Nontoxinista

I Put My Armor On, Show You How Strong I Am.

By July 28, 2017 Uncategorized
wallup.net

I think I’ve been lying to myself a little bit.  Actually, a lot.  I’ve spent years working on quieting my mind.  Years.  I’ve put in the work.  And I’ve seen the beneficial results.  You see, my mind used to be really unkind to me.  These days she’s much nicer, but somewhat unrealistic.  I’ve become quite the daydreamer.  But sometimes I still find myself really sad.  And not because my mind is telling me things.  Rather, it’s my heart that’s feeling things.

I’ve told myself, and you, that if we could all just listen to our hearts that life would be better.  And I truly believed that to be true.  I still do.  I have a deep belief that our hearts are quite intuitive, and really can help guide us along this path called life.  But recently I’ve come to the realization that, just like my mind, my heart has been lying to me too.  *Big sigh*

You see, my mind used to tell me I’m not good enough.  She’d say all sorts of mean things about me.  But I didn’t really think my heart agreed.  Until my mind decided to be quiet…  Now I can feel into my heart and have found a harsh truth… In a lot of cases, on some level, my heart actually agrees with my head.  Finding that truth has been heart breaking.  Because thinking something and feeling something are two totally different things.  Right?  For me, my negative thoughts would circulate up in my head.  Round and round they went.  Just swirling around.  Repeating themselves, over and over.  But when I feel something… Well, that happens everywhere.  My eyes fill with tears.  My throat grows a lump.  My heart beats faster.  And my gut finds itself in a knot.  You too, right?

So now what?  I mean, I’ve literally spent countless hours trying to get my mind to be nicer to me, and in the process have realized that my heart isn’t being very nice either.  I used to tell myself that I’m not worthy.  Now I feel unworthy.  I used to tell myself I’m not lovable.  Now I feel unlovable.  I used to tell myself that I’m not smart enough.  Pretty enough.  Brave enough. Confident enough…   Now I feel all those things.  And it’s so much worse.  All of life’s hurts take a serious toll on our hearts.  Every time we experience heart ache, it leaves a mark.  And all of us are left with countless scars and open wounds…  And healing them isn’t easy.

You know, today I put a wound on Ceci’s heart.  I saw it in her eyes.  She yelled to me from the dining room, where she was crouched on the floor painting a picture.  I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when she called for me in rapid succession…  “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom.”  In my head, once was probably enough.  Right?  I was literally ten feet away.  And my ears work quite well.  “What?!” I replied in obvious irritation.  Then I glanced over at her.  Her eyes looked sad.  “Never mind.  I’ll show you later.”  It was a rainbow she had painted for me.  And now I’m sitting here crying as I write this, because I hurt her when all she wanted to do was show me her creation.

That moment.  That hurt that I inflicted on my little girl…  It will sit with her.  She’ll forget, I’m sure.  But her heart won’t.  And over the course of her life, she will experience countless hurts, both big and small, and her heart will remember every last one of them.  Her conscious mind will push most of them away, so as to protect her.  But her heart will hold on tight to every single hurt.  Just like mine does…  And yours.

heart

The human heart amazes me.  It keeps us alive by beating.  And it helps guide us toward the lives our souls had intended for us.  And it does those things without so much as being asked or thanked.  But it also protects us…  It protects us from getting hurt, by making us feel things that aren’t true.  Just like our minds do.  Right?  It’s easier for your heart to make you feel unworthy, than to have someone else make you feel that way.  It hurts a bit less if you stop yourself from pursuing that which you desire, than to have tried and have your heart broken.  And when you’ve had a lifetime of hurts, your heart will start to believe what others have made you feel.  One can only endure so much hurt before both their mind and heart tell them it’s true… Not because it is, but because you’re safer if they lie to you.

In life we all experience and inflict heart aches everyday.  It’s just part of being human.  It’s unavoidable.  Things as small as not looking up from your phone when someone is talking to you leaves a mark.  Not making eye contact.  Not saying ‘please’ or ‘thank you,’ ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye.’  Not smiling or showing gratitude.  We’re all guilty.  And we’re all victims.  And over the course of our lives, the hurts just accumulate.  Causing our hearts to wear a metaphorical armor.  And as a result, we’re all walking around with our guards up.  Not letting old hurts go.  And also not letting love in.

Heartbreaks that happened ten years ago.  Or twenty years ago.  Even thirty years ago…. Are all still sitting inside my heart.  Unless I resolve to heal them.  But healing is hard, because as the energy of those emotions leave me, I feel them.  We all do…  It’s as if you’re re-experiencing life’s lowest moments.  And it ain’t pretty.  But releasing those emotions frees us from them.  Right?  So I suppose my heart is actually doing me a favor.  It’s purging all that no longer belongs there.  It’s getting everything out that has kept me from being the best version of myself.  Releasing that which has prevented me from loving myself… And others.  You know, I’ve decided I don’t want my heart armored anymore.  I’m not interested in hiding.  Or feeling things that aren’t true.  So I’m allowing it all to come up and out.  Even if right now it doesn’t feel so good.  Because the Becky that resides within… She’s fucking amazing.  And my heart, once healed, is totally going to prove that to me.

I got this.  I’m unstoppable.

Sia~Unstoppable

~Namaste~

Becky

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Who’s Bad?

By June 29, 2017 Uncategorized
bad

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?  Like, how bad are you?  I’d be willing to bet you’ve got a moderate amount of badness in you…  I know I do.   Especially if swearing counts for something.  If swearing makes me bad, I’m totally fucked.  But when it comes to behaving badly, I’d say I’m doing pretty well.  But that wasn’t always the case.

When I was a freshman in high school I was still really innocent.  I didn’t really go out on dates or attract the interest of any guys… I was what you would call a ‘late bloomer.’  Both literally and figuratively.  I was probably about 75 pounds, soaking wet, and had never even kissed a boy.  You could say I was ‘under developed,’ if you know what I mean.  *Big sigh*  I really wanted to have boobs.  Like, bad.  Facepalm.  I can’t believe I just admitted that.  Thing is, everyone else had them!  Not me though.  Nope.  Flat as a board.  No bra needed… Except… Not wearing a bra in high school is simply unacceptable.  Or at least that’s how I felt back then.  These days I’ve got no problem letting those puppies fly.  Ha!  But back then, wearing a bra was of the utmost importance.

I mean, I did have a couple training bras, but nothing that clipped in the back or made me feel… I don’t know… Grown up.  But I had another problem.  Along with having no boobs, I also had no money.  I worked at Star Market as a bagger making minimum wage, which back then was a whopping $3.65/hour.  Can you fucking imagine?  Yeah.  You could say I was pretty broke.  And flat.  I was flat broke.  Haha!  See what I did there?  I got jokes.  Bad ones.  But jokes none the less.  Annnyway, moving on.  So yeah, I wanted bras that I couldn’t afford.

bra

I bet you know exactly where this is going…

So there was this day when I went to the mall with some friends.  Remember when it was cool to just walk around the mall?  We’d try on clothes, not buy any of them, and grab a slice of pizza at the food court.  If we were lucky, maybe we’d get to check out some guys close to our age, not talk to them, and call it a day.  Right?  But this day was different.  We went to a department store and got a whole bunch of bras to try on.  I tried on some stuff that I knew I couldn’t afford, but would really love to have.  Two of them fit really well, were cute, and actually made me look like I had some sort of semblance of a chest.  With a little coaxing from a friend, I mustered up the badness to keep them on under my shirt and walk out of the store.

To this day, I still can’t believe I did that.  It was pretty out of character for me.  But you know what?  I actually kind of liked it.  I didn’t get caught, I kept the bras, and thoroughly enjoyed wearing them.  Winning!  But then my mom noticed them in my laundry.  She asked where they came from, but me being as fucking smart as I am, quickly came up with a lie.  “A friend gave them to me because they didn’t fit anymore.”  My mother didn’t look convinced, but accepted my story as truth.  But then she said something that has always stuck with me.  She looked at me and said, “You know, Becky, if I ever found out that you were stealing, I would be really disappointed in you.”  I nodded, and that was the end of it.

About a year later, I found myself in a CVS.  I was holding an eyeliner in my pocket, and was contemplating stealing it.  As I slowly approached the door to leave the store, my mother’s words echoed in my ears.  God dammit!… I walked back to the makeup aisle and put the eyeliner back.  Since that day, I haven’t taken anything without paying for it.  Thanks a lot, Mom… Do you know how much awesome stuff I could have?  Ha!  I suppose the good in me won that battle.

steal

I still have moments where the bad in me rears its ugly head though.  I do the wrong things.  I say things I shouldn’t.  I think things I wish I wouldn’t.  I behave in ways that I wish I didn’t.  Right?  From time to time I’ll talk shit.  Or judge someone when I know I shouldn’t.  Or get overly upset about things that shouldn’t really bother me.  I think we all do that.  Do you notice that you do that too?  Because I’m pretty sure that’s the important part.  Noticing.  I can’t tell you how often I’ll say, do, or think something, and for hours on end, I can’t stop thinking about how I wish I could take it back.  How I wish I could just be completely accepting and tolerant and kind.  But I’m not.  Just like everyone else, I am both good and bad.

But I’ve come to some conclusions about being ‘bad.’  I’ve actually decided that it isn’t so bad after all.  Because doing things we shouldn’t teaches us valuable lessons.  It elicits feelings inside of us that we don’t like.  It shows us the part of ourselves that allows growth to occur.  And without bad there couldn’t be good.  Right?  I mean, life would be really fucking boring if none of us ever fucked up.  We wouldn’t learn anything.  We wouldn’t change or grow.

So I say, go on with your bad self!  I dare you to try to love the badness in you…  Because you know what?  If you do, I bet you’ll find yourself more easily accepting and less judgmental of the badness in others.  And as you find yourself becoming more tolerant  and accepting of others, the good in you will grow, miraculously causing your ‘badness’ to effortlessly fade away.  Know what I mean?  So be bad.  And love yourself, not despite it, but because of it.

Who’s bad?

Michael Jackson~Bad

~Namaste~

Becky

 

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I’m Waking Up.

By June 19, 2017 Uncategorized
chain2

Guys, I kind of can’t deal with social media these days.  Have you noticed everyone is #woke?  What’s up with that?  Like, ev-er-y-one is totally #woke.  Am I right?  They share the latest headline about something fucking terrible, then add the hashtag… #WOKE.

Okay, I actually don’t hate it.  I kinda dig it.  I’m glad y’all think you’re ‘woke.’  However, I beg to differ.  You ain’t woke.  Oh don’t you worry.  I ain’t woke either.  But I’m ‘woker’ than most.  Haha!  But you guys are a little exhausting.  You remind me of me…. like five years ago.  I looked a lot like this:

tinfoil

Ha!  I kid… Sort of.  For real though.  Everyone is all in a huff about how sucky our world is.  Especially here in the great United States of America.  Shit’s fucking turbulent over here!  You literally can’t avoid finding out the next thing that is going to end it all unless you completely avoid all media.  I wish I was kidding.

I get it.  I’m with y’all… Shit’s hard right now!  But we certainly are not #woke.  So what, you ask, is woke?  Woke is the holy dude that parted the sea… Who did that?  No seriously.  Who?  I was raised Catholic, but I actually have no clue.  Woke is Buddha.  Woke is Jesus.  I’d also probably argue woke is folks like John Lennon and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  They were #woke.  We are not.  So what are we?

Well… we’re waking up.  We’re becoming #woke.  But we’re not there yet.  Isn’t it fun!  (Note sarcasm)  Brutal.  Guys, here’s the thing.  All of us are going through this.  At different times and rates.  But we’re all going through this together.  If you’re reading this and you’re all like, ‘What the fuck is this crazy bitch talking about?’, you’re one of the few people left with their head still in the sand.  Don’t worry.  You’ll join the crazy soon.

Anyway, what’s my point?  Ahhhh!  I hate when this happens.  I always have a point, but sometimes I forget.  It’s definitely the wine’s fault.  I just poured my third glass… Sloooow down, Becky.

wine

Okay, so my point…  So, remember the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima? When that happened, I literally lost my mind.  For me, it was definitely the thing that was going to end all things.  I mean, I guess it still could, but I choose not to think about it.  Anyway, you can fill in the blank.  What’s your Fukushima?  What is it that you fear?  What is it that makes you angry?  What’s your catalyst?  What made you… #WOKE?  Whatever it is, instead of fearing it, thank it.  I know.  I’m crazy.  But hear me out.

Without that catalyst, you’d still be one of those folks you’re screaming at on social media to wake the fuck up.  Right?  Without that fear… Without that anger…  You’d still be in a slumber.  Walking through life completely unaware of all the terrible shit that’s happening.  For a second that actually sounds kind of nice doesn’t it?  To be blissfully unaware… But once you start waking up, you can’t go back to sleep.  There’s no going back.  So now what?

I mean, I guess you just keep going.  Keep doing what you’re doing.  But if you’re anything like me, holding onto that anger and fear will eventually get too exhausting.  Spewing hate and intolerance towards those who oppose your point of view will continue to fall on deaf ears.  Right?  I mean, never in the history of arguments on social media has anyone ever changed anyone’s mind.  Ever.  Reading a thread of comments on a controversial article is like repeatedly smashing your head against a wall.  Everyone walks away pissed off, and nothing changes.  Seriously, what’s the point?

I know being informed is important.  It’s entirely necessary for change to occur.  I get that.  But the fear and hate that seems to go along with the sharing of information is tiring.  So I say folks should maybe consider just living their lives with purpose.  Be the change you want to see… Right?  Fuck all the noise.  Just live.

Break free from the system.  Unchain yourself.  Turn off the news.  Take a break from social media.  And live.  Take a few minutes each day to sit inside your heart…  Take a walk.  Or a nap.  Hug your kids.  Drive fast with your windows down and the volume up.  Dance in your kitchen.  Exercise.  Meditate.  Read a book for pleasure.  Close your eyes and feel the light that resides within you.  Love fiercely.  And know that that feeling… When you’re in this moment.  That is when you’re #WOKE.

Welcome to the new age.

Imagine Dragons feat. Kendrick Lamar~Radioactive

~Namaste~

Becky

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In The Blink Of An Eye

By June 8, 2017 Uncategorized
kids

I have a question… Are you noticing the moments?  The small ones?  I’m pretty sure they’re the most important ones.  Because, in combination, they actually equal a whole lot.  Way more than the daily bull shit that tends to drag us all down.  I wish we were better at noticing those amazing moments.

Today I went shopping for a new pair of shoes.  Ryan was with me, and I forgot the stroller.  I actually don’t use it all that much anymore, but there are times when it’s so helpful.  Today would’ve been one of those days.  As I roamed around DSW, Ryan was his usual self.  Knocking stacks of shoe boxes on the floor, climbing shelves, loud, and just all around difficult… But cute as hell.  It took what felt like an eternity to get from the entrance of the store to my destination at the back left corner.  But honestly, I wasn’t in a rush, so I consciously decided to not get annoyed, and slowly followed Ryan, and interjected his shenanigans when necessary.

Eventually we got where we were going and I started looking for black dress shoes.  I grabbed a pair of peds, and quickly scanned the aisle for anything cute to try on.  Meanwhile, Ryan decided to pick up all the scraps of tissue paper on the floor and deliver them to a nearby trash bin.  I kept him in my peripheral as I tried on a pair of shoes.  Two women, old enough to be Ryan’s grandmother, were browsing purses at a display next to where I was sitting.  As Ryan returned from his final trip to the trash, he ran toward the women like a bat out of Hell, and aggressively yanked the purse out of one of the women’s hands as he proclaimed, “It’s RED!  It’s my bag!”  Then he refused to let go.

I was appalled.  He has never done something like that to a stranger before.  I quickly walked over, removed the bag from his hands and said, “You’re right.  It is red.  But it isn’t yours.  It’s her’s.”  Then I handed the bag back to the nice woman, and apologized for his behavior.  The moment that followed was what stuck with me… It was one of those ‘small moments’ I was referring to earlier.  She looked at my little boy with obvious love in her eyes and responded, “It’s okay.”

That was it…  But her look said it all.  She didn’t even know my sweet boy, and all that she saw of him was misbehavior.   But it didn’t matter.  She looked at him with love anyway.  That moment stuck with me all day.

Ryan

Hours later, I was driving both Ceci and Ryan home from picking Ceci up at school.  As we were driving along, Ceci asked, “Mama, what do you call a camel with three humps?”  I pretended to think really hard then responded, “Pregnant!”  Admittedly, if I hadn’t already heard that joke about a million times, I wouldn’t have known the answer, buuuuut… Anyway, Ceci sighed then continued, “Okay, let’s do that again, but this time pretend you don’t know the answer, okay?”  I obliged, and she asked again.  This time I totally embellished with my thinking face, then said, “I don’t know.  What?”  “PREGNANT!” She yelled, then laughed as loud and obnoxiously as is humanly possible.  I followed suit and did a loud, fake laugh as well.  Ryan, who had been sitting beside Ceci observing the whole interaction, joined in the fun, and he too began fake laughing.  As the laughter died down, Ryan turned to Ceci with a serious expression on his face and said, “Ceci, that no funny joke!”  With a dramatic scowl on his face, he gave a little “hmmfff”as he crossed his arms across his chest and glared at his sister.  I glanced in the review mirror to gauge Ceci’s reaction to Ryan’s comment.  She gave me a toothy grin then said, “He’s two, Mama.  He has no clue what he’s talking about.”  Then she laughed a real belly laugh… And we all cracked up laughing.  I looked back at both of my kids and made sure to relish that silly little moment.  They’re the best kind.

kids

When you’re a parent I think it’s pretty easy to notice and be grateful for those types of small moments.  They happen everyday, countless times.  But children aren’t the only ones that gift us with those ‘small moments’ that are so important.  We all have the ability to give small moments of joy to those around us.  Right?  And I think most of us do it without so much as giving it a thought…  Anytime you hold a door open for the person walking behind you.  Or when you let a car merge in front of you in a line of traffic.  And of course when you go through the drive-thru at Dunks, make eye contact with the person who made your coffee, and say ‘thank you,’ and really mean it.  We all do these types of things every single day.  We pat our loyal dogs on their heads when they greet us at the door.  We notice when the air smells good after a good long bout of rain.  And all women love that amazing feeling when we unclip our bras at the end of a long day… Am I right?!  Ha!

Lately I’ve been trying really hard to notice those small moments, because in the blink of an eye, they’re gone.  Pushed into the past.  I try to take just an extra moment to appreciate all of life’s little moments of joy that can so easily pass us by, completely unnoticed.  I enjoy a summer breeze.  I smile at complete strangers.  I tickle torture my kids.  I drive with my window down and my radio up.  I sing loud as fuck and dance in the driver’s seat, and when those passing by notice and laugh, I wave and smile.  All life is, is the compilation of small moments.  Most of them are good, with some bad ones sprinkled in.  Notice the good ones.  Appreciate them.  And give them out to others.  If you do, I promise you, that even amidst the troubles and chaos of our world, you will see… Life is good.

 

Don’t Blink ~ Kenny Chesney

~Namaste~
Becky
Cover Photo Credit: Jamison Wexler

 

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I’m The Satellite And You’re The Sky

By May 29, 2017 Uncategorized
sky

This girl.  This girl right here.  She is something so special… I know I talk about her a lot, but the time has come for me to sit and really spill the beans on how important she is to me and my spiritual growth.  She’s anything but ordinary.  She’s special in the most amazing ways.

Cecilia is six years old, but has a soul as old as time.  Tonight before bed she had a moment.  Well, it was more than a moment.  It was about an hour of what started out feeling like torture.  When I told Ceci it was time for bed she had a complete meltdown.  Screaming, crying, hitting, throwing toys.  The whole nine yards… But then she started screaming something that really bothered me.  “I’m stupid.  I’m just so stupid.”  Over and over and over.  I had no idea where it was coming from or why she was saying it.  Luckily, I was able to gather an extraordinary amount of patience, and continuously responded to her with love.  “What are you talking about?  You’re so smart.  And amazing.  And beautiful.  And wonderful.  And kind.  And loving… You’re perfect.”  But she just kept repeating that she was stupid.  So I just kept repeating all that I think is so wonderful about her.

Then she fell apart.  “Mommy, it’s just so hard being human.  I try so hard, but sometimes I hurt people.  And then when they get hurt, it hurts me.  Or other people do whatever they want to, and if I don’t like it, that can hurt me too.  I can’t hold it in anymore.  It’s just too hard.”  Then she sobbed.  I carried her up to bed, where she cried herself to sleep as I hugged her.

Big sigh…  She’s six.  Take a second and think about how it must feel to be sitting inside her heart.  She understands and can express things most people lying on their deathbeds can just barely grasp.  And she’s my little girl.

kiss

When Ceci was about two she went to Target with her aunt, Allison.  As they walked down an aisle, Ceci turned to her auntie and exclaimed, “Grampy’s here!”  Allison, knowing Ceci had had experiences like this before asked, “Oh yeah?  Where is he?”  Ceci pointed to the top of a display and answered, “There!  By the pumpkin… He’s eating a cookie.  He says he can eat now.  His belly doesn’t hurt anymore.”  My dad died of stomach cancer.

A couple of years later, when I was pregnant with Ryan, one night I sat with Ceci in her bed and read her a few stories before it was time to go to sleep.   After we finished reading, we chatted for a bit.  As our conversation neared its end, I looked at her and said something I’ve said countless times, “Ceci, I’m so glad that God gave me you.”  Her response was something she hadn’t said before.  “Mommy, God didn’t give me to you.  I picked you.”  Then she went on to explain how her soul thought Mike and I would be the perfect parents for her, and how she chose us.  Then out of nowhere, she turned to me and said, “You know, Grampy has wings that sparkle.  It’s like they’re covered in glitter.”  So of course I asked, “How do you know that?”  Her response made me cry.  “He brought me to you.  When I was born, he flew me down to you.  And there were angels all around… And then I was here…”  Instantly tears came pouring out of my eyes.  She never ceases to amaze me.

glasses

Being a parent is never easy.  But I think it’s probably more important for us parents to remember that being a child is never easy either.  Ceci has this amazing ability to express herself.  She remembers the love of God… or heaven… or wherever it is that we come from.  She knows.  And being away from that type of love is hard for her.  It’s hard for all of us.  But she’s consciously aware of it.  And she can verbally express it.  A true angel living in a human body.

Of course, all of us are angels living in human bodies, right?  Or at least that’s what I choose to believe.  We all have our own lessons, challenges, and experiences… Probably that we chose to face before we came here.  But we’re all angels.  Every single one of us.  I think we could stand to learn a lot by listening to our children.  By showing them patience, and understanding, and kindness.  I mean, of course sometimes that feels impossible, and we respond in ways that are only human, right?  And that’s okay… Because we are human.  But those moments… The really hard ones…  When our little loves are completely incapable of handling life and all the shit that it throws at them… In those moments, what they need is love.  Right?  Because really, isn’t that all that they are?  Little vessels of love… Sent from heaven, to help us learn to love more fully.  And unconditionally.

You know, Ceci really is no different than any other child.  She’s not any more or less special than any other little angel sent here from heaven.  All that she is able to express are the same things that all children feel.  I’m so blessed that she is able to articulate what’s happening inside of her.  That she can tell us what’s going on, so that Mike and I can help her.  We certainly have our work cut out for us with this one.  And it doesn’t promise to be easy.  But the rewards are well worth it.  She teaches us so much.  And when I envision Cecilia’s future, I see something so bright.  I see her moving mountains.  And gazing at stars.  Dreaming big and fearlessly pursuing that which brings her joy.  She’s such a gift.  And I’m so glad she chose me.

Cecilia and the Satellite~Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

 

~Namaste~

Becky

 

Photo Credit: Jamison Wexler

 

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