The Year of Authenticity and the Summer of Simplifying
Walking Back to My Core
(Ballerini tapped into my soul with this song!)
It is the first days of Summer, and I am writing. For a writer to make that statement, that is a very sad admission. This past December 31st, I posted a video discussing how the end of 2017 and the entire year of 2018 had been a massive struggle with my hidden rage from years of PTS. I thought I was ready to move on and had the condition under control; I did, but only the rage, what I hadn’t dealt with was the results, the aftermath of living with PTS.
Most of my days were good. I was moving forward in my creative
projects, but not writing. I was moving away emotionally from
another failed relationship, but had not quite let go. I had set my goals for 2019, but hadn’t planned them out or put them on my calendar. I went to Washington D.C. and had a great week of interviewing and filming Marine and Army veterans for my upcoming book, General and Grunts, and documentary, The Aftermath – The Combat Marine Comes Home, but I came home to extreme sadness deep within my soul.
I knew that progress with my goals, my health, my creativity, and my desire to get fit were stagnate…not frozen. My panther speed had embodied a snail’s pace. After the fourth day of spending most of my time in bed, sick, unable to eat a full meal, with my book, 30 Back Pocket Lessons, just sitting there waiting for the last edits to be cleaned up and the manuscript to be submitted – I knew I was in trouble, I also knew that only I could pull up my bootstraps and tackle that sadness.
I accepted the sadness that I resisted. A sadness that had found a permanent home in my soul, heart, and mind. Or so the sadness thought.
Not being one to submit to a dark spirit that would engulf my days, I committed to going full-force in dealing with my sadness. The first step would be to begin writing about it. I’m a firm believer that the negatives in life will own a person as long as they have shelter within the person’s mind, heart, and/or soul. Over analyzing, over counseling (counseling is great, if you act on the results, but too many over analyze those too and stay in the same place), ignoring weight gain or health issues, it all becomes a daily routine of resisting the issue and trying to find solutions for the variables.
Truth be told, a single issue can be the core of anyone’s problems. Let me stop and say problems can seem like issues, but more than likely those problems can stem from one past issue, maybe a handful of issues from one’s past. Ignoring or resisting facing the fact that you are stagnant and it is on you, is like putting a band-aid on a cut, while the heart bleeds, or being tightly wrapped like a mummy moving stiffly. How you get to that one issue or handful can take on many paths…for me I like to apply my analysis in a
creative way, whether through writing, painting, gardening, photography, or having a “Come to Jesus” talk with the problem resulting from the issue.
There are many ways to attack the issue that are positive, and I do believe counseling is one of them, again though, counseling can become a drug if you don’t apply the lessons to the issue and resolve the problems. I “Don’t run for the hills!”, I sit down at my computer, laptop, or even with just a pen and notebook, and begin to write.
Only I had stopped writing.
I know studies have shown that once you write out that issue – writing allows for your thoughts to be released, so that they can no longer own you. You own them, the thoughts, and you can learn to deal with it – I know the studies are right. Writing had gotten me through some very rough patches in my life.
I HAD STOPPED WRITING.
Writing, really writing, on a daily basis for over a year. I stopped putting in the effort it takes to rein in those dark thoughts and feelings. Someone might say at this point that this is a fairy tale, and that the pain never ends. They could be right, but I am not ending the pain, just gaining the ability and perspective to not be ruled by the pain.
Like my favorite Zen proverb wisely advises,
The place of peace comes after each mountain is climbed, however there must be an acknowledgement that there is the other side of the mountain, another valley, and still yet another peaceful view of the world ahead…it is called Life.
Enough philosophizing, let me get to my first step in reaching for my laptop to write this piece, or better yet let me first speak to the trigger.
One major issue that keeps coming up in my life is one of abandonment in my relationships. Abandonment is deeply rooted in my superconscious and my soul. As each trigger pops up, I have been able to address them, but this last one was different.
If I recognized it, if I acknowledged it, and if I accepted it, it would mean I would have to address the deepest love I had ever felt for a man. I would have to go face-to-face with his intellect, intelligence, and savvy ability to turn the tables. Some might say why not just walk away, because I have always just walked away, but the feeling of abandonment has not. It was time to turn and address the issue.
So, what was the trigger?
Time and the mode of transportation this relationship had become.
Too much time watching the merry-go-round go round-and-round. No, I do not mean or expect everyday of a relationship to be a roller-coaster of sharing adventures, laughing, or deep discussions, but neither will I accept humor as a form of diversion, having roommate only status, or being consistently interrupted…wonder where he picked up that trait…not really, because he told me what it was like to be talking and not being heard.
I forgot hope is not a strategy, especially in a relationship. Hope in a relationship is akin to wishing upon a star. Oh, and strategy in a relationship should be founded on communication, respectful communication. I am too old to be Cinderella, frankly, I have never aspired to be Cinderella…okay, maybe to have her glass slippers, but to be rescued…well that makes me laugh. Rescue, geez, that is like asking someone to make you happy…it is a fleeting moment in time. Rescue comes with a price, one I will not attach to.
My goal in any relationship is to emotionally support my partner’s dreams and goals, to encourage individuality, explore life, laugh, cry, get mad, talk things through, passion, compassion, fun, showing interest in their likes – might not like it all, but I believe in the whole package, not cherry-picking. I do not want a relationship that is only part of the pie. In other words, I do not believe that going outside the relationship to be your self is a good thing…it is a sad thing. That is not to say, you should not have your own friends, travel alone, have your own hobbies, or have a girls’ night out/hunt with the boys; I am just saying that if you have to piecemeal your happiness when in a relationship, then something is off. That is what was happening now. That was the merry-go-round. I was in a place I dreaded all my life – stagnation, being yo-yo’d, and second-place. It is why I had stayed divorced for twenty-seven years. I DID NOT WANT A HALF-ASS RELATIONSHIP, and this one had become that and more.
The funny thing is I did not see, acknowledge, or accept its lacking, because I had become Cinderella, pleased to have any crumb from the Red Velvet cake. Emotionally and intuitively I knew I had become the woman sitting by the fire covered in soot, hoping for more, wishing for my Fairy Godmother to straighten out my life. (Yes, even I am rolling my eyes.)
It took a trip to D.C. and listening to combat veterans to shake me loose from admitting a deep, deep fear that I had been carrying around my neck, if this relationship didn’t work out, if I didn’t hold on no matter the lack of love or touch, if I didn’t play along with being a yo-yo, then what? At 57, what man would want me? What man would want an independent, fun-loving, highly intelligent, okay looking old woman? Silly, right? But that was my fear, until I sat myself down in front of my vanity mirror, and had a “Come to Jesus” meeting with that frightened girl/woman/fireball.
The result was let go and write. Write it all out, but do it in a form
that is not hateful or bitter, do it from your heart and soul. Write from your perspective, regardless of his perspective (that is for him to do), and do it this summer. Keep it simple and true. My inner voice reminded me that I had started the process a few years back, when I had penned a short series called Henrietta.
I could hear that voice say, “Write, Henrietta! Write the book. Free up your mind, heart, and soul. There is a Pot of Gold at the end of this rainbow. Now, get off your pity wagon, dust yourself off, and write. Fifty-seven is only the beginning! Go Cindyrella, go!”
Over the course of this summer, I will be writing my book, Henrietta, and returning to blogging about politics, government, and life in general. Some will like it, and many will not. That comes with the territory. I am taking Steven Pressfield’s advice, write for yourself and do the work!
Oh, I will be publishing or republishing the first nine articles of Henrietta, well, not all, but a few as working chapters…laughing, because my hamsters are so excited that they (my thoughts) are jumping from one wheel to the next.
So here is to letting go, reaching higher, and enjoying the process of creating words that bring life to your thoughts, ideas, and emotions.
Love, laughter, and blessings to all, Cindyrella