Today’s Mantra

Give yourself a break. You’re not perfect. No one is. You don’t have to be at the top of your game every day. No one is happy all the time. No one loves themselves always. No one lives without pain. Be willing to embrace your imperfections and excuse your bad days. Don’t set such high standards for yourself emotionally and mentally. It’s normal to feel sadness and pain and to hit some low points in life. Allow yourself to embrace these emotions without judging yourself for them.  ~Vishnu

Friends With Benefits

I don’t know how long we stay that way, but we watch the sun go down together. The giant, burnt-orange sphere sinks towards the horizon, coloring the rock layers until it’s gone and the canyon is covered in shadow. ― Jennifer Salvato

I once had a best friend I could talk to for hours. We could philosophize endlessly, oblivious to the passing of time. I remember one afternoon I knocked on his door lay next to him in bed and we started talking. We didn’t realize it was night already. Only when his brother snapped the light on and asked what on earth we were doing in the dark did we noticed that indeed it was already that late. We look into each other’s eyes and giggled. Nobody understands.

And that one time we were drinking on the terrace whole night, sitting on the balustrade, feet dangling in space ignoring the danger, just concentrating on the two of us, the outside world locked out. Suddenly, we saw a flame behind the mountains and we thought: fire! There was a fire out there. But of course, it wasn’t fire. It was the sun rising up. Night owls as we were, we rarely saw the dawn for we used to sleep the whole day and only come up when the sun goes down already. Vampires, they called us. Since then we decided to go dawn watching on the top of the mountains. That was magical moments. I miss it sometimes.

Missing Title

I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom. ― Edgar Allan Poe

Do you remember I’ve told you I have never been addicted to anything? Well, that’s true. But there were times that I indulged. Against my better judgment that is.

But those are nothing but temporary diversions and never last long enough to do real damage. When it comes to the monetary aspect of my so-called cravings I have but one rule: never spend more than you can afford. That means your spending should not cost more than what’s in your bank account. That when worse comes to worst, you can pay what you owe without going bankrupt. Or even better: Never put yourself in credit.

I know all addictions have underlying reasons somewhere. I still have to find out what mine is. If there is any. Because if you ask me I would say there are none. I just like pretty things. Especially the ones that apart, unique and creative.

There were times that I overindulged in alcohol and passed out a couple of times. One of those episodes I ended up in a hospital with an infected wound. Apparently, in my dazed state, I stepped on a broken rusted tin can. How’s that for hilarious. Other times I tumbled down from the stairs and showered with my clothes on and went to sleep soaking wet.

I also did some things I would not do when sober. Like kissing a fourteen -year old kid and an engineer suitor I despised or lying down in the mud because I thought it was inviting and so soft.

But those were a long time ago and belonged to my wilder years of subconsciously looking for my rainbow connection. Who doesn’t have those episodes anyway? Everyone I guess has one moment in their existence when they are wild and carefree.

The bottom line is, even though I overindulged sometimes, I always wake up right on time before my doings could pose a real threat.

Saying Goodbye

Why the things that hurt the most are the ones that are also liberating

It is painful but at the same time lighter

As if there is this massive weight that has been taken off your shoulder

Suddenly you feel light, happier, inspired, more positive and at the same time

Hurting like hell.

You feel like laughing and crying at the same time

Because though it pierces your heart you also realized that

You know where you stand and at last, you are finally free!

Time Traveler

Just because I’ve made it all up doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Remember this, this, this and this? Among so many others that belonged to this category? Check it out and we will discuss it when you come back.

Done?

Okay.

My son once told me that I imagined the whole thing. When I asked him why it seems so real he said because to me it is. Granted. Maybe I hallucinated the ones that involved solely me. But what about those times when there were other people present, they have imagined the whole episode with me as well? How you call that? Collective insanity? Folie à deux? Herd mentality? Mass delusion? Tell me.

Do you believe in magic?  I don’t.

Not even after those experiences which have no logical explanations. But I strongly believe in a parallel universe(s) and other dimensions and I also believe that there are people who are able to navigate in both. I don’t know if I will consider that ability a gift or a curse. Personally, I don’t mind the idea as long as the traveling stays more or less cozy and doable but not when things turn into some kind of nightmares and you end up running for your life.

What about you?

What do you believe in?

Am I Guilty Of “Roaching?”

“Roaching” is a new name for a practice that’s been around for many years. Essentially, it’s a failure to define a relationship as monogamous (or otherwise) and the hurt feelings that often result.

One person believes that the relationship is progressing toward a meaningful one-on-one partnership and is blindsided when they find out that their partner has been seeing other people.

The offending party claims to be surprised that monogamy was assumed or expected because it was never openly discussed. This can seem heartless to some, myself included, but viewed objectively, it’s a valid point.

Mismatched expectations in relationships are nothing new, but regardless of the details or what new dating terms are used, the root cause is the same: the lack of open communication. [Source: Renée Suzanne via Tiny Buddha]

I’ve lost a few friendships because of misunderstanding. In my experience, boy-girl friendship always ends up in tears. Unless both of you belong to a group. Then, there is a chance the relationship might survive. But seeing each other exclusively (even) on friends term, sooner or later, it would go amiss. One of you will expect more and want more and from there downhill all the way.

Aside from one, all of my best friends had been boys. Easier to deal with, play with open cards and no trouble with jealousy. Till they demand to (re) define the relationship, give it an official title and rights to go with the title. That was when it started to go wrong for me and I had no choice but to terminate the connection.

Why they cannot leave it as it was, enjoy the ride while it lasts and forgets about terminology. Who cares about labels? isn’t the moments you share what’s important? Why throw a spanner in the works? Why fix what is not broken? Like Shakespeare said: What’s in a name?

If we started as lovers, then that’s what we are. If we’re friends, then we are no matter how the relationship evolves. We can redefine (not the meaning because like Juliet said – Romeo is still the man she loves had he a different name. It means that a name means little – it is the worth of the individual that counts) the relationship. But it got to be a mutual understanding. You have to be on the same page regarding this matter. But oftentimes, giving another label to the relationship leads to confusion. Suddenly, there are rules involved and expectations become sky-high, so are the disappointments when both parties failed to meet the expectations.

In my experience, men are notorious for wanting to define a relationship. And how fast you can get rid of them when the relationship becomes official. But when it is the other way around- a girl wanting a name attach to a certain understanding- they are also notorious for looking the other way and pretend they don’t understand. So, I found out (accidentally) that it is better not to care (too much) and let whatever you two are having to run its own course.

I enjoy certain togetherness as long as it is not interfering with my own agenda and doesn’t have too many rules attached to it. I think the appropriate term for it is no string attached. I love that. Everybody is free to do what they wish because it will come down to that anyway. And I truly believe that if someone wants to be with you they will be there. If someone wants to stay they will. Likewise, when somebody wants to leave, they would no matter what you say or do. So, relax and enjoy. Don’t overthink and never, never forbid or try to change someone. It is a sure recipe for disaster I can tell you. Not that I tried already. Just logical thinking. Would you like someone to lay down the rules? Tell you what you can and cannot do and force you to be someone you are not? I don’t think so. You know… Golden rule… Don’t do unto others what you don’t want to be done unto you. That’s it! If You do not agree with whatever it is you don’t agree about in a relationship… You always have a choice: You can either stay or go. And whatever decision you make, don’t blame it on anyone but yourself. You got a choice, remember?

So, I will disagree with what was mentioned above: Open communication. Communication is good. The saving grace of every relationship romantic or otherwise. And the downfall too. Hearing the truth doesn’t always mean a solution to the problem. Often times it is the opposite. The glue that holds most relationships together isn’t love, honesty understanding or trust but acceptance in every sense of the word. Acceptance of the situation and of the person you are having a relationship with. Acceptance of the mistakes and shortcomings and acceptance of yourself.

I will tell you what is even better than open communication in regard to an understanding between a man and a woman: Expectation. Or rather the lack of it. We all know that if we don’t expect something we will never be disappointed. If s/he is treating you right and you feel good about it, who needs a definition. If you have the formality but being abused, what good is the name attached to a union?  I’m all for undefined as long as I’m okay with whatever is there at the moment. But the moment I feel violated and used, that’s when I am going to close the chapter ring on it or not.

If you ask me what I can tell you is: nothing is forever. Things will sort itself out. No use stressing yourself about the things that you have no control about.  You will make decisions along the way and it’s up to you to choose which one is right. For the moment, enjoy the ride.

Cute Vibrant And Oh So Very Round

I saw the above photo online with the title caption and I thought: That’s it! Finally, a description I could accept. I don’t like to hear pretty, sexy, beautiful, charming. etc. etc. Interesting is the only option I considered in the past alongside the likeness of Pumba which I happened to believe closely resembled how I look like though lately, even that is not an alternative anymore. Anyway, I saw the image of this Robin and I yelled: That’s how I like to look like. Exactly like that. Cute Vibrant And Oh So Very Round. Wonderful!

SRQxrQmlaVEYanBqwcFh

Empathy, Sympathy, Affinity, And What Have You.

A long time ago

Someone accused me of

Not knowing what empathy is

I never put myself in the shoes of someone else he said

I said I don’t understand

He told me it is because my mind is closed.


If he means that I am not empathic because I can’t understand why he wanted to ruin our relationship by demanding to incorporate “benefits” into the friendship, then I am not empathic indeed.

If not joining the group when they shed unnecessary tears because someone committed a stupidity of doing the same mistakes over and over again but expecting a different result, then I am not empathic. Besides, crying in unison (because it is expected or to show you understand or in order to belong) is not a form of sympathy, it’s collective madness.

If someone truly cares, they will help you to improve the situation and yourself. They will make you understand the mistakes you are doing and help you find the solution to the problem, not crying with you and do nothing.

I cry in most people would think inappropriate situations. Like watching (not romantic) films Like Glory, Transformers, Big Hero 6 not because I sympathize but because it moved me. Likewise with babies, puppies, and paintings. I cry upon seeing senseless violence and act of kindness. I cry when I experience unexpected generosity, friendliness, and consideration from total strangers. I cry if I witness heroism and sacrifice for the greater good. But I don’t cry when someone breaks up with someone or the Notre Dame is burning. My heart reaches out to people who are victims of tragedies but I seldom cry. But issues like James Bulger, Marc Dutroux and such, I didn’t only cry, I still have nightmares.

I know there are three types of empathy that psychologists have defined: Cognitive, Emotional, and Compassionate.

Read this:


Cognitive Empathy

By definition: Simply knowing how the other person feels and what they might be thinking. Sometimes called perspective-taking.

What it’s concerned with: Thought, understanding, intellect.

Benefits: Helps in negotiations, motivating other people, understanding diverse viewpoints.

Pitfalls: Can be disconnected from or ignore deep emotions; doesn’t put you in another’s shoes in a felt sense.

It is about thought as much as emotion.
It is defined by knowing, understanding, or comprehending on an intellectual level. As most of us know, to understand sadness is not the same thing as feeling sad. Those who react with Cognitive Empathy risk seeming cold or detached. To truly understand another person’s feelings, don’t you in some sense have to be able to feel them yourself?

Emotional Empathy

By definition: “when you feel physically along with the other person, as though their emotions were contagious.” – Daniel Goldman

What it’s concerned with: feelings, physical sensation, mirror neurons in the brain.

Benefits: Helps in close interpersonal relationships and careers like coaching, marketing, management, and HR.

Pitfalls: Can be overwhelming, or inappropriate in certain circumstances.

Emotional Empathy, just like it sounds, involves directly feeling the emotions that another person is feeling. You’ve probably heard of the term “empath,” meaning a person with the ability to fully take on the emotional and mental state of another. The quote that comes to mind is: “I have a lot of feelings.”

This type of response might seem disconnected from the brain and thinking, but emotional empathy is actually deeply rooted in a human’s mirror neurons. All animals have neurons that fire in a certain way when they see another animal acting, making them relate to that action in their own body and brain. Emotional empathy does exactly that with the feelings someone experiences in reaction to a situation.

When your partner—or anyone you deeply love—comes to you in tears, it’s a natural response to feel that pull on your heartstrings. Like crying at a wedding or cringing when someone stubs their toe, it’s a deep-seated, gut reaction that often feels like a visceral human response. Connecting with another human in this way is intimate and can form a strong bond.

Like Cognitive Empathy, Emotional Empathy has its flip-side. One downside of emotional empathy occurs when people lack the ability to manage their own distressing emotions and can be seen in the psychological exhaustion that leads to burnout. Feeling too much can make even small interactions overwhelming.

Compassionate Empathy

By definition: With this kind of empathy we not only understand a person’s predicament and feel with them but are spontaneously moved to help if needed.

What it’s concerned with: Intellect, emotion, and action.

Benefits: Considers the whole person.

Pitfalls: Few—this is the type of empathy that we’re usually striving for!

The majority of the time, Compassionate Empathy is the ideal. Cognitive Empathy may be fitting for political or monetary negotiations or surgeon’s offices; Emotional Empathy may be the first response in children and for our loved ones; Compassionate Empathy strikes a powerful balance of the two.

Feelings of the heart and thoughts of the brain are not opposites. In fact, they’re intricately connected. Compassionate Empathy honors that natural connection by considering both the felt senses and intellectual situation of another person.

When your loved one comes to you in tears, you want to understand why she is upset and you also want to provide comfort by sharing in her emotional experience and hopefully helping her heal. It’s a lot to handle!

Most of us will skew to one side or the other: more thinking or more feeling; more fixing or more wallowing.

Compassionate Empathy is taking the middle ground and using your emotional intelligence to correctly respond to the situation. Does the situation call for quick action? Without either becoming overwhelmed by sadness or trying to fix things with logistics, compassion brings a mindful touch to tough situations.

[Source: Daniel Goldman and Enid Spitz via Heartmanity’s Blog]


I think I am more of the first and the last and less if not at all the middle one.

How about you?

Which kind of empath are you?

Why Being Estranged From Someone Is Nothing To Be Ashamed About.

When blood is thicker than water, but it’s so thick and so toxic, it’s drowning you.

Most everyone has a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor, or some person who is a strain to get along with.

Getting on a mutual wavelength just doesn’t happen. Communication is clunky, awkward, and uncomfortable. You find yourself making excuses to stay away or cut contacts short. You can never seem to enjoy being in the presence of one another. Your connection with that person becomes weaker and weaker until sometimes, you avoid or fade it out completely.

Yet something lingers. Perhaps you could have done better; maybe there is some key to connecting that you couldn’t figure out.

Family, by definition, is a group of people related by birth, marriage, and legal parameters. The expectation existing all around us is that these relations are a good thing or meant to be a good thing. Blood is thicker than water and all that. The simple reality I encounter is that no matter the birth lineage or inheritance of relations, it does not necessarily mean these individuals relate or fit with one another. Some families are like jigsaw puzzles whose pieces got placed in the wrong box.

Figuring out how to navigate differences, misunderstandings, and balancing individual needs in a group environment is a lot. It takes so many skills to get good at it while also requiring the temperament and constitution to tolerate the ruptures. When problems multiply, affections become deeply alienated; we can become estranged. It is painful when people you expect to support you don’t. Unexpressed, unresolved feelings can wreak havoc.

Estrangement, by definition, is a relationship that has soured and turned distant, even somewhat hostile. An estranged relationship causes discomfort. No one likes to run their fingers along splintered wood, and unless you find an emotional lathe, there is almost always some hurt.

AUTHOR: MARTINE J. BYER


Though this article in my personal opinion is somewhat incomplete, there are some points here that resonate with what I’m going through that, in the end, I decided to share it here. If I am the one who wrote it, I would elaborate and go further with details and give it a proper closure which seems to be lacking. Just a thought.

It’s Okay

… that’s what I always say to myself when I feel so bad I want to give up.

When it hurts so much I literally double up from the pain.

It’s okay.

I tell myself every time I encounter injustice and people treat me bad because of who I am.

It’s okay, don’t cry.

I say to myself when people that matter to me forget I exist.

And I miss them terribly.

It’s okay.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to feel sad, lonely, miserable, isolated and misunderstood.

It’s okay not to sleep. It’s okay not to eat. It’s okay to suffer and it’s okay not to feel safe.

For years I tell myself it’s okay. What’s happening to me is normal. It’s okay.

Yesterday I thought:

NO

It’s not okay.

It’s not okay that I have so much pain physically.

And emotionally I’m empty.

Psychologically I’m a wreck.

It’s not okay that my family betrayed me, my ex abused me and people took advantage of my generosity.

It’s not okay that I don’t see my children much and it’s not okay that the person I care about the most is taken away from me.

NO

It’s not okay.

In fact, I feel bad and some days I want to end it all.

And today I am really convinced that it’s the right thing to do.

I have only one wish:

That I see my Sunshine once more and hold her again in my arms and kiss those soft cheeks.

Then I’m going to sleep.

Forever.

I didn’t Break my Marriage—I Healed Myself.

“Healing is less about ‘saving’ or ‘fixing’ and more about ‘allowing’ ourselves to ease into the remembering that there’s a wholeness that has been there all along.” ~ Emmanuel Dagher

Sometimes healing can look a lot like breaking.

I have always despised the terms broken home or broken marriage because if something is broken there is the expectation that it is able to be fixed—yet sometimes the sad reality is that it’s just not meant to be.

The decision to leave my marriage was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, and it would be futile and dishonest to pretend otherwise. I never set out in this life to be divorced, I never wanted this to be my life, or to have these stereotypes surround me that I feel I constantly have to break—yet that doesn’t mean that this isn’t the life I am meant to live.

I’m a forever person—I always have been and I always will be.

So the decision to leave my marriage not only became about that but about who I was because of those choices. And perhaps most of all, who was I, now that a relationship I had used to define myself, had to come to an end.

It was never about breaking my marriage, but about healing me.

It wasn’t about an ending—but about a beginning.

There might have been one moment, but the reality is there were several, where I suddenly realized that this just wasn’t where I was meant to be. But knowing that and actually deciding to leave are two very different things. Once we have had those moments though, we become faced with a choice; do we choose ourselves, or do we choose someone else? In the end, we will either make a choice for ourselves, or we will make it for our children, family, or even our spouse.

But for me, the longer time went on, the more difficult it became to just simply not choose myself.

Perhaps there are those instances or times when we don’t need to completely undo our entire lives in order to get back to who we really are, but for me, there was no other way.

It wasn’t just my marriage that was over, it was me. I was done with not being happy, with not being the woman I truly am, and with not living a life that felt connected to my soul.

In truth, it was me that broke long before my marriage did—and so I had no other choice but to break it so that I could find myself again—and perhaps really for the first time.

There’s no easy manual for getting divorced and building a life following it. There is no one right way, so that means there isn’t any real wrong way of doing this for any of us. We just have to be willing to try, to explore and to fail all the while hopefully getting closer to ourselves. We have to open ourselves up to life again and this means all of it—the joy, the confusion, the love, and even the pain.

In order to heal our deepest wounds, we actually need to expand rather than try to shut down and close ourselves off.

So, I made the choice to take in everything and make as many mistakes as I could along the way. I made the choice to end my marriage and not look back at this time. I was done wondering if it was the right decision, or questioning if I really didn’t love my husband anymore.

I was done. Period.  I never looked back.

Instead of spending time thinking about all of the hurt and mistakes, I focused my energy on what kind of life I was building now, and what type of woman I was becoming in this process.

More importantly—I often stopped to wonder—do I like this new woman? Was I becoming someone that I wanted to spend my time with, someone that I valued and respected? Was I becoming myself or just another version of someone else?

There were check-points to see if I felt authentic in this new life and if I felt connected to it.

Those who haven’t had to start their lives over don’t always understand what it means to have to redefine ourselves but for me for the first time in my adult life I wasn’t someone’s wife, wasn’t part of a family unit, and therefore I had nothing to define or heal me but myself and my own choices.

When we venture out on a new path in this life, we don’t really know what lies ahead and sometimes our only choice is to continue on even when we can’t see or don’t know all the answers. It becomes the choice to follow our hearts; our inner compass on what feels right—even if it doesn’t make sense to everyone else.

Ultimately, my healing began when I made the choice to put myself first—not selfishly, or carelessly, but with a knowing that if I wasn’t truly happy then no one else in my life would be either—including my children. I had to first figure out what I was all about before I could even know what would make me happy, and the only way that was done was by trying it all on for size.

I experimented, I played, I forgot to follow the rules, and in between the moments of breaking down, I realized that I was truly just breaking up with life as I had known it. I was leaving behind the pain because I wanted to become the healing.

I made the choice to find out what this life could be when no one was holding me back—not even myself.

There have been many nights where I have cried myself to sleep, and I still don’t profess to have it all figured out but the one thing that I do know is that I am headed in the right direction because for once, I am undoubtedly following my heart.

No matter where it leads me.

“You have the right to change your story.” ~ The Goddess Rebellion 

~ Author: Kate Rose

When It Rain It Pours

Shit happens, right? Some days the pile is just a little higher than others.  ― Rodney Riesel

You can say that again.

At the moment in my part of the world, it’s fucking storming.

Murphy’s Law all the way.

Sometimes I’m wondering what grave sins I’ve committed in my past lives to deserve capital punishments such as these.

The upside is: If I land in hell for whatever reason, I might actually enjoy it. And why not when I already have a lot of practice. Being there would be a walk in the park compared to what’s happening to me__ I would not say lately because it’s been going on for so long even these days doesn’t apply anymore.

The downside? Name it.

I can’t laugh about it anymore. Not even hysterically.

Change it? No can do. First of all, it’s not my doing. Never been.

Second: Unless I want to abandon ship and jump into the sea I better stay where I am and bail water out.