Queen of Hearts

I think of winter as silent and cold, a time when nature forgets. In the winter, seeds are dormant. Ever been there? Oh, I have. Silent, still, and unmoving. I was young and didn’t know much about life.

Growing up, I didn’t develop well emotionally. I had been asleep. It sounds cliche. Melodrama really isn’t my thing. But, there was a moment when something inside came alive, and the circuits connected. I awoke. That was when I recognized the brokenness surrounding me. And I wasn’t doing anyone good by living in denial. As it says in Genesis, 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Well, I wasn’t naked, but my family wasn’t as perfect as I thought either.

“Images of the Goddess help to break the hold of “male control” that has shaped our images not only of God, but of all significant power in the universe.”

-Carol P. Christ, from: Rebirth of the Goddess

There’s a shame in my family, and it needs to be cleansed. I’ve been trying to heal through journaling, genealogy, therapy, talking with my family, prayer, and meditation. I sincerely hope to trigger healing in others. Hopefully this is helpful for others because I know I am not alone in this sadness.

We’ve had multiple decades of men in battle. Like bricks stacked upon each other, fathers and then sons have waved goodbye to families who wept for them. Women, whether they were mothers, sisters or wives participated as they could. For a family member, waiting would be agony.

Soldiers gave up personal freedom, hopes, and put their personal wishes aside for the call of duty. With their life on the line, and having to overcome fear every day, all they knew was to be strong. Survival was important. There wasn’t time for hope. It was mud, blood, guns, and keep yourself from freezing to death in the winter. Pay attention to their surroundings. Don’t get killed. Hoping and dreaming, that was for later. So, love was put to sleep. Remember the 1950’s? Duty was Queen. And she had no heart.

Generations of war created a lineage of patriarchy and abuse. Hearts were cold. There’s generational rape, molestation, child abuse, and years of silence. Shame. Try taking this history of pathology and develop a healthy person. Here I am, as well as my parents. I took my underdeveloped self and tried to create a healthy marriage with another. I say underdeveloped since I had no idea what love was. In my family genealogy, love has been asleep for a long time.

We know duty. Survival is our best skill. After that, we start having issues. And as most therapists will tell you, a person will gravitate toward what they know. Which is why people return to the same type of relationships over and over, like a reoccurring nightmare. Or you marry someone like your parents. We’re not only comfortable with the familiar, but it feels right. They fit you. They plug that void you need to fill. We call it love. Funny. Is it really love? Maybe.

I’ve been asking this question for years, what is love? Someday I might know the answer. I know what it’s not. Love is not pain. It is open and giving without holding the other person back from their potential. Love is not bullying, pushy, or brutish in it’s giving. Love is a gift. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying. If their “LOVE” comes with strings attached, then it is not loving.

Love your people today.

Arna Baartz -Artist (painting reposted from thegirlgod.com)

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Memories of a Childhood

There was a hole in the kitchen floor. In my two-year-old mind, it was huge. My family lived in a travel trailer temporarily. I grew up on hundred acres of land with pecan trees and with livestock, horses, chickens, all with a nearby river and wooded area, wild enough for any child’s fantasy. I remember the hole. I avoided it, walked around it, afraid of falling.

I remember picking the pecans when I was three or four. My first experience with money and excitement of commerce. Power.

I remember sitting carefully on the toilet. Mom bought an adapter seat so that I wouldn’t be afraid.

Falling in holes, dropping in toilets, and we can’t forget that I did fall out the door. I was young. Early in the morning, dad was plowing the cornfield. For some reason, he had a bowl that he wanted me to come and get. I was happy to run to help — a good little worker. The door was open, I stood on the edge, and I knew I should sit down and scoot. The steps were tall. Four-year-old little legs can’t leap the way her big brothers do, but I never realized this. So I jumped.

I jumped and missed the steps. The darn surface wasn’t where it was supposed to be. What happened afterward is a blur. There was a pain. Scream causing pain. My arm was pinned under my body and against the concrete steps. People say it doesn’t hurt when you break a bone. Or it hurts worse if you’re an adult. I don’t know what type of weed they’re smoking, because it fuckin’ hurt. I know it didn’t help when everyone else around was yelling and your parents are arguing. I don’t remember this, but they would do this now so I’m sure they did then. I’ve spent Fifty years convincing my mom I was the one at fault. I chose to jump and that dad did not will me to run out to get the bowl but like the faulted people who we are, we stay stuck in our patterns. Dad will remain the blame. The Evil. And I’m not sure where that puts me.

I think I moaned the entire ride to the Tulsa hospital and into the Emergency room. I do remember they had Popsicles, and those were delicious treats of frozen goodness.

I remember the frogs by the river. When the tadpoles came out as new baby frogs, I’d try to catch them. They were everywhere it seemed. Hundreds of them. At that age, I loved frogs and lizards, any critter.

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So many events happened in my life, but there are only a few I remember. I don’t know why I remember these. Why were these highlighted and others shelved? I don’t trust memories anymore. They are wriggly morphing vapors. And if you stare into them believing you will learn something new, you’re only deluding yourself. Memories are packets, and you change them each time you examine at them. And every person who sees an event will see it differently.

The truth of anything is in your feelings. Heal your emotions, and you’ll heal your memories. Yes, it is possible.

Here are a couple of movies:

ReMemory (on Amazon Prime)

The Discovery (on Netflix) Trailer

Shit Happens. People Kick Butt

Can you embrace your life? Can you adapt when it’s necessary?

I have a friend who radically changed her life. Yeah, some bad things happened. A lot of bad. Divorce. Robbery. But she didn’t stay with the bad. She recreated her life with the opportunities that came like winning classes to a local martial arts studio.

But any one thing doesn’t change a person. We make choices. Do we handle the crisis? My friend did. She trained instead of staying home and eating ice cream. There’s a wall of trophies and a rainbow of belts displayed in her living room, and she earned every one of them along with some sore muscles and broken toes. She kicked butt.

It should be considered right to live and enjoy living. To be well, happy, and to express freedom, is to be in accord with Divine Law and Wisdom. – Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

My security is not my house, my car, or my friends. I’ve seen it all wiped away because of a stupid mistake, a bad judgment call, or even a difference of opinion. Families split. Friends choose sides. Fortunes are lost.

Tomorrow can be a different day with a new job with circumstances you would have never seen coming. You could be laid off your current position. A window of opportunity then opens. Where will you go?

We seem to strive for security in the form of external stability and conformity, yet the very essence of life is change. – Energy and Personal Power, Shirley G Luthman

Safety isn’t a destination. Your ability to adapt with life is your safety net. Can you pay attention to what’s happening around you? Or are you ignoring the clues?

Shit happens. People kick butt

Stop! Don’t Make Your Point

It’s alright if you don’t have an agenda sometimes. Relax. It might be healthy.

Too often when we enter a conversation, it’s to make a point. But what if we didn’t. Next time, we could let the unimportant stuff slip away.

Choose your stressors wisely. I pulled this post from psychologist Rick Hanson’s post, Just One Thing. You are free not to do these anymore.

Freedom not to

How?

For one or more of the items just below, imagine what it would feel like for you to have the freedom not to:

• Press your point home

• Struggle to get someone to change his or her mind

• Have a second drink. Or a first one.

• Worry what other people think about you

• React to what is swirling around you

• Act on an impulse

• Get into an argument

• Be swept along by anger

• Identify with a mood or point of view passing through awareness

• Take something personally

• Take responsibility for the experiences of other people

• Criticize yourself for not being able to fit into a pair of jeans

• Resist what’s unpleasant

• Drive toward what’s pleasant

• Cling to what’s heartfelt

For one or more of the items just above, imagine how your greater freedom would help others. Also, let others be freer themselves with you; give them room to breathe, time to think and feel. – Rick Hanson PhD

Have a beautiful day!

Find An Ally

My mom has been trying to schedule an appointment for surgery for months, but she’s been waiting for the doctor to call her. Dad, during the first round of doctor’s visits, said to wait. This is how it always worked. The old insurance operated this way. They’re still waiting.

My parent’s previous coverage dropped because the insurance decided to lower cost. It was terminated according to where you lived. Insurance companies do this to ’shake off the excess,’ and they’ll open to the area again at a later time. It’s a mind fuck.

There are clunky systems in our world and maybe there have been for a very long time. If you’re not paying attention, then you’ll still see squabbling and politics. It is that. But there is an underlying feeling of contrived chaos. Unnecessary red tape.

Why is healthcare so difficult? Expensive? Protocol. A ridiculous amount of hoops to jump through for doctors and hospitals. With each year, restrictions are added for the sake of saving costs. My job is to work through those requirements so the insurance will pay, helping patients in the long term.

We need a better way and I don’t necessarily mean universal healthcare. Our system is inside-out. I am concerned even alarmed. I worry for the people who can’t keep up with the speed of change. I also worry what will happen when I am my parents age? If it’s this bad now, if nothing improves, will I be able to navigate such a Maze?

I work for a company, but who is working for the people anymore? We’ve forgotten to love our people.

Who is watching the Watchers?

Strengthening Character

At the end of the day, it’s only you. Alone. How you met each challenge and each conflict was up to you. Did you face your demons or pretend they didn’t exist?

There’s a lot of talk about being real. Authenticity. For me, it’s not always easy to be myself. It’s not that I try to fake people out by pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m not an impressive person and never wish to be.

My nature is to relate to people on the level they are. You might think me inauthentic at times because I’m a human who has been damaged by life. My cracks show.

When I feel I’m in an emotionally dangerous situation I’ll plaster a fake smile on and spout out the trite phrases, whatever it takes to get me through the situation. This is the game we call life.

Our character is built by the choices we make. We develop strength or kindness or wisdom through practice. Such as continuing to practice grace and mercy if you’re wishing to become a more forgiving person. Truthfully, it comes down to living intentionally, as best you can.

Live Now or Never

Live Now

We don’t have a promise that tomorrow will be here. It’s easy to put every fun event off until we can give it a big push. I’ll go on vacation when I have enough money saved to fly to Europe, we say. Then we don’t go anywhere. And we cheat ourselves out of life. We die bit by bit.

In our culture, snails are not considered valiant animals – we are constantly exhorting people to “come out of their shells” – but there’s a lot to be said for taking your home with you wherever you go.- The Power of Introverts

Friend or Foe

I tend to live wide open, full blast and today I find I’m exhausted. I don’t regret this. My only angst is trying to relate to those who are unavailable to my affection. This is how my heart gets broken, and my life goes haywire for a while. Yes, they sometimes warn me, like in the most recent drama. “Like you, a lot, but don’t love you,” were the words. But anyone who has feelings knows that doesn’t stop the rage or the tears after they are gone, even if they have warned me.

Many of my choices are not wise. Downloading the entire Justin Timberlake album while at work instead of waiting until I had wifi available, that’s not sage economics. Will it crash my bank account? Probably not. Did I benefit from the music therapy? Freakin’ yes! I do the ratio game in my head, pro vs. con and the emotional reward is worth it.

This moment

We make decisions. We live with them, which is why it’s impossible to advise someone on careers or marriages. Who am I to make a decision which could affect someone’s happiness? I ask questions. Poke around in the answers, and usually, we know the answer.

But honestly, heterosexual relationships are my nemesis, my dark curse it seems.

Make peace with your life however you can and be good to yourself. Show kindness to those around you. Namaste.

 

 

I Will Pray For You

Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.

Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.

One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.

If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.

Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.

May all be happy

May all be at peace

May I be happy

May I be at peace

Loving Ourselves

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Love is What I Know

Darkness. We don’t sit there often. As soon as I get home, I turn on the light, feed the cat, and get the activity going. The dark seems empty. But it doesn’t have to frighten us.

Go back to what you know for sure. Those were the words that I heard when I was in my dark space. It’s taken me some time to understand their meaning.

tumblr_ldlfpavmov1qekgtho1_500Re-boot

In the Bible, there’s the story of Jonah, the man who didn’t want to preach to the people in a city called Nineveh. He hid on a boat until he was thrown out into the storm and he was swallowed alive by a great fish. Darkness. Crazily, he ends up back where he was supposed to be in the beginning.

I laugh because if you call the customer support line for help with your computer, the first thing they ask is, did you try turning it off and on again? Restart. That’s their answer for everything.

But start overs are impossible in real life. Aren’t they? A start over, a cleaning, a bottom level, that was the message I got when I heard the words, “Go back to what you know for sure.”  What did I know for sure? Love.

Where is the love?

I was uncertain of religion. I couldn’t tell you at that moment if I believed in God or the devil, heaven or hell. I didn’t know if the Bible was real or if the teachings I’d grown up with were true, but I did know there was a love that was buried deep inside of me that I’d felt all of my life and it wasn’t of any religion.

What does that mean? What does it look like? I had to stop trusting in everything else. I only had love. So I let myself sit in the darkness, in the emptiness with nothing to light me but the one candle of love. It sounds silly, but when you’re a traditionalist, and you let the old teachings slip away, the emptiness around you isn’t lonely or scary. The love you feel grows. There’s a freedom in that love. Joy unspeakable.

Can you find your truth?

Check out older post — My Skepticism on Religion  and Question It All

Slam the Door Shut

Women talk. They tell me about their relationships, their spouses, and sometimes how incredible their husbands are. Maybe it’s just in the game of connecting, and I’m not playing it right, but I feel I’m left with a gap, uncertain of how to respond other than with a pat response of, That’s wonderful. You’re a lucky lady.

Envy

There was a time that I would have been envious. But I’ve surprised myself lately. Their life looks more like another variation of the same old song. That tune’s overplayed and I already turned the dial on my radio. No envy, desire or lust for eventually having it all someday.

Old Shoes

It reminds me of the Caroline Myss story of the old shoes. I’ve mentioned this in a previous post called, Old Shoes. Do you want the old shoes under her bed? Most of us want the envelope she has that contains the money, but no one cares about the old shoes that she keeps beside her bed. They’re ready for the trash bin. They’re dirty, worn, faded, and there’s a hole where your toe will stick out. Your desires don’t go out for them. Nothing draws you to them. No clamoring or yearning. They sit there, and you don’t give a damn. That’s how we know if we’re losing our power to someone or something. If it has a hold on us, we feel that tug. We yearn. We desire. Our door is unlocked, and we don’t own our power. When we look at that other person’s life and what they have feels like old shoes, worn full of holes, ready to go in the trash, then we know we hold our life. No one’s life is better than yours. Hold your own power and slam your door shut.

On a side note

I think it’s bad juju to be flashing your stuff for all to see. That’s just my opinion. But throwing it all out there in the wind is just inviting trouble, I think. Why advertise if you’re not selling?

Blogs I found along the way:

The Core Stories – The Truth About Costumes – I could quote the whole blog and be happy about it. 🙂

I remember my first favorite pair of shoes. I was about ten years old, so it was sometime in the early 2000’s, and they were Skechers sneakers. They were shiny black patent leather with sparkling silver glitter and chunky white platforms….

KickAss Witch – Book Nerd Weekly

“What you may think of as your ordinary attributes are not a fair indication of what spiritually extraordinary attributes lie within you. The obvious is never the whole truth.” -Caroline Myss