My aha moment with commitment on my journey into dating…

I  have spent the past year ready to date, I have tried different avenues and I have to say I have found my journey so far pretty interesting. I have learned more about my self than I ever imagined because I thought dating was about others. I have seen many of my friends go through breakups, people I thought were truly meant to be together and it has shifted some of my belief in the reality of what we see in others versus truth. I have had deep conversations with both men and women about the process of dating, the kinds of dates out there and the journey to find what we are looking for in our search for love. I wanted to share with you all what I am discovering and my hope is that you will contact me with your own insight after reading.

The first thing I want to say is I am learning. I am learning about the human condition, the desire to want and to be wanted, to love and to be loved, to trust and to be trusted. I believe over time as we age we become very set in our ways based on our life styles, our desires and our choices. I had an interesting conversation with someone recently who seems to have more confidence in himself than anyone I have ever met. He appears to have no fears of dating or with relationships. He spoke confidently about how easy it was to gain any woman’s interest and admitted to cheating on past lovers. He seems to always have beautiful women at his beaconing but when I look at him I see something missing, I don’t see him being truly happy. In my opinion he appears to act the part of being a “stud” but appears to fear getting too close to anyone. I have to ask you men out there is having any woman your desire really that great, do you not hope for more, is it fulfilling to just sleep around if there is no deep connection? I am sure there are women that should also be asked that question. Upon digging deeper I discovered that with my friends lifestyle of playing the field he had never actually experienced the heartbreak of someone cheating on him and no one had ever broke up with him. He was always in control in every relationship he had been in. In my own journey I have been cheated on by almost every man I have ever dated and here before me was one of those guys, yet he had never been cheated on. Could it be that those who cheat have no idea of the pain they cause those whom they cheat on? I tried to image how it would feel to have never experienced what that act of betrayal feels like, how would I be different, my mindset, my actions, my choices.

I pondered that for weeks and wondered is that perhaps the way a player gets labeled? We all seem to have a different definition of what a “player” is. In my world a player is someone who leads someone into believing they are “the only one” while dating (or sleeping with) multiple people at the same time. They are truly playing the field with no desire to be in a committed relationship. Is a player a bad person, I don’t believe that is the case, I believe they are that way because they fear something when it comes to relationships. Can a player be honest? I think they can be honest in saying they are not looking for commitment but somewhere down the line they are being dishonest if they are not telling the truth with who they are spending their time with or where they are spending their time. The worst part of their dishonesty is that they are not allowing themselves to be loved or to love and that is, in my opinion what we as humans are supposed to experience. I won’t label this a man or woman thing because I am finding through my guy friends that there seem to be just as many women players as men.

I have talked to men about the women out there and there are a lot of women who say they want desperately to be in a relationship but are playing the same games as the men. Partying every night and serial dating in men and women will not find you anything other than that. Trying to find the right mix is hard but you have to know what you want before you can start finding what you want. Making changes that are not always comfortable but sometimes they create the greatest treasures.

The biggest common thread in all my discussions of dating were that on the topic of cheating. So why do people feel the need to cheat? Yes this still applies to the dating scenario early on because you have to trust that date as you are getting to know them or you are never going to feel fulfilled in a relationship with that person. After talking to so many people who have experienced being cheated on I started to think about what our society is putting out there in regards to morals. In my opinion cheating and lying go hand in hand, it is not only a moral thing but a selfish thing and that is where integrity comes into play. My mom always told me treat others how you would want them to treat you. That has always stuck in my mind and it is how I have learned to live with integrity. I admit I am no angel, I have slipped outside the realms of integrity and honesty in my past but I can say in the last 3 years I have worked very hard to become a person I love, living with honesty and integrity frees up my insides so that I can deal more clearly with what is happening on the outside. It truly feels good to be in that space! I recently visited Jason Aldean’s FB page after those pictures were put out there of him kissing all over a woman in a bar. I was amazed that most of the remarks were forgiving him because “we all make mistakes”. I think our society is starting to believe that and with that train of thought we are doomed with ever having true devotion and trust with someone, with fully giving our hearts or with love. True, we all do make mistakes but we shouldn’t just brush it under the rug and move on. An apology is not change, changing our behavior, understanding what truth is and how it feels to live with that is change. Treating others the way we want to be treated is key. I am sure Jason would’t feel so good if his wife had been caught in the same situation. What has happened to our morals, to our desire to be honest loving people. I hate watching tv any more because everything out there is about cheating, dishonesty and anger. My friend Amy Venezia had a great post on flirting recently that also shows how our morals are changing referring to “the grass is greener on the other side…”.

So our past, especially our childhood sets up the path to the people we become, the struggles we deal with and the places where change needs to take place in most cases. Being aware is the first step. It dawned on me that I may be dating those “not so truthful” kind of guys because I am not being truthful with myself about my own commitment issues. I was taught very early on in my life through people close to me that trust, commitment and love hurt. It was played out over and over and as I grew older I wouldn’t allow myself to give my heart fully to anyone because I always feared it would be hurt. The problem is, giving a little of your heart still hurts when someone betray’s you. Most times I would feel as if I was in control, stay in a relationship knowing it was wrong, the signs were there but I always questioned my own judgement more than the actions of the person betraying me. Over and over again I attracted the same kinds of men, gave just enough to be hurt and experienced the same pattern. I believe they were good people but not good “FOR” me. Last week I had that aha moment when I caught myself making sharp, sourcastic remarks about my lack of belief in marriage and the idea that all men were the same. I was laying in bed and started feeling really embarrassed with what I had said, I felt the energy when those words left my mouth and those around me had nothing to add. I realized they did not feel the same and I was coming off as one of those wounded, angry broken hearted people. Well folks if the shoe fits you will wear it! I began digging deeper and realized how perfect “players or bad boys” are for me, they don’t want commitment for their own reasons so they do what they do. I date them because I fear anyone who shows me too much attention, who isn’t a challenge or who might make me commit. That “game” of keeping them interested knowing they won’t commit is no different than them keeping me interested yet wanting to be with others because nothing is holding their interest fully. Wow, in that moment I realized what a turd I was being, how can I find a good relationship with out realizing my commitment issues. I definitely won’t attract that into my life. Yes I truly believe we attract, weather consciously or unconsciously what we are putting out there and folks my banter was creating exactly what I was supposed to have!

So with my dating experience so far I have discovered woman are just as scared of commitment as men often seem to be. People cheat because they are not whole inside and until they discover and repair what lies on the inside they will not be able to find or make healthy choices on the outside. We all need to feel a spark, it may not always be the personality, it might just not be the right energy. There has to be intrigue, compatibility or something that creates chemistry. Just because someone is hot as hell doesn’t mean it will make for great chemistry, it might in the beginning but that will go away quickly once time factors in. We are all searching for something but we have to be in tune with our hearts, with our emotions and with our choices to figure out what we really want. Life is a lesson and dating is a huge part of finding one of the many links to wholeness. As I said earlier, I am learning. Just because I have had some aha moments does’t mean my choices will change right away or that I will attract the right one for me right away. I still have work to do, I have to start by changing my vocabulary. My negative banter is a defense mechanism because I don’t want to be hurt. It is tough talk yet I am as fragile as a baby on the inside. I will start right now by admitting out loud that I do want to find love, I want to be in a relationship and I am not apposed to marriage. BUT I want it to be healthy, I want to be aware of what I am offering, not just expecting the other person to give me what I want. I want to be the best person I can be for that person who will someday be in my life. I know relationships can become work but communication is key. I want to be sure they are deserving of me, that they believe in honesty and they live with integrity. I know that in a relationship each person has to give and take. They should be proud of who they are with, comfortable being themselves around each other and share not only what they want with their partner but also their fears. The person I am with has to love himself first or I can’t expect him to be able to love me. I had to discover that in myself and I get it. We all have the ability to attract a mate whom we desire we just have to believe we do and that we can! I have my list of what I am looking for, I know what I want I have to remind myself to not settle and to keep my emotions in line with my gut. I know my awareness has to help me in the future as long as I continue to love myself. I may get my heart broken again but at least Im willing to open my heart up enough to feel love and that is part of being alive.

We have all worn different hat’s in life, some were just a phase we were going through others were our true style. I am creating a hat that fits perfectly for me as I head into the next 40+ years, this time with a better understanding of how I tick and what it feels like to operate with internal love for myself first. My goal is to be the absolute best I can be, for myself and toward others with integrity yet without judgement.

Thank you for reading, I hope to hear from you. Sending love….pass it on!

The wind in my sail has left and I am stranded in a vast sea of possibility, paralyzed…

It has been some time since I have written here at Thinking Diva. For what ever reason I have been in a bit of a funk and working toward trying to get my good energy and attitude back. I have been writing but not posting because I started this blog to share and motivate through being positive. I didn’t want to come off here as being negative even though I realize we all have times when we feel down. That being said most of my struggle’s have been based on life as a whole, not on one particular thing. Maybe I have been having a mid-life crisis! Lately my thoughts are centered around a reoccurring feeling of emptiness, a feeling of lack with everything that has had me wondering how I can get that excitement of life back. Perhaps the experience of loss (all the beautiful friends and family I have lost over the past few years) has created a shift in me that makes me question “Why am I Here?”  It seems that all the things I used to live by no longer have any viability to me. This is not the first time in my life that question has surfaced but it feels a bit different this time around because of my age, my accomplishments and where I am in life.

I AM full of gratitude! I have been very blessed with a wonderful family who I love so much and miss because of the miles I chose to put between us. I have the most wonderful and loving friends you could ask for. I have lived a life doing what I love through a career of creativity. I am content with my “SELF”, I have learned how to maintain self love and my struggle with spirituality has ended so I feel fulfilled. I have no debt, I have a roof over my head, I take care of myself and I am healthy so honestly I have no reason to feel so lost. I feel guilty for my thoughts of “lack” but as we humans often do I sometimes allow regret to surface in what I haven’t had or done. For what ever reason most of my life has been driven by career goals and solely involved only me. I worked hard and did what ever I needed to do, sacrificed what needed to be sacrifice to achieve what I though success was because I truly believed that was what made me happy. Overall I have been a happy person but those things now seem pointless. The things that sadden me in my life right now all center around my lack of personal goals involving others. I will always feel I missed out on the experience of having a child and being a mom. I have excepted it but that awareness does sometimes creep up on me. I have positioned myself in life to be alone, far from family, no responsibilities, no obligations and content with not being in a relationship right now. I wish I had been more mature in my past relationships, I never experienced a healthy-mature relationship in my past because I was not healthy and mature enough to know otherwise. I take full responsibility for my choices, I hold no anger of blame towards anyone and fortunately I know I will do better in this second phase of my life when I am ready to take that step.

As I sit here pondering wether I should even post this I am unsure that these words really have anything you will benefit from. Maybe I am reaching out to you this time hoping for some answers I can’t seem to find, maybe some clarity. My biggest “empty” feeling right now is that I am tired of living my life for just me, it feels so wasteful, it doesn’t have any importance outside of myself and that has come to bother me most. Living the way I have doesn’t feel fulfilling, I don’t feel I am offering myself outwardly in a purposeful way. Is this making any sense? Maybe this is my “story”(we all have one), my need for attention, maybe this is “all about me,” perhaps I am craving validation of feeling like someone or something needs me. Am I just feeling sorry for myself wollering in self pity? Goodness, is that a form of self, co-dependency? I had the realization yesterday that I am probably more than half way through my life. If I died tomorrow I believe I would be ok with what I have accomplished but with the time I have left I want so much more and I don’t want it to center around “just me”. It is not that I am unhappy but there is something really missing and I can’t put my finger on it. I am bored, I feel unchallenged and even worse I have no direction, I am going through the motions of what needs to be done and that is it. It’s like the wind in my sail has left and I am stranded in a vast sea of possibility, paralyzed.

So this is where I stop and go within, I get quiet, I pray, like so many times before but this time I realize….I am really stuck. It’s where I reach out to you and ask what do you think? Is this something we go through and question when we are in our 40’s? Do we all secretly share this and if so what do you all do to create new beginnings? Looking back on my life I see a bit of a pattern here, it seems every 10 years or so when I get bored with my life I pack up and move hundreds of miles to somewhere new to start over, to re-invent and to become excited again. It has worked every single time in my past but this time is different, for once I am really happy with where I live and with my friends. So what now, I can’t run, I don’t want to move….(although there is something intriguing with Santa Fe, Costa Rica or Europe…)

I am reaching out to those of you who were willing to read this far for insight, please share with me, I need a little kick in the ass right about now! Still sending love…but man I could sure use some love right about now (of course there is always moose tracks)!

A genius shuffle that sparked emotional discovery…

Sunday morning I went to the greenway with Big D and took along my new Apple Nano. When I added music from my iTunes library instead of being specific I chose several of the “Genius” mixes that iTunes created for me. As we began our walk I hit play and was completely surprised to hear a familiar yet very old melody. The first song was an oldie by Jim Croce, he was by far one of my favorites as a child. His songs seemed to speak to me even though many of them had lyrics I really didn’t understand because of my age. As I listened I felt a rush of calmness yet sadness run through me. I tried to evaluate my emotions, it was the reflection back to my childhood and that missing part of me, the innocence, the curiosity with everything around me and the lack of knowing what life teaches us as an adult. We don’t have the same worries or desires as a child and it reminded me of the simple times. I grew up in a very remote area on a lake, my best friends were God and nature and I spent much of my time alone entertaining myself with bugs, leaves, water and anything else that was available in the great outdoors. I also wrote my feelings down all of the time, I was a deeply reflective and thoughtful child. We change as we grow older,we become what we surround ourselves around but I also believe that the core of who we are is based on what we experienced from the age of 3-10 years old and how we processed all that happened in that time. As I listened to the song I smiled at how it made me feel inside, pure goodness.

The next song was Pat Benatar, memories of my first car, driving with the music loud and singing at the top of my lungs. Then Maroon 5…I remembered everything I missed and loved about TG. The sadness, his struggle, the way he touched me, his smile and how he died. As the walk went on and the music shuffled through song after song I was introduced to others from my past, some are no longer alive, I was reminded of different things within myself. With every word and melody that trickled through my headset, each song made me feel something deeply embedded inside.

Music has always been an important part of my life, I listen to the lyrics and the ones that become my favorite are usually because I can relate to what is being said…other times it is just a great melody and it makes me feel good. I believe that music is the universal language because even if we don’t understand what is being said we can still connect. Sunday’s walk reminded me that there are memories deeply hidden with in us that reflect our life journey. If you are like me and choose to find goodness in even the bad times then when sadness hits you, your choose to feel, accept and smile knowing that those experiences made you who you are today. If you love yourself that will bring a smile to your face. Memories are a true gift from God in my opinion and I am still amazed at how many are tucked away just waiting to come out. There is something so beautiful in knowing that out of nowhere you can be reminded of something from your past.

When I got home I had a knock on my door. It seems that music inspired a friend to stop by my house because the song she heard on the radio on the way home from church reminded her of me…even though the first time we heard the song at the same time was when she played it for me, it enticed me to create a ringtone from it. Since that ringtone was created that song reminds several others of me now, interesting how we relate odd things to events or people in our lives!

As I leave you let me offer you a chance to stir up your emotions and actually feel something deep inside. Pull out that old photo album, or box of old pictures and take a look. Set your iPod or iTunes library to shuffle and feel what each song has the ability to create for you. The opportunity to allow an old memory to resurface will stir your soul and remind you that you are still alive. That ability to feel something that deep might upset you, make you laugh or make you mad but it is the emotion of those FEELINGS that often break the monotony and numbness of living our lives on autopilot. Those emotions that old memories stir up might actually teach you something about yourself! Sending love out to all of you…pass it on!

Love, loneliness and a goofy dream…

I awoke from a dream the other morning in a panic. I had dreamed that I was invited to a Christmas party, everyone there was dressed up with dates including all my ex boyfriends and I was the only one who showed up alone. In the dream I left and started calling all of the hot guys I knew trying to find one to meet me so I didn’t feel so alone but no one could come. In that moment I awoke and I had a sickening feeling in the bottom of my stomach, I was sad, embarrassed and lonely all in that instant. It was as if I was a character in one of those cheesy love stories I have enjoyed watching most of my life, you know the ones…

-the woman who is always with the cheater

-the woman who gets dumped for a prettier or younger woman

-the woman who works too much so no one is interested

-the woman who is too shy, geeky or different and no one wants her

-the woman who’s friends and family say she needs to be married but she cant find a good man

During the holidays when we don’t have family around, friends available and/or we lack a partner to share our time with we may feel lonelier than normal. We have all been in a lonely place at some point in our lives, male or female and often we allow our thoughts to reflect negatively towards ourselves in those times of loneliness. As humans we all want to have a partner to share our love with and when that is not in our lives we sometimes feel inadequate.

I believe that women are generally more sensitive and often more insecure than most men. We tend to treat ourselves terrible with negative self-talk and often that shows outwardly as insecurity especially when we are single. There are a lot of single gals here in Nashville and based on the conversations I have had over the years many of them feel like damaged goods. They can’t figure out why they can’t find a guy or why they always get the guys who are not so perfect for them. There are a lot of women who have never been married and feel they are missing out on something. Some who wanted children yet never quite found the guy that was right for that path. I have come to learn through conversations with my guy friends that women are not always alone in these feelings. As humans we judge ourselves much harder than others and often give off that energy of insecurity. We take our negative experiences with past partners, hold on to the hurt and eventually believe that all partners will be this way. Sometimes these uncomfortable internal feelings can make us treat others in a negative way because of our fear of being hurt. Wether we are hurting others or being hurt the cost of carrying that around is negative and will continue to have negative consequences with our happiness if we don’t learn how to let go of the negativity and change the pattern.

I believe that we attract the energy we are offering in life depending on where we are in our thinking at any given time. It may sound silly but I believe if we can learn to accept ourselves, do a little work to get and keep our mindset in a positive state we will have healthier people come into our lives. This is true with not only companionship but with all relationships. If we allow things to happen keeping a positive outlook rather than passing judgement and allowing our past experiences to resurface we will attract better experiences into our lives. The amount of power we have over our thoughts allows us to change the reoccurring negative things along our life path. I know this is true because I have met people in my life who are always genuinely happy and positive and their lives seem to continue to stay on a positive path because of their attitude not because they are lucky!

These day’s the most important thought I have when facing new opportunities is “am I happy, will this make me happy or is this a positive path that will allow me to feel good”. By allowing these thoughts to occur when facing something I am unsure of I offer myself the opportunity of awareness, not repeat behavior. When I am feeling good and make others feel good it makes me feel even better about myself. I am not saying that I always take the right path but by reminding myself of what is important and being aware of those things as they are happening I feel I am making better choices. No more auto pilot…auto pilot gives me the quickest result not the most beautiful route!

I am sure that this dream signifies something in my own life that I need to look deeper into but I am unsure what exactly that might be. I have gone a year being single and enjoying the fun that it brings. I really have not cared wether I had a date or not because I have enjoyed my time of discovery with in myself and the fun flirting can be with men I have an interest in. I was not consciously making an effort to BE single I just haven’t felt a need or desire to put the effort into anyone. I spent the year looking within my self, doing what I wanted for ME, finding fun things to do and surrounding myself with people who make me happy. I buried myself in charity work, in personal work, in art and learning how to be spiritual alone-just me and my higher power. I revisited my past decisions, forgave the other person, considered the lessons learned, accepted I had a choice in those situations, forgave myself and let go. Some of those past experiences were tough and have continued to re-surface but I am making progress. Allowing myself to forgive, take accountability and letting go sometimes requires revisiting, reworking and redirecting how to take the negative and fill it with something positive. We are human and because of our egos some issues at hand are more difficult to overcome. If we are holding on to anger because someone did something that truly was wrong and unkind we think we feel better playing the victim but carrying that weight will have some negative affect on any relationship moving forward. We will feel complete and eventually happier if we  allow ourselves to feel the hurt, be humble, forgive and let go.

It’s funny after I awoke from that strange dream feeling sad, in the next minute I started laughing because in every one of those silly movies the woman always finds true love. I know I will find it when I am ready and when I do it will be better than any love I have had in the past because with every day that passes I am becoming a better person. With that I know I will attract a healthy, loving and beautiful person into my life! While I am on this journey I am reminded daily of how wonderful love is even if it excludes a partner. Love is always available, I have beautiful loving friends and a loving family so I am not lacking by any means.

If you are out there questioning your worth, feeling insecure and thinking you are not worthy of love remember we are ALL worthy, we are all human and we all sometimes need to take a closer look at how we are treating ourselves. If you are feeling alone because you do not have a partner stop and believe that finding that person can be just as fun as having them. In that moment if you can accept and believe you are a wonderful and loving person deserving of love, and I promise you are, you will be that much closer to finding a loving partner because it has to start on the inside first! Love yourself and watch what shows up all around you! Wishing you all a happy holiday and as always sending love…pass it on!

Stop asking “Who Am I” and evolve by saying “Who Do I Want To Be!”

Who am I?  This is a question I have been asking myself since I was a little girl and not once have I ever truly been able to say who I am, maybe because it always ends up being what I am. Is there a difference between what we are and who we are, I think so. Often when I think I have defined myself I insert those thoughts of what I think others might add and at that moment I become something else.

The person I am today is a very different person from who I was ten years ago. Although I don’t care too much for that earlier person the core of who I am was always there. Back then I was too caught up in the outside world, always worried about what others thought of me and I often acted for the sake of appearing to be what others wanted. I was judgmental, materialistic, insecure, irritated, unhappy and I complained a lot. I did not love who I was and I couldn’t be happy with that lack of self love in my life. It took my life falling apart, my choosing a new direction and making many, many mistakes to change that insecure lonely person. Most importantly it took losing many loved ones, learning gratitude and making a conscious effort to forgive, forget and let go of my past.

I listened to a Sunday service this morning online titled “The Secret of Life” and it opened my eyes to something about myself I didn’t even know. Every time I catch myself thinking about wanting to change things on the outside and choose to work on changing things within myself first…I evolve. I believe we are constantly evolving based on our choices in life and our attitude to how we handle those choices. If we can say with out any hesitation who we are we no longer have something to work towards and time will not allow that to happen.

If I say who I am the truth is it will be my own vision of me, others around me may have a different vision of who they think I actually am. Pondering this makes me want to reach out and have all of you who know me share who you believe me to be. If I have to say it myself I would say this:

I am a woman who believes that kindness and love towards others AND myself makes me a better person. I am sincere, honest, hopeful, weird, geeky at times, goofy, creative, inspired by positivity, open minded, intuitive, inquisitive, sometimes lazy, always laid back, and I care deeply about those in my life. Sometimes I can be insecure about how I look, about how I sometimes act and about what I create. I am uncomfortable in crowds and in front of people especially speaking or singing. I believe I can be inspiring, that I have something to say, that the more I say out loud with passion the better I get at sharing and the better I feel.

So if this is what I believe to be “Who I  Am” or perhaps “What I Am” what does it say about where my life is headed? I think that we all want something, we are all striving towards something in life but with all that we have going on the busyness sometimes shields the truth of what we see. Ok so this is getting a bit deep but what if what we are inside is somehow related to what we have around us. If we lack integrity are the people we hang out with lacking integrity too. Do you notice that when groups of girls or guys hang out they seem to dress alike, to act alike, to be interested in the same things? Well perhaps if we want something different we need to consider that what we do mirror’s what we get, or what we experience. If this is so then consider the possibilities we have within our grasp.

Right now I want to start thinking from a different place. In previous post I have spoke about wanting and needing change because I feel bored. I think it might be time for me to go with in and rather than asking who am I and what do I want perhaps I need to start deciding who I want to be. If I begin to model the new me I believe that new stuff I want will follow close behind. I am excited about the possibilities because they are what ever I want them to be. I look forward to this new way of thinking and what will become on the outside from what I first become on the inside.

I now believe that what I become with in my own heart eventually becomes all that is around me. Rather than me wanting something outside of myself first I will work on what I want within me and I will begin to see that is all that surrounds me. We have to become an example of anything we want in our lives before it can come to be what is in our lives. I know that if I want to get more I need to do more, if I want to be loved I need to love more, if I want great people in my life I have to be a great person to be around, I believe I get out of life what I put into it…I choose to think independently, to work with passion, to strive to be happy everyday, to be kind, to see without judgement, to inspire others when I can, I love blindly and love everyone. I do these things because I know that I feel better and I am becoming a better person by living this way. In time the world around me will mirror these things. The world isn’t waiting for me to catch up, time is marching by and I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what I am confronted with in life. These things are helping me to evolve into a life I love.

In closing I ask you to take some time and contemplate these questions for yourself, “Who am I? What Am I? and Who Do I Want To Be”? I am here ready to listen if you want to share but my hope is that you will become as excited as I am right now about how much possibility is within your very own grasp.  Lets evolve by taking the first step together. Sending love to you all…..