Drama Cleanse: Day 9

Sorry for the delay on this one, had a packed day. No drama, though, so on track. 

  1. 5-minute journal – check
  2. 5-minute visualization- morning in bed
  3. Podcast-finished- Success Talks: Mel Robbins on the 5 Second Rule
  4. Daily exercise- Biked to Bare3 class (http://barre3.com/studio-locations/cherry-creek-denver) Yoga this morning (core power)
  5. Step towards your goal: Reached out to one of my favorite authors to see if she would be open to providing some much-needed advice

NOTE: I bought a class pass for the first time, just to vary things up while I take a break from running. Bar classes are my favorite and I loved B3’s variation/approach. Yoga is the thing I probably need most and the hardest thing for me to get myself to do. It’s just hard to stay out of my head more than other things that are more physical/face paced. Yoga just forces you to feel and process your emotions, which is a bit grueling right now, but necessary.

Class Pass: I do recommend the class pass. You can always find really good deals on their site. I got a package of 5 for $30. I bar class is usually $20ish and Yoga is around $15-$20 per class, so great deal. Just know that only certain studios allow you to use it and it is usually for classes scheduled off hours.

Podcast: Finishing- Success Talks: Mel Robbins on the 5 Second Rule

NUTSHELL: An emphasis in the last part was about using the 5 Second Rule (counting 5-4-3-2-1 as a trigger to take action) to build your confidence. Makes sense. It helps you cultivate confidence by providing tangible steps to take action. Taking action reminds you that you are capable of more than you thought and breaks the pattern of inaction. This, in turn, boosts your confidence and belief in yourself. Even if you don’t get the outcome you wanted, your proved to you yourself that you survived, or that your actions led to the outcome that you did want. The simple action of ‘taking action’ is proof to yourself that you can do what is needed to move forward instead of staying stuck where you are.

She also touched on something that I am grappling with on a profound level. She addresses making heart-first decisions. When posed the question, “should the heart always be involved in decisions when it often ends in serious heartbreak?” Her response gave me heart. (especially because she is so pragmatic about things)

She responds, “We are born courageous”. Challenges are things that require courage, not things to overcome. So we have to re-frame difficulties as acts of courage instead of obstacles to overcome.

She asserts that when we listen to our instincts and go with our heart, things eventually turn out to be the best thing we could have done. Damaging mistakes are made when we go into our heads and start to question our heart. Heart decisions can be hard and complicated and have major ramifications- ending a relationship, starting a business, etc. The best thing you can do is to make decisions with your heart and then use your head to figure out the best way to get it done.

TAKEAWAY:

5-4-3-2-1 is a way to make you take the leap and then confirm that you had the courage to do it, and you landed, either on your feet or on your ass, but you landed. If it was the latter, you count to 1 again and you get back up. And you start to build the confidence to leap again until you eventually land on your feet. And you will.

I needed to hear this. Following my heart has always been my approach to life. And, yes, this approach has sometimes led to a broken heart. But it always turned out to be the right decision. There has always been a gift in it that was usually impossible to see when trying to heal my heart.

But I just did this when I had to make a major life-changing decision. There was so much risk involved on so many levels- the biggest one was the risk of getting my heart broken on a level that I didn’t know was possible. I got on my knees every day before taking the leap. I prayed, I meditated, I wrote, I sought advice from friends…everything I could possibly think to do to confirm what my heart was telling me. I leaped. And it feels like what was quite possibly the worst, most painful decision I have ever made.

I rethink what happened every day. What went wrong? How did I misread what my heart and my intuition were telling me? I went against sage advice, I went against reason and logic. I completely trusted what my heart was telling me to do.

I still can’t see the gift in it clearly. I know there is one. I am slowly starting to see what it is, but I just question why, at this point in my life, did the path to find that gift have to end in such a disaster and with so much pain.

What I do know is that I did in fact, leave out the other piece that is essential when making life-changing decisions. I did not use my head when planning on what steps to take to follow my heart. I ignored the obvious red flags/obstacles that were so blatant. I was excited and impatient and impulsive and didn’t take the time to look at the bigger picture. I wanted to paint it how I wanted it to unfold in that exact moment. I wish with all that I have that I would have used my head to come up with my action plan. I am not sure if things would have turned out differently. But I’m fairly certain that a lot less pain would have been suffered by and inflicted on everyone involved.

So, takeaway:  I will do my best to keep following my heart once it heals. And, next time, I will sit myself down and summon my head to join in on mapping out my plan of action.

Again, I encourage you all to listen to this one. It’s very enlightening, pragmatic, and completely doable.

Steps for Day 10: 

  1. journal
  2. visualize for 5 minutes
  3. listen to podcast
  4. exercise
  5. Do one thing, no matter how small, to take steps toward whatever it is you want to do or accomplish

Resources

Five-minute Journal: fiveminutejournal.com

Visualization: Mike Dooley (visualization tips: http://www.tut.com)

Podcast: Success Talks: Mel Robbins on the 5 Second Rule

Exercise: Bare3 class (http://barre3.com/studio-locations/cherry-creek-denver)

Class Pass: https://classpass.com/home

 

 

Drama Cleanse: Days 7 & 8

I gave us a break yesterday (Sunday, Day 7)… because I needed a break. No drama, though, so we will just make Sundays our ‘day of rest’, unless something dramatic happens that needs to be shared.

  1. 5 minute Journal- check
  2. Podcast: Success Talks: Mel Robbins on the 5 Second Rule
  3. Visualize- This morning
  4. Exercise: Bar Method (Barmethod.com/online)
  5. Goal- Becoming Successful Writer: Finally revised business cards to include blog link

Something I did differently on Saturday was to make a date with my dear friend. She was my neighbor when I lived down the street and she is truly one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She actually reached out to me because she knew I was back and needed a ‘come to Jesus’. And that we did. She took me back to when we met 9 years ago and all the times we have seen each other since. She just gave me a good, gentle shaking to remind me of who this girl is who she has come to know and love, and why. I needed it. And it felt so good to hear about her, her amazing daughter, and her husband. They are the couple who I have referenced before because they have it. Magic. It is visible every time you see them together. They say, ‘we are one person’. And they are. Yet they each are their own, independent amazing person who perfectly compliments the other. No, they are not perfect, and they have to work at it, but they do. And it has been working for almost 3 decades. All this to say. I am making an effort to surround myself with amazing people who think I am amazing, too. I think this is the very least we can do for ourselves.

Podcast: Success Talks: Mel Robbins on the 5 Second Rule

If you listen to just one of these podcasts out of all that I have recommended, please listen to this one. First of all, Mel Robbins is a phenomenal, accomplished woman with a ‘no bullshit’ approach and demeanor. Not esoteric going on here. Just pure ‘this is what you need to do to make the changes you want in your life’.

The 5 Second Rule:

This is so simple and logical, it is mind-blowing. Long/short- it is the same concept as NLP: interrupting brain patterns and replacing them with new ones. So, when we feel anxious, scared, have doubt, feel stuck, are procrastinating, or indulging in a bad habit, we catch ourselves and count backwards- 5,4,3,2,1- and then take action.

She gave the example of pressing the snooze button (definitely not my issue, almost wish I was a snoozer at times). If you catch yourself pressing it over and over because you don’t want to face your day-5,4,3,2,1, and it gives you the focus and presence of mind to get your ass out of bed.

Or, you have a reoccurring thought that is self-defeating and preventing you from taking that risk or a step that will bring you closer to getting what you want, you count 5 =>1 to interrupt the thought or hesitation and just do it.

You also want to have an ‘anchor thought’ to replace the negative one you just disrupted. Her example: you always get anxious when you partner travels and then start to picture worse-case scenarios. So you instead visualize him/her walking through the door excited to see you (I might have added that last part). This just makes much more sense. This is logical. Worrying or envisioning the worst aren’t logical thoughts, and 9x/10, is not what will ever happen.

NOTE: There are times when you should not use this technique, like when making a very big decision that should be thought through longer than 5 seconds.

Something she also reminded me of that I heard decades ago is anxiety vs. excitement. I have used this to calm myself down so many times.

Fear/Anxiety and Excitement elicit the same physiological response in your body.

So when I catch myself saying “I’m so nervous or scared”, I replace it with, “Nope, that’s excitement, love. You are simply excited right now”.

So, please listen to this one. It’s short and so good!

We’ll stick with our same 5 for today. It’s working. Little tiny shifts, but it is working.

Congrats to all. Officially one week, drama free.

  1. journal
  2. visualize for 5 minutes
  3. listen to podcast
  4. exercise
  5. Do one thing, no matter how small, to take steps toward whatever it is you want to do or accomplish

Resources

Five-minute Journal: fiveminutejournal.com

Visualization: Mike Dooley (visualization tips: http://www.tut.com)

Podcast:

Success Talks: Mel Robbins on the 5 Second Rule

Love & Hate Revisited

I did not have it in me this week, so I decided to revisit and expand on a previous post, actually my first one. I just decided I needed to clarify a few things…(revisions in bold).

You cannot hate something that you first did not love.  You hate it because you loved it and then lost it.”   – b. breazeale

I posted this on my Instagram site after telling my ‘ex’ that I hated him. This, after telling him that I loved him and just wanted him to be happy, even if it was with somebody else. It sounds childish, I know, but that is what it has come to. He responded that you cannot hate and love someone at the time. He is wrong, in my opinion, for the reason that I stated in my quote.

I believe hate stems from a place that is so desperate and painful, so deep and consuming, that it changes you. Hate takes an emotion, love, that you felt so deeply and transforms it to something the extreme opposite. The thought of that person- whom you loved with everything you had and to whom you gave everything you had- knowingly doing something that hurt you on a level that surpasses cruelty; it takes you to a place where you simply did not know you could go.

You first want to hurt them back, then you want to shake them into showing you remorse and taking it all back, then you want them to feel so much love that they could not possibly want to do something like this to you or anyone else again, and then back to wanting them to feel as much pain as you are.

This is how I feel. This is not me. I am not weak. I am not cruel or hateful or vindictive, quite the opposite. But, I have come to a place where I hate him. And I fear that he feels the same, or worse, indifferent. The thought of this makes me physically hurt, sick to my stomach and beyond desperate. Because I love him that much.

He is consumed with fear and guilt, and for good reason. He believes he will lose what he loves most if he reveals his love for me. He acts out of fear because he does love me. But this fear has since manifested into words and actions that have demonstrated anything but love. He attacked with intent to harm. And I fought back, with the intent to harm. Emotionally, to be clear. But emotional warfare is quite possibly the most destructive kind. 

It is maddening.  I know he doesn’t really want to hurt me. He is hurting me because he is hurting that badly. He is projecting his pain on the person he knows will not abandon him. And he is right. I never will. Because I love him that much. I did, however, have to leave him. There was nothing left to do. He had already left me.

I actually understand it on some level, and it breaks my heart. And I hate him for it.

To be clear, I am not referring to disliking something. I think when you dislike something, it stems from indifference. You can take it or leave it, but you would rather leave it. Indifference, from what I have learned, is completely detached from love. But it is very different than hate.

In Conversations with God, Neal Donald Walsh writes:

All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by one of two emotions—fear or love. In truth there are only two emotions… These are the opposite ends of the great polarity…so it is that in the moment you pledge your highest love, you greet your greatest fear.

Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.

To clarify, I believe hate results from fear as well as love.  It is almost a convergence of the two. You hate something (someone), because you fear it, you don’t understand it. You feel threatened, vulnerable, you ‘contract, close down, run, harm’. 

But, I believe, you can only feel fear, and the extreme emotions around it, because you first felt love. You opened up your heart and soul completely, exposing yourself, ‘opening up, expanding, staying, sharing, healing’.  But when this love is rejected, it is beyond what you can understand. It is the realization of your worst fear and your worst pain. And this fear, this pain, will often manifest as hatred.

 “The moment you pledge you highest love, you greet your greatest fear.”

I believe even those who do horrible things- abuse, murder, rape- are acting out their hatred because of love, a loss thereof. I think in most cases, they were denied love from the person they loved most, and they fear they will never receive it from anyone. That hatred then turns into a rage they do not have the capacity to control. (clearly, there are other serious issues involved, chemical and otherwise, that drive people to go to these extremes) This is speculation, of course, and I’m certainly not saying these acts are justifiable, not at all. I just think that it is where the hatred might stem from.

None of this is black and white. The spectrum of the shades and degrees of love, hate, fear, and indifference is wide and varied. This is simply my understanding of what I have experienced with all of the above…just something to think about.

So, that is where I am at, grappling with feeling hatred because what I feared most has proven to be true. I will never receive the love I wanted from the person I love the most.

I’ll leave you today with this. It is my hope, for all of you out there, as well as for me, that we pledge our highest love and greet our greatest fear. We greet our fear, not embrace it. Instead, we nod our head politely and move past it.

“Love me or hate me, both are in my favor…If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart…If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.”  – William Shakespeare

Please check out my social enterprise, Briya, and help us empower women and children with education and economic advancement opportunities across the globe.

http://www.briyabags.com

Drama Cleanse: Day 6

NOTE: I received some feedback that some of you would like me to go ahead and post these on social media daily.. apologies to those of you who feel inundated! If you are only interested in reading “Summoning Magic” blog, I will aim to post those on Sunday mornings…(Wednesday as well, if I am feeling ambitious).

  1. 5 minute Journal- check
  2. Podcast: Tony Robbins w Dr. Gerald Jampolsky and Dian Cirincione: Part I & II
  3. Visualize- missed this one. Today, though, for sure
  4. Exercise: None yesterday, but yoga is on the books for today
  5. Started a Meetup Group to Explore Shakespeare’s life and works (love Shakespeare and want to get back into studying him)

Podcasts: Tony Robbins

  1. To Weakness Into Power: Josheph McClendon III on one of the most impactful NLP tools you can start using today
  2. Gerald Jampolsky and Dian Cirincione: Part I & II: The Power of Forgiveness, letting go of fear and true intimacy.

The first one was very short, but the most powerful for me. Oddly enough, I actually studied NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) pretty intensely in my 20’s. I have seen it do amazing things for people, life-changing things, but it does take work and diligence, like anything lasting and impactful.

NOTE: NLP and some of the thinking/approaches in these episodes are not main stream practices and might seem a bit ‘out there’ for some of you. But it can’t hurt to listen. Just try to keep an open mind. It might be worth trying… what we are presently doing clearly isn’t working like we want it to.

NLP

Dr. McClendon provides very doable steps in a simple manner that you can do to reprogram your brain to stop actions/beliefs that are preventing you from being healthy/happy/functional in your life.

NLP was created as a technique to reprogram irrational, self-defeating or debilitating thoughts that lead to beliefs that lead to destructive patterns/habits in our lives. NLP basically interrupts the neurons or nerve cells that are sending, receiving, and storing negative signals to your brain and re-trains those neurons to associate whatever the thing/emotion/experience with something positive or neutral. It is widely used to treat phobias, addictions, destructive behaviors, etc.

Simply put, you reprogram your brain.

TAKE AWAY:

This technique really does work, but just know that some of our beliefs/issues are very entrenched in our psyche/subconscious. Depending on how far back they go and how rooted they are, it might take several attempts to take hold.

A second thing to consider is that whatever behavior you are exhibiting that you want to change, stems from an emotion that you are experiencing linked to a traumatic (or several) experience/s. (at least, this is how I understand it). You have to do the work to figure out, a) what the emotion is, and b) where/when/why the emotion manifested. This takes self-awareness and some uncomfortable work which will most likely time. I think this is an essential step to make NLP effective.

Thirdly, you have to wholeheartedly want this change to occur and actually DO the technique. Consistently. And you have to BELIEVE in it, or it is a waste of time.

Finally, just try one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm your brain with trying to reprogram every issue at once. It will be too much and most likely won’t take hold. I would even recommend starting with something on the minor side that you want to change. Most likely this is something not as entrenched and will be easier to reprogram…and you can know that it works and how.

Please do some research and find out more about how it works so you will understand why you are doing what you are doing and why it works. (google is your friend).

PODCAST II

Dr. Gerald Jampolsky and Dian Cirincione: Part I & II: The Power of Forgiveness, letting go of fear and true intimacy.

These were pretty intense, and a bit esoteric, but still profound.

TAKEAWAY:

To really experience peace and fulfillment, we HAVE to forgive the people in our past who we feel have hurt us. It is essential to find the gift in it, know that they were doing their best and were actually placed in our lives to teach us something important that we needed to learn (to be framed in the positive). We have to send them love and let them and the anger and sadness go. Most importantly, we have to forgive ourselves. The reality is, we usually take on whatever we perceive that they did to us as ultimately our fault. This is the most destructive part- not what they did to us, but what we feel like we allowed them to do, or worse, what we feel like we deserved. We have to forgive ourselves before we can learn from the lesson and move on.

They offer techniques that they practice in their own lives to do this. They also emphasize that this too is a process and takes diligence and patience.

I hope this was helpful! As always, please do reach out with feedback, tips, and resources.

Steps for day 7: (any or all that you want to do)

  1. Journal
  2. Listen to inspiration/positive podcast
  3. Visualize for 5 minutes
  4. Exercise
  5. Do something small towards a goal that you have
  6. Pick a behavior you want to change and practice NLP technique

Resources

Five-minute Journal: App.fiveminutejournal.com

Podcasts: Tony Robbins:

  1. To Weakness Into Power: Josheph McClendon III on one of the most impactful NLP tools you can start using today
  2. Gerald Jampolsky and Dian Cirincione: Part I & II: The Power of Forgiveness, letting go of fear and true intimacy.

NLP:

More Info: http://www.holistic-online.com/hol_neurolinguistic.htm

Drama Cleanse: Day 5

Note: I am going to do my best to post these by 1pm everyday (Mountain Time) so those of you following do not have to check more than once.

  1. 5-minute journal completed
  2. Podcast: Finished Tony Robbins: How to Make the Decision to do the Impossible: Siri Lindley on overcoming failure, moving away from fear and learning to love herself
  3. Visualization- haven’t done it yet, but will this afternoon
  4. Worked out yesterday: Bar Method (https://baronline.barmethod.com/) Very humbling…struggled with the Beginner’s class. I used to do nothing but advanced only 6 months ago. But, I can only start from where I am.

Podcast:
I finished the Tony Robbins interview with Siri Lindley. I found this part just as inspiring as yesterday. She and Robbins really hit on what I am realizing is essential to living a life that is beyond status quo, that is extraordinary, in any area of your life- career, love, friendships, sports…

Hunger and Gratitude

Hunger: Siri was reflecting on her experience with the coach who helped her realize her potential. She later asked him why he took her on when she was so terrible in the beginning. He told her that he noticed her in a race years before they met. At that point in the race, she was in 42nd place, but she was absolutely killing herself just to get to 41st place. He said he knew at that moment that he wanted to train her because she had that hunger. Regardless of whether she won or not, she was doing her absolute best from the place where she was. He knew it was precisely that which would make her a champion.

Gratitude: She went on to explain what her main motivation to keep pushing herself beyond her limits was this: when she felt like she was going to die during each workout and each race, she just felt so thankful for the incredible gifts she had been given. These gifts didn’t include or athletic ability because she did not have that in the beginning. But she knew she had the desire, the willingness to push her limits, two legs and two arms to allow her to compete, and the opportunity to train with one of the best coaches in the world. Every single time she raced, this is what motivated her to give it everything she had. She was thankful just to be there, the outcome became secondary. And this is how she became World Champion.

Takeaway:

I have spent most of my life doing exactly the opposite. When I began racing competitively (running), I did it for me. It empowered me, made me feel like a badass, increased my confidence, made me proud that I was pushing my limits… and winning.

This is the crucial difference. I started doing it to win. If I was winning the races, or at least in the top 3, then I was succeeding. Defeat or anything lower than 3rd place was failure. It became about the acceptance and recognition from others- my coach, some guy I was dating, my friends, etc. I let it define me and lost the joy I had in the being just for the sheer fact that I was able to compete and improve my time, agility, etc.

I eventually burned out and stopped competing, which makes complete sense to me now. This is how I have always approached almost everything I do. I have to be the best or at least a close second. I have talked about this before. It is perfectionism. If I am perfect at whatever I set out to do, than I am worthy of praise, love, etc. It is exhausting and self-defeating and takes the fun, playfulness, and enjoyment out of the things that I love.

I am competitive by nature and always have been. I don’t necessarily want to change that. But, I do want to change the motivation for pursuing things I love. What others think of how or what I am doing is not the reason I want to push myself to be better. I want to push myself to be better because I am loving what I am doing. Even when it gets challenging, I want to keep going because I want to be the best I can be for the sheer satisfaction that I have the gift to be able to do whatever I want.

I know from experience that this is not the case for so many people all over the world. They simply don’t have the opportunity or privilege of having access to a class or a sport or an education. They don’t have the luxury of being depressed or to wallow in all of the things they don’t have. So many of them are in full-on survival mode with little to no opportunity to change their circumstance.

I do. Even when I feel like my world has completely fallen apart, my god, I still have so much to be thankful for. My tiny basement apartment, by cute, girly bike, my cracked phone, even the fact that I have no present form of income. All of these things are fleeting and are so much more than most have. And, unlike so many, I have the power to change all of these things when I am ready to. All of them.

The last thing I heard was Robbins’ comment on cultivating our inner pride. More times than not, we remember the bad things people have said. These are what we let define us. I know this is what I do. But it’s a choice, right? I have so many people say amazing things to and about me. I am finally starting to let those things sink in. These are people I love, admire, and respect, who I choose to be in my life. Why in the hell would I continue to focus on things people said to me by those who I chose to no longer be in my life?

We have a choice. We either believe the worst or find ways to earn our pride. Not with approval from others, but because we are doing things for ourselves, things that we love, that make us feel unique, authentic, and proud.

If I do everything  i can to give every ounce of my heart and soul to whatever I choose to invest myself in, then this is my success. He quotes Coach John Wooden (famous basketball coach?) and I love this.

What we give, we keep forever, what we don’t give, we lose forever.”

 This is the primary piece I am working on for myself at this point in my life. I want to reach my greatest potential in all areas of my life. And although I am impatient and so tired of feeling sad and less than, I am finally appreciating that this will be a life-long process. The best I can do is chip away at it little by little…one step at a time.

So, steps for Day 5:

  1. Podcast
  2. Visualize for 5 minutes
  3. Some sort of exercise
  4. Do just one thing– If you are ready, think of one hobby or goal that you really want. Just think of one small thing you can do to work towards it, even if it is just writing it down. Maybe just put in your calendar a month or 5 months or a year down the road, put in motion.

 Resources

  1. fiveminutejournal.com
  2. Visualization: Mike Dooley (visualization tips: http://www.tut.com
  3. Podcast Referenced: Tony Robbins: How to Make the Decision to do the Impossible: Siri Lindley on overcoming failure, moving away from fear and learning to love herself.
  4. Feel-goods: Fascinating Utube (3:30 minutes): Masaru Emoto’s Water Experiment: Words Are Powerful  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-0PeUeYbqw (NOTE: Music is terrible…I muted!)

Drama Cleanse: Day 4

Spaced my 5-minute journal yesterday, but back on track today. Yesterday was a rough one. I was just pissed pretty much the whole day…and sad. But, no drama, so I’ll call it a win.

Visualization: This I did while recovering from a dry-needling session at the PT office. Did wonders as a distraction from the pain.

Podcast: Tony Robbins: How to Make the Decision to do the Impossible: Siri Lindley on overcoming failure, moving away from fear and learning to love herself.

NUTSHELL:

This one might be the most inspiring for me yet. Maybe because I’m an athlete. (I guess I can call myself that…athletic if nothing else). Siri is the 2-time World Champion ITU who is now in the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame. Although she was always athletic, she had absolutely no background in swimming, barely any time in a pool, nor did she have a background in cycling or long-distance running. She just decided after watching one that was what she was going to do. And she was terrible, like almost the last one to cross the finish line her first handful of races.

The whole premise of the interview was to pick her brain about how and why she made the decision to do whatever it took to be the very best in the world. She was so very humble and honest, which made her response all the more inspiring.

The Why: She basically said, what we hear over and over, she had spent most of her life feeling so very uncomfortable in her skin. She just didn’t think she was good enough or worthy enough to accomplish great things, especially on her own. She finally decided (paraphrased), “I’m tired of feeling so terrible about myself all of the time. I’m tired of living my life from a place of fear”. Even as ‘bad’ as she was at the sport, she chose it because it made her feel good about herself.

The How: She was so committed to learning to love herself and allow herself to feel good, accomplished, proud, and confident, that she sought out the very best coaches and resources to train with and teach her how to be the best. One thing her first coach taught her was one of the most important things that inspired her. What was more important than being a great athlete was being a good person. Even if she only focused on that- on loving herself and aligning herself with her values and the things that made her feel worthy of being the best- would she ever be the best. So she did exactly that. She decided to focus on the little successes, to relish in the fact that she could even finish each grueling workout and competition. Because she was doing what she loved, which made her love herself more.

One of the most profound parts, for me, was her tryouts for the Olympics. She spent an entire year living like a hermit, doing all the things she believed that would get her into the Olympics. One of them was visualizing, every single day, every detail about the day of the trials and exactly how it would all godown, landing her as an Olympic athlete.

Long of the short of it, she didn’t qualify. She was absolutely devastated and felt like she had completely failed and blown her chances to accomplish her ultimate dream. When her team asked her what happened. Was she hurt, was she okay? She decided, instead of making some sort of excuse, she would just own it. She replied that nothing was wrong with her, nothing happened, she just lost it. She just freaked out and lost it.

This not only gave her power to own her mistakes and think of the factors that might have contributed, but it also made her assess why she was equating making it into the Olympics with accomplishing her dream. ‘The Olympics’ is not why she was a triathlete. She was a triathlete because it was her passion, because it made her feel like a champion. The Olympics did not define her or her success. Owning her mistakes gave her power. She could evaluate them and figure out how to correct them, instead of chalking up her defeat to circumstances that happened to her.

My Takeaway:

Again, going back to the ‘cursed hows’, Even though she visualized every day qualifying, ‘achieving her dream and being the best’, she put too much emphasis on how ‘being the best’ would unfold. ‘The Olympics’ was not her path. That specific event (or ‘person’ for a wider application), was not her path to achieving her ultimate dream: Feeling happiness/loved/proud/confident. She feels and is all of those things now and none were contingent on the Olympics.

This also goes along with the ongoing theme I am discovering. We can blame our circumstances on ‘god/universe’ or ‘fate’ or someone else. Or, we can take responsibility for our role in our mistakes or ‘failures’, we can reframe the “I am a failure or less than, etc.’ to “I did this or didn’t do that’. And, those things we can change. But, we have to forgive ourselves first and commit to moving forward instead of ruminating on what we did wrong in our past.

I had to stop listening right when she had just referenced one of my all-time favorite quotes by Michelangelo.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

It never occurred to me to apply this to a person or me. We all have this beauty, our gift, the ‘angel’ inside of us that is our core, our essence. But it simply will not emerge until we ‘set it free’. This is so very empowering. It is up to me/us to dig deep, to realize the gifts/beauty that is my/our core and find the courage to begin carving.

For Day 5: 

  1. 5-mintue journal
  2. podcast
  3. visualize
  4. exercise: It’s time. I have to get this part of me back. It is something I love, that makes me feel good-confident, powerful, loved, at peace. It doesn’t matter what you do or for how long. Just do something that will feed your soul- go for a walk, do yoga, stretch, dance…doesn’t matter. Just do what feels good.

Resources

 Podcasts:

Tony Robbins: How to Make the Decision to do the Impossible: Siri Lindley on overcoming failure, moving away from fear and learning to love herself.

Five-minute Journal: App.fiveminutejournal.com

Drama Cleanse: Day 3

NOTE: I will not be posting these on social media so as not to inundate. But, will post on my blog daily. http://www.nataliebreazeale.wordpress.com (‘Drama Cleanse’ tab)

NOTE II: I realize that I can come across as preachy when I am writing these. Please know, when I say ‘you’, I am saying ‘me’…just trying to make it applicable.

I decided just to stick with same ‘rituals’ as day 2…baby steps. Except I left out something that I try to always do. I always try to visualize once a day for around 5 minutes.

There are many versions and recommendations out there. You can dig and see what resonates for you if you are interested. I mostly follow recommendations from Mike Dooley. I have been following him for years. He believes in the same ‘power of the mind’/manifesting your reality’ philosophy that I have followed for decades. This is what I believe, clearly not what you have to. Long and the short of it- whatever your thoughts, feelings, and actions are, become your reality. This has been proven true for me time and time again. It is my truth, but again, might not be yours.

Anyway,  I lay in bed in the morning or take some time during the day to just sit quietly somewhere and I visualize what I want down to the tiniest detail… how I am feeling, what I am wearing, the smells, the temperatures, even what I might be saying or hearing. Something I have trying to be very intentional of late is to avoid attaching these visualizations to a person or specific thing that might not be ‘how’ my dreams are supposed to unfold. Dooley calls them ‘cursed hows’. In other words, if I want to be super successful or fulfilled in my career, but I believe this will only happen if I am a writer, then I am preventing the manifestation of what might actually be a better path. Another example: if I want a beautiful, magical, healthy relationship, but I attach this to a specific person, well, guess what, that beautiful, magical, healthy relationship might involve anyone but that person and you block the possibility of that person showing up.

This sounds complicated. It’s so not. First, just get very clear on what you want. But just try to strip that down to the absolute basics. Is your pathway to happiness that specific job with that specific company, or is it that you want to be in an environment where you are valued, supported, creative and accomplished? Is experiencing true and enduring love only possible with a specific person? What if that person isn’t capable of fulfilling that role or just doesn’t want to be with you. Well, then you are screwed, because you made it all contingent on that person. You can’t control that person and you can’t control the HR department of that specific company. So, I try not to ‘play god’ and instead, let the universe work it’s magic for me and through me.

I know, a little esoteric, but just what I do and believe.

Podcast:

I finished Brene Brown’s podcast, Creativity, Courageous Vulnerability and Wholehearted Living that I was listening to… SO POWERFUL.

NUTSHELL:

My takeaway from this portion was the concept of Wholehearted Living and B.I.G

Wholehearted Living:

What I understand the foundation of Brown’s approach to life is, ‘Whole-hearted living’. She believes that most of us operate from a place of shame (self) vs. guilt (behavior). It’s the whole ‘I am’ tendency again. “I am an idiot”, ‘I am not worth…”. You are defining yourself and solidifying these labels/characteristics as who you are. This is very different from, “I can’t believe I did that”, “what I did was stupid”, etc. Those are behaviors that can be changed or avoided. Brown found a high correlation between shame and addictions, disorders, depression, etc., which makes sense. If you define yourself as worthless, unlovable, etc., these will most likely turn into ‘behaviors’ that mirror those beliefs.

In turn, to live wholeheartedly, you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable, to admit your weaknesses, your issues, your fears and destructive behaviors. You have to accept your mistakes, realize you were doing the best you could with the tools you had at the time, and do your best to forgive yourself. I believe, until you do these things, you will continue to act from a place of fear, shame, self-loathing, etc. You simply can’t improve your life and accomplish/get what you want in your life otherwise.

So, what do we do to change these beliefs? As discussed yesterday, we monitor our self-talk. We listen to what follows “I am”, either in our heads or when we are talking to others. If we hear it, we change it to a positive or try to turn into an ‘I did’. Again, this is not an instantaneous transformation. It takes diligence, self-awareness, and a commitment to make a positive change in your life.

Self-Actualization & B.I.G (Boundaried, Integrity, Generosity)

This was the most profound part to me. It’s so clear when I hear it explained so well, but so hard to see when I am in my head, battling my demons.

Self-Actualization

We are all born creative. If you think about how you were and what you did when you were young. You were an unstoppable creative force. You drew, you sang, you danced, you played, you made up stories and acted them out. You performed and expressed everything about who you were. Until, one day, someone made fun of you or told you that you couldn’t sing/dance/paint well, or you felt like you failed at something. So you stopped. Someone who was so insecure with themselves needed to make you feel inferior. And you let them because you valued their opinion so much that you let it define you. And, for a lot of us, this transferred into other aspects of our lives. So, we quit trying to do that thing that we loved, or taking risks to try new things, or letting people get too close or feeling like we were worth having friends or love.

At least this is what happened to me. I can’t pinpoint the exact incident that happened. I just grew up in a rough environment where love and affection and affirmation were not handed out regularly, if at all. This primed me as a target for those who needed to prey on others to make themselves feel superior. I was bullied from the age of 10 on. I was insecure and kind and had very thin skin. Clearly, this only compounded all the terrible things I believed to be true about myself. Oh, I faked it pretty well. I still tried to fit in and win everyone over/please everyone. But this manifested as a constant need for affirmation and attention. When I didn’t get it, I withdrew or accepted that it was because there was something terribly wrong with me. It took me decades to realize that there was actually not something wrong with me. I was just surrounding myself with the wrong people, people who were almost certain to find everything wrong with me and try to convince me that those things were true.

Brown’s point is, in order for us to come into our own- to express and share our gifts with the world, to achieve our dreams… to self-actualize- is to dig deep and access our innate creativity. For those of us with deep wounds and visible scars, this is terrifying. But not expressing our gifts is even more destructive. We will forever have a feeling of inadequacy or feel a void that we will constantly try to fill- with addictions, with a relationship, with work, with things. Those will never fill it. Those will never make you whole, because you are denying your very essence. Expressing yourself, sharing your gifts is one of the most courageous things you can do. But, it involves the risk of people rejecting you/your gift. I think this is our ultimate fear- to not be accepted by those from whom we crave acceptance, i.e. love.

I thought I had conquered this one, but recently discovered I had not. I’m just so grateful that I was able to recognize it and remove that person from my life. But it has not been an easy process, and I still find myself longing for his acceptance or affirmation that I am worthy of love. This leads us to the next big one.

B.I.G. (Boundaried, Intergety, Generosity).

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION HERE. This is so very profound and crucial to self-actualization

Brown’s research turned up a fascinating discovery about a defining trait that the most successful people have, which contributes to why they are so successful… and happy.

She interviewed dozens of people that are admired, respected, and loved for their contributions- in their work, in their relationships, in their accomplishments, etc. She realized what they all possessed and implemented in their lives was ‘boundaries‘. They were able to be respectful, tolerant, and loving with others because they would simply not tolerate anything less from those around them. And they would remove those people from their lives if their boundaries were not respected.

You have to know who you are and what you need and accept those things about yourself in order to tell others what you need and are willing to tolerate from them. Only until you respect and love yourself enough to do this, will you find the people who give you the support, respect, and love you need to fully express yourself.

Anyone who crosses your boundaries is someone who no longer needs to be a part of your life. But, again, only when you define what those boundaries are for yourself, will you be able to define those for others.

I thought I was clear on mine. I was not, and I let someone define them for me… and it almost destroyed me.

So, I’ll go ahead and define mine here:

  1. I will not surround myself with anyone who focuses on my faults and says or does anything to try to make me feel less than.
  2. I will not surround myself with anyone who is unkind, vindictive, manipulative, or destructive.
  3. I will not tolerate intolerant thinking, and above all, cruel behavior towards others.
  4. I will allow someone to make a mistake (saying/doing something hurtful, betrayal, etc.). I will give them a second chance, but I will not give them a third.

Those are my 4 non-negotiables.

So, for day 4, baby steps:

  1. Five-minute journal
  2. Podcast
  3. Read/watch something inspirational
  4. Visualize

I hope this helps you start to heal, and I hope you enjoy a day, drama-free

Resources

Interview with Opera: Brene Brown

Why Guilt is Better than Shame

Dr. Brene Brown: Why Guilt Is Better Than Shame

Mike Dooley (Tips on visualization)

http://www.tut.com

Drama Cleanse: Day Two

Okay, I’m going to try to keep these short so you don’t have to spend your whole day ‘self-helping’…today, a bit longer-winded…again, experiment.

So, 2 out of 3 for day 1. Five-minute journal, check (although, didn’t realize there was an ‘end of the day’ part. Did it this morning..took less than 2 minutes).

Podcast, check.

No Drinking: Okay, I did, however, have a glass of wine. Okay, a glass ½. I’m going to call it a success. I did, however, read some and watched two my favorite Utube videos that feed my soul (See below)

NOTE: I want to emphasize, baby steps here. If you try to do too much at once, you will get overwhelmed or burn out and quit. Find out what ‘ritual’ works for you and stick with that. Again, this is a big experiment. I’m going to try different things and do the same. I just want to share various options so you can apply to you as you see fit.

Metaphor: I recently bought a bike, which at present is my main mode of transportation. It’s been a rough start. After 6 months of being at sea level and doing virtually no exercise, I am ridiculously out of shape and feel it every time I hop on my bike. It’s super frustrating, seeing as I was in possibly the best shape of my life prior to moving. First day I thought, now I can go run some errands and get some shit done. Well, this meant going on a 5-mile trek. I was sweating and completely out of breath the whole time, which for me, was humiliating. I’m simply not there and nearly killed myself. Point is, baby steps. For now, I will stick to my 1-mile ride to the coffee shop and take an Uber when I need to take an Uber. I’ll get there, but thinking I need to cover the city of Denver month one is just not realistic.

So, I am going to try to do 2-3 things a day to cleanse/reprogram. And, I’m going to only focus on 2 areas of my life that I want to change. It is just too easy to try to completely reinvent yourself all at once, not immediately see the results you want, and think nothing you are doing is working. If you don’t do anything or keep doing what you are doing that is not working for you, nothing is going to change.

NOTE II: For any of your men out there interested in ‘cleansing/reprogramming’, this whole thing is not gender exclusive. Some of the resources are targeting women, but I will also be referencing ones that are not gender specific (Tim Ferriss, Wayne Dyer, etc.)

Takeaways: (references/resources below)

Five-minute journal: so effortless and just helps plant some seeds for the day, reminding you of the things you have to be thankful for, which can be very hard to do when you feel like all has been taken from you. As cliché as this is, if nothing else, I have my health. I have a place to sleep and food to eat. I have friends that love me and a new bike. I mean, at the very least, and this is a lot to be thankful for.

Podcast:

Again, very easy one to implement. I just listen to my phone while I’m getting ready. Right now, this is just way more helpful than music.

I didn’t listen to Brene Brown yesterday, but did this morning, Creativity, Courageous, Vulnerability and Wholehearted living. (Kinda have a crush- super smart, articulate, enlightened but practical.)

Yesterday I listened to Go Boldly in the Direction of Your Dreams, with Karen Motekaitas, featured on the “Women Wanting More Podcast”. Probably not my absolute favorite, but very short and a good overall message.

Karen Motekaitas

NUTSHELL: She basically is saying, figure out what you really want, your dreams, and take ‘baby steps’. Maybe just figuring out what those dreams are is a first step. She also emphasized the danger in putting our dreams on hold, or not pursuing them at all, because we feel like we need to sacrifice them for our kids, our spouse, a paycheck, etc. Of course, sometimes in our lives, we have to make sacrifices. But, we can still identify what we really want to do, accomplish, or have and take little steps to get there. Again, even if it is just getting very clear of what those dreams are, writing them down, and brainstorming ideas or steps you could take to set the stage.

I truly believe that if/when our loved ones realize that we gave up a dream or put off being truly happy for them, they will be very sad and wish you would not have. Even if it is down the road, I think they would have wished you would have done whatever it was to be happy and fulfilled.

What I did not agree with was her claim that we have to ‘become someone else’. I don’t want to be someone else. I like me. I don’t like some things that I am doing/have done and definitely some aspects of my present situation, but I think the essence of me is pretty incredible and a great place to build from.

I think, instead, we should become a ‘better’ version of ourselves. I.e., identify the things that are not working, that are self-destructive or self-defeating. I believe this is our journey and what we should always strive to do. But, ‘we’, our core/essence, is perfect just exactly the way it is.

‘Be Unapologetically You”. A new mantra I adopted after being in relationships with people who wanted me to be someone other than who I am and nearly convinced me that there were things wrong with me that I needed to change. Perhaps there are some behaviors I need to work on changing, but ‘me’, no I do not need to change one thing about who I am at the core, my essence.

Brene Brown

NUTSHELL:

A different but relevant theme. Basically about connecting with others and working to eliminate shame- feeling like you are not worthy- of a relationship, of your dream career, of friendships, etc. This is my biggest struggle. The self-talk that goes on in my head can be on the verge of cruel. I really try to monitor and think, “Is this how I would talk to my best friend”? The answer is more times than not, absolutely not.

I have said this before, I just try to be very cognisant of what follows the words ‘I am’. Try to pay attention to that. Some of my norms, “I am crazy”. “I am broke”, “I am too dramatic”, “I am cursed”…just to name a few. So I just try to pay attention and internally say, “Nope, ‘I am” not that, “I am crazy adventurous, daring, etc”, or “I am authentic”, or “I am attracting my highest good”, etc. Just find whatever positive thing you can to replace the negative.

There is actually scientific proof of how damaging and self-defeating negative talk is. I learned a lot from this article by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Waldman, The Most Dangerous Word in the World.

Negative thinking is also self-perpetuating, and the more you engage in negative dialogue—at home or at work—the more difficult it becomes to stop. Fear-provoking words—like poverty, illness, and death—also stimulate the brain in negative ways… parts of your brain (like the thalamus and amygdala) react to negative fantasies as though they were actual threats…

After you have identified the negative thought, you can reframe it by choosing to focus on positive words and images. The result: anxiety and depression decreases and the number of unconscious negative thoughts decline… You’ll also reduce the possibility of burning a permanent negative memory into our brain. 

The Power of Yes

When doctors and therapists teach patients to turn negative thoughts and worries into positive affirmations, the communication process improves and the patient regains self-control and confidence. But there’s a problem: the brain barely responds to our positive words and thoughts. They’re not a threat to our survival, so the brain doesn’t need to respond as rapidly as it does to negative thoughts and words.

To overcome this neural bias for negativity, we must repetitiously and consciously generate as many positive thoughts as we can… we need to generate at least three positive thoughts and feelings for each expression of negativity.

It doesn’t even matter if your positive thoughts are irrational; they’ll still enhance your sense of happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction. Positive words and thoughts propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and they help us build resilience when we are faced with life’s problems.”

The whole ‘replace with three positives’ is something new to me..a bit overwhelming, but good to know. Again, I’m going to try to focus on things relative to the 2 areas in my life that I am focusing on, that way I’m not paralyzed with the time requirements and effort I have to spend!

Okay, I will leave it there for today. I hope you got something positive and helpful out of this..again, will try to keep these brief and concise…

RESOURCES

Article

The Most Dangerous Word in the World

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/words-can-change-your-brain/201208/the-most-dangerous-word-in-the-world

Podcasts:

The Psychology Podcast.: Creativity, Courageous, Vulnerability and Wholehearted living, Brene Brown

Women Wanting More Podcast: Go Boldly in the Direction of Your Dreams, Karen Motekaitas

Inspirational Utubes:

Everybody Dies, not everybody lives:

Paul Potts Audition for “Britain’s Got Talent”(cry every time)

Drama Cleanse: 30 Day Experiment

Enough. This is stopping. If you have been following my blog, you get it. I have managed to spare you the excruciating details- the car accident, the shattered phone twice in two weeks, the neighbors calling the police on me my second night in my new ‘closet’. (I spoke above a whisper ‘disturbing the peace’, was the official complaint… Don’t get me started). It goes on and on.

I declared, when I drove out of Arlington, Texas, no more. I am going back to a place that, yes, has some tough memories, but it is the closest thing I have to home. I have friends there. I know where all of the gems are there. I love the weather there. My dog is there…

This morning I woke up, sad, hungover, depleted and I thought about the definition of insanity (as I often do). We all know it. Doing the same thing over and over…

So I’m trying something different.

I am going to ‘sage’ myself, inside and out. If you are going through similar bullshit and you are ready to stop the madness, you are more than welcome to join. I would actually love the company.

We are going to go beyond ‘self-helping’. This is going to be a complete and total do-over- a deep-cleaning- clean slate- ground zero- do over. Soap, sage, bleach, whatever the fuck it takes.

Starting today (or whenever you are ready). A cleanse. A drama cleanse. Thirty days of all things healthy, nurturing, gentle, relaxing, and fun (quiet fun, the neighbors…).

I’m not sure how this will go down. I have no plan, really. It’s kind of a big, impromptu experiment.

But rest assured, I have done almost every cleanse, read almost every self-help book, memorized almost every inspirational quote and researched almost all of the latest herbal concoctions, meditation methods, and breathing exercises out there.

Okay, ignore the current state of affairs, mine anyway. I clearly have not been implementing any of all previously mentioned. But I have a substantial amount of knowledge to be applied.

So, baby steps, attainable, realistic, baby steps.

I will do my best to not go too ‘esoteric’ on you and keep things grounded and practical. Although, some days, you just need some esoteric. Anyway, will do my best.

So, tomorrow- attainable, realistic, baby steps #1, 2, and 3.

Step #1: Five-minute journal. (App.fiveminutejournal.com) You do it all on your phone. Literally, it takes 5 minutes or less depending on the amount of self-reflection.

Step #2- Podcast of choice (even if just a portion): I’m going with Brene Brown. (will send you link and let you know what I think.)

Step #3. No drinking: I will grab a book, watch my favorite show/movie (happy please), call a friend or invite one over…keeping the noise level to a minimum. (the neighbors…).

I will send out tips and resources, what is working for me, what didn’t, and please do the same!

30 days. You can do anything for 30 days. That is what they say, right, break the old habits that no longer serve us, and formulate new ones that will.

So, here goes…

Emotional Amputation

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

When someone we love dies, these are what ‘they’ say we have to go through. These stages are not fixed. I actually wish they were. I wish I could just go down the list, go through each one, check it off, and move on to the next. At least I would know that I was one stage closer to reaching ‘the last’.

But that is not how it works.

I cycle through 4 out of the 5 daily. The last one, however, is not in the mix at present. That one is for another blog on another day…which feels like will be another lifetime.

This is the shit that consumes me on a minute-to-minute basis- complete denial to blinding rage. Countless attempts to negotiate the outcome, complete resignation, back to blinding rage.

But the sadness. It is ever-present and all-consuming. An impenetrable, wool blanket on a sweltering summer night- the unbearable weight pinning me down- tucked too tightly around my neck, covering my eyes, my nose, my mouth, trapping in the darkness and fear that I won’t be able to breathe in anything again other than this stale, depleted air.

The sadness. It is omnipotent. It is palpable. And it feels like it is slowly sucking the life out of me.

I catch myself getting up from my table multiple times a day to go check on him, to give him some love or a quick walk.

I walk into Eric’s house, waiting for him to greet me like he has a thousand times before- tail wagging, whatever the nearest treasure he can find in his mouth- a shoe, a blanket, a squirrel… squirrel only happened once. And no, it was not alive.

I look behind me on my walk to the coffee shop, expecting to see him running to catch up. I wake up in the morning and feel this pull to hurry out of bed, to get him his breakfast, to share in his excitement for our first walk of the day.

Denial. It lasts seconds. And then reality sinks in. He’s not running behind me. He’s not waiting for his breakfast. He is dead.

Anger. Worse, regret.

Why didn’t I do more to help him? How could I have left him?

Bargaining. This doesn’t make sense. How did this happen, exactly? Could I have kept him alive longer if I had changed his diet earlier? If I had taken him for his annual check-up,  would they have caught whatever was wrong with him? What if I would have done more research? What if I had not left him?

And I’m just so very sad. Label it however you want- depression, despondency, dejection. It is all of those things and so much more. Depression I know well. This. I have never experienced anything like this.

There was a point in my life when I would judge people who would get so distraught when their pet died. I understood it on some level. They loved their pet. But it’s not like it was a person who died. Since I had lost both of my parents at a young age, I just could not relate. I would hug them and walk away thinking, “I hate to see what happens when you have to deal with a ‘real death’. So self-righteous, and so inaccurate.

There is such a huge void now. His presence is everywhere…and his presence was extraordinary.

It is infuriating.

And the cycle continues.

There is a separate but very similar process we go through when grieving the death of anything really- a lost job, a rejection letter, a failed marriage, the loss of the person you thought you would marry.

It is a death- of a dream, of a love, of a future that you had built your life around. A future that will now be dramatically and painfully different.

So, interspersed with the process of coping with Biscuit’s death, I am in the thick of cycling through this madness- this journey towards accepting the death of a dream, of a love, of a future that is now so dramatically and painfully different than I could have ever imagined.

Desperate for answers, Denial, Bargaining, Relapse, Anger, Initial acceptance, Redirected hope

The first one I have found to be the most infuriating.

I want fucking answers. And I have written email after pathetic email demanding them. I want to know why? When did he make his final decision? Was it a specific moment? Did he suddenly just stop loving me? Or was it a gradual compilation of all the things he found wrong with me? Does he still think of me? Does he miss me? Does he remember more of the good or the bad?

I just don’t believe it. Yes, denial. He couldn’t have really meant all of those terrible things he said. He could not have just stopped loving me. This can’t really be over. He will come back. As soon as he realizes what he has lost. He is going to come back.

Our infamous hours-long negotiations. Bargaining. He, explaining why he left, why he could no longer be with me. Me, carefully explaining, from every angle, all the reasons why he would never forgive himself if he didn’t come back, then switching approaches, trying to make him remember how he feels- about me, when he is with me, when he is without me.

Relapse. Over and over. I would reach out, he would come back. We would consume each other. He would leave. One of us would reach out. He would come back. I would take him back. Over and over.

This stage, however, is no longer in the mix. This one, I can definitely check off the list. He didn’t come back. I’m not going back.

Anger? No, it is not anger. It is beyond. There are simply no words to describe it. None.

And I want to know why. I refuse to accept that we are over. I have to force myself to not reach out in yet another attempt to convince him that he is making a mistake that he will regret for the rest of his life.

And the cycle continues.

In a very rare, lucid moment, the following logic prevails:

What if he did answer all of my questions? Would I believe him?  Would I not still try to strike a deal, to convince him to not give up, to not settle? After he told me his reasoning, after he reminded me that ‘we’ are no longer an option, would I not lash out in anger, would I refrain from saying anything possible to make him feel a fraction of the pain that I do?

The reality is, there is not one reason that would quell my need to understand. There is not one thing he could say that I would actually believe, that would prevent me from trying to negotiate another ending, that would stop me from asking him to come back and give us another chance. There is not one thing he could say or do at this point that would not infuriate me. Because it is dead. The ‘we’ that was us, is dead.

Acceptance. Hope. Where I am eventually supposed to arrive. ‘They’ might as well tell me to fuck off. Those two words feel just as offensive right now.

So in the meantime, today, I will do whatever I need to get through today. And tomorrow, whatever is needed to get through tomorrow. I will numb the pieces that I have to in order to preserve the whole. It is what I have to do if am going to save her, to keep the bitterness and despondency from killing her spirit. I simply have to disconnect from the pieces- now too broken, the edges too jagged- that threaten to sever the parts of her that she needs to survive.

And so the cycle continues.

girl-lanterns-night

Picture: One Against All. Artist: Ionut Caras – http://carasdesign.com/

For more information about the stages of grief, go to:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/me-we/201406/the-7-stages-grieving-breakup

Please check out my social enterprise, Briya, and help us empower women and children with education and economic advancement opportunities across the globe.

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