Thursday, February 27, 2014
Well. It wasn't what I thought, and it got me thinking about what I did think.
Before I say much more, let me tell you a little about myself when it comes to religion. I was raised in a Christian Science home (Mary Baker Eddy ring any bells?). I even went to a Christian Science Boarding School (Not as impressive as it sounds. My family received A LOT of financial aide). I went to Sunday School most of my childhood and all through high school. Every morning at school we would have chapel. After I graduated high school I even went to be a nurse's aide at a Christian Science Nursing Care Facility for the summer.
Then I went off to college, and Christian Science as a church and religion in my life faded into the background, and ultimately lived in my past.
Quite frankly, I think Christian Science is very close in some ways to "New Age" thinking. I think there is a lot of good in it. But there were things about it, or at least the people in it, that gave me cause to pause on more than one occasion. How can we say only one slice of a pie is delicious if it is all the same pie?
I have often thought about how our beliefs as humans are like those pie slices, and all those perspectives point to the center. How can we say any one is better than any other? And yet, we do - constantly.
I am getting a bit off track. I didn't mean for this to be an entry about religion. I often stay away from the topic because it seems to be a conversation that no one wins, but so many try to.
The reason I went there was because in some ways I have history pertinent to the conversation, and yet, I do not remember if we ever tithed 10% to the church. We always had to give something, but we never had much to give. My grandparents were on Social Security and receiving state aide for raising me and my sister.
In some ways, this is not an entry about tithing, either. But I know that for some it will be. I guess I am just trying to cover my bases and share some more things about myself in the process.
In thinking about the other person's writing, I found myself wondering if people, at least some, confuse Church with God. I imagine that somewhere there must be something that says that the two are somehow one in the same. But are they, really?
Someone along the lines likely said they were. And now many believe it, and act on it, as if it is so. You must know about those who have corrupted the trust of those who donate?
But this is not really about that, either.
If we believe that God is in the world as a whole, and in all people, then why is it that our assistance to those in it needs to be through the church?
Why can't we choose to help those around us directly? Why can't we take 10%, if that is the amount, and spend it in ways that help others outside of the convention of the church?
At one point I wanted to work in conjunction with the school I used to go to, but the fact that I was no longer in Christian Science precluded me. It didn't matter that I was a good, loving, caring, giving person - in some ways more spiritual than I had ever been. It didn't matter that they liked me. It only mattered that I did not wear the appropriate label.
I do not understand how we can choose not to help someone in need just because they aren't "dressed" the right way. I do not understand how we can choose to give to someone or something because they are.
I am sure there are all kinds of rules written somewhere that I have missed or long since forgotten. But I really do wonder if God is really who we think He is, or if He is who we have made Him to be by what we know of our own humanity? How can we really believe that if He loves man that He wants him to be ONE way only? That seems to be more a human trait to me. Human beings struggle to have things be a certain way, and often get upset when they're not. Do we really believe that God is that way, too? If God is just as we are, what makes Him so special, especially when we have no way to know for certain that He even exists?
I am not asking these questions to stir a debate. I am also not asking them as a way of saying I have any answers. Nor am I asking to have anyone give me their version of the "truth." I am only asking these questions because these are the questions that occur to me when I think about these things, and I happen to be writing them in a public space.
I respect that there are a myriad of beliefs in the world, and I respect those who think what they think. If you are happy with what you believe, and it works for you, it is not up to me to question it. We all get to where we get to when we get there, and in the process we become who we are.
It is a process that I have come to greatly admire and respect, as it has brought me to myself in the last year in a half in a big way. Without the "process," I do not know how anything would come to be because we seem to need the perspective for insight to happen.
Not long before I came here to write I was reading about how JCPenney has gone back to pricing things the old way. They are inflating prices so they can knock them down so people think they are getting a good deal. People apparently prefer that to "every day low prices." It sounds a bit weird, in theory, doesn't it? And yet, the company has done much better since the change, after doing a lot worse since the initial switch away from it.
It almost seems that it we require the conflict as part of the journey because without it, we don't seem to have too much interest. What would it take to not need it? After all, most of us wouldn't likely mind doing without.
We are such walking, talking, breathing paradoxes. I almost wanted to say we individually were like a Rubik's Cube in the univers. It would sound like a great metaphor, wouldn't it? Let's see. Can I say it?
The first thing I think of is the fact that while it may take some time and effort to figure out, there are ways to get to the solution. Some people give up on it long before they'd ever get there. Some will be persistent. If we are the cube, then who or what is manipulating us? Is it possible for us to get to a "solution" ultimately? What if the "solution" was life itself, and once we enter life, it is when the cube gets jumbled, only to return to "solution" state in death? What if our essence, our soul, is the one who gets to "play" with the variances and the combinations and the spins? What if it is we who do this to ourselves, purposely?
I don't know.
My head kinda hurts. "Conversations" like these really aren't really much more than a guessing game. As a child I used to think that someone had the answers to life as they got older. The older I got, the more scary it in some ways became. There were still too many questions and questions out numbered the answers. People would tell me stuff, but it didn't always fit or add up, so it was like never having an answer at all.
And you know how we humans be. We love to win. We love certainty, and we will do our best to create it - really the illusion of it - at times at great cost. What does it cost us to believe the things we do? What does it cost those around us? What does it cost the world?
The life we live is something we "buy" with our beliefs and invest in with our choices. Hmm. I wonder if there is something in that that somehow correlates to the financial concerns many face these days.
I don't know, but the water I am treading is getting to be a bit much. So I think I will end this entry, and go on to the next, or something else. My mind is in overdrive these days. There is so much I want to do and write. And most of what I am doing is actually sleeping.
PS After I left this entry, the very first thing I saw on Facebook was this. LOL. What the heck does THAT mean, other than perhaps that the universe has a perverse sense of humor? LOL)
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
Zig was awesome to watch speaking. He was quite dynamic. So many love Zig's work, and much if it does sound pretty awesome. However, these days I am on a kick, questioning the things we have taken on as Gospel, and I question this statement, and this is why.
I am a person who has done a lot of things to help people over the years. Many times I even extended myself for free. There are many things over the years that I have also wanted - but not gotten.
By Zig's "equation" it would seem that for as much as I had done, I had not done enough because if I had, I would have netted the things I wanted. Is it possible that he could be right? I believe there is a good chance that it doesn't quite work that way.
There is something to be said for caring for others, and wanting to help them. There is something to be said for considering more than just yourself, but the thing is there are times we might cost ourselves more by overreaching to others than it does overall good.
There are also statements like this that keep you playing the second-guessing game. Did you do enough? Did you do the right thing? The best thing? What is lacking? How can I make it work? So many questions that net a whole lot of nothing positive.
One might try to make the case for it keeping you on your toes/striving, and suggest that it could be a good thing. I am not so sure.
It seems to me that we can't always get what we want, so there is no magic to make it happen. And yet, it is what we want to, and are sometimes desperate to, believe. We will want it so much we will spend all kinds of money to learn the secrets and/or what is wrong about us/the way we think of things or live our life.
Maybe our goal shouldn't be to figure out how to get stuff. Maybe we are focused in the wrong direction.
I remember hearing how good it was to seek success and money, as it helps you do stuff for others. I kinda bought into it for a while, but something about it just felt off to me. It probably didn't help that in some part it was being used to justify spending thousands on programs.
I may seem to be picking on money, but it is just an example. If we weren't so busy focusing on what others thought we should be, who would we be?
This not to say there is no value in programs. I have found pieces of myself in them over the years. But, rather, to question how often we seem willing to allow another to help us override ourselves because there is something we could be doing better to get that thing we want.
We have seemed to be trained to want. Aspire. Great word. Positive connotation. But if you are who you are in this moment, there is no room for aspiration. It is something for the future.
What if we more fully lived in the now? What if we more fully made choices not by what we aspire to, but by what feels right in this moment? My guess is that those two things will not always align, and may even at times be in conflict.
So, with all due respect to a man who seemed to be full of a lot of love for his fellow man, and for someone who has likely helped many, I disagree. For anyone who feels differently, and it works for you, awesome that you have something that works for you.
But for anyone who also may feel like it doesn't exactly add up, you are not alone.
Monday, February 24, 2014
I apparently was doing a good job of holding back the tears, as she must not have known how painful it was for me to acknowledge that fear. I promptly and calmly said, "that's not the same." She may have realized at that moment that maybe that wasn't the best thing to say, as she said something about how it might not have been the best answer to give in the form of a New Age catch all.
It made me pull in more. I didn't want to show how vulnerable and sad I was feeling - especially given the wealth of pain I was feeling. I was in dangerous, emotional territory. We ended our conversation shortly after, and I went on to do other things.
As I was cleaning the dishes just now, it caught up with me, and I was fighting to hold back the tears until I could be in private. If I was alone in the house, I might have just let the dam burst, but I am not.
As a result, I sit here silently sniffling so that the friend I live with doesn't hear me. I know many times he wouldn't know what to do with my feelings and emotions so I try not to express them while he is around. Occasionally, like the day I got the really horrible news back in September, they come out whether I want them to, or not.
I don't know what to do with this feeling, and my guess is no one else will know, either. If anything, I will be offered platitudes that will come up empty.
As I think about my life in terms of relationships, I am really sad. There have been some really beautiful things that have happened along the way, but they have been sandwiched in between some really great pain.
I remember how, when things sucked when I lived with someone, I wondered if I would ever be in love or have sex again. It seems in some ways rather silly to think that, but the fact is that I have yet to have any relationship that even came close to the nature of that one - in both good and bad ways. Maybe I somehow knew that I would never again have something similar.
At the same time, when I realize that I did come to care about others, and have other experiences, I have the slightest bit of hope that now could be like then, and that I will find my way to someone and something special.
I have always felt that it was possible to have an incredible relationship with someone. I don't think I am delusional about it, or that it is wishful thinking, or any number of unflattering things. And yet, it has not happened. Will I leave this lifetime never having had it, or will I finally be able to stand vindicated by finding that one person/relationship that I have felt is possible to have?
I get scared I will leave empty handed in that regard. I get scared that dealing with cancer is a barrier for so many reasons to finding someone who could sign up to be with someone in my predicament. It would not even be fair to "A" to go "there," even if he wanted to, even though a part of me very much misses it.
This stuff, coupled with anxiety about money and an upcoming visit to the oncologist, is really stretching me emotionally. I feel incredibly taxed, and yet I am trying to keep it together and keep going. There are times I feel good. Life feels good. I feel optimistic. I feel like I am going to make it.
Unfortunately, though, this isn't one of them.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Well. I finally got out of bed. It took til nearly 3:00, but I got up. I have done a couple of things like eat, and make some coffee (to wash my hair with), sing in my head "the best part of waking up is Folger's in my cup," plant a coleus clipping, do some dishes, and am back to feeling lackadaisical.
I was thinking about how I have been doing. My appetite has changed. I have been difficulty getting to sleep, and then once I am there, I can't seem to wake up and get out of bed. I haven't done much of anything in almost any regard.
I found that the longer I was being treated with chemo and/or Avastin, the more impacted I was by it. I couldn't believe how great I felt on the road, once the Avastin wasn't so present in my body. Could it "just" be the Avastin that is making me feel this way?
Then there is the thought, too, that it could be depression. It sort of feels like depression. I am dealing with a lot, and am feeling at times overwhelmed and frustrated and a whole bunch of other not good stuff. A part of me struggles to also care about how I am feeling. It sort of feels like I could be "giving up." It sort of feels like, "what's the point?" But I am not sure it's that, either.
Add to this mix the fact that I have been doing energy work to help myself. At this point living life as fully as possible and working in any other realm that might have an impact on me are the only ways that I see potential for things getting better.
I had a pretty heavy duty session this week. In addition, I have been trying to remember to cut cords at night before I sleep. The first couple of days interesting things were happening. One of them was that I was going to the bathroom more. And, here's a warning...I am going to wander into the possible TMI range. In some ways it felt like I was letting stuff, more the sh*t, go. Saying stuff doesn't feel like it really conveys how it was and felt. Interestingly, I dropped a few pounds pretty quickly.
In the back of my mind is the fact that they're always asking me about how those types of things are working in my body. They want to know about changes, as it could be a sign of something else changing - but not necessarily in a good way. But it doesn't feel like it would be that. It actually feels like it would be the opposite of that. It feels like it is likely a good thing.
I have been processing some significant stuff, and there is still more to go. I still have things I need to say and get out. It has been difficult to hang on to them, but it has been difficult to know how to let them go. Sometimes it is so hard to know how to say something to someone else about how you are experiencing life in relation to them. The longer it goes, the more shoulds that seem to be involved.
Sometimes it is just hard to have to explain myself. I can't just say I feel something and leave it at that. I have to explain what is behind it. And that is wearing. I don't always even know, and there are times I don't even care. I have too much else going on and drawing my attention. It is like things like this force me to be in something I don't want to be. On some level I think it could be a good thing, and on another level I am not so sure.
What I am sure of, though, is that I haven't had any real clarity about any of it, other than to recognize that it needs to be dealt with in some way. I figure that when the time is right I will hopefully either discharge it easily or find a way to communicate it to the parties that I need to communicate with.
A part of me is tired. Tired of not being good enough. Tired of doing things wrong. Tired of being seen in ways that discredit who I am. Tired of feeling badly for who I am because I haven't lived up to what someone else thought I should have lived up to. Tired of doubting and questioning myself.
LOL. I just snickered. "Tired."
And who just said she can't seem to get out of bed?
I called this blog "Impression or Depression" because, as an alternative to depression, it could just be that life, and the work and release that I am doing, is leaving an impression on me, and it is having me re-wire myself. It is helping me to be imprinted with a different way of speaking and doing things and a different way of seeing myself. That is not usually a light-weight job.
It just kinda sucks because at this point in my treatment, I usually have more energy to do the things I need to do. Next week I get treated again, and feel like I got not much of anything done. I don't suppose that is a "fair" statement, as I have been doing other things. I could have been unpacking instead. But the other things were feeding my soul, so I am going to have to give myself permission to believe it is a good thing.
Last night I also stayed up for a bit after I found out that Amtrak is going to start a new program that involves writers (a writer's residency). Writers will be given free rides on Amtrak. In exchange, Amtrak will ask them to do some tweeting and social media sharing.
I saw that and got ultra excited. Could it be my next tour? Could I possibly write my book on the train? Driving is wonderful, but I can't write while I drive, and it takes a lot out of me. I told them I thought we could be a great match. We could help each other, and help others. I told them about my previous trip, and how I thought it could be absolutely great.
I can only hope they will see it as I do.
So I sat there, as tired as I was, and I wrote them about me. I think the news of their plan might have only been hours old. I wanted to jump on it. In the time that I was writing, I got lost in my thoughts, and away from how I had been feeling. It was such a great feeling I had. It is one I so much want more of.
I have been really struggling lately. It is hard when a part of you thinks that you shouldn't been here. I have spent so much of my life trying to be invisible, or the "good girl," perhaps in some way for it to be OK for me to be here. After all, if you're not wanted, maybe that could change if you're good, and people like you.
For as much as I may seem to be seamless in my expression, it hasn't always been that way. I was getting better before diagnosis, but the dam started to really leak in early 2013, and I think broke at the end of it.
What fascinates me is that being invisible and silently good didn't seem to help me, but neither does trying to be visible and verbal. In some way they seem to net a similar result.
I am really grateful to those who not only believe me to be a good person, but tell me that I am from their hearts. I think they get that I am struggling. For so long there has been an undercurrent that something is wrong with me. I have known deep down that that is not the case, but it hasn't been enough to prevent how I ultimately have felt.
I may not have been perfect over the years, and there are most assuredly times I haven't made the best choices or said the right things, but at the core of who I am is someone who has a love of others and is quite sensitive. Most who know me as sensitive have often seen that to be a bad thing. I have two nieces who have been similarly labelled. I sometimes feel badly for them that what others see in them and in me is not seen as a good - or flattering - similarity.
I have struggled to find a way to be me in a world in which the me I am has never really fit. Why could I never fit? It never really occurred to me that not fitting was a good thing, in part, because of what the majority around me believed. How could they all be wrong, and yet it never really felt like they were right.
I just want to go back to bed. *Sigh*
Friday, February 21, 2014
"A" and I have spoken a few times now. It has been challenging and confusing. I sometimes think I have a handle on things, but then there are other times, not so much. Waters that I am wading in are often murky. Most times intimate relationships end, they really end. I was telling him tonight that it would have been a lot easier if I just called him all kinds of names and never wanted anything to ever do with him again.
The thing is that I have done what I am attempting to do before. There have been others in my life that I have cared deeply for, but had to choose what was the most important thing. If it was important for me to have that person in my life in some way, then I had to find a way to work through the range of emotions that followed - especially in times that the choice not to go a certain direction wasn't mine.
So much of societal conditioning says that the end should be the end. It also says so many other things that are not in any way conducive for an on-going dynamic of any kind.
In addition, when we struggle we are often trained to go a direction that takes us away from the struggle - and not through it. Most people - if I was willing to talk to them about this - would likely encourage me not to talk to him. But I have been pulling in in regard to it, and have only discussed it with one person who has been supportive of me, and even supportive of the struggle. After all, there is something potentially wonderful to be gained in the process.
I learned a long time ago that you can love someone madly, deeply and completely but that it doesn't have to "look" a certain way. You can love someone that way and never even see or talk to them. You can love them that way and not be in a "relationship."
In learning that, I have had some incredible gifts in my life. I was telling "A" that things were pretty wonderful until they weren't - that they were booby trapped. I got lulled into something, only to get bitten by the trap. We also talked about how I felt he resented being there for me toward the end because he was doing something he really didn't want to do, and he took it out on me. I could feel it, although at the time I didn't know exactly what was going on, or why.
I feel like talking to him now is an incredible gift. It allows me to say how I feel and felt about things, and he has grown to the point that he can hear the things I say. At the point that he told me he stuck around because of my diagnosis I told him I hated him. That was all he heard even though I also said that the reason I hated him was because I loved him as much as I did. You can't hate something you don't care about. But he didn't hear any of that - until today.
The fact that we are talking is helping me to not only express myself, but he is helping me feel validated after doing so much to invalidate my feelings previously. He really started to make me start questioning myself more. There is nothing worse than feeling something but being told over and over that what you feel isn't accurate. Do you believe your feelings, or do you believe the person? In my case, I wanted more to believe the person.
I know "A" feels badly about things, and as much as much of the situation that has occurred sucks, I truly feel like if he learned something throughout this, it is a good thing. I feel the same way about the GI doctor who was so freaking arrogant with me. I never spoke with him again after he called me back with his personal cell phone number after telling me about my 10cm tumor.
If he gave me that number, you know he had to be feeling pretty damn lousy. I could even hear it in his voice on the first call. He knew he screwed up. But, more than that, I could tell he felt badly. I have hoped more than once that he learned something from what happened, too. In that way, he can take it on to his practice in regard to other patients. Odds are good he will probably not see another case of ovarian cancer - so many never even see one - but I can only hope that he learned something from the way that he was with me.
If I had just walked away like he told me to, there is a good chance I would probably not be here now, and I suspect he knows that.
We learn from the things in life we interact with. Some we choose, and others seem to be thrust upon us. As much as I don't like the way I feel with "A," I have been here before, and it gives me some level of confidence that I can find my way. How I ever did it the first time, I will never know, but what an incredible gift that has been many times over.
We all have our sucky moments in life. We may not be able to find our way through to the other side of all of them. Had I died late last year, "A" and I would never have had this opportunity. I am grateful that we were able to get here. I don't know where we go next, but I am grateful for having the ability to choose the path that allows me to remember the person I fell in love with, even if we're not going "there."
I appreciate what life has offered me in Love Lessons. They have been profoundly incredible, and incredibly painful. Provided I get to stick around for a while, I truly, deeply hope that I will find an experience of love that doesn't get punctuated by such incredible pain. Each time has been harder than the last, and cut so much more deeply.
A note to any Powers there might be: Can we please just consider this a lesson learned, and move on? I would be most grateful. As a secondary note, can we move on to the type of relationship I always knew I could have? The kind that so many think is illusive. You know the one. I would love nothing more than to be right about what I believe is possible. Well. Actually. More than that, I would just love the opportunity to love and be loved in a healthy and sane and beneficial and sweet and supportive way within the context of a relationship with a man. Some think I should be specific to get what I want. Well. I know you know what I want. We've talked about it enough over the years. And I thought you had given it to me. And I am thankful for what it was as long as it lasted. But...next time, please?
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
PS People are trying to be helpful by telling me how difficult it is to get approved. I have heard the stories. I have already had some of my own hiccups. I hear they are a bit more compassionate when it comes to cancer, and that a recurrence of ovarian cancer is likely to go through. Whether it does or doesn't, at this point all I can do is wait and hope, and keep doing what I am doing. In some ways I rather not share, but I do so you, as a potential person who can help, know what is going on. I seek to be as transparent as possible. I already know how much it will be per month, and it will not be enough - but at least it will be something. All I can do is take one step at a time. Please, no Disability stories - unless they are good ones. Things are stressful enough. And, if you happen to be one of the ones who already shared, thank you for caring. Thank you, too, as it told me what else I needed to say/share to take care of myself.
Because sooooo much of what she says resonates for me, in part, because there are things she has said that I have also said. I could have, at times, have thought I was reading my own stuff as I read what she wrote and heard her speak.
Having said that, there are some other things that haven't occurred to me that I find myself sharing because they are so powerful. One of them has to do with one's purpose. She says that she believes that our purpose is to be the best "me" we can be.
If you think about it, it makes sense. What is the point of having so many of us here if we're all supposed to be carbon copies of each other? We try so hard on the surface to be who the "world" tells us we should be, and the result has us forfeiting ourselves in whole or in some part.
There are so many facets to life, why do we feel like we need to ignore some, or put them aside? How can we truly have a complete experience in this playground of life if we are feeling compelled to live by someone else's perceptions, which were really, in some way, based on their discomforts?
If who you are and what you believe really fits you, then there is no doubt you should be that way. IF it really does. Is it really "yours" or is it someone else's? And if it goes for you, then it has to go for others, too.
We have such a double standard at times. If we think something is OK, or not, we figure everyone else must think the same way, too, and if they don't, and (especially if it makes us uncomfortable) they should.
We would never want someone to come along and do that to us. Standing up to be who you truly are is scary and uncomfortable only because you were taught that you weren't supposed to be that way. It is, however, the most natural way to be. You will ruffle feathers, and a whole lot more, and it likely WILL suck, but the peace that you gain within can make a big difference. You may not even realize how much energy you spend on what other people think. It is a waste of the precious life you are intended to be living.
There are better ways to spend that time, and you will be amazed at how certain concerns you had just disappear. I suspect many of our issues come from our discomfort in truly embracing and loving who we are.
As we spoke, I was pretty much talking them out of getting one. I was explaining things about how our mind and how hypnosis works, and why it might not be the most effective choice - if effective at all.
Sometimes people say hypnosis doesn't work. Many times the reason for that is that the effect is addressed, but not the factors that originated those effects. Find the core, and it is like finding the key that unlocks everything.
It can be like magic. There are times that the cause of something was thought nothing of in the mind when it first happened. It was something that "just" happened, and it became am undifferentiated part of the landscape of the individual.
In speaking with the person on the phone, I was doing the opposite of a sales pitch. I wasn't trying to sell them, and I was giving everything away.
It is not that I did not value myself or my work - as some would readily suggest. It was that I valued and loved this person enough to share what felt right to share - without putting conditions or a dollar value on it.
Ironically, perhaps, I wrote something yesterday asking for financial help. I am down to my last $2000 in the bank. I needed the sale. I needed the money.
But it turned out that I needed to be who I am even more. I have said time and again that I am willing and able to give of myself, and that is in great part my intention for a trip.
In addition, I have found that there are times people help me, and I help others. And there are times I help others who help others still. It is part of the beauty of this thing we call life.
While what happened yesterday may not be tangible in dollars and cents, I just smile and shake my head. There is so much about life that just doesn't fit the expected parameters.
In speaking with the person, I was not only "pushing" them away from what they called initially for. I was also giving them something they didn't even know they could get. I started to talk about dealing with cancer and my blog.
Can you imagine? Who freaking does that? Well. Me. Apparently.
I talked about it because my story related to why the person was calling - even though the reason had nothing to do with cancer or illness. It had to do with them being able to love and appreciate - and be - themselves.
I would be willing to bet that is the desire of most anyone, and where many of our issues stem from. When we love and accept ourselves, it can change the landscape of our life - in a big, beautiful way. It may upset those around us, but what it offers internally, and in regard to ourselves, has so much value, it could not be more worth it.
There were times yesterday I had no idea what I was going to say. I just went with what came out. At the end, I even said something about how I felt about the person intuitively.
It wasn't sought. It wasn't asked for. But it felt right, and seemed to be appreciated. I am certain that phone call was nothing like the person thought it should be, and what they were calling, and willing, to pay for. But it also seems like a good thing, not only for them, but for me, too.
There are times I really question my value in the world because so many are silent or ignore me these days because they cannot see past the cancer. As a result, the opportunities I get to be the person I know I am is when I take someone by surprise and give them what they didn't even know they were looking for.
Strangers often seem more receptive to me than those I know. Those who "know" me likely know who they think I am, while with strangers I get to be more of who I indeed am. They don't get a chance to put up their defenses. They are taken off guard.
Part of my dilemma is that who and what I am does not come neatly packaged. Most people have come to believe they are faulty and need to be fixed, and that there are others (who often charge a lot of money) who will tell them exactly what is wrong and what they need. All kinds of bullet points. After all, you need to know what you are buying, right?
Well. Maybe not.
Maybe we believe a lot of things that sounded good at one time it another, but really are only superficial fixes and distractions.
If i had tried to sell myself yesterday, I likely would have not only failed to make money, I would have failed that person and myself. Instead I gave them a gift that came from me being who I truly am, and not a packaged good. They got better than what they came for.
In the process, I got to be me.
In the end, I was unattached to an outcome. If they think I can help, they have my number, and perhaps I can make some money. If not, that is OK, too. Maybe it was exactly as it needed to be, and all it needed to be.
When I woke up this morning, there were a few donations that were not there last night. Are the two things related? I haven't a clue. But I am grateful for those who do see value in me enough to support me as I try to find my way through this maze.
Sometimes the belief of others is all we got to get us by. It is not that we should not have our own, but there are just times it is hard to come by. Sometimes we only find it by standing vulnerably out on a limb and doing the very thing no one - including ourselves - thinks we should do.
It often means doing things without a net. And it is scary as hell. But the thing is, when we are truly who we are meant to be we connect in a very profound way.
When that happens, time stands still. We are at peace. And nothing matters other than our mutual heartbeat. Nothing is more amazing. And even though there are times money is involved, it has more value than anything ever could with a price tag.
Maybe it is no wonder we aren't there more, we are all too busy shopping for the best deals for the things we have been told we need to fix those things about us we are told are faulty.
Moments like I described above exist outside of anything we think we know. They happen when we don't expect them, and they certainly cannot be planned for.
I think they are most likely the ones we live for.
I write about so many things. I write about so many facets of myself. I write about many taboo-ish types of things. And I have "hinted" at the sensual aspects of myself by some of the pictures I have posted.
Tonight I decided to swim a little more deeply into the waters. I took this picture, and it had me wondering what, if anything, to do with it. My hunch is that it will be too much for some, but for others I suspect it will hit a lovely note.
We human beings are so different, and yet we have facets that are very much the same. We just express them differently.
Last night I watched The Queen. When Lady Diana died, Queen Elizabeth, at least according to the movie, felt that the way that Englishmen mourned was in private. She was surprised to discover that it seemed that there had been a shift when she apparently wasn't looking. Suddenly people were demanding her to be a way she had never before been.
She could have reacted any number of ways, but she reacted the only way she knew. It seemed her mother encouraged the way she acted as well. It was the way it had been, so it was the way it should be.
I find discussions about sexuality and sensuality are at times difficult. At other times, they are met with intrigue and inquiry and excitement. It would seem natural as human beings to be sexual and sensual, and yet in an open forum, it suddenly (for many) often becomes something incredibly taboo.
I see nothing wrong with the picture above. It covers all the pieces people deem pertinent, and yet the sensuality has it bend in a way that could be quite uncomfortable for some. I think there is something warm and wonderful and inviting about the sensual, as it is the stimulation of what we sense. It is the warmth and softness we feel. It is the whisper or bird's song we appreciate. It is the sweetness of taste of chocolate or of fresh baked bread. It is the beauty of the flower or in the sparkle of someone's eyes. It is in the inhalation of the scents that we find of home or of pleasure.
It is in our sensuality that we sense life. It awakens us to the things around us and within us. It gets all distorted when it gets tied to sexuality, especially when someone has a discomfort around it in some way. Is the discomfort justified? It is an interesting question. Is the discomfort of any conversation "justified?' It would seem to depend on who you talk to.
Not only is there discomfort, but discomfort often breeds a sense that something is wrong. It has a way of telling us that we shouldn't be a way many of us would find naturally occurring, if it were not for learning otherwise somewhere along the way.
There are so many pieces of this experience I am having with cancer that cross over into other aspects of life. It is really amazing the more I look at the various parts. At the core of many pieces of life is an inherent discomfort one has for a topic that is expected from others as well. There are, after all, only certain ways to act in an acceptable manner. A problem arises when what is acceptable publicly is at odds with what is more likely occurring behind closed doors. It seems ironic that some of the most verbal opponents of things get caught with their hand in the cookie jar - caught in the very indulgence they are speaking against.
Maybe it is time we found a way to a compromise. Has anyone ever considered that we might have issues because we are trying to push things down and away? Ever notice when you tell someone they can't have something? They want it even more, don't they?
As I am writing, I am reminded of an article that I wrote several years ago called Accepting and Embracing Your Sexual Self. I should post it here at some point, but for now I will just link to it elsewhere on the web, if you are interested in reviewing it. Be forewarned, though, I speak quite openly and frankly.
I am not sure how I can talk about myself fully without fully embracing this aspect of myself in the conversation. There will likely be more to come. Cue the dramatic music? "Dum. Dum. Dum." Personally I would prefer something a bit more sensual, if you don't mind.
And if you do mind, I am not quite sure what to say to you about it. I respect that maybe you would appreciate me not being so open or frank about things. In the same way I respect that people think I am too open and too frank about other things - like, say - cancer. But the thing is, I feel it is important to write about the things I do and to share.
I can't - or won't - make anyone read anything that I write. If it gets too uncomfortable for you, I'll never know if you excuse yourself to more familiar territory. And, even if I did know, good for you. We should all respect ourselves enough to know what and who we should expose ourselves to, and stay away from the rest.
Hm. No pun was intended there. But it is an interesting one none-the-less. And I think a great note to end on.
Til next time.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
Things sucked when things came to an end with the guy I call "A." There have been a few blog entries about him since the end of what we had was called. I suspect there aren't too many that think that kindly of him and how things came to pass.
The two biggest issues I had with things were my request that he let me know if he decided he did not want to be in a relationship with me. I asked him not to stick around because of my diagnosis. This request he ignored. The second was how he choose to act at the "final" curtain. He couldn't handle my anger (even though he did feel me justified) so he just shut down completely. We went from talking most days to not talking at all. He totally pulled the rug out from under me.
Throughout it I did my best to handle how I felt. I cried. I wrote. I felt things. I didn't know how best to be, but I was just however I felt I needed to be. I wrote him more than once so that I could express how I felt. He shut that down after a time, too, but at least I got out what I needed to say. I felt like I expressed what I needed to. I felt complete. Not happy, but complete.
I couldn't change how he felt or what he felt, and I couldn't understand what the hell happened, but I didn't need to. I needed to find a way to cope with what was suddenly my reality. I had to find a way to stand without my crutch.
More than once I wondered when we were still connected how I would be if he walked. I had come to depend on him so much. He gave me such great comfort by just being who he was. It wasn't so much what we talked about, as much as it was the feeling of support and comfort I felt knowing that he was there, in my corner, and I knew I could depend on him. He had been amazing, all throughout my experience of chemo, and as I got my port. I had come to love him more because even though I told him to go if he had to, he didn't seem to be budging. How lucky could I be?
I think I knew the end was coming. Things hadn't felt right for a while. When I indirectly questioned things, he was adept at side stepping my concerns in a way that I felt I could just keep going as if everything was OK.
There were times after the bottom fell out that I wondered if he ever really cared about me. Was it all just a facade? Was I delusional? I suspect it was my way of coping. After all, logically it would seem that if he truly cared about me he certainly wouldn't have just picked up and walked away so coldly. Right?
Over the past year we had a few messages back and forth. Nothing was ever all that significant. I felt a bit like I was walking on hot coals. After all, he had been pretty much on the attack back then. I didn't think I was doing anything like he seemed to think I was, but I didn't want to do anything that could be misconstrued. It wasn't worth the potential aggravation. I had enough I was dealing with.
On occasion I wondered if we could ever find a way to be more than just a token message, or two, friendly. I have done it with others I have been interested in so I knew I could do it with him. It was what I had been striving for when I wrote him what I did when things had fallen apart. Apparently, though, my words fell on deaf ears.
The fact was I knew I had to just leave things be. But I also knew that I had to say things to him sometimes if they showed up to say. Once in a while I would share something with him because I felt nudged to do so. There were times I was like, "Really?" I felt kind of stupid, actually. Odds are any outsiders trying to help me would have likely have told me to leave things alone. He wasn't initiating anything so that likely meant he wasn't interested. So I never told anyone what I was doing. I just did it.
Several key events in my life passed, silently and without anything from him. Most would likely think it speaks volumes. I just observed, and kept doing what I had been doing. If something felt like it should be said/shared, I did it. Once in a while I would hear something from him, asking how I was doing. But for the most part he was pretty silent and/or reactive to me/my messages.
The fact was I was also a bit scared to talk to him live again. The last time we did that was horrible. He was horrible. The energy between us was horrible. He was on the offense, possibly because he felt defensive (although that is really a guess on my part). I tried not to cry as we spoke, and act like I was OK, even though I was anything but. I was trying to keep my cool. I did not want to feed any fire that he seemed to have going.
It was horrible. I know. I already said that. But it was. It left me feeling like sh*t. If there was any chance I was going to get more of "that" I wanted no part of it, and I wasn't going to give him anything that could be misconstrued, if I could help it. At the same time, I wrote things I hated to write. Why did I have to tell him some of the things I did? I could so hear the voices in my head of those who would have told me how stupid I was, if I gave them a chance. Even though they weren't present, they still managed to make me question myself.
But just like so many other things in my life, I have learned to listen to my inner voice and nudgings. I have learned to do what feels like something that should be done, even when it makes no damn sense logically.
In what happened, there was some good that occurred. I felt like what I went through and shared could likely help someone who is either in his, or my, shoes at some point. Even though he may have been around for the "wrong" reasons, he was an incredible support for me while he was around. I am grateful for it when I am not at odds with the part of me that wants me to believe I was stupid for believing what I did.
Part of this experience of life has a lot to do with "letting go." So many things I have had to let go of over the years. So many things and so many people. It has never stopped sucking. What has changed over time, though, is how I respond to it. There are things I don't want to let go of, and I wouldn't by choice, but just because I don't want to, doesn't mean I won't have to.
As long as I am in touch with the part of the situation that is about LOVE, I know I will somehow manage to do the right thing. When I love someone I want nothing more than for them to be happy, and if they're not going to be happy with me then I can't make it happen. If somehow things continued, it would make both of us miserable.
I would be less than honest if I didn't add to this conversation the part about my mortality. I wonder sometimes how much time I do have left. Is it "fair" for me to want to be with someone if I can't stick around for a while? On some weird level, it makes letting go that much easier. But it is still not "easy."
I keep thinking I need to let more things go. I will leave everything behind when "the" time comes, and at that point there will be no choice. It seems more powerful to make the choice while I am still here.
I am very grateful for all that my situation with "A" has taught me, even though I am still a bit raw around the edges. We spoke at length recently, and it was amazing. My friend was back. The bitter, harsh shield of before was gone. As we spoke, pain came to the surface, and I was crying. But I was grateful for the tears. It felt like a release. It felt like there was stuff that needed to go, and the conversation was giving me the opportunity to allow them to come out and leave. I had no idea how much pain had been stored away in my attempt to cope.
I share all of this as a way of saying that despite how we want things to be, and in spite of the way some think things "should" be, life has a way of twisting and turning in the ways that it wants to, and if we let it, it can bring us through the pain and to places of great appreciation and understanding. It is a package deal, though.
I would not have gained as much as I have if it had not been for the pain I have experienced. Some people believe that those in our lives play the roles they do so that we gain what we are meant to gain. Sometimes those people get to be quite the villain in the process.
We get to choose how we will be after the blow. It seems to me that there is magic to be had in being able to go with the flow and where it takes us. That often likely means doing the things that we and others would likely ridicule and judge.
I had told "A" I hated him when the wheels fell off. I might have said other things, too, but I don't really remember now. I know I was in a form of shock at the time. I was devastated.
When we spoke recently, I told him exactly how I felt about what he had done. I didn't hold back. To his credit, he has come to a place of understanding regarding his actions that allows him to hear me without being defensive or offensive in his defense. He has taken responsibility for his actions, even though I am not sure he fully understands what happened, either.
I may not have liked how things were, but in the process of coping with him and his actions and words I tried my best to look within and deal with myself and where *I* went in relation to everything. It was the only person I had any ability to affect. It was the only person I could even remotely attempt to understand or control. In some way that gave me some sense of peace.
We spoke again today, and I thanked him for allowing me to have my friend back. He has essentially dropped the wall that prevented us from finding the friendship plane after what happened just over a year ago. It is really all I could have asked for/hoped for if he ever decided to walk away from the idea of a relationship. It only took a year+ for us to get here. But the fact is that we have found our way to the beginning, and even though I have some mixed feelings, I am incredibly grateful for where we are.
I really missed my friend.