Monthly Archives: May 2014

No More White Picket Fences

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

the dreamI like to think of myself as an open-minded, trusting person. But sometimes that can get me into trouble as I tend to be too trusting.

The problem is really one of lack of self-trust rather than misplaced trust in other people.

I thought I had the problem tackled, but then the universe sent me an old friend to remind me that it's not that simple.

If you've been following my blog, you know that I've been working my way through Christine Arylo's Madly in Love with Me. I spent May working on self-trust. Each chapter in Arylo's book begins with a self-assessment on a particular area of self-love. A month ago, my self-trust score was in the negative. But over the past month, it rose considerably to a positive number. Proud of myself, I felt I was making significant strides in this area. Then a friend challenged me to retake the test and apply it to my self-trust with men and romantic relationships.

I hate when she's right! When I re-took the test with romantic relationships in mind, my score was once again negative, as likely most of my self-love assessments would be when it comes to men.

The ironic thing is that many of my teenage friendships were with males. I had more male friends than female friends in high school and college. So why don't I love or trust myself when it comes to men? Why do my self-love muscles take a run for the border the minute I realize I am interested in a man as more than a friend?

Looking back I can see that while the quantity of my male friendships in adolescence may have been greater than the quantity of my female friendships, the quality certainly was not. Between the teenage angst and underlying sexual tension apparent in many male-female relationships, my friendships with men were very superficial. They were also more about meeting their needs than mine.

I was and until recently had always been in people-pleaser mode when it comes to my relationships with men. I thought that I needed the approval of men to be a ‘real' woman. I thought I needed a man in my life to feel whole and complete. That I was somehow flawed and unable to do things on my own. I know where this misguided belief came from: my mother.

I don't blame her. A product of the baby boomer generation, she passed on to me what she learned about male-female relationships from her parents. But the roles women played in the 50s and 60s when she grew up are vastly different than the roles played by women today.

Yet, many of my female friends still report this interesting paradox: they are ‘fine' with male coworkers and friends, but turn that relationship into a romantic one and all bets are off. The codependent gloves come out and the Modern Day Goddess turns into a Princess who thinks she needs to be saved.

For 21 years, I waited for my now ex-husband to save me, to fix me. To give me my white picket fence with all its accoutrements. He never did; he couldn’t.

But I didn’t know that. I thought he had failed. So for the past 6 months I have been unconsciously searching for my Prince. Trying to find the one man who would complete me, all the while knowing that was ludicrous – yet still harboring the dream of ‘someday my Prince will come and bring my white picket fence with him.'

While I was married, I often thought of my first high school crush. He, I thought to myself, was my Prince. If only things had worked out between us I would have had my white picket fence. But they hadn’t. I married; he married and had three children. Chance lost. Game over.

Or so I thought.

My high school crush and I have stayed in touch on and off over the years. He travels quite a bit and found himself a few hours away from my home last weekend. I decided to take a couple of days off and go see him. I envisioned catching up on old times, laughing, and having a little fun with an old friend.

He had a different vision. 25 years later, he was finally ready to be my Prince. My knight-in-shining-armor. Of course, given he’s married and has three kids, my Inner Goddess gave a big, “Nope” to that idea.

Although my weekend plans of re-connecting with an old friend didn’t exactly work out the way I wanted, I realized something: even my “Prince” wasn’t my Prince. And in the end, he didn’t want to save me; he wanted me to ‘save’ him from his failing marriage – without actually giving the marriage up, of course.

And for this, I am grateful. I wouldn’t have traded this lesson for the world. You see, I learned several valuable things last weekend:

1)      The past is your past for a reason – let it stay there

2)      There is no Prince – never was, never will be. YOU are the one you’ve been waiting for

3)      I’m glad the ‘one that got away’ got away. Otherwise, it might have been me he was cheating on and not the unfortunate woman he married

4)      Sometimes people grow and change, and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you use your interactions with others as stepping stones for your own change and growth.

5)      I think I am even more grateful when things don’t work out as expected as when they do for that is where the opportunity to own your truth and walk in your power lies

Oh and of course:

6) White picket fences are highly overrated!

What old notions will you let go of today? I promise you'll feel lighter for it.

 

Coming to Terms with My Infertility

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 15 Comments

Pregnant womanI got divorced in August of 2013. One of the many issues that lead to the downfall of my marriage was that my ex badly wanted to be a father – of his own biological child – and after 4 failed fertility attempts, I was done trying. He wasn’t.

Soon after the divorce was finalized, he found himself an insta-family: a woman who had 2 children already (and thus was obviously fertile). As much as it smarted that after 21 years he ‘replaced’ me less than a month after our divorce was finalized, I was more hurt by the the fact that he got what he always wanted – a family. Whereas I got nothing, but my infertility rubbed in my face again.

No worries, I said to myself. I’m okay with my infertility. I didn’t want children anyway. I was 40 after all. My biological clock had ceased ticking a long time ago.

But somehow, somewhere underneath the ‘I don’t want kids’ exterior, I still felt flawed. Jilted. Like my goddess-given right to have children had been prematurely and unfairly taken from me.

So I made it crystal clear to every man who expressed interest in me that I couldn’t have kids. I thought it only fair to both of us to not even pursue a relationship without him knowing I was ‘flawed.’

Because you know, I was fine with my infertility. I wasn’t.

As I’ve said before, I believe the universe gives us just what we need when we need it. When we don't listen to that message/lesson, the universe keeps sending us increasingly louder reminders until we get it. Gentle nudges turn into shoves. Shoves become cosmic 2x4s.

I thought I had dealt with my infertility. I thought I had accepted it, gotten over it, moved on. Apparently I hadn't.

I met a man two months ago. I told him I couldn’t have kids. He said he was fine with that; said he didn’t know if he wanted them anyway. We chatted almost daily; talked about meeting again (we don’t live in the same state – we met at a wedding of a mutual friend of all places). I was apprehensive, wanting us both to be sure before we tried to make a long distance relationship work. He finally broke down my reserves and I agreed to meet him. We only had to work out the when and where.

Two days later, he changed his mind. He wasn’t sure if he wanted kids or not and I couldn’t have them… He needed some time to think it through.

I was devastated. It's apparently still a very sore subject for me and it felt like I was being rejected by yet another man for something I could not control. I spent more time in my office that day crying in between my classes and meetings than I care to admit.

You see, I thought I had dealt with my infertility, but I hadn't. So the universe sent me this man – yet another cosmic 2×4 for me.

The shock I felt, the betrayal hurt like hell. Yet, I am grateful to him for inadvertently pointing out another lesson I need to learn. A lesson I didn’t know I needed to learn, but can now deal with it so it doesn't come back to bite me in the ass again. And now I know that I need to be even more clear with any man I might want to date about the kid issue. To make sure that he gets it and is okay with it before either of us invest any of our time or ourselves in the potential relationship. It just hurts too much to keep going through this. And I now know that's something I need to deal with and work on. I owe that to myself.

And so I told him I was finished. I wasn’t going to wait for him to ‘think about it.’ My heart can't take another beating for something I have no control over. I have worked so hard to not see this as a flaw in myself. It's not like I asked for this or brought it upon myself somehow. Endometriosis is hereditary (although my ex seemed to blame me for it anyway). I cannot pursue anything with a man knowing he sees me as flawed. I have too much self-respect for that.

I wished him well and said I hoped he could find someone who can meet his needs. I think we both deserve that. Everyone deserves to be happy.

If there is a plus side to this it’s that it did in fact make me re-think the kid issue. It made me ask myself, “Do I want children?” And I came to terms with the fact that regardless of my endometriosis, at age 40, I actually don’t want kids. There – I said it. I know that statement will make me a pariah to some, but it’s my truth. I feel that I have many gifts to share, but they will be with friends, family, students – children of my heart, not of my womb. And I am okay with that. I can move forward knowing that I am not flawed for not being able to have – or not wanting – children in my life at this point.

I also realized something. I am a good catch – for the right guy. I just need someone who wants the same things in life that I do. I need someone I can pursue my dreams with (and he with me) without feeling like I am letting either of us down. I've done that before. No more. It's not fair to me and it's not fair to my future Mate.

So I’m putting it out there for the Universe to hear and deal with. I want a romantic partner who is also my Soul Mate – not because I need one, but because I want one. And I am more than willing to wait for the right man at the right time and the right place in my life. Someone who won’t judge me or see me as flawed. Because I’m not. I’m perfect just as I am – infertility, deciding I really don’t want kids, and all. Even if it takes months, even if it takes years. I will wait.

Finally, I surrender.

 

What Do You Want Out of a Relationship?

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

Woman Holding Valentine's Day Gift BagThat was the question my therapist asked me this morning. I paused.

“I can tell you what I don’t want,” I said.

But I know better than that. I know that what you focus your attention on is what you bring to your life. I learned that lesson very well when I attracted the cartoonish, creepy doppelganger of a man I had my heart sat on. (They even had the same name!) So in the Universe’s own twisted way, it gave me exactly what I asked for only to make me realize I didn’t want it in the first place.

I thought some more.

“I want a partner, an equal. I want a man who will respect, honor, and love me for me – just as I am. I want someone I can travel with and have fun with. I want someone I’m attracted to and who’s attracted to me on many levels: emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.”

“And did you have that in your marriage?” she asked. “How much did you feel you could be yourself?”

“No. Not in the least. I got tired of trying to pretend to be someone I wasn’t.”

“And so maybe getting a divorce wasn’t about leaving your husband, but about finding you,” she said.
Yes! 2013 was all about finding me. 2014 is about embracing what I found and figuring out what I want out of life now that I can finally be who I want to be. And I have realized several things along the way:

 

  • I actually like me. I’m a pretty cool person – one that shouldn’t try to be someone else just to please a friend/family member/significant other.
  • I know the Universe has my back and will give me just what I need at just the right time. All I have to do is trust and let go.
  • No one is going to save me or fix me because I’m not broken and I sure as heck don’t need saving!
  • My life is a lot better when I try being my own best friend instead of my own worst enemy.
  • Yes, I have accomplished a lot in my life, but those “things” I have done are just that – things. They aren’t who I am.
  • Ditto for the many mistakes I’ve made. I am not my mistakes, either. I have learned to forgive myself and move on.
  • If I stop trying to escape from my life and actually listen to my inner goddess and heed her guidance, I actually like my life. So there’s nothing to escape from.
  • I have been blessed with some pretty cool friends. I am one of them.
  • I feel fortunate every day for what I have and what I don’t because apparently whatever it is that I think I need, I don’t. And if I do, it will come to me when it’s supposed to.
  • I love being in nature – especially my back yard. It brings me peace.
  • I have all the love I need in my life right now – even though I have no romantic partner. I am love in its very essence and I am surrounded by love and beauty in all things at all time. I only have to open my eyes to see it.
  • I don’t need a man to complete me – I’m whole by myself. Any romantic partner I might attract would just be an added bonus, not a necessity. You see, I don’t need a Prince Charming – I am one!

Here’s to discovering, embracing, and be-ing YOU this year!