Monthly Archives: April 2009

Don’t Judge Me by the Way I Look

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“Many brave men lived before Agamemnon, but all unwept and unknown, they sleep in endless night, for they had no poets to sound their praises.” – Horace

A person in one of my group therapy sessions once told this story.  “I was living in a city with a large population of homeless and poor.  Each day it was painful to notice the contrast between the beautifully dressed, seemingly self-confident people, and the poor who shared the streets with them.”

“One day I realized I could empathize with how those homeless people felt.  I’d lived my whole life feeling I didn’t belong, with no family I could turn to, and not knowing if I would survive another day in my misery.  The compassion I felt was a reminder to me not to form my opinions about people by how they look.  It doesn’t matter what people think they see in me, or anyone else.  Each one of us is wounded.  It’s just that some wounds are on the inside instead of the outside.”  Remember that we are all in this world together and for a purpose, no matter what the circumstances of our lives.

Judgment Day

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“I shall tell you a great secret, my friend.  Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.”  — Albert Camus

It is easy to hope that at some time in the future we may redeem ourselves by some great act of heroism or undergo a dramatic conversion of sorts.  But in the meantime, all too often, it’s business as usual.  Too easily we can become used to our unhealthy behaviors, denying that our acting-out has harmed anyone… except ourselves and those we love and who love and trust us.  Deep down we knew we were judging ourselves and being judged.  Now, each day, we can assess our actions and evaluate our behavior.  In this way, we learn how our behavior has affected every part of our lives and our relationships.

It is time to change.  The longer we wait, the more ingrained are our habits and ways of perceiving and deceiving.  If we live a lie, we will be judged accordingly, by ourselves and those close to us.  We can change and grow and move ahead into the openness and fullness of each new day.

Faith

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Faith in thought is powerful,
but faith in action is magnetic
.

Tears Dry On Their Own — Amy Winehouse

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All I can ever be to you is a darkness that we knew
And this regret I got accustomed to
Once it was so right
When we were at our height
Waiting for you in the hotel at night

I knew I hadn’t met my match
But every moment we could snatch
I don’t know why I got so attached

It’s my responsibility
You don’t owe nothing to me
But to walk away I have no capacity

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own

I don’t understand
Why do I stress a man
When there’s so many bigger things at hand

We could’ve never had it all
We had to hit a wall
So this is inevitable withdrawal

Even if I stop wanting you
And perspective pushes true
I’ll be some next man’s other man soon

I cannot play myself again
Should just be my own best friend
Not fuck myself in the head with stupid men

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own

So we are history
Your shadow covers me
The sky above ablaze

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own

I wish I could say no regrets
And no emotional debt
‘Cause as we kiss goodbye the sun sets

So we are history
A shadow covers me
The sky above ablaze
That only lovers see

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
My blue shade
My tears dry on their own

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I am grown
And in your way
My deep shade
My tears dry on their own

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I am grown
And in your way
My deep shade
My tears dry

— Amy Winehouse

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? – Amy Winehouse

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Tonight you’re mine completely.
You give your love so sweetly.
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes.
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Is this a lasting treasure
or just a moment’s pleasure?
Can I believe the magic of your sighs?
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Tonight with words unspoken.
And you say that I’m the only one, the only one, yeah.
But will my heart be broken
when the night meets the morning star?

I’d like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now, cause I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Yeah

— Amy Winehouse

The beginning of a new relationship brings many questions to mind, especially when both individuals have to take care of their own needs first.  To love another, one must first love himself.

Death in the Abstract

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“It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”   — Woody Allen

Even after a recent near death experience, I tend to think of death in the abstract, as a fact rather than a reality.  I know that everything passes and that we are bound to die, but I rarely allow myself to accept the reality of dying and being dead. 

Is this my way as well as that of others who refuse this fact our way of avoiding the reality of death?  It may be that we can only think of more worldly, mortal acts as a new beginning, a false sense of perpetual renewal, even a kind of rebirth.  Especially in fantasy and maybe even in our relationships, we are always “falling in love” all over again.  Always young, always beginning again, always keeping our options open.  Never settling into the contentment of a commitment. 

As we begin to mature and develop through our efforts of personal growth, we can learn to integrate our thinking and feelings about death into our daily lives.  We can sense death as an integral part of life, and not just as an abstract finality.  This can become part of our process of learning to experience reality in all its stunning diversity.  Life can become more precious as we realize that we must leave it. 

 

The Joy and Pain of Loving

 

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“The main motive for ‘non-attachment’ is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual is hard work.”  — George Orwell

In popular romances, love is often presented as a bed of roses – without the thorns.  We may also have the idea that loving is always like falling in love – tricky, risky, thrilling, open-ended, a real high.  And perhaps that is what we go on seeking when we act out in unhealthy ways.

But love, over time, needs energy, loyalty, skill, patience, devotion – the same talents and dedication we need to bring to our work, or other commitments.  Of course, love can be joyous and playful and childlike, but if it is to grow and mature it needs careful tending and hard work. 

Love brings us into a close relationship with the pains as well as the joys of living.  If we dare to become involved, intimate, committed, we will find ourselves becoming mature individuals in touch with the realities not of romance, but of life. 

Good-bye My Love

 

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“I left because there was no room for me.  But you could tell me not to go.  Say it to me.  Tell me not to go.”  — Stephen Sondheim.  Dot in Sunday in the Park with George. 

To leave someone we love is to knowingly break a vital connection.  Even if we chose to leave, we wonder why it often hurts so much.  But the heart isn’t logical; it feels the trauma of the loss and the responsibility of being the one to say good-bye. 

Love is a process; it doesn’t end because we say good-bye.  No matter how painful or harmful a relationship was, there were good things about it, just as there were lovable things about the other person.  The challenge is to accept with grace the choice we’ve made and to forgive whatever hurt we’ve received.  We can refuse to indulge in self-righteousness or indignation.  Those feelings are born out of illusion of power that comes with being the one who leaves.  Most of all, we can grieve the loss and then let go of the person we loved so that we can heal.

Left by Someone We Love

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“She looks for me.  God.  Let her look for me and tell me why she left me.”  — Stephen Sondheim.  George in Sunday in the Park with George. 

To be left by someone we love is to experience a break in the heart’s flow.  To be left is to endure unanswered questions, to feel fear, anger, rejection, grief.  It is life in the passive tense: we did not leave – we were left.  Spiritual separation, when the bond of two spirits has been severed by someone  else’s choice, hurts badly.  Where is the hope?  How do we go on?  At its most painful, being left even brings the question, “Do I want to go on?”  Once we answer yes to this, we can start to heal. 

We can choose to accept what is.  We can find our way with the help of the Universe’s grace and the support of people who love us and want us in their lives.  To yield to someone’s wish to end a relationship is an act of respect.  To want the best for someone, even when it means enduring our own loss, is an act of love.  Honestly grieving the loss of someone is a sign that healing is already beginning to take place.