The sun is shining this morning. I had my coffee on the deck, and just let the sun shine on my face. There isn't a cloud in the sky, the air is crisp, but the sun is hot.

At different points in my life, mostly the lows, life has given me exactly what I need. Either in the form of a shake up, or offering me some new piece of information. The times I've recognized the shot at being better, have been life changing. For me, it's usually in the form of a book; in my 20's it was A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, early 30's Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, late 30's seem to be a crash prep course for my 40's because there have been a few.

I always have a couple of books laying around that are started, but not finished. I seem to gravitate toward a certain book at a certain time, and come back to it when what it has to offer I can absorb fully. Every time I come back to a book, it's eerie how directly it has to do with what I am going through in my life at that moment. If I really think about it, it's almost as if the universe is offering me a gift.

It took me two years to read (process) Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, because it was everything I needed to know at that point in my life, just like every other book. It was very healing for me, and powerful. I just finished Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, and it's another book that touches everything I'm trying to navigate right now.

I think we're all trying to figure out what our life is about. We spend parts being kids, other parts being students, hard workers, spouses, parents, grandparents. Those are all important phases of our lives. They're not who we are, though. My daughter will be 18 tomorrow. I am recently separated. I will turn 40 in six months. All of my 'phases' have been stripped of me. I fell into a huge depression at first, and am still battling the pull to isolate. I realize that being has more to do with what's inside of me, than what I am doing. 

I am a creative. I draw, I write, I take pictures. It soothes my mind and my soul. There was an artist who was told how amazing he was (I'm paraphrasing here), he was a sculptor I think, and he replied that "it was already there, I just uncovered it". I believe we are all sculptors. We come into the world as a block of clay. Our parents mold us the best they can. As we age, we chip away more and more clay until it starts to look more like us than our parents. And, like each artist, we have the choice to say when it's done. 

Frankl's book, A Man's Search For Meaning, puts an emphasis on how much choice we have in who we are and who we become. He is a Psychiatrist, who survived Auschwitz. Having seen the worst of human kind, and the resilience of people, he suggests that we all have a choice in who we are at the core. It's worth the read, but he explores why some people were capable of such atrocity and others such compassion in the face of horror.

For anybody who feels powerless, and I've gone through phases of this at different time in my life, the feeling is crushing. You feel like you're stuck, with no control over anything happening around you. And that might be true. I've forgotten to focus on what is happening inside of me, and when I have turned my focus from outside to inside, there is where I find my choice. My choice on what to think, how to behave, how to speak to myself. The choice to look for the good or the opportunity even in the most heart breaking situations. That's where my strength then comes from, that there is good everywhere, if I choose to find it. I can find meaning in almost anything, if I want to.

That's the scary part, too. I have to accept that sometimes I don't want to find meaning. I want to be angry, frustrated, bitter. I don't want to look for the good, because this fucking sucks! This is hard! It's too much! That's when I "happen" to pick up a book that I've started, but not finished. That's when the book has exactly what I need to get through that moment. That's when I turn the corner and start to see things differently. That's when I start to choose to push through and not get stuck with the angry stuff, the bitter stuff, because that not who I choose to be and I have a choice. I choose to continue the artwork. I choose to be a better person, inside. I choose compassion for myself, I choose self love, I choose to be a better person for my experiences and not let the bad stuff change my heart. I want to be good to myself, and to others.   


(Did you hear Rhianna?)

I want to connect with people that won’t use what they learn as a way to “work me”.

I want mutual respect, and honesty. I don’t want to be manipulated or controlled, and I don’t want to manipulate or control either. I want to heal with my wounds and meet my own needs so that I’m not searching for that from somebody else. I want to be whole.

I want to feel what I need to feel, face what I need to face, be comfortable with what and who I am, and live life that way. I want to level up, to be a better person, so I can be a better mom and a better friend. I want to see what is actually unfolding, and not only what I want to see. I want to see and live life as it actually is, and be seen and heard for who I actually am; I don’t know who she is yet, but I like her so far.

Marriage is tough. Every couple I know has had their own obstacles to overcome. There also seems to be a 5 year crisis, And a 10 year one...

I’m guilty of being an outsider to a marriage, and saying “I could never accept that”, but I had no right. Marriage is so many things. It’s co complexe; you’re spouses, friends (sometimes ennemies), your family and friends are intertwined, finances, experiences, memories, triumphs, sorrows. There are so many gray zones that only the people involved can decide what outweighs the good or the bad.

I think honesty would be my “make it or break it”. I would need the ability to be completely honest, without fear of an explosive reaction, and without haven been conditioned to be afraid of rejection. 

My husband is an alcoholic. My Mom is too. I took responsibility for my Mom growing up, because the responsibility was put on me. I never figured out how not to take responsibility for her, so naturally I married an alcoholic and took responsibility for him too; justifying his actions, never asking him to stop drinking, because I knew he would choose alcohol over me, just like my Mom has. It’s a deep wound that I haven’t healed, so I attracted and accepted the same dysfunction.

Can I really be mad at my husband for it? He caused our family a lot of pain with his drinking, but I also caused my family pain by acting in the same dysfunctional way codependents act, that perpetuates the problem. I was fearful, but I’ve always been fearful. I hate conflict, I hate when there is tension, and so I avoid and try to control everything to not have to deal with any of it. I’m bad at setting boundaries and worse at enforcing them. I feel just as toxic as an alcoholic.

I believe people come in and out of our lives for a reason. Was my marriage only to make me aware of my toxic traits that I need to address? What about the connection we experienced? The love? Our family together? The intimacy only a couple experiences? Was my marriage a crash course in what is still wounded in me? An eye opening experience to everything that is wrong with me?

I don’t believe that that’s all it was. It did open my eyes to work I have to do. It allowed me to experience a different level of intimacy I had never felt before, and in the beginning it was beautiful. It showed me what I want, and what I don’t want, my life to look like. It also put me face to face with another soul-crushing rejection; first my Mom, and now my husband, choosing alcohol over me. It stings. Slaps. Makes me feel empty. How? Why? Why again? 

I’m not taking on their work as a personal hit, but asking myself “how do I heal this so I don’t have to go through this again?”. And I’m heart broken at the same time. I’m trying to grow and evolve, and nursing deep pain at the same time. I’m trying to stay busy, I’m buying too much stuff online, throwing myself into house hunting when I don’t even have a big enough budget, I’m writing a blog with no clear vision, I take my dog out 250 times a day, I go to bed at 6:30 pm...I’m avoiding, hurting, not wanting to feel the real sting of the pain. What if it crushes me. What if I really let my heart break, how will I pull myself back together? Will I be able to pull myself back together? Yes. Yes, I will. It’s scares me though, to find out how deep the pain runs.

I’m terrified to found out how much this hurts. Terrified of the possibility of caving under the pressure of it. And what if I can’t “evolve enough” to break this pattern? What if this is just how my life will go; one relationship after another that ends with the person choosing something else over us/me? That’s an awful thought. My go-to solution, up until this point, is to be so afraid of repeating something I just don’t do anything, which really isn’t any better. None of my go-to’s, aside from therapy, have helped me. So, therapy is the only tool in my toolbox right now. One tool. That’s all I’ve got. I’ll choose to look at the upside, and be thankful for at least one tool, but wow it is overwhelming. 

I need patience, with myself.

I need to feel safe. Secure.

I need to live within my means.

I need to stop giving away my power. I need to own how strong I am as a strength, and not only use it when I’m forced to. I need to not look at my power as being negative.

I need to be ok with my power not appealing to everyone. It will keep some people from me (probably the people who desserve my presence the least). I need to be ok with that.

I need to set boundaries; to respect myself, for other people to respect me, and to be able to give love more freely without resenting.

I need to stop anticipating other people’s feelings; be considerate, but not own their feelings. Be respectful, but not sacrifice my values for their feelings.

I need to be comfortable with saying no. I need to say no before I’ve been pushed beyond my limits and it’s a reactive no. Learn how to say no, with love.

I need to spend more time being settled; in my thoughts, my choices, my life.

I need to learn.

I need to step into who I am, as a strong woman, a good mother, a good human. I need to learn that those are all good things for myself, and the right people in my life. The wrong people won’t like some of me, and that’s actually a good thing. It protects my energy from being drained, and my boundaries from being disrespected.

I need love. Acceptance. Loving honesty (from myself and others). I need trust. I need to build a life around my passions and what I love (my kids). I need to stop thinking that I have to become less in order to be loved. I do not need to be taken care of; I need to respect myself, my feelings, my heart - especially when it doesn’t look the same as other people’s respect. It’s ok for mine to look differently.