Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude — even for the tough stuff.

"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.
That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand."
~Emily Kimbrough

Thanksgiving is coming up tomorrow and I've chosen not to go home to spend it with family, but instead, relax nearby by enjoying the evening with friends. Lately, I'm too tired to do a lot of things, feeling that this mind-body program is requiring much more energy than I anticipated, and every time I chat with Barry, I'm made even more aware of where I am.

Again and again, I've been told that the time right now is all about me. It's about my healing, my thriving, my joy, and my learning how to put myself and my needs first. This is why, last night, I called a guy I started dating and told him that I'm not ready for this. The closer I become to someone else, the more I feel myself pushing away. The heart wants what the heart wants, and right now, my heart wants me to be focused on me. On receiving. On breaking old patterns, so that I'm not placed in compromising situations any longer. On speaking my mind and believing I will be honored and heard.

I practiced the conversation a bit in my head during the day to clarify what was in my heart, but when it came down to it, there was no perfect script for speaking my truth. Instead, there was a bit of sifting and sorting once we were talking in real-time to determine what I actually meant, what I actually need, and what I actually hope will happen.

Luckily for me, he was wonderful about it. He appreciated my honesty. He expressed how much he would like to stay friends and how I've played an important role in his recent life, helping him to move to a city where he's longed to be for awhile. He reminded me that I'm beautiful and that I have so many things going for me, and mostly, to try to be as gentle with myself as I possibly can in this process of healing, surrendering, and letting go.

"This all makes me sad," I said to him softly over the phone.

"But it's all good things that are happening," he encouraged me to see. "Everything is good. This'll get you to where you want to be and your head space is the most important thing. You should be happy, and I want to help support you in that in any way that I can. Really, call me anytime."

How is it that I am walking away with a newfound friend in tow — someone I feel like I connect with in great ways — and still feel like I'm grieving? My hypothesis is that the outcome of my decision is that it brings me back to me, back to where I am now, back to the work I know I need to do to heal my past, embrace my present, and feel emboldened about moving into my future.

While I usually don't mention names in this blog, I'll reveal for the sake of showing how the Universe has my back, that this guy's name is Sonny. After the first weekend we spent together, I was driving home from L.A. and questioning what I was doing. I knew that this period of my life was supposed to be me-time and yet, here was a potentially nice diversion. So, in my car, I asked the Universe for guidance. 

"Should I keep pursuing this thing with Sonny and be open to what happens, or should I refocus on myself?" I said aloud.

I waited and kept my eyes and ears open, thinking perhaps I'd get a text message from him right then and there, or that there'd be another obvious sign. Not less than two minutes later, I find myself driving behind a BMW with personalized plates that read — and I trailed behind this car to take photos as proof to myself — "1SUNYDA."

I leaned back in my seat, simultaneously in shock and not at all surprised. When you ask the Universe for guidance, it really does want to help you out, and being that I've been told I'm a powerful manifester, this wasn't the first time that something like this has happened to me, especially when it comes to driving and receiving messages from other cars.

So, with that reassurance in mind, I kept moving forward in our budding relationship until I found myself at this point with an opportunity to practice tapping into exactly what I need, by being bolder than I've been before about asking for it. Like all the cliches say, the only way to get what you need is to go after it, whether it be through intention or expression or opening up to receiving what you want. As I'm learning with Barry, in the end, the truth is as you see it and energy just flows, so once you're connected to the truth, everything around you begins to align with what's right for you. 

"I'm grateful for you," I told Sonny towards the end of our conversation. During the weekend intensives of hanging out together, our conversations organically inspired back-and-forths about all the things that we are grateful for.

"I'm grateful for you, too," he told me. 

I'm grateful, because I can talk to Sonny about anything — really. And he doesn't have judgment for me. He might have an opinion, one that differs from mine, but he listens and he's supportive. He also provided insight on the fact that what I say I want and how I demonstrate what I want are incongruent, which is also what Barry's been pointing out all along.

"You have a very strong presence," Sonny told me. "And you're really independent. Like, sometimes I'd want to offer to do something for you, but I wasn't sure if you actually wanted that or would get annoyed if I tried or maybe I'd do it wrong? And, when we went out to surf or climb, you always did your own thing, which is totally fine, but it didn't seem like you needed anyone or anything."

Those have been observations echoed by other men in my life. Even though I don't want to be the caretaker anymore and I want to be the one who's cared for, it seems that I keep creating this dynamic because being vulnerable in letting go of control has proven to be more difficult than I thought.

How I am in relationships are awarenesses I'll be soon moving through in this mind-body program with Barry. I've never gotten to be the one who's cared for throughout my life. As the eldest of four children in the family, the mediator between my parents' marriage, and often the slightly older counterpart in relationships, I've always been the alpha. Now, I'd like to experience what it's like to be cared for by a gentleman, because as a woman, I think I'd like it. Then, I can make my decision from there.

I don't know what's going to happen in the future, but I know that it's time to meditate a bit more and tap into my greater faith that everything turns out just as it should in its own time. I would really like to know how things are going to end up, that I'll find my soul mate and life will be brilliant as part of a strong partnership, because as hard as it is for me to admit, one of the most important things I've ever cared about in my life is being loved and loving someone else who's deserving. 

"I'd like to end up being with to be my best friend," I told Sonny. Most importantly, I want to be able to say that the man I'm with is the best person I know and that he mutually feels the same about me. But first, it's about knowing who I am and loving myself as much as I expect love to be returned, because as a friend recently pointed out, "You get as good as you can handle." 

I know I can handle a lot of shit — now, it's about learning how to handle the good stuff in abundance. This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for the love that's been shown to me from all the people in my life and from the Universe. I'm grateful I met a good man who I'll hopefully build a strong friendship with.

"I'll be in biking distance from your house," he reminded me, "so I'm available anytime you need it. I know you don't want to be in control, but really, this is up to you. I don't want to get in the way to make things more difficult for you." 

I'm grateful that I am putting myself first and persevering in changing my life to be bigger and more open to the greatness the Universe is ready to offer. I'm grateful to be here. As hard as it feels right now to be moving through the crap and to wish I were already over there, yet acknowledging I'm actually over here, I'm grateful to be steadily moving forward, because as Barry keeps telling me, "The only thing that'll stop you is stopping."

I often teach in yoga class that the quickest way to contentment is to count your blessings. Though I might feel sad right now, my heart believes I did the right thing for me and ultimately for anyone I'm with, because I'm making real room for the right situation or person or place. I'm making room for me, for me to be ready. I know I'm blessed and now it's a matter of letting myself feel it. 

For this Thanksgiving, I wish for all of you to feel blessed in your own ways, too.

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