Accepting What Is

I think I have some pretty good friends, but then I see a reflection of myself in a door and notice a piece of my wild, curly hair sticking straight up and realize that I have no friends at all. Thanks a heap, guys. I can’t wait until you have something stuck in between your teeth so I can carry on a long conversation with you, then simply walk away with the satisfaction of knowing I’ve sentenced you to death by embarrassment.

Anywho, I have been listening to a weird sounding German/Canadian man talk to me about The Power of Now and it may be changing my life. Yes, I’m aware it’s very “New Age” and spiritually out there, but if you know me at all then this should be no surprise. Please withhold your judgment. In fact, just pack it away in the box of Hopes and Dreams stored in your parent’s attic. I’m gonna keep listening and then read it old school style, so deal with it. And for the love of God, why does the “Insert” button on the keyboard even exist? WHO is using this button?! And for what purpose? Please don’t answer, I’ve already stopped caring.

As I am attempting not to be so concerned about the future (which is going not great so far by the way), I find myself becoming much more self-aware which actually is great. Sometimes, I think God said, “give Melissa feelings, give her ALL the feelings” and then He did.

I’ve accepted that I just feel things deeper than most people. I know that’s a strange statement coming from me. I’m the sarcastic girl, the anti-social one who would rather talk to your dog than you, but alas I have tear ducts after all. Truthfully, once you’re in my circle of concern, my love knows no bounds. My capacity to forgive is damn near endless (not always a great thing), my loyalty is fierce and I will protect you with everything I have. There is a downside. Sometimes, that same love, loyalty and forgiveness is not returned. Fortunately, I can count on one hand how many times that’s been the case and I have gained wisdom from that pain.

Speaking of pain, let’s get back to The Power of Now. Mind you, I am only a third of the way through and my pal has promised me a book club type of discussion after I read the entire book (which he will soon regret), but I’ve already had some “AHA” moments. One is about pain so here we go…

“The pain you create now is always some form of non-acceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is.”

Wait, humans are resistant to change and things they don’t want? Whaaa? Just kidding and that may seem like a no brainer, but really think about it. When something we don’t want to happen happens, we don’t tend to be passive and just let it be. We fight. We fight for all kinds of reasons. Maybe it’s a painful change, maybe it’s not what we want and maybe it feels unfair or unjust.

What does our non-acceptance and resistance do though? Does it change the circumstance? Does it change the person? No, it changes nothing. It does however cause a great amount of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and disappointment. Yet still, we resist. I don’t even think it’s on a conscious level, it’s reactionary and illogical. I’m so very guilty of this and believe me; it will take quite some time to kick this habit. However, I will try.

I’m aware of the connection between our minds and our reality. I understand the importance of perspective and what we think, but sometimes I still have trouble accepting what is. Damn my humanness.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

That’s a tall order, Tolle…but I will try because it all makes so much sense to me. It speaks to me on the deepest level. The place where my soul is at peace and I know what is true.

Everyone’s truth is different and I’m no expert, but I do know myself very well and I know what I need. The hardest thing for me has always been to stop overthinking and listen to that part inside of me that knows exactly what to do. Call it intuition, God, your subconscious, the Universe…all I know is it’s the truest part of me and the best guide I have.

Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..”

“Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events” – Dalai Lama

No matter what you believe, I think most of us can agree that our thoughts have a great influence over our lives. Those who don’t agree are most likely mouth breathers. Anyway, if you find yourself in a church pew on Sunday mornings, then more power to you and I hope it feeds your soul. You may want to avoid this one though because I’m still confused.

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I never feel the need to explain my beliefs, but when someone is genuinely interested, I do and I’m grateful for the conversation that led me to this book. I’m grateful for people who are open minded and enlightened. I’m grateful every day that I’m alive and have an opportunity to evolve even more. I am far from perfect, but I never want to stop learning or challenging myself and I’ll always be weird so deal with that too.

I’m also grateful for sunshine and music. This gem is from Emeli Sande’s latest album and if you’ve followed my blog, you know I adore her. I love how vulnerable she allows herself to be and the poetic nature of her lyrics. Ok, I’ll stop. Just listen..

I love how much she craves a deeper meaning and connection. I get that, I crave it too. I love that some people are just drawn to one another. It can’t be explained, it just is.

I get that some events and pain are unavoidable and unpredictable, but if there is some pain that we can lessen or avoid by accepting and not resisting what is, I think it’s worth a try. Also, underneath it all I absolutely believe that what’s for me will always be for me.

Wherever your journey takes you, I hope you find what’s meant for you. Choose your humans well.

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Just a tip though, it will never be a pair of Crocs or a man bun. Those aren’t meant for anyone.

Misfits

“I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.”

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately and thinking about all of the people in my life. As I’ve gotten older, I have become increasingly choosier about who I give my time to. I like my people imperfect, a little messy, passionate, clever, and grateful. These are my favorite humans.

When I’m hanging out with them, it hits me that we are the coolest bunch of misfits ever. Feel free to disagree, we won’t give a shit.

Life throws a lot of people in our paths. Some are great and some are their own special brand of awful.

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However, in the end, I believe they all serve a purpose. Even if that purpose is to be a seat filler who laughs too loudly at his own jokes and will probably end up being a Wal Mart Greeter in his old age. Or a mouth breather who drags their feet when walking, thus making me homicidal. That’s their journey so Godspeed, you no common sense having bundles of annoying. I’ll be over here thanking the good Lord that your time in my life has passed. Amen.

It’s crazy how life unfolds and most of the time I like the unpredictability. I’ve learned many lessons so far and have gathered a few truths along the way. Recently, I was chatting with a favorite lady friend of mine about one of these truths; timing is everything…and I mean everything.

I absolutely believe that people come into your life at the exact time they need to and they also exit exactly when they need to. It isn’t one-sided either, they needed you just as much as you needed them.

Trust the timing of your life.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve shouted to the heavens, “What were you thinking, God?! Did I really need THAT experience?!” The answer is always, ” Umm, ya. Duh.” Okay, maybe God is a little more eloquent than that, but who knows.

Of course I needed the hard times, the heartbreaks, the challenges, and the people who seemed to be constant sandpaper, rubbing me the wrong way. Otherwise, life would be easy. I’d have no reason to grow, think deeply, talk about the hard things, be humbled, and forgive when I didn’t want to. Also, I’m fairly certain easy is boring and I’m not about that life.

Find your tribe.

I definitely don’t have it all figured out and I’m glad. I hope I never do. I hope I always question things and feel curious and occasionally still learn the hard way. I also hope I always have these wonderful people who let me know that while I am a bit crazy and weird, I’m not alone.

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Find your people, you will need them. When you find them, lean on them, love them, and be there when they need you…especially when they don’t ask you to be, because that’s probably when they need you the most. And if you’re lucky, your life will be messy, hard, and little painful. You’ll be better off for it and enjoy the fun, easy, happy times even more.

Wisdom for the Week: Stay away from people who don’t drink or dance. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

In closing, Nina Simone. Good for your soul on a Saturday. xoxo

 

Shout-Outs

Today brought to my attention some much needed thanks to be given and shout-outs to be heard so here goes.

Shout-out to my ex husband for sharing “how happy he is that he divorced my ass”! Point of fact: I divorced you and, while I like to give credit to my ass for ALL of it’s amazing abilities, let’s thank all of me for the blessed event. That was a super fun walk down memory lane. You’re a peach.

Shout-out to the woman in the stall next to me today for peeing with the force of Niagara Falls, thus making me feel like the daintiest lady alive. Holy, Mrs. Doubtfire!

Thanks to my coworker for agreeing with me that Marie Callender’s pies being $7.99 this month does, in fact, justify having a pie party at the office. (Now taking place on the 11th, you’re all invited)

Shout-out to my right eyeball for having the tiniest speck of annoying dust in it for the last 22 hours and making it look like I have a twitch or am hitting on every person around me.

Thank you, teenage daughter, for getting your nose pierced…causing me to have an actual twitch.

Shout out to my son for telling me that you love me more than everybody, but being sure to still call me a “party pooper” weekly, just to keep me humble.

Thanks to the Salvadorian Rancher/Attorney that happened by our office for the delightful story about your turkey who I’m sure really is in a better place, may he rest in peace.

Shout-out to my boyfriend for taking me seriously enough when I’m pissed off, but not seriously at all when I over think what you hypothetically considered doing in a dream I had. (How could you?!) All the while, being remorseful of your almost actions in my subconscious. You are a modern day prince charming.

Thanks to my best girlfriends for promising to live out our golden years together like Blanche, Rose, and a pinch of Sophia. As previously agreed upon, none of us will be playing the part of Dorothy. We’ll have game night, make mixed drinks, and never wear pants! I love you more than Bloody Mary’s, you are my spirit animals.

Shout-out to my 7 year old niece for the conviction in your voice when saying, “I’m serious, for reals!” You are a force to be reckoned with and I take you seriously, always.

Shout-out to me for audibly talking to myself out in public on a daily basis. Thanks for being weird.

Hey, Gabrielle Union, thanks for Being Mary Jane. You’re beautiful and talented. Let’s do lunch.

Shout-out to Benadryl just for being you.

Thanks to my Mother for teaching me the importance of learning to laugh at myself. I’m becoming a pro.

Thanks to my Father for proving that love really does conquer all.

On a genuine note, thank you to all of my people(you know who you are) who have my back and tolerate my crazy. You’re the bee’s knees. I love you all. I’m serious, for reals.

Last, but certainly not least…Thanks, God, for always reminding me how very much I need you. Clearly, I can’t be left to my own devices.

Here’s What I Know…

Brace yourself, this isn’t a post making fun of any celebrities, fashion or stupidity. I know it’s shocking, but try to pay attention.

I am a few days away from my 32nd birthday. This once seemed to be an ancient age (back when I was 11), however, I’ve made it to this point and still feel like I’m not a complete adult. Not sure when that’s supposed to kick in or if I ever want it to. Anyway, back to being 11. I made 3 decisions that year that I have actually stuck with.

Here they are:

1. I would never change my last name. I didn’t care how great my future husband’s last name was, I found it strange that women gave up that part of their identity. Also, c’mon, Nightengale is an awesome last name. I am proud to come from the family that I do and it just felt wrong for me to change it.

2. I would always be a 49ers fan. I know. Maybe I should have reconsidered this decision.

3. I would wake up every day and ask God to give me wisdom. People can educate themselves to no end, but true wisdom is a powerful gift. It’s more than common sense or logic, it is a deep understanding of yourself and others. It is having an almost unexplainable intuition about people and situations. I believe that having wisdom is seeing people the way that God sees us – with complete unconditional love. I am still working on this.

I don’t love religion, but I love God…you want to call it a “higher power” or “the Universe”? Ok, fine, whatever suits you. I say God. I believe in taking the good out of every teaching and religion. I believe in not judging others for their particular faith or lack there of, that is not love.

Here I am, an almost 32-year-old adult(sort of) and this is what I know to be true. Feel free to disagree, I won’t give a shit…

~Everyone needs to be passionate about something in life.

~Without compassion, we are doomed.

~Forgiving is the most important thing a human being can learn to do. Not just for others, but for ourselves as well.

~People who fight to be right will always lose.

~There is no love like the love a parent has for their child.

~Everything seems worse at night.

~There are few things funnier than when my Dad imitates my Mom.

~I have been blessed with fantastic parents.

~I talk too much.

~We could all use a little therapy.

~Nobody has it all figured out.

~Blood doesn’t make you family, but memories, love, loyalty & trust sure do.

~I will never be able to tolerate disingenuous people. Be real or be gone.

~Laughter truly is the best medicine.

~My Mom believes in me more than I believe in myself.

~The ocean always puts things in perspective.

~I often say what others just think.

~There is nothing like reading an amazing book.

~My brother gets me in a way that nobody else ever will.

~My kids are all way too much like me, God help them.

~I’m wrong about something every single day.

~I’m a damn good cook.

~My Father is the most generous person I know.

~My Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins have shaped who I am more than they will ever know.

~I love my dogs & my cat, but I always hated the fish. RIP.

~My most comforting meal will always be Puerto Rican chicken, rice & beans.

~Music has very often been my therapy.

~It will all work out.

~When I think of how much I miss my Grandma, my heart actually physically hurts. I doubt that will change.

~All good things come from God.

~I have an addiction to magazines.

~I love talking to, texting & laughing with my Dad because he’s like me….but smarter.

~Owls are adorable.

~I am vain.

~All forms of Art are valuable; Dancing, Acting, Painting, Singing….we NEED this in the world.

~It really is all about the little things.

~I am loved.

~Happiness is a choice.

~Golden Oreo ice cream is delicious.

~You can’t change others.

~Being at peace with myself is more important than what others think of me.

~I’m superstitious.

~I was definitely a bird in a past life.

~People that place so much value in material possessions, often don’t value themselves.

~Camping at the beach every year with my family is my favorite childhood memory.

~Nothing seems real until I’ve shared it with my Mom.

~Patience is a virtue I sometimes wish I didn’t have so much of.

~Sharks & Snakes are evil.

~Sometimes insanity has a pretty face and lipstick, be careful.

~I worry.

~I like spooky houses, mysteries & conspiracy theories.

~My children are who they are, my job is to help them love and accept themselves, not change them.

~I’m slightly hilarious.

~The smell of a Nectarine makes me smile.

~I will always dance in my kitchen.

~I have so much respect for my Ancestors.

~Sometimes God asks us to do exactly what we don’t want to do. Do it anyway.

~I will forever be a curious person.

~Embracing our own imperfections allows us to love others in spite of theirs.

~I am my Mother’s daughter.

Most of all…

~I know who I am and will never apologize for it.

Here's What I Know…

Brace yourself, this isn’t a post making fun of any celebrities, fashion or stupidity. I know it’s shocking, but try to pay attention.

I am a few days away from my 32nd birthday. This once seemed to be an ancient age (back when I was 11), however, I’ve made it to this point and still feel like I’m not a complete adult. Not sure when that’s supposed to kick in or if I ever want it to. Anyway, back to being 11. I made 3 decisions that year that I have actually stuck with.

Here they are:

1. I would never change my last name. I didn’t care how great my future husband’s last name was, I found it strange that women gave up that part of their identity. Also, c’mon, Nightengale is an awesome last name. I am proud to come from the family that I do and it just felt wrong for me to change it.

2. I would always be a 49ers fan. I know. Maybe I should have reconsidered this decision.

3. I would wake up every day and ask God to give me wisdom. People can educate themselves to no end, but true wisdom is a powerful gift. It’s more than common sense or logic, it is a deep understanding of yourself and others. It is having an almost unexplainable intuition about people and situations. I believe that having wisdom is seeing people the way that God sees us – with complete unconditional love. I am still working on this.

I don’t love religion, but I love God…you want to call it a “higher power” or “the Universe”? Ok, fine, whatever suits you. I say God. I believe in taking the good out of every teaching and religion. I believe in not judging others for their particular faith or lack there of, that is not love.

Here I am, an almost 32-year-old adult(sort of) and this is what I know to be true. Feel free to disagree, I won’t give a shit…

~Everyone needs to be passionate about something in life.

~Without compassion, we are doomed.

~Forgiving is the most important thing a human being can learn to do. Not just for others, but for ourselves as well.

~People who fight to be right will always lose.

~There is no love like the love a parent has for their child.

~Everything seems worse at night.

~There are few things funnier than when my Dad imitates my Mom.

~I have been blessed with fantastic parents.

~I talk too much.

~We could all use a little therapy.

~Nobody has it all figured out.

~Blood doesn’t make you family, but memories, love, loyalty & trust sure do.

~I will never be able to tolerate disingenuous people. Be real or be gone.

~Laughter truly is the best medicine.

~My Mom believes in me more than I believe in myself.

~The ocean always puts things in perspective.

~I often say what others just think.

~There is nothing like reading an amazing book.

~My brother gets me in a way that nobody else ever will.

~My kids are all way too much like me, God help them.

~I’m wrong about something every single day.

~I’m a damn good cook.

~My Father is the most generous person I know.

~My Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins have shaped who I am more than they will ever know.

~I love my dogs & my cat, but I always hated the fish. RIP.

~My most comforting meal will always be Puerto Rican chicken, rice & beans.

~Music has very often been my therapy.

~It will all work out.

~When I think of how much I miss my Grandma, my heart actually physically hurts. I doubt that will change.

~All good things come from God.

~I have an addiction to magazines.

~I love talking to, texting & laughing with my Dad because he’s like me….but smarter.

~Owls are adorable.

~I am vain.

~All forms of Art are valuable; Dancing, Acting, Painting, Singing….we NEED this in the world.

~It really is all about the little things.

~I am loved.

~Happiness is a choice.

~Golden Oreo ice cream is delicious.

~You can’t change others.

~Being at peace with myself is more important than what others think of me.

~I’m superstitious.

~I was definitely a bird in a past life.

~People that place so much value in material possessions, often don’t value themselves.

~Camping at the beach every year with my family is my favorite childhood memory.

~Nothing seems real until I’ve shared it with my Mom.

~Patience is a virtue I sometimes wish I didn’t have so much of.

~Sharks & Snakes are evil.

~Sometimes insanity has a pretty face and lipstick, be careful.

~I worry.

~I like spooky houses, mysteries & conspiracy theories.

~My children are who they are, my job is to help them love and accept themselves, not change them.

~I’m slightly hilarious.

~The smell of a Nectarine makes me smile.

~I will always dance in my kitchen.

~I have so much respect for my Ancestors.

~Sometimes God asks us to do exactly what we don’t want to do. Do it anyway.

~I will forever be a curious person.

~Embracing our own imperfections allows us to love others in spite of theirs.

~I am my Mother’s daughter.

Most of all…

~I know who I am and will never apologize for it.