Tag Archives: love

Heart Pops

 

Let’s tell each other one thing that we love about the other person before we go to sleep.

 

Okay, Mama.

 

I’ll go first. I love the way your whole face lights up when you smile.

 

Oh, Mama. That’s sweet…And I love when you give me strawberries.

 

***

 

 

 

Where did I come from?

 

A wish on a star.

 

I’m happy you wished me.

 

Me too, baby. Thank you for being my wish.

 

Thank you for being my mom.

 

***

 

 

Mama?

 

Yes,  baby?

 

I love you so much it makes my heart pop.

 

You make my heart pop, too.

 

***

 


 

 

Mama, can I…?

 

No.

 

Why?

 

Because.

 

No, Mama. You have to give me a reason. “Because” isn’t a reason.

 

It isn’t a reason when you say “because.” But I’m a mom. So that makes it a reason.

 

Well that isn’t exactly fair.

 

 

***

 

 

Happy birthday, Mama. I’m going to hug you now. Because sometimes I just want to hug you because I love you so much. Okay?

 

***

 

And my heart pops just a little bit more.

photo

PMCPauline Campos is Latina Magazine’s advice & relationship columnist, editor of the ebook anthology, Strong Like Butterfly, and a radio personality with a regular advice segment on NPR’s Latino USA show.  Pauline blogs three times a week at Aspiring Mama (or when she remember to take her Adderall) & is the founder of Girl Body Pride. Strong like Butterfly is currently available on Smashwords. This post originally appeared on Aspiring Mama in 2011.

The Worst Kind of Betrayal

I was reading my shero Brené Brown’s new book Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead when I reached page 51 and my heart stopped in an “OMG, how did she read my mind, and how did she know exactly how to give language to something that’s been hurting for years?” sorta way.

In this chapter, Brené is talking about trust in relationships, and how we build and lose trust. She compares it to a jar of marbles. Over time, when someone demonstrates trustworthiness, we add marbles to the jar. If they betray our trust, we pull marbles out. The safety of the relationship depends on how many marbles are in the jar over time.

This is the part of Brené’s book that took my breath away:

When we think about betrayal in terms of the marble jar metaphor, most of us think of someone we trust doing something so terrible that it forces us to grab the jar and dump out every single marble. What’s the worst betrayal of trust? He sleeps with my best friends. She lies about where the money went. He/she chooses someone over me. Someone uses my vulnerability against me (an act of emotional treason that causes most of us to slam the entire jar to the ground rather than just dumping out the marbles.) All terrible betrayals, definitely, but there is a particular sort of betrayal that is more insidious and equally corrosive to trust.

In fact, this betrayal usually happens long before the other ones. I’m talking about the  betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship. The word betrayal evokes experiences of cheating, lying, breaking a confidence, failing to defend us to someone else who’s gossiping about us, and not choosing us over other people. These behaviors are certainly betrayals, but they’re not the only form of betrayal. If I had to choose the form of betrayal that emerged most frequently from my research and that was the most dangerous in terms of corroding the trust connection, I would would say disengagement.

When the people we love or with whom we have a deep connection stop caring, stop paying attention, stop investing and fighting for the relationship, trust begins to slip away and hurt starts seeping in. Disengagement triggers shame and our greatest fears – the fears of being abandoned, unworthy, and unlovable. What can make this covert betrayal so much more dangerous than something like a lie or an affair is that we can’t point to the source of our pain – there’s no event, no obvious evidence of brokenness. It can feel crazy-making.

The Ragged Way People Fall Out Of Love

After reading this, I had to give myself a hug (and reach out to my BFF so she could hug me too.) Trying not to venture into self-pity land, I realized that almost every single ex-relationship in my life ended with just this sort of betrayal.  When my marriage to my first husband was falling apart, I begged him to go to marriage counseling with me, and he refused, claiming that it would just cost money and steal precious time (we were both medical residents) to confirm what we already knew – that we weren’t compatible and that we needed to get divorced.

Marriage #2

When my second marriage was falling apart, my husband did agree to go to marriage counseling with me. Then one day, I was in the therapist’s office, looking at the clock. He was ten minutes late, and then twenty. I called his cell and the call went straight to voicemail.  I called his work and they said he had left hours earlier.  I called home, but there was no answer. That night, he didn’t come home and didn’t tell me where he had gone.

When I saw him the next day and asked where he’d been and why he hadn’t come to therapy, he just shrugged his shoulders. When I pushed him to communicate, he just shut down.

I kept going to therapy without him, and he grew increasingly distant. I wrote him letters. I left him rambling messages on his phone, trying to share my feelings.  I tried talking to him. But most days I barely saw him, and when I did, I no longer felt safe saying what I really wanted to say, which was that I felt desperately hurt that he didn’t seem to care enough about our relationship to fight for it.

Then the day came when we were scheduled to go on a two week vacation to Big Sur, a vacation we had planned six months in advance, intended to celebrate our anniversary.  Taking two weeks off as a full time doctor was a big deal, and I had been very excited about the trip, especially in light of how bad things had gotten in our marriage. In my fantasies, Big Sur would heal us, the time together would knit us back together, we’d have great sex, and we’d live happily ever after.

But the week before our trip, he announced that he was going to climb Mount Whitney instead of coming to Big Sur with me. When I started crying, he told me to “stop being so manipulative,” which only left me crying more.

My therapist finally told me that my marriage was over, even if we were still living together, that it takes two people fighting for a marriage in order to save it, and that clearly, my husband had disengaged, even though he hadn’t asked for divorce.

It was painfully true. I went to Big Sur by myself, and the week after returning home, I filed for divorce.

A Jar Full of Marbles

I’m now happily married to husband #3, who I’ve been with for ten years and who is one of the kindest, gentlest, most emotionally available men I’ve ever met. There are so many marbles in the jar in my relationship with Matt that we find ourselves becoming increasingly brave in how vulnerable we’re willing to be. It’s been profoundly healing on many levels. What I appreciate most about him is that, if we disagree (which we do), he’s willing to go there, to communicate, to get pissed, to speak his truth, to open his heart, to express hurt – whatever. Never once, in ten years, has he shut down on me. (If anything, I’ve been the one more inclined to do so from time to time.)

With a jar overflowing with marbles, I feel safe to share anything with Matt, and that safety has allowed me to take huge risks, both personally and professionally, knowing that his love for me is not conditional.

Have You Been Betrayed?

I suspect I’m not alone in feeling betrayed in this slow, insidious way. Have you lost a relationship because someone just quit fighting for the relationship? Are you still in a relationship with someone who seems like they’ve stopped caring, stopped investing, stopped paying attention? Do you feel hurt because you still love someone and you’re no longer getting evidence that they love you back? Is your jar of marbles running on empty?

Then I strongly encourage you to go out and buy three copies (one for you and one for your two best friends) of Brené Brown’s startlingly insightful new book Daring Greatly, which launched in September.  As someone on a quest to push the envelope of vulnerability, not just in my personal relationships, but publicly, here on the internet, I keep finding myself nodding as I read this book.

It’s chock full of nuggets like these:

Shame resilience is the ability to say “This hurts. This is disappointing, maybe even devastating. But success and recognition and approval are not the values that drive me. My value is courage and I was just courageous. You can move on, shame.”

Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them… We don’t just lead with “Hi, my name is Brené, and here’s my darkest struggle.” That’s not vulnerability. That may be desperation or woundedness or even attention-seeking, but it’s not vulnerability. Why? Because sharing appropriately, with boundaries, means sharing with people with whom we’ve developed relationships that can bear the weight of our story. The result of this mutually respectful vulnerability is increased connection, trust, and engagement.

Gulp.

The Gateway to Intimacy

I’ve been noodling these very issues for years now, but especially since reading Brené’s latest book. I keep asking myself why I am as vulnerable as I am. And why I withhold what I do.  What motivates me to share or withhold?

Last week, I revealed something super vulnerable to a dear friend during a long talk into the early hours of the morning. The next day, I woke up with what Brené calls a “vulnerability hangover.” I kicked myself for over-sharing, doubted myself for having gone too far, worried that my friend would judge me or reject me.

But that friendship has an overflowing marble jar and, of course, that didn’t happen. My friend was incredibly supportive and sent me love texts all day, knowing how vulnerable I felt after what I had shared. Not only did I not get rejected; if anything, it drew us closer.

Every single one of us is hardwired to connect, and vulnerability is the gateway to the intimacy we crave.  But it takes serious guts to push the limits of your vulnerability, to dig deeper and deeper into the core of who you are and not only love and accept those imperfect parts of yourself, but to expose them to someone else, hoping, trusting, praying that they will be held sacred.

Are you brave enough to be vulnerable?

Trusting you,

Lissa

 

 

Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities LissaRankin.com and OwningPink.com,author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join her newsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself, and check her out on Twitter and Facebook. This post was reprinted with permission, 

 

 

The Problem of Loving My Body and Body As Object

Love it or hate it, Elan Morgan ponders self-acceptance, our bodies, and why there isn’t really an answer.

 

I think about beauty and self-acceptance and love, and I think about how our culture, in an effort to beat back the ocean of self-loathing that women have been drowning in for so long, offers up this idea of loving our bodies, and this idea doesn’t sit well with me. It seems just as dissociative as hating our bodies.

My body is not an object to be appraised by me like I would a beautiful vase or an animal separate from me. It is not here for me to hate or love or have a relationship with as I would something outside myself. It is here to carry me through my days on this earth. It is here as a vehicle that feels separate from my consciousness, but is inseparable from my experience of the world. It is not a costume I have put on in the same way that I put on clothing I like or dislike.

To hate or to love my body seems to put me outside of it. It divorces me from it, in a way. Whether it is love or hate I feel, it puts my body in the position of a thing that I appraise for worth of some kind, good or bad.

I love me. I love what I can do. I love how I am of help to others. I love the amount of love I have. My body, though brilliant vehicle as it is? I refuse to appraise it right now. I refuse to look at it in pieces and tell you why I love one part or don’t love another part or how I have come to love curves or flatness or dimples or difference. It’s all difference, every last part. My butt, my arms, my knees, my belly, my waistline, the texture of my skin: all of these are like fingerprints, grown only here and nowhere else.

My body is not a vase. My body is not livestock. It is a brilliant vehicle that moves me through time and allows me to express and love and initiate and move and relate. I love what it does. I love what it is capable of. I love its abilities, but I will not check it for suppleness or measure it for size or weight, love or hate, at least not right now while I try to figure out how to stop being an object to myself, a thing to be measured against a scale of any kind for worth.

My thoughts about being human and being female and being a second-class citizen whose body is owned by the state and granted limited privileges are always changing and evolving. So maybe I will one day embrace this idea that we can love our bodies without divorcing ourselves from them artificially as objects, but this is where I stand right now, and it seems doubtful.

I worry, though, about where this thinking leaves me. I worry that, by rejecting the idea of having a relationship with my body, I am just landing right back at dissociation. The only model I have for viewing myself is body as object, so I don’t even know if this is a concept that can be undone or if it is an intrinsic part of the human condition. I worry that this idea puts me in a position where I will become the only one exempt as I look at others’ bodies and reflexively assess them for signs of worth.

I think what I really want in all of this philosophical meandering is to be set free the social trappings of femininity, masculinity and beauty. I’ve grown tired of it, and I am looking for a soft place to fall.

 

Schmutzie (aka Elan Morgan) can most commonly be found at Schmutzie.com, but she’s also the founder of  Ninjamatics and the Grace in Small Things social network in her ongoing efforts to make good things happen on the internet. Follow her on Twitter.

 

Your Truth

What is truth? Is it something told or something lived?

Think about that question. Really think about the difference. Because there is a difference.

You can speak truthfully, but still live a lie.

In the schoolyard we heard phrases like, “liar, liar pants on fire.” The importance of not telling a fib is drilled into us at an early age.  What we don’t learn is how to live in truth.

Whether you realize it or not, many people don’t live in truth. I watch it everyday. People on social media sites who, because they have thousands of followers, start to believe their own importance. When in reality, most of the “real world” doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Twitter.

“Followers” are stalkers to them.

In the world of a writer, it would be easy to get caught up in the roller coaster of expectation. But if you live in truth, you quickly realize expectations need to be managed. Just because XYZ super-important network or production company had a meeting with you, doesn’t mean squat unless they want to pay you for your idea. You are no more important than the next screenwriter waiting to be kicked out of the waiting room.

Just because you kissed a lot of frogs does not make you a princess. It makes you a frog kisser.

White lies. Those are trickier.

“Does my butt look good in these jeans?” If you have to ask, you’re either fishing for a compliment or looking for someone to rationalize those Ho-Ho’s didn’t go directly to your Jaba-the-Hutt ass.

Pause before answering and ask yourself, “Am I hurting her by not speaking the truth?” If the answer is yes, then spill it and be prepared for the wrath. The girlfriend I took with me when I tried on wedding dresses was the type of friend who had no problem telling me if I looked like hell.

Friends don’t let friends wear bad fashion.

The most difficult person to be honest with is yourself. Sometimes we need a 2×4 to hit us upside the head to snap us to our senses.

The reality is, once you’ve spoken the truth out loud… your truth… there is no going back.

Let’s pretend this is Cosmo and take a quiz:

  • Do you lie to yourself about your flaws, either diminishing them or magnifying them?
  • Do you blame yourself for other people’s actions?
  • Is it hard for you to accept responsibility when something goes wrong?
  • Do you only look at the world through rose-colored glasses?
  • Are you in a relationship with someone knowing they don’t love you, but settling for it anyway?
  • Do you minimize the good in your heart and hold it back from the light of day?
  • Does fear keep you prisoner from making decisions?

See where I’m heading here?

Be honest about the lies you live. Right now, go to the mirror, look at yourself… really look at yourself… and have a chat. Tell that person staring back at you what you think of them. What you like about them. What you don’t like about them.

Then breathe. Soak it in. Absorb the truth.

Dare to stay there as long as you can stand it, being honest with yourself. Seeing the true you, maybe even for the first time.

Then say one more daring thing…

“I love you.”

Once you declare that love out loud, you cannot hide from it. Your choices will change. Your friendships will change. You will change.

I know this because I lived it.

If you can’t say those three words to the one person in your life who is most important to your happiness, then make the changes you need in order to love yourself.

You deserve it. You deserve happiness. You deserve to live in reality, not fantasy.

You deserve love.

If you don’t love yourself, self-sabotage will infect your life like a poison, spewing into your relationships and into your work. You will fail over and over again, until you finally hit rock bottom.

Some of us need rock bottom to get honest. It’s not something to fear. It’s a blessing… as long as you choose to learn from it and evolve.

This is I, looking at you… right in the eyes…

I love you.

And that is the truth… now go live it.

 

These wise words were written by the incredible Jeanne V. Bowerman. She’s the self-proclaimed twitter pimp angel, a #scriptchat moderator, editor of @scriptmag and @pitchfest, and VP of @ImpasseProd. And because that isn’t badass enough, she’s also a black-belt holding belly-dancer. Yep. We’re also duly impressed. 

This post originally appeared on Jeannevb.com.

 

Weightless

The Husband has been uncharacteristically quiet lately. Not in typical, every day conversation, mind you. He’s got plenty to say when Buttercup asks him to pretend he’s five of her princess dolls at the same time. And we’re managing to keep the texting each other from across the table to the times we are paying someone else to make our dinner, so, you know, the face-to-face thing is still good. And when he’s talking on the phone he has this crazy annoying habit of pacing the entire length of the house because, apparently, it’s physically impossible to sit still while unconsciously raising the volume of his voice loud enough that we never actually have to tell the neighbors we are going on vacation and need to collect our mail for us.

For those who are acquainted with The Husband, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that it’s kind of unnerving. I said “I Do” with the full understanding that I was becoming Mrs. My God, You Can’t Help Being An Asshole, Can You? And by Asshole, I totally mean Honest to a Fault. And that fault is named San Andreas.

The time I spent sixty bucks and half the day at a salon getting my kinky curls straightened into gloriously shiny and straight tresses for a family wedding?

He said: Looks good. Don’t do it again. Translation? I love your frizzy curls even if you don’t.

My response as I stood on tiptoe to kiss him? You are such an asshole. Translation? You are such an asshole.

Or the time I was pregnant and was crying about the size of my ass  and my freakishly short legs and said something about how I wished the baby would inherit his genes?

He said: Yeah, I do too. Translation: Oh shit. That’s totally not what I meant. Except for the freakishly short legs thing. That? I meant.

My response as I tried not to fall down laughing: You are such an asshole. Translation? You are such an asshole.

And the time I was being sewn up by the hottest resident not cast in a television hospital drama because giving birth isn’t exactly a fucking picnic and my little baby was snuggled up on my chest?

He said: She really ripped you a new one, didn’t she? Translation: It would have been physically impossible for me not to say that out loud.

My response as I glared at him for the first time during the entire birthing process: You are such an…

Oh never mind. We all know where this is going.

The point is, he was born with a broken filter and prides himself on it. It’s one of the things I love about him that drives me absolutely insane at the same time. So I guess I was a little surprised when I realized that he has yet to comment on my recent (read: since Christmas) lack of OCD-like strict avoidance of processed foods and that brief love affair I had the with elliptical. At least until I was brainstorming writing ideas out loud and mentioned how I’ve realized the scale can call me a fatass one time and it blows my entire routine and reason for living out of the water and drives me straight into the nearest source of sugar-laden guilt covered in chocolate. So, I said, what if I avoided the scale? What if I told society (and my own) obsession with The Number to fuck the hell off and instead focused on how eating right and being active is just plain old Good For Me and Makes Me Feel Good? What if I just trusted how I feel instead of what the scale makes me feel?

And then, because I was just thinking out loud and had a billion ideas in my head that were spilling out at the same time, I skipped right on to the next Thing In My Head. He listened. I threw more out and then he listened some more. And when I was finally done Not Thinking Silently, The Husband stopped being quiet.

He told me how I base my entire self-worth on what the scale says and the rising of the very sun depends on it not pissing me off and making me cry. He said that I can go months and months with respectable losses that keep me motivated enough to keep going and then the One Time I weigh myself and the scale politely asks me why I want to know what the average weight of a newborn baby hippo is, I give up instantaneously and then go months and months before deciding to repeat the whole cycle again.

Then, he told me to take the batteries out of the scale.

Why? I asked.

He said: Because even if no one reads whatever it is you turn this into, you need to learn that you are not a number and stop this professional yo-yo bullshit.  Translation: I love you.

My response as I stood on tip toe to kiss him: You are such an asshole. Translation: I love you, too.

And we put the scale away.

 

Pauline Campos contributes to Funny Not Slutty, An Army of Ermas, Owning Pink, and 30 Second Mom. She blogs three times a week at Aspiring Mama, where this post originally appeared. Pauline is the founder of Girl Body Pride.