Being Vulnerable

The Keeper of the Shoe

 

I recently met a man who brought with him a story about a woman who had recently left him. The narrative wasn’t simple and he was left standing in a big puddle of WTF!!?? His version of the story was one of many sweet months of fun and companionship. She had just stuck her neck out from under a shell in which she had been living since her husband passed five years earlier. I can only imagine how this world of dating looked after a long marriage that ended when cancer took her only love. And, now meeting this man who was solid, sweet and no doubt a loving new partner, she must have let love in again while still gripping that photo by her bed to hold on to those memories as well.

 

One day this sweet man was rushed to the hospital with pneucoccal pneumonia….you know the one that can kill you, the one that our doctors tell us “natural medicine new-agers” we REALLY need to get vaccinated for? Before this bacteria took him to the hospital, he was a healthy man, skiing the powder in Utah at 71 and still racing cars. And, after that three days in the hospital, he was back!

 

She came to visit him in the hospital, brought him food and stayed in touch, but the touch felt to this man as if it was now cool and distant. He must have felt the chill before she arrived to tell him it was over. Not only was it over, but she told him she didn’t ever want to see him again, not to call or contact her and left. Thus, standing in the WTF?! began, as did the constant questions…”What did I do?” being chief among them. No way to know. Only she had that answer and all contact was now gone.

 

In desperation, he went to her house to try and get some resolution, just an answer that he could understand. Was it too much to ask? The only thing he learned on that visit was that this 60 year old woman was now dating a 31 year old man. She had found a new love…was that the reason? It didn’t give him a moment of solace. and when I met him, it was the first thing he told me. He still had to know what he did and how bad it must have been for her to walk away, never to talk again? Can you imagine total rejection from out of the blue and no way to resolve it (that he knew how to do)?

 

So, he meets a new woman three months after this devastating experience and now, will watch her every move, every innuendo, timing of her return calls. She is the Keeper of the Other Shoe. And, where can that lead either of them?

Most of us who live and love long enough will get hurt in love. Sometimes it’s our choice of partners, death, divorce, old patterns that lead us to choose those who can’t love anyone and though it’s not personal, our hearts get broken.

After heartbreak, we need time to heal. Only we know how long that is. Don’t listen to otwho want to tell you what your timetable should be. Take the time. Ask for help from friends, clergy or a professional, but know that you must heal your broken heart so that when that next opportunity to love appears in all its splendor, you can grab it and cherish whatever happens. You won’t have a sore neck or a guarded heart while waiting for that shoe to drop.

Take your time…

If your heart is broken from losing someone you loved, it will mend. I would love to show you how to get from pain to joy again.

Text or call me at 510-87-4242 and let’s talk about it.

Teleconferencing now to keep us all safe and sound.

Who Can You Count on These Days??

 

It hit me one day last week. I’d been feeling lonely that day. My head knew why. “For goodness sake, Donna. Who wouldn’t feel lonely today? All your new friends are out of town…all four of them, and your family is spending the day with friends of their own”, my sweet little parent voice reminded me. Then I realized that not only was I lonely, but resentful and a little angry (am I supposed to admit that?), that my son and his family weren’t more sensitive to my needs. They should _____. Complete this sentence with anything that sounds like “poor me” and you have it!

 

I made it through that day and a few days later while in therapy, which is what I call walking, it came to me! “You’ve put all your well-being eggs into one basket and you know what happens when you do that.”

 

Do you know what happens when you do that in your life? Perhaps, you do it in your marriage or partnership with someone you really love, but he/she is always disappointing you when they don’t understand what you want, don’t listen so well that they take away all your pain or have the answer that makes you happy. Aren’t people we love supposed to “care” i.e. “fix what makes us unhappy”? Do we  believe that if they really love us they wouldn’t or would _____. That’s what love is, right? Not to burst your bubble or break you eggs, but in fact, that’s not what love is at all. True love is when we take good care of ourselves, discovering what makes us happy and DOING it. And, it’s  listening to our partners when they are struggling and believing that they will find the answers they seek. There is no greater gift to someone we love than listening, really listening.

 

Beware of where your eggs reside. Your partner should have some of them in their basket for sure. That’s what makes it a relationship. And your own basket should, at all times, hold about 80% of your eggs and 20% of theirs.  Truly, that’s what a healthy relationship looks like.

 

As for my own pity party about my son and his “insensitivity”, he and his wife are some of the sweetest, most sensitive, caring people I know. And, in fairness to my sweet self…I have only been here a year and not knowing a soul last April and through a long winter that was too cold to mingle much, I have needed and leaned on them pretty heavily. I’ve had to put my eggs in their basket while I was filling my own, one friend at a time. They’ve been pretty darned gracious in carrying that heavy basket.

 

Donna Bailey, MS

Life Changing Coaching and Speaking

Donna’s Big Red Chair

510-817-4242

donna@donnasbigredchair.love

Big Red ChairGetting you from where you are to where you want to be!

 

The Real Meaning of Valentine’s Day

 

Big Red Chair

I have had the honor and joy of living near all my grandchildren since they were born. Living now where the Polar Express roars through my life is a bit more challenging than alongside the San Francisco Bay, but one thing is the same. The amazing unconditional love between their little hearts and mine.

 

Reading a library book with my 4 year old grandson yesterday, while working on my animation in trying to do the voices of a cave boy and a wooley mammoth, he laughed, threw his arms around my neck, closed his eyes and without any questions or hesitation simply said, “Grammie, I love you SO much.” I felt as if nothing in the world mattered or was more important than the feeling of warmth that flooded my body and soul. And, that was the truth.

 

I caught myself, feeling suddenly afraid. I didn’t invite the thought into that place of sheer delight. It came on its own…”What is he going to do when you die?” And, then a voice that said, “Maybe you’d better not love him too deeply. It’s going to hurt.” Ahhhh…there it is. The thing that often keeps us holding back, holding on to the piece of us that we believe we can keep from being hurt by loss of love. We all have it. Our brains are working on their own to keep us safe. And yet, truth is, for so many years, we’ve held back truly loving, perhaps even our sweet selves, for fear that we will lose something and it will hurt.

 

You know the real regret that I fear now in this life? That I will not notice just how much I do love and am loved and that I am so incredibly lovable. Always have been. Others just made it hard to see. And truth is, you are loved and lovable too, just exactly as you are. It’s how life sets it up. Now, to do whatever it takes to believe it.

 

How will this little one deal with the loss when I pass? He will be sad, wish I were here, feel sad some more. Mostly, he will remember all the love, the time spent, the books read, the caves explored and those times when one or the other of us suddenly stopped what we were doing, looked each other in the eyes and said, “You know, I love you SO much.” Those memories will be the best legacy I can leave them all.

 

This Valentine’s Day, I hope you will remember what and who matters in your life. Tell them how you feel. Put it all out there. And, if there are people who aren’t able to love, or love you, have compassion for them, but, find those you can trust with your precious heart and love. Then, just love…beginning with yourself. 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day to You and All My Love Coming Your Way!

 

Donna Bailey, MS
Life Changing Coaching
Donna’s Big Red Chair
donna@donnasbigredchair.love

510-817-4242

Big Red Chair

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