Falling in Love Again

Most say that falling in love should be an effortless thing.  And for the most part I agree. Except when it is falling in love with your life.  Sometimes you have to set out to find the magic, especially when things have been hard.  You must just make up your mind, because what is the alternative?  Being angry and bitter?  Those are not options for me.

And I find myself falling in love with my life again – slowly.  I am finding magic in the ordinary, the every day.  I am finding through spending time in my own company, that I like myself.

But just how do you fall in love with your life?

First it is a process.  It takes time. It takes effort.  It takes dedication, because somehow, falling in love with your life, as is, can be easier said than done.  Why is that?  Maybe because you also have to forgive yourself.  You have to admit your mistakes and shortcomings, forgive yourself, accept that you are human and move on, as you try to do better than the day before.

I have accepted my shortcomings.  I have made mistakes, I have come up short, I have failed.  I have hurt and disappointed others in the process. But I did try my hardest. Sometimes, that was not enough.  And I have said my apologies, to others and to myself.  I have asked for forgiveness, from myself, from God and from those whom I have hurt.  I am complicated and flawed.  And I love myself anyway. I hope you do too.

And you have to ask what it is that you want?  And I want a life full of love.  I was on that track before life blew up, now I am picking up where that trail left off except with a deeper understanding of life.  I want joy and happiness, and what is good and authentic.  I want ridiculous romantic love.  Not all the flash, but the slow burn of true and deep with a man who will be a true partner.  I want loyalty and laughter. Family, friends, a happy bright home.  Success and abundance, creativity.

My mother always told me that the painful times will carve out deep places in our soul. And while it hurts, the spaces in our soul are deeper than they were before, leaving us with the ability to feel love and everything else  in life much deeper.  That is true.  I feel to a higher degree now, knowing the sorrow of loss. And the love we are able to feel, goes deep and fills in the cracks, making us stronger than we were before. We are stronger because of the pain, because it allows for more love.

And now, I move on, letting go of the past, looking forward to the future, dedicated to making an effort every day to find the magic and see the goodness deeper than before. There is life all around me.  I see it in the trees, hear it in the birds.  There is love everywhere – in my family, in my friends, in the world. I don’t even have to look for it, it is just there. And there is God’s unconditional love and Grace.

A time of great upheaval and unhappiness often signals a time of great change.  And that has definitely been the case.  But we can still have faith in that change, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable.  That is a process too. And when we come out of the other side, we look around at the new landscape of our lives and the transformation of ourselves.  We cannot ever be the same, nor would we want to be.  To be the same would negate the significance of what happened.  And it would keep us from growing into the deeper, finer, better, humans that we are destined to be.

So I am going to enjoy this process.  It is time for life. It is time to fall in love again, and that starts with who is in the mirror.  Love that comes from the inside is the light that cannot be extinguished.  And it draws others close, with it’s warmth and authenticity.

Repost: I Miss You

I was asked to repost this one, so enjoy!

I Miss You

To miss someone is defined as to discover or feel the absence of. But I think it is much more than that, You can notice someone is not there, but not miss them. When someone says “I miss you.” A certain feeling in conveyed. A feeling of not just noticing someone’s absence, but wishing for their return. Even that does not peg exactly what missing feels like.

To me, missing someone means much more. It means that you think about them, and think of them fondly.  That they pop into your head at different times during the day, like when you hear a song or something happens you would like to tell them, but can’t. It means that you want to know about what is happening with them, and you would like to reestablish a connection. It means you like them and wish them to be close. You wish they were here. You want to hear their voice, see their smile, be in their physical presence.

And what is the cure for this missing? Well, aside from the obvious –  spending time together, talking and bonding, there really isn’t anything to be done. You just, miss them. And maybe, if you are lucky, in time, they return or you don’t miss them as much. Until then, you keep busy, dive into work, distract your mind. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you just have to miss them anyway.

And to me, that is what it means to say I miss you.

The Smell of Home

We all have those moments where a certain smell brings back a flood of memories and emotions.  It could be a recipe cooking, a perfume, whatever. Tonight for me it was clothing.  As I was cleaning my Dad’s room out, finishing up and straighten up what remains, I found some sweatshirts that I did not know where here.  As I looked at them I caught a scent…familiar and comforting.

I brought the shirts closer and breathed in deeply. And there it was, so strong, so clear and wonderful – the scent of my mother.  Over nine months since her passing, and clothes still smell like her.  She had such a presence.

And something happened, as I took more deep breaths in, wanting to soak up every bit of fragrance that I could…I felt warm and happy.  For the first time since she passed, I felt happy, a true sense of joy and comfort finding such a reminder.  I was not sad at all.

And wonderful memories came flooding back: Laughter, smiles, conversations on the back porch in the morning while having coffee, watching movies at night with wine.  Playing card games like Rummy 500 (she always won) and Poker. And so, so much love. I felt at home with her scent, remembering my safe place of so many years. It was her little gift to me, those shirts.

And I realized finally, my life is coming back to me.  Through all the grief and struggle, there is happiness and joy, slowly coming in.  It is like rays of sunshine coming in out of dirty windows, and a glimpse of a rainbow. Leave it to a mother to provide hope and love.

There will still be bad days, and bad moments where I break down and cry. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays and holidays. But right now, today, tonight, at this moment, I am happy. My heart is full.

I am figuring out who I am now,since I will never be the same as before.  I can be better, stronger, more compassionate, more understanding and deeper than before.  I am finally regaining my balance, my equilibrium.  Finally my feet are under me.

There has been prayer, meditation, going to church, having faith, leaning on friends for support, cleaning out, yelling, screaming, crying, working, staying focused and trying so very hard. I am eating right, exercising, paying attention to what I need and taking the opportunity to take care of myself instead of everyone else…..and finally it has paid off.  Now all that is needed is to rinse and repeat. Things are falling into place as life has adjusted to the new normal. And it fits well.

I cherish each and every moment of memories of my wonderful parents. And I know I will be OK. More than that, I will be happy.

Truth and Lies

I will never understand why if given a choice, some people will choose to lie.  Is it fear of rejection?  Fear of being ridiculed or judged?  Or maybe it is pride ort just …I don’t even know. But I would love to understand why?

It is easier to admit I made a mistake or an error in judgement, than it is to lie about it – whatever it is.  If I did something wrong, or hurt someone, I will gladly admit it. Because quite honestly, to me lying takes so much energy.  Why not admit the wrongdoing or mistake and be done with it?  Then it is up to the other person to accept the truth, not you.  You know that you have done the right thing, and can walk away from the situation with a clear conscience and peace of mind.

Every one of us have made mistakes, because we are all human.  We have all made errors in judgement that have had unexpected results. We have all done things that backfired. Or that we just realized was the wrong thing to do.  We have all lashed out when hurt at some point in our lives, and we have all been angry or felt regret or guilt about those things later.

That is all part of the human experience.  We try, we fail, we get up and try again.  That is called life.  And along the way, sometimes we lie, but we should tell the truth more often than not.  And when someone confronts us with the truth…why not just own up to it?  Why not just say, “Yes, you know what? I did that.  And I am sorry…”

Studies have shown that people who own up to the mistakes they have made actually build trust and forgiveness in others.  How many politicians have come out and admitted to mistakes and lies?  Finally telling the truth, asking for compassion and forgiveness.  And they usually get it.

There is a lesson to be learned.  When you make a mistake or an error in judgement, tell the truth.  Make amends.  To hide under a lie or to get defensive is a coward’s way out.  And while we are all human, not all of us are cowards.  Because it takes courage to face up to a lie.  It takes courage and humility to admit to a mistake.  And it takes strength to ask for forgiveness after coming clean.

And if I can do it, so can anyone else. Because I have made mistakes and had terrible judgement. I have done things that I am not proud of, even ashamed.  And I have had to apologize for being human in this life. I have owned up to my shortcomings, and begged for forgiveness.  Is it pleasant? No.  But it is all part of life. And you have to be willing to experience it, if you want to grow, if you want to be better, if you want to bring a life that is truly full of love.

What if someone never admits to a lie or mistake?  Then you don’t need them on your life.  Lies build mistrust. And while everyone makes mistakes and has errors in judgement, if someone is constantly lying, then you cannot have them in your life.  Because they will only cause havoc and misery.  They will always blame you instead of facing their own shortcomings.  And that means they will never correct the behaviors.

So stand up and admit to being human. After all, that is part of life.

The Rest of the Seasons

Every day you must get up and make a dedicated decision that you are going to be better, do better than you did the day before.  I have found that if I don’t, things easily get off track, especially in this process of healing.  You must decide, every day, that you are going to be happy, or at least work hard to get closer to it.  So, every day I am dedicated to praying, meditating, listening to my body, my mind, my thoughts, the voice of God and everything that serves me in the journey.

But what exactly does that mean? It sounds good and all that, but what does it look like?  How do you do it?

I don’t know. But for me, it is making that decision every morning.  It is figuring out what I want that day, that week, that month, or the rest of the seasons of the year.  What do I want my life to feel like?

I want my life to be full of love. Unconditional love.  I want Peace, abundance, Grace, creativity, joy, laughter, friends, travel, prosperity…So every day I pray and meditate on those things.  I am making a goal board to reflect what I want and how I want life to feel, so I have it in my mind, and work towards it.  I have goals.

It’s not doing just one thing, it is a combination of thoughts and habits.  You can’t just decide that this or that is going to change, then go back to bed.  You work at it.  I am changing my thoughts, doing counseling, doing the homework, praying, reading, doing, following the goodness.

I am approaching things differently and concentrating on love and grace.  I am doing everything I can do be better every day.  And so far, it is working.  Positive changes are happening.  The people around me, the results, the outcomes, the reactions and outcomes.

There is travel being planned.  There are friends with whom I am reconnecting, the house is becoming my home, where love and everything comforting to me lives.

And I am excited, for the first time in a long time, about the future.  I am excited about the completion of Spring, as life is renewed in many ways.  I am excited for the summer and all the travel and adventures promised around the corner.  I am looking forward to the Fall and discovering what that season holds.  And last, I am looking forward to the winter, and the completion of the year.  Just because it was a difficult start to the year, doesn’t mean that it cannot be one of the best years of my life, one of the richest, one of the deepest.

I know that my angels go with me, watching over all that is done.  I can’t say that I am lost, I can say that I am on my way.  If I truly have faith that we can make the life we want, then I must believe. I know deep down that God has His plan and that He wants me to be happy too.  And that is the plan for the rest of the seasons of this year.

Until then, I do the work, pray, and believe with all of my heart.

The Great Purge

I have heard that there are some events in life that cause one to have a sense of purging. They are usually life altering events that make us want to change a lot, clean out, lighten the load, make room for whatever lies next.  And that is exactly what I am doing.  It is the great purge of 2017.

I have been busy going through my parents things, cleaning out 49 years of things, records, pictures, collections, thoughts, book, papers, records, cards and more.  I have sifted through so much, learned a lot about my wonderful parents, their life and relationships, friendships and dealings.

And I have thrown away more stuff than I thought possible.  A whole lifetime worth actually. And I have listened for the whisper for who gets what.  And the whispers have come quite a bit.  Letting me know, of all my siblings and nephews, everyone’s boxes are full.

And I ave found surprises. My father left cards for us.  For me, my sister and even the ex.  I have no idea when he even bought these cards, there they are, lying around in curious places, where he knew I would have to go.  They are placed very thoughtfully, in order, so as to easily tell who they are for. Birthday cards, thinking about you cards, wonderful cards. And gifts.  Little things that both of them placed for us, like frames with picture already placed in them, little things hidden, waiting to be found, obvious who they are for by the content and context.

And the purge is making way for new to come in, and already things are stirring in my mind.

Travel:  I need to travel, see new places, taste new food, get away and have fun. Laugh, love, be free.  And so I am doing research, reaching out.  The beach calls, and so do other trips. I have a passport and vacation time. All I need are the plane tickets. I have the vacation time and friends in great places.  Belize? Greece? Italy? Turkey?  And always the beach, and weekend away for mini vacations. Maybe all of them.

Re-arranging:  I have been working in my father’s room.  But maybe it is time to rearrange the house.  My sister mentioned making the master suite on the main floor mine.  At first I didn’t like the idea…but now I am starting to think about it, it just might be what is needed. And it has a huge his and her closet, and a pink ad white bathroom.

Activities: It is time to start doing.  I am thinking of picking up belly dancing again  A fun and sexy way to keep in shape.  I did it several years ago, and it may be tie to start back up. Also horse back riding and hiking.  My life had been so hectic that I didn’t get a chance to do that much.  Now is the time to reconnect with my adventurous side.

Companionship: This is different that love.  It is getting to know someone, trusting them and letting them see who you really are.  It is being together, but taking your time.  This is where I am.  There is still much healing to do, and the man in my life understands that I am still very vulnerable. I am easily hurt right now. So I must be treated gently. With kindness, empathy and compassion.  And he does. I was told that I need to keep my circle small right now, and not introduce a lot of new people into my life right now.  And so I will take that advice, and rely on those who are tired and true, those who have been there for me time and time again. They will carry me through.

Family: This is a new opportunity to foster the family relationships that have been gently established.  I want to see them grow, flourish even.  I want to get to know my siblings on a deeper level.  I want to spend time with them and for them to know me too.

Writing:  It is time.  I have had plans to work on my book for a long time now.  The plan was to start working on it again while helping Mom recover from a minor procedure.  It didn’t quite turn out that way.  Now I have nothing holding me back, and my angels guiding me above for inspiration.

Myself:  I should be surround by pretty, and I should be spoiled and pampered.  So, regular massages, manicures and pedicures.  Also exercise. And time for hobbies and to write just for pleasure. regular check ups and making sure I am healthy – spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally. I will take care of myself, something I did not have time to do before.

Faith:  I have not been to church regularly in a while.  I was busy taking care of everyone to go.  I prayed at night, by myself, in the dark when the house was quiet and everyone was asleep.  No more.  I will go to church, I will pray with those who are with me. I will make sure that my spiritual needs are taken care of. My faith will grow and be a firm foundation for my future.

Life:  I am not sure what else might come along.  But there will be room for it.  And I will be exceedingly picky about whom I let in.  About what is allowed. The plan is to follow the goodness and follow what makes me feel how I want to feel – happy, fulfilled, deeply content.  I do not want to chase what is superficial or temporary.  I want roots. I want the good stuff. I want to make sure that what I rebuild is solid and true.

And so the purge is a good thing.

 

 

Let Go of What

Some readers have asked what is the process of letting go and what have I been letting go of?stress.

First the process of letting go has been painful and hard.  There has been much emotional work. There has also been a lot of  prayer and meditation, much truth seeking. There has been talking to friends and professionals, and listening to the voice of God when things are quiet and still.

But I have been told that time is the number one things that helps is time.  And until then you just have to get through it.  Face the pain of the loss of letting go, and eventually, with time, you will heal.

And what about when faced when letting go of multiple things at one time?  Well, that makes it even harder, but you still just have to reach deep down inside and make it through.  It is going to be very hard, which is why many don’t do it.  Many hide, run and do anything but face their pain of letting go.  That only makes you bitter and angry.

I made up my mind I would not be like that.  I will not let life and the bad things that happen make me less than, make me weak, make me angry or bitter, make me anything but a finer human being. But that is hard too.  because at the end of the day, we are all human, we all have faults and we all struggle to be a better person than we were the day before.

The list of what I have had to let go:

My parents:  The hardest things in the world.  They are gone now. This process is ongoing, and I have been told, that you never really get over the loss of your parents.   They are your first loves, they taught you most of who you are and how to be.  They are your first taste of the world and know you and your stories more than anyone  I will forever miss them. But there is comfort in knowing that they are together. They send my signs and I look for them everywhere.

You have to let go of so much, because they are everything in your past.  And you have to figure out who you are without ever speaking to them or seeing them again. Family traditions, conversations, history that is gone never to be done again. You must be content with the memories. And that is all.

The relationship and the man: In addition to that, you must let go of and mourn the loss of the life that you thought you would have.  For me, that was marrying the man that I loved more than anything in the world. It was having children and a large family between the two of us.  It was laughter and happiness, and each other always.  He was home. He was my roots, my emergency contact, the was the one whom I could depend.  He was my secret keeper, my confidant, my love. We were my future. And I finally found the person I could trust, let all my walls down with. That will not be my life. At least not with him.

But he wasn’t who I thought he was. He is a  bitter angry man who uses prostitutes, strippers and goes to orgies.  Who was I in love with?  I don’t know, but I have to let him go.  Because it was not real…and I wonder was everything he ever said to me a lie?  At what point did he stop telling the truth?  Or did he ever tell the’ truth at all?  I don’t know. I have to let that go too.

The Expectations: You have to let go of the expectations of the old life.  For me, that means the expectations of life with my parents – they will not be at my wedding, they will not ever meet my children. I will never have a phone conversation or a cup of coffee with them again. All those has to be let go. That also means the expectations of the man and the relationship.  There will not be a reconciliation.  There will not be a conversation of closure and settlement even.  I tried that and it was just too angry.  So I have to let that go.  But that is so hard, because i like things ending nice and neat. This was ugly and messy. And there is nothing I can do about it, because it is not my mess. And no matter how much I want a conversation and to hug it out, it will not happen.

The Pain: There is pain in grief.  And when you loose something that you loved, whether it is a family member, a friend, a lover, a job…whatever, if you loved it, were attached to it or cared for it, you must mourn the loss.  And that means facing being in pain.  That means dealing with your feelings….then taking a deep breath and letting it go.  I am still working on this.

The Anger:  This is a part of grief, a stage.  And for a long time I was angry at my mother’s doctor, because he missed so much and my mothered suffered a great deal.  And I was angry at my sister for not being there. And I was angry at the fact that she suffered.  I was just angry but I didn’t really understand or know. And it came out toward my now ex.  And my Dad as I struggled not to drown under the pressure of all the new responsibility I faced.  Anger at the ex for not being there. Anger at my sister for not being there. Anger at the fact that I had to face and do more than I possible could. I had to deal with that anger, face it and let it go. I did that with time, counseling, prayer and meditation.

The Guilt: Oh, this one will really get you if you are not careful.  I felt guilt from the anger.  Guilt from not being able to handle everything with Dad myself. Guilt for having to deal with so much. Guilt that it spilled over into the relationship.  Guilt because the relationship failed, and I thought is was because of my mother dying and Dad having to move in.  Guilt because I could not save my mother or keep her from suffering.  Guilt for feeling overwhelmed.  Guilt for resenting everything I had to do for dad and the toll it took on me. You have to let all of that go or it will make you angry and bitter and depressed.

The Obligation: I had to let that go as well.  I served my time and served it well.  I also had to let go of the obligation to the ex.  he was great with my father, but especially toward the end, horrible to me. Disrespectful and hurtful, so angry.  But I took it because I thought I was obligated to him, because he took care of my father, especially the last month were were together.  thought I had to take whatever he dished out because I owed him.  No.  I owe myself enough respect to expect to be treated with respect. While I am and will forever be thankful for what he did for my father, I will never owe him for it.  I will never owe my parents.  I have served my time and now I take care of myself.

My old self and life: When you have life changing events, you have to let go of the old person that you used to be.  Because you cannot move forward until you do  You will never be able to go back, you ,will never be the same and you will never have the life that you used to have.  And that is not always a bad thing, and it is not always a good thing.  But the forward movement you have after you let go can be a wonderful thing if you let it.

There is more, smaller things that have had to be let go, but that is the big stuff.  And some of it I am still working on, because letting go is a process, especially when it is compounded by many.

And I am still searching for what fills the spaces in between after letting go.  Stay tuned…