Scaredy Cat


I am realizing that life is so short, too short to let past hang-ups inhibit my future. I may have said this before, I’m not really sure, but I don’t do a lot of things that I want to do in life because I am scared. I worry about what people will think of me if I do something, even if it’s what I really want to do. And that fear can be crippling at times. I have spent more than half of my life being scared and I don’t want to be that girl anymore. I want to be carefree and have the freedom internally that the young me always craved and for some reason thought that I would magically have once I became an “adult” at 18. I don’t think I really became an adult until 25 or 26. It has been in the last two years where I think I have grown the most. There’s space for more growth and I know that how I feel today is different than how I will feel tomorrow.

I don’t want to look back on my life and think of all of the times I was too scared to do something and may have missed a great opportunity. It’s time for me to say goodbye to that scared little girl and just be myself. I only get one chance in this life and I want to make the most of it. It will mean I fall down, a Hell of a lot more than I have ever let myself, but I will live without regrets, and I will let go of the things I have been holding onto as an excuse to hold me back.

“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered.  The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny.  One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background.  All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.”
—   Anaïs Nin

She


She sits there with her back to the door, locking everyone out and herself in. How many times has she made this promise to herself? You never let them in. It is much safer to keep them out. Look from the window, go out and see them, enjoy the space between them and your door but never, never lead them back to you. To where you are safe. Because once they are inside, how do you get them out?

They follow her through the forest and she runs rampant, zigging this way and that. The brave maneuver over the walls and through the maze, but very rarely do they break through to the clearing where she stays. She watches as most turn back, lost and confused in the dense brush.

Sometimes she hears their voice, their footsteps. Sees them standing inside, smiling at her, talking to her. And she forgets that they aren’t real, that they’re gone. In that moment she smiles that smile that is theirs and watches them flicker and fade from her sight. She’s left alone again in that room, the dust uniformly covering that which she cherishes most and protects. She turns down the lantern and lays down closing her eyes, her heart quieting to a slow beat. In her place where she is safe.

Masks… Again


We all wear masks at different times in our life. Sometimes it is to protect ourselves and sometimes it is to protect others. It is important that we don’t lose sight of where the mask ends and we begin. You get used to wearing it if you do it often enough and sometimes you forget that the person you are pretending to be isn’t really you.  The mask is at times essential for one’s own survival. To be seen without it can leave you too open and vulnerable. I prefer a person that doesn’t like my masks and adores my flaws no matter how ridiculous they may be. I love people who can embraces me for everything I am and everything I am not and never will be. And I love that it is okay for me not be perfect, for me to be fatally flawed in some respects. It is exhausting to constantly put on a façade and I’m amazed at the people that can keep it up for as long as they do. Sometimes when I retreat into myself, it’s simply because I don’t have the energy to put the mask on anymore.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. – Oscar Wilde

Sometimes when I write in my journal, when I need to be brutally honest but can’t because I am scared it will make me sound weak or overly dramatic, I say “she”, and the words flow a lot easier. It can be really difficult to write about yourself and your feelings honestly so the quote from Oscar Wilde rings very true for me, and I would think for many of you.

I am working on my mask. I want to limit the amount that I wear it and not feel so world weary.

I’ve noticed that I write the most when I am feeling contemplative or down. It isn’t that I’m never happy because I am a lot, but I relate to this feeling better and it is in my times of struggle that I find my voice. When I am going through a change of some sort or my heart is shifting or I’m learning a lesson, that is when I write.

Acceptance


I have recently arrived at this place in my life where I no longer give a shit what anyone thinks about me or what I’m doing (said so eloquently, hey?). I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do or dressing how I wanted to because I was scared of what people would think or I would tell myself “you can do *insert whatever here* when you’ve lost weight” and stuff like that. I actually spent A LOT of time hinging things on my weight loss for this boost of confidence that I would get when I got back to where I used to be. Hell, became better than I used to be. But eff that. Why would I wait to be who I am and do the things I want to do because I’m overweight? That’s a copout coming from a girl who was afraid and needed something, a reason, not to just accept myself and be me. I’m done with it now and I really don’t know what happened to make me change my mind or how I was thinking about things. Also, I don’t really know who I was worried caring about what I like, look like, or what I’m doing. I doubt that anyone would spend that much time thinking about me and if they do…well I guess that’s sad for them.

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

I am in a good place right now though. I am happy. I have amazing friends and am hoping to volunteer here and there and just really get back to being me. I forgot who that was and I am happy to be rediscovering myself. Embracing who I really am. It’s kind of fun too. 🙂

I could write about this and acceptance for a long time, but short and sweet is all I care to write right now.

A Retraction of Sorts


That last post wasn’t completely true. Well I guess it was at the time or I thought that it was. But it isn’t. People just get hurt when you lie; innocent people who don’t deserve it. And you lose all credibility. That person is left feeling sad and confused and typically doesn’t understand why. It changes things, changes everything. Not only how they look at you, but how they look at the world and the people in it.

I guess I am changing too. I can accept that people don’t accept themselves or want to escape reality. I can understand the desire to lie and create something that isn’t real because it makes you feel better or comforts you in some way. But I don’t know how anyone can actually do it and claim to care for someone, care for themselves even. If you want to lie, write a book and have the life you wish you had, but don’t include others in your fantasy life and expect them not to be hurt when it comes crashing down because you never know if they were holding out hope on the things you knew to be false.

My next post will be more upbeat, less confused. I just needed to retract a portion of my last post after really thinking about things. Sometimes I wish I could crawl out of my head for a while.

A Mishmash of Ideas and Thoughts


I trust because I believe that people are inherently good. I don’t like the thought that anyone would lie to me or betray my trust. It isn’t because I am overly naïve or unintelligent. There are times that people lie to me and I know that they are, but I don’t confront them. I let them have their lies because for some reason that is where they are comfortable and I don’t want to be the one to take that away from them. Who am I to ruin anyone else’s happiness even if it is false? If it is in a lie that someone finds their solace, I will not take that from them. It doesn’t mean that I will believe their lies or get lost in them, but I will let them have their moment of freedom because everyone deserves that. I don’t need to force someone to face something they don’t want to or aren’t ready to face. Sometimes I even play along, knowing the whole time that what they’re saying isn’t fact, isn’t even close to being honest. Maybe it would appear that I am enabling them. To me, I am just letting them be happy and not judging them. As long as their lies aren’t hurting anyone but themselves, I let them have it.

It is easier for me to be myself than it is to pretend to be anyone else. I have flaws, big ones, but they’re a part of me so I accept them and I try to always love them. It isn’t always easy, but I’m trying.

Everyone has their reasons why they do the things that they do. Their real life isn’t exciting enough or it’s too painful to face, so they make up a lie. Sometimes it’s something small and sometimes it’s bigger, but it’s usually made up in an effort to protect themselves from the truth. It doesn’t make someone a terrible person, not to me anyways. It makes them sad and I feel sorry for anyone who is so distraught that they don’t believe that the truth is good enough, that they are good enough as they are. They think they have to keep up a façade when that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s amazing how accepting people can be if you just give them the chance.

I have more respect for someone who lies to protect themselves than someone who lies to protect me. I don’t want anyone to decide they know what’s best for me and what I can or cannot handle. I am quite capable of handling myself as I am sure most of you are as well and would agree. We have all lied at some time or another throughout our lives. We lie to protect ourselves, sometimes from ourselves. It’s true that sometimes the truth about some decisions we have made appear too painful to accept. It’s in accepting those truths and forgiving yourself for them that you will find your freedom.

I accept that I have lied in the past as a method of self-preservation and/or self-protection. I have been selfish and cruel and I have hurt people who I had no business hurting. It took me a long time to face the things that I have said or done and work through them, own them as my mistakes, and finally forgive myself and remember that these errs in judgment do not define who I am. In my life mistakes, I have gained a lot of wisdom from it, or at least I hope I have, and I have learned so much about myself, what friendship and love really is, and how I fit in.

I have betrayed trust before and hurt people who I care for and I have felt terrible for it, sick because of it. I did it for whatever reason at the time seemed worthy. The truth is there will never be a reason that is good enough to betray someone else’s trust and hurt them. I am truly sorry to anyone I have hurt as a result of a selfish thought or ridiculous reason, and I forgive the people who have betrayed my trust as well. I understand that we are all fatally flawed in one way or another. I understand that we are all battling something inside us and that sometimes we all feel like we are just one misstep away from losing that battle.

I would hate to have what someone thinks of me permanently be decided upon one or even a few moments of weakness in my life where I have made a mistake. I don’t think anyone wants to be judged that way. We have all said and done things that we aren’t proud of, but again, it doesn’t define who we are.

“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.”

― Alison Croggon

Have you ever noticed that it is so much easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive yourself? People have said and done some pretty bad things to me but I forgive them their faults, their anger, their harsh words or actions and I always will because that is who I am. I don’t understand holding a grudge. I don’t see what that does for someone or how it benefits them in any way. It takes time to forgive betrayals. Some take moments while others can take days, months, or even years in some cases.  Forgiveness doesn’t happen instantly and it can’t, it just takes time. I forgive because it helps me to let go and move forward. I cannot hold onto the negative aspects of a relationship in any form because it will poison me. I can’t control other people or their actions and I can only control my emotions to an extent, but there comes a point where you make a decision to continue to be angry/sad/whatever. It’s in that moment that you have the control and the power to release it and stop whatever it is from eating at you. Why would you want to be the master of your own suffering?

I refuse to be one of those women who holds all of her hardships in her arms and carries them throughout her life, who forgets to stop and enjoy life because she is so busy blaming everyone and being angry at the things that have gone wrong. The more I forgive, the more I release, the better I feel.

Even though I am talking a lot about forgiveness, it doesn’t mean that I don’t grieve or that I just push things away and refuse to deal with them. I grieve silently for the most part and very few know when I am grieving the loss of something because I don’t like to let a lot of people into my innermost thoughts and feelings which is surprising since I have a blog that is very open and honest. No walls here, right? But in a way I am still hiding because these aren’t things I could ever say to another person and there is no way I could articulate these thoughts and have the strength or courage to say them aloud. I prefer to communicate this way. It is somewhat private and a place where I can say what I need or want to say, share what I am thinking about either because it’s touched my life or someone’s close to me. It’s nice to be able to share what is in my head safely. I rarely have to talk about it after and I can just say whatever I want to say. No interruptions, no questions about why I am thinking about anything. (For those of you who know me personally, this isn’t an invitation to start questioning me)

We all pass judgment. On each other, on ourselves, food, movies, sports (not that I would know anything about that one). It’s impossible to avoid because that is also how friendships are formed. You judge people against your own values, your personality, and experiences. You judge situations to determine if they are safe, fun, comfortable, etc. Not all judgment is bad. But there are some things that we need to think about before we pass judgment on another person. What has happened in their life, in their head, that makes them the way that they are? What hardships have they gone through that make them the way that they are? No one can answer those questions with complete certainty because you would need to know every thought they have had to see how it has molded the person they’ve become and you it is impossible to know someone in that way. There are always parts of a person that are hidden from everyone. Everyone has a private place that only they know about and unless you know that place intimately (which you never will because you are not them), who are you to judge? Who is anyone to judge? We can’t expect everyone to feel or react the way that we do about everything. It is impossible and it isn’t fair.

“Every heart has its secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I trust that I will continue to make mistakes. I trust that I will continue to trust people because I believe at the core, all of us are good. I trust that I will always forgive someone because I know how hard it can be to accept who you are, the good and the bad.

Someone said to me recently that they still see innocence in me, that I haven’t lost that. I told them it was funny because I feel that way sometimes. You can tell me anything and I will believe you. When I love, I love. When I’m excited, I giggle like a little girl and jump around. There are drawbacks to it as there are to everything, but I like it. I like that I can still see people and the world with a sense of hope and the feeling that anything is possible. It’s hard when that part of me gets taken advantage of, but I am happy that even though it has before, I still have it. I hope to always dream like a child and believe in goodness.

Love, Heartbreak and Hope


“The course of true love never did run smooth.” – William Shakespeare

Love is that topic that poets, writers, everyone in the world has been trying to figure out and put down on paper, into song, and any other medium you can think of. Much like the meaning of life, love cannot be confined to one sentence, one paragraph, one book. It is multifaceted and ever-changing. The way I feel about love today is not how I felt about it yesterday. It is not how I will feel about it tomorrow.

In my past heartbreaks, I searched for the right words to properly explain how I felt. I would write for hours about it and read for hours what different people have said throughout time. I would find countless passages from different works and think “they get it – they actually get it”, only to find another that “gets it” more. In my happiness and my times of great hope and great love, I do the same thing. I search for something that truly captures how I feel at that moment in time. And I find the same, countless allegorical expressions of love and hope and understanding. We all do this whether it is through literature, television, movies, or music. We all search to make connections wherever we can and it helps us not to feel alone, to know someone else has been there before too.

“She didn’t understand that. “How can anyone be afraid of love?”

“How can they not?” His face was completely aghast. “When you love someone… truly love them, friend or lover, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt—you literally hand them the razor with a map of where to cut deepest and most painfully on your heart and soul. And when they do strike, it’s crippling—like having your heart carved out. It leaves you naked and exposed, wondering what you did to make them want to hurt you so badly when all you did was love them. What is so wrong with you that no one can keep faith with you? That no one can love you? To have it happen once is bad enough… but to have it repeated? Who in their right mind would not be terrified of that?”

― Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon described heartbreak perfectly. The first time I read that I crumbled because that really describes the true depth of pain you feel when something you cherish has ended.

Love is powerful though, more powerful than that hurt and that pain so overwhelming that the thought of happiness terrifies you and causes your whole body to revolt. After a while it really does hurt less. It still hurts, God knows it still hurts, but it isn’t as severe, isn’t as devastating. Each day that goes on gets a little bit better, a little bit easier. There will always be that one song that you hear, that one poem that you read, one something that you see that will remind you of them. And while you’re healing that reminder can take you right back to the very depths of your pain, of your loss. And at times you feel like you are starting all over again. The sutures break open and you are left feeling battered and bruised. And that progress that you made halted and all that you want in the whole entire world is to feel safe. But you don’t feel safe. You feel completely exposed and for a time you want that final blow, the one that will plunge you into numbness because feeling nothing has to be better than feeling this.

It’s hard when that person you gave your world to gives it back to you. So much time is spent wondering what’s wrong with you. When it isn’t you at all, you just weren’t right for each other. If that person who was so obviously wrong for you (and if they aren’t with you and aren’t making efforts to be with you, they are not right for you) could make you feel so amazing, then why wouldn’t you try again? Why wouldn’t you let yourself be open to the possibility of another and perhaps see just how incredible the right one will feel? Why would anyone settle for a sliver of the love that they deserve? Don’t you believe that you are worth more than that? We have all settled before and we all had our reasons for it which at the time seemed valid and legitimate; not selfish like they probably were. It’s important not to continue doing that because you have some imaginary time limit in your head telling you that “by this age I was supposed to be (insert milestone here) and I’m not but hey, this person over here likes me so I can make it work”. Very rarely could anyone ever make that work. For a short time, yes, but there is no staying power in settling.

Don’t fight for someone who wouldn’t fight for you, who wouldn’t move mountains for the chance to be with you even if it was only for a moment. Love doesn’t lie down and admit defeat, people do. Love doesn’t turn it’s back on you but you turn your back on love. And why would you do that? Because someone hurt you and you actually felt something real? The ones who hurt you the most are the ones who made you feel the most and that’s why it hurts so badly.

Don’t carry that pain forward but leave it in the past. If you aren’t ready to leave the pain in the past you shouldn’t move forward yet with a new love. Know yourself well enough to know when you are free to love again. You cannot hide from your pain in the arms of another.

One thing I have noticed with my healing anytime I have been hurting is that in time it becomes subconscious and I am no longer aware of it. I stop spending hours poring over the details and trying to figure out where that breakdown occurred. And maybe that’s the key to being okay, to acceptance. I know that I had to spend the time going over everything in my head because I faced it all. I truly faced it. So at the end of the day, I will be okay because I never hid from my grief and nor should you. You can bottle it up all you want but it will burst one day and destroy you. Take it and deal with it as it comes. And you will be okay.

“When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth……

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”

― Khalil Gibran, Le Prophète

It’s fragile but beautiful; breathtakingly written. I have read that time and time again. And he’s right. You really cannot understand the beauty of love if you don’t understand and respect the pain that love can cause.

Loving someone is the biggest risk you can take. It’s like jumping off a cliff and hoping you will fly. We see people climbing back up the mountain after the latest fall, some more worse for the wear than others. The ones who run back up the mountain full-bore trip and stumble over the rocks in their path, falling back and getting more bruised. It is the ones who take their time, go slowly, that arrive at the top refreshed and feel anew. Their ascent may be slower but that time, patience, and willingness to work through the obstructions in their path rather than try to jump over them without stopping to appreciate their magnitude, is what helps them truly heal. And it is quite a thing to see someone jump off that cliff and fly.

Courage and hope always have a way of returning to you if you are open to them. They return in pieces, not all at once. I don’t think one could handle the sudden surge of courage and hope they once had; how would you trust it? But as the heart heals, as you accept the way things are, a little bit of that comes back. Little by little you’ll know you’re okay no matter what happens.

I want to love freely and I do my best to open my heart; not always, not often, but to the right person. But we don’t have a choice in who opens our heart, in whose soul speaks to ours effortlessly. To say that it is I who opens my heart to another isn’t true. It isn’t me who opens up to them, but them who opens me. That’s why sometimes when you meet that person that understands you intrinsically that you feel yourself unfolding quickly and without any control. It is terrifying and incredible all at the same time. Like being on a rollercoaster that you just don’t want to stop because it’s exhilarating, reminds you that you’re alive.

Being in love gives you this lightness in your chest and you see beauty in the world awaken and unfold before you. You don’t even really realize that anything was missing until they come into your life. Colours are brighter, songs are more beautiful, and you are free to be open, to be yourself completely. And that really is what real love lets you do. It lets you be you and helps you openly embrace all of those quirks about you that are ridiculous and make you unique. It accepts your flaws and to that person who loves you, they enhance how beautiful you already are to them. Once you have felt that, once you have met someone who never asks you to hide who you are and fully expects you to be yourself and loves you even more for it, when you find someone who loves your soul, you feel a freedom you never thought possible and it truly transforms you.

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” ― Maya Angelou