confessions of fear, strength, and vulnerability

confession: if our vulnerability is our strength, then i want to tell you the most vulnerable thing because i want to be strong, stronger, always stronger. but telling you the most vulnerable thing may not equal being the strongest, because healthy boundaries in a public forum are also, strong, wise, smart. if i have to choose between being strong and being smart, i pick smart, but that might be a smarty-pants finagle from the risk of revealing what frightens me about myself.

confession: if my sock drawer is a reflection of my inner life, it overflows with color and softness and too much goodness that i barely skim the top and repeat. i return clean socks to front of the drawer, continually wearing the same dozen pairs, even though there are more and more and more other colorful soft socks farther back that would be fun to wear without repeating the recently worn ones.

confession: i celebrate new thoughts because they are rare. most of our daily thoughts are repeated thoughts. i relax into new thoughts, new connections, new ideas…usually after a nap. naps are alchemical–turning our lethargic brains into bright new-thought-thinking machines. a perfect day in my world includes two naps, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. i don’t say these things to piss off moms who have other jobs and never nap–i tell you because a six-minute nap is magical, too…and kids can learn how to play the “shhhh…mommy’s resting to help her brain feel happy” game.

confession: i won’t tell you the thing that frightens me most about myself but i’ll tell you the thing that frightens me most about hiking is being stalked by a mountain lion. it’s never happened to me, but it has happened to people i know and it freaks me out when i’m hiking in texas, new mexico, colorado, arizona, california, oregon, and washington. i’m relieved when i hike each day along the trails behind my house that mountain lions don’t live in pennslyvania.

confession: okay, fine, i’ll tell you what frightens me most about myself–my conscious choices to engage in unhealthy behaviors in spite of all evidence, experience, and knowledge i have about undeniable negative and dangerous consequences.

confession: i witness you doing the same.

confession: my witnessing of you and myself engaging in unhealthy behaviors is an observation, not a judgment. i’m fascinated by the human tendency to self-destruct.

confession: we’re addicted to distraction. we’re addicted to anything that numbs our discomfort. some of these distractions are praised or rewarded, like “hard work” that belies workaholism or “helping others” that functions as a way to avoid dealing with our own issues. my distraction is a textbook classic eating disorder. yours might be alcohol, pills, porn, shopping, or codependent relationships. or maybe yours is a simple addiction to the smart phone making our society dumb. our avoidance of discomfort is making us more isolated, unhealthy, and unable to intimately connect.

confession: it is easier for me to connect with you here, to write to you what i see and feel and think from this screen than if i were standing in front of you. i started blogging 14 years ago as an exercise in revealing myself. blogging was uncomfortable when i began because it was new to me. blogging has been easy for years because it is familiar to me. poetry is my challenge, but i don’t dare let you read it for fear that my poems are too dark and twisted, like most of my artistic expressions, like me when i’m not intentionally deciding to shine brightly.

 

 

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confessions alternating with quotations

confession: in a dream last night, i peeled layers and layers of skin from my back, face, arms, hands, and feet…trying to show you what’s underneath, trying to expose what’s inside me, trying to release what has been hidden. writing is my waking way of peeling layers away, of presenting to you what can’t be seen.

“hi. it’s me again–regret for all the things i did and didn’t do that unintentionally (and sometimes intentionally) caused you pain. i’m sorry and i know damn well “i’m sorry” is some lameass bullshit that doesn’t change jackshit because the hurt still hurts and i can’t undo it (or do it right the first time) and the damage done to our relationship might be irreparable and i know i fucked up. i’m sorry. i regret it.”

confession: the above thoughts are ones i’ve thought repeatedly, not recently, but lots of times. this morning i woke to a text message from my pixie sister (together we rave magic in the forest and by forest i mean anywhere near a tree which includes everywhere) who was having these kinds of thoughts last night. regret. regret. regret. people who say they have no regrets are people who either haven’t made the kinds of mistakes i’ve made or aren’t wise enough to wish they could have learned their lessons more gently and less painfully.

“The moon does not trouble itself about the howling of dogs.”
–Italian proverb
(via my friend scott who i identify by name because i only think and feel and say good stuff about him and his facebook posts often inadvertently add mindful meaning to my nihilism. this post was re-posted from jonathan carroll.)
after that love-gush to scott (hi scott!), let’s revisit the Italian proverb again:
“The moon does not trouble itself about the howling of dogs.”

confession: if i more often likened myself to the moon, i’d more gracefully accept and traverse my shifts, phases, and moods. if i more often followed the moon’s example, i’d embody the peaceful and persistent quality of ever-changing and ever-cycling eternity. if i looked to the moon as my guide, i’d shine and shine and shine in slivers and half and fullness, as per my natural cycles. for the next month (and hopefully for the rest of the year), the moon is my role model.

“When we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings.”
–sogyal rinpoche

confession: eight days into 2018 two bright stars in my world had already died. both knew they were dying, one from cancer and the other from age. both hoped for more time. in my thoughts that approximate prayers i send you the wish and intention for moment-by-moment awareness that each moment is precious. i continually practice my remembering.

“My heart recognized you from the very beginning and i knew it was only a matter of time before you stopped and recognized mine, too.”
–brian andreas

confession: no one i loved came to me by surprise. i have love prescience. my heart recognized yours, too. thank you for stopping and recognizing mine.

 

 

 

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loving you in 2018

confession: i started the new year grateful and inspired. i begin most new years feeling grateful and inspired but not last year. at the end of 2017 everyone i knew was glad to be done with 2016, the year when lots of famous people died and trump was elected. yeah, we were done with that year. everybody i know was glad to be done with 2017, too. i saw a meme that said, “2016–the caterpillar, 2017–the cocoon, 2018–the butterfly,” and i’m bursting into 2018 as a butterfly.

confession: my singular goal for 2018 is the same as my singular goal for my lifetime–enlightenment. the distinguishing characteristic between the 2018 goal and the lifetime goal is the immediacy of each moment of every hour is more tangible for the 2018 goal. there’s no time to dwaddle. every moment matters. my enlightenment practice is love in action. i fail in my practice during moments throughout each day. i succeed in other moments. the point is to notice the moments of failure as quickly as possible and course correct. my objective is to choose love every time i realize that i’m not acting from love. the time lapses between forgetting my practice and applying my practice are briefer, indicating progress.

confession: yesterday i contemplated my pattern of perceiving every recently passed cycle of eight years as time wasted. every 16 years, i tell myself a different narrative about the eight years before the past eight, compassionately acknowledging that i did the best i could at the time and i learned and grew from all mistakes. but in the most recent eight years i perceive my mistakes as repeated failings i could have avoided altogether or at least navigated with more grace. the main difference between eight years and sixteen years ago is the depth of my forgetting. i used to have a resilient and calculating memory. i’ve intentionally cultivated a bad memory. remembering the intensity and duration of past pain i’ve experienced and inflicted doesn’t help heal the past. i forget the pain. more love, fun, and kindness keep coming at me. i don’t need to remember yesterday’s good stuff because i feel better feeling grateful for today’s good stuff. forgetting all the stuff that happened in the past focuses my attention on what’s happening right now. if i’m in pain today, i listen gently for the pain to guide me to what is needed to alleviate it right now. if i’m feeling bright today, i give thanks for this goodness and share it with anyone who wants to multiply the light with me.

confession: yesterday was a pain day in my world. today is a bright day in my world. today is an easy day to forget yesterday.

confession: happy new year to you. i walk-hike-run-jog for two hours each day as meditation and compulsive exercise. during yesterday’s walking meditation i sent love to all y’all. i look forward to practicing love with you throughout 2018.

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a colossal dollop of love

last night i was reading a book (elliott’s tying rocks to clouds) that concludes the introduction by asking the reader a list of questions the author asked everyone he interviewed. i answer some of those questions here, skipping the questions about religion, evil, and other things too complex to grapple with this morning because we’re gonna slide out of this year and into the next one as gently as possible.

“On what main beliefs (or truths) do you base your life?”
1. love, love, and more love. everything is love.
2. i’m probably doing it wrong.
3. i learn as i go, fucking up is okay, use all the mistakes to learn to love better.

notes for the list above:
i’m pretty sure the first main belief upon which i base my life is true: everything (that counts and matters) is love.
i’m not sure if the second statement is true, but it is an internalized belief i see evidenced in my thinking, feeling, and behaving, and i use it as inspiration and motivation to keep my mind open, aware, and self-reflective toward growth.
i use everything to love better, especially when i fuck up.

“What is the purpose of life?”
learn to apply unconditional love to all. unconditional love includes acceptance, kindness, caring, compassion, and empathy. unconditional love is an action. my life’s purpose is to apply unconditional love as an action verb with every thought, word, and choice with everyone i encounter. (yeah, you see…i fuck this up a lot and it’s okay to fuck up because i keep learning to love better.)

note: this is the purpose of my life. you get to define the purpose of your life. what is the purpose of your life?

“What is the highest ideal a person can reach?”
the one they choose for themselves. the one they aspire to.

“What is the greatest obstacle to obtaining this ideal?”
self-judgment, self-punishing, self-hate (which all breed judging, grudge-holding, hating, and a desire to punish others)

“If you were on your deathbed, what advice would you give…?”
slow down. breathe. learn to appreciate breathing before your last breath.

“What do you feel is something life still has to teach you?”
everything. i don’t know much. i know less and less, actually.

“What is the most important thing you have learned in life?”
forgiveness. or better, the acceptance of what is and has been that transcends a need for forgiveness.

“What are the three greatest problems in life?”
1. greed
2. a refusal to see, acknowledge , or empathize with others’ pain
3. an unwillingness (or unknowingness about how) to heal our personal, cultural, societal,  and global collective wounds.

“Why are you doing what you’re doing?”
because it is the best i know how to serve love thus far.

i wish you the easiest transition from the old to the new. i wish you vitalizing energy to enthusiastically receive the new that greets you each day. i wish you more love, more tenderness, and more kindness directed toward yourself, directed outward, and received from all directions. i love you. happy almost new year.

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confessions of puppets

confession: last week i found an old tiny framed photo of me. i set the photo on the top shelf of the bookcase across from my bed. this morning i calculated the math. i was 22 in the photo, exactly half my current age. i’m as far from the photographed me as the photographed me was from birth. i look like a kid in that photo because 22-year-olds are kids and i didn’t grow into my woman-body and woman-face until several years later. i don’t miss that kid. i don’t remember much about her except that she loved dancing, hated her day job, and loved off-roading in her little red pick-up truck. i miss the kid locked somewhere inside me much younger than 22 who wants to play with finger puppets because she never had finger puppets. the only puppets that kid ever had were the homemade brown paper lunch bag variety made at school. a year and a half ago papi bought me an extra-long, extra-large praying mantis finger puppet for my birthday. that seven-inch-long beady-eyed green guy lives in my car and greets me with its smile every time i get in to go somewhere.

confession: i mailed a finger puppet to a friend yesterday with a fifty dollar inserted in its finger hole with instructions to buy something sexy. a skirt, perhaps, because a skirt is the uniform for public sex.

confession: months ago i acquired an elephant hand puppet. i’ve tried sending the puppet to any of many godchildren, but every attempt fails because the six-year-old inside me wants to keep the elephant hand puppet for myself.

confession: i keep trying to figure out which kid inside me buys candy and eats it everyday. as best i can figure, all the kids of all ages inside me crave the candy.

confession: i don’t send holiday cards because i’m grinchy…except…sometime in january i send cards to people that sent holiday cards to me because reciprocity is a biggie for me and by january 4th the holidays are way over.

confession: i don’t think i’ve ever arrived at the end of a calendar year and had a thought divergent from “i’m ready for this year to be OVER.”

confession: i want to call him and ask him questions and seek to understand but i won’t because i don’t trust my motives. i think my desire to call him is a sneaky trick setting me up for the opportunity to explain to him why he is wrong. he isn’t wrong. he’s screwed-up and avoidant and living from a paradigm much different from mine, yes. but not wrong. i’m wrong for trying to make him wrong. therefore, i don’t call. good job, me.

confession: every week i’m presented with evidence that i’m capable of creating exactly what i intend. i wish i consistently used that power for good. mostly i do but occasionally i don’t. if i were a resolution-making person, i’d resolve to use my creative powers only for good. without making a resolution, i hope i choose to use all my powers for good every day i am alive.

 

 

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a letter written and unsent

hi. i haven’t written to you in a while. i’m writing today because i keep arguing with you in my head about our last conversation. i’m angry and trying to figure out why. while investigating this anger, lady gaga sings her trite new love song in the background, the one that sounds like a hundred other love songs and tracy chapman did her more original version of this theme as a single released in 1996, and i digress into music trivia because sometimes we speak to one another in songs and trite love songs sum up our dilemma. i didn’t think i’d be writing to you again (and technically, i’m not, since this is a blog posting you’ll never read) but my heart is wrenched by this anger and i want to tell you that you’re wrong and tell you why you’re wrong and yell it loudly and make you cry because i’ve cried and i hate crying angry tears and i hate crying over you because the resounding refrain in my relationship with you was “don’t waste my time” and the real reason i’m angry is that i’m still wasting time feeling angry toward you. you act helpless and pitiful when you’re standing in front of me, as if you are a victim of your own inability to love-as-a-verb. you’re the perpetrator of your lovelessness, darlin’—the love that is lacking begins and spirals around and pierces you. for the record, i’m not your victim. my anger provokes me to stomp away and burn every letter i write and give all the love i gave to you to those capable of loving me well. i’m angry. i’m angry because i should have known better. or maybe your power to deceive is greater than either of us gives you credit. seeing you again, you were ugly to me. it was hard looking at you and imagining what i saw that was beautiful in you. your beauty was my imagining, a mirage of what i wanted to be true. the contrasting truth was revealed soon enough (although i ignored it for months). you’re ugly on the inside. (and your face ain’t pretty.) i wonder if i can stop now, drop the anger, and just be glad you’re gone. i hope so. i want my time back and the time i spent with you i can’t get back but i want today to be free of any more thoughts of you and i bet i can do that because i choose to spend the rest of this day feeling grateful for the clarity i’ve gained by losing you.

 

 

 

 

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confessions of peacocks and a poached egg

confession: i’ve been listening to the same song on repeat for a month. repetition isn’t unusual behavior for me but this song is a new addition to the repeating archive. the new song is a remake of a song i knew growing up but this haunting melancholy-flavored rendition is one i discovered only last month. i don’t feel melancholic and my attachment to this lonesome song is a paradoxical cue that my current emotional baseline is orienting toward contentment.

confession: october’s pancreatic cancer scare brought two to-do items forward, just in case the end is near. i completed that short list before that month’s end. i don’t dilly-dally with death. just in case, i check with myself every other day to see if any new list items arise.  yesterday i drove past a billboard with the yearly death toll on texas roads (over 3,000), a reminder that any of us driving or riding in a car could die any day. i hope at least half of those more than 3,000 people addressed their most important in-case-of-death communications before the crash that took their lives.

confession: she’s waaaaaayyyy more advanced than i was at her age…which is why the 12-year difference between us feels good, stimulating, and enticing. we learn from one another in equal measure from different intersections along the multiverse spectrum.

confession: peacocks and a poached egg interspersed a perfect day yesterday.

confession: i was surprised to hear that he has a girlfriend again so soon…but the surprise was supplanted with remembering that he wants to avoid loneliness. i crave loneliness as a novelty because my aloneness maintains a hefty fullness that doesn’t leave room for loneliness to enter.

confession: i’m going to my new favorite restaurant two days in a row because there are more dishes i want to taste than i can stomach in one visit even when sharing all plates ordered with another.

confession: two nights ago i took extra free stickers (meant for kids) from a grocery store without asking permission. yesterday i took coasters (one-time-use disposable variety) from my favorite restaurant without asking permission. is it stealing when i take “free” stuff without asking…or just rude-cow uncouth taking?

confession: at the beginning of any new relationship i consciously shape the opportunity during the getting-to-know-one-another stage to present myself and my history in whatever order and at whatever pace i desire. i choose (intentionally or sometimes unconsciously) which details in what timing to share. i can omit aspects of my past or worn-out stories that no longer resonate with who i am today. i can emphasize skills and qualities i’m currently practicing. i can be brave and true and discerning with every comment. a new relationship is a new beginning for me to be the newest version of me.

confession: i strive to be forever new. (mostly because i’m easily bored and strapped with myself all the time.)

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