More Mess Than Beauty
Today the beauty is way tangled up in the mess inside my head. I’ll be okay. But damn there are days when I truly hate impermanence and flux with a passion. This is one of them. I think the first time I heard someone say “this too shall pass” it was used in the context of bad shit being temporary. It has, however, since occurred to me that the same is true for the good stuff.
It’s not just that my wonderful week off and adventure on the Grand Canyon Sky Walk is over. It’s not just that my besties are no longer right down the strip from me. It’s not just that the kitchen sink is clogging, the water in the pool is currently a murky sea foam green, and patches of the grass on my front lawn are dead. It’s that my “all is right with the world” feeling can’t be nailed down and pinned to a bulletin board. Can I turn it into refrigerator magnet? Please… please… please?!
Damn I want to be flapping my wings over the Grand Canyon right now. I want to be lost in that bubble where time disappears because the company and conversation are just so incredibly perfect.
I know life doesn’t work that way and Adam Sandler got himself in a huge pickle in the movie Remote Control when he tried to rewind and fast forward in his life. But a girl can dream can’t she?!
I know I live in a universe where the only constant is change, but sometimes I want to dig my heels in. It feels like I’m in a one sided tug-of-war with the invisible powers that be. I’m hanging onto that rope. It’s leaving blisters as it’s being yanked out of my hands. Some of the voices in my head are screaming… “let go,” “release,” “accept what you cannot change,” “surrender”! But today I fight those voices even though I won’t win the battle. I will find a way to let go… because I don’t want to be dragged.
Music that Moves
Even though Rewind by Diane Birch is a “sad” love song, it soothes my soul. Sometimes I really do just want to push rewind. Don’t you?
Words are like drugs. They have the power to alter our state of consciousness. We use them to make ourselves feel better. It really doesn’t matter if we are the speaker or the listener. You can put together the right combination of words and produce a hypnotic effect.
I’ve known this for a long time. It doesn’t make me any less susceptible to the intoxicating effect of words. I can hear them being said (or read them) and know they are not true, but for a moment I suspend the need for sincerity and let the words bathe me in a short-lived euphoria. But the hangover from the drunk of too many enchanting (and empty) words is one of the worst hangovers of all. Even a big greasy cheeseburger and fries won’t cure the yucky feeling of knowing you just let yourself be duped. again.
I’m a lover of words, but I’m not a lover of empty words. Yet there are times when their beauty snags me before I realize what hit me. Even knowing their intoxicating power, I refuse to give up hope. When words are backed up with actions an amazing reaction happens insides me… I know I matter.
Dear Little Me
There are so many things I wish I could tell you that would change the course of the heartbreak in your life. I wish I could share wisdom with you (or even cram it down your throat) to help you avoid the days when the shadows are more prominent than the light.
The problem is you can’t listen to me because you need to do things your way. I mean this in the most loving way possible. You really do need to do it your way because you are becoming you. You learn who you are through trial, error, and paying attention (this means you’ll be making some mistakes.)
Most of the heartbreak you suffer will be coming to you at your own hands. Sure he will hurt you. Yes she will betray you. They will talk about you. Others will laugh at you. Many will leave you. Your thighs will be the wrong shape. Your tummy won’t be flat enough. You won’t like how your tush looks. Your hair will be too something. The real problem is that in those moments you will be harder on yourself than any of them could be.
You will believe you deserved things you didn’t. You will believe you didn’t deserve things you did. You may act tough and rash (or weak and wimpy,) but inside there will be a nagging voice that will turn on you. There is another voice inside you too. It’s the one you don’t listen to often enough, but you will wish you had. The sooner you obey it, the sooner you will find peace.
What can I do to prevent crappy things from happening to you? Nothing. I can’t stop those event in the first place, but we do have a choice and a voice about how long the crap continues to hit the fan. (When it hits the fan, the sooner you step out of the way the less shit will get on you.)
Here are some secrets you need to know….
- you are not the only one who feels the way you do – they may not tell you they do, but they do
- the things you tell yourself you can’t survive – you probably already have many times over
- you will stop crying – it’s guaranteed
- your body will never be just the way you want it – it doesn’t have to be the way you want it to be beautiful, have fun, give, and receive love anyway
- a pair of fat pants is a wardrobe essential
- if he or she doesn’t like your body – then by all means don’t let him or her have your body
- have a backup plan for bad hair days
- change is scary – so fucking what – do it anyway
- if you aren’t kind to you – then you aren’t a kind person – be a kind person
- pursue your dreams – learn more ways to say yes
- if you don’t mean yes – then don’t say it
- sleep is essential – but you can never own too many types of under-eye concealer
- if they didn’t teach you the skills you need – go get them somewhere else
- if you can’t forgive yourself – then you are not a forgiving person – be a forgiving person
it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
I Didn’t Matter Enough
Just a little rant I thought you might relate to.
The day is rapidly coming when I won’t be able to give enough of a damn to care whether or not you understand me. I dread that day. It’s the day when I will matter more to me than you do. It’s called the point of no return. I begged you to listen. To hear me. To understand me. One of the most tragic things about this day is it will surprise you. No matter how hard I tried to tell you it was coming, I didn’t matter enough for you to listen to me.
Thirteen hours ago, I received a question from someone who reads my Facebook Page. She asked…
What is love?
Many quotes came to mind. But I wasn’t satisfied with someone else’s words. I could write an essay for an answer, but what good would that do?
What is not love? Spend some time answering that question. Whatever you have left… that is probably love.
You’ll find what others have to say about love below…
I’m not sure I’ve ever drawn a project out for this long. Ooops. Scratch that. My book’s not written yet either! I finally have made visible progress. More, much more to do, but for today I’m saying yay! It’s progress.
Let me just say this about re-hanging the pictures after painting. They don’t go up as quickly as they come down. Hmmmm. I suppose that could be said of certain other things here in mid-life. Better stop while I’m ahead.
I’ll do it ALL BY MYSELF (or not.)
Project “Rehang Titanic: The Family” is officially underway. I am the bonus mom to The Man’s four children (he and I married in 1986.) Those children have gone off and created 14 amazingly stupendous, brilliant, beautiful grand-mini-messes.
We have zillions of family pictures that line our upstairs hallway and stairwell. All of said photos came off the wall during project “Paint The Mess” in July of 2012 (we repainted the interior of our house). Now eight months later, much to my chagrin, these pictures are still waiting to be rehung.
They need some sprucing up. They’ve been hanging around for lots of years, collecting dust, and some of the frames need to be replaced. I could see it was going to be BIG job. (That’s what happens when you can call your family titanic.)
Accordingly procrastination has been my method of choice for dealing with the problem. All of the photos were stuffed in two giant boxes. We shoved the boxes in corners to collect more dust and were successfully (almost) able to pretend they no longer existed. But the walls on which they hung began to look increasingly barren and sterile. The emptiness served as a reminder and my guilt grew.
So a month ago, I took the first step which was to write about my shitty relationship with time, my own self-imposed drama, my perfectionistic tendencies, and the need for baby steps. I said I would hang just 4 pictures as a start.
Flash forward. Still no pictures on the walls. Guilt steadily increased. Meltdown status was finally achieved last Sunday. This caused me to do something remarkable. I asked for HELP!
Yeppers. That’s a big dot damn deal for me! I told The Man I was lost and needed help to get started. I knew that once the project was underway I would be perfectly content to do the arranging and hanging myself. I just didn’t know how to get started. It was overwhelming.
Today The Man formulated a plan. He took all the pictures out of the boxes, wiped them off, and laid them out in the guest bedroom so I could actually see what we had. And then my engine finally turned over. I began sorting the pictures. I want to hang them in some sort of loose chronological order. In a few minutes, The Man’s help was no longer needed. I was breathing regularly and sorting through things. I finally had a vision for where I was headed.
Beautiful messes inside sometimes have a very difficult time asking for help. Our independent do-it-yourself nature can bog us down to the point of paralysis. It will be a while before the ”Titanic: The Family” pictures are back in their places of honor, but important steps were taken today. I can see where I’m going. And I find myself able to breathe again. Who knows? This whole asking for helping thing might just catch on…
Today’s post comes in the form of an unsolicited “love letter.” It was posted as a Facebook status from one of the women who did the August 2012 Journey from Habit to Intention. She posted this yesterday (March 11, 2013).
It moved me and brought some fresh air into my day (a day that needed all the fresh air it could get.) After I picked myself up off the floor, I asked her if I could share her words with you. She graciously said yes.
Immediately one of the voices in my head wondered “isn’t that a bit shameless of you? After all she says some pretty awesome things about A Beautiful Mess Inside and the e-class. Shouldn’t I be a bit more humble and retiring? Shouldn’t I just quietly thank her and leave it at that? ”
And then another voice countered, ”Hell no!”
Shameless seems to be my style. I certainly have my humble moments where I am full of awe and wonder for this amazing universe, but I am rarely quiet. If I was quiet, I wouldn’t be sharing my inner world so publicly.
There is something freeing about owning one’s own mess so openly (and finding the beauty in it). I’m less interested in what you think OF me and more interested in what you think. period. full-stop. end of sentence.
Regardless of whether or not you are curious about doing The Journey from Habit to Intention, these are powerful words. They resonated with me. I suspect they will speak loudly to you too.
These are some pretty powerful lyrics. So many people listen to them, and don’t really absorb them. Your mental chatter is essential to your health. Most of us, even the most emotionally healthy of us, suffer with negative mental chatter. About ourselves, about others.
How many of you look in the mirror and think that you are perfect? I never have the thought of perfection. I am constantly disappointed with my skin, my weight, my nose, my hair, my stomach…How many of you finish a project and think it is flawless? When I finish a painting or a paper for school, even though it may be acceptable or even great by society’s standards.
I can EASILY pick my work apart, feeling like I could have done something different or worked harder… How many parents think they are fabulous and could not possibly be any better? For sure not me!!! Although I may have a moment when I think I am a cool mom, it usually flies right out the window! And I have the uncanny ability to use their most beautiful moment to beat myself up. When they are asleep, and they are so precious and perfect….I realize what an asshole I have been and start thinking about what I need to do to be a better mom.
Here’s the deal, if anyone in this world has made monumental mistakes, it is ME. If anyone has ever self-hated out of guilty for not being the mom they knew they would be, it is ME. If anyone has ever felt like a failure, over and over and over because they let their children down, it is ME. If anyone has ever dealt with an addiction and didn’t know how they could ever crawl out of the deep dark place it put them, it is ME. If anyone has ever searched for self-worth from anyone that showed them attention, it is ME. ………AND YOU KNOW WHAT???? I AM OK. And YOU will be too.
But you must change your inner voice. You have to quiet the mental chatter that is holding you down. You must see perfection in yourself. We ALL have flaws, and God knows there will always be someone else to point them out…but finding true beauty and worth in your reflection is possible…and only then will you embrace your imperfections…
When I was at my lowest point, I couldn’t even see my own reflection because I was trying to find it in everyone else’s eyes. But I was also hiding my reality from the people who loved me the most.
When I was finally honest with MYSELF, I could share my truth. And that was a pretty daunting thing to think about. But I did it. Not on my own. I found A Beautiful Mess Inside, and stumbled across an e-course that was coming up, called The Journey from Habit to Intention…and began a personal awakening that helped me make my life changes…starting an internal healing process that eventually became an external force.
Did changing my mental chatter fix all my insecurities? No. I still have to literally tell my mind to shut the F*&% up…a lot. But that one change has made differences in my life that I never imagined…..and now I am an arrow. I had to be pulled back in order to be launched into the air in the direction of my hopes and dreams…..
So, if you are feeling discouraged…or like a huge failure….or ugly….just try this one thing….
Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead!
Jessica 11 March 2013
Acceptance Without Exception
We all battle with trust. We’re scared to death to let go and trust someone. Ironically, Duchovny gets it right here. The KEY is to trust people to be who they are – not who we want them to be.
We create expectations for others based on our own standards and then get pissed when our expectations aren’t met.
As much as I hate to admit it… the majority of breeches of my own trust came because I “expected” someone to live up to a standard of mine when the reality of who they were had been spelled out over and over again by their actions. Yes. Many times they said the words I wanted to hear… and in some cases the words I demanded to hear. Who am I to act astonished and disappointed when they prove to be who they were all along – when they prove to be the person I knew – not the version of the person I wanted to believe existed.
Sadly I suspect the same is true of me. I know I’ve let people down. People who wanted me to be the me they thought I was. Even when the real, human, flawed, beautiful mess inside me stood right in front of them. But they didn’t want to see me – they wanted me to be her… the illusion they had created for me by focusing only on my gifts and refusing to see my flaws. In each and every case where someone has refused to see my flaws… I’m certain I let them down terribly.
When you are placed on a pedestal there is only one way to go… down.
I’m weary of being let down my own expectations. The question is when am I going to be able to trust myself to see things clearly and accept what I see standing in front of me with no exception?
The Whole Truth
Her words mirror my experience with The Man. Thank goodness for the “bright little flashing fish of hope.”