A Twist of Fate – My Journey to Dominical, Costa Rica

In late May I felt the urge to look into taking a short, healing holiday for myself.  I had no idea where, so I typed into google, surfing and yoga retreats, Costa Rica.  The very first place to appear on my screen was a place called Danyasa Eco-Retreat – Retreats, Yoga, Surf and Adventure in Dominical, Costa Rica.  They offered exactly what it was that I was seeking.  I reached out to them for a price quote for lodging, 2 yoga classes and 2 surfing lessons and when I heard back, the price was quite right.

I instantly began searching for flights and found a pretty good rate to get myself to Dominical.  I wanted to book this right away but there was a glitch.  Back in March 2017, I went with a feeling that I was going to be traveling and had to renew my passport. We all know how long these endeavors can take and I still did not have my passport back yet from being renewed.

A few days went by and I found even cheaper airfare which excited me and propelled me forward with urgency to want to book this trip.  It was a Thursday and I said to the Universe, ‘If my passport is in my mailbox, I will take it as a sign and I will book this trip now’.

I walked to my mailbox at 9:30 pm, unlocked it with my key and sitting there alone was a small envelope holding my renewed passport.  My eyes grew wide, chills overcame my body, and I knew the Universe was telling me something.  I immediately went back into my apartment, walked to my computer and booked what would become a life changing experience. Was I nervous?  Yes.  Was I brave?  Yes.  I knew I was to be going to Dominical, but I did not know the reasoning just yet.

The Power From Within

No matter what kind of relationship you have with someone, people are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  In other words, it’s not just some chance encounter as nothing is ever coincidence. They are there to be your teacher so you can learn whatever lesson(s) you need to learn.  And believe it or not, you’re doing the exact same thing for them.

This got me thinking about the men that I had dated during my life and my marriage which ended officially (documents and all) in June 2017.  As I was thinking about each relationship, I noticed one common thread that was sewn throughout each one.

I gave my power away…

…to every man I was in a serious relationship with since college.

I gave my power away.  I gave my power away.  I gave my power away.

To me, this screams self-worth issues, abandonment issues (fear of losing them), and I certainly had very low self-love and actually zero self-confidence. Some of these relationships would be considered emotionally, mentally and verbally abusive, not to mention controlling and manipulative.

Thinking about this breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes as I can’t believe I allowed myself to be treated in this fashion. I did not stand up for myself and if I did, I knew I would be on the receiving end of someone screaming at me and gas lighting me. If you’re not familiar with the term gas lighting, according to google dictionary:

manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

Isn’t that fucked up?  Just so you’re aware, this is a VERY common thing, so if you’re in a relationship where you feel this is occurring (whether you’re male or female), know that is it NOT right, NOT healthy and a form of mental abuse.

When I gave my power away, I found that I was fearful about speaking up for how I was truly feeling with specific situations. I would go along with what my partner ultimately wanted and since I was a people-pleaser their happiness always came before my own. If I did not want to do something, I would still do it…always wanting to please and then feeling like shit afterward.

I was always putting my partner first and 100% completely undermining my needs, my wants, my values, my morals, my worth, my love and my very own self-respect. Yes, there is such a thing as putting others before you, but you must know to do so without jeopardizing your own identity.  In trying to fix, to help, to rescue others, I lost myself in the process.

If you’ve ever flown on an airplane before, what do the flight attendants always tell you about the oxygen masks?

Place YOUR mask on YOU FIRST, then assist others. 

You can’t be something to someone if you aren’t something to yourself first. Learn to trust yourself.  Learn to listen to your inner guidance system because it will never steer you in the wrong direction.  It’s what most people refer to as ‘your gut.’  What does your gut tell you?  It’s time you started to listen to it because THAT is where your power lies.

 

 

 

Go With The Flow

It’s time to learn to go with the flow.  Let go of attempting to control situations in your life. How does one go about doing so? Honestly, it is not easy and it takes daily practice.  But once you release the need to control the outcome of something and relax into it, you will be surprised how quickly it comes to you.  And if not exactly what you were hoping for, it will be something better.

In any given situation between people, we are both the teacher and the student.  You’re in each other’s lives for a purpose and a time.  The poem, A Reason, Season or a Lifetime captures this beautifully. We are put on this planet, in this lifetime to learn lessons and grow.  Once you learn your lesson with a specific situation, a new opportunity may present itself to you and off you go leaving the old behind to continue fulfilling the lessons your soul needs to learn.

It’s never easy though.  As humans, we tend to live more in the future wondering, worrying, thinking…that darn thinking!  If we could only turn off the chatter (you actually can!). This will create nothing but angst and anxiety which is not something positive.  We also tend to want to control situations becoming attached to certain outcomes and therefore, that is all we can see as we trudge forward with blinders on.  This is fear based energy. You don’t want to be here.

Have you ever had a discussion with someone and you were attempting to recall a movie title and no matter how hard you concentrated at that moment and just kept thinking about it, the name of the movie never comes to you.  But then, five hours later as you’re brushing your teeth for bed, BOOM…the movie title encroaches upon your brain and you feel as if you’ve hit the jackpot.  We’ve all been there.  Why then did it come so easily to you five hours later and not in the moment when you were trying so hard to remember it?

You relaxed. You were going with the flow. That is why.

Put this into perspective in dealing with your life situations.  And if you’re finding you’re having trouble focusing on daily life activities, my suggestion to you would be to occupy your mind.  Just stay busy. Take all of that energy and focus it on your career, your family, working out, writing, anything to do with creativity also works very well. Do activities and be around people that bring you joy and happiness.  This is love based energy.  And where you want to be.

Remember, if things are meant to be, they will be.  Relax into it.

 

‘I Believe My Future is Bigger Than My Past’

I do believe my future is bigger than my past.  As soon as I heard these words spoken by Steve Gleason in his documentary titled, Gleason, it struck a chord within me. There are so many times in life when we are so hyper-focused upon the mistakes we have made.  We focus upon our failed relationships, our lost opportunities and the should’ves, could’ves, would’ves.

Little do most people know that those moments in life when we feel our failures will completely ruin us, they can actually be blessings in disguise.  Did you ever stop to think that maybe a relationship failed because growth was completed by both people involved and a better, healthier relationship was waiting for each?  Each person experienced what they needed to in the relationship and now it was time to move on.  Or perhaps a lost opportunity was a door closing and even though it was horrendous to experience and go through, little did you know an amazing and more fulfilling opportunity was just around the corner.

It’s okay to live in the past for the sake of recognizing the lesson each situation you’ve experienced has provided for you and even to be grateful for those lessons. It’s why you’ve had those experiences, although at the time, when you’re going through it, it is the last thing you’re thinking about. The moments when you’re in it so deeply, you don’t even know what the light looks like at the end of the tunnel as you dig your way out of the darkness. You see, that’s the thing…that darn light.  In the moments of rock bottom, just see it, envision that light.  Even if the light that shines through for you is simply the size of a pinhole, at least it is there.  Truth?  It’s always been there because it resides within you. Once you begin to realize this, it makes putting one foot in front of the other a bit easier.

I believe my future is bigger than my past because I refuse to allow my past to define the direction of where I want to go in my life, who I want to have along for the journey, and the opportunities I have yet to experience.  Society tells us that you have to have your successes accomplished within a specific age range and I just don’t agree with that.  There is still much love to give and to receive, there is much that has yet to be accomplished, there is much to see, there is a lot of life to be lived and yes, there are even more lessons to be learned.

What we do need to take away from our past is what we have learned and to recognize the growth that has occurred. Use those lessons to be more aware of the actions you take moving forward so you’re able to make the right decisions for yourself to enjoy deeper, more fulfilling experiences.

MotherLover

Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing, have the right job, live the right kind of life that appeared most of society was living, graduate college, score some jobs, work my way into and up the ladder of my career, then meet someone, get married, have kids, grow older, grow old and eventually transition from this lifetime.

Most of those things I mentioned above I have done, however, my marriage did not work out, which really was the best thing for me in the long run.  I was just not happy. However, I always thought I would have my own biological children.  If you know me, you know that is that is not the case. My ex-husband and I did not have them.

While I celebrate Mother’s Day because I have the most amazing mother in the world, it is still a day/weekend that brings heaviness to my heart and I have come to dread it.

I will never hear a child call me Mom and know I can turn around to see my own son or daughter looking back at me. It simply wasn’t in God’s plan for me in this lifetime.  And while I feel that I have surrendered to peace with this fact, it is still quite difficult for me at times.

I will never know what it feels like to love another human with 100% unconditional love. Some may say you can love your partner or spouse this way, but in my eyes, it is just not the same. I daydream and wonder about what it must be like to assist and help mold a child into a young adult allowing them to spread their wings and fly, all the while knowing I have their back, so to speak, no matter what.  Knowing I will never have the memories of raising a child through the good and tough times, through the laughter and the tears, through the trials and tribulations of growing up is what hurts my heart the most.

A child is truly an extension of you in tangible life form. I can only imagine what it must feel like to have this little person look up to you and want to be with you no matter what in those younger years. And how remarkable it must be to watch a child grow up into an adult.  I simply cannot imagine.

Yes, I have two fur babies whom I completely adore but it is just not the same. And there may be some who consider me to be the lucky one with no true commitment, so to speak. I have nothing holding me to an area and I can do whatever I want at any time.  And yes, this is nice but truthfully?  I would much rather trade places with you.

The tears I shed behind closed doors are my grieving battle scars. God has a plan for me, as she does for you, I just wish I had the road map. Do not feel as if these words are pity words.  Pity is what I am not seeking. I speak my truth from what my heart feels. My life is a result of the choices and decisions I have made.  The outcomes are the lessons I learn from so I can put one foot in front of the other each day.

Time to Lay it Down

Few really truly know me. Even less actually ‘get’ me.  And by getting me, I mean know the true essence of who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in…what makes me tick…on the soul level.

Perhaps I have not let many in to be able to fully reveal myself. I’m aware that I do this as a defense mechanism for fear of being judged, not accepted or approved of. I’ve struggled with this my entire life.

Throughout my life I’ve been a people pleaser; always seeking to make others happy so they are not disappointed in me.  This behavior occurred in my relationships ranging from family to friends to my ‘romantic’ relationships. I’ve recognized this pattern of behavior within myself a few years ago.  I’m aware of it, yet at times it still rears it’s ugly head to challenge me to break the pattern. I no longer want to care what others think of my choices, decisions, my way of thinking, my spiritual beliefs. I no longer want to care what others think of me.  I am no longer seeking approval for the choices and decisions I make for myself.  I always respect the opinions of others, however my feeling is if someone does not agree with something I say, do or feel, that is on them, that is not on me.  It is no longer a burden of responsibility that I am willing to carry as it has gotten too heavy to bear and I am laying it down.

I am a deeply sensitive being. Like a badge of honor, I wear my emotions on my sleeve for the world to see.  I not only feel what I feel, most times, I also feel what you feel. My heart overflows with a sense of responsibility to care for many; to be the Light that shines in your moment of darkness.  Yet, at times, I too seek to find that Light in my moments of darkness.

Behind the closed doors in the sacred sanctuary of my apartment I cry with you, I smile with you, I hurt with you and I laugh with you. Tears are shed…a release. Releasing the emotions that I feel, is such a good, healthy thing to do because I simply don’t want them to get rooted within me. Many do not understand this and many never will.

I am a positive, kind person who does my best to see the good in people and situations.  Having a positive perspective on life can be difficult at times as I am human, just like you.  I have my own dragons to slay and some just don’t understand this. I share my outlooks with others in hopes it will help them for a moment in their day and perhaps they will, in turn, pay it forward.  It only has to begin with one person.  My perspective is, if I help one person, animal, etc, it will have a ripple effect and the gesture is much grander in the big picture then in the actual moment.

The journey I have been on since I moved to North Carolina has not been easy.  It has been an introspective map leading me to have met the most beautiful people, experience amazing moments, and it has allowed me to find out who I am and what I want from my life. Now at forty-four years young, I am beginning to understand who I really am and what my soul’s purpose is.

As I move forward, one foot in front of the other, I grow into the human that I was meant to become in this lifetime. Not everyone will understand and that is okay.  At times, I don’t even understand and in those moments I pause, take a deep breath, ask for Guidance, trust and continue with my journey.

 

Got You Where I Want You

We all have had times in our lives that we consider our carefree days.  Those times for me were in my mid-late twenties to right around thirty. Did I have responsibilities?  Sure, but looking back on it from present life today, it really seemed and felt much more carefree to me. A few less worries, a few less responsibilities…life simply did not seem so serious.  It was much more about fun and carefree with our main concern being where we were going out for that night.  I belonged to a kickball league, was listening to amazing music and pretty much did whatever I wanted.

Music was and is such a big part of my life, that I feel I must have been a part of this industry in some way, shape or form in a previous life.  Concerts (large and intimate) have always been a constant thread woven throughout the intricacies of my life. I hear a song and am instantly transported to that moment in time where it made the greatest impact.  It took only one listen of ‘Got You Where I Want You’ by The Fly’s to hook, line and sink me back in 1998. I was crazy about this song.  It was honestly the only song off their album that I knew, yet I was hell bent on seeing them perform at an amazing venue, which has sadly since closed its doors in 1999, called The Bayou, locating off K Street in Georgetown. It was the last song they played (of course) and with drinks in hand, I sang along and went a little crazy.  It was bliss.

Life has a funny way of providing you with twists and turns that you never expected.  It is definitely a journey and not for the weak of heart. Every facet of my life has had meaning and purpose and therefore, I have no regrets.  My carefree days were some of my favorite times of my life.  When I think about them, my heart aches ever so slightly for those moments however, I have had moments in my life since then that definitely had some sparkle to them.  Life can seem so dreadfully serious at times and yet it’s during those times when music has such an uncanny way of saving my soul and changing my perspective.

Recently I was driving down the highway.  The sun was out, the windows were down, my long brown hair was being tasseled by the breeze and the radio was on.  That’s when I heard it.  ‘Got You Where I Want You’ came on.  My heart dropped as my mind instantly went back to 1998.  As my foot pressed a little harder on the gas pedal, I cranked up the volume, felt the music and sang along being completely lost in the moment..  It was an actual carefree moment that I have not had in such a long time.  A tear trailed from my left eye, down my cheek.  And for three-odd minutes of a song, I was 25 again.

You Only Have to Forgive Once…

 

Forgiveness is a powerful act of self love that can have ripple effects far beyond just saying ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I forgive you’.  When you forgive another person, a situation and even yourself, you release the emotions behind whatever you may have been holding onto.  Those emotion(s) may be anger, guilt, resentment, sadness, shame and jealousy (to name a few) all of which are considered low vibrating emotions. To cling to these emotions and not uproot them from within yourself can only cause lingering amounts of pain and resentment.

What happens when these emotions get stored in your body year after year without being released?  They will unveil themselves to you in a new form such as physical pain and/or dis-ease. And then you are left wondering why you all of a sudden have chronic neck pain that just won’t seem to go away.

Please know you are not condoning the actions of someone or a situation if you feel they may have caused you suffering, rather you are freeing yourself of holding onto something that happened in the past.  That particular person does not need to know you forgave them, meaning, you do not have to do this face to face.  This is something you can do privately between you and what you may call the Higher Power (God, Buddha, Source, etc).

There are many ways to forgive and release.  It can be done by stating forgiveness sentences out loud, by praying, journaling or whatever else might work for you.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  To forgive is to let go and that in of itself is beautiful.

Trolling

Being back in Tennessee with Henry was a nightmare.  I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder.  Henry would leave for work and then my mind wanted to know if there were there cameras in the house viewing my every move.  Paranoia was rearing its ugly head.  In my mind, I deserved to feel this way, but that didn’t stop me.  I continued to stay in touch with Mark.  It was nothing major but just knowing he was there to listen made me feel better.  I was fueling the fire for Henry to not trust me.  I know it was wrong, I do, but at the time I just didn’t care. I was in pure survival mode for my mental and emotional state.

Paranoia for Henry also set in as he came to me one morning before work and asked to see my phone.  You see, he had mentioned to me how a friend of his, who also cheated on his girlfriend, would allow his girlfriend to go through his phone and computer trolling through Facebook, phone calls received, phone calls dialed, etc.  You get the picture.  Henry presented this idea to me several times to which I ignored.  Until that morning when he bolted into the bedroom and demanded to see my phone and email.  My heart was pounding.  I was scared, I won’t lie.  Not of Henry, but of the possibility of him kicking me out.  I had no where to go and no money at the moment to leave. The phone numbers that I did not recognize, he would call to see who was on the other end.  He listened to voicemail messages, read emails and Facebook messages.  Then he flipped his lid when he noticed a post on Facebook…from Mark.  Just a post on his wall but nonetheless.   He could not believe we were friends on Facebook and asked me to immediately end it.  So I did.  Henry left for work.  I got in the shower and cried.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was during this time that I enrolled in certification for level 1 class in something brand new to me, Reiki.  Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy (reiki.org).  During this long weekend of meditation, tears, and connecting with other women who I know were placed in this class on purpose via Source, I believe I have found something much grander than me.  This was the beginning of me being aware that I was indeed on my spiritual awakening journey toward enlightenment and it has forever metamorphosed me into the person I am today and into the spiritual being I strive to become.  The reiki shares my teacher would hold became my social outlet and my way to decompress from the intense stress I was dealing with on a daily basis.  I really believe it saved my life.



The Scarlet Letter

My wedding rings were taken off my left hand as well.  I had all of them.  His and mine.  I put them together in a box as it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Henry called me later that afternoon and told me he didn’t really want a divorce but was just so hurt with everything that had transpired and asked to take me to breakfast the following morning so we could talk, to which I agreed.

Henry picked me up and off to breakfast we went.  With tears in our eyes and sad Christmas music in the background, we did out best to talk and eat.  On the drive back to my parent’s, Henry pulled over on the shoulder of the road.

“I’m sorry.” he said, “We should have at least tried to have children.” His eyes welled with tears.

I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. Would a baby have made things better between us? Certainly not, but to hear him say this to me, well, it just crushed me. I had given this up for Henry and here he was apologizing.  I didn’t know whether to cry or scream. Regardless of my emotional response, it didn’t matter.  It was too late.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was an emotional roller coaster.  Henry and I made appearances together to see old neighbors and family and to also share with them the fact that our marriage was in trouble and we weren’t quite sure what the outcome was going to be. I have no clue why we were sharing with people at this time and I also did not quite know what part of the story Henry was sharing with his family and friends.  Did he only mention that I had kissed another man?  Did he also forget the mention the years of struggle between us?  I was paraded around our old stomping grounds wearing, what felt like, the scarlet letter.  Whether it is was intended or not on Henry’s part, it was not a pleasant feeling.  I felt as though I were being judge by everyone.

On Christmas Eve we traditionally went to Henry’s parent’s house where his siblings, their spouses, kids, and friends gathered every year.  I was VERY nervous about going.  Truth be told, I didn’t want to go but did anyway.  While I was welcome with open arms, it was turning out to be an emotional night. Drinks were flowing for some and I’ll never forget sitting the front porch talking with one of Henry’s relatives.

“You fucked up, you just fucked up.” She said to me.

“Excuse me?”  I replied.

She then proceeded to tell me, after several cold beers, how I fucked up by cheating on Henry. She cast the first stone and I was NOT pleased.  I told her that I didn’t need to explain myself to her but that our issues stemmed long before I kissed another. I was fuming.  I sent Henry a text message and told him it was time to leave.

He was appalled by her comment and even told me that he told his family to please not talk about it so we could enjoy our night.  Great times had, let me tell you.

This summed up exactly how I knew everyone was looking at me.   I was wearing the scarlet letter.