Letting Go of Relationships: How to Give Yourself Closure

Letting Go of Relationships: How to Give Yourself Closure

So many of us experience a hangover with lovers. I refer to it as a hangover because it is akin to one—a hell of an experience—one that we must power through but ultimately will pass. Hangover dysphoria with alcohol is from the depressant component interfering with our internal rhythms; it creates loads of anxiety. There is a similar experience when we form attachments to people—withdrawals create weird after-effects where we convince ourselves we need “closure” in whatever capacity to feel better. How we actually seek closure, even if it is just a mental scroll of ideas, perpetuates the suffering and discontent. We struggle with our emotions surrounding the situation—feeling rejected/abandoned, disillusioned, sometimes used, confused, or feeling as though we cared more than the other person did (if they even cared at all, we balk). Sometimes it is merely a power struggle, needing to have the “upper hand” or the last word—also exposing that ego is running the show and not gonna get us anywhere. When there is a breakdown, it is common to go into control mode, needing to control the outcome (by unconsciously attempting to control the other person), and we cloak this in the idea of closure.

I’ve always believed that closure is an illusion and is something we have to provide for ourselves. If we are fortunate later on, the closure we thought we needed usually transpires as a result of having done so… for ourselves… with time. And if it doesn’t ever arrive, then the good news is we were already well on our path of moving on and had distanced ourselves from the pain of the past—by closing it within ourselves.

When we are experiencing withdrawals from a lust hangover, the suffering is usually a result of an attachment that has spun out where the only way out of it is to change. It is a clear indication that our attachment has reached a level of toxicity, regardless if any of the mental sparrings are true or not. It is a representation that we are seeking outside of ourselves to alleviate and make the ick go away. When we feel a sense of loss or feel out of control, rejected, confused, and or frustrated—it’s a sign we’ve turned to the wrong outlet to make ourselves feel better. We’ve based our needs on a person outside of us, and whether or not we will feel better becomes dependent on their actions. This is an obvious recipe for disaster, yet we so often fail to recognize this and don’t take the proper steps to get out of this space of toxicity and back into a space of love that is fed to us by our creator. *(check out my guide to meditation for self-love breakthroughs). 

Some things I’d like to offer to those experiencing such uncomfortable moments—

Obsessing and over-analyzing or rehashing the narrative over and over—trying to find some new piece of information as reasoning to make ourselves feel better—is only going to perpetuate the momentum of negative energy that exists in our space. It is important to clear out this energy so we can ground back into our own energy that is washed over by unconditional, divine love. 

Some different things to try to transform the energy—

  • Write a letter. Say any and every little thought that you want. Speak as though it was going to be the last thing you will ever say. Say a prayer and terminate the letter in whatever way resonates for you—burn it, freeze it, tear it up. 
  • Be present in nature, feel the world around you and ground beneath you, notice animals (these can be messengers), take in the sounds.
  • Clear clutter, get rid of shit, burn palo santo or sage your space, and your personal space as well (your body). 
  • Cleanse your energy, take a bath with Epsom salt and water-friendly crystals or pink Himalayan salt.
  • Make a plan/create a self-care regime. Putting the energy back into YOU is how we attract what serves for our highest good.
  • Dance—literally move energy—this one doesn’t resonate for everyone. If you fall into the clan of more modest folks, or hey, maybe you’re just not into dancing, but sometimes opening ourselves up to something new is exactly the attitude the universe is looking for. I danced my whole life and just recently I’ve been walking over to a court that is not often frequented just to let loose. This grounds me in my body and connects me to my creative energy.
  • Speaking of…. Try something new. Learn a new skill, take up that new activity or practice you’ve been going on about but haven’t yet done.
  • Keep yourself busy, but not repressed—hang with supportive friends, read a book, go to a yoga class—keep vibration raised. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings because they tell us a deeper story, but make note that we can also become addicted to the story. Be aware of this tendency.
  • Find a crystal to support you in the process of releasing and healing

*I love to ask my higher self to pull a card for what crystal serves in my highest interest at the moment. My favorite crystal deck

  • Light a candle, set an intention, pray, chant mantras. Pray to be changed. Offer this pain to the force that created you. Ask to be changed in trusting that its source is the ultimate source of abundance.                          

*Check out these amazing intention candles with all kinds of different themes from House of Intuition in Los Angeles.

  • Remember the bread crumb rule — every time your mind wants to veer off to those nostalgic good times, don’t forget how we settled for less than we deserve
  • Cultivate a vision of your highest version and who would be in your space as a result. Most importantly, envision the FEELINGS you want to specifically experience with that person(s).
  • Try a session with me — an energy reading & guidance for learning to understand yourself as a spiritual being. 

How Abuse Gifted Me Trust… In Myself: My PTSD Story

How Abuse Gifted Me Trust… In Myself: My PTSD Story

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“You say you’re too damaged, I still say you’ve got the goods.” – from a song I wrote many moons ago

Out of all the things that I have been through, one of the greatest complications to resolve has been the ramifications of abuse throughout my adolescence. I was physically abused and verbally assaulted by masculine rage on a concurrent and regular basis. My experience of the abuse at times felt like torture, was unrelenting, and my space never truly felt safe.

Trust has been profoundly challenging for me to invest in, that of which I have learned must first begin with myself.

Due to my crippled capacity to trust in others, and a sense of self oppressed by an abuser, over time my ability to develop trust in myself became stunted and plagued by static noise and doubt.

It is interesting though the complexities that have come about as a result, the product being the woman I am today. What I’ve become is a woman with a presence of impenetrable strength, which of course, in a society infiltrated by a masculinity crisis, hasn’t gone over so well.

I have attracted great opposition from those that struggle with their own masculinity, or another way of looking at it — one’s repressed/rejected, misunderstood, and/or unacknowledged femininity.

Throughout my twenties, I strived towards a path of healing. I was blessed enough by the grace of divine intervention and my own willingness to change that resources flowed regardless of my external means to begin this process.

Yoga and meditation were definite introductions that changed my life and in many ways saved my life. I discovered that I am not actually held hostage in my body, that I do have control and that my power is always there. I discovered that no one can take my power, but realized out of programmed habit I was throwing it out like expired produce.

It was through the crisis of many unhealthy relationships and my absolute plea to not suffer from the pain of power struggles that I began to see the signs. I didn’t want to hurt anymore so it became unavoidable that I had to dig in and do the work.

It was during a heartbreak from a very damaged Pisces lover, and coincidentally a potent Pisces full moon, that in my typical woo-woo fashion I sought out not a therapist, but my version of such — I wanted to see a healer that cleared chakras… yep. I was ready to wipe the slate clean, but unbeknownst to me, this man had a profound purpose. As agonizing as it was to dive in, he was a gift. He served as the beginning of an awakening. He was a Marine veteran struggling with PTSD; he was also my mirror.

The next day as I was walking down the street, there was a massive sign outside of a crystal shop nearby where I lived that was not usually there. In all its colorful glory stood the flag of chakras promoting sessions with a particular healer. I tend to be like The Fool of the Rider-Waite deck, springing forward, acting on leaps of faith when such moments present themselves. With a chart full of Aries, this generally rules in my favor.

My session with a self-proclaimed clairvoyant doused me in the cold hard reality that I had not so much been in denial about, but rather completely oblivious to. I knew I had been abused as I had shared it prior. I knew it was wrong and that I was in fact violated, but I had no idea the magnitude of wreckage it caused. As a little girl knowing nothing different, essentially it became the only normal I knew. And while living it, I was battered into believing I’d deserved it.

When I first entered into the backroom to proceed, a typical aroma of palo santo engulfed the space. The stillness of the room’s aura rested as rainbow lights (also known as color therapy) swirled above the bed, while a gorgeous array of gongs and singing bowls aligned it. I always look forward to these sessions. My total openness to them is how I’ve been fortunate enough to reap the wanders.

I have worked with countless western healers and now a couple of eastern ones; although, this was one of my earlier experiences. I was anticipating what she would pick up on. I felt sure the foremost would be mention of my brother’s death, or my absent father, or possibly the turbulent codependent relationship with my mother… never did I see coming the yet mentioned.

I will say that I am able and willing to share the account of my abuse; however, for deeply personal reasons I am not ready to share by whom.

“Did you have [****] that was very mean to you?” she delicately asked.

I sat there stunned. An instant surge of tears burst forth like an appropriate tidal wave. Out of all the shitty things in my still very privileged life, I couldn’t believe that’s what she pointed out. Her take on it was that we were bound together in this lifetime due to past life events, but I’ll spare you of that for now.

I went home feeling like the earth beneath me had been shaken. How could I not have seen this before? The light had not only gone off, but it was also about to blind my eyes. What ensued from there was an all-nighter of research on the unique relationship of abuse I experienced. Limited information was available on my specific circumstance, but nonetheless, a turning point of acknowledgment transpired — abuse is abuse. I was a ripe candidate to all the possibilities of aftermath as anyone else that’s survived it. Wait, so I am one of those people? It wasn’t until I accepted that I am that, a survivor of abuse, that I could begin to move towards a healthier future. It was through this discovery that I was able to understand I was also living with my own degree of PTSD. It had been the underlying factor to so many complications in my life. I didn’t know that my usual somatic experience was not normal. I thought the out of control sensations in my physical response to situations were my fault, that it was simply who I am and that I was doomed to be a prisoner to it.

For many years, I attracted lovers that did not physically abuse me, but I was in heavy, emotionally tormented relationships. The real moral is PTSD often controlled my life.

After the eventual breakdown of these relationships and my own chaos looming overhead, I strived to transcend my experiences. I couldn’t control what happened to me, but I could begin to heal the consequences. I chose to kill the script and say, fuck that. I chose to shift from victim to survivor. I began my transition from bondage and everything happening to me, to being wide awake staring into the mirror — recognizing the patterns and the common denominator. This was not an overnight fix, of course. It was an incredibly painful process that took years and years of resolving. Still, till this day there are remnants I have to work through. Scenes, lines, and characters from the old script all like to come out to play every now and again, and it is my work to not get disheartened by this reality. In the past, the discouragement of its existence would send me down a spiral of self-loathing.

I spent years unable to communicate how I actually felt. I had zero sophistication as far as emotional intimacy was concerned. I would panic, cognitively disassociate and shut down. And, I would hate myself for every bit of it.

Almost a decade later, it is bizarre to even recount those memories — from total physical overwhelm to perpetual fears of the rug always being pulled out from under me. By always assuming the worst, I attracted it only to prove itself true.

Now, it’s almost as if I don’t even know that girl anymore. Yet, again, there are still those tiny remainders of the script wanting to come to life on stage once more. But, I harnessed new tools and coping mechanisms that overtime have integrated.

Most of all, my journey was to silence the noise and experience a life of learning to trust myself. Despite being figuratively pummeled into believing all the things that had derailed me before, I began the journey of discovering my light, my power.

Of course, none of this would be possible without also learning to forgive my abuser, and to forgive the masculine rage that permeates throughout my culture and our world. I have had to send love and light to the beautiful, divine feminine energy yearning for reciprocation from us all.

I guess when you think about it, we can be so cruel to our dear Mother Earth. If we can’t respect our own mother, then I guess in a way that sums it up, doesn’t it?

It’s a shame, this reality. We have so far to go on a collective scale. I can only hope my story of forgiveness, resilience, and journey of self-love is emblematic of the new script we can write together.

 

 

Story originally published on:

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Be Yourself

Don’t instruct, share.

Heroes Oaxaqueños: A Message from the Dog Man

Heroes Oaxaqueños: A Message from the Dog Man

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” – Cesar Chavez

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The name Alejandro had come up many times before meeting him since I first moved to Pto. It is a small place, yes, but Alejandro I discovered is actually a low key local hero. In the cliche sense, we could say he’s the dog man here in town, but this guy has dedicated his life to his passion for helping animals. And, even cooler, he has understood on a broad level that the way to do this with efficacy is by educating people.

So, amongst my time spent here in one of México’s gems, I’ve connected with the tatted up Oaxacan dog man, also a generational coffee rancher. We are off the Pacific coast in a small town, Puerto Escondido, meaning Hidden Port. It feels ironic, teetering on taboo, to write about a place with hidden as part of its name, but I’d like to think Alejandro is one in which to pay homage. He is the true epitome of nonprofit service. So often we hear or say terms like “nonprofit” that we almost become auto-piloted and numb to the meaning of what we are even saying. Let’s put it this way, this man is a coffee rancher by day and a man of community social work 24/7. This is not his business; this is his blood, his heart, his life. He helped me during a crisis with my own dog, and I soon learned that for so many here, he is all they have. I was able to sit down with Alejandro over a cup of coffee, claro, as a muffled Rolling Stones jammed in the distance. I listened as he shared his story, his message, his dream.

His Puerto journey began eleven years ago, a move well-made for the heat and warm water to heal some of his ill perros. His attention quickly took to the surplus in ubiquitous grim conditions of the local animals. After attempts to create an organization to help the animals — but with interference from differing views on how to actually do so — his experience has instilled strong belief in prevention. He believes the only realistic way to stop the overpopulation of neglected, malnourished animals that run rampant is by educating people about sterilization. But, also providing healthcare for a multitude of reasons and needs, such as for animals of people that care, yet the so many that can not afford it. So, around five years ago was the birth of his clinic, Esteriliza y Educa, a nonprofit organization centered around donation-based campaigns with its message of prevention & accessibility.

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The planning and logistics of the campaigns are arduous. The volunteer’s time, knowledge, and space are all available to the community. Donations from the community, and from the pockets of the volunteers themselves, are the only way this clinic stays alive. Alejandro affirmed, “People think because it’s free that we have everything, but we need to buy everything. So, it’s not that easy. We are not rich people.”

As he also insisted several times, none of this would exist without the help of a divinely ordered team. He said, “You can’t do this work alone, and that’s something very important to say… It is very difficult to find the right people to work with… It takes time, but animals are very smart. Somehow they introduce you to the right people.”

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This small team of heroes opens up shop to sterilize and treat animals in need on Sundays, as long as supplies allow it. We’re talkin’ 25–40 surgeries in a day. I spent one afternoon observing the surgeries at Alejandro’s house. There was a line of people outside with an array of dogs and cats needing various attention. There were scheduled surgeries for sterilization, and walk-ins such as a street dog whose tail had been run over, amid others. A prevalent issue is often poisoning. Rescuing a small, helpless dog as it stumbled cross-eyed in the street one day was a hard memory to knock. Alejandro and I had also discussed unethical campaigns by the government. Unfortunately, a cat came in need of treatment for this reason. It was suffering from an infection from the use of cheap supplies and botched internal work. This is a large reason why trust has been crucial to establish within the community. These government campaigns have battered the locals’ trust. Through word of mouth, awareness about the clinic and its accessibility has spread, in turn providing opportunity and movement for their underlying message of prevention.

Alejandro pointed out, “It’s not only the street dogs that need help. We need to educate the people to stop this problem. So, for me, it’s always been in the prevention area. The main goal is to stop the overpopulation. We do this by educating people to be sensitive, to respect, to love and care for the animals.

We have to make them understand [sterilization] doesn’t change the character of the animal… some understand, some don’t. But more male dogs are coming than before, so it is changing. But, this is with ten years of work.”

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It did not take long to realize that this man’s daily life has been completely bombarded by his sacrificial service. Sundays are for surgery, but it never stops there. The Rolling Stones and our conversation were interrupted three times in an hour by unannounced visitors asking for his help. So I, of course, had to inquire, “How do you sustain? Where do you draw the line? Or, do you ever say no? (We both laughed).”

Alejandro cool and calmly declared, “It’s hard to say no. I mean, I have a life… I use to have a sign, ‘from this time to this time’, but people show up anytime. People don’t read. If I put up a sign that says no service, they still come. But, it’s really hard to say no… I need to get out of my house; that’s the only way.”

“So, where did this begin for you? What’s the early memory?”

“I just love the animals. I don’t like them suffering… if I have the ability, the knowledge, the heart, and if I don’t do it… I would not go to sleep in peace… the payment is the satisfaction of doing something good for an animal who can’t talk, can’t express, who can’t ask…”

“And the balance is…?”

“I don’t have the economy, the tools to help them all… I have to be clear about this,” he said, “I have to keep focused on what I can actually do to help. And, it’s hard because you always want to help all of them. But there has to be a balance… so, I love the Stones (as they play in the background and we laugh again), that’s why I listen to the Stones everyday… and I like coffee.”

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During my short time spent with Alejandro, it seems he relates to animals because he relates to the art of energy, or to nature rather. As hectic as it seemed from my perspective for a day in the life of the dog man, Alejandro seemed right in his element. On his off days, he drives through the winding roads of Oaxaca, always ready with a bag of food and water which, by the way, likely means several stops. If that’s all he can do for the day, then so be it… until tomorrow, claro.

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  • You can help by donating to fund supplies for sterilization & an array of treatments for street animals & families of animals in need.

 

  • A year’s worth of supplies is typically arranged into four campaigns a year with a goal of 75,000 MXN Pesos per campaign (= around $3,600 USD).

 

  • That is less than $15,000 USD to cover a year’s worth of supplies.

 

  • $12 USD = sterilization for an animal 

>>>>> DONATE <<<<<

ESTERILIZA Y EDUCA FACEBOOK

esterilizayeduca.com/

Muchas gracias por tus ojos, tus oídos, tu corazón ❤

 

 

*Shout out to Ashlea at BreakLooseJournal for my initial introduction to The Dog Man, big ups chica

A Perch, Not a Cage

A Perch, Not a Cage

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Saying Goodbye to California, Venice Pier, October 2016

As my presumably fabulous L.A. life was crumbling around me, my ego & spirit went head to heart. The reeking suspicion was setting in that the greatest love affair I’d come to know, my marriage to the City of Angels, was nearing its end. Like any great love there’s simply no way to predict the story’s evolution. And, like many great narratives, what seemed to be a grueling devastation was actually an ignition of rebirth. California was a hell of a ride, but one that was starting to feel like the gas tank was teetering on empty. I trekked there at twenty years old from sweet home Alabama with so much pride, I was sure I’d never run out of fuel. As my resistance began to subside, the idea of an adventure was taking reign. Suffice it to say, there was no cushion lying around, but I was slowly readying myself to toss over the keys.

Where is my life headed? Who am I without this identity? It was a bleak road with no glimmering light in sight, aside from my one compelling instinct to flee for southeast Asia. How am I going to manage that? As I watched my home, Venice Beach, turn over & succumb to the gentrification that was part of a greater change within the city, I watched my wallet fall prey to these changes as well. I could no longer upkeep with the ever demanding market, unless I wanted to live to work, and that I did not. The burning smell of Balinese incense kept lurking over my way.

Travel goals actually became a great crutch during my California demise, an easy talking point of reasoning to others. Naturally, as change was setting in, these “others” were in sheer opposition. “If you leave, that’s it.” Of course there were lurking fears. Have I failed? Am I going backward? But, really such a declaration rings as music to my rebellious ears. I typically reject being bound to anything. As an astrology mentor once acutely proclaimed, “You’re a bird with a perch, not a cage.”

True that.

After all, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of expectations. I was sinking in the vast, vapid pool of proving one’s self. The identity that once was a glowing torch of inspiration & purpose had become a shackle. If I was going to “prove” anything, it was that I didn’t have to stay to prove anything. But, my intention was not to prove. My intention was to let go. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to Bali, but about six months later on my thirtieth birthday, I stepped onto that plane and over to the other side of the world. Suffice it to say, it was a hell of a flight.