“See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.” Robert McCammon
Life has given me everything. Every experience has taught me, whether positive or negative, every lesson has been perfectly delivered to burn its message deep into my heart. Sometimes I have fought the lesson and had to repeat the learning but all that I am today, I am because I have lived it.
If I am kind it is because I have chosen to be kind, over and over again. I cannot have lived a life of cruelty and revenge and be kind today. What I choose this very moment creates in me who I am. It changes and impacts the person I was before the action and it influences the person who will act in the next moment. Because I am imperfect and make mistakes, the only way to move forward in an effective way is to hold on to the lesson from the mistake and carry it forward to help me with the next lesson.
Every time I chose to deny who I was and try to adopt what others thought I should be, I gave away something so precious . . . Some of it I have never been able to get back. Our actions define us. Every single one of them, no matter how small.
I was lucky enough to have been born as a weirdo. I was weird because my brain was not wired to see things, to process them, in the same way, that everyone else did. I was not wanted as a child. I was usually alone, and seldom had friends who understood me. I learned that I could do it. I could make it without their help. I could figure things out on my own. I live my life unapologetically as who I am. I do things my way. I give myself permission to be me.
I am not special, or perfect, or some famous millionaire. But I am an awesome me. I took what I was given and I learned to love and nurture it and not just wish it away. Continue reading
“No, they won’t understand you, they will call you depressed, self-indulgent, mad, but you will smile, for you are like the daffodil, and you never wanted to be understood.” Jeff Foster
There are people that listen to what other people’s opinions are and align themselves to those. There are people who will not make a move until they look around and see what everyone else is doing so they can do exactly the same thing.
They write, sing, paint … just like they are taught. They pull around them their training as proof of their talent and imagine that if they can just do it perfect enough, they will be a writer, singer, artist …. Continue reading
I see the truth in you. I see the beauty and all the possibilities. Hidden behind the physical, the barriers or how you define yourself or what you do, I see you. I see the light.
As children we only know ourselves as endlessly possible and we embrace life and people and situations with a complete willingness to learn about ourselves, others and the world. As we grow up we often find ourselves caught in the dilemma of fighting for a vision of ourselves that has dimmed with each passing year and possibly standing alone, never to be understood, or joining everyone else and blending into the woodwork. One is a lonely unknown and the other is a group activity with thousands before us and thousands behind. We might be happy, right? Continue reading
You don’t have to feel ‘okay’ all the time. You don’t have to be free from resistance all the time, happy all the time, enlightened all the time, peaceful all the time.
“There is no ‘all the time’ for you! You are bigger than that, less limited. You are not bound by time, nor space. You are the space for the okay and the not-okay, the acceptance and the resistance, the light and the dark, the joy and the pain.
You don’t need any fixed and unchangeable image of yourself.
You don’t need to be the enlightened guru or the spiritual warrior. You don’t need to be the peaceful one, the awakened one, the strong one, the highly evolved one, the one immune to suffering. All are limitations on your nature.
Simply be what you are, not ‘this’ one or ‘that’ one, but The One, the space for all of it. All of it!
Let life kick you off your pedestal time and time again, until you lose all interest in being on pedestals.” Jeff Foster
“1. There will be some days when you close your eyes while crossing the street, maybe because you want to see what fate has in store for you, or maybe because your depression is running rampant again and you don’t know how to calm her. It’s okay. I will still love you.
2. There will be a year, or a series of years when your birthday doesn’t feel special. Celebrate anyway. Because people spent time baking you a cake and buying you cards and even if they’re your family and they’re obligated to, they still love you. Cherish that love. Revel in it. It is the best gift you will ever receive.
3. You will learn that the saddest word in the English language is stay. Whether it’s your mother’s voice whispering it before you leave for college, or your ex-lover’s desperate screams as you walk out of the house, it will always be a hard word to hear. Sometimes you should listen to it, other times you shouldn’t. Trust yourself. Go with your gut.
4. Along with hearing the word stay, you will also hear the word why from every person who is remotely related to you. Why did you get that tattoo? Why did you try to kill yourself? Why aren’t you married yet? You don’t have to answer them. Be selfish. Keep somethings to yourself.
5. Some nights you won’t be able to sleep. You will lie awake at 2 am and contemplate existentialism and wonder if the French had a point. Get up. Get out of your bed. Do something. Because even if there is no God, what you do matters, who you are matters. You matter to me.
6. Some days you will want to run away and never return. So go. Drive to a small town in the Northwest, maybe Oregon, and settle down there for a while. Tell people your name is Elizabeth, because you loved Jane Austen as a child and because this a town full of strangers and who’s to know the difference? Don’t be selfish. Call your mother each night and remind her that you love her. Come back home when you find yourself seeing your sadness painted in the shadows, and when you feel more at home in the arms of a stranger than on your own.
7. There will be several nights when you lose yourself in the medicine cabinet, because liquor and morphine seem like a faster cure than time. It’s okay. I will still love you in the morning.
8. One day, in the midst of work, you will learn to forgive. It will start out with a simple reminder of the past, maybe a facebook notification from an old schoolmate or a wedding announcement from an ex-lover. In that moment you will learn that yearning for the past isn’t romantic, it’s stupid, and that if Gatsby had just let go of the green light he would’ve lived. So forgive your past, it didn’t know any better, and move on.
9. Leaving home will hurt, but soon you will learn that home isn’t a place but a feeling, and that there is a compass on your heart that points directly to that feeling. Follow that compass. Don’t get sidetracked by boys who don’t care or alcohol that doesn’t forgive. If you follow that compass, no matter how lost you get, you will always have a home.
10. The hardest lesson you will ever learn will be to love yourself. But you can do it. There will always be days when you hate yourself, days when you wish you had never been born. But darling you are beautiful, and if Shakespeare had met you you would’ve inspired his 18th sonnet, and if Monet had known you he would’ve given up painting water lilies and chosen to paint you instead. I know it’s hard to love yourself, but sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish with your love.
11. When you begin to feel worthless, remember that the stars died for you. You are made of elements that are thousands of years old, elements that make up every atom of your being. When you want to cut your wrists, remember that the souls of stars live in your veins. Don’t kill them. Don’t be selfish.
12. Some days will be beautiful. Live for those days. Live for the days when the sun shines on your soul and the smile on your face isn’t forced. Live for the days when you don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks because your scars are a part of your story and you don’t need someone else’s approval to wear them with pride.
Live for the life you always wanted but were too scared to pursue.
Live for you. Live for me. Live for every person who has ever loved you, for the people who have come before you so that you may be here today.
Live for the fire that burns in your soul, that tells you: keep going, you’re almost there, just a little farther. Because when Rome burned down the emperor didn’t run away, he stayed and he sang for his people. Stay. Sing for your people. Sing for us.
Are you listening?
Because this is your life, singing a siren song to capture your attention and steer away from the rocks, to guide you back home.”
The Twelve-Step Program for Life, by M.K.
Sometimes I wonder where these band leaders are when you need them most, in those dark moments where you are not chosen, again . . . or you sit alone in your room wondering what it would be like to have someone else “get” who you are.
We grow up and we learn to either compromise ourselves completely, or accept that ours will be a lonely path with few visitors along the way. We learn to roll with the punches and to perhaps remove ourselves or remain silent on those days when we are particularly vulnerable. Continue reading
People struggle to say “no.” Women more so than men.
It comes from lack of self esteem. We do not consider our needs to be important enough to place them first. We have been raised with messages that have taught us that a “good” woman or a “nice” woman is self sacrificing and always thinks of the needs of others. Add to that a healthy dose of religion and the idea that we should always serve others and you have the recipe used to make most people miserably unhappy. Continue reading
“You can tell all kinds of stories about yourself. “I am good”. “I am bad”. “I am kind”. “I am perfect”. “I am enlightened”. “I am unworthy”. “I am a failure”. “I am the best…” And so on. But these are all mental conclusions about something that is not a single ‘thing’ at all – something alive and always moving and forever renewing itself. You are a vast ocean, a wild fire, dynamic and untameable and inconsistent, not anything static or fixed in time or space. Why come to conclusions about yourself at all? Any conclusion cannot be what you really are, for you are beyond all conclusions, even that one, and yet there is enough space in you for all conclusions. Life itself is not a conclusion – conclusions are only there to be swept away and burnt up in the fire of living. Why limit yourself to a concept? Why fix yourself in time and space? Be your thrilling inconsistent ‘self’ – not a ‘self’ limited to a word, concept, idea or image, or even limited in time itself, but the vast indefinable Self of the ocean, wildly open and deeply accepting of all its beloved waves yet defined by none of them, limited to none of them. Be what you are – is that so hard?” Jeff Foster