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 It is something I have made part of my daily routine and well, since my routine has now been replaced by a mire of non-routine, my mind cannot be here right now.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

Chaos is a Ladder

This is a very powerful piece of music and an amazing monologue.

“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, never to try again. The fall breaks them. And some given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love, the illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

Are you ready to go deep with this one? Let’s talk about chaos and the thing that creates it; lies.

Let’s think about a lie. Why do people feel the need to tell them? Some people do it unconsciously like breathing, while others do it to hide who and what they really are or how they really feel.

Who are we without the lies? It’s an interesting question isn’t it? Pretending to be something we’re not is one form of a lie. Saying things that are not true to make yourself feel better is another. Showing one face to the world and looking in the mirror and seeing another is also a lie. Disparaging someone else to make yourself look better is probably the worst.

You can look around your neighborhood, family, close friends, and see that there are people who seem to be going through the motions, pretending everything is okay, but if asked in private to a trusting sort, they might spill the beans about how miserable they really are. They are in fact living a lie on a daily basis and make a hundred excuses as why they do it.

I have friends who do this. They tell me they don’t like their spouse but would lose too much money if they divorced and are fearful of what life will look like without them, so instead of trying to climb the ladder of chaos, they stay in a miserable marriage, living a lie. I have a neighbor up the street who had the police called to the house a few weeks ago (by one of their own children), but when they arrived they acted as though nothing was wrong. I have even lived a lie myself. I’ve been told to shut up, that I’ll have to get a “real” job when my marriage is over, as if being a mother wasn’t one, for the past 22 years. I’ve been laughed at, judged and made fun of and told I have no friends, all by someone who said they loved me. I put on a smiley face to the world and then cried myself to sleep when no one was looking.

It never ceases to amaze me how we will act as if everything is perfect when it is anything but. We convince ourselves that things aren’t that bad and that our partner didn’t mean the horrible things they have said to us or the horrible things they have done, so we can continue to live in a pit of despair. Anything, but take that first step towards the ladder of chaos which is simply the unknown and a way out.

We cling to these lies because often times the truth is too unbearable to accept. And because we are clinging so hard to the illusion of what we wish was going on instead of what really is, instead of climbing the ladder of perceived chaos, we choose to stay in a world of deception and ironically chaos ensues.

To climb the ladder of chaos is the heroic approach of course and not one for the faint of heart. Few of us are brave enough to do it. We would rather stay where we are and live a life of lies and deal with the chaos we have now created because of our refusal to accept the truth, rather than taking steps on the ladder of perceived chaos that will lead us out of it.

The meaning of chaos is complete disorder and confusion and behavior that is unpredictable and random. So you can either choose to continue to live a life like that every day of your life, or climb a ladder that will have its moments, but will eventually get you free of it.

I choose the ladder, because no matter how scary, daunting or chaotic it might seem at first, it is far less scarier than remaining in constant chaos and accepting the unacceptable. And I know that each step I climb brings me closer to the light and further and further away from chaos that was created out of my refusal to see the lie that I was living.

Don’t be afraid to climb the ladder. Eventually you will reach the top, throw the ladder to the side and never look back.

What Is Love?

What is love? Hmm…I guess that might be different for everyone.

Love certainly doesn’t involve someone hurting us, yet many of us seem to suffer with this in our relationships.

We certainly don’t choose to suffer. I mean, who would do that? Or do we? The answer of course, is yes. We do choose to suffer, but not consciously.

When we are afraid to feel those wounds of abandonment, we will attract people who bring those feelings to the surface. And like a pot of water on a stove that simply exists until you ignite it, the water starts to rumble until it is a full on boil.

Our feelings, when trampled over time and time again, ignites something within us. Initially we might do anything to try and avoid them, but at the boiling point, they can’t be ignored anymore

If you are currently in the boil phase as I am, simply remove the pot. Whatever is causing this chemical reaction needs to go. No one should be in a position in any relationship where they feel so completely disregarded, unheard and under valued. This is not love. This is toxic.

Real love involves another party knowing your worth and never ever making you feel unsafe, unstable and insecure. When you do enough work on yourself there is not need for these lessons anymore and anyone who keeps trying to bring you to their level instead of rising to yours, needs to go.

It’s really as simple as that. It may not be a simple process to remove them from your life, but the first step is realizing it’s over. The more you linger there, the more you are now consciously choosing to suffer and that my friends, is called insanity.

Choose to loose anything and anyone who brings you down. It might be scary, believe me I know, but trying to make something work with someone who doesn’t do any, is far scarier.

What is love? It’s knowing that you deserve more than what you have allowed yourself to settle for. The water might be hot now, but it will cool. And the haunted woods you have found yourself lost in will eventually turn into your happily ever after.

Stay positive! If I can keep being burned and rise like the phoenix time and time again, so can you. And I will never, ever let anyone who didn’t know how to love, harden me from loving another again; nor should you.

A New Lease on Life

In case you haven’t noticed, I write a blog that coincides with a song. It’s actually pretty easy to do. Sometimes I hear a song and think of something to write and other times there is something that happens in my life and I am astonished at how there is always a song that coincides with it.

This song, which I think is awesome is coinciding with an event in my life that is happening right now.

A new lease on life! Literally! The house is being looked at by a realtor this afternoon and I will be finding a lease on an apartment, probably in Jersey City. Maybe Manhattan, don’t know. But the countdown has begun!

I am actually excited! It’s not too often you move and completely start over. Of course this will not be my final destination, but a layover none the less. My son is happy, all my kids are. We’re good.

It’s times like this where you need help though, so I will be accepting help from everyone who is willing and able. If they know of someone renting a place, want to buy me a drink, a dinner, make me laugh; I’m down! I know you read this my dearest friend in the world, so Philly is definitely on my agenda. Poolside with margaritas and my best girl. We’ll put a date on the calendar!

It is amazing and very telling of who comes to your aide when you are in need. Those who do not, you realize were never important to you anyway. Those who do were probably always there and always will be. And for that you should be grateful.

I won’t be telling any of my neighbors or towns people about the move, they will hear soon enough once a story is told. I care nothing of stories anymore, in fact, I am bored to death with them. Most stories are merely lies anyway. And I will not tolerate any more of those.

A new lease on life doesn’t have to mean a lease, but with a new lease comes a new neighborhood and the opportunity to meet new people and have new opportunities as well, which in my book are all good reasons to celebrate.

May you be blessed with a new lease on your life! It doesn’t have to be as drastic as mine, but if life is nudging in you in a direction that you’ve probably thought about already, don’t wait for the tower moment to make a change.

Get after it!

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!

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.