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.
I was singing loudly, one of my impromptu “happy songs” as I approached the crosswalk. The pretty immigrant women rushed across the street; neat uniform, lovely hair, strained face… nearly distraught. She glanced at me crooning in the van I had borrowed from my friend minutes earlier, then she turned away, it was time to shift and move on, but my intuition caused me to pause. She stopped and looked back again. With a desperate look in her eyes and a contorted mouth she tripped to my window. I rolled it down and a cold rush of air stung my face. She blurted something in Norwegian, I smiled and told her I spoke English. She gasped and reframed in heavily accented english, “where are you going? Is it near the airport? Is it in that direction?” She pointed wildly, tears beginning to form in her frantic eyes. Without hesitation I said, “it is now, please get in”, and I popped open the passenger side door.
She literally ran and jumped in, immediately bursting into tears. “Oh THANK YOU, THANK YOU, I am so stressed! I have missed the bus, I am so worried to be late for my work, my boss, my boss…” she didn’t finish her sentence. She sniffled as we drove on.
Heavy rain began to fall and she sighed, “LOOK! You have saved me now from being late and from getting wet. I am from Philippines, we pick up the hitchhikers but here it is not possible… you have saved me, you are sent from God!” I grinned and said, “Nah, I’m sent from Hawaii and my hobby is scooping up folks.”
“I SAW you.” she said, “I felt something, like I should ask you for help.” She daintily blotted around her eyes with a tissue.
“I’m so glad you did, I SAW you” I replied, “I think that’s all we have to do to receive what we need… see it, and find the courage to ask.” She gasped again, “Oh! say some more…” she requested. “I like to imagine that we are all the same person, that there is no judgement causing chasms between people, I am so happy to help you because I think of you as being me.” She began to cry again and said, “You have taken my worry away, I am going to remember you and I know I will see you again.” As we pulled up to the airport curb I said, “I’m Annetta,” she put her hand on my shoulder and said, “my name is Happy. H-A-P-P-Y, thank you, THANK YOU, angel Annetta!”
With that, she ran off towards the airport entrance, leaving me with her very name etched in my heart.
My days are filled with humor, and I want to share some of it with you!
Applying for a residential visa in Norway requires company employment. A “real job” is something I’ve never experienced aside from a stint at McDonald’s. My step-father insisted I “learn to work.” I disagreed, and was artfully fired after 2 days.
I have been self-employed since I was 14. I’ve taught baton twirling and circus, created companies, choreographed productions, presented speeches, worked contracts for Cirque du Soleil, etc. etc.
Now, however, I wake up early, get my kids off to school and ride my bike to a pristine office to do my day job.
I am employed by wonderful people at a huge private pre-school/kindergarten chain in Norway. I accidentally landed my job due to my gift of never censoring my laughter. On a trip to Norway earlier this year, the magnificent people who own the company asked for my opinion about an objectives manual, which had recently been translated from Norwegian to English. Browsing the halted narration I noticed some spelling errors and oddities before hitting the jackpot that ultimately redirected my life. Written, clear as day, was this sentence: “Our children are the most sensual children, who are willing to take it at every angle.” My reactionwas not subtle. In a classic Ned display I laughed far too loud for waaaaaaay too long.
Alarmed, my friends asked if I knew of anyone who could help. I said I did and the next morning I gave them a re-written brochure. Upon reviewing my work, I was handed an academic manual and a polite request was made for me to “please fix it”.
Since beginning at the office about 2 weeks ago, I have been translating direct from Norwegian rather than simply fixing the English errors. I have learned to decipher the written language by memorizing the “floor pattern” of the language like choreography. When I am stuck I ask co-workers for definitions and I utilize “google translate”….. which brings me to the reason for this post. I am amused by the decoding aspects of my assignments, and thrilled by the ridiculous translations that pop up each day. My co-workers are often curious as to what I have come upon when my laughter echoes through the halls.
Without further adieu, here are real examples of my favorite “google translate” faux pas:
Best of Google T. Faux Pas:
…placing your penis in the flask with your hand while you are nicely speaking to each child, in turn.
…an adult has a burning torch and lights the children one by one.
…the child will be selected as this days ass-kisser / boot-licker and sit on the chair.
There are so many more, but you get the gist from these examples. I’ve got to get to sleep now so my brain can be clear, refreshed and firing… Honestly, I can’t wait to get to work in the morning.
Norwegian> Hvorfor Aktiviteten bevisstgjør barna på hva som fremkaller gode følelser, og de får øvelse i å uttrykke seg i en gruppe.
What google T gave me> Why Activity deliberately makes kids what Evoke good feelings cheaper than its fancy the receive training in Out themelves in a group.
My conclusion> Purpose: This activity helps children to evoke good feelings and to be comfortable speaking out, in turn, within a group atmosphere.
It’s more thrilling than I could have imagined, especially after previous relationship missteps, disintegrations and heartbreaks.
I have heard it said that true love can often surprise you when you are not seeking anyone, and that has certainly been the case for me and the reason for my unexpected engagement.
Although I’ve known my new fiancé for a very long time, I had not ever truly recognized the importance of this person in my life, the fullness of their beauty, dedication to my well-being, strength in kindness, loyalty, ability to adapt to meet my needs and I certainly did not consider this person to be the one who would complete me as my other half.
As the proposal was happening I was filled with amazement, peace and a knowing that I deserved to be loved fully by this amazing, compassionate soul. This is someone who can forgive and even snicker with good nature at my shortcomings, encourage my growth and root for me under all circumstances… they’ve got my back.
On the frivolous and fun side of things, my true love enjoys ALL of the same things I revel in. We have the same eccentric style, music choices, decorating sensibilities, appreciation for art, adoration of nature and sense of humor. This person totally gets all of my jokes and laughs hysterically right along with me. Beyond that, I have never come across anyone who loves, admires and offers so much positive attention to my children. Even my mom is completely in awe of this person. It’s absolutely the most perfect match possible!
It’s been quite a journey getting to the place in my life where I can recognize true love, embrace it, and throw all caution to the wind, and so I would like to vibrantly proclaim, I ACCEPT YOUR LOVE AND I PROMISE TO COMMIT MY HEART, MIND AND SOUL TO YOU FOREVER!
Annetta Lucero, you complete Me. You are EVERYTHING I have ever needed and I feel so grateful to have found you. You are exactly what I have always deserved in my life and I am so excited to continue my journey with you by my side.
I AM committing to myself.
The threat of molten lava engulfing one’s home will certainly light a fire under one’s rear-end. My year of unbelievable change escalated when Madame Pele began making her way towards my neighborhood in Pahoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Amidst daily reports of advancing lava and preparations to evacuate, the great unknown for me was where I was going to go?
After some attempts for housing in New york, and challenges blocking an easy entry to London, I fell upon an opportunity in Norway, and decided to go for it. In the process of figuring it all out the lava stalled, but my momentum did not.
Now my children and I have made our way to a place of complete contrast to where we had built our previous life. Many changes have occurred in my personal life since the lava began to cover, morph, burn and rebirth everything in it’s path.
There are days of great uncertainty and I interpret those times as a door to possibilities opening, if I continue to operate from a place of courage, kindness and growth. Sometimes I’m a little frightened, but that is fleeting, there is too much to sort out to waste my energy on fear. Sometimes I’m lonely, but that gives me the opportunity to examine myself and to learn how to fulfill my own lingering empty spots. Sometimes I’m elated that it is all happening, and when this adventure has run it’s course, the colorful art house, built on the rock in the sea, may still be there waiting.
As the thick curtain of weekend rain lifted, Monday’s set was a vibrant blue sky, and nearly warm sunshine.
What a glorious day to head to the Norwegian Department of Taxation and register for the ever elusive “D” number.
Something I’ve learned as I dance upon the splintery stage of immigration is that there are required official forms that you must complete before getting to the next round of applause; but, in order to get certain forms you must already have been approved for the form that comes next. It’s a bad running order of dangerous circles and mind acrobatics. It must be well choreographed, performed with precision timing and sold with magnificent stage presence… in other words, it is the WHEEL OF DEATH. Donning my best “I’m a normal person” costume, I exited the train station with my duet companion, Devin, and had no idea which way to go.
Still having no internal sense of Scandinavian cultural boundaries, which include the unstated but known thought, “please do not interact with me, I’m uncomfortable in the spotlight”, I bounced up to the first person I saw. The nice Norwegian man tried to help although he knew very little English and had no idea where the office was or that it existed. Receiving the same results from my next victim, I scanned the perimeter of my life theater for the perfect audience volunteer. Near the second row I spotted the handsome Arab taxi driver and set my focus hard, knowing he too must have participated in Cirque Du Immigration at some point. He saw me coming and looked willing to participate. My hopes were high as I asked the compelling question, “do you know where the tax office is?” He stood to his feet with enthusiasm, smiled widely, shrugged his shoulders, and pointed to his mouth as he exclaimed, “لا اتكلم الانجليزية!” Determined to be in the closing act, however, he turned to his friend and asked him to translate. Having been given detailed direction we took our show notes and Devin and I headed out to the next venue.
After walking for some time we began to doubt our whereabouts and began asking random stagehands if we were near the elusive destination, first stopping a frail, elderly woman who seemed terrified, and then a lovely geriatric man who spoke beautiful English, and although he had no clue where to send us, he was quite happy to engage in general, back stage chit-chat.
Mesmerized by the gentleman’s compelling conversation about cheese, I was nudged back to life by Devin who had an expression of surprise as he gestured to look down the walkway. Coming towards us with a dazzling smile was the handsome taxi driver. As we approached him he held out a small piece of paper and simply said, “I queued for you”. As he passed me the paper I realized that he had driven ahead of us to the tax office, scaled the stairs, taken a number in our stead and then found us exactly when we were needing a prompt. This seemingly obscure volunteer had just proved to be the most inspiring, resourceful stage manager of all time. Star struck by his heroic act of kindness, I thanked him and hugged him for way too long.
The tax appointment was a real hit and if all goes well I’ll receive rave reviews from the immigration office in a few weeks, and top billing as Norway’s newest and only side show, umbrella twirling, knife wielding freak.
Do you know what frustrates me beyond reason and causes me to do and say irrational things I regret?
When a person I love leaves me and does not communicate often enough.
When somebody who is out of touch only communicates when they NEED something.
When that OTHER person is irritable, mean, short tempered, detached AND arrogant.
When SOMEBODY ELSE is a nit-picking NAG about tiny details EVERY day.
When THAT OTHER GUY, doesn’t turn out to be EVERYTHING I pretended they could be to fulfill ALL of MY expectations, needs, wounds, LACK OF LOVE, hang-ups, sorrows and feelings of abandonment… and I especially HATE IT when it turns out that when I experience any one of these UNBEARABLE, IRRITATING, HEART-CRUSHING traits, I am actually observing MY very own SELF in the MIRROR!!!
It seemed easier when I was blaming the other guy and I was flawless.
Alas, the reality is that I have recently come to the full awareness that the repeating cycles of neglect, abandonment and abuse in my life have been produced, directed and performed by none other than “The Amazing Lucero”— yep, that’s Me.
“Those whom we love and are emotionally attracted to, and those whom we are distressed or repelled by emotionally, are both mirrors of our own self. We are attracted to those people in whom we find traits that we have and want more of, and we are repelled by those in whom we find traits that we deny in ourselves.” ~Deepok Chopra
…and both the attraction and repellent can appear in those you are closest to, until you find the keys to heal your personal damage.
Because if you haven’t found healing for your own wounds, those gaping lacerations will angrily glare at you from the other side of the shiny, truthful piece of glass, they will convoke the love and scream in your face, “I TAKE IT BACK!” I’m taking it ALL back and now YOU are once again abandoned, just as you already were, because you, Annetta Louise Lucero, haven’t found enough healing for those wounds, and I’m showing you how ugly and open they are as a favor to You… from Me… who is actually YOU.
Growth is EXHAUSTING!
Being stuck, however, without the courage to observe, receive, admit and reach further, is a far worse prospect. I can handle the stretch, the tears, the pain, the loss and the shocking truth because it all leads me to a shot at bringing a more developed Me to the next round.
I AM RESPONSIBLE for all of the qualities in myself that are reflected back to me by those who cross my path, whether it is a momentary meeting or a long term relationship. It’s all Me.
Do you know what heartens me beyond reason and causes me to do and say thoughtful things I am delighted by?
When I communicate well and often with the people who are important to me.
When I haven’t seen somebody for some time, and I remember to inquire if there is anything they need.
When I find a way out of my irritability, before I become mean, short tempered, detached AND arrogant.
When I catch myself being nit-picky, and I let go of the need to direct others, and instead chose to relax and release it.
When I turn out to be EVERYTHING I have created without expectations and I fulfill ALL of MY needs, wounds, LACK OF LOVE, hang-ups, sorrows and feelings of abandonment… and I especially LOVE IT when it turns out that when I experience any one of these UNBELIEVABLY IRRESISTIBLE, HEART-ENHANCING traits, I am actually observing MY very own SELF in the MIRROR!!!
A few moments after exiting the train in Oslo, Norway the bombardment began;
“Pretty Lady, please give me something, please, PLEASE, just enough for one cheeseburger… here, here HERE, TAKE THIS!” The gypsy girl forcefully pushed a small magazine of some kind into my chest. She was at least the sixth person from her clan to do so in a matter of minutes. “No thank you”, I clearly and politely replied, yet right below the surface of my kind veneer an irritability stirred. I caught myself, took a deep breath and ushered in an internal dialogue I have been practicing; “I am neither beneath nor superior to anyone.” After repeating this in my mind several times the irritation evaporated and I continued on through the crowd. This remedy reminded me of another practice that has recently come to my awareness, and I began making eye contact with those who were available. As I met their eyes I held the thought that the spirit within them, is the same spirit that is within me and I honored it. This simple exercise was powerful in that connection took place in an instant, with many people nodding and smiling at me as they passed by. I was enjoying my “drive-by” relationships when one man caught my attention and caused me to take pause. His weathered, toothless face smirked at me as I caught his eye, and he chose to not release his gaze. He was a beggar, but in that moment he was not asking me for anything. I stood there looking at him, he looking back at me; seeing him, and being seen by him. After a bit, I sat down on the walkway next to him. I said, “I’m not going to give you money because I don’t think that will do much, but if you don’t mind I’ll just sit here with you for a while. I didn’t know what language he spoke, but he nodded, grinned and scooted a little closer to me. As we sat I told him I was very new to Norway, that I had come from Hawaii and I had just completed my immigration appointment. I told him I thought it was funny that people were wearing shorts and t-shirts and that I was in a leather jacket, long pants and cap and still felt chilled. After a little while somebody dropped some coins in his tattered coffee cup, and he looked at me with surprise, a moment later some more coins went in and he verbally made a Whoop-Whoop noise and shook his boney finger at me as he widely grinned. We were laughing as his next customer made a deposit, and he took the liberty of giving me a little shove on the shoulder like an old chum. Time went on and I said I would be going to catch the train soon. I gave him a little hug, said goodbye and stood to walk away. As I turned to go I felt a tug on my ankle. I turned around and my companion stood to his feet, and with a heavy accent and perfect english he said, “that is the most kindness I have received in more years than I can remember. Will you do something just for me?” Stunned and touched, I said, “what do you wish?” He said, “please go get yourself a lovely, big ice cream and know that it is from me. You are so skinny.”
I could not stop the tears from flooding my face as I walked back toward Oslo Central Station. I was not irritated by the gypsy girls besieging me on the way back.
As I ordered the huge ice cream my heart was exploding with colorful sprinkles of gratitude.