25Jul

Love Disappointment

Have you ever loved someone (I’m talking family and friendship love) and no matter what you do, or how you treat them, they just reject you and your efforts?

It is sincere from the standpoint of honesty, at least they do not pretend to want to spend time with you.  When they rebuff your invitation, at least you know that they are candid and forthright.

I may wonder why they will always reject me; I may question myself “What did I do to cause this?”  No communication will ever come, this fact is well established and does not regain consideration.

Still, I cannot stop feeling disappointed.  I love this person; I want this person to love me.  The fact that my love is not reciprocated, in no way changes how much I love.

I am stuck here with love disappointment.  At least, it is genuine love and genuine disappointment.

28Jun

My Husband Sees Only Good in those He Loves

My husband sees the best in everyone that he loves. No matter what they do, if he loves them, they did the right thing.
If he loves you, he defends you. He can do this to the point that he makes things up in his head. In my husband’s mind, you are wonderful, so of course you must have sent a thank you card (even if you didn’t). He will give you credit for the thank you card because he loves you. Plain and simple.
When I was younger by 20 or 30 years, I thought it was important for everyone to see truth and to be only honest. Brutal honesty with self was the only way to have successful relationships (or so I thought). I gave classes on how to be genuine, because I myself thought that the world had given goodness to each and every individual. Teach people to be genuine and to be open and accepting because everyone is basically good and therefore your experiences will be good.
I might have argued with my now husband, back then. Ironically, back then I thought I was a great person arguing for honesty. What would be honest about casting aspersions on a kid who forgot to send a thank you note? What would we gain by thinking of this kid as lazy or ungrateful? Now I know I would never interrupt my husband’s train of thought. I like it that he believes that his loved ones are wonderful people. I like it that he sees his loved ones as making the very best effort in every case. Of course, I am his beloved.

12Apr

Gloria, the Sentinel, Guardian of our Hearts

When you walk through life, there are sentinels.  Sentinels stand guard over us to keep us safe.  Gogi’s job was to guard hearts, and she did.  She guarded everyone’s hearts, not just her family, not just her loved ones, she loved everyone and so she loved us.  You may gain people for your family, you may lose people, but your sentinel is always there.  That is who the mothers are, sentinels for our hearts.  Gogi took this job so seriously, and stayed with us, regardless of our situations or our lives.  I am sure that she became weary towards the end.  But she did not stop guarding us, ever.  Gogi, go peacefully, we will take up arms, you have loved all of us for so very long.  Rest now and receive from us, our love to you.  We love you Gloria and we will not ever forget your love, nor will we forget how you guarded our hearts.And Daylight Turns to Dark

20Mar

She Was Crying

She was crying and at least part of what she was feeling was relief that she could cry.  She hadn’t cried in over a year and was beginning to wonder what had happened to her feelings.  Crying was a kind of reassurance that her feelings still worked.

All of her beliefs about herself had centered around being the strong one.  She was this in spite of a hostile environment that promised to ravage her.  She felt like she had worked her way through that environment into a more friendly and genteel place.  This was an enormous accomplishment: to leave the world of the single divorced mother struggling with a son with addiction problems.  Her world had become so small as to include only this one son and nothing else, of course, he was the one who ravaged her checkbook.

She left that world to become a married woman and importantly, to leave behind those intense economic struggles that left her without enough resources to make it through to the next paycheck.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating peanut butter and jelly for dinner…

She had to make a commitment that the kids who had left childhood many, many years ago, did not need her, nor her pitiful economic sacrifice.  They were fully adults who actually did much better on their own.  It was a strange commitment because, once again, it was her identity that she was losing, her life’s work, her purpose.  She was making the necessary adjustments for healthy living for everyone, but it wasn’t making her happy.  For a few years, she felt afloat.  It was her husband who anchored her life and her feelings now.  This was a new phenomenon for her.  Her husband was one person, and yet, he fascinated her, took all of her attention and even made her efforts worthwhile.  Once again, it was meaningful to cook, to do laundry, to nurture and nourish another person besides herself.   Thus fulfilled, she flourished.

Many years ago she had accepted the fact that she was a bit different.  For the most part, she felt that this centered around IQ.  Sometimes, her being different had caused discord in her life.  She always felt smug about these encounters and moved on from them.  She was always the boss or the boss’s wife and could move through any self doubts quite easily.  There is so much in life and in popular culture that attacks a person’s individuality that she could look beyond it all and point to her happiness.  That historic happiness had always centered around her children.

She was never someone who could transition from one mode of life to another with any degree of ease.  Life brings transitions a plenty and they just keep coming whether we want them or not.  This latest transition from “mommy” to “not-mommy” seemed to be the harshest life transition of all.

She had successfully navigated that transition and in her new life she no longer had the coping mechanism of happiness with her kids.  She was forced to find her own happiness in other places.  Loving her husband was very fulfilling, but seemed like a guilty pleasure rather than a purposeful activity and she suffered some guilt in exchange for her happiness.

So now loomed those discordant differences in her personality: with no backdrop of purposive happiness.  She had to question why people did not like her.  For the most part, she didn’t care, not everyone has to like you for you to have happiness.  She dismissed those that she labeled Philistines and those who would never impact her life, and still, still there were those who are close who did not care for her.

In a hostile world, one does one’s best to keep self intact without pain or injury.  The problem being that a caring person, (she thought) could get her feelings hurt with this dislike and discord.  She had some defense mechanisms, she kept her husband’s love close to her chest and when she needed strength, she would wear a piece of jewelry that he had purchased for her, or perhaps stare at her wedding rings…

There are times, when perhaps, it is all just too much.  The world snarls at you one too many times, your close person dislikes you and wants to be sure that you know that you are disliked.  It is at those moments when it falls down, when personal difficulty is bountiful and it is finally possible to cry.

06Feb

If You Are Going to Hate Me…

I wish you would get to know me first. You can’t imagine my dismay when I found out that I was an enemy to you.

How?

Why?

I searched my memory, what did I do? Did I say something that would hurt your feelings?  Did I make the wrong remark at the wrong time?  I looked inside myself for resentment towards you, to see if something hurtful had slipped out.

I did not find any resentment; I’ll admit, I did not notice you very much. I was so busy with my own life; I had no idea about yours.  I was prepared to learn about you and to care about you.  Our lives had collided and I was looking forward to hearing your story.

You stayed quiet, reserved and away from me. Then I learned that you had done and said bad things about me and to me.  We never even talked.  What happened?  The worst part is, I don’t know what happened.  Because I live and breath responsibility, I tried to blame it on myself.  I questioned and blamed and worried.

Wait,

You hating me and not knowing me, means that this is all about you and myself is not even in the mix. You hating me is all about you and your own anguish and pain.

So never mind, it is better that you do not know me and yet you hate me. I know that it is all about your own poisoned heart and really has nothing to do with me.

30Jan

What Matter, Kindness?

Kindness, Why is that a Difficult Concept?

Many years ago in my speaking days I gave an inservice to some convicted felons who were working towards recovery.  Anyone who has even been around a criminal knows that jail brings you intimately close to cruelty and violence.  The other hall mark of the convicted felons is their story.  The story is that it is not their own fault and that another has caused them to behave in a certain way.  This is probably part of the pattern of criminal behavior ~ a feeling that you are not in control of your self and that others can control your behavior.

In any case, we discussed the concepts surrounding domestic violence and one of the concepts is this idea that another person deserves bad treatment because you are upset.  Some people actually believe that their own anger or pain entitles them to hurt other people.  As you can imagine several people in the audience were very uncomfortable with the discussion of these concepts.  That was a long time ago, and indeed, feels far, far away.

Now it seems that society is much more in tune with the concept of owning their own feelings rather than believing that another person has caused them.  No one ever has the right to purge their anger on someone else, and yet over and over again, they do.

Whatever another person does, it is no more than your perception of their behavior.  You are incorrect if you believe that it is about you.  Your behavior is always about yourself, your feelings are always about yourself.

So what matter, but to be kind?  Why “purge” on another human being?  Why not step back, and breathe, even when you think you are being hurt by another, why not step back and breathe?  The truth of the matter, is the who you are is you.  It is always up to you to be kind or not, it is never up to another whether you are kind.  Take control of who you are, your behavior, and be a good person.

No matter what has happened to you, no matter what hurtful childhood you have had, you are a bad person if you treat others badly.  If others have brought you pain, it does not give you a free ticket for cruelty.  You are still a bad person, if you are mean and hurt others.

19Dec

Have You Ever?

Have you ever had someone in your life that you try hard for: you spend money and you work hard and then… Because they have a picture in their mind of perfection, they can never appreciate you.  You will never compare favorably to the person that lives in their head.  You can tell that your sincere efforts are being dismissed and invalidated and maybe you wonder what you have done wrong?  Don’t concern yourself, seriously, there is no hope that you will have an authentic relationship with this person.  Let them go.

08Nov

My Daughter My Heart

Who can know which way the heart will go? Who can know what will take us, what will make us and what our true heart song will be?
image

Together ForeverMy Loves
The birth of my daughter. One of the best events of my life. Happy Birthday Johanna, I love you.

19Sep

The Most Beautiful Women I’ve ever Met

Mom and Rhea

Too much fun!

Too much fun!

And I can’t believe I gave birth to them!mydaughters
Today, I celebrate the birth of a woman I cherish.rheas-wedding-3-23-09-009
One who lets me know that all of those years of hard work are really worthwhile!
Rhea and her husband

Rhea and her husband

12Nov

A Perspective That Bothered Me…

I read an article the other day, in a magazine that I normally admire, titled “Love Lessons from Second  Wives”.  Yes, I’m a second wife and always have been.  Point one against the author of this story who was never a second wife and cheerfully admits “frankly have been too lazy to get beyond threats” when discussing the possibility of divorce…

She writes that her remarried friends help her to remember that there is value in keeping a marriage fresh and keeping ourselves fresh by dressing to “look good.”  She states that “Venerable relationships often falter on the question of compromise.  Second marriages, not so much.”  She states this as a fact (and here is where I am disappointed) as if lack of compromise is the reason for divorces.  She even cites a friend who admits that her marriage “imploded over birdbrained tiffs.”

I do not recognize any of this and I am one of those who survived a divorce.  I do not like the article, because fundamentally, one should not make claims (even if secondary) about such a world breaking experience like divorce, unless you have lived it.  It is like a man describing childbirth – it’s not done.  When this author takes the position that compromise is critical to successful marriage, I can’t argue, after all, she is still married, but when she makes the supposition that lack of compromise is a cause for divorce, she steps out of bounds.  Who can discuss the soul-shattering experience of a spouse who dismisses you?  Who can tell of the spirit-crushing experience of a spouse’s sexual betrayal?  Who can enumerate the daily pains of living with addiction and alcoholism?  Those who have climbed those mountains and crawled through those valleys of tears, they can speak of these things, no other.

No one ever starts out a marriage wanting a divorce, no one.  And learning to compromise comes with age, which is why second marriages often successfully compromise – the couple has learned through experience that life is better with agreement.  Anyone over the age of 40 will tell you that compromise wins in the long run.  You don’t have to be divorced to understand this.

I’m not sure why I was annoyed with this author’s treatment of divorce and second marriages.  I just know that life is a lesson that cannot be explained by an onlooker.  You have to experience the depth to understand the breadth.