Monday, November 1, 2010

The Right Medicine

I have come to an end of a chapter…so this will be my final post…for now.

November 1, two years ago was the day I got up close and personal to my inner wounds. Catalyzed by a break up.

It turned out, I was being given medicine from the Universe. It tasted like poison, but it was MY medicine, the medicine that would heal wounds I didn’t even know I had.

He was a Medicine Man of sorts. Giving me a dose of homeopathic medicine: drawing out the poison with the same poison.

I realized through an honest and raw probing of my feelings and reactions after the break up that these feelings were really hidden fragments of ME, and have very little to do with him.

A painful, emotional rollercoaster ride that had me feeling lost, confused, sad, angry, resentful, self-pitying, worthless, doubtful, insecure…and did I mention, confused.

I didn’t get it. What was going on? An 8 month relationship…that I chose (although didn’t want to) end, and this is what I am left with: a mess of dark, crazy feelings to sift through?!

And I kept the story alive; I couldn’t let go. I was trying to find an answer, trying to find a reason, trying to make it make sense…whatever that would have been. I was just trying to quiet the noise, soothe the pain and feel okay again. I want to end my suffering. I wanted a way out of my painful feelings.

“A whole person is one who has both walked with God and wrestled with the Devil.” ~ Carl Jung

It’s funny how we hold on to things, replay them in our head over and over, trying to figure it out, wishing we would have said this, done that, analyzing it to death, believing we can find some sort of answer or something that will make us feel better. Whatever that really could possibly be, who knows, but we try in vain to find it… yet we never do because it doesn’t exist.

We hold on to the anger, pain, resentment thinking that this will in some way correct something, make us right, punish them, change things. We don’t let go until we find something that will give us some peace, make us feel better again, make us feel like we are okay.
It’s crazy and it’s distorted thinking, but it’s what we do.

But the craziest thing about it is that it is this very need to have it be different, that keeps us stuck in the place we are trying to get out of. It is what is causing the suffering…the clinging to how we think things should be.

The pain isn’t the pain; the hiding, running away from, the ignoring of, and the hating of it is the pain.

“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.” ~ Ram Das

It is funny how we always want things to be different when they are challenging or cause us uncomfortable feelings that we don’t want to deal with. We, then, choose our default coping mechanism, which actually just keep us in the abyss of our suffering or a million miles away from our true selves, rather than taking a closer look at ourselves.

“What lies before us and what lies behind us is but a small matter compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I learned that nothing needs to be different; that is NOT what will end my painful emotions. I needed to change to make me feel better, not him.

And by change, I don’t mean I needed to change my thoughts and perceptions I had about him and the choices he made (I did ENOUGH self-doubting), rather I needed to change my thoughts and perceptions about myself…the ones that created the ego wounds, the self sabotaging beliefs and patterns. The very ones that lead me to have this relationship with this person.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Victor Frankl

Our wounds are wise; perhaps the wisest part of us.

We don’t come by our wounds by accident. They are meant to be ours. They are part of a larger purpose.

Our wounds carry within them the answers we look out there for.

Our wounds embrace our true gifts.

So as I close this chapter of my life, I will carry forth a very precious gift: the chance to get intimate with me/my deep, dark hidden wounds. Giving me the opportunity to understand them, accept them, love them, and heal them. Transform them. So that they can serve the beautiful purpose they were meant to in this life.

“Go on a journey from self to SELF, my friend…such a journey transforms the earth into a mine of Gold.” ~ Rumi

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What Mask are you wearing this Halloween

Halloween is known as the day of the dead. Halloween, or Samhain, marks the Celtic New Year, a mysterious point in time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, and people are said to be able to communicate with the dead - ancestors and departed loved ones.  Samhain is literally a world between the worlds. It was believed that on this day, the dead would be able to intermingle with the living. The living, to protect themselves from being possessed by lost souls, would dress up in ghoulish masks to frighten off the evil spirits OR to fit in with them and go undetected in order not to be possessed by them.
But it’s not just Halloween that people wear masks, maybe in a more literal and visible way we do, yet everyday we wear a mask, only these ones are invisible…even to ourselves. And we do it for the same reason: “to frighten off the evil spirits OR to fit in with them and go undetected in order not to be possessed by them.” The only difference is that now we are possessed by an invisible ‘evil’ spirit, in which we created.
We begin to construct our masks at a young age as we tried to fit into our family roles and figure which way of being would make us feel the most safe and loved. These masks were constructed to cover up deep feelings of shame, unworthiness and powerlessless.
And we don’t just wear one mask, the wounded ego can take on a variety of different masks to camouflage its perceived inadequacies. The nature of the facade that we choose varies from person to person, and most of us have more than one social mask that we wear, depending on who we are with and what stage of life we are in.  
Many of us created personas based on how others perceived our true selves and adjusted our personas accordingly to fit in, to be accepted and to feel like we are okay…creating false selves. Our false selves, then serves as a way for our wounded ego to distance itself from our deep painful feelings, in an effort to protect us. But instead, the masks that we construct to hide and protect what others (and we ourselves) have made wrong, bad, and unacceptable become an invisible fortress around our true selves.
Day by day as we continue to wear our masks of “protection”, we lose contact with our true selves. We obscure our true essence, hiding who we really are and even our ability to know and see the truth about ourselves because we have come to believe in the false self. Once our facade is firmly in place, we begin to be used by the nature of the mask we have chosen. We attract to us the very people who will help us ensure that we can continue playing the same character over and over again-even when it has become so painful that we can no longer take it. We stay glued to our false self because we believe we are the mask we are wearing.
Yet, the ‘evil’ spirits we are hiding from or fighting against is really lost fragments of our true selves. As Samhain is literally a world between the worlds, so is our everyday lives as we continue to wear our masks and live through our false selves. That is the real day of the dead.
It’s not the masks that scare us; it is what is underneath them that frightens us the most.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Mystery of it All

You may not want someone to leave your life, you feel you are deeply connected and that you have something great to offer them, they even make you feel that way. But then they do leave (or you may do the leaving because of their actions) and you feel despondent – having you believe that you do not have something great to offer…why else would they leave, or move on?

Perhaps, and most likely, they do not have something great to offer YOU, and that they do NOT add value to YOUR life. And perhaps they were unable to accept the great things you do have to offer because they are filled with too much insecurities of their own. They block good and healthy things from their life because it threatens their security, their deep-seated beliefs, and arouses uncomfortable feelings. Feelings that are buried, unresolved and they are likely in denial of.

They seem so confident in themselves, that you will believe that what they think and believe must be right, because you are not as confident in your thoughts and feelings. And you begin to doubt your own. That confidence is more than likely a survival mask, an amour, ego pride, arrogance and a selfish resolve of their beliefs being right. You threaten this very fragile sense of self…so they leave.

They move on quickly to appease this insecure sense of self, to feel “whole” again, to feel right, to bandage up a wound before it gets to breath. A new companion that, in their mind, proves they are okay, yet in reality it is one that doesn’t threaten their comfortable sense of self, or the status quo. Someone that doesn’t ask them to LOOK at the wounds that are buried within, doesn’t ask them to step up, to become stronger and to heal. Someone who is likely codependent and has the same level of insecurities…someone that is a better match to their level of evolution at this time.

NO, them leaving is NOT proof that you don’t have anything good to offer them, or that you were not good enough, or that you are not worth fighting for. Them finding a new companion so soon does NOT mean you are easily forgotten, that your thoughts and feelings were wrong, that you made a mistake, rather it is proof that they are too weak and too insecure and too in denial to be with you.

Them leaving is a gift from the Universe. Yes, you do have something to offer them, in which they are not ready to receive, but more importantly they do NOT have something great to offer you. So if you won’t leave, if your shadows have taken a hold of you and your fears set it, the Universe will make sure that they leave you…because you are ready to come into your own greatness.

You have healed on so many levels (you just don't know it) and this time the Universe will not let you slip back. So often we wonder ‘why is this bad thing happening to me?’ ‘Why doesn’t the world give me a break?’ This is your break! Taking that person away from you IS because of the grace of the Universe. Allowing you to grow, to find your inner power and move further down your path and toward your destiny.

Our answers don’t come in the way we expect them; if they did then we wouldn’t learn anything because we wouldn’t have anything to learn – we’d already know it if it came the way we thought it would. When the Universe is helping you in this way, making damn sure that you cannot fall back into your self-defeating patterns and staying small, then you are beginning to align your soul with all that is true for you.

The Universe works in mysterious ways, we are not supposed to know it all, or our life would not unravel as it should and the lessons that teach us who we are and what or destiny is would not be learned. I think if we could stop analyzing it all, stop trying to figure it all out, and stop forcing our will (ego wounds), not only would we lessen our suffering, we would also get out of our own way so that we can see the blessing the Universe has bestowed upon us. And really, wouldn’t it be boring if we knew it all?

Everyone loves a mystery. Life is the great circle of mystery. 

Love the mystery of your life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let the leaves fall where they may

Until we can claim our true worth, we are always unconsciously proving our false beliefs correct.

No matter the circumstances or the person, the story is always the same: “I am not good enough” “I can’t trust myself” “I was betrayed” “I am a victim” “I am not talented/skilled enough” “I will be rejected” and so on. Your mind will always spin this story as soon as something or someone triggers the corresponding emotion. Analyzing, blaming, resenting, sulking, feeling like a victim is not going “fix” how you feel. 

One needs to go deeper. Go inside themselves, rather than look out…out at the “circumstances” or the other people. If you keep running into the same story, there is a block within. It’s not that there is something “wrong” with you, but there is something that is in need of healing or needs to be acknowledged, or something that needs to be challenged by your adult mind.  

Until you tend to the roots, the tree will never stand tall and grow, and the branches will break with the slightest breeze.  And in keeping with that analogy, Autumn is the time that nature hibernates, let’s go of the old as it prepares for new growth. This is the perfect time, as well, to tune into our natural rhythms and turn inward. A time to go within and reflect. Find out what’s really going on within yourself that keeps creating these circumstances that strips you of true self worth, a sense of self that is unshakeable from experiences out there.   

When we realize we control our thoughts and emotions, when we become masters of our thoughts and emotions, then we will no longer feel like victims of outside circumstances or of other people. When we feel like we are victims of circumstances, or that other people are causing us to feel distressing or uncomfortable emotions, that is where we are giving our power away.

A true sense of self worth and power will never be found outside of us, no matter how much money we make, how big of a house we live in, what job title we have, who we are married to, etc.

I don’t claim to know how one can own their power and feel a sense of true self worth, but I do know what keeps one from it. Not believing in ourselves. Not trusting our own voice inside. Needing others to change to make us feel better. Allowing others behaviours, words and actions define how we feel about ourselves. 

I do know unconscious patterns are hard to break. I do know it’s difficult to really believe in ourselves when we have learned not to. I do know that it is scary to speak up for ourselves. I do know it is scary to take risks and try something new. I do know that it is heartbreaking to let go. I do know that it is a long and arduous journey to our true selves. I do know that transformation and breaking out of our comfortable cocoon is painful.

But if we could just take a cue from nature and use the Autumn season as a time to quiet ourselves, to rest and just ALLOW things to decay and fall away. Like a tree shedding its leaves. If we could tune into our own true nature, just as a tree does and trust in this natural process knowing that it is preparing us for new growth, we would be much closer to finding our true power and self worth.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What are you hooked on?

When we are not aware of or have healed our own wounds, we end up chasing them out there and become hooked on to other people's wounds and issues. Instead of listening to our own inner wisdom and being guided by our own feelings, we dismiss them. We tolerate behaviour that is unhealthy, or makes us feel uncomfortable, or is hurtful to us. We try to get them to change, behave differently, think differently, so they’ll treat us better – the way we want to be treated. And when the other doesn’t change, we start pushing down our own feelings, justifying their behaviours, making excuses for them or for ourselves, fooling ourselves, and doubting our own thoughts.

What we are really trying to do, I believe, is have the other validate us and the more they don’t, the more we try to prove our worth to them. BUT, what we are really trying to do is prove our worth to ourselves. It is us who do not believe we are worthy or special enough.

And there is my hook.

That’s why I kept sticking around, even though my head and heart were saying, “this seems unhealthy”, “he has unresolved emotional issues around relationships”. When I felt his actions (not his words, so much) were not honouring me, respecting me or valuing me…I stayed. Hoping he’d see my worth and change. Yes there is many “wrongs” in that statement.

But what really awoke those painful, almost hidden beliefs was what happened after the relationship. After the break up. Sure my insecurities and lack of belief in myself had me be and stay in the relationship, but I am not a wimp or a pushover in a relationship. It was the break up that woke up the beast! The wounds broken wide open! He didn’t fight for me, he didn’t change, he didn’t fall apart (that I saw), he didn’t validate me, rather he disconnected from me AND he found a new girlfriend soon after…one that is still with him almost 2 years later (how invalidating to my thoughts and feelings). Not fighting for me, not falling apart without me, seeming ‘okay’ to let me go and getting a new gf fairly quickly had me hearing my old wounds and beliefs LOUD & CLEAR: “YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH”.

And I realize it was this feeling “I am not good enough” that had me clinging, obsessing over him, holding on to the pain, doubting myself, and a plethora of other self-defeating behaviours, not the break up…not him. I was just chasing my own wound and trying to get it healed by him!?

The more I tried to get him to validate me and prove to me that I am worthy and special enough to fight for, change for, stay with, the more I was invalidated and ‘proved’ otherwise…and then the more I clung and obsessed and held on to the story and the pain of the ‘break up’. Ironically, it is these actions, that not only reinforce those feelings within ourselves, but also adds yet another layer of pain onto that self-defeating belief.

All the clinging and obsessing is not really because I want him (or I wouldn’t have broke it off in the first place), nor is it a measure of my love for that person, it is because I am now looking for proof that I AM GOOD ENOUGH, so I don't have to believe my own demons. And who I am ultimately trying to prove it to, is not him, it’s myself. And I am looking out there for proof of it, driving me to behave in codependent, obsessive, and unhealthy ways which are self-defeating and get me further and further away from “I am good enough!”

The fact is no matter what he did or does, no matter how much I obsess, cling, beat myself up, doubt myself, analyze it all or get the 'proof' that I am looking for to validate my thoughts and feelings regarding him and that relationship,  it is not ultimately going to make me feel like I am good enough because the truth is, deep down it is me that does not believe I am good enough.

My wound just hooked on to him. I'm hooked on to my wound.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

All I See is Me

It is so difficult to see ourselves. That is why we have relationships, whether friendships, siblings, coworkers, or intimate relationships, through them we really get to see and learn about ourselves. It’s really not so much about them, it’s really about us. The world – our relationships and our circumstances – are a mirror for us. They mirror back to us how we really feel about ourselves deep down.

But it is so difficult to see ourselves. Difficult situations will come along and maybe help us, and we get glimpses and may decide to alter a behavior or perspective. But we still so often just see the other person. It’s them. We can see their faults, their issues, their unhealthy behaviours…their baggage. It’s easy to see. It may be projection, but it may not be. Either way we see it over there – in them, and we focus our attention outside of us. Nothing really changes much. More of the same people and circumstances keep coming along. Until that ONE!

Sometime we even say it: “he/she is the one”. And they probably are, but in a way quite different than we expected. They are the ONE that has exposed all our wounds, all our hidden fears, trauma and pain. They are the ONE that exposed it to the light of day. And we may try to shove it back down in our own special way, or ignore it, or try to outrun it, but this time we cannot. Our “Soulmate” has exposed our truth. And a true soulmate really is the ONE that will teach you the most about yourself. And often it is the most painful.

Yet this is the chance to really SEE ourselves. If it is our time to grow, time for our soul to evolve to the next level, all our distractions, band-aids, defenses, saviours, and safety nets will be taken from us. The drugs, the sulking, the clinging, the pleading, the next ‘one’ won’t make it feel better this time, so that we can stay the same.

Everything will be stripped away, and you can stay stuck, fighting what is, and screaming “it’s not fair” and nothing this time will save you. You are now face-to-face with YOU! Introduce yourself. There is no longer anything or anyone else to look at, but you. You are alone with yourself. That anger, that resentment, that pain, that sadness…it’s all yours.

This is the struggle we come up against when we come to this point, where there is nothing or no one else…nothing to blame, no one to save us. If you really think about it, it is our own souls (ourselves) that have brought us to this place. We have, at a deeper level, created this for ourselves. Why?

Because our souls are asking us to grow. Our souls want us to save ourselves. Our souls want us to know our own strength. Our souls want us to know our own worth. Our souls want us to find our own power.

Our souls are asking us to look at ourselves. Our souls are asking us to become who we are…or, rather remember who we really are. Our souls are asking us to stop looking outward to find ourselves because that is not where we are. Our soul is saying “look here…inside”. That is why we are stripped bare. That is why we are left alone. That is why our own defenses and band-aids no longer work, so we have nowhere else to look, nowhere else to go…but inside. It’s like tough love.

This ‘painful’ process is an opportunity to get to know you…the real and amazing and complex and worthwhile you. An opportunity to grow…grow into you. And really, what a great opportunity. You have been awoken. You now have the chance to get to really know YOU!

Your fears, your hopes, your wounds, your dreams, your strengths, your joys, your sadness…and accepting it all. Get curious and excited about getting to know you and be close with you as you would with another. How lucky, because what a beautiful person you get to know – you!

These seemingly painful experiences are likely really one of the most special experiences of our life. We are being given a gift— a gift to really know ourselves, know our truth and move closer to our destiny.

I believe when one surrenders to this process and gets to the other side of it, they will have found a strength, a power, and a love they have never known…because they will have found themselves.

Thanks to the pain.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Self is in here somewhere

This weekend I came across a new blog, a woman who dealt with her husband’s addiction. I won’t get into her story much, because it is her story, but so many of the things that she was going through during her letting go of him resonated so much with me. To put it briefly, her story validated my feelings.

And during my process of working through my emotions (that were very confusing to me), I thought it was not all that healthy for me to need someone else to validate my feelings. After all, that is part of my “issue”, not believing in my own thoughts, feelings and instincts. Looking outward for validation and proof of value is exactly what got me into that situation in the first place. Which, granted is true enough; however I have learned through this women’s blog that it is okay to want and have your feelings validated … especially when you can’t yet do it for yourself. I think she learned this as part of a Trauma Response Therapy.

And maybe it is okay that I want someone to validate me, and that it’s not because I am just weak and have low self-esteem. If we didn’t get the validation we needed in childhood, then how the hell can we know how to validate ourselves?

Looking back on my childhood, although not tragic at all (and I thought pretty damn good, until I was faced with some of my dormant emotions in the past few years that came from relationships with two dysfunctional people, one with a past addiction problem and the other...just a loser, drinking problems and perhaps a mental illness. I haven’t talked about him here because I wasn’t in love with him, but his fucked up behaviours and meanness to me AFTER I broke it off is what woke up these dormant wounds and hidden beliefs of low self-worth in the first place.I was still working through these feelings when I met my last ex, so it is no wonder I found someone dysfunctional).

Anyway, as I was saying, my thoughts and feelings were never validated when I was young. If I was crying (which I seemed to have done a lot of, including classic temper tantrums), I was told to stop it or don’t be silly. No one tried to understand why I may have been feeling this way…I was just a suck and a cry baby. Oh I heard those ones a lot. I did have three older sisters after all – whom I love and adore! So I believed this about myself.

I looked to my older sisters to tell me what I should be thinking because apparently my thinking was wrong, definitely confused I’m sure from living with a hot-tempered alcoholic father. If my thinking differed from theirs, then I was told I didn’t know what I was talking about because I am younger than them, or my thoughts were just weird. I believed this about myself.

The way I behaved was wrong or inappropriate, was the message I got from my parents. My Mom, from her own upbringing I guess, was always concerned about what other people thought so I always had to act a certain way. If my behaviours brought attention, then I was told I was wrong. I learned to always please others, to change the way I am to fit others sensibilities. I also learned from this, that other people are better than me. I believed this about myself.

From my Father, oh the things I have learned from him that I never knew I learned from him until I went through this dark journey. I learned how to behave from his moods. His drunken outbursts at any time taught me that whatever I did was wrong, therefore something was wrong with me. It taught me that whatever I did was not good enough and I was bad, therefore I was not good enough. I felt ashamed of who I was. Or at the other spectrum, he could be in a jovial, fun mood and would engage me in play. I just didn’t know how to act. My actions would be the same but his responses would change. Although not much of this is clear in conscious memory, but I can surmise that I learned how to be and what I believe about myself  from him just by knowing the way he was and how I became.

I became a people-pleaser and would change who I was so not to be criticized or humiliated for who I really was. I  became afraid of any confrontation. I became untrusting of my own thoughts and feelings because, well, I was taught by both actions and words, not to believe them. I learned that other people were more important than me and definitely better than me. I internalized it all and came to conclusions about who I was. I became a victim, powerless, weak, timid and self doubting.

My self-expression was lost. I was afraid to show and be who I really was. The little girl who was so funny, self-expressive, affectionate, a ham, an attention-getter as I was told I was ….and I remember that as well, and I am still that way when someone gets to know me well and I feel safe enough to be me, was gone. By the time this happy-go-lucky little girl went to school, she was shy, nervous, withdrawn and stuttered (so stated in my report card that I found in recent years)…and I was still peeing the bed.

So where did this expressive, charming, happy girl go to?

I have been uncovering the answer to this - a question that I hadn’t even thought of asking myself - since I fell into this dark emotional abyss after my break up. And that is probably why I have held on to the story for so long. I am finding me through this.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Final Performance

The mind is so ego maniacal. So self-important. So Serious. It grasps. It creates drama. It spins stories. It denies. It defends. We attach meanings and interpretations to everything in context of our ego. An ego created to keep us safe and to defend our fragile insecurities, or to prove our fragile insecurities to be true.

Our egos created from the perceptions of our minds –  underdeveloped young minds –  that are very ripe and vulnerable. Pure unpolluted minds that perceptively pick up on everything in our surroundings, in our culture, from our family, our peers, and our teachers. Then – voila – we have created our self-image, the person we think we are.

But is it really who you are? Our ego was created so long ago from that young impressionable mind and we have automatically believed this is who we are. No questions.

You may think you are meek, boisterous, social, anti-social, untalented, inferior, superior, smart, dumb, able, incapable, etc. Is this really true or just the image you have created for yourself from all the feedback and meanings you placed on experiences at a young age? It’s like choosing a role in a play a long time ago – a child role – yet continuing to play that role your entire life. It doesn't fit anymore...

So many of us need to break out of old ego molds because they are no longer serving us or supporting us. We are living false lives, merely an image of ourselves, or rather an image of someone else.

Often, it is difficult situations that have us questioning who we really are, the lives we are living, the behaviours we are engaging in, and the patterns we keep repeating. For some this may be a serious illness, a great loss, an end to a significant relationship, or even a job loss.

The situations, people and experiences that really shake the ground that we stand on and break the very foundation that has supported us. The situations, people and experiences that strip us of our ego and leave it weak, wounded and broken beyond repair.

They are our wake calls. A message from a deeper part of you. Shhhhh….just listen without imposing your mind on to it and you will hear the message you are meant to receive from that deeper part of yourself, your authentic self, your all-knowing self, your soul.

And the broken ego mind will struggle to hold on, to get back to 'normal', yet this ends up causing us more suffering than if we just let it die ... let it go.

If you can let go of how you think things should be, the need to hold on or fight what is, to find right or wrong, drown in self-pity, deny, run from, blame or whatever else you may do to ‘deal’ with difficult emotions, you will be able to heed the message that these painful and challenging situations bring.

Perhaps it is time to build a new ego structure, a new image of yourself.

As painful as it is to let a part of ourselves die, or as easy as it is to judge these parts we don't like, make your old ego's last performance stellar! Allow it to leave with dignity and love. Give it the gratitude and applause it deserves.

Then choose a new role. One that supports you. One that is more aligned with who you REALLY are.

Your whole idea about yourself is borrowed – borrowed from those who have no idea of who they are themselves. ~Osho

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shadow Dancing

Come join the dance

Here you will find the partner that has all the qualities you are looking for
Immediately, like magnets, you are drawn to each other
The lights go dim and the music begins
You sway to the music, you are twirled and whirled
As you hold each other close on the dance floor
Your bodies melt into one another
His scent, you breathe in as if it is life itself
You feel alive, elated.

You admire your partner’s charisma
His confidence and how he takes the lead
His talented footwork sweeps you off your feet
His sweet words fall gently on to your heart
So perfect, all of this, you want to hold on to it
You attach yourself to him to make it more real-like.

You put your treasure under lock and key to keep it safe
As if you were guarding your life
And you give him the key
Your dance partner, now the holder of the treasure you have found
You close your eyes, hypnotized by the music
You feel yourself floating away … floating into him
Attached as if one on the dance floor.

Then the music stops and the lights turn on
You begin to awaken from your trance-like state
You’re confused and feel lost
Things start looking different, feeling different
It appears empty, but you see shadows … like ghosts almost
It feels scary and dark, even in the light
What kind of dance was that?

It felt so good and now it feels so bad
You beg the music man to play another song
But nothing happens
It’s become very quiet except the noise in your head
Still spinning from the dance of your life
But now it sounds distorted
You beg the music man again, to play music like he did before
But only more distortion.

And where is your treasure? Where is your treasure?!
You no longer have access to it because you gave the key away
You look for the key in your partner but you can’t find it anymore
He’s the one that has it after all.

You continue to look to him for the key to your treasure
You try to hold on to him, pull him in close again … dance again
You need the treasure that he has
It is your life-line
You want answers
From him … from the music man … from anyone.

But no answers come from anyone or anyplace
Out there
Beaten, exhausted and ready to give up the fight
In your surrender, you begin to look for the key to your treasure
In a place you were certain it would never be found
Inside. Yourself.

It’s no longer so loud
You begin to hear the music again, but it’s not as distorted
There is clarity
Although fearful that you may be hypnotized again and fall
You remain somewhat doubtful, slowly
Step by step you move alone on the dance floor
The shadows begin to disappear one by one
Soon you realize that the gifts you thought belonged to another
Were really yours all along.

The shadow dance is now over.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Tempting Poison?

We feel resentment toward others ONLY because we are not happy with ourselves and our own lives.

The Temptation of Resentment:

  •  Resentment allows us to be self-righteous
  • Resentment allows us to make another wrong and us right, them bad, us good
  • Resentment allows the ego to rule and the masks to stay on
  • Resentment allows our deep painful emotions to stay hidden in the dark
  • Resentment allows us to abdicate responsibility for our choices
  • Resentment allows us to blame others for our unhappiness
  • Resentment allows us to not deal with our own stuff
  • Resentment serves as a defense mechanism to keep our own monsters at bay
  • Resentment gives us an excuse to stay with the status quo and not risk change
  • Resentment allows us to stay safe and comfortable
The Poison of Resentment:
  • Resentment serves as a barrier to feel our real feelings
  • Resentment makes us hard, rigid and bitter
  • Resentment keeps us stuck in the pain we say we want to get away from
  • Resentment takes away our power
  • Resentment keeps us victims
  • Resentment closes us others and ourselves
  • Resentment serves as a distraction to keep us disconnected from ourselves
  • Resentment keeps us connected to that which has wounded us
  • Resentment blocks us from knowing our real selves
  • Resentment blocks us from healing the real pain 
 Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to get sick.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where to point to?

Why do we view something that didn’t work out as we wanted as bad? A relationship fails. We get unfairly fired from a job. A friendship ends.

Why do we have to find someone to blame? Why do we feel we need to hate, be mad at or blame someone or something? Or if we are more ‘spiritually evolved’ and realize that we are part of the equation, that our beliefs and patterns helped co-create a situation, we still may hate, get mad at and blame, but this time ourselves.

Someone must be responsible! Someone must be punished, we think. We need to know. We need an answer. We need to point a finger at something, someone.

I would say many do not even realize they are blaming or resenting, but even being angry with ourselves is a form of blame, resentment and harsh judgment.

Why can’t we view these ‘failures’ as a learning experience or just an experience? An opportunity to grow? An opportunity to see deeper parts of ourselves? Why do they have to be ugly, wrong, stupid or bad?

One theory. That is what we were taught when we were children and/or perceived with the mind of a child. When we did something ‘wrong’, or something they didn’t like, or we failed at something, we were made to feel (or felt through our own perception of their reactions), that we are bad, stupid, ugly, not worthy, etc. And who wants to feel that?

So we need someone/something to blame for this experience or these feelings. And if no one else can tell you as a child that it is okay to make a mistake and that it doesn’t mean you are bad, dumb, unworthy, inferior, or if they can’t admit they were actually wrong,  you carry the burden of blame and shame yourself. A huge and complex burden for little shoulders to carry.

This is then instilled in your belief system and becomes the patterns by which you behave by and the way of seeing things and experiencing things in life.

So, how do we learn to really just experience things, especially things that don’t seem to work out in our favour, or as we wanted, or the experiences that hurt us? And how do we also not make them mean something about ourselves? 

How do we accept those experiences without needing to cast blame or make someone wrong or bad and deserving of punishment for their actions?

 Theories? Ponderings?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Taking the Stairs

You walk into a dark stairwell and the door slams shut behind you. You panic! You stand there with no way out; frozen to the spot…numb. It’s pitch black, you can’t see anything. You can’t hear anything, except the loud fearful thoughts in your head. “What do I do now? Where am I? Where am I going? I am lost. I am scared. How did I get here? I can’t do this. Why did this happen to me? Who is going to rescue me?” And after screaming and fighting and denying that it is really happening, you realize no one is coming to save you.

So you finally start moving forward and up the stairs. The stairs are steep, some are very unstable and you feel like you could fall through them at any time and back down to the bottom. And sometimes you do trip and fall on them, especially when you start going too fast and try to miss some steps in order to get to the top sooner.

You still can’t see where that is though, you still don’t know where you are going and your thoughts get louder and your imagination more wild with images of creatures that could come out and hurt you at any time. So loud are the voices in your head and so vivid the images, that they have now become your reality…they are real. You panic more from this false reality you have created with your thoughts and imagination.

The stairs seem to go on forever. You have become so weak and you resign yourself to believing that you are stuck here forever in this dark, scary stairwell, with no way out. So much energy wasted on your fear-filled, delusional thoughts. You are so caught up in your own delusions and fears, in fact, that you can’t hear the laughter that is coming from the top of the stairs.

Finally as you sit down, exhausted from all your fighting and denying of what is, your mind starts to quiet down and you begin to hear faint voices, perhaps familiar voices of friends, coming from above you. You find some hope and you get back up and start climbing the stairs again. Yes, you continue to meet more fears along the way, but you keep going towards the voices above you. It feels like an eternity, and then you finally reach your destination.

A door is opened. There is a party going on with people you know.

They toast you – the Guest of Honour! Still shaken and confused by your journey, you walk up to a friend and she puts her arms around you and smiles. She knows what you know – the way to the light isn’t easy.

Then, you are given gifts: Clarity. Truth. Authenticity.

Something I read: You have been given a gift of seeing clearly while others around you may not. Allow others their reality, even if it differs from yours. If they are in denial, this is a time to honor that.

Allowing others their process is the best gift you can give someone.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Feeding our negative emotions.

They feed off our thoughts. Our negative emotions want to be fed. Why? Because there is an unfed, an unnourished pain inside of us and the only way we know how to fill it is through feeding it the same garbage that gave it life in the first place. My pain gets fed a healthy dose of negative thinking, unworthiness, self-pity, powerlessness, and victimhood. Others may feed their pain anger, violence, blame, arrogance or whatever satiates it. (Oh, and that’s not to mention the alcohol, drugs or actual food some also use to feed these negative emotions. Just as an addict, we become addicted to our negative emotions.)

Although not easy to admit or even recognize, we do get some sort of pleasure out of continuing self-defeating behaviours because on an intellectual level we know that it is not good for us. Yet, perhaps we just don’t know any other way to relieve our negative emotions and we just feed them the same diet that others have fed it in the past … or how we perceived it to be through a comprehension level of a young child. And we need to feed it. It’s hungry for something, the unresolved pain is just like a hunger pain that needs to be satiated, a hole that needs to be filled.

However when we feed it, we keep it alive, not only alive, but if  this becomes our steady diet, we help it grow and it becomes an identity of its own. And then we identify with it. It is us, we think. But it is not! It’s a false self image. An IMAGE. Not real. We keep giving power to it by feeding it and then identifying with it. Giving power to an image – an imaginary monster. If we stop feeding it, it will die. Oh death is scary, isn’t it? So it will cling and fight back with all its might, just as a wounded animal might. It’s called survival instinct.

It is not only the diet of negative thinking and beliefs that fuel these negative emotions, eventually our experiences will feed it too, making the beliefs even truer and that much more powerful. It’s just another form of like attracting like. Our pain is seeking out the same, thus creating experiences that feed it and re-creating experiences very similar to the ones that created those painful emotions.

For me those experiences seem to reinforce that I am inferior, not as good as others, untalented, powerless, will be rejected...

So, how to change it? Find a new way to feed those emotions, I suspect. One that will nourish it, not just satiate it, validate it, make it right. And isn’t that why we keep feeding it? The negative thinking and beliefs validate those feelings, gives them a reason, an understanding. Likely exactly what was missing in the first place.

Maybe it’s like growing a beautiful garden. We need plant the right seeds, feed it the proper nutrients, tend to it daily, prune when needed, and provide it with enough light.

Then we can sit back and appreciate our creation and soak in the beauty of our own garden.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Deluded by delusion

I deluded myself into believing that, that relationship was okay with me. Deluded myself by thinking his behaviours would change because of his love for me, because of my support and understanding. Deluded myself by convincing myself that my thoughts and feelings could be wrong, rather than his, even though he had a lifetime of dysfunctional thinking and behaviours (just 5 years before and for more than half his life he was an active alcoholic, drug abuser and an associate of bikers (his Dad’s gang)).

But still I questioned MY thoughts and feelings. Maybe I am the one that doesn’t understand, doesn’t get it. Maybe his relationship with his ex and even his son isn’t dysfunctional and emotionally unhealthy like I think it is. He’s so convinced that it isn’t. So I keep deluding myself with self doubt, beliefs that it will change (and I did see some progressive healthy change…so maybe I wasn’t being delusional).

Then I deluded myself again after I let go of him. Deluded myself by thinking he must have changed because he has a new gf soon afterward. Deluded myself by thinking I must have been wrong about seeing his behaviours with the ex as codependent and unhealthy because this girl is STILL with him. I MUST BE WRONG.  Deluded myself into thinking that I just wasn’t good enough. I didn’t wait around long enough. I didn’t know what I was talking about. I can’t believe in my own wisdom and instincts.

Throughout the whole relationship I deluded myself. I was questioning my own thoughts and feelings. My own intuition. I tried to override them with excuses, ‘I am not the type to have a conventional relationship,” “he’s like this because he’s had a bad childhood so I will accept it,” “he will realize he needs to change once he sees that he can trust me,” “we are meant to be”…

But that was the fearful codependent girl speaking who believes she’s unworthy, who is very self-doubtful and who clings when she is afraid. Delusion to feed my own unhealthy emotions and wounds. Delusion to keep me from stepping into my power.
Delusion is just another defense mechanism – a very sly one because it is almost undetectable – that keeps us from facing our unwanted wounds, ‘flaws’ and the things that we believe are unacceptable about ourselves. It shields us from hidden aspects of ourselves that we don’t want to feel, such as unloveability or self-loathing. Things we believe we cannot face because we are afraid it will kill our SELF. We cannot live with it. Delusion can even be fear of facing your own strengths!

Although delusion isn’t inherently bad, it was put in place by us to keep us safe at some point because we believed we could not cope with certain feelings or stand up for ourselves, so we shoved the feelings (and maybe even the once upon a time confidence) down more and more as we replaced it with a self we thought was better. A self that kept us safer. A self that fit the role we were put into.

Delusion then became the iron shield that protected us from our greatest fears about ourselves – the ultimate protector. We shoved it all down into a dark cavernous place and labeled it bad, unacceptable, unsafe, unloveable and unlivable.

It’s the big bad monster under our bed that we need protection from. And as we learn, the monster is only a hurt and lonely creature that just needs a friend, and some love and understanding.

But as we held on to these fears,  false beliefs, and roles that seemed to keep us safe, delusion only came to serve as a very high and dense wall – hiding us from ourselves.  In the end we are only fooling ourselves. We are losing ourselves...our authentic selves and our true power.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sifting through the sands of time

Sift: To separate and retain the course parts

To question closely

To distinguish as if separating with a sieve

To examine and sort carefully

That relationship brought out my weaknesses…my wounds.

It brought to surface my dormant wounds. The wounds and beliefs that were “secretly” driving my life. The puppet master controlling my thoughts and behaviours. Beliefs that I didn’t even know existed. Beliefs about myself – not good enough, not special enough, inferior… Ingrained and accepted…without even knowing.

Brought to the surface. His stuff pulled out my stuff. Energetically it magnetized and attached on to mine and pulled it up to the surface. What was this? What was going on? I thought it was him that had the emotional issues. Indeed he did, that is how it pulled up my dormant and similar ones. His, so strong and apparent (to me) that they had the strong pull of a magnet and pulled mine up from deep within.

My strong attachment to him was the attachment to my wounds. It was a match. I just didn’t know what it really was. I thought it was a deep connection to another, one of soul mates, one of … close to love. I guess it was a deep connection, because it was a strong attachment…to some dense wounds.

Brought my toxicity to the surface. Where they really needed to be. Where they really wanted to be so they can be seen. SEEN. Seen for what they really are. Old wounds. Not true. False beliefs.

Brought to the surface to be sifted through. Separating the useless stuff from the useable stuff.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Child

Who is it that is reacting this way? Feeling so full of self-pity? Feeling so pained? Breaking down in tears? Not accepting? Not letting go? Making it mean that I am not good enough, worthy enough, special enough? Who is having this internal temper tantrum? Where is this coming from?

My 5-year-old self.

She has been awakened -- all her repressed, unexpressed, misunderstood pain. Old perceptions that she still believes: someone else’s behaviours mean something about her; not realizing it is about them. Perceptions of a 5-year-old still imprinted in my mind, in my heart & in my soul. And I am doing to her, just what was done to her/me.

Doubting her thoughts, her feelings, her choices. Getting mad at her for being so sensitive and behaving this way. Not understanding her, rather just trying to get her to stop, to shut up. Not nurturing her hurt, rather punishing her for it. Belittling her for being a cry baby. Telling her the way she is reacting is not right. Then, continuing to allow her to believe that it is her. She is not good enough, worthy enough, special enough. And this just compounds the hurt and the lack of confidence. It’s not someone else doing this to her now or making her feel this way…it is now me!

I am doubting me; I am belittling me, I am not being understanding….and so on. I think it hurts even more when we hurt ourselves.

We do to ourselves what was done to us because this is all we know. Yet we don’t even realize we are doing it. A break up triggered all the pain and beliefs my 5-year-old self has been carrying and believing all these years. She is still very much alive. She is still very much in pain. She is still very much in need of healing.

And so how would a healthy, loving, adult – a parent treat a child, her own child if she knew she was feeling this way. Believing these things about herself? A nurturing parent would say something like: Your thoughts and feelings are valid. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to be mad. You know what you are talking about. You can trust yourself. You are good enough. You do deserve to be treated with love and respect. You can do and be anything you want. You are smart. You are talented. You are just as good as anyone else. Don’t believe what people tell you about you. Don’t let other people’s behaviours mean anything about you. Don’t take things personally. Know that you are worthy, smart, special, loveable and deserve to be treated in such a way. Believe in yourself! Something like that…

So what I need to heal is NOT him. Is not having him see “the light”, or apologizing or validating what I said. Not needing to see him unhappy. Not needing him & his gf to break up to validate my beliefs that his relationship with his ex was unhealthy and thus not conducive to having a healthy relationship with me. Not needing him to realize that HE fucked up and that He lost someone great. NO, what I need is me. I need me to believe in me. I need me to validate me. I need me to believe I am something great. I need to be that nurturing, loving, understanding parent (not that my Mom wasn’t) to myself.

All he really did was made my 5-year-old self known to my 40-something-year-old self.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Mask of Control

The reason we try to control life or other people, is to really control our own emotions. We need things to go as we want them so we don’t have to deal with our own feelings if they don’t. Now this may not be in every area of our lives and it can be so subtle that we don’t even fully notice we are doing this.

For me, and for many, it will come up in intimate relationships. I don’t see myself as someone that tells another what to do and how to do it, but when a relationship is coming apart or I know I have to end it – always for the same reason: they are too immature, have emotional issues (which yes is another indication of my OWN insecurities) - I try to control the situation and that person’s thinking. It becomes manipulative and almost turns into a desperation. I need things to be okay, I need that person to be different; I need that person to understand their “issues” and change them … so that I can feel okay. So that I don’t have to deal with my intense emotions, the ones that come from letting go or feeling rejected.

I have to learn to allow this to be what it is without resistance, without analyzing him and the situation and without the constant doubting of my own thoughts, feelings and the choice I made. These are just my attempts at trying to control my emotions, which actually only cause them to be more distressed and confused.

That’s really what it’s all about ... controlling our own emotions. We can easily fool ourselves into believing we can’t live without that person and we keep our focus on THEIR issues, try to “figure” it out, or try to fix it. But what is the real reason why? Because if we really loved the other person, we would realize they need to find their own path, that they need to “fix” themselves or stay the same if that is what they choose. The point is people do what they do and it is not up to us to control it or change it, but it is up to us to make a choice. A choice for ourselves! One that empowers us, not diminishes us. A choice for our happiness. And don’t fool yourself into believing that you are just compassionate or you want to help them…truth is, you want your feelings to be okay.

FEAR. Fear of our own feelings. Fear of having to cope with our own feelings. Fear of having to really make a choice. Fear of needing to change ourselves. This is why we control.
An inability, or belief that we are unable, to cope with our own intense feelings.

I need to teach myself how to be able to just feel the feelings without having them CONTROL me, so that I no longer try to control outcomes and people.

I need to teach myself how to be okay with my feelings and allow the strong winds of emotion to carry me, rather than spin me around like a tornado.

I need to teach myself how to stay afloat of my feelings and swim along the river of emotions, rather than drown in the muddy waters of self-defeat and despair.