writing to inspire

writing has always been my outlet.  so naturally, I tend to write more whenever I’m grappling with something that calls for a shift in awareness.  it is my way of processing, organizing, controlling the way I think about a thing.

and since my outlook these days has been pretty grim given the pain and confusion I’m trying to sort through so that I might begin to make some sense of it, some of my blogs have been concerning to friends and perhaps misconstrued by others.  I’ve exposed a lot of myself on here; offered a window into my soul.  it ain’t always pretty.  I’ll be the first to admit that.  but I think, I would rather be able to name my demons than pretend they don’t exist.

to go along with Buddha’s insight into what he described as the Eight Worldly Concerns, we need to embrace that there is both good and bad, light and dark within each of us.  and so I’ve decided that while I may need to get dark and heavy because yes, those parts do exist within me, I will write to inspire the light within us all.  but above all, I will write.

 

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Disappointment: A path to enlightenment

One thing that grows out of a relationship that has fallen apart is disappointment.  This is something I have been struggling a lot with as I continue to ask myself “Why… How did it all go wrong?”  I begin to doubt my self-worth and cling to the fear that I’ll never find someone to share my life, my dreams with.  I sense that there is something I’m missing amongst all of this disappointment; something that this experience is calling my attention to, but which I have yet to discover.

It’s easy to lose yourself, to forget what is most important when you devote so much of your time comparing yourself to others and vying for someone else’s approval.  But in a moment of clarity late last night a thought occurred to me: I will never be happy trying to fit into someone else’s mold.  All of this juxtaposing has made me miserable and hollow inside.  I can only live my life with genuine intent and authenticity and in so doing I will attract that which I hope to find.

… which brings me back to the issue of disappointment.  In my research this morning on how to start living a more authentic life I happened upon some words of wisdom from Phillip Moffitt, former CEO and Editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine who has since founded the Life Balance Institute and now teaches meditation (proof that anyone is capable of changing paths).  What he explains is that hope can often be false in the sense that it is merely a refusal to accept things as they are.

When you reject the moment that is arising just because it is unpleasant, you are rejecting the only moment you have in which to be alive, the only moment in which you can feel and act. If you are lost in disappointment about the future or the past, you are not fully and authentically present in the moment.”

Got it.  Less hope = Less disappointment.  I have been telling myself that where once I was a hopeless romantic, now I’m just hopeless.  So maybe that’s a good thing?

Or maybe… just maybe… it’s part of the natural order of things.   One of Buddha’s teachings is that we experience everything in terms of these Eight Worldly Concerns: gain and loss, praise and blame, pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness.  Buddha referred to these duos as the “terrible twins” because we cannot experience one without the other.  To every action there is a reaction.  What goes up must come down.  And as Moffitt reiterates, “One cannot be open to praise and not receive blame. One cannot experience pleasure and not feel pain. This is the nature of the reality that we know.”  Yes, I can see this.

Abandon all hope.  Accept that life is full of disappointments.  The only way to enlightenment is through our own personal hell.  And in that hell, we will experience moments of loss and despair, panic and confusion.  “Given that this is so, you can either live in denial of the truth of your experience or obsess on your pains and disappointments. Or you can consciously accept, even embrace life not working out and trust that in doing so you will discover meaning in your life.”  I sure hope so.

See more of what Phillip Moffitt has to say at: http://dharmawisdom.org/teachings/articles/living-disappointment#sthash.mJrrUDdx.dpuf

itsy bitsy or teeny weeny?

Bikini Contest.  The other night I came across a video with this title when I was on YouTube listening to some tunes.  My children spend a lot of time on YouTube, much to my dismay (especially my daughter who is 11), so sometimes video suggestions will pop up based on things they’ve watched.  This video, I could tell, was geared for (presumably) a young teenage audience.  So, I decided to be a responsible parent and check it out.

What I discovered was that this video was posted by some self-consumed Barbie doll wannabe teenage twat who decided to try on and share with the world all 30 (yes, 30) bikini swimsuits that she owns.  Answer me this: who… the hell… needs 30 swimsuits?!?  And all bikinis none the less!  …that’s not very practical.  Also, who has that kind of time or money?  (Obviously not me so I should probably just move on…)

This poor stupid girl started off by saying how all of her friends were doing these videos, so she decided to join in on the fun (so this is a thing that other stupid girls are also doing apparently).  She proceeded to show her viewers each bikini, one by one, and described them in detail, as if we couldn’t already see what they looked like (it was riveting, let me tell ya).  She demonstrated what each one looked like by trying them on (offering a close up of her chest) and got really excited over STUPID shit.  Thirty goddamn bikinis later, she’s encouraging her viewers to “like” the video and “follow” her on YouTube.  But it was her closing remark that really made me sad and mad at the same time.

It was something along the lines of “even if you’re a creepy guy who just wanted to see some girl walk around in a bikini, that’s okay, you’re still a follower!”  She then winked and gave the camera a thumbs up.

What the…………. fuck?!??

I’m sad that there are actually young girls and women out there who feel they need this kind of validation in their lives…. the kind that comes from complete strangers who care nothing about them but rather what they look like underneath the next to nothing clothing they may or may not be wearing.  I’m sad that it doesn’t bother but rather excites this girl to know that strange “creepy” guys are using her to get off, but will later forget all about her.  BECAUSE SHE MEANS NOTHING TO THEM and because she will be replaced with the next girl feeling frisky enough to take her clothes off for an audience.  How sad that that is yet so important to her concept of self.  …And that there are girls and women who think and feel and behave this way EVERYWHERE.

I’m mad that this type of media not only shows a lack of self-respect, but also a lack of consideration for the young girls who have been victims of sexual violence as a result of the smut regularly available on the internet to creepy guys everywhere.  [Sort of as an aside, I was actually surprised recently to learn from a friend who worked in probation with pedophiles that when asked, offenders will oftentimes say that what they did to their sister, niece, cousin, neighbor girl… they learned by watching online videos; their curiosity got the best of them.  I guess I always assumed these fuckers were repeating what had been done to them or what they watched happen growing up.  But that isn’t usually the case as it turns out, at least in my friend’s experience.  And yet how often do we support this type of violence that is most often directed towards women and girls by supporting the porn industry in some form or fashion?]  I’m mad that I’m forced to raise my daughter in a world that begins sexualizing girls at a young age, exploiting them in a myriad of ways, only to turn against them in the end for getting old and fat.

So this evening I had a well thought out discussion with both of my children in which  I very deliberately said a swear word.  This isn’t something I do often.  Oh sure, I’ll let something slip in a fit of frustration or hostility or if I’m just not thinking.  Very rarely do I contemplate a swear word before using it around them.  But I felt, after watching this video and others like it, a word that is taboo and profane to them was exactly what I needed to describe what I thought of this online trend in order to leave a lasting impression.

And so I said to them, “hey… kids…  this video is SHIT.”  I made sure to repeat it several times and continued to explain the impact that videos like these have on both girls and boys and how it can affect their perceptions without them even realizing it.  Videos that are self-serving and attention seeking, that contain nothing but petty commentary and pointless dialogue (or just down and dirty raunch) just to hide the fact that a girl is insanely insecure (and why wouldn’t she be in our society) do nothing to enhance one’s character or improve the lives of others.  It is pure and utter… SHIT.  I just hope that none of the brainwashing has set in for either of my children yet. My 8-year old son just laughed when I brought it up (“Who would want to watch someone in a bikini?!”); my daughter insisted she didn’t see it and steers clear of those types of videos.

Nevertheless… this mama bear is tightening up on what she allows in her home.  I can’t control what my cubs see in the real world, but dammit if there’s going to be a lot less SHIT around here interfering with anyone’s potential to be their best, most confident and most ambitious selves.  I’m sorry but, trying to determine which of your 30 bikinis is the most liked by people you don’t even know isn’t very ambitious.  There is a lot of shit going on in the world, more relevant than the SHIT you contaminate it with, stupid fake pretty girl!!

 

 

as a mirror

Maybe in a relationship, the thing that keeps it from going anywhere is the fear deep within ourselves that we are imperfect beings capable of hurting others; capable of feeling hurt; capable of destroying; capable of being destroyed. When we become intimate with another imperfect being, tensions do arise because building intimacy requires that we reflect as a mirror to the other person both how we see them and how they truly see themselves, deep within. And sometimes we do not like what we see; we loathe what we see whenever how we feel inside isn’t congruent with the reflection of ourselves in the mirror that is our partner. We feel hurt. We feel destroyed. We feel the need to hurt. We feel the need to destroy. And so it goes; an endless cycle between creation and destruction.

We create stories in our head that we tell ourselves to hold on to; we replay them over and over in our minds. We eat these stories; we drink these stories; we dream these stories, over and over and over. They become us and we become them. But what if there is more to the story than what we are allowing into our self-narration? What if there’s another truth of ourselves? One that’s deeper, and richer, and more fulfilling? Wouldn’t we want to follow that, to use our mirror’s reflection to better ourselves? Wouldn’t we want to create ever more of this type of dream, instead of destroying our only hope for everlasting redemption?

Eulogy

When I’ve drawn my final breath

And my body, laid to rest

What will they say of my time spent here?

What will I have given

to leave a lasting impression?

Will there be pain in their laughter?

Joy in their tears?

 

And so it is this I ask of you, dear children:

Do not mourn the life I lived,

but rather rejoice in all of the love I had to give.

I assure you it will remain

forever with you,

wherever you go;

Even once you grow old and

your souls summon you home.

In that home I shall also be.

It is a place not built of walls, but rather

space for us to be free–

Apart, yet joined by eternity.

 

Remember, also, another thing:

You are the stars,

the moon,

the world to me;

You are even everything between

the spaces of the spaces.

All I know of love I learned from you,

my darling dears;

Have no fear.

Your love has carried me through this life,

as it will continue to carry me to

all the places I am meant for.

 

Close your eyes,

feel my hand warm against yours,

as though I never left.

Think of my love when you’re feeling bereft;

For it is alive and well

And it calls upon you to live your life

as though you might also die;

One day at a time,

Forgive through the pain,

Love through the strife.

Pawn

Lipstick, cherry red

A face, a body you can’t get out of your head

Hair done, nails too

A look that suggests they want to screw you

High heels, make up on

You’re the bishop, they’re the pawns;

Another pony in a fucking parade,

A pigeon willing to play the game

Where the rule is and always has been

To win not the hearts, but the desire of men.

But guess again

Because beauty quickly fades

In this perilous brigade

When seen with the eyes, not felt by the heart.

But how can you be expected to get that

In the end

When you’ve been this shallow from the start?

je ne sais quois

Lately I’ve been feeling really shitty about myself.  I look in the mirror and I’m tired of what I see.  It’s all very ugly and frightening and I think, “who would find this irresistible??”  So I’ve sulked and I’ve cried and really I’ve just… died inside.

But tonight I decided to do something different.  I sat in front of the mirror and started talking to myself.  At first, it was mostly just because I’m alone and lonely and wanted to feel like there was someone else in the room listening to me.  (You can put away the violins, it’s okay.)  Alas… it was just me.  But as I sat there watching and not just listening to myself talk, I began to see a je ne sais quois that I actually found quite captivating.  And then a miracle happened as I began to think, “who wouldn’t find this irresistible?!”

Je ne sais quois.  As within, so without.  Beauty is on the inside; it’s in the eyes of the beholder.  All of these are just expressions to give rise to the notion that who we are is more important than what people see before them.  Looks can be deceiving and what is underneath can transform any beast into a handsome prince.

Look within yourself.  Really gaze into the mirror and peer at your own reflection.  Think of something that makes you smile and watch as your face lights up.  That’s true inner beauty coming through.  All the doubters and all the haters who would have you believe otherwise really aren’t worth your time.  Now think of something that’s important to you, something you stand by; something you believe in.  Think of a challenge you’ve been through and how you overcame it, or a fight you’re still battling.  Notice the strength, the courage written on your face.  See how elegant you are, and yet how bold.  Stop thinking about how your hair looks, how your clothes hang on your body or any of that stuff.  Really just look at yourself without all of the harsh judgment.  What do you see emanating from the inside?

Tonight I see me, for the first time in a long time.  And dammit if I’m not a total stunner.