“I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.”

While the quote by Muhammad Ali in the title, has little to do with this post, it is one of my favourites and I just wanted to use it 🙂

It’s been a few weeks since my last posting, truth be told, I was in a pretty dark place… feeling bitter, entertaining a lot of anger, saddness, and fear; a sense of being lost, feeling like I was on the outside looking in, longing to find my place, to belong, for peace… So every time I sat down to write a blog it was full of anger, negativity, and resentment… This was not what I wanted to express to the world, I just kept reminding myself “Lalita, this isn’t you! Everyone has their dark times, hold on, the light is just around the next corner” so, while I waited for the light, I thought it best to keep my big trap shut until I climbed out of the deep, dark hole I had dug for myself.

This week, especially yesterday and today, I was reminded of the beauty that exists in my life. I realized, that while turmoil boils within me, and all around me, I need to look  deeper inside of me, and further than an arms length outside of me… and I’d find the peace I so desperately sought…

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm” Unknown

Today I was shown, by the purest of examples, that we are never too old to change, to better ourselves, to be true to ourselves, to learn what our destiny is and then ACTUALLY act on it… Today I witnessed bravery, compassion, kindness and love… Today the breath of life was whispered back into two hearts, and a friendship was reborn… Today was a beautiful day…

“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.”
Omar Bradley

About a year ago I made a very difficult decsion to walk away from someone I loved with all my heart, as I knew my presence in their life was doing more harm than good… while all I really wanted to do was grab them in my arms and hug them until they realized how much I truly loved them… I somehow found the courage to let them go and just held faith in my heart one day they would return, better than ever, forgiving me, and themself… Today that person came back to me, to themself, and I was honoured to be a part of their return, to rejoice in their new found love of life, to celebrate the path they are on, and to tell them how much I truly love them….

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” Hermann Hesse

Once all the seriousness was out of the way, we caught up, and laughed… laughed like we used to laugh, and it felt right, it felt good, I felt like I belonged there, in that moment, telling this friend stories…

(Totally off topic, the one that made us laugh the most was, back in 1996 when I started at an Internet company, spell check was still in it’s infancy, and one day I wrote an email to an old boss, I started with “Dear Mr. Erickson,” and ended with “Sincerely, Lalita” However the email, thanks to Microsoft and my lack of checking on spell check, went out as “Dear Mr. Erection” and “Sincerely, Labia”! Needless to say his reply was one of hilarity and confusion!)

Ok back to my point… What was my point…? Well, basically, regardless of the darkness I felt, the ‘aloneness’, anger, fear, resentment, this friend reminded me of three things,

1.Holding on to resentment will only hurt YOU…

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
Carrie Fisher

2. that only because of the darkness do we understand light…. To always have faith… that even in your darkest hour, you will come out of it… if you have faith…

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”  Patrick Overton

3. Thoughts are things, to keep my attitude positive, my words pro-active and my heart open (pray for him LOL, that’s just for my friend). To always remember to ask for sunshine instead of no rain…

“’Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’ ‘Supposing it didn’t,’ said Pooh. After careful thought Piglet was comforted by this.” A. A. Milne

Peace & Love!

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“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Alexander Pope

This morning my mom told me this story:

A senior monk and a younger monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her. The senior monk carried this woman on his shoulder, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing.

As they continued on their journey the younger monk was getting more and more agitated, and finally could no longer hold it in and asked, “As monks, we are not permitted to even look at a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?” The senior monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the bank, however, you seem to be carrying her still.” 

You see, this morning I realized I did something last night so horrible, and to me, completely inexcusable, it left me crying for most of the day, and unable to forgive myself… Even the beautiful being whom I wronged forgave me immediately with unconditional love and boundless kindness… she knew in her heart that what I did I would NEVER have done on purpose, it was a complete, yet horrific, mistake… but she loves me and forgave me…

Now, why can’t I forgive myself? I hurt someone I love more than anything in this world, she forgave me, but I can’t let it go…

I fell asleep around 9:30pm, and woke about midnight, crying, still holding onto what I had done, but these words were echoing in my heart, words my mom tried to tell me and I shut them out…

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Alexander Pope

“To err is human;…”  We all make mistakes, big ones, small ones, those that hurt ones we love, or strangers and those that simply hurt ourselves… I “F” up all the time, everyday! But today’s hurt the one being I love more than anything on this planet, she forgave me instantly, and yet I can’t let it go…

 “… to forgive, divine.” Webster’s Dictionary defines Divine as “Of or belonging to God;” So, do I tap into my divinity to find the forgiveness I should bestow upon myself? 

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Lewis B. Smedes
 
I guess I need to, as said in a previous blog, step back, watch my life as if it were a movie, separate myself from my ‘self’ and find the courage and compassion to let me accept what I’ve done as a mistake, an error, something soooooo not done on purpose, and forgive myself… It’s a process, but soon I hope I can leave this mistake at the bank of the river and move on…
 
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
 
 (and just something to make you giggle, I found this quote while searching for quotes on forgiveness… I love Emo!)
 
“When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.”
Emo Philips

“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.” Charlie Chaplin

Over the past 48 hours 2 people asked me almost the exact same question,

“How do you stay so optimistic?”

The first person I just laughed off, and said it’s all the sex, drugs and rock and roll in my life…. But the second came from someone I deeply respect and admire, and I hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning her name, Rauni Whitely… Rauni and I worked together at en Ville, what seems like a million years ago… she was one of the only two people who took the time to help me when I started there… she was patient, sooooooooo knowledgable, and one of the funniest people I have ever encountered…  I really do miss the laughter, it got me through some of the most difficult years of my life…

So, Rauni, in answer to your question… I have no frickin’ clue hahaha!!!! Seriously, I don’t know, because I really don’t feel that I am… but having it pointed out to me is making me think…

When I am down, depressed, sad, angry, mad, hurt, etc… (which is more often that I kinda wanna admit!) I try to just not share it with the world… To me, thoughts have energy and that energy spreads like wildfire… I believe presenting myself as the person I want to be will help me along in becoming that person…. basically, keeping the negative to myself, keeps the negative to a minimum… (at least that’s my theory).

I cry, a lot, I get angry in the car, soooooooo angry, swearing like a trucker (or a chef lol).

“Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”  William Saroyan 
 
If you read my last blog, you probably have an idea of what 80% of my life was like… it wasn’t until after my marriage ended did I make the decision that I was going to do whatever it took to make the next chapter of my life my own…  to be the one who makes my choices, who can be assertive, protective, compassionate, caring, loving for myself… it’s something I have always done for others, and never for myself… I lost almost 40 years of my life, and intend to make the next 40 all about being happy and trying to spread it wherever I go…

So there I was, all determined and no clue what the heck to do with myself 🙂

I embraced my faith even tighter than before, I allowed myself to feel whatever the hell I wanted to feel, I began to try and look at my life as if I were watching a movie, and I was the star! I saw the mistakes I was making, the hurt I was imposing upon myself, the patters, the habits, the kind of things I would smack any friend of mine upside their head for doing to themself… Then when I recognized all that negativity, I started to see the beauty I had been ignoring … my life is beautiful, sooooooo filled with laughter, joy, beauty, love, family, friends… Good Lord, my cat makes me laugh out loud 5 times a day… I somehow took it all for granted, or never let it ‘really’ into my heart…

So I started challenging myself to find beauty wherever I am, regardless of my mood or situation, I was going to find something to smile at… And then a month later, I had an intense experience and wrote about it “From Road Rage to Road Trip… Lalita was issued a throw down!”

Since then it has become easier to let go of the hurt, the pain, the memories… and I am doing everything I can to rid myself of the toxic situations I seem to keep landing in… (ok putting myself in)… I am doing better, and better with each day that passes, but patterns are hard to break…

Optimism is defined by dictionary.com, as:

1. a disposition or tendency to look on the  more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.

2.the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.

3.the belief that goodness pervades reality.

4. the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.

Spelled out like that, it sounds pretty easy eh? Hahaha!

“Optimism is the opium of the masses.
Pessimism is the pesticide of society.” – Ken Muslimvoic

My only answer, that  I know to be true is, I try to laugh a lot…

“An optimist laughs to forget, a pessimist forgets to laugh.” Anon

Mostly at myself… 

“The person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.”  Shirley MacLaine 

That’s all I gots on this topic!!! And just in time too, Big Bang Theory is about to start and that’s a big source of the laughter that fills me 🙂


 

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me.” Stuart Smalley SNL

About 2 years ago, while working at en Ville I had the pleasure of meeting a young lady named Edwina, unfortunately I didn’t take advantage of getting to know her, of taking the time to stop and talk with her… it was always “good morning!” and “have a great night/weekend!”. It wasn’t until I left and we ‘friended’ each other on Facebook did I realize what an amazing being she truly is… and she is one of the big reasons I am blogging!

Her blog (I highly recommend reading it) is called “Project Love”, and her goal for the year 2011 is to love herself, day 1, Forgiving herself, ‘Today, forgiveness is freedom to start over..’

She’s written about guilty pleasures, living in chaos, opening yourself up to being vulnerable… she’s beautiful and inspiring and I love her!

She challenges me, earlier this week on Facebook I posted a quote from Les Mis “To love another person is to see the face of God” to which she asked, ” ‎…and what is it to love yourself?”, immediately the answer came to me like a soft whisper in my heart ” to recognize the GOD in YOU!” She makes me a better me!

Her blog yesterday felt like she wrote it just for me… “On Loving Yourself Despite Post Apocalyptic Messes”, allowing me to forgive my trespasses… as she forgives hers…

My whole life I have built up walls to protect me from facing my past, confronting my demons and healing. I have lived in secret shame of a horrifically messy house, by the time I was 16 I had eaten myself into obesity, my addictions were plenty, food, drugs and worse… so much worse… I was in abusive relationship after abusive relationship, emotionally, physically, mentally spiritually, sexually… Self-destruction was all I knew… However, to look at me one would never know! My own family (who I am sure this blog is going to shock them all to hell) couldn’t tell… I think they call it ‘fully functioning’… I was a steadily employed, hardworking, sweet, kind, caring, funny girl…

This pattern followed me all the way through my 30’s, I married a wonderful man, who despite his faults and mine (both of us had many), I sometimes wonder if I had been more in control of who I am, could we have saved our marriage? It wasn’t until November 2009, a year after we split up, and during my 10 days of H1N1, where I truly thought I was going to die, did I come to a small realization of who I had become… for over 25 years I have constantly hurt myself in one way or another and let very very few into my inner sanctum and none into who I really and truly was.

Those ten days I spent thinking, crying, wanting to die and simultaneously wanting to live! I made the decision to make changes in my life… I left my job and started my own company, I started eating healthy, I started working out, all big things! But it’s the small things that I have done since Nov ’09 that  have left the biggest impact on who I am today, and today I am on the road to loving myself for the first time in my entire life…

The little things, like…

  • doing my dishes every day
  • finally, after 15 years, sleeping in my bed and not on the sofa
  • actually looking at myself in the mirror, not glancing, trying to see beauty, in the past more than a glance would send me into a panic attack
  • being myself, and trying to squash the fear of rejection that had held me prisoner for so many years

Recently and I mean the past 2 months, I cleaned and organized my apartment. While I no longer have a dining room, (it’s now the Events by Lalita storage facility), I do have a home in which I am proud to let people enter, and yes, it is now a home. It’s my sanctuary, my abode of victory! (Those who knew me in Panama may not understand this last statement, but remember in Panama I had Eugenia come in twice a week and clean for me 🙂 )

The walls are slowly coming down, while, on occasion, I pass by a McDonalds on a bad day, I do still have the urge to gorge myself sick in the hopes that it will make me feel better, I keep driving… I call my mom and just talk to her about silliness until the golden arches are nothing but a yellow dot in my rear view mirror… I rarely drink  and only socially, I haven’t touched a narcotic in 10 years, and as for my other addictions, let’s just say, I say “no”. Yes, I still smoke, I still drink Diet Coke, but compared to those I have conquered, these are two small fish in the vast ocean of Lalita…

So my goal for 2011 and the rest of my life is the same as Edwina’s, to love myself! I am going to stop hating me, stop berating me, stop getting down on myself, and to quote Edwina, “Today I show myself unconditional love by continuing to love myself and appreciating my life(style?)” Thank you for being in my life Edwina.