Finding My Passion

landing-stage-sea-nature-beachYesterday I sat on a park bench on a beautiful beach in Cape May, New Jersey engaged in a phone therapy session with my meditation teacher.  I often seek her guidance when I cannot wade through my own personal mind fields.  She is always extremely helpful, and that morning was no exception. I am still reeling from my previous relationship, not sure how I am going to finally move on or continue to hope for something more.  Everything was going extremely well until she asked me what I am passionate about.

“Wait, what?”  The question threw me.  I was silent after she explained that I should dig deep and find the things that light me up and help me to feel happy and fulfilled.  My only answer burped to the surface of my mind: romantic relationships.  I instantly felt ashamed as I described that the push and pull of men and relationships have been my main focus outside of my two children, my job, and my own health.

“You need to go deeper during your meditations,” she said.  “You enjoy writing.  Is that a passion for you?”

“Yes,” I answered excitedly.  “Yes, I do love writing.”

“How often do you write?”  She asked.

“I have just started making myself write fifteen minutes a day.  I read somewhere if you do something that way for forty days you can make it a habit,” I answered proudly.  She laughed.

“That’s not very much time to develop your craft, Kelly,” she responded.  “If I only painted for fifteen minutes a day I would never accomplish anything.  Perhaps you are not passionate about writing.  So would you say you spent more time obsessing over your previous relationship than you’ve spent thinking about writing?”

So now, hours later, I am contemplating my passions.  I have sat in silence this morning and each time my mind wanders back to relationships and love.  Could I be passionate about finding out about love?  I do love to write despite the fact that I am only doing it for a few minutes a day.  I love reading and learning about the stories of people around me.  I also love cooking and traveling, but all of these passions take time and energy and as a full-time working, single mom who really just wants a beautiful, loving, partnership where does one find the time?

In addition to finding my passions, she also put my in charge of individuating myself and finding my soul path.  She insisted that true contentment can only exist in me and it cannot be found in others.  It is a message that has been repeated time and time again.  I don’t know why it is so hard to hear.  It seems too easy and too hard all at the same time.

If all journeys begin with a first step, I guess I am making mine.  I will work on staying present because true power is only in this moment.  I am asking the Divine to show me the way to my soul path because I think I am a bit out of alignment.  I am going to find joy in this minute instead of chewing on past decisions and plausible future scenarios.  This is a start.

 

Abuse and the Empath

loveWhen I was child, I was abused by my father. When I did anything wrong, I was beaten with either a hand or belt. I was most scared of the thinner belts.  They hurt the most.  My father has a “funny” story that he used to tell when we would be sitting around the dinner table.  It went something like this…

I was four or five and I had wandered around the block.  This was wrong. I was not allowed to go past the house with the big white pillars and the small porch.  This was a rule, but I had broken it.  Perhaps I was chasing a butterfly, maybe I just wanted to openly defy the rule. I don’t remember why I broke this rule; I just remember that I did.  As a cycled back around the corner, I saw my father’s angry eyes.  His mouth was twisted and I knew that he was furious.  I knew that I was caught.

“Don’t beat me, Daddy,” I cried as I put my hands across my behind to try and save myself from a subsequent beating.  My father’s face changed as he glanced at the few neighbors who were watering their gardens are putting out their potted plants.  He smiled and bent to the ground, supporting himself on one knee.

“It’s ok, baby,” he said soothingly.  “I am not going to hurt you.” I smiled and ran into his arms.  He hugged me as he carried me into the house.  I buried my tear-stained face into his neck and sighed.  I did not notice that we were walking back towards the house.

And this is the part my father always thought was most amusing, the part that he would chuckle while saying,

“So here she thinks she got me,” he would continue.  “She thought she could manipulate me and embarrass me in front of the neighbors, but I showed her.  When I got her inside, I spanked her so hard she didn’t even know what hit her, and I made sure she really knew I was serious because I really laid into her.  She never did that again.”

And I didn’t do that again…throughout my life, I don’t think I ever did that again.  How terribly did that scar me?

I find it difficult to trust men.

I believe all men lie to me or are going to hurt me if I give them an ounce of trust.

I fear men and the things they are capable of doing to me.

How does a person have an intimate relationship with a person of the opposite gender when this is just one “story” in a vast sea of abuse?

How long will it take me to walk away from these stories to find myself in the rubble of a broken childhood, a broken marriage, a broken life?

I know that dwelling on this past and sitting in these stories detract me from the present moment and feed my victim story, so I am trying to relinquish them to a time that is no longer here, but I do feel a sense of loss when I think about letting this story go.  I do feel like this story shaped me, but at the same time I also feel like it is keeping me small.  It is keeping me from freedom.

I am not that five year old girl holding her butt in front of her angry father.  There are no large men lurking in the distance waiting to beat me for my wrongdoings, but I still act as if I am.

How do I let go?  By writing it here in this sacred space?  Maybe by telling the truth about my past, I can let each story go with a touch of the “publish” button, shedding each layer of skin one story at a time.

And perhaps I need to be reminded of the following:

“You have to be larger than thought to realize that however you interpret “your life” or someone else’s life or behavior, however you judge any situation, it is no more than a viewpoint, one of many total perspectives.” – Eckhart Tolle

The Empath and Her New Love Interest

Yes, I have a new love interest.  It’s been a passionate and whirlwind romance.  It really just started recently when I finally moved out of my ex’s house.  Amid my stuffed boxes and half packed bags, I found someone I never thought I’d meet.  My divorce was so difficult.  It stripped away parts of me that I didn’t even know existed.  How is this much pain and happiness possible at the same time? I knew my divorce was the right thing, but I did not know that I would feel free, guilty, satisfied, fear.

My new love interest has done wonders fforest_path_by_grrroch-d4s8lwgor me, though.  It has been transforming.  I will no longer keep you in suspense…it’s me.  Yes, anti-climatic and perhaps I bit predictable, I know, but it is also very true.  For so many years, I have looked for distractions, things to keep me away from me.  I didn’t want to face my own internal issues.  I didn’t want to see myself. People would ask me what I wanted, and I didn’t even know what that meant.  I was so far from myself. Somewhere along the way, I was taught that I needed validation from others.  I picked up this nasty habit of only seeing myself through the eyes of others.  I became obsessed with what others thought about me, believing that I was only worthy if someone else liked me.  Even worse, I could only understand love from a man if it included sex.  Desire is such a powerful emotion, and I believed that love from a man could not be real without it.  Unfortunately, I started to convince myself it was the only thing.

This summer I plan on continuing this new love affair.  So far I realized that I am a pretty cool person to be with.  I realized that I have more interests than I ever realized before.  Why didn’t it take me so long to realize that I am this awesome?

Love and the Empath

Love seems like such an elusive thing to so many.  I counted myself among those who chased love for most of my life.  As an Empath, I can feel love in everyone around me.  It radiates through people at different times, and if I focus on them long enough, I can feel it coursing through them in some capacity.  Perhaps it is a love for a child or love for a spouse or even love for a drug or possession.  But if I search and focus long enough, I can feel this distinguished bit.  It is like a warm light that is in the center of us.  It is what keeps me from being angry and negative with those around me.  It keeps me from repeating the words of one of my coworkers who repeatedly says, “I hate people.”  I am emotionally unable to truly hate people.  I’ve read that so many Empaths become recluses.  They stow away from others because they cannot deal with their emotions, but it does not have to be that way.  You can search below the conditioned emotions and feel the true source of life and know why you are so blessed to be able to do this.  It is an incredible gift.  My conditioned self, and by this I mean the myriad of immediate emotional responses I have to any given situation, will react and will often want to hide, but with a bit of quiet self-reflection, I can pull into myself and find grounding.

I advise this for everyone.  Look at others and see the light and love.  If you are an Empath and struggle with the ability to see and feel the emotions of others, have strength and know that there is so much more.  I, too, struggle and have struggled, but the light from others is bright and warm, you just need to open up to receive it.

The Musings of an Empath on the Beach

Children are the most amazing humans.  Yesterday on the beach, this little baby in her adorable pink bikini came waddling up to me.  I am not sure if it’s because I am an Empath or just really amazed by children in generally, but kids usually really dig me.  The weirder thing is that I don’t talk to them like babies or children, and they keep coming back for more.  Many Empaths say that they find more of a connection with animals, but that is not true of me.  I draw in people.  Everywhere I go there is always someone who talks to me.  I like it best when the person is a kid.  So I am sitting on the beach with this little lady, and I can’t help but perceive the relationship between her parents.  Her mother is so unhappy.  I get it.  I was there once.  She is not unhappy with anything in particular. It is more of an everything.  She is a beautiful woman with a very attractive husband.  Her husband is a bit happier than she is, but he feels her discontent and tries to help but primarily he ignores it.  What else can he do?

So many women are unhappy.  Again, I get it.  I was there.  I was constantly searching for another life that “should” be mine.  I was always wanting, always dissatisfied by the reality that was right in front of me.  I tried getting married, having children, building my career and education.  Nothing worked.  It was not until I stopped and accepted exactly what is that I started to dig out of my pit.  It was a pit that I built all by myself.  Boy, you can imagine my wake up call when I realized that my ex wasn’t put in this world to make me happy.  Or my children?  Or my parents?  Or my past?  How often I blamed my past for all of my unhappiness…The reality is that none of those things should have the responsibility to make me feel anything.  As an Empath, it has always been extremely easy for me to get wrapped up in the wants and desires of everyone around me.  Then I wanted to get wrapped up in the wants and desires that are all my own.  Now I just try to be present.  I return to nature.  I do things that help me feel grounded and rooted to what is happening at this present moment.

After my experience on the beach, my mind was still preoccupied with the unhappy mom of the amazing little girl in pink.  I stopped myself mid-thought and looked at what was directly in front of me.  The scene that greeted me was my two smiling boys on a fixed motorcycle as it rode up and down on a stationary ride.  My older son smiled and waved as he rode by.  My younger one followed suit as the ride took them out of my field of vision.  By the time they rode back around, my heart was filled with so much joy and love.  It was a pure contentment that I am just beginning to know and it is beautiful.

“As You Wish” and Other Such Musings

My favorite movie growing up was The Princess Bride, and I think it completely ruined my ability to have a healthy view of relationships.  I watched it so many times that I still have almost every line of it memorized.  I also loved it so much that I read the novel by William Goldman.  I will save you any time and trouble.  The novel is not that great, and I am not the kind of person who EVER says that she likes the movie better than the book.  

The story goes like this.  Beautiful Buttercup berates the shy and quiet Wesley as she orders him around her farm.  She only refers to him as “farm boy.”  All he ever responds is “as you wish.”  His constant compliance surprises her and as time goes on she grows to love him.  Finally, she orders him to pull the pitcher of water from just above her head and the realization is actualized.  But every great love story has to have a conflict.  The conflict here is that Wesley is poor and must leave Buttercup to find his fortune so he can “earn” her hand in marriage.  His boat is lost at sea; Wesley is rumored dead; Buttercup marries Prince Humperdinck.

So what do we learn?  As a young girl, I fell helplessly in love with Wesley with his “eyes like the sea after a storm.”  It was not the Wesley that starts the story (the silent steward willing to do anything the young maid wishes), but the swashbuckling pirate who returns to save Buttercup from her ruthless soon-to-be husband.  The man who would go to any lengths to save the woman he loves even though he believes she married another as soon as he was gone.  As far as Wesley knows, his truelove betrayed him, yet he climbs up jagged rocks to sword fight a foe, wrestles a giant, and engages in a battle of wits that could cost him his life.  It is not until she reveals her love for beloved Wesley does he reveal himself as he tumbles down the symbolic hill and yells “as you wish.”  When they get to the bottom he asks, “Why didn’t you wait for me?”  To which she responds, “Well, you were dead.” The next words he spoke have resonated through my entire life: “Death cannot stop true love.  All it can do is delay it awhile.” 

This is what I want and this is why I am completely ruined because this is not reality.  Where does this type of love reside?  Which one of this pair is responsible for the depths of this love?  Are woman responsible for being lovable?  If so, Buttercup never seems very lovable to me.  She is bossy and self-centered.  Are men responsible for creating a love like this?  If so, Wesley is amazing, but where does a woman find him?  I must admit that I still want him.  When I married my ex, I was not under any delusion that he was ever a “Wesley” because as much as I wanted one, I did not really believe that he existed.  If I hold out now, am I just waiting for a deluded dream?  Perhaps.  Perhaps.  

Love and the Empath Cont…

Last night I had a great conversation with one of my friends.  It was about love.  This seems to be a topic that comes up in my life often.  I think that it is my soul’s mission in this life.  Everyone comes into this life with a plan, a purpose.  Perhaps I should preface this entry with “based on my belief system,” but I wonder if that is already understood.  Anyway, I believe that everyone enters this life with an agenda.  I think my agenda is to research love.  Through my various karmic journeys, I think I have worked out being able to love my children, love my friends, and even others I barely know.  I have no one I call an enemy.  I dislike much of what people do, but I can honestly say that I don’t really “hate” anyone.  Sorry, “hate” is not allowed to be used in my home, and I try to keep it out of my vocabulary.  “Hate” is such a powerful and icky emotion.  If people could just feel how blackening it is, they would avoid it too.  “Hate” is a black, spiky tar that snags you and needs to be cleaned away with intent.  It is truly not the opposite of love.  I’ve felt people love and hate someone all at the same time.  It’s an entity all on its own.

So back to my conversation about love.  Love is so much more powerful.  It is the brightest, most beautiful light in the world.  It radiates from people.  You know that is true.  Even people who are not Empaths can feel when two people are in the early stages of love.  Also, the ability to see the bonds that love forms when given time to grow and mature can bring tears to someone’s eyes.  When we celebrate a marriage that has stood the test of time, we are not really celebrating that piece of paper and the ceremony that took place many years ago.  No, we are acknowledging the strength of a love that could stand the tests and the trials of life.  Marriages do not stay together because of a priest’s, judge’s, or pastor’s words.  Marriages can only stay together when love remains strong.  Divorce does not happen because we ever really stop loving the person we are married to.  Love is still there.  It is the other stuff that builds and clouds that diminishes the strength of love.  When we allow the other emotions to overcome our love, then love fades.  I told my friend that I still love my ex.  She was shocked to hear this.  People are always shocked to hear this.  If I still love him, then why in God’s name would I divorce him?  The reason is because the resentment, anger, distrust all built up and downgraded my love for him.  I no longer wanted to be his wife.  It was a title and position that no longer fit me or served me. I could not see myself continuing to build a relationship with him.  I no longer wanted to foster my love for him.  What is there, is there, but there is no part of me that wants it to grow.  

Even as I am writing this, I can see that I have some bugs to work out, but these realizations have taken many years and many mistakes to get to, so I will continue to observe.  For now, the biggest realization I’ve had is that I think my road has taken me to a path of being single.  This is the first time in my life, so I guess we will just see where this goes.