Category Archives: growth

Good bye …

I have spent the last few years struggling….emotionally, physically, financially – and despite or perhaps in spite of all, I have tried to find love. I always believed if I could find just one person who will love me, have my back, things will make sense. But I learned that you can’t find true anything, especially love when you are so lost and struggling. You find pieces. I have allowed the wrong people in my life the past few years.

I recently found myself so sad, crying inconsolably because an ex found happiness with another woman. Yet when the tears dried, I took a good look in the mirror and asked myself what was that all about – you don’t even want him back. All true. We were toxic together. But in my vulnerable state, I made it all about me and my own feelings of unworthiness. I thought I was too sick, too broke, too old – that is why he is treating her so much better than me. I kept questioning myself and a few friends, why could he change for her but not for me? Why does he love her more than he ever loved me? Ha! My eyes are wide open now.

I am sure there are many of us out there who dated a guy, had some great times with him and then he says something like he doesn’t want to be in a relationship or that he’s not ready to settle down. Then BAM … six months later, you find out he’s engaged to the next woman. Huh? How did that happen? And even more curious still … why her and not me? I have learned, the hard way, it’s not about me. I would obsess about all – what went wrong, how things could have been better, different, what the new woman has that I don’t, etc. I could go on and on, but the real question has been: Why am I obsessing over a man that clearly didn’t want, love or respect me?

No more losing sleep on someone who is just not worth my time nor energy. I can see how my friends may think that all my lamenting means I am not over him, or I want him back. But its not about that. For me, its about learning, accepting, growth. Honestly, it’s not that my ex never recognized that I was a good woman; I truly believe he just wasn’t ready to grow. If we are lucky, we all grow and change over time. Certain experiences, both positive and negative, change us forever.

In any relationship, there are unintended hurts, offenses, and betrayals. Over time some things are resolved, some things are healed, and some things create wounds that begin to erode the relationship despite the attempts to move past it.

When someone new comes into the picture it creates a new dynamic. It’s a clean slate, for one thing. There is none of the history, hurt, and toxicity in the new relationship. Since the new person is different the whole relationship is different. And hopefully we have learned valuable lessons from the last relationship. For me, I choose no more self-blame. I understand now how I allowed some of his behavior. I take responsibility for my part.

Naturally, I have seen him step up when a woman doesn’t take any nonsense – You could say he respects a woman who won’t tolerate his nonsense. But in reality, I shouldn’t care so much how different he is with her. What I see is all surface. I have no idea what is really going down behind closed doors, and I shouldn’t. He’s her problem now.

I logically understand that my ex may remember some of the things that were important to me and do them for his new girl. Since she didn’t have to beg, or even ask, she reacts with delight that he is so thoughtful. He feels good because it she seems so simple to please. Its a beautiful cycle. Yes, basically, she is getting the benefit of my past struggles with him. I get it. At first, trust me, I was hurt, I didn’t like it. But with each passing day, I am a little more thankful. I am even a little happy for him, and her. Yes, I am. They make a great looking couple. I hope it lasts. But then I recall just how bad it was, and just how narcissistic he was. And I almost feel bad for both of them. He has issues that he needs to resolve before getting too serious with anyone. I just hope he receives the help he needs.

A friend reminded me that some people, especially a narcissist don’t really change. He will romance this new lady just like he did me at first. He will be charming, romantic, sensitive, and he will be everything she always wanted in a man. He will tell her how different she is from me, how she is his dream woman, and how I never appreciated him. He will deny any angry outbursts or violence but if he can’t deny it he will explain it away as it being a “very difficult time” in his life – subtly casting the blame on me.

He will make her feel like a princess as long as she is providing something he needs – supporting him financially, admiration, a place to stay, or the “look” of a normal, responsible man. I couldn’t pretend for long – this is why we never worked.

Sadly, for some people, things don’t really change. A person can only hide, run from the truth for a certain amount of time. Eventually she is not going to be enough for him either – she’ll suffer a financial setback, gain some weight, get an illness, or become aware of his crap. The pattern will continue, but luckily not for me.

Yes, I need to accept the fact that my ex is going to treat women in other relationships differently than he treated me. I am learning not to make take it so personally. It’s not a true statement about who I am. My ex failed to see my true value. His loss. So a final good bye. I am working on me – rebuilding my life, my strength, my health, and regaining my self-confidence and just moving on forward … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


Overthinking Rambling…

I don’t sleep…insomnia is a curse. Sleep has eluded me too long. I can lay in bed for hours, resting my body at least, not doing anything physical, but my head is doing a lot , spinning in circles, replaying conversations with people – over thinking.

Many say our lives are a result of the choices we make. Sometimes, I don’t agree with this. I have cancer, I didn’t make that choice. I lost my fiance and friends to terrorist attacks on 9/11, I didn’t make that choice. I am responsible for how I dealt with these situations. I am proud of how I have dealt with so many negative blows. But sometimes, I allow a person into my life, because I can sense a brokenness that speaks to me. And it is then that I question myself, and am not so proud of the choices I have made. I know if I don’t like my life these days, I need to start making better choices. Trying. I can see the God and the universe taking the mess in my life, and my past and trying to send me a message and now its up to me to take that message and learn from it. But I think I have learned. I want to almost stop learning how to keep rising from misery and just be happy. Live a stable life. But each day that passes, and I do not get better results from tests, better news from my doctors, how can I lead a productive, stable life? I just wish someone else can live my life, at times. I am tired. My head hurts. I am trying so hard to keep a part of me that is safe, at peace. I don’t want the world and the mean, selfish people in it, to make me hard. I don’t want the pain to make me hate. I don’t want that hate to turn into wary bitterness nor change my empathetic sweet nature.

I have been fortunate to have met a beautiful person who has the soul of a living angel. She has become a friend who strengthens me with love, blesses me with prayer, and encourages me with hope. I think I am failing her though. I am more open about what I am going through. She is so quiet. She keeps a lot tucked inside her heart. I wish I could draw her out as she has been there for me.

As for all of those who betrayed me this year, and tried to make me feel small – I forgive them. They have tried to insult me, belittle me, take me granted. I am now learning how to move forward and to forgive myself for allowing them into my life and allowing them to hurt me. Each second of overthinking, brings me one minute closer to perspective, to my life of freedom and hope.

I wonder if Donald Miller had it right when he wrote, “We were made to be distracted by life, by story.” Let’s see what I continue to learn as I edit and alter my life. Trying ….to move on forward…with grace in my step, hope in my heart.


Today … Never Forget Indeed!

I see so many people posting images in remembrance of 9/11, the words #NeverForget trending….candles being lit, and flags are waving. But ask yourselves, what does this truly all mean?

I sit and breathe in the silence
I sit and breathe in the pain
Moments…
Sitting by myself.
Waiting…

Yes …9/11. May we never forget. I feel my loss each and every day; even on those days when I smile, laugh, enjoy myself. I try harder each day to live my life to the fullest, not just for me, but for all of those I have lost. They will never have another chance to smile, laugh, cry …geesh, not even enjoy a glass of wine.

So, let’s always never forget…we have loved ones still live, with us. Hug them. Tell them you love them. Make time for them. Smile through your tears.
Thank a soldier. Volunteer. Do something other than post an image. Make someone smile today. Life is ever fleeting, hours, turn into days. Moments turn into memories. Tomorrow turns into yesterday.

I remember walking out into the beautiful sunshine and seeing the gigantic American flag above the Bear Stearns building that forever day etched into my soul, waving in the breeze so beautiful, so proud, so hopeful. And although my life forever changed, my safe protective bubble had been badly bruised and my heart broken, that flag reminded me that in the midst of the greatest loss lies the potential for the greatest miracles. That hope is never lost. That hate never gets the last word. My sadness won’t keep me down. I was reminded today by a fellow follower on here that I need to wrap my arms around the gift that grief has given me, and that is so true. So, thank you!

I know how life can seem cruel and life at times just isn’t fair and how true freedom comes at a cost … but through all odds I have never given up nor has America given up that dream. So yes…Never Forget … today is another chance at making a difference, taking strength in grief.

flag


I know I will see you again …

I get so more melancholy and turn more quietly inward – especially between August through September. I have lost so many people I truly loved. For the past 13 years, I dread today. I dread the anniversary and the repeated replays of the planes, the impacts, the fireballs and the collapsing towers.

It truly is like ripping off a Band-Aid … but my heart feels this open wound. Today, 13 years ago, I lost four true friends, one my irreplaceable heart, my soul mate.

The days will always be brighter because he existed. The nights will always be darker because he’s gone. And no matter what anybody says about grief, and about time healing all wounds, the truth is, there are certain sorrows that never fade away until the heart stops beating and the last breath is taken. Always my heart ♥mm♥ …(Excerpt from Tiffanie DeBartolo, God-Shaped Hole)

I have come to realize that destiny can hurt a person as much as it can bless them, and I find myself wondering why – out of all the people in all the world I could ever have loved – I had to fall in love with someone who was taken away from me.

One day he was there and then all of a sudden, he is gone. There’s less of him each passing year. And you wonder where that part went – if it’s living somewhere, outside of you, and you keep thinking maybe you’ll get it back. And then you realize…it’s just gone.

Many say it’s easier to burn than to build; many say it’s easier to hurt than to heal…But I say you lose when you give up what you love…And I’ve lived my life without that long enough.

I hold pieces of him; I hold them so tight that they eventually become pieces of myself that am still learning to grow from but never away from. I hold onto them so tight that they eventually become the only pieces that can hold my shaky bones together. They become the only pieces that can keep this broken heart of mine held together…

Have you ever thought that if one thing hadn’t happened, a whole set of things never would have either? Like dominoes in time, a single event kicked off an unstoppable series of changes that gained momentum and spun out of control, and nothing was ever the same again. Don’t ever doubt that a mere second can change your life forever. It can. It has. Everything does really happen for a reason.

I’ve got no more illusions…I know I’ll see you again…but for today, I am allowing myself to fully experience the full impact of my loss. Grieving all over again. Grief…I am following it, crying when I want to, yelling at God, screaming into my pillow, and avoiding most people and definitely the news.

Grief is itself the only medicine I need right now. And anyone who doesn’t understand this or who can’t accept, stay away from me. So fake better stay away from me.

“After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. You learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises. You learn that loving doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security, and you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. After a while you learn to build all your dreams on today because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for dreams, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn to accept your defeats with your head held with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child. After a while you learn to plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really are strong, that you really do have self worth, and you can endure, and you learn and learn, with every “goodbye” you learn…” (Veronica A. Shoffstall)

“I am not the happiest person. In fact, in the battle between joy and misery, I’d say that the latter often seems to prevail. I don’t like this, and every day I refuse, for the eighty millionth time, to put up with another minute of it. But the world does what it does, and I often find it disagreeable. After all these years, I’m kind of resigned to that. But I do have one thing on my side: I have enormous faith. And hope. I am not speaking of the kind you find in church or in the afterlife or in heaven or in the Saint James Bible or in the Hare Krishna’s that we all encounter changing flights in the airports of the world, I am speaking of a simple faith that says that one way or another, no matter how many times I stumble and stub my big toe, somehow life is going to work itself out.” (Elizabeth Wurtzel)

candles


On My Journey….Surviving…

Today marks a year that I was hit by a car. I have yet to cross the street where it all happened. But it’s a new years goal that I am confident I will conquer and reach.

Whenever I feel like something is missing, I know it means I need to get out of my comfort zone, explore, shake things up and have fun. Sometimes it leads to a whole new direction for my whole life, which is the ultimate adventure.

This whole past year has been about feeling the fear and trying to find ways around that fear without it fully debilitating me. I love what I’m learning about myself and the growth I’m feeling. I’m learning a bit of fear is not the worst thing in the world!

One of the most upsetting thing though is how my mind keeps flashing these “alternate reality” scenarios in my head. PTSD! I still experience these horrible, mini movies where if it were just a few seconds off . . .or if the car was going faster…I keep thinking how I may not have survived or I could have been injured so much worse. Sometimes, I close my eyes, these images, flashbacks arise.

I know and have accepted that a shift in my life has occurred. I have been working really hard and not letting myself feel disappointed. But I have found that this year, as I have done in the past, I have looked for ways to control situations and prevent myself from feeling sad. Externally, I was upbeat and smiled, but inside I wondered why I had started to be afraid to cross busy streets, and why I trembled going to work, getting on a crowded train, especially if snowing and cold outside. I used up all of my vacation time this past year of 2013. I found myself preferring to stay indoors.

At times, it felt like my world was crumbling, but I knew I would not have made it that far had I not had hope. I just needed to take the time to heal. Needed time to focus not on what I lack, but what still remains. Life continues to be challenging. My dominant right hand still swells making it difficult to do my job a lot. I get tired and frustrated more easily but even there I am getting better at controlling.

So, yes, today marks a year since the accident. Sometimes it feels like it was five years ago; other times, especially when my hand swells and the pain is too much, I feel like it was just yesterday. No matter what day it is, I take the time to connect. In the morning, I lie on my back and breathe. Sometimes I cry. More so these day, I find myself smiling. Laughter happens often. There is no shame. Just one incredible journey…Busy living my life…on a true journey of learning to love myself, letting go of my fears…I find myself smiling more every day, looking forward to tomorrow, enjoying today, creating moments, giggling at the mere hint of the possibilities …breathing…inhaling, exhaling… I know the best is yet to come…I just know…keeping hope in my soul…grace in my step…love in my heart.

“She is delightfully chaotic; a beautiful mess. Loving her is a splendid adventure.” – Steve Maraboli


Like a Winter Tree, Letting Go….

“There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. It means removing toxic people and belief systems from your life so that you can make room for relationships and ideas that are conducive to your well being and happiness. Giving up reduces your life. Letting go expands it. Giving up is imprisoning. Letting go is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Letting go is self-care. So the next time you make the decision to release something or someone that is stifling your happiness and growth, and a person has the audacity to accuse you of giving up or being weak, remind yourself of the difference. Remind yourself that you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to live your life in the way that feels right. No one has the authority to tell you who to be or how to live. No one gets to decide what your life should look like or who should be a part of it. No one, but you.”

“You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend or new acquaintance- You don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings,ignores your boundaries, and “continues” to treat you in a harmful way, they have to go.”
― Danielle Koepke

Striving for…“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


The past…no longer haunting….

Sometimes, some days more than others I find myself stalled, stuck in memories of the past.
As I get older, I find myself reminiscing about the past more, getting wistful, being disappointed. As I learn more about myself, more self-aware, I discover more about whom I really am and what I truly want, and then I realize that there are changes I need to make. I feel like I have matured so much the past few years, and am finally understanding and accepting the lifestyle that I have been living no longer fits. Unfortunately, some of the people I have known forever no longer see things the way I do. So I find myself trying to cherish all the great memories, but needing to move on.

Lessons learned the hard way for the most part…

One can learn from their history, but we can’t live in it. You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. Some things just aren’t meant to be. Everything from your past does not belong in your present. To hold onto relationships and circumstances that have already moved on without you is to stay stuck in a place and time that no longer exists. Moving on doesn’t mean you completely forget the wonderful things from your past, it just means that you find a positive way of surviving without them in your present. The past never changes. You can spend hours, days, weeks, months, or even years sitting alone in a dark room, over-analyzing a situation from the past, trying to put the pieces together, and trying to justify what could have or should have happened. Or you can just leave the pieces in the dark and walk out the front door , put one foot in front of the other, breathe and keep moving forward.

Life is truly shorter than we think; so much taken for granted. While you are complaining about all the little problems in your life, somebody is desperately fighting for their right to live. You are responsible for each minute in your life. It is up to you to make the most of each day. One day, someday, suddenly, there will be no more minutes.

Playing the martyr, the victim is like holding onto pain which is just self abuse. Our past has given us the strength and wisdom we have today, so celebrate it. Don’t let it haunt you. Replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is just another form of self abuse. Toxic thoughts and people create a toxic life. Make peace with yourself and your past. Try and stop focusing on old problems and things you don’t want in your future.

I have learned that some things are just out of our control. Let the things you can’t control, happen. Moving on can create positive change. You may blame everyone else and think, “Poor me! Why do all these crappy things keep happening to me?” But the only thing those scenarios all have in common is YOU. And this is good news, because it means YOU alone have the power to change things, or change the way you think about things. There is something very powerful and liberating about surrendering to change and embracing it – this is where personal growth and evolution reside.

New opportunities are out there waiting for us all. The world keeps reinventing me…and I am embracing my life, with its myriad of opportunities. Taking ownership of me…♥


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