Here’s a question for you:
If you could give your younger self advice using just three words, what would they be?
I thought about the people things said to me along my life. The actions I made okay and words I let affect me. The experiences and feelings that sit with me now.
Being someone’s second choice, and accepting that as okay. The insecurities that stuck with me.
Then I think about the times where their words and actions didn’t matter. The people in my life who I felt most free and confident with.
My almost 60 year old self would tell my 18 year old self:
Know your worth.
The longer advice?
Understand that people’s judgements, words and actions do not always come from a good and honest place. Often they come from their own insecurities, manipulation, jealousy and baggage.
If you love something…do it, wear it, sing it, make it happen. Whatever passions you have, go for it. Whatever is in your heart…say it. Express it.
Do not keep people in your life who break you, make you feel unworthy, do not bring you joy. Do not play it safe. Do not settle.
You do you. Learn from pain, soak up knowledge, grow, share, experience, take risks, love how you love, walk away from people and things that don’t support you. It’s your life. No one else’s.
My hair has been a train wreck. Rainbow shades of brown, brass and pumpkin in trying to let myself gradually go grey. The styling of it, a non style that never does much. This all coming from someone whose hair was one of the features I liked best about myself
I’d stayed with this stylist, I guess out of loyalty which is the wrong reason to stay….anywhere. He never really seemed to hear me and went more with what he thought it should be. Anytime I pointed out that there seemed definite and obvious bands of color through my hair that ‘it was the lighting”. Of course that’s stupid reasoning….if it’s showing in this light, it’s showing in most lights.
A month ago I decided I’d had enough and found a new place to go.
This time, a young girl. Twenty one.
I couldn’t be happier
I realized something this morning. The skill of listening.
The way people listen, and I’m guilty of some of this too. We can listen to hear and understand, which of course is the best option. But then there is listening to argue or debate, where people pull out what they can disagree with and ignore what is there to agree with. There’s also listening that happens where people will pull out what can offend them most and twist it up with interpretations and declare it to be exactly what was said. Complex missing the original intention
The same as with my former male stylist is TJ’s listening.
When Jackie says ‘sex to man is typically about 85% visually ignited and 15% emotionally lit while for women it’s the reverse, TJ processed that as she’s got less of a sex drive than he does and decided they aren’t compatible. End of story.
Clearly, he didn’t hear her. She has a great sex drive, and despite her repeatedly asking for things that would ‘ignite” her….he didn’t listen to understand.
Example: One of her repeated requests was to make ‘dates’ with each other. The process of getting ready for it, the primping, fantasizing and alone time was a physical need for her.
Sit down before you read this next paragraph:
His reply was that having to set up a date with her was insulting to him. Why? Because it insults him to have to schedule time with her.
Seriously on what planet is a date with a woman who’s wound herself up for it…insulting? As if there was nothing in it for him too? A horny female?
Selfish? Not listening? Both?
The point of this is….he’s not listening to understand.
Which means it’s time to move on and leave that situationship.
A lightening flash went off for me when I saw this video:
What it made me see:
For me. When there is no apology or acknowledgement for a hurt or wrong, it’s equal to sweeping things under the rug.
A lot of dirt can pile up under that rug. Dirt piled up with nowhere to go. Lumpy rug.
In a person that dirt piles up. Lumpy you.
What makes forgiving so hard, is unaccountable hurt that has nowhere to go but be absorbed. Not good.
So is there a way to let it go?
One way, is to make peace with it. To understand that I let people who make me feel anything but free to be authentic, over stay their welcome in my life. Any way you squash that, is on you. Any way I let you squash me is on me.
So maybe it’s not ALWAYS about forgiving others. Maybe it’s about forgiving your role in it. About seeing it all as a lesson in some way.
Maybe it’s about actually going through some of the worst ‘under the rug’, inauthentic or painful feelings. One by one, until you truly begin to see the lesson in it. I think it’s key to look for the things you can learn about yourself.
For instance, I learned I can’t do that he sweep under the rug bs anymore. This is on me. With every new understanding you are absorbing less. You are forgiving yourself in the path to authentic you.
Look too at what the lessons you learned about yourself in positive ways. For instance, for me, I learned I am capable of vibrancy, love, joy, free sprit. Thank you for waking up all the wonderful there really is with in me. It’s no longer yours to infect.
Forgiving yourself hard? Let’s see.
That brings me to this:
Sometimes you do have to go backwards to move forward. Addressing your own accountability is is where self forgiveness begins, don’t you think?
I am pretty hot looking for a (almost) 60 year old
I am smart
I am (going to be) a loving soul
I am passionate
I am sensual
I am a good friend
I am (going to be a better) mom and wife
I am kind
I am these things and more.
When Jackie goes to TJ and says ‘’I feel as though you don’t want to see me or have anything to do with me’’ and the reply is ‘ don’t over think it’. Followed up with a week of being too busy, lies about plans, and dismissive, heartless comments. The proof is all there. She didn’t over think it. And it was intentional hurt on his part.
That’s what Jackie was told. She replied ‘ i know this’. And yeah maybe that’s true, but it’s also true that it doesn’t give TJ a pass on divorcing himself from having any role in it.
And so if her feelings are her responsibility then by the same token his inability to be honest, empathetic and other assorted toxic behavior. are not her problems. He is toxic. It shows in every single aspect of his life. She has unlimited examples of it. She has heard every single persons remarks about something that is off about him. She has made equally the same number of excuses to people on his behalf.
His problems can not become hers to try to get him to see. His lack of s of awareness and depth can not bleed into her life . His toxicity and selfishness can not be allowed to take away her shine.
She is just one more casualty in his life.
Why did she put up with this? Because she was comfortable with it. She lived this with her sister. She loved this with her father. She lived this with her mother. She didn’t know better.
She has the ability to become whole again. Because she is aware now. His problems can no longer bleed into her life. Their problems can no longer bleed into her life.
Declaration: She is a woman capable of loving and expressing her feelings kindly. She is a woman capable of understanding her feelings.
Jackie loves thunder and lightening. At night. It’s the best. She sleeps like a baby
Maybe it’s the feeling of being away at summer camp again?
She knows this: she’s been thinking about her childhood a lot. Random memories keep popping up. Some good, some sad. And she guesses it’s from all that inner child healing she’s been reading about. And her triggers. They’ve definitely been helping to make her more aware.
Her current feeling? Happy, peaceful
Her declaration? I am loved
1. Invalidation on my feelings.
2. Criticism on my appearance or looks
3. Control freaks
So I’m going thinking about dynamics and what kills sex between people. Stick with me while I lay my thought process out.
The best of times: We’re individuals with our own very unique desires, turn ons, experiences. You meet someone and there’s a perfect synergy. Yin Yang energy.
There’s also respect. A respect for your partner’s preferences. To give and please without judgements. To want them to have the best experience possible. And to genuinely be all in, selflessly.
Okay hats magical and powerful stuff.
Jackie’s got a thing for being asked out on a date by her guy. She loves that male energy from him. It gets her right into her very best feminine. Let the fore play and fantasizing begin, baby. Pre-hashing, primping, planning. Fantasizing. Add a shot of rehashing when it’s all over. That’s her need. That’s it. That’s her big fantasy. She’s clear on her need. And it starts with a very simple: ‘When are you free?’
So what do you think it does to Jackie when she tells her guy she really needs those dates and she is told she should ask for them if she wants them, That he finds them insulting as if he has to have an appointment.
I’ve always felt like a relationship works best when people are heard. Not listened to….but really heard.
What happens when you’re heard is, the other person knows what to give you. What you need. You are connected. Everything good comes from feeling heard and understood. When it’s mutual between two people, it’s magical.
Being listened to is an entirely different thing. When you’re listened to, the speaker’s intention gets jumbled up with the listener’s built in thoughts about it, judgements/dislikes/attitude/baggage. Or maybe it goes in one ear and out the other. Either way, it is no longer authentic and pure in meaning.
I want to introduce you to Jackie and TJ. They’re the couple I’m going to use in examples here. You can make up their looks age, genders , races and etc, however you’d like. It doesn’t matter.
Jackie loves being asked on a ‘date’ by her significant other, TJ. She’s told him this, several times. Jackie loves that kind of male energy. She explained that having it to plan for, primp for and fantasize for is a turn on to her. The mental foreplay leading up to it with sexting, flirting, pre-hashing.
Jackie only gets her ‘date’ if she asks TJ for one. She’s asked why that is and learns it’s because he sees it has having to make an appointment just to get time with her.
Her turn on is insulting to him. Did he hear her? He did not.
So with this disconnect, let’s add in a ‘problem’.
Jackie asks TJ on a date, The night before, early evening, she texts him to start a little fore play going. There’s no response that night.
The next morning there is one. ‘Sorry I forgot to answer. I was driving when you sent it’ . He was out with his girl friends, bar hopping. Went to bed with no reply.
Jackie was hurt by this and was honest about it. She was told she is being ridiculous. Then she was told to let it go.
Was there any hearing going on?
The natural evolution with solely listening rots miserably to: listening for the ability to react/respond/prove a point/selfishness. Who is right. Who was wronged.
The difference between hearing and listening boils down to this:
Hearing is me saying I love doing x and you absorbing it. Appreciating it. It is pure and authentic intention.
Listening is me saying I love doing ‘X’ and you interjecting your own internal commentary, while considering it. It becomes about you and not the speaker.
And that’s all I’ve got on this topic.
So if I strip away everything and get to the center of things…..
Who am I?
What’s underneath it all? Under the baggage, the unhappiness, the victimy stuff, the pride?