Thoughts on Connection

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown

“Rarely can a response make something better. What makes it better is connection” Brene Brown

‘Being empathetic is a choice to be vulnerable to the pain of the other. It’s being able to sit with the other’s pain without judgement, taking their perspective, recognizing the emotion, and communicating that to the person.”

I get a lot from much of Brene Brown’s work surrounding vulnerability and authenticity. She’s an incredible writer and one day I want to meet her and her speak in person. I’ve been reading her books for years and absorbing as much of her work as I can. There is much wisdom to be gained in reading brilliant authors.

I’ve never been great at connecting completely with any of my partners in the past. I think mostly because I never really felt “seen”for who I really am by them. In the past couple years I felt like I have been seen in a much more real way; away my heart has always wanted but I didn’t realize.

Being seen for who you really are requires that you let down your walls and make yourself vulnerable to another person’s judgment. That always felt incredibly scary to me and I shied away from that for the most part. I kept my emotions and my feelings tightly under wraps. I never trusted anybody not to use them to hurt me. I refuse to be vulnerable to anyone. Then I met her. Everything changed and I began to form a trust that I had never had with anyone else. Kind of screwy that you go through 55 years before you find that with one person. And it happened for me had a great time in my life and one where I was open to allowing it.

The thought of again learning about someone new, their thoughts, their feelings learning the things they like and dislike, the issues that they deal with daily -both hard issues and normal stuff – their moods, and their emotional response mechanisms is daunting and I really am not interested in doing it over again with someone new. It takes a lot to make that type of connection with one person. Yet I made that deep connection with her and lived her even more for the strength she has.

She and I both have fairly complicated lives due to the things that we have to deal with daily and that have happened to each us in our individual lives. those things are vastly different for each of us of course because we are each our own person with our own sets of experiences. We both accepted those things about each other willingly and lovingly which was a really great experience for me.the more I learned about her and the more involved I became in her life the more I wanted to be close to her due to that connection. I was also doing my best to give her those pieces of myself that I had never been willing to expose in the past. I feel like she was ready to catch me if I fell as I was ready to catch her when she fell. The mutuality is real.

All relationships in our lives go through various phases. Familiar relationships, friend relationships and of course romantic relationships all have their own sets of intricacies and we deal with each one in different ways. Hopefully those ways are healthy for us and improve our lives.

Once in awhile you hit a hard spot that’s kind of difficult to deal with yet must be dealt with appropriately, especially if it involves emotional response. Sometimes we fuck up.

In my way of thinking there’s nothing that can’t be worked through or past in a romantic connection except infidelity, intentionally harmful dishonest acts or physical abuse. Everything else, with good communication and empathy, can be sorted out to the largest degree in a good relationship. It doesn’t mean we forget things it just means that we forgive those things when we love someone and we understand whatever happened was not one of the three things above.

That’s kind of where I’m at today. I have asked her to try to find forgiveness for the err in my ways. Because I never meant to hurt her in any way and I never would try to hurt her in any way intentionally. I only want to be in her life to make things better maybe a little easier and to add love and compassion… something we all need and should have in our lives.

I believe she knows that I’m a very good person, a good Butchand a loyal partner who loves her and have that I have strived to treat her the very best that I can. I believe she understands that I lost my grip for a few minutes and made mistakes. And I believe that she loves me and that we can get back to being happy together again if she lets go of the anger and replaces it with forgiveness and we are more aware of communicating our needs. It’s not good to hold anger about anything for too long because it just eats at your soul making you bitter and unhappy. Maybe she wants to let go of it and doesn’t really know how, or is afraid of other people will have a bad opinion of her, I don’t really know. Hopefully she sees that this relationship is worth the effort and discomfort for both of us.

Unexpected things happen in life all the time and we have to remember that were each human and we’re each learning from every experience and every unexpected occurrence. Either person having one or two bad days is nothing to drop an entire great relationship over. If that was so, we’d end up starting over every two weeks with a new person and that would suck in my opinion. Sure, you definitely want to express how it made you feel and ask that it not happen again or that it be handled differently the next time any of those feelings come up, you don’t just let go. This is what I’m trying to get her to see and understand before it’s too late.

I know she’s mad at me because I hurt her, unintentionally, but still I know it hurt. I just want us to have the opportunity to work through this and continue what I believe is a great relationship and that we still have many more memorable moments to be made together.

What I’ve learned about myself and all of this is that I need to think before I speak and I need to pay more attention to what the other person is not saying out loud and be much more sensitive and empathetic to situations that I don’t understand. I also learned that I have been scarred deeply by my father with his silent but deadly treatment when I was growing up. And that has made the last five weeks very difficult to handle on that level.

I’m also a loner who doesn’t tell many people my personal business especially when it comes to my intimate relationship. Yet it’s been pretty obvious that I have been deeply disturbed and upset lately. Thankfully those who I encounter don’t ask many questions. Nor do they deserve explanations.

I’m living my life no one elses, that’s my decision. My actions and decisions are mine and mine alone to form, to hold and to change if I feel like it. No one has any control of that part of me. Plus I really don’t care what other people think about what I do personally, that’s my business. And I’ve had to be like that all my life in a lot of ways due to being lesbian and having to hide myself so much throughout much of my life.

Yep so that’s where I’m at today…

Peace — MB

Late Night Ramble…

I wish I could mow the lawn at night. I’m awake and my mind is buzzing…literally and figuratively! Ha! My pain level is elevated today due to the onset of the colder weather. Went from 80 last Saturday to 58 today…makes the old bones ache a bit! Especially my right shoulder and lower back today. I may have to go get some traction on it on Monday.

The political melee going on right now is also bouncing around inside my noggin. It’s just horrifying to watch Trump and Co. run rampant over the laws and norms of America’s Democracy experiment. He’s kicked down all the guardrails and is storming like a highly energized, crazy 3 year old. It’s scary as fuck in far to many ways to list. One thing I – and I bet most others – that is going to affect all of us is that this is going to throw the USA into uncharted, dark times. Things are going to get crazy and it’s not going to be one-bit pleasant for anyone living in this country. Everything will be chaotic. The economy will take a hit across the board from manufacturing to professional services. Violence will definitely increase and spread like wildfire.

Already Iran has taken advantage of us looking the other way by launching a large scale hack attack on a 2020 campaign and has attempted (not sure if successfully yet) to obtain 3700 email accounts access for journalists, politicians, campaigners and other related individuals. Our cyber “security” in the USA is pretty much non-existent. We are an easy target for malicious foreign actors – especially right now and that will only increase as the 2020 election approaches. Those who voted for #45 should remember that you voted in a guy who loves a corrupted election and will do it blatantly, right under our noses, laughing all the way to the bank – or some account in the Cayman Islands!

Yes, it’ bothers the fuck out of me that I am literally watching our Constitution and the laws of America smashed like so much trash every damned day. It’s going to take decades to undo this debacle and restore trust in America – and for America abroad. Our former allies do not trust us anymore and are watching our current leadership crisis with wonder and fear. And the world’s autocrats, like Putin, are loving watching America squirm under his direction. His puppet is doing it’s job. Just what he wanted. Guilliani said it tonight when asked what the point of this was, “disrupt the world” he said, serious as anything. Be afraid people, be very afraid. No one is going to be immune to what’s about to happen across this country, so buckle up buttercup, as the saying goes.

Lies, deception, corruption and secrecy all coming from the president and his henchmen. Pence, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Guilliani and their people are doing the bidding of ONE man, not the business of the country. They’re using OUR tax money to fly around the world trying to make up dirt on Joe Biden – who is close as you get to honest and scandal-less – all for the purpose of political gain for the most corrupt, disrespectful and malicious man who is occupying the Oval Office.

Ok, I think maybe I will lay back in my bed and see if I can fall asleep for a couple of hours. It’s almost 4am and I want to get a fairly early start – I’d like to be outside and working on the fall clean up of my yard and gardens by 9am at the latest! Can’t fire off the lawnmower until 8am anyways!

Got myself a little buzz and feeling okay tonight. I just hope I can get the stuff in my head done this weekend!

~MB

Fall has Arrived

I brought in my hibiscus this afternoon then ended up watching the weather and brought in all my other plants…it’s going to go low tonight. Frost expected so it’s all downhill from here…snow soon. I’m just not ready. It’s the end of the growing season. Another year gone by.

I fired up the furnace today. Yep, finally cold enough to need it mornings and evenings at least right now. Lulu doesn’t recognize the noise of it firing up yet, so she keeps going into a tizzy! It’s comical – then annoying AF. I just took her down the hall and stood in front of the burner closet with her in hope that she will associate the noise with the closet instead of the driveway!

I do like Fall though. Deerfield Fair was great. And the mountain foliage is coming in super colorful right now. We do need rain though. Apples are ripe, orchards are busy right now. Mom’s been making pies and the bonfires are awesome. Boots, hoodies and flannel shirts time of year, can’t beat it. Tomorrow I will cut back my own outside gardens and put away the Summer stuff til next Spring. With a little luck snow will hold off til after Thanksgiving this year.

The last week was one of appointments and meetings. Getting tuned up and having a few things checked. Haven’t been up to writing much. Been catching up on the news evenings, which is totally out of control, while chatting with friends by text. It’s amazing to me that someone, I have no clue who it would BE, hasn’t gone in and arrested the entire White House staff and Trump too! Shocking how he is now running rampant over the justice system and the Constitution. And the GOP sits by silently. We call that “Silence equals Death” in some circles….they’re going to pay dearly for their silence on these matters of national security and interest. The impeachment parties will be EPIC!!!

I’m concocting a list for the weekend. I got paint for my bedroom and my office today and plan to tackle that after the outdoor work is done. I’m looking forward to remodeling both rooms. They’ll be pretty nice when finished!

So that’s my Friday update. Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

~MB

Trumpian Melt-down

The presidential office is designed to be one of unification and to work toward the good of the country as a whole. FDR said it’s the “moral” guide for our country. The current president we have is the exact opposite of what this office was designed by the founders.

The US Congress is in the midst of a full impeachment inquiry. The WH and the GOP are trying like hell to stonewall and discredit proven, physical evidence. Our news and the nation is riveted on this right now. The rest of the world is watching in horror as the American values are destroyed, our security is threatened and our place on the world stage crumbles. We have the most corrupt set of men in the highest offices of our government. If this is not a constitutional crisis then I have to ask, what is?

Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to manufacture “dirt” on Biden that he could use against him in the 2020 election. Our Constitution says this is ILLEGAL, and is NOT to be done, ever. This is exactly what the Mueller Report was about. Did he not learn? Enlisting the assistance of a foreign government’s envolvment with US election processes is illegal and immoral. That’s a pretty cut-and-dried reason for articles of Impeachment to be drawn up. I believe it’s only the tip of the iceberg though. It’s all that is needed. He has openly confessed multiple times on live TV. Now he’s even gone on TV and asked for Xi of China to also get involved in our election…where does it end???

There have been tons of articles in every major news outlet about all of the corruption that is surfacing due to this whistleblower’s courageous step forward. Trump is in a tailspin and lashing out at everyone around him. The Republicans are silent, not sure which way to go to hide. The only voice is Graham, who’s a sycophant anyway and talks total nonsense. I will be so freaking happy when we start having the impeachment parties!

Let the games begin!

~MB

End of the Road

As a soldier you learn and hone survival and defense skills in moment by moment processes. The military breaks your thought pattern and then installs this quick acting thinking of survival and defense. It’s just the way it is. You learn to compartmentalize things in order of importance and relevance. It’s handy, it’s organized and it’s protective. Personally, the soldier left in me successfully uses this thinking process quite often. When it’s time to file, you just file.

Someone told me that you cannot live a positive life with a negative attitude. They’re absolutely right. Attitude is everything in a person. No one wants to be on the receiving end of a bad attitude. It’s not fun. The hostility can be felt in words, tones and even in what’s not said. Personally, I don’t want the toxicity of this hostility aimed at me, it’s negative and unproductive. I like to have adult conversations and resolve things. So come directly to me if you have an issue!

Dawn my armour and fight the battle ahead. Forget what’s behind you, you cannot change the past, only learn from it and hope the lesson isn’t a taint on your soul. Fight forward facing and with all you got for the good of life and the world around you; all those we come in contact with we affect in some way – good or bad is up to us. Just make sure that you don’t become lost in the battle contemplating your next move.

As you readers know, those who’ve stuck by me thru the years, I got involved with a younger woman, 20 yrs. my junior, who also had a child. She and I met online and met about 3 months later, really hit it off in many ways. I fell madly in love with her and the child as well. They came here a lot, and i went there a couple of times. Everything was great. Until the little girl got sick and was hospitalized for 16 days. A lot transpired during those super stressful days. it really affected my girlfriend, and I believe it’s the underlying reason that we began to argue and now we are split up – I guess for good. She didn’t talk to me much about her feelings, I just know the basics and I asked her multiple times to work on fixing things with me, but she’s not in a place to do that. So it’s over. Sadly. I wish it wasn’t, I tried, but I lost this one.

I have been through the gamut of emotions, from anger to sadness, to remorse to more anger then acceptance. I tried for 3 weeks to get her to help me fix it…she just couldn’t see a way for some reason. I think she ends things with people when she’s exposed emotionally and can’t handle it well. It’s okay. I love her and will always remember the great times we had and I wish her well and hope she calls me in the future just to check in and tell me she’s okay or to update me about D.

I’ve been staying busy as I can. I got a new job. I’m doing volunteer hours at the animal shelter in Wells and spending time with my family and at the beach with the dogs. I’m working on painting and renovating 2 rooms in my house and it feels good.

I will miss our closeness, our connection, daily tests and her voice. She treated me great and I think she loved me as well. It’s just that I was 4ths thought…behind herself, B and D. I always knew that and adjusted to it I’m sad that this ended us and I should have flown out when the baby got sick. I will have great memories and I wish her well. She was a great girlfriend and I enjoyed every minute spent with her and D.

I’m okay. I’ll be fine. I’m past the crying and sleeplessness. I’m better today after really doing some analysis over the last two days. I realize she’s not ready to talk to me or to see me or fix anything. I hope she finds what she’s looking for to add love and adventure to her life, I hope she has the life she wants always.

~MB

I hate giving up!

I gave it everything I had to keep us together, yet in the end I feel like I got nothing in return for those efforts. I tried communication of all sorts and I was met with silence and solid brick walls. Anyone going through that type of hostility is going to eventually give up. So I guess I’m giving up.

I still love this woman very much and I hope that she finds the happiness that she is seeking in life. I hope she finds someone that will treat her great and who will love her like I do. There’s nothing I wouldn’t have done for her. And I only wanted a chance to fix this and continue what was a great relationship not so very long ago. I really don’t understand.

We all handle trauma in different ways.. Perhaps this is her way. Pushing good people out of your life is never a good idea in my opinion. And while I may have made mistakes, my love for her never wavered once and I always tried my best to be good for her and to enhance her life and her every day. I am a good Butch.

I finally had to give up because I felt so much hostility being aimed at me and I didn’t know how to get by that without some help from the other side, and she couldn’t give me that or wouldn’t. She couldn’t tell me what she wanted or what she needed. Now I feel duped. No closure.

-MB

The Invitation

(This is not by me…but I LOVE this and what it says to me.)

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

by

Oriah Mountain Dreamer