chey being

Seeing what's inside again.


6 Comments

Pitfalls of the Seeker

I am currently reading Deepak Chopra’s, “The Book of Secrets.”  This excerpt stuck out to me today:

Pitfalls of the Seeker:
1. Knowing where you are going.
2. Struggling to get there.
3. Using someone else’s map.
4. Working to improve yourself.
5. Setting a time table.
6. Waiting for a miracle.

This is exactly where I have been lately, in a state of letting go, aka surrendering.  Which is probably why this resonated with me so much, but I just didn’t realize how important it was.  I did not even realize the shift that has occurred within me until I read these words.  I have read many “spiritual” books and have never heard this message put quite like this before.  So, I am feeling the need to break it down; here we go…

1.  Knowing where you are going.

quote-Tanith-Lee-i-never-know-where-i-am-going-195162

First reaction, I laughed.  Well…check mark for me because I have no clue where I am going!  Second, Holy Shit! I’m OK with that!  Usually, I am the one with the plan.  I always know where I am going and what I am doing.  And if I don’t, I am really stressed out and will find any ole distraction to fill in the space until I feel empty inside again and start the whole vicious cycle over.  I was in shock at the realization that I have been allowing myself to simply be…guided.  Ahhh…what a relief it has been.

2.  Struggling to get there.

life-is-a-struggle

 

 

 

 

 

 

My whole life I have had a deep seeded knowing that life is not meant to be a struggle.  Hard work sometimes, yes, but not a struggle.  Any time someone has told me, “Oh, that would be too hard,” or “That never happens,” I have felt the lie in those words.  It will be whatever I believe it to be.  We have the power to make things happen.  We have the incredible imagination to bring things to life.  We must allow the space for that to happen and most importantly, not be handcuffed to the outcome for it may not be exactly as we had expected, but it will be what we need.  It will be for the greater good of ourselves and others.  And in that is the lesson.  The lesson we need to move forward and grow.  If you believe life is a struggle, than that will be your life.

3. Using someone else’s map.

13486728uf

This means a few things to me.  A.) We don’t even try because someone else failed or told us not to do something because they knew a guy who knew a guy, who said it was really hard.  Yes…this happens all the time but they never fail to tell us that they really don’t know these people or if it is even true! It’s just a belief they picked up somewhere and have so graciously passed it on to you.  B.)  We do what out parents think we should do.  They not-so-gently persuade us into a life they think is best for us or a life they wish they had created themselves but didn’t.  Thankful my parents didn’t care much for what I did do, but they sure had a whole basket full of ideas about what I couldn’t do.

4. Working to improve yourself.

090600a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one seems more a play on words to me.  We are always trying to become a better version of ourselves, are we not?  I think the meaning here is that we must first accept ourselves as we are, in all our imperfections and we must continually do so.  Each time we fail or stumble, we must accept ourselves and not judge the experience.  I read somewhere recently that if you want to lose weight, you must first accept and love yourself where you are, not wait to love yourself when you achieve your goal weight.  This is what this means to me.  To be honest, I am not really where I want to be.  I hope to achieve so much more, but I am happy where I am right now and I am excited for the future.  That is a big step for me, for I am usually fearful of the future because it is unknown (I have recently learned the insanity in being afraid of an outcome that hasn’t even happened!).

5. Setting a time table.

lindsay-lohan-lindsay-lohan-i-want-to-get-married-before-im-30-and-id

Who needs that kind of pressure?  No thank you very much!  Maybe this makes me happy because it makes me feel off the hook as I progress into my forties and think on occasion, “What the hell have I done with my life?”  But really, I think it just reiterates all of the above, that we must let go of outcomes.  I think it is good to have goals and dreams, but I think it is then also good to release them.  Maybe there is even something greater than we could ever imagine in store for us and I don’t want to miss out on that!

6. Waiting for a miracle.

fearandmiracles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To me this means, ignoring what is already in front of you.  There are miracles all around but we miss them.  We discount them.  We belittle them.  And then we say we never receive them or that we are unlucky.  Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and this something I am learning every day.  I simple reminder will pop in my head just when I need it, and I will recognize and give thanks for it.  I somehow avoid a major car accident and I give thanks for it.  These are miracles.  This is something, someone watching out for me.  I’m not waiting but I will tell you, I am expecting because I believe, I listen, and I watch more and more every day.

So what does this list mean to me?  Surrender.  How am I surrendering at this very moment?  Well, normally I would re-read a post about 20 times before publishing.  Worrying about type-o’s, writing something stupid, and maybe even offending someone. Maybe even censoring myself in a way.  Well, I am not doing that today…me the perfectionist…is being not-so-perfect and I am really perfectly happy with that.

 

Advertisements


2 Comments

The Invitation

A continuation from A Book Is All It Took.

I could not believe that my pithy email had been read by a real live person and that they were reaching out to me!  I called the woman back who had left the message.  She simply said that the author would like to have me on his radio show that evening and I could talk about anything I wanted.  I remember her being very kind with a great warmth in her voice.  Of course, I agreed with barely suppressed excitement.  I know when I hung up that I took a few deep breaths to allow the reality of it to register and then I skipped around the room doing a long forgotten happy dance.  I had no idea what to expect but I was so unbelievably desperate for help that this chance, this opportunity, had me jumping out of my skin with hope.  Pure hope.

It was time for a change.  Something had to change.

I remember telling James and hearing his lack of enthusiasm.  We never really agreed on spiritual or religious beliefs and I am pretty sure he thought this author was a whack job.  James was a non-practicing-but-for-holidays Jew and I was a church-soured ex-Christian.  Although his reaction was not surprising, it did hurt.  I am not sure if he was afraid that I would be led to leave him or what.  This and the proceeding events were something we were to never really discuss.  I did find out years later that he had listened to me on the radio.  He never told me that and I wish I knew why.  I have often wondered if he felt responsible for my pain and suffering and if it was easier for him to ignore it.  I wanted him to be happy for me but thankfully my own enthusiasm was enough not to care what he thought.

I wanted to make my scheduled call in private and uninterrupted, so I made up some lie to get out of the house where I could then call from my car.  I did not tell my husband at this point as I did not want him to hear anything; I needed to speak freely and openly.  I arrived at my intended destination, a parking lot, and waited.  I was so nervous that I began to think this wasn’t really going to happen, that it was all a hoax of some sort.  When I finally made the call and it was busy, my fears deepened.  This had to happen was all I could think.  After the second or third try I made it through.

The author told me that he had two guests in his studio that would be joining us.  He then asked me what was on my mind and well, I just blurted it all out without any reservations or fear.  I said that I had been having a long-term affair…It was killing me…I hated living a lie…I was having unexplainable pain…I was in constant fear of being horribly sick.  I said them as if they were two separate issues.  1.  I don’t know how to leave my lover and 2. Somebody heal me because I’m going to kill myself!  In my mind, at this point, they were two separate issues.  Even though I knew the stress of the affair was taking a toll on me, it did not occur to me to address the issue causing the stress.  I only thought to deal with the symptoms.  In fact, my health issues were all I had mentioned in my email.  I honestly had a mental block with my relationships because I did not know what to do.  I was in some sick, twisted state of limbo.  I couldn’t leave James no matter how many times I tried and I couldn’t leave my husband, so I did nothing.  As hard as it is to believe, even to myself now, neither of my options were remotely fathomable to me at this time.

The author asked the guests to respond first.  My first thoughts were that I couldn’t believe how nice and understanding they all were.  Internally, I felt like such a low-life for admitting my affair that I suppose I expected to be shamed and judged in some way, but it was quite the opposite.  They truly only had love and compassion in their voices.   After a brief back and forth, one of the guests asked me to sit quietly and go within.  What?!?  I slowly began to freak out.  I could feel my heart rate skyrocketing.  I was so wound up with expectations that there was no way I was going to have some calm, zen-like internal moment with myself.  All I could think was that this was not helping me and that my big chance of getting any help was diminishing by the second.  She asked me how I was feeling after a few moments and I told her that I wasn’t feeling anything.  I think the author sensed the sheer panic arising in my voice.  He told me that I needed to deal with these issues before I gave myself a real disease.  He said he was having a week long retreat in the next month and asked if I would like to come; he wanted to speak with me further.  All I had to do was get myself there and he would take care of the rest.

Oh…my…God!

The author told me off air that he would have someone give me a phone number to call later that evening to make the arrangements.  I could not believe my good fortune.  I had gone from panic to elation in a matter of minutes.  We hung up and I sat in my car and cried.  I wept uncontrollably because I could not believe that someone cared enough about me to offer help like that.  I didn’t feel deserving.  I was the woman who walked around with the big scarlet letter on her chest.  I deserved to be stoned at the altar.  I deserved all the sideways glances.  I deserved the venom of judgement.  But not this night.  This night I was greeted with love and compassion.  I was offered a hand to bring me out of the darkness and I was ready.  I was ready for anything.

Up next:  The Retreat

You can find my story from the beginning under the category, My Conscious Journey To Divorce.


9 Comments

Embracing a Bad Day

I woke up yesterday morning not feeling the greatest.  I felt overwhelmed and underwhelmed with life all at the same time.  I am quite confident that anyone with a pulse has been there.  With so many projects in the works and not sure any of it is taking me anywhere, I felt stuck in the middle of a maze.  All of my passions seemed to have dwindled to a spark.  Everything felt very unimportant .  Is this it?  Does anything I’m doing mean anything?  Is this my life?  I was feeling pretty low.

Every time I think of writing about a “bad day,” I think twice and stop myself.  I don’t want to put that kind of energy out there.  I want my writing to have purpose, whether it is healing, thought-provoking, funny, or helpful in some way.  Often times, I will write when I am at my lowest of lows, but just for myself.  I get it out onto my computer and then I simply delete it.  It’s cathartic.  It gives me great comfort because I feel like I have unloaded my burden.  I  have learned the hard way that strong negative emotions are literally poison to my body.  I then feel clear-headed and can move on without all the exaggerated, heightened emotions and get back to reality…which is never that bad!

I think there is a fine line when putting myself out there.  These words we read on our glowing computer screens can often get lost in translation or completely misinterpreted.  They are without the inflection in my voice.  They are devoid of my enthusiasm or pain.  All I can do is hope I group a few of the right words in the right sequence to not only portray my thoughts but to give something.  Hope.  A smile.  A spark.  A knowing.  I want to give something other than the ramblings of my very bad day.

My life isn’t always pretty.  I’m not always pretty.  But I am too aware to get sucked in.  I will only allow myself to hang out at my pity party for so long before I must put on my big girl pants and bail.  Maybe I have to take another look at something from a different perspective.  Maybe I need to appreciate something at that moment that I have been neglecting.  Maybe I need to take action.  Maybe I need to do nothing but sit and find my peace.  Everything has purpose.  Everything has meaning.  I woke up with a self-defeating mind.  I sat around and did nothing.  I had no motivation and I felt really guilty about it.

Then I just embraced it.  I found my peace with all the things I didn’t want to feel and felt bad about feeling.  And when I did that…I actually felt better.

Oh, and today was a better day!  Have a fabulous weekend all!

 

 


8 Comments

A Book Is All It Took

Fear Becomes Me, Part Two, is where I last left my story of divorce.  If I had to name the darkest hour of my life, it would be where I am now in my story.  The fear of being sick ruled my mind, and thus my life on every level.  It was a miserable existence and if not for my children, I am not sure I would be alive today.  To know that I allowed something, unwarranted no less, to rule my life really pisses me off, to be honest.  It was a waste of time and precious life, but I know too that it was uncontrollable at the time.  It directed my life onto a different path and for that part I am grateful.  My regret is that I stayed in that black hole for so long.

Every morning and every night I woke up unable to sleep, my first thought was always of what was wrong with me.  I went through this methodical process of trying to make sense of every symptom I was feeling, what could be causing it all and what action I should take to make it all go away.  Hundreds of times a day I would go through this cycle of thought.  My OCD tendencies that I would call mild, seemed to have grabbed hold of this new predicament and relished it like water to the desert.  It was a gloomy existence that turned to thoughts of wishing desperately that death would take me and release me from my prison sentence.  Each time I was in my car alone, I would sink into a space somewhere between peace and surrender, wishing that I would crash and all my pain inside and out would be instantly gone.

I believe somewhere deep deep inside, my suppressed soul was desperately trying to reach me.  My mother had recommended a book to me (which I’ve decided to keep anonymous).  Like all bits of hope thrown my way, I bee-lined to the book store.  And there I was, in the middle of the night, sleepless as usual, reading this book with a now common determination and desperation to find a solution, an answer, a cure, anything.  I was in a grim state during those early morning hours, tears kept welling up and spilling over every few minutes.  I was working myself into another frenzy, a borderline state of panic.   For an unknown reason, I stopped reading and turned to the back of the book.  I read something about contacting the author at an email address.

By this time, I was communicating again with James.  He knew on some minor level my fears, but I kept much of it inside.  I knew, like my husband, mother, and father, he could only take so much of my gloom and doom ramblings.  I had begun to become a phony to everyone now in my life, putting on a happy face for James when I was slowing rotting inside.  So when I read this invitation of sorts, I jumped at the chance to pour out my soul.  I don’t remember much of what I wrote that night, except that I was at a point where I was begging for death.  While fleeting, draining my mind of its poisonous thoughts was cathartic, even though I had no expectations of being heard.

Months later, while still on my miserable, lying, cheating, racked with fear path, I had a missed call and a message on my cell phone.  It was a woman who worked for the author and she wanted to know if I would like to be on his radio show.  I almost fell over.

Up Next:  The Invitation

This post is the continuation of my story and journey to divorce.   You can find my story from the beginning under the category, My Conscious Journey to Divorce.

 

Image credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

 


4 Comments

Fear Becomes Me, Part Two

[Here in my little not-so-private space, I have ever-so-slowly been sharing my story of divorce.  Part One left off with my husband’s discovery of my affair and my struggles with the stress of it all.]

I have spent a good amount of time on the St. Clair river.  Enormous freighters frequently pass through its deep blue water in a deceivingly effortless motion.  When the sun is shining on the wide river, the water is a transparent turquoise to rival any Caribbean sea.  The ships and boats that pass through create waves that bounce back and forth between the shores of the US and Canada.  They have nowhere to go thus creating huge waves in every direction with no rhyme or reason.  These menacing waves however, are no match for the giant metal barges.  At the front of the ships, the water swells to the big bullies in a continuous mound of crystal blue.  On most days, it can not win the fight.

This is how I felt back then, in a constant state of defense.  I was the water, feeling hopelessly pushed around with no control.  I was not deciding my fate, I was letting the situation rule my every move.

After years of secrets, there should have been some form of relief when my husband found out.  I’ve always heard that most people, deep down, want to be caught.  This seems ridiculous at first, but when thinking about the stress of it all, I can really begin to understand it.  However, there was no relief; the stress simply turned to, “How am I going to make this mess work?”  That is the only thought that crossed my mind.  I did not even think about divorce.  There was no love left, no anything left, but divorce did not cross my mind.  I had to continue to live a lie.  I had stopped the affair (for ever, I thought), but the mirage of being happy needed to continue.

So easily, I let my mind trick and suppress my soul.   I think sometimes that my very being had grown tired of me ignoring its warnings and just went into a deep dark corner where it waited in silence.

My mind continued to tell me that I could somehow make this work.  That I could somehow live a life with a man I did not want to be with.  It was around this time that the stress began take a toll on my body.   It began with numbness in my arms and legs,  then into the side of my face, followed by pins and needles in the hands and feet, and unexplainable pain in my arm.

One day early on, I was so afraid I was having a heart attack that I went to the ER.  The nurse there asked if MS ran in my family.  No, I said, but that simple little question set in motion 8 plus years of living in constant fear.  I was sent into full-out panic mode!  I went home and began reading all about MS on the internet.  Yeah, I know (now), BIG mistake!  I have to preface this story by saying that I am somewhat of a hypochondriac and this did not help my situation.

I began to breath fear.  I could not escape the worry that I may have some debilitating disease.  It consumed…every…thought. 

If I thought I was in hell before, this was a whole new kind of hell.  My life quickly became caught in a revolving door of doctors, specialists, herbalists, acupuncturists, psychics, you name it.  If I thought they could help me, I was going to try it.  The craziest part of all of this was that every test (and I had a lot of them), came back negative!  No one had any idea what was wrong with me.  Yet, I continued to search out new and better doctors.  I was happy with each negative test for about two minutes; they did nothing to suppress my fear because I still felt awful.  I would only think, “What if it just hasn’t shown up yet?”  It became my belief that somewhere, somehow, I was going to find the antidote to whatever the hell was wrong with me.

I had even succumbed to trying several anti-depressants.  Emphasis on the word, succombed, because I also have a fear of taking prescriptions.  I had so much anxiety about taking the drugs that it made me feel worse.  I also had so many side-effects to the drugs that were not working anyway, that I finally gave up.  I was going to have to suffer all on my own.

I was a tangled mess of desperation and fear.  I would have slaughtered a pig and painted myself with its blood if I thought it would heal me.

Sadly, actually pathetically, I never believed or thought that the massive amount of stress I was under had anything to do with my symptoms.  I never thought that my very life was becoming dependent on getting out of my current situation.

Up next:  A Book Is All It Took

This post is the continuation of my story and journey to divorce.   You can find my story from the beginning under the category, My Conscious Journey to Divorce.

 


4 Comments

Choosing Fear

It is said that every action is done either out of love or out of fear.  We eat healthy because we love our body or we eat healthy out of fear of getting sick. We may call our significant other because we want to express our love or we call because we fear losing them.  We wear certain clothes because we love how they make us feel or we wear them because we fear not fitting in.  We lose weight out of loving our bodies or we lose weight for fear of others not loving or accepting us.  We strive to win out of the love of challenging ourselves or out of fear of being a failure.

I experienced both sides of that coin the other day after a group meditation.

The mediation inevitably ran long as most gatherings of people do.  I was enjoying sharing everyone’s company and at the end of the evening I coincidentally ended up receiving some useful advice on writing and publishing.  When I went out to my car, I could not believe how long I had stayed over the time I had told my family when I would be home.  It really wasn’t a big deal; no one needed me for anything, and I was on cloud nine from the mediation and the new information I had procured.  I checked my phone before heading home.

Two missed calls from my son and two missed calls from my husband.

I called my son back first.

Me:  Hi honey!
Son:  Hi mom!
Me:  I’m so sorry I am running late.  The group ran long but I am on my way home now.
Son:  That’s OK, I was just checking on you to make sure you were ok.  How was your meeting?
Me:  It was wonderful.  Thank you honey for asking and thinking of me….etc.

Then I called my husband.

Me:  Hi.  I’m sorry but it ran long.  I just wanted to let you know that I’m on my way home now.
Husband:  What have you been doing? (he says rather perturbed)
Me:  Nothing, it just ran long.  We all got to talking but I really learned a lot.
Husband:  You were talking all this time?
Me:  Well….(I go on the explain the evening’s events and none too happily as I have to justify why I’m late and my excuse that he apparently doesn’t seem to believe).
Husband:  Why didn’t you have your phone with you?
Me:  It was a meditation!  You can’t have your phone going off while you’re mediating!

I don’t really remember any more specifics after that other than we started arguing and I eventually hung up on him.

I dreaded going home at this point.  I was so happy just moments before.  What the hell had just happened?  I was really upset that he didn’t even care to hear about all my good news.  I was even more upset that I felt like I was being controlled.

Two very different conversations with two very different outcomes.  I believe one was out of love and one was out of fear.  Fear prompted my husband’s actions.  Fear of me leaving him, fear of me not needing him, fear of me meeting someone “better,” and deep insecurities so old that they have nothing to do with me.

But here I am.  Here I am yet again with the universe showing me that this just isn’t working.  And here I am again…waiting.  Waiting for what?  I don’t know.  I suppose I am waiting for the universe to slap me in the face so many times that I finally must surrender black and blue, or die.

It is said that every action is done either out of love or out of fear.  We stay with someone because we love who we are with them or we stay because we fear hurting people, or because we fear not having enough money, or because we fear we didn’t try hard enough, or because we fear failing yet again, or because…

All of the above.

 

Photo credit:  dawnmaslar.com


5 Comments

Who would you be if?

With human contact, comes human stories.  Between personal friends and posts made here, I have listened to and read about some difficult journeys in regards to relationships over the last few months.  Some are right-smack in the middle of it.  Some are in the bitter or angry stage.  For some, time has dulled the pain but a gaping hole still remains.  And some have made it through to the other side stronger than ever before.   I have been hyper-aware to the many stories, probably because of my own personal struggles (and the problems of others seem to make us not feel alone), and they keep leading me to ponder the question, “Who would you be if?”  Who would you be if you never had divorced?  Who would you be if your spouse had not left you?  Who would you be if you were never hurt or betrayed?  The questions and scenarios are endless.

I know from my own personal experience, I can not imagine who I would be without some of my gut-wrenching moments.  Each moment has lead me to who I am now and I hope that is a more “enlightened” individual.  I put quotes around enlightened, because I don’t want anyone to think solely on religious or spiritual terms.  I also mean evolved, aware…wiser.  I know who I am more and more.  My trials and tribulations have sent me down paths that I never knew existed.  Does that mean I encourage these hard moments?  I instinctively say no, of course not, but I am not entirely sure.  I wish more that I could move through the challenging moments more easily.   I am a worry-wart and sensitive and little things to big things weigh on my mind heavily.  That is a trait I still need to work on and life may keep putting challenges in front of me until I figure that out.

My second husband went through a horrible divorce years before we met.  His wife left him and he took it very very hard.  I asked him if he wishes he never had divorced (A load question you may think, but he knew I truly wanted a honest answer and would not have minded if he said yes).  He told me that he is happier now but for the fact he did not see his children as much.  He realized that the relationship he had was not really that great and worth all the heartache he caused himself.  He knew now that he took his wife and life for granted.  He learned that you can not have a happy family and put work before everyone else.  He learned how to better communicate.  He learned how to improve on some of his own personality traits that caused problems within relationships.  He learned how to adapt his business and work to the easier, freer lifestyle he wanted.  None of this may have ever happened.

If I had not divorced, I never would have went back to school (One of the greatest experiences of my life!).  I may never have started writing.  I never would have moved out of the house that depressed me.  I never would have felt truly scared and alone.  I never would have felt my own strength, determination and courage.  I never would have learned how to respect my spouse.  I never would have learned to be less judgmental.  I never would have helped all the people I plan to help (This is my future self talking).  These are just a few, but the personal experiences and the personal growth that have taken place, are immeasurable.  I don’t want to take anything back.  I don’t want to take back a boyfriend dumping me.  I don’t want to take back the experiences of people hurting me.  What I want to take back are the months and months of sadness that I put myself through.  What I want to take back are the wasted hours, minutes, and seconds I spent wondering how I was going to get through it.  People come and people go.  I can embrace that now.  I can appreciate that now for what it is and not what I want it to be.  There is always something grander on the horizon, if I keep my eyes open and choose to see it.  For me, that is one thing I know without a doubt.

Who will you allow yourself to be when one trail ends?  Do you begin a new trail or keep retracing your steps?