Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I'm Feeding The Trolls

So, I have this hater. Michael Gazica is a Sum 41 fan who has taken a personal disliking to my comments on Deryck Whibley's pictures on Instagram. My last blog post is filled with hateful comments from him and while I could completely ignore him, I want to take this opportunity to impart information that could be useful to some of my readers.

I annoy him a LOT according to him. And maybe if I were in the 5th grade and still the sensitive being I once was, the hateful words of a bully like him would have made me cry. I am not that sensitive child. I am a hardened 46-year-old woman...old enough to be his mother and his attempts to drive me away are pointless. I could psycho-analyze his behavior and dissect why it is he feels the need to attack me, but I'm not sure it serves a useful purpose here.

What I understand that it might take him many years to come to is that we all act as mirrors for each other.  We show each other where we need to grow. If someone triggers you, chances are pretty good they are reflecting something inside of you that you need to take a look at. You can ignore the opportunity to grow and continue to be hateful and unpleasant or you can choose to look at your shadow self and become a better person. He doesn't understand yet, but I know his spite and venom isn't really about me...it is about a deficit within him that he doesn't want to face. I am simply the trigger.

Maybe he hoped to rattle my chains, but all I could do is sit there and think "He is another me. He is showing me my shadow self. I love you, Michael Gazica, because my shadow self especially needs love." See, in the end, we are all one despite the illusion that we are separate beings. We are all connected. To hate him for his ill behavior is to hate myself. Maybe some day that other me will grow and learn and become a nicer person. I can hope.

As I told him in comments, I am secure in who I am. His opinion of me has no weight or influence on the choices I make or my behavior. Hate if you need to hate but know that I love me and my love for me is really the only love that matters.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane - House of Blues - Sunest Strip

I woke at 2:00 a.m. to pee. I shouldn't have looked at my phone but I did. Ariana Cooper had posted a photo of a band from the House of Blues in Los Angeles. That was all it took. My head started taking a trip down memory lane and I couldn't go back to sleep. Her fiance, Deryck Whibley, had posted a video the night before of the Smashing Pumpkins and, coincidentally, it took me back to this very same place in time in my history....Los Angeles 1994. The fact that twice in two days I was reminded of this time must mean something but I don't know what yet. Let me take you back in time with me.

I was dating Sky Phoenix and he wanted to fly me to LA for my best friend's birthday. I had just moved to Portland, Oregon that year so the flight wasn't long or bad. My BFF was living in the Charlie Chaplin mansion at the time and I stayed with her there a couple nights. She had BEGGED me to go to Lollapalooza with her for her birthday. I despise huge crowds and she really had to convince me but I finally agreed. Smashing Pumpkins were headlining that year. I really didn't care about any of the bands playing. I had only gone for her. It was hot and all the sweaty bodies made it smelly. People were dancing practically on top of me. I was a smoker then and I used my cigarette as a means of keeping people at a distance and burning those who got too near. Hahahaha

On another night Sky took me and my BFF to the House of Blues and because of who he was connected to, we were admitted into the VIP section (I guess they call it the Foundation Room). It was such a surreal experience for me. There were attendants in the bathroom with hot towels, mouth wash, perfume, etc. On that night we met Sharon Stone's brother (did anyone even know she had a brother? lol).

We also saw Danny Aiello walk in with his entourage. It was the person that we ended up spending much of the evening with that would make this night super memorable. We ended up sitting with Tony Curtis. He was so animated. Maybe it was the alcohol talking or maybe that was just his personality, I wasn't sure. He talked and talked to us. He told us about the death of his son and cried in front of us. He showed us his scar from his recent heart surgery and he asked my BFF to marry him. Hahahaha Oh what a night!  He became our personal tour guide of the HOB. And while Sky had been there plenty, he wanted me to see all the nooks and crannies that were hiding and allowed Tony to be our HOB tour guide. Tony, god love him, paraded us through all of the secret rooms. 

He took us through a private dining area too. Oh pardon us, we are crashing your dinner and spying on you. Hahaha I can't even remember who was performing that night but Tony dragged us down stairs for a while and got us right in front. It was a night unlike any other.

As I lay awake remembering all of this, I remembered Sky taking a photo of something engraved somewhere and it was in honor of one of the financial contributors to the LA location who had died before he had a chance to see it opened....River Phoenix.

From Wiki: "The first House of Blues opened on November 26, 1992, in the Harvard Square commercial district and retail area of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was originally financed by Dan Aykroyd, Aerosmith, Paul Shaffer, River Phoenix, James Belushi, and Harvard University, among others. This original location has since closed. However, the hands-in-concrete driveway where members of the Blues Brothers and others left their mark, still remains."

River....my dearest River had a hand in the creation of this business. It wasn't until two years ago that I discovered River is my spirit guide and because of this, this special night so long ago has even more meaning now. Maybe there is a message here from him that I am missing and maybe I just need to go to sleep so I can dream the answer.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advice To Our Younger Selves, Falling In Love, and Gratitude

So it all started with a comment on an Instagram picture Deryck Whibley (Sum 41) posted of his 17-year-old self.

Me: What advice would you give to your younger self knowing all that you know now?

Deryck: I would say keep doing what ur doing kid, ur gonna love every min of it.

Me: Seriously that is it? Omg I have so much I would tell my 17 year old self. The biggest changes I have made have been within the last 5 years. I wish I could have made some of those changes a lot younger. I marvel at some of the younger people today and how they just get some of the things that it took me 30+ years to figure out. I'm glad you have no regrets. When you have kids of your own, that perspective might alter a little.

It inspired me to post a photo of my younger me and say some of those things to her. I posted this photo: 
And this was what I said:

I asked @sum41 what advice he would give his younger self. He didn't have much he would tell his younger self, but I have plenty I would say to my younger me knowing all that I know now. 

Dear younger me, let go of the anger and stop building walls around your heart because they will be hard to tear down later. Love yourself wildly and passionately. There is nothing to fear. Let the fear go that was taught to you by religion. Enjoy the little things in life because those are what matter most. Don't worry about what others think of you. The only opinion of you that matters about you is your own. If you see an opportunity in front of you, take it. It might never come again. That person you thought would always be there just might die tomorrow. Tell people how much you love them and tell them often. Don't ever stop writing and trust your own intuition.

And then my West Coast BFF, Shannon, posted this photo of me in the comments on Facebook:

I had never seen this photo of me before and it struck me and made my grinchy heart grow a little. This photo is SO me in a nutshell....happiest with a pen in my hand and deep in thought. But look at her! Just look! She is BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING and CREATIVE and FEELING and yet she never thought she was pretty enough or smart enough or thin enough or talented enough. She never thought very much of herself at all. All of the negative self talk....all of the closing off and walls she put up because what she felt she didn't think she could handle and she didn't want to be weak and crumble. She didn't want to be vulnerable. Her heart eventually became frozen in layers and layers of ice so that she could numb herself from being able to feel.

I sat there wishing I really could reach back and hug my younger self and give her the advice and wisdom I have today to share from my experience she didn't have yet. I was talking to my East Coast BFF, Ziba, and telling her all of this. I have done so much inner work and gained so much momentum just from talking about everything rattling around my brain with Ziba. She and I have similar issues we need to face and "self love" is a topic that has come up a lot.

As I mentioned to her, everyone is talking about loving the self first. We hear it over and over and yet we just nod and say "okay" but none of us really understand what we need to do and how to achieve it. Self-love is almost as mystical and elusive as dragons, unicorns and the perfect romantic partner. But today, something clicked and I completely understand what I need to do. I can see it, feel it and taste it in a way I couldn't before.

What I need to do is romance myself. I mean, I need to treat me the way I would a lover in the beginning stages of a relationship. I need to shower her/me with poems of love, tender words, kindness and consideration. I need to let her know that I love every aspect of her. I need to let her know that I love even the negatives and the dark side because even our shadow selves need to be loved.

I have an exercise in mind that I want to practice. I am going to visualize my now me with me at different ages and I want to love her. I want to tell her all the things she needed to hear back then but didn't. I want her to feel SO much love that all of her walls crumble. I will love myself so much that the inner fire and light will burst outward and disintegrate the fortress that has kept my heart a prisoner and hidden away.

I think this is key for moving forward and achieving all that I wish to achieve in my life and I feel really optimistic about it. I can't wait to start romancing myself.

I invite all who read this to post a photo of your younger you and give him/her advice from what you know now. I invite you to fall in love with yourselves and give yourself the love you desire so much. We often seek love from external sources when really the love we want most of all is our own.

I want to say thank you to Deryck for being my muse and posting things that make me ponder and contemplate life. I want to thank my West Coast BFF, Shannon for always being there and just getting me and loving me in the way I need to love myself. Can you believe it has nearly been 30 years ago that we met?! I want to thank my East Coast BFF, Ziba, for being there everyday and talking through so much of this stuff with me. I can let my spirituality hang out all over the place with you and be my weird self with you. I appreciate the presence of all of you in my life no matter what form or capacity. Love and gratitude to you.