I won’t get mad to your face, but I will crucify you in the shower- so there!

I’m fake.

Not all the time.

Just some of the time.

Mostly, I’m fake about my anger.

If you’ve ever seen those flashbacks on TV or the movies where someone flashes a mental picture of them hurling said irritant out the window and then you come back and see calm composure – that would be me. When I’m mad my insides explode and my outside get’s calmer. Dead almost. Or I just get a goofy ass grin and go blonde. Either way.

There is a part of me that truly envies women who can express anger openly. I wasn’t raised to do that, so for me it is very foreign.

Truth is, I have a horrific temper, I just don’t allow myself to express it, even in healthy ways like saying “I’m really angry right now, let me cool off and get back to you.” — I never get back. Most of the time, I rarely even let on that I’m mad.

I actually fired someone years ago over anger/hurt feelings and they have no idea I fired them.

I can still remember the trigger and the rage. I wasn’t just mad by what happened, I was deeply hurt and I wanted to inflict bodily harm. I wanted to create a scene. I remember visualizing bodily harm and a multitude of cuss words, throwing things (I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to throw something at that man’s head) and in your face so theres.

I didn’t do any of that. I left with a goofy smile and see you tomorrow, and I just never came back.

Well that’s partly true anyway. Once i cooled off I went back to talk, but they weren’t available, and they stayed unavailable. Guess they have the same issues.. avoidance. It’s just as well really – if I can’t be honest, maybe we shouldn’t be doing business together. Or be friends.

The kind of anger that is triggered during those moments usually involve personal shame, history and fear and I really do want to lash out with emotional violence. Not doing that is healthy, not addressing that at all however, is not.

To this day this man has NO idea how deeply hurt I was by his words – or by the fact he had someone on speaker phone when he said them and I knew it. I just avoid his area of business and his circles.

I live in a small town ya’ll. Reckoning day will eventually arrive. Not just for that relationship, but the countless others in my past that have fallen by the way side because of unresolved and unaddressed feelings. Anger or otherwise.

I’m not alone either.

I once polled my Facebook tribe and asked “What would you do if fear was not an issue.” I got the typical responses like skydiving, comedy, write a book, but then one response stood out.

“I’d give myself permission to express my anger.”

WOW.

That came from someone I admire a whole lot and it hit me square between the eyes.

I’m not alone.

I’m not the only person who plays dumb in the face of anger because I’m afraid. 

Anger is one emotion I’m very familiar with but really struggle with expressing. I’d rather stuff it, deal with it in private (my shower or journal) and leave you out of it than risk vulnerability, embarrassment, physical harm, shame or worse – abandonment. I never had permission to express anger growing up or as an adult with some extended family members.  It was always a get over it or leave kind of environment. Avoidance is the motto and key to getting along. Stuff it and smile.

Or how did Miranda put it? Oh yeah, “Hide your crazy and start acting like a lady.”

I’ve only met a few men (or women for that matter) in my life that I trust enough to go toe to toe with. One of them happened to be on our church plant team years ago – oh man it was awesome. There was no fear of abandonment, physical harm or shame. He knew how to fight and I enjoyed the freedom of being able to do that with him. Neither of us took offense, and neither of us liked to lose which was a problem. So we dropped the ball.

It wasn’t a healthy expression of anger, but it was refreshing to know that I can express my personal anger full on and be taken seriously, not have it held against me, and move on. Somewhere in all of this is balance.

Wish I had an “in conclusion” to give here – with some great sage words of wisdom about speaker/listener technique or “I feel statements” but I really don’t right now. Yes, all of that is good, but when I’m blindsided by anger I still struggle. Maybe for me a good baby step is learning words like “ouch” and “I don’t know how to take that.” and start from there.

Have a great day peeps.

Don’t forget to breathe.

Make Your Own Sunshine

choices-main

“Rather than trying to steal someone else’s sunshine, we should go and find our own.” 

I’ve seen this cartoon make it’s rounds on Facebook more than once. I love it.

I don’t believe in looking for happiness in someone else’s family. It isn’t there. If they’ll cheat with you, they will cheat on you 9 times out of 10. I’m sure someone out there can tell me they are the exception – that’s great. Me? I could never trust anyone who cheated.

I have a lot of male friends whom I trust and adore. And yes, I’m the kind of woman who will fly off the porch to hug a man I care about and think nothing of it. The men that have that level of spontaneity with me have earned that trust, are tried and true, and are friends with both my husband and myself.

What I am not, is the kind of woman who will allow a married man to tell me that I am “the only one he can talk to, the only one he can trust. He needs me.” That happened to me years ago — he was my boss’s boss and it took me a long time to get over the absolute betrayal I felt.

It took me even longer than that to get over the need that people believe it really happened. He’s kind of a high profile, everyone loves him, he’s just misunderstood, kind of guy. I think he’s a jerk. Today, I’m comfortable with the fact that I did almost everything right (I still think I should have dropped him where he stood, but you know.) I told on him and I walked away permanently and that is all that matters.

His actions, choices and lies cost me a career I thought I really wanted. It made me weird and very distrusting of men for a long time. I put new men in my life after that through all kinds of hoops and tricks. I wish I could take all of that back, but healing is a process I needed to go through.

Today I have a wonderful career that I am thrilled with, and I once again allow men to get close without having to dodge daggers along the way.

If you are a man who happened to meet me during my dagger years, I am so sorry. If you are still speaking to me – or reading my blog, thank you for your patience and grace.

Having said that I am also not above ending friendships with the opposite sex if I feel the friendship has become a threat to either of our marriages. It’s just how I roll. It’s how I was raised.

I will also end friendships with women whom I feel are becoming a threat to my marriage as well. Not that my husband would look – but the fact that they try so hard anyway gets them a one way ticket out of my life.

Permanently.

That has more to do with my self-worth than it does any kind of insecurity. I place deep value in my female friendships. Mutual respect, love and trust are vital.

Mutual respect, love and trust are vital in marriage as well. 

I love and trust my husband.

He loves and trusts me.

I am blessed.

There is no room in our lives for anyone who would look to steal our sunshine.

I’ve seen too many friends look for happiness elsewhere. Married or single. The damage done to their families and friendships is astronomical and it’s painful watching them walk out the consequences of their choices.


Ya Got Trouble – or do you? A glimpse into the wilderness

Unless we know how to be alone on purpose, not in a runaway alone, but an intentional pilgrimage, we’ll never learn how to be with people.

That’s why I wrote yesterday’s post. Not everyone knows how to be alone. I thought I did. I used to look forward to my days at the lake – until they spread out to over 200 of them. That’s when I discovered that I have a limit for alone.

That’s okay. We are created for relationship. We aren’t created to stand alone. One aides the other, but one should never exclude the other.

I admitted something yesterday that is really taboo in my circles. I admitted that I don’t always like myself. Everyone goes through seasons like that, but not everyone admits it really. We’d rather hide behind an all’s well mask.

I’m not much for hiding really.

Unless I want to, and then I’m killer at it.

I’ve shared many things over the years with you guys. We’ve talked about fear, about courage, about death, about being tired. I’ve even shared stories about things I’d just as soon forget, like the *real reason I hate being called “darlin'” (see bottom of post) and about my past experience with depression.

I do want to clarify, I am not using soul-tired and depressed interchangeably. They mean two different things to me.

I’ve been depressed, I know that black night of the soul. It sucks.

Thankfully, I’m not there today. But if I’m not careful, soul-tired can become soul-sick very easily. It’s a slippery slope really.

What I honestly didn’t realize, before heading on this adventure is how tired I really was last fall. I slept the first three weeks I was here and blamed it on the surgery.

That wasn’t the problem.

I had some big emotional items on my plate. Things I don’t share here because it would harm others. But trust me, just because I don’t share them does not mean they aren’t real. They are very real and they weighed on me because I confused myself with Atlas and thought it was my job to carry it all on my shoulders.

I’m kind of egotistical like that.

I had pushed myself beyond my limits and did not do the things I know to do to stay above water.

Now it’s true, life is not without it’s problems and we can’t always escape them. We do however have choices and can take right action to help ourselves.

The first thing we need to do is not be victim of this guy:

They didn’t even know they had trouble until he came along. And the truth is they didn’t have trouble – he just wanted to sell some musical instruments. He had a motive, and an agenda to create a FEAR BASED need. The town bought it, hook line sinker and tackle box.

That happens today – just look at Facebook or Twitter, MSNBC or Fox News — Town Criers everyone proclaiming trouble. Turn it off once in a while. Use discernment.

If you’ll recall, I posted a bit of an emancipation proclamation a few days ago – the whole Best Friend or worst enemy thing. I’ve had to consciously remove myself from manipulative circumstances for my own sanity — that’s a sign of health. I’m no longer willing to blindly follow fear based leaders.

Charisma is a turn off to me today.

As are threats of abandonment — do this or I’ll leave. Okay. Leave.

Cold? Maybe, but not really. It’s the most loving thing I can do for both of us today. Took me years to learn that.

I have HUGE attachment/abandonment issues. I’ve spent the past 200 or so days facing them. You know what I learned? They aren’t that hairy after all.

Other things I didn’t do during my Let’s go out and conquer 2013:

1. I didn’t exercise. Oh sure, I planned for it, wrote about it, bought things and signed up for clubs, but I never pulled the trigger. Exercise is important. It released endorphins and gives oxygen to the brain.  Yes, I got injured, but I spent so much time staring at closed doors (Cycling) that I didn’t look for new doors.

2. I didn’t face my problems head on. That’s not like me. I’m a deal with it now and get over it kind of woman. I value my relationships. The trouble is, fear kicked in. I’d done such a great job (tongue in cheek) cleaning house in 2012, I found myself not wanting to rock the boat in 2013. That made me dishonest. I hate dishonesty. That hurt some very important, to me, relationships. Rather than honestly deal with issues, I internalized them and created a wedge with more than one person.

3. I cut off my spiritual arm to spite my face. I had my mentoring group and we studied scripture and whatnot, but that is not the same as being in fellowship with other Christians. I wasn’t even reading my bible if it didn’t pertain to my classes. I let my well run dry. That made me thirsty.

4. I caught myself wanting things that I didn’t have instead of being thankful for the things I did.  I started filling up a spiritual void with junk food. Wrong relationships, wrong motives, wrong everything really. Wishful thinking replaced right action mostly,

While it is true that I didn’t necessarily do something permanently stupid just because I was temporarily upset, I did hurt myself with my own unrealistic expectations of how it was supposed to be.

I refused to own my feelings. Or my thoughts. Every time something unpleasant bubbled up in my life – whether a relational conflict, or a fear, or hurt, or anger, I stuffed it and got busy doing more. The conflicts went unresolved.

I was alone long before I came out here because I’d already gone inward and withdrawn into myself.

The one thing I’ve wanted most in this life after kids is to live an authentic life.

Authentic lives are messy. They involve people. And before I can fully introduce myself to that equation, I have to deal with me first. And that is why I’m here.

*There are people in my life today who are allowed to call me Darlin’. They’ve earned that right. They are what Henry Townsend calls Safe People. They know that trust is earned and are gentle in the earning process. They tell the truth in love. (they call me on my bull) While they don’t always like me, they do express a kind of love that is endearing. They have boundaries and they respect mine. They give me a chance to make amends when needed and they own their own side of the sidewalk. Always a good sign.

So, dear readers — have you ever gone into the wilderness of alone, whether on purpose or out of necessity? Would you like to share something you learned?

 

 

 

 

 

I Call Shenanigans

I DON’T DO CATFIGHTS

Women who believe this:

best

Don’t understand this:

Women-EmpowerA person might believe that the first statement is true empowerment, but it isn’t. In reality, it’s nothing more than fear biting.

Telling me that I get to choose whether you are my best friend or my worst enemy  gives all of your personal power away.

I am the one in control when that happens. You are giving me the power to choose who you are in my life instead of choosing for yourself.

I value my female friends and I know not all women do. Some women build walls because they believe we are the competition and we should be feared

They’ve been lied to.

This isn’t about feminism, it’s about recognizing the value in friendships and in each other. We are not the competition. Girlfriends are of vital importance in our lives. Don’t allow insecurity, jealousy, or fear keep you from the richness that is so vital to our psyche.

I have no interest in being friends with anyone, male or female, who feels the need to use fear and manipulation in order to control me. 

I have no interest in being friends with little girls today. 

Or little boys for that matter. 

And so I call shenanigans on any and all lies, manipulation, power trips, gossip, threats, with-holdings and fear based everything. 

Give me the power to choose and I will.

I choose neither and leave you alone to yourself and your fear.

I chose wisely, but have you?

 

 

 

 

Smart Phones and Dumb People

‘Look Up’ is a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone.

Written, Performed & Directed by Gary Turk.

Featuring Louise Ludlam & Stuart Darnley.
Original score by New Desert Blues.
Sound engineering by Daniel Cobb.
Filmed and edited by Gary Turk.

http://www.garyturk.com
http://www.twitter.com/gary_turk
http://www.newdesertblues.com