I no longer expect others to “make” me happy.
It has become obvious to me that what I perceived as the shortcomings in previous relationships, began with me. I chose partners that embodied my own strengths, deficits, entrenched patterns and limitations. The illusory emptiness, confinement, and privation in those relationships, and the pain of ending them, caused me to seek more in myself.
Many consider the ending of a relationship to be a “failure”. I now believe that some relationships are mutually propitious for a lifetime and some are not. Learning what is possible from one another, and then releasing the dependency on the familiar no longer equates to failure for me. It simply means that some relationships can be concluded once all of the benefits and lessons that it had to offer have been experienced. Once there is no more for the participants to lovingly give, do or receive, it is wise to consider that rendition of the relationship complete and move on.
I stayed in some relationships due to the bromidic belief that it was “the right thing to do”. The drudgery of forcing a relationship for reasons outside of myself, (societal expectations, familial or financial pressures), leaves all involved dissatisfied and miserable with themselves and one another.
Coming to this place of personal understanding has generated fortuitous consequences in my own life. I am able to more acutely see myself as the architect of my own being. The relationships I now nurture are more stable, honest and indelible. The expectations and responsibilities I formerly placed on others have been reintegrated in to a keen awareness of my own self and self-worth.
Releasing the thoughts, habits and compulsions that conscripted others to be responsible for my fulfillment, has brought about the emergence of a ME who is fully capable of loving with ease and grace, and in return I am now receiving the same.
I believe that a strong foundation creates the base for the highest, most solid, qualified, incredible results.
Is it easy?
Does it take take time and patience?
Is it worth it?
A B S O L U T E L Y ! ! !
A mere year and a half ago I met a young girl who had a very poor foundation in baton twirling. She had been what I would refer to as, “mis-taught”. In the world of baton twirling this means, she had an incorrect “thumb-flip”, horrendous “pattern”, remarkably misdirected choreography and ZERO rolls. In fact, the first words she ever spoke to me were, “I can not roll, I hate rolls”.
I took note, and ignored reality.
After all, this poor soul was Norwegian. Norwegians are not usually recognized in the sport of TWIRLING.
….I have chanced upon a champion.
I KNEW it the moment I saw her.
Ingerlinn Sundby is a Champion.
Aside from Baton Twirling, this young lady possesses a spirit that can change the world. She may not yet know it, but SHE IS SPECIAL.
Ingerlinn has endured ME for some time now. She may not always like the direction I am leading her in, but she has trusted my seemingly “wacky” guidance.
Ingerlinn is humble. Ingerlinn is quiet. Ingerlinn has fears….
I am not humble. I am not quiet. I have nearly no fear.
This Kid Is A Gift.
With patience, sensitivity and guess-work, Ingerlinn and I have blazed our path. We KNOW when it is okay to push and when I need to back-the-heck off.
It’s been a HUGE life lesson for me.
My favorite twirler in history is Janae Dorn, and I find it quite amusing that this kid is the physical reincarnation of Ms. Dorn.
I love this child beyond words.
I am, (and I NEVER use this word), “Proud” of her resilience.
Ingerlinn and I continue to work for her highest potential. Competition is a secondary aspect. HOW GOOD can she become from her effort? This is the only question that matters.
What do I believe?
I believe I have found the result of my life’s work. I believe I am engaged in an important mission to heal the small part of the world I am engaged in. I believe I have been gifted the possibility of hope, through a metal stick and a beautiful young lady who has dreams of becoming a champion.
Ingerlinn…. YOU are already a champion.
I love you.
When I was pure bliss, among the bright stars, I floated in knowing for eternity.
At some point I chose to have an adventure.
I chose to experience the illusion of splitting myself into what would seem like a countless myriad of colorful parts.
I chose to ride in a separate vehicle called a human body and to be given a name, and a life.
I knew life would pass as a near invisible blip on the radar of everlasting beauty, yet, I desired to feel, see, absorb, know and expand.
In the creation of my own adventure I thoughtfully chose one particular part of myself. I asked it to help me more than any other.
I said, “when I am separate, and have forgotten that I am only ME, and that the “I” ME is YOU, as well, I would like YOU to remind me of WHO I AM.”
The part of me playing YOU asked, “how might I do that?”
The “I” ME was very creative and bold. The “I” excitedly painted a picture that would provide the most opportunity for expansion, adventure, growth and wisdom.
“I” asked YOU to deliver life, to love ME, and to stay with ME throughout the journey.
YOU said, “Yes, of course I will do these things, I love ME. I can agree to anything “I” desires.”
“I” was pleased and continued. “I want YOU to offer ME pain, darkness, sadness and oppression as well….”
“What?” YOU exclaimed. “Why does “I” ask for such things?”
“I” smirked and breathed deeply. “I asks for an experience that will provide the most opportunity to remember “ME”.
The place ME is going has many variables. I want the highest possibility to feel ALL of the emotions, to see ALL of the contrast, to absorb ALL of the beauty and horror, to know ALL of the pain and glory, and to expand ALL of the ways I desire… Can YOU provide ME these gifts?”
Without hesitation YOU confidently stepped forward. “Not only will YOU provide all of these things, YOU will give ME clues in this adventure to help uncover ME’s magnificent and whole origin.”
“What will the clues be?”, “I” excitedly asked.
YOU now looked pleased and mischievous.
“”I” shall be named, ALL.”
“Oh! That is lovely!”, “I” exclaimed.
As the ME separated and YOU began the journey to Earth, “I” waved with joy and lovingly called out…
“and “I” shall name YOU, Mom!”
Thank you for ALL of it, Mom.
~Annetta Louise Lucero
I am compelled, through personal stories, a desire for truth, balance and an opportunity to educate, to write this today.
Due to my own incredible history of familial and spousal abuse, my studies, research, lectures and conference presentations, I have developed a keen sense for recognizing controlling and abusive patterns in the lives of others. Many friends and “strangers” have shared their own stories and sought my advice, knowing that I am someone who may identify issues, and listen without judgement. Surprisingly, some of these people are men.
Research demonstrates that the same abusive tactics and behaviors demonstrated by men (physical, verbal and emotional threats and intimidation) are also demonstrated by women. The resulting shame and fear of being abused, as well as the excuses made to cover up the abuse, are not gender-specific.
Men who are “trapped” by control and abuse have the same denial issues as women. Humans of either gender are adaptable to familiar situations, patterns and lifestyle, and in my experiences as an observer and listener, I have seen men deeply struggle with the possibility that their circumstances fall under the category of “abuse”. The concept of victimhood does not often make sense to a construction worker, martial arts master, or firefighter. I see my former self in their shock and denial every time.
When I was court ordered to a Victims of Domestic Violence course after a dramatic escape from my husband, I was stunned.
I remember telling the instructor, “there’s been a mistake, I’ve never been a victim of anything in my life. I am a well-oiled machine.” By the third class I was even more surprised, realizing that my situation was blatantly abusive, meeting every physical and psychological category of behavior, patterning and conditioning presented.
There are many reasons people stay in abusive relationships, ranging from believing abuse is normal, to embarrassment, abuse/why-do-people-stay/, Cultural and societal pressures condition many to believe that relationships are to last FOREVER, regardless of the circumstances. Many people tough it out, even in the midst of escalating pain and entrapment.
Of course both the abuser and the one receiving the abuse become unhappy and dominated by the patterns of control. I do have compassion for all involved, as those who act out with abusive behaviors are suffering as well, and often times will never learn to recognize or seek help for their conditioned outrage. Gender is not indicative of who is dominated and who is subdued.
Whether or not you are a tiny woman or a burly man, if you call your partner 14 times in a row, making up stories in your head why they are not answering, and intently hit them while they are asleep, you have a serious issue that needs addressing. If you are accepting this behavior, it is important to seek an education in the area of pattern changing and get the hell out of Dodge.
We all have experiences throughout our lifetimes as being perpetrators, victims, hero’s, failures, and everything in between. Recognizing these attributes, admitting they are a part of us and keeping it all in check, regardless of what side we may be on, is the key to growth and expanding the best possibilities for ourselves.
Here are some very common traits that present themselves in those who are abusers, these traits are not gender specific. It is not the purpose of the listing to imply that every person with some of these attributes is an abuser or potential abuser.
- At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealously with love. The abuser will question the victim about who the victim talks to, accuse the victim of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others. The abuser may call the victim frequently during the day, drop by unexpectedly, refuse to let the victim work, check the car mileage, or ask friends to watch the victim.
- Controlling behavior
- In the beginning an abuser will attribute controlling behavior to concern for the victim (for example, the victim’s safety or decision-making skills). As this behavior progresses the situation will worsen, and the abuser may assume all control of finances or prevent the victim from coming and going freely.
- Quick involvement
- A victim often has known or dated the abuser for a brief period of time before getting engaged or living together. The abuser will pressure the victim to commit to the relationship. A victim may be made to feel guilty for wanting to slow the pace or end the relationship.
- Unrealistic expectations
- An abuser expects the victim to meet all of the abuser’s needs, to take care of everything emotionally and domestically.
- An abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by severing the victim’s ties to outside support and resources. The batterer will accuse the victim’s friends and family of being “trouble makers.” The abuser may block the victim’s access to use of a vehicle, work, or telephone service in the home.
- Blames others for problems
- An abuser will blame others for all problems or for the abuser’s own shortcomings. Someone is always out to get the abuser or is an obstacle to the abuser’s achievements. The victim or potential victim will be blamed for almost anything.
- Blames others for feelings
- An abuser will use feelings to manipulate the victim. Common phrases to look for: “You’re hurting me by not doing what I want.” “You control how I feel.”
- An abusive person is easily insulted, perceiving the slightest setbacks as personal attacks.
If you are in an abusive situation that you feel you can not safely leave, seek help.
*Tell Somebody. If you have covered it up for so long that it is hard for those around you to believe, tell it anyway.
*Contact a Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate or call the HotLine: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
*If you are monitored by your abuser go to the library or use a friends computer to view the Domestic Violence Website: http://www.thehotline.org/help/
*When you escape file a restraining order ASAP. The piece of paper cannot protect you from physical attacks, but if you are threatened or attacked and you have the piece of paper it can cause a quicker, easier conviction and jail time for your abuser. If you are killed by your abuser the restraining order points the police in the right direction.
*Attend meetings for survivors of domestic abuse. Swallow your pride and go to these meetings. Every city has domestic shelters and classes. They are free. I was court assigned to a 12 week course. It was mortifying at first because I did not view myself as “one of those women”. The class ultimately changed the course of my life by giving me information and tools to step away from patterns of abuse and victimization.
*If you are abused you have nothing to be ashamed of. You are not weak. You deserve your freedom and your own voice. Please leave the situation. You can do it. I did it.
“I take it back”
4 words that pierced my heart
The phrase that initiated a new path, a restart
I’ve carried baggage filled with pain
But repeating mistakes is something I’ve been trained
To know is utterly insane
Make a different choice
Find an open space
Throw it to a different place
The mirror stares me in the face
What do I want…
Regret, sadness, bleeding soul
Or elements that make me whole
What is real
Is it possible to fully heal
I don’t know
I have no answer, no path to “how”
Peace resides within the NOW
I’ll step off cliffs, and as I fall
My heart expands
Last Friday night I made the decision to remove past relationship images from my computer. The constant reminders of what is no more hits me like a raw nerve every time I click to iPhoto.
In the midst of my task, my left molar ignited. Searing pain shot through my mouth, traveling to my left eye and down my throat.
The next day I taught an eight hour clinic, engulfed in pain that ranged somewhere between 10 and 200.
By Sunday morning my old trauma patterns kicked in and I was experiencing FEAR; an emotion that I have practiced stepping away from.
I succumbed to an illusionary menu of mind stories— the winner of these delusions being; “I have jaw cancer and my tongue will be amputated, thus leaving me without the possibility of booking speaking engagements.”
Sunday night I was gargling whiskey, choking down some along the way to dull the pain, and asking for dentist recommendations.
Many options and well wishing comments appeared quickly and I was able to procure an appointment.
On Monday morning I double checked the location of the dentist I had selected, and a little comment from my friend Thomas caught my eye. “Happy mouth, happy teeth” is all it said.
Thomas is a soulmate. We are traveling down a similar path at an equipollent speed. His seemingly benign comment caused an immediate switch in my perception. I put the brakes on my “doomsday” inner dialogue and opted for a moment of meditation.
I could feel my tooth painfully throbbing to the beat of my heart as I sat in silence.
Peddling to the dentist office a while later I had gratitude statements flooding my mind. “I am grateful for the teacher’s throughout my life”, “I am grateful for healing”, “I am grateful for growth and…” BAM! Some force hit me. My mind went blank and a feeling of knowing washed over me. The feeling was that I had not yet been willing to fully release my thoughts, desires, and stubborn grasp on the past story of my decayed relationship. I stopped and stood with my bike as I stated out loud. (Yes, like a cray-cray).
I release this. My contracts are no longer. I accept the release of not only past contracts, but the release of my perceptions of reality on this matter. I release anger, jealousy, regrets and grievances. I am free. He is free, I can not, nor do I want, to hold on to this any further. I am love. I am loved, I give and receive love and I fully forgive myself and others in this story.
A peace washed over me, and my tooth ache disappeared.
I went to the dentist. He examined my teeth and x-rayed the one that had caused such brutal pain for the past 3 days.
He said, Annetta, there is nothing out of order here… It must have just been a very raw nerve.
The train back to my town was leaving in 10 minutes and if I walked with determination I would make it to Oslo Central station just in time.
He was sitting propped up against the glass window of an abandoned store front. Unsightly. The busy people of Oslo bustled by, ignoring his paper cup, stepping over and around his foot.
It was heavily bandaged from his ankle down, but his toes were exposed. He had only two toes, as his first three toes looked to have been recently amputated. A dirty crutch lay by his side. He shook his empty cup at the distracted crowd.
He shook his cup at me, and I passed him by… The train.
I had distanced myself by nearly a block when I felt a tug on my back. I stopped. I turned around but nobody was there. I looked around at the many people rushing by, I thought of myself, rushing by. I went back.
He was very apprehensive when I sat down next to him. Not sure what to do or think of this new situation. He did what he does. He shook his cup at me, pointed to his foot, shook his cup some more.
“It’s okay. You have no need to beg me.” I said. He was perplexed. He didn’t speak english and shook his cup again, with far less fervor, however. I continued to sit next to him and after a few minutes he stopped shaking his cup, he scooted a little closer to me and he took my hand. As I sat holding this mans hand, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and love. I patted his shoulder and he reached over and embraced me. He began to smile and cry, and so did I.
Time passed by and I told him I would be going. I rummaged through my backpack and handed him 200NOK. I stood to leave and he grabbed my hand and eagerly motioned for me to sit next to him again. I sat.
He pointed to his heart, and then to the sky and then he began to pray. He prayed for me. I do not know his language or religion. It was everything he had to offer and I was touched to receive his gift.
In life I have often frantically shaken my own paper cup. Something I am learning from my experiences, is to be aware of my own tug, sit down, scoot closer, hold a hand… Love can be found everywhere, I have no need to beg.