Cobwebs, Dirty Floors, and Love

If you’re going to tell me that I need to learn to love myself (or ourselves, in a group setting) in order to love you with the love and respect you deserve, I can’t hear you if you aren’t loving me. I can’t hear you if you are coming from grudge (or anger, yelling, vitriol) vs. love.

It’s tricky, isn’t it? What I hear you saying may very well be the truth, or may certainly have some true parts. But it’s like giving advice to someone else on how to keep their house clean while you have cobwebs all over yours. Your cobwebs don’t actually make any of the truth less true. However, they make you less believable about what you know and want, so you are now suspect for motives, suspect as to what will be returned for changed behavior. Your intention isn’t coming from the same energy that you wish to receive.

Now, you will get a few on board who will hear you and see the truth in spite of your own cobwebs and adjust accordingly; and you will have some form of agreement from the few self-loathing as well. But you will not ultimately get the return you were going for, which is a transformed group.

What a conundrum. Sometimes we really need to be heard, or sometimes we really need to hear. How difficult it can be to express hurt, fear, or anger and be heard fully without losing humanity towards the other person our group!

Love is some tricky shit when you think you can out-maneuver it.

👉 Me, Myself, and I 👈

Good, bad, or indifferent, I’m the common denominator in every event and circumstance in my life. If I get to take credit for the celebration and praise-worthy instances, I must also take responsibility and credit for the lackluster and substandard occasions as well.

The way in was me, and so it is for the way out. If I want more, then I stay the course. If I want change, like everything else, that movement begins with me as well.

Simply because I’m human and share the planet, life sends me surprises. I may not be responsible for that, but I am still at the center of the space created from my own response.

The Dark Soul and Little Spitfire

A story that starts over and over again to have a happy ending
  
Allegory
Once upon a time, there was an evil man with an infectious smile and a big sense of humor — but a dark soul, he was.  Nothing good about this man was genuine.  He smiled on the outside, but his insides were murky and sour.  He covered it up by putting on a gregarious and charitable act for all to see, but in the dark is where he crafted his masterpiece of deceit and lies.  His energy was strongest in the dark where no one could see and where he could keep his secrets hidden.  In the dark was where he lured his victims, where he would devour them with enticements of money and favors that they could never repay fully, except with the defeat and surrender of their consciences.  Even then, this Dark Soul would not be done with you.  Once you bowed to him, you were eternally damned with only one way out.  That way was a rarely chosen one which forced the affected to leave all behind.  His force was so strong, and so dense was his canvas of lies, that only a scant few could see out.  Some who saw through his darkness continued to pander to him anyway out of fear.  If you walked through the blinding exit, your true essence would be forgotten by all that you knew and loved, eclipsed by the grimy portrait of lies painted by the Dark Soul that sucked the good out of everything he touched.  He breathed in what goodness he could find and regurgitated stench; and when he breathed in stench, he regurgitated his own demons that were always someone else’s fault.
History
There was a little soul, a Little Spitfire born to the Dark Soul and a Family of Light.  She was innocent to the inner workings of the dark side.  But as she matured she began to come into her own mind, and she began to see the contrast between the Dark Soul and the Family of Light.  She also began to come into her own awareness about the world around her — the world she was immersed in.  This was the corner the Dark Soul missed when he brought the little soul into the world.  He misjudged his own powers of influence and mistakenly thought that he was stronger than all else.  After all, the evidence was there that he was the great influencer, was it not?   But indeed he had not learned that the Light is always greater than darkness; he had born his daughter into the Family of Light as well as his own, and he had immersed his daughter into a world full of life, colorful surroundings, and cultures.  As his darkness grew, so did the little soul’s awareness.  Her immediate surroundings became intolerable, as he not only weighed on her illuminated conscience, but also weighed heavy on her little heart.  The Dark Soul’s abuse was growing in the dark that was beginning to take over.  Then one day the Light Protector decided it had become too dark for anyone to grow, and gave the Little Spitfire the option to stay where she thought she knew her surroundings, or to come with her and live where only Light was allowed.  Having had enough of the stench of the darkness, the 13 year old Little Spitfire chose to go with the Light Protector.  She had no idea that nearly an entire family would turn away from her because of her choice to grow — even her grandparents.
As the years passed, Little Spitfire and Light Protector grew and learned together.  The Dark Soul tormented them whenever and wherever he could for years.  He ruined vehicles, stole jewelry, would call endlessly, spoke horrible language, and stole money from Little Spitfire.  He even enlisted other family members, childhood friends of Little Spitfire, and friends of Light Protector to keep tabs on them for him.  He relied on their gossip and willingly and relentlessly spread untruths about them to his own family and friends.  The Dark Soul even entered Little Spitfire’s school one day shouting epithets at her teachers and administrators to coerce them to have her removed.  Fortunately, it only caused them to frown upon him and feel bad for his embarrassed Little Spitfire, and he was banished from the grounds.  He did anything he could to spread the darkness.  He knew he couldn’t survive in the Light.  Every nasty, big or little thing he did to them, he would turn into a different story to his comrades and family.  His stories were so big and he held so much power, that nearly 40 years later these stories are still believed as the truth, and have been retold and spread by many.  Interestingly enough, not one word has ever been said directly by any of these players to the Little Spitfire or the Light Protector directly about any of these stories.  One can only surmise that it must be easier to believe a lie than to find out the hard truth about everything you thought you knew.
Several years passed, and the Dark Soul was only heard from intermittently with an occasional drive-by, or through packages of old pictures or knick-knacks being left anonymously on the Light Protector’s doorstep.  Spitfire had grown into her own life by now, but was living in the darkness of the trauma left behind from him.  For a while, it seemed that his darkness had followed her and was going to live on through her.  She didn’t realize it until she made a lot of mistakes, some which hurt other people, but most hurt her own life.  Spitfire had an awakening one day when the Light shone on her just right, and she realized that she had little souls of her own that were being affected by the Dark Soul, though his physical presence was absent.  She was at once angrier than she had ever been in her life, but quickly realized that this anger had been the downfall all along — that it had been the remaining shade casting out the Light trying so hard to pull her through for so many years.  In the realization alone, the warmth from the Light began to spread, and little by little, more became illuminated.   The most important thing that showed up for Spitfire was herself, and the realization that she held all the power for herself and her little souls all along.  She had just forgotten in the darkness to open her eyes.
The next chapter in Spitfire’s life was challenging as she learned a new way of thinking and teaching her little souls and for herself.  She had to learn to love the forgotten life she hated in order to have Light everywhere.  Darkness can be like an addiction, and can suck you back in when you aren’t paying attention.  So Spitfire tried very hard to be aware of her surroundings at all times.  Again, she made lots of mistakes, but always brushed herself off and vowed to never make the same mistake twice.  Her biggest wish was for her little souls to grow in the Light and not have to know the darkness that she did.  She worked diligently to cultivate the characteristics in them that the Dark Soul would never have taught — diplomacy, honesty, sincerity, tenacity, decency, impartiality, frankness, honor, unconditional love — whatever she felt were crucial to a life of integrity and courage.
By now, Spitfire’s little souls were on their own, and as some of us do when we feel we have forgiven those in dark places, we think we are strong enough to go back and visit.  We think we have risen above and feel that somehow we “should” out of a forgiving spirit.  And so it goes, that we learn all the while we live.  At least, that’s the point of it anyway.  A few of us choose to ignore the lessons and are doomed to repeat them.  So Spitfire went back for a visit, and she stayed for a while until once again, the Dark Soul began casting his shadows upon her life.  She realized that he was one of those that would die having never learned, and would take with him his darkness to the very end.  And sadly, those that would mourn for him would never know the true Light as long as they remained under his cloak of darkness and refused to even peer into the Light.  Spitfire learned that forgiveness does not mean you need to revisit darkness to show the strength of forgiveness.  The strength of forgiveness is shown in the manner in which we live our lives.  It is in the proof that we do not repeat the mistakes from which we turned.  The lesson is proven when we realize that those scars caused in the darkness are ours forever, but not to pass down and share.  They are only bookmarks, or reminders, like those pushpins on a map.  The Light is shown when we no longer pretend to or show reverence for the darkness that caused the scars, and refuse to lend credence and participation to the Dark Soul’s insidious ego any longer. 
Today
Spitfire has come to realize that even in death, the Dark Soul will live on through those that carry out his legacy of darkness, and it will continue to be repeated until someone says, “Enough!” and chooses the Light instead.  She chose a different world for herself and for her little souls so that eventually his darkness will end.  Light always wins over darkness, but it is a conscious choice.  It was the best choice, but it was not an easy path.  She will remain forever grateful for her Family of Light that showed her a dichotomy in her bubble.  She remains strong in her resolve, but unsure if she would have recognized that it was the Light shining on her without them.  Her early training in the darkness has caused a ripple that is a constant struggle against her own worst self, but the Light shines so bright on her awareness that she can never become unconscious again.  Sometimes it’s up to the beholder to give broken things a purpose.
Lessons continue, and darkness is always waiting.  Spitfire will always keep her head up so she can see, and protect her own to the end.  She knows about the cycle.  It is illuminated now and cannot be unseen.  She thinks to herself how she would have liked to have learned these lessons another way, but she understands that this must have been what it took to change the course for her little souls and her to have a different life.
Goodbye, Dark Soul.  You’ll have to leave without me.”

Sometimes it’s up to the beholder
to give broken things a purpose.
Light always wins.

There’s Always You

They Better Recognize!
There will be those for whom you will never be enough, and that’s okay!  It’s okay because they probably aren’t enough for themselves anyway.  They are already torturing themselves without even realizing it.  Resist participation in the “Not Enough” game.
There will be those that will say one thing to you when they’re happy with you, and turn around and say the exact opposite when they aren’t.  Resist the confusion by this confused person.  It’s a ploy to pull you into their snare.  Do not enter.  You don’t need them to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong about you.  If you listen to your heart, you already know the truth of the matter.
There will be those who will intentionally say or do things to hurt you.  Let’s be clear, this person is a bully.  It may indeed hurt, but that doesn’t mean they are right.  Let someone you trust know how you are being treated just as fast and as often as you can.  Don’t keep this perpetrator’s secrets about who they are, and stop buying into the secrets you are beginning to believe about yourself.  This is how they feed!  Don’t believe the negative ad campaign, and don’t feed the monsters.
There will be those that will fall short of their promises to you.  I’m not talking about false promises; I’m talking about promises made before they had any idea of what the follow-through would have to be.  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” sometimes means that person can’t hold up to their lofty promises.  Frustrating, yes, but it means nothing – absolutely nothing – about you.
There will be those who will offer to loan you money, or do other favors for you in order to have some control in and over your life.  This is one way they keep you “loyal.”  Do not deal with this person, and do not be this person.  Favors should be from the heart with no expectation of the receiver.  (And, no, I’m not talking about the legalities of a money loan.  I am speaking about  your personhood.)
Predators are everywhere, and they aren’t just of the violent and/or sexual nature.  If someone purposes to bring you down, they are preying on you.  Recognize when someone is doing this to you, and don’t fall for it.  They are lonely down there and wish you harm for their own gain. 
There will be those that discount your feelings, your health, your struggles.  Believe in yourself and don’t let these issues define you. As well, don’t let what people refuse to understand define you either.  Break free from their thinking.
There will be those that are just simply unhappy, angry people. They will create things to blame on you, and they will incite your belief and bewilderment in their story.  If it sounds outlandish, it is!  You can NEVER be responsible for someone else’s happiness.  An unhappy person will be unhappy no matter where they go or whose company they keep.  Notice that unhappiness just follows these people.  You truly never will be enough of anything for these types.  If they can’t make themselves happy, they also cannot make YOU happy.  Also, do not depend on someone else for your own happiness.  You own this one for yourself, like it or not, as do they.
If you can’t physically distance yourself from these kinds of people, at least do not allow them to take up space for free in your thoughts, as your thoughts are at the forefront of your well-being.  Do not allow their insidious nature to take over.  You guard your heart and mind through your thoughts.  Someone may be able to take over physical space, but only you hold the key to your thoughts.  Don’t give it away, and keep these people out of your head.  This you do have 100% control over.
Now it’s up to you! (It always has been, actually.)
I say these things so matter-of-factly, I know.  It is work to be on guard and to be our own biggest advocate, but the payoff is freedom and power.  A very important piece of this is also recognizing the people in your life that are good for you, that love you just because they do.  These are the people that you want to surround yourself with.  These are the people that are worthy of your time, caring, and concern.  The more you surround yourself with these people, the less space there is for the others.  This is what being responsible for yourself looks like.  It’s up to you to be different.  If you’re waiting around for people around you to change, you’re on the wrong track.  Be responsible.  Nothing changes until your own thoughts and actions do.
Are you keeping that friend around who hurts your feelings or never shows up for you?  Why?  Are you keeping that potential suitor around just in case another better one doesn’t come along?  Why?  Are you still going to the family gatherings only to be treated like a stepchild?  Why?  In the pretend act of not hurting someone else’s feelings, what do you think you are doing to yourself?  Certain situations may be unavoidable at times, but that’s when I refer you back to guarding your thoughts!
We have this fairy tale that we aren’t responsible for how our lives turn out.  This tale allows us to ignore responsibility and refuse to take action, which oddly enough IS action and shows up all over our lives.  All you have to do is look at how your life is going, and I’m not talking about how you coordinate it to look on the outside.  I’m talking about your real life – how it looks from the inside.  We all know a horrible person whose life looks like it is unfairly working out so well for them.  (Someone just popped into your head, right?)  But trust me, were you able to be in their skin, it is not that at all.  So watch out for that envy!  The shiny things aren’t always what you think, and there is a price to be paid.

You are your best asset!
My Papa told me once to listen only to me in the end.  He said that people’s opinions were only worthwhile up until they start making you feel bad, vs. making you think.  As usual, he was right.  Of course. (Smile.)  I have come to understand this better as I get older and have become more practiced at it.  I was 13 when we had this talk, and dealing with some bullies at school.  I was feeling very unsure of myself, and he was very clear to me that the girls that were hating on me and bullying me were very unhappy people and wanted to make an example out of me and a few other friends.  He was very clear with me that I should not turn around and be that way to someone else in order to fit in or make myself feel better as they were doing to me.  He was also very honest and enlightened me to the fact that these people would always be around, and the best thing I could do was trust in myself.  He and my mother both taught me that being a happy person in spite of it was the best medicine.
There will be moments when you perceive that you are all you have.  You just have to remember that indeed you do!  




Time to get real and do away with "Bitchology!"