Tag Archives: respect

A Beautiful Surprise.

Amaryllis!

A few months ago, I was given some plants from a friend who didn’t want them anymore. It is only in the last couple of years that I have begun to feel confident in being able to make things grow, thrive and bloom, so I was excited to have more greenery in my home. One of the plants given to me was an Amaryllis bulb, which was big and not showing much growth. I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to do, but I kept watering it and waiting.

About a month ago, some rather large green shoots started to show in the pot, and it was pretty amazing to watch them grow each day. Then emerged the stem, and I could see how what was forming was going to be the bud of a brilliant flower.

However, I had NO IDEA how beautiful it would actually be.

At some stages, it looked rather odd; the petals when they were only partially opened, looked a bit lopsided. But then, yet another stage of development was on its way, and the results, are what you see above. It is an amazing, beautiful surprise, to see such a result and to have it feel, in some ways, so unexpected.

When I thought about the Amaryllis this week, as I watch it becoming more and more brilliant, I thought about the love that I am cultivating with my partner, Brenda. From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to, and I was ready, to bring new love into my life. I felt like I was new to really having what it takes to help love to thrive, to grow and to be cared for. Although I have loved many times before, I don’t believe that I had the “green thumb” necessary to keep love going; I wasn’t always willing to do my part to keep it alive.

So, over the last seven months, I have been part of a team that nurtures, waters, and cares for the love that we are cultivating. And, the results have been a beautiful surprise. Even though I knew that this was the love relationship for me, from the beginning, some of the ways in which it has opened up, and been revealed to me, have been astounding. The levels of honesty; integrity; openness; and vulnerability were something that I didn’t fully anticipate.

lotus flower

So, like the flower has been opening, changing and showing its beauty more each day, so will our love continue to be. Open, brilliant and ever changing.

It is a beautiful surprise.

flower in a box

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What is a lie?

I have been learning so much, literally every day, about myself and the way in which I interact with those in the world around me. My work with the Handel Group has been life changing and transformative.

One of the biggest transformations has been in the area of my level of honesty, to myself and to those around me. As I have often stated here, I would pride myself on how honest and truthful I was with those in my life. As I have gotten honest with myself, I am admitting to how much I have told lies to myself, and to others, in my life.

Lies. What is a lie actually? At first, when I started to consider this, I thought that even when I have not admitted the truth, that wasn’t lying. I thought when I did not tell the truth to someone in my life, in the interest of preserving their feelings, that surely wasn’t a lie. And, if I didn’t tell someone that something they said or did bothered me, when it really did, that isn’t a lie, right?

WRONG.

I have used every means possible to not be truthful with many people in my life, in many areas of my life. I always had what I thought was a good excuse, a justification of why telling the truth was not the best route. However, on a very basic level, these were all untruths. All lies.

I have come to redefine for myself that it really doesn’t matter what the reasons are, or the degree to which I have withheld the truth. Withholding the truth, in any degree, and for any reason, is a LIE.

I know that this way of thinking, to this degree, is difficult for others to hear. It already has been in my life. I have stated this very thing several times, and it bothers those around me. It makes people, many people in my life at least, uncomfortable and edgy. The most common argument that I have heard to this way of thinking is, why bring up something that you lied about in the past? Why stir it back up, and bring hurt or upset to others? As long as we commit to no lying anymore, isn’t that okay? Along similar lines, why tell the truth if keeping the truth from someone saves their feelings?

I viewed lying in this very same way. I have compassion for those people that do not see it in the way that I do. However, I can no longer live my life in a way that allows lying to continue, or to be part of any relationship. For me to lie about anything, is to deny who I truly am to those that know me, or those that I have yet to meet. In addition, it adds such disrespect to my relationships, by not respecting that person enough to be truthful.

What is a lie to me? Any denial of the truth. It is that simple.

Nothing personal…….

I feel so secure and confident about so many things; my work that I do, the relationship that I have with my partner and our daughter, my education and training.  Yet, nothing can bring me to my knees more quickly than a person either being rude or unkind to me, or someone who ignores me.

 

I have written on this before here, probably a few times.  And, the lesson is again appearing in my life, I guess because it has yet to be worked through fully for me.  It is the famous, “Nothing personal, I just need to do this”; “Don’t take things personally”; “This isn’t about you”. 

 

I guess that whole it’s nothing personal thing may be true, but the thing is, it FEELS personal.  It hurts.  It shocks.  It surprises even when I think I have gotten to be more effective at seeing the signals.  There are two main ways it is showing itself in the present day, and it has kept me reeling for now close to a week.

 

When I become friends with someone, whether in 3D, or over the web, that is for keeps.  I tell about myself, I ask about the other person, we laugh and cry and connect on many levels.


Then, the deep silence comes, with many of them.  They stop writing, stop calling, stop being present in my life. 

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?  Readers, I am not asking you to answer that for me, I think that I know.  Something that is going on with that person calls them in another direction.  Something personal to them, not about me, takes their attention.  Enough of their attention that they either can’t, or don’t want to, focus attention on our friendship for a period of time. 

 

Well, I can understand each of us needing to take care of ourselves, and our needs, and attending to new adventures or challenges or tragedies.  But, I am here, I am your friend.  I miss you.

 

It hurts.

 

Then, there is the circumstance of having a friendship with someone, who I don’t expect I won’t ever have conflict with, but when the conflicts happen, they seem to go on and on, even when I express myself clearly, even when I apologize where I have fallen short, and when I try to take the high road, be the bigger person, I am constantly stunned at the low to which this friend can take it.  Hurtful, old resentments surface toward me, and I am surprised every time. 

 

The only difference is, that it hurts less, because I can put what is the other person’s shit in their corner.  And, just take care of my own.  But, it is disappointing.  And frustrating. 

 

Yet two more incidences in the world of human relationships, where the resistance to communicate truthfully and openly with one another creates harm to the relationship. 

 

When I talk with persons about Choice Theory, and the fact that all of us are each trying to meet our needs for love and belonging, fun, freedom, power and survival, one of the main premises that I talk about is:  Is what you are doing in your relationships with others bringing you closer together, or further apart?  Accountability.  We all have it.  We all need to hold ourselves to it.

 

When a person tells me it isn’t personal, I know that is not true.  I know that it is that much more personal, but maybe the reasons are too deep, too painful to acknowledge.  I love my friends, I am loyal to them and will do what  I can to support them.  But, I also know that what I want and need is important, first and foremost, and if those that I care about cannot respect me enough to be truthful, and fair and just, and still show love, then I need to exert less energy and effort there, until their willingness becomes a capacity for love and mutual respect. 

 

Because my friends, the personal IS personal.  True that.

Dancing to the soundtrack of my life!

I know that I am a bit strange, but I experience this phenomena on an almost daily basis that I feel compelled to share and to write about.  For my regular, dedicated readers, this post will come as little surprise to you, knowing who I am and what my personality is like.

I thoroughly enjoy music, many kinds of music.  When listening to some of my favorite songs or bands, like Coldplay, the songs will play over and over in my head, like a soundtrack.  The words ring through as I am doing other things, and I feel like I move, walk and go through my day with the music accompanying me.  It is strange, but very true.  I will break out in a smile when I think about how contented my life is.

But, there’s more.  I will, usually several times a day, imagine myself with my arms spread out wide, spinning in a circle, or dancing around, in the yard, in the street, in my office.  For me, I envision loving and enjoying my life so much, that I want to break out in dance.  Dance to the soundtrack of my life.

To me, life is a complete joy.  Sure, there are moments of hardship, moments of stress and feeling overwhelmed.  But, more often than those moments, are the full and ever present moments of feeling so contented with my daily living that I just cannot help but smile, and want to dance and shout about it.  Besides the fact that I have a terrific family, a job that I like, a home that I enjoy, and dreams and goals for myself, my contented life comes from staying self aware, exploring, learning and growing, and doing my best to always live as closely to my soul as I can.  I know that to be most true to myself is what keeps my life contented and balanced.

This is not a miracle bestowed upon me for some unknown reason.  This is a present state of mind and life for me because I have created this life for myself.  I have trusted my instincts, followed my heart, been hurt and knocked down and gotten up again.  I have never given up on going after what is important to me.  I have taken care of others as well as myself.  I have kept my faith.  I have been self sufficient.  I have lived a life of love, full of love.

And, I have never stopped hearing the soundtrack, or dancing whenever I feel like it.  And, it is just wonderful…….

Legacy

families-love

With all of this talk about parents, families, and what we struggle through to be our own person, I was thinking about the legacies that we are left with from our parents and extended family members.  I have been thinking on all of the many gifts and traits that my parents have bestowed upon me that I am so grateful to have. 

Today, seems to be the most appropriate day to write about this, because just minutes ago, my dad called to tell me that my mother is again in the hospital, for the health issues that she had last month.  The fears that my sister described to me are to be realized, at least it feels that way in this moment.  What better way to get through this difficult time but to recall all that she has given me, she and my dad. 

My mother has given me generosity.  When someone needed something, an ear, a gift, a bag of groceries, a ride, my mom was there to help out.  She always wanted to give to others very freely and willingly, and took little for herself, if anything, in return.  She is just built this way. 

My father has taught me sensitivity.  He is never stingy with hugs, with telling me that he loves me, and talking about good times, and difficult times, that we have had together as a family.  He also will be there for me when I need him, and knows how precious his family is, and will fight fiercely for it.

My mother has taught me how to multitask.  She worked full time my entire childhood, and she was able to hold down that job, shop and take care of our family, and drive us anywhere we had to go.  She was also able to be the cookie mom for Girl Scouts, work on the PTA at school, and work on other outside activities.  I have that in my genes, that is for sure.

My parents have both taught us loyalty.  That family always comes first, and if one needs the others, we are there for them.  They have taught us to not be afraid, even when faced with something difficult and dire, to walk through it as strongly as possible.  Both of my parents have always, ALWAYS, taught us that we can be or do whatever it is we desire, if we stay focused on our goals and dreams.  Also, that we need to expect the best of ourselves, and always give our biggest efforts to those things that we strive for.  They both also taught us to be polite and respectful, to care about the feelings of others, and to not burn your bridges; you never know when you may need to call on a past connection, job or relationship.

I feel so fortunate to still have my parents with me; so blessed to have had them as my parents, for they have taught me so many things that are now part of me, and part of our child.  And, in a way, my parents helped bring my partner to me; for in raising me the way that they did, they helped us to find one another, in valuing the same things, for her parents raised her in much the same way.

I love you, mom and dad.  And, every moment that we have with one another is a precious gift, that I will forever cherish…….

gift_by_xmasbaby