I’m Not Perfect and I Love Me That Way

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We created this universe so we get to decide our preferences
It seems we created it in such a way that anything goes
And why not?
How uninteresting would it be if we were all living up to some ideal?
Especially one created by someone other than ourselves
Besides being uninteresting, perfection does not exist
At least, not in the way we are led to believe it does

Clouds are perfect
Animals are perfect
Nature is perfect
As part of creation, and as the creator, we are perfect

We are intended to have flaws
To make mistakes
To learn and grow
We are intended to be something other than “perfect”
Not less than “perfect” but other than perfect
And that is where our perfection lies
In just being exactly as we are intended to be
Accepting ourselves, “imperfections” and all, is the best way (maybe the ONLY way) to give ourselves the perspective of Spirit so we can start changing the aspects of ourselves that we truly desire to change

You’re perfectly imperfect and I love you that way.
You can too.

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It’s not about how LONG you spend, it’s about HOW you spend

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How you spend your time in this body
On this world
Whoever planted the idea in our heads that we can and should all change the world, on a global scale, did us all a serious disservice
If you can, and you do, then that’s amazing. Keep it up and thank you!
But when you put an, for most people, unrealistic expectation on a person
An expectation they know they can’t live up to
The tendency is to shut out the possibity completely
Or risk breaking our psyche over feeling useless on this planet

What about the fact that we all DO have the potential and PRIVILEGE to change the world?
Our world
On a local or even intimate level
By spending our time expressing kindness
Expressing gratitude
By sharing LIFE
By being in this moment, as often as possible
In this moment, we don’t have the option to doubt each other or each other’s intentions
Overthinking has no place in this moment
When we live right here, right now, we can take life at face value and enjoy it for what it is
Which can be really incredibly lovely

Why Did I Leave Me Here?

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What’s the struggle?
Why the struggle?
Because it’s what you think you deserve.
You struggle with money, with substance abuse, with body image . . . most of all with wanting someone to love you when you have not yet decided to love yourself.
All things of this world.
You are not of this world. You are of ALL worlds.
You are of all galaxies, all stars, all energy.
THE energy.

So why keep focusing on these things that don’t determine you?
Because someone taught you to?
So what?
You know better now.
You understand in a way you never thought you could.
You are open to all of LIFE now.

Embrace it.

When will you decide to love yourself?
When will you decide to have compassion on yourself?
When will you decide to scoop up all the love that is available to you and share it with everyone you come in contact with?

You have access to all of the LOVE that has ever existed.
You have access to THE LOVE that created existence.
When will you allow that to be the love that you crave and accept?
When will you understand that is the ONLY LOVE THAT EXISTS.
And, therefore, the ONLY LOVE THAT MATTERS.

YOU are NOT tortured
Your mind only thinks it is
Spend less time in your thoughts and more time enjoying this existence that was created FOR YOU
That was created BY YOU
Especially spend time in nature
None of life is good and none of it is bad.

It JUST IS

Enjoy every moment of it for what it is
Enjoy as many moments of it with those you love
No matter how long or short of a time you are here, in this form, on this planet
No matter if you have one life partner or many people you share your being with
Enjoy life with those you have been fortunate enough to be set into existence with
To be placed in this moment with
You placed yourself here with them
They placed themselves here with you
You are in each other’s lives to share LOVE between each other, to fully embrace this life together
That looks like nothing except LOVE
It looks like GOD
Being GOD together

Me, as a Seed

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          If I were a seed I’d, at first, be part of a plant. Depending on the plant, my own process for becoming a plant could involve a number of different adventures. For instance, the wind could blow me loose and I’d soar through the air. Maybe soaring low, maybe soaring high, until I landed on soil.
          Or maybe I’d land on a bird, or a ground dwelling animal, that would carry me even further. Foxes are cute and clever. I’d like to take a ride on a fox.
          Or maybe an animal would walk by, brushing the plant I’m currently a part of, I’d attach to its fur and I’d travel that way; by deer or by jack rabbit.
          Maybe heavy rains would wash me away from my parent plant and I’d travel by small stream until the stream gave way to creek or river or merely to saturated soil.
          Or maybe I simply fall from my parent plant, landing not too far away, as they stand over me or as they wither back into the soil.
          Once resting, I’d wait.
          I’d wait for the right amount of moisture to soften my protective outer shell. I’d wait for the right conditions, the right temperature. Worry can not touch me. My intuition guides me in every moment, especially the most important ones. Without doubt or even questions, I’d begin to let go, to open up, to embrace allowing my insides to bring forth a gift from the divine. What I become has always lived inside of me. With the right amount of sunshine, I’d burst forth on to the already magical scene, adding my own special, undeniable touch.
          I’ve been here all along, it’s true. But, in my intended and inevitable earthly form, I and the world around me are more aware of my presence than ever. All of nature embraces me, Life embraces me, I embrace me.
          I might provide sustenance. I might provide joy through my beauty. I might provide shade and protection through my leaves. I will most certainly just be. Just being is the thing.
          And I’ll grow seeds of my own that will fall, hitch a ride, ride a wave or just wander away to their own destiny. They are me, and I am them, in this endless, beautiful wave of existence.

Who Was That Girl?

Who was that girl who dated the first guy that took interest in her pretty much EVERY SINGLE TIME?

Who was that girl that focused solely on her goals and didn’t concern herself with fear?

Who was that girl that binge ate out of spite when she was with the boyfriend who was overly concerned with her weight?

Who was that girl that ran because she loved how free it made her feel and ate what made her feel energized?

Who was that girl who overindulged in alcohol, usually way more than everyone else, when having a night in with friends?

Who was that sober girl who always felt empowered and in control of her destiny?

Who was that girl who obsessed over every unattainable guy in her life?

Who was that girl who focused on and excelled in whatever she put her mind to?

Who was that girl who made herself miserable comparing her current life with the one she imagined for herself?

Who is that girl who feels peaceful knowing she is exactly where she is supposed to be?

Who was that girl who blamed herself for every unsavory thing that happened to her?

Who was that girl who broke free of old shame producing lies and started tapping in, in a way she could never have imagined? 

Who was that girl who was so concerned with being wrong and looking stupid that she didn’t open her mouth?

Who is that girl who speaks up for herself and those she loves? Who gives voice when one might not otherwise exist?

That was me. That was me. That IS me. 

Just Believe for Twenty Minutes

I was recently watching an episode of Doctor Who that I had not yet seen. For any fans, it’s the episode titled, “The Eleventh Hour.” The first episode after Matt Smith has taken over as The Doctor and Amelia Pond is meeting him for the second time, having first met him when she was a child. The world is ending in twenty minutes and The Doctor, as usual, is trying to save it. However, Amelia thinks that The Doctor may just be a figment of her imagination. She’s convinced she’s losing her mind so, in an attempt to give herself more time to sort it out, she closes The Doctor’s tie in a car door and locks it, essentially holding him captive. The Doctor, urgently trying to free himself, tells Amelia, “Just believe me for twenty minutes.” And it works. She lets him go and (spoiler) they save the earth, once again.

Just believe for twenty minutes. That phrase really stood out to me and I found myself imagining the different ways in which I could apply it to my own life.

Self doubt comes to mind first. In any situation where we are unsure of our abilities, couldn’t we choose to believe in ourselves for just a short time? To believe for even just twenty minutes? Just long enough to avoid 20 minutes of anxiety or to get the ball rolling on a new way of viewing ourselves.

I don’t recall where I learned it but, somewhere along the way, someone taught me to break up large tasks into smaller ones to make them more manageable. One way to do this is with time. Tell yourself you’re going to spend just 30 minutes (or 20 or 60) on a task, rather than committing to the entire task, just to get yourself started. More often than not, once you’ve started, you keep going and you get a lot more done than you would have had you avoided the task altogether. The worst case scenario being that you worked on the task for the amount of time you committed to, which is still not a bad scenario.

Couldn’t we apply this same concept to how we feel about ourselves or feel about our abilities to give us just enough empowerment to take action? What if instead of avoiding creating that budget, starting that business you’ve been dreaming of, writing that blog post, or asking out that friendly barista, we told ourselves that we are capable and we are worthy for just a short time. Maybe it’s not possible to believe in ourselves all of the time but pretty much anything can be believed for a short time. When we watch sci-fi or fantasy movies (most movies really), we suspend our disbelief for 90 minutes on average. Why not suspend our disbelief in ourselves for just 20 minutes at a time? Over time, getting used to what it feels like to trust ourselves, we would then have the ability to suspend our disbelief for longer and longer periods of time. Maybe even believing in ourselves more often than doubting ourselves.

Envision what a different life we’d lead if we imagined ourselves into doing things we would normally visualize ourselves too shy or unintelligent or too old or too fat to do. We would start to challenge our long held beliefs about ourselves and about our place in the world just through sheer imagination. If we can imagine or believe ourselves into NOT taking charge of our lives, into staying in our current, inhibiting patterns, routines and habits, then we can most definitely imagine ourselves into DOING what we have always wanted rather than just wishing for it. We hear over and over again that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. That trying and failing is still success versus not trying at all. But so many things still seem out of reach for many of us. We hold ourselves back. We procrastinate. We tell ourselves, even if in subtle subconscious ways, that we don’t know what we’re doing. We convince ourselves that we will always struggle with money, that we will always struggle with weight/health or with relationships or with all of the above. Yet, for many of us, there are no physical barriers holding us back, only mental ones. So if we can imagine ourselves into a life that we don’t fully love, that means we can CHOOSE to imagine ourselves into a life that we WANT to live. We can imagine ourselves taking first steps without knowing the outcome and imagine ourselves being healthy enough to cope with failures or setbacks, being able to continue on. If we believe for even just a short time that we are capable of anything then that becomes our new reality. We’ve created the life we currently live and the person living it. We can choose to create another life, another us.

“What you do in life chooses you. You can choose not to do it. You can choose to try do something safer. Your vocation chooses you.” – Jim Carrey

“[Peak experience] involves a renunciation of the notion of the perfectibility of man.  Man can be perfect – but for five minutes . . . in a peak experience. Some great moment. It’s possible. But we just can’t stay perfect. You must give up the notion of the permanent heaven. We can get into heaven – but for five minutes. Then you have to come back to the world again.” – Abraham H. Maslow

 

Wholeness

I’ve struggled with the idea of wholeness pretty much my entire life. I’m almost certain that most of us do. It starts out as a subconscious struggle for most. It did for me. I was raised religiously and the whole foundation of religion is based on the premise that a person is not whole without something that exists outside of themselves (god) or, seemingly outside of themselves, at the very least. This is obviously due to misinterpretation of what god is and where it resides or doesn’t reside.

Being raised religiously, among other things, like being indoctrinated with the idea of romance or a soul mate, like pretty much all of Western civilization, and the wellspring of marketable insecurities taken advantage of by those willing and able to line their pockets with our tears and fears, you basically enter this world being told that you need something beyond yourself to give you worth, to justify your existence. That someone is going to swoop down and save you; god, adoptive parents, a best friend, a lover, Santa Clause, Superman, you name it. The illusion has many faces and goes by many names.

I’ve been a first time dog owner (my first dog as an adult that is all mine) all of two months. I’ve had cats for years and I’m an awesome cat mom, if I do say so myself. We definitely share a bond and a vibe. I’ve always wanted to have a dog but never felt I could because I’m gone a lot, traveling to another city for work and enjoyment (I promise this is going somewhere relevant). Once I realized I could get a small dog that enjoyed car rides and didn’t require hours of exercise each day, I decided it was okay to FINALLY adopt a dog. So I did. She’s about 6 years old, I’m told. A small Poodle breed. She was not spayed when I got her and it looks like she may have possibly been popping out puppies for someone at some point, unfortunately. I have since had her spayed, of course. I am told that her owner passed away and the family surrendered her to the shelter. I found her through a rescue. I call her Leeloo. If you know the reference, you get bonus points.

Leeloo was attacked by an off-leash dog this past Friday. Not only an off-leash dog but a homeless man’s off-leash dog. I only mention that part because part of my frustration about the situation is a total lack of accountability. Not because the owner doesn’t WANT to be accountable. He seemed like a nice guy, genuinely upset, and had possibly newly taken possession of the dog so they may not have been very familiar with each other yet.

I’ve had very few violent encounters in my life. This one was, by far, the worst. The dog latched on to Leeloo two different times, the second time latching on to her lower jaw, which she ended up losing a portion of.

As a new dog owner, I had been doing TONS of research about how to deal with a situation like this. I have lots of off leash dogs in the neighborhood where I live. In this case, I was walking in my sister’s neighborhood, which we thought, incorrectly, was safer. Despite my research and efforts, I walked away from the situation feeling completely inadequate. I’ve been replaying the scenario over and over again in my mind, trying to figure out what I could have done differently to prevent it or to lessen the impact.

After beating myself up as much as possible while still trying to be logical, I’ve come to the conclusion that not all traumatic experiences are preventable. Some are. Drinking and driving and killing someone; preventable. Have a designated driver, use a shared ride service. You get the idea.

However, in a situation like this where your options are to trust the world enough where you can walk to the park and back with your dog or to stay inside and make both your dog and yourself miserable, the thing to do is to go outside. Get fresh air, get exercise, feel good. Your dog will thank you. In the rare circumstance where something horrible does happen, like it did to Leeloo, you might start questioning your decisions, like I did.

So then it comes down to this; what did you really lose or gain in that moment? The moment itself was incredibly stressful, for sure. But what about beyond that? They say that dogs have the special talent of always living in the moment and, after that, they look to you, their pack leader, for an indication of how they should feel and what they should do; who they should fear or who they should protect you from. I have to say, after it was all over, Leeloo’s little jaw hanging from her face, she seemed to have no idea that anything was wrong. I was definitely more traumatized by the experience than she was. I am taking a lesson from her; if you live intentionally in the moment, there will be such rare instances when you wish you were somewhere or some time else.

My guilt eating away at me, of course, I couldn’t help but think about the difference it would have made if I had taken a different route, perhaps reacted a different way or fought smarter to free Leeloo from the other dog’s bite. But I kept finding myself at the same place; how could anyone predict what was going to happen, how it was going to happen and how a domesticated wild animal would have reacted to any of it? They couldn’t. And that’s finally what I’m allowing myself to believe.

So now that we’ve gotten through the blame game, what do we have left? Loss and experience. Leeloo lost part of her lower jaw and she’s in pain, which we are relieving with pain medication from the vet. I was also slightly physically injured in the scuffle, which I’m reminded of daily, but my physical pain and suffering is much less severe than Leeloo’s. More than anything, I lost any fleeting sense of security I may have once had when walking a dog. Just owning a dog feels like I have invited chaos into my life.

So what does that mean? Did security from dog attacks ever exist? Absolutely not. Instead my outdoor walks in neighborhoods where dogs reside, some off leash, increased significantly. Therefore increasing my chances of meeting an off leash dog. Not to mention the fact that I now own a dog, which makes those chances even greater since dogs are generally dog aggressive rather than people aggressive. So this was not a sign to tell me what a shitty dog parent I am. This was simply a numbers game stacked against me. Leeloo and I were just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong dog.

As far as experience, for my entire life I’ve been holding onto this notion that I’m preserving something. Almost like preserving youth or innocence. Part of my guilt over Leeloo was feeling that I should have better protected her. That I could have done more and she would have lost less. She’s back home with me now. She’s on medication so she stumbles around a bit but she’s eating food, drinking water and doing dog things just fine. She needs a bit of help right now but she doesn’t seem to have lost anything. And, if dogs truly live in the moment, like dog experts say they do, then she has no cause for alarm. Her world is exactly as it was and will be even more so in a week or two when she is completely healed up and doesn’t have to take any more medication, which she hates.

The situation has gotten me thinking; are we really anything without our experiences? If we can straight up live in the moment like dogs do then more power to us; we will rarely suffer. But, most people I know can’t or won’t live in the moment, at least not for every moment of their lives. So their next best option is to strive for understanding. Understanding that we are not here to protect anything. We are not here to make anything whole or to be made whole. We are already whole. Any perceived loss we experience only enlightens us to who we are at our core, what we truly have faith in and what we’re capable of. No one ever found out just how capable of surviving they were without at least feeling heat from the flames. Or without fighting off the aggressive dog. A moment of intense loss or pain tells us more about ourselves than any happy, carefree or even peaceful moment ever could.

Edit Sunday 11/26/2017:

I’ve had several people approach me about assisting with Leeloo’s vet bill. I’ve decided to set up a Go Fund Me Campaign. If you would like to donate or share, the link is https://www.gofundme.com/help-vet-bill-leeloo Any and all help is very much appreciated.