resisting emotional erosion

feels.gif

The GIF above demonstrates my internal feeling state. I’ve always just assumed that this is how I’ll always be, that it’s as persistent as a personality trait. But lately I’ve been questioning that belief.

“Highly sensitive” is one way to describe this phenomenon. Empathic is another. Yet another is emotional overexcitability.

“Overexcitability” is a giftedness term. The following is from an article on overexcitabilities by Sharon Lind, a gifted education expert, consultant, and speaker:

Overexcitabilities (OEs) are inborn, heightened abilities to receive and respond to stimuli. They are expressed in increased sensitivity, awareness, and intensity. Each form of overexcitability points to a higher than average sensitivity of its receptors.

And I need to take a little side trip here: when it comes to hearing the term “gifted,” most people are familiar with the intellectual OE. But there are four others: emotional, imaginational, psychomotor, and sensual.

This is how Lind describes emotional overexcitability:

Emotional OE is […] is reflected in heightened, intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions, identification with others’ feelings, and strong affective expression (Piechowski, 1991). […] Emotionally overexcitable people have a remarkable capacity for deep relationships; they show strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977). They have compassion, empathy, and sensitivity in relationships. This sensitivity may lead to interpersonal conflict about the depth, or lack of depth, in a relationship.

Astrological sidenote: Astrologically, I can explain the phenomenon of being emotional overexcitability as having a full moon in Cancer conjoined with a Jupiter retrograde in Cancer. Big, internalized feels.

The moon represents our emotions and our core, primal needs. Jupiter is an expansive planet, which can also pertain to big ideas (see: religion and philosophy). But for the sake of this post, consider it as an intensifier or expander.

The moon rules Cancer, and the moon transits through each sign every 2.5 days or so. So if you want to understand why your Cancer friends are moody, they’re experiencing personality shifts (of sorts), 12 times every month!

A full moon in Cancer is probably as moony as you could get, with maybe full moon in Taurus could be more, since the moon is exalted, or an honored guest, in Taurus.

I haven’t really felt like I could control how I feel about certain things, or for how long. Cancerian folks are known to remember everything, and that includes hurts and slights. But it also can be the more pleasant experiences in life.

But the holding onto hurts, frankly, has gotten annoying in my older age. There’s only so much brain space and heart space that I have. I don’t want to hold onto to old, dead things that cannot be revived or changed.


Although this month has brought a lot of inner peace and stability, even though my circumstances are still unstable, I haven’t wanted to go along for the ride anymore.

I’ve been playing this game online with others, and I kinda got thrown under the bus because I refused to do something stupid – even though everyone was asking me to do it. I watched as this dude was talking to these other people who were not a part of our group about me, but not by name.

That did piss me off and I vented to a friend about it. He wanted me to talk to the group about it. I’m probably going to leave because it’s a bit of an unorganized shitshow, but I was so annoyed earlier that I was dreaming about it. 

I wanted to play a game to have fun, not dream about the terrible group dynamics.

I cared too much.

So instead of confront thing guy talk shit to virtual stranges, I decided to just at vent for a limited amount of time because I was really heated. I really like winning.

At the same time, I could have left after this incident, but I feel intensely loyal. Yet it hasn’t even been two weeks – which is a great reason to leave, actually.

That was three days ago. Now I feel alright. I’m still on the fence about leaving, but I’m not dreaming about the gameplay or seething in anger. By the end of the that day, I was fine. And that choice – to vent for a little bit and then leave it alone – never seemed possible to me before until recently.


Another moment that took me off guard was seeing social media updates from a few friends about romantic relationships that I had no idea about or that I barely knew about and still didn’t know about.

There was an initial pang of sadness that I didn’t know, but then it melted into resolve, into that newer aphorism of “whatever is meant for you will not pass you by.”

The sadness comes from being closer once upon a time and now knowing that I was primarily close to these people because I continuously reached out. And that is exhausting.

Cancer moon folks really love to nurture and to serve, and I overextended that part of myself, not just with these people, but with everyone. And although I really love to serve, I do deserve to get as good as I give.

It does really suck that I’m not as close as I want to be with these folks, but at the same time, no one is really reaching out to me. But life goes on and the spaces that have become open can be filled with folks who do reach out, people I don’t have to be so open so soon with.

Before, seeing those updates would have rolled me into a major avalanche of sorrow and shame. It wasn’t even that I’m still single and they’re not anymore – thank goodness, because that’s another level of hell I need to spare myself from. It was just that the connection had faded from something strong and steady to practically non-existent.

But for the most part, I was the one carrying the current, ensuring that the line stayed open. Now, that energy that was moving towards them can return back to me.


Strong emotional attachments to people…it’s a heavy torch to carry, and I have never questioned that it was the right thing to do until last year. The way I was reacting to how awful 2018 was for me, it was making things worse, in a way that made life intolerable to live.

Taking a long social media break was the hard reset I needed. I needed to face, and embrace, that most people are never going to care about me as much or as deeply as I care about them. That still stings, to admit that to myself and to you mostly anonymous but valued readers. But it’s the truth, a truth that comes with choices.

So if most people aren’t going to care that much, if at all, then I get to choose who I give all this caring to. 

Some longtime mutual follower on Twitter unfollowed me this week and I was faced with a choice. Am I going to wallow in self-introspection, wondering which tweet of mine pissed her off enough to unfollow? Or am I just going to unfollow back, feel a little sad about it, and move on? I chose option #2.

I can’t just say, “it’s just social media” or “it’s just the internet”. There are real people who are at the end of these pixels, people with real feelings and desires. The internet is a powerful way to connect with people just like you.

As I was trying to explain two posts ago, I know that I’ve tried to make everyone close to me. It’s not a bug, though – it’s a feature of someone whose moon is in her 7th house of partnership.

But I don’t have to apply this feature to every single person I find likable. 


With the people who have gone last year, you may be wondering why I’m not trying to reconnect with anyone. I know from reading MWF Seeking BFF that friendship does involve a lot of initiating, which is something that comes and goes with me.

But with all the people who have faded or disappeared, I was a different person choosing then. In 2018, I could see myself catch up to the changes I had wanted to make in myself. And that could be why a lot of people left. Transition does that, causes relationships to shift or just plain ol’ die.

So ultimately, it all comes down to what I value in myself and in others. If I value myself, then I value my feelings, as broad and plenteous as they are.

But I don’t have to be swamped by my feelings. I can choose to engage in the swirling eddies, and I can jump out when it becomes too much.

In her article, Lind goes on to say that folks with emotional OEs need to accept all feelings as is, regardless of intensity. And that’s something that society has been trying to force me not to do since I’ve been alive.

And I’ve been helping in that effort to suppress my feelings. I’ve been biting my tongue. I’ve been holding space. I’ve been over-intuiting. I’ve been “anticipating needs”.

I’ve been bloody miserable.


It’s hard to interrupt automatic processes until something or someone else does. For me, it was the hellscape that was 2018. The way I was coping, self-berating which lead into abject hopelessness…well, if I was actually interested in living, this was not a way to live.

I made a lot of things that weren’t really about me about me.

And now that 2018 is over, and I’ve made a real concerted effort to not take 2018 with me into this year, I have more of a bird’s-eye view of my life. And that view gives me a better sense of control over how I see it. Being immersed in the everyday highs and lows can feel overwhelming.

But really, a lot of this stuff just isn’t that serious. And that’s a welcomed relief.

I don’t have to keep reacting in the same ways to the same people. But it can be so hard to break lifelong patterns. There’s a comfort in the ordinary lives we make for ourselves, even if they’re seeping with things we don’t necessarily need or even like.

I know, trust, and believe that the people who have left are not the only ones in the world for me to know and love. There are people who aren’t going to be weirded out by my emotional intensity, people who, in fact, love and will revel in it.

I don’t have to be so desperate. I don’t have to seek my ultimate security within relationships, even my natal chart is like…um, yeah, girl, that’s how you roll. I feel like I’ve been able to seek it within, more and more.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t been wanting to be a part of something close. I honor those pangs of longing, but I don’t have them dictate my identity anymore. I just let them inform me as to what I’m valuing at the time.

I’ve been choosing poorly because I haven’t valued my journey enough, and a lot of it is marked by abandonment.


I’ve been revisiting a book on recovering from abandonment, and it’s not that even feel that abandoned anymore…but I have in the past, and I want to lick this wound so I don’t make bad choices in the future. If you’ve ever had a bad breakup you can’t seem to get over, then I highly recommend that book and any others by Susan Anderson.

One thing the book talks about is how feelings of abandonment aren’t meant to be feared, even though they are at the core of all of us. We can better handle when people unexpectedly leave us. We don’t have to haunt the graveyards of our past relationships forever. We can return to the land of the living.


I’m still on my The Divine Comedy kick, and this song, “Love What You Do” has become a bit of an anthem. The band/Neil Hannon doesn’t usually sounds like this (but I tell you, that look he has circa 2001 is still somehow the aesthetic I prefer! 🤣). It’s a lot more orchestral and lush. He’d be a great lounge singer, and I mean that with all respect and affection.

Musical sidenote: This sound is Nigel Godrich’s doing, the famous producer who has worked with Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s solo work. And if this sounds like Kid A and Amnesiac, then you have a good ear, because this album, Regeneration, was created right after those two.

Fangirling for foreign boys and the lovely bass groove of the song aside, it’s the lyrics that stick with me.

Hannon can get very clever and literary with his lyrics (e.g., he has one song just listing out a bunch of authors). But this is pretty straightforward, maybe even too straightforward for his arch lyrical style:

If you want it, you can have it
If you need it, go and get it
Whatever it is you’ve got to love it

That’s the chorus. The song is basically like: live your life, don’t let yourself get in your own way, and don’t settle for shit that you don’t love.

It’s interesting how strangers can sometimes give us permission do to the things we need to do, like live a life that isn’t steeped in misery and heartache. Like wow, there’s a different choice I can make here.

This song somehow became a permission slip to embrace the beautiful parts of life, however brief – and that includes feeling good and thinking about the people who allow me to be my full, “too much”, loquacious, overly sensitive, multi-faceted self.

And, I don’t need to wait to be open to the good and to express those feelings. I don’t have to keep fixing myself to be acceptable. 

#SmartThingsASuperScorpioTaughtMe


So what do I want and need? To let go. I choose to hope for things to get better – however cautiously I’m doing that right now.

I want and need to let these intense feelings rise, crest, and fall. I choose to not let the feelings carve into me like some sort of wearying tidal emotional erosion.

I want and need to be separate from my feelings, for these messengers to not be little tyrants I try to stuff down and hide, controlling me from the inside.

Even more so, despite that I’ve had to separate myself from mostly everyone (and vice versa), I want and need the right people to be around me. And I don’t have to try to contort myself to be overly accommodating, patient, and sometimes obsequious. I can be patient with myself, with the unfolding of ourselves.

I can look at being alone and be content while still desiring community and a partner that finds all of this ever so charming, not something to be withstood or tolerated.

Separation and loss and isolation: all of that can still feel bad and at sometimes excruciating, but that doesn’t have to be my complete story, as it has been for the past few years.

I want and need to lay down the resentment, shame, and bitterness of this decade, of this life. And based on how I feel right now, it looks like I’ve gotten closer to getting those wants and needs met.


If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

Advertisements

waiting is never passive

allow yourself SOM

It’s a somewhat chilly Monday morning, with brightly leadened skies. The heater is blasting as it’s almost 60 degrees. That probably sounds balmy to you if you’ve endured the latest polar vortex, but Floridian homes are created to breathe not insulate. So it can get very drafty and damp. The cold seems to get in your bones, making you unable to get warm.

So it’s a new month and a new moon in Aquarius becoming exact this afternoon. 

A new moon, a new work week, a new month, and I don’t really know what’s coming or what I’m doing next.

Except that I kinda do.

And now, I want to shift back to how I wanted this blog to be besides a log of the struggles and trials I’ve been through.

I want to talk about the spiritual shit more than the psychological shit. It all belongs, but I haven’t really been talking about this much. And that’s mainly because I have put that part of my life on ice.

Or, a more generous perspective: life’s circumstances caused me to focus on the daily practical parts of my life.

So within the past week I’ve had two tarot readings, and they’ve repeated what I have known I’ve needed to do, but I haven’t given myself permission to do:

Chill the fuck out.

No hustling. No grinding. That’s over.

I should be glad, but I’m a bit terrified, as one of my tarot readers and friend thought I would be.

It’s not only that I need to chill. It’s that things are going to get better. Unsurprisingly, I’m wary of that because I don’t feel like I’ve worked hard enough to get there right now. And that working hard could be some overcompensation of feeling undeserving.

Could good things just come to me?

Besides that, my work desk is cleared. There are only three people I want to follow up with, which I will do tomorrow.

But beyond that, it’s just me, celebrating and resting (as I have been invited to do by my latest tarot reading), which automatically sounds like laziness. 

But it’s not. Within this waiting period, for the good to come, I want to respond to things I’m only thrilled about doing.

The last project I worked on was basically for an audience like myself, so that was fun and pretty easy to do. 

And that project came to me, through my business website.

What I’ve realized is that when projects come to me, they’re pretty easy to do. Most of what I did last year, for better and for worse, came to me.

So even though I’ve heard twice – that by relaxing, I’ll be able to get what I need and then some – it’s a struggle to relax.

I’m actually getting some supplemental help because my Capricornian nature basically needs to be forced to relax. I’ll let you all know how that goes.

I’ve written about how I see all this space opening up. Having lost some business at the end of last month is a part of that opening up.

And this is what I want, new and better things to come to me. I just thought it’d be more of a hand-off, like a relay, from one project to the next. Not, as what has been foreseen, a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation.

Of course, the worry is mainly about money, and that’s primarily what the readings had concerns about, but even more largely: what’s next?

What one of the tarot readings showed that I’ll be doing something which combines everything I’ve done in the past, but that there isn’t necessarily a word or label for it yet. And that aligns with how I feel right now, and what I’ve been trying to accomplish for the past few years but have been unable to fully bring into being.

Or, you could say that all my attempts will be realized soon.

I can’t remember who mentioned to me that I’d be going into coaching and speaking –maybe another intuitive – but that almost fit. I’ve heard it before that I’d be a speaker. But that sounds like a lifetime ago.

Simply put, I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for or waiting on. I just know that I can’t take on projects just because I think I can do them and because I need the money. 

If there has ever been a lesson I’ve learned in the past few years is that although I can’t necessarily control the circumstances where I’m desperate, when you are desperate, you tend to make piss poor choices, whether it’s with the friends you keep or the jobs you take or the items your purchase or how you market yourself to potential clients and employers.

Desperation clouds sound decision making.

(While I was looking at Twitter, an astrologer friend said the same thing about desperation. As the kids say: energy! (I have no idea what this means.))

So as the skies have now cleared and the sun is now shining…

Even though I’m not supposed to grind and hustle, I want to be drawn towards the people, places, and situations from a place of inner stability.

Another word for inner stability: confidence. I had an astrological reading with another friend before the two tarot readings, and confidence came up. It came up in the first of the two tarot readings as well.

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, it’s no surprise that my confidence, especially after last year, had been shaken.

Where I shakily am right now is…I don’t want to do anything stupid.

But there are things I want to do which I feel like are stupid to do right now…because if I’m not searching for another gig or client, then I’m not doing my part in the survival and thrival of me.

Thin, cottony clouds have gathered again and the sunshine is bright and pale.

While writing this, I just reached out to four people that I want to work with or have worked with (couldn’t wait until tomorrow). But that’s the energy I want to follow, evolving from a sense of duty and forced ability to desire and easy, breezy joy.

So what “stupid” things do I want to do? Right now, just two things, but they’re lengthy.

I want to read these two books on indie rock bands that I’ve received over my Christmas birthdays. I want to work on my novel. 

One more thing that isn’t so stupid to me: write like how I used to in grad school. I feel my writing is stalling or crystallizing in a way that shows that it’s prematurely finished.

I feel like I haven’t done enough creatively with it. It’s going on five years since I graduated from grad school…

I try to capture words and then they scatter like a flock of pigeons. I feel like I write something solid and bordering on really good and it only gets two views…

The skies have cleared again and the sun is mercilessly shining on me.

I know this time alone is precious, oh so precious…but sometimes it still feels like it’s some cosmic punishment. And I know I’ve said this before.

There will be a time when I look back upon this fumbling around and wish I had that space again, to explore, to fuck up, to try again, and to follow my gut. 

Doing very little of what I’m used to doing – calling, writing, chasing, scoping, fretting – it’s really terrifying.

I’m a doer, not a receiver. I’m not a go-by-her-gut’er, not a rester.

Can I trust myself and the guidance I’ve repeatedly received?

I was reading this blog post, which has a podcast and transcript about a blogger who writes about waiting. There’s been a lot of waiting already, for my whole adult life.

But waiting is never passive.

And so much of having work and having money is being able to live the life I want, but all of that has been stalled. And in a capitalist society, it’s hard to have meaningful relationships with having some money, which is really sad to say.

Even still, I’m trying (a forum here, a game alliance there), and the results have been mostly mixed.

But that’s OK. I have to keep reminding myself that relying on school and church as my primary social gatherings will take time to unlearn, that it’s OK just to get out there and try…and fail…and try again. It doesn’t make me less of a human for being sometimes lonely and mostly alone. It makes me even more human to reach out and to continue to reach out, even through tears of disappointment and rejection.

It’s tough to read articles like this one, which is something I’ve been waiting on, too. But also, I’ve been forcing this to happen for years, this type of close friendship – on almost everyone, on too many people.

Intimacy does take some intention and follow-through, but it also takes ready and willing partners. It takes time for people to get to know one another. And sometimes, it just takes the right timing, for all the stars to align.

That’s a thing I want, that I’ve always wanted, but I can at least say that isn’t stupid. It’s just fucking elusive.

The sun has ducked under some stratus clouds, but it’s still quite bright. It will set in a couple of hours.

But eventually, I know I’ll be in a place where I will be truly loved and cared for, where I can give that love and care in return without feeling depleted or misunderstood. And it’s good albeit humbling to be open about that…

Like with my current musical crush, The Divine Comedy. In my last blog, I put a song of theirs at the end.

Their (or really his because it’s basically this one dude, Neil Hannon) latest album, Foreverland, is unabashedly about love and about his significant other (an Irish singer/songwriter whom you can hear on a couple of the tracks). He says as much somewhere (wish I could find it). 

The Divine Comedy is an orchestral pop outfit (which may be my favorite genre of music, right up there with house and indie rock), and he’s/they’re quite funny, sometimes a little baudy, artful, and, in that latest album, disarmingly sincere. That sincerity can be found on other songs, too.

I’ve been listening to this group for the past few days and it’s been an aural delight. It’s all because I listened to this song by Robbie Williams and Hannon sang “goodbye” with a sonorous baritone voice,  and I always liked that part but never knew who sang it.

Also! Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys sings the other background vocal and I went on a Pet Shop Boys listening binge late last year, too. So yeah, that song has spawn three listening binges, and it’s one of my favorite Robbie Williams songs. And come to think of it, all three of these dudes have some very distinctive voices…

Behind trees and thin cirrus clouds, the sun starts its setting motion and the golden hour will begin soon.

One of the things brought up in my latest tarot reading was love, like the mushy romantic type, and I believe I finally feel ready for it. And oddly (in a timely fashion), listening to The Divine Comedy has pushed me head first into these dizzying pools of emotion.

Although, when the card came up (The Lovers), I thought, cool, I need to make a choice! That’s one of the common interpretations. And I actually default to that now because my incurably romantic side always defaulted to romantic love. 

I’ll keep the rest of this to myself, but even though I feel ready, it doesn’t make it any less scary, and that’s because this person isn’t new (I’ll say that much, which is too much). And that would confirm all the messages I have received about them recently.

But really, I just feel like…whatever I’m going to be doing with this person is a big part of what’s next – OK, that’s my hope.

No matter who it’s with, I feel like there’s not much left to do except that, but “that” is a very big that. And that is really strange to say, as some go-get-’em Capricorn, to start engine braking instead of hitting the gas; to coast instead of accelerate; to let gravity and entropy have their way. 

Could it really be that I’ve done enough?

It’s strange when you’re used to years of digging, toiling, pulling, pushing…and then something just gives way.

You see sunlight. You hit that vein of gold. You find that hidden reservoir. 

You can rest now.

I’ve dug and toiled and pulled and pushed. And there isn’t much left around me.

This whole space clearing goes beyond career, and even beyond this person. Dare I be prophetic about it, or at least intentional: it’s going to be a whole new life. And this life that I live now has prepared me for it.

But it was be markedly different, to the point that this part, this unsatisfying, painful, bitter part, will seem like someone else lived that life.

And that’s what I want. That’s what I’ve worked towards. That’s what I’ve called in, prayed for, cried over, written about for years…

The sun will set in 27 minutes. I can’t see the sun anymore, though. Just waning light filtering through some clouds…

I should be excited, right? A job/gig that will incorporate all that I’ve done and being with someone that I don’t have to try so hard with.

But where’s the certainty? Where are the reassurances?  Where’s the security that life often will not give me but I seek anyway?

Where’s the proof? Where are the receipts? Where is the money-back guarantee? Where’s the insurance? What are the plans B through Z?

Everything comes down to faith and trust, no matter if I coat it with a Joel Osteen evangelical sheen or bedazzle it with rose quartz crystals.

And, well, that sucks.

I could go to a 100 tarot readers and they would all say the same thing. For example, I had my annual birthday tarot reading with a friend and The Lovers came up, for love not a choice.

So yes, reassurances have been made. Good things are coming. Soon. 

Yay?

But shit happens, you know? Unexpected shit. And shit has happened. Lots of shit. But I’m done with this shit, especially the shit that is planning for the rainy day, the disaster, the unmitigated tragedy, the skinned knees, and the broken hearts.

It’s the occupational hazards of being a human being. And this month, I have to let my heart lead the way, through the jungles of doubts and past hurts and disappointments.

I have to believe that I know what I’m doing, even if it seems crazy to me.

I have to keep the faith in the goodness waiting for me just around the bend…

The sun set about five minutes ago. The golden hour ends and the blue hour begins. I see the sun’s orange-pink reflections in some puffy clouds out to the west.

I was going to end this with a song from The Divine Comedy (this one). But I will end with some Tom Petty, since I’m heading this way anyway…

You can consider this chorus as a prayer for you and for me.

And I know that look that’s on your face
There’s somethin’ lucky about this place
There’s somethin’ good comin’
For you and me
Somethin’ good comin’
There has to be


If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 10 Least Popular Posts

hope work SOM

Last week I gave same shine to my 10 more popular post. This week, I wanted to give even more shine to my 10 least popular posts, between 1 to 3 views! Sacre bleu!

Granted, a lot of these posts were from 2016, when I wasn’t blogging as regularly. But there are some good thoughts in here about my life journey that are worth revisiting.

  1. an ode to OK Computer Radiohead’s OK Computer had a 20th anniversary last year, and I wrote about what this album meant to me and the time in my life I was listening to it heavily. I was really proud of this and was shocked that only one person viewed this piece.
  2. The roller coaster mystery – a short post on how I was trying to hang in there with the roller coaster of life.
  3. waiting on something decent and good – this was about a really dark time in Winter 2017.
  4. Mud walk – rough times right after my contract wasn’t renewed and coming back from home after Hurricane Matthew
  5. It’s all in the timing – Yeah, October 2016 sucked.
  6. “I accept that”/the lost tribe – Also March 2017 really sucked.
  7. Calling on the right ones – A lesson about asking the right people for help, which I’m still learning.
  8. When there’s nothing left to say – A post-birthday fuck you to 2016.
  9. a buyer’s market – A missive to my fellow straight women about dating men
  10. woo (hoo) woo The real first post of my blog post, but then my spiritual journey changed drastically as it sat in my drafts.

Postscript

It’s tough to look back on these posts, since a lot of how I feel hasn’t changed because a lot of my circumstances haven’t changed–they’ve even worsened!

It really hurts to feel like at times, I’m still walking in mud, that I’m still waiting on something decent and good, that I’m still holding on for dear life on the roller coaster mystery of life.

Today I pulled the 9 of Pentacles as my tarot card of the day, and I felt disheartened (yesterday’s card was 5 of Cups).

When is this rich, self-sufficient lady going to show up?

It’s sad when one of the card I typically would love to see comes up as encouragement, but right now, it feels like I’m being taunted.

One thing that has changed, though, is who is in my life. And that keeps changing–but it seems to be changing for the better.

I found out this month that two friends, one from the East Coast and one from the West Coast, had included me in their rituals for more money. And it’s seemed to have worked!

I’m still so touched know that although it’s still a very lonely existence here in Florida, there were two friends who thought of me and my wellbeing–and did something positive about it.

Even with my visit to the metaphysical store this past Friday, I wanted to see if the energetic shifts that I had made since the total solar eclipse last August and beyond had made any difference.

I had visited back in February and really hated the vibe. As a friend told me, usually people who are in those stores are looking for help, thus low vibes.

This time, I went and it was pleasant.

I had 3 candles fixed (candle fixing means adding herbs, spices and oils to a candle, usually a 7-day candle), and the woman who did it, she really was in tune with what I was thinking and feeling. Just getting the candles fixed was a supportive and healing experience.

And although one of the candles started as an oily, fiery, seething mess, two of them are burning now–one for love and one for money. And I can feel the difference.

But will it be enough? I really don’t know.

I know I want positive change, and that I’ve been working hard on this. My blog reflects on some of those efforts to go past surviving to thriving.

That sustained effort takes a little bit of hope.

And hope takes work. “Hope is a discipline.”

Hope is not like some feathery thing that floats in on the wind. Hope is something that I have to cultivate and grow, every single day.

I’m fed up enough to grow some real hope in my life. And as I burn these candles this week, I’ll think about all the steps I took for me to get here, and how I’m even more ready to write a new story for my life.

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

newton’s cradle of grief

newton's cradle.gif

This month has been a lot for a heart to take and to process.

A massacre. A rock legend’s death. Potentially hundreds of people dying in on an island with barely any power or not enough clean running water. The exposure of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of one movie mogul. The cascade of stories of survival and the exposure of other perpetrators. Wildfires destroying more acreage than the size of New York City.

Another rock legend dies from brain cancer last night.

I took yet another break from Twitter because I was starting to sound shrill and sucked into this vortex of pain and anger. For me to leave because of an emotional contagion is saying a lot, because that’s not usually my bag. The people I am friends with on Twitter are my main community, which I am chagrined, but they are real people, real people who really matter. So it’s kind of a big deal to me when I’m not there.

And I’m not the only one who has left for Twitter for a spell. It’s more than OK to take a break from things when they aren’t serving you.

I also left because astrologically, Mercury is conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio and I wanted to focus more on improving my writing and editing business, to dip my silver tongue in the stars and say all the right things to all the right people. But emotionally, I’ve been a lot distracted, even with my sabbatical from Twitter.

And actually, Mercury conjunct Jupiter, in Scorpio, has probably created the climate of this fixation on sharing pain and anger.

And my heart just pours over…

Gord Downie’s death last night was one that Canada has been bracing for since he announced his battle with brain cancer and the subsequent final tour with his band, The Tragically Hip. It was a band I knew about back in 1996. I loved the song, “Ahead by a Century,” but I had no clue how big the band was in Canada and how much Downie meant to his nation. I learned a lot about that last year.

It’s weird how his death allowed me to shed at least one tear for Tom Petty. I’m listening to him right now (Highway Companion, for the record) and I can finally do that a little more, listen to his music. It’s like all the pain and trauma from this month is in a Newton’s cradle. This new loss of Gord Downie, and the grief of a whole nation, knocks through all the grief from before and starts at the grief at the beginning of the month.

I can’t even comprehend what happened in Las Vegas, though. It’s unfathomable, even though people die of violence here, and elsewhere, every day. What’s going on in Puerto Rico is closing in on genocide due to chosen negligence.

My conscience is seared all the way around, but maybe it’s the only way to get through the day so I don’t collapse under the weight of the all the pain and sorrow that’s been very heavy lately. It’s fixed, like Scorpio energy can be.

And then there’s my own stuff.

Not to roll out the scroll of my own suffering, but living here has been triggering memories of living with my family of origin, of how unpredictable it was due to living with someone who has untreated mental health issues. That came to a(nother) head today when I once again woke at 5:30am in the morning to the smell of brewing coffee, which derailed my whole day. It took forever to go back to bed, and then I woke up too late.

If something gets tripped up like that, over and over, to mean it means it’s time for healing. So today, I was planning on doing some work-related things, but today was a day to work some of those old emotions out: forgiveness and self-compassion and grief and anger.

New things knocking around old things.

And I imagine that’s what it’s like to hear these survivor stories–being triggered as others tell their stories. I only hope that healing can occur as Newton’s cradle of grief goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

This may sound really rah-rah and strident, but in this increasingly fixed and stubborn energy, I want to think about solutions. Especially if you’re any kind of marginalized person, you already know the world is a fucked up place. You’ve tried, in your own way, to heal yourself, to bring healing to your corner of the planet. Yet sometimes Twitter can just become an echo chamber and all you can hear are endless screams and cries and groans and yells. It could be an empath’s burden, feeling everyone else’s feels so easily. But one can only feel so much…

As I was telling a friend today, I’m so tired of hearing people glibly say that we’re all gonna die. I’ve gone through hell and back too many times for that sort of existential resignation.

I don’t have any overarching solutions right now that don’t involve a lot of money–as my friend today has surmised. So right now, the best thing I can do is to make sure I can make some so I can donate to causes that support marginalized people, i.e., take care of myself so I can take care of others.

What else can I do?

I love the people who love me back hard.

I continue to find compassion for myself as I look at my old stories with fresh and kind eyes.

I try to push back the dark, rolling clouds of doom that tried, and failed to overwhelm me today.

I keep hope close to me, but not too close so it smothers me with exaggerated optimism.

I cry if I need to.

I attempt to be more grateful and rejoice if and when I’m successful.

I look for the threads that hold things the good things together. Tie those thread tighter.

I do the best I can and know that it’s enough.

I can even look forward to things, like having my own family and not living here and/or in Florida anymore.

For now, I have to focus on the work that’s in front of me, which includes fighting to be here and not drowning in doom. If I’m sleep deprived like I am today, it can be really hard. But the fight is worth it.

To find joy and hope in the midst of immense suffering can seem impossible. But in order to survive and really live, it’s necessary.

May we all keep fighting to be here and to be happy, loved, and safe.

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘

lengthen the fuse 💣

learn to savor SOM

Again and again and again…hasn’t really been my thing.

As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life on repeat. It just makes me want to lay on the floor and smoke, maybe cry. It’s very airy (and Lana is a Gemini).

I’m not really used to listening to albums over and over—which I believe it what most people do if they like a song or an album. Usually a few times is enough, or I’ll spread it out over time. I don’t want to get tired of it so soon. I want to make the pleasure last as long as possible.

I’m not sure what kicked this over for me, to allow myself to listen and watch things repeatedly. When I evacuated to Chicago to escape certain power failure at my house due to Hurricane Irma, I stayed with a friend and her 3-year-old son. He loves the Disney movie Moana—and (now!) I do, too. In the 12 days I was there, I saw it on at least three times. I never do that with movies, even with the few that I own (then why the hell do I own them?🤷🏾‍♀️)

But then, a couple of weekends ago, I watched the “San Junipero” episode from the Netflix TV show, Black Mirror again. It was really transformational the second time around, and I watched it to feel better. I ended up feeling like my heart had been busted wide open—I got a lot more I bargained for.

Beyond Lana Del Rey, someone who I didn’t even want to be into but Lust for Life is a damn good album, this week I’ve been listening to music I like over and over. This week, I also kept listening to The Cranberries’ Something Else, which is mostly an acoustic version of their hits with two new songs. Listening to that has been grounding somehow, very calming. I keep going back to certain songs and listening to them.

Turn towards the good (especially) when things are bad…

One thing I forget is to turn to music when things are hard—or even just to turn to it at all. But it’s been there for me so many times.

I remember being semi-homeless around this time 3 years ago. I was driving the big hills of Clermont, leaving my last Airbnb for another itinerant stay on the other side of town. I was driving with the sunroof open and the windows down, singing to this K-pop/rock dude in Korean. It was such a liberating feeling, with my consolidated life in plastic bins and suitcases, with the wind whipping through the car. Even though I had no real home, that felt really…good. I felt at home in myself. Even going back to that memory feels really good.

I do wonder why I don’t turn to good things, especially when things are bad, or just not so great. There’s even science behind how savoring is good for your wellbeing. 

It’s been a rough few years down here, but I withhold feeling good until circumstances are good, like I need to feel safe to feel happy. And, well, that’s terrible. So why not be like my friend’s son and watch the same movie over and over, play the same songs over and over?

The ever-annoying Mr. Cancer Sticks 😤🚬😷

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know the ongoing saga of living with this wizened old white dude in his early 60s, whom I disaffectionately call Mr. Cancer Sticks, because he’s a heavy smoker. His excessive coughing along with his not working (he’s on SSDI and lived in the woods for 12 years before living here starting in May), makes him a constant presence in an otherwise peaceful and quiet home. He was even smoking in his room for a few days. 🤦🏾‍♀️

These are the sort of stressors that can cause me to have a short fuse. I don’t ever blow up at this guy, although I’ve resented having to teach him how to clean up after himself and just be a considerate person while sharing a small house with two other people.

Turning towards the good, though, can help lengthen my fuse before I explode (or implode). Lifehacker had this post on how to teach kids to calm down, based on their age. For teenagers, the advice was to learn how to “lengthen the fuse” when you’re going through a stressful time. Engage in activities that you enjoy—talk to a friend, listen to your favorite song, exercise, etc. It also helps to know when your fuse is already starting to shorten. Maybe it’s teeth grinding or shallow breathing—we all have our things.

To be a kid again

I don’t have kids (yet?) but I better understand this impulse to continue to make yourself happy with the same thing over and over again. It may be annoying to hear that stupid toy make those stupid sounds for the umpteenth time, or to give your kid that piggyback ride, again, as she giggles in glee.

When I first got to my friend’s place in Chicago, I played with her son. We played this game of throwing couch cushions at each other. It was a workout because it seemed like an eternity as I pummeled him with the cushions and he’d collapsed in peals of laughter.  From hanging out with him, I remembered that as an adult, I’ve made pleasure and fun a rarity and not a right.

I could stand being a little kid again.

Back to the promised land

From when I was little, music has always been the milk and honey from my Canaan. It was a sanctuary as I would listen to music (mainly Christian, but increasingly alternative and R&B) with big headphones on my dad’s fancy tape decks. I could block out the world and just be in the space that those musical artists created.

Playing classical piano music, first on a keyboard and then on a piano, was a haven from my family’s devolution due to my father’s growing issues with mental illness. Even those lessons ended because my dad was unwell, something I haven’t been able to forgive, although I understand and can comprehend the source of the irrationality and inherent selfishness of his decision. It still hurts, over 20 years later–the untimely separation from my first love.

I look back at my time here and I still don’t know why I didn’t just immerse myself in music. It should be a habit, like brushing my teeth. I always feel better after I listen to music.

I want to create music soon, but I am still on this path of creating the foundation of stability from which all other things will grow. But in the meantime, as I deal with obnoxious housemates, financial instability, and an extended period of aloneness, I must find the good where I can.

I have to find my own pillow fight, my own Moana movie, my own song that I cannot stop listening to, my endless pleasure center that I can hitting and hitting and hitting, again and again…

The promised land isn’t when my circumstances get better. The promised land is where I go to feel better. It is a land within me, created with melody, harmony, rhythm, and silence…and I can visit anytime I want.

It’s time I set up a permanent residency…

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘