Tag Archive: relationships


I’m 43 years old this year. My life hasn’t been easy but I think I’ve done pretty well, and I continue to improve upon myself. This last year for me has been rough though… internally, relationally, and spiritually. I’ve come a long way from where I was. My inner life has improved beyond words, and the experience I’m having is what’s driving that. This is the most profound period of growth I can remember. I do fall down sometimes, but then I get back up to live and love and fight another day. Thank you for your support.

Lately I’m pretty worn out with being told what to do, how to think, and who to love. I very rarely ask for advice. If I do, it’s because I trust you enough to respect your perspective, not because I’m paralyzed without it. I’ve never handled being ‘handled’ well, or pressured to do something against my will. I don’t know about everyone else, but my heart and mind are not always on the same page. Since I’ve been navigating through this, my heart lands in a different spot every other day. I’ve given up on trying to control that, and honestly I don’t want to. I am doing my level best to be in the moment with myself and my own feelings so that I can find my own truth, grieve, heal, maintain, and move forward. I can’t be there when I’m being prodded out of my center by loving and well-meaning, but not in it friends. This situation doesn’t need fixing. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve just had several major life-changing events in the last year and I’m trying to find my feet again. The only way out is through.

Thank you, but I’m not looking for the next ‘man chapter’ in my life, I’m looking for ME. That was the entire point of ending the relationship I was in, to give myself space and time to grieve and deal with my demons. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t important to me, or that I didn’t/don’t love him. It took a year, it wasn’t an easy decision, I didn’t make it lightly, and I still struggle with it. I have no plans to cut him completely out of my life, that’s not who I am or who I’ve ever been, as many of you here can attest. He’s my teacher, my mirror, my friend and catalyst, in addition to being my ex and button-pusher. I cannot honor his contribution to my life and hate on him in the same breath; I choose honor. Sticking a band-aid on all of this and labeling him ‘The Problem’ is not going to help me grow. He may be an asshole sometimes, but he’s my asshole to deal with, and I’m no treat – believe me. Nobody has to like it, but it would be awesome if I could just be heard without the accompanying lecture. This ain’t my first rodeo, I’m not a fool. It is what it is, I don’t wish him any ill. I want him to be happy and fulfilled and have the kind of love he needs, the life he wants. I care about him. Trying to do this without his input is like only having one eye to see – I’ve tried it.   We’ve been through some rough shit together and he was my rock when all that went down, he dealt with the meltdowns; the fear, and the rage, and the self-loathing.  He was the whipping post when I couldn’t contain my rage, he took care of me and held the space when I lost my shit and came apart at the seams, and kept me on my feet when I wanted to quit, no one else.  So no, I won’t be taking that from him, I’m not going to shitcan the whole relationship and call it a mistake.  He deserves better than that, no matter what else he’s done or how much I’ve demonized or discredited him, no one has ever been there for me like that.  I wouldn’t have realized that if I’d listened to everyone else.  He keeps me honest.  He pisses me OFF like no one else.  He makes me smile when I crash and burn.  He matters to me.  And the problems didn’t go away when he did, so… I have more work to do {sigh}.  But his loving me through all that created the space for me to start looking at the toxic crap I’ve been repressing my whole life, so that’s what I’m working through now.  I’m owning my own shit, and it’s not pleasant, but it is necessary if I’m going to be who I want to be.  He and I are good, he’s not the enemy; I was my own enemy.  He’s no angel, and I am certainly no saint, but that relationship is sacred to me, now.

So please, if you need to project something at a friend when they’re struggling, why not the best possible outcome for everyone involved? That would help me. It’s what I’d do for you. It doesn’t have to come with conditions when you care about someone’s well-being, and you can’t know where someone is at when you’re not walking around in their shoes, what they’re afraid to tell you because it might change how you feel about them. I appreciate the prayers, I’m grateful for the thoughts, the support, the kind, loving energy. I know you have my best interests at heart, that you just want me to be ok again, and I love that about you – I’m so grateful, THANK YOU for caring!  ♥

…but I’m gonna have to do this my way, however that unfolds. Please respect that. Thanks for understanding.  ♥

∞E

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Oil & Water

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the center of someone’s world, but if that’s what you want, don’t choose someone with an expanded view and experience of the world and expect them to limit themselves to the space you take up in it.

I am through being anyone’s exotic pet. There are women out there who would be more than happy to play house and orbit around you and make your needs and the relationship their sole focus and source of everything – but I’m not that woman. If you don’t or can’t get that, be honest with both of us and walk away instead of trying to cram me into the ridiculous box of relationship expectations you keep dragging with you everywhere you go. Your expectation of me has no basis in my experience of reality. I have no obligation to be what you want me to be. Your ‘investment’ in me does not deed you my heart. We’re speaking different languages, coming from different places, and you trying to wrestle/manipulate me into submission is not going to give you the result you desire. I’m choosing to leave this because I know better than to beat my head against a brick wall.  I don’t need to justify my truth. 

I care about you very much.  I want you to succeed and be satisfied in life, I want you to know Love.  Please, find someone who wants the same things you want, be happy, move on. I’ll be happy for you. You’ll be happier. The reason you’re miserable is that you’re resisting the truth… just stop. It’s not personal, it just IS. Oil and water don’t mix.

Blessing you and your journey and moving on. 

It’s not just you. Everywhere I’m seeing people struggling with overwhelm, exhaustion, personal crises, and seemingly impossible decisions to make and circumstances to navigate, and what makes it even more freaky is that we’re not able to see ourselves on the other side of whatever’s looming in our paths.
We’re living in very interesting times. The events that are unfolding on the world stage right now are way out of our ‘ordinary’, we’re being bumped and jostled way out of our comfort zones, and for good reason. We are on the brink of major change. So many of us have been holding on and hanging in, waiting for SOMETHING to happen, something that releases the pressure we’ve been feeling, that allows us to regain some semblance of ‘normal’ so we can feel right again and resume our lives where we left off before this chaotic feeling took over.

Something IS happening. Many things are happening, most behind the scenes and not on the news, but we FEEL them coming and we sometimes feel them when they pass by, giving us a moment or a few days of relief. Shit is getting REAL on every level. Many of us are so caught up in our personal stuff that we’re not even downloading what’s occurring on a national or world scale because it’s too much. We feel out of touch but too exhausted to pay much attention… and that’s where we’re succeeding. Even if you feel like all you’re doing is treading water, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, right now.

My loving advice to you, is to take care of yourself through these changing times, rearrange your priorities (some of us have already had to start that process), reset the values you place on things and people in your lives, decide what matters the most to you and when you have the bandwidth to deal with those things, do. In the meantime, deal with YOU. Acknowledge what you are feeling even if it’s negative or scary. Be with the emotions that come up. Don’t judge them or yourself for having them. Don’t blame someone else, just acknowledge YOUR feelings. Chances are they’re not all yours. Cry, scream, get angry, yell, pound your fists on the steering wheel, wail, keen, sob, and RELEASE that pressure. Make time. Do it a few times a week if you need to. Whatever emotional chaos that’s haunting you, give it a name and release it. What comes back to roost in that spot when you’re done will give you a new understanding of what matters to you. For me it’s been Peace, calm, compassion, Love, cooperation, tenderness, creativity…

The world needs you right now, friends. The more angst, anger, and sadness you release, the more space you create for something new and better and the less burden you’ll carry. The less entangled we are with our fears and anger, the less of it we bring to the rest of the world. The Earth and everything on it really needs our Love and our presence right now. We don’t necessarily need to be all up in everything that’s happening, but we do need to be present with what’s happening within ourselves. Listen to your bodies, get enough rest, take your emotions out for a walk and give them a long leash. Pay attention to where they take you, and then let them go. Change what you need to, let the rest work itself out. Nobody is super man or wonder woman right now, give yourselves a break. We might be in for a long stretch of this, but it gets better. The only way out is through. We are, all of us, completely safe.  ❤
Image
 Special thanks to Adam Trenholm for this lovely shot. 

Old Friends

It is good to have old friends.
People who knew me in my youth, when I was a completely different person, who have witnessed my evolution, my heartache, my challenges, my successes and failures, and love me still, for who I am and who I was, as I love my memories of them and appreciate who they are becoming. I am truly blessed and grateful.

I feel “pretty” today.

For the first time in decades maybe, that I can remember.  No special occasion.  I didn’t dress up.  I didn’t put on any makeup.  I didn’t even shower, and I don’t remember looking at my face in the mirror.  I just pulled on yesterday’s tank top and slid into a cotton hippie skirt and flip flops and started coffee.

I think it’s the skirt.  I’d say it’s been 30+ years since I wore a skirt because I wanted to, maybe longer.  My entire adult life I have kept a few skirts and dresses around for the inevitable occasion that absolutely required it, but those times have been few and far between and I can’t say I actually ever enjoyed dressing up.  I just never was that girly of a girl, I never saw the point.  But lately, just in the last few years, I’m beginning to have the experience of wanting to be a GIRL.

I’m learning to appreciate my body for its intended purpose of keeping me healthy, and moving me place to place, warning me of danger, and of filtering the environmental toxins out of my air, food and water.   The more I accept it for what it does right, the more feminine I feel.  After all, attracting and keeping a mate is important, but not as important as being strong and healthy, as being ALIVE.  I don’t hold my femininity against myself anymore, I no longer see it as a weakness.  I’m learning to embrace my womanness, and all that goes with it.  I’m keeping my toenails polished, wearing jewelry, drinking tea, reading books, writing, spending time with other wise and wonderful women, and yes, wearing dresses.  

Image

I don’t know why it’s happening, but I kinda like it.  It’s foreign yet familiar at the same time; like the way you automatically gather your skirts up to climb stairs, or step into your shoes, you don’t even think about it, but you do it, even if you can’t remember the last time you wore a long skirt.  A few times I’ve even had the urge to curtsy, of all things – I was never taught to curtsy, ever!  Where does that come from?!

My point is, I’m becoming softer and more feminine, balancing it with my previous independent, tough girl lifestyle and attitude.  I’m more humble, more compassionate, and have more passion for life and loving, goodness, justice, and peace.  I’m happy and proud to be a woman at this point in my life, I’m enjoying the process, as surprising as it is sometimes.

PMS, for instance.  Having an excuse for a few days every month to take better care with myself, to live without the structure of a schedule, a plan, or a To Do list.  The mood swings that cause my truths to spill out unfiltered by political correctness or subservience to a social hierarchy, making certain that I don’t lose my voice, even if I only speak through my pen or keyboard.  The way I feel a teensy bit crazy sometimes, or peacefully nostalgic about the past.  The way I’m learning to trust the future, while embracing the experience of living in today’s world.  The way I allow myself to cry when I need to, even for no reason.  I no longer make mistakes, I only learn more about myself and the nature of humanity.  I’m allowing my intuition to guide me, instead of controlling my thoughts with logic and reason.  I’m learning to appreciate chaos for the change it brings.  I’m learning to accept help from my friends when it’s offered, and to be grateful for the smallest things, taking delight in micro-moments of delicious joy at the simple act of interacting with a dragonfly, or a baby, a toad, a lover, or a song.  I bathe in the light of the full moon when it suits me, and feed off the warmth of the sun on my back while I’m weeding my garden, consciously accepting the gift of its healing and working with it to grow the food that will sustain me through this year of this life.  These things are real and good and irreplaceable, and decidedly feminine in nature.  They make me feel like I truly do belong to this world, like my time here has purpose.

I have come to realize that “pretty” isn’t something defined by a picture in a magazine, or the face you see in the mirror.  Feeling pretty for me is a way of being in the world which encompasses all things feminine and all beautiful ‘in the flow’ experiences.  Had I known that putting on an old hippie skirt would draw all that together for me, I might have done it years ago, instead of clinging to an identity that clearly doesn’t fit right anymore.

It’s ok to change.  It’s ok to evolve into something more, to accept where you’ve been and let life draw you toward who you are becoming.  Change doesn’t have to be complete or excruciatingly difficult.  It’s an adjustment from doing what you’ve always done to noticing what else feels good to you and allowing yourself to move in that direction to whatever extent you feel comfortable.  The more you stretch outside your comfort zone, the easier it gets, and the more your own experience transcends the ‘reality’ outside your door, or on the news, or at your workplace.  This life is your creation.  Make it your goal to find out what makes it pop for you personally, and move toward more of that experience.  You won’t regret it.  And just for fun one day, put on a skirt and see if it makes you feel “pretty”, too.

Much love, my sisters, we got this.  (;

∞E

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept
your defeats
with your head up
and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman,
not the grief of a child

And you learn to build
all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground
is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way
of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.

And you learn
that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

I’ve always loved this Bill Hicks clip and quote:

“The world is like a ride at an amusement park. It goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: Is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey – don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride…” But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus – murdered; Martin Luther King – murdered; Malcolm X – murdered; Gandhi – murdered; John Lennon – murdered; Reagan… wounded. But it doesn’t matter because:

It’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want.  It’s only a choice.  No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money.  A choice, right now, between fear and love. 

The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

 

I have posted it countless times on facebook, I have repeated it to people, I have written it on post-its and stuck it to the wall over my computer screen to remind myself.  But I have never really realized its meaning until tonight.

choice  (chois)

n.

1. The act of choosing; selection.
2. The power, right, or liberty to choose; option.
3. One that is chosen.
4. A number or variety from which to choose: a wide choice of styles and colors.
5. The best or most preferable part.
6. Care in choosing.
7. An alternative.
A conscious decision, a decision you don’t take lightly, the power to choose, the right to choose, the freedom to choose… between FEAR and LOVE.
-Not hitching a ride with your mind to the worst imaginable outcome.
-Not being swept away by your emotions, your hormones, your beliefs about your worth or lack thereof or your sense of security or lack thereof.
-Not being guided by the thoughts, feelings, attitudes or opinions of others.
A choice, right now, between living in fear or staying with, focusing on and nurturing the LOVE.
Just like learning a new way to meditate.  ☮
Thank you, Bill and both Charlies, for providing the connection.  ♥
Erika Boyer © December 2011

I am ready and willing to release the need to hurt myself.
Am I punishing myself?  Do I believe that I am ‘bad’ because someone once (ok-way more than once) told me so (at the top of their lungs) while they were punishing me? Did their justification for it validate that belief or did it create it? What could I have possibly done at eight to elicit that response?
I was punished, degraded and called names by unaware, unenlightened people who couldn’t control their angst and anger, who were not in touch with their feelings, who couldn’t tap into their compassion, their heart. That condition is not (was not) a reflection of ME. I am not (was not) responsible for their feelings or lack of awareness, then or NOW, although I believed I was. So much easier to blame the child than to get a grip on yourself, or ask someone for HELP.
I am GOOD. I WAS good. My intentions were good. I was sensitive and intuitive and my heart was open, until I adopted that belief, that I was wrong…bad. I’ve spent the last 23 years proving to myself that I’m undeserving, that I don’t belong, that my feelings and my experience don’t matter, that I’m responsible for other people’s reactions, that my needs aren’t important, because there’s something in me that isn’t RIGHT.
But the buck stops here.
You may have created me, you may have molded me and shaped my experience, but your words and actions no longer bind me to your definition of me in your anger. Clearly your life was not ideal, your experience difficult. But 40 years later, you are still stuck in that place and I refuse to spend the next 40 years blaming you or my experience of you for the outcome of my life. I’m sorry you can’t see me. I’m sorry you can’t wrap your mind around what I’ve become, largely through my own efforts, having little or nothing to do with your input or opinion or advice. And I’m sorry you can’t see yourself, that you feel lost and alone now, because someone obviously told you some of the same things you told me, and it’s hard to be still with yourself when you don’t hold a high opinion of YOU.
I’m going to bless you now, and every time I think of it, until that hole in me is mended. And I’m going to see you as the emotionally wounded individuals that you are, just as I am, deserving of love and compassion.   I’m not going to nurture that seed that was planted anymore, because I know it was not your intention to wound me. I am your child, but that’s not all that I am, I will not allow that experience to limit me any longer.

I love you and forgive you.

∞E

Bricks

I’ve found that when I am butting up against something that won’t budge, the best cure is to take my energy out of the equation. Once that force is gone, eventually the wall I’ve been beating my head against teeters and falls and I can decide what I need from it in smaller pieces. Let the bricks fall where they may.

Photograph by Craig Foster 2007

I’ve recently been checking out the Online Dating thing and I’ve gotta tell ya…it’s way tougher than it seems.  Big kudos to anyone with the huevos to put their heart out there looking for love.  I applaud you.

That being said, there are very few men that I’ve considered getting to know, based on their profiles and I’d like to offer up some advice to those who are actually in search of a woman of substance and integrity and not just a  good time.  Nothing wrong with that, but if your relationships are lacking meaning and depth and you’re actually wanting a soul connection, you’re gonna have to clean it up and get real.

  • Your Pictures – You may see this as shallow, but it’s the first visual contact we have with you.  Mugshots aren’t cool and unfortunately, those pics taken with your webcam are distracting.  Your food processor on the shelf behind you may tell us something interesting, but your laundry is something entirely different.  Do you have a friend?  Maybe one with a digital camera?  Give us a recent shot of you smiling for the main.  To coin a phrase from a friend, “We all looked better five to ten years ago, you’re just setting yourself up for rejection.” Show us you doing something you love, enjoying time out with your friends, something serious, something funny or interesting, you and your kids if you have them, your tats or toys for the rest.  We want to know who you ARE, not just what you look like late at night while you’re surfing the web.  You boys in cowboy hats, throw some shape on that thing after you dig it out of the back of your closet and before you present yourself in it online, you look like a goober.  We know the difference.
  • Your Interests-BUZZWORDS, yep I said it – use them!  Conservative, liberal, political, religious, spirituality, geo-caching, home improvement, your kids, movies, books, technology, leather, photography, psychic, philosophy, sailing, history, time-travel, skiing, climbing, self-help, motorcycles, cross-dressing, dogs, volunteering, coffee, causes, tattoos, chain mail armor, road trips, sushi, horror flicks, spelunking, working on cars.  Anything that you’re passionate about, put it out there so it shows up in a search.  The key is commonality.  If we can’t find you, we don’t know if there’s something there to work with or not.
  • Your Profile – I don’t like it anymore than you do, but technically this is your resume to the world of women.    State your intent.  Honestly.  If you’re looking to be the man next to one of us at the end of the day, tell us why that’s a good idea.  What are your strengths?  Weaknesses?  Passions?  What makes you pay attention to a particular type of woman and what type is she?  This is an exercise in asking the Universe for what you want in a relationship.  Half-assed profiles are going to get you half-assed results.  Get clear on who that girl is that you want and then tell us what that means.  Tell us what about you compliments that woman, so we get a picture in our heads and can decide whether we’re interested or not.  What do you do with your time?  What gives you joy?  Why?  Are you sensitive?  Strong?  If you want someone who’s not afraid to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, say so.  If you’re looking for a hippie chick, a good mom, someone who likes to read poetry by the fire, dominatrix,grandma, ball-busting business partner, conspiracy theorist, roller derby queen, big boobs, Buddhist…PUT IT OUT THERE.  Don’t compromise yourself by settling for any old pretty face.  Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t fluff it up to fill space.  You are perfectly acceptable and interesting just the way you are.  Dig deep and be REAL.  Someone out there is going to recognize and appreciate that, IF she can see what you’re about.  If you don’t write well, ask someone to help you present yourself, someone who knows and appreciates the person you are and is familiar with your strong points.  Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, other men are not looking at your profile.
  • Your Updates – If you think of something you want to add, do it.  What’s on there is not set in stone.  People change, find new interests, change their minds.  Be current.
  • First Contact – Get to the point.  Tell us what it is you find interesting or attractive about us or our profile and give us some feedback about who YOU are.  I know I’m cute, what else?  If you have a gut feeling about someone but their profile is vague, act on it-but be specific about what you’re asking and don’t expect too much.  Quit trying so hard to be what we want.  Be who YOU are.  If your message is gushing about all the things we have in common and how we’re ‘The One’ for you, that’s a little freaky coming from someone we’ve never MET.  Cool your jets, Hoss.   Start a dialogue with something relevant.  If we feel it, we’ll respond.  Period.  I don’t want 4 emails telling me how much you like my hair, or agreeing with *everything* I said in my profile, or sappy crap about staring into my eyes for hours (CREEPY!), or asking me if I like to wear thongs.  You wouldn’t say that to someone you just met in person, would you?  Would you like it if all we were interested in was your IRA and an accurate measurement of your penis?
  • First date – Cripes!  Keep it simple!  Meet somewhere quiet and public and bring separate cars.  That way if she smells like a walrus or has a nicer mustache than yours, you can beat feet when you’re through with your coffee.  No long drives together, no helicopter (or ambulance) rides, no expensive dinners, no overnight trips to Vegas, no concerts.  Two people, exchanging ideas and eye contact and hopefully getting a better feel for each other than they did online.  Keep your expectations low, she’s just a human being, like you.  You’re out less than ten bucks and if you want to extend the date to something else, you can.  If she wants to see you again, it’s going to be very apparent.  You can plan the Costa Rican zipline tour for the next date after you’ve established that you like each other.
  • Finally, don’t be discouraged.  Things don’t always happen over night.  There is a huge ratio of men to women on these sites, sad but true.  We pretty much get to pick and choose who we want to give the time of day to.  We don’t always have time to answer all your emails in a day, or determine if there’s an interest, and many people are uncomfortable with outright rejection because they are sensitive to your feelings.  Don’t take it personally.  Make yourself seen, make yourself heard and leave the rest up to the Universe’s timing.  Enjoy the process of getting to know someone, savor the good stuff and don’t stress about the rest.  Everyone in your life is there for a reason, you don’t want to fill it with junk that’s not worthy of you anyway.  Use the time in between to get to know yourself and take care of YOU.  There’s nothing unlovable or unattractive about the person you are, it just takes the right woman to appreciate what you bring to the table and she’s worth waiting for.

∞E

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