Fell down the rabbit hole again.

My second marriage is proving to be the biggest growth opportunity of my life thus far.

And that is saying a mouthful.

I’ve been in the crossroads so many times, and puzzled by the repeated outcome as I cycle through my typical responses.

Repeating the same mistakes over and over again is insanity, right?

These are the tools that brought me to where I am now. And they have served me well. However if I want to vibrate higher and be my best self, I need to upgrade my equipment.

And just how does one become the person they need to be to accomplish the things they aspire to?

Zoom out.

Like way the f*ck out.

Are your actions in alignment? Likely not. The first step is to be able to see it. Really see, understand, and accept. Not judge, excuse, hide, and minimize. Meet yourself where you are at.

Just be.

In 12 step programs they take inventory of their moral defects.

Now that seems a bit harsh, yet totally what is needed.

Don’t just look at it in the negative though.

Each of those supposed defects gave you gifts and served your basic needs…perhaps not the best choice, this is where change comes.

Follow the thread.

Stay with me here.

Take a situation in your life and look at it from the outside. What positives and negatives came from it? Write that shit down because it’s about to get deep up in here – don’t want y’all to get lost or overwhelmed.

We’re going to chunk it down.

Pretend it’s not you in the scene, you’re watching a movie. It is so easy to scream – don’t go into that dark basement while the power is out and the creepy music is playing! Yet, this is what we do in our own lives.

Choose one action that if done differently would have changed the entire outcome.

Now evaluate as to why you made the choice you did. What need did it serve? Was it comfortable? Habit? Make you feel loved? Needed? Respected? Calm? Happy?

What else did it bring to the table that may not have been so awesome?

Were you judgey? Did you hurt someone? Did you disrespect yourself? What loss came of it?

Was this price worth it?

What other tools could you have used to get the same need met?

How do you cultivate those?

This is the space to ruminate in. Allow the answers to come over time. You didnt get here in one day and change doesn’t happen that way either.

Remember the iceberg….a tiny little tip of success above the water with a mountain of ice below.

We’re working on the mountain part here.

Personally I have found that I need to fill my own holes. Love who I am without the constant need to struggle to be good enough. To be better.

Yes, these are good qualities to have, and in the right situations my deep sense of responsibility and ability to push through is coveted. However, don’t use a sledgehammer when a simple tap will do. It’s the wrong tool sometimes. Back to the toolbox to pick another.

With gratitude, put the sledgehammer down and thank it for being at the ready. Appreciate yourself. Love what is.

Take a deep breath, look around, and pick a different one. That won’t leave a giant gaping hole where it isn’t needed.

Love what is. It is all we’ve got. XO

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Maple syrup.

I burst into tears this morning because I couldn’t open the screw top to pour syrup on my son’s waffles.

Yes. Syrup made me cry.

In a flash, I was flooded with emotions, which I promptly squelched, and resumed my task of getting that damn top off.

But wait! Are those the feelings I’m supposed to feel?

What were they?

I struggle to unravel the thread of the fabric I only caught a glimpse of.

Sadness. I’m alone. No one is here to help me. I’ve chased away love.

Shame. For making myself the victim. I know better.

Anger. My fucking parents and their insanely dysfunctional household of terror, 45 years later and I’m crying over syrup.

Fear. What if this is it? What if I’m destined to be alone? What if 3 strikes and you are out?

Nausea. Ok not an emotion, still very present.

The headache is back. My brain hurts.

My son asked me why I was crying. I didn’t even know I was.

Why am I so rigid? I sit here and scold myself for all of the things I should be doing better.

I’m tired.

I’m on the precipice.

I will keep going.

I hope I don’t drown.

My brain is about to explode.

The dichotomy of life has my head throbbing. I can’t make sense of it all.

Things I know and understand to be true are in direct conflict with each other.

Which way is right?

How do I know what to do next?

We are supposed to love what is and accept people for who they are without trying to change them. Fact.

Growth is good and worthy of support. Fact.

Standing by your husband in support is good. Fact.

Doing drugs is bad. Fact.

Saving money and planning for the future is good. Fact.

Reckless indulgence is bad. Fact.

Beating your children is bad. Fact.

Disrespecting your parents is bad. Fact.

Wait.

What if a parent hits a child? Is disrespect warrented?

What if a spouse is reckless? Do you still support it?

I know better and don’t do better. Fact.

This makes me bad.

Wait. I’m good, I know I am.

No, I can’t be. I try so fucking hard but it’s never enough.

Enough for what?

Seriously, what am I looking for?

Love.

Maybe. Yes. And.

To know that I am good.

That I am worthy.

I do know that, don’t I? At the cerebral level anyway.

Am I?

Am I worthy of love? Am I good?

No, I can’t be. I fuck up all the time. I make bad choices. I can do better. I can be better. I’m not good. I’m bad.

What the actual fuck? You are not bad. Stop being a judgemental asshole.

I need to get angry. Maybe.

I don’t like anger. I abhor it actually.

Yet at times I am full of rage. Deep inside. I hold it together. I push it down. Every once in a while it sneaks out.

It’s an endless cycle. My feedback loop always completes the circle with “I am bad” and “I need to try harder.”

How do I escape the wheel? How do I accept me?

My head hurts. I want to solve the puzzle.

I don’t want to quit. Again.

I don’t want to distract. Again.

Shit. Those agains are punishing. I’m still spinning.

Stop.

Pause.

Breathe.

Accept.

Maybe meditation is the answer.

Maybe, just maybe, I am good enough.

No. I can be better. I know better. Work harder, push harder.

I’m tired.

There I go again.

Time to stop tonight. I’m trapped in working out the problem and need to walk away for the solution.

Breathe.

If you are in a toxic relationship….

It means you are toxic too – ruminate there for a minute.

I was in serious denial at the start. So stinking happy. Blew off every red flag. Looked at his world through my filter.

We weren’t speaking the same language.

It started out with jolts of truth – that didn’t match my version of reality.

Ouch.

I would have long conversations explaining what I saw from my side of the room and convinced myself that this was the work needed to lay the foundation for a solid relationship.

I tolerated things I didn’t vibe with in the name of love.

It wasn’t love. It was a toxic mimic.

Love builds you up. Love supports. Love is honest. Love is pure.

Manipulation is the opposite of love. Lack of respect and boundaries leads to deception and control issues.

Negative behaviors feed on themselves. The death spiral begins.

Can you stop the spin?

Not alone.

Trust is shattered.

It will never be the same again, and quite frankly you wouldn’t want it to be….for that world of false love is how you got here.

How “I” got here.

It hurts to stay. It hurts to leave. It hurts to grow. It hurts to recede.

Avoiding the pain allows it to build up into an avalanche of poisonous emotions demanding to be felt.

The choice to feel them or run from them is always front and center.

Both are exhausting, only one has an end.

You must feel to heal.

Crack open, be gentle with yourself, and work through the pain.

Allow it to be felt. Write, run, meditate, share, cry, honor – let it wash over you.

Be grateful.

Be honest.

Just be.

I can do this. I know I can.

XO

The struggle is real

Lots of talk about suicide this week.

Kate Spade.

Anthony Bourdain.

Even Robin Williams came up again.

I see notes where people say their door is always open. They are there for people.

If only it was that easy.

It’s not.

I’ve battled depression and have had multiple suicide attempts throughout my life. First one as a tween, last one 3 years ago.

I don’t have the answers.

I appear as Suzy Sunshine to others. I have success in business. I have 3 beautiful boys. I have many friends.

I am also an empath. I feel the weight of the world sometimes. I strive to do more, do better. I beat myself up for my poor choices. I invite others in my life under the guise of love who instead of filling me up, drain me.

I then bear the responsibility of that choice and continue to wonder why the fuck I don’t just get over myself and move on.

I beg the universe to allow me to float through life without such intense feelings.

I give myself a stern talking to in order to jump start another day.

Sometimes I cave and retreat.

Then I get upset with myself again for being an asshole.

I roll with alot, and then one seemingly little thing will derail me.

It wasn’t that one thing.

Telling me your door is open doesn’t help. I can’t even walk out of mine, never mind into yours.

I’m tired.

I’ve tried.

I wish sometimes I was blissfully ignorant.

I put my game face on and get shit done. I know how to do that. I show up and clean up, only to drive myself to empty and crash.

Occasionally I hit the flow. Times are good and I feel like I can accomplish anything.

They tell me it’s in my early childhood where this all stems from. Where those coping mechanisms came from. I’m supposed to write about it, sit with it, explore it, and unravel my tangled emotions.

I’m exhausted though.

Some days a shower seems like a monumental task.

Other days I complete a week’s worth of work in just hours.

Balance.

That’s where I beg for the middle. Why can’t I just have a smooth ride?

Acceptance?

I try. Omg do I try so fucking hard.

I read, I exercise, I journal, I go to therapy, I share, I hide, I do reiki, I attend classes, I take meds, then I quit.

I don’t have the tools necessary to get through this thing called life.

The pain overwhelms me.

There are times when I feel my kids would be better off without watching me suffer.

They deserve a happy mom. Or at least a stable one.

My mom is bipolar – untreated for the majority of her life.

Am I creating a life of struggle for my kids having them grow up with my baggage?

Raw and real – I have no answers. I look for them often, I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours in pursuit of peace.

My brain knows it is within me – not out there. I am dumbfounded as to how to access it.

How would I find it if I did know?

I’d walk more. Drink more water. Remove toxic people and have positive routines.

So I push my boulder up the hill another day.

Secretly wishing it would just roll back and go away.

I’m sharing because I know without a doubt that I am not alone in feeling this way.

I am not suicidal today. I am not in the sticky dark. I am still fighting the good fight.

Maybe someone who has been there has a path out. Maybe if it was safe to talk about collaboration holds the answer. Maybe we are stronger together.

Then again, maybe not.

My mind is willing to do anything to grow out of this. My heart is still crying, cracked open and furiously building walls to protect me. My body is tired and can’t participate in either activity at the moment.

I wish my mind could tell my heart how to heal instead of how to build walls.

Ah, and my inner critic just awoke to tell me to quit my fucking bitching, how ungrateful can I get?

Makes me think of that Matchbox 20 song…

All day staring at the ceiling
Making friends with shadows on my wall
All night hearing voices telling me that
I should get some sleep
Because tomorrow might be good
For something
Hold on feeling like I’m heading for a
Break down and I dunno why
I’m not crazy
I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell

Passion for the win

Life is what we make it. It can be wrote routine or epic adventures – the choice is ours.

I’m reflecting on my day today and a common theme emerged…passion.

It started with Dylan’s final soccer game of the season…they lost 3-2…yet we left all smiles and full of joy. Why? We invested in the experience.

See, their team name is “Hot Dog Snipers” and in convo with my middle son we decided they needed a mascot….

$25 and 2 days later the costume arrived in a plain brown box. We didn’t tell Dyl and instead packed it away and waited for the game.

10 minutes into the first quarter, Jason puts it on. The team lights up, parents take pics, sibling high five him. He does a cartwheel every time they score. He joins the team pic. In an act of cannibalism, he snacks on a hot dog while in costume. 😂

The result was good vibes all around, even with the loss.

I then ventured into DC for the Stanley Cup Finals…

First up? A free street concert with Sting & Shaggy. Joining thousands of Caps fans to flood the streets in a sea of red, I sang along to old Police hits and new reggae releases.

Watching the two of them on the museum steps was mesmerizing. They embodied the vision of two men living their dreams and in the flow. Masterful musicians, who truly enjoyed their craft, produced a show that was fun to watch and participate in.

From there I headed inside for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals….Vegas Knights vs Washington Capitals.

Here I sat in Section 103 – which is where players’ friends and family sit. Literally all around me were parents, wives, children, and grandparents here to watch their loved ones do what they do best.

There was a game winning goal by Devante Smith-Pelly late in the 3rd and the buzzing crowd erupted. I watched as the woman in front of me jumps up with such enthusiasm, pride, and excitement that she spills her drink all over the entire row in front of her while hooting and hollering louder than all.

I was close to tears watching this – you know those love filled, grateful, moving kinda tears….when something external gets all up in your feelings and hits home, hard.

Because seated directly in front of me was Devante’s mama. Sharing in her joy was the most epic moment of the game for me. 💖

The Caps finish out the game and put a win in the books – adding icing to the cake. 🤩

There were parts of today that were hard, parts that were mundane, yet the majority of it was a huge win – and that is solely because of the passion.

We can all have a life by design. We can all experience epic moments every day – whether on our child’s soccer field or at a major sporting event. It’s not WHERE you are, it’s WHO you are and who you are with.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you, who push you to be better, who are living their passion….

What you think about, you bring about and who you surround yourself with, you become. 💖