Surviving to Living

After a good meditation session early this morning I no longer have the desire to be “the strong one”. I have always been the strong person. I’ve always had to be the strong child, sibling, parent and friend. As of today I no longer desire to be that person because I realize that it is unhealthy.

At almost 40 years old, I’m now understanding that being “the strong one” is not a flex and it is tiring. I really think I’m truly tired now because I have realized that I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I continually operate in fight or flight mode. I have been living in survival mode.

Most people don’t understand that “the strong one” carries a lot on the daily. A tremendous deal of trauma. The strength that everyone thinks is a gift, is merely a shield that is used to block people and situations from hurting us. This is definitely not something to be proud of and again in no shape or form healthy.

It is better known as a defense mechanism. If you only knew how badly I would love to just relax in a space where I am comfortable, sit down with no time constraints, and allow someone genuine to come into this space and love me unconditionally. And I’m not referring to a romantic relationship but also friends and family that WANT to occupy space with me. I want to be able to truly trust others. I want to be able to be more feminine and less masculine. Hell, I want to be able to understand and trust myself enough to know that I am allowing the right people into my space. But it is hard. I have been repeatedly hurt, used, abused, and have experienced so much trauma for so long that I didn’t know where to start.

Well my starting point is my blog post, right now, today. As of this moment I can no longer be ‘that person’ for anyone because I need to be that person for myself. I am constantly drained because I am always pouring into someone else, supporting someone else, reaching out and being there for someone else. But I don’t have enough people pouring into me. And I realize that it may not be because they don’t want to, but because they feel as though I don’t need it since I have managed to still be able to smile and exist after many losses, tests and trials in this lifetime.

I encourage anyone reading this to make a conscious effort to check on their “strong” friends, siblings, children, parents and other loved ones that are hyper independent. Reach out to those that you don’t think need you, because they are probably feeling just like me too.

Always remember, every person that comes into your life is only there for a limited time, so show up and be present. Sometimes later never comes and tomorrow is too late.

Sick & Tired

In my mind…

I rarely get in my feelings…maybe it’s because I live in my head, maybe it’s because I careless what people think of me but anyways there’s this repetitive pattern I’ve noticed with a “so-called” friend of mine that has been bothering me but today unraveled me.

Now people who know me well, know I’m quite an understanding and forgiving person. But when things don’t sit well with me, it really nags at me until I address the situation. And this one I’m just not sure how to approach it just yet because I legit want to explode. This gives way to why I don’t trust people.

I realized that I am no longer a very vocal person. How and what I felt use to always exit my speaker box without hesitation. Now I think long and hard before I speak. Sometimes I will purposefully not respond to comments or questions if I feel an internal nudge to “hold my tongue.”

But in the past year, I’ve felt most attacked, judged and criticized by someone I trusted. And during times where I was struggling to merely exist.

This individual is suppose to be a best friend, yet in the past year has not missed an opportunity to make light of what I feel are pivotal times in my life. I’ve tried to ignore and dismiss it but today it really stuck with me.

Living and learning…loving and growing…understanding and appreciating my source peace.

Earth is ghetto. And people on this planet are truly like emotional crabs in a barrel. If they feel like you’re happier than them or have something they don’t, they create a secret competition with you. All the while you’re just loving and trusting them for who you thought they were. #ElysianMe

Not Your Relationship Coach

It’s not often that I write after having a conversation with my parallel collateral descendant but this morning I have to mentally unload because he 100% triggered me.

Let me start by stating that I’m no relationship expert by any means. I have no certifications or specializations in education or science on human behavior or sociology. But I know first hand what it’s like to be hurt. I also know first hand what it is like to intentionally hurt others and the ramifications (karma) of doing such.

The person I am today, I haven’t always been. I’ve been young, dumb, and (what I thought was) crazy in love. I reflect on those periods of my life now and wish I would have done things differently in previous relationships. Maybe I wouldn’t be the struggling soon to be damaged divorcee I am now.

Sadly, I now see the same patterns in my parallel collateral descendant and it bothers me. A lot! Even though he’s an adult, I still feel compelled to provide him with guidance when asked. (Never unsolicited because again, I’m no expert and this is not my avenue) But I listen and provide feedback in hopes of helping him find the path to avoid heartbreak, toxic relationships and unhealthy behavior.

But as a man and human, he doesn’t listen to understand. He doesn’t listen to me (he didn’t really listen to my Mom either), his girlfriend, or anyone. How he feels supersedes anyone else’s feelings. He almost implies that he is the center of the universe but doesn’t come straight out and say that. He is always ready to argue and defend his wrongdoing; bandaging it with “I’m hurting too” and “This is how I feel”. He reminds me a lot of my Father. And he was quite the selfish man.

While I love him dearly, I expressed to him that hurt people, hurt people. And that’s not ok. I don’t involve myself in his relationships at all. I meet his “lady friend” when he decides to introduce them. And I can usually tell off the bat if they are “ok”. Not judging, just observing. So far I’ve been right with my thoughts and I usually just keep them to myself. Only sharing my thoughts and feelings with my Mom, because isn’t that what big sisters do?

Before I even realized it, I had shut down on him. I had no response for anything he said. And I was waiting for a pause in his monologue to end the call.

It’s 4am. I’m not in the mood to argue with him or try to overtalk him. He’s said hurtful shit to me just a few months ago so I can only imagine how his girlfriend feels. Trying to be neutral because they are both calling me, I don’t want to give his girlfriend my advice. Because when someone hurts me I tend to write them off forever. I won’t give them the ability or satisfaction of ever doing it again. Sadly the most toxic relationship of my life I can’t write off because my children are involved smh.

Tonight he reminded me of my ex so much that I had to hang up. Being disrespectful and belligerent. Disregarding his issues to point out his dislikes in someone else. Not listening and not allowing me to speak or complete my thoughts. The finger pointing, blaming, condescending talk and nonchalantness is a pain point for me. It don’t help that he’s also inebriated but still.

I remember vividly pouring out my heart to someone only to have him respond with, were you talking to me, I will call you back, I don’t have time for this, oh ok, whatever you say, or you’re right, I’m wrong…or him getting up and walking away while I was still talking…or him purposefully avoiding me to avoid having a conversation. That shit bothered me so bad that even now in any relationship or conversation (romantic or platonic) if I feel like I’m not being heard, I immediately shut down. “Don’t worry about it” is my response and I don’t like to argue so I will either change the subject or find the nearest exit. Going to sleep was also something I would do to escape.

I love my parallel collateral descendant to pieces but he’s a toxic asshole right now, with a bad attitude and unresolved/unhealed trauma. He needs to work on himself and I don’t need him reaching out to me for relationship advice while he’s in this state of mind. If he was closer, I would have drove to him and punched him dead in the face. Now I’m trying to go back to sleep with thoughts of how messed up I’ve been myself lately relationship wise.

5 Ways To Ensure You Will Have A Happy Life After Divorce

Thinking about your life after divorce all while getting a divorce can be a sticking point for some people simply because they just aren’t sure what their life will “look like” after divorce.

Here’s 5 things to keep in mind so that you can have a meaningful life after divorce:

Life after divorce item 1: Think about your emotional stability…if you wanted the divorce or not, you must face it head on.

Divorce is tough and whether you are going through it or are already past it, your emotional stability is of vital importance because you might tend to be somewhat touchy after going through an emotional ordeal. Keep in mind that your life after divorce can be great but you must admit that you will go through (or have gone through) a trying time in your life. Admitting this and facing your situation is important to your emotional stability and critical to you having a happy life after divorce.

Life after divorce item 2: Look at the bright side, having a life after divorce could be a new start for you!

How may times in your life do you wish you could have just started over knowing what you know now? If you answered “many”, don’t worry, that is a common thought most of us have. Having a positive mental attitude about your new beginning will make a huge difference in how happy your life will be after divorce. Life after divorce can be fantastic and it can also be very tough if you don’t remain positive about what’s ahead of you. Look at the glass as being “half full” and realize that, in order to be happy after divorce, you must take advantage of the opportunity to get a fresh start!

Life after divorce item 3: Surround yourself with people you like in your free time.

Too often times people start new relationships with just about anyone because they are lonely while getting a divorce or after getting a divorce. Sparking a relationship, romantic or friendly, with anyone and everyone who will spend time with you can contribute to unhappiness in your life after divorce. Stop and think about the people that you spend time with and ask yourself, “Once my emotional turmoil has ended, would I really want to keep the relationship going with this person?”. Life after divorce is tough…so, when you’re deciding about divorce, going through one, or already have been through a divorce, make sure that you carefully choose who to spend your time with or you may fall into more negativity in your life after divorce.

Life after divorce item 4: Make it a point to spend time doing things that you like to do every week.

Make sure that you spend time enjoying your life after divorce – don’t forget to ‘stop and smell the roses’. Some people vent, work, go into hiding, or just plain go haywire after getting a divorce and their subsequent life after divorce isn’t as healthy as they would like. At least once a week, take the time to go and do something that you really enjoy doing…it will help you deal with your life after divorce in a more pleasing manner.

Life after divorce item 5: Set specific goals and implement a plan to achieve those goals.

Life after divorce is a tumultuous time. In order to make sure that you feel good about yourself and enjoy the feeling that accomplishment brings, think about a goal or set of goals that you’ve always had but never attained. Then, prioritize those goals and devise a plan to obtain them, one by one. Implement each plan and be happy (in fact celebrate) once you’ve reached your goal. Your life after divorce will be better and healthier if you take this concept to heart and follow it.

Visualizing your life after divorce (and thinking about what your life might be like after divorce) is a sound and logical thing to do. Your life after divorce does not need to be a continuation of the pain you might have gone through or are currently going through.

Life after divorce can be extremely liberating if you act based on logic plus positive emotions rather than negativity. If divorce is eminent or you’ve already been through divorce, take the time to actually plan your life after divorce.

Death Can Trump Life

It’s my 38th birthday and instead of celebrating my mind is clouded with rhetorical questions. Do you ever ponder the meaning of life? Why are we here? Perhaps these questions surface when we receive news we’d rather not receive, the passing of an parent, a sibling, a friend’s spouse who died for the wrong reason. I did not even believe it myself when others tried to justify the news by saying this is the circle of life.

I don’t make it a habit of reading the obituary columns in the newspaper but occasionally I read about strangers. Many have experienced a long and full life, contributed to society in a meaningful way, were visible within their community. I think how proud their family must be, I also imagine the hurt and grief they are experiencing. I read about the 42-year old father who has succumbed to cancer and leaves behind a wife and two children and I wonder how this is fair. My heart aches when I read about the young child tragically killed in an accident as my eyes fill with tears.

I’m no stranger to death. It does not scare me and I deal with it in quite a weird way. I do however find death emotionally overwhelming. It is hurt, compassion, sadness, pain, empathy, love all rolled together that hits like a tsunami, in waves over a period of time.

I’ve lost high school friends to accidents, drugs, and disease. I’ve seen first hand the impact on a family when their young son took his own life. Like so many others, I have said goodbye to relatives only after they have gone.   

Before now, I bet young people seldom thought of death, they were too busy living life as if they are invincible, surfing social media and following the new trends. Older people tend to prepare for death and accept the event as a natural and inevitable occurrence. Experience and reality have tempered their emotions. The grief and hurt is still there, so is the reflection on the positive aspects of the individual’s life. For some, their biggest worry is if they will fulfill their purpose. 

Maybe this aging process will help me to become less sensitive to the loss of not only those I love, but to those I have only read about in the newspaper. I am thankful my fear of death is more than offset by my passion for life. So it should be. 

So where does this discussion of death take us? It could be to the end of a journey, or the beginning of a new one depending on your beliefs. If you were to have a tombstone, what would it read? Here we are back to the question, what is our mission, our purpose, our goal in life? One accolade might read, “Here lays an honest person who cared about the people around her, respected others and made a positive difference in the lives of everyone she encountered.” If we envision how we want others to remember us, it might provide a valuable compass to aid us down the path of life.

In a perfect world, perhaps caring and understanding might extend well beyond our community and our country. Imagine a common bond based on a desire for truth, justice, peace, and mutual respect. 

We can’t do a lot about death. We can very much impact life – our own and others.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Throw away those negative thoughts, they are blocking the positive things that are to come!

When most people think of positive thinking, they imagine something flowery and nonrealistic. It’s true that our moods are greatly affected by the way we see things, but positivity isn’t just about sitting around thinking happy thoughts and skipping through fields of flowers on sunshiny days. Positive thinking is about embracing the reality of our situations and deciding to make the best of them instead of making excuses or dwelling on past failures. I had a conversation about this topic with my other half as he tells me often that I am so optimistic in situations.

Last night I challenged him to look at things in a more positive light instead of instantly thinking negatively. It is my belief that positive thinking is the root of a positive lifestyle. And many people don’t realize that the negative thought patterns that they create will multiply the more they think about them. I know he doesn’t wholeheartedly agree but just the simple fact that he will give it a try makes me love him even more.

In an effort to prove my opinion that our mind creates our reality; think about a time when someone spoke to you about a car that they wanted that you weren’t really familiar with or a TV show that was recommended to you. After the conversation about the car or the tv show, I can almost guarantee that you began to see that car or that TV show often and almost everywhere.

Why do you think this is so? I believe that this happens because your mind has just become aware of that car or tv show. So just think, if your mind becomes aware of prosperity, living a good life and abundance due to your positive thoughts then that is what you will begin to see in your reality.

Simply put, the mind is like a computer. The information that you put into it, it will be output in your reality. And it will continue to be output as long and you continue to input said information, ie. positivity.

Positive thinking won’t solve every problem that you have in your life, but it will help you deal with the things that you can’t avoid and reduce stress in your daily life so that you are more likely to be productive even when the ‘going gets tough’. Believe me, it took me a while to adopt this mind set and to believe it myself. I was one of those people who thought that I truly got the short end of the stick in life. While I never truly experienced lack, I always had nagging thoughts that bad things were just always occurring in my life. Once I began to meditate, I shifted my thoughts to more positive things to release those negative thoughts that would arise. And then my life seem to change course. Now that’s not to say that I don’t have bad days, or that I don’t experience setbacks from time to time but it just goes to show that I have the ability to choose what my mind processes to produce positivity in everyday life to be able to more easily handle those bad days and focus on the positive aspects of any seemingly negative situation.

Stay positive!!!