Archives for posts with tag: The Other Woman

Don’t let the tall weeds cast a shadow on the beautiful flowers in your garden.” 
― Steve Maraboli

REFLECTIONS

I’ve been back on Vancouver Island for 5 days, during which time I have sunk deeper and deeper into myself. In the past, I’ve always found my way back to the light by listening to my heart and watching for symbolic offerings from the Unified Field. This present journey into the dark will be no different. Fortunately, transformation is in Inverse Proportion to the depth of the descent…the deeper and darker the cave, the more profound the resulting shift in perspective. I felt the first glimmers of  ‘new life’ during the Spring Equinox of March. For the first time in my life I felt a natural flow of energy, rather than willful productivity. My behaviour was compassionate and loving without having to will myself to ‘Do the right thing’, and I felt aligned with Spirit. This lasted 3 days and then disappeared. To me, this experiential perfection was akin to a buried seedpod when it feels the earth’s first blush of warmth after months of winter snow. Awakened, the seed sends roots deeper into the dark, searching for sustenance. This growing network of roots will create a stable platform for the growing plant, allowing it to stand upright in summer bloom. I too was awakened by the warmth of the earth’s sun in my 3 days of bliss, but like the seed which has to dig deeper into the dark for sustenance and stability, I too have had darkness, struggle and emotional upheaval. Below is the most transcendent, life affirming time lapse video of an unfolding seedpod. This was created by the genius of Neil Bromhall. 

Resplendent is the result, but determination and desire are necessary in this arduous journey. When desperate, I think of the power it takes for the seed to push aside the earth so that it may bask in the glory and warmth of earth’s bounty. This inspires me to stay my course. Each bout of hopelessness and sorrow has been balanced by a counterpoint of burgeoning  new life.

Symbolic Offerings Helping Me Unearth ‘Her’ Grip

The Other Woman as Insidious Weed!

The Other Woman as Insidious Weed!

 The Other Woman as Insidious Weed

Although my garden was abloom upon my return from Alberta, it had also been infested. Surrounding each flower was a bevy of weeds, threatening to suffocate its very life. I dropped to my knees and began to cry…the first sign that I was undergoing a psychic fracturing. 5 days of weeding, 5 days of isolation and darkness. Bewildered by the depth of my sorrow, I surrendered to the omniscience of The Universe and asked, “How do these choking weeds mimic my life? What is threatening my chance to bloom this summer?” And then I was blessed with a synchronistic insight. Metaphorically, I have been watering the weeds in my life. For years I have been paying far too much attention to ‘the other woman’ in the lives of my boyfriends or husbands, rather than giving voice to the woman hidden within me. Changing this entrenched perspective was the impetus for theotherwomanblog. I needed to drag this shameful subject out into the light of day. No longer did I want to suffer in silence, acting as though I could handle the betrayal…keeping calm and carrying on. So I created a stage from which I could view the 3 main characters involved in my drama. My hope was to humanize the demons and transform myself from victim to empowered woman.

I’ve had to unearth the pain, the scars and the wounds of infidelity and betrayal, and believe that I am still a worthwhile, beautiful woman capable of creating a fulfilling life.

I want to thank Neil Bromhall for giving me hope. His creations pulled me from the dark desolation of human transformation.

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REFLECTIONS

A month of productivity and joy and then yesterday, Saturday, was a day on the couch watching yet another British Mystery Series. At 7:30pm I drank 2 glasses of Malbec, ‘fell asleep’ and missed the 7.7 earthquake off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Sunday morning is now upon me, and I pause to ask ‘Why?’ and not to the reason for earthquakes, but the reason for my melancholic state. I know I will not evolve into The Other Woman, if I say to myself, “One day of laying around, eating poorly, having a couple drinks, is nothing, you deserve a break, some down time.” I am aware that I have a super charged work ethic when it comes to ‘Personal Growth’ and relaxation and fun are therefore, valuable experiences for me. But what I did yesterday was not fun or relaxing. The feeling I had throughout the day was one of disquiet and self loathing. This is the feeling I have whenever I try to burrow my consciousness into the bowels of the earth. The season of blooming is finished and I am descending into the dark. What lies beneath the surface? What faulty belief have I internalized, that begs to be revealed and subsequently released, allowing me to live closer to my heart?

I was then startled from this reverie by the ‘ping’ of my iPhone, alerting me to a new message…and here is the miracle of the Universe’s guiding hand! Below is the poem delivered via GoodReads….

The day misspent,

the love misplaced,

has inside it

the seed of redemption,

Nothing is exempt

from resurrection.

             -Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan, the American Poet Laurteate, reminds me that there is nothing more exquisite than the feeling of having the burden of oneself borne off by a poem…not the self, just the burden…just for a moment. She writes in her PJs too!

Creating in PJs

What am I to redeem from that misspent day? that misplaced love?

First I will reflect on my week’s virtual chats with men. A mere 7 days ago, I had not spoken to any man other than my husband and male friends, for 20 years. Thanks to Plenty of Fish, that has changed. Boldly, honestly and clearly, I have spoken from my heart. Amazingly, only one man out of the 11, has stopped writing to me. I have promised nothing, use only my pen name Between2Marys, and decline requests for my name, email address, phone number or coffee dates. I am creating a new me vis a vis men. I have liked the positive, ‘low-key’ attention from men. So why then did I collapse into a tiny ball of angst? Heavy sigh, deep breath….preparing to be honest…my life long lament…I’m not attractive enough for a man to love me for who I am, so I must transmogrify, from the Loathly Lady, into the lovely princess. Only then will I be loved. What this means for me, is, that I must subjugate my desires and attend to ‘his’, as a compensation for my physical lack. Sadly, I have believed this behaviour necessary, even when I was young.

Naturally this perception of the price I must pay for love was born out of my relationship with my father. I loved yet felt intimidated by him. He was unpredictable. I believed I had the power to lessen the parental tension in our home, by being desirable in my father’s eye. I believed that my father’s behaviour towards my mother and my brothers might improve, if he felt pride over his creation of me. I tried to be any and everything I thought he might value. My father was a man’s man, a good looking ‘bad boy’. My mother married him against the advice of her more refined family. He was not a philandering husband, except for his Irish lass, during the Second World War. But, he made no effort to stifle his ‘appreciation’ of a women’s exterior. His entire life, he whistled  with reverential glee at women who epitomized the 1940’s ideal; a thin hipped, well endowed, blond haired bombshell…as I remember him saying…again and again…oblivious to me standing before him with dark hair, average cleavage and above average hips.

Bad Boy Stan, My Dad

I could never have achieved his idea of physical perfection. My physical appearance, demoralized me from age 12, when he counselled me with the following bit of unsolicited, soul crushing, fatherly ‘advice’. “My dear, no man likes a woman with hips as big as 2 battleships.” Being a Navy Officer, he liked to use nautical terms, to drive a point home!

Me around 12 with my Brother

I never again looked at my strong, muscled thighs with any feeling but betrayal or derision. So began my efforts to compensate for my looks. I became attentive to the whims and desires of men, at the expense of my own.

This painful, yet liberating insight, is what I have redeemed from my misspent day, my misplaced love.

 I went into a funk, because I faced a dilemma. Can I continue to speak of my desires as boldly and freely as I have written them?  Or will I continue to compensate for my hips, by cloaking my desires in niceties and placations? Or more likely, will I avoid the issue entirely by burying myself in another British Mystery Series?

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 17 OF 52

CHANGING FROM THE LOATHLY LADY 

 In the Fairy Tale, ‘Sir Gawain and The Lady Ragnell, the loathsome Lady Ragnell, bargained with King Arthur. She agreed to tell him the answer to the riddle, “What do women desire above all else?” in order to lift the spell over his life. In exchange, she desired to be married to his nephew, Sir Gawain. He was known as the most handsome, skilled and compassionate knight at the Round Table. Sir Gawain willingly chose to marry the Hag Ragnell, so that his King’s life would be spared. The spell cast over Ragnell, had turned her into a loathsome Hag for half of each day, but left her as a lovely princess for the other half. When Ragnell asked her husband, Sir Gawain, if he would rather she be beautiful by day or by night, when she is alone with him in bed, he wisely gave her the right to choose, having learned that above all else, women desire the right to have sovereignty over their choices. Sir Gawain understood the greatest dilemma of any woman’s life. In giving the Hag Ragnell the right to decide when she would be beautiful, the spell was lifted, and she was beautiful all day long.

So now, in Week 17 of 52, I must have the courage of Lady Ragnell. She was transformed, not by the kiss of a handsome Prince, but by the pursuit of her own needs and desires. Ragnell symbolizes the journey all women must make to achieve a self-determined and therefore, fulfilling life. To this end, I will talk(on the phone) with a man, as myself, hips and all, maintaining the confidence I feel in a virtual conversation.

I want to acknowledge the wisdom of the Analyst, Polly Young-Eisendrath. For a more comprehensive elucidation of this topic, read, ‘Women and Desire, Beyond Wanting to be Wanted.

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 had a eureka moment this morning as I sat down to write. Maybe this new thought has been obvious to everyone but me! The Other Woman energy that I am trying to find this year is not ‘out there’ somewhere.

Have I been looking beyond me, as a continuation of a pattern established in dressing myself in ‘parent sanctioned’ personas throughout my developing life as a child? What came into my consciousness today, from the grace of the Universe, is the joyous feeling that I can stop trying to become some externalized vision of perfection that is created from a conglomeration of parental and cultural constructs. Naturally my femininity felt contained as I attempted to reflect the various faces of others’ ideal feminine. I’ve tried on Virtuous Vera and Alluring Alicia as a teen;  followed by Intellectual Inga during university semesters and once the summer break came, I tried on Sporty Sue or Fun Farrah. This seemed natural to me as a youth. Where else would I learn which behaviours are acceptable, which careers are worthy and which lifestyles are to be coveted, if not from my parents and my surrounding culture?   Of course I knew the sentiment behind the 70’s “Free to Be You and Me” movement, and if asked, I would have said, without irony or disingenuousness, “I am Virtuous Vera, Allring Alicia, Sporty Sue and Fun Farrah!” I did not have the knowledge that I was using other people’s reality as my reference point.

So I continued this pattern of personality and behavioural acquisition into my adult years.

In my efforts to find and keep a man, I’ve tried to be as thin as Twiggy, as full figured as Marilyn, as good a cook as Julia Child, as wonderful a home decorator as Martha Stewart, as conversationally engaging and informed as Christiane Amanpour, as athletic as Dorothy Hamill, and as funny as Gilda Radner. ..and all of this simultaneously! Sadly, this isn’t even the entire list. There was also the pressure from the Woman’s Movement, where I felt I had failed if I had not achieved a perfect balance between excelling in my career and raising my children. And ‘raising’,  meant my  children must experience as rich an environment as was provided by a ‘stay-at-home’ Mom.

Of course I never came close to achieving the level of competency any of these women attained, but the surprising part is, I continued to try. I felt an internal pressure to be as successful as a dizzying array of highly accomplished women.

 

As I ponder these images, another thought occurs to me! I realize I would never have expected Gilda, for example, to be a culinary marvel, nor a first rate figure skater, nor a news anchor. Nor would I have thought she should even attempt to be anything but who she truly was! So why did I expect these Super Woman feats of myself? Why did I feel I was failing at being a woman, if I wasn’t a conglomerate of many successful women??

So now I am giving myself the opportunity to reference my own soul to create within me, the woman I was born to be…a truer me… to allow my unique inner self to flourish! The conflict I have felt between my inner self and the external, created self should, in time,  cease to exist. A major recalibration is needed, as I have felt an unease with my judgements on what parts of me are good or bad and what actions are right or wrong. So to actually believe my body can shift energetically, I had to examine my underlying beliefs about how our universe operates, the Universe which includes my shoulder and my concept of me. This segues nicely into Week 9 of 52 of  The Other Woman.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 9 OF 52

CHANGING FROM NEWTONIAN TO QUANTUM PHYSICS

Last week’s post on finding a resolution to my shoulder pain, gave me an opportunity to compare two very different views of our world’s physical structure. I have been an adherent to Newtonian Mechanics, where all of the Universe, including my body, is part of a massive mechanical system of solid, discrete objects. The chair I sit on is as separate from my physical body as I am from my computer and as all three of these entities are from you. This immutable or fixed view gave me the belief that all phenomena in my life(including the nebulousness of pain or consciousness), were the direct result of observable and measurable interactions between these separate, mechanical parts. My perception of reality is that everything exists in 3-dimentions, time is linear, and every object is separate from every other object. My heart, kidneys and lungs, or shoulder, for example, have predictable, discrete ‘functions’ so when a part breaks down, a doctor with a patch kit is brought in to fix it, thus restoring this perception. But what if this is only how we have learned to perceive our Universe, because this is how schools teach Science…the world is broken into parts. Doctors learn about the body by taking it apart, but Scientists know this is an extremely outdated and limited perception.

Mending My Shoulder Newtonian Physics Style

1.Visit Rheumatologist – get anti-inflammatory pills and pain killers because of the belief that my shoulder is a discrete joint in my body, unrelated to me, the person.

This method may give my shoulder relief, leading me to believe it is repaired, but there is not a doctor around who can help me with an abstract issue like personal transformation, and that’s what I think I need  to truly relieve the pain. Because I believe my shoulder pain comes from the burden of carrying around the expectations of the patriarchal father, I know mere pain relief will not do any thing but mask the underlying issue. This leads me to Quantum Physics!

Just like the best things in life, the theory behind Quantum Physics evolved when Scientists where trying to prove its opposite…serendipity at its finest. So as scientists were looking for the smallest, most elemental and discrete building blocks of the Universe in support of Newton’s Theory, they instead discovered that this theory is hogwash…meaningless…The Universe appears to be an undivided whole…a dynamic web of interconnected and inseparable energy patterns…a unified field. This means that matter or solids as I call them, are just ‘slowed down’ forms of energy, not separate, independent, discrete parts. Logically, there is no such thing as a part. I am not separated into parts, nor am I part of a whole…I am the whole. You are the whole. 

My shoulder is not a discrete joint to be healed separately from the rest of my body and my experiences. This belief gives me hope that transformation awaits me!

Mending My Shoulder Quantum Physics Style

1.Visit Annette, my Herbalist, who has spent years trying to pry me away from my Newtonian stance, into a belief of Oneness. In a room of people we connect physically because the air we breathe out becomes the air others breathe in… an example of how we are all The Whole as we sit separately on our chairs.

2.Visit my Myofascial Release Therapist, Maneesha Madan, who believes that the fascia is a very complex 3-dimensional structure binding all of the body together…more like the unified field theory of Quantum Physics than the particle theory of Newtonian Physics.

This was a long, hard post, but it is Labour Day!

So for Week 9 of 52, I will remember that any transformation is possible, as I am the Whole, not a part of The Whole.

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