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Loving him is no excuse

Loving him is no excuse

I want to talk to you about, what I believe, is one of the greatest and cruellest ironies of our time – that you can love someone with every part of your being but they don’t have to love you back.

That’s right, they don’t have to love you back.

You can be willing to put up with all kinds of shit for them – bust open your pelvic floor giving birth to their children, put up with their toxic relatives, mates and exes, support them while they work their “shit” out, move past the fact they have sex with people who are not you!, have them bruise and batter your body, denigrate your values, abandon you for a younger model, drink too much, have addictions that you try to help them get clear of, accept that he would rather watch porn than have sex with you, or know that he’s going to make you have sex whether you want to or not, pay all the bills and get the laundry done, and so on, and so on.

And you will say it is because you love him.

I mean, how many times have you heard a woman use those four words, “But I love him” as she excuses another piece of appalling behaviour. Your best friend could tell you the same story and you would say, “Get the hell out of there!”

But for you, it’s different because you love him. And somehow that makes it okay.

You may even convince yourself that despite all the challenges you are facing in your relationship, you will make it through because you love him and he loves you.

He might even tell you that he does. And you will let yourself believe him because you want him to love you, so much. Even if the way he shows that love isn’t exactly how you would ever dream of showing it. In fact, you would never treat him the way he treats you. But somehow, in your heart, you tell yourself that it’s okay.

You love him.

Because the alternative is that he doesn’t love you back and that can’t possibly be.

I mean your love is so powerful it can move mountains, right? And if you feel this way he must feel it too, right?

No. And ladies, this is where we get to the true crux of the matter – we can love with every fibre of our being and he will never, ever love us back in the way we deserve or in the way we love him.

But we keep on hoping don’t we? Hoping he will change? He will choose us first over her, his work, his mother, or his amateur drinking championships with his mates every Friday night.

The question of course is, why do we keep thinking it’s possible when it is patently and blatantly…a lie.

Why indeed?

Well, I have a couple of theories about this and I’m willing to share them with you. And I’d like you to think them over and maybe drop me a line later and let me know your thoughts.

My first one is this…

We believe that men deserve more than us, so we accept less.

Let’s face it, in today’s society women are still earning less than men, have less money when they’re old, are more likely to be single, and more likely to do most of the child rearing in amongst everything else they’ve got going on. But still nothing changes? It’s not as if this stuff is news. It’s been happening for a long, long time. And yes, things are changing for the better, of course they are. But those changes look a bit glacial to me sister!

I mean seriously, why are men still not paying child support when they get women pregnant. He can sign away his parental rights and never have to be responsible for the child he helped to create in any way because, after all, he wanted her to get an abortion and she didn’t so, it’s down to her. Never mind the fact that he was probably the one who didn’t use any birth control. Seriously, talk to any single woman who is sexually active and she will tell you that, yes, even in the year 2020, men still carry on about having to wear a condom because it interferes with his pleasure – even though cumming is pretty much a given for him whether he has a rubber on or off while, for women, yeah, it’s still not a sure thing is it? But still, men don’t like it so it’s down to us women to pump our bodies full of hormones that make us moody, gain weight, may or may not work, have other side effects and don’t protect us from STDs at all. But hey, we take the hit because we accept less. And then if we get pregnant and don’t want to terminate because we don’t believe in it, have fertility issues, it might be our only chance or whatever the reason, he can just walk away because he doesn’t want it.

Now, to be clear, I am pro-choice because you know, the woman’s body is going to be the incubator for that new life and it’s her pelvic floor so I feel like that is her business, no one else’s. But equally fellas, if you can be “man enough” to put your dick in then you can be man enough to catch the baby when it falls out nine months later. And yes, that does mean financial responsibility even if you can’t manage the emotional support a child requires.

But still, we accept less because that’s our job right, to carry the baby? So often we literally do.

And while we’re on the subject of accepting less, why do women often accept less money in their financial settlements when their marriages breakdown? If the woman leaves she feels too guilty and doesn’t want to fight it, so gives him more. If he leaves, you’re too broken to fight it, so you accept less.

We believe we deserve less. So we get less.

And then there’s the thing where we pursue men who aren’t really into us and who quite frankly, don’t deserve us because of that very reason. If someone finds you unattractive and doesn’t want to invest time in getting to know you and doesn’t value you highly, then that should instantly make them look less attractive to you. It should be a turn off!!

But it’s not, is it? No, invariably it makes us want them more. We love him so he just has to see how amazing we are. He doesn’t get it…yet. We loooovvvve him. Let’s see if I’m thinner, wear more make-up, change my clothes, starve myself, get breast implants, get a Brazilian so my vagina looks like it belongs to an eight-year-old …maybe that will do it. Then he will see.

Ha! But he doesn’t, does he?

Now at this juncture, some male readers who have misguidedly stumbled upon this post may be tempted to begin the “Whataboutery parade”. Some female readers may be similarly tempted.

If that’s you I’d like to say, please don’t. This post isn’t for you. Let us agree to part ways and go on with our lives. I bear you no grudge, this isn’t meant to attack anyone. I’m just telling you like I see it. So please, thank you, now move on.

There are a few other things I’d like to cover about this topic including the influence of religious doctrine and the whole downfall of Adam being due to Eve not being able to control herself and leading him astray – which of course goes to the continuing emasculating concept that men are a bunch of halfwits with limited self-control who women need to take care of and make allowances for – but I don’t have time for that right now. I’m too busy learning how to not accept less than I am worth and hoping to help other women do the same.

Is it time to be vulnerable?

Is it time to be vulnerable?

I’m a big crier. For those who know me really well, this statement will come as no surprise because I am self-admittedly a very emotional person.

For many others it will come as a big surprise. ‘But you always seem so happy,’ would be a typical response. And I can’t say I blame most people for thinking that because I can put on a pretty good show. As someone who’s worked in public relations for more than 16 years I am well-versed in keeping my shadows and my sadness hidden. But nevertheless, I have them like everyone else and I am a big crier as a result.

In fact, I can sit at home in the morning, have a good cry for 30 minutes, then get up, wipe my eyes, get dressed and head into work where no one will be any the wiser. They will believe everything is fine in my world. And they will be right, mostly. But I guess like a lot of people, sometimes I’m not okay at all. I get my heart broken too, miss the people I care about who are no longer around, am sometimes disappointed, am occasionally unwell and sometimes I just feel down because life’s too much and I just want to get off the roller coaster and rest for a while.

Now before you begin thinking I’m some basket-case who needs professional psychiatric assistance, let me assure you that I am not crazy. Nor am I usually deliberately choosing to present a ‘together’ face to the world when I’m actually falling apart inside. But what I’m trying to say is two main things.

Firstly, when you see someone who seems like they’ve got it together, there’s a pretty good chance there’s something in their life that probably isn’t as they would like it. And I can guarantee you that they have down days just like you. But they may not show it because they have to ‘get on with it’ and they don’t feel safe to be vulnerable around you for some reason. Maybe it’s not socially appropriate or they’re worried you’ll judge them or dismiss how they feel. I think a lot of people are scared of being vulnerable in front of others for exactly those reasons.

Let’s face it, being vulnerable isn’t exactly encouraged in most parts of our society and, when people do show that side of themselves, it can make other people feel bloody uncomfortable because many of us just don’t want to ‘go there’. And when someone is vulnerable around us then it reflects back all that vulnerability in ourselves that we often want to hide from because there is risk involved in being vulnerable. So frequently our response is to help them ‘pull themselves together’, compartmentalise how they feel, push through it or simply get over it.

Is it any wonder that so many people feel disconnected, depressed, anxious and alone when this avoidance of vulnerability is propagated?

This brings me to my second point; when you are vulnerable you are living from your heart. Vulnerability in its very essence is opening yourself up to feel pain, joy, love and everything in between. It is not about hiding who you are or hiding from yourself.

When I sit and cry for 30 minutes then tell someone that, on that particular day, I feel a complete mess inside, I am being vulnerable. And I can appreciate that some people find that incredibly uncomfortable. I’ve had people tell me I’m too emotional, I over-think things, I need to compartmentalise and so on. And that’s okay because I understand why people say that to me.

But for me, it is my willingness to be vulnerable that means I’m truly living from my heart. It is my willingness to go there and feel what I feel (however painful) that means I’m being honest with myself about where I’m at and what’s important to me. And over-riding all of that is the knowledge that it is only by being truly vulnerable that I can truly walk my path with integrity because I am not denying any part of me.

I can’t lie and say living this way is always comfortable. Sometimes being vulnerable will leave you feeling raw inside. Sometimes you will feel like you are on a road blocked with sharp-edged boulders that you have to climb over.

It’s challenging but I have to go there because I don’t know how to be any other way and, ultimately, I believe that if you’re not willing to be vulnerable then you’re actually missing out on the fullness of the human experience.

The Moon and the Stars

The Moon and the Stars

She called for the stars
He gave her the moon
He gave ‘til there was no more to give
But she didn’t see
She was looking at the stars
She hadn’t known how to forgive

She didn’t know
Had never worked out
That the moon and the stars combine
To light up the heavens that stretched above
And she’d had both all the time

The stars were hers
She put them there
She didn’t need the stars from him
But he held the moon
Which she also needed
And it was offered to her by him

An exchange though
Must be completed
There was a transaction that was involved
He would give the moon to her
While she’d give so many stars untold

He could hold them in his hands
Or scatter them all around
They were her precious gift to him
They could never be pulled down

Between them both they could light the sky
And transcend the heavens above
All that was needed was trust and love
To create the beauty above

So he stood there with the moon in his hands
And she had her sack of stars
Could they trust enough to make the exchange
And heal their previous scars

She was ready
And so was he
Their hands were stretching out
It was time to leave all doubt behind
And discover what true love is about

Desperation and following your heart

Living from your heartA while ago I saw something I wanted and I went for it. It was tantalisingly close so I reached out and…found my hand grasping at thin air. What I thought was there had disappeared. Actually, it was still there but had moved out of my reach. So I moved forward and reached out again, but the same thing happened. The pattern kept repeating and each time I became more and more desperate to hold that thing just out of my reach.

At the time I thought I was following my heart. After all, that’s how I always try to live – following my heart. But in hindsight, I realise that while I started off that way, in the end I was following my fear.

When your heart tells you to go for something, you should put all your attention there. We know worthwhile things in life often don’t come easily and there is effort and attention required.

But there is a tipping point between following your heart and falling into fear and then letting that guide your actions.

When you are truly in your heart and following your path (these two things are completely connected), there is a peace and surety that comes from that. When you are in that space you don’t fall into desperateness when that thing you desire starts moving in a different direction. Instead, you can stand exactly where you are and know it’s going to be okay because if it’s meant to be yours it will be.

It’s difficult for my brain to grasp and a challenge to articulate this concept, but bear with me.

The Universe responds to action and intention. So when you are following your heart you must act and have clear intention about the direction you wish to go and what you want.

However, sometimes what we want is not for us at that time. Or, sometimes that thing we’re chasing is simply part of a bigger lesson and we were never meant to reach that goal. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly see this at the time because we are in the zone of going for what our heart wants and where that leads us. Then when we feel it moving away, we panic. We get desperate. We are in pain. We feel rejected. Lost. And we wonder what went wrong. We ask ourselves, what else could I have done to change the outcome and achieve my heart’s desire?

This happens in our careers and it most certainly happens in our relationships with romantic partners.

While I’ve successfully grasped (pardon the pun) this lesson in my work-life, I certainly haven’t mastered it when it comes to my relationships with the opposite sex. My history is littered with stories of following my heart and then falling into desperation when they move away. It’s like a bad habit I can’t quit.

I’m all about the love you see. Love, love, love. So I follow my heart where it takes me and I try to trust it as much as possible.

Some people might call that naïve. That’s okay because I am a romantic optimist and I do look for the best rather than the worst in people and situations. I see all the wonderful possibilities. Is that naïveté when there are so many reasons to always expect the worst?

But, I’m getting off track now. The point of my post is this.

When you are following your heart you trust that things will work out as they’re supposed to. So, if something or someone persistently runs in the opposite direction away from you it is wise to stop, be still and ask if your behaviour in response to this is coming from your heart or egoic fear.

If you are acting from your heart you will do what you need to do while holding on to your self-respect, your values and your peace of mind. You will clearly state your intention to the Universe (and the people involved), do what you can (action), then step back and wait (listen to your heart).

If you find yourself pursuing something as it runs away, and you desperately grasp at and try to hold onto it, then you need to stop and recalibrate because you have fallen into fear and that will get you nowhere. However, fear will lead you to abandon your self-respect and often humiliate yourself (yes, that would be my voice of experience there).

If you are living from your heart there is no fear because you know everything is as it needs to be and you can only do what you can do to reach what you want. You can’t control the outcome (or the other people involved) and if desperation and fear start to kick in then you know you’ve definitely gone off track.