Take a Deep Breath

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Ladies, we’ve all had that day…. The day that something we ate either the night before or that day itself and the digestion of said “something” has gone HORRIBLY wrong.  We sit with a smile on our face while our body clutches against itself to not allow the gaseous hell escape our bodies until we can get somewhere private to let it all out.  And ohhhhh the relief when we do! 

Let me just say – I aimed that at ladies because I understand that to men, the “display” of bodily functions in public is not only a talent and art, but something you spend your entire lives cultivating to share with others – so no offense intended.

I think the same applies to the emotions we hold in, the anger, hurt, hate, shame – whatever your particular demon is – and it may be all of them.  Holding it in infects us, sucks the happiness out of things we would normally find joy in.  It eats at us and makes us bitter, the same way something we eat doesn’t digest will in our systems.  After a while of holding it all in, the pain is intense and it’s hard to see past it in our lives, everything and everyone we come in contact with seems to be affected by it and our vision of how things really are is skewed.

I think it’s important, to let these things go – not for the benefit of the one or ones that did the hurting, made us angry, gave us feelings of hate or shame – but for ourselves – but for our own inner peace. Forgive but do not forget, turn your cheek but don’t offer the other one – insert whatever old words of wisdom you like – but it amounts to the same thing:

Let it GO.

Every time you hold on to the hurt – the wrong someone has done you – you give them power –over you – over your emotions.  Every time you don’t let it go – you let them hold the chain that binds you.  Do you really want to give them that much power and control??  Let it GO – walk away – just because you let it go – doesn’t mean you have to allow it to happen again –it doesn’t make you weak – it makes you STRONGER.

There is an end to every beginning – that doesn’t mean the book is over – it means you’ve finished a chapter.  Do you want to keep re reading it – or do you want to move on and see what else happens?

I’m not saying some well-deserved emotions aren’t allowed when your heart is broken or you’ve been hurt –have a temper tantrum (I’m famous for them myself – but trust me – make sure you know someone who is really good at sheetrock repair before you do) or  sit on your pity pot…. Just don’t sit there long enough to get a ring around your ass.

Do yourself a favor…. Take a deep breath….and let it GO.

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I Call…..Bullshit

Bullshit

 

Recently, my teenage son was trying to pull a fast one over on me.  Nothing big – the whole thing kinda made me laugh, but I started to call him out on it about half way through, but it was entertaining to watch, so I let him get finished.  He expectantly waited for my response as it was obvious he had worked this scenario out in his head to get what he wanted.  I looked at him for a moment, peered over my reading glasses at him, smiled and said, “I call bullshit”.  He looked back at me, his face got red, he dropped his head and muttered something only a teenager would understand and walked into his room.  I chuckled to myself for a moment and went back to what I was doing; about five minutes later, he popped back out of his room came and sat beside me and looked at me intently.  “HOW do you ALWAYS know Mom????”

I won’t go into the entire conversation that followed, but I’ll just sum it up for you.  It’s really all about how well you know someone and whether or not you’ve bothered to pay attention to their normal everyday behaviors. By everyday behaviors – I’m talking about how they treat other people as well as yourself, how they handle repeated situations with other people versus how they handle situations with you.

When they stray from their normal behavior regarding a topic or situation, if you’ve paid close enough attention, you see the patterns change, you know something is off kilter.  If you know them well enough, you feel it in your gut.  There are times, when we speak much louder with our body language and handling of different situations than we ever do with our mouths and the spoken language.

Humans – by nature – are creatures of habit.  Whether it’s the cup of coffee first thing in the morning regardless of whether it’s a work day or not, the way we get dressed, the order in which we put groceries away – we have habits for it all – even when those habits aren’t realized.  But someone watching – someone paying attention – sees them – recognizes them and picks up on it when we deviate from them.

It doesn’t really make any different the excuse we may give for the deviation – someone who knows you well and pays attention knows exactly when to call bullshit on it.  Maybe it’s something little like a child pulling a fast one over on mom to get an extra Microsoft Points card – or maybe, it’s someone who’s done in a relationship but lacks the intestinal fortitude to point out call it quits – so they deviate from their normal behavior to push their partner away.  They can make all the excuses in the world why it’s not what you think it is – noooo, they aren’t really pushing you away – but look closely – look at the things you know have changed – how quickly did they change?  What outside incidents occurred at the same time of the changes.  Go ahead – call it what it is – call it bullshit.  Doesn’t matter how you dress it, what excuses you surround it with it – it’s still bullshit.

And then, when you’ve had the guts to do that…. Just move the hell on –chances are, if they didn’t have the balls to be upfront about it in the first place, they aren’t going to have the balls to take responsibility for it and fix it.

 

Expectations and Assumptions – The Mother of All Evil – Part 1

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything here, and a few of you have asked – thank you for that.  Most of you who know me well, know that my writing/rambling is fairly emotional – either from something I myself have been through or something someone close to me has been through.  I try, through my various blogs, to take something from the experience, find the positive in it and share it with all of you. 

The problem tends to lay with those who constantly think that even though I don’t name names in a lot of my posts, whatever the topic is – is about them.  My inboxes get flooded and not that I give a rat’s ass about the opinions of me, but it’s simply an aggravating waste of time deleting all of them.  I offer no apologies for my opinion – if you don’t like it – don’t read it – it really IS that simple. 

Chances are, more than likely, the topic doesn’t have anything to do with you, and it very well may not have anything to do with Second Life at all – so get over yourself cupcake – the world truly doesn’t revolve around you and the quicker you realize that – the happier you can get along to being. 

This blog – isn’t a place to finger point – it’s a place to share a little of something learned in the hopes it helps someone else and maybe bring a little peace to the writer and anyone else it may touch.  *steps off her soapbox and adjusts her bits*

So let’s get on with it shall we?  I’ve been working diligently on several posts over the last month or so and will start sharing them a bit more often with you – grab a cup of coffee, settle in and follow along if you like.

My son, is learning the fun of using “big” words (and correctly I might add) – so I thought it might be fun to do a series on some fun words that affect us all.  Let’s start with vocabulary lesson number 1!

Before I start this – I feel it’s important to point out, I really tried to make this one objective – but I simply can’t – it is what it is.  I’ve had the unfortunate experience of watching a relationship start to fail – miserably – whether it does in the end is up to the two individuals involved, this post is about a lot of what I’ve seen from the two of them over the last year or so – I think the issues here are common to all of us and bears sharing.

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EXPECTATIONS and ASSUMPTIONS – The Mother of All Evil – Part 1

We’re going to do this post in two parts – when I tried to put it all together –it was far too long and I really don’t want you to sleep through it – and there’s a LOT to say about both words and relationships – so we’ll start with expectations – and they aren’t always great like Charles Dickens wrote about.

Merriam-Webster defines the word expectation as: “a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen… a feeling or belief about how successful, good, etc., someone or something will be…”

We all have expectations – big and small.  From the light coming on when we open the fridge, to the staring at the phone expecting the text or call from a loved one simply because they always have – and it seems to be the popular opinion that we base these expectations on our own personal experience or the experience with others.

 The light doesn’t come on when you open the fridge – sure it’s a disappointment from your expectation – but easily remedied and gotten over.  It’s the big disappointments of expectations not fulfilled that leave us wandering aimlessly with emotions we’re not quite sure what to do with.

 

At least half of the problem, I believe, is the expectations we have of other people – because let’s face it – people are – well, human.  We make mistakes, we fail to think sometimes – we’re not omnipotent and we can’t read minds (I don’t care what that psychic on the up all night channel says).  The other half of the problem – are the assumptions we make when our expectations aren’t met. 

I read a blog recently from a young man that described his version of the difference in expectations and assumptions.  He stated that expectations were more like a verbal agreement.  That if he talked to his better half and they planned to have dinner at 6pm and she didn’t show up – he’d be upset because they had agreed upon plans.  However, if they didn’t verbally make agreed up on plans – if he simply ASSUMED she would be home to have dinner at 6pm – and she wasn’t there – he couldn’t truly be mad at her for not meeting his expectation – simply because he’d never expressed his expectation of having dinner at a certain time to her.

THAT is what got me thinking.  How often do we have expectations of our better half that they don’t even know about?  We expect that phone call or text every morning simply because it’s always been done – but have we ever said – out loud “honey, when I don’t hear from you in the mornings, I worry about you”  or “I like getting that phone call every morning because it reminds me how much you care”.  Can we truly be upset because they failed to live up to our expectations when we never bothered to tell them what we expected from them?

And what of the assumptions that follow?  Is it fair to assume that something’s wrong because you didn’t get that call or text?  Is it fair to be hurt because they’ve failed to do or say something that we’ve never communicated we need?

Just take a guess what happens next?  Big, huge, branch filled, knock your ass out snowballs – that’s what.  Non communicated expectations aren’t met, assumptions are made – one after the other – until feelings are hurt – people are mad – couples are sitting across the table glaring at each other – or even worse – ignoring each other completely because neither one wants to deal with the mess that it has become.

Fixable?  I think it can be – if two people want to.  One of them can’t fix it alone – it’s gonna take time, compromise but most importantly communication – and they both have to do that together.  Both have to be willing and WANT to reach for the same goal.

It’s a hard thing to watch with people you care about – add into that mix two very stubborn people who don’t want to deal with the confrontation and don’t want to back down from what they believe is the right in all the wrong.  It’s easier to make a chicken soup sandwich than watch this unfold.  The only thing I think could be worse – is looking back yourself at someone you lost and realizing – this was you too and now it’s really too late.

Valentine’s Day

I thought I might research the history behind Valentine’s Day for this post – and to be honest – it gave me a headache.  Although the actual origins are pretty much unknown – or argued depending on your religious preference – the one thing that rings true through it all is that Valentines is a celebration of lovers – young love, old love – it doesn’t really matter – it’s just the celebration of love.  Hallmark and other card and chocolate companies have turned it into a multi-billion corporate holiday with people shelling out countless dollars for just the perfect way to say “I love you” to that special someone.

Amidst all the pink and red ruffled hearts, cupid depictions and sappiness, my family celebrates the holiday a little differently.  Sure, my kids still collect their candy hearts at school, but at our house, everything is purple, we have a wonderful family dinner and give thanks that we’re all here to see another candy filled holiday.

It was 15 years ago this year that I sat on my couch at 2:30am reading a book when ren and stimpy (I’ve never known who they were – only that one was a big ole fella and the other a short shrimp of a thing) came knocking on my door before they knocked it off the hinges  (yes, they knocked first, and why I would remember that or that it would count for anything – I couldn’t tell you) – upon seeing me awake and very obviously pissed off at the intrusion, they rang in my Valentine’s Day with a 9 mm bullet to my left side.  To make a very long story short (and really, it’s not a very pretty one) according to the surgeons and doctors, there’s no medical reason I should be here writing this blog.  Maybe it wasn’t my time, maybe I’m just too stubborn – either which way, I’m still here despite it and walking despite them saying I wouldn’t – and you’re stuck reading my blog *winks*.

Hang on to your britches, I’m getting to my point here directly.

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When I came home from the hospital – I went to live with my parents for awhile while I continued with some pretty intensive physical therapy.  The first day I was home, my father presented me with a pendant, a small purple heart surrounded by diamonds.  The purple heart, he told me, was for bravery and fighting against the odds, the diamonds – there was one for each year I was old. Every year after that – instead of the red velvet box of chocolates and campy card, I received a gift from him that had a purple heart.  No note was attached, no wise words, no loving sentiment – the purple heart said it all.

This year, I watched my Father, get out of his truck a little slower than in years past, I noticed the silver in his hair more, they little limp as he walked a little stiffer and all the other little indications that he’s in his 70s.  In his hands a medium size box, no wrapping, no bows and I knew it wasn’t a box of chocolate.  My father is a man of few words, but the ones he speaks always have value.  As he came in the door, reaching for the door jamb to steady himself, he handed me the box and simply said, “It’s a milestone year.”

Inside the sturdy box gently cradled in a velvet lining, was a tiara, crusted with diamonds and amethyst – a single amethyst heart in its center.  Along the inside band the inscription “Lovingly created for the brave of heart and all those that stand with them. 2013”  So I say, instead of celebrating the love you have for just that special someone in your life, why not celebrate the love you have for ALL the special people in your life.  We aren’t promised tomorrow – or for that matter – the rest of today.  Take the time, say the words that you have in your heart.  Don’t let it be just a day for lovers – let it truly be – a day of love.

The Art of Deception

Two-faced head statue

de·ceive

1. To cause to believe what is not true; mislead.

2. Archaic To catch by guile; ensnare.

v.intr.

1. To practice deceit.

2. To give a false impression: appearances can deceive.

They say, the right choice to make is usually the hardest one.  I believe this to be exceptionally true when decisions are made in regards to the deceptive people in our lives.  We all have them, all wrapped up in pretty packages, seemingly caring and concerning – your closest friends even at times.  And then, as you peel away the pretty wrapping…. Something entirely different and often times very ugly appears.

And deceivers are rarely ever alone – they drag with them a congregation of people they have pulled into their lives – people that you’ve gotten to know as well.  People like you, who want to believe in the best in people, to trust others and build decent, healthy relationships.  They have taken the art of deception, fakeness and lies and turned it into an art form.  And we are the ones, that have to make the decision – to draw the line in the sand for what we will and won’t tolerate anymore once they’ve been uncovered.

What do you at that point?  Out them for who and what they really are – what purpose does that really serve?  You aren’t going to change them – but you will cause a lot of drama and pain for the people they’ve surrounded themselves with.  But do you want to watch the good people around them, go through the pain and anger you have?  It’s a hard choice to make and not one that anyone can give you the answers to – most assuredly, you have to work that one on your own.

I often wonder what it is that has made people in SL this way – did something so traumatic happen in their real life that they have no concept of the real people behind the avis here?  Were they not loved enough as a child?  Were they simply born with no conscious?  Or maybe they didn’t intend to be this way – maybe they are simply a product of what they have surrounded themselves with and it’s easier to be something you’re not than be yourself.  Maybe it only starts with one little untruth – what they do for a living, how their  health is, something in their real life they simply aren’t ready to own up to in this world of pixels where it is so easy to hide.

We all come here to be a little something we’re not I think – taller, shorter, skinnier, bigger – maybe we come here to do the things we can’t do in our real life – maybe we just want to play awhile and be furry, vamp (add your choice here) – but underneath whatever we wrap second life identity in – we are still the same *people* behind the avi that we are in real life.  Pixels don’t change that.  How can you be honest with others – to expect to receive honesty back – when you can’t be honest with yourself?

I’ve opened some of those pretty packages recently.  I took the time to know some people that at first glance, over a month or two or three – I shared my life with – I shared my friendship with – I shared my heart with.  As time went on, and their true colors started to emerge, I did what many others do, I tried to ignore it, tried to hope for the best – that maybe they weren’t quite what they were turning out to be.  And then, I took a step back, saw them for who and what they were – looked around and what they were doing to me – and others close around me – and so the decision making began.

I’m not generally a big fan of drama (super bowl fiascos don’t count).  I don’t like talking about people behind their backs – after all – maybe the experience I’ve had with them is different than others.  So my choice was to walk away.  To leave them with their deceptive ways – to let them be the grown ups they are, make their own choices and deal with their own consequences as they come.

Make no mistake about it – there will be consequences for them.  Maybe not today or tomorrow – but somewhere along the way – all that you’ve given – comes back – and if what you’ve given is a load of shit to everyone around you – do you really think you’re going to get the pot of gold in return?

This post won’t matter to anyone who is a deceiver, a liar, a fake – they’ll read it, chuckle a little at the ramblings of what they consider a bitter woman and move on to the next person on their list to play into their game of shattered lives.  But to the rest of you, maybe it will help you take a step back, evaluate the people in your life and take a moment to be thankful for the ones that are true to you.

The Magic in the Music

Music plays an integral part in many peoples’ lives, most especially, mine.  It is an absolute expression of the current mood I’m in if I’m the one choosing what I’m listening to – and if I’m not the one choosing the playlist – what’s currently spinning can change my mood from one song to the next.  I work in a club in Second Life, and I love my job – the people that I work with, the people that come hang out and party with us – but especially, the music.  I chose to work in a rock club genre because simply saying “rock music” encompasses a wide, wide range of for me, emotion.  Depending on the DJ spinning the tunes, I can enjoy hard aggressive rock, classic, current and somewhere in between at any given time of the day.  I can request music that keeps the crowd moving and talking, or I can request music to slow things down a bit and relax a little more if I’m doing other things in the background.  Or, if D is there and I just feel silly, I can usually convince him to play a Disney tune or two – which ok, doesn’t necessarily fall into the “rock genre” but, does a great job of satisfying my silly side.

I have always used music as a reflection of who I am and how I’m feeling – or to change my mood if I find myself a little too aggressive or a little too sappy.  And then, I met Froggy.  Hands down, the man who knows more about all genres of music than any one human I’ve ever met, Lucus Barrineaux is the authority on good tunes and the ever elusive “flow” of one song to the next in a set.  Just ask him, he’ll tell you the same.  He has play lists like nothing I’ve ever seen and am honored to be able to call him a close friend.  How he got his nickname “Froggy” may be better suited for another post but basically involves the story of how he taught the Princess to feel the music – not just hear it.  I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing some incredible DJs over the last few years, ones that are simply outstanding just on their ability to play to a crowd, the sense the feeling in a room of people and play to it, their ability to think outside the box and introduce less heard music from people’s favorite artists and bands and open people’s minds to new artists and music.

Never, have I met a truly fantastic DJ who agreed they were half as good as they really are.  And that, is what makes them unique.  For these few I have encountered – it’s about the music – not the crowd, it’s about being able to set a tone, set a mood with a few chosen songs and carry that good feeling through 2 hours of tunes.  Anyone can stick songs in a program and throw them out there to be listened to, but it takes someone with a heart for the music itself, to take the time to choose the song, create the flow, and make the mood.  They have mastered the set of introducing the new while mixing into it the old, they bring the crowd to monumental highs and lows as the music changes during the set, peaking on a hard note then slowly sliding down to something a little more mellow before climbing back up again.  I hear it from the people in the crowd all the time when they shout out how much they love a song they haven’t heard – or a new version of one they’ve always loved and the excitement when they hear something they simply haven’t heard in forever and forget how much they liked.

Second Life, is just that – a do –over – a chance to live a little differently than you do in your RL – and why shouldn’t that include the concerts and clubs most of us in RL don’t have the time to visit?  I know of several people who come in, avi park while they’re at RL work – just to stream the music – just to hear the flow.  They may never say a word in local chat – but they’re there – they’re listening and under some desk somewhere, they’re tapping their feet to the beat, wiggling a little in their chairs and enjoying the cross over from their SL to their RL.

Rambling On…Part 1

Don Williams wrote a song – that to this day – I love.  I can sing it backwards and forward and the lyrics ring true to me in every way.  So I thought I’d share them with you – before I rant on for a while.  This could be a long one – you might want to settle in for a bit.

I don’t believe in superstars, Organic food and foreign cars
I don’t believe the price of gold, The certainty of growing old
That right is right and left is wrong, That north and south can’t get along
That east is east and west is west, And bein’ first is always best.

        But I believe in love
I believe in babies, I believe in mom and dad
And I believe in you.

Well, I don’t believe that heaven waits. For only who congregate
I’d like to think of God as love. He’s down below
He’s up above, He’s watchin’ people everywhere
He knows who does and doesn’t care
And I’m an ordinary man, Sometimes I wonder who I am.

                                                                                                             But I believe in love

I believe in music, I believe in magic

And I believe in you.

I know with all my certainty, What’s goin’ on with you and me
Is a good thing. It’s true
I believe in you.

I don’t believe virginity, Is as common as it used be
In workin’ days and sleepin’ nights, That black is black and white is white
That Superman and Robinhood, Are still alive in Hollywood
That gasoline’s in short supply, The risin’ cost of gettin’ by

But I believe in love
I believe in old folks, I believe in children
I believe in you.

I hear people saying, “loving someone is hard”.  No it isn’t.  Loving someone is easy – it’s a choice you make – either you love them or you don’t.  It’s all the stuff that goes WITH loving someone that’s hard – the trust, the faith, the communication , the getting to know them and deciding where your boundaries are – THOSE are the hard things.

For those who have children – or work with or are around small children – you know the love part is easy – you just love them – it’s as easy at that.  For parents, there’s no “getting to know them” – you know them from the moment they move the first time in your belly (if you’re a mom) or the first time you feel them kick (if you’re a dad) – and you mold them and shape them – teach them as they grow so they are an outward visible sign of a part of you.

Other family members – well, the love part is easy – the getting to know part, the trust and faith – not so much.  And in the end – once you’ve gotten to know them and learned whether you can trust them or not – you still love them – they’re your family – doesn’t mean you have to like them all that much.

And then you move on to your friends and significant others.  Now we get to the hard part.  The deciding to love them is still easy – either you choose to or you don’t.  All the rest of that stuff  – that just takes time and patience.  It takes work – and daily choices.  And it takes loving ourselves and facing our fears.  Every relationship we’ve had in our past – our parents, our family, our childhood friends – they all play a part in shaping how we view what love is and how relationships are supposed to go.  Even Disney had a hand with that – teaching all little girls that love happens with a kiss and the only thing between that kiss and “the end” is “they lived happily ever after.  Disney didn’t say shit about the days when all you do is fight and nothing either of you say comes out right –they didn’t say shit about the nights you toss and turn in doubt and strangle down the fear of running away to keep from getting hurt –  and for shame on them for that.

My daughter asked me once, how I can love people as hard as I do – how I can love so deeply and with all my heart knowing in the end there could be immeasurable pain.  She’s asked me that more than once – and I’ve always replied to her the same thing.  You have to go through the bad, to appreciate the good.  In order to love – you have to be willing to feel the hurt – and I would rather love hard and deeply than to not really love someone at all.  So for that, I’m willing to endure the pain – as unpleasant as it is, as puffy as it makes my eyes, as long as it takes to heal – so that I can love the ones that love me back with all that I am.

Being hurt is a part of life – just as surely as falling off a bicycle the first time you try to ride one – it’s not the hurt that defines you – it’s what you do with the pain that does.  Do you mope and wallow in it – allow it to ruin everything else good that comes along by giving up?  Or do you pick yourself up (ok, wallow a little bit, we all deserve that I suppose), brush yourself off and learn from the pain – use it to make you stronger – to make you better – and to recognize the love from someone else that comes along?  Do you become jaded and bitter and stand still in your righteousness of all that has been done wrong to you – or do you let it wash over you and out of you and move forward determined to try again and make it better?  Are you willing to work for it – for the right love – to compromise and learn, to give and to take – to complete them and not compete against them? Are you willing to take the good with the bad – to realize that every day isn’t “happily ever after” and that some days, you just have to muddle through it, hope for the best and have faith that tomorrow will be better.   It’s all about the choice – and it’s your choice to make – not anyone else’s.

I wish I had something truly profound to say here – but I don’t.  It’s just the ramblings from a heart that’s been hurt before – that still hurts sometimes.  Maybe, this post wasn’t to help you – but to remind me.  Words have a funny way of doing that sometimes….