Sowing Love (a poem)

Flickering light in golden hues

Casts shadows over me,

Over you.

Threading the needle,

Sometimes in this darkness

Feels impossible.

Slows breath,

Furrows brow,

Eye squints,

Focus on passing through.

Pulling together fabric

With golden threads

What once was separate

Returns to one.

A finger prick

Fabric from white to red

A broken heart

A weary head

Warp and weft

Infused with love

For you,

For me.

Forgiveness

Blessings

Sown with seeds

Planted between the seams

Golden threads bring together

What was torn asunder

By pain, by fear

By endless Constraints

Brokenness.

By love felt anew

An open heart

No longer fears reprisal

An open vessel

Ready to receive

Wrapped in a blanket

Sewn for you,

For me.

Namaste

Living Our Dreams

How can you fully grasp the new dream if you’re still holding onto the old reality?

Surrender is the name of the game. Repeatedly giving over all which does not serve to our higher power. This opens our channels so that we can receive the new dream.

Remaining grounded and connected to ourselves keeps us in awareness. While focusing on others keeps us wallowing in our own suffering, for we cannot see the power we have to get out. We must ask for support to receive it. If we are distracted, then we stay in struggle as we must walk through or ask to have the old removed.

As we clear, it is important for us to remain curious and open “like a child.” It is here that we are more receptive. One step leads to the next. At times it may feel like the wrong step. Yet in remaining open and curious we are able to more clearly see. It is best to avoid certainty, as this closes the waves of possibility. In our openness, we allow for more to be created.

It’s about loving and forgiving the parts of ourselves and others who have lived in the belief that love is found through suffering. When these thoughts and stories surface, be willing to love and forgive the parts of you that believe it and anyone else who helped you create that. Again, this helps us to see and live the new dream.

Namaste

Is How We Relate Healthy?

Fire up the spit, because I’m going to roast myself! No, not literally, but figuratively. Before unleashing the mea culpa, I have some thought-provoking questions for you:

  • Do you have a hard time asking for or receiving help or “handouts?” Yet, do you often “give ’til it hurts?” Do you then feel resentful when you help others and they do not acknowledge your actions “enough” or not at all?
  • Is it hard for you to watch someone else suffer? Or are you a “people pleaser?”
  • Are you someone who hates it when someone is unhappy, especially if it’s with you? Do you continually do things to seek validation and approval? Do you have the “need to feel needed?”
  • Or do you feel that there is something wrong with you, to where you try to “make up for it” by being helpful or of service to others?
  • Do you often feel responsible, at fault, or blame yourself for the behaviors and actions of others?

Personally, I have said “yes” to each and every one of these questions for far, far too long. Yet with learning to love myself, I am saying “no” to more and more of them. Today, I am bringing awareness to myself and hopefully to you, the reader, in what healing codependency looks like from the inside. So let’s dive in!

co·de·pend·en·cy
ˌkōdəˈpendənsē/
noun
  1. excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.

Power Plays. Throughout my life, I have sought validation from others based on my actions. While the actions have changed as I have “grown up,” that same nagging need was always there, “others will like me if I _______.” This is the basis for loss of personal power and boundaries. By handing over the keys to self-esteem, it is no longer our own. I would then, unknowingly, seek to balance that power loss by manipulating others to be or feel dependent on me through my incessant giving and being of service.

Then when I didn’t receive the gratitude, or validation I sought from others, I would become resentful. “Look what I did for you,” I would think – sometimes I’ve even said this aloud to my children. EEK! Yet folks, this is how it happens: we learn these patterns, typically, from our parents, then we perpetuate it because it’s what we KNOW!

Eventually I would also “turn the knife on myself” and think things like “I’m just not worthy. S/he just doesn’t like me.”In missing my “fix,” I worked harder. Self-care fell to the wayside and “supporting” the other person would become paramount. Here we have a loss of boundaries.

So in giving, I would often overcompensate. Whether it was my energy, my time, gifts or help, the scale of giving was often heavily tipped in the other person’s favor. To the point that when I would withdrawal my energy, the relationship would seem to quickly dissolve. This then would set me up for more seeking by asking “are they still there?” This can be exhausting: for myself and I’m quite sure for the other person, too… more EEK!

This giving to receive is highly manipulative and is a “slight of hand,” is it not? I did these things because I believed I needed to control others to get the love I needed, because I did not believe that I was worthy of love: straight up (or neat).

It has been through awareness that I have begun to shift these patterns more and more, relying less on others to fill my needs. To get out of the seeking habit, after I recognize the seeking pattern, I turn my attention on myself (it was hard at first, because I had learned to focus on the other person and what they were or were not doing). It is here that I ask myself, “What is it that I feel I need from this person?”

The answer has been: acceptance, validation, love or compassion. I then give that to myself to the fullest extent of my abilities, while I breathe and feel into the void that I’ve been avoiding feeling. When the challenge has seemed too tough, I have asked God or The Universe for assistance.

For me, this has been a healing process won minute-by-minute, day-by-day and at times by degrees. The key to changing has been consistently learning to meet my own internal needs for approval. As such, self-care is also important! (lack of self-care just perpetuates these giving/seeking cycles…ironically and sadly… without self-care we just circle the codependency drain – pun intentional.) Note: Seeking support is different from seeking someone else to fill the voids we are avoiding!  

The shame/blame game is an interesting one. As a codependent, I have believed there was something “wrong with me.” This shame had been a big motivator for seeking someone who could “fill the void.” Ironically, this was usually people who choose to not accept blame themselves. Can you see where this is going? I feel shame, and they seek someone to blame. The other person then never has to take responsibility to change and I get to feel like a martyr; victim-mode activated! This cycle continues to self-perpetuate until someone leaves or changes. Self-love helps to heal the roots of shame, as does speaking out; silence perpetuates shame

So as terrible as this sounds, in being co-dependent, I had learned to “feel good” when I was taking the blame for someone else (and secretly controlling them; a secret I kept even from myself!). Yet relating this way only served to reinforce my shame. This may be the plot twist you’re looking for: enabling the blamer supported me in believing I was “holier than him/her.” OUCH!

This realization that I felt holier than someone else has certainly been something that I completely avoided recognizing about myself! Going a step further: I’m seeing where I may be unintentionally creating codependent children. EEK-cubed! (choking back vomit & tears…) 

Enter the Narcissist/blamer-codependent continuum. After recognizing that I have been teaching my children what I have learned, I see where I have also been the blamer/narcissist! After all, the two are just different sides of the same coin. Both seek power in manipulative and under-handed ways. Both act as victims and thus lack personal responsibility: the narcissist in blaming the codependent, AND after the end of the relationship, the codependent often blames the narcissist for making them a victim.

In the beginning of the relationship, as a codependent, I sought void-filling from the narcissist. Later, the narcissist sought refuge in my ability to accept blame. We’d like to think that there are clear-cut roles. However, it’s very interesting that we can easily find articles written by a codependent, but where are all of the articles written from the narcissist’s viewpoint? Regardless of how we cut it or label ourselves or the “other,” if we are in these relationships we are part of the problem: codependent or not!

In seeing my relationship patterns now, I am further breaking free as this way of living no longer serves me.

Breaking free bears reiteration, the keys are self-love and self-care.  Giving myself more freely of these gifts has increased my awareness, my desire for and motivation for change. Again, when we see the patterns emerging, we must turn a good dose of compassion and love onto ourselves. Remember: Focusing on what the other person is or isn’t doing only keeps us stuck. Compassion and love for ourselves is the way. When in doubt, rinse and repeat. Then do it again!

Finally, holding anger against someone else or ourselves hurts us more than anyone else. Self-forgiveness is often harder to give. Yet, it is in forgiving ourselves that we free ourselves from our own confines. If we had known better, we sure-as-heck would’ve done better. We live what we learned, until we choose differently. Love you, boo! ❤️

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. 

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Namaste

Images: Google

Prayer Circle Request

Prayer is a personal thing for each of us. For me, I both believe in the power of prayer and in force multipliers; the more people praying with the same intention boosts the power of the prayers.

With that in mind, on this day I am writing to ask a prayer. A loved one of mine is needing help and is refusing it. Please pray that this anonymous individual receives the care that is needed, in the best and highest way.

In return, I will pray for each person who replies and requests any prayers. I ask that anyone requesting a prayer also prays for those who are also on the list.

Thank you, in advance. Positive thoughts, I believe, are also a form of prayer and are very welcome in this circle.

May peace be with you and yours.

Namaste

Image: Google

Navigating The Spaces Between (NatPoWriMo)

How confusing it can be

When nothing is as it seems

Traveling along seams

Between what was, what could be,

& what is yet to be…

Navigating the spaces between.

~~

Betwixt

One may feel tricked

Yet it is here

We can choose differently.

Seeds in spring sprout

Some seedlings become great trees

While others give in to rot

~~

Navigating the spaces between

New seeds planted and sprout

What are we watering?

Navigating the spaces between.

Allowing Through Heartache to Let Go

 

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Heartaches make us through breaking us, for in breaking apart the beliefs that we hold dear, we rebuild ourselves in better and better ways. This can be hard to understand when in the midst of heartbreak, for often we hold onto the pain, or we hold onto the good things that we “lost,” that we fail to see the full picture.

While heartbreak is a painful process to go through, there are ways in which we can make it easier for ourselves. Just as we cannot force a paper cut to heal, we cannot force our broken hearts to heal. In fact, by forcing the process, we end up delaying it further. It is through allowing the healing process that we arrive more quickly at our destination.

The first step here is awareness: seeing and hearing what we are thinking. When we see the process as a classroom in which we learn about ourselves, we become witnesses to our own rebirth. By becoming aware of our thoughts, we become present with what is happening within us.

The next step is being willing to see our thoughts, almost as if written on a chalkboard, while we sit back in our seats – witnessing them without punishing ourselves, or judging our thoughts. This can be a challenge, as we have usually spent our entire lives putting “good and bad” labels on e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that we think or do. So here we put down the scorecards and allow our thoughts to flow (see, we’re allowing again). It is in this witness seat where we begin to see the bigger picture. Just as a student sees the lesson best when 1. in the classroom and 2. from the desk/not with a nose on the chalkboard, we must be willing to both be present as well as sit back some so that we can see.

The third step is to see the patterns that emerge. This is done by “rinsing and repeating” the first two steps: being aware and witnessing. With time, the patterns begin to emerge when we see our thoughts in the witness seat.

The next step is to allow the patterns to shift. Often, we want to force a shift as soon as we have a thought we don’t desire by forcing the change. However, this is like peeling the scab off of the papercut; we actually keep the undesirable thought energy in place.

When the pain feels too much to bear, it is important to keep breathing, to feel where we feel supported (the bed, floor, chair, etc), and to keep being aware. If we slowly count to 10, we can begin to feel the wave crest and then fall.

When I get stuck mentally, I find that my body also gets stuck. It is during these times that I begin to journal, stretch, walk/move, be grateful, or by taking a salt bath. Most of all: the most important thing is to KEEP BREATHING! The more areas of our bodies we can breathe into, the easier it is for the emotions to keep moving, too. For it is when we hold our breaths that the energy and thoughts get stuck, too.

Allowing to let go. It can be both more challenging and also easier than we may think. So please allow yourself to heal, to shift and to be moved.

Namaste

Becoming The Love You’ve Been Looking For

Fantasies about knights in shining armor started at a young age for me. I wanted a man to save me from my miseries; to whisk me away on his stead into the sunset. Fairytales, it seems, were a vast part of my psyche.

Then in my late thirties when my marriage dissolved and I was left to face my life, with my miseries and messes, I turned away by looking for the knight in shining armor again; and to no avail. In seeking, I upped my misery. Yet while I sought, I also began to look inward. This blog, in all of its iterations, reflects a good part of that journey.

Today, I am seeing that the love and acceptance I’ve sought in others was quietly waiting…right here, inside of me. Yes, I’ve read in books this concept of self-love. Yet, it was only recently that I began to experience it as a regular part of my daily life and reality.

How has this come to be, you may be wondering? It really is more simple than you may want to believe. If you’ve been following my story, you may see the pattern. It is about the consistent application of self-love and self-compassion in the face of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

To be more specific: The places where we have built walls must be torn down. Those walls are the thoughts and beliefs that block us from our own light, our own love and in maintaining those walls, it eats up our energy.

This place of self-love is behind those walls. It can feel scary to “walk into” those blockades, for each brick is a thought we have taken the time to place and mortar together to form these walls. Then we take to painting our beliefs of who we are, like murals, on these walls. So to look closely at any of the murals or walls is to question our very own self-concept. It can feel like death to question who we are. In a way it is: it is the death of who we believed we were.

Furthermore, we feel vulnerable when we take those walls down. As each of those bricks was formed in the belief that life or love hurts us. Yet the reality is that those very walls keep us locked in with the pain, while the love we seek remains on the other side of the keep.

The very thing we seek is within us. It is up to us to break down the walls that separate us from ourselves and hence from others. We can be so busy blaming others for our pain that we avoid seeing how we are hurting ourselves and creating the very things that keep us locked in that hell.

So go to those walls. Breathe through the fear, the heartache. Write, cry, dance and be moved by the emotions that you’ve been keeping locked up. In freeing them, you free yourself. With each wall you break down, you will find another measure of love for yourself.

It is in “feeling the rainbow” of human emotions that we become who we are here to be: ourselves unlimited, ourselves being free.

Namaste

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