Archive | December, 2012

My Beautiful Mess of 2012 in Review

31 Dec

This year has been one of great change for me.  I started this blog back in March, and in less than a full year it has helped me make a number of life-changing choices and decisions.  I have grown more than I ever imagined possible.  I fully believe that I will look back on 2012 as one of the most important journeys I have ever embarked on.

That was possibly because of all of you.  Truly.  The feedback and support I got was invaluable.  I have learned so many things about myself.  I have become stronger, more confident, and aware of what I deserve from life.  I have laughed with you, cried with you, and drawn courage from your stories.  I couldn’t be more grateful.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  I included some of the interesting stats below for anyone who is interested.  I was certainly surprised that this blog took off the way it did.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 61,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

You Won’t Find This

30 Dec

In the last week or so since my last post I have been really enjoying my family and having a spectacular holiday.  I truly can’t remember one in recent history that has been so nice.  For the first time ever my grandma on my Dad’s side celebrated Christmas on a day other than Christmas Eve.  We all gathered down there on Sunday.  I got to see my cousin who I haven’t seen in years and catch up with my Dad’s brothers.  It was nice to watch football, drink beer, and talk about silly things.  I laughed a lot and was glad to interact with my younger cousins who I usually only get to see on Facebook (and boy do they love it).

On Christmas Eve I spent time with my Mom’s Mom, who taught me how to knit.  I went to a candlelight Christmas Eve service at my Mom’s church that was surprisingly wonderful – full of Christmas carols, family, and joy.  Then I had dinner, watched my step-sisters and niece and nephew open presents, and hung out with my step-Dad’s side of the family.  It was great to see the excitement on the faces of the two kids.  There was Christmas music playing in the background, presents everywhere, beautiful lights, and a real sense of happiness and family in the air.

candles

There was some sad news, too.  My grandfather, Pa, who I wrote about here and here, was my Mom’s step-Dad.  Her father died when she was 16, and he was the only grandfather I ever knew on that side.  His son, who is named after him, owns homes in Georgia and Florida.  I wasn’t very close to him growing up, but when my grandfather got sick, he and his wife moved up to this area.  I really, really like him.  He is a pilot, just like Pa was.  Right before Pa died his son took him up in his helicopter.  Having his son around made my Grandpa so happy, and they became quite close with the rest of us as well.

His wife, my aunt, was a very sweet woman.  She had lung cancer a few years back, and they thought it had been cured.  Shortly after Pa died they discovered that it had moved to her brain.  They moved back to Georgia where some of her family and her doctors were.  My Grandma talked to her all the time.  She even offered to have them both come stay with her when my aunt’s brain cancer got so advanced that she was starting to get disoriented and confused.  On Christmas Eve we got a call that she had passed away that morning.  It was very hard for my Grandma to deal with.  We found out right before the candlelight service, which made that service even more emotional.

Despite that loss, or maybe because of it, sharing Christmas with my family was very sweet.  I savored the moments – really soaked them in.  I also didn’t have the constant pain and hurt and fear hanging over my head from my ex.  It was just the pure, simple pleasure of being with people that you love completely who love you the same in return.  I spent the night at my Mom’s house on Christmas Eve.  On Christmas morning my brother, Grandma, sister and her boyfriend all came over, too.  We watched Christmas movies, had brunch, opened gifts, talked, laughed, and had a ball.

Afterwards my brother and step-Dad came back to my house and put together my brand new, amazing bed frame for me.  It was nice to hear them connecting and bonding over building that bed for me.  It is gorgeous – hand-welded metal, heavy-duty, intricate iron work – my dream bed.  It’s even better to get rid of a bed frame that I hated anyway and shared with both Mr. Mess and my previous partner.

My new bed

My new bed

I have also begun wrapping things up in other areas, too.  Slowly but surely Mr. Mess and I are unravelling all of the loose ends still left.  I have gotten rid of the car he had that was in my name.  I had to take a loss, but he’s going to let me keep the tax refund to help cover it.  He’s also supposed to be off of my car insurance, although that didn’t actually happen.  Instead, when I checked yesterday not only was he still on there, but so was his new car.  Huh?

I texted him to let him know and find out what was going on.  He said that he got a new card and it doesn’t have my name on it, so he doesn’t know what I’m talking about.  I checked online and called – both places show him on my account as well as his new car.  I took the extra car off yesterday by phone and told him to check his insurance because if he doesn’t have his own policy then he no longer has car insurance.  During the course of that conversation he said something like, “if you think I want to have anything to do with you then you are crazy.”  Ummm… okay.  I was just trying to let him know to be nice.  Guess I should have just cancelled it and let him get in trouble with the DMV or cops.

That comment got me thinking, though.  His actions have left him in a place where he lost something that he will never find again.  My family is wonderful.  We are close, we spend time together, we do everything we can for our own.  He was one of us.  Now he has lost an entire extended family – grandparents and parents (which he doesn’t have anymore), brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins.  He has some of those things, but they hardly ever see each other.

Not only that, but he will never find another woman like me.  I know that sounds vain, but it’s honestly true.  I’m educated, emotionally intelligent, well-rounded, accomplished, sweet, giving, beautiful, sexual, young, vibrant, and well-spoken.  I gave him more acceptance and love and forgiveness than he can hope to get from another person ever again.  I gave him everything I had and then some.  He used me and lied to me and took that all for granted.  And now I’m the crazy one?  It’s laughable and sad at the same time.

This song came to mind yesterday, and it’s still with me.  He won’t find what he had with me.  He won’t find the things that he threw away.  He might not be single forever, but he won’t find this.

Did you check the tires
Put gas in the car
Don’t think you need too much,
’cause you ain’t gonna get that far
Did you pack the good times
Don’t forget a map
Just in case the route you take isn’t there to take you back

You can hold any girl that you like
Fall in love when it’s easy at night
But, you’ll wake up wondering why she ain’t ever something better
When you’re lost and run out of road
Find what I already know
 In the end, close is all there is
But you won’t find this
No, you won’t find this

There’s once in a lifetime
And there’s once in a while
And the difference between the two is about a million miles
Oh, you might get lucky while the moon is looking up
But in the truth of the morning, the stars will be long gone

You can hold any girl that you like
Fall in love when it’s easy at night
But, you’ll wake up wondering why she ain’t ever something better
When you’re lost and run out of road
Find what I already know
 In the end, close is all there is
But you won’t find this

You can hold any girl that you like
Fall in love when it’s easy at night
But, you’ll wake up wondering why she ain’t ever something better
Find what I already know
In the end, close is all there is
Oh, in the end it’s me you’re going to miss
‘Cause you won’t find this
Oh, you won’t find this

Like My New Facebook Page

21 Dec

I’ve decided not to separate my blog life and my “real life” anymore.  So I have also decided not to have separate Facebook accounts.  Instead, I have just set up a blog page that is connected to my personal account.  Why not?  I’ve got nothing to hide or be ashamed about, and if my family doesn’t want to know something I put on here they can skip that post.  🙂

So “Like” me.  My page is http://www.facebook.com/beingabeautifulmesss.

The Perfect Song Came on My Radio Today

21 Dec

This song is perfect for me and where I am right now.  I’m the complicated, giving, tough, overachieving, scarred, strong, mess of a woman who is finding who she is, figuring out that she will be okay, and opening her heart to the possibility of something more in life.

Little Miss done on love,
Little Miss I give up,
Little Miss I’ll get tough, don’t you worry ’bout me anymore
Little Miss checkered dress,
Little Miss one big mess,
Little Miss I’ll take less when I always give so much more
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay
Little Miss do your best,
Little Miss never rest,
Little Miss, be my guest, I’ll make more anytime that it runs out
Little Miss you’ll go far,
Little Miss hide your scars,
Little Miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again,
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay
Hold on, hold on, you are loved, are loved
Little Miss brand new start,
Little Miss do your part,
Little Miss big ole heart beats wide open, she’s ready now for love
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
Yeah, sometimes ya gotta lose ’til ya win,
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright,
It’ll be alright again, it’ll be alright again
I’m okay, It’ll be alright again, I’m okay (okay) It’ll be alright again, I’m okay,
It’ll be alright again

Many Thanks (I’m a Fabulous Gutter Blogger)

21 Dec

I really want to say thank you to those of you that have offered me support and positive comments recently.  I have also gotten a few wonderful, flattering awards.  I might have missed one with my scatterbrain, so if I did I apologize in advance.

I received the Liebster Award from the wonderful our24yeargap.  She is juggling so many balls in her life, and doing it all under an incredible amount of pressure.  I am honored that she nominated me for this award, and I definitely want to apologize for being such a procrastinator that I have only gotten around to posting it until over a month after she gave it to me.  I’m bad (more details later)!  🙂

This award comes with rules and questions.  I am not going to follow the rules that well, but I will answer the questions that she took the time to think up for me.

Rules (for those of you that actually follow the rules):

  • When one receives the award, one posts 11 random facts about oneself and answers the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure one notifies the blogger that one nominated them!)
  • One writes up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees.
  • One is not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated one’s own blog!
  • One pastes the award picture into ones blog. (You can google the image, there are plenty of them!)

Okay, so I’m not really going to do much of that.  Here is my take on those rules, in order:

  • If you want to know some random stuff about me, look to the right and select the sub-category Silly Questions under Random Thoughts.
  • Anyone who reads my blog and wants to follow those rules and answer some questions, consider yourself nominated.  I love everything that each one of you writes, and I just can’t pick favorites.
  • Nope.  I like the questions that our24yeargap proposed.  Answer those.  🙂
  • That’s a stupid rule.  Since I’m using her questions, though, she’s probably glad not to have to do this all again.
  • Done

Now, to answer her questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging?  To get the crazy thoughts out of my head and makes sense out of being married to a pathologically lying sex addict.
  2. Are you where you want to be in life?  I’m closer than I ever have been before to my true goal – happiness.  At the same time, I’m farther away from the “vision” I had in my head of where that happiness would come from and what it would look like.  Surprisingly, letting go of “where I want to be in life” has taken me to a place where I am feeling content, fulfilled, optimistic, happy, and successful.  Go figure.
  3. What is your favorite thing about life?  Sharing it with wonderful people.  Specifically, my family and the ones that I love.  Also singing.
  4. Do you have an animal you love and that loves you unconditionally?  Absolutely.  My dog Buddy is the sweetest, best, most fantastic animal in the world.  I love him sooo much.
  5. What is/are your favorite book(s)?  There are so many fantastic books out there.  I have a room filled with them.  Books take you on adventures, introduce you to new worlds, show you wonders, teach you things, transport you to wherever you want to be, and so, so much more.  Some of my favorite books include Black Beauty, The Cay, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, My Sister’s Keeper, Wicked, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Are You My Mother? (I had to throw that one in – such a cute book!), anything written by James Patterson, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and the list just keeps going all day long.  I also want to note that any book that was turned into a movie on the list above I read BEFORE the movie came out.  And, like you’ve probably heard a million times, the book is always better than the movie!!!
  6. Can you recommend a book I should read or a movie I should watch?  Any of the books/movies listed above that you haven’t.  Also, everyone on Earth has probably seen these, but I really love Taken, Fried Green Tomatoes, Gran Torino,
  7. Do you know any firefighters/paramedics/EMTs out there? Other than myself of course. What’s their story?  A few of my high school friends are volunteer firefighters/ EMTs.  I don’t know their “story” per say, but I do know that they are all dedicated, great people.
  8. Describe yourself to me in 3 words. Would your friends agree with that?  Complicated.  Smart.  Strong.  And yes, my friends would agree.
  9. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?  A singer or a lawyer.
  10. What is your favorite time of the year?  Christmas!  And Fall when the leaves start changing and the air has that wonderful crispness even though the days are still beautiful.
  11. Tell me a secret, one you have never told anyone.  I don’t really think I have any secrets that I’ve never told anyone.  I’m a pretty open book to the people that I care about the deepest.

fabulous-award2

The next award I received is a brand new one from the very sexy, honest, and amazing work spouse story.  She and one other blogger have created a new award to celebrate “gutter bloggers” – their term for those of us who pour our hearts out and air our dirty laundry over the internet by sharing our relationship and sexual experiences.  You can read up about the award and the term here.

I was beyond excited to learn about that term, this new award, and floored to be in the first round of nominations.  Little ol’ me?  Really?!  🙂  I didn’t realize that my corner of the blogosphere was that interesting, especially as compared to some of the other bloggers who were nominated.  I also thought I might have been a bit too reserved on here.  Then I thought – fuck it!  If India thinks I deserve it and she created the award, then I deserve it!  🙂  If only she knew how very, very appropriate it really is (message me later girl if you want the juicy details ;)).

So, here’s how things go with this award:

Fabulous Gutter Blogger Award Rules of Acceptance

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. (Written thanks, kisses, oral sex, all of the above – whatever seems appropriate.)  Hmmm…  I like some of those suggestions.  How naughty of you!
  2. Link back to their blog in your post.  Done.
  3. Post the image of the Award on your blog.  Gladly!
  4. Copy and answer the six questions from their blog post.  See below.
  5. Nominate nine bloggers, link to them and let them know they’ve been nominated.  This part is time consuming, so I will probably do the linking and such in the morning.  I will come back and edit this to do it right.  This is one award worth special consideration. 

The fun bit: Questions!

  1. What’s the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done?  Kinky is so relative.  Something that I consider normal may be very kinky to another person, and vice versa.  Some of the things on my “kinky list” include: being in a same-sex relationship, being blindfolded, spanked, and I’ll stop there although there is more in consideration of some of my readers.
  2. What do you now know about sex that you wish you’d have known earlier in life?  Sex can be fantastic and fun and exciting and liberating and amazing if you have a partner who is connected with you, cares about you, and is honest and vulnerable.  Apparently that happens in real life to real people, not just in movies or stories.  Not so much if you’re with a sex addict.  Then it’s weird, repressed, fast (at least with my ex), infrequent, and full of secrecy selfishness (on his part) and dissatisfaction (on my part).  At least now I know what bad sex is like…
  3. Is there any gutter fantasy you’d like to try?(tell us what it is)  I’m not sure what a “gutter fantasy” is…  Maybe I need that urban dictionary again.  I’m guessing it is a sexual fantasy that you have heard about/ read from a fellow gutter blogger (that last part may or may not be a requirement…?).  In that case, I can say that I am more than intrigued by BDSM play the way India described it in her post – the “unplugged version.”  That is a neat term.  All the talk of silk scarves, leather, mind/body play, and no hesitation is very hot.
  4. What’s the funniest bedroom situation you’ve ever been in?  Funniest?  That takes a little bit of thought.  I think that sex should be fun and involve laughter and humor and looking like an idiot sometimes with each other.  I just can’t think of a particular time like that right now.  I have very limited sexual partners to pull from (very limited).  Right now the humor of my two long-term relationships is completely eluding me.  I was just at a Christmas party where someone joked about using their blinking Rudolph nose as a ball gag.  That was pretty funny.  It was also at a work function, not the bedroom, and I was not involved in any way – so I don’t think that meets the requirements.  I’ll get back to you when I have some funny (haha) not funny (pathetic and sad) bedroom situations to report.
  5. Has gutter blogging taught you anything?  Gutter blogging has taught me everything.  It has taught me how to live.  It has taught me how to express myself.  It has taught me what I deserve.  It has taught me freedom and self-expression and how wonderful and supportive strangers can be.  This blog, this community, this creative process has been a lifeline.  It has kept me sane.  It has brought me to deep revelations about myself, my relationships, the direction of my life, my expectations, and so much more.  I’ve also found an outlet for expressing my sexuality in a positive, open way.  It’s fantastic!
  6. What is your favourite post from the person who nominated you?  I love the post Something like a spiritual connection.  I know that the situation didn’t pan out, things are very different now, and all of that.  However, in the spirit of this award especially, I found it incredibly sensual, very hot, and a bit of a tease (and who doesn’t love a good tease?).

And there you have it.  Now it’s really late, and I need to get to bed so I can go to work tomorrow and be half-way useful.

The Separation Agreement is Signed!!!

16 Dec

In Virginia we don’t have a legal separation; however, in order for a couple with no children to divorce after only 6 months, they do need a separation agreement.  This can be a simple piece of paper saying they agree to live separately and have divided their property equitably.  Today that document was signed by both myself and Mr. Mess.

He chose the located Starbucks as the meeting place, and texted me with no notice that he was going to be there for 30 minutes if I wanted to meet him.  I zoomed over, paper in hand.

When I walked through the door I saw him sitting at a table with a laptop.  I don’t remember him looking so old.  The gray in his scraggly, untrimmed facial hair was incredibly obvious.  His hair was sticking in funny directions.  His face was drawn.  I sat down, passed some things across to him, and in less than 5 minutes it was done!

I left smiling ear to ear and fighting an urge to jump, squeal, and run around like a crazy person screaming “I’m almost free” at the top of my lungs.  🙂  I’m on my way to divorce and couldn’t be happier.

12 Changes

12 Dec

In honor of 12/12/12, here is a little inspirational photo with 12 signs that you are experiencing a “spiritual awakening.”  I’m not sure how I feel about that term, but I do like the 12 “symptoms.”

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Here are 12 positive things I have noticed about myself and my life lately:

  1. When I’m not being crushed by lies and depression, I’m apparently a very fun, bubbly person who people like to be around.  Go figure!
  2. I enjoy being active.  The more I do, the less tired I am.  It’s weird and counter-intuitive, but I’m loving it.
  3. When you are enjoying life, taking positive action, being active, and connecting with people there is far, far less time in the day for watching TV.  I’m not missing it at all.  (Okay, in all honesty there are still a few things I won’t be able to stop watching – The Middle and Grey’s Anatomy – there will always be time for you!)
  4. Smart phones are awesome.  I shouldn’t have held out so long before I caved.  Having a phone from the 21st century has its perks.  My smart phone is almost smarter than me, but I’m learning.
  5. Smiling is amazing.
  6. People can be amazing, too.  They also sometimes cause the action in #5 instead of pain, hurt, betrayal, and tears.
  7. I can be my different, sarcastic, irreverent, honest, goofy, vulnerable, sappy, smart-ass self and those people I mentioned in #1 and #6 seem to like me more.  It’s an odd sensation, but one that I’m starting to enjoy.
  8. I am my worse critic.  I realize now that that when I shut up and let myself be me, flaws and all, I can still be happy.
  9. I deserve to be valued and respected.  As soon as I recognized that, the universe delivered people who see my value and give me respect.  I guess when I stop trying to make things happen, they do just happen.
  10. I have the absolute best family in the entire world.
  11. Peace of mind is priceless.
  12. I have to love myself first and foremost in order to accept love from others.  I am still working on this one.  However, I am more and more confident every day that I am getting closer to understanding what I need, what I want, what I deserve, and all that the world has to offer.  In the meantime, I’m going to have fun and not overthink things (or at least try not to).

I also want to express gratitude to the various people who have given me awards lately.  I hate being ungrateful, and I’m not ignoring you.  I just find that I have less and less time to blog now that I’m being more active and doing more things outside of rooms with computers in them (both in my work and personal life).  Also, the holidays are approaching (rapidly), and I am less prepared than I have ever been.  I want you all to know now that I am honored by the awards.  I will get to accepting them all and following all of the rules.  I swear!  I just can’t promise you when that will be.  😀

Video

Brick – The Problem with Lies

9 Dec

I love this video! Brick has an amazing way of putting things into perspective. Lies are dangerous and a terrible thing to do to the people you love.  Plus they never believe anything they tell you again.  Glad that ride with a stranger turned out okay.

Enjoying Life

8 Dec

I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I’m having the time of my life and just enjoying myself.  I have decorated my house for Christmas, done some shopping, thrown myself into work (which is paying off big time), and I am staying so busy that my head is spinning.  But it’s all good.  I think I’m going to cut way back on my blogging because now that Mr. Mess is gone so is my angst and indecision and internal struggling.  I’m singing all the time and just enjoying my favorite holiday.  I hope everyone out there is doing great as well.  Hugs!

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My cute little Christmas tree.

Emotional Sobriety Audio

3 Dec

I thought I would share the emotional sobriety audio that we listened to on Friday night at my retreat.  This is definitely worth downloading and listening to.

http://www.xa-speakers.org/pafiledb.php?action=file&id=2343

Something Has Changed Within Me

3 Dec

change

I have gotten comments from many people, both here on my blog and in “real life,” that I seem different.  It’s because I am.  I can’t necessarily put my finger on exactly what it is, but something deep within me has changed.

The one song that I have been playing over and over that epitomizes how I feel right now is Defying Gravity.  My all-time favorite musical is Wicked.  I loved the book before they even made it into a Broadway musical.  I have seen it in New York, D.C., and Richmond.  I could watch it hundreds of times and never get tired of the amazing story, music, whimsy, costumes, message, and wonder it inspires in me.

Defying Gravity is the most famous song from that show for a very good reason.  My current favorite version of the song comes from Glee.  The episode itself was also very touching.  It included themes of being who you are despite difficult odds, standing up for yourself, fighting for what’s right, and finding internal peace and acceptance.  All of those things are apropos for my life in general and where I am now specifically.

I want to share this inspiring music with you today.  I hope that you, too, are defying the odds in your life, creating your own rules, trusting your instincts, taking chances, and refusing to be brought down by whatever circumstances you are up against!

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game

Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It’s time to try
Defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye I’m
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down…

I’m through accepting limits
‘Cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change,
But till I try, I’ll never know!

Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity.
Kiss me goodbye,
I’m defying gravity.
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down.

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity.
Kiss me goodbye,
I’m defying gravity.
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity

And you won’t bring me down!
Bring me down!
Ahhahhoahh

Cover of "Wicked: Piano Solo"

Step 3

1 Dec

skydive

Step 3 is making a daily decision to kneel on air.

Step 2 – Letting Go to a Higher Power

1 Dec

letting-go1

Step 2 was probably the most difficult for me to reconcile at first as an atheist and a control freak.

I like the atheist version, “Came to believe and to accept that a power within myself in tandem with supports and strengths beyond my own awareness and resources can restore me to a healthier, more balanced, and positive state of mind, body and soul.”

Perfectionism makes us this scared little kid who needs to fix things no matter what.  Although we know we can’t be perfect, when other people show themselves to be imperfect, we make them pay for their imperfections.

Letting go in Step 2 means admitting “I am fucked up.” Then we can find a power outside of ourselves help us.

One difficult thing about Step 2 is admitting the insanity.  We tend to see them as the problem, as the insane one.  However, we have to recognize our part in things.  Sanity is the peace that you can get through surrender.

Step 2 helps us to see our character flaws and how they interact with other’s flaws to create mayhem.

Using the term Higher Power instead of God can help us reconcile the hurts and disappointments and preconceived notions about “god” and what that really means.  Our childhood notion of god is often very skewed.

For me as an atheist, it is about recognizing that life and the world is full of wisdom and experience and knowledge beyond myself.  Part of my higher power is recognizing fate and the inherent mystery and wonder that life can offer if you let it come as it will.

This step goes hand in hand with the obstacles.  Every part of this program compliments another part of it.

The definition of what a higher power looks like varies from person to person.  The main aspect is that it is outside of yourself and your control.  Its not about having the same HP as everyone else.  There is no fear of being the “outcast” here.  It’s about the process of getting from A to B.

This step is not about religion.  It is about connecting to something outside of ourselves.  It is also, paradoxically, about knowing that your higher power is accessible, is always right inside of you.

Often those of us with control issues will say, “By the time I explain to you how to do it, I could have just done it myself.”  We also tend to carry that over into our higher power – thinking if we give up control then things won’t turn out the way they should.  We feel the need to coordinate it all instead of letting go.  The fear is that if we don’t coordinate it all things won’t turn out the way we want them to.  The reality is that all of our coordinating won’t change anything.

Step 2 is about trust.  It’s about trust that things will be what they need to be.  Trust that since there can be no controlling life, we need to let go and enjoy the ride.  It is also about realizing that there is no choice other than to do that.

Step 1 Musings

1 Dec

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This weekend I am at an intensive step work S-Anon retreat.  We will be going through at least Step 4 today with reading and journaling time and panels.

As I sit in these meetings I will be jotting down my thoughts and feelings and the things that really resonate with me.  I am going to publish these thoughts without any editing or order, as they come to me.  Feel free to enter my swirling mind, take what works for you, and leave the rest.

Step 1 Notes from Our S-Anon Retreat

Sometimes we play games with ourselves – “if only” x or y or z would happen (or wouldn’t have happened) then everything would be fine.  That magical thinking just keeps the plates in the air, spinning.  It is juggling, it isn’t managing.
One thing that is a blessing and a curse about this program is that admitting unmanageability is a slow process.  Step 1 seems like one step, but it is really 4 or 5 wrapped up all together.

One of the hardest parts is that we can’t understand it.  Crazy is crazy.  It can’t be explained with logic.  We can’t control things, but we also can’t necessarily understand it because it isn’t ours to understand.  We have to understand ourselves, not the addict.

Finding serenity can be very difficult in the midst of a crisis.  Surrender. That is the challenge of Step 1.  That’s what it takes to find peace.

Letting go brings clarity.

We are all waiting for the next lesson.

Step 1 is about “admitting” the truth.  It is hard to make progress when you won’t even tell yourself that you are somewhere.  It was easy to acknowledge inside that you are powerless, but saying it out loud puts action into the process and makes it real.

Powerlessness and unmanageability go back and forth like a seesaw.  The more that we buy into the false thought that we can manage, the more we convince ourselves that we are powerful.  There is a gratitude that comes with recognizing that life is unmanageable.  We just create an illusion of manageability.  The more unmanageable life seemed, the more power and energy that we try to expend attempting to control it.

Powerlessness does not mean helplessness.  In fact, it means the ability to ask for help and gain true power and tools to get better.  Control meant hanging on with a tight fist.  Slowly when we are able to loosen the grip and just admit that we are powerless, we can trust something greater than ourselves to lead us where we need to be.

This is a wake up program for us to become who we are supposed to be, who we really are.

These things aren’t going to go away.  Life is like an ocean with wave after wave after wave.  You don’t sit there and hope the ocean stops having waves.  You just learn how to deal with them, how to find peace in the midst of it all.

There is no magic cure.  There is not one thing I can do or change that will make things better or perfect.  I have gotten rid of my husband, but that doesn’t “solve” the problem.  My life isn’t magically manageable because he is no longer here.  It is much healthier and much more fulfilling and much happier, but there is always something to work on.  Organizing things differently doesn’t change the problem.

Its okay to work on the same problem over and over.  There is no failure in digging into things, and doing Step 1 many times with many different issues.  This is not a “once through” kinda program.  You don’t get a certificate and a passing grade and an “everything is cured” pat on the back.  It is a constant process towards growth and change.

How many of us saw red flags at the beginning of our relationship with our addict and thought, “Oh, I can handle this”?

I like the idea that one member suggested of a “god box” where she puts slips of paper with all of the things she tries to control in order to let go of them.

“Step 1 was the hardest step I had ever done because I hadn’t done any other steps.”

One member re-words Step 1 to remove the “we” and focus entirely on herself in the here and now.  “I admit that I am powerless and my life is unmanageable.”

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Giving Up

1 Dec

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One of my favorite blogs to follow is Daily Divorce Meditations.  Even before I had officially decided to divorce, I gained such strength and insight from her words. Yesterday this post caught my attention.

It really resonated with me.  Tonight I’m at an S-Anon retreat where we listened to a CD on emotional sobriety.  It is amazing and I’m going to share it when I go home and track down the link.

Afterwards we got into a deep discussion (which is still continuing).  One topic that came up is when do you know when enough is enough if you’re a giving person?  How do you care for yourself and others?  When do you know it’s the time to give up?  How do you reconcile taking care of yourself with not “abandoning” the addict?  My thoughts went back to the above post, specifically this section:

If I have given my all, if I have tried my best, if I have done everything in my power to make something succeed over a significant period of time and it still isn’t working… then I have to be honest with myself, put my ego aside, and admit that maybe this is not the right path for me… that maybe… it is time to give up… and that my Higher Power is trying to point me in a different direction… a better direction…  my true spiritual path that I am choosing to ignore by being resistant to giving in due to my own stubborn self-will.”

I can admit now that the path I was on was not the one for me.  I am glad that I gave up on the unhealthy relationship in my life so that I could make room for a  better relationship, a better direction, and a better life.

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