Daily Life, Inspiration

Owning my Words

I have been working on using “I” instead of you, or we, or us when making statements.  A few weeks ago in class the instructor called me out for using we instead of I.  She said “don’t speak for me, speak for yourself.  If you are going to make a statement, then own it.”  And that really has stuck with me. And I will say she follows her own lead.  She is my Reverend and yesterday in her sermon she corrected herself.  She started a statement, said we, and then said no, I, I will own this. So that really supported the work around this.

And it is work.  I keep catching myself using we, or people, or they, or us.  Anything to not own the statement.  Anything to not stand behind it all alone by myself.  But really, I don;t get to speak for you or for us.  I speak for myself and that is all.  Unless you come to me and say can you speak for us and make an agreement, than anything I say is an assumption. Never assume…which Agreement is that?  Number 3 I think. 

So why is it so easy to slip into that mode?  I think for me (owning it) it is a way of hiding. By grouping myself with others I minimize my own responsibility for the thought.  So if I am wrong, or not everyone agrees with me I can say well I am not the only one. And also standing alone with a thought  and sharing it is scary, it exposes me….to criticism, to embarrassment, to conflict.  What if you don’t like what I say?  What if I sound stupid, what if I am the only who feels that way?

What if???????

What if I sound brave, smart, funny?  What if I say what others want to, but are quiet?  What if I understand the power of my words and use them carefully and honestly with respect with others? What if I do not assume I know how you feel, what you think?  Can we have a conversation then?  Is this how doors and minds open? When I own my thoughts and feelings and you own yours, how beautiful is that…….

I have a Facebook page.  I try really hard to keep it general, light, fun.  I do not engage in politics, religion, social causes etc. This is my choice.  Everyone should do what they want with their page. But the other day I came across a post from a friend who is probably way less liberal than I am. Not to detail it but it referenced gay pride in a non supportive way.  I tried to pass it by.  I said “its her page, leave it alone” I kept scrolling, but I could not just say nothing. So I went back, thinking I was heading into a minefield.  I kept thinking of the quote by Edmund Burke “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Anyway, I posted a respectful disagreement to her post and sat back expecting the worst.  Let me tell you, I received support from total strangers. And I felt like using my words, and owning them, was really powerful in that moment.

Since I have working on owning my words and my thoughts,  I shared that with my co worker over the last few weeks.  Today she started a sentence saying “we” and then switched and said ” I am owning this….I ”  It was awesome, she owned it!

We do not have to strengthen our thoughts by propping them up with the false sense that others agree.  Our thoughts are strong on their own.  We are smart, we are logical, we can figure this out.  We can have our own opinion without permission from anyone else. I am enough, my own mind is enough.  I feel this way, I think this, I believe this, I know this……….it is enough even when it is only me.

So I invite you to join me in owning your statements. In not bringing others in to strengthen your stance but standing tall on your own and saying  “I”.  You would surprised how good it feels. 

And one last thought, do not let others speak for you.  When they say we, gently say to them, you.


Daily Life, Relationships

Ignoring the Voice Inside

Every single time I ignore the voice inside I regret it.  How many times have I felt “something is wrong, this is off, this doesn’t feel right” but I push forward anyway ignoring the voice.  

So I have spent the last year trying to make a relationship into something that it is not.  And I knew it the whole time. Why??? What a waste of time and energy.  What a waste of my mind and my thoughts. What a waste of my emotions.  All of things could have been going to a place where they were wanted and celebrated. But no, I had to be right.  I had decided this was going to play out a certain way and hell or high water I could not let go.  Even though I knew it was a lost cause. My inner voice has been screaming at me, let it go, and I would not. 

I think there were a few reasons for this.  This was long distance so at first it was safe, I thought I would never meet him and surely nothing could be  so important between us that he or I would change our lives for it. I had been out of the relationship groove for about 2 years and this felt like a good way to jump back in. You know, I could still be single but dip my feet in the water so to speak. So he was the first to wake me up in awhile.  With all that has happened in my life the prior 2 years I was kind of locked up inside, and he had keys. And it felt good to be wanted and courted.  And my heart started beating again, and I got a little bit lost in him. And then everything changed. 

Reason 2, I asked the Universe to send me love.  I said to the Universe your choice.  Send me what I need.  Send me my good.  I tried to be open to something different.  To break the pattern of my prior choices and be open to whatever the Universe decided was right for me.  Color did not matter (well it never did), age, location, body type,  religion, social beliefs, I was trying to be open for anything.  I was trying to not place conditions on who I would love.  So the Universe sends this totally different guy from a culture I am not familiar with, lives far away, different religious beliefs,  different social beliefs, a  body type I would not normally go for , different health habits and I said ok, I will try. And try I did. And it was exhausting. 

Because over and over the past 6 months I have thought, this is not right.This does not feel right.  You should not have to try so hard, it should be more natural, come easier. I knew this in my heart and in my head and I kept trying.  I kept trying beyond what was emotionally healthy for me.  I was becoming less, not more.  His circumstances, his life, his conditions, desires, thoughts, they all took center stage.  And here I am the supporting cast.  I cannot live this way. I need balance, I need my life to be just as important as my partners. Not more, but certainly not less. I find that I give that up men way to easy (early training),  So I push the envelope with him. Not let him avoid me, ignore me, conveniently forget me.  All those things that are so easy to do long distance.

.And I become someone I do not want to be. I do not want to beg for attention. Oh my gosh there are plenty of people who actually love me and want to spend time with me. I do not need crumbs. Why would I not listen to that voice months ago that said get out, there is nothing for you here. I don’t know.  I still had lessons to learn but even that is not the real issue. I think this goes back to always putting others first even to my detriment. And that is something I need to explore more, on a different day.

Because today, I am free of him. I said the things that were important to me like “don’t tell me you are too busy, if someone is important to you, you make time for them.” LIke, ” part of me knows it is not about your circumstances, those are excuses.”  :Like” most of our relationship has been about you, and very little about me, do you even know my son’s name?” All of this was through texting as he cannot seem to have a conversation even over the phone. So then  I said let’s be done. Don’t call, don’t text, no Facebook, no Instagram, And I don’t want to be friends. I cannot go backwards with people.  Yes, he wants to say we are friends, but his idea of friends is too strange for me. Its all on his terms and all about him.  My friends talk to me, they care about me personally, not just me as I relate to them. I am trying not to think he is a selfish ass, but maybe he is.

So I am not sure of the lesson in all this.  I think and hope we are truly done.  We have been back and forth a couple of times already but it feels like more this time. I am exhausted from this, I am drained and I have nothing more to give. The only way it could recover is if he decided to step up and pour some love and energy my way and I do not see that happening. And even though part of me wants that, I know it would just be a temporary fix to something that has no solid ground under it.  

So let it go……….  Find the lesson, move forward, ask the Universe once again, send me love, but let me listen to the voice inside sooner rather than later.

Love, light, light, peace, power, beauty, joy

Daily Life, Relationships

The Courage of Being Vulnerable


Being vulnerable, not something I have really aspired to. It takes an extreme circumstance for me to show that I am vulnerable. I am pretty sure that goes way back to childhood. As I think back vulnerability was not encouraged. I learned to hide my feelings, I learned that you have to be strong. How many times did my mom say “tears mean nothing to me”, countless. Until tears became a weakness, a lessening of myself. There were a lot of masks in my house growing up. And certainly you never show your weakness, your vulnerability, your real feelings. Because someone could use them against you. These were lessons I learned as a girl. And I have carried those lessons right into my adulthood.

I know my mom had reasons that went back to her childhood for feeling this way. Good reasons that helped her survive a violent and scary family dynamic. Mom was only teaching us what she learned and how she survived. She did not ever want her daughters to be vulnerable to abuse or being used by the world. She taught us the only way she knew how. I understand that now.

But I am grown now and I can make changes in how I relate to the world. I can change how I see things. I can be different. I have come to see that being vulnerable takes enormous courage. I have to put myself out there. I have to say the truth about myself, how I feel, how I don’t feel, what I want, what is unacceptable. And then I have to wait for the response. Many times I do not receive back what I have put out. I get rejected, maybe laughed at, maybe felt sorry for.

If I say I love, but you don’t love me back, then what? If I tell you I am scared but you only portray yourself as strong do I feel less than? If I share how much I struggle to make it financially in this world is that something you can understand and relate to? If I say I am sad and lonely, can you feel that, or are you always happy and filled with the busyness of family and friends? Am I all alone in this?

Can I take those chances, would you understand? That is courage, to show the truth of yourself. It is not weakness, it is strength beyond strength. When I am honest and it falls on deaf ears the honesty sits inside me like a stone. Yes I want to always share my love, joy, light but I need to be able to show the fears, the anger, the loneliness to be balanced, to be whole.

Each time I don’t get the response; each time I see the glazed look on your face, or feel your silence reacting to my words I know that you are just not ready, or willing, to handle the rawness. But I can’t settle for anything less. I have enough superficial relationships in my life. I refuse to be halfway with those I love. There is a saying “If you cannot handle at my worst, you do not deserve me at my best”.

So I am going to keep going out on a limb, showing my vulnerability to those I should be safe with. No more covering up fear, or sadness. No more pretending not to have feelings just in case they don’t feel the same. No more playing the game of you show me yours first. I don’t want to live with a shell of protection around me. Yes it protects from those who might harm but it also keeps out love, honesty and grace. I am old enough and smart enough to be discerning in who I let in. And I trust myself…and I am learning to trust you.

Daily Life

You Don’t Get to Decide how I Feel

Did someone ever make a decision on how they think you feel and then proclaim that to be a fact? This has happened to me a couple of times lately. And it is kind of making me stand up and say no.

First case is a man I am having some sort of a relationship with. I say some sort because I cannot really define it, and that is part of the problem. So he says ” I know you are annoyed by the situation”. What?? No I am not annoyed, I never said I was annoyed, I did not act annoyed that I am aware of. I am confused. I have said repeatedly, I am confused, I am unclear, I do not have clarity, I would like to talk about this so I would be less confused…..over and over again. But somewhere off in his world he decides I am annoyed. Why, because that is easier for him. Annoyance, anger, dislike he can brush off, feel defensive, feel justified in not talking, whatever, it is easier. Because my confusion involves talking, clarity, honesty, sharing and that he does not want to deal with. So he decides in his own mind how I feel and then that becomes a fact for him. Even though it is not true. Of course I cleared that up with him. You do not get to decide how I feel and then make it a truth when it is not.

Next case today, a co worker. She inserted herself in a situation with me and another person that she had no business being involved in. I was trying to take care of something and somehow it became 3 people talking and her viewpoint was not mine. I did not back down, I did not agree with her and I stood my place strongly. So then I receive an email that starts out “I am sorry I upset you”. No, you do not have the power to upset me. I respond to the email staying professional and only addressing the issues that were being discussed and not becoming personal. Her response started and ended again with ” sorry you were upset”. Ok, I have had enough. Instead of playing email tag I go straight to her office and state “I am not upset, I am frustrated”. And then proceeded to outline the very valid reasons for my frustration. I said again “I am not upset, and I do not want you to think that I am.”. So I think in this case it is again about power, “oh I upset her, poor thing, well I will apologize”. I never said I was upset, I was not emotional. How dare you dismiss my sense of self by deciding how I feel. Not today, I am not playing your game.

So how often do people do this to us? And why do we let it happen? Is it easier? Do we think maybe they are right? I have to tell you, when we let people tell us who we are and how we feel we give away our souls, we give away our power, we lay down. Not OK. I think it is always about control. Someone else telling me how I feel to gain control over me. I become the puppet and they the master. And I let it happen.

I am over that. Honestly I might not be making any friends with this one, but I am ok with that. First friend is myself. And anyone who wants to pull my strings in any situation is not trying to have an honest relationship. Every person I meet does not have to be my friend, my confidante or even my buddy. I can have casual friendships, casual encounters, I can even be casual within my family. So I do not feel the need to fix each bump in the road among the people in my life. What I feel the need for is to be aware of people trying to play me, trying to define me and not let them. I decide what my truth is, no one else and my job is communicate that truth with respect and stand firm.

The flip is I need to be careful of defining others. We all play the game on both sides. I interpret how I think someone feels based on my mirror, what works for me. How it applies to me. I have to stop that. I cannot assume I know, I have to ask. And that also is my job. To be aware, to not assume, to not label or identify, but to ask and listen and hear. We know what we give, we receive back. So the path to being seen as I truly am is to start seeing others as they truly are. They get to decide that, not me. Maybe from there we can start to see each other as truly magnificent humans with minds, feelings and souls that belong solely to ourselves.


Truth or Love?

Truth or Love? I took one of the those little tests today on Facebook and one of the questions was ” what is most important to you?”  There was a list of 5 or 6 things but I easily discarded most of them. And then I was down to Truth or Love and all of a sudden it was not so easy.

I am all about love, so immediately I was headed to love, but truth kept nudging me.  Really, do I pick love over truth?  Is there even love without truth?  Is that love?  Can I love someone without being honest?  Is that respectful?  Does it honor the other person?  Do I want to be loved without honesty?  I think not.  Or do I?  Do we have to say every little thing?  Couldn’t we just love each other knowing that sometimes we get to not say or share every piece of our thoughts.  Is that the kinder, gentler way?

Maybe it is a chicken or the egg question.  Which comes first love or truth?  Do I have to have love for someone to trust them enough for honesty?  Does someone have to love me to feel safe enough to show their true self?  Or do I start from a place of honesty and move into love from there, being open and vulnerable?  Does another’s honesty give me the room to love them?  Does being honest and open allow another to love me, the real me?

I think of people that I love, they do not know all about me.  No one knows all the sides of me.  Is that dishonest or just me giving each person the piece of me that fits them?  I have not found the person where all my pieces fit.  I am a sister, a mother, a friend, a lover, a relation and more.  All of these roles are filled with love for another.  But they are all different and no two loves are the same.  They all love me, but differently.  Each of these wonderful past and present relationships have brought great lessons and great love.  But I would not say every relationship has been completely honest on either side.

So I want to know the truth, I do not want to be fooled, tricked and lied to. But  temper the honesty with love and compassion.  Take the route that gives us both room to breathe and room to love.  Show me the real you, I will show you me.  But you and I get to keep our very souls and our thoughts and our minds.  Those are sacred to our being and belong to only us.

Truth or love…..I choose love.  How about you?



The Sound of a Voice

The sound of a voice, no two are the same.  I can be mesmerized, angered, seduced and totally fall in love just by a voice.  A voice can soothe me, calm me, excite me,  bring me to laughter or tears.  So very powerful, our voices. Lately I have been paying more attention to the voices of the people I love.  I became caught up the other day in listening to a woman speaking to me, I really listened to her voice, to the tone, to the cadence. Her voice was deeper than I expected, more mature than I remembered.  Her voice was beautiful and uniquely her. No one else has her voice.

So I thought about voices and how they bring me home always.  The ones that have passed, I long to hear their voice.  Those sounds will never be repeated in this lifetime again.   To hear the voice of my father or mother….I don’t even have words for what that would mean. To lose the voices I have in my life now, my son, my family, my friends….unthinkable, but it happens.  Tonight I had a conversation with my grandmother.  She turned 94 last week.  I know clearly how precious my time is with her.  I listened hard to her voice, no one else can ever make those sounds, those tones, that rhythm.  Trying to memorize it, knowing someday it will be gone.

Enough sadness.  How about the joyful voices, those that are here and now and bring me such pleasure.  Each a world within itself.  A certain man calls, he has very distinctive soul in his voice.  Another calls, well he is smooth as glass.  And another, comfortable and like coming home.  Everyone special in itself.  There is no comparison, no one voice is better or worse.  They all have their magic. And my family, oh my gosh.  I can hear my son’s voice right now even though he is miles away.  Same with my sister and my friends. They call, immediately I know who it is, their voice belongs only to them. Their very souls speak out through their voice in a way only they can. 

Why are the voices special ?  Yes, they are all different but so are noses and eyes and feet.  But voices carry weight.  They convey our emotions.  A voice can lift you or knock you down.  It can fill you with love and hope.  But it can also be angry and scary. Voices are a conduit to our souls.  We have to be so very careful with our words and our tones.  Words cut quick and deep and they cannot be unsaid.  And you will always remember the voice that hurt you, just as you will remember the ones that healed you and loved you. 

I am going to soak up the voices around me.  Especially the ones that come from the people I love.  I am going to listen for laughter, song, welcome, joy, love.  I want to hear that, I want to know that.  Your voice matters, my voice matters.  We are the only ones who can create these sounds.  This is ours and it is special and it is valuable.  And what we say and the emotions we convey matter.  This is how we connect with the rest of our world.  And whether we realize it or not we impact others way more than we know.  I want to speak with love and compassion but beyond that I think its important to be honest.  And sometimes honest is not a pretty package.  Its sometimes hard to speak the truth.  But it is respectful and honorable to both myself and to whom I am speaking.  So I guess when my voice is remembered they will say she tried to speak the truth and stand in a place of love. At least I hope so.

Speak with love and sing with joy.