Hard doors and.............free stuff?

Continuing on my Eat, Pray, Love madness... I watched the movie again last week. I know, I know everyone reads the book (any book in fact) and the movie is never as good. I'll just say that Eat, Pray, Love the movie was different from the book and leave it at that. OK I can't leave it at that. I just can't stop thinking, "I'm watching Julia Roberts!" because she's just THAT BIG of a star that I find it hard to look past. Not sure if that makes sense. Because when I watch Tom Hanks I see the character he's playing so maybe I'm really speaking more on the acting ability of Julia. Not sure. But I digress.

As usual.

I saw the movie first in the theater and there was a quote which was NOT in the book that hit me like a TON OF BRICKS. Literally. As in, for the REST of the movie I was trying to sit there and come up with the EXACT QUOTE because I wanted to keep it with me. I lost it. So I googled it. Nope. Couldn't find it. Even posted a question on yahoo pages to see if anyone could help me. Nope.

Admission: I'm a bit of a quote whore. I find strength in other people's wise words. I'm one of those people that has quotes EVERYWHERE. Stashed in my purse, all over my house, on my refrigerator, mirror, taped in my car, etc. That's just.........me.

So now I own the movie and therefore, the quote now lives in my house.

In comes in a completely fabricated, not in the book at all scene where Julia, errrrrrrrrr Liz is at the ashram in India and she gets a call (really!!?!?!?) from her former-not-quite-over-with-lover-David.

David says, "I just wanted things to be easy. We were good when it was easy."
Liz responds, "It's not that I need easy. Right now, I just can't have that hard."

I want this tattooed on my face.

No one expects life, or for that matter, any PART of what makes up life to be easy. But there are days, many in fact, sometimes SEASONS where I want to scream.... "DOES IT REALLY NEED TO BE THIS HARD????????????????????"

Why yes, yes it does.

In fact, I was just conversing with a dear friend via email about life in general and the relationships that come and go in our lives and she had these very wise words to say, "for some reason those things that hurt like hell usually are the same things that cause us to grow." (Renae do you want credit for that? Oops I think I just gave it to you)

But isn't it the BRUTAL TRUTH?

This year, I lost two VERY close friendships. I have mourned these losses in my life GREATLY. But you know what else I can say? I have grown more as a person this year, in this ONE year of my life than ALL OTHERS COMBINED..... because I lost them. Listen to what I said. BECAUSE I lost them.

So every moment that my heart has been broken over these losses, and I assure you, it has been broken badly.....ever tear I have shed, every sleepless MINUTE (lots of those too), every pain and pull in my chest and moment of blame and self loathing that I have inflicted upon myself has caused me to ultimately and perhaps finally look at myself in the mirror. And sometimes I've liked what I've seen but most of the time this year, I have not. Either way, I knew something had to change.

So I got a haircut.

And when THAT didn't work, I went to a therapist.

My friend Baranda says I wear my emotions on my hair. I'm not sure if this is true because most days my hair would be hot pink but I see her point. A new haircut does not make happiness. As evidenced by my 4 week relationship with bangs. I digress again.

During my first session with my therapist she says, "Are you sure you're ready for this?" and I say. "No. No I'm not. I know this is going to be hard, and ugly and make me feel gross and some days make me hate myself and suck any strength I had right out of me." To which she responds, "Then why are you here?"

"Because I don't have a choice anymore."

Because we get to these points in our lives where it sincerely, truly, and honestly becomes just. too. hard.

And there's a knock on the door. The knock is change. We can either choose to make a change and DO SOMETHING about it. Or...........we can keep complaining about it and wallowing in the self pity that we so kindly bestow upon ourselves and everyone who loves us, or at least tries to love us.

But here's where it gets .......damnit, even harder.

First of all, there's NOTHING more challenging than looking in the mirror and admitting that, in fact, you don't have all the answers, you haven't done everything right and there are some things about you that are just generally f'd up and need to go away.

Even more painful is the process of trying to make those charming characteristics go away. But that's for another post.

The HARDEST part, especially for us as women is saying goodbye to "that" relationship. We are nurtures first and foremost. It is in the fabric of our being and woven into the DNA which created us. To love and nurture. It's who.we.are. I can't even get into our family dynamic that makes some of us even more this way than others but let it be known that EVERY woman has this inside of them to one degree or another. Some more than others. But for ALL of us, it's there. So how is it possible to look another person in the eye and say, "I can't do this anymore?"

Interjection: I'm not ALWAYS referring to the "lover" relationship here. I don't want anyone reading my blog thinking that I'm getting a divorce. I'm talking about ANY relationship. Whether this person has been in your life as your friend, your therapist, your priest, your lover, WHATEVER -- we've all had them. Male, female, family, friends. 2 months, 2 years, 42 years. We've ALL had these relationships that reach "the point." You know the one I'm talking about.

"It's not that I need easy. Right now, I just can't have that hard."

When you get to a point in your relationship that you are making this statement. It's already too hard. Because we have enough to juggle. We have children with autism. We have gifted children who need extra tutoring to keep from being bored. We have children who simply outnumber us. We have bills to pay and jobs to attend. Friends who need us and family who needs us even more. We don't even KNOW how to tend to ourselves anymore (another post for sure). Don't get me wrong. There's a difference between what I'm referring to and being a fair weather friend. I am not at all promoting, "when the going gets tough the tough get going." But everyone reading this post knows what I'm talking about. That MOMENT when the line is no longer blurred but crossed. When that relationship is taking too much from YOU. Some fancy professional is going to call that codependency. That's fine. Call it what you want. But the bottom line is this: when this relationship suddenly becomes unhealthy for YOU to be a part of, it's time to move on.

So back to the hardest part. Letting go.

Guilt. Raise your hand if you are the poster child for guilt. DAMN! YOU ALL RAISED YOUR HANDS! I FELT IT THROUGH CYBERSPACE! You're letting this person down. This person has been counting on you for love and support. Perhaps for years. But here's what I've learned. Sometimes your "support" or what you think is support is the w
orst thing for that person. That's called enabling. So what you need to ask yourself is this: is letting go not just the best thing for me, but also for them? I think you'd be surprised to find that most of the time, the answer is yes. And when you reach that answer -- you have no choice but to do what's best for both of you.

Even though it hurts like hell. For both of you.

I miss my two friends desperately. Make NO mistake about that. Clearly as unhealthy as these friendships were they were also peppered with much good. Many laughs. Warm fuzzies. On the surface I wish I could call either one of them and share a funny story that I know we would both get a kick out of. Share something that was "just ours." Th
at's intimacy that sometimes you just won't find with another person. And that intimacy can be addicting. Truly addicting. We've all heard the research about serotonin levels going up during the "romance" part of a relationship (and make NO MISTAKE, every single relationship on ANY level with ANY one goes through a "romance" phase)...getting addicted to a person is just as easy as getting addicted to drugs. But also just as dangerous to our health.

The good news is, now you're looking for a different kind of intimacy and you know WHAT to look for.

You know, the kind that's not easy, but not that hard?

The kind of intimacy that promotes....balance. For both of you.

Sooooooooooo I guess my challenge to you, dear readers... is shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Listen? Is that change knocking on your door? Are you going to answer it? You might not be ready to answer it, and that's ok. The first step, is recognizing that there's a knock there at all. Eventually you'll get to the point where you gently, ever so gently start to push the door open just a crack...and when you do......... you'll be faced with a choice.

Slam it shut?

Open it wide?
Open it a bit at a time?
Let it swing open and shut?
Let it close on you?


If you let it close on you, be careful that it doesn't come down that hard.


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