Tag Archives: relationships

Tango and Life

Why does the tango imitate life like no other dance knows how? No matter how many times you watch it, you will feel different emotions depending on your life at the moment. It pulls together happiness, sadness, anger, violence,  regret, and fans the flames of your desire into a smoldering restrainted mess of hot coals waiting to catch fire.

To dance it is to know your own darkness. It allows you to discover what it will take to pull you from the depths of your own personal hell. Dancing tango tears at your soul becuase you cannot hide your soul from the dance. Tango reveals your truth and forces you to decide whether you will look at it in the face and dance or you will turn and spin away never to return.

Life, like tango, magically lets the full range of human experience flow from one move to the next. Moments strung together become a dance  we learn to savor more as we look back and can see how all the last steps have led to the next steps.

To tango. To life. To the next step.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Advertisements

Smile More Everyday

I was thinking today about the many ways in which we frustrate ourselves as human beings.  I wondered if there was a common cause of the hell we put ourselves through. So, I asked the question and waited for my mind to speak up.

Hours later…..

It came to me that much of our frustration can be traced to trying to change things or people that are not ready to change or feel no need to. Without realizing it many times, I think we¬†expect¬†others to consider¬†our way of doing things or our way of thinking as obvious brilliance. ¬†If they don’t comply we call them names or distance ourselves or worse gather other people together to “hate” them too. ¬†Sometimes that anger turns inward and becomes depression, especially when we take their behavior as a sign of our failure or inadequacy.

wpid-20131213_104651.jpgSometimes, in fact I think more often than we realize, we have to accept things as they are in the present. We cannot force our way or change someone else. ¬†Trust me, just like you I wish I could too. That annoying, undermining co-worker, the self-centered family member, the careless friend, and so on and so forth. ¬†Trust me. I get it. ¬†Why do you think I spend so much time trying to noodle my way into alternative pathways of thinking?? I struggle with these issues and I want you to know you’re not alone because we all do. ¬†Heck sometimes WE are these people for others.

What I’m beginning to learn is that while we are on the path to accepting others “as is”, we are going to have a lot of stress and frustration to manage. ¬†Acceptance is waaaaaay harder than hate. ¬†Acceptance asks us to let go of our own egos for the chance to be a great leader. ¬†Acceptance isn’t being passive. It is an active process and the greatest opportunity to eventually create real lasting change.

Most people don’t change or collaborate or compromise, because they feel threatened and defend their ego or their position. If you play into this, which most of us do, you end up with a stalemate. Everybody is positive they are right and each one digs in their heels.

In order to become the change you want to see in this world, you must release the obsessive thoughts that have become your focus in order to make room for more constructive energy to enter.

Exercise is Good for Your BrainPersonally, I do this by engaging in some form of physical activity during which I push myself past my own mind and out of my thoughts. ¬†Then, I keep going until I find myself laughing or smiling. Let me give you an example, yesterday I went for a long bike ride with a lot of changes in elevation. My lungs and my legs were really feeling it. To keep going I had to stay¬†completely focused on believing that I could get up that next hill. ¬†So, that meant I had to get rid of thoughts that weren’t helping me achieve that goal. That means those obsessive thoughts had to take a hike while I was on the bike ūüôā When I made it up the hill, I was feeling¬†like my lungs and legs would explode but it also felt good to show myself I could do it.

blond girl swingAt my half way point, I saw a park with swings.  A mother and child were swinging together and they looked so happy.  Next to them was another empty swing.  I stared at it for awhile remembering the joy I felt swinging as a child.  I wondered if it would be foolish to do it again at my age and whether my hips would even fit!  I said the heck with it and got on the swing and began to push myself higher and higher just like I did when I was a kid. I found myself spontaneously screaming Weeeeeeeeee!!! and smiling and laughing with such joy that I forgot all the negativity I started out with at the beginning of my ride. I was playing with the child inside that was always there waiting for me.

The point is this: Find a way to smile more everyday. Let go of the tension everyday. ¬†Don’t let it build up. If it takes an intense walk, run, bike ride, etc. to reset, then DO THAT. Everyday grant yourself peace of heart and mind by choosing to find your smile. Choose to play with that child inside. Reconnect. Remember who you are – you are not a reflection of other people’s behavior. You don’t need to change anyone or anything to feel good about yourself and your life right now. ¬†Just be.

Be Nice, dammit!

Being honest with yourself can be one of the hardest things you can do. The ability to see who you are and sit with it in peace is something I believe few of us acheive in our lifetimes. Most of us who do not sit on mountain tops, get glimpses now and then generally try to avoid the less than ideal stuff that comes up.wpid-img_991120245608510.jpeg

Recently, I was thinking about how difficult I find people. I really want to play well with others, but sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed by how toxic people can be. How much they are willing to hurt others for some perceived gain. It disheartens me. It is not as though we can walk away from every person like this. We have to work with them, live with them if they are family, associate with them if they are in an organization we volunteer.

I find myself often very depressed and anxious around these people. They suck the life out of everything and seriously decrease my creativity and joy. To make matters worse, they aren’t responsive to communicating about the problem and often try to blame it on you. It’s a real cespool of our worst human traits.

Personally, I have a hard time letting go of the feelings that arise from this because I feel trapped and uncomfortable. I don’t trust them and feel treated during our interactions. It plain sucks. To make a bad situation worse, it takes a hit on my self-esteem because I feel like a failure for not being able to handle the situation and create peace and harmony. I feel like the other person is saying, I don’t think you’re worth it to make things work. I feel resentful and angry then on top of helpless to advocate for change. A recipe for depression.

I’m curious to know if others have had similar experiences and at what they did.

For me, this one of the most challenging aspects of myself. I feel deeply, my skin is far thinner than people realize, and I have a hard time finding a way to positively interact with those who are unkind in this way. It eats me alive and I obsess over the “why!?!”

So I wondered if there are fellow empaths out there who have advice for me on not having it consume me.frustration

I suppose because it is considered unfashionable to “need” anyone nowadays, I have even tried to divorce myself from my own needs inside in romantic relationships. Fact is I’d like to have someone to take care of me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one looking out for myself. I have tried to make due with unloving men telling myself I can give that to myself and I don’t need that. That’s bullshit! You need to have both if you’re in a relationship. I miss feeling the safety of another person I can count on besides myself.

Nowadays it seems like everyone considers the other disposable. It is as if people try to pretend they need less connection than they really do. We all try to act like we’re ok when we’re lonely as hell and desperate for connection. Fewer and fewer people want to risk their own vulnerability. They keep people at arms length with texting and chatting electronically, but won’t expect themselves to act with courage towards one another.

Once upon a time, before technology became our life line to others, people actually faced challenges and people head on. Yeah it was tough, but it built character. You learned, by doing, what you could handle and as time went on you actually grew as a person. We talked things out and took for granted we’d be together, so the only two options were to be miserable together or work it out together.

The problem now is that now people don’t make that assumption and so their relationship is always on the line. You CANNOT build a relationship with someone when you are always willing walk away during challenges. No one could relax in this situation. With the constant threat of it ending, both people are not all in or committed. It is like being in a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Maybe it is nostalgia clouding my memories, but I remember it being easier to be in a relationship and to work things out with people. Now I just find myself digusted most of the time with how people treat one another.

Thoughts? Advice?

Plant-based Sex Drive?

One of the most fascinating changes I’ve experienced since switching to a mostly plant-based diet is that my sex-drive has really revved up!

This was very unexpected, but such a delight. I find that even the preparation of food is so sensual. Everything smells more profound and the feeling of the different textures brings so much pleasure. Cutting, slicing, breaking apart, peeling, stripping, washing; it has all become a kind of dance – a series of steps that I take towards manifesting a delicuous end result. .

By the time I am ready to put all of these ingredients into my mouth I am already feeling amazing. Food prep has become a kind of foreplay. I actually look forward to getting my meals ready. It is no longer a thing I rush through to get it done.

No. Now I have a relationship with each ingredient and begin to understand how it adds to my life. It is purposeful. Intentional. It fills me up. Supports my life. And I feel better than ever because I pay attention.

I have never had this experience with food. To actually feel as though I’m forming a relationship. ¬†To feel more sensual because of the food I eat. It is amazing.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this with food? Please share ūüôā

Life is Short

When you’re sick it makes you feel lucky for all the times when you are healthy.

Sunrises and sunsets? Some things are just beautiful no matter what and a constant reminder that you only get so many. So you gotta fucking enjoy them.

Some pizza and a bottle of wine with the right person. That can make the shittiest day better.

Coffee dates take up a pretty good chunk your time but they’re worth it.

You can choose to work yourself to death, but you can also throw all that work away for the right person. That may be chemical but it’s also magic.

Love comes around a couple of times if you’re lucky.

No matter what life always seems short.

from the movie Spring

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Lessons Learned from a Future Faker

For quite some time I have been trying to figure out how my now ex-boyfriend could have such bi-polar reactions in our relationship. Why wouldn’t he just follow-through when he made promises? Why did he walk out when he was caught or it became clear it was time to put his money where his mouth is? Why, in the end, did he disappear by text message from a year-long relationship filled with dreams of the future we’d share together? One day he was on, the next he was off. It was maddening. To make matters worse, he’d often try to make everything my fault. He was never responsible for anything including his lies and contradictions – I misunderstood. 

If it is true that the greatest love survives the harshest conditions and he claimed to love me deeply and want to spend his life with me, how could he disappear at the drop of a hat? That nagging question has plagued my scientific mind.

Then, I finally stumbled across the answer and my jaw dropped. I thought the description was written directly for my ex. He is a “Future Faker”.

A Future Faker is someone who talks big about the future, but never actually plans to deliver. They sell a fantasy and when you’ve bought in and expect them to deliver – they’re gone ASAP and usually in the most dramatic disappearing act they can muster.

And you’re left there holding an empty bag. You keep looking around thinking, this can’t be happening.

They on the other hand feel differently.  To pull from an article by Natalie Lue on Baggage Reclaim,

“If it didn‚Äôt work out in their mind, if they‚Äôre not feeling compelled by another person to break ther typical habit, they write off the possibilities,¬†press the Reset Button, and then lather, rinse, repeat with the next person. This also further distorts their self-image and general perception of past events because they focus on recalling how they made people feel good, not on how not following through caused pain and confusion.

They don’t actually care about how they made you feel after the reality breaks through the fantasy. They say what you want to hear and for a while get off on how happy that makes you and what you will do for them as a resultt of their words, but look closely they’re not doing much else but talking.

I found myself waiting around a lot for my ex to make good. I invested a lot of myself into him. I wasn’t prepared to just walk away without being sure I gave our relationship a fair shot. I found myself chasing after the outcome. He knew it was showtime and he wasn’t going to deliver. So, like a coward he escaped thinking only of his own back. I was left with the emotional mess to clean up. He, no doubt, has rounded up a new victim to sell his freak show to. As they say, there’s a sucker in every crowd.  I was the sucker this time. Someone else will be next time.

Men like this don’t just suddenly begin acting this way. They are practiced at it. So if you meet him and he’s 35, 44, or 56, don’t fool yourself into thinking the problem is you. It is not.  If he tells you his history as mine did to me and you’re horrified,  don’t turn your spidey senses off – just go. Don’t look back. You escaped. There was nothing good there waiting to happen.

At some point though I believe it will be hard for him to even believe his own shtick. Future Fakers run out of people to blame and eventually look in the mirror old with liver spots, wrinkles, and withered muscles and they see exactly who the problem has been all along. They also have nobody there to love them. Time’s up. Karma is a bitch.

I have learned so much from this relationship that never existed. I have learned that:

1.  Relationships only exisit when both people are being genuine.

2. People who try to fast forward quickly through the normal getting to know you / trust building steps are to raise big waving red flags.

3. REAL men handle tough circumstances with courage and integrity.

4. Actions must match words and if only one exists, rely on the actions to tell you what’s up.

5. Don’t make excuses for grown men. They are not children, they are not mentally handicapped. If you’ve made your expectations clear, they clearly know what to do. They either do and keep you or they don’t and they lose you.

6. Don’t ever chase a man down to fulfill a promise. If he loves you he will come through. A good man doesn’t want to disappoint you.

7. Leave any man who asks you not to trust yourself or your own thoughts or feelings. Leave if he tries to isolate you from friends or convince people you’re crazy so you have nowhere to turn but him. This is called gaslighting. It is mental / emotional abuse.

8. Only stay with someone who really gets you emotionally. Of course no one is a mind reader, you must communicate. But, if you have to constantly explain the meaning of things to him, there are basic compatibility issues.

9. If he causes drama the night before or day of a big event or something meaningful to you he is manipulating and sabotaging you. This man is not supporting your success or growth. He will be a bad life partner. Life is tough enough, you don’t want someone who would even soil the good times.

10. Remind yourself that you’re not running out of time, you’re not too old, and as long as you’re still making an effort you still have a shot at a healthy loving relationship. I am almost 40, I’ve been through two marriages and two divorces. My life has been turned upside down so many times it has taught me the meaning of the word resilience.  I need to believe there is a wonderful man out there who gets it like I do.

So, in some strange way this post has turned into a thank you letter. Now that’s a gratitude challenge!

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

The Power of Yes

My life is becomming more interesting the more I say yes. It is surprising who you meet or what you might do when you open yourself up to new experiences. 

image

For example, tonight I was asked on a date with someone who turned out to be a concert pianist for the Navy (yup that is him in concert above) We went to my favorite steakhouse and talked for hours about a full range of topics. When we initially met I had no idea this was his field, just that music was his passion .¬† It was cool because I also play piano. Initially we bonded for the fact that we both did the camino de santiago and share Spanish as a second language since he is half Spanish and half Argentine.¬† We also held a lot of interesting views on life. I literally spent hours just talking,¬† eating and drinking wine together.¬†¬†Then we crashed a gala…my idea ūüôā Fun!

My point is that you never know how something will turn out so it is best to be open. This is the idea of the “Power of Yes”. It is all about acceptance and knowing you’re going to be ok. In fact, the more you can open yourself up, the more you discover about who you are.

For example, having to come to terms that my ex is never coming back and I will never know why he left,¬† I have gone on a lot of dates since the breakup. I have reached out to friends and made into the city for festivals. I’ve renovated things in my house.¬† I’m going for a girly pedicure day tomorrow with another friend. Yes. Yes. Yes.

You have to take care of yourself in general, but especially after someone you love emotionally kicks your ass. Staying in is great and very therapeutic, but at some point you have to see people again not just the bottom of a pint of ben & jerry’s (not that I’ve ever done that). Getting to yes from within is tough. Sometimes you have to say it and trust thst the motivation or genuine interest will come later.

So here I am on to the next phase. It’s kind of like saying, yup he left, but now i know more about myself and I realize it is definitely his loss because I’m awesome and everybody gets to enjoy the best of me but him.

The most important person you can say YES to is yourself. Because YES = Acceptance = Love.

One of the most interesting discoveries I’ve made in life is that the people who love you stay in your life or always find their way back if they were meant to be there. So just keep on living and don’t worry, the ones who love you find a way to get to you. Nothing will stand in their way. The ones who don’t, never did in the first place.

You don’t have to make excuses for people. They are exactly where they’ve chosen to be. Otherwise,  they’d be somewhere else.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Change the Action, Change the Outcome

“I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are ‚Äď even if they’re bad ‚Äď to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.”
– Pay it Forward

I saw this quote and it got me thinking about how my relationship with Paul was always on again / off again. A problem would arise and we’d add distance or breakup. At some point we’d miss each other and find our way back on again.  Nothing got solved.

On the other hand, working through problems and actually making change to make things better can make a relationship better, stronger, and last longer. Every relationship has rough patches. So the key aspect here is¬†change. If things don’t change, then the results won’t change.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This is what kept me hanging on for so long. I believed him when he said he would make changes.  Each time he didn’t make good on that, I lost faith in him. It wasn’t that he couldn’t satisfy my needs, it was that he wouldn’t.  That was the most horrifyingly painful part for me. I would stand there with my brain in knots and just say, why? If actually being happy together comes down to you following through on what you said you would do, why don’t you do it?

The disappointment became chronic. I was losing the man I loved. All because wouldn’t. All the while he’d tell me he loves me. That I’m an amazing woman. So, what do you think it communicates to a woman then that you feel this way and yet will not keep your word? Does that make her feel special? Loved?  Honored? Respected? No sir, it does not.

It was never that I wanted someone else or that he wasn’t good enough or that he couldn’t make me happy. He just simply decided not to amd then walked away lying and telling himslef the problem was that he couldn’t make me happy. I have news for you – no woman would be happy with a man who doesn’t follow through and keep his word to her.

So yeah,  you walked away, you’re out there searching for someone new. But you are destined to keep repeating the same damn mistakes because you never learned how to deal.

It is so easy to walk away and think you’re dealing with a relationship issue, but really you’re just pushing it off to the next person you meet. The constant is you. Stop blaming it on the person you’re with.  If you left, you are a leaver. That’s not your partner doing that. That’s you.  It would be better to stay with the person you’re already with and work it out. Otherwise, you’ll invest again in someone else and be disappointed again in someone else.

At some point you have to realize that life is a patchwork called a relationship. Together you make a quilt. That quilt protects and shelters you as life goes on. Every time you start over with someone new, you start with a tiny patch that barely covers your palm. It is exhausting to keep doing this and when it is all said and done, you’ve got no love to keep you warm.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve had some major learning from this insight as well. We should have stuck it out when things got tough so we really knew we could work things out. You should have keep your word so I didn’t lose trust in you. When we found a solution that we both agreed on, it should have been implemented – no excuses. We would have still been together.

After many stops amd starts, do you think two people could change how they do things and do better forever? Could they get back together and stick together? Or would they break up again?

I think if things have changed, in that, you see the problem and how you two will commit to handling things, you can try again… But not by continuing. By starting over. 

Let’s revisit that quote one more time,
“I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are ‚Äď even if they’re bad ‚Äď to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.”
– Pay it Forward

We need to push past our comfort zone to grow.
With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

On Being Seen

Choking back my tears , she caressed my face  and said, “promise me you’ll find someone who sees you and let him see the person I see.”

This breakup has been a challenge. There are so many questions left unanswered. I wish he’d have mercy on me and call. He knows how much it hurts. He does it anyway. There are so many mistakes I’ve made in this relationship. That’s not to say it was all my fault,  but it is important to reflect on what you could do differently.

image

In fact, all this time away has helped me see a pattern which exists in all my relationships. First, I believe I don’t choose very reliable men. I have a fear of being abandoned buried in my psyche.  Every once in awhile it bubbles up in all its glory for another horrifying look.

I pick men who have a history of leaving the women they’re with and often in humiliating ways. My ex-husband trashed a 20-yr. marriage in the blink of an eye to be with me. There was even a kid involved. When it came to be my turn, he left me just as coldly for someone else that he had been sleeping with. My current ex-boyfriend, screwed around on his wife with more than 10 women behind her back. He even went so far as to bad mouth how “she treated him” to his family in order to get sympathy. Do you think he told his family about his adulterous acts? Hell no. Next thing you know a 10 yr. relationship went down the drain because “he wasn’t happy”. He divorced her!  And now here I am,  left by him without more curteousy than a text message. Coward.

I believe that people can change, but sometimes I give people who don’t deserve it waaaaaay too many chances to prove (in the end) that they couldn’t give a shit about me. It is all about them and their needs.

Why is it that we always want the ones who don’t see us and never the ones who do?

As much as I or anyone has issues, you have to be able to talk with your partner – to go deep and have those vulnerable conversations about how much of a mess you are in parts of your self. That person has to stick around and love you still after that. They can’t disappear. They can’t sort of be there. They have to feel solid.

That was really missing from my last relationship. I hung on for so long hoping it would happen, but ultimately,  he couldn’t hang in there with me. He didn’t see me and he didn’t

image

look long enough to even give it a fair try. No, he thought I was damaged. He went to therapy trying to find the right mental illness for me. He trash talked me to my best friend. He “loved” me in facebook with his sweet messages that friends and family would lap up, but he couldn’t manage to even pick up the phone to talk to me half the time.

It was a real mindfuck. On one hand he’d help me out keeping things tidy around the house or paying for this and that, on the other he’d emotionally terrorize me or always threaten to walk out.

I lived in such a state of constant flux, that I never knew what I’d get. He brought out the very worst in me. So many times he triggered past memories of my own child abuse and he’d laugh about it. He’d egg me on, telling me to hit him. It was so ugly.

I felt so on edge all the time. I felt fearful and ready to fight all the time. He would never calm down until he’d run through his rage.  I told him so many times what this does to me and how much it triggers my past, but any apology was temporary. Sooner or later he’d be back at it again. 

The more I think about it, emotionally, that man never showed up to support me. In fact many times he just down right sabotaged me when I need him the most. He was so selfish and needy. Even when I was sick and couldn’t talk after a surgery, he took advantage.

So…in summary…Here’s what I’ve learned:

Step one – pick ’em better.

Step two – be more tolerant of the stuff that doesn’t matter and less tolerant of the red-flag-waving bullshit.

Step three – pick someone who sees me.

…And she let’s out a big sigh and blogs on through this life learning a little more about something everyday….

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

The Hardest Thing

Sometimes you don’t get closure in the way that works best for you. ¬†Sometimes other people withhold it¬†because their bitterness¬†is their last connection to you. ¬†In the end, all heartbreaks are really personal journeys aren’t they? Even when you have your answers, you’re on your own to sort it out.

Blue Footed Boobies. Isla de Plata.
Blue Footed Boobies. Isla de Plata. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “He sent you a text breakup and he’s still creepin’ on you?” ¬† “Guuuurl…that’s cold.”

After my boyfriend broke up our 1 year relationship via text message, I couldn’t bring myself to even respond for about 1 month. There are no words to describe the range of emotions I was feeling. As a result of a misunderstanding, I reached out to him to thank him for something I, mistakenly, thought he sent to me as an apology. That is when I realized I was blocked — from everything.

I was in shock and disbelief.  Did he send me the text and go balls against the wall total def-con 5 NO CONTACT? Did he really want to even keep me from responding?  And still after a whole month?

I’m not going to lie. ¬†I kind of lost it. ¬†I tried every form of communication I knew of to reach him. Multiple times. I couldn’t believe it was for real. ¬†I thought surely he would return a call or a message. Nope. Instead he found new places to block me. Nice. Who is this man? ¬†Then I find out he’s creepin’ my Facebook page and even tried to hack into it. ¬†Yet he refuses direct contact. Again I ask, Who is this man?

So there I was making a fool out of myself. All. By. Myself.

I’m a “why” person. Curious. Investigative. There is no surprise I became a scientist ūüôā I like to know answers to questions. I like to unravel cognitive dissonances. ¬†With this I got nothin’. ¬†Sure I have my theories, but ultimately I couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t bring himself to have even a conversation with me.

Basically, I have been making myself crazy with constant – Why? Why? Why?

It had to stop.  So today I did the hardest thing.  I left my last voicemail with the ball in his court to call. I walked away without answers.  This is my personal living hell. But I had to do it for me.

Even if a relationship needs to end, do yourself and your lover a favor, end it while preserving one another’s dignity.

Still seeking everlasting love
– aneternaltraveler