Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

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The Dream

The Dream 

By David Solway

I dreamed that you had ceased to love me—
not that you had come from other beds
back to mine, or gone from mine to others,
just that something in your heart had stopped.

I willed myself awake to find you still
beside me. It was just a dream, I thought,
yet when I turned to kiss you, in your eyes
I saw that you had ceased to love me.

I willed myself awake a second time
to find myself alone, as I have been
these many months, but did not know if it
was terror or relief I felt, and whether

dreams unfold the past or make the future
plain. I dreamed that you had ceased to love me,
and know when I see nothing in your eyes
I can’t dream myself awake a third time.

The Problem With Dating: The First Date

You spend minutes, sometimes hours, preparing yourself: perfect hair, flawless makeup, a cute outfit.
Sometimes, you meet him there. Other times, if you’re lucky (and feel comfortable enough), he picks you up.
You’re nervous, awkward, and you want to make a knockout first impression.

I’m talking, of course, about the first date. That almost always awkward get-to-know-you event that occurs somewhere before dating, and after merely talking.
And I do mean awkward.
In this age of internet everything, a first ‘date’ is usually something simple like a walk on the waterfront, coffee at [insert coffee shop of choice here], or a drink (one!) at a local pub. Someplace to have a chat and get to know each other.
So rarely, these days, does the word ‘date’ imply anything in the traditional sense: dinner and/or a movie, for example.

Some say chivalry is dead, others say it’s on a time-out.
Either way, dating can be an absolute nightmare.

When the first meeting isn’t so successful, it’s easy enough to predict where things are headed: Nowheresville!
Perhaps he was too forward: “So, after this should we go to your place or mine?” ; Maybe he exaggerated his height in his online profile: He told you he was 5’11” but, when you arrived at the pub in your lucky heels, your 5’2″ (5’5″ in those heels) frame towered over him; Or maybe he turned out to be a nearly middle-aged pot head happy to work a dead end job for the rest of his days.
(All examples from my own personal dating archives)

No matter what goes wrong, it’s fairly easy to escape a bad first date. 
Us women usually have a system – I know I do. It generally goes a little something like this: 
If you don’t hear from me by X time, call me with an emergency. Make it sound real.
And so, the bad date ends. 

But what about when it’s a good (or great, or wonderful) evening?
Those of us with a “system” in place, sneak off to the bathroom to call off the dogs (I’m having a wonderful time, he’s sweet/nice/cute/etc, I’ll check in later), keep our phones stashed WAY out of reach, and enjoy the evening. 

This is where The Problem comes into play.
You’ve have a wonderful time, he’s held your hand/kissed you goodnight/etc (*wink wink*), you feel as though you’ve made a connection with this person. You like him. Or at least you like him enough to want to see him again.

But you’ve got NO idea if he’s on the same page!

It’s 2012, we do absolutely everything electronically now, with little to no time wasted, and there is STILL a waiting period to find out if there will be a second date.
Every text message, email, voicemail, all of it subject to what-does-this-mean scrutiny:
He could have meant this, but what if he meant that
What do I say? What do I do?

Sound familiar??

Generally, the period between date number 1 and the request for date number 2 is more nerve wrenching than those pre-date jitters. We play it cool on the outside, but inside (and to our girlfriends), we are a mess!
Why is it so hard for men to date without playing The Game?
Who decided that a 3-day waiting period was standard protocol? We’re not buying a gun! 

Most girls (and I say ‘most’ because there are notable exceptions) are not looking for a life-long commitment, at least not off the first date. 
We want him to know we  had a lovely time and would like to see him again. And, more importantly, we want to know we made a good enough first impression that he will want to see us again too. 

Simple right?

So why do we make things so complicated?

As a now 30-something single woman, who’s spent HOURS agonizing over every moment of the first date (every look, every touch, every gesture), and dissecting every syllable after, here is my advice to all the men out there: 

KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
If you like us and want to see us again, tell us. If it’s not jiving with you, that’s cool too.
As long as you’re honest and upfront about what it is you want, expect and are looking for in a potential relationship, no good woman will fault you for it.

And to all you women out there (myself included) who spend sooooo much time wondering what to do/say:
RELAX!
So what if he doesn’t like you enough to see you again.
Life goes on. And rest assured, there is someone out there who is dying to spend some time with you

Besides, you are far too beautiful and fabulous to spend your life worrying, right?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Tough Love

Take a step back. 
Fucking look at yourself.
You are human.
You are beautiful.
You are so beautiful.
And you can be anything.
You can be everything.

Do not hate everyone because someone broke your heart, or because your parents split up, your best friend betrayed you, your father hit you, the kid down the street called you fat/ugly/stupid/worthless.
Do not concern yourself with things you cannot control.

Cry when you need to but, let go when it’s time.
Don’t hang on to painful memories just because you’re too afraid to forget.
Let go of things that are in the past.
Forget things that aren’t worth remembering.

Stop taking things for granted.
Stop taking life for granted.
Live for something.
Live for yourself!

Fall in love.
Fall out of love.
Fall in love.
Fall out of love.
Do this over and over until you know what it really is to love someone.

Question things.
Tell people how you really feel.
Sleep under the stars.

Create.
Imagine.
Inspire.

Share something wonderful.
Meet new people.
Make someone’s day.
Follow your dreams.

Live your life to its full potential.
Just live, dammit!
Let go of all the horrible things in your life and fucking live!!

And one day, when you’re old, look back with no regrets.

 

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Fire and Gasoline

“We’re like fire and gasoline, I’m no good for you, you’re no good for me…”     — Chris Young

I stumbled,  happily, upon what follows in, of all places, my Facebook Newsfeed, with thanks to I Am Somebody. Bestselling author Karen Salmonsohn shares her views of relationships, breakups and moving on. This resonated with me, having been through a tough breakup myself and having a dear friend currently going through one. 

This is further proof that the Universe speaks to those who are ready to listen.

He appeared to be my ideal match. Then again, matches have been known to burn people. And this man burned me—badly. Interesting, isn’t it, the dangerous language we use to describe the very people we love? We say they’re our “match” or a “flame.” We label them as “smoking hot.” We revel in the “fiery desire” they inspire and the “burning passion” they create.

A happy love relationship has even been called a “friendship caught on fire.”

Why do we have so many fire metaphors in relation to love?

Then there’s the ultimate fire/love commonality: both have the power to drastically, speedily destroy a once seemingly solid foundation. For example, a three-story house can be burned to a crisp in a few fiery hours as a result of an innocent waffle being placed in a bread-only toaster. I relate. Thanks to my ex, I was that house, and my heart was that waffle.

As a self-help book author, I’ve written about the importance of seeking meaning during times of crisis. I’ve raved about the emotional benefits of believing everything happens for a reason—then consciously choosing to locate that reason. I must confess, after the great pain my ex caused me, I was finding this hard to do.

I’m sharing this with you now to let you know that if you’ve recently undergone a difficult break up, I know how challenging it can feel. I know how at first you may become convinced that the best way to protect your breaking heart is to put the permanent brakes on. But I’m here to remind you: please do not wallow in negative emotions for too long.
I believe you can never fail in life or love. You just produce results. It’s up to you how you interpret those results. There are no failed relationships, because every person in your life has a lesson to teach.

When someone leaves you, it’s important to release him/her. And know it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It just means that their part in your story is over. Your story will go on.

Instead of stressing over the loss of this person, you must face forward, happy in the knowledge that the empty space they’re leaving behind is clearing up space for someone far more right for you—someone you’ll now be far wiser at recognizing that they’re far more right! In many ways, pain is your evolutionary buddy. Pain prompts you to wake up from your autopilot slumber and be more alert to which are the best circumstances and best people to aim yourself toward for ultimate joy. Often, the only way to experience major insightful breakthroughs is via break ups.

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Untitled

It’s funny how three words can come to mean so little;
I. and. Love. And. you.
I- I- I- I- I-
I.
I am. I was. I think. I feel.
 I wish

Love.
Love love love love love
Love it. Love this. Love that.
Love you

You.
You you you.
Me.
You.
You can. You will. You won’t

I and love and you.

I and you
I and me
I and we

Love and you
Love and me
Love and us

You.
You and me
You and me
You and me.

Who Can Save Love?

Who can save Love?
(Author unknown)

Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived; happiness, sadness, knowledge, and all the others, including love. One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. So all the feelings prepared their boats to leave. Love was the only one that stayed. She wanted to preserve the island paradise until the last possible moment.

When the island was almost totally under, Love decided it was time to leave. She began looking for someone to ask for help. Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. Love asked, “Richness, Can I come with you on your boat?” Richness answered, ” I’m sorry, but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere.”

Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who was passing in a beautiful vessel. Love cried out, “Vanity, help me please.” “I can’t help you,” Vanity said, “You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat.”

Next, Love saw Sadness passing by. Love said, “Sadness, please let me go with you.” Sadness answered, “Love, I’m sorry, but, I just need to be alone now.”

Then, Love saw Happiness. Love cried out, ” Happiness, please take me with you.” But Happiness was so overjoyed, that he didn’t hear Love calling to him.

Love began to cry. Then, she heard a voice say, “Come Love, I will take you with me.” It was an elder.

Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the elder his name. When they arrived on land the elder went on his way. Love realized how much she owed the elder.

Love then found Knowledge and asked, “Who was it that helped me?”

“It was Time,” Knowledge answered. “But why did Time help me when no one else would?” Love asked.

Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity, answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.”

I came upon this story quite by accident in mid-spring 2011. My relationship was in turmoil and I, as most everyone of my generation now does, turned to Google for help. As I eagerly typed How to save my relationship into the search box, I prayed that a magic answer would greet me. 

While what I got may not have been an answer, per se, it was indeed a message. Something that stuck with me over the course of the next year while the relationship ended and I struggled to heal myself. The message is clear: only time is capable of understanding how great love is

They say that time heals all wounds. That couldn’t be more untrue. Yes, time will heal a broken bone, or a papercut, but how exactly does time heal a broken heart? It can’t. If it did, we wouldn’t have poets like Elizabeth Barreett Browning How do I love thee, let me count the ways. Shakespeare would not have written sonnet after sonnet to his lost love. Romeo and Juliet would never have been star crossed lovers, they would have lived happily ever after. Even Beethoven wrote letters to his Immortal Beloved Oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.

It is not the time that heals our wounded pride or our broken hearts, it’s what we do with that time. Browning wrote poetry; Shakespeare wrote plays, sonnets, and changed theater; Beethoven composed some of the most beautiful pieces of music. So, while time may not be able to heal, it is able to understand, to provide the answers needed in order to move on to bigger and better things, to give us perspective. Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Things I Have Learned

I found this on someone else’s website, completely by random, and related to each of the 27 points. In fact, several of them were the partial inspiration for my writing this blog. I’ve re-written some of them, omitted the ones that didn’t apply to me, and added one or two of my own.
I hope that each of you reading this will take some of these simple life lessons along with you as you go along on your life’s journey.

1. The first pancake always turns out badly.
2. You don’t have to get along with everyone, or make everyone like you.
3. Love makes you stupid.
4. You always have at least 2 choices, even if you don’t like your choices.
5. Sometimes even women need to learn to MTFU.
6. Most people operate out of selfish motivations.
7. It’s rarely about you.
8. Soda is evil.
9. It’s okay to break the rules, as long as you are good enough not to get caught, and you aren’t hurting anyone.
10. “Be kinder than necessary ’cause everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”
11. There’s three sides to every story- yours, mine, and the truth.
12. Time doesn’t heal anything– it’s what you do with that time.
13. Complaining and blaming other people doesn’t help anything, and makes you miserable company.
14. Everything in your life is your responsibility.
15. You train people how to treat you.
16. There’s always hope.
17. You can always be grateful for something.
18. If you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t trying hard enough.

19. You never really become an adult. You just get more responsibility, and become wiser.
20. Showing emotion is not a sign of weakness. Knowing when it is appropriate is a skill.
21. Google can answer everything!
22. Being silly is one of my favorite qualities in a person.
23. Honesty is always the easiest route. Even if it’s not in the short term.
24. You should never stop learning, or trying to be a better person.
25. Worrying is useless, unless it motivates you to take action.
26. When people show you who they are, believe them, and believe IN them.
27. Love as though it’s the most important thing in life, because love IS the most important thing.
28. Chocolate is an adequate substitution for nearly everything.
29. Listen to your parents, even if it irritates you to no end. They are almost always right, and they will never say “I told you so”
30.  IN LIFE, THERE IS ONLY FEAR AND LOVE. ONE OF THEM IS WAY MORE FUN.

What are some things you have learned?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

Advice From Somewhere

I found this list entitled Advice From Somewhere (my apologies to the original author, I do not remember where I came across it), over the summer. In the midst of setback after setback, I was having trouble existing. I found that many of the advice’s on the list were things I tried very hard to life by already. I was raised in the religion of be nice to others, and don’t talk with your mouth full. I believe in love. And I believe, still, that love conquers all. 

ONE.Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO.Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE.Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR.When you say, “I love you,” mean it.
FIVE.When you say, “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye.
SIX.Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN.Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT.Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
NINE.Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
TEN.In disagreements, fight fairly. Please No name calling.
ELEVEN.Don’t judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE.Speak slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN.When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
FOURTEEN.Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
FIFTEEN.Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN.When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
SEVENTEEN.Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN.Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN.When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY.Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
TWENTYONE.Spend some time alone.

Twenty one simple truths about life. 

What are some advice’s you would pass on?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Dark Roman Wine, and Awakenings in the Shower

Source Unknown

I always seem to do my best thinking either in the shower or as I am just about to fall asleep. There’s something about the water beating down on me and the close, warm, slightly darkened quarters that prompts deep moments of reflection. It is in these moments that I have made life-altering, soul-changing realizations.

While taking a quiet moment this morning, listening to Snow Patrol’s Dark Roman Wine, I suddenly heard a small, almost childlike voice in my head repeating the lyrics back to me, like a mantra for the day ahead: I will hang on the hook of your splendor, As the night rolls us up in its arms, And the square of your thumbs and your fingers, Is the blanket of sky that’s so warm…An incredible song by Snow Patrol, to be sure, and a beautiful message to start the day.

Listening to the arrangement below, from Royal Albert Hall in 2009, with it’s haunting organ accompanied to Gary Lightbody`s electrifying voice, I can’t help but close my eyes. As the song builds (The wind shakes the branches above us, And the cars shake the ground at our backs, But the dark roman wine in our bloodstreams, Makes the cold just a word, just a sound…), free of a heavily drummed climax, it rather drifts peacefully towards its end.

It was during my shower “meditation” this morning, that I made a not-so-sudden realization. Everything I have done thus far in my life has been to please (in one form or another) someone else; a parent, teacher, co-worker, employer, friend, boyfriend, etc. And, as a result, I have often felt inadequate, not good enough, and that I was in competition with those around me.

This was not my realization.

What I came to realize is this: The more time I spend alone with myself – in silence – the more I KNOW not only that I am good enough for the world around me, but that I am actually a force of positive energy for the universe!

Just over a year ago, I was overwrought with anxiety and stresses, I couldn’t stand to be alone with myself in a room without the TV on or music playing. I was so trapped within myself, I didn’t know up from down, left from right. Going through the motions of daily life, I was spiraling, content with mediocrity. And then the bottom fell out. My relationship ended suddenly, and I was alone again. I had two choices: (ONE) Live the victim “why does everything always happen to me?”  -OR- (TWO) Grieve, accept the cards I was dealt, and try to move on.

I chose TWO

Pulling yourself up is never an easy task, it’s sometimes more overwhelming than the fall. When I got up (and it was a slooooooooooooooowwwwwwww, and still on-going process), I felt more like me than ever before. I’ve embraced my spirituality. Some days I talk to God, others I talk to myself through meditation. Every day is an opportunity for learning. I am learning how to be on my own, and how to do big, exciting, sometimes scary things on my own, embracing the life I was given.

Writing this post to you now, I am surrounded by the gentle humming of my computer, the clicking of my fingers on the keyboard, my own breath, the imaginary sound of my laundry tumbling in dryer next door, and I am filled with peace.

I am alone in my own company and it is peaceful.

Peace and Love to you all,
Mandixoxox