Small transgressions, consent and rape culture

I am writing this in a bit of a huff, and at a medical conference, where I was hoping to be free of predation, free to focus on what I am trying to learn, but I just want to make it very clear that (and I think I can speak for other women)…

I am tired of being treated like a sexual prospect.

I realize that many men cast a dating net like they are fishing at sea, willing to catch and throw back anything that swims past, hoping they might catch something meaty that will satisfy their appetite for a bit.

I am not one of those fish.

I realize many men think it’s innocent to offer a strange woman a drink without first knowing her name, or to ask a lone woman’s name at a bar without first introducing himself, as if by going alone to a restaurant and sitting at the bar is an invitation to intrusion.

It’s not.

I realize many men think it’s okay to put their arm across the back of a woman’s chair at a bar after talking for a bit, despite not knowing her name, and likely because she started talking to someone across from you.

It’s not.

Some men think it’s okay to send a Facebook message to a female stranger (friend of a friend), claiming to be interested in her passion and claiming to have seen her in person, when in fact they are just trying to find out if she is available (IOW not dating someone).

It’s not.

I don’t think I have to go into detail about these 3 incidents, one on each day I have been in Charleston for a medical conference, for people to understand the gist of what was happening.

Perhaps I SHOULD explain though, for those who can’t see how incredibly rude, shallow, entitled, desperate and insensitive these actions are. Yes, these are strong words, and I will stand by them, because I have had a lifetime of dealing with these actions, and I feel myself defensive of body, mind and spirit just existing in the world because of persistent daily predation. I cannot be in public either physically or virtually without experiencing it. That could explain why I have spent so much time at home the past year.

*********Incident 1:

I arrived in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday evening and took a nice walk to check out the area. Somehow, I happened upon a very cool little place called “5 Church” on Market St. I was lulled in by the music, originally thought it was actually a church, until I saw the dinner table outside. I walked inside, and was washed over with the soothing music of a thin bearded man playing guitar and a woman playing what seemed like a bass cello (don’t judge me for not knowing what it was). I am no expert in music, but I do know it was sublime. 5-church-charleston_catchlightstudio-7165-1024x683

And time slowed down, as I paused to take in the soft warm lights, the long table filling the entire middle of the room, angel wings disguised as lights hanging over the bar, and above them a cathedral ceiling full of white writing on a black background. On the right side, the largest words were “There Is Only We,” one word per panel, and on the left side “The Art of War,” and in between what must have been a decent portion of The Art of War.

A woman asked me if I would like a table, and I chose the bar because I didn’t want to take up an entire table, and I wanted to watch the musicians. I picked a chair, as I usually do, that had at least one empty chair to each side of me. This is because I am wary of men in public places. 

I sat and looked around the place, passing over the head and face of the man to my left so that he would not think I was interested in engaging, because I wasn’t.  I turned my back to him and settled my attention on the musicians at the front of restaurant, feeling the music waft through my body. I was in heaven.

My neighbor let me be for a bit, but it wasn’t long before he asked from behind if he could buy me a drink! I told him “Thank you, but no.” He tried to cover by saying that the establishment gives him free drinks, so he feels the need to pay it forward. I nodded unbelieving and turned back around to watch the musicians. Perhaps that was supposed to make him appear special? That I should care and treat him differently because the employees there do? It was certainly a comment meant to lend him credence. I really did want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I always do. I want to believe that people aren’t creepers.

Needless to say, he gradually found more and more ways to work his way into my silence. We did engage in a tad bit of conversation, and then other people came in, at which point he took the opportunity to move to the seat next to me, asking after he was in the seat if it was okay. What was I going to say? I didn’t want him there, but it would have caused a scene to say so. This slight but persistent transgression is how they work their way into your space.

He then asked my name, to which I bristled, cocked and turned my head, making sure not to turn my body toward him and fired off, “What’s yours?” and I forget his reaction. It was too lame to remember. I won’t go over the entire interaction, but over the course of the interminable destruction of my sense of peace, he insinuated things like “in case you fall in love with me” and any number of seemingly joking references to the possibility of ME falling for HIM. Whoa Nelly! Thank GOD he didn’t touch me. I might have slapped him at that point.

Now, he was a pretty meek, unattractive older man, so my mind played awful tricks on me, wondering if perhaps he was being facetious, and I should laugh with him at his expense. I wondered if I should be less judgemental. I alternately wondered how on earth how I was going to tell him he was freaking me out (or that I was freaked out in the more NVC way of stating his), or trying to remember how often I had been in a similar position, or wondering if this really was as wrong as it felt to my mood, my body, my sense of safety in the world. YES!

Why is it wrong you ask?

  1. Because my body tells me so.
  2. Because it’s not flattering to be offered a drink when you are a lone female.
  3. Because it’s not flattering to be asked your name before someone knows anything other than your outward sex and appearance.
  4. Because I did not express interest in hanging out with this man, although I “let” him sit next to me in a public space. (in today’s society, that makes it my fault somehow for the transgression….)
  5. Because it assumes I have interest in engaging
  6. Because he never asked if I wanted to talk with him.

I was hard-pressed to figure out a way to tell this man that I didn’t want to talk to him, that I wanted him to leave me alone, that even though I was replying to him, I was not interested, that his advances and insinuations were not a compliment and were insulting. We live in a society where for me to be direct and state my disinterest directly would have caused a scene and would have become even more uncomfortable.

I think men know this and keep pushing on.

They have the ammo of my potential “blown up” reaction in their pocket, with the slingshot judgement of Bitch to throw out if I dare express how disinterested I am.

We live in a society where my clear body language of my back to his face was not clear enough, and was not respected. We live in a society where a lone female is viewed as a target, a sexual prospect. It sickens me. He even bragged about his multiple properties, and unabashedly offered for me to stay at his place in Asheville, and spoke about his 7 year old son, and after I mention being a single mom for my daughter’s life, he spit out that he is a single dad. I didn’t challenge him by asking where his son was on this Wednesday night as he sat drinking at the bar a block from his home, or why his most recent photo was of his son at 4.

He offered to be a tour guide, and give me his number I didn’t know how to say that I would never call it. Perhaps I figured I would let him think his ploy worked somehow, leaving the potential that I would override my obvious discomfort, talk myself out of that and into calling him. My bad, totally. I never learned the skills of being direct. I am just now learning them. Needless to say, after entering this restaurant in soul awe, I left feeling violated, uncomfortable, and deflated.

*********Incident 2:

The next night, I walked a long time along King Street, checking out the sites and atmosphere, looking for the place that felt right, had the right balance of males and females, good food, and a non-predatory atmosphere. I finally found what felt comfortable after probably a mile of enjoyable adventuring at Macintosh. Again, I sat at the bar, where I felt very comfortable with one large seat on either side of me. Excited to finally get some dinner, I studied the one page menu, and within 2 minutes, I had a blonde guy to my left, and a large suit to my right. I sat upright and far forward enough to make it clear that I was not there to be picked up on, happy to be on my own. I was uncomfortable enough that I considered leaving, but I relaxed a bit when it seemed clear that the guy to my left was too into his computer to care, and the guy to my right did not make the expected approach or awkward comment. I kept my gaze very much forward so as not to engage. macintosh_charleston__0001_1.5-1160x619

When the suit did finally engage, it was pleasant enough and he didn’t ask personal questions or make comments that made me feel uncomfortable. He had a wedding ring on his pudgy hand, which I know well means about nothing. I think people who travel a lot are desperate for connection, understandably so. I also am jaded, because most of the men that have expressed interest in me while travelling were married. Everything was fine, and we chatted about random things while I chowed one of the most amazing winter vegetable plates ever, and he downed at least 3 whiskeys on the rocks. Somehow, I started to get the sense he was saving his appetite.

He asked how old my daughter is. I told him 19. He looked bewildered and then gave me the extremely awkward up and down, and said he didn’t believe me. He told me I was beautiful. I said, “Thank you.” And then the cute younger guy showed up to suit’s right. We each engaged him in conversation, but as soon as I held an individual conversation with cute guy, I noticed suit’s arm go across the back of my chair. It was clearly a territorial move, or was I “overreacting”? Again, I felt decidedly uncomfortable, sat up very straight and forward away from the back of my chair, and the hand went back  to his lap. This happened at least 3 more times over the span of 10 minutes or so. The cute guy mentioned music upstairs, and suit asked if I was going with them. I looked him directly in the eye and said, “No.” I wanted it to be clear that IF I went anywhere, I was going with myself.  He left within a few minutes of that.

Why was it wrong?

  1. Because my body told me so
  2. Because you don’t just put your arm across anyone’s chair
  3. I didn’t give my consent for that type of closeness

It wasn’t a huge transgression, but it was a boundary tester, and unfortunately, I was torn because it was small enough, but certainly uncomfortable enough to confuse the hell out of me in figuring out how to deal with it.

Afterward, I mentioned it to the cute guy, and he asked nonchalantly if I told him it made me uncomfortable, and I told him no, I didn’t know how. It’s very strange when you have decent conversation with a stranger, no intention or acknowledgement of any attraction, and you don’t want to “overreact.” My, how that worry has been drilled into my consciousness, my entire being.

Somehow, I have been programmed to not rock the boat, to not overreact, to therefore not set boundaries early, and often. Meanwhile, small transgressions are being “allowed”, and meanwhile we are feeling uncomfortable, and before long we end up in a situation way, way over our heads. This, my friend, is how date rape happens. How rape happens. How men rape women and let the society’s programming convince themselves it’s somehow their fault. Because they should have said something, right? Yes, if they had been taught how, or that it was okay.

You know what happens to the girl who speaks up in movies, right? Yep, she gets bullied into submission, either through ridicule or actual physical violence.

*********Incident 3:

I received a random Facebook instant message from a non-friend three days ago. He said,

Amy, tell me about your fundraiser for [your daughter]. I just noticed you were posting about it. I’ve been off Facebook for a while now….and Hi BTW! Last time I saw you was at L’s I think. How ya doin?’

Innocent enough, I suppose, except that

  1. I knew deep down he was beating around the bush to get my response
  2. I could sense he had an entirely alternative agenda
  3. He didn’t live in town
  4. His profile advertised single (damn straight I checked this out before replying)
  5. I had only been to L’s house twice, and I am pretty sure he wasn’t there
  6. He was too lazy (or not actually interested) to read the flipping fundraiser to even know it was my daughter, or he would have known all that it was about.

I battled responding, and then let the worry of “overreacting” get the better of me. Surely he means well, Amy. He’s not a creeper like the rest.

‘Hi Chris. Hopefully you read about the fundraiser on the website. It’s for my daughter’s college tuition for Berklee music school. I have not been to L’s often. Twice I think.

I should have added that I could feel the creep factor strong, but he seemed nice enough, right? 

Today, while in session at the medical conference, I get a ping back, and it’s him.

I haven’t been FB much at all lately. So didn’t read much {IOW he didn’t actually give a shit}. Are you dating? Just curious.’

Truly, am I supposed to be flattered that you express fake interest in the most important person and event in my life right now, and feign a connection through someone I like and respect, in order to weasel your way to my response so that you can treat me like an object out for grabs?

I know, I know, he was being nice, right?


It was innocent enough, right?


He lied to get my response, to open the door enough, to test the boundary just enough to see if I was a Sexual Prospect.

I battled for about 3 minutes how I would respond. I asked myself how I could not come across as a bitch, was I overreacting, how could I be clear without making any potential future occurrence in our small town less than excruciatingly awkward, and then I did the only thing that felt right. I set a very clear boundary.

‘I am not interested in dating you.’

‘Sure, thank you. I hope that didn’t offend you. Take care.’

‘It did.’

Not only did I set a boundary, I let him know that I was, indeed, offended.

This is big for me. This was monumental for this 43-year-old fiercely independent woman. Because we are programmed to be scared of setting our personal boundaries, to honor our bodies, to justify away all the transgressions of our humanity, both within and without. It was small for some, but huge for me.

Why was it wrong?

  1. Because my body told me so
  2. Because falsehoods hurt everyone
  3. Because I am a human at the end of that instant messenger
  4. Because I am not on a dating site. Just because you are looking for that does not make it okay to assume I am.

He apologized, and this is where the self-doubt comes in. Was I too harsh? Should I not have told him that it did, indeed, offend me? And then I remembered all the times my boundaries have been crossed, and all the times I turned against my intuition, and that it led me down many a dark path.

And I have compassion for the men that truly don’t understand how this behavior perpetuates our current rape culture. I am not even going into the many subtleties here. And I am only speaking to male/female interaction because this is my personal experience. In no way do I claim that it’s the only time this happens. But, I am not going into that.

I am not here to justify my experience according to all the social norms and political correctness flying around out there. That is what got me, and so many millions of women in the world, here, in this predicament. I am sharing this to get it out of me, to learn how to (no matter how awkward it may come out) express my boundaries, be honest about my confusion, hopefully name and voice something that other women (people for that matter) experience as well.

In re-reading this post, I see a lack of NVC skills and practices, but a part of NVC tenet is to understand that someone’s reaction is theirs, right? So, I have enough faith in whomever reads this to understand that I have my stories that are woven in here. Judge all you want. You have not lived my life, my experience of being preyed on, if you judge.

And if you understand what I share, if some part of you resonates with this, trust it.

Trust that your body knows best.

Trust you are not overreacting when you honor your boundaries and expect that of others. 

Trust you deserve utmost respect.



Pity Party

***saved this for some time, but working on being raw, so I am releasing it, as it no longer has any hold on me.***

It’s a pity party kind of afternoon. Movement certainly moves emotions, which is probably why I didn’t move for 5 months. I mean, not more than the typical jaunt to the loo, or to the frig, or to the shower. Maybe a few rolls in the hay. Basic life stuff happened. And that’s about it.

Oh, and I fell for a man.

And then, after 6 months of not feeling he was really into me, all while we were hanging out, and I ended my celibacy…not because he asked me to, but because I wanted to.

With him.

Yep, the whole 6 months, I just didn’t feel he was into me, and I finally shared my feelings in a heaping mess of tears. I essentially broke it off, because my conclusion was that he wasn’t into me, so why should I invest myself so much? Inside, I was begging for him to tell me I was wrong, to allay my fears. But no, he was just sweet and tender, like I wanted him to be all along. He reached out to me and caressed my hair, and held me lovingly. And I realized that’s what I had been wanting more of the whole time, that emotional presence.

That was three weeks ago. We didn’t talk for a week, and I was feeling like an ass, so I asked to talk to him on Mother’s Day, and it was good, and I thought we were on the same page. I apologized, I expressed my feelings, I cried. He was sweet and attentive, like I wanted…. I thought we were going to try to continue dating, but I didn’t hear from him for a week and a half…. Ok, one thing that you gotta know about me. I am a bit obsessive, but it’s not just about guys. It’s anything I am interested in. I love to dive in and get to know a person, a subject, a movement form, whatever catches my interest. And, I had been the main person keeping this relationship moving forward. So, I figured I would wait until I heard from him…..and every day I woke up wondering what was wrong with me, why was I so sad, why was I so attached? Why the hell has he not texted or called? Why did it matter if he contacted me? What is this sadness? Why the hell has he not reached out to me? Why can’t I just be mad at him? That’s always the easy way to move on….the easy way to move on.

Maybe I don’t want to move on.

I want to move in…to me.

I have lots of energy lately. I have worked out, and hiked, and generally been energetic and full of life and focus and interest, and it’s beautiful. Today, I even had the energy and actual desire to clean some of my home! Seriously, I don’t clean. I have a housecleaner come very 2-3 months. Otherwise, I spot clean. Maybe it was all that cleaning, that moving, that did it.

Sadness, moving up and through me. I wish I could understand it. I don’t want it right now, but I let it out anyway. And I am alone, so incredibly alone, and it’s beautiful and sunny out. Life’s been dull for months. I should be outside, hiking, running, laughing, using my body! Yet, I am in my house, pacing, pacing… so I walk to the park. I look at my phone.. no text from him many days? Last Wednesday, so 10 days. Ouch. Six months of nearly every day to Nada. Zip. Abyss.

Go on a walk, yes, go on a walk outside. It will make you feel better. Do I take the phone? How about the journal? I am feeling inspired to write, but I want to move, and I don’t want to carry much. But I might want to take pictures, so do I take the phone? No, because then you will wonder why he hasn’t texted you. So I grab the journal, and the phone, and then I put them down and untether.

And I walk to the park, crying, moving, crying, wondering what the hell is going on inside my own self. And it’s hot and beautiful out, the sun burning through me. It cools my tears.

A chime in a near distance, and my heart quickens, all senses alert. In the next instant, I realize that what I thought was the sound of a text on my phone was a wind chime, a beautiful, sweet, tinkling wind chime. I am an addict! Like Pavlov’s dog, I wait for that little hit of dopamine, that microgram dose of affirmation that someone is thinking about me, that perhaps someone likes me, that I am not utterly and pathetically alone. And I am glad I left the phone at home…..

Because a pity party is best alone, at least to start. And a pity party can only continue without distractions from what’s bubbling up inside. And it can also only end without distractions from the outside.

And I wondered during my walk, and sitting and leaking tears on the park bench, how we can BE on the inside. I mean, we are inside of ourselves, but we spend so much of our time outside of ourselves, and living our lives according to the outside. It seems so simple, but it’s freaking profound.

And I will spare you from the million thoughts that raced through and around my head during that eternally short time on the bench, but it became clear that I want to know myself from the inside, to live more on the inside, or rather From the inside out.


What I want from you

‘It’s easy to reach out to someone who is loving you, because it relieves you of the duty of loving yourself.’ ~Amy Baker

I stayed away from intimate relationship for nearly a year for a reason. It’s hard. And not in the effort way. It’s hard because it brings up your shit. Insecurities and fears that lie dormant while you are single and taking good care of yourself suddenly crop up. And being in relationship is also EASY because when it’s good, we don’t have to give ourselves the loving we need to feel good. But that filling up from someone else’s overflowing cup is unsustainable. 

Conscious intimate relationship is incredibly hard, because it demands that you own all your shit, that you allow your vulnerabilities, and that you take full responsibility for your happiness. Therefore, you must get to know yourself. So, in a weird roundabout way, conscious relationship requires plenty of alone time to get to know oneself.

I have been thinking hard about what I want in relationship, and what kind of relationship I want, if any. I realized so many things these past two weeks, pondering over stuff while the man …shit, I don’t even know what to call him. I was calling him my beloved, but things changed in me recently, and I think they changed in him, but we haven’t had time to talk about it. I may have screwed up asking for an open relationship. What people don’t realize when I say I want an open relationship is that I am NOT asking for something flippant or on the side. I AM saying I want a relationship. It just is going to have different boundaries than the typical monogamous relationship.

And I actually realized that I don’t necessarily so much want an open relationship. I want the communication that I feel is necessary for that type of relationship to occur. So what I really want is someone and something REAL. I want to give my partner enough freedom so they can feel comfortable being themselves so I can see who they really are. I want to get to know the real person. And yet, it ends up backfiring. I guess I will have the same issues regardless….but I digress.

I have been feeling like I need to fix myself, like I can’t be broken in front of anyone, and that I only deal with my shit on my own, and there is a lot to be said for taking care of your shit on your own. But I think there is also a lot to be said for accepting that we are imperfect, and we have pasts that shape us in many ways. While we try to overcome those shadows, some we aren’t aware of yet, and others we just aren’t clear of. And that’s O.K.

For me, things get good, and I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. I recognize it every time, and just because it’s familiar, doesn’t make it easier. It’s often hard to tell how much is intuition, and how much is reactive programming.


So, some things about me that I am accepting and telling partners about:

  1. I want and need open, honest, regular communication. Openness and honesty create intimacy with me, which creates trust. Lack of disclosure about who a partner is spending time with is pretty much a deal breaker. Is this largely due to being cheated on by my ex husband the whole 6 years we were together? Perhaps. But it’s what I want and need to feel emotionally safe and close to someone. If someone wants to get to know me, then they need to be open, upfront and honest about everything.
  2. I want to be wanted. It’s important to me that you want me in your life. If not, then why spend time together? I don’t believe in just filling an empty space. You know those sweet things that you did in the first month or so? Don’t stop. We aren’t done courting yet. Thinking of me? Please let me know. It feels good to know someone is missing you.
  3. Vulnerability is sexy, so long as you are owning your shit. So is knowing and expressing what you want. I strive to do that and don’t always succeed. You know what else is sexy? Admitting you were wrong. That is so hot!
  4. I like touch, and cuddling and sweet, tender kisses and hugs. I am not a sex object, and while I have a sex drive to match or beat yours, that is not the only thing on my mind and it doesn’t fill my heart like tender caresses and holding me like someone who is cherished. If you want to keep me around, be tender more than you are horny.
  5. I have fears. Despite all of the work I have done on myself, and all of the years of counseling, the fears come up. When things get really good and beautiful, I start waiting for the other shoe to fall. I don’t know how to stop it. I just know what it is and try my best not to react to those negative thoughts and feelings. It’s really more a sinking in my gut and a low-level vibration of panic. I fear that the one I am loving will not love me once he sees all of me, that somehow I am not lovable as I am. SO, I am working on loving all those pieces of myself. I actually like myself a lot, so not sure why this comes up so much.
  6. Just once, I would love if a man could see me falling apart over a fear (no matter how stupid), and just hold me and love me for being vulnerable, for doing my darnedest to work through all the mental crap I have dealt with over the years. If they only knew how much I have overcome. Love me for my weaknesses as much as my strengths, for my strength is born out of allowing and dealing with my weaknesses.



It’s not that I don’t want you

To my current and future lovers…..

It’s not that I don’t want you, that I wouldn’t welcome calling you mine. Au contraire. I want nothing more than to be someone’s beloved…. to be held deeply in the heart of one I call my beloved.

It’s that I don’t want the relationships I have had, and so in order to not fall into those patterns again, to create something I don’t fully know yet, I must break the mold and start anew. Crush the clay and rebuild. 

And so I risk losing you so that I can avoid losing myself in you, for surely if that happens, I have lost you already, or will lose you soon. No, I would have lost you from the beginning, for if you stayed, it would be for the wrong reason, the wrong person, like so many others in my past.

Yes, I risk losing your love so that I may ensure I stay whole in myself, for then I have all of me to give to you. And if you leave a whole person, then surely it was not meant to be and I will have nothing to lose, for I kept myself whole.

What a beautiful thought….2 whole people merging to become more than they are alone…. yet staying separate and whole throughout it all. I want to know that I have given all of me to you, in those moments of merging. And I want to receive all of you.

That is beauty.

That is truth.

That is what I want.


I told my mom tonight I am putting myself in the fire (of relationship). I am not sure how or if I can handle the person I am with being with another person intimately. I don’t know that I can handle being with more than one person intimately. It’s not really about that, to be honest. It’s about being in that uncomfortable space, that place that causes so many of us to dive into the “comfort” of monogamy. It’s predictable, or so we think.

I told my mom that I have jealousy issues that come up when I am in a monogamous relationship. Yes, I have jealousy issues, so I have decided to put myself in relationship where I may be sharing my partner. Why?! Because it is the only way I can get over it.

For me, it is about communication, about allowing myself the time to experience what comes up for me with the space to work through it. I know flirtation happens, and affairs happen, and people are attracted to each other for whatever reason. Sometimes, we confuse emotional or even cerebral attraction with sexual. Sometimes, drawing that boundary around the relationship creates a tension that actually draws a person more toward what is “forbidden”. Take away that invisible boundary, and the tension dissolves. Then, you can see the attraction/energetic pull for what it really is.

What if we allowed ourselves to have whatever connection felt right with someone, and did not stop it because of fear of what our partner may or may not think? What if we were supportive of the other having these relationships?

I love knowing that my current partner and I have options to be with other people and still spend precious time with each other. There is never obligation, only desire and enjoyment. I love that. We allow each other choice, with compassion and forgiveness, every day.

He owes me nothing, and I expect nothing. I want honesty and openness and will draw the line there, but I can’t expect it of him. Just one day at a time. It’s scary, because my fear says he will not find me interesting enough to stay….Yes, the tears on my cheek as I type tell me this is true…that I have this deep-seated fear that I am not lovable. That can’t be true, since I had 3 men want to marry me. I just was with men who didn’t love themselves, and I did not love myself enough to stay whole. Everyone is lovable. Everyone deserves love.

It’s time to come together with someone in a whole-hearted, whole-bodied manner.

So far, it’s going great.

Not always comfortable, certainly not familiar, but most definitely right.


Bathtime Musing #4- Beautiful Men

So much goodness in my life, reflected in the people I am meeting, especially in the quality of men entering my life.

Thanks to my ability to be fully me, they now have a vessel to give to.



Permission to Be yourSelf

I recently realized something so clearly, and while at first it seemed so simple, so obvious, it was profound.

In my last relationship, I had met a man that I saw as generous beyond measure. His motto was “We, Us, Ours” and all that was his was also mine. We had fused, become one, and he wanted to share it all with me. It felt like an affirmation from the universe that someone finally wanted to share all of who and what they are with me. The abundance of spirit and the material world both collided and coalesced.

I also remember him saying in the beginning that I could do whatever I wanted. I didn’t have to work if I didn’t want to, or wear makeup, or dress a certain way. He also never said he would love me regardless of what I did, but did give me “permission” to be myself, for the most part. Of course, there was disapproval of certain actions, like dancing (which is my first love) but I was “allowed” to do them….At the time, all I heard was I could be Me.

I was sitting enjoying a beer recently when it dawned on me… I don’t need anyone’s permission to Do or Be anything. What I once saw as a generous offering to me was in fact a mirror showing how I didn’t give myself permission to do as I pleased.

I had put my power in someone else’s hands.

By putting that authority in his hands, I allowed him to control everything I did or didn’t do, simply through his approval or disapproval. I wanted to please him, so I gave up what I loved and did what I could that made him happy, which ultimately didn’t work. Why? Because I wasn’t being myself.

I realized I had given over all of my power, and I saw the detrimental effect it was having on me and thus our relationship, so I started taking back my power. I stopped asking for permission to do what I wanted, stopped waiting on his availability to plan my day and my week, and started doing what was best for my well-being. I spent more time with my daughter, got my Oregon licensure, got a job, bought some nice new clothes for myself, started yoga teacher training with my favorite teacher on Maui, and was really on the up and up when he left.

I don’t need anyone’s permission for anything I do or say.

It is a huge switch in my entire being to acknowledge that, to KNOW that. I am thankful for him reflecting that back to me, for giving me the permission I wasn’t giving myself, so that I could realize how I had given up my power.

How often do we give up our power in our daily lives? How often do you not question the status quo just enough to get the results you need? How often do you let things slide to keep the peace? So often, we actually create more peace when we speak our truth from a place of self-edification and knowing.

How often do you NOT give yourself permission to stand up for what you want? At a restaurant, if you ask for something and they don’t give it to you, can you remind them of what you asked for and request it clearly and nicely?

Do you find yourself changing your habits or dress to please someone else? Why? At whose benefit? More importantly, at whose cost? If that person can’t love you as you are, it’s best to let them go.

Now, if someone tells me I can be myself, I can say with all certainty, “You are right.”

148- “What we see is what we are;” Oh, the humanity!


What we see is what we are. I was thinking today of anger, and people’s reactions to anger. Just like when someone says, “He who smelled it, dealt it,” the same can go for someone who sees a certain emotion … Continue reading


146- I am Engaged to My Self


September 25th, I remembered some events in my past that had a profound effect on me. With that memory, and the current commitment to be more intimate with myself, came the remembrance of my engagement to myself on October 17, … Continue reading


128- It’s OK If You Aren’t OK


Now that I am realizing that my M.O. has been to make things OK for other people, I am more and more aware of where this has seeped into my life. My partner has pointed out that I am good … Continue reading


127- A New Take on Soulmate


This gallery contains 2 photos.

So often, I read posts/articles that truly sing to me, and I think, “Yes! Yes! They hit the nail on the head with that one. How can I top that?” This one on Soulmates sang to me, really sang to … Continue reading