Letting Yourself Alone Or Self-Acceptance

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I sometimes wonder why it takes so long for most of us to get to the place where we just let ourselves alone in peace. Finally, we get to the place were we no longer pick ourselves apart, engage in negative self-talk, worry so much about what others think, or put so much emphasis on “what we should be” but instead accept ourselves for just what/who we really are.

I don’t know if it takes age to know you are tired of feeling crappy about yourself or if it is finally coming to an understanding that you are done with letting others treat you in ways that you don’t deserve. I am unsure if it is a greater self awareness or just the desire to experience positive change that finally allows us to say ENOUGH! I WANT MORE! I DESERVE MORE! But I do know that as I get closer to 60 that I have come to realize exactly that…that accepting myself is one of the most important things that I can do before I punch out on life’s time clock for the final time.

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Acceptance. It’s easy to say we should accept ourselves…yet it’s hard to put that belief into practice. But I am finally learning that self acceptance involves being realistic about my good qualities and playing them up. It means giving those best parts of me the respect that they deserve. By honoring them and giving these positive attributes the opportunity to expand and grow, it is making me a better friend to myself and a better person in general.

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Acceptance also means that I reexamine my “flaws” by asking myself how they have helped me in the past. Then I look for ways to challenge my old notions and accept those parts of myself that I am less than comfortable with by giving them the opportunity to change and not by regulating them to a distant corner of my life. I let these “fixers” out so that others can see them and help me find the good in them too. Just like I accept my friends good and bad qualities it was wonderful when I began to grant that same grace to myself. Sometimes I find it helps to ask myself “Would I say to a friend what I am saying to myself? ” If the answer is no, I try to gently remind myself that negativity directed inward is not helpful, and then I find something positive to focus on instead. This is exactly how a good friend would act… they would talk you up not down. I deserve nothing less.

Another thing that has come to the forefront for me is that the concept that “Trying” to accept myself will not work. That is like “trying” to diet…I will fail miserably. It is only when I practice “seeing” myself with kindness and compassion that self acceptance can occur. And then, finally, one day I suddenly realized that my “bad” parts were okay and I finally embraced them.

Rituals can help promote self acceptance. Every morning I have taken to looking in the mirror and saying out loud, “You are wonderful just the way you are.” Somehow putting those words out in the universe makes me accountable to them and encourages me to find small ways throughout the day that make that statement true.

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I wish self acceptance came easier. I wish it came earlier. I envy those for whom self acceptance is just a natural part of their being. Yet, I am glad that this feeling of acceptance is working itself into my life now. I enjoy the freedom it brings. Freedom from pain. Freedom from so many worries. Freedom to be myself. But instead of concentrating on the “I should haves” I am now just being thankful for the “better late than nevers” no matter when they are discovered and put into practice in my life.

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One Man’s Obsessions Are Another Man’s Quirks

For the past six months Andre has decided that he will only wear the color blue in a particular hue. Heaven forbid, the shade may not be a Navy blue, dark blue-gray or even Robin’s egg blue. No, Andre’s blue has to be bright, brilliant, and leap tall buildings in a single bound. So today while I was waiting to pay for Andre’s all things blue, the clerk chuckled: “You’ve certainly got a lot of blue there!”

“It’s for my son,” I said with a sigh. “I wish I could get him into something else.”

“Is blue the only color that your son will wear?” asked a 50-ish man dressed from head to toe in black waiting for the clerk to locate something for him.

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“Well blue is his favorite and, yes, it is the only color he will wear. Why do you ask?”

“Sounds to me as if he has OCD,” said the man with a gentle smile.

“Do you know someone with OCD?” I inquire.

“I have it,” the man in black says with a grin. “If you notice I am dressed in all black from my head to my toes. Once in a while I will throw in some gray but for the most part black is what you would see me in every day of my life. In fact, people keep trying to get me to wear color ALL THE TIME.  Friends and relatives keep giving me shirts that are bright red or green but in all honesty they go to the nearest thrift store without ever being worn.”

“Why is that? Why does color bother you so?”

“It isn’t the color per se, it is that I know that in order to keep my anxiety down, black is what I need to wear. If I wore blue I would obsess that I was wearing blue all day long. I might feel itchy because I was so uncomfortable. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on much of anything except the fact that I was wearing a blue shirt. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I think I am beginning to.”

“Think about it this way. Let’s pretend that you see a gorgeous pair of shoes that you have always wanted. An outrageously expensive pair of Jimmy Choo’s. The only catch is that in order to have them you have to wear those Jimmy Choo’s 8 hours a day… and they are two sizes too small. How would that work for you? Sure for the first five minutes you might be happy with them but as your toes began to rub together and cramp pretty soon you wouldn’t be thinking about how glamorous the shoes were instead you would begin to spend your time obsessing about how much your feet hurt. The next morning the thought of putting on those shoes would probably be almost unbearable and the closer the time came to put them on the more your anxiety would rise just thinking about having to put them on. So the question is, why would you start your day full of anxiety when there is no need to do so? Instead, you just go find a pair of comfortable shoes and suddenly both your physical and emotional selves are soothed. That is how it works for me. It is silly for me to try to wear something that is going to totally mess up my day and make it impossible to get anything done due to my obsessing about it.  Who cares if I wear black everyday and why should it matter to anyone else if I do so anyway?”

“Thank you,” I tell him. “You have given me some valuable insight into my son and what you have said makes total sense. You have scratched out another line on THE LIST OF THINGS I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IN LIFE and for that I will always be grateful.”

At that moment the clerk called the man over. He had been on the phone searching for a particular pair of black shoes for the man and had found them.

“How many pairs do you want?”

“Five”

As I turned and walked away it was then that I noticed…the man wore black sandals out of which popped his painted black toe nails.

“Why black,” I wondered. “Why not brown, or yellow or green? And as I walked back to the car I began obsessing about…why, blue not black or, why, yellow and not green? And that’s when it hit me….none of it mattered…. and neither did Andre’s blue shirts. All that mattered was the I continue to try to seek and relate to Andre in ways that acknowledged the uniqueness of who he is and that I continue to honor those things that made him feel comfortable in his own skin. For in the end the why’s really just don’t matter.

Last night I walked into Andre’s room and headed to his closet.

“What are you doing mom?”

“I getting rid all of your shirts that are not blue. No sense in filling you closet with them is there? We both know you won’t wear them anyway, right?”

“Yep”

“Okay, well if you ever decide you want to wear another color let me know, okay?”

“Sure mom. And thanks for doing this. I feel like you really heard me and even better you showed me that you did. Who cares if I don’t wear red, yellow or green. Who cares?”

Indeed.

 

 

Acceptance Or I Need More Gray

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This week I walked into my therapists office and told her that for this session I wanted her to pick a topic I needed to address and that I had been avoiding. A topic that would help me look at things from a different perspective and encourage personal growth.  Being that my therapist and I have been in contact with each other almost every week since “I Think I Might Want A Divorce Day” two years ago; I figured whatever she said would be something that I could easily wrap my brain around. I should have known better. What she chose was the notion of acceptance and opening my door wider to welcome it into my life. That BITCH (I say that with all the love in the world directed to her)

She began by stating that I needed to accept the distance that I feel with B so that I can create my own stability. It doesn’t mean I have to like it but that I need to acknowledge that it is what is true right now, and while my expectations of two years ago did not pan out, there is value in seeing what is in front of you and not trying to challenge or change it all the time. And what I discovered throughout this talk is this:  I truly have difficulty with the concept of acceptance, let alone the actions, that must accompany it.

Unfortunately, for me, I realized that acceptance means defeat. It means surrender and laying down. It means something “bad” vs. something “good.” And therein lies the problem said therapist tells me.  Acceptance is just a thing and I don’t need to assign value to it, like “good” vs. “bad.”  It is just what is. Nothing less and nothing more. According to her this either/or thinking complicates my life and does not allow for the possibility of acceptance. In fact, according to her I need more gray areas in my life and not as many absolutes and right vs. wrongs. Furthermore, this lack of acceptance on my part effects my relationships and I need to question whether this is where I want my resources to go. Is fighting acceptance worth it? she asks.

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So my assignment is to work on acceptance by just seeing all that is around me and not assigning meaning to it. She challenges me to acknowledge that by labeling these past two years as an exceedingly crappy set of circumstances (something “bad”) it means that I am giving up on seeing further possibility through letting go and experiencing all the gifts that acceptance brings with it. So I am giving this acceptance thing a try, while secretly hoping, that one of those gifts turns out to be a vintage VW bus.

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Returning Home

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Tomorrow I head back home after seven days away and sometimes I wonder what I am going home for and who I am going home to. You tell me that you are all fine. That things are going along comfortably without me. It makes me wonder what is the purpose of my being there when it is so obvious that my being there is not what you want?

This morning when you told me that you asked the kids whether they missed me it made me wonder whether you had an ulterior motive. I mean, who asks their kids that? Kids always miss their mothers. Or were you hoping that they would say no so you wouldn’t feel guilty about what it is you appear to want to do?

But more importantly, the fact that you could not and would not give me what I needed…love words…speaks volumes about where our relationship is at. It crushed my soul that you feel such distaste for me that you could not say you missed me and you loved me. Whether you wouldn’t or your couldn’t…neither one is acceptable for is shows a lack of respect, caring and obviously the type of love that is needed for a marriage to flourish. Shutting down only allows you to keep yourself shut off and to reflect back any love that is directed to you which then allows you to convince yourself that I don’t love you. And it is all because you don’t want that love…at least from me. Or so it would appear.

Even more importantly, I wonder what parts of myself I should bring back and what parts I should leave behind that would help you to love me again. Which parts do I leave at the door because they are no longer desired or is it a matter of just not stepping over the threshold at all because there is nothing there that appeals to your sense of what a marriage should be. And it makes me resentful that I feel that I have to leave the best parts of me at the door to get your approval. That I have to drop off that introspective part, my inquisitive nature, and the part that believes you when you say “I love you” at the prompt.

After we talked this afternoon you said that the letter I sent you made you feel that you always disappointed me but to me telling your lover what it is you need is giving them the opportunity to create a better relationship. And me too. Yet, if the truth be told I think you USE that fact that you feel like you disappoint me as an excuse to be bitter and to prove to yourself that you are right. That nothing you do will make me happy. But I should be able to state my thoughts without being made to feel like if I do that you will think that you disappoint me. Often I believe that if I just smiled and never told you how I felt about anything that would make you happy and comfortable because you would never have to look at things that you didn’t want to. You could live in la-la land being happy while I became more and more miserable being something I am not. I mean if I can’t say in the kindess way I know how what I need from a relationship then I think that a life size blow up doll is your next option. Probably a skinny brunette.

As it is I wish you would ask yourself why you could not and would not assure me of your love? Why would you not say you missed me? Are you withholding because you no longer love me? If so, I can tell you that it feels cruel and inhumane. It feels life taking not life giving.

Yes, I know that yesterday I discussed that fact that holding onto our hurts only increases our own suffering and it does. I know this to be true because yesterday, I did let them go and they left leaving behind the lessons to unpack and contemplate. Yet, here they are back again and this feels like a major disappointment to me because it feels like I have failed myself as I pull out this hurt once again. But I hope in writing all of this, that by seeing my words in front of me, I can let it go and start concentrating on the lessons that are presenting themselves so I can grow.

Maybe it is all baloney. Maybe I can never be that type of person. Maybe I am just kidding and deluding myself but I  would like to think not. I believe that I can and will be able to re-train my brain into seeing things in a new light. And that if I can start to apply what I have learn from these lessons that I find myself intertwined in at this moment;  that someday in the not so distant future that I will finally not allow myself to give you such power over my own emotions. That I will learn to let go of things I cannot control and accept those things that I cannot.

Acceptance isn’t instantaneous. Learning how to allow acceptance to float throughout your life takes practice. Learning that you will not get everything you want from your relationship and you might have to find other ways to fill the void is something I am beginning to seriously consider and am searching for ways in which I can have my needs meet through my own actions rather than yours. It will take a while more. I am still learning. How long it will take I cannot say. But I know that when I come to accept you and myself that things will improve dramatically.

Until then I know that I am doing the best I can working with what I have got at this moment in time. If it is not enough for you then I am truly sorry. If it is, then I hope you have the courage to give me the time that I need to complete this journey that I am on, on my own terms and at my own pace. If you cannot, then you will lose out on something wonderul in the future. I may not know much but this much I know to be true.

 

 

Accepting Yourself

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As I work on learning to love myself again; I realize just how much effort it takes. Frankly, it shouldn’t. I am a good person, loving parent and partner, pay my taxes and volunteer. I don’t kick the dog, I praise little kids, and treat people pretty darn well. Yet, somehow, whatever I do or what I say is never enough to erase the tape it my head that says I am not “good enough.” The “maybe divorce” doesn’t help either. My husband’s questionable love for me taunts me with the false belief that if I was really “good enough” I wouldn’t be going through two years of marriage hell when in fact it may have everything to do with him and nothing with me. His fears, his disappointments with himself, his worries that he could die tomorrow and his wondering if this is all there is?

Sometimes I think it was easier to love myself when I was younger. I was naive, granted myself grace because of my youth, and I didn’t have a lot of living and experiences under my belt. With age comes plenty of time to look back over the past and see all that you “should” have done better. All you could have done differently. And as you get closer to death you start thinking about how you want to be remembered and shudder to think of some of the ways you might be.

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As human beings we spend years cultivating relationships. We spend inordinate amounts of our time pleasing others and trying to prove our worth. We nurture those we love and spend time working on issues we feel are important because there are people who are involved that we respect and love. Yet, often we neglect to cultivate the most important relationship that there is…the one with ourself. We forget to take care of our needs, seek out those things that sooth our soul, and refuse to give ourselves the breaks that we grant our friends and loved ones. Finally, I am realizing that the internal relationship we have with ourselves must be maintained, nurtured, and worked on just like the external relationships that we share with others. In fact, we must put more into building the relationship have we with ourself simply because we are 100 times harder on our soul than anyone else. Most often, we are our own worst critics and that criticism that we direct inwards does more damage than anything anyone else could say or do to us.

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When we are in love we love in hopes that it will last forever. When we cultivate friendships we hope that those relationships will be satisfying for each other until our last breath. We accept the flaws that we see in others so willingly; why can’t we do the same with ourselves?

I think it is because we resist acceptance of ourselves because there is nothing we have to do when we truly accept who we are and what is going on in our lives. We think that acceptance is too easy so we attempt to make it harder by telling ourselves we have to change and be something “better.” We have to make ourselves a new and improved version of our old selves to love ourselves and have others love us back. And while change may do us good we still need to just learn to accept ourselves with compassion and love no matter where we are in our journey. No more self criticism and no more beating ourselves up because we should be different than who we find ourselves to be or because we should have behaved differently than we have. If we accept ourselves we don’t have to fix, improve, or do it right all the time. We just have to focus on the here and now and who we are at this moment in time while accepting that we are doing the best we can within the confines of where we find ourselves today. It doesn’t mean that we won’t change it only means that we don’t have to in order to be lovable to ourselves and others.

Of course it is much easier to write all of this rather than live in a way in which acceptance of ourselves is the name of the game. It is hard work. But as we set aside uninterrupted time to spend with ourselves each day concentrating on who we are instead of who we are not; acceptance will creep in slowly until one day we finally understand that we are enough. Period.

So be it!

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Words

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We are walking along the cliffs. The wind is blowing. Huge waves are crashing against massive boulders in anticipation of the storm that is blowing in. B huddles deeper into his coat as the air picks up my words and delivers them to the man beside me.

“Everyday, you can choose to love or you can choose not to,” I say to B. “And so I choose to love you today and I will choose to love you forever.”

“That’s nice,” he says flashing that smile I have known and loved for so many years. The smile that I suddenly want to slap right off of his face.

THAT’S NICE?????!!!! REALLY….AFTER OVER 30 YEARS TOGETHER IS THAT ALL YOU’VE GOT? DON’T YOU KNOW YET THAT…

I am a woman who needs words. I write for a living for God’s sake! I love hearing double vowels, romantic words, and certain letters rolling off the tongue like the sound of an L, which can be so incredibly sexy when you are at the right place in time with the right person. I like hearing sharp bursts of words from children who have found dragons and mermaids and have to tell you all about the experience in 2.3 seconds or less so you see them before they vanish in thin air. I like words that are carefully chosen like a mother who measures cough syrup for her child in order to get the correct dose thus ensuring no harm. I like playful words like tumble and words with double meanings. I like words that are said with a laugh oozing up out of the throat, desperate words that are said while waiting for hot sex, and the words you whisper to a baby as their heads slump onto your chest their eyes fuzzy with Mr Sandman’s visit and almost nearly closed.

I LOVE WORDS!

So what is a woman to do when she is married to a man who doesn’t? Can she be happy without an “I love you too, honey” coming back at her? Can she feel understood and cherished when the words she needs to hear do not come out of his mouth? I’ve lived without them for so long why do I desire them now? Is this what a “maybe divorce” does to you? It makes you word crazy?

I realize to many this isn’t a problem at all. There are much more serious things in the world. B doesn’t beat me. He goes to work everyday. He doesn’t abuse me. He is great in bed…isn’t that enough? I mean…. REALLY…ISN’T THAT GOOD ENOUGH?

How many times I have heard my girlfriends tell me they wished they had a husband like mine….so kind and sweet….and he even does housework!

Why can’t that be enough?

I know many women whose lovers have said all the right words and meant none of them. Better to have no words than lies? Better to endure omissions rather than half-truths? I have no clue… but I do know that often B doesn’t respond with reassuring words and after these past two years of hell I find I want them. I might even need them.

All I know is that without words life is dull…like living in a black and white movie. It’s like eating salad everyday for dinner and skipping the dessert. Life without meaningful words looks like a bare bulb dangling in a stark white room. Its like a warm beer when it is 103 degrees outside and feels like that pit you get in your stomach when a cop pulls you over for speeding.

I want words. I want endearments, I want to know what you are feeling. I am tired of missed opportunities or the absence of words that leave me confused and hanging. Because without the proper words it feels as if storm clouds have entered my head and the disappointment is whipping up the winds that blow through my mind and turning what could have been a gentle spring shower into a raging hurricane. So button your coat and sink even further into it because a storm is coming. And I think it is me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Sculpting

So last week I decided to do something extravagant for myself. I decided to have my stomach cool sculpted. In case you haven’t heard, it is that completely safe procedure in which approximately 20% of the fat cells in a targeted area are frozen and they die a slow and painful death; this in direct contrast to the rapid rate of expansion that they seemed to have undergone during my 40’s.

Anyway, cool sculpting is suppose to leave you several inches thinner with a figure reminiscent of when you were a “way before kids” 20 something. The problem with all of this is that it is  hideously expensive… even with a coupon or two. But heading into my 56th birthday I decided I was tired of looking like a pouchy kangaroo and exercise just wasn’t taking care of it. Losing almost 60 pounds over the last few years also made my bad look worse in some places but exceedingly so in my stomach area. So I did it. I pulled up my big girl panties, added some glitter, and sauntered on in.

All I can say is thank goodness I took the mega strength aspirin an hour before check-in time. Who knew that your gut could be stuffed in something like a itty bitty frozen sausage casing and survive. As my belly went in the machine my toes curled causing massive cramping and I swear my head stood on end but after about 10 minutes my body slowly began to adjust to the pulling sensation. It was akin to wearing nipple clamps…or so I am told.

Finally after an hour of this self imposed torture, I was dismissed by the skinny blonde who has never had a weight problem a single day in her blessed life.

“Drink plenty of water,” said Debbie. “Remember, no strenuous exercise within the first 24hours (have I ever done anything strenuous?). And don’t be discouraged it will take approximately 3 months for the final results. Oh, and by the way you will have bruising and within a few days you will feel something akin to internal itching. Just ignore it. Eventually it will go away.”

So now, six days after the procedure, the itching has kicked in.Only it doesn’t feel like itching it feels like teeny tiny pinpricks are occurring throughout my abdomen. In addition, I look like a mule just kicked me. All of this is making me slightly on edge and somewhat discouraged…as if I wasn’t all ready!

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Have you ever had once of those times in your life when the stars aligned and you met the right person at just the right time? Well, it happened for me today and not one day too late. In an attempt to find my zen, I went to the gym and as I was telling my classmates that I had this done, one woman piped up and told me she had her flank, stomach, and inner thighs sculpted. I almost fainted. She is older than me and let me tell you she looks FANTASTIC. Sure she weighs about 30 pounds less than I do but she tells me that the difference between before and after is amazing. In fact, she shared with me that she never told her husband that she had done all this and one day while getting out of the shower he took a good look at her and said, “What the hell has happened to you? You look amazing!” Of course, then she had to fess up but he thought it was all worth it.

Now I know we are suppose to love our bodies like we love ourselves and I get the importance of all that.It’s vital to develop those inner qualities which draw people to you like a moth to a flame. But unfortunately, for most women, loving your body is much harder than it should be for all those nonsensical reasons thrust upon us by the media and men. So when I think about all those wasted years when I was a young woman wishing my ass wasn’t so big, that my boobs were bigger, my legs were longer and my stomach flatter; well, it makes me kind of wistful and sad. Why couldn’t I just appreciate what I had going for me then, which, in truth sounds kind of hypocritical of me now considering what I have just done. But as much as I hate to admit it, even at my age, my looks do matter to me.  Especially naked… so much so that I will no longer shower with B. And when I write that it makes me want to throw up…but it is the sad…sad truth. It is my reality. I know better but knowing it doesn’t make me feel better and it doesn’t make me want to skinny dip in the moonlight like I did when I was young. Frankly, as I age I miss those tiny pleasures in life and I yearn for that kind of spontaneity once more. And damn it I want to shower with someone again and have hot steamy sex while doing it. So instead of sitting along the sidelines, which I do a lot more often than I would like to admit; I want to throw off the those body images that are weighing me down. Obviously, this means I have to make some changes both inside and out to find the kind of acceptance that I have been lacking. I have been working hard at it. Discovering who I am but also who I want to be in this later part of my life and how I want to look.

But then one day I had an epiphany. It FINALLY dawned on me that being able to love my body at this age would be better than never having loved it at all even if that means being somewhat superficial and paying a lot of money to do it. Sculpting away my love handles and my kangaroo pouch is a gift for myself. It is something done just for me. Yes, it’s vain. Yes, there are more noble/worthy things to have spent this money on BUT at this age I’ve realized that feeling good about yourself is also important. Even more important…I finally feel like I am worth whatever it is I decide to do!

So damn the torpedoes I’m going full steam ahead in this life, no matter where it takes me!

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Blessings In Daily Life

As I contemplate my life with or without B I have come to the realization that there are several things in my middle age that I am striving to recognize and hold onto in one form or another. These are the things that are important to me and I am learning to value them even more as I age. They are also what bring meaning and blessings to my life and I want to experience them with eyes wide open and appreciate the richness they add to my spirit.

The things I want to have/experience on a daily basis are: Peace, Acceptance, Connectedness, Joy and Love.

Peace-I want peace in my heart meaning a satisfied and content heart.  I want a peaceful life meaning tranquility rules the roost with harmony following close behind. Peace that is a quiet and calm state of mind no matter what chaos is swirling around you. This also means having to practice patience in order to achieve it along with Sitting In The Silence.

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Acceptance- Acceptance is probably best said in this way:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

It is also accepting my children’s autism and loving them for who they are. Accepting myself in a deeper and more true way. It is being accepted for who I am in my relationship with my spouse sexually, mentally and spiritually. It is just accepting the day for what it brings me and not always trying to change things about it.

 

Connectedness- that feeling that the bonds you have with others are real, meaningful and as valuable to you as they are to them.  It’s a feeling of coming together and being absorbed in all that we share and all we are doing. Its being vitally and mindfully in touch intellectually, in spirit, and in presence.  Its a form of oneness.

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Joy- I want to find joy in the journey…all of it. I want those fleeting moments of joy like the birth and a child to become more common place and easier to experience…like smelling a rose, watching your kids play soccer, and watching the moon rise on a hot summers day. Joy a feeling of great pleasure and happiness, and even more important, it is allowing ourselves to recognize and appreciate how good things really are on a daily basis.

Love- Probably the hardest to define but I certainly know that it encompasses and transforms joy, acceptance, connectedness and peace into something knowable and something better than when they are on their own. Its adoring, cherishing, infatuation, devotedness, and attachment too. Love is a many splendid thing…and much, much,more.

 

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These are the blessings of life and if we allow ourselves to recognize them we will see them at work each and every day. I am greedy for more.

 

 

End Of Marriage Or Beginning of Acceptance?

Today was not one of my prouder days as a mother. Constant issues, constant disrespect, constant ways of intentionally pushing my buttons by Andre in a most difficult and autistic way. It’s a pattern and unfortunately I sometimes allow myself to get sucked up into it even though I know better. And it disappoints me as a mother and as a human being when I react while being poked with an intentional stick instead of laughing and walking away. I was downhearted due to my handling of the situation and I even (god forbid) yelled…something I have been successful at avoiding like the plague since the July.

I fell asleep while listening to a meditation and awoke to the call to dinner. Seems B had come home early and heard I had a rough time of things through Paul. He had made dinner to help out but I clearly saw the disappointment in his eyes.

Later I asked if he wanted to take a walk during which I poured out my soul about myself, how the day went and what I was feeling. As we walking and I was having this heartfelt conversation we were getting ready to turn at our “normal” spot when I said I would like to keep walking and B replied he wanted to get home so he could play his bagpipe.SCREECH! BING-BAM-BOOM. It felt as though he SUCKER PUNCHED me.  I told him I would keep walking by myself because it was obvious where his priorities lie. He said, “No I will come with you” but I sent him home. The possibilities for closeness and understanding felt broken. And for a while all I could think of was that that was the exact moment when my marriage ended because I realized the futility of it all. But in truth that is not what I really want because I still love this man even though I no longer understand him.

Yet, as I walked I began to think about all that was going on and wonder…  is this relationship as it stands now enough for me? Is half of a walk good enough or do I need more? Do I want someone who will listen to me until I decide that I am done whether that’s 2 minutes, 20 minutes or 2 hours… or… do I accept that this is all I will get? Can I just be grateful for a walk? Can I just accept a good gesture instead of a great one? Can I be happy with the wonderful things I get from this man and not concentrate on what I am not getting and being hurt in the moment due to his inability to respond like I would like him to? Why do I feel so vulnerable and raw all of the time? Can’t I just be happy in the way he wants me to be? Because that is all he wants…for us to be happy. As Nicole said “He wants happiness and unicorns on his terms because he doesn’t want to deal with any messes.”

Later when we were laying in bed we discussed the situation and of course he felt hurt (seems like we just keep feeling hurt by the other lately) I asked him when was it you realized that I wasn’t everything you wanted/needed but you decided to accept it and he replied  without a moments hesitation,”I don’t know ten, eight or maybe five years ago.” And truly, I felt shattered that he had been walking around for that long knowing and I didn’t have a clue. Because until tonight I had never thought about it that way. Maybe I should have.

 

 

Things Your Mother Never Told You About Aging

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So How Does It Feel Turning 55?

Frankly, it sucks …but… it is better than dying in the toilet with your pants down. I mean at this age the probability of that happening increases with every trip to the bathroom. Unfortunately, by the time you are over fifty your bladder has shrunk to the size of a pea which means you “go” every ten minutes which means the chances of getting caught dead with your pants down are approximately  144 per day. This makes going to the bathroom a terrifying experience which often results in holding everything “in” which in turn causes severe constipation.

Turning 55 makes you grumpy. It becomes a perpetual state of being because everything gets even bigger than when you were in your forties. Your medical bills, your waist size, and your appetite. Even your ears get longer…and why? What exactly is the point of having bigger ears at this point in one’s life? I really don’t want to hear the normal everyday crap. Frankly, I just want to tune my kids constant arguing out. I really don’t have a need for longer ears but I suppose since I have two they will just match my not-so-perky breasts. Yep, their giddy-up-and-go, to my dismay, turned into how-low-will- you-go? And need I remind you that your feet also get bigger. Why so you can trip over them and break a hip? Oh yeah, and your nose also grows. Really! I already paid for one nose job does this mean I will need another?

At this age vanity about one’s appearance is just not attractive. You may raise, nip and tuck but you certainly don’t talk about it because no one wants to hear about the fact that the nurse forgot to deflate the balloon on the catheter when she tried to pull it out. (true story that!)

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Another not so pleasant aspect of turning 55 is that you develop gas…bad gas. The roll down your window down for 5 minutes, blow fresh-air-in-your-face kind. The “ewww are we driving by a dairy or something?” kind of farts. It’s then that you realize that your only option to prevent cow comparisions are to live on foods such as liver and onions and tomato juice. Nasty disgusting foods but luckily your taste buds are also going on the fritz so suddenly low-gas causing silk worms seem palatable.

And did I mention hot flashes? The kind that can light up  New York City. The kind that mean you have to wash your sheets on a daily basis. I don’t know about you but I kind of feel like at this age the laundry should be getting less and not growing into monstrous unending piles of drudgery.

Fifty-five is when you start thinking your cellulite looks good compared to the rest of you. It’s when chin hairs become a topic of conversation and figuring out how to clip your toenails becomes a half-day chore. It’s when the bags under your eyes weigh more than the ones you have to carry home from the grocery store and its a time when your g-string gets lost in the folds.

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When you turn 55 you also start considering your options for funerals and do complex calculations to determine if buying the plot now is more cost effective than waiting for when its needed. And if you are smart you leave written instructions instead of letting your kids decide you look good in red when you know all it does is make you look  all washed up and out.

Yet, if you think us over 55 women are washed up/washed out and less desirable than any other woman then there is only one thing I have left to say

 

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