Tag Archives: relationships

To my mother in heaven…

Today is Halloween. All Hallows’ Eve. All Saints’ Eve. The day, when where I’m from, we light candles for those we’ve lost because it’s said that the veil between this life and the next is the thinnest, which makes me wonder: if you could have a dinner, inviting any ten guests, dead or alive, who would it be? 

Personally, I’d like to meet my mother, but I’m also scared of meeting her. I don’t really know who she was when alive. She died when I was six. 

One day, several years ago, I suddenly realized I always thought that my mother, if I met her, would have been disappointed in me. The fact that my finances were always a disaster while I was off on some adventure to live my dreams and rescue kids in Africa. That she’d read me the riot act. That she’d see me as the black sheep of the family — the artist, entrepreneur and hopeless dreamer who didn’t have it all figured out. I was scared we’d have nothing in common beyond wanting to heal people. She was a nurse. I almost became an MD. And I still desire to aid people in healing; mentally, physically, spiritually. 

In short, I was scared all my mother would do, was judge me.

I’d gotten so used to being the person everyone wanted to be someone else, I figured I’d just be a disappointment to her. 

Isn’t that a fucked up way to live life? To think that your mother wouldn’t love you because you’ve made mistakes? That she wouldn’t even want to see you, because you’re not like her? 

Today, I’m not the woman sitting on that couch, wondering if my mother would love me. As a mother myself now, I know that all we dream of for our children is for them to find happiness. We do not care that they screw up, we only care about them finding their way again. We do not punish, we love. 

Yes, many of us, as parents, will use punishment, just as we will use encouragement, as a way of making our children follow a path we believe to be right. Be that to brush their teeth, or stay off drugs, but in our hearts, all we seek is their happiness. Their joy. For them to be loved. For them to live a life they love. 

Maybe, if my mother came down from heaven, all she would do, would be to hold me and tell me it’s OK. That my mistakes are alright — that we all make them. Maybe all she’d want would be to see her daughter.

The thing with life, is that none of us were born with a map. We all get lost. Some more than others. But that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to find our path. Nor does it mean we don’t deserve to be loved. 

In short, I don’t think our loved ones in heaven want to punish us for our sins; for our mistakes; or for getting lost. They just want us to find our way to happiness again; find our path. Because that’s the highest desire you can have for anyone else. And, most likely, they’d want just one more day with us.

I don’t really miss my mother. I was too young when she died. I miss my gran on the other hand. I’d like to take my gran for a trip to Paris and walk around the streets, spending hours talking, laughing and baking. I bake pancakes pretty much every weekend and I know it’s not just because I love pancakes, it’s because when I do that, I carry a piece of her with me. I also listen to French radio to calm my nerves. I find strength in doing the things we used to do together; feel her love when doing them. 

I can’t meet my mother, but I can honor her as a parent, by seeing myself through her eyes; loving myself and supporting myself in finding my path, instead of beating myself up for getting lost.

I can’t go with gran to Paris, but I can go to Paris with someone else who loves me as much as she did and loves doing the things I love, the way she did.

There are many people I’d like to invite for dinner, ranging from Tim Ferriss to Leonardo da Vinci and Shakespeare. I wouldn’t mind Branson, Jolie, Di Caprio, Scorsese, Mandela, Musk and a bunch of other people to gather around my dinner table. I’d invite half of Silicone Valley too, for good measure. There are many, many incredible hearts and minds in this world. So many. The thing is, by looking for those who are not there, we miss the ones who are. Our children. Our family. Our friends. Our partners. One day, all of them will be in heaven too. Now is our time with them; our chance to honor them by creating beautiful experiences with them.

Or as Angelina Jolie said: “That’s the reason we kind of exist. To give to each other. And learn from each other. To capture the moments of people. So I find it really strange to have somebody ignore the obvious human being right in front of them.” 

Leave a comment

Filed under Death, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, mourning, Parenthood

The beauty of human connection…

People are wonderful, no? They’re who you get up for in the morning. Together with your passions, the beauty of sunbeams, running headfirst into playful winds and the taste of coffee and other delectables. Like chocolate. Oh la la. Pain au chocolat. 

I love the people in my life, yet I’m not particularly good at staying in touch with people. I know a lot of people. Like a LOT of people, because I’ve traveled the world and lived in seven different countries. Tends to foster friendships. But I’m great at isolating myself and terrible at staying in touch with people who aren’t in my immediate surroundings. 

There are many friends I have, in the four corners of the globe, that I’d love to see more of. But I just don’t generally message people regularly. No matter how close friends I consider them to be, or how much I value their presence in real life. 

In short, if you’re my best friend, or you’re dating me, I’ll probably message you fairly often. Otherwise, good luck. 

I talk to my business partner almost every day as well, but there’s a practical reason for that. I also call him when I’m beside myself about just about anything in South Africa. That also leads to a fair amount of phone calls.

Now, beyond that, you’re lucky if you get a message a year. Which is quite stupid, really. I was never good with small talk, so I guess it simply never occurred to me to message people. I’d prefer to write a ten-page letter. But now I have a blog, so those ten-page letters are usually posted there. Here, that is.

This year I became friends with someone who stubbornly left me voicemails. Daily. At first, I was annoyed as I’m a busy person and I think anyone who speaks with you daily is a stalker. To me, it was a completely foreign concept. Then I got really into it. Because, frankly, it’s quite nice to have someone check in on how you’re doing daily. Three-minute real-time phone conversations are even better. 

It’s about connection. You’re forging a human connection. And you’re creating a support structure — people who are there for you and you for them. Community. 

So now, I’m on a mission to connecting and reconnecting with people. Yesterday I blogged about how I want to share experiences with people; being appreciated for who I am. I’d like people to compliment my soul, while connecting with my heart. Wouldn’t we all? And that means, that I need to make an effort. I am. I have started texting people in the four corners of the world. I reach out to the people in my life where I am. I attend events to meet new people. And when I’m at home with the toddler I do my best to be present to the wonder that’s a three-year-old life. He’s a bundle of magical giggles and incredible tantrums.

Life is pretty epic when you’re connecting with beautiful souls. And drinking coffee. Don’t forget the coffee. And the pain au chocolats.

So meet me. By the Seine. With a pain au chocolat. And a cup of coffee. As the sun rises during my favorite hour of the day and we let our ideas dance along the water and spread, like mist into the morning sky.

Leave a comment

Filed under communication, Community, diary, Friendship, friendships, Inspiration, Inspirational, Motivation, relationships

I see me through you…

I always wanted to fall in love with an artist. I imaged we would sip wine while painting each other’s portraits and writing poetry about one another. I’m also pretty pro falling in love with anyone who’d look good in a beanie when showing up on my film sets (beacuse naturally he’d be wearing a beanie on set) and who’d, from time to time, be willing to travel the world and make movies with me. So long as we have a firm base somewhere. He’d also be adventure prone and love France.

Now, this wasn’t really about film sets and beanies (though I still imagine every man I date, wearing a beanie on a film set…I know, I’m so sane it’s frightening). No, what I wanted to blog about was the poetry and the art.

You see, love is a verb. An action. We experience ourselves through our interactions with others. When those interactions are loving, magic happens.

Someone can tell you they love you and that’s nice. They can tell you you’re beautiful and that’s nice (particularly if they’re referring to your soul). They can tell you that you make their world come alive and imaginary flowers blossom when you laugh and that’s nice. But there’s nothing quite like when they turn you into a piece of art, or show their love by doing things. Be it buying you a gift, showing up to take you out, cooking for you, rubbing your shoulders, leaving you a cute note, sending you an epic text, making love to you, or ironing your shirt.

Get me right: the spoken word is powerful. I love hearing how people adore me. But I only take it seriously once they start showing me how much they truly care by actively partaking in my life, looking out for me and being there when I need a hug, a helping hand, or just someone to talk to. And it’s through those interactions I experience myself.

We experience ourselves through others. We see ourselves through their actions. That’s why it’s so important that we choose the people we spend time with carefully. And it just so helps if they can turn you into art. And wear a beanie on film sets, just for you. So that you have someone to drool over.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

i’d like to see me

through you

please turn me into words

whispers in the night

images you see

so that i know

what i look like

please touch me

so i know what i feel like

By Maria Montgomery

Leave a comment

Filed under diary, Friendship, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Motivation, poetry, relationships, Uncategorized

I see your halo…

I always think there’s a sacred space between two people — it’s your unique connection. It exists nowhere else in the world; only between the two of you. It’s really unique.

But the connection between two people only stays sacred if you treat it as such. Yes, you may be uniquely connected — have things in common, fire up different sides of each other’s personalities, talk about things you don’t talk about with others, understand each other on different levels (emotionally, sexually, spiritually, intellectually) and so forth. But this is just the baseline. This is the connection. It’s not the relationship.

The relationship is how you treat one another. Do you show up for one another? Speak kindly about one another? Take care of one another? Make good on promises to one another? Hold a space of love for one another? Hold each other accountable for being the best you can be?

In short, are you committed to treating one another as sacred creatures?

The truth is, most of us weren’t raised to treat other people as sacred. We weren’t even raised to treat ourselves as sacred.

I’ve interacted with a lot of religious people who, presumable, see life as a gift from God. Yet, they don’t treat their body as sacred. They don’t treat their friends as sacred. They don’t treat strangers as sacred. They don’t even treat their life as sacred.

And while most of us try to do right by ourselves and others, we all fail at some point. Our learned behavior wrecks havoc in various areas of our lives. We don’t even understand how some areas of our life will ever work out, because they never have before.

Sometimes, we’re so far away from treating ourselves and others as sacred, we feel like giving up. We think we’ve lost the battle and might as well succumb to our sins towards self and others. But each day holds a new morning. What you did yesterday is not as important as what you do today. And if you start a new life today, even with baby steps, imagine where you’ll be ten years from now. Also imagine where you will be ten years from now if you don’t start with those baby steps.

So honor yourself by treating yourself right. And honor others by doing the same to them. Because each connection is unique. Each person is a unique experience.

It’s important to remember though, that beautiful connections is only half of what makes up beautiful relationships. Beautiful relationships can only be created when two people see each other as sacred and treat each other accordingly. That’s why there’s a big difference between attraction and love; passing connections and deep friendships.

You can always honor another soul, but you can’t always have a beautiful relationship with them. All you can do, is ensure your side of the equation remains sacred by honoring them and that, no matter how they view or treat you, your view of yoruself remain sacred. And by viewing yoruself as sacred, you also know when it’s time to walk away — be it from a toxic work relationship, or friendship.

I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective recently. About how our focus creates our reality. And I really believe that looking upon yourself, others and life as sacred makes for a much more beautiful reality. Because then your purpose becomes to live a sacred life; one in which you respect yourself and the world around you. One in which you seek to uplift yourself and others. One in which you take actions that honor yourself, others and life at large.

Sacred dizzy blonde, over and out.

P.S. Yes, I stole the headline. I didn’t say I was a saint, just that I’m sacred… I see your halo, halo, halo…

Leave a comment

Filed under business relationships, conscious lifestyle, diary, friendships, human spirit, Inspiration, Inspirational, Life, Motivation, Musings, relationships, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Communicating from the heart…

Recently someone asked me what I thought about them on that one day when they met me somewhere. Automatically I told them that I thought they were raw and vulnerable that day and that it was nice. More than nice. Oh, and I wanted to rip their clothes off. 

He was like wearing this dark blue Ralph Lauren shirt and he was standing outside my office and he looked like… Oh, where was I? 

Ah yes, back to the story…

Then it hit me that that wasn’t the full truth. Because, while that was true, the first thing I thought when I laid eyes on them that day was: “I’m in so much trouble because I could fall in love with that man.” Literally. I think that was the first thought that hit my mind. But when asked what I was thinking, it was the last thought that hit my mind. Because my ego didn’t want me to say that. My ego reverted to what it thought it was safe to say. But by saying what’s safe, we never get what we want.

I used to think that emotions landed you in trouble. So I always acted aloof. Hence, I dated aloof people, who when you showed emotions for them, ran for the hills. So, I kept proving my theory to be true: you have to remain aloof at all cost. 

If I want to date people who aren’t aloof, I have to be open. If that’s what I’m showcasing, the right people will be attracted to me because they will see me. If I sell aloofness, guess who will be attracted to me? Yeah. The people who run when you show emotions. 

As my friend William Whitecloud said: Your heart is what you want and when you communicate what you want, you create a bridge to having it. Most people communicate what they believe they need to do in order to have what they want, rather than communicating what they actually want.  

I had some heartbreaking experiences as a kid and that’s why I started acting aloof. I thought that’s who you needed to be if you wanted to get a man to fall in love with you, while in fact the opposite is true. 

My ego got offended, so I started protecting my ego. Started lying about who I am. Instead of just being myself and knowing that the right match will find you and the rest will fall away. It’s simple, really. Once you remove the ego. 

And I have other ways of reacting that aren’t helpful when interacting with people too. I have to actively check what I tell clients, business partners, friends, family, etc. Am I saying what I want to say? Or am I doing and saying things in the hope of eliciting the reaction I want? 

It’s like making someone breakfast in bed and complimenting them in hopes that will spur them into taking you out for date nights, because that’s what you need to feel loved. You could just tell them that’s what you need to feel loved and ask them what they need? Maybe it’s not breakfast in bed. Maybe it’s something else entirely. 

What I’ve done in the name of provoking men to do the things I wanted them to do is too long a list to write about here. Let’s just say I’m doing my best to amend my ways. 

Anger is another classic example.

Next time you snap at someone, ask yourself if snapping is an effective way of communicating your feelings? Why are you snapping? What could they do to make you not snap? If it’s their fault. It could just be that you’re making assumptions that aren’t true. 

For example, some people assume that because their partner always works late, they don’t care about them, so they snap at them when they come home. This makes their partner feel unwelcome. Not just that: it makes them feel unappreciated for the work they put in to earn money for the household. So the next night, they work even later, or go to a bar after work; seeking appreciation elsewhere. 

The person snapping at their partner wants to feel loved, but doesn’t; that’s why they’re snapping. Creating a nasty atmosphere. Instead they could just say that they feel neglected and would like to feel appreciated. Feel loved. They can then ask their partner if there’s a way of creating that. Of doing something nice together where they both feel loved and appreciated.

This is a simple table explaining it: 

I feel neglected = I’d like to feel appreciated and this is what you can do to achieve it — do you have any other ideas? And how can I make you feel appreciated? 

I feel disrespected = I’d like to feel respected and this is what I consider being respected means — do you have any other ideas for what it means? And how can I make you feel respected?

I feel unloved = I’d like to feel loved and these are things that make me feel loved — do you have any other ideas? And how can I make you feel loved?

I don’t feel valued for the work I do = I’d like to feel like a valued member of the team and this is how I see that happening. Do you have any other ideas for making me feel valued? And how can I make you feel like a valued team member? 

Before I get anymore tangled up in trying to explain what it means to communicate from your heart, this is yours truly. Over and out. 

Leave a comment

Filed under business relationships, communication, friendships, Love, relationships

Catching a bullet for love…or catching the love bug???

I was speaking with someone the other night. Well, quite a few nights ago now, and he told me he thinks his definition of falling in love is “being willing to take a bullet for someone.” 

Personally, I always separated falling in love from love itself, as in Sweden when you say falling in love you use the word “kär” or “förälskad” and it’s neither the same as being in love, nor having a crush. I’d say it could go either way. It’s simply the person you have butterflies in your belly for (i.e. you’re on a rose colored high), be it that you love them, or not. So basically, falling in love, is not the same as loving someone to me. To me, loving someone is a lot more serious than falling in love. 

At the time we were chatting, I just thought about how we all have our unique definitions. But then, for some reason, this came back to me later as I started thinking about love itself. What is love? 

I, personally, have a penchant for wanting to help people. That means that if someone is sitting wounded on the roadside, I pick them up and care for them. Whether I have the time, the money and the resources, or not. This is often to my own detriment, but it also makes me feel good. Anyway, point being: to me it’s a gut reaction. Just like taking a bullet probably would be. And taking a bullet takes three-seconds. Being in a loving relationship is a lifetime commitment. 

I’ve often said that true love is wiping someone’s ass. Because if someone is old and sick and tired, that’s what you do for them if you love them. Love isn’t pretty. In fact, it’s pretty gruesome at times. But as I said when I was living with my grandmother in a hospice: the only thing worse than being here, is not being here. 

On the other hand, I don’t think love is about giving up your life for someone else. I didn’t — and still don’t — live in Sweden to please neither my grandparents, nor my dad or sister. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but my father has always been really firm on the “you should live your life” thing. My gran wasn’t like that and I think he told her off quite a few times. He made it very clear that she had had her life, living as she wanted to live. Now my sister and I had our own lives and needed to live as we wanted to. We’re all responsible for our own lives and filling them with love — beyond the family. You can’t just rely on family to be happy.  

And it’s true. Your life is your own. It’s your gift from God/the Universe. Your gift. You can do whatever you want with it. And if you don’t cherish it, it’s like giving the middle finger to the powers above (God/the Universe that is). They gave you a gift. Use it in a way in which it serves you and therefore others. Happiness is contagious.  

Destroying your life for someone else isn’t love. And it leads to a lot of resentment towards the person. Sacrificing things along the road is part of loving someone. You have to give up few things, but you can’t give up your entire life. And if someone asks you to do that for them, they don’t love you. They want to control you so that you do what they want you to do. Since when is that love? In short, they’re selfish bastards, even if they think they love you and probably do to the extent they’re capable of doing so. 

I still remember this quote from a book I read in my teens. It was in Swedish but it was something along the lines of: “To love is to free the person frozen in cement and see them dance, even if they’re dancing away from you.” I agree. 

In romantic relationships though, the whole point is to find someone who wants the same things out of life as you do. As the saying goes: you’re not looking for someone to look you in the eye, but for someone who is looking in the same direction you are. You want to create your dreams together. That means you need to have similar goals, as well as values. 

As far as commitment goes, while you should never have to ruin your life for someone else, love is about having 39 degrees fever and still preparing a meal for your child. Love is about showing up when you really don’t feel like it. It’s about getting up in the morning to make someone breakfast in bed when you want to sleep in. Because you want to show them you love them. And I think that, in a weird way, makes you come alive more. It forces you to get out of your own way and actually do something worthwhile. 

That’s supposed to be a two-way stream. You can’t bust your butt for someone who isn’t willing to do anything in return. You can love them. You can love anyone. Love itself is unconditional and I personally think you can love anyone whom you understand. Because once you understand why they are the way they are and see the heart hidden beneath the learned behavior, it’s hard not to love them. But you can’t be in a relationship with someone who isn’t willing to sweat it for you. 

I believe anything in life worth doing requires commitment. Or, as Churchill would have said: “Blood, sweat and tears.” That might make it sound “difficult” but a good day’s work feels good if it’s done for a person you believe is worth it, who does things for you in return. Think about work in general — when you do work you love, or do work for a good cause, even if it’s difficult, it makes you feel good. Like a good workout. It takes effort getting out the door, but once you’re working out it feels effing amazing. 

In fact, I believe a life without commitment (whether to work, people, or even ourselves — it takes commitment to serve your own body for example, through exercise and a healthy lifestyle) is partly what makes people depressed. Firstly, they have no sense of direction. They don’t know where they’re going or why they should get up in the morning. Secondly, it becomes all about them. They don’t have anything else to engage their mind in, apart form their own thoughts. And constantly thinking about yourself doesn’t feel good. Like how good do you feel when you try to analyze non-stop who you are, what people think about you, if you made the right decision ten years ago, if you’re good enough, if your latest Facebook pic is epic enough, etc.? Different people ponder different things, but it tends to be ego focused. Once you start living for something beyond yourself, you forget to obsess about these things. 

It’s actually been proven that charity work makes people happier and increases longevity. A) people feel good about themselves doing good for others B) it leads to social connections. It leads to love. 

Maybe one should also separate romantic love from other loves as there are many different kinds of love. So let’s rewind. I need to summarize my thoughts here…

First, there’s the love you can feel for anyone, because you see the human in them. See the heart in them. The kind of unconditional love you can share freely. And it makes you committed to doing right by them. Acting in a way you believe serves them. It doesn’t mean you like them. It means you understand why they are the way they are and that by acting nicely, at the very least, you have a chance of influencing them for the better. It’s the kind of love you can feel for all of humanity (and the planet at large). 

Then there’s the love you feel for people (usually the ones you grew up with) who cared for you at one stage or another, even if they were completely different from you. They were committed to you. Like my grandmother. If she’d had her way, I’d live in Sweden with a stable nine to five job, 2.5 children and a husband. I’d have been dead inside, but she’d been happy. She cared for me. She was there for me whenever I needed her. She loved me as best as she could. She sacrificed things for me. But she did not understand me. And I loved her. So much. She was one of the best things in my childhood. She taught me a lot about commitment. About being there for someone. But she didn’t have a clue as to what it meant to let people be who they are. And she loved guilt tripping people about who she thought they should be. 

We cared for each other. We were committed to one another. And by caring and being committed we created something beautiful, even though we had little in common.

You may not love them more, but the people who cared for us at some point who also understood us, we felt/feel closer to. Because beyond the commitment to care for one another, we also understood/understand one another.  

Similarly, you love friends on different levels. Some friends are super close, because you gel on so many levels and you’re truly committed to looking after one another. Other friends are somewhat close, because while you do gel on most levels, you aren’t that committed to looking after one another. Yet others, you only have one or two things in common with, but you do have a sense of commitment. A sense of caring; of looking after one another. 

Like if you ask me who I love the most, the answer is without a doubt my best friend. But it doesn’t necessarily mean I love her the most. It’s just I’m the closest to her. She understands me. She is committed to my wellbeing, even when it’s uncomfortable (such as telling me I’m acting like an ass, or need to do something I’m not doing — love involves doing the right thing even when it feels uncomfortable). She shares hopes and dreams with me — we’re looking in the same direction. Always have.

What’s more, even though myself and my best friend are attached by the hip, we can live in different countries. We have our own lives. We are OK not speaking for a month. And while I have no fucking clue what I’d do in a world without her, I still know I have my own life. I have my own friends. I have my own goals. I do things that make me happy. And that’s vital in any relationship. You can’t expect someone else to bring you happiness.   

With romantic relationships, I believe you need to have physical (bodily) attraction, sexual attraction (liking similar things in the bedroom), mental/intellectual attraction, emotional attraction and spiritual attraction. You may not hit a ten in all the different areas, but you need to be pretty high up the scale in most of them. On top of that, on top of “gelling” with one another, you need to have similar goals and values (wanting to build your dreams together), as well as a willingness to commit to one another. To sweat for one another. To make small sacrifices for one another. Because you believe it’s worth it. Because your relationship is worth the work and the sacrifices.

Gelling with someone, being attracted to someone…to me, that’s falling in love. The more attracted you are to them, the more you understand one another and have things in common, the more you fall in love. And while you can love anyone unconditionally because you understand humanity at large and are committed to doing right by people, loving someone within a relationship, to me, is another form of commitment. It’s the act of giving of yourself on a day-to-day basis.

I think commitment is beautiful. And I think my grandparents are greatly responsible for teaching me that. They gave me a sense of security in an unstable childhood. They taught me a lot about the selfless act of loving. Of showing up when you don’t want to, without for that matter giving so much you ruin your own life. 

I think loving someone on a day-to-day basis requires a lot more work and is a lot harder than catching that one bullet. But I also think it’s a lot more rewarding. For starters, you now have a purpose. It gives you direction. It makes you feel you’re doing something worthwhile. By caring for someone else, you feel good about yourself. Secondly, you’re around to reap the rewards. Like, say, morning sex after that breakfast you prepared. But then, as my sister says: I got the caring gene. I’d prepare breakfast for just about anyone in return for a smile. I love looking after people. My sister, on the other hand, once tried to kick me out of her flat when I’d just returned to Sweden sick with the flu, because she was scared of catching a bug and couldn’t be fucked to make me breakfast. I refused to leave. She apologized and made me breakfast. That’s family 101. Personally, I’ve had homeless people living on my couch. My sister calls me in a panic if anyone in the family is in hospital, because I’m much better at caring for them. I know what to say. The joke in the family? She’s the doctor, I’m the filmmaker. 

Leave a comment

Filed under diary, Family, Friends, Friendship, friendships, Love, Love-life, Musings, relationships

Faith…

Do you have faith? Faith in a higher power? Faith in your own abilities? Faith in the people in your life? 

When I travel I always have faith I’ll find somewhere to live that suits my needs. I have absolute faith that it will pan out. Because it always has. Even when I stood with a broken credit card no money in Paris at the tender age of nineteen, it panned out. 

When I travel I have faith life/God/the Universe will provide me with what I need. I also have faith in my own abilities. I know that if you ask enough people, someone will have what you’re looking for and I will find it. 

Moreover, I have faith that I’ll get through storms. I’ll get through them because I never give up. Even if I end up with one more scar, or one more wrinkle. I’ll win. 

Other people tend to admire me for this. Just today, my doctor was talking to me about this, as she knows some of what I’ve been through with the kids I help raise. A lot of people find me inspirational. Few see the pain that I’ve gone through with a lot of the “inspirational” things I’ve done. My doctor knows the pain. She’s the one dealing with my over worked immune system.

While I have faith I’ll get through storms, I am petrified of calm and quiet. I have very little faith I can live a happy life without a million storms. But I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of being overworked. I’m tired of caring for others when not being cared for myself. I’m tired of facing crazy ass situations that are mentally and emotionally draining.

I’m not tired of challenges. I thrive on them. But I’d prefer working out how to spend the millions of dollars I’m making from movies instead of working out how to survive on a dollar a day. I’d like different kinds of challenges than the ones I’ve faced in recent years. 

You know what I want? I want to have fun. I want to enjoy myself. I want to go on dates where I laugh till I cry. I want to dance till I’m spinning through the air. I want to crawl on the floor to get the perfect angle for a shoot (yes, I know, we all have different ideas of happiness). I want to laugh with my children. I want to bake cookies and have whipped cream wars. I want to drive with the wind blowing through my hair and the sun tickling my skin. I want to come home to a happy home. I want to be happy. 

This scares me. I’m scared the moment I relax all hell will break loose. Bizarrely, always worrying makes me feel safe. Being in the middle of a storm makes me feel safe. I’m scared of letting go and relaxing when things are quiet.

In the twelve steps in AA one of the steps is giving up your power to a higher source. When I sat in a hot tub in LA bawling my eyes out and asking a higher power for guidance as I was so depressed I couldn’t feel anything and didn’t have a clue what to do, I surrendered to that power. That way my depression started to lift as my reason for having it became obvious. And from there, what to do to move forward became obvious. Likewise, when I travel I have absolute faith that the journey will reveal itself. And it does. 

Having faith doesn’t mean you don’t have to take action. You do. It’s not like I don’t have to look for accommodation when I travel. I do. It’s just I have faith I’ll find it. I feel safe in the hands of God or whatever powers may be. Then I move my ass. 

Similarly, you have to have faith in the people in your life. Faith that they’ll do right by you. Faith that they can handle what life puts in their path. Faith they’ll do the right thing. Some won’t. But if you have faith, you know the wrong people will fall away. Because they won’t get what they want from you if you let faith guide you. They won’t get the payoff they seek. You also know that the right people will reveal themselves. That they will show up when you truly need them. That your life will be blessed with the right people. 

I want to have fun. That means I have to take the necessary steps to get there. I know I’m happy when I’m dancing. So it’s really obvious to book a class. Then I have to show up to that class. Faith is just knowing that it’ll be alright. That I’ll find the right teacher — even if it’s not on the first try. Faith that it will pan out. Faith that I’ll be happy on the dance floor once more. 

The truth is, I’ve avoided dancing for a long time. Just like I’ve avoided being in a stable relationship. Just like I’ve avoided having a stable home. Just like I’ve avoided having a straight forward career. I’ve avoided things where I feel I need to let go. Things that would make my life stable. Simple. Things that would take me out of the storm. Things that would allow me to relax. Because that’s my fear. Relaxing. The feeling of being relaxed and unguarded. Unprepared. Vulnerable. 

I want to be happy. I want to have faith I can be happy. I have faith. I have faith that if I truly hand myself over to a higher power, the necessary steps to be happy will reveal themselves. All I need to do, is take the obvious action. And it’s always obvious when you tune into yourself and allow intuition/a higher power guide you. You know what to do. What you truly need to do to get there. 

You might not like what you need to do. It may be uncomfortable; painful even. It’s not like showing up to a dance class for the first time in three years is without pain. I’m nervous. I’m scared I’m not good enough. I feel old. That’s part of the journey: facing your own inner demons and the growing pains you get from taking action. But if you follow through, you’ll get to where you want to be. To that place you truly desire. And I desire being on a dance floor. 

Life is in our hands, but for it to truly be so, you have to surrender. Surrender to not knowing. Surrender to a higher power. Surrender to faith. Then you fucking move your butt. 

Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926736064341/

1 Comment

Filed under diary, human spirit, life lessons, Musings, relationships, Spirituality, Thoughts, travel, Uncategorized

When your butt gets in the way of romance…

Does your butt ever bother you? I know mine does. I mean my butt doesn’t bother you (at least I sincerely hope it doesn’t), my butt bothers me. I often call it my greatest asset BUT…

Do you ever make excuses? Like you know you want to ask someone out, eat a healthy meal, say sorry, launch a business, confess how you truly feel, work out, apply for a better job, get dressed up like you actually cared, go for creating what you’d truly love…BUT. But that big butt of yours just feels too heavy to move. In short, you can’t be bothered. Not that you’d put it that way, but there’s always a but. Either you’re too broke, too scared, too lazy, too busy, too ugly, too inferior, too…

You get the idea.

The problem? The problem is that half of the time we don’t even realize what we’re doing. We feed ourselves our own excuses and they’re so big the desire to do what we know is right can’t even be felt anymore. We can’t see our heart, for whatever it is our ego is doing to us, be it telling us we’re not good enough, or that we will certainly fail if we try.

Think about it this way. You want to sing karaoke, but you have a fear of singing badly and being humiliated. The thought of getting up on stage just to be humiliated isn’t a nice one. So your desire to sing doesn’t even feel like a desire anymore, because the fear of humiliation is blocking it.

The desire to sing is still there. You just can’t feel it, because your broken ego has gotten in the way of your heart. And just like that our egos destroy our joy. We don’t do what we’d truly love, because of fear.

90% of people who sing karaoke sing badly. It doesn’t stop them. Because they go there to have fun. Their focus is on having fun. Not on humiliation. No one will humiliate you if you sing badly. It’s just what your ego is telling you, because once upon a time you got humiliated doing something you loved.

Life is a lot like karaoke. We avoid doing a lot of things we’d love to do, because we have something holding us back. Or we do the things, but focus on the fear, or humiliation, and end up creating that instead. Like having the most amazing singing voice, but falling headfirst on stage all the same because we’re so nervous (i.e. fear of failure/humiliation) that we can’t keep track of our own feet. That’s how we prove our fears to be true.

Personally I used to have this kind of fear of humiliation when it came to showing I cared about guys, because as a kid I was humiliated in various ways when I liked them. Once someone I was in love with even stood up in front of people and said no one could fall in love with someone like me and that was the tip of the ice berg of humiliating situations. I was only a kid. A geeky kid who didn’t love herself very much, so I believed he might be right.

He was acting like a twat, but I also realized that he only said what he did because of the position he was in. I’m fairly sure he quite liked me. But his discomfort of being put on the spot in front of other people was greater than his desire to be nice to me. His butt got in his way of doing the right thing.

I was a teenager who felt I’d been humilated in front of an entire school. My coping mechanism? Showing I didn’t care so no one could get gratification from my broken heart.

What should I have done? Turned around and said it hurt. The only thing that would have affected that guy would have been speaking from my heart to show him that his actions weren’t right. I didn’t have to condemn him for them — you can’t really condemn people once you understand why they do what they do — but you can condemn their actions. You can honor them by showing them that their actions affect others and give them an opportunity to do the right thing.

I let my butt get in the way back then, just as much as he let his. I was way too scared to speak my truth. Instead I spent the next twenty years perfecting myself (removing the shy, inferior, geek) and pretending not to care when dating and proving every fear I ever had to be true.

Recently I realized that the only thing that stops two people who are a fit from being together, is either not sorting their own shit out, or not caring enough. If you aren’t a fit, you aren’t. Nothing you can do to change that, so you can’t really fuck up in that way. Nor is it humiliating finding out you aren’t a fit — you just aren’t a fit.

So you can’t fuck up with the wrong guy and the only way to fuck up with the right one is not caring enough.

For the first time in my life I’m more worried about not showing I care, than showing I care. All thanks to realizing I cared about a guy I was dating and I was OK with that. I felt hurt and I didn’t try to prove I wasn’t.

What you want from a person you date is the same that you want in your own life — someone who can be bothered to move their butt. Someone who doesn’t let their fears, or anything else get in the way of their desire to be with you. Someone who does the right thing, even when it’s uncomfortable. Because there will be discomfort in relationships — we all have baggage and we all fuck up. You need someone who is willing to go beyond their own comfort to fuck it right. You want someone who fights for you, the way you fight for your own dreams. And to have a healthy relationship, you first have to start caring about moving your butt in your own life.

We all know what the right thing to do is. We all know what we feel. We all know what we want to create. The question is if our our fears are making us feel like we don’t want to do what we truly want to do? Is our fear preventing us from creating a life we’d love? Are we sitting on our butts, or are we creating our dreams?

My gran is dying and I keep thinking she doesn’t have a chance to create anymore. I can. I can choose to create all the things I dreamed of when I was a kid sitting in her kitchen. I can tell her that my life is finally going somewhere because I ditched the excuses and the fears and started working from the heart.

b2a0d65de129169820392dac25cebcf2

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/507780926711708252/

Leave a comment

Filed under adventures in life, Dating, diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, Love, Motivation, Relationship, relationships, romance, Uncategorized

A Valentine’s confession…

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve been sick for a week, so I feel like a cross between Frankenstein and your grumpy old grandma. Naturally I decided that the only thing to do was to kick the blues and put on my red little dress….and sneeze some more. Nothing better than to dress up for the sake of dressing up, right?

Wrong.

While I think all the people posting about self-love and looking after yourself on Valentine’s is sweet, I also think half of it is a load of bullshit. I don’t know about you, but Valentine’s is about Mr Hot and Bothered being bothered enough to tell you that you’re effing amazing and going out of his way to prove it. It’s the day for romantic love. And if you don’t have a date, it’s more productive to upload a new Tinder profile shot than drinking Chardonnay with your girlfriends, though I’m not against the wine per se. I just think the best thing to do if you want a date for next year is to get on with it, not to pretend that Valentine’s is about galentines.

That said, drinking wine with your girlfriends is a lot better than moping. Most people get hurt in love at some point, or lose love, or simply don’t find it when they want to. The only person that can change that is you. You are the only common denominator to your love life. If something isn’t working, change it. If you keep thinking you lost the only true love, or you aren’t good enough to find love, change it. Because it simply isn’t true. Unless you make it out to be true, because people have a funny way of proving their own beliefs.

I’m in awe of all the people who have found a person they love and cared enough to create an amazing relationship. I’m in awe of all the broken hearts who have gotten over themselves and opened themselves up to love again. I’m in awe of people who have fucked up and had the guts to fuck it right. I’m in awe of all the people who confess to wanting the big L instead of pretending they don’t give a hoot.

I used to be the person who pretended not to care. I think I’ve made every possible mistake in the book of love. But do I believe in love? Yes. I believe in every unrealistic tale of beating the odds there ever was. I believe in moonlit walks and starry eyed picnics. I believe in family and commitment and giving a fuck.

End of rant. Now go hug someone. Everyone needs hugs on Valentine’s, because one thing is true: the more love you have in you, the easier it is to find love all round. And we can all help people feel more loved. In turn, we’ll probably end up feeling a lot more happy ourselves.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ohmigosh, did someone say Valentine’s?!

Leave a comment

Filed under Love, Love-life, relationships, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day

Why wiping someone’s ass should be a dating priority…

I was speaking to my ninety-one year-old gran last night and her body is falling apart. Quite literally. She has breast cancer which came back and now her body, apart from being old and frail, is struggling with coping altogether. It was a harrowing phonecall.

It’s not that my gran is at the ICU at the moment, or in a hospital bed. She was at the ER yesterday though, because her body is filling up with fluid and she has diahorrea. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty damn horrific.

I was with my gran a year-and-a-half ago when she was first diagnosed with cancer and had surgery. I was raised partially by my grandparents and I’ve seen gran and her body in some of the most compromising positions you could imagine. I’ve also seen her struggle as she got older. Struggle to walk, struggle to get dressed, struggle to stand up… Her body is old.

My other gran, before passing away, became senile. With her I saw the struggle of remembering things, as well as fighting demons from the past. I got phonecalls about old lovers and heard of bitter regrets. I was there to help her use the bathroom. Ever since I’ve said that true love is wiping someone’s ass when they can no longer do it themselves.

My grandparents were my saving grace when I was a child. They were there through mom dying, through the bullies, through evil stepmoms, through teenage depression, they were there through it all. They were the place I ran to. They were my safe haven.

That doesn’t mean that my grandparents and I have always agreed on things, or understood one another — far from it. But I grew up with them serving me by raising me, so I always wanted to give the same back. Protection and care. And I think that’s the bottom line of any relationship. If that kind of commitment isn’t there, you have nothing.

We inherit the best and the worst from people. My grandparents brought me life, security, artistry, creativity, smarts, asthma, cold sores and vericose veins. I’ve never disliked my body, nor have I ever really understood if someone has loved me, or my body. Because, you know, I have flaws. I couldn’t breathe properly as a child, how’s that for being flawed?

My childhood had my self-confidence obliterated, save from the confidence I had in my skills. It’s taken me a long time to rebuild that other confidence; the part of me that’s OK to just be a human. It was only when I pretty much had nothing going for me in South Africa that I started to realize that I needed to learn to live anyway. You know, really live. Breathe in the moment and have fun.

In my battle for visa and adoption rights I’d pretty much lost everything I had — there was a business in limbo, no money in the bank, no social life, no career successes, no nothing. There was just me and what looked like a hopeless situation fighting for the children. And somewhere I decided to take responsibility for that situation and kick life in its balls.

It worked. Wasn’t pain free, didn’t provide immediate solutions, but it worked. I still have nightmares pretty much every night about the children, business, finances and visas, but I learnt to be happy in the face of it all. It hurts with the kids. It hurts to high heavens and back again, but I let it go and I live. I cry too, but I live. And I keep fighting. I just make sure to live too.

Feeling like you’ve fucked up your entire life can be a really good lesson in learning to live and love. Love yourself.

Now, my point with all this, is that we all have a choice to take responsibility for our lives. We also all have bodies that will one day fall apart. We face events that will, at some point, break us. We make mistakes that we regret with bitter tears. And sometimes we face pain in ways we never thought possible. Like being separated from a child, or losing a husband, or getting arrested for a crime we never committed.

But the only way to conquer that is to learn to live in the face of it. And slowly climb the mountain to overcome it. It doesn’t happen over night, but it is possible. Your wrinkles, your flaws, your current pissy situation, none of that is an excuse to hate yourself, or stop finding moments of happiness. It might feel impossible, but you can and will love yourself and your life, if you just decide to do it. Little by little. So if it’s only finding one moment of belly deep laughter.

No, you probably aren’t perfect. Nor is anyone else. And everyone will annoy the hell out of you at some point, hurt you and make you mad as they come. But if you are committed to loving them and loving yourself, I think you have a fair chance of living a happy life. Even in the midst of all the chaos, unfairness and everything else that is life.

So do it. Go have fun. Because you can. Because you’re not ninety-one years-old and falling apart. Because you haven’t yet reached a point where there is nothing you can do about your regrets and failing memory. So live. Live a little.

25660031_10155042104660079_7519305328932939286_n

Gran and I. 

Want to see an inspirational woman embracing her body? Watch this! http://video.allure.com/watch/dispelling-beauty-myths-disabilities (Unfortunately WordPress wants me to upgrade my account to be able to share the video with you directly — so hence the link.)

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under achievement, diary, Inspiration, Inspirational, Life, life lessons, Love, Motivation, Musings, relationships, Uncategorized