I saw Jane Goodall speak recently. She has been one of my heroes since I was a little girl. And there she was, wise and candid. She wears her humanity on her sleeve, and the her low ponytail, now grey, is iconic.
She spoke of Motherhood, of her own Mother. She shared that she had been blessed with the kind of Mother who, when she found young Jane had sneaked a few earthworms into her bed when she came in for a nap, did not recoil and shame her. She simply said “Jane, if we leave them here they won’t survive.” She spoke to her with compassion, using reason and empathy, and then helped her to place the wiggly worms where they belonged, in the garden.
I was blessed with the same kind of Mother, who nurtured my heart and let me be me. It’s because of her I knew what love was when I encountered it out in the world. It’s because of her I knew how to love-back.
weirdycutyfreaky: Where the wild Roses grow, 2012.
Nobody’s going to rescue you. Nobody’s going to take you away from it all. And even you do find a knight who would know that it’s fleeting, artificial; a bandaid.
You have to take that first step yourself, and then the second one, and then every fucking step that comes after that. Every. Single. Day.
And it’ll get easier along the way because you’ll stop looking for someone else to pick you up and do the work. But it will always be work, picking yourself up. The reality is you’ll never learn how if you keep reaching out instead of reaching in.
There is no truer truth; You’re going to have to save yourself. And when you do you’ll learn how powerful you really are.
I tucked my phone into my sports bra while I acrobatted my way up to the top of the hoop. “Sit pretty for a while and get used to the height,” my coach said. I had to have evidence.
It’s a long way down.
"I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. “
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Art by: laura kashmir
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (x)
My first serious boyfriend was older than I was. When I told him I loved him he scoffed and said “You’re not in love with me Heart, you’re in love with the idea of me.” I was hurt he would say that, that he would dismiss my feelings. But in hindsight he was right. I was in love with what I wanted him to be, what I thought he represented, what I thought I was in his eyes, with the way he looked at me. I was young and I didn’t even love myself yet. Turns out when I broke up with him he decided that his love for me was real. Funny, that. Things ended terribly. He was manic depressive and un-medicated and I was immature enough to hold myself responsible for his feelings.
He called me yesterday. Out of no where, just to see how I was doing. I hadn’t heard from him in a few years. He wanted to stroll down memory lane, but I didn’t have the time or the interest. It was all so long ago. There are some lessons you have to learn on your own. -Heart <3
Stage 5 - Acceptance
I stopped asking myself why. I know the reason. Because they wanted this. And that was more important. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
It’s very hard losing two people you care about at once.
You know that phase where every song on the radio, every place you drive by, and a million things around your house reminds you of them? Multiplied by two it’s unreal.
Then, just when I thought the worst had come to the surface, there’s a sucker punch, insult to injury. More complication. More hurt. I was in disbelief. I started again at the bottom. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. I’m hovering so close to acceptance. I want it so bad. Just to end the madness.
Eventually the other feelings (anger, betrayal, confusion…) they finally give way to just one; sadness.
They say that acceptance doesn’t mean you’re over the situation, only that you have accepted this new reality and can move forward. I’m not there yet but i want to be. So this post is like an IOU.
I have to examine how I got myself into a position where the rug could be pulled out from under me like this. I have always been that girl with the open heart, the girl who trusts too easily, the girl who assumes people are good and the Golden Rule is fact. The girl who sometimes holds wounds and curses and vows to never let it happen again. I fall fast and hard. I follow my heart. It leads to great adventures and great disasters.
Is this the lesson? To be less trusting? To be more careful? Or is it something else? I’m trying to go over it all with new eyes, see the red flags I missed, see the signs that I didn’t heed. I hate the way it all looks through that lens. It makes me feel foolish. Like a tool.
I have had some strong support. I am blessed for that. I want to make room for those stories. I still haven’t figured out where to go from here, what this all means. I’m working on it, though. That’s the best I can do for now.
There’s this line in the movie ‘The Departed’ about how children of alcoholics lie to keep the peace. We’re always afraid to rock the boat. We’re used to walking on egg shells.
I remember whenever my Father was away for a few days it felt like the whole house could breathe. We laughed more. I wasn’t dragging my feet on the way home from school, trying to stay away as long as I could.
My husband has said, in his sarcastic way, “Unlike most alcoholic fathers yours did you the favor of sticking around.” Instead of having issues with abandonment, questions about who this man was, I know all too well. I got to watch how his addiction hurt us, and hurt himself. I also had the chance to really understand that it’s not so cut and dry. He’s one of the greatest men on the planet. He really is. He’s a loyal friend, a hard worker, champion of the underdog, clever and resourceful. He’s talented, though don’t ever tell him I said so. It was always so painful to see who he was out in the world, to know that he was truly good and kind, and then to see who he became when he was drinking, and how he hurt those of us who were closest to him.
If he had left I’d have trust issues. I’d be afraid of being ditched. Instead I have the opposite. I put up with too much. I endure for too long. I try to keep the boat sailing smoothly against all fucking odds. I somehow live under this twisted notion that if I just say the right thing, make the right choices, love hard enough, if I’m good, then I can fix things. I have hope even when hope is ridiculous. I see the good in people even when the bad is very scary. My need for control comes from watching him have none.
I’m not mad at him for giving me these traits. They make me good at my job. They make me a good friend. They have made me strong and determined long past the point where most would give up. I have reaped rewards for what can only be described as my stubborn endurance.
My husband has been going through a difficult personal time. He is working on his own issues, he has been depressed, he hasn’t been himself. People are entitled to this, processes like this are how we grow and develop and move on, but it has been very difficult to be here, sailing the ship through turbulent waters, trying to keep the peace.
I am lucky to have a partner who is committed to working on his short-comings, someone who wants better for himself and his family. I’ve watched my Father make the same mistakes my whole life, happy enough to never learn the lesson. He’s getting worse instead of getting better. My husband isn’t the type to just settle, and neither am I. I am grateful for this. We strive to achieve all of the things we know in our hearts we deserve. Getting there is tough sometimes though.
I’m tired of picking up the phone and getting bad news. I’m exhausted by the pain some of my friends and family have been in lately. Hardships, and heartbreak and a diagnosis with no silver lining. Tough lessons, and tough times and choices you have no choice but to live with. It hurts and I’m feeling down, but I know how to navigate these shit storms. I’ve lived through so many.
So thanks, Dad. For teaching me how to love people while they wrestle their demons. For making me an artist when it comes to keeping the peace. For forcing me to learn that no matter how choppy the waters are I won’t go under. For teaching me how to endure.
(Art: Lovesick by Domke, Germany)