OK-- so to anyone and everyone who wants to read about why, here ya go. Most of the time, I try to investigate why I'm doing something. What is my intent? My motives? Is it love? Is it to give? Is it to receive? Is it to amuse? Mostly all of those things. Sometimes I remember to investigate motives, but I do forget and goof up and goof up often... but this isn't one of those times :)
So, anyway, why do I blog? First, if my perspectives and experiences can be of service to anyone, I offer them. I make a lot of mistakes and many can be learned by just reading and pointing your finger at me. Why make your own mistakes when you don't have to? I have learned so much from relating to real people and real stories that I decided to be one, myself, no holds barred. I tell you the truth from my very subjective perspective. It won't be someone else's, but its mine. If it helps anyone or even lightly amuses, wonderful.
The point is that if there is any one thing that can be gleaned from my blog about life, art, spirituality, love, sadness or joy that will help someone become more secure in themselves to live openly and connect in their lives... then, wonderful. If someone, through my hard-nosed exploration can see the beauty in their own complexities and falliblilties, then this is worth it to me and I will continue to do it.
I offer my vulnerabilities in love and with the intent of love only for that purpose. AA is this way, my Mom's saving grace. We'd both be dead if it wasn't for AA and how they handle life. They talk of struggles openly and about what helped them through hard times and it helps new people and the cycle of giving continues.
Sometimes along the way, even with the best of intents, people's toes get stepped on. A note to my loved ones of past, present and future: Existing as someone connected to me, you will be vulnerable and this won't be comfortable to you. It will require you to be courageous when you feel you can't. Do it anyway and release the shame. It'll be ok.
This is why I don't name names, although the names are easy to find if you look. But the real issue in this blog isn't the name, the person or even the event... it is the lesson learned in the grander scheme of the human condition.
So, if these lessons of the human condition have been lost in my posts, then the person doesn't get it and they shouldn't read any more. For example, the last two posts were about manipulation by people who don't necessarily look manipulative... to us or themselves. We do it all the time, all of us, and we don't even realize it. Myself, included. The posts were also about how our roles in relationships change depending on our strengths and weaknesses.
So, about accepting our roles in those relationships... I accept being a bad-girl (blunt? insensitive?) sometimes to make someone feel better about themselves. (Its mental gymnastics to understand why I say that, I know. I've been a "guard-dog" for people who couldn't do it for themselves was one way.)
I live based on how I'd like to be treated, adhering to the golden rule. I had rather have my feelings hurt with someone's truth than be placated with a sweet lie. I own being blamed (and criticized) for the repercussions of those things, willingly. I played a role in the victim/rescuer experience without blaming a soul for it but myself and I don't regret it or intend to whine about it. I don't want pity. I did it, I'm an adult and thats that.
But I am also an odd bird, wild. My love runs rampant as much as the other extreme. I wear my heart, my weaknesses and triumphs on my sleeve, opting to be vulnerable all of the time. This woman is my hero, my example and she fully gets why I paint and live as I do. To understand "why" fully, watch this:
So, about this blog, I had been slightly “threatened” that someone had “something” on me that I wouldn't want “out there”. I imagine, in retalliation for what I wrote. I'm curious what someone could possibly have that I don't readily admit on my back through an exposed, soft underbelly. Can't think of a thing.
But, I am not, nor ever will get, into the habit of hiding anything. Our weakness IS our courage and the day we get that is the day we are whole. I bless someone in their endeavors to dig dirt up on me because its already been dug a long time ago. Airing dirty laundry? There is a spiritual principle behind this. Respect it or not, but watch Brene Brown's TED talk and then make your judgment.
There's more of this post if you click "read more" down there to the right. I hope all who reads the above or anything from this unrepentant wild-child is blessed with the courage for a more authentic and loving life.
Here's a no-holds barred account of what I could be ashamed of. I'm sure you have yours, too. What do I want you to do? LAUGH AT IT, at least some of it, but choose to be vulnerable at least once fully in your life.
There are a few things I regret, like calling my x a pissy, whiney baby- just a few minutes ago. I won't do that again, no matter what he called me.
Anyhoo, here is a list of what would be normally categorized in someone's “shame” column, so thank God for an abbynormal people category. Alcoholic parents. Poor. Domestic violence. Mentally Ill. (Now, what is that? Its more normal than we think: PTSD, ADHD, OCD, social phobia (never guessed that, did you?) Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety. Even some things that resemble bipolar disorder to a lesser extent than pure mania, called hypomania.) When I had bad periods, which usually came in high-stress situations like hurricane Katrina and my Dad dying, I have engaged in self-destructive behavior over other-destructive behavior. I cut my left wrist when physical pain was a relief from emotional anguish. My Dad's son, my half brother, committed suicide and homicide and that contributed to a fight til the death with depression, both the depression and a will to fight it. With that came an armor brought by years of therapy that resulted in a happier, healthier perception- in spite of and because of these things. These were turned into blessings.
Besides that, life was actually pretty boring. Earlier, there were times when I had gotten into fist-fights (in my teen years, a long time ago) that would be considered other-destructive. In my opinion, they worked for a butt-whoopin and it was usually a last alternative. The cops have been called on me. I played Motley Crue and Metallica full blast- on speakers at my open window... on relay... to get back at neighbors for listening to gangsta rap so loud my windows shook. They had done it for days. But, it worked, fyi, and they turned down the radio.
I got tipped once (TEN BUCKS!!!) for dancing with my clothes on in a nightclub and it was fun. That just kills me and I laugh every time I think about it. I have danced on table tops... and that was sober. One day, we'll all be too old to move to the bathroom in time, so if you can, shake what you got.
I loved when I should have gotten out. I was a workaholic and sometimes go back to that. I studied so long and hard that I got migraines and cried. I got drunk in New Orleans with a bunch of friends (sisters) for my 36th and danced at the Cat's Meow and whooped, hollered and told dirty jokes. I instigated my friends to sing and dance on stage. I made a fool out of myself and relished every minute of the laughter it brought everyone else. I don't care what anyone thought of me. Hell, its my life, as yours is yours. Enjoy it. I think we even stole drinks from passing waiters/waitresses that kept walking by our group... (we thought people were buying us drinks... oops.)
I got mad once and threw my cell phone out the car window, not at anyone... but getting rid of that cell phone felt good because the damn thing hung up on me all the time. I got mad once for being ignored by my x and threw his TV remote controls in a fish pond and I laughed about it. Yes. I still laugh about it. Their little red lights blinked on and they drifted slowly down to the bottom like little sunken ships. So, spank me. Once, I was really unhappy and had an affair with my x's permission. I tried my darnedest to not hurt anyone... to the point that I even lowered myself to having an open marriage when all I wanted was out of the marriage. I felt like I was prostituting to save someone else from being hurt. It only lasted a couple of weeks and I couldn't live a lie any more.
I have cried so hard I couldn't breathe at the thought of hurting someone else. I have danced so hard I couldn't breathe. I even danced bare-butted at a video camera with my friends in my own carport in Mississippi and we laughed at the video later. We painted our hooties with face paint and yes, giggled. I woke up with face paint all over the sheets, very confused. And giggled some more.
In TX, Charlotte and I drove over a golf course in an Eclipse sports car with fake hair hanging out the back of the trunk with Ozzy Osbourne rules written all over it in shoe polish. Yes, it was fun. The back story? The golf course restaurant had signs reading it was open for miles and we drove out of our way to get there. We get there, tired and really hungry and then the sign says "no one with membership allowed". So, we took a trip on some grass.
Am I embarrassed? Maybe a little, but not ashamed. I have lived and I will look back on this when I'm so old I can't see anymore... and I will still wear a smile about it as I leave this earth. How about you? What are your moments of "rotten" glee?
We also have other moments to be proud of and these are so, so much more lasting. I am proud to be in total love for once in my life and have that reciprocated in a way I can really feel, give in abundance and celebrate. I am proud to have worked hard enough to graduate magna cum laude from the University of South Alabama with a BFA in Fine Art with a minor in psychology.
I'm proud to tell you the truth even if it hurts me. I'm proud to not have grown up to be an alcoholic. I am proud to be a good-enough friend, not the kind that will be there 24/7, but when you get beat up and it matters who can swing a bat when they come to your rescue, I'm proud of my aim :) I am proud that when I meet my maker that I have stories to tell and love to take with me.
I, with the financial help of my x, am proud of having started a non-profit, no matter where that went and no matter its end. I started it and wrote all the paperwork myself. All of us, friends-turned-family, facepainted, gave art and time to afford supplies, came together for a larger cause we created, loving every minute of it. It wasn't just my baby, it was OUR baby. We helped others get involved with loving other people through art and the transformation it brought them and me was incredible.
We taught art for free, did art-counseling under the direction of other psychologists and gave people something to do and think about rather than how bad they felt about themselves. We touched more people than we will ever know by doing that and I miss them and it terribly sometimes. We worked with disabled folks, abused folks, addicted folks, and disturbed folks and I fit right in and loved them until they became my own family and they still are. The point is? We are all one, broken, cracked and perfect in our imperfections. I read once that the cracks are what lets in the light.
I know this to be true because I am well cracked. I am vulnerable.
Today, I am proud that I have grown in trust to know my x will move on so I can divorce him, so we can both be at peace. I am at peace that I did all I was comfortable doing for the benefit of that marriage. I am proud that the only thing I didn't do was live a lie. I am proud that we are cordial to one another face to face, although we communicate very differently. In emails away from little ears, when I get tired of being called an insensitive bitch for leaving him, I call him a titty baby and tell him to grow up. Mature all the time? Nope. But we're probably both right in our assessments.
I am proud that I am a mother to a happy, beautiful and well-adjusted little red-haired boy who is over his angry spell :) and runs to hug me and I chase around on his tricycle. I am proud to be a good mother. I am proud to be an artist. I am proud to say that nothing I have means anything to me unless I give it away like I do in this blog.
When you think about it, our experiences our ours alone and no amount of approval or disapproval will take away their value from us. Without mistakes, there is no growth or learning. Make mistakes. Be disastrous. Enjoy it, beat yourself up a little, but learn from it. Its ok to go slowly and backtrack a little, but just keep learning.
Get this: negative appraisals of you don't matter, its that we choose to be vulnerable in the face of this is what makes us COURAGEOUS. That is your path. This is my path. You are living yours from your choices as I am mine. You live yours as you choose. My assessment of this blog is that I've done/said nothing worthy of repentance except lift the veil of ego and pride that some choose to live by... and live by exclusively. Fear is the puppeteer of that pride and ego facade. It makes us still when we'd rather dance.
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you feel fear of vulnerability as we all have it. I just choose to fight it, that's all.
I guess the moral of this story is that we are all the same under the pride and ego façade and no one is any more or less than anyone else. So, when the person also said "someone else" lost respect for me after reading one of my blog posts, I thought... Really? And I wonder what it gave them the idea this matters to me? Hmmm... I guess they think their appraisal should change me and my behavior... how, I wonder? How about this idea, how about changing yours? Just a behavioral suggestion: try kissing my ass. Its as exposed as is my soft underbelly through this blog of vulnerability.
(You bad girl.)