Putting the CL on that ASS!

A Bernie's Daughter Thing


February 2018

Feeling What We’re Feeling

I saw a post on Facebook a while ago asking a question.  The question was “What would you do if the person you’re in a relationship with broke up with you on social media?” So many of the responses included “I wouldn’t care”,“I would say good riddance”, or “Why would I care?” or some variation of feeling nothing and going on with life as usual. Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer that people enter our lives for a number of different reasons and they leave when their time has passed. When their time passes, I don’t believe that we should hang on, but instead allow the space for them to leave and something new to enter.  However, sometimes endings are painful. Sometimes they are sad.  Sometimes the way people leave our lives can be hurtful. And that is ok. What’s more, having feelings about the endings or the person leaving is ok. Actually, it’s more than ok.

That is where we, as a collective, have arrived.  We’ve gone for generations burying our wounds to the point of denying them. We have deemed feelings as weakness and disavowed any knowledge of them, whereby we have determined that not having any feeling at all is a testament to true strength. We’ve become so afraid of being hurt that we’ve decided the best course of action is to simply shut down. Apathy is the new strong.  We’re then covering this apathy with the new age ideology of self-love. We’re so well-adjusted and we love ourselves so much that we don’t care about what anyone says, thinks, or does to us. We mask this with affirmations, mantras, achievements and all kinds of positivity that we can get our hands on.

Unfortunately, we’re not helping ourselves.  We’re hindering ourselves and the world in which we live. Let’s go back to the Facebook post I mentioned at the beginning.  I had to ask the question, “Why are many of you involved in relationships with people with whom you wouldn’t care if they left you and did so in such a dismissive way?” Some of the answers I received involved, “I don’t want nobody who doesn’t want me,” or “Why should I care about someone who doesn’t care about me?” Again, there goes that idea that being strong and loving myself means that I don’t care and I am weak for caring. There’s no shame in caring for those who either are unable or unwilling to care for us. The solution is to release the shame, not to release the caring.

This act of not caring is affecting us in ways we haven’t considered and it’s because we are in denial of the affect it has on us.  In spite of our best attempts to live in a state of emotional denial, we are not actually suppressing those feelings like we think.  Instead, those feelings are showing up in different ways: road rage, bullying, depression, abuse, even the mass shootings we have been seeing lately. These are all the side-effects of the emotions that have been silenced for far too long. We’re imploding before our very eyes and the silenced emotions we’ve been hiding are crying, kicking and screaming for us to pay attention to, give voice to and allow them to be.

I’m reminded of the movie, Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas as William Foster, a middle-aged man dealing with unemployment and divorce. All William wants to do is have the life he thought he should have and make it to his daughter’s birthday party when his car breaks down in the middle of traffic. His long-held frustration and bitterness gives way to violent encounters with people all across the city. This movie was released in 1993 and it seemed so far-fetched back then, but 24 years later we are seeing this play out more and more before our very eyes.  Just watch the news or read the newspaper and you will see some version of this story in the headlines.

Now, I don’t say any of this to depress you. Quite the contrary. I say it to wake you. To arouse you. To inspire you. To light a fire. If you’re reading this, odds are quite high that you are a light worker of some kind and I don’t mean to pressure you, but it’s going to be up to you to shine the light on this. It’s going to be up to you to lead and show others the way.  The time has come for us to rise and to give voice to our emotions—all of them.  Vulnerability is the new sexy and the new strong.  Vulnerability is the way that we’re going to free ourselves and live the life the Universe is conspiring to help us create. Our emotions are our allies. They show up to tell us, teach us, and guide us. They are not “bad” nor are they “good.” Instead, they’re simply necessary.

I think the gentle ogre Shrek said it best when he simply stated, “Better out than in.” It’s time for us to let our emotions out–in healthy, constructive ways at that.

The Detours of Life

Back in December I was out driving and I got so turned around.  It was weird because I wasn’t in unfamiliar territory.  I knew the area and I should have known where I was going, but somehow I wound up in an unfamiliar space.  I took myself so far out of my way and became so impatient and irritable with myself.  Let me be honest and frank. I was pissed.  I should have known better and I wasted my time.  In reality, it was probably only about 5 minutes, but still! That was 5 minutes I could have been doing something else.  Now considering that I was driving, I’m not quite sure what else I could have been doing save for driving. However, in the moment, I knew I could have had the option to do something else besides getting lost in a familiar area.

Well I was in the same area the next day.  Of course you know I had visions of previous irritation dancing in my head.  I vowed to myself as I was driving that I wouldn’t make the same mistake from the night before.  I would pay attention, doggone it.  I noticed a detour sign as I was driving my familiar route. It turns out that there was construction underway on the bridge and it was closed until December 12th.  That means I would not have been able to go across the bridge–which is where I was trying to go the day before.  That’s when it hit me. I wasn’t being derailed. I was being redirected.  I may not have known about the bridge closing the day before, but my detour actually prevented me from getting stuck in the crosshairs of the traffic jam that was underway because of the bridge closing.  I went from irritation to gratitude.  It turns out those 5 minutes really weren’t a waste after all.  And my little driving detour is a perfect metaphor for life.

The Universe is constantly working on our behalves, sending us on little detours. So often when we come across a detour we focus on the inconvenience and disappointment of it. We take detours as stop signs, erroneously believing that the presence of a detour means our goals will never come to fruition.   We believe a detour is a denial, a setback from which we cannot recover; which further serves as proof that what we are never able to get the things we want to pass.  So we stop instead of taking the detour.  We change courses completely or just turn around and go back from whence we came.  However, the truth is that detours are meant to help us.  We cannot see the chaos that lies ahead should we continue on our path, but The Universe can and so it sends us on a detour to help us avoid it all.  Keeping with my traffic imagery, let’s consider when we receive GPS or traffic cam updates while we drive.  Usually, the traffic reporter is reporting from a helicopter where he or she has an aerial view, which provides a greater perspective.  The traffic cam can see all the things you can’t see. So when you’re stuck in the middle lane of gridlock traffic, gritting your teeth and cursing as the road rage courses through your veins you can’t see that there’s an accident 4 miles ahead that is causing the trouble.  You can’t see the construction that’s taking place which will absolutely make traffic go smoother in the long run.  Often what seems like obstacles to us are not obstacles at all, but mere detours pointing us more efficiently in the right direction.  Consider the detours in your life.  Were you actually stopped from seeing your dream come true? Or were you simply redirected?  The next time you encounter a detour, consider that there may actually be construction on the bridge ahead and the detour is simply redirecting you to help you avoid the chaos.

What if Every Choice is the Right One?

Happy Friday! I believe I’ve told you before that I’m an introspective person.  I think a lot about who I am, who I want to be and what I want out of life.  While many may think that’s noble–and I’m one of those people, I have found that this is just another example of the pros and cons of life. What I have found in my existential quest to introspect is that I tend to think so much that it impedes my ability to act.  I don’t actually DO much because I’m so busy thinking about what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do and when would be the best time to do it–among other things.  That’s no way to live!  So I’ve become intentional about making choices so that I’m not finding myself stuck. It was really scary initially because there was this fear of making the “wrong” choice (I can also be a bit of a perfectionist).  But as I found myself deep within the throes of a crisis while trying to avoid making the “wrong” decision, I heard a big small voice tell me to calm down and simply choose and consider the question, What if every choice was the right one?  Ahhhhh . . .

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