When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. Emo Philips
It appears that I am caught in some sort of karmic justice boomerang. I keep running into people from my past that I thought were long gone. I find, even after all this time, literally years, I still have trouble letting go of “stuff”. Believe me I try, but it isn’t easy. The Buddhist in me says that I must forgive and let go in order to move forward, but it is so hard when all these mix of emotions come welling up inside. You put on a good face and just try to pretend like everything is ok, when deep down inside you know it’s not. You’re standing there smiling at this person that hurt you, you are saying “Hi” and all the general small talk, and you know that you are simply putting on a false front, you are bald face lying when your smiling! I don’t know whether I hate myself more for being fake and pretending a false forgiveness that I don’t honestly feel or whether I hate myself more so for my inability to let go and go on. I am trying to grow as a Buddhist and I find that at times like this my faith and belief is really put to the test. Maybe this is karma’s way of giving them a chance to say “I am sorry”. I don’t know. I do know that two simple words go a long way toward mending the bridge of past hurts and ill will. With that I leave you with one of my all time favorite heartbreak songs…..
To see the forest for the trees (idiomatic) To discern an overall pattern from a mass of detail; to see the big picture, or the broader, more general situation. As demonstrated by the example sentence above, it is used in negative constructions, often starting with can’t or couldn’t.
There is nothing so disappointing as realizing that someone in your life has given up, given up on themselves and everyone around them. What’s even worse is when they give up before you even really get started. It’s hard to sit idly by and watch someone you care about spew negativity out of their mouth. They spew infectious negative thoughts that affect everyone around them. I have absolutely no tolerance for people that give up so easily, people that embrace their negativity and spew it out like an infectious disease to everyone around them. What is it they say? “Misery loves company.” I for one refuse to be a part of that type of hyperbolic miasma. My thought is go away and stay away until you hear a big “POP”. That would be the sound of your head coming out of your ass.
With that I give you The Rolling Stones….
I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. Winston Churchill
How you treat others and speak to them is a direct reflection of yourself. If you look down on others and treat them with disdain what is this saying about you as a person? On the other side of the coin, if you treat each and every person with courtesy and respect what does that say? Recently I have had the experience of running into both ends of the spectrum. I have had one person that was so rude and short with me that I will never speak with that person ever again. This person treated me as if I was no better than a little bug under their shoe. On the other hand I have met some very sweet people that have been warm and inviting and in the end formed some new friendships. In the middle of the spectrum I have a friend who is incredibly self-involved and only seems to be focusing on their own current negative situation. They are so busy having a pity party that they are completely oblivious to the people around them and the difficulties of their friend’s situations. If you are hurting, this person is hurting 10 x’s worse. You know this person. Rather than focusing their energy on fixing the situation they blow their horn vociferously to anyone who will listen about their terrible situation and how no one is helping them. Part of the problem with this, beyond the obvious, is when a person does this their friends will draw away from them like pulling back from a hot stove. Truly, it is ok to tell people your situation, but always try to have a positive outlook and a plan on how you can fix it. No one is going to fix it for you. If you sit and cry to people all day, everyday, about your situation you are 1. wasting energy that could serve a better purpose and 2. Pushing people away from you as surely as if you were a hot, flaming coal of self-pity. No matter how bad your situation is it serves you better as a person to always keep in mind that your situation could be worse and you are not the only one hurting in this world. We all need to vent and let our friends and family know what’s going on with us, but it’s ultimately important to take the high road and if one avenue doesn’t work, explore other avenues. Eventually you will find the road that works, and never give up. No matter what, keep in mind that the things you spew out of your mouth can end up coming back to bite you and push people away. With that I leave you with the Beatles, have a peaceful day
Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it. Hans Selye
As with all things in life there is stress. For the most part I am taking the stress with music, the band, the clients and people who come to see us play in stride. I admit that it does get a little overwhelming at times. Ok, I lied, it can be hellya overwhelming and really stressful, but I’m trying hard not to let it get me down. The stress in and of themselves are minor, but they culminate as a whole and at times push me into wanting to lock myself in my room, shut people out and just gel for about 2 days. Unfortunately I can’t. We have these intense financial worries and until I start work on Monday and see some checks start to roll in I am going to have that on my head. Our mortgage is due and we aren’t anywhere near having the money to pay it, we spent our last bit of money on gas to get to the gig last night. No one made any more than the gas money we had already paid in last night so Mike and I have got to go get a loan to get through the rest of the week. We really want to help Giuseppe out but he has to respect the fact that we need to be getting paid to play, a real paycheck, not relying on the kindness of people’s tips to pay our wages. After Halloween things are going to change because we have to be getting paid, unfortunately we don’t have the energy or financial resources to keep playing for free. I will find someone to take over for us as soon as I can so that Giuseppe can try to keep his business going but I have to move this band forward. We will keep it up as long as we can, but we have had offers from 2 different venues and I have to take them for our sake because the band members have made it clear that playing for free is ok for now, but not much longer, and if I don’t move us forward I am running the risk of the band falling apart before we even have a chance to get started. I am not going to sacrifice this band for anything, we have all worked too damn hard to see it go up in smoke because we couldn’t make a decent nights wages for playing our hearts out. Don’t take this wrong, I am not really bitching here, I am just stating the facts as they are and trying to express a little of the stress I am feeling so that I can get it out of my system and push us forward. With that I leave you with John Mayer, one of my favorite guitar players/vocalists
For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think we are all guilty of it. At some point or another we have gotten on our FaceBook, or our blog, I know that I have, and just spewed out all the anger or rage or disgust we are feeling at someone or thing we have felt treated us unjustly. I have done it in moments of rage, hurt and anger. Did it solve anything, absolutely not. Did it make things any better, well, I might have felt better for like 2.5 seconds. At the end of the day I came to realize that spewing that kind of anger may or may not reach my intended target. What I did realize is that the many friends and family and people I didn’t even know saw that anger and rage just as surely as if I was standing on the busiest intersection in the world butt naked. Do I want people seeing this anger and hot rage. No! Sure, I may be angry, but spewing out a diatribe of profanity and rage serves no purpose other than to alienate people you know and people you don’t even know yet. It completely turns people off. My advice to anyone feeling this kind of rage and anger at someone is to confront the person that hurt you face to face, not FaceBook to FaceBook. Take it from someone who knows, it will only come back to hurt you in some unexpected way just as surely as a boomerang comes back to the hand that threw it. Be peaceful my friends, if you’re angry don’t keep it bottled up, confront the source, don’t spew it out there for the world to see. Once it’s out there you can’t take it back, nor can you take back the indelible impression you will leave with all those people that you probably didn’t even know were seeing it. Just my Buddhist thought for the day and on that note I will leave you with No Doubt….
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius
Ok let’s just get this out of the way right now. I fell off the wagon. Don’t ask me to explain how or why it happened, because I honestly don’t know. Am I blaming some one or some thing, hell no! I did this all alone. However, the cool thing is I have my program and all my friends rallied around me to brush off the dust and apply ointment to the skid marks. I am still loved. It’s great to be an alcoholic because I have a village of Indians that stopped to see what fell off the wagon and rallied together to see what they could do with it….Yes, I can laugh because I may have fallen but I am not down for the count. I am loved and for today I am happy and sober.
Yeah, I know I drink a lot, I know I do because I’m a writer and that’s what I do, I drink. I’m not like those people out there, I can control myself! I can, if – that – if I wanted to, I could, if I wanted. I can! I can!~Gwen Cummings, “28 Days“
I had almost, not quite, but almost forgotten that it was my 60 days. 2 months, sobriety birthday yresterday. I almost forgot because I have been too busy being sober. I know that may sound crazy, but it’s really not. What is crazy is the amount of years, months, days, minutes and seconds I wasted of my life drinking into a dark hole. I can’t believe how busy my life has become since I put the bottle away for good. My music has taken a precedence in my life, I’m accomplishing more than I ever could have believed was possible. One night of my life a week is dedicated to “sober” night. It’s an open jam that I host on Tuesday nights at a coffee house and we get a huge turn out from my friends in AA and it gets bigger and better every week. We are getting more bookings than ever and now, by the grace of my sobriety we are booked to play at “John Doe’s” for a two hour acoustic gig in mid September. After that we have the Indian Creek Festival. I also have the distinct honor of representing my family and our Welsh heritage at the Scottish festival, where all the Celtic nations are represented. My grandparents would be so incredibly proud. I owe all of this to my persistence in remaining sober, the love and support of my beautiful husband and my wonderful family. Thank goodness I am a stubborn person. The very quality that makes me an obstinate person is also the same quality that saved my life. For that I am grateful!
If what you say is based on what people want to hear, rather than what you intend to actually do, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in the difficult position of having to break your word.
Why do people tell others that they are going to do something and then not do it? And then….then they wait until the last moment to tell them that they are backing out. This is something I will never understand. If I have a gig to do and I know that I can’t do it I let people know at least a week in advance or at the soonest possible moment, it doesn’t matter whether the gig is paying or not, the importance lies in the fact that I have people relying on me and if I chose not to be there and don’t let them know until the last possible moment it puts them in a bind to find someone to replace me. It’s not fair to the people relying on me to be there and do my part because every person is a link in the chain of whether something is going to work or not and when I let them down I am breaking the chain of whether a gig is going to be successful or not. With music there aren’t 100 other singers that can just step in and take my place, or bass players, or guitar player, etc…You get the picture. If you can’t do something then don’t say you will…It’s that damn simple, there are no feeble excuses as to why you suddenly changed your mind after making a commitment. Here’s the thing, if you do things like this chances are the people that were relying on you in the first place are going to lose all trust in you and there probably won’t be an offer for a “next” time. You just blew any potential there might have been of something good. Say what you mean and mean what you say!
If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere. Marilyn Monroe
I have been religiously going for my bike rides everyday, 7.5 miles. I ride 7 days on and take one day off. Yesterday I had to miss my ride because I went with my mother to the doctor. Well, to my disappointed surprise, my bike trail was blocked this morning at both ends. The trail I take constitutes about 2/3′s of my ride. It used to be that I would not allow a “path closed” sign to deter me from anything. I pretty much did whatever I wanted without regards to the consequences. Ah, but for sobriety I would probably still be riding that dangerous path. “So, what did you do?” I’m glad you asked. I went a different route. I doubled up on the other part of my green belt ride, the part that was, of course, not blocked. I got finished early because it is not as long a route as the other way, but for a day or two that is ok. However, since achieving sobriety I rely on a set schedule and I don’t like disruptions. It throws me. My day is filled from the moment I rise until the moment my head hits the pillow. It’s all good though, the path will open again shortly and things will go back to norm, for now I will adjust.
There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. ~Hodding Carter, Jr.
My daughter has informed me that she’s leaving to Alaska on Saturday. She’s leaving and spreading her wings. I tried to explain to her that she’s leaving what feels like a cage here to a cage there. She’s running scared because she’s pregnant. I tried to tell her that changing scenery is not going to alter circumstance. Of course she won’t listen to me, I’m only her mother. She’s running away from me and herself to grandparents that she doesn’t know and they don’t know her. They are the ones that sent her the plane tickets, not just for her but for her boyfriend that is leading her around by the nose. Don’t even get me started on the boy’s mother. She’s just happy that a girl, my foolish daughter, is getting her lazy, good-for-nothing son out of her hair. Why did it have to be my daughter that finally got this lazy boy off his lazy ass and out of his mother’s home? My daughter sent me a message on Facebook that she wanted to see me before she left and I told her “no”. I will not apologize for refusing to see my daughter off to a foolish expedition without a plan or any foresight. I know me too well, anything I say to her is surely going to sound like judgment and it will come across harsh. So, I chose not to see her. I choose not to see her because as surely as the Earth rotates on it’s axis I know that if I try to speak to or look at my foolish child right now I am putting my sobriety at risk. I am not sorry to say that I am being selfish about my sobriety. I wish her the best, but deep down I already know how this is going to turn out and she will have to find out for herself. There are so many things wrong with this picture, her boyfriend’s mother is so happily throwing her child to the wind in her over-exuberance to have her son out of her house and on his own when he doesn’t have a pot to piss in or the knowledge of how to get a pot, and dragging along my pregnant daughter with him. His mother uses this fallacious argument that “I have raised my kid!” I could say to my daughter, “If it were me”, but it isn’t me and at this point she is going to make her mistakes and I’m only afraid that this is one that she is going to pay for dearly. I’m sorry for her because I think she’s going to realize her mistake but it’s going to be too late and her pride won’t let her tell me so.
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. George Carlin
I will be the first to admit that I am a cynic. I have lived my life distrusting of other peoples motives, because aren’t all humans urged by the need for some personal gain of their own. In reality I have always questioned people’s sincerity and motives, whether they stemmed from the true spirit of giving of themselves to another purely for unselfish motives or if their input was driven by self-serving motives. My circle of friends is small, my circle of acquaintances large. I keep the ones who I know have no ulterior motives close and everyone else I keep at arms length as acquaintances or even further away than that. The more I get to know a person determines the distance of their relationship with me directly in proportion to their motives. Being cynical isn’t hard, in fact it is quite easy, in truth it is being optimistic about the human race that is hard. It is my genuine hope that I will one day learn to not be such a cynical, distrusting person, but it is a very hard thing to do when you find that a majority of the people you meet on a daily basis are only becoming acquainted with you because they “think” you have something to offer them rather than in the genuine spirit of friendship. They extend a hand to you as a “friend” with motives untrue and fettered by wants and desires.
The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank
Last nights topic, character defects. I’ll be the first to admit I am a walking character defect. I’m a control freak and I am, to a certain extent, OCD. I have been told that I need to ask a HP to remove my defects of character. No, not a Hewlett Packard! HP is my higher power. Well, being the person that I am, I have to say this. No one, and no thing is going to remove defects of character for you. You are responsible for you and your behavior and the only person that can change that is you. Yes, it is great to have an HP, whether it is your concept of God, a green haired troll doll, or a far away star. However, I do feel that we, only we, can change certain defects in our characters. That is something that comes from within us, not outside of us. Who’s fault is it that I fell down the rabbit hole of drinking, no ones. I am solely responsible for that chaotic miasma of self-indulgence and self-pity. For that I take full responsibility, in this way I have no one to blame if I fall down the rabbit hole again and end up having drunken conversations with a disappearing cat, a rabbit on the run and a stoned caterpillar!
The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it. Reinhold Niebuhr
This is my drawing of my place of serenity. On Sunday when I met with my sponge (sponsor) Jules for the first time this is where I went when I was having such a hard day the night before. Saturday was filled with triggers and hurt and I needed a place to go to work through my thoughts and get back in balance with nature and myself. Meeting with Jules was such a blessing, everything just melted away from me. I call her a sponge because I am her spongee and I plan on sucking everything I can out of her, and she is full of all kinds of great wisdom for sobriety. I have so much to be grateful for and in the last month I have begun to see the things and people that were there before me, just waiting for me to open up my eyes and see. They were always there with open arms, all I had to do was be willing to walk into the embrace. It’s amazing how alcohol clouds your vision, blurs your mind and makes you numb. In the beginning isn’t that what all alcoholics seek, blindness and a numbing and dulling of the senses? We don’t want to see, we don’t want to feel. You just don’t realize until you quit, and I mean really quit, how much you have missed.
Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. Ernest Hemingway
Today is my birthday! Not in a literal sense of the day I was brought into this world. It is my 30 day birthday of the day I woke up and decided to get sober and embrace the idea of sobriety once and for all. Sure, I have had attempts at sobriety over the last 10 years, but this is the first time I have embraced being sober and have had every intention of staying that way! If you have followed my blog you would know that since I started blogging on December 31, 2011 I have been up and down in my sobriety. What has changed for me now is that I have found a support group, a sponge (sponsor), I have included my family in my sobriety, I have a therapist, I am working the program and my attitude has changed. Am I excited about having my 30 days? Hell yes! Even one day is hard, not to mention 30! 31 days ago I was in hell. I had fought my battle with the bottle over and over again until I was so exhausted from the fighting I was ready to give up once and for all, literally. I told Michael all I needed was a bullet and a shovel. Yes, I was in that black of a place. Today I am so grateful to my friends, family and the people who have given me their support and love. Today I am sober. Today I am happy. Today I am FREE!
Here’s a list of things I have accomplished in my sobriety over the last 30 days:
- Learned over 20 new songs on guitar and vocals
- Played 4 new gigs
- Completed some new drawings
- Started a dream collage
- Made a plethora of new friends
- Found out that I can love myself
- Found out that I am stronger than I thought I was
- Started forgiving myself and others
I’m sure there are many that I am not thinking of but the point is that I am moving forward in my life instead of standing in a puddle of stagnant water that was sucking me down into a hole I may not have been able to climb out of. Thank you to all who have helped me on my path and thank you to those of you who may not be aware that you did…..Peace, always….Jaz
- Sobriety Junkie (realtimerecovery.wordpress.com)
There’s no getting away from it: you have to clean. Anthea Turner
I am in a new place in my life. I live in the same house, all the furniture is the same, the pictures on the wall are still the same. There are some of my favorite photos, some of my better paintings and of course the wall of music. The knick knacks haven’t changed, there’s my collection of vases, his collection of steins and some clay sculptures made by my daughter and myself. Yes the house is the same, the difference is I am slowly but surely rearranging the furniture inside my house. This is what is going on inside my brain right now, I am slowly removing all the crap and baggage. It’s a long process and sometimes I wonder if I will ever get rid of that ugly couch that has been weighing in my mind for so many years. I think I may be able to get rid of the frame, but I’m sure the cushions are going to stubborn themselves to death and always be hidden in a dark closet in the living room of my brain. If this all sounds a bit confusing, what I am referring to is sobriety and the stubborn couch cushions are triggers that hit me every so often and make me want to have that first drink on the path to oblivion. Yes, I know they will probably always be there, but over time the sharpness of the image is fading, the colors aren’t as bright. Each day gets a little easier. Excuse me while I go straighten that picture that is on a slight bit of a tilt.
“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?” ~Ghandi
For me this July 4th my celebration of freedom isn’t solely about my countries independence from an oppressor and liberation from a country that my ancestors fought so valiantly to escape. My celebration this July 4th is a celebration of my sobriety and freedom from a wicked evil oppressor far more vicious and damning. Many of my friends will be out partying tonight, many of my friends will be enjoying their 4th in a much different way than I intend upon enjoying my 4th. Thank Buddha that for the first time in many years I may actually remember what the fireworks looked like, I may recall the sound of rockets exploding in the sky. It’s going to be a fabulous 4th!
The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move. ~Aleksandr Popov
I had forgotten how great swimming is. When you swim you are weightless, all that stands before you, above you, below you is the blue. How quickly we forget, but it only takes a child to make you remember. Kira made me go shopping for a new bathing suit, that was painful! It was well worth it. We dove, we swam and I forgot, until yesterday, how cool it was to swim. When you are in the water everything is free, you don’t feel pain, you don’t feel much of anything. The water, cold when it first touches the skin, reminds you that there is peace. I felt a relaxation I hadn’t felt in months, thank you Kira!
And on that note.
Aquarius Horoscope for week of May 17, 2012
You may not have heard about the “forbidden colors.” And you certainly haven’t seen them, even though they exist. They’re reddish green and yellowish blue, which the cells of your retina are not built to register. However, scientists have figured out a trick by which these hues can be made visible. A few lucky people have actually caught a glimpse of them. I bring this to your attention, Aquarius, because I suspect you are close to experiencing a metaphorical version of this breakthrough — seeing something that is supposedly impossible to see.
Boy do I ever need to have breakthrough, be it metaphorical or otherwise. This week has been a real struggle for me emotionally and I do apologize to my friends here at WordPress. Let me simply state this for the record. My Buddha blog is all about getting in touch with nature, my nature and the nature of those around me. As with most things in life you have to take the good with the bad. This week seems to be one of the bad ones. But, I do promise you and myself that it’s going to get better.
“There is nothing that you can do to me that my own craziness doesn’t do to me smarter and faster and better.” ― Joanne Greenberg, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
I never swore I was going to be perfect or idyllic. I never swore I was going to be this perfect image of a wife, a mother or a daughter. I think sometimes you forget that I am human. I am a human first and always, therefore I am prone to make errors and mistakes. I never said that it was all going to be perfect, it mostly never is. I strive, just like most people, to be the best I can on any given day. That concept, however, is prone to come asunder to my mood swings on any given day. When I created this blog on the eve of the New Year I swore I would try to write everyday. Most of the time I do, but sometimes, yes sometimes, I just don’t give a crap because I don’t want others to see exactly how black my mood is. Today is one of those days, and guess what, most of the time I am positive about life and all its funny little speed bumps. Today those speed bumps feel like massive trenches. Sorry, never said it was going to be all roses and butterflies. It is what it is. Now, would someone please hand me my helmet….I’m going in….
Aquarius Horoscope for week of May 10, 2012
If you’ve been tuning in to my horoscopes during the past months, you’re aware that I have been encouraging you to refine and deepen the meaning of home. You know that I have been urging you to get really serious about identifying what kind of environment you need in order to thrive; I’ve been asking you to integrate yourself into a community that brings out the best in you; I’ve been nudging you to create a foundation that will make you strong and sturdy for a long time. Now it’s time to finish up your intensive work on these projects. You’ve got about four more weeks before a new phase of your life’s work will begin.
Although I am not a believer in horoscopes per say, but I always love Rob Brezney’s sound advice on my horoscopes and that is why I publish it in my blogs each week. There have been some weeks where he has missed the mark, but most the time I find he seems to have his finger on the pulse of what may be happening in my life at that time. I have really been focusing on my environment the last few weeks, including things like planting my garden, making time for art work and music and making more time to read. I have also been working steadily on my sobriety, as many who follow my blog know. I have been embracing and trying to understand what works and doesn’t work for me. This is just a little thank you to Rob for his wonderful little snippets of advice, you have been unseen in person but a loudly heard positive influence in my ever chaotic, ever expanding world!
- Music is My life (catseyesk.wordpress.com)
- Rain Down on Me (catseyesk.wordpress.com)