Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Posts tagged ‘friends’

When Some of Life’s Dances Have Steps That Elude Us

Holes and Boulders

Meditations in my house are typically a family affair but some days are more communal than others. When Munchkin lays across my shoulder with her head near my ear, purring as if her life depends on it, while Dylan lays on the arm of the sofa, curled in the crook of my elbow, I know the visuals will be more vivid and the messages, more clear.

Such was the scenario for a recent meditation. With my focus more on Munchkin’s soothing purr than the meditation music I grabbed from YouTube, I did a little mental inventory. What I discovered was a bit disturbing.

My heart felt like there was a huge area where nothing penetrated, but nothing came out either—almost a physical void where a piece of my heart was gone, or maybe never really existed. But it wasn’t just my heart. I felt a weight the size of a small boulder in my stomach. And yet, as far as I knew, there was nothing wrong. Never mind the migraine that started shortly after I woke up.

Allowing the Answers to Come as They Will

Since it was a meditation, I gave up any effort I might have made to indulge in self analysis, and simply allowed myself to sink into Munchkin’s purr and let the answers come of their own volition and in their own time. I didn’t have long to wait.

I allowed myself to feel the loneliness and to let the reasons slowly coalesce. I felt the sense, first, of something lost, but soon, I realized it was something I never really had. Like most people, I have my own dream of a perfect life, though since I spent so many years believing myself unworthy, I’d convinced myself at the same time I didn’t deserve the perfect life I envisioned. Of course, reality and expectation came together with uncanny accuracy.

The trouble is, I no longer believe I’m unworthy (OK, at least I don’t most of the time), and though some aspects of that perfection were lost with my youth, I realize on a rational level that, as the saying goes, I ain’t dead yet, and there’s still time to attract aspects of the old and never quite forgotten dreams.

Old Baggage Can Lead Us Astray

But I’m manifesting that belief in potentially unhealthy ways. I realized today I’ve become, on a subconscious level almost desperate to receive the love and cherishing I see so many of my friends enjoying. Perhaps it’s a double-edged sword to now have a social circle of loving, giving people who are in the kind of relationships I will admit I want for myself when I’m not in my favorite home away from home, the State of Denial.

The result is that my sensitivities are like a nest full of baby birds when mom arrives with a freshly chewed worm, but I react, not to food but to a little attention from the male of the species. Somehow, my heart and brain get all tangled up and look for reasons to believe the attention is more than it is, or that I’m getting a little more from the gentleman in question than the plethora of single women in the vicinity.

The Epic Battle Between Heart vs. Head

Needless to say, I have a near-constant internal battle going on. Picture Dr. Doolittle’s Push Me-Pull You as the battle between my heart and head, each one trying to control which direction my entire self goes. If you consider all the times I’ve been oblivious when someone really was more than superficially interested and I failed to give the right signs which would have indicated mutual interest, you can see what a convoluted mess I put myself in. And why my heart feels like half of it is a black hole and my gut feels like I’ve swallowed a brick whole.

The truth is, even if a guy was to show an interest, it would have to be so blatantly obvious, the entire world could see it before it would get through my dysfunctional brain and register a need for me to give some kind of affirmative response. Needless to say, there may or may not be at least a couple who turned their attentions elsewhere because I failed to follow the steps of the one dance I never managed to learn.

Friends Just Want Friends to be Happy

Another down-side to having so many happily coupled friends is they have a tendency to want all of their friends to be as happy and cherished as they are. Too often, my well-meaning friends will try to convince me that someone is more than casually interested. I’ll start paying closer attention to my interactions with said male, only to realize that both I and my friend were seeing something we wanted to see, and not what was really there.

To top it off, I’m beginning to believe despite my observations that men are dating women 20 years their junior, looking 15-20 years younger isn’t the same thing. All too often, I’m feeling like I get written off because someone thinks I’m in my 40’s. Good grief! Can’t ya cut a girl a break? I used to believe my daughter was just being sweet, but lately, others have made the same mistake, with one person telling me I didn’t have the hands of a 60-year-old. (insert huge, heartfelt sigh)

I’ve Been Lonely So Long

I never thought I’d see the day I’d say, much less type these words, but the truth is, I’m tired of always being alone. I’d love to have someone to spend a rainy Friday night with, curled on the sofa talking, or reading, or watching something mindless on TV. I won’t go so far as to say I could handle having someone with me all the time, but a couple of nights a week and someone I could count on for more than the occasional dance would be nice.

Of course, this could be my personal version of a mid-life crisis, typically later than normal as everything I do seems to be. It could be too many Hallmark movies, or too many misconstrued acts of simple kindness. I don’t really know any more. Perhaps it’s something women of a certain age go through when they’ve been alone for too many years.

Using the Energy of Frustration Towards the Greater Good

Whatever the reason, I know I need to find something or someone to fill up that empty place in my heart. I thought my resident felines were enough, but even there, I’ve been deluding myself, and they’ve probably known it all along. I also know the best way to fill the hole is by giving of myself, and that route is far less open to interpretation than areas where my perceptions are more than slightly askew.

In my usual convoluted and misdirected fashion, I seem to have hit on the solution to the problems with my heart and gut. My gut still says it isn’t what it wants (funny, as you’d think my heart would weigh in, yet it’s unnaturally silent), but since neither of us has a clue as to where to find help lifting off the brick that seems to have settled in for a long winter’s nap, finding someone or something who could use an extra pair of hands will fill the space for now. I’m open to suggestions, but of course, would prefer it to be something in my geographical area and not affiliated with any religious organization or purpose.

Finding the Rule Book Everyone’s Read, but Nobody Has

Am I truly alone in this? Do others find they just don’t know how to play those interpersonal games? Have others, as I have, failed to learn the rules of the game, or even lack a desire to play games with their heart in the first place? So many times, I wish I had the ingenuousness of a 5-year-old who would simply say: “Hi. I like you. Wanna play?”

Can you imagine how many would run screaming in the other direction if I did that? It would break every rule in the handbook of interpersonal skills that is probably one of the rare books which never made it into my extensive personal library.

Gettin’ By

For now, you can find me at the dance hall a couple of nights a week, the gym, my requisite 3 days, and perhaps feeding the homeless, or filling boxes for our military personnel far away from home. And writing little ditties like this one twice a week, hoping to help someone else feel less alone as they meander through life without an instruction manual or even a map to alert them to upcoming land mines.

One thing I have found as I stumble and fumble is we are not meant to be alone, and though we might not find “the one” right away, or even in this lifetime, there are always people around who love us and care about us. We just have to crawl out of our cocoons once in a while and look around, feel the sunshine on our faces, and spread those beautiful butterfly wings we grew while hiding out for so long.

Remembering My Unlimited Supply of Blessings

And of course, find things large and small to be grateful for:

  1. I am grateful for the people who allow me to touch their lives with my stumbles and fumbles.
  2. I am grateful for my cats who are snuggly, demanding, and sometimes ornery.
  3. I am grateful for my daughter who keeps me connected to the world even when I don’t come outside for days on end. She reminds me there are frustrations, but also causes for joy and amusement.
  4. I am grateful for the writing and the people I get to meet because of it. There’s an entire world of people out there with incredible imaginations, who are caring, accepting, and understanding of some of my struggles.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, inspiration, motivation, health, sanity (at least some of the time), energy, spirit, blessings, prosperity, goals, and philanthropy.

Love and Light

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghostwriting to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author


August 17, 2014 Information overload

I’ve been feeling really drained and tired the last couple of days, and the reason finally became clear.  I’ve been allowing myself to get pulled into stuff I have no business giving my attention to on social media, and realized that it has to stop.  Though I’m honest enough with myself to realize that I won’t avoid social media entirely, I can commit to passing on having it open 24/7, checking in from everywhere I go, and, in general, just being less connected overall.  I still have ways for the people who are important to me to get in touch, so I don’t feel like I’m really going to lose much by being less available.

Meanwhile, the time I’ve been spending monitoring my accounts will be put to much better use on things like writing, studying and the constant battle to keep my environment decluttered.  In fact, I feel as if the energy blocks I’ve been experiencing, both mental and physical, are directly attributable to the direction I’d allowed myself to be pulled.  My initial actions, therefore, have been to remove posts which convey the wrong message, and to apologize for the words I misspoke.

Last week, before I started my downward spiral, I made excellent progress on clearing out Heather’s old room.  What’s left needs to be sorted, either put away, thrown away or re-homed.  I’ll then be ready to pull up the linoleum and do some some serious scrubbing.

I look around my house and yard and think “I need to do such and so”  but never manage to get around to it because I’m putting too much time and energy into things which don’t matter and, in fact, might even be harmful to me and others.

I’m sure I’m not alone in being occasionally drawn into things which really don’t matter in the overall scheme of things.  I do tend to take it too far at times, until I’m mired in a lot of negatively charged topics at the expense of both my ideals and my purpose.

Thankfully, I have friends who have divergent beliefs, ideals and ways of life who remind me, usually unintentionally on their part, to get back to what’s important and leave the cow poop behind me!  Adding to or creating drama on Facebook is a pile of cow poop that would bring tears to the eyes of the Bandini execs!  I therefore will my share to them, that they can make much better use of it than I.    Vegetable garden, anyone?

Speaking of vegetable gardens, I hear that digging in the dirt is good for you on many levels.  As I start to complete those decluttering projects, reinstating the vegetable garden my daughter started a couple of times is high on the list.  I had followed some links to sites which sold organic (non Monsanto screwed with) seeds,  and can see some purchases along with a good book on organic gardening in my future.   Sadly, I failed to maintain the fruit trees I planted, so, as near as I can tell, only one, maybe two have survived.  The plum tree is thriving, though fruitless, as I gave it a good trimming, have done some weed abatement, and now water it regularly (putting the task on my weekly to do list helps!)  I hope to save the citrus tree if I haven’t left it for too long.    If either of the cherry trees, the apricot tree or the pluot tree are salvageable after my years of neglect, I will be incredibly grateful, but frankly, I don’t hold out a lot of hope right now.  I will be thrilled to be proven wrong on this one!

Recipe for growth: One part, setting of intentions, ten parts, gratitude

I’ve learned many useful things over the last few years, but the two which have borne the most fruit have been in publicly setting my intentions and remembering, always, to be grateful. I’ve also learned that as soon as I forget or spend more time complaining than being grateful, my world and everything in it begins to respond contrarily to what I desire. I experience more weird maladies and upset stomachs; clogged throats and headaches, until I wake back up and realize what I’m doing to myself, and, frankly, everyone around me, and stop sabotaging myself.

Although I don’t yet respond to an early warning system when I’ve gone off track, I do, eventually, get it, and redirect my energies. I’d like to believe that I’m getting the message sooner rather than later these days, but as I’m not exactly keeping score, I can’t really say. In the meantime, I am just grateful for an end to this episode of “As the downward spiral spins” and look forward to a long, productive period of gratitude, attention to intentions and productivity.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my friends whose selfless actions remind me when I’ve drifted into territory which conflicts with my goals and desires.
2. I am grateful for periods of negativity which remind me how much I appreciate being positive.
3. I am grateful for projects which would, if all undertaken, keep me busy and out of trouble for years to come.
4. I am grateful for the many opportunities I’m given to improve myself and the world around me.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, joy, harmony, happiness, peace, productivity, health and prosperity.


August 10, 2014 Learning not to take things for granted

Out of sight, out of mind

This weekend finds me being put well into my place. For a number of reasons, I missed a semi-annual gathering of friends and acquaintances who share a common history. As posts popped up on social media to let various people know they were missed, none were directed at me. At first, I felt hurt as, when I’ve attended in the past, I was greeted with a genuine welcome by many, and spent several hours talking to and laughing with the people.

I realize now that though the friendliness and welcome were real, once I walked out the door, to most, I was just another face in the crowd. It’s nobody’s fault but my own for assuming too much.

I’m not going to start making the usual excuses for people (busy lives, lots of other people to see…) because they don’t need any. It’s nobody’s job to make me feel welcome, included, or missed. It’s on my own head for thinking it might be.

I’ve gotten very spoiled, though. If I miss a single night of dancing without letting everyone know ahead of time why, I know I’ll take a lot of ribbing from my dance friends about my whereabouts and failure to ask permission. But not everyone can, will or should love me that way. The dance crowd has spoiled me, and the spoiling is good. I love them all, see them regularly, even do non-dance things on occasion (like a concert in the park today!).

One size does not fit all!

The truth is, we have people we know at different levels. Aside from family who may or may not be interested in our welfare or whereabouts, at the top of the list is Friends. After that, it’s a slow downward progression to acquaintances, people we see on occasion and play the social nice game, and finally strangers. Expecting anyone but friends to care whether you’re around or not is both egotistical and ludicrous.

Forgive and remember

My task for today is to forgive myself for overestimating my own importance to others, to remember the lesson, and to find even more joy on those people I call “Friend”, or, better still, my extended family.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I appreciate lessons, even when those lessons take me down a peg or two.
2. I am grateful for the people who give me crap when I’m not where they expect me to be.
3. I am grateful for a wonderful Concert in the Park with a few of those who truly make me feel wanted and appreciated.
4. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned in forgiveness and acceptance.
5. I am grateful for abundance; joy, love, friendship, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.


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