chey being

Seeing what's inside again.


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The Meaning of Relationships

As I embark on this next journey in my life, I can’t help but think about what it means, or what it should mean to be in a relationship. Marriage isn’t two souls becoming one. We are already one with everyone (That is my spiritual belief anyway). It isn’t about owning someone as in, I am yours and you are mine. It’s about experiencing yourself through another human. Whether it’s in a marriage, or between lovers, friends, family or even enemies, we are choosing them for a specific experience within ourselves. We should look at all our relationships and ask ourselves, “Is this who I want to be?”

Can you say, “I love who I am when I am with you?”

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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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It was easy there.

Just days ago, I was on a trip like no other trip.  It was not a vacation where we run to and fro collecting as many sites and experiences as possible, but rather an exploration and awakening of my soul.  A meditation retreat.  A place where I found safe haven, love and life-long friends.  It was easy there.  I shut myself off from phones, computers, television and family.  I could breathe unencumbered by daily chores, work, family distractions and most importantly, my own go-to forms of distractions and excuses.  I was cared for by loving people making my food and providing me with a clean room to rest.  I was guided by mentors who graciously shared their knowledge as they were born to do.  We were all handed this bounty of love on a beautiful silver platter, there for the taking.  Of course, we all partook.  We all made commitments.  We all created intentions.  We all faced our past, our heartaches, and our fears.  And we all resided in a place of pure love.

It was easy there.

As our time came to a close we began to gear up.  There was work to be done.  There was commitments to uphold.  Not to the outside world, but within ourselves.  I ebbed and flowed between the excitement of a child with a new toy to be explored, to a passenger on a crashing plane bracing for impact.  I was scared.  I was fearful that I would fail.  I was fearful that my life would suck me back in to its numbing chaos.  Even with my fears bouncing off the walls of my mind, I felt a knowing that I had turned a corner and there was no going back.  On our last day together, a beautiful soul whispered in my ear, “I keep hearing, ‘Keep going, keep going.'”  It was what I needed.  It was precious fuel for my tank in case I began to run on fumes.

So here I am, days later.  Back home.  Back to the reality I have created.  I was not granted a warm welcome.  I was denied a welcoming of love and happiness. I look out the window now and it is snowing.  Much different than the rains of Costa Rica that washed away the heavy heat.  I don’t mind it.  I don’t mind the weather greeting my journey home with freezing temperatures.  It is all beautiful.  But I do mind the way my husband, the one who is supposed to love me unconditionally, greeted me.  Since my feet have landed onto US soil, I have been hailed upon by his insecurities.  He would not grant me his love and happiness until he felt secure in our relationship.  Only after an argument, only after him blowing off my feelings of disappointment in his reaction, did he try to turn around and express his happiness for me.  He does not hear me.  He does not listen to my pain.  He had flowers and a sweet card for me.  It meant nothing.  I wanted to laugh hysterically.  I could literally feel their emptiness for there was no love behind them.

So this has been my experience upon arriving home.  A barrage of insinuating and ridiculous questions.  A “love you” one minute, and anger the next.  My head is spinning.  As if on a hyper-speed roller coaster, I am desperately trying to reach up and grabbed my head, grab my heart and hold on for dear life.  Hold on to all I have experienced.  Hold on to all the love I was so freely given.  Hold on to the self that I am.

My throat has been sore since the day I arrived home.  I looked it up in Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.  It states, “Holding in angry words.  Feeling unable to express the self.”  Yeah.  That pretty much sums it up.  Her book also says that the throat is where change takes place.  Whether it be resisting change, going through change or simply trying to change.  I am a bit of each, I suppose.  I am resisting dealing with my husband.  I am definitely going through changes within and it is a taking its toll.  It is work.  It is work waking up early to meditate.  It is work to calm the mind, set aside all the busyness and write from my heart.  However, I know it will get easier.  I know every little piece, every little crevice of my life will be better for it and so I continue on this path.

I feel I am gearing up.  Gearing up for battle?  I don’t know, but I do know I am not prepared to act on  my marriage right now.  I am not strong enough to go through a divorce again in this moment.  I need to build an internal army that will keep me strong, protect me, shield me and most importantly, guide me.  I am OK with this.  I will know when the time is right; I will feel it in my gut.  It will be loud and clear.  I have been there before and I will recognize it when it is time.  Now is time for me.  Now is time for me to grow in my awareness.  Time to look at everything with a renewed curiosity.  Time to connect with God, Source, the Universe, My Higher Self, call it what you like.  I have been away too long.  It is time to look beyond the veil, return home and…

“Keep going, keep going.”


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What the bleep do I want?

The lovely, witty, funny, and talented  Amanda Insidethelifeofmoi allowed ME to write the following Guest Post for her hugely successful blog!  If your one of the few who are not already following her, please check her out!  Thanks again Amanda!

This may seem a bit selfish at first glance.  The “me, me, me,” of my inner two year old, but au contraire my darlings.  

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A good portion of my life has been spent reacting.  Something happens, big or small, and I am veered off in that direction.  I’m not talking about having an attention disorder or OCD, such as in a typical day of mine:   Making my way to the bathroom, spot a piece of lint on the carpet, must pick up.  Walk by the laundry room; should really stop and throw a load in.  Walk by the kitchen, “Did someone leave their plate out?”  Better clean that up.  The pillows on the couch are smooshed; must fluff!  Eventually my bladder says to me, “Hey lady, can we make it to the bathroom at some point here?”  Oh, right!

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I am talking about life on a grander scale, like those pesky things called relationships, careers, and dreams.  When we don’t know what we want in life, we simply follow along with whatever comes our way.  We may even have a muffled whisper deep down trying desperately to communicate with us, but we are too afraid to listen.  We may even make excuses like me, an expert at talking myself into anything!  Here are a few pernicious examples from my life:

1.  I really wanted to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.  I had made it so far but I had a fiance now and didn’t really need to work, so I quit.  I told myself I was tired of school and the money it cost would be a waste if I wasn’t going to get a job anyway.  Lazy ass.

2.  My inner voice, “You need to write.”  My all-controlling mind, “You should help your husband with his business and spend all day on the computer doing work you hate because at least you will be useful.”  How did I talk myself into that one?

3.  After my divorce, I told myself that I really wanted to be with someone who has the same spiritual views as me.  Met someone.  Did not have the same views.  Oh well…he gets along so great with my kids; it must be right!  Insert eye roll.

4.  Years ago, I had numerous “unexplainable” health issues.  I didn’t want to think or believe that it was my jacked-up life causing these problems, or my inner soul desperately sending me wake-up calls.  So I reacted to my body and  focused on 1. Freaking out and  2. Visiting every western and eastern medicine doctor within a 100 mile radius.

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There have often been times when I am so out-of-tune with myself that I was truly only reacting to life.  Almost hoping, waiting for something or someone to come along to fill the void and lead the way for me.

Years ago, I was asked by a well-known author and spiritual leader, “What is it you want my dear?”

“Ummm…,” I said, looking somewhat like a deer caught in head lights.  This was also in front of a large group of people which did not help in the least.  They all seemed to look at me, just waiting.  I could only imagine them thinking, “Who doesn’t know what they want? Loser.”

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He told me that we were going to take a break, I could think about it, and we would continue discussing it when we all returned.

I went back to my hotel room and thought about it.  I thought about it for so long and with no results, that I began to panic.  What was wrong with me?  I never did come up with an answer.  When we all reconvened and I had nothing of worthiness to report, I thought I sensed the questioner’s slight disappointment.  It was humiliating.  I felt like a total failure.

If we don’t know what we want, we will simply live a life of reaction to everything and everyone around us.  Every ache or pain will become our focus.  Every person that annoys us will distract us.  Every little blip in the road will be greeted with our undivided attention.  We will allow ourselves to be dragged into other people’s drama.  The options for distractions are endless.

How can we know what to do and where to go if we really have no idea what we truly want?

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At the beginning of the year, I had to make a change (remember that work I hated?), but I seriously had NO clue what to do!  I asked and I listened (OK, maybe I pleaded a bit) with no answer, but I decided that I had to have faith and believe that it would come.  And it did.  I wanted to teach Pilates and I wanted to finally sit down and write.  Within seven months, I completed my training and am now teaching.  I also started my blog….I am finally writing.

I have to be honest though, some of my “life diversions” have led me to grander things and seemed to have served some purpose to where I am now.  Maybe it’s more about knowing when to get off the path that has become too treacherous than getting on; however, I also think we often take the back winding country roads, when we could have taken the expressway.

Every day I am practicing to be aware and to “read the signs,” because they are there.  Life is speaking to us every moment in every way imaginable and unimaginable.  If we would only stop and listen.


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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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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.

 


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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?