Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015: A year of firsts...

Wow. I can't believe a whole year went by and I didn't post a single blog...here. It isn't that I stopped expressing myself through writing, but rather that I redirected my energies elsewhere and wrote even more. Just—not here. I will share what I have been writing, but first...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2015 has been a year of firsts. Starting with my youngest daughter giving birth to her first child; a girl. She is stunningly beautiful and a joyful addition to the family. On a humorous note, her arrival also proved a point. My daughter had repeatedly stated that she was NOT going to give birth on a holiday because that's so unfair to the child. I kept reminding her to be careful because the universe doesn't recognize the word "not" because it's a negative and if she keeps saying that, she'll have a holiday baby. Well, guess what? Our little bundle of joy arrived on Valentine's Day.

Yes, I secretly chuckled to myself...

In the Spring, I participated in some online classes, another first, all pertaining to advancing my writing skills. One class turned out to be a waste of time and money, but the other was, and still is, an invaluable resource for information and contacts.

Armed with new skills and brimming with inspiration, I marched into Summer with a goal: write and publish my first fiction novel before Christmas. I'm pleased to report that I not only achieved that goal, but I wrote TWO fiction novels, and laid out the framework for a third on index cards.

Novella-length "Days of Chaos" can be found here:  Days of Chaos

Full-length "Dust of Earth" is currently with my editor at Silver Jay Editing.

I expect to release "Dust of Earth" by Valentine's Day, 2016. At least, that's my goal. And, as long as I'm sharing links, if you'd like to follow the progress of the "Quest of the Guardians" series of books, my new blog is here.

And, there's even a sign-up list so you can receive new book release notifications. Just click here.

Needless to say, all of these links represent a whole series of additional "firsts." First author's page, first professional editor, first subscriber list, and even my first time learning how to do all this stuff. I can say without hesitation that I enjoy writing much more than figuring out how to do this online marketing and promotion stuff. I miss the good old days when you put ads in newspapers and magazines and handed out business cards to anyone willing to take one. It was so much simpler. One of my goals for 2016 is to hire someone to do all this for me, which will be another first.

Oh, I have one more literary first...I hired a webmaster to build a website for the Quest of the Guardians series. It isn't available for viewing yet, but when it is, you will be able to find it at: Quest of the Guardians.

But my list of firsts doesn't end there. 2015 is also the year I took legal action against someone else for the first time. I never thought I would see the day that I would take that step. I'm just too forgiving and tolerant of other people's foibles. But this time, the damage done to me was so big, so wrong, and so unjustified, that I just couldn't walk away. You see, I was disabled by domestic violence nearly a decade ago and, too stubborn to apply for disability because I prefer to think of myself as inconvenienced, not disabled, I've been struggling to support myself ever since. But, on Dec. 2nd, members of management violated my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act so forcefully that only a fool would have not responded with legal action. I'm getting my job back, but it isn't over yet, so I'll just leave it at that and say no more on the subject.

Overall, 2015 was an eventful year in which I learned a lot, grew a lot, and clarified for myself what direction I want to go from here. I have been writing since I was nine years old. Writing is a compulsion. There has never been a time in my life when I wasn't writing something. Whether it was poetry, letters, legalese, or articles about horses. Writing fiction has always burned in the back of my mind as something I want to do "someday." Well, someday has finally arrived. Quest of the Guardians is already a complete series in my head and soon to follow will be "210 Marsh Street."

But, one series at a time...

Meanwhile, I hope all of you had a great year and that 2016 will be even better!






 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

It feels like just a few weeks ago that I was writing last year's New Years Eve post. As I review previous year's posts I begin to see a pattern. It's as if each year embodies a specific aspect of my life journey. There's always one or two things that rise to the surface as the most significant discovery or lesson for that year. When I review the events of 2014 I find two things rise to the surface of my thoughts.

1. Toxic people.
2. I seem to always be re-inventing myself.

As for the first, toxic people, there always seems to be plenty of them in my life. Or more accurately, TRYING to be in my life. I'm happy to report I have become much better at recognizing them and setting boundaries. But I find that when they happen to be members of my family, it's a little tougher. Well, a LOT tougher.

This year I found it necessary to draw a line in the sand with my own child. After nearly a decade of trying to rebuild our very damaged relationship, she decided to revert to old behavior and I had to say no to her in such a way that I don't know if we'll ever be close again or not. It was a very painful and difficult decision, but I have reached that point in my life where I simply have to put my own well-being first for a change. She is 30 years old and you can't help someone who is not interested in helping themselves. They are a destructive and selfish force that will drain every bit of energy you have, and then blame you for their own self-created misery. I know there are those who will disagree with me, and that's okay. I hope they never have a person in their life that is so toxic that they change their minds and decide I'm right after all.

As for the second, I once again find myself learning a new skill. I enjoy learning. I always have. And throughout my life I have often taught myself whole new skill sets for whole new careers. Sometimes as a matter of necessity, sometimes as a matter of interest. I have done this so many times that I have grown to recognize a learning pattern that leads to what I call "The Wave."

First, you have to decide what you want to learn, and if it happens to be something you know little or nothing about, you flounder around for a good long time. When you don't know what you don't know, you don't even know what questions to ask or what information to seek out, so you just start casting around and trying different routes until you find something that feels right. Then you have to just buckle down and start learning. Initially, the learning curve is huge and rapid because there's just so much new information to soak up and you often find yourself wondering if you're learning the right stuff because it doesn't necessarily make sense or fit together in a logical way. But, if you stick with it long enough, you will eventually start to feel that wave.

The Wave is a sensation of being pulled along, like you've finally figured out how to use the paddles and get the boat going in the right direction so the current can help you. That's when all the random pieces of the puzzle start to fit together and you start building momentum toward your goal. You can see the goal and it's starting to feel like you can actually reach it. It's a great feeling because it feels "right" in a way that's hard to explain unless you've experienced it.

The big mystery goal I set for myself this year? I have always wanted to write adventure fiction. You know, stuff like "Lord of the Rings" or "Harry Potter." For as long as I can remember, I have been utterly fascinated with archeology, mythology, and ancient religious doctrine. I have wiled away many hours of my life imagining fantastical stories about why Neanderthals drew animals on cave walls or what the writers of mythology or the Bible were really trying to describe, and these contemplations have always evolved into some kind of adventure story in my mind. But I never knew how to get the stories out of my head and onto paper in such a way that others might find it worthwhile to read.

This year I decided to do something about it. As always, I stocked up on "How to" books and started studying, but that wasn't enough, so I also joined an online writers boot-camp founded by a successful published author and took the brave step of putting my efforts in front of other writers for critique. The experience has been rewarding and educational and in the final months of 2014 I began to feel that coveted Wave.

I have rearranged my workspace so that I can easily transition back and forth between the crafting I enjoy so much and the writing that is quickly becoming a passion. I even carry a stack of index cards in my lunch box to jot down notes about ideas that come to me while I am at work. Some of my co-workers even seem to enjoy hearing about the crazy ideas I have at times, often inspired by something as simple as a stray twig that just happens to look like it's covered with eyes. My brain takes that odd twig and puts it together with some juicy bit of history or archeology or mythology and spins it into something fun.

So, 2014 will be the year I remember taking the first baby-steps toward a lifelong dream. I look forward to seeing how far the Wave carries me in 2015....

Happy New Year, everyone!!! 


Monday, May 12, 2014

That's your shadow on the wall.....

I have a tattoo on my arm that holds special meaning in my mind. At first glance, others recognize it as the Egyptian Winged Globe encircling the Eye of Ra, but for me it holds significance in another way. That tattoo was my very first tattoo and I chose it specifically for it's ability to hold a variety of "reminder messages." It reminds me of dreams I've had, books I've read, and deeply spiritual insights I've experienced throughout my life.

One message in particular has a way of rising to the surface at key moments in my life, and this is one of those moments. It is the message of the all-seeing eye. It means both that you cannot hide from God/Universe and that you cannot hide from yourself. One way or another, life is going to bring you face to face with yourself and you're going to have to make a choice: Do you want to look or do you want to look away? But if you look away, life is going to bring you back to the mirror yet again; usually in some more painful and much more difficult way to ignore.

I've been playing a game with myself. I've been pretending that I can be normal and live a normal life, just like everyone else. I've been pretending that I can find a loving partner, work and pay my bills and someday retire like a normal person and quietly tick away the moments of my life baking cookies for my grandchildren until it's my turn to return to the Source of all that is. I've been pretending I can hide from who and what I am and avoid the task I know is mine to achieve, because it just feels too difficult and I'm tired and wounded. And the whole time I've been playing this game of hide-and-seek with myself, I've known it was futile. I've known that someday I was going to have to step up to the plate and be who I am, because that's my shadow on the wall.

The shadow I refer to is the current events occurring in my life. Like walls closing in around me, they are driving me toward that path I've been trying so hard to avoid. I can close my eyes or look the other way. I can dig in my heels or run the opposite direction. I can purposely make choices that will take me away from that path, but it marches toward me relentlessly none the less and fighting it has become harder than just rolling with it.

There comes a time when you just have to stop trying to run away from your shadow and learn to dance with it instead.

Tango, anyone?




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Thoughts on having Baggage.....


 "You have a lot of baggage."

I hear that a lot. Usually accompanied with a scrunched-up facial expression that implies disgust, as if having baggage is a character flaw or personal failure...something I should be rejected and punished for.

But you know what? Baggage isn't a character flaw or a personal failure. It's a scar. It's an accumulation of painful lessons learned the hard way that make a person extra cautious when making new choices.

Baggage happens when a person trusts too much and was badly burned, even punished...for being a trusting person. And you get even more baggage when the next person comes along and says "You shouldn't distrust me just because of what THEY did, I'm not them...." which makes you feel guilty so you open your heart and trust them........and then they burn you too.

Baggage is what you get when you love the wrong people, very deeply, and try too hard to work it out.

Baggage is what happens when you try to stay strong.....for too long......instead of just jumping ship at the first sign of trouble....or the second....or the forty-fifth....or the hundred and sixteenth.....because you believe that is what Love does........

Baggage is the result of having people you should be able to trust; like parents, siblings, spouses, and friends....repeatedly yank the rug out from under your feet and then tell you it's your own fault because you're too trusting.

But there's a positive aspect of baggage too. A blessing that comes from baggage that it seems people often fail to realize. 

Having baggage means you have gained valuable insights that you will never forget. A depth of understanding about people and life that many fail to even realize exists.

Baggage means having the ability to be compassionate toward others because you understand how a person can do all the wrong things with the very best of intentions and that making mistakes is simply that; you made a mistake. It doesn't mean you're a total failure as a human being. Knowing that makes it very easy to forgive others when they make a mistake, too.

Baggage means you will never, ever, take anyone for granted. It means when you find a real friend, you appreciate them. It means when you find a partner who's heart is big enough to love you anyway, because they can see your big heart and will do what it takes to dismantle the walls; you will do everything in your power to show them how much you value them....every single day for the rest of your life.

Baggage means you remember your mistakes and will make every effort to not make that mistake again.

Baggage has the ability to drive a person to trust God as they have never trusted before, and that trust in God becomes the center of their life.....because God is the one being they know for certain they can trust without ever needing to wonder about it....

Baggage means you have accepted responsibility for the choices you made and are taking steps to make better choices; which means pissing people off sometimes because you're not going to just leap without looking and make it easy for yet another person to sucker-punch you.

......Or, if you're like me and a very primitive, instinctual part of your brain was damaged when you were two years old and no one noticed when you were a child, and no one listened to you as an adult when you questioned what you were experiencing, so you spent 38  years of your life living in a world that was nothing like what everyone told you it should be like, which was very confusing.....while being jerked around by every con-artist who came along because of it......not to mention the abusers you grew up with that you didn't have any choice about.........You learn to question everything 5 or 6 times, check your notes, and then look again just to be sure....before you make ANY decision....

Is that baggage or is that just taking responsibility for my own life and doing what I need to do, what I MUST do, if I'm ever going to create a better life for myself?

It's a glitch in the wiring, not a personal failure. Failure would have been to learn about the glitch and then use it as an excuse to keep making the same mistakes.....instead of doing what I have done; which is to spend every moment of every day since the moment I found out 10 years ago, taking steps to heal myself to the best of my ability and with very little support from others, because they just want to focus on the baggage.....














Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Wow, I cannot believe how fast this past year has just flown by!!! 2013 has been an amazing year. I suspect there will come a day when I look back on this year and think, "2013 was the first year of the rest of my life." I will also think of 2013 as "The year of Love," because that's what it has been for me.

Now, when I say "Love," I'm not talking about being swept off my feet by Mr. Wonderful....although I wish I was, haha! I guess no matter how old we get, there's still that little girl living deep down inside who still believes in happily ever after....

What I'm referring to is Love as an action word. That state of being, that awareness, that way of relating to life, the world, and other beings (human or otherwise), that is about kindness, compassion, empathy, acceptance, and forgiveness. The kind of Love that every Spiritual Master has attempted to convey, but is sadly lost on so many who are too culturally conditioned to really "get it."

You see, what passes for "Love" in today's world is too often an expression of Fear, not Love. We've been taught that feeling we have when we are attracted to someone is Love. And we are taught that when we are threatened with the loss of that person; those feelings of jealousy and insecurity confirm just how much we love them. Not true. Those feelings are about power and control, not Love. Love doesn't grasp and cling, Love releases and frees. Love wants the other to be happy...even when it means we can't have them for ourselves. Love invites them to stay, but it doesn't attempt to trap, force, or manipulate them into staying.

When we see someone flirting with our partner and feel those icky feelings that make us want to destroy the competition; that isn't an expression of our Love for our partner. That's an expression of our fear of loss, fear of not being in control, fear of change. Love trusts our partner and releases them to make their own choices, Love doesn't attempt to control them by removing them from all possible temptations. And Love does not load them down with guilt in an attempt to control them back into line, either. That's all about power and control; which are expressions of Fear. Love says, "You are free to go, but I hope you'll stay." Fear says, "You can't do that because you promised, and I'm going to hold you to it no matter what, or else!!!"

Another common misunderstanding in our culture is that Love is a martyr. I think back to those years I spent feeling trapped in a relationship that was so bad it was nearly intolerable, and at times; life-threatening, and yet I stayed because I would have felt guilty if I'd left. Guilt is not Love. And being a Martyr to a promise is not Love either. Guilt and martyrdom are again, expressions of Fear. Fear of failure, Fear of recriminations and consequences, Fear of being judged. Fear of change.

Some even try to package martyrdom as "Honor," believing that being honorable enough to stay is an act of Love....but it is only a love of self. A person who decides to stay because they are an honorable person is gifting themselves, not their partner. They gift themselves with the status of honor while their partner sleeps beside someone who'd really rather not be there.

Love stays to nurture, to support, to protect, to actively create an environment where one's partner can thrive and express their innermost self in safety....without any expectations of pay-off. Love never has strings. When both partners love this way, something beautiful and amazing is born. Something that is far stronger than a relationship held together by Fear.

All of these things apply to other types of relationships as well; parent to child, friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor. Fear controls, Love liberates.

It is ironic that Fear is so intent on holding onto Love that it drives people apart, while the Love that frees and liberates draws people together. After all, why would anyone ever leave someone who Loves them just the way they are, no matter what?

Anyway, getting back to why I feel I will remember 2013 as "The Year of Love"......

A decade ago I made a conscious choice to change the way I was relating to life and the world in general. I cast off all my conditioned beliefs about Love and the programmed responses that went with them, and decided to express Love as I believe Love should be expressed. I was going to be my genuine, authentic self and live from the heart. No more making choices based on what was expected of me, and no more suppressing myself for fear of upsetting someone else. I was going to act from a place of unconditional Love to the best of my ability and I was going to also Love myself by expressing my innermost self openly, honestly, and fearlessly.

It hasn't been easy. In fact, it's been downright difficult. Not only was I faced with the often vicious reactions of others who were convinced I was out to get them, had an agenda, or just plain needed to be taught a lesson in how to be "socially acceptable," (they were not loving in their efforts), but I just plain needed to figure out who my genuine, authentic self actually IS....because it turns out that my previous understanding of Love wasn't the only part of myself that was programmed into me by outside influences.

So, I have stumbled along, often falling on my face, and frequently questioning my own sanity, and gradually I have peeled away the layers of conditioning to find my true self. I have asked myself a hundred times a day, "What would Love do now?" and made choices based on what I thought the answer might be, and I have pissed-off a lot of people along the way because I was violating all the rules of conduct established by Fear-love.

But in 2013 something happened. In 2013 I was shaken out of my reverie by an influx of real, unconditional Love coming toward me instead of only radiating out of me, and I was stunned. The comical part about it was that I never even saw it coming. I'd been so intent on my own efforts to express Love that I hadn't even thought about myself RECEIVING Love, so when it showed up from multiple sources all at once, I was bowled over.

For the first time in my life I know how it feels to be loved......just for being me.





Saturday, November 16, 2013

Life Paths....

As some of you know, a few months ago I wrote and published my life story. The completion of that project had some unexpected outcomes....

When I undertook the project I was merely listening to that little voice in my head that no one wants to believe exists. That voice said, "It's time to write your life story." I said, "Okay," and did it. At the time, I didn't understand why now was the time. I just trusted my inner guidance system and spent my entire summer staring at a computer monitor, pouring out some of the most private and difficult, and yet educational, moments of my life. I know now that the time was right because I was ready to heal old wounds.

It was a painful journey, but it was also an enlightening journey. Writing about your own life forces you to step back and adopt a level of objectivity you've never exercised before. When you are writing about events that involve other people, you know you had better get it right, or else.

I started the story with my earliest childhood memory and then wrote whatever came to mind, in the order it came to mind, and the words flowed easily until I reached a chapter of my life that had been confusing me for a very long time. The flow of words stopped. Gone was the easy reiteration of life events as familiar as the back of my hand; because this part of my life was a giant unanswered question, a puzzle, an unresolved nightmare that held me in a choke-hold I'd been powerless to break.

For days I struggled against writer's block. Turning the memories over in my mind, like a giant Rubix cube with thousands of possible combinations, searching for the "correct" arrangement that would most accurately, and truthfully, portray the reality. While I waited for the words to come, I reread what I had already written; correcting punctuation and sentence structure to the best of my ability, until I was reminded that I am a dreamer. Many of my most enlightening epiphanies have come to me in dreams. So, I asked God to guide me in a dream, to help me find my way through this most difficult part of my story, and then I went to bed with trust in my heart....

Around 2 a.m. I awoke. Sorta. Words banged around in my head in a chaos of piercing noise that didn't make sense, yet I felt compelled to write them down. So, I stumbled out to my desk and began typing, and I didn't stop for nearly 6 hours, and then I returned to bed....still every bit as groggy as I'd been when I'd begun. When I awoke again, I didn't have a clue what I had written and it would be weeks before I could find the courage to read it, but when I finally did...it was perfect. I left those chapters of my book unaltered....unedited....unchanged.... It was right exactly as it was.

I continued to write and the words flowed easily again, completing the project just in time to return to work. My entire summer was gone and I hadn't done any of the projects I'd originally had planned. I'd had a long list of fun activities planned for my summer, but instead I had scarcely left my house; except to get groceries or walk my dogs. Knowing it would be months before I had another chance to look at the book, I published it as it was; taking a giant, and terrifying, leap of faith.

In the weeks that followed my world changed. It was a tangible sensation; as if I could feel the energy of my world rearranging itself in preparation for a new beginning. It was as if I'd wrapped up the wounds of my past and sent them out to the Universe for healing.....and liberated myself in the process.

If not for the profound sensation of inner peace and joy, I might have been very upset as I watched people who had been a part of my life for decades, leave my life abruptly, as if to make room for those yet to come. A work situation that had been troubling me deeply, seemed to magically resolve itself in the most efficient manner imaginable. And Love seemed to flow into my life from unexpected places with such intensity I was overwhelmed and amazed. Like chess pieces on the game board of my life, players came and went with such efficiency it was easy to sit back and just go with the flow, waiting for the final arrangement with a zest for life I had not felt in a very, very long time.

Gradually, I became accustomed to the ebb and flow of changes occurring in my life; long time friends leaving, lost friends returning, my work situations reorganizing in beneficial ways. Even total strangers approaching to offer positive reinforcement and affirmation of changes I'd been making in myself, for myself.

And now I feel posed on the brink of a new beginning. Prepped and ready for something as yet unidentified, but I know it's going to be something good. It's a challenge at times, to wait patiently, because I am excited to start the new life I can sense just around the corner. But I will be patient and let myself be guided to my right place when the time is right, because my life's journey has taught me that God is always with me....no matter what.


http://www.amazon.com/Happening-Spiritual-Journey-Self-Discovery-Healing-ebook/dp/B00E50TCM8/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1384653136&sr=8-16&keywords=It%27s+just+Life%2C+happening...








Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just Rip the Band-aid Off!!!

I've been thinking about something a friend said to me quite some time ago. He said "you'll end up wondering why you waited so long." That very wise observation inspires this post:

When I was young I drove my parents crazy with my tendency to just "Leap without looking". Time and again they would lecture me about being "impulsive" or "inconsiderate" or "foolish" or "selfish". They would point out how my actions affected others and "created difficulties for myself and other people".

Long suffering and not always patient with me, they would remind me over and over that I should, at those moments in my life, "step back and count to three". I should think about what I was about to do and consider the long-term repercussions. I should consider how it might impact my future; jobs, relationships, reputation, etc... and how my actions would affect others, and I should try to make things as painless as possible for them. I should wait for the "best time" or the "right time" or the "easiest time".

Of course, their opinion was based on their assumption that I was in fact, selfish, impulsive, and inconsiderate. But I wasn't. In fact, I was doing what I felt was the most humane for everyone involved. Nor was I as foolish as they believed; having grown up as the "class scapegoat", I had already figured out that those who would judge me, are not people I want in my life anyway. Let them talk. Small minds have small thoughts. Why should I arrange my life around their opinions?

For me, doing something difficult or painful is like removing a bandaide....

Put two bandaides on the hairy part of your arm. Okay, got them stuck on there good? Now, very carefully start peeling one of the bandaides off, one hair at a time. Take your time and be really, really careful to try to minimize the pain. Are you having fun yet? Are you enjoying holding your breath and anticipating the inevitable pain? Are your eyes watering? Do you find yourself pausing between each hair, catching your breath and waiting for your heart to stop pounding before tackling the next one? Is it tempting to just leave it on there and wait for it to fall off on it's own, like maybe 50 years from now?

Okay, now the other bandaide...grab the edge and just rip that sucker off as fast as you can. Hurt like hell, didn't it? But only for a few moments. Sharp, agonizing pain that lasts maybe 30 seconds and then you start to feel relief. Not like the other one where the agony was prolonged, where every hair was a fresh torture session.

Yes, at various points in my life I was faced with difficult decisions that I KNEW were going to be painful; both for myself and others. And I always opted for the "rip the bandaide off" option. It just made more sense to me. Rip it off, get it over with, start healing, move forward.

The thought of "waiting for it to fall off by itself" was just too ambiguous for me. I don't like the idea of waiting indefinitely for something to happen that I know needs to happen, that is GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY. Why postpone the inevitable? Why not just get it overwith?

My parents never agreed with my philosophy and they were quite vocal about it. So much so, that the last time I was faced with one of those difficult situations; ending a relationship, I decided to try to do it "their way". I tried to "think it through". I tried to minimize the disruption for others. I tried to "plan ahead to make the transition as smooth as possible". I tried to make "financial plans". And so on. And guess what? My parents were WRONG.

Doing things their way only prolonged the agony for us both, it made the transition more difficult financially, it caused us both to pass up opportunities we would have preferred to accept, and by the time it was over we were both completely drained and exhausted. And the outcome is the same: we are not together and everything that would have happened if I'd just "ripped the bandaide off," happened anyway. It was just turned into a torturously long and painful 2 year process filled with "analysis paralysis", instead of a major upheaval that would have lasted a few weeks and then settled down quickly once the dust settled.

I like my way better. If there's something you know is going to happen eventually anyway, just do it. Let 'er rip. Go for it. Get it overwith.

When you peel the bandaide off one hair at a time, people get a little hurt....for a very long time. They sense it. They get tense. They fret and worry. They wonder what's happening, they wonder what, if anything, they should do. That's exhausting. Everybody's balanced on a high-wire wondering which way they're going to fall. It's like picking at a wound and not letting it heal. It's like; about the time they recover from the sting of peeling off that one hair, you peel off another one. It just goes on and on.

But if you just "rip the bandaide off", it hurts like hell and everyone scurries around in a panic for awhile, trying to figure out what they're supposed to do....and then they start healing. Really healing. They can heal because you're not picking at the wound, not peeling off another hair. There's no doubt about what has happened. Everyone can take steps to recover, heal, and move forward. And one other thing I noticed: when you just "rip the bandaide off", there's a flurry of friends who come to help you through it. When you peel it off slowly, you're on your own. No one comes to help.

My friend was right. I did end up wondering why I waited so long. Not because there was ever any doubt about what needed to happen. That part I was certain about. The handwriting was on the wall. I'm smart enough to recognize when the connection is irreparably broken. I'd spent most of my adult life working very hard at a relationship that was never quite "right" to begin with, and I had a hard time accepting the idea that I'd been wasting my time; that it wasn't "fixable", it felt like failure and I have a hard time with that. But once I accepted it, that was it for me.

Let's face it, anyone who's ever been faced with the decision to stay or go, has already tried everything they can think of to "fix it". And if you're still standing there wondering about it....well, the question is the answer. A person who wants to stay, doesn't think about going....What I wonder about is why I ever doubted my own instincts in the first place? But I guess that's a subject for a different post.

I think I'll go back to just "ripping the bandaid off".  In the long run, it's the more compassionate choice. Life is too short to waste it looking for the "right time", the "best time", or the "easiest time". There is no such thing.