Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Growing pains

The joints,
The places where I am tied together,
Different pieces of me branching off,
Gnarled and knotted in their transition
as they spread their story of who I am -
These spots hurt.
They ache and moan
        when the storms come.
They are where I was ripped apart
    to make room for a maturing me to grow.
Those spaces
        in the in-between
                    are stretched hollow,
A gap in the defenses.
A pause before the great leap into the unknown.
The wilds in my soul.
The winds blow hard these days
   and my joints are sore.
Creaking and throbbing and twinging
                under the pressure.
But they will hold.
For I have new branches to grow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Becoming Beautiful

Per my last post, I believe Beauty is through Understanding.  I've been hyper focused lately on developing into a person I can be proud of - a person that I respect.  I had an epiphanatic moment today and realized I should be able to clearly define those aspects that I'm striving to incorporate into my life.  So, while gathering information on the subject - attributes of people with character, what constitutes 'having integrity', etc... I ran across something that posed some good thoughts and questions.

What am I trying to accomplish?  Why do I want to accomplish it? Where to I want to go with my growth? How will I go about the process? Who is motivating me and who is supporting me during this?

Which, while basic in nature, made me stop and think.  What am I trying to accomplish?  I say I want to become a better person, a person with good character, a person with integrity, but what does that mean? Those words are ambiguous at best, and translatable, and mutable to many different meanings.  As a friend of mine once told me - This is why we have dictionaries - to use words appropriately.  If you can't find a word that means what you mean, keep looking until you find one that does.

I want to have a strong ethical character - clearly defining my guiding principles and values. I also want to have positive traits and develop new skills to use throughout my lifetime. So following up on that, what does ethics, values, traits and skills mean?  (I'm stealing definitions here, 'cause I found them and I like them.)

Ethics are basically the body principles used to decide what's right, good, and proper.  It governs your Morality and provides a means to evaluating and deciding among competing options.

Values are attitudes about the worth of people, concepts, or things. Values are important as they influence a person's behavior to weigh the importance of alternatives.

Skills are the knowledge and abilities that a person gains throughout life. The ability to learn a new skill varies with each individual. Some skills come almost naturally, while others come only by complete devotion to study and practice.

Traits are distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person, while character is the sum total of these traits. There are hundreds of personality traits, but I'm going to focus on those that I think are most important for me to have, and those that are important for me to work on.

At this point, I pause.  One, because it's getting late and my weekend is *BEYOND* packed full of things to do, and another because tackling the idea of identifying, defining, refining, and integration of complex ideas like ethics, and values - seeking out specific skill sets and personal traits to analyze is a bit much for my brain right now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trial through Fire.

Life's been extremely difficult in "This is hard, and painful, but it's good for me" way. Difficult and trying. A period that wears down your outer layers, the storm tumultuous and battering your will, stripping you are down to a hard core of who you really are as person. Letting me realize that I have the power to shape that into who I want to be.

I want to do that **right**! I want to become the sort of person I can be proud of. I want to be an example of integrity, of love, and wisdom. I want to be a wise woman. I want to grow and blossom and be beautiful inside and out. What will embellish, outline, and distinguish that beauty will be the Trueness to Self I portray.

I am learning through difficult circumstances. These are periods of endurance to test of my character. These are times of the greatest potential to learn who I really am. I believe knowing who you are lies at the root of everything. We are our own universe. Most our lives are lived completely in our head. The only way we experience our environment is through our powers of perception. Everything is filtered through Self. Awareness of the Conscious and Mastery of the Self leads to Understanding.

Understanding is Beauty.

I want to be Beautiful.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Random Conversations I've had and Things I've Learned Today.

Things I think are good for a heartache:

Making a coffee date with awesome people for hugs and talking, to remember you're loved and allow people to take care of you. I find outings and small socialization are helpful, mitigating the moping and vortex power of the "I'm so sad" hole. At the same time I think its important not to ignore your sadness but accept how you feel and take care of yourself while you feel sad.  Some things I do to take care of myself are bubble baths and cuddles, surrounding myself with things that make me happy.  Writing really helps.

I find looking at what that person gave you and the parts you miss about them a melancholy but ultimately positive experience.  You celebrate what you had and the positive things that came out of it.  It somehow balances out the feelings of loss. 

Examining your feelings and not ignoring them is really important.  Are you sad that you were rejected? Are you sad because you feel you'll always be alone? Are you sad because you feel like no one understands you or are you sad because you lost a good friend? Taking the time to look at the thing that hurts and letting yourself feel it and letting it out. And then moving on. Because life is beautiful and sad and wonderful at the same time. And tomorrow will always come. With rebirth and renewal and challenges and surprises. 

The Importance of Compliments in Adult Life

Whether this is my upbringing, my basic personality, or the way society influences my gender, or my experiences throughout life - wherever this stems from - I feel a compulsion, a driving need, to express to others how much I appreciate them, what they mean to me, how fortunate I feel to have them in my life, and the beauty I see in them. 

I don't know why this is so important to me. Maybe it's because it means so much to me to hear those things from others?  Perhaps its because I believe most people are hyper critical of themselves and need to be reminded of why they are beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.  Maychance it's the happiness I get from sharing that joy that that person gives to me. 

I've found during my adult life there are some people who have a lot of problems with compliments - both giving and receiving.  Some subtly - so subtle if you're not paying attention to it you won't catch it - redirect the conversation, or slide around it once a compliment is given to them.  I've noticed this occurs in males a lot more than females.  I'm not sure why, but it seems that way.

I think it's very important to be able to give and receive positive comments that are nourishing, that make others feel joy and warm fuzzies.  I also personally believe its a fundamental element of a healthy happy relationship.

I had lots of beautiful examples growing up on how to give and receive compliments.  I remember there was a list on my fridge when I was small - before I started preschool - of "1,000 compliments to give your child."  There were days I would stand at the fridge and just read through them.  My mother frequently told me how smart and pretty and amazing I was.  I was raised in a very loving and verbally positive and nourishing environment.  Others weren't so lucky.  I'm realizing now that being able to give and receive compliments is simply a social skill some people weren't taught or weren't exposed to early on, so are less comfortable with it.

Which got me thinking....what are some basic skills in being able to give and receive compliments. 

Some people don't know what to say in return.  "Thank you" is always a good fallback when someone gives you a compliment. Or a reciprocal thing like "I appreciate your XXX." Like..."...your smile" or "communication style." or "silliness." Or simply "I'm happy you're in my life." True statements.  The point isn't to say nice things to say nice things, but to express to the other person the parts of them you really do enjoy and are appreciative for.

I also had a mass of things to think about concerning communication, who and when and how to say things.  But that's not as simple.  And I have my birthday party to whisk off to....so it'll have to wait for later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Univeral Bitch-Slapping and Poker in a Dark Room

Neil Gaiman I think sums up how I feel about the universe sometimes (I'm changing "God" and "He" to "Universe" and "It".  Cause I can.)

"The Universe does not play dice...; It plays an ineffable game of It's own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of the players, (ie everybody), to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

Massive humongous infinite stakes with blank cards in a dark room with that's blanketed in mystery and confusion.  YAY for CONFUSION!  But sometimes the Universe is nice and sends you a clue.  By smacking you in the face with a "THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO" hand - that's loaded with uranium and hurts like a son-of-a-bitch.  Sometimes the universe slaps other people in the face. Regardless of who's bitchslapped, if I'm in the nearby vicinity, I get a taste of the backhand on the way back around.

There's been some bitch-slapping backhanding lately, but in wonderfully funny ironic manners.  I was talking to a friend of mine about the whirlwind of emotions that center on the "I don't know what to do, or what's right" feelings.  Of feeling insecure and unsure of where you need to go or what choices to make that almost cripples you in the hurricane of confusion that overwhelms. Til you get to a point where you just want to call up the universe and ask pretty pretty pretty please to simply give you a big flashy "This is the right choice" sign surrounded by glitter so it catches your eye.

We kept on talking and I had this "Look, Here's The Answer" thought. 
And then I stopped. 
And laughed. 

Because I was about to give them the advice I need to follow the most.

Look at the facts, look at your emotions. Make a decision about the course of your life (yes, this is scary) and then realize that decision is based in the fundamental essence of who you are. This foundation of the every existence of your being and all the experiences you've accumulated.  You're drawing on decades of information, years of personal development, and a knowledge pool that's not so shabby and really nothing to laugh at.  So your foundation on which you make that decision is freaking strong. So make the decision and HAVE FAITH and BELIEVE that you're making the best decision.

Because  let's face it.  Let's "break it down" (Cause I LOVE breaking things down).  If I could marry a punctuation group, item, it would be bullet points.  They've never failed me yet.  You have three options when making decisions (or not) - you can:

1. Make a Decision and Believe in It
2. Live in a tortured existence of indecision and insecurity waffling back and forth about what you think is right and what other people tell you is right and what you think other people think is right.  What I call the "if you look at it from the other side" syndrome.  There's a million other sides.  You can look at them for ages and go blind.  And in fact, will go blind.  With confusion and indecision.  It will wear down the core of who you are when you second-triple-quadruple-then go back to the second guess and decide to move on the quadruple guessing yourself again-ness.  It sucks.  And it doesn't result in any progress. 
3. Let other people decide your course and decisions in life.

For the majority of my decisions, I live in #1 world.
I mean, I AM bad ass mamojamma.  I don't take no crap from no one.  I'm as strong as an ox.  As wild as a tiger. As subtle as a sledgehammer.  I am an amazing person who holds her own.  Outside influences don't really affect me unless I think they provide useful perspective or information. The stuff that bothers most people? Don't really touch me.

Crazy homeless guy who yells at me and my partner walking down the street, calling us bigoted racists lesbian blah blah blah??  Not a thang at all.  I told my partner it's like someone yelling out at me that I'm a small giraffe in a top hat.  It means nothing.  Someone doesn't like my lifestyle? I don't care.  It's my life and I live it the way I want.  I'm not forcing them to live it, so it's really their issues leaking out.  Why should I care? 

But then.  OH but then.  The IDEA of standing up and choosing my needs and wants over others comes up.  And then I am terrified.  Granted, given my  past history, this is understandable.  Bad things have happened to those around me when I stood up for my needs and wants.  People died.  Now, I know they died not because I stood up for myself, but because they had issues.  But in my brain my needs/wants over others = horrible icky things.  BADNESS incarnate. 

This is when I start swirling into the vortex of #2 and cannot find a foothold. It really upsets me, because #2 isn't productive. It's useless and counter productive. Where did this amazing strong vibrant woman go? Cause frankly, it's at times like these that all I can see is the tiny child that curls up in the back of the closet.  And I don't want her running my life. 

But finding that strength of character, those brass balls of "YES, this is what I NEED.  This is what I WANT.  And it's IMPORTANT enough for me to stand up for it." is somehow one of the most difficult things I've come up against. I know I have them somewhere, I AMANDAZON,  I've got gumption,  I own my own pair of cajones - and they're made of titanium. I've got character, and bad-ass-ness that stems from the roots of my essence of awesome. But coming to making major life decisions about what I want and need? I turn into a wet noodle that can't decide whether its overcooked or squished out.

And that's where my insight ends.  I know the situation - which is progress.  But I don't know whether I just need to balls up and risk the jump to - - enforce the boundaries of my needs and wants, or to focus on the roots of the fears that cause my blockage, or where I go from here. 

So I'm sitting here in the pitch black room, playing my blank cards, guessing at the rules.  Hoping the Universe that's sitting across the table won
't smack me upside the head again, maybe this time it'll throw me a bone (or a neon flashing sign - seriously I would be SO grateful) and help me figure out which choice to make, or where to go.

I have a sinking suspicion however, that this whole 'figuring it out' thing, is the lesson I'm really supposed to be learning.