Saturday, May 19, 2018

Broken Bows


The Prophet - On Children
~ by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

——————————————————————————————

Four years ago this September, I found myself behind bars learning quickly what a courtesy flush was. It was not pretty but that’s where I belonged. I deserved everything I got by committing that crime. And though I’ve served my sentence, completed probation, took all the right classes, kissed enough asses, yada yada, I still have yet to pay back my debt to society, more specifically, my debt to my daughter.

I haven’t worked hard enough to getting back to being the Mama she once had. I’ve allowed fear and self-pity, unaccountability and judgement get in the way of getting better. I willingly placed myself in a position where being controlled and manipulated was easier than being strong, brave and independent. Settling for less than I am capable of just became the easiest way to handle things.

Well, that’s bullshit. That’s a cop out. That’s a weak person’s way of living and my Daddy didn’t raise me to be no coward.

And my daughter did not chose me to be her Mama only to have me abandon her or myself. My Bean deserves someone amazing to love her, guide her, believe in her. I’ve failed her these last four years. I’ve not done what needs to be done so she can know she is worth being loved and adored.

My focus has been placed elsewhere because quite frankly, it’s been easier to lie to myself and convince myself she’s better off without me. She’s not. Anyone with a heart can see that, especially when she and I are together.

So this is for my girl, from a Mama that’s learning to bend, not be broken...

I love you Boo. I’m sorry for all the long, lonely nights you’ve faced wondering if I’m ok. For all the times you haven’t been kissed goodnight. For all the tears you’ve had to shed quietly in the shower. For all goodbye’s. For not being there. For getting angry towards you when it was really me I couldn’t stand. For not believing in myself the way you do. For not loving myself the way you do. For all the nights no one knelt beside your bed and said goodnight prayers with you. For not knowing any better. And when I did know better, for not doing better. And most importantly, not acting like the Mama you know is still there.

Bean, you truly are my hero and every day I thank God for you. And if you’ll let me, I will spend the rest of my life proving to you just what a Treasure you really are.

I love you Angel.

Ohana








Thursday, May 17, 2018

In the Presence of Evil

I’m on a train, commuting. To a job. I’m a commuter. Could I have possibly arrived?

Enter Colleen, commuter extraordinaire.

She sits. I say hello. No response. Great.

I sneeze, more than once. Apparently I’m highly allergic to snobs. She offers a tissue. “Oh, I must have been wrong about her,” I think to myself. I proceed to open up and share how excited I am for my first day on the job. Zero to sixty, here I come. She begins to warm up to me.

Enter Kevin, Coffee carafe carrying, ego-stroking, commuter God.

She lights up as he takes a seat.

She introduces us. Kevin scoffs. “So our table has been invaded yet again.” This is gonna be good.

My sneezing returns. Add assholes to my growing list of allergies.

Kevin starts talking about how awesome it is to commute by train, rather than sitting in car on the 91 with all those “idiots”. I see his point but dude, simma.

Colleen pulls me into the conversation by telling Kevin about my special day ahead.

“Lowe’s huh? That hardware place?” Kevin smuggly asks.

“Well no, not exactly. That’s ACE, the helpful hardware place.” I retort, smiling as I nail the jingle with spot on accuracy.

Unimpressed, he returns to his conversation which oddly takes a wild turn into what he explains as the inconceivable living conditions of the “lower-class worker.”

Ok...what?

Colleen shrugs and grabs her MK and proceeds to dig around for her lipstick and mirror.

Kevin continues to express his opinions for how anyone can live being ok with not wanting to better themselves.

“Some people don’t need a flat screen and hot tub in the backyard.” I throw out carelessly.

He ignores my petulant remark. Now he’s just teasing me. I’m quite experienced at being ignored. This detered me only for a few moments as I go inward and silently scorn myself for even opening my mouth at all. I hear someone’s voice from my childhood utter in disgusted embarrassment, “JENNIFER!!” followed by the “Glare-down”.

Kevin’s voice jolts me from my flashback.

“They’re all addicts and criminals. They shouldn’t be allowed in our communities. I’m sick of seeing them around, like that homeless pair at the Orange Station.

HOLD UP.

“The couple with the pit bull puppy?” I ask.

“That poor dog,” Colleen pouts.

Kevin confirms my inquiry.

“The same couple that is hooked on heroin, running drugs for that coward sitting on the wall nearby, wearing the clean sneakers and looking over his shoulder all the time?” I ask, trying to bring some clarity to his judgements.

“They can stop if they wanted to.” He claims, sipping from him carafe.

Now I need to breathe.

“That couple is imprisoned inside their addiction. It’s guys like that Humpty Dumpty on the wall that enslave them and feed the. The keep them the drugs just to promote himself. Remove his kind from ”your” communities and maybe then we can get in and get those people the help they really need.”

“They like living like that,” Kevin dismisses my statement.

“Sure they do. Yea, they enjoy being abused, starved, controlled and pimped out; watching as this guy leaves every day for home as they are left to sleep on concrete.”


“They deserve what they settle for.” Kevin continues.

“They deserve a chance. You’re dead wrong about them.” I finally submit.


“Looks like they’ll be dead soon.” He laughs, looking over at Colleen, winking.


Silence crashes in, leaving my heart pounding with nowhere to run. I begin to wonder if I’m in the presence of evil.


Colleen cuts into the awkward silence.
“Oh Kevin, why can’t everybody be like us?”

“What, perfect?” Kevin smirks.


They laugh and set up their next karaoke date night around their spouses being out of town.








Friday, July 22, 2016

It Really IS That Simple

I look around me and see my girlfriend plugged in to her favorite Netflix show, my pre-teen plugged in to her favorite computer game and me, seeking out my BlogSpot to desperately journal something profound for my own sanity. It's been a long, crazy two-year pause but I'm back. At least for this moment. It feels great. I've missed writing.

Funny how I loathe technology and how it seems to create distance in my most beloved relationships, yet here I am, doing exactly what I can't stand...turning to an electronic platform for escape and what I hope will be some kind of mental relief. Yay for my hypocrisy. Good to know some things never change. Irony here...this technology and my not knowing what's best for me are a few of my saviors.

Wait...I must confess that any distance in my relations with my favorite peeps has absolutely nothing to do with technology. I have a whole heck of a lot to do with that personally, with or without help from the latest techno-gadgets.

I really don't know where to begin. There's so much that has happened in my last two years. So much wreckage that I've created. I don't even have the energy to play catch up. I simply want to find relief. My own solace, just as my beloveds are doing with their hand-held stress relievers.

I want to scream. I want to yell. I want to force interaction. Force connection. Force something, anything other than the overbearing silence of headphones and keyboard clicks. Yet, I restrain myself and keep typing. Me forcing anything is not quite the best thing right now. I've done enough forcing. I'm exhausted. Me laying low and letting others have their own time is more like it. This knowledge is coming on the heels of another ruined friendship.

Ohhhh, so now we're getting to the meat and potatoes of what's really bothering me. Keep reading...

At my age, losing people in my life is not what one would call smart. Or optimal. Or even beneficial. I certainly don't need to find myself once again all alone and left at the mercy of my own personal "Wormwood" inside my head.


Though I've never really given two shits on how to properly win friends and influence people, I can see where it would be wise to be a team player. Pissing people off and being reminded of all the awful truths about myself is simply no fun. No bueno, to say the least.

I digress...

Time for a neck check. Lift the ole' cranium and stretch. My girls are still plugged in. An occasional giggle from the little one and a gorgeous smile and nose wrinkle from my lover. They are content. Happy. Peaceful. Basically, they are A-OK without my help. WOW...it really is that simply, isn't it. I myself am wearing a smile on my face. And it's not even forced.

Letting go feels good. Damn good. Be it a friendship, an ideal, a dream...whatever is not supposed to remain in my path must be given up. Clutching to, clinging to, holding on to only allows oneself to be dragged. Most of my experience with this comes only after being drug for miles, torn up and bleeding. Not this time.

"You are being restored", my lover reminds me often. If she knew what was best, she would have high tailed it out of my drama riddled life months ago. Yet here she is, sitting near me, still believing in us while the world outside our door rages in it's own madness.

Restoration is not pretty. I feel like a piece of stone being sanded down to raw nerves. No longer do I have the alcohol or drugs to numb my existence. I'm standing here, weak, flawed, naked. The word YUCK works well here. Everything that I've depended on, every emotion, every ill-tempered reaction, every anxiety-ridden feeling greets me full force and without restraint. I am at the mercy of my consequences. My adolescent, insecure and ego-driven outlook has brought me yet again to a place of reflection. My Wormwood has me almost exactly where he wants me.

I feel as if I'm getting a little scattered in my flow here.

I love reading over what I've vomited up so far. I like my writing style. Me at my best, my most authentic. Safe. Not so bad after all.

Back to letting go. Not an easy concept for me. My ego loves to control. Be the sole cause of someone's happiness or even for their sadness for that matter. As long as I'm involved somehow, I can feel important. Kind of sick, right? Yep. It's no way to live.


So how is it that I've come this far doing exactly that? Grace and Mercy. God really knows what He's doing after all. He's placed in my life people that are here to show me that I'm not supposed to be friends with everyone. I'm not supposed to be a part of every clique. I'm not supposed to be liked by everyone. I hear my Wormwood protesting. Let him rant. I'm on a roll here.

Life is not about what I can get out of it. It's certainly not in existence to make me feel important or needed. I think it's really about helping others. For getting outside of myself and seeing how I can be of service to another. I've definitely messed up along the way thinking that life is here for my benefit.

So here I am, down to two people that are still wanting to be in my life. That's a whole lot more than most people have. I better sit up and take notice.

The consequences of my recent actions aren't pretty to deal with, but I'm not letting what is lost go in vain. I will turn this into a lesson that will sustain what is left for me to hold on to. Letting go of what isn't absolutely crucial is necessary to wrap myself around what's really important.

I lift my head and look around the room again. I see now what I need to focus on. I have my work cut out for me. But I also have Hope. And for this moment, it's enough.





Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Seeking Humility

hu·mil·i·ty

noun
the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

Synonyms
lowliness, meekness, submissiveness.

Antonyms
pride


Ok, so let me look up humble...

hum·ble

adjective, hum·bler, hum·blest.
1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.

2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.

3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: of humble origin; a humble home.

4. courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.

5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member of the galaxy.

verb (used with object), hum·bled, hum·bling.
6. to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.

7. to destroy the independence, power, or will of.

8. to make meek: to humble one's heart.



Synonyms for humility

humbleness, modesty

shyness
bashfulness
demureness
diffidence
docility
lowliness
meekness
nonresistance
obedience
passiveness
reserve
resignation
submissiveness
subservience
unobtrusiveness
unpretentiousness


Antonyms for humility

boldness
confidence
arrogance
assertiveness
egoism
pretentiousness
pride
self-importance


"Another great dividend we may expect from confiding our defects to another human being is humility---a word often misunderstood. To those who have made progress in A.A., it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be. Therefore, our first practical move toward humility must consist of recognizing our deficiencies." (12 & 12. Pg. 58)

Dr. Bob's Prayer on Humility

"Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, or irritable, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing that is done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble." (For years, Dr. Bob had this prayer on his desk. Author of the prayer is unknown.)

Humility and the Steps

"It took me some time to realize that the Twelve Steps of AA were designed to help correct defects of character and so help remove the obsession to drink. The Twelve Steps, which to me are a spiritual way of living, soon meant honest thinking, not wishful thinking, open mindedness, a willingness to try and a faith to acceptance. They meant patience, tolerance and HUMILITY, and above all the belief that a Power greater than myself could help. That power I chose to call God." (Big Book. Pg. 381.)


Bill W.'s Thoughts On Humility

"I see humility for today as the safe and secure stance midway between violent emotional extremes. It is a quiet place where I can keep enough perspective and enough balance, to take my next small step up the clearly marked road that points toward eternal values. As I thus get down to my right size and stature, my self-concern and importance become amusing." (Bill W., 1961. The Language of the Heart. Pg. 258-9.

"I am still arrogant, self-righteous, with no humility, even phony at times, but I'm trying to be a better person and help my fellowman. Guess I'll never be a saint, but whatever I am, I want to be sober and in AA. The word "alcoholic" does not turn me off any more; in fact, it is music to my ears when it applies to me." (Big Book. Pg. 463)

Humility, Guilt and Pride

"Today I think I can trace a clear linkage between my guilt and my pride. In pride I could say, "Look at me, I am wonderful." In guilt, I would moan, "I'm awful." Therefore guilt is really the reverse side of the coin of pride. Guilt aims at self-destruction, and pride aims at the destruction of others. This is why I see humility for today as that safe and secure stance midway between these violent emotional extremes." (Bill W., June 1961. The Language of the Heart. Pg. 258.)



It's Been A While

It's 2:40am. I'm awake, sober and seeking relief. The memory of having this "online journal" came to me so here I am.

Last posts were in 2012. So time does fly afterall.

42 finds me staying at a sober living house in downtown Las Vegas. My daughter now lives with her Godparents in California. I don't have a job and I'm as sick as I ever was.

Sick in the meaning that I still have a chance to get well. Hope is not lost.

"Jenny's negativity is going to kill her" was once stated in a meeting by my now sponsor. She nails it every time.

I sat in the bathroom practically begging God to change these things about me that I allow to destroy my chances of a better life. I want victory over such matters as self centeredness, self loathing, attention seeking, martyrdom, self pity and the like. Victoryy only so I can be an example that God exists.

He does. He's proven it to me countless times. When I tap into that Reality, I find ultimate, perfect peace. Even if it's for a few seconds, it's what I believe to be Heaven.

I am worthy of change.
I am worthy of love.
I am safe, sober and cared for.
I have potential.

Positive affirmations that I struggle to find. But struggle I do and this is what comes. I like it. I know it will grow, change, morph and encompass a life of its own. For now, this is my Beginning.


Monday, July 23, 2012

I'd Pick More Daises


If I had my life to live over,
I'd try to make more mistakes next time.
I would relax.
I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have on this trip.
I would be crazier.
I would be less hygienic.
I would take more chances,
I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets.
I would burn more gasoline.
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who lives prophylactically and sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I have had my moments
And if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
I have been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, and a parachute.

If I had to do it over again,
I would go places and do things.
I'd travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hooky more.
I wouldn't make such good grades except by accident.
I would ride on merry-go-rounds.

I'd pick more daisies.

~By Nadine Stair, age 85

Monday, May 14, 2012

Middle-Aged Mess...or Maybe Not?

It's Monday morning. I'm at work desperately trying to look busy and not die from boredom at the same time.

These last few weeks have taken me for a ride that I would rather have avoided all together. As things seem to happen for a reason, I needed to take this trip to learn from it. The trip is over but the learning from it part has evaded me. That's what scares the shit out of me.

I started this blog many moons ago simply to express what was happening "inside of me"; my personal growth, my spiritual experiences, my passions, my pain.

Unfortunately, I have abused it along the way; taking out my frustrations, my anger and my bitterness with people, places and things. Most times, I haven't held back, thinking that spewing all over this electronic platform will somehow make me feel better. All it really does is hurt others and leave me with a feeling of conintued angst.

On the otherhand, this is my blog, my space, my journey. This blog is going to evolve like any living being, with good and evil; beauty and disgust; joy and sorrow. If you read this on occasion in hopes of adding to your ammunition against me, have fun as I am full of all kinds of messed up stuff. Then check your motives and kindly fuck off go away. I prefer that you simply try to enjoy my "happenings" and live and let live.

I have found myself going through some sort of identification crisis as of late. I recently had another short-lived stint with a previous boyfriend that ended up (again) in a twisted mess of painful feelings that should never have been unearthed.

I won't even bother discussing the details any further than saying I am in no place, emotionally, spiritually or mentally, to be trying to accept or give back any form of love outside of my comfort zone. Loving another person, of the opposite sex, intimately (*pause for effect...*) is apparently not on my "To Do" list right now (pun intended). Though I desperately wanted to be ready, I had to be honest with myself and him (finally) that I just don't possess any way to give back or receive. Selfish? You bet! I still haven't grown up ya know.

My only regret for ending the relationship (again) is that I could not (or is it would not?) listen to my God-Voice, my intuition, my conscience until more pain had to be dealt. I certainly didn't handle this like a well-balanced, mature adult.

Damn I really suck sometimes.

But then again, we all do.

I don't have the corner market on being a piece of shit to someone else. (More like the corner office) but I digress.

I sought out this post for some kind of quick fix, instant relief if you will, since drugs and alcohol really don't work for me. At least not anymore. (Wait...did they ever?!)

Nevermind that...

I want to feel better about what I've done. I want to forgive myself for my actions. I want to let go, forgive and forget, blah blah blah. Same old sob story.

What I really need to do is shit or get off the pot. This is getting old.

Why do I always try to force some sort of peace in my life? Haven't I learned by now that forcing anything is a direct contradiction to the serenity and sanity that I seek? Hmmm, not so much.

However, I am getting closer...

I've even come into question about what/who God really is to me. Well, let me re-phrase that.

I've come into question about what/who God is to me because I'm allowing others' concepts of "their God" to cloud my Vision.

I stopped trusting in myself that the God I believe in has always been there for me and will never leave me, regardless if another person thinks I'm going to Hell.

Hell, for me, is when I'm fighting what comes from my heart, the very same heart that God gave me.

I really do need to stop people pleasing. Really.

I'm happiest (with myself) when I'm not giving a shit what others think of me.

Wait, I need to repeat that.

I'M HAPPIEST (WITH MYSELF) WHEN I'M NOT GIVING A SHIT WHAT OTHERS THINK OF ME.


Well, that felt good. No, that felt GREAT! I think I've blogged myself into some perspective. I dig that about me. *wink*

So, until later, take care of you cause that's all you have.

Jenny Defx <3

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Bucket List

Thought I'd start a Bucket List just for kicks. It's a work in progress, just like everything else in my life. Should be fun to see how this goes... 1. Hike to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon 2. Climb an oak tree 3. Catch a lightning bug 4. Go to Disneyland