Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Doorways, repeat, Doorways.



I know!  Let's talk about doorways!

Opening, closing, swinging, hitting you in face, getting bolted shut.  You know the drill.

Here's a dirty little secret that's actually not a secret.  I SUCK at  following my own advice.  I suck at even listening to myself.  Oh I listen alright, but to the "other" voices in my head.  The ones that tell me I'm worthless, not enough, a failure, have been rejected and so on.

Anyone else familiar with this?

How many of you out there struggle with doing something you KNOW you MUST do... and yet you don't.  You can't.  You won't.

Things that are essential to your very survival.  And yet you still can't.  It's a little like an addiction, don't you think?

You know with absolute certainty that smoking will kill you and yet you still light up.
You know that if you lose that money you can't make your house payment and yet you lay it on the table anyway.  You know that your cholesterol is through the roof and yet you still eat fast food four days a week. You know you should eat right and exercise and treat your body as a temple and yet you eat a box of bottlecaps for dinner.  Oh wait, that one was actually me.

But sometimes it's more subtle and sometimes it's more difficult.   This is usually when its a matter of the heart and the mind.  They often don't agree with each other and that's when things get really confusing.  That's when the door starts swinging wildly like you're in a hurricane.  That's when you should back away because you're going to get smacked in the face if you don't.

I'm still standing here, and I'm still getting smacked in the face.

There's a door in my life that, if it doesn't close, I will die.  "I" will die.  The me that I have fought tooth and nail to become.  And yet I'm still standing here letting it abuse me.   You can't see the breaks and the bruises because they are locked deep away in my heart, but make no mistake, they are there.  The scary thing is that each time I ALLOW this door to hit me, it pushes me closer and closer to the hole.  And the hole is where you go when you quit.

I'm not a quitter.

There I go using the word "allow" again.  You see, I'm allowing this to happen.  All of it.

WHY???

I know better.  I mean I write about closing doors all the time!

The latest psychology buzzword is "serves."  "Let go of anything that doesn't serve you."  I've become pretty good at this in recent months.  Except in this ONE area.  I don't want to name specifics but allow me to channel my inner Liz Gilbert (I wish I had one!) and say....

............and then there was David.  
All the complications and traumas of those ugly divorce years were multiplied by the drama of David- the guy I fell in love with as I was taking leave of my marriage.  Did I say I "fell in love" with David?  What I meant to say is that I dove out of my marriage and into David's arms exactly the same way a cartoon circus performer dives off a high platform and into a small cup of water, vanishing completely.  I clung to David for escape from my marriage as if he were the last helicopter pulling out of Saigon.  I inflicted upon him my every hope for salvation and happiness.  And yes, I did love him.  But if I could think of a stronger word than "desperately" to describe how I loved David, I would use that word here, and desperate love is always the toughest way to do it. 

Yes it is, dear Liz.

Lizzie hopped on a plane to Italy and took off on a year long journey as a means of closing the door on her David.

I don't have that luxury, so the question is, how do I do it?

Because as much as I love my David, and I do -- the relationship no longer serves me.  And even more than that, the breakup REALLY doesn't serve me.

You see, I keep opening the door.  It's not swinging open.  I keep opening it.  I keep ALLOWING myself to stand there and let it hit me.

So here's the answer.  (Testing, testing, April are you listening?)
The doors in our lives are choices.

Each time I allow that door to open, I choose to.  No one is banging it down or holding me at gunpoint.  I open my heart and close my mind and I make the choice to step through.  And I get hurt each time.  And I keep going back.

What's the definition of insanity?  Ah yes.

My friends keep asking me why I'm doing this.  They all see it.  They all know it.  They are about to barricade the door for me OR check me into an asylum, not sure which.

In church they talk about "the enemy" trying to make us see things that aren't real.  Trying to stand between us and our true joy, us and our freedom.  Now don't anyone get mad at me but I'm not 100% sure where I stand on the religious idea of "the enemy" but I do know this.

Sometimes, the enemy.........

is me.

The one standing in my way, is me.

The choices?  Are me.

I keep opening this door because I'm playing  the movie in my mind of how I want things to look.  I want "this type" of closure, I want "that kind" of happiness, I want my peace to look "this way."

Didn't I just blog a few days ago about CONTROL?  About letting go?  About surrendering to God's will?  Weren't those my very own words?

I'm PRETTY SURE that God doesn't want me walking through this pain.

What God wants is for me to walk through this journey with my head held high, take the lessons I need to learn, LEARN THEM and move on.

Let's look at the quote at the top of this page.  OK here I won't make you work for it.


It is the very premise on which I built this blog. 

I'm letting my heart and the enemy that is me get in the way of God's will.  I fell off the bandwagon.  Pure and simple.  I'm NOT crying out "Thy will be done."  I'm crying out "MY will be done."  I'm trying to change a situation that cannot and SHOULD NOT be changed because *I* need to feel ok with it.  

I need to get the hell out of God's way and let him teach me this lesson EXACTLY how I'm meant to learn it.

So today, right now, this minute, I am making a CHOICE.

I'm closing the door.  For good.  Because if there is one thing we know for certain, it's that many times some doors absolutely MUST close in order for another to open.  And I know that is the case here.

I'm choosing to save my life.  The life I have worked to diligently to fall in love with again.  And yes I fell in love desperately with my David and many parts of me still do love him.... but I love myself more. And it's more important for me to save my own life than for me to try (and fail) to save his.

Every time I open the door, I reopen the wounds.  It's like jumping off a tall building and breaking your bones over and over again.  My bones are already broken.  It's time to let them heal.   Until I heal I can not be strong again.

When I started going to church, my now friend Scott, a very powerful man of God prayed over me.  And he kept talking about seeds.  That God was planting seeds in me.  That I was in the "sowing" phase of my life.    


I will not destroy the seed that has been planted in me.
I am making the choice to nurture it.  

It's not easy.  It's not going to be easy.  There will be days of loneliness and sadness and despair.  Days when "the enemy" will try to get me.  And those are the moments I must drop to my knees. I must learn to surrender my will and listen to what God is telling me.

The very first "self help" book  I ever read was "A Return to Love." by Marianne Williamson.  I was about 19 years old.  So much of it still resonates with me.  I've recently re-read it for the third time.  




Today, and every day I must choose to surrender. 

I must choose to be 

fearless.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

I have a new word!

Just yesterday I was talking to a very dear friend of mine and I asked him what his word was.  He answered "Believe."  Which is, of course, as mentioned here,  my original word.  I let him have it, both because he played the "I'm older than you," card and because, I'm starting to learn that our words can change, and for that matter should change, just as the seasons of our life.

Doorway will of course always be my "thing."  And I love the word "doorway" and all it represents, but but it never quite sat with me that my word...... was a noun.  

You would think after getting the word "Enough" tattooed on my wrist that, in fact, would be my word for this season of my life, but it's not.  "Enough" is the word I need to read every day, several hundred times a day as a reminder.  But it's not, "My word."

My word, is

fearless. 

It seems virtually impossible, doesn't it?  To live without fear?  ANY fear?  AT ALL?  OK I'm human and I'm a mom so of course I have fears and anxieties about my children.  But as it relates to the story of my life and it's outcome?

fearless.

How did this happen?  Several times over the course of the last few months, several of my best, closest friends have said to me, "Who are you, and what have you done with April?"  And they've meant it in the best possible way.

What a year this has been for me, and it's only August!   I started my yoga journey, and it is a journey and it is a practice.... and as much as it is changing my body, it is changing my mind.  Because yes there is something to this thousands year old practice and why people continue to do it..... when you quiet the mind, you open your heart.  And I believe it was yoga that allowed me to open my heart to deepening my relationship with God.  Reaching for Him, being hungry for Him, and very recently, finding my faith in Him.

I mean like, just this week.

Now how can someone who was raised as a devout Catholic and has been going "back" to church pretty religiously (I had to) for the past two years and who got baptized back in April say she JUST NOW found her faith?

Well let me tell you what faith means to me.

To have faith, is to be.......

fearless.

If you have faith in God, you have no fear.  If you believe that God's got your back, and that God's plan is better for you than the one you have in mind, then you have nothing to fear.  You're....

fearless.

It's not enough to believe in God.  You have got to put your faith in Him.... always.  You have to KNOW with total and complete certainty that He loves you, He makes no mistakes, and He has a plan for you.  And His plan is the best plan and it will unfold exactly as it is meant to.  No matter what bumps are along the way.

Yesterday someone said to me,  "There can be no testimony without the test."   PREACH!!!!

On the day I got baptized the pastor said, "Faith is walking into every battle knowing that you've already won."  He was referring of course to having God on our side, always, no matter what we are faced with.  That sounds to me a lot like being....

fearless.

For those of you just joining the conversation, I'll catch you up.  2 years ago I divorced my husband of 15 years.  And while I no longer wanted to be married to him, no while I no longer could be married to him, divorce is hell.  Pure and simple.  Immediately after my husband moved out, I got involved in a situation that left me emotionally wrecked possibly even more than my divorce.  I say that only because my divorce deteriorated over many years and I saw it coming.  This other situation resembled something similar to being hit by a speeding train.  And then there was R.  And I've spoken of R on this blog before.   R and I were both coming out of divorce and both very broken, and in each other we found a certain degree of wholeness. But that wholeness was not meant to last, and recently, R and I decided it would be best to go our separate ways.  R was my sun, moon, and stars.  We loved each other with great passion and intensity and it was without question, the happiest I've ever been in a relationship.  But it is now over.

And I'm not wrecked over this.

Why not?

Because I'm..... come on now.....

fearless.

Of course I've been sad.  Of course I miss him.  Of course I've had my crying spells.  But I know without question that this relationship was part of a bigger plan.  Part of a plan that I know nothing about, but I have faith in that plan and the one who created it and I KNOW that there's more to my story.

And for those of you who know me, and more importantly for those of you LIKE me who are control freaks, this is where it gets hard.

I would kind of like to actually KNOW what that plan is.

You know, so I can get in my own way, get in God's way and try to mess it up?

I'm done with that way of life.  I've tried it for 41 years and it hasn't really worked so well for me.  The stories I create in my mind are giving me a headache and an ulcer and are making me exhausted.  Here's what quieting my mind through both meditation and prayer has shown me over the last few months. When I try to control things, I CAN'T.  Even better?  Trying to control people.  I CANNOT predict the future.  Trying to is like banging my head against a brick wall.  WHY am I doing this to myself and WHY am I doing it to those around me?   It.  doesn't.  work.  Period.

Many years ago, my good friend Barbra Streisand said something really profound.

"Let go and let God."

If I had listened to that statement as much as I listened to her music, I may have figured out this lesson 20 years ago, but I digress.

I had to learn the lessons.  You know, the hard way.

The way God intended for me to learn them.

Of course there is uncertainty in my life.  It is, after all, LIFE and as discussed above, there is no certainty.  But here's what I know.  *I* am not in control.  So I need to stop trying.  I need to stop obsessing.  I need to let go.  I need to be

fearless

and in that fearlessness I need to hold on tightly to my faith that God has me on the right path.  To believe in God, to truly believe and to have faith is to trust in Him and all that He does.  It is to make the prayer "Thy will be done" the most fundamental cry of your heart.  But more than that, it's being completely okay with whatever "Thy will" turns out to be, even, and sometimes, especially if it's not yours.


In my next post I'm going to talk about the beauty of patience and learning to love the journey while waiting for whatever it is that's coming to you.  I'm excited to share with you how prayer and deep meditation have changed me at my very core.  I'm more excited to share with you how in 41 years I have recently become the absolute best version of myself and I feel myself getting better and stronger not just in spite of my obstacles, but because of them.

And that is real fearlessness I think.  Not being afraid of the journey.  Knowing that wherever the path of life leads you, it is exactly where you are meant to be,  twists, turns, bumps, and all.