true success

miguel-bruna-704166-unsplash

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

I had my weekly coaching session with my business coach yesterday, and it was a humbling experience because I felt like I had run out of runway to take my life in the direction that I have wanted to for so long.

My writing business has taken a while to recover from losing an anchor client back in April. So for going on five months now, I’ve been trying my best to get a new one. Technically, this anchor client would be my coach: we barter writing services for coaching services.

But I have tunnel vision–no, myopia, about this goal.

And that’s a typical Capricorn–get that money!

But I am miserable.

And it’s not just because of limited funds. It’s that life has become about this one thing, and the rest of me is resisting–and rightfully so.

my precious

Last week, my coach and I talked about scheduling my time better (something that came up around this time last year). And I didn’t do anything about it last week because somehow time got away from me. 🙄

I dealt with the pressure of time pretty well last year. I was having these low-key panic attacks over writing, waiting until the last minute to get things done. I sought out an astrologer, we worked on those issues, and then I had more structure.

But then I slowly got out of the habit of having structured time to do the things I want and need to do.

Being so driven for one thing has made me dull. What am I outside of this one goal, outside of what is, or isn’t in my bank account?

I’ve quoted Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club before, but this quote really reminds me of what I am.

You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

This individuation from old coping mechanisms–chiefly delaying gratification to the point that I never get any when tasks are done–it’s painful, but it’s also one that makes me laugh because this is when I feel like the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.

Coping mechanisms work until they don’t. I’m not sure how long I’ve been running on fumes, but I’ve reached the point that effort alone isn’t enough. Working hard isn’t getting me anywhere because I feel terrible and self-defeated about it. It’s an inescapable ouroboros of misery, a leminscate of terror.

When I reach out to people about business opportunities, it almost feels like I am tossing coins in a fountain, just wishing for something to come back. But I’m putting in much more effort and intention in every email and contact request I make.

Why can’t I give myself any credit for that skillful effort?

Sure, I can rewind back to how my parents were hypercritical of me, how they rarely gave me praise for any good I did. Their brittle view of their little girl and firstborn was one that already interfaced with my unyielding, intense, and, at times, cruel way I looked at myself.

Yet my “inner mean girl” never seems to be hurling insults and epithets at me–well, not that often. It’s more that she withholds any credit, any praise, any celebration of success. If I do celebrate, it seems stupid because it’s not the big win. That’s all that matters to me.

And what an empty life that is. It’s not self-discipline. It’s self-deprivation.

No carrots, just sticks.

Business is actually picking up, but I am acting like I’m going to go through my own personal recession again. The fear keeps me on this treadmill of terror. I keep running, running, running…and getting nowhere. I’m lost in a labyrinth of longing and loss.

I’m just tired, sweaty, and sore–and for all the wrong reasons.

And to my credit–having a successful business isn’t for some deep personal reason. I’m still doing this because there aren’t any other options right now. This is it. This is about survival. I am committed, whether I want to be or not–but I want to be.

What’s interesting about all this, too–this is all happening in the background. It’s subliminal messaging I’ve given myself probably for my whole life. It worked for a while, being this driven and merciless to myself.

But not anymore.

My coach asked me what success looks like–without this big win that I’m obsessed with.

It was laughable but ultimately sad because I didn’t think I was that successful.

My coach pressed back with questions: well, what about finishing your client work on time? What about following up on emails from prospective clients? How many people did you reach out to last week?

The problem is a lot of what I do just ends up disappearing into the ether of time. I don’t keep track. They are just tasks or events that occur, and I move onto the next.

I can only seem to congratulate myself for tough wins, like when I finished this project over the weekend that seemed to be mired in doubt and confusion from the client. So I just decided to finish it and hope for the best.

The client accepted the work and gave me a 5-star review. And here’s the GIF I used to celebrate:

YES

I celebrated that win on Twitter today, but according to my coach, I should be celebrating much more often.

And back to how I grew up–we didn’t really celebrate much of anything, not even my birthday after a while.

But I am tired of feeling like life is a slog when it comes to my everyday life. If life is about the journey, not the destination, then it’s time to start acting like that. It’s time to start embracing the bulk of my life.

So my homework for this week is to schedule my time so I can start doing more of the other things I love–like tarot and astrology professional development, writing professional development, and journal about my work day.

Astrologically, I realized today that there’s a lot of restructuring (Saturn) and healing (Chiron) that has been going on in my life for the past few months. It’s uncomfortable, painful, and even embarrassing sometimes.

A lot of old hurts and wounds are being drawn to the surface for healing. But the timing isn’t quite right yet. But that’s OK. Healing is still in progress.

What’s funny is that so many times as I’ve been working to get to a place of OK to better, I always think–now the real healing is going to begin. I’ve finally arrived! But there are always layers, layers which have served as protection for a battered and weary heart.

The healing journey is never-ending, but it does get easier, because eventually there are less layers, even if we accumulate new hurts and wounds along the way. And also–we accumulate wisdom and other therapeutic tools to keep us safe and to help us heal more quickly.

This time, I’ll say again that this seems like I’m in the inner chambers of all that I’ve endured and what’s befallen me…and letting the weight of all the years just all fall off of me. I wish it was some dramatic reveal, like a slinky evening gown that I could shrug off.

And that’s because I’m impatient. And rightfully so. It’s been a constricting time–not only by circumstances, but my own almost grandiose ambitions and expectations I have for myself.

I hate to glorify suffering, but I can at least see some semblance of sanity woven through the last six years of my life. It’s like what I said last time, how my heart has expanded with empathy. I feel so much more connected to my fellow human beings because I’ve been so much closer to my dusty existence than the loftier life of the mind.

I didn’t have to choose that empathy, though. And I didn’t all the time. Sometimes I chose bitterness and entitlement–and sometimes I felt those choices were unavoidable and inevitable. Even still–choice or no choice–I want to choose differently now.

And failing over and over, but still rebounding and trying again after each failure–sure, that’s part of my journey as a double Capricorn, trudging up and sometimes falling down the mountain. But so is triumph, the mountaintop view.

That brings me back to what I believe success is. It’s not the just the glittery, glorious triumphs, the accolades, the praise and the parades.

It’s the gritty rebound.

It’s picking yourself up out of the mud and trying again. It’s letting people help you get up again. It’s helping others get up and keep going.

So it brings tears to my eyes to admit this to myself for the first time: my time in Florida has been extremely successful, that my life is a glittering, glorious success.

It’s time to feel good, and proud, about that.

feel good SOM

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really letting things hurt

pain will leave you SOM

Yesterday, I went into the kitchen to start my breakfast, and the shut-in roommate that I never see or talk to came out of his room. He’s got a big shaggy beard, thinning pale hair, and thin, pale skin.

“Hey there!” he said.

“Hi,” I said. I was washing my dishes.

“Haven’t seen ya in a while!” he said to my back.

I can’t remember if I answered, or if i said, “Yeah.”

“So do you know if we’re getting a new roommate?”

“I…I don’t know.” I was filling up water from the faucet for my oatmeal.

He was at the table in the dining room, looking at the mail. And then he left for his driving around.

I don’t think I had spoken to him since February, when I had told him about the piece of shit roommate who harassed me and had finally left in July–the one that the shut-in had enabled.

I knew eventually, one day, our paths would cross again, and that I would be mad and hurt about the betrayal.

It wasn’t true that he hadn’t seen me in a while. It was a couple of weeks or more that he was sitting in the living room, talking loudly about the medications he was taking for some clinical trial for something.

I didn’t talk to him, but he blared through the earplugs I still had from sleeping the night before.

That loud conversation was informative–although it wasn’t the first time he had been talking loudly on the phone about his medications and illnesses. Still, I was reminded me that although I saw him as a traitor, I don’t know if it really could have been helped. I’m not sure if that’s an ableist way to look at it, though.

Yet it didn’t really help, and it really hasn’t helped, the feelings I had and still have…the feelings I would rather forget, like a bad trip I had taken, like a disgusting meal I was forced to eat.

I lived in the same house for over a year with a man who didn’t do and still doesn’t do much with keeping this house clean. It’s been up to me. It’s been up to me to make sure that this place is habitable and hospitable. And I’ve really only done it for my safety and comfort, although he gets the benefits.

The shut-in never cleans. A former roommate complained about how it seemed like he had never cleaned up after himself before. And last month, he didn’t take out the trash for whatever lazy reason he came up with. That was actually a first.

I knew I would see him again and be forced to talk to him as if everything was OK. I have never really been one for pleasantries, although I used to have a rule about acknowledging the existence of everyone, friend or foe.

After many foes and not many friends, I had to change the rules, rules that seemed to be about being the bigger and better person.

Being the bigger and better person now is about making sure that I’m OK, that I’m taken care of, that I’m safe.

So by being cold and withdrawn, I was OK with showing, albeit passively, that our warm and amiable relationship had frozen over into cold, forced cordiality.

I wasn’t really ready to face that, that I had one less ally in this place. I wasn’t really ready to also look at my relationship to this place. It’s become more and more like a prison–albeit thankfully less and less like a psych ward…


There’s been a room in my heart that I can only peek into. I open it a crack and I’m blasted with warm, moist air and the taste of my own tears. It reminds me of that test that Paul Atreides from the sci-fi novel, Dune, had to undergo with his mother and another Bene Gesserit woman.

He had to put his hand inside of a box, a box that contained pain. If he withdrew it too early, he would die. So he put his hand inside, feeling like his flesh was being burned and flayed…and then when he was allowed to remove his hand, his hand was just fine.

That room in my heart is like that box of pain, and I need to go inside. And I’m afraid that I will be burned and flayed. I’m afraid that I won’t survive it.

It’s not even going to be as dramatic as Paul and his box of pain. I know what’s in my room that I continue to avoid.

There have been some miserable failures this summer. But I decided after this sad and bizarre separation I had with someone over a week ago, that it was time to at least tend to my wounds–not just this summer’s, but as many as I can.

I needed to deal with my whole self–nurture it as it hasn’t really been nurtured by me before; nurture it as my parents should have but didn’t; nurture it as if no one else ever will; nurture it as if my life depended on it, because it does.

Part of that nurturing has been taking this 10-day course about returning to myself. And that has been restorative and healing–but not dramatically. It’s been more of the intention I’ve set: to not put so many other people’s feelings and needs before mine.

Part of that nurturing has been letting things really hurt. And it hasn’t been me sobbing on the floor. It’s literally sitting with feelings, the feelings that aren’t so clear-cut or line-bright.

Most of those feelings are grief over things that never got to be or have yet to be–the me that doesn’t live in Florida anymore; the me that got to be with that person; the me who hasn’t had to grind and scrape just to make it month-to-month; the me who actually did have supportive parents.

That last one floats in and out, because I don’t know how to grieve something that I never had. I can only imagine how it could be, to have parents be there for me unselfishly, to not have narcissistic parents. I could base on other people’s experiences, or base on fictional portrayals. I have a feeling that may become more profound and real when I have my own family, or when my parents pass–or maybe both.

The personal losses this summer…the confusing grief has batted me around, flipped me back and forth like I was some rag doll.

How could this be? Is this really happening?

This is happening. This is really happening.

Usually with loss, I never feel so ambivalent. I am quite resolute. With cold, surgical precision, I can amputate people, places, and things from my life and never look back.

It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when I do it. It just means that I don’t attempt to reattach. I’ve only done in twice in my life.

The first was with my first love–but he dumped me. The second was a few years ago with a woman I had known since we were teenagers. We just drifted apart and I noticed she had unfriended me from Facebook. She responded that basically she was too busy but that she had thought about me often.

This time, I can finally understand why it takes people so long to get over people, at the very least. It took me years to get over how long it took me to get through college–years longer than most people wanted to know or hear about.

But I knew I deserved the time to grieve a formative time in my life, especially since the people who had wanted me to move on had never gone through what I had gone through.

I needed the time.

But that’s the thing with grief. Grief takes as long as it takes. Grief, especially when it comes to death, is an ever-morphing companion that you will never shake. Some days, it’s a whisper of a ghost. Other times, it’s a monster that will violently shake you over something you don’t even think is a big deal.

Even with this one-month odyssey that I was on…there are times that I question whether it’s really over. And then there are other times that I’m glad it’s over. And then, there are other times that I want to go back, even if there are only ashes and embers left.

It’s weird to go through things that you feel like you should have gone through half a lifetime ago. But now, having gone through these things…I feel a lot more human now. The empathy that’s grown inside of me has stretched me open. I can almost say I’m grateful for the experience, because there’s this whole other part of life that I can’t process through my brain.

I can see how irrational love and grief is now.

love is pi


Yesterday, I knew the shut-in was probably waiting to talk to me. When I left my room, his door, which is right across from mine in a tiny hallway, was cracked with a seam of light shining through–and this usually meant that he was going to leave soon.

I dreaded seeing him, but our meeting was better than I thought it would be…initially. I thought I had held up pretty well, considering.

Seeing him and talking to him reminded me of what I went through, by myself.  And I was tired of going back in the past. And his cheery little performative bullshit was an insult.

Could someone be that far removed from reality, really?

I knew that was true because of how my mom handled my father when he was mentally ill. I didn’t really get as much protection as I deserved. She was lost in her religion and her god to pay attention to how living under someone who was abusive and neglectful was doing to her and to her children.

So yeah, I’ve been here before. And I thought because it was over, I was over it all.

But then afterward, I felt like someone shoved me in this dark, small room of despair. I felt like I was physically starting to slow down. I just wanted to sleep.

I had some existential fears leap out:

Would I ever get out of this gotdamn house? Would I be stuck here forever? Do I really have people on my side? Will I ever be successful again? Am I always going to have an almost life?

I was really concerned that I was becoming depressed. I was sleeping more during the day, but it was also because I had some major insomnia (thanks, full moon). I still have a bit of a sleep deficit.

I did a lot of talking and praying with my guides and angels…

And even typing this, about guides and angels…somehow it’s a little embarrassing, like I’m one of those, one of those weirdo woo-woo women…

Then today, I was back to my normal self.

So maybe yesterday, I had a brief moment in that room of grief that I keep avoiding. It was a little scary, but I made it through.


And before this, last week I was really angry, angry that life had been so disappointing for so long. I was and am so fed up. And that anger can be a catalyst for change.

I still believe that this is my time.

What’s really interesting about all this is how these feelings of sadness and grief are on the heels of things getting better for my business now.

Shameless plug for another business – I do tarot and astrological consultations!

It’s like when you’re about to hit the finish line, after having run a long race, and you have the freedom to slow down.

I don’t have to be tough anymore. I don’t have to gut it through. I don’t have to have it all together. I don’t have to be “right.”

I can be hurt, disappointed, and angry that a fellow human being whom I live with didn’t stick up for me while I was being abused.

I can want to have someone back in my life that I’m not entirely sure is good for me.

I can mourn all the fabulous selves I didn’t get to be because I have narcissistic parents.

I can let all of it really hurt as it should, and then move on.

But it doesn’t have to be all sad.

I can choose to nurture myself instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

I can get lost in novels like I used to do when I was younger.

I can continue to explore what brings me pleasure even if I feel like that’s a short list right now.

I can check in on myself much more than I check in on others…because people will be just fine without my care.

I can continue on the journey of not letting my circumstances define me.

I can also be thankful for what I have.


My ungratefulness is what prevents me from opening the door to my grief.

Somehow, embracing amor fati has felt like a death.

How can I be grateful for all of this, every last thing?

By being grateful, I feel like I have to give up my fight for justice for myself, for making things right. It’s like letting everyone off the hook–even myself.

But to really be grateful, I really do have to reckon with my losses, all of them. Yet I’m not sure what that looks like practically, besides being more intentional about caring for myself.

How can gratitude and the comfort of justice intersect? Or will they always run parallel?

I know that to live the full, joyous life that I want–beyond what circumstances come my way–I have to accept this invitation to gratitude.

I feel impermeable to this kind of all-encompassing gratitude. All I want to do is to have yet another internal temper tantrum. I don’t feel holy or wise enough to do this. I feel petty, bitter, and small.

But that’s at least a place to start–with some honesty about where I am and where I want to be.

When I took a little vacation from my normal life by meeting new people who didn’t know me or my life story, including the one that I can’t easily forget, it was great to be seen for who I was, outside of all I had been through. So I can live that life where I’m not all the things I didn’t get to be, but all the things I already am and will be.

So this isn’t some fantasy. This can be my new reality.

I just have to stop acting like some indestructible robot and let it hurt so I can feel better. Let myself be confused so I can find better answers. Let myself really rage with anger so I can find the peace and calm within.

Let myself be so I can emerge into a more authentic self.

I can’t really solve the puzzle of being grateful for all the bad things I’ve gone through just this summer: of being called racial slurs in my own home, of having a terrible landlady, of not being able to move yet, of losing a biz opportunity because of things outside of my control, of getting so close to finding my person and seeing that chance being thrown into an abyss…

I’m just too human and short-sighted to see the good in any of this right now.

It’s so tough to override my humanness right now. When things are bad, we focus on them so we can fix them. But when we can’t fix them, we suffer. If we decide not to focus on them, then it seems like we’re abdicating our duties of being good people.

And I’ve said all this before. But the struggle remains to create meaning and good from seemingly meaningless, terrible things.

All I can do right now is to be at least grateful for the good, in a way that isn’t performative or hollow. Maybe that can create space for the impossible–being grateful for all of it.

At least I can say that I am grateful that I am still here, that I have survived the unbearable, the unfair, the bizarre, the disgusting, the absurd. And that as long as I’m still breathing, the life that I want and deserve is still within reach.

ETA: this song has been haunting me.

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are you ready for the good?

opening to love SOM

Sometimes, I feel like an alien species, here to learn some things about the human condition. There are some heartaches that I’ve collected that many people won’t go through. But then there are others that others go through that I haven’t been through yet.

Friday night, I learned how people can want and need good things and people in their lives, but may not be ready to receive it because they don’t feel worthy. It baffles my mind, but this happens so often–often on a subconscious level.

I’ve been writing about this more in detail for my $10+/month patrons. It’s been an exciting and excruciating month, of goodbyes that don’t seem to stick.

Friday night’s kiss off is probably going to stick.

It wasn’t gracious. It wasn’t kind. It was brutal. And it hurts more on a philosophical level now.

My sojourn here in Florida, which this blog chronicles, has been exciting but mostly excruciating. This journey has been about following my dreams, but also how I’ve grown as an adult and a spiritual being. Most of that experience has been unglamourous and gut-wrenching.

So when something or someone seemingly good comes along, I pounce on it like a kitten playing with a toy mouse. I’m not going to let go easily.

I understand and yet I don’t fully understand when people reject the good that serendipitously comes into their lives.

Friday went from a tenuous reconciliation to laughter that made my stomach hurt to being rudely and forcefully shoved out of someone’s life.

And because I’ve been through so much, I can see through feeble attempts to let things and people go, self-sabotaging behavior. And I withstood it for a while, earlier…but Friday was so full of desperation and pain, the hatchet job that was done to sever ties was complete.

Unless there’s some (miraculous?) transformation, this door will remain closed, by me.

It’s something I had never gone through before, irrational arguments with someone I cared about. But I have gone through the self-sabotaging behavior by someone who was afraid by what they were feeling about me, because of me.

I know I elicit some pretty strong reactions from people, and most people can’t seem to handle it. And this may sound haughty, but most people are not ready for me, for the level of honesty and integrity I demand and require.

A lot of people want to hide in the shadows of illusions of their own making. But I have the knack of seeing people as they are, where they are–and accepting them.

And that feel like blessed relief…or it can create a growing sense of self-loathing.

So the attacks definitely hurt. I’m human–I’m tough, but I’m tender, too.

But since they were so out of character and so ludicrous, I just wanted to know where they were coming from. When the attacks got more intense and focused on me as a person, it was easier to let go–of course, that was by design.

As a double Capricorn with a tender Cancer moon heart, there’s only so much understanding and patience I can have for someone wilding out in pain. You wound my pride and honor, on purpose, then your wish can be granted: I will let you go.

And what I discovered from a restless night of sleep talking to my guides and angels was that this person resented that I didn’t really have much wrong with me. I was a little too perfect in their eyes. So they invented a dealbreaker that we both couldn’t abide by. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t separate.

I demanded that this person be accountable for their words and actions, which they would twist and turn in at their convenience–probably as a defense mechanism.

I’m still in shock that someone would go to such lengths to push out of the good that was happening in their lives.

And, as a woman, I have to say here–this isn’t me looking at someone’s potential and living in the future. This is me, seeing someone in the now, with what they were offering now, with what we were now…

It’s like looking at a puzzle, with all the pieces there, laid out, some parts already put together. Not many pieces were left to put it all together. You can see the picture forming. You know what it’s going to look like. It looks like the picture on the box. There’s no reason not to finish the puzzle.

That’s how good and easy it was and felt. All that had to be done was keep going.

So this was no project. That’s what kills me the most. And that I’ve been here before, where everything is laid out and it only takes a little bit of effort to make things really real, whole, and complete.

But this good…it was a good that required them to change, to make space, to grow.

And, they didn’t want to–not now, not like this.

But that’s what love does. That’s what love requires. That’s what love demands.

I get it, though: change is scary, and so is truly being vulnerable, letting someone else in to see who you really are. Will you be embraced or will you be rejected?

There’s something about being close to people, where you start to see how your actions affect others–many times for the worse. Will you choose to change your behaviors or will you “stay true to who you are” and remain frozen?

But because of this terribly painful journey of failure and loss I’ve been on while living in Florida, I don’t have the luxury of cowering, of pushing the good away because it’s too scary, because it demands too much.

I have to leap forward and embrace the good or…? I don’t want to say “die,” but it feels that desperate, that crucial, that detrimental.

There is no room for fear to rule me here.

So now, as my own paper cuts on my heart recover and scab over, I am just sad that anyone is in so much pain, they have to pick fights to cause drama, and then tire of the drama they created and blame the other person for creating it or being a co-conspirator.

Love can do so many things, but it can’t untangle webs of self-deception like that.

And even as I write this, I don’t think of this person as a villain. I don’t hate them at all. And that, in it of itself, is a miracle, because grudges can come easily in my territory.

Instead, most likely…there will always be a part of me that will love them and hope they find the peace that they keep pushing away.

But that hope and love will be beamed from a safe distance.

They said, over and over, that I deserve better. And I agree. I just wish they saw the better in themselves, fully embraced it, and lived it out. It was a cognitive dissonance they couldn’t really reconcile within themselves. At least not yet.

But whether they ever realize it, or never realize it–that’s not my job to do. It’s theirs.

So, I hope through this unnecessary disaster, they can walk out of the ruins of this thing we were trying to build and find the courage to do the work–to start sealing up those broken places and spaces, to become a living kintsugi.

The Universe has been calling out to them, too. Transformation is coming, even as they resist it. And I just hope that eventually, they’ll heed her calls and accept the spiritual gifts they have.

What do I want and need, though? I need someone who is brave, someone who is ready to be seen and loved for who they are, someone who isn’t going to harpoon their own good chances…someone who isn’t blinded by their pain.

Sometimes love can be so hard. But sometimes, we make it harder than it needs to be.

But to me, love is worth the risk, every fucking time. What else are we here to do?

And I don’t want to sound like some cliched love song in this post, but I also understand them more every time love gets thwarted like this. It’s a part of the human condition that I had been preventing myself to feel.

It sucks to feel like you can’t do anything, that you can’t fix what’s irreparably broken.

And like I said in my last post, I’m beyond wanting to get some lessons out of this. I already have them. I will probably get more. That’s the beauty and glory of hindsight.

I don’t care about that anymore.

What I cared about was that a person who made me happy wanted out. What I care about is how I handled myself as I knew this person–I’m really proud of myself, even if I may have been a little too permissive. What I care about is that I know that I am not some broken person, attracting emotionally unavailable people.

What I know is that there’s a lot of brokenness in the world, and a lot of it is unavoidable. But to get the love that I need, I have to be even more brave while reminding myself that I can’t take on other people’s burdens as if they are my own.

Last night, in my journal, I yelled at the Universe in 48pt font about what I wanted, after years of languishing and “hanging in there.”

After Friday night’s melodramatics, I was done. I’m done being shit on by life in general. I put that all on the Universe, asking her to stop treating me terribly.

And Friday night, I yelled back at them, about how the names I was being called were bullshit, about how obstacles were being created for no reason, about how this was being broken when there were no cracks in the first place.

I never yell, but my patience and grace broke open into fiery, righteous anger and frustration…when I finally realized what was happening and why…and how I couldn’t stop it from happening.

I know I was being provoked to anger, and I hated that I couldn’t be cool, calm, and collected anymore. Things were becoming absurd–and I wanted to scream some sense into the conversation.

But my yells and screams fell on a deaf heart.

Something that came to me after journaling and talking about this with a couple of friends about free will choices…and how I may be trusting the Universe too much in certain ways and not enough in other ways.

We may try to do root work and other things to influence each other, but eventually–a lot of what’s happened here on earth is about what people have chosen to do. It’s not even about the Universe allowing it to happen. But it is about the Universe being there to provide support–especially when there are choices other people make that adversely affect us.

But I had to say the impolite thing, that the Universe needed to apologize for this mess (and she did, even though this is probably not her fault). I needed to lose my fucking cool about the way my life was going. I felt like I didn’t look like I was giving a shit about how disappointing things had been, especially this summer.

Even though I’ve been exhausted emotionally, I certainly do give a shit. And I know the Universe knows–but it was important to say what I really felt, not giving the spiritual pat answers about why bad things happen to good people.

And I know those are my evangelical roots showing–God as a psychotic, untrustworthy, capricious deity.

Why would the Universe allow me to meet this person and then go through all this heartache? Is this for some greater purpose, for my spiritual growth?

Life is probably a lot more neutral than that, though.

But what if I’m more of the lead author of my story, even with all these uncontrollable consequences and circumstances?

What if this is really about just doing the best you can and infusing meaning when you can, however you can?

Life may not be that deep.

There can be signs and synchronicities (and we’ve had a plethora of them), but we still have to acknowledge and incorporate them. We still have to say yes. And yet, we can still choose to say no. And sometimes, we’ll disagree about these choices, and then we’ll part ways.

But then there’s also fate. How much do we have control over that? It’s hard to say from here except to say life is a lot like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. You are presented with choices, and those choices have set consequences.

And maybe, this is where spirituality comes in. We can give and receive guidance to make better choices, and thus, create better outcomes…

So now, I have a choice that I need to make. What narrative am I ascribing to the last month? That the Universe is a sadist? That I’m a masochist? That this person/relationship was some test or lesson?

What’s harder to accept, but what is more likely to be true is that the Universe gave us a nudge to come together, but it was up to us to determine what would happen.

And what happened, after that divine nudge, was a rollercoaster ride of emotions which is now over. And I have no regrets about it. It definitely inspired me to look at my life with more purpose and scrutiny–because someone was possibly going to be a part of it for a while. And that’s important.

And of course, in all kinds of relationships, we learn about ourselves the most. I learned that I was tougher and yet kinder than I thought. I learned that I wasn’t identified to the struggles that I’m still entangled in.

And that means I’m not as doomed as I thought.

But even still, sometimes we can get adrift in the questions about meaning when there should be more questions and statements about acceptance.

What’s in front of you right now and what are you doing with it?

One thing I know and about the state of my heart: so many people have left this year, people I wouldn’t ever think would leave; but my heart is resilient, strong, and open. And I refuse to keep my heart shut just because there have been issues with alignment and timing.

Eventually, those puzzle pieces will fit with ease. The timing will be perfect. And there won’t be anything, or anyone, in the way.

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.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

 

and the point is…?

transition SOM

Today (Friday), I was going to publish this poem as an ode to someone, but yesterday, I deleted it before it published it.

And now, today is yesterday. And maybe I will publish that poem…someday.

I’m in a little tiny place of confusion and flux.

Yesterday (Thursday), I was faced with yet another disappointing relationship demise. It’s yet another link in this long chain of disappointments that made me ask the heavens:

what is this all for?

And it’s not just in love. It’s just with everything.

Today, I bounced back pretty quickly, much to my surprise. Apparently, when you just let yourself be in your feelings, then it’s easier to surf through them.

It could be because I had more of a paper cut than an actual deep wound on my heart. But it’s not like paper cuts don’t hurt.

It could also be that I’m almost resigned to things falling apart and people leaving.

Almost.

Yesterday wasn’t the end of the world. It was just the end of me thinking I’d be able to get out of this vortex of peculiarity and pain.

This whole blog is just a plea for this cycle of shittiness to stop. I realized that I had taken a vacation from this living nightmare cycle for about 3 weeks.

And it was so nice.

But now I’m back.

I don’t know if I just haven’t had the wherewithal, the gumption, the moxie to really start following my dreams post-grad-school. The only goal has been survival, but I can’t do that anymore.

I’m not completely blaming my own circumstances for what went down yesterday (which you can read about if you become a $10/month patron).

That was probably a long time coming. And that’s OK.

But at the same time, that this…thing…started at all was a sign that my shitty circumstances aren’t holding me back from bringing me to the right people.

Still, I feel stuck…not necessarily even in circumstances, but that I’m in some spiritual school that I didn’t sign up for. And I’m not even in the mood to learn anymore. It’s exhausting to seek or derive meaning from every event.

Sometimes things just suck.

I want my daily circumstances to not trip me up so much that I can’t focus on anything else. It makes for a dull and unattractive me.

But here I am again, being asked to trust that everything is working out as it should.

When bills are hard to pay and lapse…

When I’m (thankfully gladly) eating ramen…

When I have to sign up for writing tasks I don’t like doing because they pay poorly…

When I seem to keep attracting men who are also somehow sweet and kind, but also going through some sort of spiritual transformation that keeps them at arm’s length…

When I live in a house that seems to never be right for longer than a few days…

When my body seems to have a mind of its own…

When friends keep coming and going but never stay…

When I’m doing my best despite all of these failures and shortcomings…

There’s the holy and divine invitation to trust, right there, in every one of those circumstances.

Meanwhile, this is me:

temper tantrum

So I was in the middle of writing this last night, and then things changed again. And that’s…actually OK. It was good that things changed. And there’s probably going to be another somewhat vague blog post about that.

There’s a bit of an exhaustion that can come when you live in a transitional space.

I just want to get to somewhere better (don’t we all?).

Still, with all of these challenges and opportunities, I have to trust that not only does the Universe/God/Source knows what she’s doing, but that I know what I’m doing, too.

And I wish I were more elegant with this spiritual journey, but I’m just fumbling towards some truths, along some hazy, washed out plumb lines.

Even as my arms hold so much yearning and loss, there’s so much more space for wonder, miracles, and just good ole sustenance.

Things…the things that I want…they just aren’t coming as quickly as I want, but they are coming. And I have to keep rising up to meet them as they come.

I also have to hope that they do come. And the anticipation isn’t wasted. It’s used as fuel to bring those dreams home.

To keep myself open to all the good, even as I’ve endured a lot of bad…that’s where the rub is, the gold is, the real life is.

And maybe that’s the point.

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.

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the weight of being too flexible

love mask som

I’m trying to play catch-up here, from the three posts I didn’t write from July 22nd to August 5th.

This is post #3.

It has been a time.

Like I said in a recent post, a lot of it was working. And I wrote about one particular thing that’s still unfolding in my life for my $10+/month patrons on Patreon. Almost 5000 words of personal examination which may be mixed with copious amounts of sunny-day optimism.

Besides learning that I am really a human after all, I’ve been learning even more (always more) about healthy boundaries and what I tolerate from others.

And the two are related.

I was talking to a friend today about how having gone through a lot, my limits of compassion are wide–but maybe a little too wide. And that can cause me to overextend myself, to start taking responsibility for things that aren’t mine (to take care of).

This is definitely #CapricornProblems and this tweet from astrologer Annabel Gat sums up the dynamic I have within myself.

Sometimes, I’m steamrolling over my own boundaries.

One thing I’m learning is that although I can see through most bullshit, it’s necessarily my job to clean it up. At best, I should point it out. But that’s it.

There’s a bit of a fear as I start to really keep these boundaries and shed this extra weight of other people’s problems and issues that rejection will happen.

It’s certain to happen. It’s happened before.

There’s a certain situation that I’m going to probably get some major clarity on by the end of the weekend that’s in this realm of dividing my stuff and theirs. And what pains me is that it’s the repetition of a particularly painful pattern with people that I have to stop–where I keep taking more of my fair share of responsibility to make a relationship work or happen at all.

And people keep letting me take their fair share. But I am tired.

What’s been hiding out and fueling this pattern is a fear of being alone…but also a fear of being really seen–and then, rejected.

Sometimes, I feel like my perceptive gifts end up backfiring on me.

Seeing through to who someone is so easily doesn’t mean they can see themselves in that same way. Seeing through situations and being able to solve them doesn’t mean it’s my job to solve them.

And one way I have to keep learning these is in relationships, of all sorts. In all my 40+ years, I’m surprised at how much more I have to learn.

How do I deal with this tension of perceiving, my willingness, and my caring?

You’d think after living with this guy and giving him one too many chances, I would have learned.

But I love people. And I love the human potential. I love when lives are transformed and when I’ve been the catalyst of those changes. And I love when people have sparked positive change in my life–well, most of the time.

If I really love people, though…then I have to also love those immaterial barriers that keep us separate–our free wills, specifically.

Lately, I’ve been learning how pedantic and know-it-all I come across sometimes. Meanwhile, I see myself just sharing some information.

🤦🏾‍♀️

What’s cool though is that all the grace and compassion I give to others freely, I can give to myself. I’m starting to accepting things like that I talk too long to people I care about. I told my friend today that I gorge on people like I’m some emotional zombie. 🧟‍♀️

But there’s still that fear…and it’s a common one. I’m “not enough” or I’m “too much” for people. So then I will mitigate risks. I’ll meet people more than halfway.

It’s like how I have hypermobile joints, which used to make me look like a circus freak because I used to be able to take my arms and pull them all the away around my back.

But hypermobile joints makes one more susceptible to strains and sprains. And I’ve been in physical therapy way too many times for my shoulder, knee, and ankle.

So sometimes, you can be too flexible.

I was just making a joke on Twitter about how fixed zodiac signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) are hard to convince and are hard-headed in general. And I don’t really have much of that energy in my own natal chart.

Maybe there’s something I can learn from that naturally inflexible?

Even me writing about this semi-publicly is strange, about the secret people pleaser who adores humanity. I naturally have an all-business, misanthropic exterior, so to let my mushy homebody personality out is bewildering.

But here she is, like some lost, lovesick puppy! 🐶

I’m too old for this shit, for hiding parts of myself…

They say as you age that you start to care less about what people think. Here’s something that Death Cab for Cutie’s frontman, Ben Gibbard, who is about to turn 42 on Saturday, said about aging in this Noisey interview:

At that point in my life I was probably focusing more on the people who didn’t like me than the people who did like me, which is all part of being in your 20s, right? There’s that saying: You spend your 20s thinking everybody’s talking about you, you spend your 30s wondering why nobody’s talking about you, and you realize in your 40s that no one was ever talking about you. So for me now, I realize how super-sensitive I was that people didn’t like me. Like, “Oh, Pitchfork doesn’t like me, a weekly said something mean about me.” Looking back on it now, who fucking cares?

So, what if I started to consciously care less about rejection? It’s hard because self-acceptance does not occur in a vacuum. Gibbard went on to say that he focuses on those who bring positivity in his life, and I’ve been leaning towards that golden path lately–sheerly and merely out of necessity.

Part of the process of finding who is on your team is finding who is not on your team. To fully accept that no matter how I contort myself, I cannot please everyone.

Everyone can’t be on my team.

And this is all conventional wisdom, but when it starts to crop up in your everyday life, it starts to look like it’s not all that obvious–it’s not common sense.

It could be the Capricorn nature of conquering everything. But people aren’t meant to be conquered. D’oh!

So out of weariness, I am just trying to find out who is on my team.

So maybe, during Leo season,  I can let the same sunshine that falls on other people fall on me. Maybe I don’t have to cower in the darkness of my fallibility. Maybe I can be bolder and stand up for what I really believe in–maybe with fear, but with bravery and courage.

It’s really the only way to find who is truly for me.

P.S. A great parting thought about letting people do their own healing work from the IG account @mindfulmft: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmR74JqAe6S/?taken-by=mindfulmft

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.

Thanks for your support!  💘