Archives

Sitting On The Fence

I can fake a smile.

I can pretend that I’m okay…

but I’m only in denial.

My hearts been chained.

sitting on the fence

Time doesn’t always look you in the face. Quite often time is what holds us in the balance of our choices. 

Do you ever wonder why we do some things in our lives over and over despite knowing it will not result in any different outcome? Repeatedly, every time?  Probably results that we know do not serve us.

Decisions for me were times in my life when I struggled. There were these inevitable arguments between my instincts and life’s external/internal expectations. The arguments would paralyze me. Not making any decision is A decision, a decision to remain stuck. That thing we call “time” ran on while I chose to remain behind. My choice had been to remain stuck in the same place because I was stranded in the balance of not deciding. I’m certain I don’t need to explain the pathology behind my chronic indecisiveness to most, nor explain the certain kind of bliss of not taking any ownership for making a decision. If I didn’t decide I couldn’t be blamed. Right?

Denial feels like a wonderful thing….for a awhile. Denial helps support indecisiveness in multitude of ways. Repeating not making decisions was not serving me, it was actually just another form of denial.

When finally I found I could no longer fake the smiles I began to make decisions that started to unchain my heart. Shame began to fall away.

Transparency Time.

I knew things were off for a long time, I mean 10 plus years of a “longtime.” Those misguided notions I chose to let my heart ignore. All that was off in my life; it all began to mess with my emotional intelligence, and this finally messed with my spiritual health, which in turn messed with my physical health.

To be as transparent about this “longtime” as I can let me say I had found the only way to cope with all that I was denying was to get numb. Because I was dealing with physical health issues I had convinced myself I needed pharmaceutical medications to function mentally and physically. With hindsight the truth is the medications helped me stay in denial, it helped me to remain numb to the pain, both physical and mental. This treatment modality helped me stay stuck. So much in denial was I that it took major life alterations for myself to begin to feel again.

Which meant having to make decisions.

Some extremely frightening decisions had to be made by myself if I ever intended to expect different results; if I ever expected a resemblance of emotional and physical health again.What I had been doing by doing nothing certainly was not working except to keep me stuck. Time didn’t stick though and I was losing a lot of it. Too much of it.

A decision had to be made. Decisions had to become part of my game plan. Denial was no longer working. Faking a smile was no longer getting me by.

NOT making a decision WAS a decision. One that in time I could no longer live with.

Deciding to make major lifestyle changes was frightening but staying stuck was scaring me more.

I began the long task of excavating myself to discover what it was that wasn’t working for me and I made drastic changes.

The first one I made was possibly the most important change. I changed my habit of over-thinking everything, every step, every move. I made a vow to begin the change and decided to listen to my instincts while learning to trust them versus the dwelling of second guessing.

Making decisions about everything from my marital status, removing toxic medications and toxic relationships were the most difficult choices to make for this lady who typically found it a struggle to decide what to take out of the freezer for dinner. Don’t believe it if you are told an “old Lady” can’t learn new tricks. Not true. Although the new lessons might come slow, taking their time they’ll come. Just make the decision to learn.

It will be five years in July that I made the most drastic decisions. Making physical changes in moving my residence to living alone, then the gradual removal of pharmaceutical medications that were doing far more harm than any good, all the while filtering those in my life and the weight I give to respective relationships.

With great joy I found my health and my life reaching a place of good I had not been in for a long, long time. This time in my life I decided to jump off the proverbial fence of indecisiveness of being stuck. Deciding this is the time when I finally choose to take ownership for my well-being and the serenity of self peace.

The changes inside me are not changes most see, some who do see the changes see them as misguided deflections, but then there are those who do see the authenticity that I am striving to live today.

No more fake smiles.

No more denial.

When it’s time to quit.

ttaylor2016

Drawing Lines In The Sand.

 

Don’t take it personal.

There came a time when our mutual respect for life and one another got muddied. It isn’t important who might be more culpable or not in fostering the circumstances, the fact is communication broke down. It took two. Please don’t make it personal when my choice is to remove myself.

Drawing lines in the sand with someone really isn’t personal towards them, it’s absolutely about finding the self-importance to not allow anything or anyone to become chaos in your life. That’s not personal, that’s survival.

We typically don’t live in a bubble, we have all kinds of interactions with all kinds of people and circumstances. To not create boundaries would allow people, places and things to run amuck in our presence. A good and wise friend shared with me a priceless mantra that I quickly adopted, I am paraphrasing: We have three options when dealing with chaos in our lives: ” We can change it, we can accept it, or we can eliminate it.” Pretty clear to me.

I’m addressing the “eliminate it” faction of the mantra…. interesting to me is that to “change it” or to “acceptance it” is seen as all that is good and selfless, meeting with approval by most. “Eliminating it” however is seen as evil and selfish, met with disapproval.

Boundaries are a necessary layer to a healthy life and healthy satisfying relationships, but there is no denying that creating boundaries requires skills, and unfortunately those skills are seen as negatives. Sadly so many of us believe we don’t have the right to set boundaries; let alone know how. Knowing when and how to draw lines in the sand means knowing and understanding what your limits are; what you can change, what you can accept, and what you need to eliminate.

Adopting skills aimed specifically at drawing lines in the sand means that you are honoring your self-value  enough to get real honest with yourself first, and then with those  who you need to draw lines with.

 Own limits.

Identify physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits, know what you can accept, change what you can’t accept, or eliminate it.

Trust feelings.

Red flags or cues tell us that we’re letting go of boundaries,  ask what is causing that? Where is the discomfort coming from? It’s a tell when someone acts in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable it’s a cue there may be a line being crossed, a violation of boundaries.

Direct and transparent

Maintaining healthy boundaries may sometimes need a more direct communication about your boundaries. There will be people and circumstances that might bring about a need to be more direct and transparent. Just do it. With kindness.

Give permission. Fear, guilt and self-doubt are motivators for remaining stuck, Give permission to trust that we are not meant to be able to cope with any and every situation. Give permission that when we feel drained by the interactions of others and circumstances that we deserve to have boundaries in the first place. Perhaps it would serve us to know that boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. Give permission to set boundaries and work to maintain them.

Self-awareness. An awareness that boundaries are about honing in on your feelings and honoring them. If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries.

Past and present. Family roles can be obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries. Ignoring your own needs might have become the norm for you.

Self-care a priority. Give permission to put yourself first so the need and motivation to set boundaries become stronger.  Recognize the importance of feelings and honoring them.

Be assertive. It’s not enough to create boundaries, we actually have to follow through. assertive communicating when a boundary has been crossed and establish an “accept it,  or change it, or eliminate it” stance.

Getting real honest with ourselves helps foster getting real honest with where our boundaries need to be placed, and to maintain them.

 

©ttaylor2017

 

Gracious Tenacity

 

[An annual posting]

I thought that my 50’s was to be the decade of my life. I found grace in my 50’s that I had been looking for in my 40’s. As I still recognize that Grace is a calling I am celebrating with 62 years to my credit that I have also found a rather ‘Gracious Tenacity. ‘

I believe we each have a calling in life and that grace is very much part of our calling. In my 50’s I realized and understood that listening to our callings is really simply listening to the voice and heart of our grace. Grace is the listening, seeing, and being present in each moment. Grace is the ability to stay away from yesterdays,  it’s the grace to not look towards tomorrows. Grace grows inside of us, grace is woven with tolerance, patience, generosity……woven like a thread…. a voice of uncertain certainty.

Then Grace meets Tenacity…..

This newest decade has become surprisingly my favorite decade, and no one is more surprised by this than I.  A tenacity that I had only seen glimpses of become part of the grace I’d found and nurtured. Had I had the foreshadow to know this in my 40’s I might have been less crazed. Maybe.

When the going got rough in my late 50’s while navigating circumstances unlike any other time of my life I discovered a determination I had not known before. Serving what I was dealing with I began developing a strong tenacious sensibility. Oddly enough I would have never used the description tenacious and myself in the same sentence…..not until about two years ago. My 60’s.

Tenacious me? Yep. Determined, persistent, perseverance, stick-to-itiveness – whatever label is applied it’s really about hanging on through the challenges and bumps in the road while chasing your dreams and eventually achieve your goals. Though each of these words above represents the same fundamental ideology, admittedly my latest decade to my credit has come with a  strong affinity for my own concept of tenacity. Tenacity to me is about so much more than not giving up on dream chasing and reaching for goals… It’s about focusing on growth, innovation and stretching beyond my comfort zones and normal boundaries.

In tenacity I am finding a gracious empowerment. Perhaps it’s the discipline of applying an unwavering approach to dream chasing. Clearly understanding the difference between not giving up and stubbornly doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome is part of that tenacity I call mine today.

(I heard stubbornness referred to as tenacity’s ugly twin – I think that sums it up pretty well.)

Being tenacious focuses on growth with purpose, continuing to evaluate actions and progress; remaining flexible and adjusting methods so to leave nothing to chance.

Tenacity is mastering self motivation, being an avid learner and quick study.

Tenacity is having no qualms about asking for help when the need arises.

Grace is recognizing the importance of mastering internal motivation and applying the tenacity to reach it. While dream chasing with tenacity it’s important to bear in mind that such adventures are rarely undertaken in a vacuum; begin by going for a goal that is just a little out of reach, something that requires new knowledge and new skills in order to achieve. Then continue to build on each successive accomplishment.

The point: Those who are tenaciously passionate about achieving their dreams are not easily distracted or discouraged. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. 

” Persistence is doing something again and again until it works. Tenacity is using new data to make new decisions to find new pathways to find new ways to achieve goals when the old ways didn’t work”    ~Seth Godin

Graciously…. persistently…. tenacious.

 

©

ttaylor2017

The Blue Skies Crashed Down

blue-sky-clouds-425x282

It’s been weeks now. I still forget “he” is not there to reach out to. I forget that the Blue Skies have crashed with his leaving me behind. I forget for moments at times that he is no longer here for me to reach out to, not here to process my writing with, not here to share music with, not here to philosophize with.

The Blue Sky crashed and sometimes I am not sure I can do this alone. I’ve not felt this way for several years, but there it is…. sometimes I am lost without him being here. Seems like he always has been here, wan’t he since our teens? Now he is not.

If I am really honest with myself I would admit that these past few years have been more and more painful for him to navigate, the shadows he lived behind were continually growing deeper, so deep I think he could no longer dig out alone…and he’d not let anyone in.

I know that what I am feeling is purely selfish and self-centered… so be it. I’ll own that.Leaving without any word to why he made the choice to not say good-bye has been hard to swallow, I keep analyzing our past conversations looking for ‘tells”…..but I am still missing the signals.

 

grief1

Except, I clearly feel the blue sky crashing down sometimes.

I can see his smile still, I can feel his pain still, I can feel his tears of despair, still….I saw that there was no longer any ray of hope left…..I understood he wanted to give in.

But I didn’t think he would try again… I sure as hell didn’t know he would win…..finally.

The Blue Sky Crashed Down on him…..and he did it alone.

I miss you my friend. Life isn’t the same.

I am trying to let go of the anger. Still.

 

 

 

©

ttaylor2017

 

 

The Difference Of Four Years & A Certain Grace

Hindsight and four years later makes all the difference in my world and to the grace of my emotional intelligence. Approaching January 2017 I read past narratives like the one below that I wrote while navigating the biggest personal storm of my life with a sense of detachment. Was that really me?
Since opening the door to my life alone on January 4th 2013 I have become the person I was shirking away from for a lifetime. A person who had become so immersed in what others expected that I lost myself and the dreams I had always planned to chase.
Today this person I am is as different as the four years that became my learning curve to the truth of who I really am and how I got to here. I read the narrative below and find I don’t connect with who that person was who wrote those words in 2013.
What a difference a year can make, what a difference four years makes. There is a certain grace is being mindful of this.
Dream Chasing at warp speed!
difference-drawing-make-year-favim-com-586727

…..or four

(*originally written in 2013)
What I know To Be True-  Dreams Are Meant To Be Chased
I don’t know a lot to be absolute truths, but two other things I do know to be true are feelings are not forever and change is inevitable.
Reflections on where I have been and where in life I am today are much like self-inventories that are also inevitable.
Questioning;
 “What happened to the significance of living the life I wanted?”
“Do I have a different idea about what The Dream Chasing really was?”
“Is it different from what I dreamed of chasing so many years ago? “
My Dream Chasing today seems not very different from what I dreamed before I stopped chasing it, although very different from what and how I am chasing it. This I say with great certainty.
Could it be that the dream has always remained the same and it is I that was constantly changing? 
Is it I  that let go of chasing the hope that one day I would realize my dreams were within reach?
Truth is I had let go.
I just stopped…well.. because I allowed myself to believe a misconception that it had become pointless.
I’d convinced myself that because my dream did not matter to anyone who was important to me it should not need to matter to me either.
I allowed myself to forget that feelings are not forever and that people change.
But I was wrong. Terribly wrong.
Chasing my dreams and the plans I’d made changed many moons ago by a storm that went through my life, leaving me in the dust of its wake.
That person and the dreams I had originally been chasing to reach were completely struck off course by life’s bizarre sense of humor.
But then again; was it really the dream I was meant to live?
Maybe this has all been for naught, this time of questioning and lack of clear direction.
But I think not. The truth is I have gained much wisdom about this person….the woman…I have always meant to be.
Clearly I began to understand that I couldn’t authentically become the person I had tried to be, the one who would attempt to meet what was expected of her by others.
Clearly living my truths were not where I’ve been.
 I hope that one day I will apply the wisdom, find the clarity and the courage to do so.
Though I don’t mean it to I realize that these words of mine might sound a bit strange; especially to someone who’s maybe never taken a leap without knowing where they’re to fall.  Or if they’ll nail the landing.
 That person I tried to be, the one I had to work so hard to be, was in the end not someone I could reconcile with. Not someone I took pride in.
This shouldn’t be so hard.
 This person; she is not even the real me.
I am an impostor.
 This person is some others’ idea or composition of what they wish I would be.
How did I ever let this happen?
 Why did I ever let go?
I am ashamed of this fake person I have become.
 I’m not comfortable in my own skin..
Authentically living my life I AM NOT!
I know that angry woman who is buried inside is not me.
I have to send her away.
I need to find the peaceful & loving me again.
I think she is still there.
 
ttaylor2016

When It’s Time To Quit

I can fake a smile.

I can pretend that I’m okay…

but I’m only in denial.

My hearts been chained…

been imprisoned by shame.   ~ A 2011 state of mind:

 

sitting on the fence

Time doesn’t always look you in the face. Quite often time is what holds us in the balance of our choices. 

Do you ever wonder why we do some things in our lives over and over despite knowing it will not result in any different outcome? Repeatedly, every time?  Probably results that we know do not serve us.

Decisions for me were times in my life when I struggled. There were these inevitable arguments between my instincts and life’s external/internal expectations. The arguments would paralyze me. Not making any decision is A decision, a decision to remain stuck. That thing we call “time” ran on while I chose to remain behind. My choice had been to remain stuck in the same place because I was stranded in the balance of not deciding. I’m certain I don’t need to explain the pathology behind my chronic indecisiveness to most, nor explain the certain kind of bliss of not taking any ownership for making a decision. If I didn’t decide I couldn’t be blamed. Right?

Denial feels like a wonderful thing….for a awhile. Denial helps support indecisiveness in multitude of ways. Repeating not making decisions was not serving me, it was actually just another form of denial.

When finally I found I could no longer fake the smiles I began to make decisions that started to unchain my heart. Shame began to fall away.

Transparency Time.

I knew things were off for a long time, I mean 10 plus years of a “longtime.” Those misguided notions I chose to let my heart ignore. All that was off in my life; it all began to mess with my emotional intelligence, and this finally messed with my spiritual health, which in turn messed with my physical health.

To be as transparent about this “longtime” as I can let me say I had found the only way to cope with all that I was denying was to get numb. Because I was dealing with physical health issues I had convinced myself I needed pharmaceutical medications to function mentally and physically. With hindsight the truth is the medications helped me stay in denial, it helped me to remain numb to the pain, both physical and mental. This treatment modality helped me stay stuck. So much in denial was I that it took major life alterations for myself to begin to feel again.

Which meant having to make decisions.

Some extremely frightening decisions had to be made by myself if I ever intended to expect different results; if I ever expected a resemblance of emotional and physical health again.What I had been doing by doing nothing certainly was not working except to keep me stuck. Time didn’t stick though and I was losing a lot of it. Too much of it.

A decision had to be made. Decisions had to become part of my game plan. Denial was no longer working. Faking a smile was no longer getting me by.

NOT making a decision WAS a decision. One that in time I could no longer live with.

Deciding to make major lifestyle changes was frightening but staying stuck was scaring me more.

I began the long task of excavating myself to discover what it was that wasn’t working for me and I made drastic changes.

The first one I made was possibly the most important change. I changed my habit of over-thinking everything, every step, every move. I made a vow to begin the change and decided to listen to my instincts while learning to trust them versus the dwelling of second guessing.

Making decisions about everything from my marital status, removing toxic medications and toxic relationships were the most difficult choices to make for this lady who typically found it a struggle to decide what to take out of the freezer for dinner. Don’t believe it if you are told an “old Lady” can’t learn new tricks. Not true. Although the new lessons might come slow, taking their time they’ll come. Just make the decision to learn.

It will be five years in July that I made the most drastic decisions. Making physical changes in moving my residence to living alone, then the gradual removal of pharmaceutical medications that were doing far more harm than any good, all the while filtering those in my life and the weight I give to respective relationships.

With great joy I found my health and my life reaching a place of good I had not been in for a long, long time. This time in my life I decided to jump off the proverbial fence of indecisiveness of being stuck. Deciding this is the time when I finally choose to take ownership for my well-being and the serenity of self peace.

The changes inside me are not changes most see, some who do see the changes see them as misguided deflections, but then there are those who do see the authenticity that I am striving to live today.

No more fake smiles.

No more denial.

When it’s time to quit.

 

 

ttaylor2016