chey being

Seeing what's inside again.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 


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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.


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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

 


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When what is, is enough.

How often do we talk about something we are really happy about and then in the same breath we complain about something else?  How often do our wheels spin on all our problems and “To do” lists instead of what is going great?  How often do we celebrate the good things, compared to complaining about the bad?

I’ve been feeling pretty good on a large front lately.  At the beginning of the year, I quit my stay-at-home job with the family business to pursue writing and to teach Pilates.  I had grown to hate the isolation of working at home…alone…in front of a computer, day in and day out.  It was a tough decision to let go of control and add the financial burden of a new employee, but I have never looked back.  Last month I completed my training and threw myself out (more like crept out with trepidation) into the world looking for work (Also the reason for my long absence from WP).  I had not searched for a job in over 20 years!  Within two weeks, the work poured in and it’s still coming from unexpected places and situations.

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So, yes, I have been on a nice high the past few weeks from accomplishing my goal.  But then…I thought, what about my marriage?  My marriage is falling apart.  The high began to fade.  I am no longer distracted from my marriage woes.  It was a fun few weeks to pour my soul into something and forget my other reality.  As I began to stress about the status of my marriage, I began to get very angry at this dark cloud that was ruining my good mood.  I began to get angry that I was allowing it to ruin my good mood.  How does one stay happy, or even calm, when there is a big tiger in the room that must be addressed?

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I just want to be happy.  How many times a minute is that phrase uttered around the world?  Too many.  Through all my highs and lows, I came to realize that there may always be something that is not right. Something that drags us down.  Something that causes great sadness.  Some tough decision that must be made.  I think it takes practice to change our focus, to change our perspective.  That is life and how we grow and evolve into better human beings.  I know I am a much calmer person since I have had the realization that good things usually come from bad in the end.  There is always enough should I choose to believe there is.  And if I am never happy with “what is,” I will never be happy, period.

While I still feel the dark cloud looming, I must learn to be an observer.  Yes, it’s there.  So what?

 

 


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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


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Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.

“A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece – about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?”

1.  Why do you choose to stay in a relationship that you have clearly stated you’re unhappy in?

2.  You seem to have clear beliefs on living life, do you think you follow those beliefs?

3.  Why should anyone listen to you?

 

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Fear Becomes Me, Part One

“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.” Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

So, there I was on a runaway train.  I contemplated often on how to get out of my situation.  The thought to leave my husband never really occurred to me and the thought of never talking to James again seemed an impossible task.  I think I was just waiting for something to happen.  I had no answer, no solution, so I waited.  For what, I did not know.

There is a feeling I get when I am deeply hurt.  It’s a feeling that goes straight to my heart and chest.  It is part pain and part the feeling of all my breath leaving me.  I can breath, but it doesn’t feel like it is giving me life.  It’s as if my soul has left me and my insides have caved in and will not allow air to enter.  This is also the same feeling I had almost everyday for years and years.  However, it was not brought on by being hurt, it was brought on by fear.  Fear of getting caught.  There were so many times when I would be on the phone or the computer and my husband would unexpectedly come home or come into the computer room.  There were so many times I had to plan to be away and lie about where I was going, wondering if my lies were being bought.  I hated the feeling with a passion but I DID NOT know how to stop it.  I could not break free of the mess I had created.  That is my only excuse.  I just physically and emotionally, could not let go of this person.

The affair and my feelings for James drew me farther and farther away from my husband.  He had become a friend to me and that was where I wanted the relationship to stay.  Of course, my husband wanted more and rightly so.   Over time, I could no longer be all the things a wife should be.  Apart from the stress of getting caught, there was the constant stress of my husband wanting to be intimate.  It truly pained me and I used every excuse in the book to avoid it.  This part of the story is hard to tell and so, I don’t really want to go any further than to make the point that I went to bed in fear every night.

These fears increased ten fold the day I was caught.  It was not my husband who suspected anything, but his parents.  They had me followed one day and video taped me leaving a hotel with James.  My husband confronted me at home after his parents had informed him of the situation.  To express how scared I was seems superfluous.  The only thing I was scared of was my husband leaving me and hurting my children.  James meant nothing to me in that moment.  I remember my husband being very calm.  He asked what I wanted to do.  I, of course, said that I did not want a divorce and that I would stop seeing this person.

My husband’s reaction my seem strange, but if I back up a bit, it will make more sense.  Around this time (and I can not remember if it was before, during or after I was caught), my husband began having an affair as well.   His cold-as-ice demeanor tipped me off immediately (a feeling I had felt once before).  I was petrified he was going to leave our family.  I could not be mad at him for it because I knew I had driven him away, and of course, I had committed the very same act.  This period in time compounded my stress and fear levels immensely.

To go way, way back, my husband was my high school sweetheart.  We dated on and off for seven years before getting married.  The first time he broke up with me, my world had ended.  I didn’t know anything else but him, he was my first love.  I’ll never forget what he said to me the day he left me.  I can only assume it was not horrible enough for him to dump me, so he told me that he didn’t love me and that he never had.  This was the same exact sentiment he told me once again, ten plus years into marriage, on the day I confronted him about his affair.  I don’t believe there are any two moments in my life that come remotely close to the pain I felt on these occasions.  I will never understand the purpose, true or not, of saying those words to anyone.

We both eventually decided to try and make it work.  He ended his affair and I attempted to, unsuccessfully.  Continuing my affair at this point, under heightened security, was the beginning of another journey.  There is only so much stress a body can take before it begins to break down…

Up next:  Fear Becomes Me, Part Two

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

 

Photo credit:  www.nevadatree.com