So, I didn't win the Little Black Dress contest....but I still feel like a winner! In 48 hours I got over 1,000 votes and over 200 shares of my photo. When it came down to it, I lost by a small margin of around 40 votes. However, I was, and still am on cloud 9. The love and support I received from people everywhere - some of the things that were said about me and the work I do in the community touched my spirit in ways that will stay with me forever. This contest quickly became more than a simple little Facebook contest to win a night out, people were really rooting for me - pouring love and support onto me. I was truly blessed and I could feel it to the bone. I've sat here for awhile now trying to put into words what it meant to me, and I just can't. It was beautiful and it changed me a little.
Recently, I watched a movie where the man had made his wife some breakfast and was being sweet to her. She asked why and he said "Relationships need water to grow. This is a little sprinkling." I liked that (even if it did turn out to be something he was just trying to butter her up with). My husband and I need some water, pretty badly if you ask me. If you asked him, I'm sure he'd say we're fine. And - he wouldn't be all wrong. We are fine, I'm certainly not going anywhere - I do love him very much....I just wish there was more 'living and loving'. I wish we weren't both such workaholics - him to a very serious degree. I'm watching as these years tick by, our oldest almost 16 now...he'll be gone before we know it, living his own life. Making his own decisions. It's difficult to fathom. I see very clearly that these kids, and myself won't remember that the bills were paid...we're going to remember the times we shared together (or didn't).
Time is a luxury most people can not afford. I feel like a slave to the mailbox. To our 'unseen' bosses. We're both independently employed, and in many way this does grant us certain freedoms. Really, though, we've just eliminated one boss among many - the others being CitiBank, Consumers Energy, DTE, etc. We're working for them as much as we're working for ourselves. And, it's a difficult thing to be self-employed! EVERY dollar you make you truly earned. There is no 'weekly' paycheck, no insurance, no paid vacation....there is always concern over where the next bit of money will come from. I understand the pressure that he goes through to provide for us, and I honor him. I grew up around people who couldn't keep jobs and were always broke or spending every extra dollar they had in the bar, so the very fact that he isn't one of those people is something I take a lot of pride in. I just wish we could stop and "look up" more often. That's what the contest meant to me. It was a way to make it easy for us to do that. When someone hands you something for free, naturally it's easier to make it happen. It's really difficult for me to justify EVER spending $300 or more on one night in a hotel....no matter how fancy. That's over a quarter of my mortgage, I could remodel a room in my house for that - I need a laptop! All of these things flood in when you start to think of spending or even saving for something like that.
I had to let it go. I began instead to try to get him to go on simple dates - and focus on trying to be content with what we have NOW. To be more present in each moment rather than lost thinking about where I wish I was or what I wish I had. I began some counseling to improve my ability to breathe and be grounded and to love without expectation. I realize that I act like a toddler sometimes. Wanting my way right now. Part of me feels entitled - I had such a shitty childhood where I felt misplaced, abandoned, poor and unworthy of love and care that now that I'm an adult and "in control" of my life - I want good things to happen to me! I'm just tired of suffering. Working to survive. Pouring myself into the things I love and care about, trying to change the whole world and fight for the injustices I see....part of me feels as though I 'deserve' reward, but, all I seem to get is crazy intense situations, issues and things that happen to me. I would never really consider myself "lucky" - things just don't really ever work out the way I would like them to. So, I have been examining that. Understanding that things aren't always going to meet my expectation - and that if I go with the flow and accept the good and bad things as they come for what they are I will find the contentedness that I so desire.
When I look back at where I have been and compare it to where I am now, I can see clearly that I AM blessed - and that 'the process' is working. I opened up my heart and desire to true healing, truth and knowledge many years ago and since then I have been unfolding and opening myself. Yes. It's been work. It's been hard and sometimes ugly. There are parts of myself I'd rather not face, but, I learn and grow every time I do - and THAT is beautiful.
That leads me to this week. I've been trying to put these thoughts and lessons into action and incorporate them into my "real life" with my family. Through this I have been reintroduced and reconnected with the Green Tara - a Buddhist and Hindu Goddess. I've been immersing myself in her chant "“Om Tara Tuttare Ture Svaha” and it has been changing me - opening up my heart. It's amazing, truly. I recommend it to anyone and everyone!
While doing this, I'd been spending time trying to get my man to go out with me and maybe go and see my office downtown (since I've been there for almost 4 months and he's not yet seen it). I was disappointed when it just didn't seem to be working out. Thoughts of the contest came to mind and I feared that the promises that he made then would go unfulfilled - like so many others. Put off again and again. I needed to find peace with that somehow...I still do and am working towards acceptance. I can't make him do anything that he doesn't want to do, I can't make him different in ways that would better suit me, but I CAN learn to accept him as he is. I can learn to appreciate the man he is and that he loves me and our children. Love is love and I'm lucky if I get any at all. Some is always better than none.
Guess what this conclusion and work has led me to? A reward!! A really, really AWESOME reward that means the world to me in this moment in my life. As we gathered last night on the Full Moon for our Sister Circle, where we would be honoring the Green Tara and embracing acceptance and inner peace. Before the circle started I was presented with this:
Up until this point I felt like I had to break my back for everything I would ever get. It isn't that I don't think I need to work for things, I do - however, I feel and see now that it can in many ways 'just be' if we let it. By expecting that everything would be difficult to obtain or would require really hard work, my reality was reflecting that expectation. This is more than a night out with my man....this is peace, it's love and blessings from those in my life who are reflecting back to me the love that I have reflected onto them. It is a gift from the Universe itself. "Thank you" could never EVER come close to the humble gratitude I feel within me for each and everyone in my life. My friends, who are my family - my family, who I am going to work harder to make my friends. It's all good and it's all love. May it be so forever more. For, from this moment on I will be trusting the journey and enjoying the ride.
PS - the necklace that I put up for the contest was won by the lovely spirit, Sara Fiorenzo. <3>3>