I Am Always The Strong One

I am always the strong one.  At least that is the illusion I told myself.  I am the one who remains clear headed and calm while the chaos ensues around me.  I’m the one that handles the crisis during the crisis.  The cost is I don’t get to my feelings until much later after the chaos becomes calm. 

After the crisis and before I get to my feelings, I am cranky, bitchy, nitpicky.  And when I let loose, it is like my insides are falling out of me.  I cry tears that could fill the oceans.  I sob out loud and I just let go.  And man, am I tired when I’m finished.  It takes so much energy to hold up the world and keep it together when I just want to cry in that moment.  But if I did, then I wouldn’t be the strong one. Or would I?

This is how I grew up.  This was the role I created for myself.  My unique ability.  My “look at me and what I can do talent”.  The action I took for approval and love.  What I felt I had to do to be loved.  Yet, I was already loved.  Loved before conception, loved the second I was conceived, the moment I came into this body on this earth.  I am love. 

Somewhere along the way, I learned being dependable was strong and approved (approval = love) and showing lots of emotion was judged as weak.  So, funny, I live my life in a colorful world mixing colors constantly.  Yet for this huge decision, I looked at only 2 choices, black or white.  My fear erased color and with it possibilities. 

I did such a good job playing my “strong one” role that when I shared my feelings with loved ones and began taking off my mask, they responded with “you can handle it, you are strong”.  Often, that made me super angry to hear.  I wanted the perceived nurturing I saw going to the “weak”.  The rescuing.  I wanted to be rescued. 

And so I tried my hand at being a victim.  I didn’t get the reaction I wanted.  I received tough words and tough love. And that made me angry and kicked off more fears about me not being loved.  A self-fulfilling prophecy?

Life is about possibilities, endless possibilities.  Today I am still great in a crisis with my feelings hanging out or running down my face.  I allowed myself to see other possibilities.  I no longer have HUGE releases after a crisis that drain me of energy.  I gave myself permission to feel in the moment.  I am the strong one because I allow myself to feel and express my vulnerability without becoming a victim.

And I am grateful for this beautiful awareness.  I am grateful for the times I believed in the illusion.  And I am so grateful to know the difference.   This awareness I pass on to my son.  Feel your feelings, acknowledge them.  Crying is a release.  Admitting you are sad, frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, AFRAID, doesn’t make you weak…it is what you do next that becomes your story.  Do you become a victim of woe is me or do you keep moving, find gratitude and live your life, human, vulnerable and strong?

How do you begin reframing what you believe and your behaviors? I’ll share with you what I discovered. My magic powers I’ve used for years…

First you become aware.  Then you create an intention.  How do you want to embrace your life or a specific aspect of it.  Stick with something that stretches your comfort zone and yet you believe it is possible.  Sometimes it is your intention that helps grow your awareness.  And then develop an affirmation, an I am statement.  Something in your own words that you desire and can believe.  Both your intention and affirmation may be works in progress.  That is absolutely okay. 

And finally, gratitude.  When I live in gratitude, my fears are quieter.  It doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but fear doesn’t get so loud that it controls my life.  And when it does, I discover I have forgotten my gratitude.

I realize this may sound too easy or possibly lame depending on your perspective.  All I know is it works.  It works in my life.  And I have the incredible delight of witnessing it change the lives of my clients.

I sit in gratitude almost daily focusing on an intention and affirmation to guide me or grow me that day.  And sometimes I have the same intentions and affirmations for a few weeks as I allow myself to change.  My gratitude notebook goes everywhere with me in my purse.  When I feel something, I write it down.  And when I’m struggling, it helps me remember.  Some days it might be gratitude that I am breathing or the sun is shining. 

I realize this seems so simple. How could something this simple change your life? Try it consistently and watch yourself soar.  And if you dare enough to try it, write to me and tell me how your life is changing.  I want to dance in celebration for you and with you.   

 

I struggle

What am I going to write about? The time I struggled and showed my ass by behaving like I’d lost my mind? There are moments I feel like I’m part of the circus or better yet starring in a sit-com.  My life is far from always being full of laughter though we laugh a lot in our family.

I get tired of taking everything so seriously.  So I put on a pair of “TV glasses” and see what each situation I’m worried about, frustrated with, pissed about, and enjoying would like through the camera of a sit-com.

I discovered this solution when Eli was an infant.  I was alone and changing his diaper.  He stuck one foot in poop, then another, then his hand.  Somehow it got on my hands too.  I was by myself at home.  And as a new mom, I began to panic.  How do I figure this out? How do I get my son and myself clean without getting poop everywhere.  Every idea I thought of resulted in me seeing my son ending up falling to the floor.  All the tools I needed were in other rooms,  The thought of carrying poop from room to room with a dog and three cats standing by to enter the fray filled me with more anxiety.   My body tensed and tightened.  And then Eli began to cry.  Big surprise, right?  And then as he wriggled in more poop, for a split second I imagined my reaction if I was watching this on TV.  What was the big deal? And I began to laugh.  And as I laughed and my body loosened, Eli calmed and smiled.  I have no idea how, but somehow I cleaned us both pretty quickly and easily.  And from then on, I pulled out my “TV Glasses” during life situations.  Any caregivers out there ever experience similar situations?

Which brings me to a few days ago when again I was struggling, frustrated and a little scared.  Instead of picturing the sitcom, I cried.  I disagreed with my producer for my upcoming radio show and participated in unnecessary arguing drama.  I was not fit for human consumption and I felt it in my body. I reflected on all my “life plates” I keep spinning, my to dos.  Are these life or death “plates”? Nope.  What will happen if I don’t get EVERYTHING done? Nothing.  What am I afraid of?

Truth? Falling on my face which is FAILING. Yet even as I say that most of me is not afraid.  I know in the deepest part of me, even if I fall on my face there is a reason.  I know the experience will provide me with an opportunity.  Now truth be told.  It isn’t comfortable to fail.  So I don’t know of anyone who runs out and says Yes, I’ll choose Failure.  What I know is if I don’t choose change,  which comes with risks, and pushing out of what is comfortable, I stay stuck.

Complacency becomes another word for stuck.  Don’t make waves. Status quo.   Don’t ask a tough question because of what might happen.  Did you know stuck means you don’t get to experience the fantabulous either?

Self-esteem plays a huge role in your willingness to embrace change.  Change can have ALOT of unknown and unfamiliar feelings and factors.  So of course complacency will feel better in some aspects because you know it.  And you know your outcomes even if they are painful.

So here I go taking another leap:  1) I premiered my radio show heard globally   2) I stopped part of my business marketing which I believed until recently was the largest draw for meeting new clients.   I do not know what I’m doing next to grow my community.   I trust it will be revealed soon (there was a bit of GULP the first time I said that)  3) I am continuing to lovingly detach as a parent (more on this in future articles). Providing my son opportunities to grow and fail (as safely as I can)  4) I am visibly emerging with  live videos on social media, radio, joint ventures with other healers 5) I am learning how to do my radio show from my computer and all the mechanics and marketing (there are at least 10 things here I don’t know)  6) I am allowing in my relationship with Marc instead of listening to the voice telling me to “drive the train”.  With more leaping each week and sometimes daily.

And while some days it feels harder and some days I fail.  I am still happy everyday.  And more and more consistently, I feel an ease and a joy.  I feel a freedom like I did as a kid riding my bike super fast with the wind blowing my hair kicking my feet out as I went down a huge hill and yelling WHEEEEEEE!!!

With Love and Gratitude,

Marni

 

Did God abandon me?

Have you ever felt lost and abandoned by what you trust, what you know, who you know and what keeps you feeling comfortable in your own skin?

As a young child I soared with happiness.  I lived authentically and in a big way with big energy. I trusted me and the world. I felt connected like an umbilical cord to everything.  And then my world changed.

Thinking back to it, it didn’t seem traumatic.  When I was 8 we moved.  Moved away from friends and family, schools, neighborhood, everything I knew and had known most of my life.   We landed in a place where we knew no one.  They spoke differently. My sister and I were the only Jewish kids in our elementary school. I have an unusual name, Marni, which stuck out. My hair was white blond (and stuck out). I have a loud laugh too.   Not long after we moved, I began developing so I stuck out physically too, as this was early.

Couple me sticking out to even more changes: our new house was broken into and robbed 2 months after we moved in; my Dad was traveling ALOT and no longer home each night; there was a killer in the new county we lived in that was abducting white blonde headed kids, raping and killing them.  That last one panicked my parents.  So instead of enjoying the freedom I had grown up with leaving my house with friends and riding my bike all day.  I was able to go about a block away.  If I went further there had to be a destination and a phone call home when I arrived.

And finally, my new school was a big change from an open room school where I had been working at my own pace and soaring academically to one classroom learning at the same pace as my peers.

Lots of change, right? Feeling free changed. Feeling safe changed.  Feeling accepted changed. Feeling loved changed.  And then the bullying began.   I don’t recall all the particulars.  One day it was my hair.  One day it was my new larger breasts or that I wore a bra.  Two boys threatened to beat me up on the playground because I was Jewish.  Girls who had been my “friends” no longer played with me at recess and either ignored me or joined in with the bullies.

I told my parents and felt shame that I wasn’t having the happy experience I felt they expected.  My parents are loving people and care about me.  They are not perfect.  They told me if I ignored it, the bullying would stop.  It didn’t.  They were getting more and more brutal.  I went to the principal of the school.  He listened to me, told me to develop a thicker skin and try to ignore it.  I began feeling unimportant and invisible. I no longer felt connected.

I began to change. I withdrew.  I escaped into books, writing and tennis.  The outgoing fun loving  social child became quiet and introverted.  The message in my energy was PLEASE DON”T SEE ME.  If you don’t see me, you won’t be mean to me.  I was filled with negative self-talk about my own lack of worth.

Yet, I was angry.  I felt abandoned by everyone in my life that helped me feel secure and safe to be my true happy self including and especially God.

How could God allow this to happen to me? I wondered: If we are all parts of God, how can this be happening?  My self worth was crushed.  I felt invisible to those that could help me and targeted by the kids.  I prayed every way I knew for this punishing experience to end.  Remember I was 8, 9 years old, just a year older than my son is today.   Over time with all that was so out of control in my life and  pushing my feelings to numb, I became bulimic and developed amnesia of sorts.

As I grew up, I healed pieces of me over time.  I sought treatment for my bulimia and that was the first big step in releasing the anger I felt and living more like true Marni.  Learning meditation at treatment uncorked a big chunk of my amnesia and I began remembering who I had been before we moved.    As I healed each of these pieces, I thought this is the BIG ONE.  The one that would bring real Marni back to life completely.

Don’t get me wrong.  I changed a lot after treatment.  The outgoing free and happy Marni began returning.  I began talking to God again. I lived happier and happier.  I met an amazing man that became my best friend and husband.  Yet as much as I understood his love for me, I still questioned it and didn’t fully trust it.  My lack of trust showed up many times an issue escalated between us, I believed he would leave me.  He didn’t say this, yet I went there.

By the time I became aware and owned this was a pattern in me, I stepped into my life as a healer and believed strongly in my connection to the Universe and God and even divine reasons for life experiences. And I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel completely authentic.  Something wasn’t getting through.

BOOM.  Hit over the head.  That is how I felt this past summer when my hubs and I had a big misunderstanding.  I discovered he kept something from me financially.  I went right to my distrust place and assumed he did it with the intent of leaving me.  Fortunately, I searched within me for other possibilities before I went overboard. I learned what he had done was to support me fulfilling my life purpose in the best way he knew how because he believed in me and my ability to help others.  OY.

Why did I go there?  It goes back to my 8/9 year old experiences.  I NEVER grieved for feeling abandoned in my life.  I shut down. Not abandoned by people only, I never grieved for feeling abandoned by God.  The anger I carried around was unconscious anger towards God for the pain and suffering of my childhood and not understanding why I “deserved” it.    Becoming aware of these feelings and their depth rocked my world.  How could I help others and believe all I believe and feel this way?   And yet I did.

My new awareness forged a deeper spiritual connection in me.  I almost always trusted easily on the surface.  Now my trust is much deeper.  I believe everything happens for a reason or as my Grams always said “Out of Shit, You get Flowers”.  And as I look back on my life, God never abandoned me, I abandoned me when my world flipped upside down.  I let go of my faith.

This past summer rocked my world within every aspect of my life.  Nothing went untouched.  Again my faith was tested.  I questioned if I truly believed what I believe and if I did, how could I question it?   I went back to basics of what I know about energy, chakras, faith, love and growth.  I learned: Questioning what you believe is okay.  It doesn’t mean you no longer believe them.  It actually strengthens your belief and your faith. I know when life feels really tough and super yucky, look out, the pain is growth. No different than a kid’s leg or arm growing.  Is it what I would choose? No.  Would you?

Yet believing in my connection to God, that everything happens for a reason and somehow I’m always taken care of…. have gotten me through the most challenging 9 months of my life.  I know when I ask for help it is heard and I give up control as to how and when that help shows up for me.  I do not feel isolated and alone.  I feel connected.

Lovingly Lotus