Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Deep Secret

It's funny how some things just sneak up on you. It's even stranger when those things spark a whole line of thought, and the next thing you know you're knee deep in self reflection and putting puzzle pieces together you didn't even know weren't connected. That's exactly what happened to me today -- this morning if you want to get specific about it.

I was going through some things in my desk today, looking for something specific. What I found, instead, was as stack of cards (the kinds you get with flowers) -- and boy did it make me smile. It took me back a few years when somebody used to send flowers to me at work on a regular basis; with cute little messages and reminders about seeing one another again. Then I ran across a couple of them with 10/13/2012 written on them and realized how quickly things can change. One person, one event, and everything changes. I don't know if it was for the better or worse... but change it did; and there really isn't anything I can do about that.

That's what started my unscheduled self reflection today. And boy, was it intense. It started with me wondering why things changed (I really try to learn not to ask "why"; mostly because it doesn't really help anything), reflecting on how different things are, and then - eventually - trying to figure out what I like and don't like now compared to then.

Surprisingly enough, there aren't that many differences between now and then, with the exception that with the years of experienced I have gained since then - there are more things I don't like now. These include personality traits, values, and just plan "being with someone" type of things.

And this, my devoted and well-loved reader is where the deep secret comes in. I'm sharing it with you with the thought that maybe you can look inside yourself and find that one thing that triggers you to realize something significant about yourself. Like I did today.

Alright, onto this "giant secret" ... it's really not that big. Sorry to get your hopes up, kittens. Anyways I was thinking today about a great many things and I realized -- I really don't mind sleeping alone. I quite prefer it actually, I'm not a huge fan of sharing my bed with anyone other than my cat -- the snuggling while you're asleep thing isn't made for someone with an above average body temperature (and personal space issues). That doesn't mean I don't like cuddling with the right person; just not when I'm trying to sleep. What I DO miss a whole lot is showering with someone.

The Shower Thing -- sounds kind of lame, but let me explain before you start judging me. (I know, you're my devoted fan base -- you don't judge me and I love you for it). When I say I miss showering with someone I'm not talking about the "let's take a shower and have fun in the water" kind of shower (although I'm a big fan of those as well). I also don't mean.. 'we have 10 minutes to get out the door...quick double shower to save time". What I mean is actually giving someone a shower. Getting into the shower with someone, washing their hair, their body, rinsing them off, drying them, and helping them get dressed. I absolutely 100% LOVE doing this for someone I deeply love.

To me, there is no better way to show someone how much you love them than to serve and take care of them. It makes them feel special and giving someone The Shower is my way of doing that. I'll be the first to admit that I've had my share of relationships (no, you don't get to know the number of them I've had :p); but I can literally count on one hand how many people I've done The Shower thing for. When I started thinking about it, I realized that neither of my ex-husbands are on that list. That's when it hit me (like a ton of bricks)... this shower thing I do is my way of telling ME that someone means more to me than I realize. Sometimes you can love someone (or think you do) but not at the level you expect. And sometimes, when you think back, you realize how much you really did love someone.

So that revelation had me thinking... these little "crushes" I get on people (sometimes I swear I'm just a high school student in an adult body); how many of them would I treat with The Shower? How many of the people that have received a shower in the past get them again (stuff happens that changes your soul whether you like it or not)? I've realized today, that THE SHOWER is my way of gauging my feelings (or potential) feelings for someone. And yes, dearest follower, I will answer the questions for you - as I know some of you are such curious kittens.

How many of my recent/current "crushes" would get this shower; presuming they showed the interest in me that I have in them? 1 (and trust me when I tell you that the answer of whom surprised the SHIT out of me). Now this is not to say that the number wouldn't change if I started to more deeply explore a relationship with someone on that crush list. It's just my way of exploring my current feelings for someone. Sort of that lust versus more than lust thing.

How many of the people who have gotten this treat in the past would get it again? Out of the five ... 1. As sad as that makes me, it doesn't change the fact that the answer is the truth. Like I said previously - things happen, people change, and sometimes no matter how much you love (or loved) someone, you can't go back to the way things were. The answer to this question didn't surprise me nearly as much as the first one did. I was rather expecting it as an answer.

So, there you have it. My big revelation of the day -- the fact that finding someone to share that Shower with is much more important to me than having someone lay in my bed at night. At the end of the day; there is so much more to life than lust.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Self Awareness ... Self Loathing?

So, I'm putting aside my list of blog requests one more time to post something a bit more personal to me. The last few days I've been feeling really down on myself. Just kinda "blah" ... not myself. Lower than usual self esteem, can't seem to find my inner smile, something just ... off. So when I woke up this morning (after a really interesting dream) I did a longer than usual meditation session ... hoping to figure out why I'm in this funk. Unfortunately, I found it.

Usually when I have a self discovery I'm pretty happy about it. Even when it's a discovery that's not completely positive. If we can't look within ourselves and find the areas of improvement we need most, we can never aspire to improve ourselves. However, sometimes those self revelations are painful; and sometimes the truth you find isn't even yours to change.

So, you may be asking yourself "what is this self discovery"? Then again, you might not be asking that -- but since this is my site, I'm going to tell you anyways. If you don't want to know, I highly suggest you stop reading now. :)

So here it is .. and it's not pretty. I've realized that sometime in the past year or so (could be more than that.. maybe a little less) that I've become a "dirty little secret" to a whole lot of people. It seems like everywhere I turn, I'm being asked to hide a major part of myself to make others happy. I'm constantly facing one (or several) of the following scenarios:

"I really want to go out with you, but I don't wanna tell a lot of people, it's really none of their business" (seriously ... who are you hiding me from)?

"I'd love for you to be in my wedding, but you'll have to figure out a way to hide all those tattoos.. my mother-in-law will never understand why you do that to yourself" (cause it's how I express myself, and I'm here to make you happy - -not your mother-in-law)

"My (xx = insert a friend or relative here) can't wait to finally meet you. But don't talk about the fact that you're Wiccan ... they will have a fit" (So, I'm supposed to lie about what I believe in if they ask me directly?)

"(xx) says you're really cool and can't wait to hang out with you again.. but next time don't talk about your work at the haunted house, it creeps them out." (so if they ask me how the "scaring people" is going .. how am I supposed to respond?)

"When you meet (xx) don't flirt with other girls and don't mention your bi. They aren't comfortable with it, and it will make things harder for me" (OK . . A I don't announce it during my introduction. B .. why can't I flirt with whom I want to? Just because it's easier for you?)

"At next week's party don't talk about your cancer. (xx) gets really upset when it's brought up." (So if someone asks me about it, I'm just supposed to say "Oh it's nothing really"?)

"You're really pretty and I'd love to take you out sometime.. just make sure my girlfriend doesn't find out" (umm... just umm)

Don't mention your sexuality, don't mention your alternate lifestyle, don't mention your illness, don't mention you're divorced, don't mention your passion for haunting, don't mention your spirituality, don't mention the fact that you counsel people. All of these things say the same thing to me... "Whatever you do DO NOT BE YOURSELF'.

Now, let me set a couple things straight while I have the opportunity. Most aspects of my life I don't talk "openly" about... like being bi or even my spirituality. I usually side-step a conversation if I know it will be controversial and I'm with people I don't know that well. I realize not everyone is comfortable with certain topics, so it's not like I intentionally start conversations about things. But if someone asks me about my illness, I'm going to talk about it. Same thing with other things that I'm passionate about. I will certainly not lie to people if I'm asked a direct question.

However, when people in my life continually point out things about me that I'm supposed to hide or I hear comments like the following it really starts to wear on me:
"I wish I could tell (xx) about the time you taught me this. But every time I mention you they get upset" (that makes me feel wonderful...the fact that you won't even bring me up in casual conversation with someone)

"Sometimes I catch myself starting to tell (xx) about you and I stop because of (insert lame excuse about such-and-such not liking me or something I do)." So, since they don't like a certain aspect of my life you can't tell them about me at all?
"Someone asked me why I've been so level-headed lately. I was going to tell them about our counselling session and how you showed me how to meditate, but they would think it's stupid, so I just said I was happier about stuff". Embarrassed about me?

I feel like I'm being stuffed into a closet and labeled "not worth the effort of explaining to others" or, more simply "freak who must stay hidden".

So, in a nutshell, I'm OK to hang out with on a one-on-one basis; and even alright in small group settings. However, when it comes to being more in anyone's life it seems to be out of the question. I'm the "dirty little secret" ....because they aren't comfortable enough with me to stand up to the people in their lives so I'm trapped in a cage pretending to be someone less than I am.

Now, where does this leave us, dearest reader? I really don't know. There's nothing I can do to change the thoughts and behaviors of others; so I can only focus on myself in this situation. I've spent a lot of time in meditation and self awareness to be happy and comfortable with who I am. I will not change to make others more comfortable with who I am; because then I wouldn't be true to myself. What I need is to find the path that takes me to a place where the statements I've discussed with you don't bother me. A place where I'm secure enough with myself that when others want to push me into that closet, I can rest comfortably there. A place where being everyone's "second" is OK .. because I know I am my first.

So, I guess that's it then. That's where I am right now, little kittens. As always, thank you for taking the time to read this, and learn more about me. Hopefully my little ramblings give you the change to look inside yourself and find a way to make the world a better place.

Be at peace with yourself and you'll be at peace with the world.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You Always Have A Choice

Hello there, beloved reader. I realized earlier today that it's been too long since I've posted something...and then sat here for a while staring at the blank screen. Usually I have about a million things I can write about; but today there was very little. Not that I'm uninspired, just that I don't know what to say about things.

There have been a whole lot of changes in my life recently. Some good, others bad. Some that have hurt me a lot (even though some people seem to think differently) and others that have made me smile more than I have since 2006. Some that have inspired me to be more helpful towards others, and events that have made me want to completely walk away from people I never thought I'd turn my back on. That's a whole lot of stuff -- and I'm sure I'd bore you to tears if I wrote about all of it.

Then I realized something pretty spectacular. Everything that has happened in the past couple of months - the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the beautiful, and the ugly; have all happened because of a CHOICE. Sometimes it's not my choice but the choice of someone else. That forces me into a choice for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's me being faced with two choices; neither of which I like... but there is still a choice to be made.

It reminds me of a movie I once saw with Michelle Pfeiffer - Dangerous Minds. During the movie she says something along the lines of "You have a choice! It may not be a choice you like, but it's still a choice". Even when I first saw that movie so many year ago, that line has stuck with me. We are surrounded by choices, and it's the choices we make that determine our path.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I was recently faced with the very difficult decision of ending a friendship with someone I cared deeply for. It was so not a choice that I wanted to make. Neither choice presented to me was acceptable. I could maintain the friendship even though the person was involved in things I was not 100% comfortable with (nothing illegal mind you; but I have personal standards that I have compromised on in the past -- it's always come back to bite me). If I chose to maintain the friendship, I would be compromising my personal integrity; not something I was OK with. My other choice was to end the friendship and allow us to go our separate ways. This choice makes my heart hurt and my soul cry. I adored spending time with this person and in no way wanted to just walk away -- but I didn't have a choice. The person had made it very clear that they had no intention of not doing what they were doing, and therefore, I had to make the incredibly difficult decision to end a friendship. It was an devastating difficult thing for me to to; but I'm confident that it was also the right thing. Choices -- sometimes there isn't a good one to be found.

Here's another example. I was recently confronted with a major dilemma. Someone I love dearly was acting in a way that made me embarrassed to even be associated with them. It was a ridiculous situation in general filled with actions that I haven't seen since Middle School; starring grown adults. My first thought was "how in the WORLD can you choose to act like that"... and regardless of the defenses provided by those involved, it was a choice. It was a choice that made them look bad, and it also reflected very poorly on those that are closely associated with them. I won't lie -- I went home and cried for several hours over the whole thing while I tried to determine which choice I should make in the situation. You may be sitting there thinking "what kind of choice could you possibly have -- this scenario has very little to do with you directly?" And as true as that statement is, the event does reflect on me, and my reputation in a way; that in itself posed some choices that I have to make. I needed to choose to possibly end another friendship, choose to cut all ties with this person, choose to not do anything at all, etc. I lost sleep (two nights worth) making a choice and I am confident I now made the right one. I didn't like any of the choices all that much; but I couldn't seem to find any other options. However, I made a choice, with the thoughts that MY actions dictate my reputation more than the actions of anyone else. It is with my actions that I can attempt to turn around a bad situation (hopefully).

So, here's the bottom line, my adorable kittens: Your life is the way it is currently because of the choices you made. There is no way to "take back" a choice; but there is always a way to move forward from them. If you don't like a choice you have made -- think about what choices you can make to remedy the situation. Have your hurt someone, or is someone hurt because of your actions? Make the choice to talk to them about it; get their feelings on the situation - TALK to them. Are you feeling sorry for yourself and find yourself in a slump? Make the choice that you can make yourself happy and do it; it's a state of mind (yes, I know sometimes depression is a chemical imbalance - choose to seek help for it in whatever capacity you need). Are you facing a choice that you just don't know what to do with? Find a friend, a counselor, or a relative that you can trust and talk to them about it. They can't make the choice for you, but they can help you in with their advice, their experiences, and their feelings.

Remember, that when it's all said and done YOU have to live with the choices that you make. Be at peace with your choices; think them through. Choose wisely and you'll be at peace with yourself.

Much love <3

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Running Out of Time

I have three blogs cued that I need to write, but I had the most intense dream last night, so I felt the overwhelming need to write this one first. I know what prompted the dream, and there's not a whole lot of interpretation to go with it, it was simply one of those dreams designed to remind me of some things.

Before we begin, a bit of background on me for those of you that might not know. I'm a very accomplished lucid dreamer -- which basically means I'm aware when I'm dreaming and can easily change the direction or events of the dream. I do this on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. There are times when my dreams are just that - dreams - and there's no reason to change them; and there are also times when I'm not lucid dreaming and the dreams take me wherever they feel like it. I'm also a very strong believer in the concept that some dreams are meant to teach us something or bring something to light that we need to reflect on. This is what last night's dream was all about, and although I knew I was dreaming, I intentionally did nothing to change the dream as I know I needed to see where it was going.

With that, let me share the dream with you; as usual I have no idea how it started, it was just there in my head suddenly.

I slip into a state of semi-consciousness, in a strange bed and realize that for some reason my eyes just can't open - worse yet I can't move anything. Before I allow the panic to seep in, I assess what I can without being able to see. The room I'm in certainly doesn't smell like home - there's no undertone of Coppertone (aka the Sun and Sand candles I use at home), or anything else that smells familiar. In fact, there's little accentuating smell at all -- mostly just clean. Well, that doesn't help.

I mentally scan my body to see if anything is different... and realize there's a stinging in my right arm, my throat is killing me, my back feels like someone used it for fencing practice, and I can't shake the feeling that there's a bulldog sitting directly over my heart. Helpful, though not really making it easier for me to calm down.

It's when I truly listened to the sounds around me that I realized what was going on. At first, everything seems muted, like I had cotton stuffed in my ears, but the more "online" my brain got, the more clear everything started to sound. I heard a whisper soft, repetitive sound off to my right. Woooosh --- whooosh. The sound was very regular and never seemed to falter in it's strength or it's timing. I hear distant voices coming and going as if they are never actually standing still; unfortunately I can't understand what they are saying, even though I can tell they are speaking English. Other various mechanical sounds are around me, mostly what seems like behind or above me... more wooshing sounds though these one not as soft as the first one I noticed; something that sounds like it's spinning, and some kind of odd pumping noise. Then, when I recognized the last set of noises I knew exactly what was going on. Beep. Beep. Beep. Shit..that's the sound of a vitals monitor -- guess who landed herself in a hospital?

I tried to remember why I could have found myself here - hooked up to the machines. The vitals monitor means there's some kind of pulse sensor on me and probably EKG electrodes. Suddenly, a whirring noise starts and my arm gets tight -- ah yes, blood pressure. Too bad the machine doesn't talk, so I could know what the readouts are. It took me a few minutes to realize the other noises...that whispersoft noise, combined with the fact that my throat felt like it was on fire -- ventilator; that's not good news. I won't get into the other mechanics.. let's just say "life support" was full on.

The voices outside suddenly moved into my room and I recognize the voices talking: Doc (my Doctor), my Mom, my Sister, Sami , some very special friends of mine. Hell it was like a reunion in there -- oh crap. They only let that many people in when it's time to say good bye -- I am not OK with this. My mind starts to go off in a million different directions covering all the things I never got to do, the people I still want to spend time with, etc. etc.

"Here's the problem" Doc says in her most compassionate voice. "She's on life support - under normal circumstances, we can keep her there indefinitely since the machines are providing her with everything she needs. But, with the blackout; the generators have a limited amount of time they can actually keep the machines going -- I give it about 3 hours. If the electricity doesn't come on before then; there won't be anything we can do."

Panic. At least on my part. It's obvious the people in the room are upset, there's soft crying, sniffling and feet shuffling. But they are being strong (they know I'd kick their tails if they weren't ;) ) It's then I realize that my clock really is ticking. 3 hours... to make sure the people in my life remember the good I've tried to do. 3 hours to ensure they know I love them. 3 hours .. to lay here in a near-unconscious state and hope to wake up enough to give them the comfort that they need.

That's when I woke up .. straight up .. wide awake and more than a little bit panicked. It took me a while to calm down and realize what I was being told. DON'T wait until it's too late to live the life you need to live. Focus on the right things now -- so that if your end does come sooner than you're expecting; your legacy is already there. Tell the people that are important in your life how much you love them.


Move on.

Don't hold a grudge.

Allow happiness.

Promote love.

Be at peace.

Set the right example.

Be yourself.

Share joy.


Improve yourself.

Never let a moment go by that the most important people in your life wonder how you feel.

I know this was 'just a dream' but it's a dream that hits very close to home for me... since it's a reality I face on a regular basis. However, it can happen to anyone -- since I have no idea what, exactly, landed me in that hospital bed. So, just remember -- we all have a limited time here; make the most of it.

I love you.