You know…. I have spent the last week or so trying to figure out why I’m so “weepy”. Meaning, quick to have tears just sitting there and having them just overwhelm me without warning and for , apparently, no reason.

Then it hits me a couple of days ago that maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with grief and an upcoming date that hurts – a date that should be a celebration of a person’s life but instead now will always be “he would have been… today” .

To clarify, I am an expert-level crafter of the state of “I am fine” until I am so not fine that I am an expert-level mess so for me to do what I did a couple evenings ago is a huge thing.

I was chatting on the phone with my sweetie and I got overwhelmed with ugh and grrr about the topic (which was a mundane one to be honest) and I started crying. For. No. Reason. According to my reason-to-cry-meter which I have (and which is perfect by the way).

And here’s the thing… instead of trying to stop or getting angry that I was losing my shit, I just said ” You know what, I’m just sad this week because of X and I’m emotional. And I’m done trying to not be sad. I just am.”

And an amazing thing happened. No, I didn’t miraculously feel better, but the heaviness of it all became different. Why? Because there was just the sadness and the heavy to feel. The weight of the ever-present push to not let it get to me or to be fine wasn’t quite so present all of sudden. Those words I spoke, “I just am.” weren’t defeat, they were acceptance.

Surrender isn’t always about giving up.

Sometimes it is simply giving in – sometimes for just a moment – and letting it be how it is. That alone makes the load a little lighter.

this is going to be amazing, it’s been far too long since I’ve been one with myself, ahhhhhh

when WAS the last time I went to a yoga class?

should I have gone pee one more time?

why do I have to pee so much? maybe I should get that checked out? maybe I should make an appointment for the doctor? Oh, I need to make an appointment with the dentist too. Where’s my phone to make a note to remind myself… dammit. not here.

apparently it’s grade 5 in here. strawberry scented lip gloss. really?? nice to meet you mat neighbour. *slowly slides mat over, away from offending smell*

I’m going to leave my hair unbound and feel the freedom.

freedom of hair equals hair in nose and mouth and eyes. hair tie in. hair freedom is overrated.

how can just sitting and breathing be so uncomfortable – and so annoying.

yes, finally, time to get moving!

I can totally get into that pose. used to do it all the time. loved it. and…. nope.

oh, this one, yes, this one is soooo good. and….nope.

Bend, reach, turn, look and – oh you have got to be f*&%ing kidding me. only if you want to hear that work out loud and not censored. nope.

child’s pose is for quitters. I can hold downward dog for 8 breaths. yup. and… child’s pose it is.

have my knees always been this fat?

jump into forward bend, yes! ….or not. walking there is good too though.

I love the colour of this tank top. wait, when did my body turn into the michelin man. I am never wearing this top again. as a matter of fact, when did my body start to look like THIS? ok, do not look in the mirror. ever. it adds 25 pounds and 10 years apparently. 

fold forward, how freaking far away is the floor???

there are my feet, finally. I need a pedicure. badly.

I need to shave my legs. badly.

oh, sweetie is coming for the weekend. yes, legs need to be shaved.

grins…. ok, stop that train of thought. ahem, back to yoga.

yoga helps with flexibility… grins….STOP that train of thought!

how is it that I can only successfully grow a maximum of 3 nails on each hand at any given time? It’s like the universe has some sort of rule for my fingernails.

dammit I forgot to make a nail appointment. need to remember that when I get back to the office

did I log off my computer when I left? did I logout of facebook? what if I die here and someone has to go into my computer? hmmmm. is it just burnt toast when you’re having a stroke? or is it other smells? maybe that wasn’t her lip gloss,. maybe it was a stroke and I was smelling strawberries. Am I too young for a stroke? no… young people have strokes too. would I know if I was? maybe that pain in my shoulder isn’t the joint, maybe it’s warning sign of a heart attack???

shut up brain, you’re fine. breath. it’s yoga and zen time!

how long is an hour!!! isn’t this over yet?

I liked it better when I taught the Yoga classes. that way I got to do all the poses I liked…

finally, we’re laying down.

must. move. hair. tie. ouch.

freezing

freezing

not zen

how can I relax when I’m on a thin mat on a concrete floor with fans going??? no, I don’t feel the peaceful energy of the universe. I’m shivering and need to pee. again.

and done.

I should do this every week. or never again. either way.

 

an angel,                                                                                                                                                                                  in her flight, fell.

 a demon,
 in her chaos, rose.
 one was called Lightness
 and
 one was called Torment.
 they collided, the fabric of their Selves
 woven, intermingled,
 as they felt,
 their discord,
 their harmony.
 they were entangled,
 until they could no longer remember
 before.
 until they could no longer recall
 who was Torment
 and
 who was Lightness.
 entwined, they embraced
 as they tumbled,
 and
 they remembered.
 they saw.
 as now, as they have always been,
 perfectly, exquisitely,
 a beautiful maelstrom
 of both.
 they fell
 and they soared.
 together,
 one.

So here’s the thing that is a basic fact. For something to be strong, it needs a solid, well constructed and well laid foundation. Whether it’s something physical, like a house, or something less tangible, such as a way of life or company. It all starts with the foundation. If the base is strong and secure then it will support whatever is piled on top of it.

About 6 or 7 years ago I hit a point in my life that I took a long hard look at my structural integrity and at what I had chosen to lay as my foundation and I realized that there were some serious issues going on that needed attending to. Nothing that was going to cause things to crumble but just that it wasn’t quite “right”. So I started to do what is needed.

Let’s use the analogy of a house, for ease of the written word meandering and the mind’s eye conjuring.

When you look and see cracks in the foundation or notice that it was built faulty, you fix it. Maybe the original plan for the structure of the house was good but over the years, the purpose of the house took a different angle than what it was originally built for… and the foundation isn’t quite right for what it’s meant to support. Maybe an extra load was built on top and now the foundation needs to be reinforced to bear the force that it’s being asked to carry. Maybe there have been some nasty storms and damage and the base has been hit hard by some quakes and it needs some rebuilding. All very much fixable and what you would do when you notice it needs doing. Simple.

So I did that. I saw the changes needed and I started. Chipping away here and there to work away the rot and angles that just weren’t right. Paying close attention to the areas that needed shoring up and some extra ground work done to make the base capable and substantial.Along the way, with every strength built I saw the stability and the confidence of the structure of me grow. It went that way for a couple of years. There were some storms in there that hit hard and knocked me back a bit, but the foundation was setting as it was laid. A work in progress, yes, but very much progressing.

Then something happened that not only halted the work, it pretty much blew the whole damn thing apart. Torn apart, the structure was gone in a split second. A blast of loss that hit hard enough to shatter the base as well. Never mind cracks,most of the foundation was just simply not there anymore.

Quite simply, the roots of me that had been struggling to find their grasp and dig in were gone. Feels like they are still gone. My confidence in my Self, my abilities, my capabilities, it’s broken. My belief in Me – fundamentally fractured. Damaged.

There was a time when I may have had the odd bout of issues with self confidence or doubting myself but on a base level – I knew my power. My strength. My will. I never had any doubt that I would be ok at the end of the day. I knew, without a doubt that I was solid and unmovable. I knew Me, who I was and what I was capable of – and it was something to be reckoned with.

Loss, and grief, took that. Still has it actually.

There was a time that I knew my skills and my abilities – knew them and felt how good I was at them. There was a time that I may have had nerves going on but they were never because I didn’t think I knew my stuff or that I had the right to be giving the presentation or facing the room. I knew the truth of my capabilities.

There was a time that I didn’t doubt whether my lover would find pleasure under my hands or with our time spent intimately together. Times that I didn’t doubt if I was worth someone’s time.

There was a time that I didn’t doubt whether I could pick up a new skill or technique. I knew I could. I knew that all I needed was to be shown and to learn and that I would get it. Without a doubt.

Now, after that blast three and a half years ago, still rebuilding, I do doubt. Deeply and profoundly. Deep enough to feel shaken and to question the very base structure of my Self. Every little bit of groundwork laid so tenuous and loosely balanced it feels like it can be blown off with a whisper – and it is, often and repeatedly. Only to be picked up again and laid back in place, trying to make it stick. Trying to rebuild.

What’s holding me back?

What is it that confines me?

I wish, I hope, I want to.

Yet I almost always don’t. I let other people’s opinions and beliefs of me reinforce the whispering voice inside my own head that tells me I can’t, or I shouldn’t.

My confidence shaky at best and non-existent most of the time, if I am to be honest about it.

I sometimes actually feel it but those times are the rare exceptions.

The times that I glimpse with my feelings what it’s like to be free.

Free from restraint and fear and second guessing my Self and my choices, my wants, my desires.

Freedom that I crave and want and when I taste it the odd time, it stirs in me a thirst that hurts all the more because of how unattainable it feels to ever own that freedom.

What’s holding me back?

What stops me from the doing and the being and expressing and the living?

Me, simply, Me.

Open to feeling happiness when you don’t want to be open to feeling hurt?

You can’t be is the simple answer. One that I am starting to realize. we all have past hurts that affect how slowly we dip our toes in the water the next time. How cautiously we decide to see where the bottom is as we edge out deeper. What happens though when the past scares and hurts have you sitting on the shore instead of even hesitantly wandering in, no matter how slowly?

What happens is where I have been for the past three years essentially. Either making very conscious decisions to not let anyone close – physically or emotionally – or becoming involved only with someone who is “safe” because of their built in limitations on where the relationship could ever go. Simple. Easy. Safe.

Devoid of emotions. The opposite of hurt and sadness is not happiness or joy; it’s apathy. Feeling nothing may avoid feeling hurt but eventually it hurts worse in its own way.

The hard part is that to expose yourself to what is needed and wanted – joy, happiness, laughter that you actually feel, softness, liking someone a whole lot 😉 – also means that the floodgates are open and that you expose yourself to being hurt again. You’re vulnerable and that’s scary. Terrifying actually.

Lots of looking inside lately and trying to decide what to do. Sit and watch from the shore where it’s safer but feels like I am missing something that could bring so much more into my life or do what feels right and say fuck the toe dipping and just splash in. If the bottom falls out underneath me, I know I can tread water or swim.

The knowledge that I will be just fine is enough to give me the nudge.

Since 2001 I have run with the same hat. A security blanket disguised as practicality. I have been known to chose to not run rather than to go out without it. A simple plain white cap that has so many simple plain reasons for always being with me as I run.

It shields my eyes from the sun… I can’t’ run with sunglasses on. Perfectly practical.

It keeps my face covered from the sun. Pale skin that burns easily, just being responsible.

When it rains and the wind is heavy it shelters my head and offers me some protection from the harsh elements.

As my hair has become long it is a handy place to tuck it up under and keep it contained so it stays out of my face and under control.

It’s simply….Practical and responsible and perfectly under control. Safe. From what. From being open to the elements and unprotected. It keeps me guarded…shielded…sheltered.

As my evening unfolded tonight it brought with it a growing feeling of the familiar unsettled gnawing. Not quite anger but close enough. Emotions that can’t quite come to the surface as what they are so they growl and writhe and start to whisper.

The familiar urge to run… to chase them down and push them away rises. Giving in, the water is where my sight sets to find some calm and release.

But tonight something else unfolds as I reach the water. The waves are huge tonight with the wind on the narrow beach that I find myself after my run. I stand and reach down to feel the water on my hands. It creeps higher up the beach than I thought it would and my feet are enveloped. The cold and shock feel good. My hands tingle from the cold and my entire body aches to go in. Instead, I stand, close my eyes and the tears come. I lift my arms and feel the wind moving around and over me. The emotions I can’t quite touch finds their voices and the scream feels good lost in the waves. I can feel the wind blowing and I reach up and take my hat off, letting my hair loose. The wind catches my hair and the chill send shivers through me…

Racing as fast as I can up the steps from the beach to the trail… hat in hand, feet soaked and hands almost numb from the water I splashed on my face as I left… This time as I run the trail along the cliff top the wind blows hard against me again, but differently. The change in how it feels to run with hair being blown in my face and to feel – really feel – the chill and the bite of the wind is striking. My pace quickens and I run as fast as I can… the sense of being not quite fully in control hasn’t been felt in a long time…and it feels good. A little scary, but good. Laughing, smiling, tears… what comes up is let out as I race myself along the shore until I’m winded and have to slow to an easy run. I settle and find my stride at a softer pace as I follow the path that leads away from the water and towards home.

Hat still off and hair flying as it’s blown by the blustery wind…No longer guarded, no longer sheltered and shielded. Open to the elements and feeling.
It feels good.

Thank you to the lies. You have taught me to be more mindful with where I place my trust.

Thank you to the pain. You have allowed me to see what I can endure.

Thank you to deception. You have shown me to question and to not just accept.

Thank you to the struggles. You have proven to me my ability to overcome.

Thank you to emptiness. You have made me appreciate when my heart and my arms are full.

Thank you to sadness. You have shown me the joy in simple happiness.

Thank you to grief. You have shown me to appreciate and be thankful for my life.

Thank you to loneliness. You have shown me how to love being alone.

Thank you to hatred. You have helped me learn to let go.

Thank you to my darkness. You have shown me how to love the depth of it as a part of me.

Thank you to the days that felt like they would never end because of the hurt. You have taught me to savour the days that go by too fast.

Thank you to the ugliness of life. You have allowed me to see the beauty that is life as well.

Taking one of those silly internet quizzes today and the questions came up “My friends would describe me as…” with a list of the usual options.

Now this is a bit of a trick question because it rides the edge of us picking what we think our friends think of us *or* we pick how we see ourselves under the guise of what we would want our friends to say.

This used to be a pretty simple thing for me to pick. I knew who and how and what I was and I was pretty much “what you see is what you get” and transparent to everyone so I knew what my friends would say *and* that matched how I saw myself. A no brainer really. Not now.

Now, I saw that question today in a silly online quiz and I got stuck. Stuck because of a couple of things. First and foremost came the voice in my head that stated that I have no friends that pop to mind that know me well enough to be able to answer that question. Not to mention the larger issue that I don’t even know the answer to it anymore. What qualities would my friends say most accurately describe me? What or who am I? I read over the list… loyal? great sense of humour? adventurous? caring and loving? daredevil? generous? What would “they” pick, what would I pick to describe myself?

All of the above, none of the above, things not mentioned? What’s more upsetting to me… that I don’t know me anymore or that I have so isolated and withdrawn myself that I don’t think anyone else does either? That’s the hardest question that came up from that silly little internet time waster.

And by the way, I’m most like a Pit Bull, just in case you were wondering… not too far off the mark probably.

My body carries the adornment of its experiences.

The permanent crease of my brow as it has furrowed, years of squinting because of eyesight less than perfect and a forgetfulness for wearing my glasses.Leaving behind a deep wrinkle that tells that story, silently like all the other marks and notes in my flesh.

The lines around my mouth and eyes , the deeper ones on my forehead all speak,if you know how to listen. They tell of a life full of rambunctious laughter and giggles as well as simple smiles and kisses that have puckered my lips more times that my mind can remember.

A love of lifting my face to the sun to feel its warmth and embrace has left its kiss on my skin.

My belly sings with a gentle softness and shines with the shimmer of marks from the story of people who were conceived and grown there. Four wonderfully miraculous souls who shared my body for a while before they embarked on their own journeys.

My scars each have their own moments to share. The loudest voice that they speak with though is the one that whispers that I survived and am still here to wear them.

I am all of this on the outside.

The vessel that I live in gives a glimpse of where I’ve been.

As the years come and go, my life leaves more impressions on my body.

I see it, far from imperfect or flawed… I see the beauty and expression of a life lived.