Pretty Hurts

We shine the light on whatever’s worst, tryna fix something. But you can’t fix what you can’t see. It’s the soul that needs a surgery.

When we try to be perfect, it’s because we are always seeking approval. This stems from childhood and a parental figure who never gave it to you. This made you feel rejected. Deep rejection. And because you were a child, you learned to become whatever it was they needed you to be, in order to get their attention. But you’re not that child anymore. Unless of course you haven’t healed this core wound.

This need for attention and approval will show up in one of two ways.

You can see it when you go out. And while you may initially get irked by the behaviors of others, once you see it for what it is, you will never be bothered again by someone else’s energy.

There are those who will throw a tantrum at a restaurant if their order isn’t right. They get impatient waiting in line. They feel rejected and ignored if someone doesn’t recognize them when they need help, like a waiter or host at a restaurant. People honk their horns at you when they think you cut them off in traffic. It’s laughable really, but when you know the real meaning behind it, you see so clearly how they are adults acting like children, wanting to be seen and heard.

But most people don’t know that. Most people will view those who act like this as arrogant and react. When you react you only perpetuate this negative energy instead of transmuting it.

The other side of this deep wounding of rejection and abandonment, is the person who wears a mask of perfection. They care too much about the way they look, the way others perceive them and will do anything to present themselves as anything other than who and what they truly are. A shapeshifter of sorts and you know from fairy tales how scary they can be. Eventually that mask comes off and when you see what has been hiding under it, M Night Shyamalan has never told the horror story that you will experience.

No one is perfect. No one. In fact, the more a person seems to be perfect, the more telling their dysfunction is. Don’t bother yourself with these type of people. Focus on you and doing you and nothing else; this is empowerment.

If you’re a person who pretends to be perfect, the only way you break this pattern is by looking at yourself and asking the hard questions that you have been avoiding. You can’t change the past and you can’t keep blaming those who hurt you, but you can take yourself off of the exhausting hamster wheel of seeking approval outside of yourself at any time and give it to yourself instead.

There is no way to genuinely, powerfully, truly love yourself while crafting a mask of perfection. – Vironika Tugaleva

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?

Walking Away

When it comes to feelings there is no being right or wrong, there is only what and how you feel. Your perception and another’s can be completely off base and that is when there is a disconnect in communication; a block if you will. You might try to remove this block via talking, but if someone is not hearing you, it’s futile.

Some people need to win at all costs and that cost will always be at your expense. While it is hard to not try and explain your feelings in hopes that they will understand where you are coming from, if you have done this over and over again to the point where your head hurts, then it is best to disengage all together.

This is when you walk away. You take the high road. This is called empowerment. When you realize you cannot communicate with someone who isn’t interested in communicating at all, you love yourself enough to say enough is enough and believe in yourself and your vision of what love really is and you say goodbye.

I have walked away from almost everyone who I once held in my inner circle. It didn’t happen overnight, but one by one I started to see people for who they really are, as opposed to who I thought they were. I heard with fresh ears, saw them with opened eyes and once all of that happens, you can’t undo it. This is when the walking away becomes running and you can’t do it fast enough.

People who gossip, have ill intentions, are pot stirrers or who put others down just for the sake of trying to make themselves feel better are people who don’t love themselves. When you understand this about others, you take nothing personally anymore. You simply let go. You walk away from situations and people who only bring you down, ridicule you for being different and judging you for the choices you make because you understand they are entitled to their opinions, but more importantly, you just don’t care what they think about you.

To walk away is the most effective way to be done with this toxicity. There is no need for explanation, drama or fights. You understand that those behaviors do not come from a loving place, they come from a jaded one. If you stay jaded, then the people who hurt you will always have a power over you. My heart is too pure to ever let that happen and I have boatloads of love to give, but my level of discernment has certainly been raised to a different bar.

Love is everything! It frees us all from any pain we ever had. As a matter of fact I am completely in love as I write this…with myself and I’ve never felt freer.

It’s not hard to walk away from people who are crappy. The hard part is realizing they always were.

Color, Carat, Clarity and Cut

I heard this song the other day and it reminded me of how similar people are to diamonds.

Color varies just like people do.

Clarity refers to the Absence of Inclusions and Blemishes. Inclusions mean a diamond is not flawless, but they are internal just like our scars; those wounds we carry deep inside us that no one has a clue about.

Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, how it is measured. We may weigh a small amount and have a heavy energy or we may be mid-sized and be as light as a feather. It all comes down to how much work we have done on ourselves.

Cut of course, gives the diamond most of its sparkle. The more facets that reflect the light, the greater the sparkle. It doesn’t matter if you’re round, pear, oval, brilliant or an empress, if you are showing the world all of you, all of the time, you are going to sparkle!

Keep shining bright like a diamond!

Change the Narrative

I find it interesting that people will say they want change but continue to do the exact opposite. You can tell they don’t mean it because they repeat the same patterns and programs like they have a thousand times before and wonder why the same shit keeps happening to them. It’s a vicious cycle and one that ultimately gets them nowhere.

You see, in order to have change, there needs to be a new narrative. You can’t expect change if you hang out with the same people, are doing the same stupid shit you always have and are sharing the same narrative. Like attracts like, so it’s redundant and counter productive if you want change. Because if you want change, then you have to make it.

But making changes for some people is so difficult, instead of cutting off what no longer serves them, they would rather cut off things and people they value most (or at least they say they do), instead. It’s unfathomable but it happens all the time.

The ego is tricky. It convinces them that they are never at fault. But let’s be honest; the blame game is so 2020! I mean, come on! At some point you have to be accountable for YOUR LIFE.

You might hate your current situation, lack of relationships or whatever your story is, but what you really hate is feeling powerless. You feel like you have no control over it and that’s just another lie you tell yourself. You have all the power!

Here’s why.

The single biggest predictor for your future success in a relationship or job or anything for that matter, is not the facts of your situation, but the story you tell about it.

If you want to change your life, you gotta change your narrative. You can’t keep repeating the same cycle and expect different results. Here are some really debilitating narratives: Ever since I turned …age, my life sucks. I wish I hadn’t made that investment. I wish I could go back in time. I wish I would have listened. I wish I would have had that drink with them. I wish I would have answered their call. I wish I wouldn’t have wasted so much time. I wish I would have gotten their back. I wish I would have taken that job. I wish I would have spoken up. If only I would have. If only this would happen.

These narratives have become a part of you. They are just as much a part of you as your organs. It’s who you are now. You have penned this story. You are the author. That’s right, you are the author! Which means, if you don’t like the story, you can change it.

If you continue to tell the same story to the same people who listen to it, you only perpetuate that story and not the one you really long to tell. What you long to tell, like all of us, is a love story, a story of success, a story of happily every after. But the real key to this conundrum comes down to who you are sharing your stories with. And more importantly, what is the story you are telling?

Is it a tall tale? A work of fiction? A horror story? Unrequited love? Trials and Tribulations? A trashy romance novel? One of revenge? Ooh…maybe its a gossip novel. You know, like a beach read for chicks.

Not too many people tell a non-fiction story. They rarely tell you how they really feel or what is going on in their lives. And they rarely confess! They don’t tell you the shitty shit they’ve done to other people.

Instead, they brag, boast and bullshit so much you would think their life is stellar, but yet they somehow seem to be in the same place emotionally, mentally, financially, physically and of course spiritually (most people who do this scoff at spirituality).

I wish someone would invent a bullshit detector app that went off when someone told anything other than a non-fiction story. How refreshing would that be! To hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but it! Well, actually you already have a bullshit detector; it’s called your intuition and it never lies. So if you are feeling like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.

Here is the narrative I could tell myself: If I have to shuffle down the hallway like the Dunkin Donuts guy one more time, saying, “Time to make another meal!” I’m going to take a sledge hammer to my oven!

If I don’t book an acting job in the next week I’m quitting!

If I can’t travel over seas in the next year I am going to lose my mind! If I can’t have somebody bump into me on the subway or the streets of Manhattan and have them say “What the fuck” I’m going to go to a grocery store where I live and bump into everyone until someone does!

If I continue with this particular narrative I am going to feel even more disempowered, so I need to change my narrative from a lack state to a more abundant one, because the two narratives are very different.

I think I am going to go with this narrative instead:

Ooh another sale on Etsy! I can hardly wait to sell more cards! I think I’ll try a few new restaurants this week…maybe some seafood. I know! A trip to Miami is in order. My middle son has been asking me to come, so I think I will. I think I’ll go this Thursday. Hmmm, let me ask my beautiful sister, my best friend, if she wants to join me. Jackpot! Her amazing husband wants to come too! What’s that? You want to pay for the room? The tower suite at the Biltmore Hotel for 4 nights? (not exactly Galeta, Pisa or Eiffel, but a tower none the less, so I’ll take it) You guys are the best!!! Oh gosh! The only thing that will make my little getaway complete is if somebody tells me to get the fuck out of their way in Miami International!

I like that narrative! What’s yours?

Light

Are you near the light or furthest from it?

When you turn on a light switch you illuminate the dark and it disappears. This is what happens when we work on ourselves. This is also why you will find it harder to be around people who have no desire to do this. You might wonder why. It’s very simple. They don’t think they need to.

I have always found it interesting when people refuse to do this, because I know nothing of not working on myself. Why would I not want to be the best me I can be? Why would I not want to be the best me I can for my children? Isn’t that my job? And if any of your relationships are not where you would like them to be, then the light is calling you, only you’re not answering.

The light is not heavy, as suggested in its name, but darkness is. The light cannot sustain the weight of the darkness. You can feel this heaviness when you meet someone, even if you aren’t empathetic. They might scowl, talk poorly about others, complain a lot, boast, sneer, judge. Oh, the judgement! I can’t with the judgement!

You can feel when you are being judged. Your body tells you so. The light you carry within might dim for a bit because people who are dark like taking the light they refuse to give to themselves. They do this by ignoring you, talking down to you, gaslighting you or questioning your beliefs, what you do for a living or a choice you have made. When you finally leave their presence you feel exhausted from having to defend yourself.

Some people like to call them energy vampires. I call them covert narcissists. You’ve probably met a few. Whenever you are around these people you feel drained. They play the victim role so well, they should get an Academy Award. They are never at fault, there is always someone else to blame and they find something wrong with everyone and everything.

There is no darkness with light and the two cannot exist together at the same time, unless you are talking about people. One might live for the light while the other remains in the darkness. They can be in the same room together, but their two energies will not mesh and eventually there will be an argument.

Inevitably the relationship will end because the more light a person takes in, the less tolerance they have for a person who remains in the dark. This is why my children have no relationship with my husband’s family. No matter how many times I tried to mend it, my children simply refused to to have their light dimmed.

Darkness likes to go on line and bash restaurants, salons, dry cleaners, grocery stores, you name it, they complain about it, and they question how much something costs over and over again to the point of nausea without any thought or regard whatsoever for the people and businesses they are effecting. They simply don’t care!

It is astonishing to me that someone would actually take time out of their day to write a bad review. Have they ever owned a clothing store, a restaurant, a salon, a dry cleaners, a grocery store? My guess is no, because when you own a business you understand that was someone’s dream. They thought of it, made a plan, used their own money or borrowed it and made it happen. Sometimes it was against all odds, but they still brought it to fruition.

And then some person who does not see the good in much of anything, because they are so focused on what is wrong with it all, comes along and trashes it.

If you don’t like a meal, so what. Do you always cook a perfect one? Had a bad haircut? It grows back. Maybe the problem was with you. Maybe you didn’t convey what you wanted clearly enough. Maybe you showed them a picture of Natalie Portman and you left looking like yourself with her haircut. Have they ever written a book? God no! They can’t even write an apology, but they will go on line and trash yours!

People who trash other people for putting themselves out there are people who don’t have dreams, so how can they possible understand someone who does? If you’re a person who doesn’t have any dreams, stop thinking small and for humanity’s sake, stop trashing people who do.

The light begs us to come closer. We do this by serving one another, instead of stabbing each other in the back just to serve ourselves. We are here to serve, not receive. Receiving is the ultimate gift for all of the service you do. It should never be your motive. Tit for tat is bullshit!

Give to others. Whether it’s your time, attention, money or a good review. Being kind is so much easier than being mean and will not only enhance your life and your relationships, it will keep you from accumulating more bad karma.

Hello!

There are a lot of songs about saying hello; these are just a few. I find it funny that a simple little word causes people such anxiety.

It in its simplest form it is a greeting; in a more complex manner it is a way to begin a conversation, which I guess, is why it causes people so much stress. You never know how someone is going to respond to your “hello”, do you?

Have you ever had someone honk at you or run into you in the grocery store cause they are in a hurry and you simply look and wave and say, “hello”. It’s amazing how quickly their anger dissipates because you catch them off guard and they aren’t expecting someone to be nice to them, let alone notice them.

I don’t know too many people who would be absolutely prickish if out of the blue someone said hello to them. Actually, off the top of my head I can’ think of one. Even people I don’t think so fondly of would probably be taken back if I said hello.

It’s just hello. A word. It has no power over us. In fact, the only meaning or power it has, is what we give it.

The world needs a little more hellos. See how many people you can say it to today and take note of their response. It will probably make their day and yours too!

Good morning from New York and Hello!