Learning To Believe It The First Time

maya-angelou-what-people-show-you-1024x1024[1] I now realize that I have lived my entire life seeing who people really are and then pushing that truth down deep within myself. I have accepted the unacceptable and given people second chances who abused the privilege. I do not mean to say that I am a victim. What I mean is this: I ignore what I don’t want to see and I allow people whom I shouldn’t be involved with to remain in my life.

For example, I was involved with someone who knew I was bisexual yet they made derogatory comments about the LGBT community and became very angry when gay rights were a topic in the news. However, I stayed in the relationship knowing that this person could not tolerate a part of me.

I was once involved with another partner who frequently lied to me. I knew this person was lying. In fact, I caught them in several lies. Yet, I pushed the truth that I knew down deep within myself and stayed.

I have pushed the truth down deep within myself under the guise of “relationships are work” and “you have to accept people the way that they are.” And I have worked it out and accepted the unacceptable to the point of spending years trying to make the unworkable work out.

A few days ago I was talking to a wise friend of mine. She has known me for 18 years and possibly knows me better than I know myself. I say this because when I ran the above musings by her she said something to the effect of: Sounds like a case of fu__ first, ask questions later!” She pointed out that I accepted the unacceptable because I was already emotionally invested in the person before I had gotten to know them. She went on to say that if I had dated someone and this type of thing came up on the second date there wouldn’t have been a third date.

I am now facing the reality that I have never simply dated someone. I automatically jump into the sex part and create a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having sex without commitment. But, my point is that I make a commitment based on a sexual encounter.

The truth continues to reveal itself. This is why I need to be on my own for a very long time!

 

 

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The truth is coming out

PrintThe truth is coming out

Since my recent breakup, I struggle with living in the world. It’s as if I am watching someone else live my life. And then there’s the whole not wanting to get out of bed thing. However, I get up every day. I run my business and search for a job in my field (I completed a bachelor’s in Communications last year). I spend time with my friends and family. I don’t give in to the insistent urge to stay in bed with the curtains drawn.  

In the midst of the struggle new truths are being revealed to me. And old truths that I have long hidden from the world surface, refusing to lay dormant any longer. I’m not sure if I believe everything “happens for a reason”. What I know is this: sometimes the foundation of your life must crumble in order for new things to be born. When this happens, things get really real, really fast. When the foundation crumbles the truth will come out.

New truths:

  • I have chosen all of my romantic partners based on their interest in me. I liked the attention so much that I based relationships on it!
  • I jumped into all of my relationships very quickly. I’ve never simply dated. One evening I’m spending the night with someone and a short time later we are living together. I then spend the relationship getting to know them and struggling to make it work.
  • I have participated in both of the above behaviors based on low self-esteem and wanting someone else to “fill” a void in me.
  •  I no longer suffer from low self-esteem and the “void” has been filled by my spiritual path.

Old truths

  • I am bisexual. This has been my deepest secret. I have hidden this from all but a few close friends since I was in my late teens. I have been deeply afraid of losing people that I love. I am terrified of losing my family. It has been very easy to “pass as straight” since my last two long term relationships were with men. However, now that the foundation in my life has crumbled, I can no longer suppress nor hide my truth in order to “fit” with someone else’s ideals. I do not write this to be provocative. I do not want to date anyone for a long time!  I am simply sick of pretending. I hope I can be accepted even if I am not understood.

There are a lot of myths in both the heterosexual  & the LBGT community. Liz busts those myths!

  •  I am an open minded, peace loving, equal rights Buddhist. I love everybody! I find intolerance of any kind soul crushing. I die a little if I spend a lot of time with someone who is intolerant of those who are different from them. I am no longer able to compromise my values in order to “fit”. I do accept that others have different opinions and beliefs from me. However, when they are intolerant of others I now have to love them from a distance and keep them in my prayers.

I sincerely hope that in revealing these truths someone out there will gain something they need from my experience. I hope it encourages someone to live their truth. After all, if my experience can’t help someone else then what is it for?

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Depression is a tricky mistress

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I have had depression since childhood. (I say “have had” because I absolutely cannot tolerate it when someone uses the term “suffers from depression”. I mean honestly, when someone has heart disease no one says “she suffers from heart disease.”) Only in those days, no one understood childhood depression. After my father died when I was 10 I was sent to therapy. However, I still didn’t “behave correctly”. Some people told my mother that I was spoiled and needed my “butt whipped”. They said this within ear shot of me. As a teenager and an adult I had people tell me things like: “It’s not that big of a deal”. “Just get up and get outside”. “It will pass”. And my all-time favorite: “Why can’t you just snap out of it?”
The reality is that all of these people meant well in their own way. People naturally want to “fix it.” When they can’t they get frustrated. It’s human nature not cruelty.
The recent suicide of Robin Williams has brought a lot of attention to depression. The Mayo Clinic’s definition for depression:
“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living. More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply “snap out” of.”
In other words: when you are experiencing depression you are not your true self. Life has no meaning.
In my experience:
1) Depression is a dark, all consuming hole of pain and emptiness that crushes your soul. It feels like you are trapped and nothing will ever set you free. Nothing that any or your loved ones say or do can make it better and this makes you feel incredibly guilty. This guilt causes you to worry. The worry causes you to feel anxious. It runs around and round in your head until it’s all you can think about. It is the worst sadness. It breaks your heart.
2) Depression runs in cycles. I once went an entire year without any depressive symptoms when I was un-treated.
3) Depression makes you secretive. Honestly, who wants to confess to the people in their life that they have given up all hope and want to die?
4) Depression hurts. Literally. For me, when my depression was untreated I had body aches, headaches, stomach aches, insomnia, and fatigue.

Depression is a tricky mistress. She seduces you into believing that you are all alone. Yet, when you consider reaching out she isolates you by telling you no one understands.
I wish I had a magic answer or explanation as to why some of us survive and others don’t. What I do know is that having depression does not make me weak and getting treatment is the best thing that I ever did. I have had very successful treatment for my depression for about four years now. I see a doctor of

2013: The Year of Transformation, 2014: No Expectations

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I will always remember 2013 as the Year of Transformation.  I learned and grew a lot last year.  I made it through my first year of college and maintained a 3.8 GPA!!!  I let go of the dream of becoming a mother officially.   I witnessed my brother marry the love of his life.  I went on a fabulous vacation with my darling on his motor cycle!  I put my beloved cat of 13 years, Mona to sleep after she was diagnosed with oral cancer.  I ended my relationship with my darling.  I started a new relationship with my darling that is deeper and more wonderful than I could have imagined!  I reconnected with friends from my present and from my past.  I feel as if I completed a cycle and began a new one.  I found a deep connection to my Goddess, Kwan Yin. 

I don’t make “New Year’s Resolutions”.  I gave that tradition up a decade ago.  However, I do think of the year that has past and I decide what I would like to be rid of in the New Year. 

These are the things I want to let go of in 2014:

Believing I am not good enough

Doubting that my higher power

Believing I am being victimized by others

Anger

Frustration

Fear

Being judgmental

Trying to control others

Self-doubt

Comparing myself to others

Self-centeredness

I have no expectations for 2014.  I simply hope to live life fully and make it to 2015!  My goal for the New Year is to be more loving and kind.  I want to be of service to others more often.  I want to see the world with my heart instead of my mind.  If I can live my life in such a way, I will live fully indeed!     

 

 

Letting Life Happen

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My darling and I recently reconciled.  I know that it is the right and best life decision that I could have made.  As I said before, he is wonderful.  He is willing to what it takes to correct the mistakes of the past.  He does not hold the past againest me.  These are rare qualities in a human being. 

The process of taking a hiatus from my relationship has caused me to take a deep look my baggage.  It has caused me to take a deep look at how I want to live my life.   One of the things that I found still stuffed deep into the bottom of my bag, was my fear of repeating the same patterns from past realtionships.  I had a deep fear of being victimized and taken advantage of.  Being with abusive men is a big part of my past.  After my divorce, I realized my husband had been verbally and emotionally abusing me during our entire marriage.   When the debris of the end of my marriage settled, I decided that I would not ever allow myself to be abused in any way ever again.  I worked on my issues.  I put up a wall.  I made sure it was guarded at all times.  However, I forgot to trust  my higher power, myself and my intuition.  I did not give myself credit for all of the work I had done to heal.  I did not trust that my higher power (whom I chose to call Kwan Yin) had my back.  The break in my relationship caused me to connect more deeply with Kwan Yin.  In doing so, I began to understand that I can relax.  She is with me.  I can trust my intuition to guide me because she is speaking to me through my intuition. 

I have come to the conclusion that I must let go of life.  I can not live a guarded life.  Nor do I want to anymore.  I want to live with an open heart loving fully and completly.  I am terrified to do this!!!  But, I think its worth the risk.  

Chocolate World’s Special Purpose (First Published 7/27/13)

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(My first 6 blog posts were somehow erased. I have no idea how. For those who are interested, I am re-publishing them now. I will create a brand new post later this week)
My darling boyfriend and I recently went on a vacation to Hershey/ Harrisburg, PA to attend the Stars Days 2013 Yamaha Star motorcycle convention. My boyfriend bought a Yamaha Star a few months ago. Pennsylvania does not have helmet laws. Yes, I loved riding without a helmet!!! No, I did not think about dying. No, I wasn’t scared. It was fabulous! While we were there, we went on a group ride to Hershey’s Chocolate World! It was fun riding to a new place and getting to know new people with my beloved. As is often the case, I was the only person present without children. As usual, my higher power whom I choose to call Kwan Yin had something unexpected in store for me. When we started the tour of Chocolate world, there was a lot of information listed about Milton Hershey. I read about half of it and I was about to skip the..Catherine, or “Kitty” as she was known to those who knew her well caught my eye and I read the following words: “One of Catherine and Milton’s greatest disappointments was that they had no children.” I stopped in my tracks. I stood there and read about the Hershey’s whom I had been so ready to dismiss. Since the Hershey’s could not have children of their own they decided to become the benefactors of a school for children who needed help. They opened the Hershey Industrial School, which is now known as the Milton Hershey School. Milton Hershey said the school was Kitty’s idea. The school gives a quality education to children who have a social as well as financial need. Milton Hershey gave most of his assets including control of the company to the school.
I stood there with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. Chills spread all over my body. I knew Kwan Yin had put me in this place, at this moment. This was her way of letting me know that I am not alone, that the path I have been given is the path I was meant to walk.
Later that night after a dip in the hotel pool while we were resting in front of some mindless television program, I started thinking about the Hershey’s. What if they had been able to become parents? They would never have started the school. Millions of children would not have received the benefits of a quality education in a nurturing environment. Millions of children were helped because the Hershey’s decided to walk the path they were given and make a contribution in the best way they could. Laying there in the soft glow of the T.V. light I understood that this is what life is really about. I mean, I really got it! Life is about walking the path I am given. It is about using what I have been given to make a contribution in the best way I can.

Authentic (first published 6/1/13)

(My first 6 blog posts were somehow erased. I have no idea how. For those who are interested, I am re-publishing them now. I will create a brand new post later this week)IMG_0468
My brother married the love of his life today. She has three children, he has one. The children were in the wedding. My nieces looked beautiful as did my new sister in-law. My little nephew cried as he stood up and gave a speech about how much he loves my brother and how glad he is that he is his step father. My sister in-law’s brother gave her away. His son was precious in his little three piece suit. My mother looked beautiful! She was beaming the entire day. I saw my cousin and his family. I adore his wife and their children. I met my sister in-law’s aunt’s and her grand mother. We ate cake, danced, and took a lot of pictures. A lovely time was had by all.
As usual, I was the only adult present with out children. And I am divorced. Interestingly, I came across a really good photo of myself and my ex-husband earlier this morning while I was searching for a paper I had written for a class last term. I do not believe in coincidences All of these events caused me to reflect on my current life. I started to think about my life with out children. In my current life, I am in an amazing relationship with a wonderful man. I am not sure if he will ever ask me to marry him. I am not sure if it is necessary. I am happy in the life we share. We can do whatever we choose. We can stay up late, make love in the middle of the day, have two date nights a week. Although we have made purchases together, we do not share a bank account. We rarely have disagreements. In addition to running my business, I am attending college full time. I made the president’s list recently due to the fact that I have maintained a high grade point average. I am not sure if I would be as happy with my boyfriend if we combined our finances the way married couples do. I am certain I would not be able to run a business and be a full time student if I were a mother. When I was with my ex husband, I wanted us to have a ”normal life”. I wanted for us to own our own home and be parents. I wanted the picture of what I imagined our life would be so badly that I ached deep within in my heart to have it. A ”normal” life was not meant to be mine. However, I believe I am leading a good life. Yesterday, I was listening to The Moth on NPR. On the program, Edgar Oliver was being interviewed after he told a story about his incredibly unusual childhood. The interviewer asked him about his decision to lead an authentic life instead of trying to achieve the life style that most people have. He remarked that he didn’t think about it. It was simply his way of being. I like that answer. Perhaps that is true for all of us. I certainly hope it is true of me.
http://themoth.org/posts/storytellers/edgar-oliver