On The Merits Of Forgiving Myself

Hello, friends!

At first I was going to write more about eating (specifically overeating) and weight loss, but I figured that that would lead to no end of self sabotaging thoughts, so I decided to write about something both harder and easier to write about – forgiving myself. Does this include forgiving myself for overeating? Yes. It’s hard, but it’s going to be worth it.

I say “going to be” because I am still a beginner in this journey. I still beat myself up for things I did 6 months – no, six years ago, and possibly longer ago than that. My dad always said that holding a resentment against someone else was like holding onto a hot coal and blowing on it continuously as it burns through the holder’s hand. But what about holding a resentment against oneself?

I’d say it’s like taking that same hot coal and swallowing it, expecting it to cool off as it burns through you. It’s equally as harmful, if not more so. I’m learning this so much as I discover how badly holding grudges against myself harms me as much as the grudges I hold against others do. I have spent so much time afraid to fail because my inner critic has yelled at me for things I had done wrong in the past. An example of this would be when I tell myself I’m a terrible person because I upset my husband one day or two days in a row. This way of thinking discounts all of the good things I do both for him and for the world at large. Couple that with calling myself a failure and it’s as damaging as it would be had someone else called me that.

Consider the cumulative effect of calling yourself a failure.

If you say or hear something enough, you start to accept it as truth. I started to fall into that “coming up short” mindset when I was about 15. I felt I didn’t meet my church’s standards of a good girl because I experienced “impure thoughts”. Somehow that made me less of a good person! I internalized that fear and it became a part of my being until I left the Church when I was 20. I was also told I was selfish a lot growing up, and I internalized that, too. To this day, my inner critic takes on the voice and tone of people who have criticized me in the past. There are times when I can’t remember the voices of the people themselves until my inner critic is coming at me. I viewed myself as a failure for many years, even believing that God saw me as such. After all, what all-knowing God could love a human who thought such impure thoughts and was so selfish? In other words, I took what I had heard and told myself and didn’t believe it even if I was presented with evidence to counter these thoughts.

I must have glossed over the sermons where God loves me despite my flaws and the fact that I do come up short all the time. That is the Great Constant, and I didn’t realize it was there until I was 21. It was then that I started to learn that failure wasn’t defeat because that love is constant and unwavering. Backed with that new knowledge, I began to see myself in a different light, and I began to learn that forgiving myself isn’t just an aspect of self care. It is essential for me to progress.

Remember that description of swallowing that hot coal? Imagine what that would do! You would be severely injured and it is likely you would die. But what if you buried that hot coal?

This is the hard part, at least for me, and there are plenty of days where I can’t do what I’m about to describe. A person’s experiences are valid, and ours are no exception. Sometimes this takes time.

On an ideal day, the first step is recognizing that what I did was a mistake. I may have done something really bad, but the first thing I try to do is realize that nine times out of ten I haven’t done something so wrong that I can’t come back from it. Second, I make amends if it is a person I have harmed or wronged. If I find myself beating myself up over my mistake a few hours afterward after having done this, it usually means I haven’t done step three, planning how I can do better the next time I come across an opportunity to do the same thing. Step three may be the most comforting in many situations because it helps me realize that this isn’t the end and I shouldn’t beat the shit out of myself if I have a plan for the future. Odds are, this is a small mistake that the other person won’t remember the next day unless they are reminded of it.

It’s normal to have crap days. It’s normal to be clumsy. It’s normal to mess up. It’s how you choose to handle it that determines how you’ll progress in my experience.

It can be very hard for some to forgive themselves, and I don’t want you to take this as another opportunity to kick the shit out of yourself if this is something you experience. This takes time and will not happen overnight. With small moves it will get better, though. It takes work and I’m still working on it.

Before I leave you, I have promised myself that I will write down ten things I am thankful for today.

Here they are:

  1. My husband and his patience
  2. This laptop where I can write
  3. This blog and the outlet it provides
  4. Alex, Berri, Stephen, Athena, and Esme, my instruments
  5. This quiet basement
  6. “Take On Me” by A-ha, which I am writing to
  7. That I am awake right now
  8. That we actually have bagels with cream cheese at this moment in time
  9. That I know how to write and have had this gift fostered my whole life
  10. My hair, which is growing
  11. Chadwick, my lizard baby
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The Universe I’m Helpless In

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Hello, all! This song is in my ears as I write this post. I love this song and it fits the vibe I’m going for perfectly. It’s called “Venus” and it’s by Sleeping At Last. One of the commenters on this video put it perfectly:

Everyone else [is] talking about how they want somebody to sing this song to them, but I want to find the person who I will want to sing this to.

CuriousAuthor, Youtube

I discovered it after having a dream about a prince.

This dream took place in October of 2017, nearly a year to the day before I married my husband. In this dream, I was a noblewoman trapped in my room at the hands of my evil guardian. I was given an assistant, an imp named Rose Red, for company, and she was important.

There was a prince who was determined to court me, and I cruelly rebuffed him every time he climbed up to my window. Finally, Rose Red grew fed up with my stubbornness and insisted that I gave him a chance. I caved in and listened, and we fell in love.

I woke the following day to find that I couldn’t shake the dream from my mind, and I thought about it all day. I went to an Al-Anon meeting (more about Al-Anon here) and sat in the car in my yard after it, pondering the dream deeply.

My thoughts were answered in a profound way. A thought that didn’t come from me whispered, “He is out there. Keep working on yourself and he will find you.” It hit me like a tidal wave. I became deeply involved in my spirituality for a time, and that was when I discovered “Venus”, which struck me as a thing my prince would sing to me. In November, my prince appeared. I didn’t know it yet, but come December, I received a follow up impression as I was juggling five crushes at once, confused as hell, referring to them all as Players 1-5. “THE FINAL PLAYER HAS ENTERED THE GAME,” the impression said in a very caps-lock-esque tone. It was like I had placed a phone call and someone picked up on the other line or activated a glow stick. I knew then that the prince was close. It turned out to be my husband. He swept me off my feet, and we were married the following October.

It’s strange how the universe brings me what I need exactly when I need it. It’s a testament to how deeply I am loved. I also find that loving my husband is like the commenter said, not being sung to, but trying to sing to my beloved. And the best songs are when we sing together.

It’s stranger how I knew he was coming, in way. This is an important detail because I was deeply connected at that time and listened. It takes a hefty dose of caffeine to get that much in tune, and I’m fairly certain I had at least 2 shots of espresso and a cold brew AND an Earl Grey lemonade in me at that point. I was vibrating and about to teleport, basically. The caffeine is important to me because it gets my mind tuned to the right frequency, so to speak. I’m thankful for that.

A question remains – how do I remain in tune?

I know part of it is having faith in myself and faith that I am not given more than I can handle (more about that in this post). I find that worry, anger, and fear cloud my spiritual senses. As Frank Herbert wrote in Dune, fear is the mind killer. I think that’s important. I was talking to my friend about starting projects and she asked if I knew why I was hesitant about my projects. We arrived at the same conclusion – I am afraid to start. What would I do if I weren’t afraid of failure? I know I would make a lot of messes, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t be afraid of cleaning them up. I would not lack fear, I would cope with it and manage it, asking it what it needed. I would trust in God and the universe more. I would trust people who matter more. I would not fear making mistakes or failure as much as I do. Failure isn’t a permanent defeat. This thought has kept me going since I thought it; I don’t dwell on death anymore. I don’t fear life anymore and I actually enjoy living nowadays even though it hurts sometimes. I would not shy away from my own worthiness and good destiny. I must remember that I am helpless in the universe in the best way and I trust it.

We are given only what we can handle because God and the universe love us with an infinite love. We are given what we can handle to stimulate us and help us grow, but they don’t leave us stranded. We are also given what we need in the time we need it! I’ve said this before, but my husband is an example of this and so is my lizard baby, Chadwick. We are given a seat at the universe’s table.

I have been doing a lot of reading about affirmations and intentions, so I will leave you with both an affirmation and an intention.

Affirmation: I am a being of great spiritual power. I am capable of doing great things.

Intention: Opportunities to do good are heading my way. The universe is kind and sending me what I need. What I seek is also seeking me.

Love,

MJ

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All I See Are Explosions Anyway

Hello, friends!!

Lately it’s been like an archaeological dig in my brain. If you’ve been following the blog at all, you’ll find that there have been many discoveries made in the last few days. It’s been an awesome experience, but there are still some things to be desired.

I pray a lot in my own way, and sometimes people think I do it wrong. I have problems praying aloud and instead carry prayers like feelings close to my heart soundlessly. It’s kind of like meditation mixed with prayer, and it helps me a lot. It may be “the wrong way” to pray, but I am firmly of the belief that people can pray however they want so long as they aren’t hurting themselves or other people. There is a time and place for praying aloud and a time and place for praying silently. I’m in the time for praying silently right now.

My friend Laurie talks a lot about there being seasons for things. It was a bit odd to hear that language at first, but now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. There was a time and a season where I was a Mormon girl, there was a time and a season when I was an agnostic, there was a time an a season when I identified as male. This is a growing and harvesting season. This is a season of freedom.

The title of this post comes from none other than a poem I wrote that talked about my old school in Maryland. There was a line in there that talked about the only true semblance of prayer I had in those days was when I looked through a telescope and all I saw were explosions of galaxies anyway, not any kind of real answer. In those days, it was hard to be close to God and the universe. I was going through a lot.

Returning to the topic of seasons, there are seasons when I am not close to God and the universe. It’s totally fair and valid if you aren’t close to them right now, in the future, or ever. Your journey is yours, not mine, your best friend’s, or that neighbor down the road that demands an expectation from you and doesn’t deserve one. There will days when you see in perfect clarity, there will be others when all you will see are explosions. You are loved constantly and eternally. That is the great constant.

As I go deeper into this digging phase, this season, the more I learn. Having a seat at the table means more to me than just having an equal chance at life as everyone else. It means being given the same gift of hope and the capacity to dream, be validated, and live fully, not just exist.

I remember bursting into tears at Maryland college after seeing a sign saying “no one deserves just a friendship of utility.” It was advertising a workshop on how to be a good friend. The school was dedicated to the study of philosophy, and a friendship of utility in the texts was a friendship for a purpose, not just for friendship’s sake, not so different from using someone. I was hurting and felt broken and wanted my friends to save me. Not surprisingly, the more desperate I became, the more they pulled away. I was wanting as much of a friendship of utility as that sign was warning against. Nobody could save me but me in the end. It took believing in myself to even feel saved. Nothing, not even believing in God or the universe, would make me feel secure until I started this journey to believe in myself. I may have been broken, but nobody but me could fix me.

My aunt always quotes the safety demonstrations at the beginnings of airplane flights when they say “you need to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting with someone else’s, even if it’s your kids needing help.” My aunt is a wise woman, and there’s much truth in that. There are a lot of ways one can seek truth. You can try and find truth in books, friends, God. A lot of them are ways you can try and avoid who you are. You can believe in and put trust in anything you want, but if it doesn’t help you trust yourself in a deep and lasting way, perhaps it’s not worth pursuing long term. Faith and relationships should give you inner peace and help pass that peace to others, not spread you thin. It’s difficult to help others when you yourself are breaking inside. That’s not to say that you don’t need others to help you get to where you’re peaceful; I’m far from it and I am constantly being filled by the people around me. But I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am now without realizing I had it in myself to be where I am now. Because I have people who are willing to be in my life as I transform and encourage that transformation, I am able to become me and who I am meant to be in this moment. I’m beginning to believe in myself and have faith in that seat at that table. I see more than an explosion in things now, myself included.

After all of this, how can I believe in myself, you may ask?

I try not to pretend to know others’ lives, only my own. So here’s what has worked for me.

I’m learning in my life about what I call the great constant – that I am loved at all times, no matter how much I feel I have failed or fallen short.

I am also learning about what I am worth as a human being and child of the universe.

Put those together and I find that I am worth indescribable amounts and so are you. You are given a seat at the universe’s table simply because you are here and you are existing, experiencing this crazy thing called Living. You are loved regardless of where you have come from, who you are, and what you have done.

It takes work and a lot of faith. What really helps is to think back on what I have learned when I’m faced with a setback or a personal failure and present myself with mercy instead of condemnation. Because I know I am worthy and loved, I am allowed to continue trying. Just because I make mistakes doesn’t mean I am a permanent failure. The aftermath of a mistake is an opportunity for improvement, to strive to do better next time and the times after that.

I believe that the moment you start to present yourself with mercy in failure is when you start to believe in yourself. From there, your self talk begins to change and you will work towards being able to see that you are loved in infinite ways and the cycle repeats itself.

I’ll never be perfect, and there is always something new to learn. That’s something that also takes learning. Thank you for learning with me.

Love,

Meg

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Icarus, my love

Hello!

This poetrygram was written when I didn’t have much confidence in myself.

I never expected to have confidence in myself at all. I thought for a long time that life was just a matter of existing, not living. It seemed like I had no purpose – that I was only living to keep others happy and to keep them from imploding were I to die or mentally check out for an extended period of time. I wondered if there was anything more to life than just to count the sunsets and hang on, waiting for something to happen.

I was waiting for life to happen to me. I was experiencing it passively. I didn’t take full part in it. I wasn’t an active participant in my own existence. Everything began to change when I started going down on my meds. My friends started to say that I had life in my eyes again, and that meant a lot to me. I took this selfie

awhile back and there’s so much light in my frickin’ eyes, it’s crazy. I was the most overjoyed of people. I can’t look at this picture and not smile. I had spent so long in an overmedicated haze that I didn’t know what it was like to have that kind of light there and it kind of scared me at first. But then I realized that I have a right to that light and that I was worthy to have it.

The poetrygram refers to Icarus, the boy with wax wings that flew too close to the sun and my husband both. It’s is about both of us being flawed, but in a way where both of us are able to heal from the sun and the damage that life and time have dealt to us. He’s rebuilding his wings, and my burns are healing. He is very observant and he was able to see that I was in the haze and took steps to bring me out of it.

So now my husband is beside me playing a video game and I’m taking today to plan and write the next week’s blog posts so that I’m ahead of the game. It’s gonna be difficult, but so worth it.

In the same vein of worth it, here’s another poetrygram.

I wrote this one a bit before the other one. I had even less confidence then than with the other one, and that says a lot about where I was. I thought that people needed metaphorical safety suits to deal with me, but my husband and friends have always proved me wrong. For years, I have found that the universe/God sends me people whom I need in my life or who need me. Many times it’s both. It simply goes to show that we’re all worth it.

All of us. No matter what we’re going through or how small we think we are, we are worth it. We are worth love and care and kindness, nurturing and compassion. We make an impact, whether we see it or not. Nothing happens by accident.

I’m sitting here listening to Japanese city pop as I write this and it’s damn good. Youtube brings me the best recommendations. It’s a rainy day and I think I’m letting go of my expectations for this time. I wanted to barbecue with friends, but if that doesn’t happen due to this rainstorm, I’ll be okay. I am making my own fun.

There are going to be times when I feel like Icarus, flying too close to the sun. The sea could cool me off, but then there are times I must heal, wandering around with stubs of wings and finding love and healing.

There will be times when I feel like people around me need to wear safety suits, there will be times when I get all suited up for myself and go out into the moonscape and explore. Exploring is the best.

It feels wonderful to be an active participant in my own existence. As stated above, exploring is great, and I feel like I have much exploring to do now that I’m coming out of my haze. My mental home is in serious need of redecorating, as well.

I am happy to have light back. I have heard it said that darkness can’t exist where light is, and my mind is slowly lighting up.

So to you, dear reader –

If you’re new to being happy, do your best to embrace it. You may have a long way to go until you fully can, but it will be so worth it. You are a being of infinite worth and you are so loved. Keep being bright.

Is it okay to be sad, though, especially when I’ve been happy for so long? More about that next time!

Love, Meg

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A Seat At the Table

I don’t know if I have exhausted the topic of happiness. I was doing some reading on writer’s block and the author thought it came down to fear – being afraid to write something and pushing through the fear, breaking it down.

I know I’m afraid of a few things. But in that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a dream I had last night.

In this dream, I knew myself and knew how much I was worth as a human being. It was simple and profound as I saw all of the roads that opened up to me because of it. I was worth more than to just be a memory. I was worthy to be given a chance, to be heard, to be cherished and loved. In that dream, I didn’t see myself as a burden. I didn’t see myself as unlovable, I didn’t see myself as unworthy of…anything. I had a shot equal to anyone else to get what I wanted. I was not guaranteed what I desired, but the universe dealt me a fair hand. I was not worth more than other human beings, but I was not worth less. I was given a seat at the table, and I made my voice heard.

I had power. I wrote a few lines this morning:


I still do have this power. I am not made less because of how I see myself. I have an equal opportunity to receive happiness. It was an incredibly enlightening dream.

Fear holds me back a lot. All of this got started because I don’t often believe I have a chance to win any contests or be heard by anyone with a large social reach. I don’t quite see myself as likely or able to get that chance. Then something clicked
in my brain and I had the thought of, and pardon my French, “fuck it, I have a chance, as good as anyone’s. Let’s do it” as I was contemplating writing to someone about my music. So I did it, then had that dream.

I have heard a phrase over and over again that’s just now getting stuck in my head –

“What you seek is also seeking you.”
I’m not sure who said that, but I know it is real based off of what I have been seeing in my life as of late. I know nothing can come from nothing, so there must be something good about what I’m doing and I should honor that.


I wrote this a few nights ago as I was falling asleep. We are made of starstuff, as I believe Carl Sagan put it.  I believe it.

So it seems that the spot at the table is still open. It is up to me – and to you – to take it.

And to the person wondering what they are worth –

You, too are offered a seat at the table. Your worth is infinite. You have a voice. You have a heart that is special and your desires are valid. Speak up. You are loved. I want to hear what you have to say. Who knows who else you can touch with your words and your actions! You are also a star.

And to you, dear star, I say – shine.


Love,

Meg

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Live in Color

I might start just writing in verse every Thursday. Verse Thursday.

I.

Starting new is the strangest

thing –

double spaced becomes something

different to me

“we won’t have to be scared”

is that really a quote, or

something closer to something

everyone screams in their lifetime?

everything revolved around college

for a time –

how’s it going?

people would ask and i would frown

wishing they would be quiet and

leave me be for once


but now things are different

i wish i had read more about

attrition rates before even going

all of my friends are graduating

and while i don’t feel left behind,

it’s something like that.

II.

here comes the rain –

it’s something we expect but aren’t

hoping for

I trust the sky a bit too much

I don’t trust the ground

I’m too afraid of it falling out from

underneath me

why am i living in the same color

green as Alaska in spring?

why is everything blooming?


if there’s spring in a place that most

would deem unfit to have one

why can’t there be spring in me?

am i forbidden from blooming?

must i understand the happiness

within me?

I wish I could help the people who

need to bloom.

my husband is in his jail of an office

doing far too much tech support work

than any human should.

he’s a bud who has been in the dark

for too long

and he needs to come into the light.



III.

I am neon pink

coming from black and white

I don’t deserve to be shot in grays

I need to live aloud,

live in color

Rain Is

red on red

not what you think

red on red reflected

on slick concrete

pitch reflected in raindrops

someday i’ll make beauty

from a burning house

and the mind on fire that my

skull contains

will be doused with rain

“beauty from a burning house”, a poem by me

This is a poem I forgot about that I had written during my short-lived Poem a Day challenge last year. I was a long way away from believing in myself then, and I remember speaking poorly about myself in poetry and everywhere, really. I still don’t believe in myself in many ways, but I am coming to accept my mind on fire.

I’ve been working my way down on some of my meds, and I am feeling…alive. I am feeling. Feeling like myself, kicking the sadness in the pants, being my intense self and feeling mostly okay about it.

The one thing that bothers me is that I am able to laser focus, laser focus to nearly the point of obsession until my project is done. That bothers me because I want my ideas to come to fruition right now and that involves pestering people a lot. I don’t want to be annoying, but I need to get stuff done! According to my brain, that is. This has resulted in a pair of pieces that are nearly album-length apiece. You’ve already read about Light Steps, and last night’s jam resulted in Benson Boulevard Under Cover of Darkness.

My project last night was getting them on Apple Music, Spotify, and the like. I was so focused that I didn’t write a proper blog post, I’m so sorry! They should be live in a few days, though!

Before that, my project was recording Light Steps to cassette, which failed miserably. I’m starting to question my cassette quest since the jams are so frequent, so I’m setting that idea aside. This is what happens when I don’t try and put out the fire in my brain, coupled with staying off social media. I’m probably going to record a few hours’ worth of music by the end of April. I feel a lot better about myself.

all these cars

in such a hurry to get somewhere

i spent the day drinking tea

and wondering what it would be

like

to be okay

the simple answer is that i do not know

maybe it’s like being so

tired you cannot sleep

seeing the thing for what it is

but being unable to touch it

or maybe it’s

something like the moment

of clarity a person

first has at the moment

they plunge into ice cold water

they feel alive, don’t they?

This poem is called “beauty from a burning house”, and that’s honestly how I saw myself – as a burning house. Nothing more. I was under the impression that that was all I deserved, to be put out by a rainstorm.

I felt for years like I had to summon the rainstorm in order to make beauty from the burning house that I was. I didn’t see that the burning inside was okay to have. It seemed that I had to moderate my emotions. I had to have a valid reason to be sad, angry, very happy, or else I’d see myself as crazy and I thought others would, too.

In hindsight, it doesn’t matter what others thought. I was so focused on “being okay” that I overlooked the times when I was “okay”, and even worse, was being my true self. These were opportunities where I should have been feeling alive, but I crushed them. I was trying to look without seeing. I was looking to feel alive in all the wrong places.

Writing this blog was the first step to feeling alive, but now I feel real.

Feeling real to me is being able to embrace who you are without fearing how others think and view you. It’s not putting on airs, it’s not doing stupid stunts just for attention. It’s being unafraid to be creative and inventive and to also care for yourself. It’s being able to say “this is who I am” and roll with that.

I know I’m weird. I know I’m eccentric as all hell. I am excitable, I am smart. I deserve far more than to be put out by a rainstorm. You don’t deserve that, either.

Carry on.

-Meg