Posts Tagged ‘shame’

That’s Not Mine

September 13, 2017

It’s yours.

Or.

It is mine?

Or is it both?

Turns out yesterday it was both/and.

I hate that.

Both.

And.

I had a client working through some traumatic stuff in session yesterday and I realized later that I had taken some of it with me.

It was hard to shake.

Why was it so hard to shake?

I talked to my therapist today about it.

We isolated it and moved through it and all sorts of stuff came up.

Jesus fucking Christ.

All the stuff.

Fortunately, and I mean this in the sincerest way possible, fortunately, I have been doing self-examination and inventory and work on myself for such a long time that I was able to work through it.

I can’t and won’t divulge what happen in session with my client.

That’s a breach of ethics and I am honor bound to keep those things within the walls of my office.

But.

I can say that what happened had a resounding feel to me of something that had happened to me.

I couldn’t quite pin it.

I know that there was an extraordinary amount of emotion in the room when I worked with my client last night.

I relayed to my therapist things that happened for me in my body, what it felt like, the counter transference that happened and the transference.

And.

That I recognized that some of what I was feeling was my clients and some of what I was feeling was mine.

Thank God for a great therapist.

We isolated it.

Or.

I isolated it.

She did what therapist do, good therapists, she held the field, she let me find my way, she made some connections for me that I didn’t see, she held me with empathy, she validated my experience, she reflected and gave me perspective.

And.

Holy shit.

There it was.

And I broke down and bawled.

Great big ugly tears.

Relieved to get it out.

Although it tried to stick for a second.

It tried really hard.

It did not want to come out.

I was choked with grief.

Stricken.

I got it out though and I named the emotions I was feeling.

Trying to stuff them all into the crumpled ball of tissue in my moist hand.

Guilt.

Shame.

Unendurable guilt.

For getting out, for doing better, for surviving.

For being financially “well off.”

Bwahhahahahaaha.

Have you seen my student loan statement?

I have.

Meh.

Anyway.

Though I may have a fuck ton of student loans, fuck it, I’m worth the investment, I am, I am, I also have a modicum of financial security and I have a nice little home and I have nice little things.

I have a scooter.

I have a bicycle.

I have security.

In so much as I continue working at the pace I am working.

I don’t have much of a security blanket in the savings account.

But hey.

I have a savings account.

When I think about how successful I am in comparison to my mom or my sister and how I have always managed to find a way out, I sometimes, more so than I want to admit, have guilt.

And then.

I belittle my experiences or my own traumas, because, man, they had and have it bad too, and I’ve found a way through.

There is no way through but through.

It’s painful.

But.

Fuck.

It’s so worth it.

And I also see that I am not responsible for my sister, for my mother, for my father, my nieces.

I am, and can only be, responsible for myself.

But the guilt.

It hit me hard.

I was feeling awkward about an upcoming birthday in my family and I was relaying how many times, so many, too many to count, that I have sent gifts trying to foster some sense of connection and love to my family.

And.

Have not received it.

Oh.

I know there’s love.

But I haven’t the emotional connection to my family that I was trying to cultivate, a sort of reciprocation of love and that I need to let go of trying to get it the same way I have been doing so for decades.

We, my therapist and I, talked about how I might be able to establish connection, about what I could do.

I have to say it felt futile.

I was fucking flummoxed.

Then.

As I sat and the grief washed over me and I saw how hard I had tried to do something, taking the same action time and time again, that maybe there was another way.

Maybe.

I don’t know.

But I sussed a few things out and suddenly I had an answer.

It may not be “the” answer.

But.

It felt good to process it all out and find the connections and see how the traumatic experience that I bore witness to when I was with my client last night led me to work through and settle out something that has been nagging me for decades in my relationship to my sister and my nieces.

I don’t have a lot of close family.

Just my sister.

I have almost no relationship whatsoever with either of my nieces.

Although I helped significantly in the first years of my oldest niece’s life.

And I love her so much.

After I moved away from Wisconsin our relationship grew very thin.

My sister had troubles of her own and many challenges that I could not face for her.

Fuck.

I had to deal with my own shit.

The last time I saw my oldest niece was over fifteen years ago.

She was nine.

In a few days she will be 25.

I was nineteen when she was born.

I was the first person to hold her.

I saw her crowning.

I saw my sister endure the most excruciating pain.

I rocked that baby to sleep so many nights, I sang her songs, I can feel the heaviness of her carrier in my arms now.

I loved her beyond any previously known capacity to love.

And that is enough.

I gave what I could when I could and when the paths of my family and mine diverged, it was right to go the way I did.

To allow others the dignity of their own experiences.

To allow others to feel the weight of their choices, the consequences, good, bad, indifferent, to their actions, and not interfere.

I can still love my sister, my mother, my father, my nieces.

I can still love my cousins and aunts, uncles, my remaining grandparent.

But.

I don’t have to do so at the expense of myself.

I don’t have to lose myself in care taking.

I mean.

hahahaha.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I’m a therapist in training, I may very well lose myself in it all over again, the care taking thing, but I also get to have boundaries and frames and I get to help in a way that won’t drain me.

At least that is what I have hope for.

I have a deep capacity for love and my experiences have borne this out.

I have and will always love my family.

I just won’t put their needs before mine any longer.

I deserve better.

And.

Well.

Fuck.

So do they.

Who the hell am I to decide how they should live their lives.

They have their own God.

As do I.

Thank God.

Grace.

Over.

Drama.

For the most part.

I was a hot mess yesterday and today in therapy but it got worked out and it got worked out fast.  So grateful for that.

Beyond words.

And though it may not seem cause for celebration.

It is.

And.

I am.

Yes.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I am.

You’re The Girl With Flowers In Her Hair

July 12, 2015

That cries all the time.

Yup.

That would be me.

Crying on the back of the bus.

Damn you MUNI.

It’s bad enough to be that woman, but to be that woman on the back of the bus?

Even worse.

There’s a certain kind of anonymity that the N-Judah train permits, not so much when they are running buses to and from the beach as the work continues on the tunnel between the Cole and Duboce stops.

The girl with flowers in her hair who cries a lot, I think, is actually what she said.

I haven’t cried this much in a long time.

I have not seen my disease so up close and personal and in my face, and on my face, and smearing down my face.

I really shouldn’t have even attempted the make up today, but I tried to put on a brave face, even though I went to bed crying, I woke up crying, my face was leaky and runny and disastrous.

I would get it together to fall back apart.

I can say with all conviction and truth the amends to be made from mistakes in my sobriety have to be some of the most painful I have ever attempted.

And I haven’t made this one yet.

I did something last night that I am ashamed of, horrified by and bereft with my behavior.

I was manipulative and dishonest and I didn’t even realize what was coming out of my mouth but there it was and my friend got hurt.

It was like being in a black out.

I said something cruel and dishonest because my fucking instincts got bruised and I thought I was better than that, I don’t know, that I got this, I know how to live I do, I….

Fuck me.

I don’t have a clue.

Until the look on my friends face woke me up.

What did I just do?

I can’t breathe writing about it.

I have been putting off writing about it for hours, hoping that I would be able to make the amends tonight.

It does not look like that will happen.

I can’t force solution, it’s not on my schedule, it’s not my time frame.

It’s my fucking monkey though.

Or monkeys.

Shame.

Manipulation.

Perfectionism.

DIshonesty.

When I wrote, just because it’s taken me this long to get to my blog does not mean I haven’t written today.

I have.

So much, my heart hurts for it, my heart hurts for my friend, for myself, for being in this disease, for being human, and for knowing that the only way through this is though it.

And I may very well lose a friend who means so much to me that I cannot fathom not having him in my life.

Oh.

And there’s another one.

Self-sabotage.

I think I have let go, I think I have surrendered, then I go down that path, unconsciously, it seems, but I can see in hindsight that I got upset, I felt threatened and I said unkind things.

Things I did not mean, things I don’t even remember saying, except for the gist of them, for the flavor–which is all sea salt and rot on my heart, that what it tastes like and so I took it to the beach.

I took it first to 7th and Irving and was a mild wreck in my folding chair, my ass falling off, I stuck it in a bag and got it where it needed to be.

I shared and I shared sadness and sorrow, but I also shared solution and when I finished and the time was up I read about a vision for you and my voice cracked.

I cannot remember the last time I started to cry reading something.

The wreckage of the past caught my attention and twisted in me and I thought, the wreckage of last night, and then I read the rest of the words and felt something move and shift and a teeny step forward through the miasma of grief.

Then down the stairs out into the sunlight, buoyed up by the froth of crinoline under my dress.

If I’m going to be sad I might as well wear something that will bring some lightness to me as I drift tear stained around the Inner Sunset.

I went to Tart to Tart.

I got an iced coffee.

I sat down across the table and I spilled my guts.

“Well, aren’t you just a garden variety drunk,” she almost laughed, but then told me what she saw, her perception, and her generosity of spirit and point blankness, “you owe him an amends.  Do you have a piece of paper?”

I took out my notebook.

I wrote down what she said.

I cried with horror over my inability to have seen how hurtful I was to my friend last night and I admonished myself.

I didn’t cast about ashes and I didn’t beat my self with a hair whip, but man, I came close.

“Hey, don’t talk about my friend like that,” my best girlfriend said to me this morning when I shared what an asshole I had been.

I love you and I forgive you.

I kept saying it all day.

I kept seeing how deep this goes, how much work I still have to do.

“Oh!  Get grateful for that, it means you’re human, and you get to work on letting go of these defects.”

Back at Tart to Tart the almost perky tone of my person bolstered me, I knew she was right and I knew I have to go to my friend in a position of service and kindness.

And face to face.

That was the directive.

I reached out.

I got a response.

It was no thank you.

Once again I break my own heart.

No wonder I wore my heart sweater today.

Cream hearts on a field of black.

I did more praying.

I did more writing.

I did, oh come on, more crying.

Hell.

I haven’t really stopped all day.

There will be a moment of reprieve then it starts again.

“This is worse than with ____________,” I sobbed on the phone later in the day, having walked down to the sea and asked for it all to be taken away, wash it away, take my sins, every one, help me have kindness and compassion, for myself, and be of service to my friend.

However he needs it.

Not however I want it.

“You self-sabotaged and now you know what that feels like, you can recognize it and you can stop it the next time you have that feeling arise,” he told me.  “Then you talk to me first before you say anything.”

“And we hurt the ones we care for the most, we don’t mean to, but that’s what we do” he finished, “now you are aware, now forgive yourself, and let him have his process.”

The hardest part.

I wore that fucking flower in my hair all day long.

I thought there was a chance to see my friend and make the amends.

He reached back to me later and we set a time, but it came and went and he cannot meet me.

So I sit here in the grief that I have wrought.

My own self-made misery.

I can’t hate myself for it, I can only forgive and move forward with the knowledge that my disease runs hard and deep and I have to lean in on my God and I have to pray more.

Kneeling by my bed, walking in the ocean, walking through the fear, praying for forgiveness again and again and again.

I can’t regret the past, nor shut the door on it, but I can learn from this and I can hope for a new beginning and for a new freedom from the bondage of self.

The price feels so high.

“You will get through this,” his voice so calm over the phone, the waves splashed on my feet, the sun embroiled my head and lit me through with far-flung light, “you will come out stronger and better and you will love more for it, I don’t know what it will look like, but you will come through and you will have learned a deep lesson about yourself.”

There is a gift here.

I cannot see it.

But it is there.

Wrapped on the beach.

Dusted with the tears of the mermaids as they

Sing each to each

I will walk through this grief.

I will assuage this sorrow.

I will open that box.

And be bedazzled with glory.

I will keep doing this work.

It’s the only way I know how.

I will find my way back to love.

It has not left me, I just cannot see it through the blur of sea-salt in my eyes.

But it is there.

Love.

It is there.

Weird Wednesday

July 9, 2015

Like so weird.

I don’t know exactly where to start and I feel a bit off kilter.

Sad.

Annoyed.

Excited.

Anxious.

Happy.

So many feels.

Dude.

Ugh.

Starting in no particular order.

Blew a flat tire on Oak just as I finished navigating the Wiggle.

I had the oddest feeling that something was up with my bicycle too, and for a moment I thought, is it at all possible that she popped my tire.

I mean, it was the weirdest feeling, like someone had sabotaged my tire.

I know I sound paranoid, but I had just had a disconcerting run in with someone at a cafe and it was so odd how the entire interaction went that I wondered if she had.

But no.

That’s nuts.

No matter how uncomfortable I was, no one purposely popped my tire.

Every other Wednesday after work I meet my person, one of my people–it takes a village–at The Church Street Cafe before heading out to my usual Wednesday night thing.

I pulled up right on time to see a prime spot to park my bicycle and I headed inside to grab a cup of tea and see if he was there.

Nope.

But someone else was.

Someone who I wouldn’t have even noticed except that she waved at me.

I didn’t recognize her at first, except to recognize that it was someone I knew from around the way.

Oh.

Then I did see who it was.

My ex boyfriend’s friend.

“Hey you!” She said exuberantly, “it’s been a long time!”

I smiled, “it has, months.”

I was half way to the counter to order my tea, “nice to see you,” and I turned to place my order, but I was hijacked back into the conversation.

“OH!  Just so you know, I’m meeting ____________ here,” she said emphatically.

I stared at her in question, “um, ok,” I said with a half-smile, “that’s not really any of my business, but thanks.”

I turned.

“Well, I’d want to know,” she said to me, “if it was me, I’d want to know.”

I looked back at her as I headed to the counter, “that’s about you, not me.”

Then I ordered my tea.

Great.

My ex is on his way here.

What are the fucking odds?

Then I thought, who cares?

It’s well past, it’s well over and I’m meeting my person and it’s a public place.

The weird thing was the person who was relaying all the non-essential, none of my business information was someone my ex had told me he was no longer in contact with.

What the hell are they doing hanging out?

My brain wanted to go on an expedition.

NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I reminded myself.

After which the thought came, where is my person?

Oh.

A voice mail, he was running late, but soon to arrive.

I got settled at an outside table.

There was nowhere else to sit and I figured, might as well get it over with, and be right out front and be seen.  I don’t need to hide, even if it was only last week that I got a horrendous load of text messages from my ex in regards to my apparent exorcism of him from my life.

Not my timing.

Not my schedule.

Then again, nothing is on my schedule.

Never has been.

Besides, I figured his friend was busy texting him to let him know I was a clear and present danger.

Ugh.

And right at that moment.

A dear girl friend I had not see in months walks down the street.

She joyfully greets me, I say nothing of the weirdness happening and focus on connecting with her and being present for her and her accomplishments, a new relationship, the news she can go to Burning Man, and her congratulations on my acceptance and scholarships to graduate school.

“Girl, you are just glowing, you are so beautiful, look at life just opening up for you,” she hugged me.

Well.

That was nice.

And it gloriously helped to pass the time until either my person was going to show up or the ex boyfriend was.

My person showed up first, so handsome, strolling down the street in pressed linen shorts and a gingham pink checked shirt with a cashmere sweater draped over his shoulders.

God.

I love my person.

I got a huge hug, my girlfriend got a hug, we had us a little love fest in front of the cafe.

My girlfriend left so we could get to doing the deal and just as my person was settling down in front of me, guess who decided to interject into our conversation?

Mmmhhmmm.

You don’t know this since you read my blog of a piece, but suffice to say, I just paused there, searching for the right word, a word that is not unkind, but perhaps indicative of the actions of the person and no, I can’t find a nice way to put it.

She interrupted us at the table mid conversation, not to say anything to me, but to talk to my person.

My person said hello, then turned to me and raised his eyebrow as she turned away from the table.

She ignored me, she stepped to the curb.

A silver car screeched around the corner and she sprinted across the street, hopped into the car and then it peeled out.

Screech.

Pause.

Big pause.

In the writing, I usually don’t stop, but I did there for a moment.

And.

Now.

Shifting gears.

Point of view totally changed.

Is there anything wrong, Carmen?

No.

I just had a really good talk with my friend who helped me put a lot of stuff into perspective.

In fact, I don’t even know why I was upset, expect that the old tropes, the old ideas, the old, “I’m not enough” or the old shames came back and really, that’s just an old fucking story I tell myself to feel bad about who I am or what I am and there is no need for that.

There is nothing wrong.

It’s all manufactured misery.

My life is amazing.

And I got to end my evening holding hands with someone who means the world to me and be myself.

Yeah.

My life.

It does not suck.

I am loved.

I am taken care of.

I am ok.

And the weirdness.

Well.

There isn’t any.

It’s all pretty much.

Wonderful.

Ah.

Perspective.

Thank you for rescuing me from the bad neighborhood I stumbled into.

My own head.

Don’t Give Up On Men

April 15, 2015

Who says I have?

“Don’t give up,” another friend said to me in person last night after seeing my post about being done with Ok Cupid and online dating.

I haven’t given up on anything.

Well.

I have given up on shame.

Shame–a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

I have believed for so long that the longing to be in a relationship was wrong and foolish.

That I have to be somehow above this basic human craving, that I don’t deserve it, that I am mistaken or stupid or that, I like how Wikipedia puts it: to have shame, means to maintain a sense of restraint against offending others.

That’s it in a nutshell.

I have to restrain myself from offending others.

I can’t tell you what I want, I don’t want to offend.

Well fuck you and fuck off and I’m fucking done with that.

I haven’t given up on the capital “M” men in my life.

I love men.

Men are awesome.

So are women, fyi, I don’t want to become a man, I just want to hang out with one and have a relationship.

I love the way men smell and look and swagger, and talk and guffaw, and they way they open doors or give preference, I like having my bags carried and having the man walk on the outside, the one closest to the road, I know that’s old-fashioned, but I like that when  man does it.

I like ginger men and blond men and dark-haired men, brown-eyed, blue-eyed, green-eyed, hazel eyed, I like how a man sometimes cannot mask when he is struck by my beauty.

THere’s a man I know, a friend who is happily married and I know and adore his wife, they are really an amazing package and I admire the relationship they have.

At one point I was attracted to him (years before he met his wife) and wondered about pursuing something, but there was never really a spark or indication of attraction from him.

Then one night I was up in Noe Valley heading into the basement at St. Phillips and he turned and saw me walk in and did a double take, it was like he was seeing me for the first time, or as it were, seeing a different side of me.

Instead of jeans and a baseball jersey, which I think I lived in for the first year I was sober, I mean I wore that baseball jersey the fuck out, I was in a long A-line vintage swing coat in forest green with a silver fox fur collar and my hair was up and I was in makeup, I don’t know where I was heading, but I will always remember his reaction.

I could hear him intake his breath and I saw his eyes widen before he could drop the neutrality mask back into place.

I have an affect.

It was one of the nicest unspoken compliments I have ever received.

I’m not looking for adulation, adoration, or admiration from the male of the species either.

It almost has nothing to do with men, even though ostentatiously I am looking to date a man.

It has more to do with the act of desire, the want, the eros of something.

The Greek word eros denotes “want,” “lack,” “desire for that which is missing.”

I recall when I learned that in my Comparative Literature class in college.

I remember thinking, Jesus, that’s it, I don’t have it and I want and want and want and am in shame for the wanting.

I want to cover myself from this most basic of human needs, because to want like this must be wrong.

And of course, patterning, predilection, the art of taking on without realizing it, those desires of those that I was closet to and repeating their acts and actions as my own.

I kept chasing after those who were unavailable, completely beholden to the man who wouldn’t have me and aloof from the men who were available.

I don’t give up on men.

I give up on the idea of needing to be ashamed.

I cannot even express the freedom.

I have felt lighter, happier, more settled in my person.

I have felt more love.

For myself, for my circumstances, for the relationships that I am in, with family, friends, my fellowship, my employers, the little guys I take care of, for community, for San Francisco, for the world.

An easing of lightness in my limbs and a firmer ground underneath me.

It reminds me of the promises I have heard so much over these past ten years and often don’t pay attention to anymore, they’ve come true, then I forget, then I have to do some more work, and then, lo, they come true again.

….and economic insecurity will leave us.

It does not say that I won’t be economically insecure, I have been,  may be again, but the fear of being economically insecure has left me.

With the shame leaving me, flying off into the wind on the backs of wild geese, I can feel that same sense of promise and change in perspective.

I don’t expect that because I have a new-found attitude and awareness that my situation, being single, is going to change.

I just feel so much more comfortable for it.

“We’re experiential learners, and we can be told how it feels or feel it for ourselves,” he said to me tonight over a cup of tea at the Church Street Cafe, “I wish sometimes it were different, but that’s just how it is.”

I get it.

I want the experience of being in a couple or yes, being married (I don’t necessarily need the experience of having children, I have gotten to work with some amazing children, and I suspect that will continue), although I don’t expect either experience to fulfill me or make me a better person.

They will just make me a person with that experience.

That’s all.

And I am an experience junkie.

I want to feel all the feels.

I want to see all the sights.

I want to go to Paris with my boyfriend and hold hands in the Tuileries and go for a ride on the ferris wheel and kiss on the top of the orbit, the gondola swaying the Paris dusk in summer.

Yup.

I wrote that.

I want that.

And I am not fucking ashamed of it anymore.

It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen or has to happen.

I just get to let go of my own idea that I have to please you by denying myself this human experience.

I’m done denying myself for you.

I am my own woman.

Who needs a man?

hahaha.

Ah.

I kill myself.

The Art Of Being

April 13, 2015

Still.

Staying put.

Not going anywhere.

Well, maybe for a walk on the beach.

But not with a blind date, I cancelled the date.

Just me.

The sea.

My white dress blowing in the wind, my red-painted toenails awash in the tide flowing up onto the beach.

“You look like an angel,” she said, giving me a hug.

I ran into a lady from the Outer Mission who had done the long, hour-long, probably longer, commute via MUNI to come out to the beach today.

I recognized her from a way off, standing facing out to the sea, the sunlight playing over the planes of her proud face.

Beautiful.

We chatted for a moment, then she went her way and I went mine, walking further down the beach toward Sloat.

I reflected on the day, the weekend, the dating over the weekend and the decision to delete my OkCupid account.

“You’re gorgeous! I’m sure you’re going to be drowning in dates, you’re totally going to be taken care of!”  She exclaimed in my little kitchenette as I was plying her with experiences I have had recently over the past few months of online dating and the like, while she was sharing some inventory.

“It’s not about being gorgeous,” he said, “it’s not about that, you and I know that, that’s an ego feeding proposition and it does nothing for you.”

“I agree,” I replied.

It’s, cliché, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

I realize that I get a distorted idea of who a person is online, just as I assume, they do of me.

I want to be seen.

“Oh you’re noticed,” my ex-boyfriend said, “I feel like I need to constantly mark my territory.”

Interesting.

Not that I notice.

I only seem to notice when it’s not appropriate to what I want.

Which is also telling.

“It’s about acceptance,” my friend said as the date from yesterday disappeared down Judah toward the Starbucks on the corner.

“You know you can always reach out to me,” she continued, “now that I am retired, I really like seeing women in the fellowship and talking recovery, you know I’m on Facebook, just reach out.”

We hugged and I got on the N-Judah.

Sometimes I tend toward creating drama when there is no need for drama.

I don’t need to be dating.

“Oh, I get it,” he said today on the phone as I was walking up the dune at the end of Judah and Great Highway, “you want to be coupled up.”

“Yes,” I said, sheepish, embarrassed, “but,” I added, “I don’t need to be, I get that, I’m not looking for something to complete me or someone to fix me, or…”  I drifted off, the view of the ocean taking my breath once again.

“I know you understand that, it’s natural, we’re experience junkies, being in a relationship, being a couple, is an experience and you want to have as many experiences as possible in your life time.”

He paused as I caught my breath, I almost started to cry with relief, “every relationship is God’s, every one of them, what ever one you are in, friend, sister, daughter, employee, it’s God’s.”

Of course.

I know this.

Yet I needed to be reminded.

And.

Good gravy man.

It was a comfort to hear that it’s natural to want to be in a relationship with a lover, to be a couple, to be dating someone, committed to a person.

I have this idea, which I realized only while talking to my person, that I have shame around this desire.

That I somehow don’t deserve this very basic human experience.

Well.

Damn it.

Let’s change that right now.

What action can I take?

Let me fucking do it.

Oh.

Wait.

Pause.

Breathe.

Be still.

Know that there is a God.

And I am not it and be quiet.

Let the moment seep into your skin.

Let the smell of the ocean wash over you and carry your salty tears off onto the wind.

Turn your face to the sun like a flower, float down the beach like an angel, gorgeous in forgiveness.

For therein lies the true beauty.

Forgive myself.

Grieve and let go.

That of course, is the hardest thing for me, the letting go, the soft, yielding surrender.

I don’t have to be forced to it.

I don’t have to be beaten into it.

I can accept, kind and gracious the gift of not being ashamed of my life, my experiences, my heart, the way it beats when a Jim Croce song comes on the stereo and I am transported to a soft summer night rife with the smell of chicken on the grill, the barbecue searing the air with smoke and charcoal, the smell of cut grass, being a little girl in a sundress and running around the yard.

Or I can struggle some more.

I choose not to struggle.

The yielding to the better life, the actual goodness that I know and have in my life is so abundant and prosperous with love and sunshine and oh, god, glory.

I live a glorious life.

I do not need to create drama.

I do not have to do anything.

I can be still.

Thus I sat when I got back from the Ocean Beach walk.

I meditated.

I sat in the sun in the Adirondack chair in the back yard.

Then I ate some dinner on the back porch sitting at my housemates wrought iron table and chairs, curled up basking in the sunshine falling from the sky and lighting every crooked passage of my heart.

Sear out the shame in sunshine.

It’s ok to be human, child, girl, woman, this is how you get to live.

Not how you have to live.

But get.

This graced gift, my life.

Listen to some music that fills your heart, sit in some sunshine, sip some spicy ginger tea, read a book, watch the raven’s fly over the back yard, delete the things in your life that don’t work and surrender to the breath that draws your beating heart forward into the golden land of the sunset.

Or

At least the Outer Sunset.

Big Week

July 15, 2014

Go slow.

Icing ankle.

Go slow.

Take ibuprofen.

Go slower.

Sigh.

Oh well.  So it goes, the going slow, has to go slow, ride the MUNI, slow your roll, bring it down, the temptation to go faster, get more in on the day, move, any kind of real movement.

Not this cautious, tepid, shuffle that has been propelling me forward through the hours of the day.

I have a nanny share everyday this week.

Which is my optimal goal always, having a consistent five-day a week share would alleviate all financial woe, not that there are that many at the moment, I am holding steady, all the help that my friends and family and anonymous folks out there (who did put that folded twenty-dollar bill in my purse?) who have helped me through the four weeks of no work has, well helped.

At this point, the help has to be coming from me.

So I find that I have to sit when I want to stand.

That I have to walk slower when I would like to stride.

That I have to take the steps one two, one two, instead of one after the other, on and off the train, up and down the stairs at work.

With the extra work, comes extra work.

Mostly in my brain, slow down kiddo, I told myself as I pushed the stroller up a slight incline in Golden Gate Park.   There is no race to be won, there is nowhere to go, and so, well, go slow.

It is almost a constant iteration of stay in the present moment.

Shameful to say that I haven’t been present much over the weekend and coming into today at work, rehashing last year’s event, trying to figure out what I needed, what the family needed, how to make it work, how to take care of myself.

Which is why I apologized today.

That was not what I was expecting and I saw that I had hurt my employer without even realizing, wrapped up in my own agenda and my own fears.

Sometimes I forget that the entire world doesn’t speak my language.

Literally.

Just because we are going to the same place doesn’t mean that we won’t get there having utterly and completely different experiences.

I had no idea.

But we worked it out.

What came to light is that my employer feared a sudden departure, a change of plans, by me, that I would up and decided that nope, it’s too much and bounce.

That happened last year.

A nanny working for someone in the upper echelon’s of the organization had her nanny split without warning.

There you are in the middle of the desert with no nanny and a huge job to complete, one which you have spent all year working on, and your child care is gone.

Poof.

I remember it well as I helped find a replacement.

I don’t even know if the woman who I suggested help was able to help, but I remember being aghast that someone would do that.

My employer fears this from me.

That I will split too.

Because I did something I vowed I would not do, I brought up last year and said I was not happy with how it went.

I had not brought up last year ever with her as I felt that I had made my bed and I needed to lie in it.  To then bring it up a year later, felt like an attack, and left her panicked that this year I would pull some shenanigans and leave my duties.

It turns out we both needed clarity.

I will be working a lot this year.

More than I worked last year, but I will be compensated for it.

And the knowing for me is the biggest thing.

And the knowing what my needs are and stating them at the time rather than alluding to another time.

I have more practice to do, more room to grow, more to learn.

In an odd way, I feel like I have to regain her trust, this was not something that I was even thinking about, giving the impression that I am flaky.

It shocked me that she would think that I would quit.

Whatever I am doing or not doing, this has to change.

I am a person who lives by their word and I don’t want to live a dishonorable life.

I have already done that.

Moving forward all I can do is communicate better.

I think we worked it out.

I think its going to be fine.

Losing someone’s trust because I failed to communicate my needs is a painful lesson and not just for me.

I am not going to beat myself up for this, I learned and I can only hope that I can regain that trust.

In the end, as brash as this may sound, I may never know if that’s the truth, if she’s ever really going to trust me to not bail.

I know I won’t.

How do you assuage another’s fears?

I do my best to care for myself and let the other person have their experience.

I am human and made a mistake.

My amends was to promptly apologize, then and there.  And to listen and I did.  It was uncomfortable, admitting wrong is not a comfortable thing to do, but it is the thing I needed to do and the only way to move forward with honesty and integrity.

The lines of communication are open and I will continue to work on keeping it that way.

And showing up.

Slowly.

Painfully.

My ankle is not the only thing that needs healing.

My brain does too.

Thank God I have a solution.

Show up and be of service and let go of the results.

I do the best I can and grow from here.

 

“I wish you a long, slow recovery,” he said with a dry chuckle.

Seems that wish has been granted.


%d bloggers like this: