Forgive and Forget

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I’ve written about a certain friend I have several times in my blog.  This friend is one of my “toxic” friends, who spread negativity and suck the air out of a room when they enter it.  They have hurt me more times than I can count and I swore to distance myself from this person this year.  But what do you do when out of no where they appear at your door, in a very fragile state, and apologize for every hurt they have caused you and tell you that you are one of the strongest people they know and respect me more than they can say for how I’m dealing with my chronic illness.

The apology was sincere and making an apology is an act of courage,  not a sign of weakness, as many people see it.  Fear usually delays the apology, fear of rejection or humiliation and this is very unfortunate because most genuine apologies elicit gratitude as a response.  I believe a sincere apology is one of the most profound human interactions between 2 people because the desired result is the reconciliation of a broken friendship.

Do people change?  Can you move forward in a relationship with someone and wipe the slate clean?  I am trying to do that, but am just not sure that this insight wasn’t a momentary lapse because my friend hit a new low and realized that she has problems, real emotional and mental issues to deal with.  Acknowledging the problem and fixing the problem are two very different things.

For the time being I will approach this friendship with caution and see if there are any subtle signs of change.  I hope for their sake they are going to try and get help because the path that they are walking down is not a good one.

But since I am a strong person, I will forgive them for the hurts they have caused, but I am not sure I can forget.  Maybe my brain fog will help with that!!

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When the Past Calls….

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We all have ex’s whether they are spouses or dating ex’s and even in this big world, it’s likely that one’s path with cross again with an ex, especially with the explosion of social media and texting, where you can still be in touch but not really speak.  Well my past came knocking several times last week and I think it was because of Valentine’s Day and because most of the men I dated since my divorce are still single and looking.

I dated several people during the 4 years from the time my divorce was final until I became ill.  I was dating someone for 2 years when I was diagnosed and I tried to keep the relationship together for a while but it just was to hard to do.  There were  2 others that made it past the 3 date point but not to the year anniversary.  I am in touch with these 3 men, all with different levels of contact, as they  live very close to me now.  Funny how often they ask me, “So are you well enough to date yet?” as if I would date them if I was.  I realize that I get attention from these men, when they are in between relationships or when their relationships start turning sour.  They think of me as a backup, but I am not their backup.

On Friday, I had 2 offers for Valentine’s Day.  One was last minute as his current dating partner ditched him and the other was a little more thought out, but I don’t commit to plans well in advance, as I don’t know how I will feel on any particular day and I’m tired of dealing with the disappointment from the person when I do have to cancel at the last minute.  People take it personally and don’t see it as me trying to manage my illness.

It’s funny that while I was dating these men, I was always worried that they would meet someone else as I believed they were real “catches”.  I did the online dating thing and met them on a dating site, which makes meeting multiple people at the same time very easy.  Nowadays I realize that they weren’t such catches as they all are still not in serious monogamous relationships and I know so much more about them than I did when I was dating them.

These men  have shown me in different ways that they couldn’t have dealt with a partner becoming ill as they all are too immature.  One of them stated that he won’t date any runners as she could have bad knees down the line.   Another won’t date anyone with children that aren’t away at college because he will get too little attention.  Do these me sound grown up to you?

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have dated them  if I knew then what I know now about them.  Their mental states are not what I initially thought and even one of them I’ve come to find out has had several breakdowns.  Another one I think has anger issues and the third should be on lithium as I believe he has bipolar tendencies.  How come I didn’t realize these things while I was in the midst of a relationship with them?  Is it that I was seeing them with “rose colored” glasses or that I really didn’t know them well enough to see who they truly are.  I had thought that you knew a partner well enough when you were with them for 3 months, but maybe that’s when we were younger.  Dating in your 50s is more complicated than dating in your 20s or 30s.  We all have so much more stuff that we carry around and so many more experiences that shape us and made us who we currently are.

So while at times I do wonder “what if” with these men, I know there will never be a future with any of them, even when I do feel well enough to reenter the dating scene.  While I do enjoy an occasional phone call or an occasional lunch date, the possibility of a romantic hookup is non existent.

Love (in) your Life

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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and all the world is thinking about Romantic Love, well almost all the world.  While I am a loving person and have felt loved by family, friends and that special someone, this year Romantic Love is the farthest thing from my mind.  I wish I didn’t feel this way and I wish I physically felt well enough and strong enough to be in a relationship, but I don’t and I’m not going to let Valentine’s Day depress me or make me feel bad about myself.

There are so many society rules that make people feel bad and it’s a shame because celebrating should make us feel better about ourselves.  Yesterday I read a post from Celeste of Baking, Butter and Happiness and it really struck a cord with me about how we should love ourselves no matter what every one else thinks.  I have struggled with my weight most of my life, until about 10 years ago.  Obesity runs in my family and most of my female cousins struggle with it.  I am not talking about the extra 10 or 20 lbs, I’m talking about at least an extra 50 lbs.  I didn’t want my life to spiral out of control and finally made up my mind to loose weight.

I did succeed and felt better about myself, but I wish I could have felt just as good about myself before I lost the weight.  Nowadays, since I am unable to move much, I am afraid some of the weight is creeping back on and I hope I do not get down on myself for that.  Attitude is what makes us feel good about ourselves and we struggle every day with trying to feel good because of this illness, that the last thing we need to beat ourselves up about is putting on 5 or 10 lbs.

So tomorrow, I will not be thinking about that special someone, I will be thinking about me.  I am special and need to remember to treat myself well and to love myself.  If Romantic Love is in the cards sometime in the future and I am strong enough and receptive to it, I will welcome it into my life.  But I am comfortable with myself and know that I can go on without that special someone and knowing that is special too.

Olympic Fever

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I am so happy the Olympic opening ceremony is tonight.  I love watching the Olympics and seeing all the young talent our country has.  I particularly love the figure skating, skiing and snowboarding events.  I just wish the backdrop of the Olympics wasn’t getting so much coverage and that all the athletes are treated respectfully and protected from harm’s way.

It would be absolutely horrible if some terrorist attack were to happen and the fact that this topic is even getting so much news really detracts from the underlying theme of the Olympics.

Another reason I am thrilled the Olympics are beginning is that maybe it will stop all the air time Justin Beiber and Philip Seymour Hoffman are getting, especially in New York.  It is very sad that both of these men seemingly have (had) it all and are (were) hellbent on destroying their lives.  Justin Beiber is heading down the same destructive path that Philip Seymour Hoffman walked down in his last few months of life and if Hoffman’s death can scare others into becoming sober and taming their addiction, maybe the air time will help.  But if history repeats itself, there will just be more destructive behavior from celebrities.

I’m possibly more sensitive to this issue due to my current health situation, but when I see people throwing away their lives, when I would give anything to get my life back, it upsets me.  I understand that these people have an illness, but just like we work at it every day, so must they.

The 3 “A”s

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This morning while eating my breakfast I was listening to one of the morning news shows and Deepak Chopra came on and I started listening more intently.  Before I started on my spiritual journey and began doing daily affirmations and being more aware of the good things I still have in my life, I wouldn’t have glanced up at this man as I didn’t really believe that you could change your world by changing your thoughts.  This morning however, I was very interested in hearing what he had to say.

The anchors asked him about his thoughts on Valentine’s day and he basically said you should show people Attention, Affection and Appreciation every day of the year and not just on one day of the year.   These three things apply not only to a partner but also to family members and friends.

Attention

Attention means deep listening, being totally present. It means we’re not in a hurry to give advice, interrupt or react.

Appreciation

Appreciation means that we notice the other person’s strengths and let them know we notice them and are grateful for them.

Affection

Affection is deep caring and knowing that we are there for the other person.

So this year, let’s skip the Valentine’s day celebration and begin showing love, attention, appreciation and affection to those that mean the most to us every single day of the year (and that also include’s ourselves). 

No Pity Please

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Recently I was trying to explain the difference between empathy, sympathy and compassion to someone who obviously doesn’t feel any of these things when thinking about friends, family or the world at large.  

My conversation with this person wasn’t going well and it was on an afternoon where I didn’t particularly feel good to begin with, so my frustration levels were high.  My friend was complaining yet again about the circumstances of her life and at some point I couldn’t take it any more and said , “Please stop and look who you are complaining to” and she shot back “So you want me to feel sorry for you”.  I said the last thing that I want is your pity. I want your understanding and compassion for my situation, not your pity.

She was dumbfounded and didn’t know the difference and when I added that you are the least empathetic person I know, that really threw her.  I realized that at 50+ years old, she really didn’t feel for other people and other conversations started replaying in my mind about when she only cared about how events affected her well being and not the world at large.

I have been told at times that I am an extremely empathetic person and have always been criticized for that when I was in the workforce.  I would constantly put myself in other people’s shoes and really understand the predicament they were in.  I do it in life too, but it always came up as a negative on my performance reviews (but all my superiors were men and men as a group are generally less empathetic than women).  I never considered empathy a negative as I believe it makes me a very caring and understanding person.  It helps me get into the heads of people in my live and understand their actions and movements better. In my opinion, if you lack empathy, you have a deficit in understanding the emotional states of others.

So I’d rather be a feeling, considerate and compassionate person and care about my group of friends and family, as well as, the world at large, even if it causes me to worry at times for others.  I feel sorry for my friend as she is missing out on connecting on a much deeper level with people and the universe.  Maybe she isn’t really a friend, but just an acquaintance.  I wonder if she knows the difference between those 2 words…

 

For others who never thought about the difference between these words:

empathy

Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions and direct experience of others. It goes beyond sympathy, which is a feeling of care and understanding for the suffering of others. Both words have similar usage but differ in their emotional meaning.  Empathy invokes an understanding what others are feeling because you have experienced it yourself or can put yourself in their shoes.  Sympathy is acknowledging another person’s pain or hardships and providing comfort and assurance. Compassion is a very deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.

Want More Love In Your Life? -FREE Meditation for you-

I too will be participating in this webinar. I have participated in previous webinars on the Mentors channel and have gotten so much out of them.

ShineMine

All of us, no matter who we are or how great our life might be, could use more Love. It is the energy that fills us up and makes our heart and soul feel whole, content, and happy.

Love is healing. Love is transformational. In love we experience greater depths of ourself. We experience greater depths of being. And we touch our own divinity through the supply of love that comes through us.

heart

However, a lot of things in our human experience are conditional; tit for tat or this for that. Our hearts are not open all the time. They open and close from moment to moment based on conditions: our perceptions, our relations, and our false sense that we are not wholly loveable just as we are. We place conditional limits on ourself building them up through personal phrasing such as “Life isn’t fair.” “I never get it right.” “If only I was…”  We place conditional limits on others too…

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