Category Archives: growth

Crooked

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Like that imperfect bookshelf that your mother loves,
I love you.

Somehow it’s less about changing who you are and more about disregarding those pieces…

Those pieces:
You loathe
You hide
You fear
You think cannot be loved
Or made whole.

While you reconcile,
I quietly support
Bolster
Await
The day you love yourself.

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Sucks to suck. 

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Sucks to suck. 

“Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind”…

Always seemed like a terrible premise,

Until you.

I wish I could erase it 

as much as I never

ever

ever

ever want to forget. 

As soon as I decide my memory is wrong,

it wasn’t what I thought.

I’m only remembering positive things. 

Selective memory….

I come across something proving I wasn’t.

It was real.

It is real. 

It was possible for me. 

Then…
regret. 

Overthinking. 

Dwelling in the past. 

Praying for a redo. 

Scaling all against it. 

How can an experience fix you 

Yet break you 

all at the same time?

I wish I could hate you. 

Instead I hate me. 

How could I forget?

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How could I forget?

How much I love(d) Sarah McLachlan… whilst listening a soul sucking mean social media music provider, this song came on: Drawn to the rhythm and afterward I fell in a rabbit hole. The second CD that I ever bought was ‘fumbling towards ecstasy’. I think I was 13 or 14 and I spent the next few months with it on repeat constantly. I really felt connected to the words/songs and thought that they meant one thing, and I suppose then it did. I listened to the entire album today. I found myself instantly reconnecting. It was like visiting an old friend, one that you held secrets with and wax nostalgic but realize how much you’ve both changed. You realize with age and hindsight your previous way of understanding things are no longer the reality. 

To you at least, everything has changed and you have a hard time remembering what made you love them before, because you didn’t even know then, the things that make you love them now. Ha. Perhaps this doesn’t make anymore sense in written form than it did outloud, but in my mind it was quite a profound thought to me. 

Which led me to the train of thought about sharing things with friends or people you consider to wise, as you respect and value what they think and say. I’ve been having some pretty big contemplations as I’m want to do, as soon as things slow down, become complacent, comfortable (usually during the winter). I started thinking about the people that I would talk to then, and now, and the differences in how I would make decisions based upon what they would say. For example, I need to make a couple big decisions in the very near future and if I asked ten of my “go to people” (ha, ten is a stretch of people I would talk to about things) and how I could anticipate the ten, very different opinions they would give. They would be based on who they are, what they know about me, what they know about the situations, where they are in their own moods, lives, development, maturity, what they could have to gain or lose based on the outcome of the decision, etc. etc. etc.

And like the lyrics and meanings of songs, it’s all up to the listener’s present, their parallels to draw, their position to filter through. 

So how does one make a decision about big things? Do you meditate? Ask your parent? What if that’s not an option? Peers? Siblings? Bosses? Therapist? TAROT for goddess’s sake? (Which again, is just like the lyrics… concrete definitions are applied to the words which communicate the meaning of the song but what is heard and inferred, well… that’s on the listener.)

Who knows. Maybe I just think too much. Just watch the lovely Sarah not trying to guilt you into gifting to the ASPCA. Isn’t she beautiful? Ughhh it kills me. 


When a part becomes apart…

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When a part becomes apart…

I have previously written about loneliness, here. It is interesting to me how loneliness changes and presents itself; and in what situations. I have often lamented in real life and all forms of my “virtual” life that communication is becoming less personal, like AI. No longer are skills like reading people, situations, exchanging energy, gazes that inspired poets, as valued…or learned. There is an entire generation growing up, (socially disadvantaged in my opinion) without making eye contact, without interacting, without the time or distance to be mindful about what they say or how they react to things. We cause ourselves anxiety over not getting likes, not getting responses back, etc. In our effort to feel a part of something, we make ourselves apart. We can be in the same room as someone and not even look at them. Cursory, rote greetings have become a standard. We sit at restaurants with our loved ones and don’t make eye contact… with our lovers, our parents, our kids.

We get some sort of a chemical addiction to the instant gratification… Our Pavlovian response encourages us continue the high… the goddamn blue bubbles of solace. But we may have someone LITERALLY right next to us. And yet, we seek communication from the ether…We have a cognitive dissonance about the links between loneliness and being alone. Because those of us, with the privilege to have technology, have created a culture of slumber parties consisting of a group of adolescents snapchatting each other from the same room, no one looking at the stars unless they can get a pic of them, instagram, pinterest, etc. We are past the point of sexual revolution gratuitous hook ups, online dating, facebooking, pornography, vines, vaguebooking, comparing ourselves to real and imagined foes, stalking, bullying, trolling, sexting, mentally checking out, gaming, hunting, shooting, racing, battling, flying, etc….

ALL WITHOUT BEING WITHIN THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. 

It truly makes me very sad. For us all. Now granted, I know #noteveryperson whatever. BUT we are going that way and very fucking fast. I am guilty. You are too. You are reading a goddamn blog that was either in your email, on your twitter, on your facebook, googleplusokcupidpinterestKiKtindergrindrzoosk, whatever the fuck. You didn’t come looking for a blog by Jani B.

I am lonely a lot. And upon a lot of alone and lonely time countered with a lot of around people and still lonely time, I have realized it is not the being alone part that bothers me, it really is the loneliness. When you have an entire manic world in your head to talk to someone about and no one asks. When you spend all day giving and giving to people who are not in a position to give back, and you are spent, lonely. When you have an amazing day and want to share it with ANYONE but all that is available is social media..or yourself… When you are in an office full of people, all day, all week, and unless it is a client or someone needing something, no one talks to you. When you shut off your Facebook and the only people that contact you now are family members wanting to know if you blocked them specifically. I am lonely at times around friends because I am either so up in my own head that I am not really interacting with them or they are so engaged with someone else my introvertedness makes me wilt and seem disinterested.

I have always prided myself on my communication and intuitive skills. Technology however, has made me crazy, made me anxious. I am happy that I grew up in an era where real life communication skills were more important than properly formatted for office politic emails. Back in the good ol’ days when you didn’t abbreviate much and spelling counted, in love letters, gossip notes, poetry, cards, and invitations. When you used words, those oh so important words, combined with physical existence, body language, and observed emotion, not texted emoji.

I think that is why so many elderly couples die so close together or remarry so quickly. The loneliness. So many losses…having someone breathing next to you at night, someone that no matter what is going on out there, you know you have someone to share with here. The loss of that must wreck havoc on the soul, the heart, the immune system. I know what I experience after not having that for a much shorter time than the elderly couple I imagine. I cannot even fathom what it would be like after 30, 40, 50 years.

I fear for the current and future generations. Those with the skinniest thumbs and curviest necks will evolve via natural selection in an unnatural way. Homo Curva. That’s the next evolutionary leap.

We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness. —Albert Schweitzer

 

Co-regulation

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Co-regulation

Growth is a painful process, this is definitely not a new concept. However, in the course of learning about oneself and how your own behaviors affect those around you, it gives you an opportunity to see the tangible and observable ways that all interactions are cyclical. Energy is an observable phenomenon that can power the light in the darkness, but it can also blow circuits; it just depends on the wattage and capacity.

Ideally in relationships, at least for me, the dyad is a constant give and take. If one person is needing more support, energy, love, whatever, the other person gives it to them with the faith that when the roles reverse, the current receiver will be the giver. When this does not happen repeatedly, resentment builds into all sorts of negative things. Eventually the strain causes a blow out, one you can’t always see, but you can definitely feel. It is at this point that you have to make a decision: increase the size of your breaker or reduce the load on your circuit.

Once you know that things are strained and communicate what the needs are, one would hope that the other half of the circuit would respond in kind to make the adjustments needed so that the cycle continues in a positive way. But often, the other person is simply not capable of giving the energy needed to complete the current cycle. It is what it is.

Love is energy. It is neither positive or negative. It IS an alternating current. When it becomes a direct current, the chance to be shocked increases. Being shocked isn’t always bad, hell, that’s how a defibrillator works on your heart, right?

My power strip is overloaded right now. My heart swells with love and explodes with confusion. It is a very difficult place to be in, this place of understanding and yet, this place of confusion. Process is fucking uncomfortable. Regrets are useless but still valuable tools. “Fear of missing out” is a truly a fear of regret… But if fear is what keeps you from accepting and returning the love that you are actually being given, you have created your own short.

Sometimes you just have to wait for someone to complete your circuit… but first you have to ground yourself.

April Showers

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April Showers

Rain can bring things back to life…

Rain can also drown them.

All power is an illusion…

Yet energy exchanged freely is tangible.

“Love” can be an adverb, a noun, a verb;

it’s really just like “Fuck.”

Hope can be a welcome gift…

She can and will, also fool you.

One commits to seeing it through,

the other remains righteously based in fear.

A secret can encourage alliances,

concurrently it feeds into concern.

Sunshine is what allows all life,

but the sun can cause also cancer.

Chemo is a curative,

while simultaneously it poisons the body.

Intimacy is not to be forsaken,

dismissed for the idea of “What if..”

Regret can turn to reflection…

Reflection can change your reality.

Emotion influences logic,

logic without emotion is cold.

Opening Pandora’s box gave knowledge and insight,

wisdom not always appreciated.

Patience is a virtue,

but one that can quickly grow sour. 

Bitter on the tongue of the confused,

waiting to be swallowed hard by the word…

YES.

Unknown Territory

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Unknown Territory

I am unsure how people repair relationships. I feel like given my path and occupation, I am someone who should know. I can tell people how to do it, via a book and/or my “school learnin” but when it comes to my own, I am not sure. I have always found it relatively easy to remain friends or become friends again with exes; mainly, I believe, because we start out as friends. But I have recently made some decisions that while they have a lot of mitigating circumstances around them, I am feeling regret over most of them. I have written a lot about regret and I work to really not do anything that I will… But, being a human, I fuck up. A lot.

I have been able to reestablish the friendship facet of the relationship in this situation, but after realizing the potential mistake of ending it, understanding the reasons that contributed to the ending of it (I take responsibility for 60+/-% of that ending…), as well as knowing how I feel post-break up and processing, I don’t know how to move forward. I know what I want. I know what I had. I know that it was not how it should have been but it was more than repairable. But of course, me being me, I self-sabotaged. Cause nothing says “Jani” like “Ehhhh this hurts…. RUN AWAY! CUT TIES WITH WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL! DISTRACT! DISTRACT! DESTROY!”

I also find that I make major decisions (that are usually bad in the winter) between December-January. I am not entirely sure this isn’t related to stress at this time of year and/or seasonal depression…perhaps both… but now I sit in a place of limbo and suspended grief. Wanting to fix things but not entirely knowing if I even have the right, to try, to inflict myself upon others…But I also know that couples have gone through much worse and wound up stronger, healthier.

I reflect now on the relationship and see what was missing and how both parties handled it badly, due to both parties not communicating their needs to the other in a timely fashion. It was after the fact that the communication came. And we are in a good place.

But everything else, the future plans, the qualities that we loved about each other, the idiosyncrasies that drove the other crazy but still allowed us to love each other unconditionally, everything else is there, intact. Neither of us are the same, but the core of myself, the core of them, the core of US…the foundation, is there. It’s got a few cracks, but nothing that would be not repairable. We have both forgiven each other. But of course, things are different.

So the question I posit to you, the reader, is when it comes to breakups, if love and abuse are never an issue, can negative things cast positive light on things that need tending? Or is it always an ending? Can you begin again? Not where you left off, because THAT preempted the demise of the relationship, but can a new better relationship be born from the fire and sorrow that was during and post-breakup? Is love enough? Love the verb, not the noun?

To Whom it May Concern:

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To Whom it May Concern:

I am not a mind reader.

I am a very empathetic, intuitive, über feeling, and generally good person. I do my best to understand others and to not cause negative things to happen within them due to my actions or words. This, however, is not always enough it seems. But I am.

I cannot be held to such a standard of knowing all intentions. If you are wanting to talk, tell me.  If you are not wanting to talk, tell me. If I am wanting/needing to talk and you don’t want to, I might need to understand why. It is a simple thing. If you simply want the presence of another human, tell me. If I assume you must want to talk and you are not talking, so I talk…Do not assume that I am just telling you about my day or problem or whatever because I need to fill the air with the melodic sound of my voice, give me the benefit of doubt that perhaps I am making an assumption about your intentions and trying to give an opening for you to bring something up. I might base this on nothing or I might base this on what I think is happening or what I feel is happening. I promise I am not “trying to social work you.” I try very diligently to not social work the people I love, but it is kind of difficult to not think in the ways I do now. It is a Pandora’s box situation. I try and I fail. I can ask “Do you want advice or do you want me to commiserate?” but that in itself seems to make people angry. I am more than willing to sit in silence with you, but I need to know that is what you want. I cannot simply know it.

I am not a mind reader.

I am an anxious, hyper-vigilant, and sometimes neurotic person. I see things and feel things, KNOW things that may or may not exist in all realities. I have experiences, like us all, that make me jump to conclusions. Granted, sometimes my conclusions go straight to catastrophe planning and risk mitigation. This is an issue, I know. BUT it is also a survival technique. A way that I have learned to survive, emotionally and physically. Maladaptive at times, yes. Controlling at times, yes. But my burden to bear.

When I am given 1000 pieces of a 1500 piece puzzle, I put what I can together and until I know the rest, I use my best judgment to consciously and unconsciously matrix what I see, feel, or hear. I will arrange those 1000 pieces into something that I recognize and understand, until I have the rest of the pieces. I cannot yet handle the missing pieces. My shit, not yours. But what is your piece, your “shit”, is the way that you react to how I proceed. I am only accountable for my own actions, my own words, my intent. I cannot be held accountable for your feelings, your reactions, or how you are impacted. If you assume I am coming at you with ill intent, then you obviously do not know me. I try to anticipate the outcome of all interactions, but alas…

I am not a mind reader.

But I am doing my best. And I hope, I assume, I presume, I pray…You are too.

 

Learning Curves

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Learning Curves

I turn 36 tomorrow. Strangely enough, in this later period of my life, I have been given the recent opportunity to experience many things that oddly enough, in all of my life, I have never experienced.

I have experienced the absolute joy of being heard and seen, validated by an outside source.

I have experienced the closest thing to unconditional love that I have known, outside of my children.

I have finally felt for the first time in 25 years that I was not broken or ruined or soiled or somehow less than.

I have known what it was like to be loved, to feel loved, and to be love. I have learned to trust, to feel safe trusting. The verb and the noun.

I have handled uncomfortable situations with maturity and I was proud of who I am, what I have done, what I have learned.

I have learned I am worthy of being looked at in intimate moments.

I have learned that being vulnerable, open, and honest is not a weakness.

I finally understood that my past was not a flaw, that my choices and my experiences were beautiful, they made me who I am today, a person worthy of love and compassion.

I have learned the simple grace of words, thoughtful and meaningful words.

But I have also been given the reflection of these things. The insight that learned habits are destructive. That even if I am experiencing the above things, I may not be giving the same experience to others.

I have learned that when I think that I am saying one thing, it may not be received in the context or purpose that was intended.

Sometimes, I fail at it.

Sometimes I trigger people and I cannot take back my words.

I hurt people.

I let my insecurities smother things or they cause me to not hear people.

I am capable of implying judgment, even when I think I am doing something else.

Misunderstandings and the resulting conversations of them can indeed be more damaging than the original misunderstanding.

Language is funny. It is so powerful and so important.

Words are important.

Even the most benign seeming words can be the most deadly, malevolent.

I know I am human.

I am fallible.

I am still learning.

I am not even close to perfect and that is acceptable.

I am a queen.

But if I am the queen of anything, it is finding silver linings in the saddest of things.

Growth is painful.

Learning is hard.

Self-reflection and acknowledgement of failure is overwhelmingly agonizing.

The payoff though, is that you have a choice then: you become better from it or you ignore it.

I am not ignoring it.

“The difference is this. Pain is a gift. Without the capacity for pain, we can’t feel the hurt we inflict.” -The Twelfth Doctor