The Path of Least Resistance – I’m Back!

Resistance. It’s a certainty that what you resist, persists. This is one of the reasons  I’m back.  I’m taking the path of least resistance. Writing is a part of my soul and it seems as though I am not complete unless I am doing it.

It’s awesome to feel the keys tap-tapping under my fingers.  Hearing them is even musical. I mostly listen to 70’s rock or some cool meditation stuff when I’m at work.  (Check out Abraham-Hicks).

I would do just about anything to drown out the sound of my co-worker’s incessant Barry Manilow music.  I’ve heard Barry hit the high note about 17 times today with the same song. My goodness, his balls must be killing him by now.  (not nearly as much as my ears are killing me, I’m sure)

When know-it-all, busy-body, church lady (co-worker) starts singing, humming, whistling and stomping her feet to Barry’s songs, I become instantly clairvoyant. I begin having visions of grabbing my stapler and glue and permanently shutting her up. The visions are so real and they fill me with such joy!  Oh, please!  I can meditate and burn incense and still be a bitch. I’m just exploring the “shadow side” of myself.  We will definitely get into that in a future post.

So, where have I been, right?  It’s been a long time.  I know some of you might be a little pissed with me. I understand and I’m really sorry.  Others have warmed my heart with personal pleas to start writing my blog again. To this I respond with heartfelt gratitude for your love for me. You all know who you are. Love from many sources has been one of the things that has sustained me in these last many months.

I’ve been going through a very difficult time, personally. No, Al didn’t leave me. I wish the haters (another story) would just understand that he’s not going anywhere – that ball and chain is rusted to his skinny ass.  And, thank God, no one is sick or died.  I did, however, feel sick in my heart for the longest time. In many ways l am mourning a loss.  I don’t know that I’ll ever recover from it.  I’m not able to discuss the details but suffice it to say that I felt like I died.

With raw honesty, I am going to tell you that there was a point where I’m not sure that I didn’t maybe toy with the idea of death. Just a little. What a scary place that was!  Thank God for those organic kettle chips and mocha chip frozen yogurt bars that I had been using for pain relief.   I couldn’t stop eating them.   They saved my life although I did gain 8 lbs.  Poor Al, every time I would start to cry he would run to the grocery store for more chips and yogurt bars. He didn’t know what else to do for me.  I was quite the hot mess.

This past June, I went on an amazing spiritual journey to immerse in the vortex energies of Sedona, Arizona.  My sister accompanied me along with some friends who I had only chatted with on the internet but never met in person. Some day I will write about that magical journey but now I just want to say that the time I spent in Sedona was beyond amazing. It was also the beginning of my path to healing.

Day by day I’ve gotten a little better, a little stronger. I’ve come to terms with very dark and painful things. I didn’t even realize that for years, I had been avoiding these things.  One day, they got out of control and there was no choice but to finally turn and face them.  You see, what you resist, persists.

The human spirit is amazing. Once the will to survive takes over, the healing begins to take place.  Once the decision is made to move forward no matter the circumstance, the dynamics change. When you finally understand that there are just some things you can’t change no matter how badly you want it, your perspective shifts. You are left with no choice but to move forward.

So there I was standing on this cliff. I looked back at everything in my life that I thought was real but now understand that my reality had been very distorted.  I took the path of least resistance and I jumped off of that cliff.

I grew new wings in mid-flight and I was lifted to a higher place.  I could see the light once more. It was different but it was light nonetheless. I can’t yet explain that difference. I’m still trying to get used to these new wings and this new light but I know that I will.  I guess you could say that my path took a new path.  At first, this wasn’t my choice but it then BECAME my choice. These feelings are very difficult to articulate so I hope I’m making sense to you.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and all that crap from high school wasn’t really crap at all.  Thank you, Robert Frost. Perhaps you were teaching the past of least resistance.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both  (well not exactly but I’ll go with it)
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,  (not really fair or fair but not much choice)
And having perhaps the better claim, (no)
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; (no)
Though as for that the passing there (sad I’m not the only person on this road)
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! (wishing will never take me back)
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. (this is why dreams were made)
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 I realize I’m probably the only one sitting here crying. I’m sure you’re just trying to figure out what the hell I just said, right? That’s okay. If  this lesson is for you then you will understand it.
So, did you learn anything today besides my life sucked for awhile and I had to put on my big girl pants?
And guess what? Sometimes I just pretend I’m sad so Al will go out and buy me kettle chips and yogurt bars.  Hehe! 🙂

Until soon and with lots of love,

Dana

P.S.

I forgot to mention that every time Al went to the store to buy my yogurt bars, he  bought himself “a little” ice cream too.   He also had to have the bananas, chocolate chips, hot fudge and whip cream to go with it.  Oh and let’s not forget the chocolate cake he layered on the bottom of this sugar mountain.

I may have gained 8lbs. but he now has man boobs. I’m guessing they are around an A cup.  I know this is way more information than you needed to know but in the spirit of the path of least resistance, telling you this is making me laugh.  So glad Al doesn’t read this blog. 🙂

 

 

 

Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting ?

pumpkinSo it’s that time of year again. Poor, innocent turkey who never hurt anyone, lying in the pan. Dead. Roasting in the oven. Stuffed with bread products that are full of GMO’s.  Screaming kids on sugar highs running through the house, grinding the cranberry sauce that severely myopic yet lovable Uncle Harry dropped all over the carpet. Dirty looks and frowns directed at your mother-in-law (hmmm have you noticed a common theme in my posts?) that screw up your freshly injected Botox, as she begins her subtle but, at the same time, larger than life assault on your freshly baked pies. Yep, it’s Thanksgiving! Yaay!

This year, as I consume my simple feast of a protein shake, a side of organic green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, sans the brown sugar and marshmallows (whaaatttt? – some would say that’s crazy talk), I will truly be reflecting on all of the things I am grateful for and, as well, I will reflect on something new.  (Don’t click off the screen yet)

This holiday will be a small group of eight (8). Four (4), two-legged humans and four(4), four-legged, very furry humans that roll in mud and drink from toilets. It will be a simple gathering as most of my beloved family and friends are far away. We are separated by physical as well as by emotional distances this year – sometimes life is just that way.  And though it would be very easy for me to just stay in bed, pull the covers over my sorry self and snuggle with my fur babies, I don’t intend to lie there and do the whole “poor me” thing. (Plus if I didn’t bake pumpkin pie, Al would probably file for divorce and that can’t happen until he pays off my credit cards).

Neither am I writing this to procure your pity. That’s not what this is about. Rather, quite the contrary. In the words of a very wise friend:

“Never feel sorry for me.
I have stories that would make people wonder how I’m still here but let me tell you something.
I can point out more positive outcomes that are a direct result of the negatives to outweigh the problem.
Every. Single. Time. There is a seed of potential growth from every misfortune. It all depends on where you look…”

Those annoying coffee or food television commercials this time of year that portray family and friends gathered around a festive table really piss me off. What’s the point? If you are fortunate enough to have your family around you wreaking havoc on your home during the holidays, you certainly don’t need a commercial to remind you that other people have beautiful teeth, silky hair; fine china and you don’t. If you do happen to have the perfect home and kids, lucky you; (heartfelt smiles) – you probably don’t even fit the demographics for those commercials in the first place so again, what’s the point?

For people who don’t have their family and friends with them during the holidays, those cheesy commercials can bring on feelings of sadness, depression and even suicide. Then, there are those who aren’t even fortunate enough to have a television – electricity can’t be conducted into the cardboard boxes in which they sleep.  And, there are those who are afflicted with horrible pain from illness.  They are too sick to get out of bed, let alone watch television. Truly the only thing they have to be grateful for is the hope that their next drop of morphine is fatal.

Yes, that statement was certainly meant to make you cringe and, hopefully, make you think. Maybe even make you cry a little. As far as I’m concerned, we should all cry a little. Thanksgiving was aptly named by the people who were thankful and grateful for bounty they received. Where once there was lack, there became plenty. Their acknowledgement of those feelings of lack produced feelings that we call gratitude. They reflected on those feelings and celebrated their gratitude each year in remembrance. Sometime in the last century, the celebrations slowly changed from feelings of gratitude for what we do have, into feelings of ingratitude. We’ve become a nation of greed; impatient for the things that we don’t have.

Thanksgiving has become more like “Thanksgetting.” (I came up with that word all by myself but put quotes around it in the event that someone thought of it too:-)) It seems as though Thanksgiving is merely the day we gorge on food and watch football. It’s the day before we all go shopping in pursuit of the material things we think we want or need. We seemed to have turned away from that reflective tradition that our forefathers began for us.  Our wise ancestors knew that we needed to spend this time in reflection and remembrance. It was necessary for spiritual growth and nourishment. It was to be our strength in those moments of feeling lack and our understanding that lack is most often, merely a perception of reality.

Let’s hurry up and eat so we can take a nap before we wake up at midnight to hit the sales.  Goodbye, Uncle  Harry. It was nice seeing you for five minutes.

I won’t be doing that this year.

This year, I’m going to appreciate the things that I didn’t appreciate in the past. I’m going to revel in the knowing that all things I have are wonderful and special even if they aren’t what I really think I want right now in this exact moment because what I think I want right now, will surely be different after I get it. Did you get that?  (grins) There will always be something else you want; something else you must have – always going after the idea of “obtaining” and “attaining” instead of just living in the moment with a heart full of gratitude for what is here and now.

I’m grateful for my husband and the beautiful home that he built for me with his bare hands. I’m grateful for my good health and the health of my family. I’m grateful for my family although they are often a HUGE pain in the ass. I’m grateful for my fur babies who love me unconditionally and don’t make fun of me for the way I look when I wake up in the morning. The list goes on but, this year, I’m adding something else. Recently, a subtle but very powerful shift took place in my thinking.

This year, I’m grateful for the things that I don’t have.

I’m grateful for the people who are not at my table or in close proximity in heart, mind and spirit.  I’m grateful for the things that I “lack” in my life right now.  Those things serve as a reminder that when I do get them, I will love and appreciate them more had I not had this time to reflect on what it is like to be “without”.  In appreciating what I don’t have, I’m filled with gratitude for the things that I do have.

(I’m either one really messed up chick or you totally get this, which I hope you do!)

I will continue to endure all the love and lessons this life has to offer. I will be grateful for every moment. even if it kills me. (Hey Al, if you’re reading this, don’t get excited over the life insurance policy. Life hasn’t done away with me yet.

In the memory of a very good friend who transitioned to spirit this week,

I say………

GOD BLESS!

Love,

Dana

If you are missing a loved one who has transitioned to spirit, please seek the counsel of a friend of mine who is an amazing spiritual medium. She has helped me to personally connect with my father. This connection brought a great deal of healing to me. You can check out her website at:

http://www.healingbychristina.com/

 

 

Marriage and Mother-in-Law Problems

Last month, I celebrated my 19th wedding anniversary to my devoted husband, Al. He puts up with all my crazy shit and, he does laundry too!  It doesn’t get much better. Plus, I can happily say that I never had mother-in-law problems in this relationship. Al’s mom was a wonderfully kind and gentle woman who only wanted her kids to be happy.  The best part was that she wasn’t Jewish which meant NO GUILT TRIPS!

When Al was a kid and he misbehaved, his mom would hit him in the head with one of her flip-flops.  The cool thing is, now, she smacks him from the spirit world.  All I have to say is, “hey mom, Al’s being a dick again” Next thing you know he’s walking into a wall or something falls on his head.  It totally freaks him out.

My first marriage was another story.  Mother-in-law problems were rampant in my household. The woman would get drunk and actually send me hate mail.

IMG_0879

On my first wedding day in 1985, I remember walking through the hotel lobby on the way to the altar, when suddenly, I had an epiphany. I didn’t want to get married. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be with this man until my dying day. I refused to walk through the chapel door but my ever helpful mother pushed me in. She thought I was just having nervous jitters. (That wasn’t the bride tripping in the wedding video, that was her mother shoving her in the door. God forbid we should keep the rabbi waiting.  What would the guests think if the bride didn’t walk in?  Oy, I’d be mortified at the Mahjong group next Thursday)  Everything was a whirl after that. I felt like someone who was stuck in a dream. Before I knew it, I was married.

My mother-in-law had obviously been “in the booze” before the ceremony –  she stumbled down the aisle. She wore an absolutely lovely lavender gown (her daughter picked it out) but refused to purchase matching shoes.  Who does that? No one could convince her that she looked ridiculous with the black open toe suede shoes peeking out from under her gorgeous silky dress.  Wearing suede in May in 1985 just wasn’t done – let alone black suede with lavender silk? If the fashion police were at the wedding they would have booked her.

Walking down the aisle in a drunken stupor, she tripped and fell on her ass,  flask flying from under the folds of her dress.  I could see my grandmother having conniptions and jabbing my grandfather in his side.  The smirk on her face when she looked at me said “I told you that you should have married a nice Jewish boy”. It didn’t matter that I was getting married under a Chuppah by a rabbi.  As far as Grand-mom was concerned a reform rabbi wasn’t really a rabbi – he didn’t wear a yarmulke. Oy, Dana, dear. You couldn’t even give me nachas on your wedding day? Such a disappointment you are. A goy with a schickered mother? Thank God your aunt Esther is dead. This would break her heart.

Years later, I remember telling my grandmother that I was going to  marry Al. We were sitting at her kitchen table where she was trying to shove a bowl of borscht in my face.  Her kitchen smelled like a combination of  cooked beets and melted tea kettle. Yes, that’s what I said. Grand-mom would put the kettle on and then forget about it. Hours later the metal would literally be melted from the heat. How they never had a fire, I’ll never know but, Macy’s sure did sell my grandparents a lot of tea kettles.

Me:  Grand-mom, you know I hate borscht.

Grand-mom: Nu? Eat it anyway.

Me:  I came over to tell you that I’m getting married.

Grand-mom:  Is he Jewish?

Me:  No

Grand-mom: Another goy? You didn’t learn your lesson the first time?  You have a lokh in kopp?  (hole in the head) Here, just take this knife and cut my heart out.  You want some chicken soup instead of the borscht?

Me: His name is Al and he is wonderful to me.

Grand-mom: Is he a doctor?

Me:  No.

Grand-mom:  Is he a lawyer?

Me: No.

Grand-mom: What does he do?

Me:  He’s self-employed

Grand-mom: How much money does he make?

Me: Really, Grand-mom? That doesn’t matter. I love him.

Grand-mom: When money flies out the door, love flies out the window. You want your tuches to be cold? Here, have some strudel. I just got it from that Bar-Mitzvah I went to last week.  They’re delicious.  That affair must have cost a fortune but I wouldn’t know -after all,  it’s not my business.

Me: Anyway, Al’s in the glass business. He does well.

Grand-mom:  Oh? Glass business? Can he put new windows in for me?

Me:  I can ask him.

Grand-mom:  If he’s a good businessman he probably has some Jewish blood in him.

Me: (time for this conversation to be over and seeing a way out) You know, you’re right Grand-mom. His mother’s great-aunt was Jewish. (Liar! Liar!)

Grand-mom: Are you sure it was the mother’s side?

Me: Positively.

Grand-mom: Okay, tell him to come over and bring his wrench. I need my sink fixed.

There are so  many outside influences that can put strain on a marriage; mother-n-laws, grandmothers, Nordstrom cards, children (yes, these precious bundles of joy sometimes turn out to be over-opinionated adults with superior attitudes who try to tell you what’s wrong in your relationship). Marriage between two people is sometimes difficult enough without adding these and other influencing factors.

Romance can fail. Money can fail. What we need in our marriages is something deeper; something that can’t fail. We need our relationships to have a spiritual meaning.  What we need is a belief that our relationships are special but more importantly, a belief that they are sacred. Marriage should be a place of healing, growth, mutual respect and acceptance. No matter what is going on around you, you should always keep in mind the love that brought you together.

When you feel angry or disenchanted in your otherwise healthy relationship, don’t keep score. It will only lead to more anger and resentment. Relationships are always equitable; never equal. The balance constantly shifts and changes over the weeks, months and years. Dis-contentment can sometimes remind us that we need to go back to basics and cultivate the love that brought us together.  Make your marriage impenetrable to outside influences. Whatever struggle you have, share it together.  The problems you are encountering are an opportunity for your relationship to grow.

Forgiveness is key in any relationship, especially in marriage.  But, what meaning does forgiveness have if it’s only given when the anger is no longer there? Giving forgiveness is not a sign of weakness. It’s also not an excuse to ignore the problems in our marriages. Forgiveness is the gift we give our relationship so that we can move forward. We must refuse to let difficult issues fester and tear down everything that was built from a place of love.  Yes, it may feel “better” to stay angry and sulk.  This attitude kind of makes you feel superior – you have totally convinced yourself that you are right.  Your partner deserves your scorn and withholding of affection. We’ve all been there. But, what’s the point? Why cultivate anger and resentment when it can feel so much better to forgive and move forward? Think of all the time that’s wasted on anger; hours, days, weeks or even months that you just can’t get back.

Honor your relationship with spirituality. What if we brought God into our marriage each and every day, not as a weapon (you’re going to hell if you divorce me) but as an example? God loves us unconditionally.  Can you bring that unconditional love to your marriage?

I couldn’t bring it to my first marriage.  Sometimes it’s just not possible. The relationship lacked the basic tenets of  mutual love and respect. I can’t stress enough how crucial I believe these things are to have in order for a marriage to flourish and endure. I didn’t love my ex enough and I certainly didn’t respect him enough for that marriage to last. Unfortunately I ignored the warning signs until I stood at the chapel door.  I don’t consider the marriage a failure though – it was a life lesson. I do believe I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that time. The lessons I learned helped me to love and appreciate the marriage that I have now.  And, without the first marriage, I wouldn’t have my beloved daughter and grandchildren.

Marriage is a work in progress. In order for the “for better or worse” clause to work, there has to be a joining of the hearts and souls.  This doesn’t always happen when people say “I do.”  But, that’s okay too. Not all relationships are meant to last “forever”.  Try to remember that right now, in this exact moment, you are exactly where you are supposed to be and someday you will understand exactly why.  Then slowly, put the frying pan down and back away. This too, shall pass.

Oh and completely forget this happy crap I’m spouting off if your partner cheats on you – all bets are off. With all of my talk, I would be at the head of the parade leading Al to a pool of testicle eating piranhas surrounded by a mob of bloodthirsty wives whose husbands were cheaters. Or, just get a good Jewish lawyer. Same thing.

Love,

Dana

P.S.

It didn’t take long for Grand-mom to realize that Al didn’t have an ounce of Jewish blood flowing through his veins.  When he asked for his lox with Ritz crackers and not a bagel, it was game over!

And now, Al is forever known as the “goy with the wrench.”