An Impossible Wish

Hello, all!

The pain hasn’t really let up today, so this post might be a bit short.

I am really proud of how I looked today.

Today’s look.

I know most people would find the green lipstick odd, and I’ll give that to them. Some people haven’t ever seen a matte green lipstick before. I hadn’t ever seen one in person, either, until I walked into an Ulta store in Plano, TX. I made myself a promise that I would not make a purchase in that Ulta unless it was a tube of matte forest green lipstick. I called this an impossible wish. After much hunting, the workers there tracked down the same lipstick I wore today. It’s a shade from Too Faced called Wicked. The only problem I had with it was that it cost $20 USD, but I ultimately remembered my promise to myself and walked out with it in hand. It’s probably the weirdest shade in my collection and I only really break it out on special occasions. It was what I needed today to look like myself, which I desperately needed.

I believe I wrote before about how my desired look changes depending on how I’m feeling. It has recently included dark lipstick, long sleeved button downs, and business pants or skirts. It shifts a bit, but it seems to largely stay focused on this sort of theme. I have felt so confident in these outfits, and that shows in the large amount of selfies I’ve been taking.

My outfit two days ago.

Selfies help me when I feel sad. Looking nice is an important mood booster for me – if I look nice, odds are I feel better about myself than normal. It’s one of the things I like to do when I feel sad – take a shower and put on some nice clothes, take a few pictures of myself. It works wonders.

I have recently realized that not everyone will like the way I look. That shouldn’t stop me from dressing in ways that make me comfortable with myself. The green lipstick, as I stated before, turns a lot of people off. I’m not meant to be liked by everyone who ever sees me. I am me, and I am not meant to be liked or understood by everyone. Nobody is made for everyone, and thinking one is that way only leads to disappointment. Some people can’t take me seriously with black lipstick on, and they have every right to do so. I will never be able to please everyone. That, to me, is an important step I’ve made in learning who I am.

Thank you for reading!

Mago

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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

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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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

Reaching the Limit

Ah, a blank page. You know what this means? Time for more heresy.

My husband says I am only allowed to chew out one thing or person per day, so here we go. I’m meeting my limit. Hi, limit. My target of the day is something I have been meaning to rant on for a little while now, so here we go.

I am so happy for you if you are a member of a church and it works for you. There are some things I cannot abide by, though, in any doctrine it is found. I’m going to use my experiences in the Mormon church for reference because that is what I know. If anyone has any qualms with what I’m saying, feel free to chime in. This is an open forum.

One of the worst curses in Western literature I have found to date is found in the dying words of Queen Jocasta in the play Oedipus Tyrannus – “may you never know who you are.” I think about those words a lot, especially in the context of what I’m about to talk about.

I hate being told who I “should be”. If I don’t know who I am, what gives you the authority to tell me who I am? Spoiler: nobody has that authority. There was one time I bought into what people told me I was, and it had long-lasting effects. About every year or so, the kids are all wrangled up and are taught about “virtue” in Sunday School or in their classes by gender and year. I always hated that lesson because “virtue” really was a guilt trip about being sexually “pure” until marriage. It made me beat myself to a pulp for even being physically or sexually attracted to anyone, especially when it came to people of my same gender. That was a HUGE no-no, and I tormented myself with guilt over all of it.

I found out that I could be attracted to anyone, not just men, the hard way – I repressed all of the “impure” thoughts and refused to believe that there could be any option of that on the table. Ever. My church experience didn’t help, either, with “purity” shoved down my throat. Everything changed when I got into an abusive relationship. I went from being told that I was “pure” so long as I didn’t think, didn’t look, didn’t touch, that I was supposed to be a “good girl” or I would fail everyone to the “slippery slope” all of my church leaders had talked about where I slowly became “impure” by their standards. I didn’t know anything but the “only good girls allowed” culture, so when I was guilt tripped in other ways by my overgrown boy of a boyfriend, I tore myself to mental shreds. I felt that all of my worth had gone. When he left, I was rudderless. I had to go to church, and I felt so out of place. During the time I had been in that relationship, I confronted the fact that I was going to find people of any gender attractive, and there was no going back. I didn’t belong there anymore. The more I forced myself to go, the worse it got. I had been told two things about myself. On the one hand, I had been told that I must be a good girl to live up to standard, but on the other, I had been told that my attractions were fine, that it was okay to not be a good girl. I had lost my innocence and was trying to get it back. It never returned.

All the while, I started to gravitate towards my more masculine side, which my family shot down with such ruthlessness that I believed what they told me. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me, I was just pretending, it was just a phase. Again and again, I let others tell me who to be. Nothing fit. Was I not trying hard enough? Who was I supposed to be? Why did the past call so loudly if it was just a phase?

Fast forward to this past November, when something hit me so hard I couldn’t mistake it for anything. I knew what it was – I had shed a weight. That was the first day I knew where my identity was. I tried to shake it for about the next month, but that feeling of lightness wouldn’t go away. So I kept it safe.

The next major breakthrough came when I started going off my meds a bit. Happiness replaced sadness, and I find that alarming at times. It feels like a fire started burning inside of me, and no matter how many buckets of water are dumped on it, it won’t go out. It’s kind of weird.

In short, when I started learning who I am for myself, things opened up. I hope they will continue to do so.

Until next post,

Meg