Whos Life Anyway Blog

 

Sometimes—oh, who am I kidding—most of the time, when you you make life choices that are fulfilling to you, there will be people in your life who feel “hurt” or “angry”.

See, it’s like before you are born or even while you’re still a baby, those individuals orchestrate their own idea of what your life path should be. Then, throughout your life, they do everything to support you as long as you emulate their projected version of you.

Now, sometimes this works out, and in rare instances once you embrace your true life path, those same people will be “gracious” about bending their projections of you to assist you in becoming the best version of yourself and embracing your life’s purpose.

More often than not, this is not the case. And when you find yourself unsupported by those in your life that should be there for you most, the primary thing you must realize is that their feelings have absolutely nothing to do with your actions and everything to do with places those people must heal within themselves.

People who truly care for and love you will make a choice to heal and also move forward in their lives. They will be happy for you.

However, when a person continues to live in a bitter headspace, that negativity remains stagnant—like a swamp riddled with mosquitos.

Does it ever make you stand around and wonder, “who’s life is it, anyway?”

Realize, a lot of things a person might say to you in that moment of toxicity come from your “failure” to meet the “criteria” that they have projected upon you—failing to fulfill in them what they have never been able to fulfill within themselves.

Those people can see their shortcomings in life, but rather than change them or find a way to heal or to become whole within themselves, they have to steal pieces of you. Yes, steal…at least, I consider it stealing because they are robbing from your life to piece together their own perception of failures in life.

Of course, failure in and of itself is all perspective…can you guess what tomorrow’s post will be about?

And second, revenge—if that person feels as though you have “wronged” them by acting out in your highest good and sense of purpose—they will retaliate with below the belt comments that are unfounded and can be hurtful.

This can come to a point of downright emotional, verbal, and sometimes physical abuse. Take note: Endure none of this! I know, easier said than done. Realize that their act of lashing out at you has absolutely nothing to do with you or your actions. They are simply expressing their own fear of aspects of themselves.

This is why it is so important to take a personal inventory when you feel threatened about a quality that you dislike in someone else.

At any rate, if someone is demeaning you don’t stand there and digest the negative energy they throw at you just because somehow they’ve made you feel that you deserve it. You don’t. You never did.

Never allow another person’s choice to remain bitter, full of fear, and unfulfilled hold you back from embracing the truest, most honest and rewarding version of yourself.

Just my two cents.

Until Next Time,

Peace and Love

StarSky

Confession: I try too hard.

Other Confession: I’m a wee bit taken aback that I began a blog post with “Confession”. But, I did. So…

Growing up in the rural area of southwest Missouri, I spent a lot of summers watching the evening begin with a few stars speckled throughout the sky like a rainy day connect-the-dot game.

As the cadence of crickets crescendoed–along with ravenous mosquitos–the sparkling dots in the sky thickened. With hardly any lights to drown them out, layer after layer, appeared.

The stars–

those glitter-drops of angelic magic beckoned to me–telling me secrets of peace and healing, promising me that everything, indeed, would someday work out to my highest good.

Often, I would lay in that empty lot next to my childhood home and ask the lighting bugs if they, too, were stars–tiny floating fairies or angels, coming to earth the promenade in the humid Midwestern night.

Those opalescent, brilliant hints of mystery were the source of healing, laughter, and positivity.

So, when I say I try too hard, I suppose it’s because sometimes–I won’t lie…most of the time I believe I don’t do enough. And it’s those times when I start to overdo it. I pay so much attention to others and trying to help them, that I neglect myself.

Essentially, I lose the balance between lending a hand and taking time to work on myself.

So what was the answer?

One night in meditation, I heard exactly what I needed to hear: The stars don’t try to be. They simply are.

In other words, stars don’t necessarily go out of their way. For eons, they have been beacons for healing, guidance, wisdom, and knowledge. They have inspired iconic paintings and caused words to stream like the embrace of eternal lovers.

And they have never, ever tried.

What I have learned from this on my journey is to simply shine from where I am. stop trying and just be. Just know that I am enough exactly the way I am–hell, who am I kidding? I am more than enough.

I am so much more than enough I am just a super-sparkly firework bowl of unicorn Lucky Charms, and that is spectacular!

Stop trying, just be.

After all, we are human beings…

Peace and Love Until Next Time.

 

 

mountainblog

I think that before we are born, we help choose the mountain we want to climb during our life—I think we help select our unique path.

Some pick the bunny slope, there’s nothing wrong with that. Even bunny slopes have their hang ups, and they will learn and grow regardless.

Others pick hills, that’s just fine as well, because each soul must grow at its own pace.

I’m convinced I picked Mt. Kilimanjaro. And, not only did I select this feat, I said, “let’s start early. Send the boulders down when I’m five, six, and so on. Let’s compose those boulders with death and emotional abuse. Send me down as a unique gift from Heaven itself, and let’s see how many people in my life run from that Divine gift.”

That’s the first thing everyone who has ever felt rejected needs to say to themselves. Say this, “I was actually never rejected. Those who turned away from me or abused me, were actually running from themselves. Not me. I was never the ‘problem’. I was never a ‘burden’. I am a Divine gift.”
But not only did I ask for this treacherous feat, I said, “when I start reaching the top, throw up some more obstacles. Make sure they’re disguised well because eventually, I’ll wisen up to the illusion.”

Second, realize that all of these struggles that feel very real are illusions, scenarios that your soul selected to help wisdom and growth. You’re not alone, you have guides, Angels, members of your soul group placed in your path to lift you from your darkest times. Take the help. Realize who you are—a Divine being. You Are A Divine Being.

You will face nothing that you are unable to handle. You are wise and strong; never forget that you are a piece of the Divine.
Finally, I’m fairly certain as of late, that I said, “not only do I know I’ll heal and grow from my own struggles as I make this journey. Please, give me the opportunity to reach my hand out to others who are making their journeys and allow me to use what I’ve learned to help anyone who would like to listen. Because, in the end, they help me right back.”

We have to stop the “I’m taking on the world” mentality. It’s a lovely thought. But, it’s a deflection–It’s what we do instead of working on our own fears and healing our own judgements and scars.

This goes back to what one of my very wise mentors says to me almost daily, “We heal the world by looking deep within and healing ourselves first.”—Jenny Heflin. Now, I think that’s beautiful.

I think life is beautiful, and I want to just put this out there if you need it: You are never rejected.

You are Divine, wise, and special. You are not your past decisions. You are worthy of everything you desire in life.

I think no matter how tall we pick our mountains, once we get there…once we arrive at the top. Wow! WOW! We look down…all the clouds clear…WOW! Take in a deep breath of the freshest air and LOOK! Look at that view…there’ll be nothing like the beauty of that. What a moment that will be.

Until Next Time
Peace and Love, my friends.

WindowBlog

 

Mom stopped smiling

last week. I don’t ask why,

the tea kettle blows steam. Music

from the top of a glass bottle of Coca Cola. Sometimes,

I gotta lick my chapped lips

before playing the tune. My tongue

scrapes the dry spot

I bite off with teeth, it bleeds. Once,

she asks how school’s going. I answer,

good. Lying between curtains

from a mail-order catalogue of laughter

because,

face it– hand-me-downs don’t fly. Well,

her lips don’t curl upwards with smoke

slinking from a cigarette. Hiding

in my hair. I pull it, twist thin paper

between my thumb and index finger– around

and back. On the other side of the glass, two

kids pass

by, the one on the bike

rings a bell. The other,

laughs.

mommywars

The carpool line– hands down the bane of my existence. And it was one of those days I was sitting in the unwavering string of cars coupled with drivers who mistake the procurement of children for social hour at a nightclub, my phone dinged. A friend had sent me an article she said I should read because it was sure to make me mad, not that my friends purposely set out to ‘make me mad’. But in all fairness, I was the one complaining of boredom.

The article she sent was written by Janie who chose to be submissive to her husband. Notice I linked the word ‘article’. I did that so you’d read it, that way you can follow along and what I’m about to write will make more sense.

It’s okay, I’ll wait…

(more…)

withkiddies

Today is one of those cloudy days. The type of day where, even though it wasn’t planned out, I wish I were soaking in the salty ocean waters, watching the kids dig for sea shells and clams, and shooing off the seagulls who fly closely overhead determined to make my cheesy hot dog theirs. Okay, well maybe not shooing off seagulls (by the way, those guys can get pretty mean).

enjoyingbeach

It’s one of those days where I felt more tired than usual and a bit lost. My husband, being the stellar person he is, undertook the task of wrangling 6 screaming, bored children to Wal-Mart and I’m here, alone.

In an unprecedented occurrence, I walked down the stairs without nearly breaking my leg on a small piece of Lego and after writing the piece about relishing my children as babies, I began thinking about the day when they all grow older and move out the house. They’ll have careers, families, or both.

Would I sound as mad as the Hatter to say that I might just keep the Hot Wheels and Legos and place them on the stairs and down the hallway to recreate the chaos that I would no longer find myself living day to day?

Perhaps, as I mentioned the other day, my oldest daughter is nearing twelve and my oldest son turned ten a few months back. I was thinking about the day outside my Grandma’s porch when she began screaming the shrill screams of a toddler who just saw a boogie-man. Her large brown eyes widened as her face turned from red to purple and I watched in horror as Grandma started laughing.

“She saw her shadow,” Grandma said.

I will reiterate that while I enjoy every stage of my children, I love the innocence and freshness of a toddlerhood. It is only in their wide-eyed imaginations that unicorns can poop Hershey bars and fart rainbows, it is only in the voice of my “Threenager” that I can piece together a stream of consciousness fit for a toddler, and it is only in their untainted and beautiful minds that a shadow could be scary or piling into a cardboard box and riding it down the stairs serve as an altogether safe pass time.

Admittedly, I was very uptight (and even that is an understatement) with my first two children; everything had to be perfect: birthdays, holidays, clothing, hair, and development.I worried so much that many times I failed to loosen up and just have fun.

By the time I gave birth to my third child, a curly-haired, blue-eyed little girl I was wondering if the local looney-bin had any openings. Luckily, I loosened up and realized that them little ones are more durable than I thought.

My motto quickly became: If nobody is hurting anybody else or themselves then what’s the problem?

Now, I find myself just as excited as the kiddies to go through the Krispy Kreme line, or watch the latest Pixar movie, or even to go on kiddie rides and slides at theme parks (some of which I have been kicked out of for being too big). I don’t find myself worrying to much about the dishes. They’re not going anywhere, trust me, I’ve let them alone for quite some time and they’ve never moved. The clutter? It doesn’t go anywhere either.

The realization that I have come to is that my babies aren’t picky eaters they are simply training as food critics, they’re not stubborn they are opinionated, and all the screaming (??) what of it? They are merely exercising their little lungs on the off chance that they might one day be invited to sing on Broadway or perform at Carnegie Hall.

The most important realization is that when the house is quiet like it is now and I find myself with ample time write without a baby sliding across the keyboard or a fight over which color of Angry Bird someone gets to be this time is that while all the clutter and dishes aren’t leaving anytime soon, my children are. They leave for school, summer camp, and one of these days they will leave home forever.

domesticviolence

“More than one in three women and more than one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime” (American Psychological Association).

For a large part of my life I never considered myself a writer and I still remember my stinging cuticles (because I bite them when I am nervous) as I walked into one of my first university courses called “The Writing Process”. What could have easily been a traumatic experience turned into an incredibly positive experience; with the help of a wonderful and supportive professor, I learned the importance of “voice” and the impact it could have on a reader.

The more I wrote, the more I could feel these ideas in my head, forming words, sentences, and paragraphs. 

And as much as I enjoy my feeble attempts at writing humor, I also feel compelled to write about domestic violence. I realize it is not a subject that people look forward to reading about and even though I am well aware of the statistics, I never can get over the initial shock when I hear tell of another woman (particularly a woman that I have known for sometime) escaping her abuser. I freeze up and at first, I am not able to process her story as I remain on the “cause/effect”: he abused her and she left.

He abused her, she was abused by him, he was her abuser; she escaped. 

In many situations I find myself comforted to know I am not the only one: I’m not the only mother who has almost baked her cell phone, I am not the last parent in the car pool line because the baby decided to have a diaper blowout on the way out the door, or I am not the only person sitting in rush hour traffic on 95 south from D.C. at 3:00 P.M. on a Friday afternoon. But, I would be more than happy to be the only person who ever had to experience the during and after effects of domestic violence.

As if experiencing domestic violence wasn’t enough, survival after escaping is even more difficult; but this can be overcome.

When I escaped I faced homelessness and I won. Even though the protection order gave me possession of the house, I was weary of living in an environment where he was familiar with every nuance. Likewise, many well-meaning friends offered to allow us to stay at their houses and I declined out of concern for their safety. My children and I lived in a domestic violence shelter for nearly a year.

I overcame poverty. He controlled the finances. My paychecks went into his account and I never had access to the money. He decided if and when the bills were paid. One morning, I was getting the children ready for school and as I turned the faucet to brush my son’s teeth, water did not come out. I found out later that he simply didn’t bother to pay the water bill and he also saw no need to inform me of this; he bought a gun instead. Needless to say, when I escaped, he drained the bank accounts. I had about $20. Despite this, I applied for any aid that I could receive for my children and myself, as we escaped with next to nothing. After sometime, I was able to continue working full-time and continue taking college courses.

overcame adversity. This might be difficult to believe, but some people treated my children and I as though we had survived the plague. When I told a person, in confidence, that we were living in a shelter, they asked if we had been exposed to TB. I was also scorned for using food stamps and welfare money (even though I have been a working taxpayer since I was 15 years old.) The thing that hurt the most was when I was told that the abuse that my children and I suffered was “a direct result of my life choices.” Those words not only angered me, they ripped me apart and I can’t say that I was told them, that person actually yelled them at me.

I want the reader to realize that I never chose to be abused, when I married my husband I married a Christian, police officer who seemed, by all outward appearances, to be supportive, loving, and stable. He had a great sense of humor and was supportive of my goals. There were no warning signs until about a year into our marriage. Suffice it to say that it wouldn’t have mattered if I would have married the neighborhood drug cartel; NOBODY DESERVES TO BE ABUSED; NOBODY.

How incredulous to believe that somebody, more specifically myself, woke up one day and said, “you know, I think that I am going to go find a dickhead that is going to push me down a few times, call me a bitch, keep me constantly pregnant, and then use our precious babies against me as though they weren’t even people, simply weapons that would ensure that I behave myself.” Sounds like good times right?

Even though I lost a lot, I would never take back my decision to escape. When I say I lost a lot, I mean stuff. I lost a lot of stuff: A LOT! But I gained so much more: the most important being my children, they are happy and confident; free to be children and we are embracing every precious drop of this! They are strong, survivors in and of themselves and throughout this they have exhibited a courage beyond their years. I gained independence, slowly but surely I have learned who I am and I have regained a sense of self: my voice, my passion for writing, and self-respect.

I once confided to someone that if I ever did get out, I wanted to someday share my story with others. To let them know that they are not alone. That person condescendingly told me, “Sure, if you really want to put your life out under the public microscope.” It’s not that I want to, it’s that I need to. These stories need to be heard, domestic violence survivors need a voice: they need many voices! I think I have about thirty people who see the articles that I post, and even if only five read this then that is five people that have heard my voice and even if zero read this then at least I have had a chance, for my own healing, to process this trauma through the art of writing.

My poetry professor told us the other day that when people write comments and blogs, then they should leave a name and take ownership and I am not afraid to put a name and face with what I write. I will spend the rest of my life, whether it be a year or many, many years writing and speaking out against domestic violence.

I DO NOT LIVE IN FEAR; I LIVE. 

I am going to try to attach a video, I am not technology savvy so I hope it works. This is a good friend of mine whose mother I knew growing up. Even though I spent many a night over at her house, I never realized that abuse was occurring in the home. This was one of those jaw-dropping, heart breaking moments for me and I hope, if I can get the link to work, that you all take six minutes and listen to my friend’s story.

Surviving Domestic Violence

4

I never meant to sit down tonight and write a new post; however with over 300 pages of reading looming over my shoulder, my only choice was procrastination.

Soooo….

I was reading in the news last night that Virginia, my state of residence, legalized public breastfeeding. Before this law was passed, if a mother was nursing in a public place and making patrons or staff uncomfortable, they could ask that she leave and with this law in place, they cannot do so or it is discrimination.

Some people say that this should never have to be a law in the first place because the simple act of eating should not need to be legislated.

Others contend that this law does not necessarily legislate the ability to breastfeed in public, but works to protect the nursing mother from discrimination.

So, if you’ve read any of my other posts you will know what I did next:

Of course– I read the comment section ( The comment sections of news stories are like indulging in hot apple pie right after you had to make a mortgage/rent payment.)

While many were debating the aforementioned issues concerning this law, others were more preoccupied with the fact that women should be required to be discreet about nursing. One lady in particular was very worried that she might be dining out with her husband and a breastfeeding mother at another table could just whip out her boob, begin breastfeeding, and her husband would be staring at the breastfeeding mother for the duration of the evening. She was not the only woman with these concerns.

While I do not take issue on whether there should be a law or not concerning breastfeeding, I am perplexed by the idea of using breastfeeding to find a man!

Having breastfed all six of my children and being faced with myriad scenarios where I had no alternative but to nurse them in public, I have never had the experience of being hit on while I was in the act. Which begs the question:

Are any mothers being approached by these lustful men who apparently have some fetish with lactation while breastfeeding in public?

Is it possible that these men are simply too shy to approach me?

At any rate, here is my apology to all of the women who are in a committed relationship or married whose husbands I have distracted while feeding my baby. It was never my intention to seduce men with my mad lactation skills, I simply wanted to make it through a meal in public without a hungry, screaming baby spitting up peas in a scenario reminiscent of “The Exorcist” and I was not aware that I was being so seductive in the process. I am sorry.

On the other hand, I sit here reflecting on all of the times I have been breastfeeding in public and it makes me feel a bit vulnerable. How many of these men were watching me? Were they hiding? Have I went viral on some sleazy low-budget peep show website and don’t even know it?!?

The possibilities are as endless as my hunger for chocolate. Unfortunately for all of you married or committed women out there, I will not be swearing off breastfeeding any time soon, so buy me a breast pump and call me Jezebel!

winterblog

Once upon a time in suburbia came an evening of bitter cold; and even through the screams of my threenager which were shrill enough to crack the ice cubes in my 7-11 Big Gulp full of Mountain Dew, I was able to hear the sharp fingers of the trees tap against the not so extraordinary insulated siding of our humble home which is strangely reminiscent of a dwelling one might come across while sitting in front of his or her plasma television, eating a Big Mac, and watching a rerun of “Three’s Company.”

My glistening yellow snuggie proved fallible that evening, as I watched small bumps rise up on my arm reinforcing what I already knew to be true: I was, indeed, cold (the fact that I was indulging in a triple chocolate Magnum bar may or may not have acted as a contributor to my current state of misery).

Panicked, I hastened to my thermostat. The temperature was already set to 70*. My dilemma seemed impossible:

crank ‘er up one more degree or suffer?

I could feel beads of moisture rising on my forehead as plainly as I could feel the dollars coming out of my checking account as I turned the temperature up not one degree, but two.

I spent the remainder of my evening drooling over Ian Sommerhalder with no shirt on while simultaneously indulging in a bag of Lay’s potato chips and French union dip balancing my checkbook and reworking my budget.

The End.