Learning Curves

I was talking with a friend yesterday who asked me how I’m doing after my divorce, because divorce is a really tough thing to go through.  Imagine my surprise when I said, “My divorce was easy, it was my marriage that was a nightmare.”

And it was.

It’s hard to explain to someone who didn’t live it… how it became what it became.  It wasn’t overnight, it was drop by drop, a little at a time.  I KNEW how horrible it was, yet my heart wouldn’t let me leave… or give up.  I always believe that there is a way if you work at it.  Trouble is, in a marriage, it’s not just you… and one person can’t drag the other along if they don’t want to go.

I opened up the journal I kept the last two years of my marriage.  I could feel my heart breaking in my chest for the woman that wrote the words.  I am her, but so far removed from her, it’s like a dream… like it happened to someone else.  I wrote things like, “He complimented me on my cooking today… so happy!”, or, “He put my drink in the fridge, something he hasn’t done in 10 years, maybe he IS trying!”

Then I got to thinking of more… the dirty looks, the slamming doors, the sighs, the eye rolling, the disinterest, the cruel words I can’t even repeat because it is so incredibly shameful.  It changes a person.  It kills the spirit, or at least tries to.  My spirit came back to life watching my mother die.  This would not be what she wanted for me.  No way.  Once she was gone, my heart closed off with steel doors.

Then, he was removed from my life… the answer to my desperate prayers!!  What a combination of excitement, gratitude, and self-realization.  I didn’t realize until he left how emotionally damaged or mentally drained I was.  While I relished my freedom from the hell that I had lived, I was broken.  His actions and his words played over and over again in my head.  Every time someone said something kind to me, I was waiting for the hateful, cruel words to follow.  They never came, but I was still a mess inside.

I have just passed the first year mark of freedom.  Physical freedom… the emotional and mental freedom is taking more time.  I am dealing with learning curves.  I don’t have a barometer anymore for what people are “meaning” when they say something to me.  I can’t read signals or signs.  I over correct a lot… going back and forth, just trying to find the balance.  I’m getting there, it’s just taking a while for me.  I still walk around with a knot in my stomach, and a pang in my heart… a teeny tiny part of me wondering if he was right about me all those years.

I have lost everything, yet I still felt like I was the richest woman in the world because I knew I would come out of it burning brighter than I ever had before in my life.  I am ME, and that excites me.  Starting over has such a great feel to it… every slate is blank, every day is a new adventure.

All I can do is live my life the way I feel is right.  I see beauty all around me every day, I love openly and freely and tell people just how much I do, I like to make people feel good, make them laugh… it’s all pretty simple when you get right down to it.  I am pretty much an open book with a simple philosophy.  Love is really the only thing that matters in this world.  I believe that we are only guaranteed this moment in life… we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

I will keep trying to get my head on straight… lined up with my heart.  I will keep putting myself out there, keep learning.  With a grateful heart every step of the way.

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This lovely drawing is by my friend Heidi, aged 8.  She is so talented!

This lovely drawing is by my friend Heidi, aged 8. She is so talented!

I am happy today. Very happy. This may not seem like such a big thing to many people, but to me it’s huge!

It’s huge because I think and feel and live entirely differently than I did a year ago. A year ago I was covered in layers of pain, frustration, anger, grief, guilt, resentment, and fear that I had surrendered to long ago. I couldn’t see a way out. It was like a merry go round… one I could not get off of, no matter how hard I tried. I had given up… not because I WANTED to give up, I just didn’t have the strength to try to change it all AGAIN. I was exhausted.

I knew I had changed over the past year, that was obvious, but I hadn’t realized how much I had changed – – truly transformed – – until I was writing in my journal today. I was doing an exercise on taking down my walls of (self-induced) protection. I had to write about the bricks I had used to create the wall… bricks like shame, guilt, neediness, fear of failure, etc…. from my childhood through adulthood. I wrote them out easily, they were like old friends that I desperately wanted to throw out of my life. Then I realized that I had OVERCOME so many of them that just a year ago had a suffocating hold on me!! Wow!! I don’t remember how or when they each went from active duty to just a memory, but they are no longer a part of my thoughts and feelings!! Wow wow wow!!

I have read so many books, watched so many lectures by inspirational people, done so much soul searching, worked so hard on myself, but I just couldn’t seem to “get it”. When I heard things like, “Change your thoughts, change your life”, I thought it was so easy for someone to say but nearly impossible to do. How could I change my thoughts when my dismal life was all around me? I prayed, cried, and wished for things to change… I didn’t understand… WHY was life like this??

Then I remembered a wish I had around a year ago. To be happy. To feel happiness. To NOT be sad, hurt, angry, or upset every day. Isn’t THAT sad? That someone just wants to feel happiness? I feel a twinge of pain when I write that. Empathy for the woman who felt that way… for any person who feels or has felt that way. That pain and despair I felt was all around me. I NEVER felt happiness, even in situations that were enjoyable. I think that was because I new that I would have to go home, walk into my house, and feel the heaviness in the air, the lack of love, the misery all around me. No, it was easier to just remain kind of sad all the time…

Then, through divine intervention, the rug was yanked out from under me… God had removed from my life the one thing that was killing my spirit every single day. I prayed that “it” would be removed from my life in a way that I would NEVER go back, and that prayer was answered in the perfection only God could give it. A LOT of things were removed, changed, and transformed for me. It wasn’t always comfortable or enjoyable in the short term, but in the long term it gave me wings to fly.

And it all started with a wish. A wish to be happy.

Today I am happy. Truly, blissfully happy. And I have been happy for a while now. My wish came true. And THAT makes me happy!

The Love Rollercoaster

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2015 is upon us… a new year, full of hope and possibilities. I can FEEL the magnificence of this year… the excitement, love, and mind blowing experiences I will have electrify me already. I don’t know how or when or where I will get a taste of this sweet life, so I am just setting my life’s GPS to where I want to be and letting the Universe do the driving.

I have been in Maryland for just over two months… I go home after being here EXACTLY 3 months to the day. I love when things like that happen… just a little wink from God letting me know he’s got this!! The old me would have looked at my time here and beaten myself up for “wasting” it by not working… just reading, creating, and healing. Which ARE ALL a part of the work of ME!! I worked at my foundation of happiness, took the opportunity given to me to be introspective. Yes, I could have banked some cash here, but the price of that cash would have been my continued blindness to what God has been trying to open my eyes and my heart to for a decade.

I was starting to think God was just not that into me…

I have to admit, I never thought I was a very stubborn person until I took a long, hard look at my life’s journey. I would ask for something, but want it MY way… in MY time. I would resist. I would stay when I should have left. That is one of my biggest hiccups. I never give up on people. I keep plugging away at what I think will fix things until I get knocked on my ass. In the past I kept getting up, kept getting knocked down… over and over again. Until God had enough and said, “Ok, you want to play? You keep asking for things from me but I can’t give them to you because you aren’t paying attention. Let’s see if this works…” And he knocked me down so far and so completely, I had no choice but to pay attention. Some people have one or two major life events in a year. In 2014 I had 11. ELEVEN!! How did I make through a single day let alone a year? I have no clue, none at all. I had to lose everything I thought was important to gain everything that is REALLY important. I get it… I TRULY get it now.

For the first time in my life, I could breathe. I couldn’t sink any lower, so I didn’t have fear. I just let myself be guided every day… I wanted to see where it led me. It has been beautiful… I experienced “love” at first sight for the first time here. The experience was so beautiful and took my breath away… it also threw me into a very confused space, feeling incredibly overwhelmed and petrified. I don’t know what part of me experienced it… but I felt it on all levels. I cannot even put it into words, but it was an experience I will never, ever forget. I connected with pure love with another human being!! I know love is a word thrown around far too easily, but trust me on this one, it was PURE LOVE. Not even romantic love… just love. WOW!!

I am experiencing epiphany-type things EVERY SINGLE DAY. Like MIND BLOWING, cosmic, quantum physics stuff. The veil over my eyes has been lifted, my heart is so full of love, and my mind is so freaking clear. I stay in this space more often than not… it’s like being super high and never wanting to come down. Every day!! And I kind of freak out because I GET IT!! I want to share it with everyone, but I know we are each on our own path, and it is a very personal thing.

Dear God, thank You for never giving up on me!! Thank you for knocking me completely on my ass in every area of my life so I would finally stop doing things my way!!

I am free now… not exactly where I want to be… but free. The eyes are open, the insulating fat on my body is falling off, my heart is full, and I am AWAKE for the first time in my life.

I wouldn’t want to relive the past year, but live it again I would to be sitting right here, right now. There are no words…

Another year bites the dust!!

If I knew at the beginning of this year what I was going to have to go through, I think I would have wanted to run and hide.  It was so unreal at times that I chalked my experiences up to some really fucked up karma or something… I drew the short straw in the game of life.   Looking back, I can hardly believe I made it through, and I am really astonished – yet proud of myself.  I had my moments of freaking out, hysteria, and more… but for the most part I handled this year with courage and grace that I didn’t even know I had in me.  Actually, as I was LIVING through everything, it was outsiders who made me aware of my courage and grace.

Upon reflection, I see that God answered my prayers in almost every area in my life.  Actually, probably EVERY area… I just haven’t had things play out as I would have expected them to in certain areas… no doubt He is saving me from others or from myself.

You may have previously read about my lyin’, cheatin’, no good husband.  In October my divorce became final.  He wanted to keep me on his insurance until December, which meant I would have been married to him until December.  I would rather take my chances with Ebola and no medical insurance than be married to him for one second longer than I had to.  So, divorce it was!!  Of course, now he emails me (because I changed my number and didn’t give him the new one… I know, I know… pretty smart, right?!), wants to know how I am, what I’m doing, etc.  Now, my only question is after 10 years of not caring about how I am or what I was doing, why is it important now?

In February, at the height of his asshole-ness, I thought, “There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with this dude.”  He is a MISERABLE person.  Not only will he not GIVE love, he won’t RECEIVE it, either.  Never happy, always complaining, and takes everything personally.  Like the light at the end of our street that used to take a while to change, he believed it was programmed JUST to irritate him.  I only wish I was joking.  I remember laying in bed, night after night, begging God to remove him from my life.  I knew I couldn’t leave him without feeling guilty, or being guilted into coming back.  I asked God to remove him from my life in such a way that I would NEVER want him back.  And He did just that.  My husband cheated on me right after my mother passed…. and cheated in my home and in my bed.

Yes, it sucked.  Yes, I was pissed.  Yes, I lost my shit and threw him out (which was AWESOME if I’m being honest!).  Yes, it threw my life into a tailspin.  But you know what?  I realized GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS.  He answered MY prayers!!  He removed my husband from my life in a way that I didn’t have guilt about, AND in a way that I would never take him back.  THANK YOU, GOD!!

As a bonus, my divorce gave me plenty of awesome comedy material, and made me a more fearless stand up comic.  During the worst time of my life, I had nearly forty friends come to my last show, selling out the room.  I had to say thank you and almost started to cry, just looking out and seeing these people smiling up at me, having my back.  I had the best set ever, killed it, and walked off to them cheering, “Encore!!”

That night I realized that I have so much love in my life, more than most people could ever ask for.  Wow.

So for the last couple of months, while I am healing in Maryland, I have started opening myself back up to experiencing more love.  Not romantic love, but love.  Loving everything and everyone… being love… staying in the state of love as much as possible.  It is awesome and so freeing.  It feels INCREDIBLE.  But it is hard work.  Because, like anything that makes you feel really good, if you are not feeling it, you can feel pretty awful.  It’s like a seesaw right now for me, but I am getting better at going right back into it.

And as I reflect on 2014, I feel a few tears of sadness starting to flow.  But behind those tears are tears of pure joy, love, and gratitude.  A river of them.  I have a wonderful family and as I have said so many times, the most incredible friends any girl could ask for.  I am so lucky.

Easy for him to say!!

I haven’t been writing for quite a while.  I got caught up with “life” and forgot to live for a couple of years.  Funny how when I wrote that line I instantly wanted to give a list of “good reasons” why I hadn’t been writing.  My health, my mother’s fatal illness and death a mere two months later, two more deaths within 60 days, the cloud of grief that I was immersed in… the pain that wouldn’t go away no matter what I took, read, or did.

But mainly I was codependent to a man who’s addiction is negativity and being a victim.  No matter what I did for him, no matter how hard I worked, what I contributed, what I went through personally, he was an emotional vacuum that sucked everything out of me.

So I was pleasantly surprised when he urged me to take a week and go to California to visit family & friends.  He said I needed a break, had been working so hard, had a rough year, etc.  Hmmmmm…. I wondered if MAYBE he was turning a corner.  Maybe he was starting to understand and realize what I put into our marriage… what I put into life.

I went to California and got sick on my second day there through my sixth day there.  REALLY SICK.  I hadn’t been that sick in quite a while and thought it was so strange and totally sucked.  I didn’t get to see so many of the people I wanted to, but on the upside I had time to reflect, read, and write.  I was going back to Arizona with a new perspective on things and I was excited.

Imagine my surprise when two days later, on Easter Eve, my husband came into the bedroom and told me he wanted a divorce.  Just like that.  No soothing me before the shock of his words, no buildup… NOTHING.  After he said it, I was waiting for him to start laughing at his stupid and strange joke.  He didn’t laugh.

Instantly I asked, “So who is she?  Obviously you have met someone.”  He had.  I will save you the wordy lies he told me to minimize what he had done, and my subsequent finding out about all the lies.  What did I expect?  He always treated me like a piece of worthless dog shit… why should he be any different when he fessed up to an affair two months after it started?

The trip to California?  That was to get me out of the house so they could sleep together for five days straight and play house.  And that is one of the nice things I have to report.

I’m not a hard person to figure out.  I mean, I actually TELL people what I want and need in my life.  He was no exception.  I spelled it out for him – – I even remember the year – – 2008.  I asked for – are you ready for it? – TEN MINUTES a day with him.  Yes, 10 minutes a day.  THAT was what I asked for… I figured it would be easy to give me 10 minutes a day so we could talk, cuddle, or just sit together.  And you know what, I NEVER ONCE GOT IT.  Not ONCE did I get 10 minutes from my husband.

I set the bar so low, thinking it would be impossible for him to refuse, and he still managed to find a way to.

All I know is I would NEVER have done this to him… EVER.  I would never have been able to even leave him because I would be wracked with guilt over so many things.  The bills, the animals, our promises to each other.

After my mom died, my heart formed shell around it… that pain was so heavy and harsh.  When my husband picked a fight with me the day before her memorial service, then didn’t GO to her memorial service, my heart locked up to avoid any more pain.  I couldn’t bear another drop of it.

Only upon looking back did I realize the day before her service was Valentine’s Day and he had started his flirtation with the other woman.  It was like a kick in the stomach… we never fought and the fight was so insane and out of the blue… and now to know WHY we fought, it only memorializes the betrayal into the death of my mother.

The beauty of it all is that while I have pain and hurt, I know in my heart I always tried to do the right thing.  I tried and tried to make things work.  I cried alone… a select few people knew what I have been going through for the last few years.  I am bankrupt in many ways.  I have nothing left financially.  My credit is destroyed.  My ability to trust and love again is questionable.

But you know what?  I am rich in what matters.  I know who I am and I LOVE who I am.  I try every day to be a great person.  I try to make the world a better place every day I live on it.  I try to make a positive difference in every person I interact with.  I am a child of God and have a deep spiritual life.  I am blessed with so many wonderful friends and family… people who REALLY are there for me in whatever way they can be.  And I know I will make something really beautiful out of all of this pain… it will just take some time… like a lump of coal to a diamond.

I see now that he was REMOVED from my life in a way that would make it impossible for me to ever give him a second chance.  That is a blessing.  And he will always be him.  And he will never again have me.

I win.

So “selfish” is NOT a dirty word?

Cover of "The Art of Extreme Self-Care: T...

Cover via Amazon

I really LOVE it when I am in tune with the Universe.  When I am really going by my intuition and listening with all of my senses to what is right for me.  Lately, I have been getting that I need self-protection, to cocoon myself, and spend more time on the things my spirit and my heart guide me to do.  And I know when these things are right FOR ME because it seems like everyone else whips out the guilt on me when I choose to do them.

I have been spending more time alone and loving it.  I had always been a “people person”, always on the go to the next social function, never wanting to miss anything.  On the other hand, I LOVE my own company and am never bored or “lonely” when I’m with myself.  I can always find something to do solo, whether it be going trough the endless pile of magazines I hold on to, watching an old movie curled up under the covers, or spending an afternoon in a bookstore.  It is enjoyable to be with me and nobody else. It’s quiet and sometimes quiet is awesome.

Another thing I have begun to notice is that I am ultra-sensitive to other people’s energy.  Like SUPER SENSITIVE.  To the point of not being able to tolerate some people even in small doses.  It’s exhausting and quite frankly I’m sick of other people’s bullshit.  Maybe because I used to be a great bullshitter… I’m not sure… or maybe because I truly stopped bullshitting many years ago.  I’m just so over hearing the ramblings of idiots these days.  Not that I have less love for someone because they are an idiot, I just would really like them to speed up their walk along life’s path and get a clue.  They rob me of my time, my peace of mind, and afterwards I am robbed of my energy.  I don’t like this.

I have a few people in my life that are constantly on the offensive, constantly trying to insert themselves into my life.  As a result I am always on the defensive, waiting for the next invite I need to turn down or not committing to the next “favor” I’m getting roped into.  Now I know I have created these experiences in many ways.  I have taught people how to treat me.  But I have come to the point where I cannot and will not do this any longer.  It is beginning to affect me physically, and while I will go on for what seems like an eternity being guilt-ed by someone, I draw the line at becoming physically ill because of them..

I happened to get a link to a book, “The Art of Extreme Self-Care” by Cheryl Richardson and it was like trumpets, light bulbs and a thousand “AHA!!”s went off all at once.  This book is about EXACTLY what I am dealing with in my life right now, and how thrilling that I should feel GOOD about feeling the way I do rather than feeling bad about it!!

I used to think being selfish was a bad thing, but I’m beginning to think I may have been wrong all these years.  Yes, being selfish and putting yourself before EVERYTHING else isn’t very appealing or nice, but being selfish in the sense that you take care of yourself FIRST, before you take on anything else, is a very good thing.  And one I am taking on as of this moment.

Try, try again!!

I was going to write a blog post apologizing for not writing posts for a while, then I realized the only one it is really affecting is me.  But, I haven’t really been “neglecting” it because I have been so focused on other parts of my life.  And I have been reaching my goals which is awesome, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it!  It’s all about balance and that is something I’m working on. 

I look back at my life a year ago and I have come SO FAR, it is truly amazing.  I don’t want to revisit it, so just trust me on this one.  I still have some work to do – – ok, a lot of work to do, don’t we all? – – but it seems much more do-able since I have accomplished so much over the last months.  The funniest thing is that it didn’t take that much work, it just took the desire to do it and taking the first step.  The hard part was getting out of my head and expanding my comfort zone a little bit.

I would say I’m about a month away from performing stand up comedy… this is HUGE for me.  I have had so many roadblocks in the pursuit of it and all I can think of is that it must have to do with timing and being in the right place to do it.  I’m trying not to get stuck on “plans” with it, and letting it grow organically…

My new take on blogging is to JUST BLOG as often as possible and not get into lengthy, well thought out types of blog posts.  I get so stuck in my head, overthinking everything, and wearing myself out in the process.  Which leads to… NOTHING!!  And to be honest, if I just do it rather than overthink it, it will probably be a lot more honest and from the heart.

Here’s to regrouping, setting new goals, and getting things done…

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