Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Eureka!



For many years, people have told me I should write a book.  In fact, I have told me that I should write a book.  It's less of an "idea" and more of a "calling."  I just know it's inside of me and it needs to come out.  I'm not sure if anyone will actually read it, and that's ok.  The book is inside of me, and I need to write it, to express it.

For a long time, I hesitated to to sit down because I thought "I'll never write like Elizabeth Gilbert."  Well Duh.  There's only one Elizabeth Gilbert just as there is only one April Schmidt.  But the real problem wasn't really that I wanted to write like Liz, but I wanted to write a story similar to hers.  You know, minus the amazing travel.   The story of how I too, found myself crying on a bathroom floor for weeks and months on end...... took a journey (mostly internal), found and endured the David years, and then........ perhaps ended with a love story like hers and Felipe's.  And though our stories do mirror each other's in many ways, in so many others, they are different.  Of course my twist being that I wasn't able to take off on a year long journey, I had to to the work, yanno in my own backyard and in my head.

Then there's this woman Glennon Doyle Melton.  I hate this bitch.  Ok not really.  But she stole my life.  OK not really that either.  But she started a mega ultra uber successful blog, she's sassy and funny and witty and calls herself a "truth teller" (as do I) and she's done it.  She's made it.  She's got legions of followers and a crazy successful book and she's a mess and yet has it all together or at least makes it appear that way.  My best friend Renae tells me that Glennon and I were separated at birth.  I KNOW THIS.  That's what makes me hate her so much.  I read her words and I feel like I'm reading my own.  I highly recommend you jump on her bandwagon, www.momastery.com and read her book, Carry On, Warrior.  

So if everyone loves  Glennon so much why on earth would they want to hear what I have to say?

There's that ugly, ugly, ugly thing rearing it's head again.

fear.

My darling Liz says this, and I don't know how to link to facebook because she posted this as a status so I hope the blogger police forgive me.

YOUR FEAR IS BORING.

I can say this with all honesty and authority, because I know for a fact that my fear is the most boring thing about me. This is especially true when it comes to living a life of creativity. 

Fear is boring, because fear only ever has one thing to say to us, and that thing is: "STOP!"

For over 25 years now, my fear has been shouting "STOP!" to me, every single time I sit down to write. Fear never has a more interesting insight to offer. Never. Just that one word, repeated and repeated with increasing hysteria: "STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP!!!!!"

My fear wants me to stop, because my fear wants me to be safe, and my fear perceives all motion, all inspiration, all work, all activity, all passion whatsoever as potentially life-threatening. My fear wants me to live a smaller life. The smallest imaginable life, ideally. My fear would prefer that I never got out of bed.

Your fear is the same. Exactly the same as mine. I guarantee it.

Listen, we all need fear, evolutionary-speaking — obviously. Don't leave home without a good healthy fear reflex, or you may find yourself wandering drunk through dangerous neighborhoods at 3am, or riding your bike through city traffic with earbuds in. (You guys, seriously – what's with people riding their bikes through city traffic with earbuds in?) In these situations, your fear may indeed save your life.

But your fear must be kept in its place. (True emergencies only, please.) Your fear must not be allowed to make decisions about creativity, passion, inspiration, dreams. Your fear doesn't understand these things, and so it makes the most boring possible decisions about them. Your fear mistakes creativity and inspiration for saber-toothed tigers and wolf packs. They aren't. Creativity and inspiration are the vehicles that will transport you to the person you most need to become.

Sit down and have a quiet conversation with your fear. Tell it that you will listen respectfully, say, when your fear warns you not to go swimming in 15-foot waves when you aren't a strong swimmer. But you will not listen to your fear anymore when a small hopeful voice inside you says, "I want to make something."

Now go make something, OK?

Meanwhile, here's a video of me talking more about this:

http://bit.ly/ZeQIo2

Onward,

LG


I'm a helluva lot of things, but boring isn't one of them. 

Many people have told me that when it's time to write the book, it will come to me.  The idea, the premise, the journey that my pages will take. 

And it did.  

In a simple, 5 minute texting conversation..........the story was delivered to me.  

And so, I shall set my fear aside, (it will never go away) and I will begin to write the story I was called to tell.  

I can't wait to share it with you.  

My goal......... is to share chapter one with you, in 30 days.  Stay tuned!!!!

Fearless!









Friday, October 3, 2014

Promises, Promises.


The thing about being married is that you forget how fun breakups are.  Kind of like a long married couple can forget how much fun dating can be.  But there's a crushing flip side to the "fun."  A few months removed from a devastating breakup and a thousand conversations and therapy sessions later, I'm starting to realize what is truly eating me about all of this.

The broken promise.

It's not just David that has done this to me.  No, I have a friend who refers to "the list of men" in my life, and while there haven't been many, they all have a common theme.

The broken promise.

Yes David made the big promises to me.  "I will always love you."  "I will always be here for you."  "I will marry you and be your partner until the end of my days."  "You have changed my life and ruined me for good.  I will never be the same." "I don't want to spend another day of my life without you."  "You have all of my heart, all of me, always and forever."

Sidebar, when you are engaged to someone else within 45 days of saying those words to me, I'm kinda thinking at some very fundamental level, it was bullshit.

Random thought.  When David Arquette and Courtney Cox got married years ago, their wedding bands were inscribed with, "a deal's a deal."  I loved that.  I read an interview that basically said they both felt that no matter what they had made a deal to each other, a promise, and that needed to be kept.  Of course they are divorced now.  It happens.  Life happens.  It gets effin HARD.  And sometimes the promise gets mutually broken.

That's why this breakup has been harder on me than the dissolution of my marriage.  As I've mentioned before my marriage fell apart over the course of years.  And it was a mutual decision that we made out of respect for each other and the desire for not only ourselves, but for each other to find happiness....even if that wasn't together.

But back to the promise.  It's not just in relationships of lovers.  It's not just the big promises.  It's the little ones too.  It's in friendships.  It's in families.  Promise.  It's become a loose word.

When David got down on one knee and put a ring on my finger and we made that promise to each other, in my mind, we were already married.   Waiting for a piece of paper meant nothing to me really.  The commitment was there.  I took that promise very seriously.   Whether you are given a class ring, an engagement ring, a pinky promise, or a word.... it is just that... a promise.. a commitment.... and you know what?

A deal's a deal.  

So here's the great rub.  What happened to when words actually meant something?  Not many people who know me can argue that I'm one of the most brutally honest people in the world.  I will not, no, simply cannot make a promise to you that I a) don't mean or b) have no intention of keeping.  It's not in my blood.  My feeling is, just. don't. make. the. deal.  Listen I don't care if you don't want to love me forever.  You don't need to.  I don't need you to.  But don't make me the promise if you have no intention of keeping it. I invest 1000% into my relationships.  Not just lovers, friendships too.

I have shared this quote before but it bears repeating.  Of course it's Elizabeth Gilbert.  I'm done apologizing for it.

“Moreover, I have boundary issues with men. Or maybe that’s not fair to say. To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into
the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my
dog’s time—everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.
I do not relay these facts about myself with pride, but this is how it’s always been."
But here's the catch.  I don't just give this to everyone, or even anyone.  I choose the people that I dive into these relationships and friendships with very carefully.   I don't strike the deal with anyone that I don't believe is worth the deal.

Relationships are WORK.  Freakin' PERIOD.  They are work.  If it's a lunch date with a friend and you wake  up feeling lazy and you push through anyway because you know your friend just needs you, it's still work.  It's putting someone else first.  It's making the time.  It's taking the time.  It's keeping the promises both large and small.  It's holding up your end of the deal even when you don't want to, even when you think you can't.  It's being a person of your word.

It's fucking integrity.   

So I guess what I'm trying to say is  -- don't make promises you have no intention of keeping.  Don't make a deal you aren't even capable of being a part of.  Don't say words that have no meaning to you.

It's OK to  not make the promise.

There's a group of women in the world I have a completely absurd amount of respect for.  They are the women who say, "I have absolutely no interest in having children." and they are proud and okay to say it out loud and live it.  There are zillions  of women in the world who have had children and shouldn't have.  Who entered into, what is in my mind the most sacred promise you can make another human being (to be their parent, to bring them into life and see them through it)  and they break it.  They do it for all the wrong reasons.  Peer pressure, parent pressure, "it seemed like the right thing to do," it was an accident (repeatedly)....whatever.... but the instant their child is born a lifetime of promises have already begun to be broken.  And that's why I respect these woman so much.  A-FREAKING-MEN for having the courage to stand up and say, "I get it.  It's the single most difficult job in the world.  And it's not for me."

Honesty is the best policy.  Always.

A promise is a promise and a promise is only as strong as the words and the people behind it.

A deal is a deal.





Think about that for a minute.  I think most people read that and immediately think about shopping.

Dig a little deeper.  It's not a deal if you have no intention of making good on it.  Period.

So don't buy the shoes you don't need even if they are on sale.... and don't make the promise you can't keep.... even if it feels really good at the time.  Because eventually... it won't.