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Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

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Is it Karma?

The attached link at the bottom says nearly perfectly what makes sense to me. I believe one of the reasons I feel so stuck is needing to break free from the guilt and feeling of “I deserve this shit” that weighs me down. I created this life and now I have to find a way to make it better, but instead of making it better I keep letting it beat me up because I put so much bad out there in the past a part of me feels it’s justified. And the people in the world around me just reinforce that narrative with their negativity towards me. I’m deemed stupid because I’m overweight. I’m deemed untrustworthy because over a decade ago I broke the law. I’m deemed worthless because, due to previously mentioned law breaking, I don’t have a large income. My entire life I’ve found my desire, my energy, my passion in the connections in my life. Whether it was my daughter, my partner, my job, my friends, my grandma, or even people who only knew me from being out in the gay community. Those pieces of energy each person or opportunity gave to me were life fuel to my chaotic emotions and brain. It gave me direction and drive.

It possibly started before my major screw ups actually. I had a partner that struggled with addiction and mental illness and to my detriment and to the detriment of most of my other connections I allowed her to feed off me until I was left pretty broken emotionally and not real well mentally. That’s when the anxiety started. That’s when I started feeling desperate to find something, anything to tie someone to me, no matter the consequences. I needed to be “refueled.” 15 years later it’s only gotten worse, not better. For a short while I found a stable place to land, but the connection was weak, forced even. Staying would have been a disservice to her, but I left in the worst way possible and added another notch to my chain of negative karma.

And here I am. Stuck. I make lists of things needing to be done and say ok we we will make 2 small changes a day. Unpack a box, take curtains I’ll never use again to goodwill, write a scene, call my best friend and actually hear her voice, write a letter, take a walk, etc.

I step out of my bedroom into my cluttered kitchen, look at my disaster of a livingroom, and immediately feel defeated. It’s bigger than me and I just can’t find it in me to face it alone. My heart rate goes up, my hands tremble and forcing myself to take another step in any direction other that  back to my room brings me to tears. So I go back to my room and take a nap. Again.

I start to write and I think wow this is such a great idea and then the thought passes through me that sending what I write into the world opens me up for verbal beatings and rejection and I’m not scared, I’m petrified. I’m paralyzed to the point that if it feels good enough to make it into a book it will be weeks or months before I pick it up again.

I keep searching for a connection that will make me feel like I have the strength, but theres a disconnect between my self imposed bubble and the one that holds everyone else. Connection has been missing from my life for so long I have slowly lost all the energy I had gotten from being a part of something, a part of so many lives and peer groups, and now I’ve grown afraid to try to reach out because of the constant rejection. It’s so hard to explain to someone who has never been in my head or heart or body; even harder to explain to someone who has never faced real anxiety, depression, or adversity.

I adore my internet followers and friends and I do feed off there happiness and celebrations. I’ve narrowed my connections on my personal pages to people who bring some light into my life. Dropping probably 2/3 of my “friends.” I don’t allow a sense of obligation keep me in touch with negative people.

All this is just starting to click for me sadly, but it gives me a why or a cause. My job now is to turn it around; work to make progress towards positive personal connections and put some good energy out into the world. Find a way to look for beauty and things that make me happy or passionate about life again. Mostly importantly I have to find a way to make small steps in progress without allowing my anxiety send me into flight mode. Nothing is overnight,  but one step at a time. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Being patient with myself is another place I falter and if I’m not going to have a team around me anymore I’ll have to he my own cheerleader. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Monique P

https://www.one-mind-one-energy.com/law-of-cause-and-effect.html

Zen or Defeat

There’s an expression I’ve hated for a long time; “It is what it is.” It always felt like someone saying, “Just accept what is happening in your life and deal with the fact that you can’t change it.”

By nature I’m a fighter; or at least I used to be. I believed life is what you make of it, we’re the creators of our own destinies, if you want something bad enough you make it happen, and all those other trite sayings people such as Les Brown and Tony Robbins and the like spent decades putting into our heads. “Envision it and it will happen!” Hook, line, and sinker….I bought in.

Maybe I’m selfish? Maybe I’ve become jaded? Maybe I’ve accepted that those in power stay in power and those that aren’t in power get what they are given and make the best of it? Maybe I’ve just given up? Maybe, just maybe, I realized it truly IS what it is, and you can spend your energy pushing against the brick wall or you can enjoy the little bits of happiness you find creeping in through the cracks.

It’s funny how my other half has come to this conclusion of “it is what it is” and giving up the fight to change things has helped her find a little bit of Zen in her world that is usually full of worry and stress when, for me, giving into that notion feels like defeat. Realizing it is what it is, for me, means setting down my gloves and just bracing myself for the blow that comes next at my head.

Weirdly I use my feeling of defeat to find some happiness. I look harder for it. It used to be easy to find. Cuddles from my furbabies, a four-leaf clover in my path, a wild daisy growing among the weeds, a flock of birds rising across a pink and orange sky at dusk, a thoughtful gesture from a friend, a text message that my honey is thinking of me; these things used to be fuel to my “go grab life by the balls and make it your bitch!” attitude; now they are reasons to get up and keep going through a life that is nothing I had hoped it would be.

For awhile I just kind of folded in. I dragged one day to another and hoped it would go by quickly. In realizing that I likely have decades of this life left ahead of me I had to shake myself up a little, remind myself that there are things to look forward to even if they aren’t the big things I’d hoped for.

I love my partner and while, on one hand, I am so glad to see her find some reasons to smile finally and something to motivate her towards a more fulfilling life, on the other hand, it hurts that her vision of what that means doesn’t include me. I’m apparently that thing that she can not accept as “Is what it is.” Her Zen, her place of acceptance, feels like another defeat for me. (Even though rationally I know it has NOTHING to do with me.)

I am a whole imperfect package with lots of good intentions. I am what I am. It’s interesting to me that I was proud to say that until the last 12 years of my life. It used to be, “I am ME!” Now it’s more of a whisper, “This is just who I am.” I no longer want to fight for the right to be myself, but just be myself a little more quietly so I don’t have to defend it.

I want to feel Zen in acceptance of it is what it is. I say it more now. I’ve noticed that for a few years. Sometimes I catch myself backtracking after I say it, then I think, “What’s the point? It’s true.”

My goal for this year is to just be me more of the time. I need to be “I am ME!” again eventually and stopping whispering and hoping no one notices that I’m different or think outside of the proverbial box. I want to stop feeling defeated by what is. I want to teach myself to stand out again. I want to live for more than 3 furbabies that realistically will be gone within this decade. I want to punch my g/f and make her realize that her life is better shared with someone who pushes her out of her comfort zone, but A. I’m not abusive and B. That’s not the reality she subscribes to. I do hope her Zen starts rubbing off on me however.

My decades of brain-washing that taught me to “MAKE IT HAPPEN” led to a lot of disappointment when it didn’t happen. Now, this decade, I’m retraining myself. I’m going to find a way to live with less expectation and more anticipation. Let’s see what happens next and with some luck, whatever it is, I can say “It is what it is” without feeling like I lost the big game. *Fingers crossed*

Here I come 2020s!

 

 

Remembering The OKC Bombing

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April 19, 1995

Those born on April 19, 1995 are celebrating their 21st birthday today. For many Oklahomans it’s the 21st anniversary of the day their home was attacked and their loved ones were murdered by deranged individuals seeking revenge on a government they disagreed with.

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On April 19, 1995 at 9:01 am Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was having a day like any other. People were arriving to work, babies were being held at daycare, phone calls were being made, kids were sitting in classes. It took 1 minute and 1 individual full of anger and hate to end the lives of 168 Americans and change the lives of thousands more forever. By 9:03 am we were a wounded city, state and nation. All over the world people mourned and prayed for Oklahoma. All that pain and devastation because someone hated choices made by individuals in our government trying to protect others.

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Our government makes mistakes and sometimes we greatly disagree with their choices and decisions but we, Americans, also take for granted all the things our government has given us and how much better off we are than so many other nations. Can our government be better? Absolutely! But attacking one another and creating more hate and anger towards each other only creates more of these horrible events. Hate fuels the fire within people who don’t understand reason, compassion, or acceptance. We CAN NOT be a nation that stands behind any person or group that supports division instead of unification. Do not give your votes to people who spew hate and disrespect of other individuals, groups or agencies. We can disagree with each other’s choices and still embrace our diversity and accept that we are different and show respect for one another.

Any individual or group who supports hating or creating fear among any part of our population is creating more homeland terrorism. More events like the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Building are inevitable when people become irrational with hate and fear. Our basic rights are not being attacked by our government or any other power because laws are created trying, sometimes fruitlessly, to keep us from continually harming one another. Those who encourage such thinking are inciting anger and fear unnecessarily.

Today and everyday I ask you to remember the Pledge of Allegiance we recited as children all over this country. Let those last five words, “liberty and justice for all.”, mean something to you as you go through your daily life in an amazingly diverse world full of all kinds of people with all kinds of lives. Liberty and justice FOR ALL; not just the white, straight, christian, American born.

Let the lights of the OKC Bombing Memorial be a reminder of what hate and fear can do.

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Embrace diversity. Embrace change.

“Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.” ~Noam Chomsky

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All Photo Credits by Chrissy Justice

As an Oklahoman who cried 21 years ago and every time I look back on the devastation caused by one irrationally fearful and hate-filled man (and those who followed him) I worry those with big voices are encouraging this kind of event to happen again. The only thing more powerful than fear and hate is love. Love one another because of our differences, not despite them.

Monique P

Wynn in Doubt by Emily Hemmer

Check out this book on Goodreads: Wynn in Doubt http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25497061-wynn-in-doubt

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You MUST read this! Seriously…just go to Amazon and use your 1-Click finger right now. Just do it. You’ll thank me later!

I’m so glad I read this and once I started I couldn’t put it down. I had to know how Lola’s story ended and how it impacted Wynn’s story. There’s a line about people only being afraid to die if they are afraid they haven’t lived…not a direct quote ….that was like a punch in the gut. I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought this at 43 years old. What have I used these 4 decades to do? Why do I keep talking myself out of following my dreams? Maybe I’ll fail but I have to try. I have to stop being afraid to try and stop making excuses for not trying. I want to write. I’ve been doing it as a hobby since I was 12. And maybe I’m no good really but maybe 1 of the stories in my head will move someone like this one moved me. Just maybe. And if not, I’ll still be able to say, “I tried. I wrote that book (or that story).” And I’ll have left that piece of me behind to show I was here and I lived.

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I cried several times and many more times I had to pause and absorb what I had just read. It felt like Emily Hemmer wrote this just for me and I found it just when I was supposed to. That feeling is a rare treasure. I’m a fan for life!
This book will be read again and again.
Start living!  (Right after you read this book!)

Happy Reading!
Monique P

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The Disappearance of History

Lately I’ve done a lot of thinking about history. World and American history precisely. There have been a number of things prompting these musings including the recent debate over the confederate flag, my current reading material (Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee), some random comments I’ve read on a local community Facebook page and a movie called The Giver.

As a child in Oklahoma one of the class requirements was Oklahoma History. In Oklahoma we learn some about the Trail of Tears. What I remember learning was the government, wanting the Indian lands for themselves, forced “The Five Civilized Tribes” out of their homelands, primarily on foot, west to the other side of the Mississippi river. I learned that thousands died of famine and disease before they made it safely to Oklahoma Territory. Skipped in our history lesson was the tribes were living peacefully in their homelands in the southeastern part of the U.S. which were also the slave-owning states. Because of the widespread use of slaves the cotton industry was expanding. Southern states wanted Indian lands for their cotton fields. Essentially, it was greed that caused the Indian Removal Act and others like it to pass and allow the government to displace an entire culture of people, treat them as lesser beings and cause a near extinction of a race who lived in the U.S. well before white southerners.

As an adult who devours history much more than I ever did as a student I am finding more and more that the ugliest parts of our history have been skimmed over presumably to avoid the embarrassment of our ancestors’ ignorance. It is my opinion that this is the worst thing you can do to the future of our country and our citizens.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

Other facts that were skated over in my history lessons were both The Holocaust and America’s entry into World War II. It failed to connect with me as a high school student and even as an honors history student in college the overlap of these two major events in history. Regarding The Holocaust I was taught that Hitler was an evil man who didn’t like anyone who wasn’t “white” by his definition. He sent Jewish, gay and other minority groups he felt lesser than himself to concentration camps where they were abused, starved and murdered. Hitler’s German troops began their part of WWII in September of 1939. Lives were being lost rapidly. The United States knew of this. For many years I was under the assumption that WWII began because of the attack on Pearl Harbor on that infamous day in December of 1941. The fact that much of the world was ALREADY at war before we joined forces against the “bullies” was never really impressed upon us. The fact that millions were losing their lives because of the rule of a tyrant before the U.S. felt a need to aid these people was never mentioned. The fact that the U.S. didn’t even enter the war in order to stop this massacre was left out of our education entirely. The end of the Holocaust was merely a side effect, not a well planned out success. These huge parts of history were treated as separate events that, though overlapped in time, didn’t have effect on one another. The U.S. simply responded to a threat on our home soil. We did not join the war because our allies needed our help or because it was the right thing to do. I’ve heard so much about the credit taken by the U.S. for the end of WWII, but the U.S. certainly doesn’t mention that millions of lives were unnecessarily lost and another entire culture of people were nearly extinguished before we bothered to help them. Approximately 6 million lives were lost by order of Adolf Hitler. How many history books have failed to mention the number that could have been saved if the U.S. had joined the war sooner?

I must mention that I am not a fan of military force or war. I do not believe that the U.S. needs to get involved in every dispute between countries. However I do believe that as a civilized nation we CANNOT EVER be a spectator when genocide is happening.

Then there’s the big gaping wound that much of America likes to sweep under the rug. The biggest embarrassment to me, as an American, about my country. Slavery. History class taught us that black men, women and children were brought by boat from Africa and sold to white southerners as field hands and house workers. History taught us that the northern states, though still prejudice against black people in many ways, tried to force the south to treat their slaves as hired hands instead of owned property giving their slaves the right to choose to find a different path for their lives or better themselves. The Civil War occurred and again too many lives were lost. The north wanting to force the south to work as one unit under one government which would also make it illegal in all the southern states to own slaves. The south fought, as I’ve heard many times even lately, to preserve the southern way of life. The way of life they were wanting to preserve was their “right” to own slaves. To OWN black people and treat them as they wished. This included selling off their children. They would pay one price for a slave and have that slave as a laborer without pay for their rest of their lives. Cotton, which was the largest industry in the south, was hard on the hands and backs. To bring in crops took long hot hours and many bloody fingers and slaves were used as free labor after their initial purchase. The south didn’t want to give up their money, their massive plantation houses and status that may have been hurt by having to actually pay workers for bringing in their cotton crops. Millions of lives lost because of greed and disrespect of an entire race of people.

I have learned so much about slavery since my early days as a history student. I’ve learned of the beatings that either left a person dead or wishing for death. I’ve learned of the hangings that were witnessed by (and even enjoyed by the white) children in the south. I’ve learned about the rape and torture of women and children and the husbands and sons unable to save those they loved from such atrocities. Many slaves had a deep belief in a god that had a plan for them and would help them carry the burden of their existence. Music was a huge part of the culture. Spiritual and work songs were a part of daily life. Sadly the church in the south was one of the biggest supporters of slavery, finding biblical passages to condone the ownership of what they saw as a lesser being. As average high school history students it was never impressed upon us the amount of resilience and fortitude many slaves managed to find in the face of such ignorance and brutality. We were taught about this scar on our history as if it were a small hiccup in our growth as a country.

Even though slaves were eventually freed prejudice and segregation was still the norm. History students learn names like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King and their part in moving toward the end of segregation. However what did we learn about the Ku Klux Klan lynchings and bombings? Many members of the KKK were respected members of society and church elders upholding what they believed to be christian values. How much were we taught about the brave Freedom Riders? How many of us knew about the number of rapes of black women because the law didn’t recognize it as rape unless it was a white woman? This part of American history causes me to feel a need to apologize for my ancestors’ ignorance, but none of this embarrassment was brought on by anything I was taught in my history classes.

I believe at this point in our society we are too many generations past some of the most horrific parts of history to truly understand what we did wrong and many people wish to keep it that way.

Even as a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma I had no idea that in 1921 Tulsa had its own race riot. An estimated 300 people died and 800 injured because of an ASSUMPTION that was made by a “witness” when a black man and a white woman had been in an elevator together. There is no way to know to this day what actually happened between the two people, but 10,000 black people from 35 blocks in Tulsa were left homeless because over 1200 houses were burned down in what was then one of the wealthiest black neighborhoods in America. Not once was this mentioned in Oklahoma History class.

History is amazing and it is also ugly. It’s filled with pain and growth and destruction and discovery. History, as it really was, is easily accessible if you want to know it, but it is not readily passed out to us when it can impact our growing minds the most. We are raising children that have no idea what Ms. Parks endured simply by refusing to give up her seat on a bus. We are raising young women who take for granted their reproductive rights, right to vote and seeing women in positions of power. They do not know about glass ceilings, deaths from illegal abortions, legal rape and life in “a man’s world.” We are seeing people who “dress up” as Native Americans for fun without any idea how close we came to not even having that culture among us. We are handing our nation over to an entire generation that has no idea how far we have come and how far we have left to go.

The recent passing of the ban on gay marriage is a huge stepping stone to many of us, but I have heard more than one young person shrug it off with, “I don’t know why it’s such a big deal.”

Our history is disappearing. The lives of Harriet Tubman, Matthew Shepard, Anne Frank, Susan B. Anthony, Harvey Milk, Hedy Epstein, Frederick Douglass, Tom Hayden and Gloria Steinem are fading into obscurity. Sadly, we are letting it happen.
We MUST encourage our education systems to teach the harsh truths along with the victories. Instead of making U.S. History about memorizing names, dates and places teach the kids how far we have come and how anyone who decided to make a difference left their mark on history so they too may want to leave their mark for the next generation. Stop skimming over the parts that show ignorance and intolerance. Show our youth a clear picture of what life was like 30, 60, 100 and more years ago so hopefully they will appreciate the world they live in today. Show them how much more we need to change and encourage them to make a difference in their own way.

We must, as parents and members of the generations who still remember some of these heartbreaking events, teach the children the meaning of doing the right thing even when it’s the hard thing. We need to encourage our children to study history, not just the glorified and glamorized version that Hollywood hands to us, but from the words written by the men, women and children who lived it. This is just another reason to encourage children to read. Encourage children to seek truth instead of one side of a story.

Let’s not let our history disappear. Let’s not let our children and grandchildren live in a world ignorant of our struggles and growth thus facilitating the act of repeating the mistakes in our history. Lets keep history alive in the minds of all generations so that we will continue to move forward.

I fear for the world my daughter will be handed in adulthood. I fear for generations of people who have had the horrors of ignorance left out of their education. It’s not pretty or nice or pleasant to hear about or see pictures of, but it is essential that history not be white washed. People lost lives, families, jobs and so much more fighting to make sure we have the freedoms we have now. Freedom wasn’t only fought for on battlefields but also in our backyards and courtrooms.

We must not forget.

We must not let our history disappear.

Monique P.

A Small Helping Of Poetry

DROPLET

I’ve waited for you to return
And bring me closer to you.

I’ve watched as others ran down your
Eyelids and brushed against your lips.

I’ve seen them crowd around your
Shoulders and caress your neck.

The lucky have traveled over your breasts
Or gotten lost between them.

Many have slid down your fingers
And slipped through your intimate places.

I’ve watched as they’ve relished
The feel of your skin, cool under their heat.

I’ve studied the pleasure they’ve brought you
When washed over your lovely face.

I’ve envied those who’ve made it
Down your thighs and worshipped at your feet.

My turn to please you is coming
With merely a turn of your hand.

I’ll drift over your eyelashes
And warm your perfect cheek.

Sliding down your luscious neck
I’ll devote my existence to your care.

I’ll soothe you as I travel down your back
And over your inviting curves.

I’ll wander down the back of your leg
Taking in the beauty of you.

Before I leave you
I too will worship at your feet.

And when I’m gone
I’ll have left you changed.

As I will be changed for always.

 

Monique P.

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