Moral of the Story

The moral of a story is the lesson that story teaches about how to behave in the world. I suppose if it’s a sad story, then we might behave that way. But the truth is, we don’t have to. We can choose to take the moral of a not so happy story and make sure the next story we tell, is a really good one.

My middle son played this song for me yesterday. Two days ago he played a song called, Too f#$%n nice by Victoria Justice for me. I think he’s trying to tell me something, don’t you? I love that kid and my two other ones and they are a great source of strength and support for me.

When we go through a major life change, especially a not so easy one, it really is a great opportunity to look at what we have gone through and see the lesson in what happened. We might be asking what was the point even, especially if it was really painful.

I have been on this path of self discovery for awhile now and the only truth I know, is this: it is paramount that we see the lesson, embrace it, learn from it and grow from it, else we are going to repeat it. And I can tell you from personal experience that I never ever want to repeat this particular lesson again.

As I sift through 20 something years of stuff and try to find storage space for it, sell my house, look for a new place to live with my kids and end a marriage through mediation, I am a bit overwhelmed. It’s a lot and while I would appreciate someone’s help as I am going through this, my family does not live close by, so I am doing it on my own.

So to that end I will be taking a break from writing on my blog for a bit. It is something I have made part of my daily routine and well, since my routine has now been replaced by a mire of non-routine, my mind cannot be here right now.

I’ll leave you with this song and this message. As I look around my house and all of the material things I have, I realize that the only things that are of real importance or value are my photos, kids art projects, letters and cards from them and family, my cat and of course my boys.

The rest of my things are just things and can all be replaced. But the memories…I have many from living here. Some good, some really bad. The moral of this story is this: we take our memories with us wherever we go. We get to choose which ones we replay in our minds. If we are choosing painful ones than we aren’t allowing new and joyous ones to come in.

And when you look around your life you realize the things that really matter the most, are the ones you can touch and hold.

May my next story and yours have no moral, just a happily ever after.

xo Gretchen

Teachers Pet



Were you one of those people who were the teacher’s pet? That kid that got to pass out her papers, be first in line, erase the chalkboard, be hall monitor…the list goes on and on.

You might want to read that list again. Do you see what happened there? They were nothing more than chores: things she didn’t want to do. But you did! Because it felt good to be noticed, to feel wanted and recognized. You thought you were special cause you got that nod from the teacher.

When we look for validation from people, want to be noticed, want to be special, stand out, get the nod and constantly need attention, we are still running the program of wanting to be the teacher’s pet. And there is a price that comes with being the pet. It’s called manipulation. It is unconscious for most people, but for some not so much. They know exactly what they are doing.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be manipulated. You may not think you are having this done to you, but if you are seeking approval from someone, there will be an unconscious game going on where you have to do this thing to get this other thing from them.

Why would we want to partake in a game like that? Because we live in fear. We fear that something awful will happen to us if we don’t do what is expected of us. We fear we won’t be provided for, loved, that we will be abandoned and discarded. But the irony is, if you aren’t giving these things to yourself, then you have already discarded you and are letting someone else run your life.

You might think you’re in a relationship, but if you can’t be yourself, I mean, really be yourself, then you are living in fear. You are essentially playing small. You probably put their needs first, may not even think about yours as part of the equation or bypass your emotions when they try to alert you to their discomfort because like Scarlet O’Hara, “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.” Guess what? It’s tomorrow!

Ask yourself this: Do I do things I really don’t want to do, in order to make someone else happy? You probably call this compromising and tell yourself it is necessary in relationships. Can you hear the buzzer? I’m pressing it right now. This is you being the teachers pet. You want this person’s approval, love, whatever it is, and instead of saying how you really feel or what you really want, you say nothing and go along with what they do instead.

I’m not saying you don’t do things for your partner, I am saying you voice your feelings instead of stuffing them down inside. It’s take guts to speak your truth. People don’t like it and they will push back. Think about when you were a kid and you told your parents you didn’t like something. Did they still make you do it? Eat it? Probably!

Well, you’re not that kid anymore and you don’t have to keep running this unconscious program of fear. You no longer have to be the teachers pet. You get to be you! Unapologetically! Cause anyone who rewards you because you do what they want, is not only manipulating you, they’re a real punk!

More

An oldie but a goodie!

I want to talk about more because so many of us say we want more, even think we deserve more, but few of us go about getting it because it often requires a bit of discomfort. Sometimes a whole boat load!

I recently separated from my husband. We have been married for over 20 years and have three boys. We have separated a few times in our time together, but this time it is far more substantial. He rented an apartment.

It’s no joke that I have been through a huge transformation. While my core values are still very much the same, as is the love I give unconditionally, my lack of wanting to participate in programs and patterns that do not serve anyone, has greatly.

This has confused him and made him say, “he wants his wife back.” I get it! I really do, which is why I am seeing this separation as something that is paramount to his well being and happiness just as much as mine.

When you do enough work on yourself you do not feel the need to be acrimonious towards someone you spent well, almost a lifetime with, let alone had children with. I cannot speak for him. Right now we are working together, but he does have influences around him that don’t see relationships as give and take, just take. But I am choosing to remain optimistic.

I truly want want is best for him and I know at this juncture, it is not me.

When you know that you want more than what you currently have, staying in that place of accepting less is not an option; in fact it is soul crushing. But fear of the unknown will keep so many of us dwelling there, hoping it gets better, hoping for this, wishing for that, until we realize you can wish and hope all you want, but what is called for is change.

I don’t know where I’m headed and that’s okay. I am not afraid of the unknown; I fear complacency far more than that. I actually like being alone and am not alone enough. I have two children home now and my oldest is on his way to see me for Mothers Day. They are my greatest achievement and the most wonderful thing that came out of my marriage.

And while I do not share my thoughts on my personal issues with my boys unless they ask, I do have really terrific friends and family who really love me, support me and have my back. I need not look too far for a shoulder to lean on, someone to make me laugh or to tell me I am capable of anything.

It is not through our wins that we see who supports us, it is through our trials and tribulations. It is very telling who wants to be in your life when you are challenged and who does not. Sometimes this truth hurts, but all necessary in order to fully own the fact that you will never again accept less than what you know you truly deserve. We all deserve more love, not less; don’t ever forget that.

I share this with you so that you understand there is never any reason to accept less than what your soul is yearning for. The journey to self love can be very painful but when you finally reach this destination, you realize the pain you felt all along was really inflicted by yourself. You saw things you wanted to see, not what was actually there and that’s because you sought outside yourself for the love you should have been giving you all along.

Once you reach a level of self-love, you will never settle for less than more, more, and more!

Dare to have more!

Location, Location, Location

We’ve all heard this mantra before. It’s all about where your home is located and how it determines its value. But what make a house a home and what determines its value?

A house is simply a structure where people live. But a home is where you build your roots. It is a place where love is the common theme and there is a mutual respect and concern for all of those who live there.

You can have the best location in the world, but if you don’t have a harmonious environment, than it becomes a house; just a structure where people inhabit its space.

People get attached to their homes. I get it. If you had good memories there and you feel well… for lack of a better word, “home” there, then the location of it probably doesn’t matter much to you. You may have even compromised some things about its exact local just because you liked the house and you love the people you live with, so it doesn’t matter. The value of your home is based on your love for those you share the space with, not what the market tells you.

When a home becomes a house, its value is determined by how much you can get for it and how quickly can you get out of it. When a home becomes a house you are no longer attached to it. You realize it is merely a structure and while you may have had some good memories there, you feel ready to move to a different location and begin anew, with the intention of making someplace else a home again.

Our desire for a home in todays world goes beyond a yearning, it is a need. We need to put our heads on a pillow and sleep well, knowing we are surrounded by those who have our backs. We need to sit at a table and eat a meal with people where we have intelligent conversations, share a few laughs and feel completely safe being our most authentic selves. We need more love not less of it and we understand that there is no house that can give us these things, it is people.

My house is in a pretty nice location. I think a lot of people would like living here, but for me and my boys, this house has not been a home for a long time. I don’t think we ever liked this town even though we gave it more than enough chances and I think it has more to do with the people who live here, than anything else.

When I sit in my backyard and listen to the birds, I still hear traffic which has always bothered me. I remember the realtor saying, “You’re moving from New York City, you should be used to the sounds!” Then she went on to talk about the location since you can walk to town from my house. This used to appeal to me when I took the train in the city 4 times a week for auditions. Now I do them from home.

The town is looking pretty sad these days. Like most, a lot of places have closed and I don’t know who thought putting 6 hair salons and 4 pizza places in the span of a mile was a good idea but there are days where I would love a Hale and Hearty instead!

I’ve worked hard to make our house a home and this year I redid the entire upstairs. It looks like a boutique hotel. My older boys sleep up there when they visit from college but the older one who will be a senior, has already dismantled his room mentally and plans on taking things with him when he moves into his house in a few months.

The home they were all raised in is destined to be put up for sale. My youngest will be a junior in high school next year and my hope is to stay here until he graduates so that the other two have a place to visit when they come home. The alternative is New York City and apartments are pretty small. I could make it work if I had to (I tend to make everything work the best I can), but it’s not something I care to do.

But I do love the city! And talk about locations! It’s the one place where we forego all of the stuff we think we need and live off of all of the amazing culture and adventures New York has to offer in its place instead. But I like the south too, actually the beach, so moving there appeals to me as well, just not yet.

Wherever your location is, I hope you feel as though it’s your home. If you don’t, then maybe it’s not so much your house, but the people you share it with… or, it could be the location.

They say that home is where your heart is, so who and what has yours?

Promises

A promise: an assurance to someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen.

Are you keeping promises? Not ones to other people, but the ones you make to yourself?

The one where you said, “I won’t give my heart to anyone who doesn’t give their heart in return?”

The one that said, “I won’t commit to anything unless it resonates 100% with who I am?”

How about the promise that said, “I won’t repeat what my parents did, because it didn’t do a whole hell of a lot for me?”

Are you keeping your promises? Because if you aren’t, then you are simply repeating a pattern and a program that was given to you by whoever raised you. And if you have children, you will simply perpetuate these patterns and programs onto them, until a brave soul (usually referred to as decides it’s time for change.

In order to raise our vibration and live our lives to the fullest and most joyful place possible, we have to stay true to ourselves and the inner voice that is always trying to lead us to happiness.

It is never too late to make a promise to the little kid inside of you. But the first step is recognizing that you are missing something and instead of continuing to look for it outside of yourself, you go within to find the answers.

Make a promise to yourself that this year will be different.