Monthly Archives: July 2011
“You’ll be all right. I know you will,” I whispered, but even as the words slipped past my lips, I knew it was a lie. I didn’t know if she would be all right and the uncertainty plagued my thoughts, even as I slept.
Each time she called, her words would peel layers of my heart away, leaving it raw and exposed, and inviting a whole new intensity of pain. We sat on opposite ends of the phone, each of us suffering in our own way. She desperately reached out. I desperately pulled back. Yet overcome with guilt, I would offer CPR, breathing life into her and willing my heart to beat for two. Later, exhausted and torn, I would hang up, praying my efforts would sustain her life force for one more day.
The months passed, coated in stormy grayness, with the bullets of her despair pelting onto my shoulders, until it was too much effort to stand up straight. I would drag my feet underneath me, forcing my body to go through the motions, attempting without much success to allow myself the smallest bit of joy. Those days were long, and I went under more often than not.
I finally decided I had to let her go. After too many months of trying, saving her wasn’t an option anymore. I finally admitted things would not get better and she would slowly pull me under until I could no longer breathe for either of us.
What hurt me more? Hearing her desperate and pain-drenched words or fighting my determination to once again protect her from herself? She was being pushed to the very edge, possibly to slip over into darkness, but I wrapped my arms tightly around myself instead of reaching out.
My decision was a long time in coming, and it was not one made lightly, but no matter how painful letting go was, I knew her life was not mine to live. Her challenge now was to find her footing on the horribly rocky path before her, and whatever decisions she made, they had to be hers.
We met on the street some time after that. She told me that the sun had finally broken through the clouds. Not much, but enough for hope to take hold. And everyday that hope grew until she saw that the storm had passed and her path was clear.
Only then, after what seemed like forever, I could say that I knew that she was going to be all right after all.
How about you? Have you ever had to walk away from a dysfunctional or co-dependent relationship? At what point does our generosity become a crutch for others? Where do you draw the line? Please leave a comment because I love hearing from you!
It’s all around us. It comes in many different forms – sounds of varying pitches and tones, rhythm and volume. It can be hidden in the rain falling upon a rooftop or water as it tumbles over rocks and fallen logs. It can explode from the surface of a drum, or trickle out from the strings of a guitar. It can irritate and it can soothe.
Many of us, when listening to music, start to bob our heads, move our hips, or tap our feet without thought. Our bodies naturally respond to music on an involuntary level, because like everything in this world, it is energy. Vibrations seek out like vibrations. That’s why when we are vibrating at a lower level (sadness, depression, or pessimism) we gravitate to slower-paced, melancholy-type music. Higher vibrations (excitement, joy, optimism) demand music that upbeat, fast, and strong.
Different types of music alert different types of brain waves, making them react differently, which in turn makes us react differently. Our brain naturally picks up on the frequency, tempo, and volume of the music we listen to and uses it to reduce muscle tension, improve coordination, regulate stress-related hormones, and change our perception of our world.
All of us gravitate to a certain type of sound, and for me, on a Friday, after a week of being jacked up on caffeine, doing the day job thing, driving the kids around to places they need to be, and writing, I could definitely use some soothing vibes to level me out. My favorite is Roni Benise, Spanish guitarist extraordinaire. I love watching his videos, because the passion in his music is compounded by the way he plays and by the way he becomes one with the guitar. (The fact that I think he’s gorgeous doesn’t hurt either!) His music always puts me in a better frame of mind.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to music. Only that it is perfect for us.
So what type of music does it for you? Are you an individual who fast-paced music actually calms you down or classical music rubs you the wrong way? Or does it have the opposite effect? What music do you have cued up for your Friday? I’d love to hear your comments!
“What?” His eyebrows shot up as he leaned toward me just a little. “Twenty years?”
He blinked once. Then twice.
My jaw went slack, realizing what I had just revealed.
Then he sat back hard in his chair, shaking his head. “You need to be kissed. You need to be kissed.”
I noticed he wasn’t offering his services to remedy the situation. He merely stared, digesting my confession.
Two decades is a long time to go without being kissed. I mean, really kissed. I was embarrassed, wondering if I was even capable of kissing that way again. I swiped at a tear that started to form, hoping he didn’t notice.
So this was it. This is what I had become. A closed-off, passionless excuse of a woman. How could I have let it get to this point? For that matter, at exactly what point did it get to this point? Did my softer edges sharpen during those first years of raising my children when laundry, cleaning, and cooking, had to fit somewhere between the hours of my day job? Maybe it was during the years after that when I took on the additional roles of taxi driver, gardener, and all around super mom.
Sexy lingerie was shoved aside to make room for baggy t-shirts and sweat pants. Practical shoes took the place of fun, strappy sandals. No one knew how long my hair really was since it spent most days tucked up underneath a baseball cap, mainly to hide the fact that I hadn’t had a chance to touch up the roots.
Somewhere between the “I do” and the “I don’t want to do this anymore,” I had lost myself. I lost the ability to tilt my face to the sun and soak in all of its goodness. I lost my creativity and the ability to laugh. Not that I didn’t have the opportunities – I just didn’t have the energy for it.
Worst of all, I had forgotten to write, something I had done since I was a little girl. My dream journal was buried under stacks of paper and magazines, never experiencing the touch of a pen to its pages – because I had forgotten to dream.
And like anything in this world, if it is neglected, it will die.
And die I did. A thousand times.
On the outside I was Wonder Woman and Martha Stewart rolled into one. I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be the perfect wife and mother. I tried. I tried really hard. Books on how to knit and sew and quilt and make candles for Christmas lined the shelves. Cookbooks for pasta, vegetables, barbecuing, and even sushi were lined up neatly in the kitchen. Playing at the park or going to the beach were regular activities.
I deceived them, all of them. “How do you do it?” I was often asked. I would just shrug and smile. If I were to answer them, I would have said, “Miserably.” But I never said a word.
I may have fooled them, but I didn’t fool me. I knew that by not being who I really was, by not being filled with my own joy, I had nothing to offer. I might as well have been a bot.
When I finally hit the tipping point, I prioritized. I wanted me back. I threw out the how-to books, the knitting needles, and found a nice home for the upright piano that mocked me every time I would pass it.
And then I looked for me. I wasn’t hard to find, for as I was looking in, the woman I searched for was looking out, and when we met after so many years, it was magic.
After that, I wrote. And I wrote. And I tipped my face towards the sun and soaked up all the goodness that its warmth offered.
And still…I write…I have found my muse.
How about you? Is it easy for you to lose yourself to others? Is it difficult to put your needs first? How do you find that balance in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts!