Posts Tagged ‘trust


I Want To Fly.

I don’t trust easily.

Whether I’ve learned that or whether it’s innate, I couldn’t tell you. But the result is the same. It’s very hard for me to trust people.

I open myself up easily. Yes, I know that seems counter-intuitive. But I am a pretty open person. That’s because I conduct my life in such a way that I am willing to stand up and speak for what I’ve done, my choices, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It in no way is reflective of my trust level of other people. It’s simply a willingness to take responsibility for my actions.

So, it would seem that openness does not equate to trust.

I am, however, also tired. I am tired of not trusting. I am tired of the isolation that creates. I am tired of the life that creates.

Because you know what? The further into this wacky life I get, the clearer one thing becomes: you get exactly what you expect. Do you expect people to treat you like shit? Oh, look at that, they treat you like shit. Do you expect people to be confrontational and in your face all the time? Oh, step off, and get outta my face.

But here’s the sparkly thing that I’m learning. And I mean unicorns and fairies and tea with the Queen of Magicland kind of sparkly. So huge I want to find some rooftops to climb and do a little Dick Van Dyke tap number up there, singing it from the chimneys. Ready?

What you expect, you get.

What, I already said that? Right, but we were talking about all the negative things in life. Now think about all the positive things in life for just a moment.

Do you expect people do be decent and treat you kindly? Guess what? People are really quite lovely. Do you expect that people will help you when you need a hand? Look at that hand being held your way. Do you expect your dreams to come true? Do your part, and watch them thrive.

(Wait, what was that last part? Do your part? What do you mean…we can’t just sit back and wait for shit to land in our entitled laps? Fuck no. Ever heard that phrase, “God helps those who helps themselves?” Well, regardless of your feelings about God, the Universe responds to action, not inaction. So waiting to receive will get you nowhere. Starting your own train in motion will start your own train in motion. But that is a whole blog post unto its own…)

Yeah, I know we’ve all heard this shit before. You create your own reality. But all of a sudden I’m seeing it spring to life in a way I can’t even define. I see people around me complain about “always” coming up against this brick wall or that impasse. And I’ve started to look at things a little more closely. And I realize that those challenges they speak of are not even in my sphere of consciousness, nowhere in my realm of being.

Yes, I know we all have our own individual challenges. I am taking nothing away from that concept. However, sometimes I think that maybe some of those individual challenges are such because we are creating them.

Stop for one second. Imagine…just imagine if we were each creating our own challenges. Unconsciously.

Do you realize what that would mean? That would mean that if we got conscious about it, we could choose NOT to create those challenges. We could choose to create pathways and solutions and love in those places instead.

Soak that in for a second.

Does that one hit you like a fucking freight train the same way it hits me?

For instance…on more than one occasion, I have heard a woman complain that she cannot get close to other women, and she doesn’t have any close female friends. Women are just so catty and two-faced, bitchy and nasty.

I know this is some people’s experience. I know this is a lot of people’s experience. And every single time I hear this I stop and have a moment of gratitude. I am so grateful that this has never been my experience. And I mean never. Maybe there was the odd toying with it in my group of friends in high-school, but ultimately, even my privileged, kilted and knee-socked highschool girls didn’t go there. My college friends most certainly didn’t go there. And not once in my adult life have I chosen to hang around with women who fit that bill.

Maybe that says something about the choices I’ve made in friends. Maybe that says something about the expectations I have of friendship. But any way you slice it, I have always been blessed with outstanding female friends, all of whom I adore and would trust with my life. I guess I choose not to put my time and energy into (female) relationships that don’t live up to those standards. Period.

So it seems entirely foreign to me when people start talking about the cattiness and untrustworthiness of their women “friends.” Until it hits me. This is their expectation. So this is their experience.

On the other hand, I complain about not having enough money. It has been a constant and pervasive challenge in my life, from the time I became responsible for myself. I know other people who seem to have a horseshoe up their ass, for all that I can tell. They live the life of their dreams, and make the money they need to do so. With no struggle whatsoever. What. So. Ever. This is really just the shoe on the other foot. This is their bone-deep belief and expectation of how life functions, without even a flicker of doubt. Without so much as a whisper of a question. That’s just how life works for them. And yet it is such an ongoing struggle for me (and lots of other people out there too.) But what if that’s just because that’s what I believe? What if that’s because, although it’s not what I want, it is what I expect?

And that’s what really got me to thinking. Because I get that. I get it in my bones, I get it in my cells and on a gut intuitive level. I’ve heard people talk about it before but it hasn’t really resounded…now it makes sense. Therefore…

What experiences am I EXPECTING that I am therefore MANIFESTING that simply don’t need to be there? What are my challenges? Where are the hills and humps I struggle to make it over?

  • TRUST (lack)
  • MONEY (lack)
  • LOVE (just not easy and joyful yet)
  • JOY (lack)
  • CAPABILITY (lack)

So that’s my homework. Expect the best. Truly. At a bone-deep, soul-dancing, accepting without a flicker of doubt level. Because I’ve watched unconscious expectation become reality over and over. This time I’m going to work on CONSCIOUS expectation becoming reality.

There is a bit of a chicken and an egg syndrome…because I have to have trust in the process. Ultimate, unflagging, unwavering, absolute faith in the process. The process of creating trust. I have to trust to create trust. Ha. Yeah. Take that to the bank and cash it!

The light at the end of the tunnel is there, however. For the first time in years, maybe ever, I can feel myself cracking open. I can feel myself understanding how to get from here to there. I can see a pathway, I can feel my body engage, and I can hear my heart dedicate itself to beating with passion.

God, it’s so welcome. Living an excited, passionate life is so very welcome in this heretofore stone, lifeless body. Cracking open that mantle of discontent, that shell of faux protection, the creation of which has left me exhausted and disillusioned, that is true birth. That is the beginning.

Enter the delivery room with me. Let’s take this journey together. On the other side is flight into unrestricted, wide open sky.

And I want to fly.


Fat is a Four Letter Word.

Ok, so I shared in a recent post that I got to a place of being about 100lbs overweight. Saying that number aloud, I’m front of God and everyone…well, that was a little scary. I had to go hide under the covers and be an alien for a while before I could talk about it any further.

But talk about it we’re going to.

Because I know damn well that I’m not alone. Some of you have left comments or emailed me telling me your stories. And the parallels between us all are really quite overwhelming.

Does anyone want to be overweight? I suppose it’s possible, but it’s nothing I’ve come across in my sphere of experience. To really desire to be overweight? Desire and acceptance are two different things. But to start with, we need to get very, very clear on one thing.

Wanting to maintain a healthy weight – whatever that is for you – and being judgmental about body size are two polar opposites. Let me say it again: there is no place for judgement on this journey.

Zoinks! Bam! Pow! (Think Batman & Robin sound effects and cartoon speech bubbles here.) That’s a hard one, isn’t it? I have, at times, been my own harshest critic. Anyone who has ever dealt with weight issues can probably relate to that. I judge myself more harshly than anyone else ever could. And in turn, I’ve probably done my share of judging others.

I have, eventually, realized that all those awful things I’ve said, and sometimes still catch myself saying, in my head about other overweight people…those are really just criticisms of myself I’m making in my own head before anyone else can say them out loud.


“Just back away from the table, asshole.”

“Are you sure that bike can actually support you, lardass?”

“Whoah, wideload.”

These, and worse (far worse), are all things that I’ve said in my head to myself. These, and worse (far worse), are all things I’ve said in my head, and maybe to a friend, about people I’ve seen out and about.

Sometimes I’ve said these things (and worse) to be “funny.” None of these things are funny. Not in any way, shape, form, or context.

Thank goodness the older I get, and the more conscious I get, the more I catch myself earlier in the process. It’s not that those thoughts don’t come (about myself, and about others – which is really another way of criticizing myself), but my immediate response now is to interrupt them, to cut them off, and replace them with compassion.

“Good for them. They’re out getting some exercise. That’s more than I’m doing.”

“You just never know somebody’s situation unless you’re in their shoes. Stop being so judgy, asshole.”

“Send them some love vibes. Just love them. That’s all.”

Notice anything about all those sentiments? Yup, they’re all focused on someone else. I’ve managed to interrupt the negative assault on others and replace it with positive and supportive thoughts. Which are, by the way, entirely genuine. Now that I recognize my own process, when I interrupt it, I genuinely feel love and support for others. But I still have a little more trouble showing myself compassion. I can break into the cycle of judgement and shut it down (sometimes), but the compassion doesn’t always flow so easily, not towards myself. But I’m working on it. One step at a time, right?

One of the most terrifying experiences of my life was being at an amusement park while overweight. Now, at this time I was probably about 70 lbs overweight. I adore roller coasters. Rides that flip you upside down. Adrenaline shit. Love it, love it, love it. But going on rides when I have been quite overweight has been the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Not because the ride itself was scary, but because I was terrified that I would be that story in the newspaper the next morning:

“Obese Woman Falls To Her Death.

Fat, Not Roller Coaster To Blame.”

And instead of enjoying any part of any ride, that’s all I could think about. And it took all the joy out of an experience that should be nothing but joy and laughter.

Did I fall out? Am I here telling you this story? So…obviously no. But was there any joy in the experience? Also no. You know what there was a great deal of?


That one’s a powerful word. Shame. Total gut hit. A little bit pukey. Teary. Constricting. Terrifying in every way. Doing something like getting on a ride with a bunch of other people, and having to deal with seatbelts that don’t fit properly, or chest bars that won’t cinch down all the way until the attendant comes and leans on it? That’s shame. And I can never decide which is worse: doing it in front of a bunch of strangers you don’t know but being alone, or doing it in front of people you know but having someone you love there to support you. Both are godawful. And ultimately, I just stopped doing either.

I have talked to more health professionals than most about the issue of my weight, given that it comes up as we talk about all my other trillions of ailments (and the bajillions of doctors, etc. I’ve seen for them.) And they always say the same thing: reduced calories in = weight loss. Throw exercise in there and you’re golden.

Guess what?

After almost 30 years of struggling with my weight and body image issues, and dealing with my body on such an intense, intimate level, I have learned one thing about myself. Yes, there’s something to the above equation. But for me, for this body I live in, my weight is determined by something far, far more deep-rooted than that.

Self-acceptance and gratitude.

Seems like a weird thing to control weight, right? Well, for anything long term or significant to shift in my weight, that’s where it’s at.

At various times in my life I have participated in a lot of eating-related regimes aimed at controlling one’s weight. But I call bullshit. Diets don’t work and the control games played out in dieting wreak havok with my self-acceptance, my self-confidence, and my trust issues. Yeah, you heard me.

I have read a lot of Geneen Roth, who espouses trust as being the number one issue in getting your body to it’s ideal, natural weight, and staying there. Trust in your body’s innate wisdom and trust in yourself and your ability to nourish yourself. Not through a set meal plan. Not by following someone else’s instructions. By listening, really learning to listen and trust your body, and give your body what it’s asking for, and learning to trust that what you want will be there when you want it, so you don’t need to eat it when you don’t actually want it. I’m paraphrasing, and I’m simplifying quite a bit. But ultimately, these are the core beliefs that changed my life. Reading Geneen Roth’s books (pretty sure I’ve read all of them), and working for a stretch with a therapist who specialized in eating disorders (I’m a compulsive eater and an emotional eater) and worked on the same premises that Ms. Roth speaks of, these things made a huge impact on my life. Still, for years my weight went up and down.

And then I had an epiphany moment. (I must say, they’re weird when they strike, but I got over it. I epiphanized.)

I was sitting on my bed one evening, and I felt this overwhelming surge of gratitude for my body. This body that I have fought and hated and judged. And I sat there on the edge of my bed, naked (I was getting ready for bed), and rubbed my thighs. I was enveloped ingratitude for these strong thighs that had carried me through so much in my life. So many struggles, so many trials and tribulations. But there they were, strong and large, keeping me safe. And I just sat there with tears streaming down my face. Instead of wishing them away, I was drowning in thankfulness for a body that had protected me when I had been unable to protect myself. Taken care of me when no one else had been there to take care of me. And I felt love and gratitude for this body as I would a friend who had stood by me through thick and thin.

Now, it’s difficult to write, to explain without sounding cheesy. But as I sat there, running my hands up and down these amazing legs that had brought me from there to here, I really was overcome with emotions beyond explanation.

And that turned the tide.

Once I felt gratitude for my body, love and appreciation, totally devoid of hate or fight or shame, I could release whatever bound that body to me. And the weight started to fall away. At the time I swore I wasn’t eating any differently than I usually did, but the pounds were falling away. 45 pounds, actually. I got to a weight I could have been comfortable being for the rest of my life. At most, 20 pounds away from the lowest I’d really want to go and feel healthy.

Life throws you curve balls, though. After about a year at that weight, I injured my back, became quite immobile, and due to a particular medication, I gained 40 pounds in 6 weeks, and over the ensuing 3-4 years, and various medications, it crept up another 35-40 from there. And that, right there, put me smack at 100 pounds over what I would consider a healthy weight for me. It was within 5 pounds of the weight I saw on the scale just before I gave birth to twins, my full twin pregnancy weight, the highest I’ve ever been in my life. Due to another medication, I am now down 30 over the last 4 months, which puts me right back about where I started when I was having a love-fest with my legs. But I am finally, finally, in a place where I can see straight to appreciate my body for what it has given me. How it has protected me. How it has taken care of me as best it could.

And now, my job is to love my body. Every imperfect roll. Every wrinkle, every line. Every muffin top and chafe-worthy thigh. Every gobble-arm and double chin. Because it’s not about judgement. In fact, if my experience has taught me anything, judgement does the polar opposite of what we are striving for. Acceptance, yes. Love and gratitude? Now we’re talking holy trinity.

This is how I started to send love to people I saw, who I guessed were probably hurting and struggling inside, the same as I have/was/do. And the people who were acting brave and not showing it to the world. And the people who were super-duper badass and had already figured out how to love themselves for what they were, knowing that the package doesn’t matter. Because, as far as appearance goes, I don’t care if you’re 88 pounds or 388 pounds or 688 pounds. We’re all fighting the same demons. And for the precious few who’ve won that battle, who’ve learned to put their demons in their place and love their body, I commend your bravery, your honesty, and your heart. I hope you can help gently guide the rest of us home too.

There does come a time when our health becomes a bigger priority than proving our non-judgementalness about body size. Sometimes losing some weight would make a striking difference in our ability to function. I know that since 30 pounds, my blood sugars have come out of the pre-diabetic range, back into the regular-old-joe range, for instance. I haven’t had my cholesterol numbers checked yet, but I am expecting to see some of the same there too. Most people have an easier time with their joints once they lose some weight.

And that all comes down to a choice, I guess. What’s the priority for you? Staying in a nonjudgemental place about your weight and keeping the status quo? Or staying nonjudgemental about your weight and trying to improve your health? Getting a little more active? A doctor will tell you there is only one right answer. I don’t agree with that. I think that you have a choice, as long as you are clear about the consequences and you make a conscious choice, knowing that there will be a price tag to pay, and you’re willing to pay it. But that requires some very intense self-examination and brutal honesty, because it’s easy to bamboozle yourself into thinking that you’ll pay the price tag because the change is too scary to contemplate. I get that. I’ve been there. I’ve done that.

Either way, we can all strive towards a more accepting, loving, nonjudgemental place when it comes to bodies.

We can probably love each other better. We can probably love ourselves more. It’s so worth doing it. And once again, it starts with gratitude.

{The following is a song I wrote the night of the naked, crying, thigh-rubbing, love-fest with my body. It’s a thank-you letter from me to my body. Maybe you can relate, or use it in your own process. If it helps you in any way, then I’m happy to share it with you. xoxo}

{One caveat: please know that this is a very rough writing demo only. Less than optimally recorded. But seeing as I’m still having MBox / ProTools issues, I couldn’t record a better version of it in time for this post. So you reeeeeally get to hear the nitty gritty! And, for your listening pleasure, you also get to hear many guest appearances by the fan on my laptop. Because that’s cool shit, yo. Click the song title and it’ll take you to the track…fancy, right?)

Fragile Emotions

Thank you for proteecting me when the world fell apart
Thank you for connecting me to the fear in my heart
For sheltering a lonely soul, who had nowhere safe to go

Thank you for keeping promises better left unsaid
Thank you for for the trust I felt, twisted but nonetheless
You kept me safe and when I hated you, took care of me the best way you knew how

Now I release you
Now I embrace you
Oh, I love you
And so I free you
Your guardianship of my fragile emotions is through

Thank you for the walls you built that kept it all at bay
Thank you for the padded cell that kept them all away
Fueling the fire, yearning and burning within

Now I release you
Now I embrace you
Oh, I love you
Yes I adore you
Your guardianship of my fragile emotions is through

The harder I tried, the further we’d collide
A slow angry burn at their failure to provide

Thank you for speaking up for me when I couldn’t find the words
Thank you for your loving curves and the beauty I have learned
The journey has been much bigger than ever I imagined

Now I release you
Now I embrace you
Oh, I love you
And I forgive you
Your guardianship of my fragile emotions is through


I Dance Alone

I’m through waiting to dance with you.

For years I tried sitting on the sidelines, waiting for you to ask me, to notice me, to no avail. Eventually I got brave and asked you to dance with me. You said yes, and I lit up. Then you walked away from me. I asked you again, and again you said yes, but then turned your back on me. Sometimes I would ask you and your eyes would just glaze over and you would stand there mute.

Now and then, you would even follow me out onto the dance floor, my heart leaping into my throat, before you walked away. And on rare occasions, you would take my hand and start to sway, my hopes so high, before abandoning me with no explanation.

Now I’ll have to watch you dance alone.  And that will be painful too, but in a different, less personal way. Because now I’m learning to dance with myself. And I’m not really interested in dancing with you anymore.

Because I don’t believe in you. There’s no truth left in you, just dancing shadows. But I can’t dance with a shadow. And you don’t even realize that the only dancing you do is shadow dancing. It’s very sad for me to watch, your inability to dance. There are so many people who would love to dance with you, but you just…don’t.

On the other hand, I’m learning to dance alone. Knowing how to dance alone is an amazing and freeing thing. I’m starting to dance with other people. There is an awful lot of dancing to be done in this world, and I’m tired of waiting for you to participate in it with me. I’m tired of waiting for you to be proud of me for being a good dancer. So off I go to experience all the dancing out there, with many other dancers. With myself.

I won’t look back. You’ll get left behind. And I would say I’m sorry, but I’m not. I am sad, but I’m not sorry. I’m not doing this to you; you created this for yourself. You might not even notice that I’m not asking you to dance anymore. You might not notice that no one is asking you to dance anymore. I wonder if you’ll notice when you’re left standing alone at the side of the gymnasium, lights dimmed and music soft, while everyone else sways intertwined.

It is my sincere hope for you that one day you’ll learn to dance. I hope that you will learn to open up to, trust, and show up for someone enough to be a true and reliable dance partner. But you and I? Our dancing days are behind us. Now we’ll just wave from opposite sides of the gym, and that will be all.

Because my dance card will be full.



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Peeling Away the Layers

I have a very big decision to make.  And actually, I think I already know the answer.  As Kelly Diels so aptly put it, sometimes saying yes means saying no.  But it’s making me feel constricted in my chest, terror in my back, and, well, a little sick to my stomach.

I think all of those things are telling me it’s the right thing to do.

I have a job that I’m good at.  When I am in the cycle of working there, I get caught up in the validation I get from working there and being good at my job.  I get caught up in the excitement of the people I work with.  I honestly do love the company (mostly), and think that they have a really excellent product on the market, made so by the customer service that delivers it.  I am fabulous at delivering that customer service.

I am loyal.  I am and have always been loyal to whomever I work for.  Even when it has been seriously misplaced loyalty (because it was not reciprocated or recognized.)  Unfortunately, I tend to lose sight of being loyal to myself.  I tend to continue to want the validation that comes from a job really well done, and lose sight of the things that are actually priorities to me, for me.  First and foremost, I need to be loyal to myself and those three short people that keep following me around, asking to be fed…

The job I have has fantastic benefits.  Yes, good healthcare benefits (although, they kinda screwed me when it came to being sick this summer.)  But the other perks that come with my job are outstanding.  They benefit a lot of people around me.  The thing that I am coming to realize is that they don’t benefit me a great deal, because I never have the time+money combo to be able to use them.  And what I’m trying to put into perspective is the concept of I need to take care of myself first, in order to be able to take care of anyone else. So making sure that I continue working at a job that, in some ways, is not necessarily in my best interest, in order to provide great perks for other people…well, maybe it’s not actually what’s best for me.

Left turn.

I have recently looked very hard at an important relationship in my life.  It is a relationship that for years has caused me anguish and discontent, searching for validation where there was little, approval where it was rare, and presence where it was absent.  I have decided that, although the relationship will continue in some necessary form, I am consciously changing the parameters that I go by in that situation.  I will no longer engage.  I will no longer have any expectations.  I will let go of resentment and choose to see it as a learning opportunity.  I will feel love for the lesson: I can choose what I do and don’t contribute, and I choose to no longer give myself away when I get nothing in return.  I choose to take care of myself by not engaging emotionally.  Of course there will still be communication, but all I am willing to have is surface conversation.  I will not engage emotionally.  It is unfortunate that the other party will probably not even notice the difference.  But it’s really not about that.  That’s their piece, and I have come to terms with the fact that I can’t make them want something that is not in their vocabulary. It’s about taking care of myself and being conscious of my boundaries.  Choosing not to engage emotionally frees me up to enforce my own boundaries, because I am no longer tangled up in needing approval and validation where there is none forthcoming anyway.  And being able to enforce my boundaries without guilt is the best way to take care of myself, and it is long overdue.

Aaaaand, back to the main road.  (See, it’s all connected.)

The thing is, when I look at my work situation, it is the same thing in a different package.  I get caught up in the validation I get from working at a job that is not what I really want to be doing.  (Yes, I do get validation from work, and do not from the relationship in question.  But bear with me here.  The end result is the same.)  In doing so, I lose sight of what matters to me.  I have tried before to just go to work, and not engage – not commit myself.  But I find it very difficult.  I’m kind of an all in or all out person.  And we spend a significant portion of our lives working…I don’t want to be working at something that I don’t actually want to commit to.  That just seems ass-backwards to me.  And it is so not in line with the life I want to create – in which I feel an overwhelming passion, gratitude, and joy for ALL the parts of my life.  But that life is going to take some big changes to create.  Big, scary changes.  Big, scary, leaping off the bridge and trusting in the intangible kind of changes.  But there is no question, it’s time to realign.  (Jonathan Mead has a great take on realignment and motivation vs. inspiration, which all relates to my the point I’m making here.)

Where it gets tricky is finances.  And I’m sure this is the big hurdle for everyone in a similar position.  It is terrifying to consider giving up a job where I finally make pretty decent money, actually, for my qualifications on paper.  (I am qualified in a multitude of ways, for a multitude of things.  Unfortunately – or maybe ultimately fortunately – they don’t really transfer to paper.  I have lots of almost-but-not-quite-completed schooling, and a shit-load of soft skills to go with.)  It is terrifying to jump off that bridge, three kids in tow, with no safety net.  But if I dissect it a little more, is it really?  I haven’t been able to work at that job for 4 months now, because of my health.  Truth be told, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do so again – my body is just not cooperating.  And, unfortunately, living with chronic pain is not something that is quantifiable to those who don’t deal with it, and inspires disbelief in some.  But here’s the thing: they’ve denied my disability claim anyway, so there’s not really any financial goings on, regardless.  There is only the sort of phantom promise of a job to eventually return to, and the ever-important benefits in the meantime.  I am currently very dependent on the government for medical disability.  Yes I want that to change.  However, I have to be able to function before that will actually happen.  SO…what, exactly, is this “security” that I am considering walking away from?  Not much.  Just kind of a mental security – not really one that manifests physically.

I also feel like being on hold with this company keeps me from living fully in my truth.  And that, under no circumstances, is healthy.  I’m constantly afraid of doing or saying something that could be misinterpreted by somebody (on Facebook or Twitter, say), that would lead them to the assumption that I’m just taking them for a ride.  I’m sure it has lots to do with feeling like I have to justify stuff because many people don’t understand chronic pain well, or simply disbelieve it.  It is a very bizarre thing to feel like I constantly have to prove that I’m really as sick/incapacitated as I say I am.  I can’t imagine that it sets the stage for healing, because my mindset is always focused on proving the negative.  Believe me, I see how twisted and unhealthy it is.  And I think the first step to changing it is to divest myself of the situations in my life that keep me in that framework.  Work is one.  Personal relationships that are not supportive are another.  I have to set myself up for achieving success, which specifically means not feeling like I have to prove my failures.

So what if I take the leap?  What if I jump off that “security bridge” and make my own qualifications for bliss?  What if I create work for myself that I can manage around the particulars of my body?  What if I trust that I’m finding my truth and own my shimmering path, and that the pieces will fall into place, including the income I need?  Nobody ever got rich working on somebody else’s terms…or something like that, right?  I don’t even need “rich.”  I need “enough.”  Karol Gajda talks about finding your sweet spot – that place where you have enough for what you need, and the immense freedom that comes from accessing that place.  No massive mansions in the hills, no Porsches required, not for me.  I need a comfortable house, a reliable car for me and my family, the ability to pay my bills with ease, some savings, and the income to do what we want, when we want to.  It doesn’t need to be exorbitant.  It needs to be enough.  But that requires some hard internal questioning.  What exactly is enough?  What exactly is necessary in your life, and what is excess?  You can’t ever have enough if you haven’t identified exactly what enough is in your life.  As in, to the dollar.  Only then can we start mapping out how we will actually get to that illusive sweet spot: enough.

And so that is the process for today.  What is enough?  And how will I get there?  Because it is not going to be working at 5am every day.  That doesn’t work for me and my family.  I need to be home to get my girls off to school in the morning, and here to be with them for all their after school stuff.  Every single day?  No.  But almost every day?  Yes.  That’s what’s important to me.  That’s what’s important to them.  As in, big capital letters kind of IMPORTANT.  That’s what fosters the relationship I treasure with my kids.  And it is time I started creating a life around what is important to us, instead of cobbling together a make-do of what’s important based on the life we have.  The whole “take it where I can get it” mentality.  Nope.  I’ll take it where I can make it, thanks.

Afterthought: I was going through some of my original songs this afternoon, and I came across one that I’d totally forgotten about.  I wrote it about three years ago.  Imagine that…it is exactly what I’m talking about here.  Clearly this is an ongoing process, coming into one’s self.  I thought I’d share the lyrics with you.

There’s a little piece of gold

In the silence that I hold

It’s the still small voice inside

Crying out to me to come alive

And I feel jaded

I feel wasted

I feel broken inside

But it’s the last moment

The last solace

‘Cuz I’m pushing through the tunnel for the light

Every moment holds a choice

To ante up or quiet my own voice

And in the choice there lies a gift

It’s the sacred space where we choose to persist

And I feel jaded

I feel naked

I feel broken inside

But it’s the last moment

The last solace

As I’m pushing through the tunnel for the light

(Breathe in, breathe out

Breathe in, breathe out

Breathe in, breathe out

Breathe in, breathe out)

I am holy

I am divine

And everything I could ever want

It’s already mine

There’s opportunity in loss

An elemental truth underneath that rock

And I feel jaded

I feel naked

I feel broken inside

But it’s the last moment

The last solace

‘Cuz I’m pushing through

And I feel jaded (I am holy)

I feel naked

I feel broken inside (I am divine)

But it’s the last moment

The last solace (I am holy)

‘Cuz I’m pushing through the tunnel for the light

PS – I’m gonna keep delving into the messy stuff, but in a fun way, wherever possible.  I love hearing your comments.  And I’d love it if you wanted to share something from here that you found worth sharing.  There are lots of pretty buttons for that.  After all, the more of us there are, the more united a voice we can create.  Peace and love.  XO

Stripped Bare – Terror or Redemption?

The thing we fear the most can set us free, if we let it. True? False? Let’s discuss.

My greatest fears surround the safety of the people I love.  My second greatest fears are all tied up in money. Not like the neat string around a butcher’s package either.  Tangled like the drawer full of 312 old TV and computer cables, maybe even some from your stereo (replete with turntable) from 1978 which you’ll probably never use again, but you’re not even sure what they’re for anymore, so you’d better hang onto them in case Dad or Boyfriend is trying to help you out with some electrical mojo one day and asks for that cord, and they’re all balled up in that drawer together, inextricably linked for life (which makes good for the argument that you couldn’t throw any away because that would require hours of untangling that, frankly, you just don’t have to devote to something so inconsequential.) Whew. THAT kind of tied up and tangled.

Why, for me, is money so devastatingly fraught with fear and…um…fear? I wish I knew. I grew up in a middle class household. Mum was pretty good with managing money. Dad was pretty good at making money. You’d think things would work just fine. Dad was also good at spending money on the toys he wanted in the here and now. Mum was not a fan of the conflict that arose when she managed the money, so she handed that task over to dad. Dad worked in a business that paid big chunks at semi-random intervals, as well as a base-level income on a regular basis. But those big chunks often heralded a shopping spree…not like, “Ooh, I bought a couple of new pairs of shoes!” kind of shopping spree.  More like, “Check out my new Mercedes!” kind of shopping spree.  We had plenty of nice stuff in the here and now.

I also remember some hard times. His business was hit hard by the recession in the late 80’s. There were other hits they took over the years, but that was the biggest one I remember. All of a sudden there was talk of selling the boat or this or that car, or maybe even the house. There were no vacations for a while. All of these things impacted the niceties in life, but never in my childhood do I ever remember being worried that there wouldn’t be a roof over my head or food on the table. My older sister remembers lots of PB&J dinners before I was born, but it never got quite that scary again. That being said, there was never any sense of ongoing security. When everyone at Dad’s company took a pay cut to keep the company afloat, there was not a lot in the way of savings in the bank, put away for just such an emergency. And when Dad retired, he was pretty darn grateful for the RRSP’s that his union had automatically invested his money into, because he hadn’t made many alternate plans. But STILL nothing points to a reasonable fear of being out on the street with nothing to eat and nowhere to live.

You would think, however, growing up and seeing the positives and negatives in the ways that my parents dealt with money (quite consciously and as objectively as one can from smack dab in the middle of it all) that I would formulate a better working model for myself. You’d think. If you have read other posts of mine, you may have been lightly introduced to the concept of what I should do and what I do do are often rather at odds with one another. This would be one of those times. I have grown up to be less than fabulous with money. Restraint is something I dream of, but have never really tasted for myself. Money management requires restraint. Hence: me, 3 kids, 37 27 years old, with no savings, still living paycheque to paycheque. Still getting my gas or TV cut off from time to time. Some of that is because I don’t make enough money. Some of that is because I’m not diligent enough about staying present, focused and engaged in the financial side of my life. And a little teensy-weensy (OK, maybe not always so teensy-weensy) part of it is because I am a complete, self-diagnosed, unadulterated, unabashed shoe whore. But I digress.

So for the past 7 years, I have been in a complicated financial arrangement with my parents: my house. Complicated because initial intentions were never put down on paper. Complicated because the time-frame of the arrangement extended far beyond the initial intent. Complicated because through divorce, retirement, injury, bankruptcy, economic downturns, hell and high water, no one’s current financial picture is what was anticipated 7 years ago, and the tax man cometh. The long and the short of it is that I cannot afford to live here any longer.

But my kids were babies here. I was married when I moved into this house. I watched my parents split up, my mum move in, my dad sail around the world, my mum move out, my mum date her high-school boyfriend, my dad try internet dating, and my parents get back together, all from this house. I’ve gone through debilitating depression in this house and made it through the other side…so far anyway. I’ve watched my brother work his ass off to become a household name with a certain demographic, and finally watch his records go gold and platinum. I’ve watched my sister fight tooth and nail to support her kids while delicately extricating them from a damaging relationship with their father. I moved from this house with one husband and three children aged three and under, all the way to England, returning 6 months later with three children, less the fourth child husband. I started smoking again in this house, and quit 6 years later. I spent a year stoned out of my fucking mind in this house. I spent a lot of years being not present enough with my children in this house, and those are years I will never get back. Which has brought me to this place: it’s time to simplify.

The thought of moving out of this house is staggering. I amass a fuck of a lot of shit. Those who know me will stand up and testify. I may feature heavily in a future episode of A&E’s Hoarders. But it’s not just that the work involved is staggering. It is terrifying to me to contemplate losing the security of the first family “home” I have created as an adult, without having anything as or more secure to move on to. I don’t know what will happen after this. I may have to go back to renting for a while. I may have to go back to renting for a long while. (At least until my Sugar Daddy shows up. Him or Prince Charming. Whoever gets here first. Ready, set…aaaand go!) The reality is, it is entirely possible I won’t ever be able to get back into the market again. And I have to swallow that one whole.

So I’m thinking…I have lost everything at one time or another over the last few years. I lost my financial sense of self, and a whole lot of pride when I had to file for bankruptcy. I lost my sense of family, security, and to a degree, hope when my parents split up, shortly followed by the implosion of my own marriage. I lost my physical capability when I injured myself. I lost my sense of self when I lost my ability to work. I very nearly lost all my marbles (and I say that only minimally in jest) thereafter, when I plunged into a debilitating and suicidal depression, which turned into a diagnosis of bipolar II eventually. I lost contact with most of my friends…and much of reality…when I spent a year on prescription narcotic painkillers. Through all of these things I have lost bits of my kids’ childhoods, through my own inability to stay present. My house – overloaded with unattainable responsibility and unspoken expectations though it has been – has been the one constant throughout all of these disappointments. It has been the one sense of security as I have watched everything else in my life shatter around me, little bits at a time.

It is the one thing that I have had a deathgrip on, clawing at its porous bones, terrified that if I let go, I would be letting go of the last vestige of my personal sense of safety and security. But the time has come. I have made the decision. I have told my kids. I have posted it on Facebook, for Christ’s sake. (NOW it’s final, if it’s on FB!) I have chosen to be stripped bare.


Bare could be taken to mean Empty. Devoid. Without. Or it could mean Blank. Awaiting. Ready. It’s the old glass half empty, or glass half full. I am choosing – and yes, I do believe this is my choice – to make this a new beginning. This is Bare. Blank. Ready to be Rebuilt. Reborn. Renewed. Redefined. Reawakened. So is it terrifying? Absolutely and unequivocally. Is it redemption? I choose to believe so. Redemption in the form of a new start, unhindered, without strings, without the weight of all that has gone wrong before. It is redemption in the form of the opportunity to simplify and come together as a family with my children – rediscover and redefine who we are and what is important to us. It is redemption in the form of flying free of outdated responsibilities, energetic roles, expectations, and fears. That which you fear the most can set you free, if you let it.

I choose to let go and let God.



I have struggled with my weight for as long as  can remember.  I am a compulsive eater, and emotional eater, a secret eater.  And I often hate my body. I know how to use my body and all it’s curves with men, and I guess that’s when I sometimes like my body.  But I mostly hate it.  A lot.

And here’s the rub: when I like my body, when I cherish the way it has protected me, when I can love the dimples on my thighs and the spare tire on my middle…it is then, and only then, that the excess starts to melt away and uncover the other body underneath.  It is a body that doesn’t need to protect me.  It is a strong body.  When I know I like that body so much better, how do I get to the place of loving and cherishing the body I have now, which is what I have to do to get to that stronger body?  Vicious, vicious cycle.

Because at the moment, I’m so sick of this body, with all it’s ailments and jiggles, that I can’t even begin to contemplate getting to a place of love.  Instead, I keep finding myself considering diets.  I believe I have said before, D-I-E-T in my house is a dirty word.  The dirtiest, in fact.  I strive with my kids to get them in touch with their bodies, listening to when they’ve had enough, and stopping at that point – even if there’s food left on their plates.  And my goodness, that is a different situation from my own childhood.  “Finish what’s on your plate.”  That was a common directive around our house when I was growing up.  I can actually remember being made to sit at the dinner table when I was about seven years old, long after everyone else was up and gone, until I cleaned my plate.  We were having steak.  My dad was watching the hockey game on TV in the family room.  I chewed a bite of steak until it was dry and grainy in my mouth, and I almost threw up trying to swallow it.  Ahh, the memories of childhood…

I watch my eldest daughter struggle with the concept of Enough.  I watch her continue eating even when I know she’s full.  And I try really hard to work with her on listening to her body and identifying when she’s had Enough.  But the rules are different at mom’s house and dad’s house, and where she is encouraged to listen to her body tell her Enough at my house, she is told to finish what’s on her plate at her dad’s house.  So I see her struggle and it kills me to watch the ghosted echoes of my own beginnings of a life-long battle.  (And she is my eldest of three.  Who knows if the other two will also fall victim to any of these same pitfalls.)  While I’m encouraging her to find her own body’s Enough, I feel somewhat hypocritical, because I am once again at a point where it’s hard for me to identify my own Enough.

So here I am, struggling to find my Enough, and on most days anyway, hating the dimples and jiggles that I have to show for my lack of ability to hear Enough from myself.  Hating my body.  That’s pretty harsh.  But true.  I hate the way that I can’t wear shorts or short skirts anymore, because the flesh above my knees is far too reminiscent of cottage cheese.  I hate the way that I have developed a new roll of back fat that has never been there before.  My arms horrify me, but I get too fucking hot all the time, and so I wear tank tops to try and minimize the peri-menopausal outbreaks, but horrifying arms + tanks tops do not a happy mama make.  I hate the way that my stomach…no, scratch that, mostly I just hate my stomach.  Wait…yep, I really do.

And I remember, more or less, being in this kind of a place before.  I remember – through years of therapy, books, and soul-searching – getting to a place where suddenly one night, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of love for my body, and all that it had protected me from.  It was a very odd experience, and not one that I would have anticipated in the least.  But there I was, sitting on my bed…okay, this might start to sound a little weird and fetishy, but I promise you, it is nothing of the sort…and I remember looking down at my thighs, lovingly caressing them, and being filled with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.  I was suddenly hit with this overpowering wave of understanding.  Understanding that my body had been trying to protect me from all of these emotions that I was incapable of dealing with any other way.  Understanding that I had grown up way too fast, and the knowledge and responsibility that came with that was something that I was trying to hide from, and my body provided me with a physical mass that separated me from the rest of everything.  And I was so grateful to my body for trying to take care of me and love me when the people who should have been doing so weren’t capable of the things I needed them to provide, and I wasn’t able to give it to myself.  So my body took over.  My body distanced me from everyone and everything else in order to protect me.  Physically.  And unequivocally.  Shortly after that experience, I sat down with my guitar and a song came out of it.  Strange as it may sound, it’s kind of a love song from me to my body.  (I will update this with an actual song file when I have it recorded in any kind of presentable form, without computer noises all over the place, as the current demo is .)

Thank you for protecting me when the world fell apart
Thank you for connecting me to the fear in my heart
For sheltering a lonely soul who had nowhere safe to go

Thank you for keeping promises better left unsaid
Thank you for the trust I felt, twisted but nonetheless
You kept me safe and when I hated you, took care of me the best way you knew how

Now I release you
Now I embrace you
Oh I love you
And so I free you
Your guardianship of my fragile emotions is through

Thank you for the walls you built that kept it all at bay
Thank you for the padded cell that kept them all away
Fueling the fire, yearning and burning within

Now I release you
Now I embrace you
Oh I love you
Yes I adore you
Your guardianship of my fragile emotions is through

The harder I tried, the further we’d collide
A slow angry burn at their failure to provide

Thank you for speaking up for me when I couldn’t find the words
Thank you for your loving curves and the beauty I have learned
The journey has been much bigger than ever I imagined

Now I release you
Now I embrace you
Oh I love you
And I forgive you
Your guardianship of my fragile emotions is through

Wow.  Reading those lyrics over now makes me kinda teary.  Those are Big Emotions wrapped up in those little lyrics.  So now my journey is trying to navigate myself back to that place where I can feel gratitude for the protection of a body that at this moment, truthfully, I feel like has failed me.  Between my physical crap thanks to my back injury, and my weight blechshma (I have decided that is a new word, thank you), I am really not a big fan of my body these days.  Will it be enough to listen to that song and stand in front of a mirror deciding to love myself, everyday for a year?  Will the gratitude game I play with my kids at dinner, “Name one body part you’re grateful for and why?” be enough to shift the love/hate balance?  I want so badly to love my body again.  And I don’t mean the, “Oh look at me with my Baywatch body” kind of love.  (Because even though there is, unfortunately, a small…maybe mediumish…part of me that would like to love my Baywatch body, I don’t think it’s really in the cards for this ol’ body and I, this time around.)  I’ll happily settle for the, “I am so grateful to have a body that loves me so much that it hurt itself trying to protect me,” and the “I love this body that has tried to take care of me better than any friend, and parent, or lover ever has.”

Maybe this is a small step in the right direction.  All honesty, all the time…honest.  Coming out of the closet, with the ice cream in hand, is a big step for a compulsive, emotional, secret eater like me.  So laying it all out here is a pretty public airing of my personal dirty laundry.  Super uncomfortable.  But I’m pretty sure, also an integral part of the process.  So between honesty and (publicly-declared) intention, I’m hoping this will help move me in a gentler, more gracious direction.  And if that direction happens to be 50-75 pounds lighter, so be it…but I guess that has to stop being the goal.  The goal needs to start being learning to love myself again, and appreciate the conscious and unconscious ways we take care of ourselves.  To forgive myself, first and foremost.  And appreciating all the varied ways that we can take care of ourselves.  Ways that don’t all begin with Ben and end with Jerry’s.


Honour thyself

Honour thy Father and thy Mother.  That’s how the biblical 5th Commandment goes, if grade-school memory serves.  But what about honouring thyself?  In all the do’s and dont’s we learned as children, rarely is the issue of honouring one’s self raised.

What a horrible, glaring hole in the process of growth and self-realization we all go through on our way to adulthood.

How many of us grow up trying to conform to social ideals that, if we stop and do some soul searching, don’t actually mean anything to us personally?  How many women (men too, but it seems so much more prevalent in women) grow to be good codependent people, taking care of everyone else and constantly putting ourselves last on our own lists?  Not only that, but actually denying ourselves our own needs and trading them for the fulfillment of the needs of others?  Learning distrust – of those around us, but even more damaging…of ourselves.  And when we can’t trust ourselves, we rely on the opinions of others to tell us what we should be, or think, or do.  And then we start conforming to social ideals that, if we were able to stop and trust ourselves, we would see so clearly, don’t fit us personally in any way, shape or form.

Oh, it’s a vicious cycle.  The veritable hamster wheel of self-love/hate.

For so many of us, it is clearly manifested in body acceptance issues.  We know that in North America, obesity has reached epidemic proportions.  And we are not alone.  The UK is pretty close on our heels.  And the list goes on.  Is it the sudden explosion over the last 50 years in fast food?  Is it the freezer aisle and cookie shelves at the local supermarket that are to blame?  They certainly do feed the problem (pun totally intended, by the way).  But do they cause the problem?

Or does the causation lie in the fact that we don’t trust ourselves, and so we allow People magazine and Us Weekly et. al to show us what we should be?  I know, blaming the media is getting to be an old line of defense.  And here’s the thing.  I don’t really think it’s the media’s fault, any more than it’s the fault of McDonald’s or Burger King.  I think they’re unfortunate contributors, but I don’t think they’re at fault.

I think that the culpatory issue is our learned distrust of ourselves, and by extension, our bodies.

Because, make no mistake, we are not our bodies.  I will say it again: WE ARE NOT OUR BODIES.  Our bodies are merely the “house” we’ve chosen, on some level, at some point in the process, to live in this time around.  (And if you don’t share my belief that it really is this time around” and we’ll be having another kick at the ol’ can in a few years or so, just skim that sentiment, focus on the idea of our body merely being a house, and move on.)  Now, everyone treats their house differently.  Some people take loving care of their house, decorating with joy, sweeping and dusting with abandon (well, abandon might be overdoing it…does anyone really dust with abandon, I ask you?), powerwashing the driveway, and re-roofing (albeit grudgingly) every 20 years or so.  Other people may have a little more trouble keeping their house in presentable fashion, perhaps “allowing” their collections to transform into hoarding, thereby distancing themselves from those around them.  (A&E has recently brought this issue into view for the masses with their show Hoarders.)

Fundamentally it all comes down to the same thing.  Trust.  Wait, did you hear me?  TRUST.  Self-trust.  Trusting those with whom you surround yourself.  And deciding who you would like in your life, to whom you want to give the gift of trust, requires TRUSTING YOURSELF.  Trust, trust, trust.  It all comes down to trust.

The equation goes something like this:

1. Look at your house / Feel in your body
2. Asses what needs to be done / Feel your level of physical and emotional hungers
3. Trust yourself, your instincts, and your hungers.
4. Do your house work or repairs / Feed yourself with what your body is asking for.

Now, to clarify, feeding yourself with what your body is asking for is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance.  It takes some pretty big commitment balls on your part.  Because it is anything but easy.  Sure, at first it’s a piece of cake.  Literally.  Or maybe it’s ice cream – for me it’s been a LOT of ice cream.  At first it’ll be all the things you try and deny yourself all the time.  And that’s OK.  It’s really, really OK.  But here comes the trust part…

1. You have to listen to your body, and trust it when it says it’s had enough.  And enough might be a new concept – and that’s OK.  It won’t happen on the first try.  It might not happen on the 10th or 20th try.  But if you start listening to your body, you’ll eventually start to know when you’ve had enough.  And when that happens – usually for me it’s mid-bite – you have to trust yourself enough to stop.  You have to trust that whatever you’re eating will be available to you when you want more.  If you can truly trust in that, you won’t have to eat it all right now.  Why make yourself feel sick and uncomfortable eating tons of something after you feel full, that you can have again when you are actually hungry for it?  When that feeling hits, that “I’ve had enough for now” feeling, the fork goes down, the plate gets pushed away, the refrigerator door gets closed, or the last bite in your hand gets tossed in the trash.  Enough.  Enough for now.

I have to say it was truly astonishing to me when I started to recognize this feeling.  It was even more astounding when I started to act on it.  When I went through my injury, years of medication that made me kinda check out, and weight gain, I stopped acting on, then recognizing that point of Enough.  It’s hard to do when you’re totally checked out.  It requires being present.  That’s a really, really important element.  Presence.  It’s hard to recognize that point of Enough when you’re driving in your car, hell bent for election to nowhere, hiding from the world, scarfing down three burgers in a row, desperate that no one see you while in the act.  At that point you’re not even really tasting your food.  You’re certainly not present with your body.  You have to slow yourself down enough to be really present with what you’re eating.  (And you have to trust yourself enough to be willing to eat whatever you’re going to eat, in front of God and everyone.  But more on that later.)  Taste your food.  What do you like about this taste or texture?  How does it feel in your mouth, your stomach, your body?  Be.  Present.

2. You have to trust that eventually you’ll stop having a Blizzard 6 meals a day.  You might decide to throw a pizza in there for good measure one day.  Then at a friend’s BBQ, you might decide that a piece of BBQ’d chicken and corn on the cob would really hit the spot.  The point is, eventually you will have had Enough of Blizzards, or cake, or Skittles, or whatever it may be for you.  And your body will tell you – as long as you’re listening – that it would like some other, healthier things too.  All of this is a precursor for the biggest leap of faith (BIG, BIG TRUST REQUIRED HERE!)…to start with, you will probably gain weight.  Right then and there, lots of people may run screaming from their computers.  I know – it’s terrifying for those of us who are, once again, 10 or 50 or 100 or 300 lbs over our natural body weight.  But it’s part of the process of learning to trust your body.  Eventually, when your body learns to trust you (how’s that for a switcheroo?), learns to trust that you will give it what it’s asking for, it will start asking for things that nurture it: proteins, vegetables, grains…the good stuff.  It may well still ask for ice cream and chocolate, but you will also be really good at knowing when you’ve had Enough, and magically, things will all fall into proportion.  And that’s when you’ll start heading towards your natural body weight.  Keep up the trust (why wouldn’t you, really?) and you will reach and maintain your natural body weight.

I was there a couple of years ago, pre-injury.  I got there without trying – which is to say, I got there without so much as a single brainwave devoted to “dieting.”  I was doing a whole lot of work on my trust issues, and working my ass off on Enough.  And I got there, kind of without noticing.  Except one day everybody at work started commenting on how much weight I’d lost, and how did I do it, and I’d better order new uniform pants because it looked like I was wearing a soggy diaper in those ones.  And I felt great.  Not because I’d lost weight (OK, sort of because I’d lost weight), not because I’d had the willpower to stick to the newest diet fad (stupid, stupid, stupid….was that too harsh?), and not because my pants looked like a toddler’s (yeah, really not because of that one.)  I felt great because I trusted myself, and I listened to my body, and I recognized and acted on Enough.  That was years in the making.

And now I’m struggling, fighting the good fight, to do all those things all over again.  And it’s one step at a time, one foot in front of the other.  Or should I say one food in front of the other?  But I’m so committed to trusting myself again, honouring myself again…I’ve had a taste of what it feels like to sit comfortably in that place in my body, in my soul, I want it so badly I can taste it.  (What is it with the bad puns?  Seriously?)  So I’m doing the work, day in and day out.  I’m in the phase where I’m probably going to gain weight.  Thankfully, on the advice from my stellar therapist, years ago I threw my scale away.  So all I have to gauge it is the way my clothes fit.  And that’s gauge enough for me.  This is the hard phase.  This is when it’s MOST difficult to trust in myself and my body.  But bloody hell am I going to try.  Try to honour myself, because that’s what God, Goddess, or whatever you may call that higher power, intended for me.  Hell, that’s what I intended for me.  I want to honour myself.  And that one starts with trust.

So here goes…..

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