SEE ME PERFORM ON TV ONE’s VERSES AND FLOW, THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2012, 8:30pm PST. WWW.VERSESANDFLOW.COM
SEE ME PERFORM ON TV ONE’s VERSES AND FLOW, THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2012, 8:30pm PST. WWW.VERSESANDFLOW.COM
How many times have you or someone you loved said, “I always end up with guys/girls that do ———— to me,” or “Why do all my relationships end like this?” or the infamous, “Why am I a magnet for ———-?”
The good news is you are aware that there is something wrong.
The bad news is that you maybe failing to recognize the pattern. The source of this pattern can most likely be traced to an original relationship that may or may not be romantic in nature. This original relationship can be found by asking yourself, “Who was the first person to make me feel like this?”
You are trapped in a revolving relationship. The differences between your choice of partners are external, internally they are the same person. They are versions of that original person from that original relationship. The purpose of a revolving relationship is to give us the opportunity to learn a lesson we may not have been mature enough, or strong enough, to process at the time of the original injury. If we are unaware that this is the purpose of a revolving relationship, we will begin to engage in a vicious cycle of trying to change the outcome of the revolving relationship in an effort to obtain the false impression that we are over the hurt of the original injury. In other words, we date the same type of person hoping s/he will change, hoping this time they will love us the way we deserve to be loved, hoping this time they will stay, hoping they will do what the original person who hurt us did not do.
The reality is that you are the common denominator to all your relationships. Yes, there is something about you that attracts cheaters, non-committers, the needy and the greedy, the selfish, etc. But here is the good news! Because you are the common denominator you have the power to change the equation, and therefore, change the outcome. You can identify the original relationship, explore it from a place of healing, collect your lesson, and eliminate your need to recreate it in your life. Once that happens, you will no longer need to revolve around this lesson. You will be free to move on to the next amazing chapter of your life. You will be better equipped to develop and sustain relationships created for the purpose of love, health, and healing.
Today, write out a list of your last 3-5 relationships. What do they all have in common? Start with the circumstantial, and end with the emotional. Circle the emotional factors that strike a nerve deep within you. Now ask yourself when you first felt this emotion. Who were you with? Where were you? What was the person’s reaction? What was your initial reaction? What did this situation teach you at the time about relationships and love? At this point in your life, can you look at this same situation and see alternative lessons that you were unable to see before? How do these alternative lessons apply to your last 3-5 relationships? How can they apply to your future relationships?
It’s time to get off the merry-go-round.
Plant your feet on solid ground.
Our family of origin provides us with our first lessons in love. As children we cannot articulate the lessons that we are learning, and as parents we are not always aware of the lessons that we are teaching.
Consciously, my parents taught me all of the right things. Love is sharing and caring, affection and consideration, laughter and shared joy. My parents went to great lengths to demonstrate their love to my sister and I. They were active in our lives, supportive of our interests, considerate of our feelings, and disciplined our character.
Like so many parents, my parents were unaware that children are not only raised by the conscious decisions of their parents; they are shaped by the unconscious motivations and actions they witness as well. Once the dysfunctional nature of my parents’ marriage began to leak into our family time, their excellent parenting could no longer shield us from the torment of what my sister and I came to identify as “True Love”, an ongoing struggle for validation that ultimately ends in the suffocation of one or both parties. Fortunately for my sister and I, we saw our parents survive and rebuild. By that time the lessons had already taken root in our unconscious definitions of love.
I can honestly say that as of December 1, 2010, I had not experienced intimacy. Intimacy requires vulnerability, vulnerability requires trust, and trust was poorly modeled in my parents’ marriage. In my experience, trust was not enough to keep a man from cheating, to stop fists from flying, or to prevent families from being sliced open and left for dead. Trust was a crack in the foundation of our childhood home, and as an adult trust continued to prove itself unreliable. Trust said it loved me, and left. Trust told me I was beautiful, and broke my heart. Trust committed itself to me, but withheld its love as collateral. In my experience, trust always led me further from the experience of love.
Manipulation has been my faithful companion on my quest to find true love. Where trust failed me, manipulation was able to at least provide me with the illusion of love, and up until December 1, 2010, this was sufficient. I learned early in life that manipulation could be used to control the behavior of others. Watching my parents’ marriage taught me this: Love is interchangeable with power and control. Manipulation allowed me to feel safe because I could control and maintain the love of others through their reactions to my behaviors. While my sister was exploding with attention seeking behaviors, I was internalizing my environment and learning how to make it work for me. To this day she will cut off a person who hurts her, but I will simply readjust the relationship because there are other parts of the person I still find useful. It sounds calculating when I say it out loud, but the reality is I have spent 20 years using this coping skill unconsciously in what I considered to be healthy relationships. The obvious truth is how could they have been healthy if I was engaging in manipulation to feel safe and loved, and how could I claim to love someone I would not allow myself to trust?
We all have our coping companions. Some of us avoid conflict, others lie, and some cheat. Some of us implode and shut down, others explode, and some of us self-soothe with substances. If we grew up watching fear, power, control, shame, guilt, or pain masquerading as love, it is a guarantee that one of these mechanisms became our not- so-imaginary friend. If you are honest with yourself, you will see it in every interaction you have ever had with another human being you claimed to have loved. After all, by our childhood definitions love required these behaviors to survive.
Today, identify your coping companion. Take out your journal, thank it for accompanying you this far in your journey, and acknowledge its intention to protect your childhood heart and mind. Tell it that you are an adult now, and you no longer want to engage in the illusion of love. Explain that you now know that in order to have true love in your life and interactions, you must choose trust over manipulation, honesty over deceit, kindness over power, and self over shame. Lovingly tell your coping companion that you intend to continue this journey alone, until true love becomes your only companion.
I cannot thank you enough for protecting my young heart and mind when I was unable to process the complexities of my childhood home. Thank you for helping me to cope and survive. I believe you came into my life with the best of intentions. However, I am no longer a child, and in order to become a fully expressed woman I can no longer be shielded from the challenge of loving and trusting others. I am ready to take the risk, to face the hurt, to open myself up to disappointment and pain, in order to gain a love rooted in freedom of choice and mutual respect for each other’s process. I no longer believe I have to manipulate a person into loving me. I believe I am so amazing someone will love me as is. I am choosing trust and patience over you. I am going to continue this journey without you, until true love becomes my only companion.
This month’s intention came to me last month, while I was more than halfway through “Calling in the One”, by Katherine Woodward Thomas, and distracted by last month’s intention of financial prosperity. I received the intention while meditating and my response was something like, “Love. Sure thing. Got it.” However, this morning I woke up and opened my computer to begin writing to you about this month’s intention, and found myself severely humbled, like a small child overlooking a vast and seemingly endless ocean. It occurred to me that this month’s intention is not going to come from a book, or a quote, it is going to come from the last year of my life. The question for me this morning is how much of myself am I ready to reveal in order to achieve this month’s intention?
As many of you know, and some do not know, I am in the process of a divorce. Please fight the urge to stop reading at this point, though I can understand not wanting to hear about love from an aspiring divorcee. That urge is an example of the limitations we place on love. For my ex-husband and I, parting ways was an act of love. Setting each other free to pursue what we want from life, and to define that life without sacrificing our needs was indeed a decision made from love. Those of you closest to us have seen this love evidenced in our children and the separate lives we are creating.
No one just wakes up one morning an amazing lover. By lover I mean a person with the skill set to truly love self and others. Love is a spiritual muscle that requires daily maintenance. Before I could begin the journey to become a great lover, I had to admit that I was a terrible one. I had to recognize where I had confused love with an unmet need for validation, face fears that were/are motivating seemingly loving acts, and confess aloud that I felt/feel unworthy of the type of love I want to offer others. I had to be honest even if it would cost me the perception of my family life, take risks that left me naked and waiting, and forgive, and forgive, and forgive, and forgive.
The truth is, I am scared to lead you through this month and this intention without the aid of an expert like Inyala or Eckhart. My challenge is to accept that this intention was given to me because I am my own expert. Our mutual challenge this month is to be open; you to receiving, and me to giving without hesitation. You may know more about me than you care to know by the end of this month, but I trust and believe we will each have a greater capacity for love by August 31st, 2011.
For today, let’s just embrace the gumbo of emotions that swell within us when we hear the word LOVE. If you have a journal, pull it out. If you don’t, get one. Write LOVE at the top of the first page, and free write whatever feelings, people, experiences, or fears come to mind. Fill as many pages as you can, but no less than two. When you are finished, return to the first page, read through what you have written, and circle any surprises. There will be surprises, that is the beauty of a free write. These surprises will be key to this month’s intention, though I am not completely clear how at this moment. I will be doing the exercise as well, and I will share with you what I uncover.
This month may be our hardest to date, but it could not have come at a better time in our lives.
Fear is like a star in the windshield of my vision. The moment someone says or does just the right thing, it spreads through me leaving my vision fragmented and fragile.
Fear is always there, just below the surface of our lives. At times we attempt to forget it exists, until it seeps into our decisions and actions subconsciously.
I am afraid of abandonment, rejection, and being inadequate. Deep down I believe people say I love you, but leave you, hurt you, and ultimately I believe it is because I am not enough.
Today I will do a new thing. I will not abandon out of fear of abandonment. I will not reject before I can be rejected. I will say I love you and follow through with the promises I made to myself and others from that love. I will accept others’ decision to leave as their right, not as a reflection of my worth.
Fear will never go away, and it shouldn’t. We need it. We need fear to challenge us to grow in ways other emotions cannot. We need fear to feel a sense of achievement when it pushes us to break out of our comfort zones. Fear is the diving board for every risk taker who has and will ever exist. To attempt to ignore it, allow it to overcome us, or play it safe to avoid facing it are strategies that are certain to leave us stagnate and unfulfilled. To harness it, embrace it, and ride it like a wave allows us to leave our safe place on the sidelines and get into the game of life.
Opportunities for love and life-changing decisions are coming your way, and I am just as afraid as you are.
BE. GRATEFUL FOR FEAR.
Originally Posted June 10, 2011
As children many of us experienced our parents standing us up against a wall or doorway and marking our height as evidence of our growth. If you are still using this method as an adult there is a good chance you are not giving yourself full credit for the growth you have experienced the past 2, 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years.
You have grown. Maybe not as much as you would have liked to, but you have grown nonetheless. You are no longer living in that situation, you are no longer working at that job, you are no longer in that relationship, you are no longer doing those things or hanging out with that group of people. No matter how great or small the increments, the fact is that you have evolved from where you were, and that is worth taking out a pencil and acknowledging on the wall of your self-esteem. If you don’t note where you are today and how far you have come, how do you expect to know when you have moved on from this place to the next? We see it in you, but that means nothing if you won’t acknowledge it for yourself.
So go ahead, pull out that giant number 2 pencil, stand with your back against the wall, you head held high, eyes forward, reach just above your head, and draw the line.
Now step back, recognize yourself for a moment, reach even higher, and draw a second line.
That is where you will be next time.
BE. Proud of your growth.
I owe everyone an apology.
I should have warned you that when we began this month with such a profound, life-changing intention, that everything in your life and every experience you have in this month will be working in concert to manifest it…
By now you have experienced one if not several financial setbacks of varied amounts. You have had several “Why me Lawd!” moments, and called me out of my name for even initiating this process. You have probably come to realize that the job at which you are currently employed cannot provide you with the level of financial prosperity you truly desire, and the thing you really want to be doing with your life keeps falling from the sky, or out of the mouths of everyone around you. Perhaps you are already following your calling, but playing it a little too safe. The bottom line is: So far, this month ain’t looking too prosperous.
I too have been tested! I am short 800 dollars for reasons far outside my control, staring at a stack of bills, a predictable and less than adequate paycheck, with my intention taped to my mirror, seemingly mocking me.
Still, I have spoke powerful words into my life. Therefore, I will continue to stand on those words and view every situation “good” or “bad”, as a necessary lesson that will bring me closer to manifesting my intention. There is no bad. It is ALL GOOD. Instead of WHY ME!!!! I ask Why me? and Why now? How does this experience bring me closer to manifesting my intention? The answer always comes. I can trace every experience this month, perceived good or perceived bad, back to my intention. So, it is ALL GOOD.
The loss of $800 showed me where my money was vulnerable. Better to lose $800 than $8000 or more.
The non-negotiable price I quoted for a poetry performance taught me not to be afraid to set my standards high.
The random woman I connected with at the park, and offered me a part in her growing business taught me to be open to opportunity, from all areas.
The peace in my spirit continuously teaches me to trust myself and stand on my intentions.
BE. aware that setting intentions is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those who want dramatic change in their lives. You’ve already said it, just keep putting one foot in front of the other as a sign of faith, and trust yourself.
It is ALL GOOD.
We started this month by redefining money as the belief in our access and right to opportunities in our life. Along with this re-definition of money must come a more effective way of evaluating “income” in our lives. Most of us have monthly household budgets that assist us with keeping track of the amount of cash (physical money) we have coming in and going out of our homes. I am suggesting that we also create monthly budgets to assess how much energy (mental, emotional, and spiritual money) we are spending and gaining in our daily lives.
Why is this significant?
1. We cannot give what we do not have. When we try to give beyond our energy income we go “over budget”. Going over budget leaves us too exhausted to invest in the aspects of our life that must align to allow money to flow though our lives.
2. In addition to preventing this sort of emotional overdraft, monthly energy budgets also allow us to see which relationships and commitments in our lives are draining our energy, or replenishing our energy. If you find you have more going out than coming in, it is time to reevaluate how you are spending your “money”.
Today be brave and take an hour to evaluate all your sources of income, and all your expenses. Remember that everything we seek in life is at its best when we are balanced. How can you balance your energy budget and begin to allow all forms of money to flow through your life?
BE. wise with your ENERGY EXPENSES.
“Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.”
Now that we have cleaned out our emotional closets and let go of the “unpaid debts” we have been holding against others, it is time to reap the benefits. It is time to talk about money.
Somewhere along the way I adopted the idea that my choice to work with disenfranchised communities and to be an artist resigned me to a life of late payments, hand-me-downs, and Top Raumen. Maybe it was the constant barrage of anti-capitalist, anti-bling poetry I was exposed to as a new poet, or the media images of self-indulged celebrities and greed infested CEOs and stock brokers, but either way, I came to believe that money is bad. This may have worked for a single 20 year old, but things have changed. Two kids and countless rent payments later I am making a conscious decision to reevaluate my relationship with money.
Money in its abstract form is access. Access is “the right or opportunity to use or benefit from something”. Therefore, I can choose to view money as the belief that I have the right and opportunity to benefit from something. ”Something” can be my art, my career, my faith, my prayers, or any other aspect of my life.
In short, I am choosing to believe that money is the belief that I have the right and opportunity to benefit from my gifts and other positive things in my life.
This month’s intention:
I am open to allowing money to flow freely through my life.