Marriage as a Mirror : Self Love & Expression

I want to start this post when I met my husband, but it goes further back. The roots of this post are in my childhood. Quite often, I had to abandon myself to feel loved. Who I was was not acceptable. So, the parts of me that didn’t fit and that weren’t loved had to go. I never learned to love myself whole.

When I met my husband (Frenchie), I was teaching lots of yoga around the city while working at a charter school. My life wasn’t perfect, but it was manageable. At this point, I had begun to hear voices, see the Earth breathe and was working with it. I had no desire to be with Frenchie or anyone else. I’d just gotten out of a 2 year relationship and didn’t want any sort of love affair. My plan was to go to the west coast and slut it up. A few weeks after meeting Frenchie, he sat down on my sofa peered at me with his big green eyes and said: “where are we going”. You see, he was returning back to France in a few months. I don’t remember what I said, but I’m pretty sure I was non committal. Six months after being non committal, I was boarding a plane to France. The rest is history.

Or not. History lives in the present moment. It constantly repeats until we learn from it. My lesson is that I don’t have to abandon myself to be loved. I don’t have to bury, shed, destroy aspects of myself to be loved by someone. Yeah, France was fun. I continued to connect with the Earth and have all sorts of intuitive adventures. I learned French and taught yoga. I ate, drank, danced and made friends. It was beautiful. However, I left large parts of me here to do that.

Today we live in a beautiful house in suburban dc with the most awesome children. Frenchie loves his work and I am at Stay at home Mom. As I navigate wifely, motherly and household duties, I realize that I am missing something. I am missing myself. All the aspects that I swore I buried, ignored or set to flame are popping up like dandelions. I miss the self I never knew. However, It’s a completely different thing to pull myself together with two kids than when I was young and free. If I love myself, I need to do it.

Here are my commitments to myself:

  1. Forgive myself: I wish I could have not abandoned me. I did though. I need to forgive me and make different decisions in the present moment.
  2. Have compassion for myself: I didn’t know that I didn’t have to give up me to be with him. Now I know. I can make different decisions in the present moment.
  3. Express myself: I need to do and be all the things are are in me to do and be. Then I need to love me as I am. I can also trust my husband to love me as I am.

None of this shit is easy. The youngest is 6 months old and teething. The oldest is three. I hoped to go through this shit in a about 2 years. Oddly enough life had different plans <3

We’ll see what emerges from here<3

Be good to yourself,

J

How to Mother… the Mother

This week, I had the honor of reconnecting with a good friend. As she shared all the good going on in her life, I watched the youngest son sleep peacefully. When it came my turn to share, I wasn’t sure where or how to start. Too much was going on. Before delving into all the Motherhood shit going on, little me’s posse grabbed the mic and spoke.

We miss smoking weed, excessively drinking red wine, dancing to live music and occasionally hoe’ing. Regular yoga was nice too. Every now and then my inner Grace Jones pops up, sneers at me and asks what the fuck am I doing with myself. I should be out in the world conquesting and shit. My friend listened and then reminded me that I could still do all those things, but I wouldn’t like the consequences. Truer words have never been spoken. I love my husband and children. I choose them over the single life.

After we got off the phone it dawned on me that a large part of me has refused to grow up. It’s angry for a childhood it never got and misspent teen years. It feels odd because I am not a running wild sort of person (—that may be part of the problem).  I think it’s more honest to say that I never really felt safe or supported in fucking around. I’ve always felt responsible to or for something.

Whether responsibility meant anchoring a household at a young age, being the flag bearer for all black folk, upholding communal order or making sure that my drunk ass friends got home safely without fucking that dude, I was always about it. I’m not sure that I consciously allowed myself to be young and dumb. Instead I chose to be “old enough to know better yet too young to give a fuck” for far too long. I look back at my life and see a stubborn toddler, angry teen or depressed college student that clearly said fuck all this adulting shit. I want to play!

The fucked up thing is that being responsible is in me. It’s me on default. It’s what I do. I’m secretly 80 years old, too old for this bullshit and will help you solve your problems. However, I’m not sure how to bring these younger aspects to heel. I wish we could run the fuck amok, but that time is over. Those days have passed. There are children who need their mother and shit to do.

These aspects remind me that I don’t want to leave the same holes within the sons…. somehow I need to bring these parts of me to peace… we’ll see…

Stay tuned…

 

Reconnection

It’s been a minute…So much has happened between now and the last time I posted. I want to blame it all on pregnancy, but recreating rhythm with a toddler in tow isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  Anywho, here is what I’ve been learning the past couple of months.

Love surrounds you, if you choose to see it. 

I mean, I’m not going to act like I float around Bowie in a pink cloud. Flowers don’t bloom when I walk by. However, since moving here I’ve been feeling more loved by everything and everyone around me. Since I am actually open to being loved here in the present moment, I can see how love has always been with me. I just couldn’t see it at the time.

The present moment is all there is.

It could be pregnancy, but I am slowly becoming able to better distinguish whether the emotions I feel in the present moment come from the past or are actually rooted in the present. This information has kept me from creating drama as a means of acknowledging and working through old pain.

Children are as wise, loving and supportive as we allow them to be.

It’s easy to say this because lil Boo is no longer vomiting everywhere. However even when sick, this kid is loving, supportive and has an easy way of encouraging me and his father. It’s amazing. He’s so gentle with us in our moments of fragility. I thought that it was my job to hold this kid down, and that’s what he does for me 🙂 Motherhood is always so surprising!

Don’t fight nature when you can learn from it.  

The only nature we currently have living with us are crickets in the garage and the occasional spider or beetle. Despite all my fears, nothing has chewed it’s way in. Regularly burning oils and the local cat population have caused whatever was burrowing around and underneath the house to no longer be there. I don’t smell them anymore. In their short time, they’ve taught me to embrace things as they are. There is good and bad in everything. When I become absorbed in the bad or fight reality, I can’t see or receive what’s good. I choose not to see that I am never given more than I can  handle or manage. Life and nature has a rhythm and balance to it. The more I fear and fight; the more I throw things off balance.

 

Pregnancy is giving me more to process, but I haven’t really gotten to a space where I can write about it. I am so amazed how this second pregnancy is different than the first. Physically, spiritually and emotionally things are just different. We’ll see what unfolds from here.

Until next time,

Take Precious Care

J

 

 

Mommying Mommy: I actually have everything I want

Somehow, compassion in the morning has become a practice. When I wake up fearing that I will lose the baby, or that something bad will happen, I stop listen to my fear and have compassion for it. Often the fear isn’t about being pregnant. It’s about something I feel that I’ve missed over the years.

It feels good to be sad about the past rather than wrestling with what I really think happened. When I wrestle with what happened, I get into intentions, my perception of events and a whole other mess of details that keep me from addressing how I really feel. I can intellectually understand why and how and what was done, but it doesn’t help me feel any less angry about it. When I actually hear my fear and embrace whatever comes with it I feel better. I honestly feel less angry and more like myself.

Feeling more like who I really am brought me to a conclusion. I really have and enjoy all the loving support I’ve wanted. It’s like I woke up surrounded by really interesting people who are supportive, kind and share my interests. Not to mention I still get to enjoy relationships that span more than half my lifetime. The man I love really does love me too. He wants me to be happy just like I want him to be happy. Not to mention there is this amazing little boy I get to watch grow into a man and another little one on the way. This is the life I wanted. I wanted to feel like I belong with and to beautiful loving people. I wanted to love them and be loved by them. I wanted to nurture life and watch it grow. I get to do all the things that I have most wanted. Why stay in a past that felt loveless when there is so much love right here?

Oddly enough, I still have feelings about the past. However those feelings don’t seem to overshadow the present as much anymore. The here and now seems so much more… juicy because I can feel the difference between what is and what was.

Well.. we’ll see what comes up next..until next time..

Take Precious Care,

J

 

Mommying Mommy: Somewhere between here and now

Despite my best efforts to be present and grounded, some days I stay in the ether. Even with little Boo, I am there but somehow not.

My attention is with this little part of me holding on. She waits in the mist and wants me to know that she is waiting because when her patience pays off, we will all rejoice.

What is she waiting for? She is waiting from my Mother. In her little suitcase there is a list (among other things that little girls would keep in suitcases). The list details all the things that her, and other parts of me have been waiting patiently to receive from my mother. She has complete faith that one day Mom will show up as the Mother she has always wanted and that they can go have tea. All will be well and I can move the fuck on from waiting..

Now this little girl isn’t alone. She representative of a contingent. There are other little me’s of varying ages all hanging out with lists. Waiting for the Mother they’ve always wanted too. Not to say that I haven’t had (or don’t presently enjoy) Mother figures, but they have their mind set on My Mother. Only she will do. I’ve offered to do for myself what they need. They have no interest in me. Even my husband will occasionally pitch in; whether he realizes it or not. They sigh, shake their head, point to their lists and contracts; obstinately waiting for her.

The fucked up thing is that I know she ain’t coming. My Mother, is a kind loving woman. She is just not the woman…. well…. we have different values, so we don’t really know how to be Mother and Daughter. I don’t know how to be her daughter because, it isn’t in me to behave the way she wants. Usually what she wants from me agitates me.  And well, I’m sure she feels rejected because I want things from her that ain’t in her. I’ve let her know this time and time again. So, instead of coming together and loving each other, we do an awkward dance where both of us end up hurt.

I want to accept the parts of me that are waiting because they deserve my loving compassion. If anything they remind me of what is important to me and how vital it is that I ensure a loving connection with the kids. I want to accept Mother also. I know she can’t give me what I seek, but she is still my Mother. There has to be some way to more fully accept what is, so I can be more present. It’s shitty to be constantly pulled between here and now.

No real solutions today. Only observations 🙂

Until next time.. Take Precious Care

J

Hooray for all the little voices in my head

As I darted around the bedroom this morning an angry voice popped up in my head. She demanded that I take some time to be real with myself about where my business and my life are heading. She was insistent that I take some time to rest. She reminded me that I needed to be more mindful of all the things I take on in the hopes of being loved. These situations rarely turn out how I want/expect. She also said  that I was no good to myself or anyone else if I was constantly on the verge of “fuck it”. I quickly pressed mute on this voice and hurried downstairs. I needed to make Little Boo breakfast and start the day. Everything is fine!

Now.. I so want to say that my disregarding my own wisdom is rare, but it’s not. After spending some time thinking about that voice’s advice today I realized that the voice was right.

1) I am one to volunteer to do some shit in hopes of making friends. Instead of making friends, I become doer of shit that no one else wants to do. (booooooooo!)

2) After caring for my sick husband and Little Boo, I am in dire need of me time!

3) I am on the verge of some major change. Moving forward mindfully would be helpful.

And finally 4) I give myself some excellent advice; especially when it comes to relationships with others. Why am I hell bent on not following it?

I find that I am most likely to disregard my own advice when it contradicts what I think others want from me.  There is a part of me who really wants to be liked and useful–even at my own detriment. In fact I believe that this part of me likes being at it’s own detriment. This way I can act like a martyr if you don’t like me how I want you to. I mean if I can’t be liked, I should at least be a martyr :D. You don’t like me after I sacrificed all this shit for you? How dare you!! I know this sounds familiar to someone reading this post ;D.

But really, I’d like to move into a space where loving myself is more important than what others do. That shit sounds hard and a bit scary, yet liberating. We’ll see 🙂

 

Take Precious Care,

J

 

 

 

Mommying Mommy: Feeling what I am feeling

Because I am no longer able to day drink, I’ve been working on creative ways to be present with challenging emotions that arise while I am with little one….

Things we’ve been doing that seem to work:

  1. Omming
  2. Deep breathing (focus on exhalation)
  3. Singing

Things that don’t seem to work:

  1. Thinking about my emotions*
  2. Snapping at lil Boo

*I want to note that thinking about my feelings is quite different than actually acknowledging them. I notice that I have a tendency to actually judge whatever I am feeling rather than just feel it. For me all my feelings are bad and thus should not go any further than bubbling up from the depths. I’m working on that though 🙂

Slowly but surely I learning to Mother myself as I am attempting to Mother Little Boo. I will let keep you posted as things unfold.

 

Take Precious Care

J

 

Playing with my emotions: Anger & Jealousy

The more I stay in my body, the more I experience emotions that I would rather not 🙂 It’s a bit intense and I can see why I fly out so much 🙂

Anyway, this post is about anger & jealousy. The more I continue to engage my anger and jealousy the more I am noticing that an unmet need is behind it. Anger is an emotion I feel often and am quite comfortable with. I would say I am almost too comfortable being angry :(– which is why it pops up so much.  Jealousy however, I am not as comfortable with. I judge myself when jealousy pops up. When jealousy and anger pop up together, I know that I have been shorted from something very important to me. However, my challenge has been discerning whether what I am missing is in the present moment or in the past.

I often get suckered in the present moment because everything reminds me too much of the past. My life is super trigger happy. Quite often I over react or misjudge what’s in front of me because a much younger part of me that is in pain is in control of everything. I am alternatively run by a surly 5 year old and a raging 13 year old. 38 year old me usually recoils in horror and shakes her head; wondering how the fuck things got this way. When I am fully engaged, present and in my body I can discern whether what I am feeling originates in the past or the present. Then I can take appropriate action. My challenge in the moment is often staying in my body and delaying my response until I can understand what is going on and who is captain of the ship today.

When I am able to be present and discerning in my body, I can see how anger and jealousy help me. I can see they show me how to best heal and support myself. Anger shows me how I have allowed others to take advantage of me, how much that hurt and how not to do it again. Jealousy usually lets me know what I am giving away or what has been taken from me that I want to keep. Especially when coming from little me, these powerful emotions have been very helpful.

The more I am willing to listen to little me’s voice in the form of intense and powerful emotions, the more integrated I feel. The more I am able to address and heal that which hurt me in the past; the present can finally be the present and not some continually painful childhood. I am discovering that little me’s wisdom just wants to be heard and integrated. Can’t let all this suffering go to waste. It has to be good for something 🙂

Take Precious Care!