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Plump Orange With Undertones Of Apple

I come in and drop my bags. We arrived. 2 cats and our little lady for a month long excursion in the city. Neither of us is really seeking to complete this, however, it has to be done. I come with low expectations-as lowering my expectations was a strategy I used to sustain what is left of a 20-year long relationship. Lower and lower expectations went to find a level which was feasible to hold a semblance of balance.

I find myself tidying up the place while the baby is out my teen- our teen, actually, but mostly “my” day to day teen over the last 17 years. My day to day baby-as in the youngest vs immature- day to day youngest child.

I pick up clothing spilling out of bags and luggage. I place dirty dishes in the sink in prep for the dishwasher. I toss a load into the washing machine-set boneless chicken in the fridge to defrost for dinner. Log onto my computer to work from home; I cannot help but to bring my multi tasking habits with me. I sure meant to, however, I know an argument will ensue if I do not appear to be above the high expectations still expected of me as a mom, a partner, a house guest. An Apple living in an Oranges home for the next 4 weeks.

Sitting underneath the lamp at a side table located adjacent to the 50” screen flat screen is a book I have used a resource to building healthy relationships, “5 Love Languages”. Quizzically, I review the book -is it real? I am considering this because my partner clearly is missing the point of the book to know one’s own love language in an effort to leverage that strength-that language- to actively engage in a meaningful manner with your partner.

Receiving gifts

Acts of service

Physical touch

Quality time

Words of affirmation

My #1 is Quality Time and #5 is Receiving Gifts. The exact opposite of my partner; per the book this combination is the hardest because the 2 people need to travel the farthest to get to a place of balance.

My possession of this knowledge has permitted me to give a pragmatic method to build strategies to have a semi-viable relationship.

Naïve at the time.

The book is not meant to be read alone; the challenges do not go away if only one person is the sole owner of the premise behind the 5 love languages.

My partnership has taken me to the point of desiccation where I have limited trust or reliability in this person. Where I now see this person and expect so little of him that a sur name and this last baby is what we share.

I have often thought that Gary Chapman needs to write a book titled, ‘Now that you are mature enough to be in a relationship- and have broken it-what can you do to get to center.’ Or a book called, ‘Were you ever at a center?’,  because I suspect that is where I am at now; a desiccated Apple partnered with a plump Orange w/ hints of Apple undertones.

 

 

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Empty or Filling You Up?

Looking inward to define boundaries.

Knowing your boundaries is a challenge for many of us. It takes time to identify what those boundaries are based on what we have experienced or seen or what is valuable to us and what can be let go.

I have been contemplating whether I am establishing boundaries and with whom or why with whom? More like, why was I not letting folks go?

It turns out I have been, or I thought I was; it started with my FB.

I have an average day to day X# of folks I keep in my Fb family. It took years to identify this group of people based on positivism, humanism, and inclusion. It was OK to let family members go from Fb because I did not want the negative energy. I needed to identify what negative energy meant to me, and what did that look like via a social media outlet? What does that feel like or sound like? Bottom line, it came back to learning to trust my instinct – a woman’s intuition- if you will and trust.

Literally, I am learning to trust myself to know what is good for me based on what my conscience and my spirit are telling me.

Fb was a good starting point to build that trust within myself because I had a tangible method of measuring what is engaging me and how I am engaging in dialog with others. I will admit. It felt HORRIBLE to press UNFRIEND with folks who were, well, horrible in their posts and in their comments; unfriending is an intentional decision. A deliberate act to sever a connection with another person who is more than a name on the screen. Sometimes the detachment went easy and quiet and simple..BAM the person is gone and I am no longer accessible to the energy she/he is sharing publicly. Other times it was not so simple and is followed by a personal IM or a text or worse-a call.

Some folks just do not want to go. Ok, I get that.

And this is where the next step came into practice. Talking-communicating and holding a dialog, my daughter calls these ‘difficult conversations’ my son calls this ‘being real’. Either way-for me, it was an exercise in courage to articulate the personal boundaries that I have which ones are being crossed.

Through time, my boundary setting is preceded by conversations regarding boundaries-nothing formal-rather a series of rapport building dialog’s where my boundaries are shared and clarified with folks I have identified as valuable to me for their thoughts and ideas and time and companionship.

Upon reflection, I see it was about liking myself and valuing myself to be treated fairly, justly, kindly and through the lens of humanity via social media. A act of love for myself that I do not believe I understood holistically. Where I held ethos and more; however, I did not have the courage to articulate those thoughts and ideas to others because social norms for me did not permit that level of engagement or authenticity with others. I just sat back. Patiently waiting to:

A. run away.

B. ignore

C. just go w/ the flow and let it all unfold in front of me despite how I am interpreting what is happening.

C. is the worst option. As you, no ‘I’, was sitting by as if ‘I’ were a passenger in my own life vs an active member or participant actively making decisions of what I am letting into my environment.

Shame on me right?

No, not shame on me. I had to experience this to know now I am not sitting by and watching this thing called life go on past me and I have control of what comes in-of what I permit to come in.

Dare I say I live life in a courageous manner now.

A manner where I am identifying value in myself and how my surroundings are influencing me.

Leaving me empty…or permitting to be filled up.