A Year of Grace

Apparently it can take more than one year to figure out who you are after your life is torn apart!  I didn’t realize how much of my identity was derived from my business and my relationship.  Once those things were gone, there I was standing naked, feeling exposed and alone, wondering what the hell I was going to do.  I have moved on with my life in a number of ways and most of the time it was trial and error and the best things were happy accidents.  This is the first time in my life I am not working, since the age of 15, and I also didn’t realize how much my self worth was tied into my job and being productive.  It has been one hell of a year with lots of ups and downs but the ups are winning.

I have done things in the last year I never thought I would do.  I tried online dating without much success.  How the heck do you write a profile?  The best and most honest one I could come up with went something like this:  I don’t dye my hair, I don’t wear make up, I own 6 pairs of black boots and I have all my own teeth.  There were few who were intrigued by this!  I finally gave up on the dating thing and asked someone I knew a bit if they were interested in being my friend with benefits, even though I wasn’t really sure what that meant.  Well, this friend with benefits thing turned into much more than I was expecting.  He helped me find the joy in life again and continuously makes me laugh.  He is a very private person so he may not like me writing about this.  Oops, too late.  I guess I just want you all to know that when you least expect it, someone or something is going to come along and help you find the joy in life again.  I also started this blog in the last year after a spiritual awakening of sorts and gained so much from not only the writing of it but hearing what other people had to say about it.  Some comments were surprising and made me see that I was constantly downplaying who I was and what I contributed to the world just by being myself.

Each of us has something to contribute.  You don’t have to move mountains or earn six figures to have value to this world. Sometimes a kind word or a smile can change the course of someones day or life for that matter.  I recently ran into my former husband who I have not been married to since 1998.  I was a little uncomfortable at first but we had a few chats and it was like having coffee with an old friend.  I also had lunch with his parents a few days ago while they were in town and it was a joy to see them again.  I forgot how much I adored them and realized that when we got divorced I essentially divorced a lot of people in my life.  The pain of that period of my life is long dealt with and gone, there is nothing left but love for all of them.  One thing my former husband said in a text message really made me stop and think.  He said, “Maybe you just bring out the best in everyone.”  Perhaps I do, though my first thought upon reading those words was I am not that special.

If you have the ability to approach people and love them unconditionally that is special. If you can let them be them without judgement that is a wonderful gift, not only to them but yourself.  Don’t try to change people, love them for who they are and just by doing that you give them the space they need to grow and change because they want to, not because you think they should.  Don’t restrict other people or your love for them because of your own definition of right or wrong, good or bad.  Open your heart and the world opens its heart right back.  Besides, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?  I love being wrong.

So, I would some up the last year as a year of grace.  There is a gracefulness to awkwardly finding your way.  There is grace in the tears of grief as well as tears of joy.  I am one of those people who cry when I am happy!  There is grace in this world, it is all around you and you can see it if you look for it.  You know what they say, you get what you expect.  So expect grace, expect kindness, expect love, just expect great and wonderful things to happen all around you.

 

Be kind to yourself.
Hug everyone like you mean it!

Donna
aka Miss Daisy

Friends with Benefits

I was so overwhelmed by loneliness yesterday it was, well, overwhelming. I don’t think I have ever felt this lonely in my life! I tried just sitting with it and exploring it and made it to 9pm and then reached out to a friend. We talked about a number of things but I didn’t mention the lonely part. Why wasn’t I willing to just say I was lonely? Perhaps I didn’t want to appear needy? I need people and the connections with others and am tired of doing most things alone. One of the things I have discovered on this twisted path of learning is, there is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely. So what is the difference? One is focused inward and one is focused outward. Much of our lives are focused outward and we are disconnected from ourselves. Now that is lonely!

Some people would give anything for sometime by themselves. When they get it what do they do with it? I don’t know, even when I am in a relationship I spend a lot of time by myself. I read, create things, talk to friends, listen to music, go for a walk and putter. I like to putter, it helps me think. No one likes people who are self-centred right? I think we need to be centred in ourselves, subtle difference but huge at the same time. Instead we are constantly distracted by things, always entertaining ourselves and looking for answers out there. We know the answers already, we just need to be self-centred in order to see them. So instead of viewing the term self-centred in the negative sense of a person who shows no concern for others and is only interested in their own wants and needs, let’s redefine it as someone who is centred in themselves. We can use self-absorbed for the negative aspect.

So you don’t want to be self-absorbed but you do want to be self-centred! If you are centred, some would say grounded, it means you are aware of yourself and the world around you. You can see the interactions for what they are. You are not trying to constantly distract yourself from yourself. Back to last night, what is it I did not want to look at internally that had me reaching outside of myself and had me feeling terribly lonely. I want to matter! I want to matter to someone else! I don’t want to be an afterthought for them. I want to be a priority in their lives. First, I have to be in that relationship with myself. I need to matter and be a priority in my own life! So in order to have that I need to be present and if I am constantly looking for distractions that cannot happen.

Our society is a sad sad world of distractions and disconnections. We spend so much time looking outwards and expecting others to meet our needs it is no wonder there are so many divorces and unhappy relationships. They cannot fix you or any other part of your life! Only you can fix you and your life by doing the work and being centred in self. You are not going to find the relationship you want until you are able to have that relationship with yourself. So stop looking outside yourself for the answers. The next significant person in your life is not the answer to your problems and it is extremely unfair to expect that of them. So before you enter into any relationship ask yourself why. Why do I want to be with them? What am I expecting them to provide me with that I can’t provide for myself?

My ideal relationship, which I have touched on before, still gives me lots of time to be by myself. I am not looking for someone to be the solution to my troubles. I don’t need someone to be my other half, I am already whole. I want someone that I can talk to, travel with, be intimate with, laugh with and grow together and separately with. Basically I want a friend with benefits who doesn’t “need” me in their life but “wants”me in their life and challenges me to be a better person. I also want to challenge them to be all that they can be, I don’t need or want to change them, they are already whole.
Don’t forget to hug

Love to you all

Donna

Embracing the Pain

I blew the dust off of my yoga mat this morning and spent 30 minutes with some of my favourite poses. I forgot how soothing it was to spend time just breathing and moving my body. When I am struggling with something I have a tendency to do busy things like clean the bathroom or go for a long walk. This morning since my struggle was internal I decided to go inward and listen instead. What am I doing and why am I doing it? That is the question I asked myself this morning. Sometimes I don’t get any insightful answers, I am just left with more questions. Perhaps the answers are hidden in those questions. Then again, maybe sitting here with a cup of coffee and writing will illuminate those dark corners inside me that I have not been willing to fully shine a light on.

Bring on the light! Okay, where is it? No great moment of illumination has happened. Yoga reminded me that it takes time to work the stiffness out, just be in the moment and breathe, just be. How can I forget these things so quickly after I have learned them? I don’t like being in pain and as a typical human I just want the pain to stop and apply short term fixes looking for a long term solution. So I turn to one of the best things I have ever learned from Buddhist philosophy, embrace the pain. All the things I do for quick fixes only fan the flames of the fiery pain. Sit with it, befriend it, love that painful part of yourself, love yourself. The flames will burn, shape and reshape you and out of the ashes a new you is born. So tonight I will sit here and burn.

Well, yes, pain burns but at least it has heat. So I look for the positives in pain and to be honest I cannot even describe this pain. All I can tell you is that my soul is crying out for something so strongly that it feels as though I will cease to exist if I don’t find it. Pain, it is warm in my case, also reminds me that I can feel some wonderful emotions. Pain teaches me that I have a heart, I have more in common with others than differences, that I care for myself and others, I have the ability to love others unconditionally and pain reminds me that it is not always returned to me in kind. Okay, pain whether physical or emotional is my teacher. What exactly is this pain educating me on?

I just got to meet someone that I had previously only had contact with through writing and phone calls. Huge risk for both of us since we had an idea of who each other was but that first meeting always says so much. I recognized him instantly and walked towards him arms and heart wide open. First moment wasn’t so awkward phew. What a relief! We got to spend two days together. We ate, laughed a lot, walked, sat, talked and talked some more. We have huge differences in opinion on certain matters, but it doesn’t matter. We learned from and about one another. We learned. It was a beautiful two days and then it was back to our regular lives. I am changed forever because of meeting him. I am changed because by learning about him, I learned much about myself. Sometimes seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes can give you a new perspective. Arkemedes it was an honour to meet you my friend, I ask the universe to send you many blessings on your journey.

Now it is 6:30 at night and I am sitting here in my slightly soiled chair exploring my pain. We all have some pain in our lives and how we approach our own as well as the pain that others carry says much about us. Embrace the pain, yours and theirs. Compassion and love can heal the most damaged of us. We just need people in our lives who are willing to stand with us in the fire and bring their own pain with their arms and hearts open. We can bring great healing to others just by creating that space where we can support and acknowledge each other. No judgement, just space for healing from the pain.

Love yourself

Hug Everyone

Donna

 

Heart and Mind

I am sitting here in the dark typing and listening to Hozier’s album at a volume level I have not reached for in years! Times they are a changing. I cannot count the number of things that have changed outside of and inside of me, all I can tell you is I do not feel like the same person. I no longer just see the world and people, I feel the world and people through new eyes and a new heart. I know I use that word heart a lot when I write but I happen to think it is a most important part of us and living from your heart has much different results than living from your head. It seems to work that way for me. My mind, when I am all alone, can be a dark and scary place. It is full of insecurities, drama, what ifs, should haves, assorted lies and untruths and can come up with movie worthy disaster scenes for my life. What about yours is it all light and positive in there? I do know that some people always seem to be positive and see the good things , but I think they have either been born that way ( lucky buggers) or have learned to live from their heart. Anyone can do it, it just takes practice.

Sometimes I think our minds always try to see the differences between us and our hearts see the similarities. When I have interactions with other people holy cow does my mind like to dance around, at least it used to. Now it only does it when I am extremely uncomfortable or out of my comfort zone as they say. I’m working on it! When I can focus on the person in front of me, get my mind to quiet down, I notice I can hear what they are trying to say and also what they are not saying as well as many other subtle little things. My mind want wants to think about what I am going to say in response, does this person like me, wow I didn’t realize that he had such big ears etc etc. My heart just hears and does not dance around from feeling to feeling. It is caught up in the moment and experiencing the other person. I feel them and their words!

Now, I am at a point where I am venturing out into the dating world. The landscape is unfamiliar and I am definitely out of my comfort zone. You guessed it, mind racing along. Breathe, Donna, just breathe. It is hard to put myself out there. Despite the fact that I share some very personal feelings and circumstances with you, I am not so willing to be that vulnerable on a date. What has been very interesting for me is people having access to my writing sometimes before they have met me in person. This gives them a certain advantage don’t you think? I am not paranoid in any way shape or form, but I am cautious. A woman has to be careful out there. So they have access to my writing and I am going in blind. Why did I do this? I’m not quite sure. However, how they respond to it tells me a lot about them in the end. Some people have backed off, others have opened up and shared some of themselves with me. That’s okay, I am not the right person for everyone but I am the person for the right one. Communication is key to a relationship of any kind and one of the most important methods we use to get to know one another. I realize that I scare some people off and that’s okay too because if they can’t handle it I would like to be privy to that information sooner rather than later.

I posted the following quote on Facebook yesterday, ” I don’t want to be the other half of your soul. I want to be the one who reminds you that you’re already whole.” GS. I have no idea who GS is but I think those are wise words. I want that for you and I want that for myself as well. Remind me that I am enough, just as I am. Tomorrow I get to see someone who is travelling a long distance just to meet me. He heard me! He is making an effort and going out of his way and I truly appreciate that. We know there are no guarantees but damn you have to take some risks. I am not the only one taking all the risks and putting in all the effort. He has read my posts and from our conversations and his actions has read between the lines and picked up on a few things that others may have missed. Challenge accepted! I will keep you posted and yes I am sure he knew to expect that as well. If not, he does now lol.

Don’t forget to hug people
Hug yourself too!
Donna

Vaginal Angst

My idea of the perfect relationship at this point in my life sounds something like this. I have my own home, they have their own home and we can each have toiletries and a few changes of clothing at each other’s homes. I want to have my own space and I also want to have a full on mind and heart filled relationship. I don’t think that is too much to ask for, do you? At this point I don’t want to live in the same house with anyone day in and day out. Hell, I don’t even think we need to live in the same city. Travel with them sure, spend lots of time together that is great, them getting to have a say in every choice I make, I am not so sure about that. I am open to changing my mind about it however.

I had a friend stop by for coffee today and he had his seventy something father with him. Both are sweet gentlemen that are not afraid of conversation with an outspoken female who talks about anything but the weather. We are all single and had a wonderful conversation about relationships. When I told them what my idea was the father piped up and said “right on, that is exactly what I am doing.” I almost fell out of my chair with glee and actually told him if only there wasn’t a 20 plus years age difference between us he would be mine! 

Now I don’t want you to get the impression that I have anything against members of the opposite sex. I do not and I know a number of wonderful men. Most of them just happen to be happily married to friends of mine or in a relationship with someone they adore. I like men, they are fun to look at. I particularly like the angles of their faces and the way they move. I don’t even care if they are handsome by societal standards, I like their faces! I especially like a face that is lived in, one with some character. I love it when their eyes crinkle up when they smile. I don’t like pretty men, yes I said it!  I am not proud of it, but there it is. I don’t trust pretty men. I certainly don’t want to date a man who is so vain it takes them forever to get ready. I am a no make up kind of woman who is out the door from the start of my shower to grabbing my car keys in 40 minutes or less. I should tell you that it takes me 10 minutes to find my keys on an average day. I don’t worry about what the wind and weather are doing to my hair, I have more important things to think about.

I think about how far we can take a conversation on religious beliefs, what men think about when they are sitting in the passenger seat of my car, what their opinion is on reincarnation, what they think was the reason for the breakdown of their last relationship, or have they ever seen a Sasquatch! I think about everything but my hair and lack of make up. I have nice hair, I like it. It is straight, falls to my shoulders and is naturally streaked. It is easy to look after and my hair stylist will not let me chop it all off because I look like a small elf when my hair is short!

Having said all of the above, being single at 53 scares me a bit. I don’t know if I will find anyone who will love me and put up with my crazy shit. I am hopeful that there is someone out there who thinks I am delightful and finds my antics amusing. I love teasing banter and would hope they do as well. Otherwise, they are just going to feel picked on. I have decided to call this my vaginal angst stage of life. So the next time someone says, “What is up with her?” You can say “Vaginal angst, isn’t she adorable?” and walk away.

Dedicated to Arkemedes
Peace and love to all

Donna