Hiking – A spiritual experience

Now, I know it is probably not like this for everyone, but since I am spiritual seeker and it is also my job, my mind tends to seek out spirituality everywhere I am. And in this new “post married” life of mine, I have decided to try new things. Try to find things that bring me joy.

Today, I really wanted to work out and the thought of doing a Jillian Micheal’s workout at home in my house seemed so boring. So, I thought, I’m going to go on a hike. I don’t really hike, I always want to be a hiker, I just think I don’t have the right gear or clothes or shoes…. excuses, excuses. My friend always does this one hike at Poo Poo Point, seemed simple enough.

Starting out I was thinking this isn’t bad, I even see some people come down that are not as in shape as me, so maybe it will be easy. IT’S NOT EASY. At first, there were pockets of sun light coming through, it was nice. I decided to not listen to music, so I could deal with my demons. How quickly I try to drown those out. Three ladies came by with dogs, if they can do it I can do it. A quarter of the way up… it’s hard. I pass by some young probably 17ish girls, one says to the other, “Going down is always the hardest.” I interjected in their conversation, ” I was banking on going down being easier”. I thought, what does she mean, that can’t be true.

I pass by an old lady with sticks (or whatever those things are that help you climb a mountain) and as she is going down she is going back and forth not to fall, I thought, oh, how sweet. Everyone coming down seems fine, breathing fine – no huffing or puffing like me. Some are even running down… I’m sure, I thought “He must do this often”.

Now, I’m in the middle or 3 quarters up (at least I’m hoping), I have no idea how long it will take, I think Darin said it’s an hour up, I don’t check my phone because if it has only been 15 mins. that’ll be discouraging. It’s gets darker in the middle of the mountain and I think to myself, this is the Journey. Not just the journey today, but the life journey. You start off with some light and eager to adventure, then the pain comes, and the darkness sets in, by the middle you are telling yourself “Just one foot in front of the other, don’t stop, and do not quit”.

As I finally approach the top, the sunlight is coming through again, which provides some much needed energy. And then the most breath taking views, I did it, I reached the top. And I think to myself “See it’s worth it.” It’s always worth it. The Journey, the Pain, the trudging, it’s always proven to be worth it. I sat there – with everyone else on their phones (because we all have to document our lives right;), and enjoyed my hard work.

As I started to go back down and almost fell 3 times, I thought this is not as hard, except the shaking legs. But it may not be as hard because I actually knew where I was going. It’s the hardest when you know it’s going to be better on the other side, but you can’t see it and you don’t know how long it will take you to get there.

Then I was proud of the old lady with the sticks and everyone else who climbed the mountain that day. And some of the people going up now were huffing and puffing like me. I thought- don’t worry you’ll make it, it’s worth it, and you are strong.

The mountain was a new, joyful experience for me today. I’ll do it again, now we will see what my body feels like tomorrow.

Much. Much Love – fellow journeyer’s

Don’t let sadness steal you JOY!

Today, I completed a huge project I have been working on for months. It was amazing. Lots of volunteers came, everyone had a great time, I received a lot of praise, and instantly as I left I felt this sadness. I don’t have a person anymore. A person to call. A person that I’ve been talking to about this. A person….

I had a friend who warned me about this, feeling on top of the world and then the loneliness when you get home is so hard.

But as I was driving and feeling sad, I thought to myself, WOW, this sadness is ruining all that I did accomplish today. I feel proud of myself. I am good at things. It all worked and we did a good thing in the world and people will benefit from our efforts.

So, I thought, FUCK YOU sadness, I am going to celebrate myself. I turned on some loud music to sing to in the car. I bought myself a “good to me” bottle of red wine, sat in a different spot when I got home (not the sad section of my couch that I feel like I’ve been in for months), bought a Power Ball ticket, and am writing. Daydreaming about the Ladies Event I am going to do in less than a month and reminding myself, I can be my own person. I don’t need a person. I mean, I’m a person, right, I can be that for me.

So, the celebration will continue!! I’m learning to love myself and myself is good enough.

Much. LOVE.

Why I’ve decided to become my own best friend.

Being your own best friend probably seems pretty logical. But I have never been my own best friend. I actually for a long time have been my own worst enemy. I would NEVER talk to my friends the way I talk to myself sometimes…. so judgy, no grace, and extremely critical.

But now, I’m alone, A LOT. So, I thought, Hey, this is a good time to become my own best friend. How do you do that? Well, here is what I am doing.

1.) I talk to myself a lot – If I am having an emotional reaction to something, I do not burst out and try to talk it out with anyone, just myself, and guess what? Myself tends to be good enough. I can comfort and understand myself pretty well, who knew.

2.) I am being kind. Seems simply but not done often. Most of the time, I am really trying the best I can. So are you probably? But isn’t it funny we can hurt each other so much. The more I give myself a break, the more I can give others a break.

3.) When I do stuff I do not like, I just say, “It’s okay, at least you are aware, and try to change that next time you notice.”

I’m not sure if this is working just yet, but hey, it’s better than being my own worst enemy.

Much. LOVE.

Only the light drives out the dark

There is an interesting thing about being coupled and then being alone. We all have these patterns, ways of being, ways of reactivating, and just plain ways of doing things. Now, luckily or not, we are usually unaware of them. We are entrenched in them. We literally don’t see them. Even if someone points them out we can not acknowledge them, it’s too close to our sense of identity. Call them blind spots if you will.

Well, pain and being alone, drag up a bunch of that stuff. I was talking to a lady the other night about her marriage, she is contemplating divorce, and I said: “First try all your options, if he chooses not to change with you, then you HAVE to find something to hold onto, because the pain is so gut wrenching, it will drag up all your wounds from the past, and you will go back if you do not have solid ground to stand.”

What I’ve been learning and seeing in myself are my unhealthy ways of relating. I thought when married that if I offered to do something nice, it was out of love. No, it was not. I wanted payment for my sacrifice, payment in the form of attention, I didn’t know that, because I was completely unaware of my needs. So, when married if I felt like that I would plan a date night or pick a fight, some way to get what I wanted. Which really was pay attention to me.

I have also been revisiting past relationship issues, or beliefs I had held. And the other day I had a thought.

“There is nothing to figure out here, and there is nothing you can say that your sub-conscious is not going to retaliate to, so your only option is TO DRIVE OUT THE DARK WITH THE LIGHT! I think this is what the energy people talk about when they say, raise your vibration. As in, bring in the positive energy and get that shit out. Say “what if” questions to yourself. Anything you can do to just shift that negative loop to a positive loop.

I don’t really understand energy medicine, but I love when the energy medicine world, fits in with the Jesus world, and counseling and science. Being open to all forms of God’s healing – is healing me.

Much. LOVE.

I’m doing it… learning to let go

I started this post one way, and realized I’m trying to hard to sound more eloquent than I am. So here’s the real truth. I kind of regret some of my emotional posts about Jason. My eyes have been opened and now I know I was in a lot of pain and needed to get some words out (you should see the posts I didn’t post 😉 )

Especially, because we put that video out and to be honest at the time I was fine. I agreed to this divorce, I wanted to do the video, and then I got slammed by my own emotional body.

” Grief does not change you. It reveals you.” – John Green

Well, that revealing was a lot more than I expected. I thought I was more mature. I thought I was more aware. I thought a lot of things about myself that were not true.

The more I have looked into my marriage, I am now very aware of the destructive patterns I brought in. At first, I felt so mad at myself for not being different. But I remembered when you know better you act better, so I offered myself some grace. Then I thought oh gosh if we were separated longer maybe I could have been able to see and breath and find this stuff out, but that just made me mad and did not actually change any of the circumstances. Then I felt sorrow and thought, oh gosh, I need to apologize to Jason.

So, I asked him if we could talk. I sat down, I was nervous. And I explained: “Hey, remember when I did this, I choose being right and good, over creating an authentic connection with you. Remember when I did this, I tore you down because I thought if you were the “good one” who was I going to be, it felt like an attack on my identity. Oh yea, and remember this one, I did that because I thought I only get love by being pleasing and if you don’t feel loved then I’m doing something wrong, which translates I’m wrong, then I react out of shame.”

Ugh…. I know. I was nervous because I thought oh goodness, I hope I’m not sub-consciously drawing him to me.  That’s the funny thing about divorce, you can’t really be sure what your motivation are at anytime. But I decided to talk to him anyway, he deserved it. He needed to know I can see what I could not see. And I needed to have it come from deep down, deep in my heart.

The miracle of it all is, it did not draw him to me. It freed me. I felt lighter and able to move on, at least to start to move on. I honored the “REAL” love I have for him, and I do in my core want him to be happy.

So, I let go a little. I don’t know how, but I did. And it’s nice, oh so nice. It’s true the resistance does make things harder.

And I realized I am more of who I aspire to be than I thought. I found some blind spots in myself. I found beliefs and sub-conscious ways I live and other yuckiness that needed to be brought to the light so I can choose to change it. You can’t change what you don’t see. So, even though I wrote what I wrote, that was the truth, and that is who i really am. Just like all of you trying to evolve into a better human being. So for that I am thankful.

Much. LOVE.

A look inside yourself

“Curiosity is a shit-starter. But that’s okay, sometimes we have to rumble with a story to find the truth.” – Brene Brown

 

So, in this conscious uncoupling book I’m reading, the first couple things are:

1.) You are totally normal and it is your biology that makes you feel crazy emotional.

2.) Then there are some tips on self-soothing and how to have good self-care.

3.) To grow and not repeat this relationship again, you need to take a good look at yourself and what your responsibility is.

What I discovered:

1.) I am 2nd oldest of 6 kids and to get attention when I was young, I was a people pleaser. I got attention for serving and helping others, it was the way I felt loved. I had overcome a lot of people pleasing in my regular life but not necessarily in intimate relationships. I, then, got married and abandon myself to please Jason. So, ANY input/criticism/suggestions he had I overreacted to because in my mind was this: ” Are you criticizing me, do you know I have sacrifice my whole self here, I am doing everything to make sure you are happy (which he NEVER asked me to do and did not want from me but I thought that was my role).” Thank God, Jason was my learning curve and not Huck. Could you imagine, Huck does one thing wrong and my reaction is: ” I sacrificed my whole life for you, you have to be perfect.” Oh goodness!

2.) I had/have a fear that I am boring and dis-interesting. Because I was this crazy party-er in my 20’s and when I quit that I was really bored. It seems to me there are a lot of drinking activities in Seattle and I felt excluded. I lived at my parents one summer in-between going to Kansas to plant a church, and all i did for like 6 weeks, was hang out with my sister and watch TV. I remember thinking, I can NEVER EVER come back to this place. It made me feel like such a loser. So, I married the guy with a ton of interesting things to say, you’ll never be bored, I told myself. But then I blame him for not including me in his conversation. That’s who he is – VERY INTERESTING – and I was mad at him that I had a deep seeded fear I was not interesting. Ugh…. I know.

3.) And, last but definitely not least. I think negative attention is better than no attention at all. So, abandon yourself, have all the answers he wants to hear, avoid conflict, and pretty much just be a shell of a person. Then blame him because your SOUL WILL COME OUT, if you shut your soul in there really tight, you don’t really shut it out. It comes out in weird uncontrollable ways, because the truth of who you are will beckon you to acknowledge her. So, I played the victim.

And this was just one day of looking inward. I’m sure sub-consciously I have a million other ways I contributed to this divorce. My number one complaint was I feel like he disappeared when I married him, GUESS WHAT, shocker – I disappeared when he married me! I was confident, driven, I would pack up and leave at any time if I felt like God called me, I was planning on going back to the mission field, and had lots of things I was interested in. I got married and turned into the only example of marriage I had ever seen. Ok, this is what wife’s do, be submissive, have kids, learn to cook, fulfill all his needs, and manage this household — I enmeshed with him.

AND– Side note this lifestyle was what made me drink a lot in my 20’s in the first place, because I thought it was BORING. Maybe not boring to all, but it was boring to me. It’s just not the way I was made. I’m an adventurer, a little bit of a thrill seeker, want to live an exciting, ever changing life.

Jason would always ask me about my desires, because I think he knew I had abandoned ship. I didn’t know, because I was playing this role, and this new role, or my perception of this role, I did not fit into well, at least not in my core.

The wonderful thing about Jason and I, is I think we see each other. Like really see each other. We see the true person in there, and in our own dysfunctional, yet well-intended ways, we beckon it out. He’s wonderfully sweet, and kind, and literally the most accepting person I have ever met. He was better than me in that way, I always envied it. Because I was supposed to be the good one, how sick is that! And he sees me as a strong, kind, dynamic leader of women, who can hold my own in the fields of people like Brene Brown and Glennon Doyle Melton. (I know, so sweet).

Please do not think I am sad about any of this. I am proud of myself that I can feel and see the bad parts of me without shame.  I am a contributor to this divorce, an EQUAL contributor. And if I want to heal, I must hold both things. To have inner peace you must look inside yourself and hold onto to the yucky parts as well as the good ones.

Much LOVE.

Hope rising

I think people can not live without hope. Hope for something. A better future? Things will turn around? Joy will come? Things will heal? The SUN will come AGAIN… if you live in Seattle, you know this week has been glorious with the sunshine even if it’s cold.

At the beginning of Jason and I separating I remember feeling like I had lost hope. I had hoped for so long we would get to a better place. Maybe this counselor? Maybe this energy person? Maybe this retreat? Poor guy, put up with a lot of my fixing.

Anyway, when I lost hope, it was such a devastating feeling. I remember thinking, I have to find a new hope, otherwise, I will cease to live. Hope feels (at least to me) integral to the human experience. I did not find anything to hope in, really at the time. But I was doing ok moving through the motions.

TODAY, though, I felt some hope. I had the thought, oh my goodness, I actually might get to fall in love again. I remember thinking after getting married how weird it would be to never have a crush again, and LOOK AT THAT, I might actually have a crush again.

I’m not really ready for it yet, but I will be someday. I keep telling myself, this will get better, it already has. And I am starting to see seedlings of hope for the future. YAY ME!!

So anyway, here is to 3 good days in a row, after a really shitty day. But hey, it’s all about the bounce back rate.

Much LOVE.