Dying for Approval

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Find yourself first…like yourself first…love yourself FIRST…& friendship & love will naturally find YOU.

― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

One of the main reasons that I took a FaceBook hiatus is that I realized how much I was tied to the “like” of my posts. It was becoming painful for me to not receive the feedback I so desperately desired. The more likes I received, the more that I wanted and craved to get my “fix.” With the ego, the more that is given, the more that it wants.

In seeking the approval of others, I shortchanged myself. I devalued my own ability to meet my own needs. I devalued myself and my ability to love. I placed the approval of others higher than my own.

So I took a FB break. The first 2-3 days were tough. I think I may have had shakes a few times, it was a blur.

For nearly 3 weeks I did not log on at all. And even with my return, I have logged on three times over the course of 4 days. Usually, I would have logged on (easily) 3 times in an hour to check my messenger feeds, before my hiatus. Now, I’m finding, that I’m not reading those either (sorry, friends, please don’t take it personally).

It helps that I have not reactivated FB or messenger on my phone. I already feel like my life is busy and hectic with full-time work, and being a single mom (even if it’s w/ 50% shared custody).

What has changed?

What I’m finding is that I now choose to validate myself. I also send more text messages to my friends vs FB status posts or using messenger. My tolerance for others has also increased. One person who use to grate my nerves just a few months ago, I find that I am more relaxed around, less irritated. She has not changed, I have. My perspective of myself has changed. Thus the perspective of my world has changed.

“Start changing yourself if you want to change the life around you.”
Mahatma Ghandi

I have even recently noticed that things I would have posted before as status updates, or pictures, I have not even thought about posting. So some of my friends might be in for a surprise when we next meet =)

Namaste

Photo courtesy of photostock @ Freedigitalphotos.net

Then I Caught Myself…

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I thought I was over this.
I though I was through.

Yet, I caught myself,
still looking for you.

You walk into the room.
I imagine running my fingers through your thick hair.
Then you turn your back and leave.

You walk into the room, Take #2.
I imagine what it feels like to rub your balding crown.
Then you turn your back and leave.

You walk into the room, Take #3.
I imagine softly tracing the outlines of your ink lines.
Then you turn your back and leave.

It is now that I realize that it’s not the look of you that I’m looking for, it’s the sensations that I seek…

You walk into the room, Take #4.
I imagine where your eyes sparkle just before our lips meet for the first time.
Then you turn your back and leave.

You walk into the room, Take #5.
I imagine the ways and places where your body touches mine.
Then you turn your back and leave.

You walk into the room, Take #6.
I imagine the sound of your voice whispering in my upturned ear.Then you turn your back and leave.
Then you turn your back and leave.

It is now that I realize that it’s not the senses of you that I’m looking for, it’s the feelings that I seek…

You walk into the room, Take #7.
I imagine what it feels like when you walk with me, at my side.
Then you turn with me and we leave, together.

Namaste

Photo courtesy of arztsamui at Freedigitalphotos.net

Three Days Ago

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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

― Anaïs Nin

Three days ago, I let you go…
For a moment maybe a few hours at least, I felt free. And then…
The seed of emptiness that was planted in yesterdays, shot up like a weed.
An unwanted vine in my garden.
It wrapped its thin silky fingers, little innocent-seeming tendrils, around the beautiful flowers I had planted in my moments of being free.

Three days ago, I let you go…Now:
I once again crave your presence.
I see where I have loved myself (and the world) not.
I see where I have turned away from love, in so many ways.
I see where I created the void that I just keep hoping you would find and fill.

However, the truth is that the void is my own, mine alone.
The truth is that it was never yours to fill.
So now I sit in the sweet stillness of my creation.
I sit to see where I can now choose to love, where once I chose to not.
I sit to embrace and love the nooks and crannies of the void, to begin to fill this pit.

I am grateful for the space.
I am grateful for the time.
I am grateful for the unfolding,
of myself for myself.
It’s not so selfish, as it sounds.

Namaste

Photo Courtesy of  Simon Howden at Freedigitalphotos.net

Marching Orders

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Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

From Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen

***

Rush, push.
Next mission.
Keep moving.
Don’t stop:
to feel,
to taste,
to embrace,
this moment,
this experience,
this love.

Keep moving!
Into the:
next experience,
next moment,
next objective.

Love is
just beyond:
my reach,
this moment,
that ridge –
out yonder.

Keep moving!
Keep reaching!
Keep hoping…
Keep praying.
Keep MOVING!

Forward, MARCH!
Left, Right.
Left, Right.
Left (behind).

Behind me,
parts left.
Eyeballs FORWARD!
Forward, MARCH!

Keep moving!
Ignore pain.
Ignore feelings.
Ignore rain.
Ignore all
keep going.

March, soldier!
March onward….
Never quit,
or you just might feel what you’re running from.

Keep moving!
Lest your demons catch up with you,
and you see how much of a piece of shit you really are.

So you double your pace,
out of cadence.
out of order.
out of fear.

When will it ever stop?

Photo Courtesy of hyena reality @ Freedigitalphotos.net

The Empty Frame

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The wound is the place where the light enters you. -Rumi

There is a deep, pervasive emptiness from which I often try to run and hide. It permeates and weaves through so many aspects of my life, like a malignant web of blackness that darkens my vision and protects me from the very thing that I seek: Love.

Filling my time, my schedule, my mind with activities and tasks, I avoid looking into the emptiness. Yet it beckons me. It calls out and sometimes it seems to  swallow my being. Late last night I tried to avoid its call. I stayed out late, in the hopes of falling asleep before I could gain a glimpse at the emptiness. Instead, it fixed it’s fiery eyes on me and stared me right in the face, gripping my heart with its icy tendrils. It’s grip would not relax until I finally relinquished my fear and met its leering gaze. Once I acknowledged its presence, the real free-fall began.

It is interesting how disconnecting from Facebook, meditating and “Letting go” of my dream of a lover has helped me to find this barren desert in my soul.

In scanning last night through the YouTube videos of one of my favorite spiritual leaders, Teal Swan, I quickly happened upon a post called “Emptiness (How to Stop Feeling Empty)”, embedded below. This nearly 9-minute post helped me to begin to see many of the places in which I have turned away from love. I was able to see a new perspective of where I have been wounded, the moments where I was hurt by what I thought was love.

Love didn’t hurt you. Someone who doesn’t know how to love hurt you & you confused the two.

– Tony Gaskins, Jr

At my core, I know that love heals. To live the full truth of the healing properties of Love, I am looking through my “debris field” for all of the parts of me I have left behind; the parts that believe love hurts.

At the end of the video, Teal uses one of my favorite Rumi quotes to summarize the message she is conveying:

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

Photo Courtesy of adamr at Freedigitalphotos.net

Letting You Go to Embrace What Is

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Letting go of a dream, even one deferred.

Letting go of the hopes, wishes and aspirations for your presence here in my life.

Letting go of the unspent moments of tomorrows yet to be.

***

Releasing the idea of you on the wind, (fly and be free).

Releasing the thoughts of what I wanted so desperately to be (go, now).

Releasing the pain of the loneliness that I dreamt only you could cure (being my own cure).

***

Moving forward with my life (let’s roll).

Moving into the next moment with detachment (being present with the now).

Moving through my loneliness as only I can, with as much grace as I can muster (with flowers in my hair).

***

There is still a place for you in my heart (it is filled with love).

There is still a place for you by my side (though it is empty not).

There is still a silence when I ask for you to speak (though sometimes I believe I hear you whisper)

***

Yes, I know you are still there (why wouldn’t you be?)

Yes, I know that if it is meant to be, it will  (there is no need to push).

Yes, I am learning to love myself in new and more expansive ways (as only I can).

***

Know that I am still here (why wouldn’t I be?)

Know that I still foresee your arrival at my door (maybe it’s for another lifetime).

Know that I am going to thrive, even without you here (as I hope you are also).

***

Letting you go means I am rolling onwards (no longer waiting).

Letting you go means I am breathing on my own (no longer holding my breath).

Letting you go means I’m expanding further into my own, on my own (as I hope you are also).

***

Embrace your new found freedom (as I am).

Embrace the Divinity of who you are,  right now (as I do the same)

Embrace the peace that is your truth (as I learn that,  too).

***

Knock when you are ready (I will answer).

Namaste.

Photo courtesy of winnond at Freedigitalphotos.net

Impermanence II

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A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Live long and prosper.  Leonard Nimoy

It occurs to me right now that life would be really boring if we were stuck on the same path, without the freedom to change our life circumstances. Not to mention, this would actually be both very saddening and even more maddening, at least for me. Maybe impermanence really is not such a “bad thing.” (For the record, I never really said it was in the first place.)

Then I found this quote, which sums up what I’ve just said, or tried to say:

Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. – Buddha

Then I found more quotes that I just wanted to share:

It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not. – Thich Nhat Hanh

As a water bead on a lotus leaf, as water on a red lilly, does not adhere, so the sage does not adhere to the seen, the heard, or the sensed. – Buddha

May we all be unattached to permanence and, thus, without suffering.

Namaste

Photo courtesy of Detanan at Freedigitalphotos.net