Happy Haunting!

I had the best, almost sacred Halloween! I entertained at my house after a very small group of friends and I enjoyed a haunted Salt Lake City bus tour. I served home-made rum cider and an appetizer of local, organic apples and home-canned plum habañero sauce on a baguette w/ morbier cheese and spring greens. (And Halloween candy.) We spent late evening each telling our ghosts’ stories – I mean the stories of the spirits of our ancestors and lost children and friends and brothers. And laughed our asses off. And really had… just a lovely time together. I’m so blessed.

(“The universe is conspiring to benefit me!”)

(“I’m rich with pocket magic!”)

(Oh, and my Grandpa came by. No, really, he did. Hi, Grandpa! I love you. Thank you.)

Graduation

growth
This blog has served its purpose. I am worthy. It just happened. I’m still rather in shock. I’m certain I didn’t believe this transformation would ever take place. Instead, I expected to search and grow and learn for the rest of my life, which, of course, I will. But I’m worthy. I’m not trying to feel worthy. You know how it is when intellectual knowledge doesn’t match emotional truth. It does now. It was overnight. I suppose it was over 2 weeks in Spain. I’m grateful for the friend who attacked me. I was almost clinical about her brutality and chaos. At once, I released the need to demystify it. I don’t care, and I don’t need to. I have understanding and empathy for it, but no interest in it. Choose out, or don’t. I’m done.

I drew upon a strength and dignity I didn’t know I had. Or, I guess I did; I just hadn’t successfully applied it yet. For all of adulthood, I’ve bemoaned the many failures to stay above the fray, my repeated decision to return slight for slight. In Spain, I did everything right. My friend sought to injure and wound me nearly every day. I never mirrored her behavior. I didn’t tolerate it, either. I was firm. I insisted that she respect my boundaries. She didn’t. Still, I wouldn’t match her hatred. The last thing I said as I escaped her at the Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza was “I don’t hate you.” It’s the first time in my life I didn’t respond to cruelty, disappointment, heartache, betrayal, or any manner of difficult emotion without hatred. “I don’t hate you.”

“I DON’T CARE!” she screamed, still hitting and scratching me.

I grabbed her wrist and met her eye! “I don’t hate you.”

I walked away.

I am filled with light and love. I’ve created and maintained a remarkable Chosen Family of beautiful, powerful, strange, delicious people who love me, themselves, all life, and the world. I am love, and the second I landed on home soil I walked into love. My life has been here all along. I’m finally in it, now. I LOVE MY LIFE.

¡Estoy bendecida! I am blessed!
http://dreamermadwoman.blogspot.com/2014/07/spain-y-ibiza-2014.htmlsenseless dramakarmalet no man

I Like Me

Somewhere along the way, I chose to see the silver lining. I’m really proud of the fact that, in spite of my foibles and shortcomings, I find beauty everywhere I go.

I just got home from Spain, where the former friend whose birthday I went to celebrate verbally abused me for 2 weeks until she physically assaulted me. Still, I had an amazing journey and learned exactly what I needed to. I came home with the last piece of unworthiness finally falling off of me, more sure than ever before that I deserve the best. I can live up to the best. I’m capable of my best. The best is in my future and in my now. I’m glad I see the world that way. I did that. I’m proud of myself. I like me.
overlooking barcelona harborafter the attackrocks on salinascafe con sol y enzo

Valentine from Mom

Oh, I am a wicked girl!

I just sat down to report the glad, rather cute news that I think Mom and I are going to be pen pals. I got a Valentine from her with no mention of how I ought to behave, just a report on her goings and doings, with copies of pics of us after my show last Fall. I was prepared to write how sweet it is when the angry voice in my head screamed, “After TWO years?! TWO YEARS!!?”

OK. I’ma just have to suck it up and be gracious, but let me confess: it’s a concerted effort. Over Christmas, she mentioned that 2 of her sisters are fueding and it’s weighing heavily on my sweet Grandmother. That’s the only reason she cares that we have no relationship? Not because she loves me and wants to be in touch with me? I know she’s thought about me, but for TWO YEARS she has refused to speak (even when I required medical info or to tell me dad was having heart problems!!!)… why? Because I was bad? She’s teaching me a lesson? I have to pay for not sitting quietly during Holiday Hate-Mongering Hour?

Why now?

Two years! I want to scream, “Too little too late!” But I have to be the grown up. Again.

I never had a parent. She wasn’t the worst. She was a provider, and I had extracurricular blessings – piano and dance – by some financial miracle (Mother’s sense of duty and determination, and Teacher, who let me dance a few years for free). I applaud her survival and strength, but I was hated and chastised for being a child when the only one whose childish behavior should have caused shame or scorn was HER! I’m so sick of having to accept… everything!

Now we’re just buddies.

OK. OK. That’s something. It’s real. I’m not being judged or reprimanded. I’m being accepted on my terms. I am grateful.

Stay calm, Little Firebrand. It doesn’t matter how long it took. It is now. Be in it.

Ohhhhh. OK. I love my mom. Her notes are so cute.

Phew!

23andMe and the FDA

I know, I know… bureaucracy, the feds, mind control, money control, control control… You won’t be surprised that I’ve opted out of a political belief system, other than the fact that I truly cannot be made to understand what is so frightening about gay people, and why do we still have smog? Leaders are dumb. I fully grant that I COULD NOT LEAD, but neither can anyone else without backroom concessions and full-scale sales on the souls of those in power and, sadly, those of us in their wake. That’s trickle-down.

I didn’t say I wasn’t opinionated. It’s simply that I see governance as an impossible task. What then? “My brain hurts. Let’s do something else.”

I try not to rail against it. Futile though it all may be, it is no less futile so say “blah, blah… and blah.” I’m ignorant. I’m the worst kind of citizen: An uninformed reactionary. I do not have an understanding of how it works. As much as I try to relearn the basics, I can’t retain information anymore! Subjects that confuse and irritate me are banished so firmly beyond a cement wall in my mind, I can’t access them even when I want to. Basically, of paid elected leaders, I believe some are corrupt and some mean to do good – or did once – and plenty of others are just as caught up as we are in the nonsensical morass that is American life.

That said, I love my country. I love my home. I love my people. I love the land. I love freedom. (Ugh, that abused phrase – by both sides – makes my skin crawl! How dare they sully my reverence for autonomy! I LOVE MY FREEDOM! I hate leaders who appropriate it and tell us, “Your version wrong.”) Though you can guess what my thought is on war and the reasons we’re given for it (Lies. It’s about money), I am proud of and grateful for my [biological] father’s service (Army) and that of my brothers (Air Force and Navy). I do not take liberty lightly. Others die for saying to those in power, “I disagree with you.” I know freedom and I’m grateful for it.

Guv’ment, on the other hand, alarms me. They just want my money. Here’s proof:

“Dear 23andMe Customers,

I’m writing to update you on our conversation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and how it impacts you.

If you are a customer whose kit was purchased before November 22, 2013, your 23andMe experience will not change. You will be able to access both ancestry and health-related information as you always have.

23andMe has complied with the FDA’s directive and stopped offering new consumers access to health-related genetic results while the company moves forward with the agency’s regulatory review processes.”

Process this: You won’t have access to your own genome until enough people revolt. And who’s gonna revolt about an elective curiosity? It’s just so dumb. It’s so obvious! The government saw that more and more people were willing to pay for this information. Knowledge is power. “Don’t give access to the hoi polloi,” they schemed, laughing and rubbing their hands together. “And/or set up a circumstance where we are the only ones taking the cash.” For MY health information! Unbelievable!

Of course, I feel charmed again. As weird and hard as my life has been, I have occasion nearly every day to say, “Good grief, things work out for me!” Even the silly stuff, like knowing heritable traits and health conditions for fun.

23andMe has been so cool. Every now and then, I get an alert from the company that they’ve identified another potential relative. They’re usually 5th cousins. I get excited when they’re 3rds. I’ve sent out some pertinent last names to see if any match. No one’s replied. That’s okay. That’s not why I spit in the tube last March. And then…

Right before Thanksgiving, I got an introduction to a second cousin! “You probably shared great-grandparents,” the 23andMe robot reported. Do you know what a thrill that is? “Who is this person!? Where do they live?” I sent out my names. He answered!

“Oh!” I replied. “I’ll just die if you’re So-and-So’s son.”

“Yes. So-and-So is my mom.”

As it happened, Cousin So-and-So was at his home visiting for Thanksgiving and nearly jumped out of her skin with instructions to tell my mom and Grandma how much she loves them! Of course I cried. So did Grandma. Bringing her a hug from a faraway grand-niece made me happy. Thanksgiving is the holiday that makes me feel closest to my Grandpa, and all that is good about family. It was a wonderful gift to take home.

I love that even in my unorthodox way, I can still contribute and belong to the family I’m estranged from. I honor the times and ways I feel connected to them. Much of it is my own doing, insisting on gratitude and seeing the good when there is so much ghastly, ruinous wrong in us. Most of it is pure grace, having nothing to do with any effort on my part to stay above the anger. Still, I do feel very much like I’m watching from the outside. Physical separation must remain, sadly, in order for me to try each new day for spiritual connection to my immediate family, but the timing of this blessed introduction reminded me that, yes, I am detached, if that’s what I choose.

Thank you, angels.

And now… Unless 23andMe drops its price, you’ll be getting ripped off now that most of the information is no longer available. Of course, some people don’t want to know the scary truth about their genetic doom blueprint, as pertains to health. The ancestral info was not at all interesting to me, or so I thought before I got it, since my people have done my genealogy since the dawn of the Mormon Church. If you are one of those who might not do gene testing because you’d rather not know your risks, map your genome now. It continues to be one of the best presents I ever gave me. I was stunned by the things I didn’t know about my people’s origins. Nevertheless, I’m so glad I got the whole picture! Suck on it, feds!

http://refer.23andme.com/a/clk/4FPnC7 … and do it here. I get ten bucks. 😉

http://www.23andme.com/

Reframing

I came into this life keenly aware of what I didn’t get in the roulette and randomness of birth. I don’t necessarily remember feeling like I was owed bounty and ease, but I certainly recognized that I didn’t have it. What that created in me was a curiosity about those who did. That interest grew into entitlement. Resentment. I don’t know that I was jealous, quite, but it was inequitable to have been born a Have Not, and I knew it.

Today over lunch, I mentioned to a friend how I was always aware, even very young, that I had been robbed. I made it a joke over the years. “I must have been royalty in another life,” I’d say. “I was born to have a staff.”

Somewhere, that “lack” switched.

“Lucky me!” I said today. “For the last few years I’ve noticed how odd it is that I have so little, yet I always have enough. I have what I need, when I need it. Isn’t that lucky?”

“Well, you did that,” she insisted.

“How do you mean?”

“You’re always talking about how best to view things, the gift in this, the lesson in that.”

“I guess I do,” I remembered. “No wonder you call me PollyAnna.”

“No,” she corrected me. “I call you F***ing PollyAnna. I wouldn’t want to piss you off.”

“That’s wise” I agreed. “I do have edge.”

Then, neither of our cards worked to pay the bill. No, really.

I love good friends. I’M RICH.

Living Authentically

‎”Living authentically means cultivating the COURAGE to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the COMPASSION that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and staying connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit; nurturing the CONNECTION and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.

Authenticity demands WHOLE-HEARTED living and loving – even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the JOY is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.

Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite GRACE, JOY, & GRATITUDE into our lives.” ~ Brené Brown

I think of this challenge, to stay “connected to one another through a loving and resilient human spirit,” in the context of my family and ask myself if not associating with them is just another bout of willfulness. I resolve that it is not. I feel sorrow, but more peace. It’s the right choice, at last. We weren’t a good fit. To pound my head again and again into that impenetrable wall is not only the definition of insanity, it’s painful for them as well as for me. I no longer expect a different result, from any of us. Resignation is a kind of sadness, but it’s also enormously unburdening. I cannot change them. Neither can I change the truth that closeness with them is unsafe. So I’m not.

Althooough… I read “nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are,” substituting “what THEY are supposed to be and embrace who THEY are,” and… ugh. Okay, okay, to forgive is incumbent upon me, and… family is family and… it’s childish to withhold my involvement simply because they are. I am not petty and hateful… always.

*Sigh* It’s a process. Forever, I’m resigned. Didn’t I say resignation was peaceful? 🙂

They are crazy-makers, bless them.