Archives for category: forgiveness

It’s just a list. It isn’t personal. 🙂

1. It isn’t always about you.
2. You don’t know everything.
3. You probably don’t know “exactly how that feels “, even if you have “been there/done that”.
4. Your emotional experience belongs to you, only.
5. You can’t “fix” anyone else, or force them to change.
6. No one owns you. You don’t own them, either.
7. Rejection is painful. For everyone.
8. Heartfelt convictions don’t become facts because you believe them.
9. Sometimes you are wrong.

Have a flower, think things over. Do better today than you understood to do yesterday. Be the person you most want to be. 🙂 You’ve got this, it just takes practice.

Don’t forget to pause and notice something lovely. 🙂

Yesterday, along with my morning coffee and some hang out time with my Traveling Partner, I was relaxing and found myself appreciating how easy life feels, and how far I’ve come… Lovely feelings for what they are, but of course, these too are transitory parts of the experience of life. Later in the day, I got a healthy reminder; the damage has been done.

Sometimes it’s sunny in the garden of my heart, sometimes it rains. Roses can bloom, rain or shine.

No kidding. It’s possibly not about where I am in life now (rarely is, really), and when I find myself faced with a moment of struggle, a challenge, a bit of emotional bad weather, I sometime forget in that moment, that a lot of this chaos and damage was built so long ago that the “schematics have been lost”. I don’t easily understand why, sometimes, old hurts surface, or why shitty programming is still a thing, ever. It is what it is. I don’t lay down and die over it – that seems excessive. Still. I have moments when I feel hurt, or confused, or struggle with learned helplessness in a great relationship – over shit that damaged me decades ago, in shitty relationships. That’s just real.

…Some of the damage we sustain in the course of a lifetime is quite permanent. I know, I know, hardly the usual message of positivity, but hear me out here; that’s still okay. We become what we practice. It’s nearly always improvable. It’s not that I can’t heal – I know incremental improvement takes time. When I’m feeling really fine, and quite excellent, comfortable in my skin – and in my relationships – that is 100% when I am least watchful for life’s next lesson. There definitely is always a next lesson. lol

An otherwise lovely moment went sideways for me in a moment of learned helplessness colliding with my brain injury. I dithered. I stalled. I literally could not act upon an otherwise routine bit of circumstance. Embarrassing and a tad scary for me. Frustrating and probably hurtful for my Traveling Partner, taken by surprise by my absolute failure to “use my words” or affirmatively respond to this particular situation in any effective way. We let it go, with effort, both realizing it likely wasn’t something I could have done anything about, just then. It felt exceedingly awkward. The rest of the evening passed, for me, somewhat laboriously; I felt self-conscious, raw, insecure, and that I had failed to successfully adult in any legitimate way.

This morning, I let it go, again. It’s a new day. An entirely fresh start. A new beginning. That really matters this morning. I grab that opportunity with both hands, and hold on, then laugh at myself… because this, too, will pass. lol I sip my coffee, breathe deeply, and practice non-attachment, however unskillfully… lots of things take practice. 🙂

I’m sipping coffee and considering how difficult I sometimes find it to communicate. Asked a question, I often launch a dense volley of words in reply, carelessly unleashing metaphor, poetry, and unhelpful allegory. I thoughtlessly drown friends, family, and colleagues, in wasteful verbiage – regularly. Worse, it sometimes gets all tangled up with what I actually meant, and all manner of foolishness, humor, and bullshit, whereupon one or another takes something personally, or becomes frustrated. It would be comedic gold where it not so ceaselessly frustrating (for me, too).

I take a breath. I smile. Pull myself back to this present moment. Make a point to make room for self-awareness, self-reflection, and some kindness; generally, my way of speaking isn’t damaging anyone, and I am able to be considerate, appreciative, and of positive intent. I have, over time, learned to listen – mostly. It’s a practice. It became a bit easier and less frustrating, once I accepted that there wouldn’t be much positive reinforcement; people want to be heard, but they also expect to be, and are not very mindful that they, themselves, interrupt chronically, and “wait to talk” instead of actually listening – but most people don’t see those behaviors in themselves, only in others, and are notoriously disinclined to notice, or appreciate, subtle improvements in how well they are being listened to. (And, strangely, are sometimes very aggravated if they are listened to with such care that they are held to their words in some way…)

…I’m just saying; communicating using language is one of the fanciest things human primates do. We don’t do it very well, generally, and our emotions still arrive to every moment ahead of our ability to reason. We’re not as good with our words as we perceive ourselves to be. We are every bit as shitty at it as we think other people are. lol

I frown, suddenly, noticing an entirely unrelated aggravation; the spellcheck icon appears to be missing from the row of formatting tools in this editor… weird. I sigh and let that go. Hell,there is at least one spelling error or overlooked typo in every post. It’s almost a fucking commitment. I laugh and finish off my coffee. I’m okay with that. This journey is not about perfection. Being able to communicate is notoriously complex; in the grander scheme of things, spelling errors are not that big a deal. Meaning matters so much more.

I think over the words I’ve said and heard in recent days, and wonder if I’ve truly done my best to communicate skillfully, with care, considerate of the feelings of those around me, respectful of factual accuracy, and a willingness to “be real” – to be authentically this person that I am? Could I do better? I think about momentary awkwardness and resentful silences. I think about peculiar micro expressions. I think about being called a bitch, “playfully”. I think about tripping on my words and saying just the wrong thing. I feel the negatives tugging at me, and realize that this could become a spiraling rumination of frustration and insecurity… So, I also think about moments of laughter. Irresistible mirth. Joyful smiles. Appreciative exclamations. Softly spoken loving compliments. Witty retorts. Playful banter. Knowledgeable answers. I take time to consider the words, and the context, because they matter.

…Then I let all that go, because clinging to it isn’t helpful, and becoming mired in my thoughts does not ease my steps down this healing path. They’re just words. Just thoughts. Thoughts about words. Briefly useful, perhaps. Definitely not permanent.

The morning unfolds gently. I am listening to the traffic beyond the window, and planning a trip to the store for some groceries, before an appointment, later. The day has started well, although I slept rather poorly last night. Still… perfect is not a thing with which I need to concern myself, and this, right here, is enough… so… I guess I’ll finish this, and put a period at the end of all these words… and go seeking a beginning, somewhere beyond the words to describe it. 😉

An ordinary enough Spring morning. I’m sipping coffee. Minutes are ticking by. The cool dawn air fills the apartment. My fingers click rhythmically on the keyboard. Traffic swooshes by, beyond the driveway. I am considering the “blank page” in front of me – both actually, on this monitor, and metaphorically, this day ahead of me.

Ask the questions. Do the verbs.

Yesterday’s work day was productive, and felt… short. Very short. The evening that followed was delightful, connected, and relaxed. I slept well. I woke easily, just minutes ahead of the alarm clock, feeling rested. This cup of coffee tastes delicious. My clothes feel quite comfortable. Given this context, the fact that I feel content, merry, and relaxed, this morning, is no particular surprise, right?

This gets me thinking about context, generally. When I find myself feeling miserable for one reason (or many), it changes my outlook on everything that touches my experience. I tend to take more things personally when I am in pain, for example, even though there’s no direct connection between the physical experience of pain, and other qualities of other experiences. It colors my mood, and thus, colors my perception of my experience. If my mood, itself, can alter the way I see my experience, and if the experiences I have in life have the potential to alter my mood… is this a trap – or an opportunity? I used to feel it was a sort of sick joke, and emotional Catch-22 wherein, no matter what, the outcome was always that life sucked. One way or another, I was back to misery, pretty inevitably.

Mindfulness practices, and specifically meditation, unraveled that “trap” – turns out I set that trap myself, and caught myself regularly, fair and square. lol I did most of that to me. I mean, sure, I learned all of it somewhere, but that is so much less significant (for me) than the idea that I built that trap, maintained it with great care (and many verbs), and resisted treated myself any better for a long time with the sort of will and commitment that one generally sees from the eager or ambitious. Sort of scary, looking back, how very skillfully done all that was, and how ferociously I protected myself from any sort of healing progress, for so long. Choices.

Context matters. Where am I right now? Am I okay, right now? How do I feel? Pulling my awareness to this present moment, again and again, and allowing the bullshit narratives to fall away until I am only this human being, breathing in this moment, uncomplicated by assumptions, expectations, and clinging to what is not, there is so much less misery in my experience. This helps me sort out random frustrations, hurt feelings, poorly managed fury, dark days, weird sorrows – nearly all that mess is just made up bullshit, and I can choose differently. It’s often about context. The assumptions I make about this or that detail (or person) really fill it out and make it seem so real. It generally isn’t. I giggle, imagining a world in which everyone around us was truly the embodiment of my assumptions, my thoughts about them, instead of being who and what they actually are.

When I allow others around me to be who they are, without my assumptions and expectations clinging to me, them, or the connection we share, I can also relax and let go of any ludicrous notion about changing them, or fixing them, and just enjoy (or not) who they are, themselves. I can be who I am, too. We can share that time together authentically, and maybe even learn things from each other, and grow. If I’m clinging to a golem built of my assumptions and suppositions about them, filtered through my experience of life and projected onto them, we aren’t even really together, are we? I’m just hanging out with a different version of myself. lol It’s also much easier to be open to people, letting them be them, staying firmly “me”, myself… fewer verbs needed to be real, than to shore up an image.

Context… and authenticity. Perspective. Consideration. Awareness. Presence. All good words for a Tuesday… I think I’ll go out there into the world, with a handful of words, and a gentle heart. It’s a good beginning. 🙂

What a waste of emotional bandwidth! Getting mired in taking something personally, and becoming frustrated, sorrowful, disappointed, or angry… to what end? It’s rarely “personal”, and even when it is a willfully inflicted slight or insult of some kind… it’s not really personal. Those things say more about the person who delivers the insult than the person it is directed towards. 🙂 I remind myself to let these things go.

I am rereading the Four Agreements; a worthy starting point on any journey of self.

Have you taken time to brush up on The Four Agreements? A compact and worthy read. I come back to it something like once a year or so. 🙂 I reset. I brush up. I begin again. It’s a good starting point.

I sip my coffee, and feel the house fill with lovely pre-dawn breezes. Soon enough it will be time to go to work, begin a new week, and move on to other moments. For now, this moment right here is enough. Lovely, peaceful, quiet. It is a pleasant morning for new beginnings. I smile, and tuck the books I am reading this week into my backpack: The Four Agreements, After The Ecstasy The Laundry, and a selection for the office book club (the title slips my mind because I have no emotional investment in that, just a commitment). I am enjoying how much more time for reading I have, after giving up social media. 😀 I very definitely missed reading, for years, and the sensation of having “no time” was crushing – I love to read. Funny… I don’t miss social media, at all. 🙂

I look at the time… the weekend is definitely over, and it’s time to begin a new work week, and a new moment. 🙂