Archives for posts with tag: love

REFLECTIONS

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.

-W. H. Auden

I wanted to stop today’s post with these 2 lines from W.H. Auden and not write another thought. The truth of 12 simple words makes me weep with the despair of knowing that I have been that desperate person, the one who loves more, the one who loves too much. I weep with the despair of knowing that I have begged for love from a man who was somewhat indifferent towards me. Because I was so desperate, so full of need and longing for love, I was easy prey for a man who wanted a relationship that required very little emotional investment from him. And now I’m going to say it…HE DID NOT LOVE ME. He did not love me. That was not love. Words of love may have been spoken, but those words lacked the accompaniment of heartfelt emotion.

To elaborate on the lengths to which I went to elicit even a modicum of love, first from my Father, and then from my husband, makes me sad beyond what I think I can endure. I don’t want to believe I am THAT woman…the one everyone knows should not stand by her man, but does. But I am that woman.

For the past 12 hours I have argued with myself. One voice says,”Just don’t bother writing. The Other Woman Blog is just some whiny, crazy rant – just get on with it, your life is good, you are so well provided for, don’t upset the apple cart, you can do whatever you want and go wherever you want …so go out, enjoy the day, forget about opening wounds.” This voice is countered by a second voice that says, “How many more years do you want to waste, clinging to the fantasy that one day he will love you. Yes you have lived a life that was materially privileged, but it was emotionally bereft. You have not been loved and this makes you unhappy, being loved is more important than you think!”

I’ve become…

Dr. Dolittle’s PushMe-PullYou

This animal’s going nowhere…and neither will I unless I allow myself to acknowledge the truth and feel the ensuing pain. On the right, I attempt to stifle the grief I feel from a loveless marriage, desperately clinging to the very thing that hurts me… my loveless marriage. On the left I want to transform, have hope, believe I can find love. I cringe in recognition when I observe a child  seeking solace from the very parent that moments before delivered a slap… this parent being their sole source of comfort. When I was broken hearted on discovering my husband’s affair, I cried on his shoulder, seeking consolation from him, the perpetrator. He was my everything, my ‘other half’, my soul mate, my best friend! I had opened my heart to no one else, he had all of me.

At 10, I shut down my feelings in an act of desperation, born out of emotional negligence. Although clothed, fed and educated, my parents were at a loss when it came to love. My sensitive, intuitive nature didn’t suit the authoritarian, patriarchal motif of my home. I was lonely and in need of someone to help me understand the incomprehensible attitudes and behaviour of my parental unit. The pressure of family pride forced me to present only the persona of a happy, successful child. The discrepancy between the turmoil in my heart and my happy child persona was unbearable.  I contemplated suicide on a dark wintery night. Cup in hand I walked down the stairs to our cold, dank basement, planning to end my intolerable life. Staring at the poisonous bleach bottle, I wanted to end my life. Fear of the searing pain of bleach stopped me, not the belief that anything in my life would change. I walked back upstairs, sharing my ordeal with no one. In order to cope with this injury to my soul, I became an automaton, closed to my heart’s desires, closed to my intuition. I embraced the known. I became a great student, an obedient child, and then a materialistic adult.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 12 of 52

Changing from Sisyphus to Hope

I was drawn to admitting the tyranny of my Father in Week 8, Changing from Suppression to Communication, because my left shoulder began to ache. 4 weeks later my shoulder is back to normal. Now, this gives me hope that I am on the right path.Further proof… I just returned from my Rheumatologist, who calls me The Poster Child for Arthritis, because I am now a picture of health. No longer am I anemic, with minuscule platelets, high cholesterol, inflammation, poor vision and a malfunctioning thyroid.

The symptom I do have though is a crazy itchy irritation in my eyes. They are red, runny and I feel like scratching them out of my head. Of course I have asked myself the obvious question, “What don’t I want to see?” After writing in a painstakingly slow manner in today’s post, it is becoming apparent, even to me.

Am I going to be Sisyphus, and continue to roll the burden of a loveless marriage up the hill again, knowing the outcome will be the same?  Or am I going to be Hope and let that burden roll down the hill, once and for all time. The momentum of such a great burden will result in a downward speed that will see that burden buried, deep in the soil, for ever.

The Burden of Sisyphus

On the weekend, I attended a Workshop with my Herbalist, Annette Bossert. She gave me the opportunity to enact the death of my loveless marriage. I carried the largest boulder I could manage, around a lake. This boulder symbolized my burden of living without love. It weighed me down, kept me off balance, took so much of my energy. The only emotion in this encounter, came from me. The rock was cold and indifferent. Eventually I had enough and hurled my burden as far as I could, deep into the lake. The grief  from this death came in shoulder heaving waves. Once my crying subsided, I could see the beauty of nature, the camaraderie of friends and the lightness in my step.

I then gathered up symbols of hope…red berries to symbolize my hope for passion, a bluebell to symbolize my hope that I bloom into The Other Woman, purple tufts from a thistle to symbolize my hope for wisdom, a heart rock to symbolize my hope for love, and in the centre a wise Hag, my Elder, who will guide me from the darkness of grief to the light of hope for new beginnings.

So for week 12 of 52, I will no longer be Sisyphus, carrying the endless burden of a loveless marriage. Instead I will be Hope, whose name means confident expectation, having a firm belief in things that are unclear or unknown!

Symbols of Hope

REFLECTIONS

I’ve had a week to ponder why I was drawn to an exploration of  the unified field theory of the world versus particle theory. Until now, I have found it somewhat comforting to embrace particle theory because it accounted for the physical phenomena in my environment. Objects are solid and inert, immobile and  stable and change only if something is done directly to them. No mystery here. Logical! If A=B and B=C then A=C  This works with numbers so I extrapolated this logic to the rest of my life. This is what particle theory has told me… everything can be explained. ..everything that happens is a result of direct, observable, analyzable, cause and effect.

Particle theory remains, not because it is accurate, but because I, like most, prefer theories that match my reality. If, as quantum physicists maintain, the world is one massive energy field, unifying absolutely everything and not a series of discrete parts, well, I can’t see, touch, count, weigh or measure that, no one can, so believing such a preposterous idea, would take a leap of faith. Maybe this is akin to the resistance the average person had, to the spherical world theory. Pythagoras postulated the earth as round in 570BC, but it took 20 centuries and a reality check (thanks Columbus) before the non-scientific community  would embrace a round world. Scientists today know Newton’s Theory is simplistic and incomplete (it can’t explain electricity or nuclear reaction), but the shift to believing the theory of Quantum Mechanics is slow for the rest of us.

I was going to send Alex Paterson a note of gratitude for his elucidation of the complex scientific theories of Newtonian vs Quantum Physics, but he deserves the full orchestration.

Embodying The Other Woman via PARTICLE THEORY

If I want to embody The Other Woman, I must first  identify her attributes and then, I must create a list of appropriate actions to achieve these attributes, and then I must execute these actions. BINGO!! I will be The Other Woman! Simply put, through the principle of cause and effect, I will transform.

So I began.

In July, when I launched The Other Woman Blog, I asked my delightful friend Suzanne for her help. We attended a Writers Workshop, abuzz with women. Independent of each other we tried to spot this alluring creature, The Other Woman. After some woman gazing and a discussion, we realized that Other Woman-ness was not easily quantifiable. Such a woman would possess an essence that we felt we would recognize when we saw it but she defied simple description. Intriguing to men and women alike, The Other Woman is so much more than a simple inventory of desirable traits.

So began my problem with Particle Theory. I needed specific attributes so that I could create my action plan. Would The Other Woman be thin, full-figured, or muscular? Different action plan for each of these. Would The Other Woman exude sexuality, sensuality or androgyny? Very different looks, very different action plans. Would she be high spirited or contemplative? Would she literally have to be someone’s mistress to possess The Other Woman energy? I felt deeply frustrated in my inability to quantify her characteristics. Without a list of qualities, I could not have a clear action plan, which meant defeat before I even started. This defeat forced me out of my comfortable world of the known, into the mystery of the elusive. Who exemplifies this enigmatic woman?

Embodying The Other Woman via Quantum Mechanics Theory

Does the image of Mona Lisa epitomize The Other Woman? She is often described as enigmatic or mystical, her image eliciting conversation 500 years after its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci. Her silent communication with her observer seems to welcome him/her into a place of unfathomable depth. Might a journey with Mona Lisa take one to places yet discovered? Just as the painting’s roads, river and mountain pass, have no clear end, neither can the journey of one’s life nor the journey with another. So I’ve begun to accept that The Other Woman is not a simple list of quantifiable characteristics. She has an unfathomable mystique, unique to each woman and discoverable through exploration of the mystery within oneself and the rest of the world.

Mona Lisa

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 10 OF 52

CHANGING FROM MEMOIR TO BLOGMOIR

Two years ago I met a lovely woman named Deb Dewar. She intrigues me because, without fail, I feel better about myself after being with her. The other day, she asked me what the impetus was for writing my Blog. I vacillated on what I would say, but finally decided on the truth.

Marital betrayal started my obsession with ‘the other women’. Years of anger, rage and feelings of unworthiness filled my life. These very negative emotions became the reality through which I saw the world, while my pride compelled me to project the persona of a happy, fulfilled woman. Denial is really much more than a river in Egypt! My obsession and my rage consumed me, resulting in me becoming extremely ill.

To release some of this pent up emotion, I wrote pages and pages in journals, with accompanying art work. After some years of Jungian analysis and more years with my Herbalist, Annette, I underwent a physical transformation. The debilitating arthritis that had crippled my body and made me blind subsided to a great degree. During my 5-6 year physical transformation, I was frustrated by the lack of memoirs detailing recovery from crippling arthritis. Books on cancer abound, but in reading these accounts, I found I didn’t relate. So I promised myself that I would write a memoir describing my path to the restoration of my life.

Although I have always wanted to be a writer, I have never written much other than To-Do lists and journal rants. Until 2 years ago,that is, when my husband, in a loving gesture of support, bought me $200.00 worth of  Elizabeth J. Andrew’s time. She is a Spiritual Memoirist. She is also that rare combination of intelligence, heart and beauty, and has gently guided me to myself in my writing.

Writing is a solitary endeavour and although I can happily spend more time alone than most, I needed a more interactive medium in which to write. I needed an audience!  In the many years of singing and reciting and accordion playing in festivals, the single event I loved participating in, was story telling. The only time the audience didn’t wince in empathy for my discomfort, was when listening to me recount “Bad Mousie” by Martha Ward Dudley! I loved telling this story!

My daughter has been writing her Blog, called dearandersoncooper, for some months. I liked the format, so under her guidance I launched my blog! I thought I’d coined the word Blogmoir, silly me…some young’n was there ages ago!

So for Week 10 of 52, I will write with honesty and remain open to the communiques from my soul and the ephemeral world!  The whole is so much more than a sum of its parts!

Between2Marys

REFLECTIONS

I’m utterly comfortable using my pretty green cup from week 1’s change. My morning coffee is now tasty in a pretty cup. I don’t feel prettier or more feminine, but the first step into the mystery of transformation, may come from acknowledging where I am stuck…

Week 2’s challenge was to change my pyjama style.

As expected, gathering my tattered, faded, yet, oh so coveted pyjamas, into a pile to discard, caused me anxiety. If my plan had been to wear the new, but keep the old tucked safely into the back of a drawer, I would have been okay. But real change must elicit discomfort. So after staring at the pile for 2 days, I reluctantly washed, folded and donated 5 pairs of pyjamas. I did not embrace the new. It felt as though I had gone shopping with a friend and after much persuading, I purchased her recommendations. Something like the Reality Show, “What Not To Wear.” We, the audience, agree that the transformed woman looks better in her freshly chosen clothes, but I wonder if she feels as comfortable in this ‘new look’ as her smile would indicate or if once the lights and cameras are off and she is sitting in the dull light of her own room, she weeps.

My one consolation, no one sees me in bed. I cannot imagine wearing a dress with heels in public…maybe Week 52…

ASPIRATIONS FOR Week 3 of 52

CHANGING MY EXPECTATIONS OF LOVE

ImageImage

I have spent my life searching for love, and as that memorable song from Urban Cowboy advised, I was looking in all the wrong places.

I was looking for love in all the wrong places,

Looking for love in too many faces

Searching your eyes, looking for traces

Of what.. I’m dreaming of…

Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover

God bless the day I discover

Another heart, lookin’ for love

Being an extremely literal person in the past (only recently do I truly understand the concept of metaphor) I thought this meant to stay out of the bars!

On reflection I admit that the places I have looked for love were found in the material world of accumulation. I have sought men with money, men with looks, men with power and men with brains.

But I now think love is more than a dozen roses, a Mensa Membership or a Rolex. I have accepted many gifts in the years of my relationships. I’m not denying the value of material expressions of love but I think the feeling accompanying the gift has to mean more to me than the gift itself. The material generosity must no longer supplant the heart.

I also believed in the theory that once a relationship lacked love, merely changing the man would correct the problem. Several years, several men later, I did clue into the fact that maybe I had to do some of the changing.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. Ghandi.

So if I believe in what Ghandi says, I must be a loving person if I am to find love in a relationship. And herein lies my challenge. I have spent hours trying to understand what a loving behavior looks like. I’ve read through countless articles and quotes on love and decided for me, that true love must embody altruistic giving. As usual, Oscar Wilde says it most eloquently!

Oscar Wildequotes:

To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.

So, the new behavior that I will adopt for this week and maintain for the year of The Other Woman, will ask this of me. Each day I will give something to someone, expecting nothing in return. I have now come to believe that whenever I hold an expectation of response, I pervert my act of giving.

Simply put, I will not expect a wave from the car I let in front of me, nor a thank you for the door I held open, nor a return compliment from the friend I just complimented.

As soon as I wait for a specific response or any response at all, I am in a controlling mindset. I gave this so you must give that… a quid pro quo expectation.

I will practice giving anonymously without any expectation of reciprocity.

For I must learn that even though I love someone, there can be no expectation that they will reciprocate my love.

If I desire the freedom to love whomever I want, with the accompanying freedom to express this love as I am so moved to express it, I must then give this to every person alive.

What I want for myself I must lovingly give to others.

I chose photos of 2 women( my daughter’s ideas); one woman who seems to embody materialistic love, Kim Kardashian and in contrast, one woman who seems to embody altruistic love, Aung San Suu Kyi. I apologize to both Kim Kardashian and Aung Sann Suu Kyi for shoving you into broad, all encompassing categories to serve my own needs. No one is as unidimensional as my depiction would imply.

But when I need a visual in my quest to embody the energy of The Other Woman, I will picture the altruism of Aung San Suu Kyi.

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