I was wrong. It hurt both of us. And now…

So my dear friend, the one who kickstarted my unraveling, whose kindness rekindled that fire in my soul, who can’t be in my life anymore…I thought he crafted a scenario to hurt me. I was wrong. I hurt him with my assumption and he hurt me with his insensitivity.

Here’s the thing…in the midst of one of my down periods, this was happening. At that time, I had been begging my dear friend to come see me, give me an opportunity for closure. There were some unresolved things, and as mentioned in previous posts, I like to peck at things. Anyway, he typically shuts down and just moves onto the next thing.

But just weeks later, he finally agreed to see me. We had a chance to talk out a few things, catch up a little, and honor our friendship for the authentic and inspirational experience that it was. We parted as friends, with a smile and a wave. And now I feel like I can finally let him go. I know that he will always carry me with him as he navigates relationships, parenting, and struggles. I know he will be alright.

(And yes, I say love, because there are many kinds of love…friendship is love)

Parents…

So I’ve been watching my mom bloom…trying new things, working on her mental health, taking time for herself, and changing her frame of mind on matters that require some hard work. She’s doing amazingly well after all sorts of trauma and drama…and not to toot my own horn…well actually 🎺 …I helped get the ball rolling, and I’m so proud of both of us.

My father on the other hand…not my step dad, he’s great, but my father is a whole other story…I spent a couple hours with him last week and it took all of my energy just to be in his presence. He has always been odd, and remains just so…

He says things like, “I will just go along with what you’re doing,” or “I don’t want to disrupt your routines,”. But his awkwardness and his capacity, or lack thereof, inhibit the time we spend together.

I reminded myself a hundred times that he’s only capable of so much, he’s not equipped for more…he’s limited, and I need to accept it. That’s how I’ve dealt with the neglect and abandonment I’ve felt over the years.

It just stinks that he isn’t really evolving, partly for my own selfish reasons, but also for his sake…I wish he could grow and learn and be better…though he seems content enough with his simple life.

*And on a side note, having felt rejected for so many years, when he was late arriving at our house, the feelings of inadequacy just came rolling back as if they’d never left…I’d like that to stop too.

Meeting with Louise…

Where to begin…well, if you haven’t read my rules to live by post, start there please.

I was excited and nervous to meet with her, though both feelings faded quickly upon seeing her. She is very calm and peaceful. She remembered me from years past and gave me a hug right away.

Its funny, only 24 hours later, and I’m having troubling recalling details…not that it wasn’t memorable, but because our meeting was so jam packed with…warmth, joy, gratitude. Right away, she whipped out my children’s book and told me how wonderful it was, especially the artwork (yay Jess). She was moved by the story of kindness, taking risks, compassion and sharing, calling my story a gift. She loves the flow and the wording of the book, and affirmed my choice of using animals to express my message, “the laws of nature, its instinctual in the animal kingdom to work together. [Using] animals in the story removes shame, removes judgement.”

The ultimate reason for the meeting was book 3…she has granted me full permission and is willing to support the process in any way needed. When I asked her about compensation, her response was beautiful:

“Sharing your joy, your compassion, your light is my compensation, watching you get free is my compensation. I live in spirit. I live in light.”

She shared so many things with me that I might just have to list different bits…

  • “I am light. I am spirit. I am kindness. I am compassion. I am sharing.” She relates this in regard to expression of who we are, and adds, “that’s the basis of who we are and what we are.”
  • She shared with me that she loves to read, and read that after the Mayan calendar ended, 12/21/12, “new energy emerged, came together.” She calls it “the best time to be alive, a time of renewal. [It is a time that is] safe to figure out who we are, get back to the essence of who we are.”
  • And as we were talking, I used the word try, which she quickly reminded me to remove that word from my vocabulary, “you do not try, you just do.” She gave me a little list: try, trying, tried, can’t, won’t, and but. Instead of won’t, she replaces it with “choose not to” and reminds me about the word but, “the truth is stated before the but and then what comes next negates it.” She suggests using and as a replacement.

There is so much more, but I have to collect my many thoughts…stay tuned!

Feeling…supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

So I mentioned that I had some good news…I’ve been thinking about how to share some of my “wisdom” with others and I kept coming back to Louise and Sam’s rules for life that I blogged about previously. Louise Dietzel has an office in my state and so I decided to write her a letter and ask if I could share her rules in a children’s book (Sam passed away years ago).

I carefully crafted a letter reminding her of our previous encounters years and years ago. I explained to her that I have been healing from depression and that I feel a need to share what has helped…I asked for an opportunity to discuss sharing her rules.

And now for the best part: the minute she opened my letter and read it, she called me. I was in the midst of making pancakes and cutting up melon while 5 kids set the table. To say it wasn’t a good time would’ve been an understatement. But I took the call, listened and answered and asked if I could call her back in a little while.

After I hung up the phone, I started to jump up and down. I was smiling ear to ear and couldn’t find any words to describe the feelings…the kids asked, “do you have to go pee?” I smiled and told them that I was really really excited. It’s only a couple weeks later, on the eve of my resulting meeting with Louise, that I finally found the word to describe how I was feeling after that phone call:

SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

Stay tuned to hear about my wonderful meeting with her!!

Sometimes I surprise myself…

It’s been a weird week with a few bad days that culminated in something amazing happening, but more on that later…

I’m finally detaching myself from my dear friend, and I think it’s for good this time, but more importantly…I’m doing ok…and that’s the surprise.

Long story, but he is no longer able to have me in his life, though I know it is not his preference, which helps me. It makes me still feel valued…the last time I saw him, I got to hear how he was taking time for hobbies and reconnecting with friends. I feel like he’s been listening and has some newfound resilience built into his world now.

I also was able to tell him how much he’s meant to me and changed my life. And while I still feel a little unsettled and wish I could see or talk to him, I’m focusing on my relationships, my work, and myself.

And I’m surprised at myself. I’ve been trying to let go for the past year, and just felt like I couldn’t…and while I still don’t want to, I now know that I can…I’m going to be okay, due in large part to the healing prompted by my dear friend. My dear friend that I will never forget, always care about, and wish well 😊

I’m not perfect

News flash: I’m a little messed up, a little broken, a little crazy, and a little muddled.

I make mistakes.

I piss people off at times.

But I try to be the best person I can be when I’m able.

People believe what they want to, but unless you’ve had first hand experience, or been part of a situation, you have no idea what has transpired between two people.

The insecure will cling to the worst possible scenario and spread their negativity. The strong will keep their mouth shut and take the high road. I’m trying so hard to take that high road but I get so furious when the insecure try to make something so simple and positive into something ugly and unkind.

Deep breath.

I’m not perfect. I’m just…me.

Yes, I do need to be my own hero

I just got home from paddling and checking in with a friend, had a nice conversation. Came home, put some of my stuff away and opened up my social media. Lately, I’m digging Andy Grammer and his new video was posted. I gave it a listen and before it was half over, I was saying to myself, “that’s exactly what I have to do, what I’ve been trying to do!”

Check out this inspiring song

So in the interest of following what strikes me, I am going to be my own hero. I am going to look within, and look at my skills, and notice the positive impacts I can have on the people in my world. I am going to be my own hero.

Please feel free to share if I have affected you in a positive way!

Little by Little…

I was in the newspaper today!

Little by little, I’m getting better and better all the time. And I feel proud. And happy. And I’m sure I’ll have more roller coaster moments, but I’m stronger than I’ve been in a long time.

I had a roller coaster moment this week for sure, and it hit me hard at first. But I picked myself up, dusted myself off and looked for a reason…a next step. I was able to reflect and begin to let go and move forward. And though it’s still in progress, I’m feeling good about my next step.

I had a therapy appointment just this morning, and usually, when something happens and I choose to hold onto it, I don’t tell her. But I’m feeling solid in my forced and reluctant decision, and so I told her. And I thought I’d cry and be all kinds of whiny or whatever, but I wasn’t. I surprised the both of us!

I did cry eventually though…because I am letting go of my dear friend finally. The friend who sparked my soul and started this whole thing…we have reached a point where we are no longer good for each other. And though it really is the right decision, it’s tough. I shed tears thinking back to those first acts of kindness and friendship, the laughter and the discoveries, the debates and the conversations. I am grateful for all that came in the days since, despite pain and tears…I’m finally becoming, little by little.

Knowledge is Power: a super power, so keep learning

When I was a student, I thought this was a load of crap. Why on earth do I want to spend my time studying? I’m never going to use this stuff in real life! But you never know what you will or will not use. Now that I’m much older and wiser, I get it. Education and knowledge have only enriched and enhanced my life, my career, and my roles as leader and mentor. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I wish I didn’t know so much” and mean it?

Now here’s the kicker…you can apply the phrase Knowledge is Power in a variety of ways. Book smarts, math smarts, science, art…so many areas for this to apply! But I’d like to draw your attention to emotional smarts, or emotional intelligence. I was introduced to this concept at a conference this fall by the keynote speaker Debra Cannerella. She uses emotional intelligence as a tool for companies to maximize employee performance and ensure leadership success.

Emotional Intelligence is defined by Dr. Dick Thompson, President and CEO of High Performing Systems, Inc., as a person’s innate ability to perceive and manage his/her own emotions in a manner that results in successful interactions with the environment and, if others are present, to also perceive and manage their emotions in a manner that results in successful interpersonal interactions.

Learning to read facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, as well as your triggers, stress management techniques, all of these can give us information that we can use to maximize our interactions. But it also makes a big difference to know your own emotional intelligence skills, impacting interactions, and decision making.

Anyway, what I’m saying is this…keep learning. Embrace it. Seek it. At least now that I’m an adult, I can choose what I want to learn about, when, and how I learn. Growth of the mind is a valuable thing, and should never be taken for granted.

The little girl in me…

So upon the advice of my therapist, or myself, I’m listening to my little girl self. She wants a birthday party. She wants it to be just for her. She wants a special theme and activities and decorations. She wants to pick it all out and see all her friends come together to have fun.

So that’s what I’m doing! I’m throwing myself a good old fashioned birthday party!

With a winter birthday, we always went sledding. It was fun, but it wasn’t what the other kids were doing…and my mom did the best she could, but we didn’t have a lot of money for stuff like decorations or party favors when we were little…and being a twin, it was always both our friends, and I had to share the attention. Is it too much to ask for it to be about me just this once?

Now mind you, my mom always made us each our own birthday cakes: chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting for me and strawberry jello cake with cool whip for my sister.

Oddly, I asked for chocolate chip that year, but also, the wrong cakes are in front of us!

We always got to choose our own friends, and it wasn’t so bad. But even at an early age, I was aching to just be celebrated independently of my sister, especially because she had a powerful personality. I was quick to be the quiet one. Well, I hear that as an infant, I was the loud one, but somewhere along the way, that changed…not sure when why or how…

Anyway, I can’t wait to celebrate my birthday with friends! It’ll be unicorn themed with a piñata and musical chairs, decorations and balloons! I’ll let you know how it goes!

And on a side note, when I was 6 years old, I wanted a horse for my birthday. Our wonderful neighbor dressed up as a horse for me…my fondest birthday memory from my childhood❤️