then again, let’s not

I still get upset when I think about the let down of a couple few weeks ago (I’ve lost track of time). And I have a confession about that:  the explosive vehemence of my emotions around this whole thing is waaay out of proportion to what it ought to have been, given the circumstances (in this case, a couple of casual hookups with a casual acquaintance). I normally don’t “should” on myself like that but, in this case, my awareness of this over-reaction goes something like this:

Into that moment of him saying “I’m out,” flooded every snub, slight, injury, rejection, betrayal that has ever happened in my life… Not only could I feel this, it was as though I could see it — an open portal with all of this emotional baggage flowing in. And it very clearly was not all about him…at least not all about him or us in this lifetime, in this incarnation.

I may have mentioned before that I’ve felt something karmic with more-like-it. It wasn’t exactly as Paulo Coelho writes about in Aleph, but not entirely dissimilar, either. His energy was a catalyst for me and, to be honest, it filled me with sheer terror on more than one occasion. I never felt unsafe — rather, I felt a fear that I knew I needed to face head-on in order to be healed in some way. A part of me wonders whether that journey wasn’t somehow cut short by our abbreviated “relationship.” I may never know.

So, as I said, I reacted strongly — and swiftly:  I immediately removed him and another person I knew only through him from among my Facebook friends, and I deleted every message we’d ever exchanged from email, text or messaging. I had to kill this idiotic belief inside me that somehow we were supposed to be connected; I needed a complete break.

On a more personal, practical level, there are still aspects of this man’s behavior that baffle me. I don’t understand how someone can have manners one moment — opening doors, behaving respectfully, etc. — and then behave in a way that is so completely lacking in common courtesy and respect the next. There’s an incongruity to it around which I cannot wrap my feeble brain. It simply does not compute.

And my own knowing rose up inside me:  I don’t treat my friends that way, and they don’t behave that way toward me. So that complete break was my way of shouting it to the universe:  I will not accept being treated this way or welcome into my fold those who think they can get away with it.

I know he’s on his own journey, and rather than judge others or call names, I prefer to address behaviors. Still, this time, I won’t make my usual allowances for bad behavior or give in to the “let’s be friends” bullshit because, frankly, I’ve never wanted to be friends with this man; I’ve always felt and desired something more.

I can’t say what I’ll feel somewhere down the road, but that’s how I feel now. And it still hurts.

that sinking feeling

I have a case of the Januaries. It likely began in mid-December, but now it’s in full swing. All I want to do is sleep, I’m moody and irritable, and my outlook has taken a turn for the distinctly bleak… I’ve slid into self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), what my therapist might otherwise call Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood.

I’m someone who is definitely affected by the low exposure to sunlight, the lack of vitamin D, the waning stores of serotonin in my body. And while I wish to do little but hibernate, struggle to maintain a positive attitude and experience bizarre feelings of anger in response to being physically cold, my kind of depression pales in comparison to what I know so many people struggle with on a regular basis. I may wallow for a bit or go on a crying jag but, generally speaking, I can pull myself back up out of it within a number of hours and at least be minimally social, productive and effective as a parent. I rely on the assistance of my friends, vitamin D supplements and a natural serotonin enhancer.

For any of you who may be feeling a bit down this winter, please reach out to your friends and loved ones, find something you can look forward to, be grateful that each day gets a little longer, take care of yourselves and seek whatever kind of help and support you need to let the light back in. We’re each responsible for our own mental health — and there are resources aplenty for those willing to seek them.

my foolish stars

I have a horoscope app on my mobile device. I don’t take it too seriously, of course, but am open to an awareness of the energy potentials or influences of the moment.

Lately, however, my app seems to be mocking me. On a nearly daily basis since around the first of this year, it assures me that I am on-fire attractive, either enjoying better-than-ever chemistry with my mate or that I’m bound to meet the love of my life in the produce aisle or on other errands. There we’ll be, examining the avocados, when we each happen to reach for the same specimen, our hands touch, our eyes lock, and we recognize instantly, in that moment, that we are destined to be together.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t say it’s ever happened to me quite that way…

You’ll recall that my love life these past couple of weeks has not been rosy. And, while I was hurt, angry, then glum for a streak of days, I am once again hopeful and open to whatever romantic possibilities might enter stage left (or right, for that matter).

Oh, that my chart and my reality would align. Meanwhile, my best course of action is to delete this sneering app!

meditating and mantra

For the past month or so, a particular mantra has been on my mind. It goes something like this:

“I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”

This particular mantra has been part of my consciousness for so long that I can’t recall where I first learned it. Possibly it’s as common to meditators as “om mani padme hum.” I’ve done a little research, and it turns out this is an ancient Hawaiian / Polynesian mantra that is part of a healing practice of forgiveness. According to Wikipedia, “Ho’oponopono” is defined as “mental cleansing.”

I’ve played around with it over the years. And, since it’s back in my mind, I’m going to work with it a lot more over the coming weeks. With this as a reminder to myself, my daily meditation practice will go something like this:

Inhale:  “I’m sorry.”

Exhale:  “Forgive me.”

Inhale:  “Thank you.”

Exhale:  “I love you.”


Maybe it’s just the medicine I need to restore my faith in the possibility of love.

Join me?

he told me so

This past week or so, feeling like the fool I’ve been, I can’t help but make an observation:

Last year, I was in a relationship with a man who full-on loved me, who was ready, willing and able to commit to our relationship. And I couldn’t love him back in the same way. Even worse, when we were together, happy as I was, a part of me was always looking over his shoulder for someone more like the guy I called more-like-it, someone who seemed to be so much better a match, who seemed to have so much more in common with me.

When it ended, this former boyfriend of mine suggested I might need to get my heart broken a time or two in order to realize how dumb I’d been to let him  — a decent man, a man who could commit — go. Seems he was right.

I thought I could play around. And then there were moments with more-like-it that made me think he was the type of man I could commit to. In the end…well, you’ve read about it…

And who was there to comfort me as I cried into my coffee? The kind, honest ex boyfriend…and he didn’t even say, “I told you so.”

Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

how not to be a coward

I mentioned about a week ago that I was hurt deeply by an inconsiderate and cowardly act of rejection via Facebook chat. The fact that I see this interaction as a gift, for it has brought me great clarity, does little to alleviate the very real grief I’m feeling.

So I’ve been thinking about how I would have preferred all this go down, and I have a few specific thoughts for anyone wishing to change or renegotiate the terms of an arrangement or relationship:

  • Practice radical honesty. It’s far more compassionate and respectful than dishonesty and avoidance. What might this mean? If a man doesn’t want to spend time with me, I’d rather hear, “I’m really busy for a couple of weeks. How about we cool it and regroup at the end of the month?” Or “My wants and needs are changing. Can we find a time to talk about what that might mean in person?” Stop the excuses; nobody’s really going to believe that you’re sick for three weeks straight.
  • Align words and deeds. Communicating that you care about me, respect me and value my friendship — via electronic media — while ending any physical or potential romantic interaction feels incredibly hypocritical. I wouldn’t have what I consider an important relationship discussion digitally, unless I genuinely didn’t care whether I heard from that person again. Caring, respect, value, friendship — any of these would recommend a more humane approach.
  • Stick to what’s relevant. There is no good reason why any man, in the course of a break-up (or its equivalent), should feel the need to share anything about another woman with whom he spent as much time as humanly possible over a two-week period, drove hours across state lines to see and spent time with her extended family. Given his disinclination to see me, this information merely added salt to an open wound. And I didn’t need a visual.
  • Master the art of apology. In my experience, folks (particularly men) would rather indignantly deny that they’ve done anything wrong than apologize. Guess what? It’s not about whether you’ve done something wrong. If someone else feels hurt by something you did, chances are there’s a part of that you can own up to and acknowledge, then genuinely apologize for. It goes something like this, “I’m really sorry; I failed to consider how important this was to you, and I will know in the future to behave differently. I really don’t want my foolishness to get in the way of our friendship.” Practice it. Use it more often than you think you should. Trust me, it won’t kill you. It won’t even hurt…unless you’re a narcissist and value your ego above all.

And, perhaps most importantly:

  • Communicate in person. Everyone deserves the simple common courtesy and respect of hearing what might be difficult or painful news face to face. Anything less is cowardly.

The sum of our choices equals our character. I’m chalking this experience up to a valuable life lesson. I hereby re-commit myself to acting with love and compassion toward others, being my best self and drawing clear and healthy boundaries.

ruling him out

Despite my post a week ago, I want to assure you that I am not, in fact heart-broken — it simply made a better headline than the reality of the situation. In fact, let me clarify some things:

This man by whom I felt so wounded was not my boyfriend. We were not, in fact, dating. We merely had an “arrangement.” Within the confines of such an arrangement, there was closeness, secrets shared, vulnerabilities, trust… And the basis for all of these things was friendship. I did not assume what we shared to be more than it was, nor did I have expectations that it would develop into something more. Certainly a part of me had some hope, as I experienced some very high highs while in his presence. But I wasn’t sensing or assuming that he was feeling that way.

Further, let me expand on a single word I’ve chosen in the previous paragraph:  expectations. I had none about what would happen any given time we met or talked, or for the future. I didn’t read meaning into the time we spent together, words said or unsaid.

Thus, it wasn’t even really a breakup. It was simply a shitty-feeling situation…from which I am genuinely grieving.

In the end, as I look back on the whole unnatural beginning of it all, I forced the issue. The truth is, I felt such a strong connection and attraction to this man — yet I simultaneously had misgivings — that I had to know. It would have been difficult for me to move forward and commit myself fully to another man without knowing for sure that more-like-it simply was not and would never be “the one” — he just seemed too close to my ideal to let it go. Now I know. With certainty. What looks, feels and sounds good doesn’t always act it.

And, in the end, I discovered something I never imagined I’d say:  he reminds me a lot of my wasband.

the horrors of love

Did you read the recent news about the man who shot and then dismembered his wife after she told him she was going to leave him? As the gruesome details of the story continue to emerge, the thing that strikes me above all is this:

This woman had her master’s degree in psychology. Her husband was a felon, convicted of a violent rape. What on Earth possessed this woman to fall for this man?

I’ve both seen and experienced that love is blind, but Wow! I can’t imagine how she ended up with him. I can see forgiving some past flaws or youthful indiscretions, but a violent rape? Difficult for a woman to overlook…

In any case, it’s a tragedy for all who knew and loved her, all who supported the couple and especially the couple’s child.

And the horror of this sort of love makes the relative awfulness of being single seem somehow tolerable, preferable even.

wanna break my heart? make an appointment

Yesterday my daughter came home and announced, “My friend just got broken up with in the worst way…by text.”

Not to be outdone, I replied, “Aww, that’s awful. I just got dumped via Facebook chat.”

“Wow! That’s even worse!,” she remarked.

And then, my eleven- and nine-year-old children had a conversation about the right way to break up with someone:  face to face. Or, if there are geographic differences, Skype or a phone call are appropriate, as it turns out, according to these youngsters.

So…since around the first of the year and, if I’m honest about it, before the holidays, it’s been pretty clear that this casual lover thing wasn’t working out. As sometimes happens (who am I kidding? I really have no experience with this stuff and wouldn’t begin to know!), the more my feelings evolved, the more distant lover boy became.

And that’s okay, for all the reasons I’ve talked about in my past couple of posts. I really felt a strong new energy in 2013 and was prepared, once again, to consider welcoming a real relationship into my life. I made no assumptions that my infrequent lover was interested, regardless of how good it felt — I think for both of us — to spend time together.

We hadn’t communicated much over the holidays or New Year, what with both of us traveling and all… So, I waited it out. Finally, about a week ago, he texted and started trying to tell me a story. I immediately sensed where this text exchange was going to go and shut him down, proposing he tell me all about it the next time we got together…oh, and, by the way, Saturday would work.

No word. All week.

Sunday morning I noticed he was on Facebook chat and said hey. And he began again with the story, which was obviously important and relevant (to him). I played along, and pretty soon he was telling me about this woman he’d been hanging out with for a couple of weekends and I was like, “Seriously, we’re having this discussion via Facebook chat? Not cool.” He brushed off my comments with something about “digital age” and really needing to share, and since we hadn’t had a chance to see each other…which, you’ll recall, I’d given him the opportunity to do the very day before.

So I started to get just a little belligerent, with “so you’re embarking on a relationship with a woman going through a divorce who lives in another city?” which was really my way of saying, “get to the point, please, because I’m already pissed off by this whole situation!”

So even if we weren’t really dating, regardless how casual our relationship, I got dumped via Facebook chat…with the usual “let’s still be friends.” And I said I had to go.

As all this crap soaked in, I began to get really hurt. By the time I went to bed, I swear there was steam coming out of my ears. I was angry at him for treating me so disrespectfully and I was mad at myself for trusting him to be a steward of my feelings.

Of course I couldn’t sleep. So, finally, at 3:30am, I sent a message telling him how I was feeling — disrespected, undervalued, angry — and that, given all we’ve shared, I (we) deserved better; namely, an in-person conversation. To my surprise, by 4:15am, he had agreed that we should meet. Not sure how the part about meeting in person beforefor the “I’m out” conversation got missed in his mind… I told him I needed space. p.s. Nowhere in any of this exchange was a genuine apology.

Bottom line on this breakup fail? Don’t do it using digital media. Ever. It’s cowardly, disrespectful and completely devalues another human being. (Sadly, it wasn’t the first time I’d witnessed cowardly behavior on his part.)

In other words:  If you want to break my heart, make an effing appointment!

It’s been a long time since I felt so incredibly angry. I can’t remember the last time…really. So it was kind of cathartic. And empowering. And clarifying. And I’ve learned I can be pretty fierce!

closing the door on 2012

Yesterday, I offered a glimpse into an intention I’ve set for 2013. I’ve set several more, not to do with love or romantic relationships. At the same time, I’m closing the door on the past year, 2012.

What does this mean? The past year has been rewarding in many ways but, for whatever reason, the past few weeks of 2012 found me filled with anxiety, unsettled and dissatisfied. With all the end-of-year holidays, I’m sure I subjected my family to more disgruntled energy than I’d like.

I also embarked on a playful, physical relationship with a man, thinking I could keep it casual. As the year ended, I felt my energy shift and, suddenly, experimenting outside of a committed relationship didn’t seem so fun anymore. In its current form, it was always going to be temporary anyway, right? So it came to a mutual conclusion…not without its share of grief, for I’ve often sensed that our possibilities together were greater, even if I knew it wasn’t the most astute way to begin. At any rate, I was taking care of the urgent needs of the time which, now that they’ve shifted, has me mourning a loss.

Perhaps for those reasons, I felt the change in energy this new year in a way that I haven’t before, and I welcome and embrace all the new and positive to come.

In releasing the past and opening to the present, I want to share with you some of the highlights of the past year:

  • My children reached an age that has allowed me more freedom — and they’ve been granted financial support that allows us all to live more fully and with less stress or financial constraints.
  • I was loved fully, passionately and in a way that I haven’t been perhaps ever before in life. Nearly everything about my relationship with my ex boyfriend was nurturing, healing, loving and positive. It wasn’t ever going to be the right relationship, but we enjoyed laughter, great sex, intimacy, fun, healing and closeness. And, happily for me, we’ve more recently been loosely in touch and now call each other friends.
  • I spent quality time with another man and enjoyed an experience that may be difficult to fully describe, but I will try:  When we talk, there are so many levels and dimensions in which we’re in synch…some people describe this as “getting lost in conversation;” to me, it’s more like being found in conversation — finding my ground, my voice, my essence, the me in me, and being 100% fully present, alive and available. In that, I was confident, at peace, secure — so many things. In those moments of togetherness, every cell in my body seemed to be standing up, leaning forward, saying “YES!” Imagine standing at the top of a mountain, looking out at the grand expanse — or staring out at the ocean — and feeling the most incredible sense of infinite possibility. THAT’s what it felt like to me when we were together, which is probably why I called him more-like-it from our first meeting.
  • With this same man, I experienced another profoundly positive phenomenon. Every time I asked anything of him (which, admittedly, was exceedingly rare), he went above and beyond, over-delivering in a way that was heartwarming and delightful. Perhaps this is a small thing but, having been trained by an unhealthy marriage dynamic to have exceedingly low hopes that even the most basic standard or requirement would be met, it was a revelation to experience a man in natural and joyous service to my desires.
  • I should not neglect to mention that I had some fun new physical / sexual experiences and sensations, and have a growing toy collection to better meet my own needs.

I am so grateful for these moments — and feelings that I may not have known were possible had it not been for the experiences of the past year — and I invite more of them into my life. YES!, Universe, that’s more like it! THIS is the juicy, sexy, wonderful stuff I want to feel more of in my relationship(s) in 2013.