Stay Awake

I am always amazed at how different life feels when I am awake and conscious. 

 

I remember the day pretty well. I was three years old, sitting in front of the TV watching Grizzly Adams, pretty much unaware of the circumstances.  My father picked me up sobbing as he said goodbye. I cried too but did not understand why. I can see him standing in the door watching us drive away. Oh how he must have broken. He knew, but I did not that my life would never be the same as it had been growing up under his roof—whole. 

This is a chapter of one of my beautiful disasters.

Now, my oldest son lives right down the street from where I moved that day. I have always had a somewhat negative view of that townhouse—probably because it was the place where I eventually started to go to sleep unconsciously. Julian and Grace moved 2 weeks ago into their very first apartment. How exciting this is for them!

As I drove into the complex, I felt like something came full circle the moment I passed that townhouse and pulled into his driveway. A place that once meant sorrow now brings me joy. A gap in space that once meant an end now signifies a beginning. I am so thankful God is in the waiting game and wants to patch things up. Of all the places they could have moved, they moved to the very site of my 3-year-old beautiful disaster development.

Bigger picture still: Julian’s dad and I divorced when he was 3. That was the moment of my full blown sleeping pinnacle. The moment where my unconscious pain took over, and I changed his life forever. I did to my son exactly what my mother did to me. Something I swore I would never do.

Although I am awake now, it doesn’t change all the suffering. I want my son to know how very sorry I am for all he suffered with the divorce. Your dad and I truly believed if we just loved you enough you would be okay.  You’re on your own journey to awaken and I will be forever here for you. Suffering eventually will bring you to conscious truth. You brought me back to the apartment complex and I honor your allowing me to see the truth and bury the lie.

It’s time we all bury the lies and see the truth. You can’t live in the past or future and see the truth. The only truth is the present moment.

It is very hard to stay awake after a certain age. Past 5, you start burying yourself and go to sleep. It’s easier that way as you have not acquired the skill of mastering pain. Your tiny self figures out a way not to hurt and that works for a while—often a long while—but eventually you need more to stay asleep. Drugs, alcohol, food, sex. I chose alcohol. It wasn’t on purpose at first. I didn’t realize drinking would mute the thoughts in my head, and the pain in my heart. At 12, I attended a Greek wedding where wine flowed freely. One sip lead to many and culminated in my vomiting all over my new mauve carpeting.

That became my pattern. Drink till I threw up. Cry. Pass out. Pretty standard. This blog is not about what you use to bury your pain. It could be anything! Even loving your children to the point that you’re asleep to your own destiny. We all have something that keeps us asleep for as long as it takes for us not to feel pain.

I used alcohol for a long time.  I don’t anymore—at least not to stay unconscious.

When you’re little and in pain, you don’t have the skills to navigate through it alone. It’s time to stop beating yourself up for the shit you have done. You did what you had to do to survive at the time.

A lot of us blame the people who were supposed to protect us. But they couldn’t because they were asleep themselves, trapped in a delusion and completely unaware.

It’s a cycle.  Sleeping through life to avoid pain, then bringing kids into the world. Because you’re asleep, you raise kids to use the same skill set to sleep through their own life. No wonder so many people are addicts. We have so many things available to numb our pain and keep us asleep.

Are you an addict if you can’t get through the day without chocolate or Pepsi? Yes. You can dress your addiction up in pretty clothes, call it whatever you want, but if you are honest with yourself, whether a person or a substance controls you, you’re an addict. Sure you might not be in jail or getting revived by Narcan like some heroin addcts, but guess what: You are no further ahead. A heroin addict might have a better chance actually to awaken due to physical and legal ramifications.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sleep anymore. In fact, I am on a witch hunt for truth. I will let my trapped soul out no matter what the cost. Learning to stay present and conscious is painful, but it is the only true way out of “pain.”  Remember the saying, “the only way out it through?”  It’s true. 

God will use whatever it takes to wake you up. Most western culture is taught to conquer suffering. We don’t like the suffering so we push it away, numb it, mask it. I get it. I still do it. The moment something feels uncomfortable I try to kill it.  Some eastern cultures teach you to embrace the suffering and live in the now. Suffering is sticky, but next time something gets you, don’t run from it or numb it, stay in it. Let it have its way with you. Cry, get mad, scream, do whatever you want, just FEEL IT. Stop pushing it away. It will just keep coming back and haunting you until it teaches you what you came to learn. Wake to the lessons suffering has for you. Every time I have suffered I have grown and so will you.

Perfectly Imperfect

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-talavera/carrot-coffee-egg-parable_b_1107628.html

Carrot egg coffee

I would like give a shout out to the infamous Chris Russo, spinning instructor of the stars in Niles Ohio. #blackboxspinning. Chris told the story about the egg, carrot and coffee bean one Monday morning, and I fell in love with the idea that I was one of these three nouns. I made a note to blog about this in the future and moved on. 

Which brings me to yesterday when I reviewed the story of the carrot, egg and coffee bean. Hopefully you read the link above and follow as I dive into the heart of this blog. 

I realized something when I read the article. I really was hoping I was the coffee bean affecting everyone around me with my aroma and taste. However, I am all three at different times. Depending on the variables in my life, I have been the carrot starting out hard and brought to my knees only to be soft and mushy. I believe God has allowed this to soften my heart. If I allowed you to see into my heart, it’s not always pretty, but I am still alive and breathing. 

I have been the egg: a hard outer shell with a liquid center that heat changed to a hard center. I am not proud of this state but again God uses every situation for the good of all. What the enemy wants to use to destroy your life with hardened hearts and mindsets, God sets free.

My deceased step mother would often say about people, “They are legends in their own mind.” That’s me with the coffee bean. I can only endeavor to impact others. I know that I am human. I realize that I fail daily but I know that being all three is what God wants from me because through the mistakes of the egg and carrot I will learn compassion.

The coffee bean is really the closest to perfection which is why I struggle with it. Sometimes I am tasty and aromatic and others times no so much. He uses all things to grow us good and bad. In a perfect world we could just be born the bean and be robots in the Kingdom, or we can suffer and learn what love really is and help others. Not changing who he made me and using me with my gifts, talents and faults at the same time.  

When I was in my 20’s I realized that perfection was making me miserable. I thought I understood it but honestly not until I gave birth 3 times and was worn down by the beauty of the chaos of life did see I the real truth of being perfect to the outside world: It was an attempt to show the world I was worthy. Why until I was 43 did I feel like I have to be perfect all the time? To be loved my family and friends? If I have to be perfect to earn their love, I may as well die now. It’s a futile attempt. It will never happen. I am perfectly imperfect. Not ashamed and honored to be broken in the circle of life. I am blessed and reminded by the people in my life that perfection is not ideal. God literally brings me daily situations with people in my life and myself that I see the struggle we carry with wanting life to go exactly the way we want it to go. 

As I am always honest here I struggle too wanting no discomfort in my life. I know on the outside it’s actually comfy to wear but at the heart of perfection are the ugly sisters insecurity, control and jealously. Control is perfection’s bff. Because we have all convinced ourselves that if we can control everyone and everything, life will be perfect. Perfect means no pain right? No it’s a lie and I’m tired of pretending that perfection is welcomed in my life. I am hell bent on teaching my kids it’s ok to fail. To get up and try again. I refuse to let perfection haunt my kids like it has me causing me to be an approval whore.

Am I not good enough?  Am I the only flawed person walking earth?  Here’s a thought: Maybe if I whore myself out and do everything for everyone perfectly and wear myself out people will love me, choose me. Right? Perfection is a mask we wear. It makes me feel better about myself. I don’t think perfection is a gift. Striving to be perfect  has given me so much anxiety in life that I simply have let it go. Doesn’t matter if I want my life to be perfect it or not. I fail every day. I am human and I wear this earth suit around called skin so why not embrace my imperfections and just be?

There is a fine line between accepting my idea of perfectionism and laying it all out and down and letting God show me the truth. I choose God. We are all born with a certain path but I believe that we don’t have to decorate our pit that we choose to live in with perfection. I am perfectly imperfect, and I want to tattoo this on my body to be reminded it’s ok that I forgot an appointment or a kid at school. Judgement comes from perfection, and there is only one judge and it’s not me.

So, friends, here is to letting go of the pain that perfection brings. Please stop listening to the voice in your head that tries to lure you into killing your soul to be perfect. It’s not from a good source. That voice in fact is not really you. If you can hear it how can it be you? Funny huh? Recognize the voice but don’t digest everything you hear it say. Chew on this perfection bologna and see what you come up with. You might think I’m nuts, but there is freedom I promise you on the other side of perfection.

Lets look at the word perfect what does it really mean? What does God say about the word?

Greek translation:

téleios (an adjective, derived from /télos, “consummated goal”) – mature, from going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process or a spiritual journey.

teleios: having reached its end, i.e. complete, perfect

This root (tel-) means “reaching the end (aim).” It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).

Wow, so I am now even more convinced that God intended perfection as a means to an end. You’re called to work on your spiritual self as necessary stages but it a process. Sounds like when you take your last breath your life that is full of imperfection will then be perfect. So shout out to my soul sister Laurie who has taught me there is collateral beauty in the mess and life is a journey not a destination.

I want to thank god for my imperfections, lessons, and pain. I would still be 5 years old in pain and never would have escaped the torture of life. Life (God) knocked me over only to help me up. That is what life is about. Falling down and having the heart of forgiveness beside you.

Let me end on this thought:  Can we work on loving and forgiving?  Isn’t it harder to be pissed off all the time? It is for me. I choose peace and if you’re in my life and know me personally I am sorry for my imperfection. I may leave you sitting in the salon while I am spinning. I may forget my appointment to have my teeth cleaned. I may forget to leave a gallon of shampoo on the porch for you to pick up. I may tell you to come the house for an appointment when I really mean salon. I may leave you at school when I was supposed to pick you up. I may forget your swim suit when invited to a swim party. I may cut too much hair off and you ask me to tape it back on. I may yell at you and feel bad later. I may have expired food in my fridge and put it on your ham sandwich. I may not communicate with you as well as I should. I may not call you back immediately when you call. I may leave you out of a conversation or get together on accident. I may be pissed at you and judge you a few days weeks or months but eventually forgive. I may hate life for the moment when I am in pain. I may not like when you wake up and turn on the tv when I am trying to write, pray or meditate. I may swear (a lot). I may not close the cupboards. I may not visit often. I may not respect you as you require. I may still remember the pain you caused.  I may hold you to your word. I may be hard on you. I may gossip about you and feel terrible about it. I may screw up daily but I love fiercely and passionately. I will fight to the bitter end.  I am capable of seeing the truth and my faults. I will never lay down and give up on myself or anyone I love. I will hold you when you cry and cry with you. I will forgive my perpetrators and run the race with you and never leave you.

Side note: If you are not willing to work on yourself, I may set boundaries with you but it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

Back to point. I am someone who you can fight with and still love. This is who I am. Take me or leave me; I won’t let it affect me. It’s ok if you don’t like me all the time. Chances are I don’t like you all the time but I love you. Readers, I would truly appreciate some feedback. Share some stories. Expose your heart. Take a giant leap of faith and be you. Spinning instructor, Chris Russo said just today “We are not always given what we want rather what we need.” God knows how to stretch you…..LET HIM.

 

Rebirth like an Eagle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXTrWPvP0iQ

 

I recommend you watch the link above before you read this post.

I feel like the rebirth of the eagle is not just an act of nature but an obviously life happening of which we could all live by. I am 43.  I am going to be truthful something really did change when I turned 40. Kind of similar to the eagle. My body,hair,skin,mind and thoughts, they all changed.  You look into the mirror one day, notice a few wrinkles, cellulite and a whole lot of sagging. In my personal mirror, I see bags and dark circles. They are unwanted friends. None the less they are present. I tend to wish a lot about my past especially in this area. I wish I was 20 again but to be honest only for my youth and collagen not my mind or wisdom. I started spinning again the first week of January. It’s been amazing. It has helped me not slip into depression in the winter, shed a few pounds. The most important aspect of Black Box spinning gym is the instructors.  The philosophy they hold and the impact they make. It’s not just spinning….. its spiritual. I mean practically every time I spin, I shed a tear. I know this sounds strange but while training on a bike or really any sport that you are pushing yourself, you have some choices to make. Understand that either choice is the right one. You can set back chill or you can fight sweat,cry, push and spin. I feel as while I climb the hills, I am climbing life’s problems. You know the times when you are climbing (fighting) for your family and you want to quit and pull off a few gears because it burns? I don’t know why but climbing to me is such a challenge it reminds me of fighting for my oldest son. Through many many obstacles in his life. I hope he knows that even though he is out of the house, I may be silent and not say much these days but I am battling the enemy in prayer. On those hills, I am kicking the enemy’s butt. I won’t let him win!!!!!!! Chris Russo is a spin instructor at Black Box and though she is an instructor. Although I don’t know her well, I can tell you she is much much more that a spin instructor. She is packed full of wisdom. Full of god and the holy spirit shines through her. I can see it. She talks while she teaches, which in itself is a feat. I can barely count little alone talk. So, props to Chris she is amazing. One Monday she shared the story of the eagle. The eagle at the age 40 has to decide if it wants to die or live another 30 years. The eagle must fly to a mountain top and fight through the pain of banging his beak off, wait for a new one to sprout. Next he must pull out his talons and grow new ones. Finally, he must pluck out feathers that are thick and heavy. Are you for real? I am pretty sure 99 percent of all Americans would die at 40 years old. Would you pluck off all your skin or pound your nose till it was a bloody stump?  How about pulling your nails off?  Pure torture. Straight up served on a ugly platter. My first response was no but as I started to really think about it I realized although we don’t have the extreme physical rebirth the eagle does, we do hold the same choice in our spirit and mind. I could give you personal examples of cancer, divorce, heavy metal poisoned child, alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorder, Adhd diagnosis, death, emotional and physical abuse and that is just my family. Tragedy is everywhere. It does not discriminate. It does not have boundaries and it will eat anyone alive what thinks they are exempt. One of my dearest friends lost a child after a battle of cancer. She did not pass on because of cancer. She past on from a systemic yeast infection that the doctors missed. Her Mother tried tell them,  of which no one would listen to her. Side note here if your a medical professional and a mother tells you something is wrong with her child YOU NEED TO LISTEN.  Please allow me pause here and give my deepest sympathies to my dear friend and her precious family. I am pretty sure losing a child is the worst most devastating thing a mother can live through.  I have only known her for 3  years but maybe 8 years go my husband came home from work one day. He told me the story of this little girl and her family.  Trevor  said” Melissa we have to pray for her.” So, we prayed.  I can remember crying for my friend. How she must have been hurting. I did not know her then but I sure do now. This was a bond that linked our hearts long before I ever laid eyes on her. I will never forget when I realized she was the mama and baby I prayed for. We actually both cried in the middle of a Packard Music hall. It blows me away that god brought us together not exactly sure why but someday we both will. She had a choice she could have been swallowed up by grief but she did not. This woman is the purest example of the eagle in my opinion. Although, the pain was and is horrendous she flew to the mountain top and pounded off her beak of depression. Tore out her talons of fear and plucked out every feather of anxiety. To date, she talks and beams with light. I mean true light. She honors her daughter by talking about her and keeping her memory alive with stories of baby girl.  The life she lived and the love she gave to everyone. Kind of like her mama really. I never even meet this precious child but I am telling you I feel like I know her. Sometimes I even think I feel her when her mama talks of her and shares her heart and memory. I am honored to be a part of her story. I don’t know if she knows it or not she inspires so many with her fight to press on in life. Not forgetting what happened but remembering the love they shared and the lives baby girl touched. My friend was pregnant and didn’t know it before baby girl passed on. God gave them a gift in that new baby. I believe they are one. That baby girl is living thru her sister. He gave that family a dose of joy and hope knowing that the years to come would be arduous and painful. Having a little joy in the midst of the storm is all we can ask for in times of pain. I love you heather. I admire your strength. Your heart. Your will to never give up!!! You are a 44 year old soaring eagle that is the glue in holding your family together.

Walk Away

Walk away walk away walk away…. This what I hear in my head when every fiber in my being wants to rip someone a new one.

I am growing in this area so this doesn’t always happen. While I used to have to have the last word, as I grow in wisdom and in years the impulse is much quieter.

I talk about heart break a lot because it’s a vulnerable subject that we tell ourselves is place too scary to visit and full of baggage we don’t want to unpack.

Well, I do. I’m tired of living a pretend life and not calling a spade a spade. Vulnerability means exposing yourself, and I am ok with that, but I have to tell you: YOU’RE GONNA FIND PEOPLE WHO WILL RUN FOR THE HILLS OVER THIS.

You have friends–really sweet friends–who will throw you under the bus to stay hidden and safe. This blog is for my brave warriors who venture out of the cave and into the light of adventure. You remember the conscious adventure. That is what this blog is about being conscious and I won’t EVER apologize for it.

If you’re reading this and you’re not comfortable being exposed and conscious? It’s ok. There is no judgement here just love. One stipulation: This is where I am and I’m not turning back. It’s ok if we have different opinions. This is called life, and we all better buck up.

I used to be the young mom when Julian was little, but now I am the older mom. At first, I didn’t even know, but at the first school party it became very apparent. But as I always remind myself I would not trade these years for all the gold in china. EVER.

When Julian was little he was bullied by some kids at school, and sadly it never stopped till he moved away and then came back. The first day the longtime bully Logan tried to pull some crap again. Except this time he got a whole new Julian. Julian learned that he was not the names he was called nor did he have to take crap from anyone. The bullying ended that day when Julian addressed Logan and gave him a piece of his mind. That day represented a mile stone for him. He became conscious that he was no longer going to let Logan let him effect him another moment.

Why is it that when bullies are confronted they cower? I’m so proud of him for not taking the abuse any longer. We have to teach our kids not to plant in our hearts what other people say about us. This may be a little shocking but even what we tell our kids about themselves. Sometimes we build these egos in our kids and when then get out in the real world no one else sees them the way we do and it hurts and all the praise and all the effort comes crashing down. I am not saying not to praise your kids just be conscious. I always come back to this mantra prayer: God, show me the truth of who I am. I am not perfect and there are things I need to work on to be more conscious. My friend Laurie used to have to remind me that life is a journey and not a destination, and that has gotten me through a lot of hard times. She is 10 years older than me and has a lot more wisdom and has helped me through some tough days. Happy Birthday love. Your truly are the sunshine I prayed for and I thank you for being probably the most Christ like person I know with your unconditional love.

Knowing that the moment the crap flies is not the end but just the next step in the journey and the end…well, that’s really just the beginning, helps keep things in perspective.

Keep your eye on the prize, loves. This life may seem long and arduous, but in the blink of an eye, it’s over. Forever is what really matters. How you treat people is what really matters. Having integrity is what really matters. I won’t even get into what doesn’t matter because God will show you in some not so easy ways. He loves you, but He is your daddy and He will discipline you. We all pay. Some people call it karma I just call Him God. Let go of what you think God is and ask Him to show you who He is; He will. He’s waiting. He is so patient.

I hope someday I don’t have to have the last word, be right, be judgmental, gossip, whatever it is that makes me flawed. I am just thankful for now I am forgiven.