Love and Addiction Part II

Throughout my childhood I would often fantasize of meeting the one, of riding off into the sunset with my love, my savior. I recall once I started dating someone and quickly and easily imagining the rest of our lives together. This started for me at a very young age and continued even after my divorce. In my last post I mentioned that I met my husband shortly after ending my relationship with my high school sweetheart and having a baby. I met him exactly nine months later. I was 19, he was 22 and I was in heaven. He had a girlfriend but that didn’t matter to me. He was giving me everything I needed. Time, attention, sex, and the big one… love.

Clearly, I didn’t have the best example of love or relationships growing up. So, I wasn’t that hard to please, I didn’t require that much. All I needed was a body who loved me and would be willing to jump through the hurdles I would intricately set up for them to prove it. God bless their souls.

I was going to write here about my marriage, but I wrote about that in my first blog post. It was beautiful at times and incredibly sad other times. The important thing is that the entire time I knew something wasn’t right, I knew there was something missing for both of us. The thing is I didn’t listen to that voice. Instead I was so desperate to be loved, so desperate to be chosen and to have someone I can call my own and rely on, no matter what the cost. At the time I had all the time in the world, the rest of my life was not even a thought in my mind, until I didn’t. After my separation, I realized the gift of being alone. Of course, I had to fight all the voices and fears that came up around it. It was an intense training and reprogramming.

Again, the addiction is real. Though it may look different for all of us, at its core it’s the same. Inside this brilliantly crafted patriarchal structure, we are conditioned as women to believe we need a man from very young. Marriage, kids the whole shebang, without it, what purpose do we serve? This is the narrative given to us from very young. So, in hindsight, it wasn’t a surprise that I was completely complicit to settle in a marriage that in the deepest sense left me bereft and blind to other parts of me that wanted to come alive and my authentic-self wanted to grow and nurture.

Point being I was completely willing to sacrifice my life, my life’s purpose and everything that called to my deepest self, to have someone I can always have in my corner. To avoid having to deal with the fear of being alone, I was willing to give up on myself and everything my spirit was calling for. After I left, I realized this was the deepest level of addiction I had ever faced in my life. There is nothing wrong with loving someone and being in a relationship, but when being in that relationship costs you your life, your true calling and God knows what else, that cost is way too high. We’ve got this life, and we owe it to ourselves to live it fully and not betray ourselves, even for the fear of being alone or not hurting anyone. Life is simply too short, and I know we all have plenty examples of that.

After this I began the journey of learning to love myself, independent of another. Again, I have not arrived anywhere, it is a continuous process. I still struggle with staying with myself when in a relationship and for that reason I’m hesitant to get involved as I know there are still many things for me to learn about myself and about being with others, especially intimately. Though be it as it may, we often can’t help the things and people who come into our lives and we’ve got to take it in and do the best that we can.

I recently met the most amazing man and unfortunately the timing wasn’t right. I had to struggle to not make this about me or my abandonment issues. I loved him deeply and it took a lot to make it not mean it was about me or that there was something wrong with me. A place I know we all usually go to as women. It is a continuous process, just like getting up every day and facing the days challenges. We are who we are alone or with another. First, we must be free to be ourselves, releasing the fear of not being accepted. Not playing into the games the patriarchal system has ingrained in us. What we bring to a relationship isn’t our worth, but our very being and that must have an alignment with our partner. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but there has to a sense of equality, freedom, nurturing, partnership and collaboration with one another. There are no concrete steps to a healthy relationship, but the first step is to work on having that healthy relationship with yourself and inside of that, you will know exactly what it is you want and not NEED.

Wait, it took how long for me to find my inner voice?

I wanted to begin my second blog post on the heels of my first. I wanted you to know that what happened in “How in letting everything go, I found the beauty in nothing” was almost ten years ago.  I also wanted to specifically note that, I was 34 years old. 34! It took me 34 years on this planet to not only hear my inner voice, but 34 years to listen to it and trust it. Now of course there were a ton of other things going on in my life during those 34 years that I’m sure we’ll get into in subsequent posts, my mother’s addiction, traumatic childhood, teen pregnancy, disastrous marriage, obsession with the material… I won’t go on yet… The reason I’m saying this is because I know as women we beat the shit out of ourselves. We can never, ever get it right. Be it for us or those around us. The world has come to know this as just a common trait of being a woman. I on the other hand see this as thousands of years of trained behavior. Thank you, family. Thank you, culture. Thank you, society. Thank you for determining that we as women, should not trust ourselves.

I’ve found this fascinating as every spiritual teacher I have ever studied under has repeatedly taught me that women are the access to all. We are the way. The way to Spirit, the way to love, the way to peace and the way to access all revered things in this world. I know, it sounds like I’m adding more to our already full plates. Let’s consider a different perspective for a moment. Why else would the world spend thousands of years suppressing everything and anything Feminine. Why do people shun what they don’t know? Fear, that’s why. To live in a world where the Feminine is valued, honored and sacred would be like a magical sci-fi fantasy, a quantum shift. It would alter everything as we know it, how we do things, how we interact with one another and our future.

We are currently living in a time where all that has been under the surface of our lives and interactions with one another, is currently being ripped out from under the rug and thrown on the table and that is a good thing. Not many of us are shocked, but to have it all on the table for discussion, to have people actually being held accountable for their actions, this is indeed a new reality we are creating. Why now? The election of Trump maybe, the astrological shift that occurred in August and possibly many other reasons. I personally believe it’s a mix of all things, times up for sure on a hell of a lot.

As women we have endured, well I don’t have to tell you. Countless forms of degradation, abuse, inequality and positioning within the patriarchal structure of our societies, cultures and religions. This has affected us all, whether you’re a CEO, a homemaker, an educator, or a student. You’ve experience some form of suppression, inequality, demand to stay quiet and out of sight. “Women are to be seen, not heard”.

Today I see the amazing movements that have been happening all over the world (The Women’s march, #metoo, #timesup) that show a shift to what I pray is an opening for the Divine Feminine to rise. We’ve run the world underground, it’s time for us to start showing up in all of our glory, everywhere we can. I don’t want another woman to spend 30, 40, 50 years or even worse a lifetime, to realize she hasn’t been living her truth, listening to her voice or serving her purpose. Mad love…

How in letting everything go, I found the beauty in nothing

I’m not a pessimist…at least, I like to think I am not. On the contrary, I’ve always considered myself a badass woman. At 23 years of age, I was married, a mother, and a homeowner. I had a stable, financially secure career—and my life looked damn good (especially on the outside). Four kids, 15 years of marriage, a beautiful home, and two expensive cars later, I started to find myself tired. Smiling became difficult, waking up every morning was a feat, and my husband’s usual romantic gestures felt meaningless. My husband noticed and recommended I see a therapist, so I did. I loved my therapist—she was a brilliant woman, but even she couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t happy anymore. I was bereft and didn’t know why.

Everyone in my life was telling me that I was losing my mind. I reacted, and started tackling the things in my life that I wasn’t quite sure of. Soon I asked my husband for a separation. I knew the 19-year-old who chose him was not the 34-year-old woman I was today; a lot had changed. Of course, that meant crashing not only my life, but the lives of four little beings I was responsible for. As a woman, I naturally felt responsible for pretty much everything and, as a woman, I was blamed for pretty much everything. Shortly after my separation, the only solid rock I had in my life, my mother, became increasingly ill and died within six months.

Here I was now, having to be completely alone with all the choices I had made. It’s funny when you have someone in your corner; some things are just easier to do. Alone, I decided to crash and burn in it all—in the hopes of a fresh start. So I quit my job and gave up the cars and lifestyle my family had come to know as the norm.

My children thought Mom had lost it—and though at times I thought so too, there was always a voice inside telling me, “Go, let it all go!” Of course, I didn’t wake up one day and just say “fuck it,” though I can appreciate it may have seemed that way to the outside world.

I watched everything I had spent my life building fall away. I started to see, I started to hear, and more importantly, I started to feel. I was numb, and I was living a life designed by someone else. It didn’t belong to me, and more importantly, it was missing important aspects of me.

The first thing I did was ask myself: “What do I want? What am I feeling?” I cried, broke down, and let myself feel and release what no longer served, fulfilled, or inspired me. After, I was left empty but it was an emptiness unlike anything I had ever known. I had space, I had room, and I had possibility.

I ended up signing up to do some mindfulness and Awareness training courses that essentially brought me back to life. I took the next three years to get to the bottom of how I had gotten to where I was. Who had created this life and why? Who had told me that this was the ”right” way? Who set these rules in the first place? I embarked on a journey of self-exploration. It wasn’t an easy journey by any means; after all, looking back at one’s life, particularly one’s childhood, isn’t usually fun. I had to face some hard truths and some real pain that I had never allowed myself to feel and grieve, which I now know is a very necessary part of the process of growth and transformation.

It wasn’t easy. I did various jobs to keep myself and my children afloat while I plunged into my subconscious at full force. Nevertheless, we survived, and allowing myself the permission at 35 to explore the depths of my being was priceless. I had four children and various responsibilities, but I was getting to do something that not everyone has an opportunity to do. Even though there were some very hard financial times, I consider it all a blessing—after all, change is the only constant.

There were many insights and breakthroughs that came. To be honest, I haven’t necessarily arrived anywhere, as many spiritual texts say. What I do have is a level of freedom and a relief from external pressures—be they from society or familial expectations that I’d either inherited or absorbed. Many of these things I had believed to be who I was, not even cognizant of the fact that I had never had a choice in the matter. I was mindlessly going with the flow, which brings me to another precious piece of knowledge I obtained: mindfulness.

I define mindfulness as walking, moving, thinking, and interacting with a sense of purpose, no matter the situation. Allowing myself time to digest information and to ponder a decision, or any movement in my life. Allowing myself to be in the presence of anyone and know I have no idea who this person is, regardless of how I or society may have categorized them. This is what opens up possibilities and beauty.

I now take my time. I listen, I sense how my body responds to energy, I pray, I pull cards, I light candles, or I meditate. Damn it—I have the right! This is my life, and whether it’s my next career or relationship, I can move as I see fit. And as long as I bring no harm to others, and treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO, I can do whatever I please.

There is no better way to wake up every day than knowing, at any given moment, I can hit the reset button. I’m not saying it’s always going to be easy but I can promise you, it will be worth it…because you’re worth it. Mad love…