Monthly Archives: August 2008

Celebrate your Self!!

Today is the celebration of the day of my birth.  Forty-six years ago today, my parents and older brother and sister welcomed my arrival into the world.  That arrival was one which was troubled in the very beginning….. I was a late arrival, by a few days, not sure what my original date of birth was, but I was in distress when it came time for me to be born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck when I was born, to this day, don’t like anything tight around my neck…..

So, I did arrive, safe and sound, and was a blessing to my parents, they were so happy about my being here.  I don’t think that I have stopped celebrating since that time.

I love birthdays, other person’s, but also my own.  I love celebrating me.  Celebrating my arrival on this earth, celebrating my connection to my family, and also, celebrating each year the person that I am continuing to evolve into.  For me, evolution of personhood and spirit is a lifelong journey.  It is lessons at every turn, sometimes more challenging than others, but always enlightening and encouraging, as long as one is open to the information that the Universe is bestowing upon us.

I have learned many things along this journey, but some of the most important messages and lessons come to mind on this day this year.

First, family is always first and foremost.  Whether we are talking family of birth or origin, family of choice, or family of circumstance, or anything in between, family will always come first in my mind.  For me, family has always been defined by my parents, siblings, and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  Over time, that has been extended to my partner, our daughter, and her family.  And recently, in addition to that, my “family” that I have acquired through my connections to here.  The development of relationships that has happened here has been almost miraculous, in its energy and intensity.  Family first, always.

Second lesson that has had the most impact on me is to travel light.  This journey is a long one, this life, at least I hope so for me.  Wait, I am going to take that back.  I have always known that I will live a long, fufilling life, so I know that I have many lessons and journeys ahead.  Therefore, I need to keep the baggage at a minimum.  Now this lesson is only a very recent one, say, the last year or so.  I have learned fully that while there may be some stuff I take along that I need or desire to have with me, there is other “baggage” that is better left by the roadside, and so, item by item, I have been leaving it behind.  Whether it is friendships that have no longer been fulfilling, or have become one sided, or always been one sided, or family issues that have kept me in a place of darkness or sad memory, or if it is view of self that has been demeaning or derogatory in some way.  All of that baggage I have left behind, so that I can travel light, and have room in my backpack for souveniers along the way……

Third lesson that I have learned is to absolutely fall in love with your self.  Embrace, cherish, celebrate, acknowledge and get to know your self for all that it encompasses, the flaws, the strengths the beauty, wisdom, courage and resiliency.  This becomes most apparent for me when I can look in the mirror, and instead of saying in my head, “This is as good as it gets today”, exclaiming “You are simply awesome, beautiful and unique; what a day this is going to be!”.  To me, it goes beyond attitude and perception; it is viewing your self through a lens that is not deameaning and negative, but rather, looking at your self with eyes of love and understanding.  We all deserve that, no matter what our circumstances.

The lesson I believe that will guide me throughout whatever adversity or advantage that I have yet to experience in this life, is the final lesson, one that is the source of whatever I think, feel and believe from the moment my eyes open every morning.  That is, all that I am about, is based in two values of spirit, those being TRUTH and LOVE.  For those of you that have been getting to know me over the last few months, you see these concepts reflected in everything that I write here.  What my life comes down to, what creates the perception for me every  morning that life is indeed worth celebrating, is that fact that I conduct my life in the total spirit of truth and of love, to myself and to others, and therefore, it is always authentic and full.  For me, any life that doesn’t have itself based in these two principles is simply not worth living.

I am not sure what further lessons are in store for me as my life keeps going by.  And, not knowing is not fearful for me, but exciting as far as the adventures that have yet to be shown to me.  What I do know, is that I celebrate every moment, every inkling of this life that I have been blessed with; I feel fortunate in all that I have been given, and all that I have realized to give to myself.  My birthday wish for myself is that I never stop wishing, dreaming, hoping, and creating, and that all of my family and friends will always, ALWAYS, find room to celebrate their SELVES……. we are all worth that celebration, not just on the day of our birth, but every day of the year…..

HAPPY BIRTH DAY TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

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My big, fat, gay wedding

Nope, no date set.

But I can dream, can’t I?

Dreams are such funny things, we envision in our minds what we want for ourselves, in the most ideal settings, circumstances, persons around us.  In our dreams, day or night, there is no limit as far as expense, location, people present, or any other details that are important to us. 

Have you ever noticed that your dreams have changed over the years?  Mine have changed in many ways.  The one dream that I have had since my teen years is that of getting married.  I always wanted a big wedding, not huge, but plenty of family and friends present.  A great, long gown in white, lacey veil, bridesmaids and ushers, and a nice, old fashioned church.  Lots of flowers, and lots of food and drink later on for the party.  Just like in a fairy tale.

Fast forward a few years……. the groom would not be a groom, but another bride, two brides for my wedding in fact, after I figured out that I am, indeed, a lesbian.  When I started thinking and wondering about my wedding with my future partner, it was no longer imagining it in a big church, with a grand gown and all of the trimmings; but rather, a simple dress, a few guests, maybe in a chapel with several guests, and again, lots of food and drink for all.  The bride was yet to be seen……

Still later on, I found my bride to be, my bride to be to this day.  Eleven years and counting……. this is how our wedding day has evolved over the years.

We talked about getting married, and really just talked; we exchanged rings a couple of times, matching rings, just between ourselves, but never planned for any type of formal ceremony.

We were on vacation with family a few years ago, and decided to go spend the day in Provincetown in Cape Cod.  While we were there, we actually applied for a marriage license…. this was when Massachusetts first was allowing gay couples to legally marry.  It was a surreal experience, as much as it was quite emotional.  The deal was, we would need to return there to complete the ceremony within sixty days.  We never went back.  Mind you, we spoke about it, planned how and whom would be part of it.  I always wanted several family members, and a few close friends, to be at our ceremony.  Quite different from the dreams of many years ago.  For me, it seemed very important that our families be present, to help witness and share in our happiness.  I wanted to wear a dress, but no longer did it seem important that it be a wedding gown of some sort; just something light and flowy and dressy, just a bit.  And, on the beach, or in a field, that is how I pictured it to be.  However, it was not to be at that time…….

Now, my needs are so much more simple when it comes to getting married.  I still want to get married on a beach, that is for sure.  But, no guests, that is my preference.  I want it to be us, just us, the three of us.  Me, and Jamie, and our daughter.  Sharing this moment of commitment among ourselves, saying the words and having them acknowledged before God, and blessed by a minister.  And then, after all is said and done, THEN a big party for all of the family and friends to get together and celebrate with us.  And I am talking BIG PARTY, wine into the night, food for all, and just all around fun, food, drink, and dancing…… a perfect ending to a perfect celebration of love.

There is so much said about equal marriage, or not.  But really, for me, my needs are so simple.  I simply want to be able to acknowledge that I love this woman, with my whole heart and my soul, and have it be legal, binding, and protective to all of us.  And, then I want all whom I love the most to share in that special occasion with us. 

Is that so wrong, so heinous?  To want what others take for granted is at their disposal so easily?  My dreams have changed over the years; I am not sure if they have matured, or if they have just gotten jaded.  But no matter what, they are still my precious dreams, and I will be damned if anyone steps on them and labels them as insignificant, wrong, sinful, or flawed.

I am a beautiful person, and I thank God every day for the woman that sees that in me, and loves me for who I am……

I am not a kind person

I am not, not a kind person.  Not a nice person.

What in the hell do I mean by that?

I am not nice for the sake of being nice.  I am not just being “kind” to people when they ask me a question.  You know what?  I am no good at all at that bullshit.  Being nice just to say that I am being nice.

What you get from me, is the REAL DEAL.  If I am nice, it is because it is coming straight from my heart, from my soul, right where the center of my truth lies.  Because, for me, love is the truest truth there is.  And, if I am giving you my winningest smile, my favorite something, a gesture of help, it is because it is a true gesture of love, truth, compassion and understanding.  It isn’t kindness just to be kind, or doing it because I feel like I have to do it.

I have grown so much in the last year or two, and one thing that I have learned, among the dozens of things that I have learned, is that I don’t have time to just be nice to someone because it is what I think I am supposed to do, or because I am too afraid to be truthful instead of nice.  Through trial by fire, and after coming very close to giving up completely, I decided that I deserved something more genuine than that from myself.  I deserved to show others who I really am, and to offer only that genuine article, and only when it felt in my heart, as the right thing to do.  Gone are the days of being polite or doing the PC kind of thing, or not wnting to create friction or waves. 


I can’t play that anymore.

 

I don’t seek out to hurt someone’s feelings, or make a person uncomfortable.  I just take my own inventory, simple as that.  I have yet to meet a person, even if I initially make them a bit squirmy, tell me that I don’t have the right to be truthful.  And, even if they don’t like my truth, that is their process, not my own.  I let go of it in love, and know that once again, I have done the best that I can do.  As all of us are trying to do, yes?

 

I may offer gestures that are kindhearted, and I am not a mean person.  However, I believe that those that matter most in my life deserve so much more than just a kind gesture; they deserve the fullness of me, they deserve the truth of my heart and my soul.

 

And that is what they shall get, ALWAYS.

My book of Gratitude

I express gratitude in so many ways in my life.  That is one of the keys I believe to being fully present in one’s life and experiences; by sharing and expressing gratitude to God, to yourself, to others, and to the Universe, for the lessons that are brought forth. 

Sometimes, gratitude is a prayer, a quiet reflection and thought sent forth to God or to the Universe, saying that I understand what is being put before me.  Or that I don’t yet have a full understanding, but that I accept that this where I am being led.  Or, a prayer of gratefulness and appreciation for the thousands of stars that shine over our home; the health and well being of my family; the ability for us to heat our home and care for ourselves this coming winter……it happens several times a day, every day, when a thought or experience occurs to me that has impacted me greatly.  Because I am ever present, much of the time, gratitude finds its way into my routine regularly.

 

Gratitude other times is an actual, formal expression to someone in my life.  A thank you card for a thoughtful gift.  A phone call of appreciation for being there for me.  A kiss given to my loved ones to say that I am so grateful to have them in my life.  A letter written in praise of all of the things that someone has done for me.  Gratitude is meant to be felt fully, but it is also meant to be shared with those that it involves; don’t keep all of that good feeling to yourself.  Tell those around you that you appreciate them; tell Mother Earth that you are so grateful for what she gives you; tell your supervisor how inspired you feel to do the work that you do, that makes a difference to others… tell God how grateful you are for sight and sound and breath…..

 

I also have kept, on occasion, a gratitude journal, which others around here have also written about recently, a daily recounting of things that we can be grateful for in our lives, to help us to count our blessings rather than our adversities.  There is no denying that many have been subject to such adversity that has not been my own life experience, and I am truly grateful for that.  But as Sanityfound is a testament to, I think above any person that I know, is that no matter what hardships and hell we have faced in our lives, there is always something to express gratitude for.  Gratitude puts the control back into our own hands; we may be powerless to what others have said to us, or done to us, but by expressing gratitude for our lessons, we take our lives back, to never more be at the hands of another.  We are free.

 

I think that the most significant way that I express my gratitude these days in my life, is by blogging.  My writing here is a reflection of all that is present in my life, that I feel so peaceful and contented about.  It is about the lessons that I have learned, and the hope that they may help another human being along the way.  It is about finding other like minded people, and connecting on a very basic, loving and human level.  And, it is about living my life as fully and freely as possible.  Because, if we look at it just a bit differently, or for some of us, not differently at all, by living our lives as fully as we can, we are shouting our gratitude to others and to the heavens, thanking the Universe for the life that we have been given, and showing our appreciation by not wasting it.

 

Don’t waste a moment of it, be grateful for all of it that you can, and show that gratitude by jumping in and enjoying every bite out of life there is.

 

I would like to express my formal gratitude to some very specific readers who are loyal and come back day after day, and whose words have also moved and inspired me….

 

Sanityfound

Amber

DM

CordieB

Joy

Lindsey

AngryAfrican

Fitch

Gypsy-heart

Amandzing

And for those of you that I am still getting to know….

 

Thank you, for all that you do to enhance and enlighten my existence……

Dear Mom and Dad- Letter #2

Dear mom and dad:

This letter is a followup to the last letter that I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago.  Actually, I thought about it for several weeks, then wrote it a few weeks ago, and just came to send it to you a couple of weeks ago.  However, unlike that letter which I sent to you, I have no intention of you ever seeing this one.  This one is written to clear my mind and my heart.

When I wrote that letter to you, addressed it, put a stamp on it, and dropped it into a mailbox, there was a moment, right there, at the mailbox, when I didn’t drop it in.  I was thinking:  what is the difference?  Do I REALLY need to do this?  Send this to them?  I answered myself firmly, “YES”, and dropped it in.  I anticipated what the various responses or reactions would be to the letter:  anger, hurt, silence, denial, and outright ignoring of the words, and then continuing on as if nothing happened.

There was one scenario that I never anticipated. 

I expected that you, mom, might not want for dad to read it, because he has felt so hurt over this issue with his other children over the years, that even though I said what I did from a very loving perspective, you would choose not to share it with him.  However, I didn’t think that YOU wouldn’t read it.  That surprised me.  And, it surprised me that you would return it to me, unopened, and feel the need to justify your need to protect him.

You see, all of the years of our growing up, of watching dad struggle with alcohol, seeing him drunk on many occasions, having a good time, but not being able to stand up; having to pick him up out of the yard because he couldn’t walk; watching him drink shot after shot of whiskey, and not even being able to speak clearly; it was always him that I thought was in denial the most.  I think that I was wrong.  I think it is you that is in denial of how serious this is for him. 

I know you told me in your letter to me, that you feel the need to protect him; that when this has come up before, with my brother and him as an issue, that it took him months to get over it, and that his drinking was a result of being upset over my brother complaining about his drinking.  I know, not quite the way that you said it in your letter to me, but it kind of sounded like that.  To say to me that I should be considerate of his feelings, and realize my dad is a good man, are things that you might not have said to me if you had read my letter.  I know that my dad is a good man; I know that he is very sensitive, and I would never want to intentionally hurt him, or you. 

But the truth is, his drinking is going to kill him.  And, you trying to protect him from my words is not going to protect him from that.  Nor is anything that I say or do.  You saying that the drinking is not going to impact his health in such a way as to bring an early death for him, is just plain false.  And, even though you assure me that he has stopped drinking right now, he has done that before as well.  And before that, and before that…..

I love you both so very much; that was also very clear in the letter.  There are no limits or restrictions that come with that love.  But to me, love for my family, for anyone that I love, means being truthful as well.  Truth and love go hand in hand; true love is truth in its entirety, truth of the heart. 

When I read your letter, at first I felt the need to cry.  It felt like I had tears in me over it.  But, I wondered, what was I sad about?  And, I guess that it really wasn’t sadness, as much as disappointment, that you mom, were not ready or willing to face this truth with me.  I understand your loyalty to our father, your husband, and now I know that this issue will nevermore be brought to anyone’s attention in the family.  It is now time for me to go forward, and to be grateful for whatever days and years and moments we have together as a family.  Maybe, these words will be shared in the heart of a genuine conversation someday, in order to take a different path together.  Maybe not.

Either way, I have found my peace with it.