My Meditation Moment

I was told by my Teacher to reach out if I needed something; if I felt under siege. I don’t know that I need anything in particular other than to get this next emotional riptide completed. My body has been under attack since I returned home, jet lag, morning sickness, a severe cold. I haven’t had the energy to do much but, I have managed to meditate sporadically.

My Meditation moments do not look like the ones I see out in the world, whether on t.v. or in yoga class, no. Mine involve cataclysm, a break in the noise, that causes all that’s inside me to just flow forth without my permission. All I can do is be there in it, it takes me to such depths; the silence is intoxicating. And the longer I sit and listen, the more I hear the absurdity of the things I tell myself; then I remember to really listen.

Meditation is not for pussies; there’s a beautiful agony that keeps bringing me back. I enjoy the suffering but not because of the pain, because of the release of it. I call bullshit on people who have happy meditation time, bullshit. At this point, I can’t even imagine being in a place of such stillness and not feeling so deeply into myself each time, that I am brought to tears.

To recognize all the things you haven’t forgiven yourself for. To see the areas in your life where you are continuously playing small. To really feel those fragile places within yourself and just let them be . . . It’s fucking terrifying, you know? Not being shielded, guarded, barricaded in behind my own nearly impenetrable walls is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I had forgotten how to let myself back in.

Admittedly, there is a small chamber within me that I just don’t want to share; stories I don’t ever want to breathe aloud, memories and pleasures that are all mine, mine, mine. Then I start to question my own integrity, here I want complete honesty and yet I want my own private shit and then I remember to be quiet . . . and listen.

I get lost here sometimes. Each and every time I go deeper I find some new pain that I want to grieve over and let go, but there are so many. Although, each sob not held back, each free tear brings with it a volcanic heat that burns through the emotional records of my past. There’s no need to tag, file, and categorize; no one but me, is keeping track anyway.

Beneath the layer of active suffering are the quiet injuries that have been self perpetrated. They are the times I became someone else for any reason; fear, safety, survival. A string theory web of beliefs that I don’t even follow but, hold onto regardless. There’s a temptation to just rip them all down, start from scratch but, I’m not ready for that much destruction so I just listen.

I hear the fan in my bedroom. I hear water running through the pipes in the walls. I hear my heart and my breath and my sobs. And it’s in all that anguish, when I am just hearing it, when I am just LISTENING that I realize I’ve never properly used my ears in my entire life. I’m listening to the surface noise not the rich, deep sounds that my body just plays.

If you were to ask me face to face, I would never be able to articulate what I feel as well as I did here. A digital soliloquy gifted in a moment of what feels like peril. Each time I exhale, every moment of unguarded survival is a victory for my vulnerability. The muscles that have held my body so firmly for so long just begin to melt and I literally crumble to the floor.

Right here, in this moment, is the absolute most strength that I have ever had to display. As I lay, physically weakened, emotionally exhausted, and spiritually stretched, I find my peace. There’s no need for my walls, I am safe. There’s no need to feel lost, I am home. I am home.

I’m Sorry, I’m Sorry, I’m Sorry

I have been sick for two days; throwing up until I can barely move sick.  I have repeatedly apologized to my husband for being ill and for him having to care for me and because we had to go to the hospital and because I make horrible sounds when I am puking and because I needed his help showering and so on and so on.  In the interim of this avalanche of apology, he has said one thing, “It’s not your fault that you’re sick.  You don’t have to apologize.”

It’s a foreign concept to me, to not continuously apologize for every single thing I’m doing; for illness, for tears, for saying, “No.”  I was raised in a household where if you were sick, it was an inconvenience and you’d better be dying, otherwise you’re going to school damn it!

I remember one time when I was in fifth grade; we had our state tests and I was terribly nervous.  Another standard in our household was that you pass, period.  I was always a very stressed test taker, there was an immense amount of pressure and it always made me queasy.  So, there I am, finished with my testing and I really feel like I’m going to be sick.  I ask to use the restroom and just before I enter, I throw up all down the front of myself; my clothes are covered.  I was fortunate enough that my mom lived close to the school and she was unemployed at the time so I knew she’d be available.  I walked to the nurses office, still soaked in puke and called her to come to my rescue.

“Mom, I threw up and I really need to come home.”
“Are you finished with all your tests?”
“I think so but, I’m covered in throw up. Can you come get me?”
“Why did you throw up on yourself? Why didn’t you go to the bathroom?”
“I did, I just didn’t make it in time.”
“Well, that’s ridiculous Roxanne. Let me talk to the secretary or nurse.”
I passed the phone on while I went to the bathroom and when I returned the nurse was there to hand it back, “She wants to speak with you again sweetie.”
I took the phone, “Listen to me right now. Get back in that class and finish your tests! You’re fucking lying and you still have more tests.”
“I told you I thought they were over. I’m covered in vomit, I smell, and I need some clean clothes.”
“Too fucking bad Roxanne.”
“Can Grandma come get me?” (She also lived very close and was at home).
“Absolutely not. Go back to class.”
Then she hung up.

I put down the phone, thanked the nurse, then left her office.  I held the sobs in my throat so tight it felt like it was going to turn inside out (another standard, no crying).  I walked to the cafeteria, got my lunch, then sat all alone as my classmates looked and laughed.

This didn’t bother me at all.  You must understand, for me, it was less shameful to be thought of as disgusting or gross than it was for anyone to know that I had the type of mother who wasn’t there for me; that hurt more.  Not many people knew how Mommy Dearest (one of the names I eventually called her) behaved but, my guidance counselor did.  She came, sat across from me, and eventually persuaded me to come back other office.  She gave me clean clothes from the lost and found and the moment she handed them to me, I fell apart.  I apologized profusely as I sobbed uncontrollably.  My heart was breaking because here a stranger (ish) was showing me more love than my mother did.

“I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.  I’m really very sorry.  I can go back to the cafeteria now because I stink.  I’m sorry I made it your office smell.  I’m sorry you had to come get me.  I’ll be fine now,” I said as I grabbed my greasy school lunch.
“Stay here, let me get you something better to eat, that food is going to make you even sicker,” and she did.

My mom never came to get me, she never allowed my Grandma to come get me.  This wasn’t the first or last time that my mom wasn’t there for me.  This was just the first time I realized that she never would be.

Today as an adult, whenever I am performing less than what I was taught perfect is, I say, “I’m sorry.” The little girl in me is so afraid to lose love, so afraid to disappoint that she has been apologizing for 30 years, for everything.

I even taught my daughters to be overly apologetic and that was a harsh realization.  I watch as my Toddler walks in the mall or gym and says, “Sorry,” to people who bump into her.  Why is it her responsibility to apologize when they are knocking her down?!

No more.

We as a society apologize too much. People say, “Well it’s polite,” or, “It’s good manners.”

No, it’s not. It’s submissive. If you haven’t done anything intentionally harmful then you’re over apologizing. You are NEVER going to say the right thing for everyone. You’re NEVER going to make everyone happy. AND sometimes illness just happens.

We should really focus on clarification rather than apologizing; a majority of the time it’s all a miscommunication or misunderstanding anyway. I truly believe that most of are not malicious, we just can’t find the right words in the right moment sometimes.

The people who genuinely love and care for us don’t want an apology. Their care is an act of LOVE. Love they feel you would give in turn and so apologies and often gratitude are unnecessary.

Today, I want you stop apologizing for bullshit. We all get to do that. No more blanket apologies for fucking nonsense. No more saying sorry just because. You are loved without your apologies and so am I.

A Month Worth of #TBTs Ago . . . A Retrospective

It’s Throwback Thursday!

While I should posting pics of me with weird hair in my youth or party shots with the multitude of friends I may or may not have; I am instead going to take you a journey .     .     . to last month.  It takes a lot of energy and effort to time travel so I wanted to start you guys out with something kind of easy.

A month worth of Thursdays ago was October 16th.  My trip to San Diego was planned but, I had yet to buy my plane tickets.  I was also considering canceling the entire trip because .     .     . I didn’t want to be away from my kids .     .     . yeah, er.  Well, because it would be my toddler’s first walking around Halloween .     .    . right.  Oh and you know there’s that whole .     .     . FUCK!  I really feel like I had more “reasons” for why I couldn’t go and had to cancel.

The real reason was guilt and an inability to give anything to myself or allow myself to receive anything.  This is an argument I’ve been having with my husband for years.  Yes, an actual argument (and typically tears) have to occur before I am willing to accept most things I am offered even if I really want whatever it is.  My beloved expends a great deal of emotional energy trying to get/force me to receive.

It’s not fair.  It’s something I intentionally do either.  It’s an underlying value placement that I was given by someone else.  On that Thursday, I was crying my eyes out because I so wanted to go on this trip but, I could not find a credible thing within myself that would grant my the right to receive this.

*This is a very common thing that women (well humans really) do.*

I spent the entire day evaluating my worth vs reward ratio.  I hadn’t been a good enough mom this year; my little one had fallen and scraped her hands up a few times and my oldest was late to school because of traffic or her lolly gagging as she got ready for school.  I certainly hadn’t made my wife quota this month; I know I didn’t prepare 3 homemade meals a day and that I certainly wasn’t fucking my husband enough for how much the plane tickets are so I would need to increase that (again, my value placement not his-calm down).  Also, family members that I no longer speak with have been reaching out and I’ve kept my boundaries in place but, maybe I should dive on that grenade because that would at least get me most of the way to earning my trip.

There are people in my life who go out of their way to remind me of what a “shitty human being” I am so this is something I don’t get away from, it’s both internal and external.  Was I charitable enough this year? Did I keep my house clean enough? Had I helped enough of my friends this year to get this? Did I love enough? Did I laugh at people’s jokes enough? Did I make those around me feel good enough for me to feel good about going cross-country? Did I give enough this year or ever? Is it enough?

ENOUGH. Yes, I have given enough. Even if I hadn’t though, even if my life wasn’t riddle with the shitty currency of pain that it runs on, even if I hadn’t ever suffered; it would still be enough. There is no value equal to what we put out to others as humans. We are priceless. I am priceless. You’ll also note in my internal eval that nowhere in there does it ask if I have given myself enough this year; interesting huh?

It took me going on this trip to realize that.  So, I’m really glad I have someone around me who, while not their responsibility, reminds me of my worth when I can’t see it myself.  I’m also beyond ecstatic that I have found my people and that those people have given me the right words to tell myself to just let it all go. The words I’ve carried for so long, that I never even wanted in the first place.  I don’t like those heavy words and I am finally putting them down.  No more emotional Ironman.  No more self sabotage.  No more value seeking.

Four Thursdays ago, I was asking all the wrong questions.  You probably are too.  I was asking if I contribute(d) enough (joy, energy, effort, etc.) to allow myself to be happy?  No, I wasn’t.  How on Earth can I make myself happy when I’m focusing on doing that for everyone else first? I can’t.  You can’t.  No one can.  It’s exhausting putting yourself on the back burner.  It’s damaging to base your personal human value on earning it through some type of deed or contribution.  Besides, there’s just not enough wealth in the world to pay any of us our value so I guess we’ll just have to focus on paying ourselves from our own pockets.

Lucky US.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ugh, okay fine

 

 

 

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So I had a perm once in my life.

 

 

Look at my crazy awesome JeriCurl style curls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What?!

 

 

Hrmph!

 

 

OKAY!

 

 

 

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To be fair, perms we’re making my a come back and my grandma was a hairdresser so ya know . . .

 

 

 

 

SERIOUSLY?!

 

 

Fine.

 

 

You viscous monsters.

 

 

HERE!

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* I got nothin’*