Tag Archives: meaning of life

Waiting for Closure: Don’t Put Your Life on Hold

When things end differently than we expect, especially when we’ve invested a lot, it can be really hard to move past the outcome.  The phrase most often heard to describe this is “needing closure”.  In some situations I believe closure can be achieved, in others not so much. Hanging on to getting it in these situations can put your whole life on hold.  And you deserve better than that, don’t you think?  I think you do 🙂

I’ve recently extricategood intentions vs characterd myself out of a really bad relationship that I’ve been hanging onto for about 1 year. It was one of those situations where you keep thinking it will get better because it is “not so hard to fix”. You believe that he will move beyond making promises and finally take action. You think the meanness will stop. I began to hold on to the few moments of happiness in between the pain thinking that the 10% could become 90% if we talked enough. You start asking yourself what you’re doing to cause it or if you’re imagining things because it seems so unreal. I’ve never done such mental gymnastics to be in a relationship in all my life.

it's not personalHe claimed he was here for me, but sabotaged every important moment in my life. He badmouthed me to his family to the point that they hated me and then invited me to drive 6 hrs. to spend Thanksgiving with them. He caused drama in an attempt to come between my best friend. Then, he’d buy me expensive”I’m sorry” gifts as if that should make it all better. He’d tell me how much he wanted to spend his life with me, but could never manage to get past his selfishness to actually include someone else.  As he often reminded me – “I just don’t think about you when you’re not around”. Nice. So, yeah he was here for me, but not in any way that you’d want to have someone around.

I just couldn’t understand how someone could be so consistently hurtful.  It is, after all, so easy to be nice and kind.  The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.  Particularly if you really want to spend your life with someone. I took so much crap from this man.  I didn’t like who I was around him.   He put on a good show in front of friends and family, but in private, I rarely smiled, cried a lot,  didn’t want to be intimate with him in any way.  I was completely unclear why I stayed or invited him back again and again.  Somehow he would always find a way back and it would always be worse the next time.

Finally he had done something so horrible to me while I was heavily turn the page or close the bookmedicated and sleeping, that I was done with giving out chances. But my mind still wanted answers for how someone could behave in such horrific ways. Why, why, why?

So, I wanted to share some thoughts with you that have been helping me move forward even though I have not gotten any answers or asked him to make sense of it for me.

First Lesson: Who Cares?wpid-20140625_161727.jpg
If a person cares about you they would never disrespect and humiliate you – EVER. If they do and you tell them and they don’t do better or feel remorse, this is a reflection of their shitty character.  It is not a judgement of who you are. People who care take care of you especially when you’re weak.

Second Lesson:  Invest Wisely
Sometimes we invest so heavily in someone that we feel we are owed a return on investment. But in fact, it is a lot like the stock market, there is NO guarantee.  Also, there are some “stocks”, like men, that are simply better performers.  They have shown what they’re made of over time. If I had taken his “portfolio” to heart, I’d have walked away from a man who was a serial cheater during his entire marriage, who blamed his ex-wife for his unhappiness, and also bad-mouthed her to his family while never revealing his misdeeds at any time.  After all he started to do the same things to me.  Every time we’d have a fight he was out on the online dating websites trolling for new women to stroke his ego, he’d bad mouth me to his family, and told me that if he ever killed himself, it would be my fault because I make him so unhappy.  Yeah.  Sometimes, you have to cut your losses ladies and admit that you put your trust, time and energy in an undeserving man. Just walk away and learn something that will make you invest more wisely next time.

Third Lesson:  Where’s the Apology…the Explanation?
Waiting for the apology that never comes can be infuriating. It is kind of a waste how much faith and belief I put into a man who has shown no integrity in his thoughts or deeds.  Even though he’s let you down more times than you have fingers and toes to count on, frustrationyou hold out hope that he will care enough about you to suddenly realize how “worth it” you are and rush in like a knight to prevent losing you. I assure you that you ARE worth it. He just is lacking the integrity present in decent human beings. Think of yourself like a placeholder more than a significant person to him and it will make a lot more sense. Anyone who stands in that spot gets that treatment. Trust me, I wanted an explanation for his despicable behavior towards me. An account of how he could bring himself to commit a crime against me. An apology. I didn’t get any of that. Not for days after. Not now. Nothing except complete denial as he walked out and slammed the door at me crying in a heap on the floor. Used and discarded like trash. Good men just don’t do this. Period.  


mean what you promiseIt takes time to get past all this sludge  because we want our hurt, our experience to matter to the one who does the hurting. We want them to feel bad about making us feel bad. We want them to make good on their promises. It is normal and healthy for people to interact in a caring way about people they care about and most people are decent.  For example, I hurt you. I apologize sincerely. I don’t do it again.  You accept.  We move on stronger and deeper. But some people really don’t give a shit about you or your needs or the fact that you are a person with feelings, let alone that you were in a relationship with them.

The thing is that the longer we hold on to our desire for “admission of wrongdoing” from the one who hurt us, the longer they are left in charge of our personal power.  And nobody should have access to that wheel except you should they? No. They shouldn’t. So, let’s just take that back, shall we?

What we really want is to just feel better. We want all the yuckiness to clear out so that we can feel good again. It is more of an internal/emotional shift that we are looking for from another person.turning point

Luckily that is a gift we can give ourselves, much like forgiveness. We have to do it all the time really when you think about it.   We know that the rest of the world, our coworkers, strangers, etc are not responsible for our feelings, right? So, if we apply that to relationship “closure” we don’t really need the other person to help us move on do we? No. We don’t 🙂

I would say instead of trying to deny it or drink, drug, or shop your way out of it……

Do this instead: 

  • Just acknowledge that something sucky happened. Don’t pretend you’re not hurt just so you look all “together”.  That’s just gonna mess you up for interacting with other humans. It doesn’t mean your weak, it means you’re human.
  • Get real about the feelings you have – name them. Are you sad, hurt, humiliated, betrayed, violated*. You get to decide what’s important and significant to you.  Nobody else can tell you what’s real for you or how bad it hurts. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Resist the need for outside approval. You don’t need others to validate your feelings.  Learn to accept and acknowledge your own state of being and consider it valuable. This way you can trust what you want and need for yourself. Use your own voice!
  • Learn something as you process this life moment. It will help you make different decisions next time. Nobody’s perfect or has all the answers and that’s ok because we’re designed that way.
  • Finally, give yourself the gift of closure by honoring yourself, remembering you are awesome, and that sometimes other people really suck and that’s not got a darn thing to do with you.

-with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

*If you feel that a crime has been committed against you, I would add to the list that you consider contacting authorities and taking appropriate legal action.

Have You Settled for Less Yet?

yoloDo we all reach a point in our lives where even the most rebellious among us finds themselves settling? Have your dreams started to feel like old wrinkled black and white pictures of days gone by?  Do you even remember having a dream?

Is it that we reach a point in our lives in which we boil down to the bones what’s most important to us and go for that minimum? OR — are we settling for less because we are no longer willing to wait for our dreams to come true?

I talk to a lot of people who have found themselves still working in a job 10-15 years later that they said was temporary.  They were going to light the world on fire with their ideas.  They weren’t gonna get caught up in it all.  They were going to show us all how to live. We wanted to be them.  Maybe we were them.

How about the women who have given up on meeting Mr. Right and have opted for Mr. Good Enough because at least she knows he’s real.  It’s not passionate and everything you’ve dreamed, but it’s not lonely either.

And then, I think of all the things most of us put off until (the) tomorrow (that never comes), and it feels like we take for granted the time we have and the people in our lives.  Suddenly, one day you wake up (usually about the time you notice you’re really unhappy with your life) and realize that you’re entrenched so deeply in the life you HAVE created, that the life we wanted has already passed you by. Remember, those were those “crazy” choices that you talked yourself out of because it “wasn’t practical.”

As time goes on, we start to rationalize things, especially our lives.  We tell ourselves it isn’t that bad. We have to make sense out of where we “ended up”, right? How many of us have just moved the goal post and tried to be happy about it? Or maybe you openly admit that you’ve settled, because the alternative is trying to rebuild something better from scratch.  Right now at least you’re living some kind of successful life.  And maybe that has be good enough.  Whether it is or it isn’t…

Because honestly, at this point what would motivate you to bother doing better?

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 30 of 30!!

Gratitude Challenge Day 30 (Final Day) – Gratitude for Myself

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Sometimes it is really hard to talk about yourself. Other times you think that maybe you have so many shortcomings that there’s not much about yourself to be grateful for. If you’ve been through the school of hard knocks you may just be so used to getting knocked around that you’ve forgotten how many times you’ve gotten back up again.

I find that I often only realize the level of determination I possess after I hear somone elses reaction to the stories of my life. I realize how capable, versatile and resiliant I really am. I have the ability to transform myself and adapt to every life change I’ve faced thus far. I feel like I’ve reinvented myself many times over. At the same time, this is the very first time in my life that I know who I am and have accepted myself completely (warts and all).

I’ve learned to respect the hard times I’ve faced because they’ve taught me more about the core of WHO I am. I also appreciate my zest for life and the child-like awe that I’ve kept with me along the way. I love that I can keep smiling even when I’m not feeling that great because I know it feels better than a sad face. I still laugh loudly having never learned to be embarrased by my hearty laughter. I am helpful, kind, compassionate, and filled with love. I am growing and getting to know myself more every day.

I have had to learn to be grateful for the person that I am. It hasn’t been automatic. But as I have gotten to know her better, I’m awfully glad she’s in my corner.

Thank you for coming along with me during this 30 day challenge. I hope that you enjoyed your trip and perhaps were inspired even a little to start a gratitude journey of your own. 

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 29 of 30

Challenge Day 29 – Gratitude for Self-Care

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One of the biggest challenges I faced after getting divorced 3 years ago was learning how to care for myself. I am not talking about understanding how to pay bills or take a shower. I’m talking about things like how to say ‘NO’ and pampering myself. I am referring to knowing when compromise is no longer an option and walking away is the only right thing left to do.

It is easier said than done. Many times we think we’re taking care of ourselves better than we really are. For example, have you ever listened to the kinds of things you say to yourself in your own head?? If that were an actual person in front of you, would you take that crap? I sure hope not! But that’s the kind of stuff I’m referring to.

While self-care is bubble baths, workouts at the gym and others kinds of me time, it is also learning to be your own best friend no matter what. It is learning to be happily alone – to enjoy your own company.

It has been a long road to get to that point and while I still have my struggles with taking better care of myself, I’m miles ahead of where I used to be.

Now I find myself 3 years later embarking upon a new chapter in my life- I am once again in a serious relationship. This will be a test to see how I manage being together with someone again after learning to care for myself alone. I will have to stay conscious of caring for my needs and expressing them to my partner so I can work to have them met. Afterall, I sure don’t want to lose myself again.

When I care for myself I am better off and so are the people in my life because they witness the real me.

I am no martyr. I am no savior. I have no interest in either job. I am just another messed up person like you trying to find her way in this big mad world. Taking care of myself just means I leave fewer messes behind for others to clean in the wake of my existence.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 28 of 30

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Challenge Day 28 of 30 – Gratitude for Letting Go

I was just talking to my boyfriend about my belief that we meet who we are meant to when we need them the most. As I reminisced about the Camino, I reflected on such a meeting with a wonderful Italian woman, Giada, who was also divorced and searching for a way to drop her burdens during this journey.

Often you meet someone who has experienced something like you, but offers a twist in perspective. That’s where the learning comes from. She was in a lot of pain inside, just like me, but she also had a real zest for life and looked for pleasure in each day. I really liked the way she did that and I missed the part of me that used to do that too. Somewhere along the way I became so heavy that taking on fun felt like excess energy I couldn’t spare.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that joining her in finding the pleasures of the day was one of the things that actually lightened my load.

I am grateful for being able to finally let go. I’m grateful for the people who have helped me do so along the way, and finally for the new found lightness that allows me to add only what I want to carry.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 27 of 30

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Challenge Day 27 of 30 – Gratitude for Kindness

Never ask yourself if the kindness of strangers is an accident. Everything happens for some reason. In that moment you needed to be reminded that you are seen and loved. Kindness between two or more people is another way to say friendship. It is the fastest way to make a stranger a friend.

Kindness to oneself is an act of love so profound that the rays of your self-acceptance stretch out so wide that they touch others and tenderly give them permission to be who they are too.

Kindness requires compassion. Compassion is the root of love. Every kindness we offer is the manifestation of love.

To whom will you extend your loving kindness today? How will you manifest love in your life?

I am grateful to have the knowlege that there is a very practical way to show love to everyone and anyone no matter the walk of life or the conflict you may find yourself in. Even cooler — Anyone can do it.

Just be kind. Repeat.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler ; )

Gratitude Challenge Day 26 of 30

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Challenge Day 26 of 30 – Gratitude for Stillness

It is so easy to fill our lives up with things that seem all important. Then we complain that we have no time for the things that matter to us. Heck we most often feel like there is no time to even sit still with ourselves.

This is really a farce. We act like someone other than us is doing this. We complain like we are victims of an illusive slave driver. What a joke !!

If you want your life to be made up of different things, then change it. I’m not saying snap your fingers and bam new life. But complaining doesn’t change a damn thing.

Take yourself seriously and make a game plan.

Drop the things that don’t really matter right away and those that need more time to detangle, just phase them out.

One of the best ways to do this is to give yourself the gift of stillness everyday. You can connect with what matters and what doesn’t. It sort of bubbles up if your willing to listen.

I am so grateful for stillness because it has allowed me to do this very thing. No one can go, go, go and expect to be healthy in body, mind, or spirit. Even music rests between sounds.

Imagine music without the pauses. Very stressful, right? That’s what you seem like when you walk around acting like your busier than the president of the United States. Oh no I have no time to call, to eat, to visit, to care, to breathe. You stress out yourself and others.

Get still and you’ll be surprised how much more you’ll get out of life.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

Gratitude Challenge Day 25 of 30

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Challenge Day 25 of 30 – Gratitude for Movement

My grandmother used to say that we were gypsies because we loved to travel so much in our family. Or maybe we are like sharks we need to move to stay alive. Nonetheless, I travel anytime I get the chance. I love to explore the world around me, learn new things, and meet new people.

But it goes much further than this.

I really enjoy being physically active; enjoying such activities as dancing, walking, hiking, biking, etc. etc. It is hard to imagine my life without movement playing a big part.

I am grateful that I can move through this world and I pray that I will always be able-bodied enough to move no matter the age. To me,  movement is life.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 🙂

Gratitude Challenge Day 24 of 30

wpid-screenshot_2014-08-16-19-49-03-1.pngChallenge Day 24 of 30 – Gratitude for Intention

If you’re anything like me, you grew up with the expression, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Then, a few decades later “The Secret” turns us on our heads with the idea that “what we believe we conceive.”  All of a sudden those very intentions ARE the core ingredient to success. What’s more, if we have good ones, we may not end up in hell after all!  So, what gives?

This was one of the conflicts I wrestled with before I could accept the “law of attraction” in my life.  I grew up learning to take responsibility for my actions.  The point my parents tried to get across wasn’t – you are what you think, it was about what you did.

As I thought about it, I realized that when you decide what you want in your life and get clear on your goals, it is easier to get rid of what doesn’t work.  Just by focusing on what you want relentlessly, you reject by default those things that don’t support your vision.  As you think about what you do want and really concentrate on it, you naturally take actions to achieve your desires. The better you get at linking thoughts and actions, the more efficient the process becomes.  Your life becomes a snowball of your thoughts leading to actions which create results.   

So, if your intentions are negative, even if they are rooted in a less conscious belief system, your actions will create the results that match your thoughts.  Ultimately, our brain wants things to make sense.  It is how we move through the world without constantly feeling shocked and panic by every new thing we encounter.  We try to organize the data we receive and normalize it.  So, if it makes sense for you to have a negative outcome, you will think and do what makes that possible.  Same story if you believe that the outcome should be positive.  You will do what it takes to achieve that result.

When I came to realize this connection, I saw that thought is very important, but alone (intention) is not enough. You need to take action when opportunity arises in order to get a result.  So it seems that the best thing we can do is some prep work to get our thoughts straight and our belief system aligned to the results we want.  Otherwise, we’re just spending a lot of time and money fooling ourselves that anything will change.

In summary, I am grateful for 4 things related to intentions:

a) the road to hell is NOT in fact paved with good intentions, it is paved with inaction
b) we can change our lives whenever we make the decision to do so
c) what we believe determines our range of actions 
d) intention + action changes your life

—— With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉

 

Gratitude Challenge Day 23 of 30

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Challenge Day 23 of 30 – Gratitude for Peace

When I finally let down my burdens on the Camino de Santiago, I felt a peace inside of me that I had not known since I was a child.

Now, whenever I see people at odds with each other or find myself in conflict, everything inside wants to find a way to peace. When you have spent a long time in conflict or angry you may not even know how much it weighs on you and effects every relationship in your life.

I am so grateful that I finally know the lightness that peace offers and I consider it a personal mandate to work towards that in everything I do and with everyone I interact.

It really does start with you. Get right inside and then you CAN be the change you want to see in this world.

With gratitude from aneternaltraveler 😉