning a new trade.

I love that feeling when you stop and reflect on your life and really deeply realize how far you've come. A year ago, could you have even imagined you'd be where you are at this moment? And isn't it crazy to think that you can't even begin to predict what a year from now will look like. We have ideas and goals and dreams and on the journey towards our pursuits the universe throws curve balls and forks in the road that bring us invaluable life lessons and experiences.

I look back at the moments in my life I felt so much frustration from the pressure I put on myself to be doing more, working more, being more. The self-inflicted stress and worry I put on myself in the past all seems so pointless now because everything fell into place naturally anyway, even if it isn't exactly how I had planned it... I need to remember that when I put that same pressure on myself today.

Keep learning, keep moving, keep growing. There is no race and there is no timeline saying you're supposed to be at this point by this time. Keep doing what's fun and what makes you happy. Then ten years will have gone by and you still might not have figured out what you want to do when you grow up. You might be 50 and you still have lots of growing up time.

We easily get caught up in bills and obligations. What we should do versus what we would absolutely love to do. In the list of careers I have had the wonderful opportunities to be a part of, I have really learned what it is to decide from your heart what will fulfill you rather than from your brain (and likely your budget) what will allow you to survive or just get by.

Our brains need to take the back seat and let our hearts lead the way.


Friday, December 6, 2019

How To Forgive Without Hearing "I'm Sorry"

I've been wanting to write about this for a while. The therapeutic process of writing helps me to understand the things I have struggled with; forgiveness without needing apologies.

Perhaps someone has hurt you. Perhaps this person has come into your life and somewhere along the way ripped your heart out of your chest. Pulled the pin from a grenade and walked away scot-free, leaving you to pick up the pieces and clean up the rubble.

When you're deeply hurt, it's hard to let go. I wish it were like a lightswitch I could just turn on and off to release the pain. Why hold on to that? Where do we put it down?

Think of how it feels physically when you hold on to hurt and resentment. Where in your body do you feel it? Your stomach? Your chest? Your throat?

I often feel that anxiety in a combination of those areas, and I notice that my emotional issues manifest physically - most of the time in the throat. Coughs, soreness, bronchitis, strep... The throat is the chimney to the heart. Sometimes my words, feelings, and emotions just get stuck in there.

Forgiveness does not mean that you condone their behavior. It does not mean that what they did was okay. It does not mean you have to have a relationship. Although a sincere apology means you have been acknowledged, it won't always be there. That's their truth and their karma to deal with. It doesn't make them wrong, it doesn't make you right. Forgiveness is an exercise in self-love, allowing you to heal and move on.

Also know that forgiveness does not happen over night.
Love yourself enough to release this struggle.

You are brave. You are courageous. You are loved and adored. Most importantly by yourself.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

All Good Things Are Wild And Free



If I ever push you away, I don't really mean to. When I tell you I don't want to talk about it, I do, and I'm just looking for the right words. Give me a minute and if I can tell you, I will. I try to be a struggling mix of real and perfect at the same time. When I get really quiet sometimes it is because I have too much to say, I have thought of too many things to tell you at once and I don't know what to say first. I get immaturely jealous of anyone who gets to see you on a daily basis. I miss you really easy but I also like that we can be
a         p       a       r       t
and we are both okay. Space is good too. I love the way we love some of the same things. And I love how we love entirely different things. My head is a complicated pile of thoughts, and fears, and cravings, and dreams, and this tangled up nostalgia for the past and somehow for the future. I'm flawed and I'm human, I'm broken and I'm trying. I'm one person and have two hands and I have one heart and I love you and I'm so glad you are here.

-Unknown

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

I am both war and woman and you cannot stop me


My Goal For Today Is To Have A Really Nice Day

“Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”
Fred Rogers


I used to avoid sleeping. I'd stay up late and wake up early. I'd live on very few hours at a time and it didn't bother me much. I'd laugh when someone would ask "Do you, like, never sleep?". I've never been a coffee drinker but I always had more than enough energy. In the last month, I've been sleeping as much I can to help me catch up with myself and process.


I'm human. I get mad. I feel emotions. I have a temper. And an ego. Some days I come down with sadness. Some days my on/off switch is a little blurred. I get kind of nostalgic when I think about sad moments and how they've contributed to my life. Wounds make us, us. 

Some days it feels like I'm treading water. Feeling empowered that I'm doing this on my own but having my moments where I try to forget that it was my choice to swim away from shore and let go of all my floatation devices. It can get scary swimming in a big open ocean on your own when you can't always see what's beneath the surface. I've seen fairytales that didn't live happily ever after, and had more life in my years than my biological age will display. I've seen that the sun still rises and our hearts keep beating and we keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. You will never find your heaven if you stay in your hell and those thorns will never turn to flowers if you stay out of the sunlight

I am learning to be who I am without having to explain it to anybody.  

People are who they are and do what they do whether or not you like it or agree with them. We each have lessons to learn. We each take a different path to our lessons. There are times when someone's path will cross your path and cause you to stumble or fall. That does not make them wrong. That does not make you right

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Are you as close to giving up as I’d be?

I used to wonder if my amount of daydreaming affects my sleep at night. Most people can't remember their dreams at night when they are asleep, but they can always remember their dreams during the day when they are awake. If you have recurring dreams when you are asleep at night it is said that your subconscious is trying to tell you something. If you have recurring dreams when you are awake during the day, it can be a wonderful thing because you're setting out goals and daydreaming emits positive energies for your life.

I will never stop day dreaming. The amount of time I spend day dreaming never increases or decreases, just the topics and the ideas my head conjures up changes.

I'm good at keeping people awake. Not always in a way they enjoy. I get so chatty right before bedtime. This was a habit as a child as well. I'd instigate long intelligent debates and conversations. I've had the light turned off and the door closed on me more than once. What does this mean? I love to sleep, but getting there is a battle.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Too Bad Love Is An Etch-A-Sketch. Good Thing Love Is An Etch-A-Sketch

“We were the see-through. We were the glass doors everyone kept running into, 
trying to learn how to shatter without hurting someone...”

Tell me about losing your best friend. Tell me about letting someone go chase their dreams and how everything changed when they came back. Tell me about long distance heartaches. About calculating your timezones for those bedtime phone calls. Tell me about waking up to their ringtone at 3 or 4am. The best kind of wake-up call. Didn't matter how tired you were the next day.

Tell me about "You don't know what you've got till it's gone". Tell me about making mistakes you don't regret. Tell me about sharing your truth and revealing weaknesses and the vulnerability that comes with losing the person you lost your secrets to. Tell me how you did this to yourself. And how these signs that appear out of the blue all over your life make it easier and harder at the same time. That being 7 digits, and 8 kilometers, and 10 minutes away makes you ache.



"Why am I still here?"

"You're not. You're a ghost."

"I thought I left."

"You did. You're always leaving."

"Where am I now?"

"Always here. Never here again."




Hold Me While You Wait - Lewis Capaldi

Friday, November 29, 2019

The heart forms long before the ribcage

I wake up shaking with cold, throw my hair up into a hummingbird's nest and give myself a deadline to get out the door. This is my morning routine. Except for today. Today I made it through steps one and two, and then surrendered to the embrace of my king sized bed and pillow cased in one of my Mom's old sweaters.

I tried to meditate this cold away. Next time I will bring a harmonica. If I'm going to breathe this world deep I'm going to get a song out of it.

I'm now going to sleep for a million years and wake up tomorrow.

Last night I dreamed I was a rainstorm that was terrified to let loose all the rain that I had carried for so long because if I did not have it, then maybe, just maybe I did not exist. It was then I realized that if I do not let it all fall then I would not be a rainstorm at all.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Reverse Parades

I am honoring myself.

I am not attending obligations. I am letting the phone ring. I am letting calls go to voicemail. I am responding to messages if and when I feel like it. I am calling in 'sad' to work when I need to be with family. After my last journey through grief I jumped right back into regular life before I was ready for it and it was pretty detrimental for my well-being.

I broke a mirror yesterday. There is a crack in my reflection. There is a long line right down the centre of my own image. We are meant to look deeper at ourselves when we are broken. We need to be brutally honest and confront what we feel, even if it hurts. We need to accept what is, even if we don't like it. We need to display what we are made of, even if we are still figuring it out.

There are many arms outstretched. There are many hearts being offered to fill the piece of mine that is missing. There are tears being shed on my behalf when I've cried out all of my own. My heart is beating in a new rhythm that I am still learning.

In the moment of my breakdown, when it all sunk in, I learned who I wanted to be and how I would become her.
Something in me broke, but not in a bad way. It released things that were being blocked.
It felt like a broken rib, and it hurts with every breath taken until it heals.

In the last month it felt like part of my heart was taken from my chest, reversed, flipped inside out and shown to me. This is what it looks like. This is what you're doing. This is why it hurts.
And then shoved it back in to say "Now deal with it, and have nice day!"

And I have been.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Don’t do anything halfway, unless you’re willing to be half happy.

Losing you is most difficult for me, but the nature of my love for you is what matters. 
If it distorts into half-truth, then perhaps it is better not to love you. I must keep my mind but lose you.
Haruki Murakami

I want to come from love. And I want to do it all the time. I can’t expect it to always look the same though. I remember a friend saying that God loved his daughter enough to say no – something He had a hard time with. Sometimes love says, “no this doesn’t work for me.” Sometimes love walks away, because staying would conflict with loving and being true to who we are. And, staying would make it very difficult to come from love.


Don’t do anything halfway, unless you’re willing to be half happy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tired Of Being So Exhausted


Rolling with the punches: To move away from an opponent's blows to lessen the force of impact. 

"When it happens... you find out who your real friends are..."

I've always been skeptical about that phrase, wondering if the reality truly is about abandonment, or if it is a misinterpretation of intentions.

We give love the way we want to receive it.

During times of chaos or despair, our well-meaning friends may not know how to help pick up the pieces. They may fear they'll cut themselves in the process. 

Or maybe they're too busy picking up their own, wondering why you aren't on your knees with them.

How could you be? Can't they see you're already scraped up and bruised with your own shattered glass? And dang it, the dustpan keeps spilling. While you're sweeping from all angles, you're not realizing their dustpan is overflowing. It's not abandonment, its unawareness.

Or maybe... they're not purposely choosing to leave you in solitude on your darkest days. Maybe they're just standing on the other side holding the flashlight. Waiting for you to decide to step through that door and help light the way.

There’s a difference between being abandoned by a shitty person and having boundaries set by a person who loves you and wants the best for you.

There's a difference between rolling with the punches and being a punching bag.

There's a difference between loving with attachment and loving from a distance.
The amount of love can still be equal. The perception is up to the beholder.

Monday, November 25, 2019

I Love Me, I Am Enough, And That's Always Enough.

The heart is a muscle, just like any other. And the best exercise you can do for it is called picking yourself up off the floor 


Every time a loved one has to go away, I'm left to flex that muscle that aches when I miss them. Just like any other muscle that can rip and tear and grow back stronger. I imagine it growing stronger when they leave, so that it hurts less the next time. Each time they go, my heart aches a bit less, my stomach doesn't flip flop so much, and the tears slowly diminish. But, as I dry the tears from my misty eyes, I am grateful to have loved so much that it makes goodbyes feel so hard. I'm grateful for how far I've come to get here. To let love in, in the first place.

I first discovered a similar feeling at sixteen. It yearned for attention and approval. My first boyfriend. Teenage romance. It was puppy love, always wanting to be together, but not really knowing what love was yet. When that relationship ultimately ended, as most young loves do, it transformed into a self-love struggle. When your heart breaks for the first time as a teenager, and you experience new things like rumours swirling, mean girls scheming... finding a safe place to put your heart is a challenge. You feel a little more skeptical of who you can trust. You wonder if your past experiences will manifest again in the future. You learn how to play the games. This is just the beginning.

It took many years of playing the games for me to realize that what I was doing was looking for my self-worth in something other than my authentic self. I looked for my self-worth in who I was connected to, where I lived, or what I did for a living. This was the hardest discovery of them all. I relapsed many times... into bad relationships, unhealthy habits, negative thinking, attachment to outcome. A desperate need for connection, attention, progress, from relationships or work. I was so focused on what I looked like to the outside world based on who and what I had, that I didn't give myself the opportunity to look into my own heart to find what would truly feed my spirit.

Sometimes the walls you've put up, the shell you've contained yourself in, the barriers you hide behind... need to crack. As Leonard Cohen would say: that's how the light gets in. The harder you try to hide, the more walls you try to put up; it creates pressure that eventually has to come down. Whether it comes down gracefully when you choose to let go, or with a big crash when you can't take the weight anymore. The light gets in. What's ahead is foggy but there's a light shining on the pieces you need to pick up. You can choose if you do the hard soul-aching work to pick them up or if you want to step on the broken glass. You decide which pain you prefer to endure.

Before now, that muscle was based on attachment to others. If the guy called: I am worthy. If I got the job/opportunity: I am important. I was always missing the parts of myself I was not self aware enough to see. The aches I felt when relationships or opportunities didn't work out was because I was missing the part of me that says "I love me, I am enough, and that's always enough"

I realized my mental and emotional wellbeing requires just as much effort as the effort to keep our physical body healthy. We do our best to eat balanced meals, sleep well, and exercise regularly. We can see the physical progress in our body as it becomes stronger and more energetic. What do you need to do for your mental and emotional well being?

For me... it's writing. Journalling. This is my me-time. When I was lost and going through this self-love, self discovery phase I found this journalling book that helped my soul to open up. I'm starting the 40 day challenge again and will write about it through my next phase of life challenges. Self-discovery is the scariest but also most intriguing experiences to go through. You dig up things you forgot about. You unpack baggage you didn't realize you had. My physical body fought me on it (read about that here). I was on bed-rest for a while as my body reacted to the emotional struggles I faced. Carrying on in a sinking ship is not bravery. Pick up the pieces or step on them. Either way it's going to hurt. It's never easy but always worth it.

Round 2 of opening up my soul: here we go.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Please. Live. Now.

“Your hand can seize today, but not tomorrow; and thoughts of your tomorrow are nothing but desire. Don’t waste this breath, if your heart isn’t crazy, since "the rest of your life" won’t last forever.” 
― Omar KhayyámQuatrains - Ballades


When I was 16 I went through a phase where I was overwhelmed with the fear that I was going to die. Inevitably, we all will, and it's a strange thought to think that everyone we know will one day not be here. I don't know where the fear came from. I just couldn't see life past 17 and I feared that life would be cut short.

I think of people I knew who died tragically and young. Anything other than passing naturally at an old age seems tragic. They all had plans, hopes, and dreams of the future. Things that they just never got to do or be. People they never got to meet and love... People who never got to meet and love them. For reasons we don't know, or don't remember agreeing to in our soul contracts, life is cut short and those future dreams are never experienced.

I've been thinking about it again lately. I've been yearning for more time and I don't know why it feels like something I'm aching for. I've always wished I had the superpower to stop and start time, like an episode of the Twilight Zone where he presses a button on his pocketwatch to freeze everything but himself. I'd make it different that I could pick and choose who gets frozen in time with me so maybe my mom and I could shop without the crowds. I could sleep in and go to the gym without it taking extra time out of my day. I could travel instantly without any real time passing, I'd never be late for anything, and I'd always be prepared.

When I was a child and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer was always "a mommy". I want love and travel and adventures and comfort but most of all to complete this lifetime I want the experience of motherhood. To love someone that came from you, to be completely obsessed with them and their quality of life and safety and happiness.

I want every communication, encounter, and experience to be left a loving one. We hear too many stories of the last words said being less than positive. When I was in trouble as a child I'd often ask for reassurance: "when you're mad at me, you still love me right?"

I am blessed with such wonderful friends and family and relationships. I wish I could see them all the time and for everyone to know how much they mean to me. Again, if I could freeze time I would have enough time and freedom to do anything and be anywhere with anyone. There would never be any juggling schedules.

Please don't waste any time to be loving, to allow love, accept love, and always the right kind of love. Please don't waste time to apologize, and admit when you've been wrong or hurtful whether intentional or not. Please don't let life get in the way of being with the people you love most. No one ever said on their deathbed that they wished they were busier and spent less time with family.

I want an infinite amount of Christmas mornings with my family, and summer days, and vacations at the beach, and Disney adventures, and dinners with friends. 
I don't want it to ever end.

The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.
-Louis E. Boone