Saturday, January 26, 2013

“Every habit he's ever had is still there in his body, lying dormant like flowers in the desert. Given the right conditions, all his old addictions would burst into full and luxuriant bloom.”
― Margaret Atwood

This week's big realization is this: I am genetically wired to be an addict. It  sure does explain many things.... All throughout my life, I have been addicted to various things; perhaps not aware of them as being addictions, but on closer look, that is what they are. It's like a friend of mine described it: it doesn't matter if you switch the thing you're addicted to. It's like changing seats on the Titanic. You know you're going down anyway.

I've been kicking bad habits and addictions these last few years; working hard at it every single day. I realize now, that this is always going to be a part of who I am, although apparently it does get easier. It already has.

When a big piece falls into place like this in my life, there's a sense of relief. Reality and knowledge is liberating, truly. What is painful is when I'm not clear about what's going on--when life is abstract and confusing. The realization about my addictive nature brings me one peel of the onion closer to the core. And the closer to the core one gets, the smaller the peels--ain't that so? Somehow, one gets used to having to tackle tough issues. I guess it's like with anything you do: you get better at it all, with repetition.

But back to the beautiful Margaret Atwood-quote I started with... How I do identify with it..! The "right conditions" indeed push me over the edge, even now. My old addictions are attempting to bloom, and it is my duty not to water them. How hard it is--to break old patterns. Addiction is a more complicated issue than I once thought. Understanding my own relationship with it and seeing the trait in myself so clearly gives me a lot of compassion towards others dealing with the same problem. To any of you fighting the big fight against addiction--I salute you. We shall overcome.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


The trouble with having been a doormat for so long is that there is a lot of pent up hurt and anger. A lot of the time the people who have caused this anger are not aware of it, as I've been silent about it so long.

So. This week I finally spoke up.
Except the result wasn't quite what I imagined. Or in some ways, it totally was.

I suffered a loss this week. A loss of friendship, a loss of partnership. Only because I finally spoke up. For a reason, might I add. Yes, I may have come off a little harsh, but in a healthy situation, concerns can and will be discussed in a healthy way and thus friendship and/or partnership can continue. Such is not the case in all situations.

Some dances we dance with others can only be danced in a specific way. There is no room for added choreography or changes. It is a painful, aching realization, that not every situation can be remedied by reasoning. And thus, the next lesson to be learned, once again, is letting go.

I am proud of myself for stating my case. I am proud of myself for having the courage to stick up for myself. Still, I am not a dick and don't want to come off as one. I know I have some practicing to do before I learn to harness my power in the way that I aim to. But, like a friend of mine said, "if you wanna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs." True dat.
"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked." - Erich Segal

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This week has felt liberating to me. I became aware of something very profound about myself recently, and the realization is quite literally changing my life. I understood finally, after a lifetime of struggling to carry other people's burdens for them, that it is enough for me to merely carry my own. I no longer have to try to manipulate others into living their lives in a healthier way....that I cannot stop others from killing themselves, if they are intent on doing so.

Some part of this truth I've known for a longer time. A friend of mine made a good analogy yesterday, comparing it to a mathematical equation--learning a new formula, by which to get at the same answer. It creates a more holistic understanding of mathematics and the options available, except in this case the formula applies to life.

All my life, I've been feeling other people's feelings, anticipating everyone else's needs, and repressing my own. I've been a doormat, giving more than I can give throughout, and it has negatively affected my health, my career, my self-worth. Realizing finally, that everyone has a responsibility to take care of themselves and that I'm not responsible for anyone else, is a load off my shoulders I can't even begin to describe. By taking responsibility over others' lives, I wasn't able to fully take responsibility of my own. Now I am free to concentrate on my well-being, my life, my career, my happiness. I had no idea how much of my energy was going into obsessing about other people's lives; a dysfunctional dynamic learned in my dysfunctional childhood.

Now I have all of this space...all of this peace I didn't know was possible... A feeling of freedom I remember experiencing as glimpses throughout my life, but never as an ongoing feeling. I am determined to keep from advising, to keep from controlling, to keep from obsessing about others. Other people's lives are none of my business, and my life is none of theirs. I love it.

“The lesson I was learning involved the idea that I could feel compassion for people without acting on it. ”
― Melody Beattie

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 is not wasting any time: I'm going through quite a breakthrough right now in understanding my life and myself better. I feel like I have baby-skin when it comes to this new stuff and need to process it some more; thus I will take this opportunity to steep instead of voicing half-baked thoughts. Today, I share with you a fable I came across last night:

"Once upon a time, a woman moved to a cave in the mountains to study with a guru. She wanted, she said, to learn everything there was to know. The guru supplied her with stacks of books and left her alone so she could study. Every morning, the guru returned to the cave to monitor the woman's progress. In his hand, he carried a heavy wooden cane. Each morning, he asked her the same question: "Have you learned everything there is to know yet?" Each morning, her answer was the same: "No," she said, "I haven't."The guru would then strike her over the head with his cane. 

This scenario repeated itself for months. One day the guru entered the cave, asked the same question, heard the same answer, and raised his cane to hit her in the same way, but the woman grabbed the cane from the guru, stopping his assault in midair.
Relieved to end the daily batterings but fearing reprisal, the woman looked up at the guru. To her surprise, the guru smiled. "Congratulations," he said, "you have graduated. 
You now know everything you need to know."
"How's that?" the woman asked.
"You have learned that you will never learn everything there is to know," he replied. "And you have learned how to stop the pain."