Gimme Some Love

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Love is in the air…and on the door!

It’s the season of love so we are gearing up for Valentine’s Day!

This idea has been floating around social media for a few weeks.  I’m not sure of the original source as so many people have shared it and reposted it.  My sincere thanks to whomever the brilliant, innovative person is who thought this up.

Here’s how it works. Starting February 1st, every night while they are sleeping, you tack a heart to your child’s bedroom door professing what you love about them.  Super simple to do and the impact is huge!  Here are some example of what I have written:

You are a really good friend.

You always look after everyone and make sure they’re okay.

We are so proud of you.  Proud of who you are.  Proud of what you do.

You are so artistic!  Your art is amazing!

You are beautiful, inside and out!

My children wake up so excited to see what has been added to their doors.  A little tidbit of love to start their day off on the right foot and fill them with all of my love.  The bonus is that it delays the sibling fighting for all of five minutes! Hahaha!  But seriously, it is a little thing that warms them and reminds them how much we love them.

You could do this for your significant other too!  You could tape hearts full of love on the bathroom mirror for them to read while getting ready in the morning or maybe sneak them into their bag/purse or tape them to the dashboard of their car. That would be such a nice surprise!

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?  How do you show your love?

© The Flip of the Switch, February 2016.

An Afterthought

Wedding Rings

His perception of my needs is grossly erroneous.  Representative of his continued refusal to listen and absorb my words; accept my longing for connection, for emotional depth. We have talked this to the brinks of insanity. I need you.  Your love, your arms wrapped around me, your refuge.  Your confidence, your strength. I need you to look into my eyes and see the depths of my soul.  Provide compassion, without judgement. Love, without obligation. Friendship, without insult. But sadly, I digress.  For this is not our reality.  Our relationship has been reduced to emotional instability, heart wrenching exchanges and magnificent disappointments.  I am ashamed of what our marriage, our friendship, has become.  You and I, we speak different languages.  I am telling you what I need, what I want, but you are not listening. You are absorbed, so deeply, in your own desires that you cannot accurately perceive mine.  Driven by power, money and success, it is illogical to you that I want loving kindness.  Your life dictated by time, clients and checklists, it is irrational to you that I want passion. One must share your worldview to carry legitimacy.  Thus, I am not a priority and our marriage is but an afterthought.

© The Flip of the Switch, February 2016.

The Curtain

Red curtains and vintage wood floor

What is behind your curtain?

Let me tell you about mine.

Behind my curtain, I am a ball of anxiety.  A bundle of nerves.  A million electrical currents trying to find their way; searching for a way to become grounded.

Insecurities abound.  They are limitless.

Questions are insurmountable.
Questions pertaining to my sanity, my sense of self, my worldview.

What is to become of me?

The once strong, confident woman, who possesses a touch of arrogance and an uncanny, sarcastic sense of humour has changed.

I am not what I once was.  There is a new strain to my identity, one that is characterized by nervousness, anxiety and insecurity.  One that I am not familiar with and do not want to get to know.  I suppose however, that in order to defeat your enemy, you must get to know them.  Walk in their shoes and discover their plans in an effort to foil them.  Thus, I am forced to get to know this most suffocating strain of my identity; this nervousness, this anxiety, this insecurity.

Behind my curtain, I am struggling to maintain my power over anxiety.
I must make every effort to get up, go out; resist the urge to stay in bed, rolled up in that ball of nerves.
Behind my curtain is a woman who once soared.
Behind my curtain is a leader who has lost her footing but will not falter.
Behind my curtain is a woman who is scared but will always show you a smile of sincerity and give you a hand to hold.

Although my curtain is drawn, I am reminded of the person I was just a few short months ago.  My power and my tenacity are still within me, they have just been hushed by the overbearing sound of anxiety.

I must get louder.

Free my old self, rescue her from the depths of the darkness.

Cue the orchestra.

The curtain is about to open.

 

© The Flip of the Switch, February 2016.

 

Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing

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Unfriended.

That’s right.

I have dumped you on social media.

Have a good cry.

Let it all out.

I don’t know why you care.

It’s not like we were ever actually friends.

So, I unfriended you.

There is a mom in the neighbourhood that I actually despise.  We refer to her as Mary Sunshine because her toxicity is radiating.  She is a horrid, self centred, maddening woman.  Why on earth were we ever friends on Facebook to begin with?  I never liked her.  I never wanted to actually be her friend. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Pretending to be nice but actually seething disrespect and insult wherever she goes.

So, I unfriended her.

There is another mom in the neighbourhood who feels it is her duty on Facebook to argue against anything and everything I ever post.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I respect other people’s views and encourage people to stand up for what they believe in.  The problem is that she is so publicly aggressive and confrontational.  She is missing a much needed social filter.

So, I unfriended her too.

Facebook is a platform where you can put your best, albeit delusional, self forward.  To make everyone think your life is wonderfully fantastic, your children are perfect little angels and your husband is unsurpassed.  Where you can be an exceptional chef, a supermom and an all around overachiever.

These people are easy to pick out. Spreading their delusion wherever they go. These are the same people who post a lot but very rarely like or comment on anyone else’s posts. Why is that?  Easy.  They don’t care about you.  They only care about themselves.

Narcissism at its finest.

I thought about how to sift through my hundreds of friends and I came up with a plan. If they had not liked or commented on any of my posts in the last three months, they were out.

Gone.

Unfriended.

I did not care if they were family, a friend or an acquaintance.  I was drawing the line.  I no longer wanted wolves snooping around in my life. It felt like stalking to me.  It gave me the creeps.

In a matter of minutes, I had unfriended about three hundred friends.  Ahhhhhh.

Satisfaction.

There was some fall out.

I’m okay with that.

I can live with it.

I can sleep at night.

I now have a healthy group of about fifty friends on Facebook.  Actual, real, caring friends.  No nonsense kind of friends.  No more wolves hovering around, secretly watching my life.

Good riddance wolves.

I’m free.

Free from the obligation social media thrusts upon us to be friends with every acquaintance we ever meet.

Free to avoid your narcissistic tendencies and delusions.

Syonara friends.

 

© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.

 

 

Wishes & Dreams

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Daily gratitude can alter your thought patterns and your outlook on life. With that in mind, I have been trying to acknowledge all of the blessings in my life on a daily basis.  Two of my greatest blessings are my children. Thinking of my children, the lives they will lead, the adventures they will experience and all they will become, makes me smile.  I am truly blessed.

For my children.

I wish you a long life full of love, happiness and crimson sunsets.

I wish you a life of compassion;  showing deep love and grace to others, just as I hope you are treated with compassion and kindness.

I wish you peace, serenity and a calm mind;  a mind that is still and does not rush to panic. Tranquility is necessary for your spirit to soar.

I wish you good health;  take care of your mind, body and your spirit.  Listen to the messages your body sends you.

I wish you true friendship. Real, loving, fulfilling friendship.  It doesn’t come along very often so when it does, hang on to it and cherish it.  Those friends, your dearest friends, will be by your side through all the curves in the road;  the good;  the not so good. Celebrate with them;  cry with them. Make sure they know you love them and appreciate them.

I wish you adventure.  Go backpacking.  Ride roller coasters. Climb a mountain. Our beautiful world is waiting for you to explore it.

I wish you time. Time with your family; time with your own children;  time to stop and smell the roses;  time to read a good book;  time to reflect on and appreciate the blessings in your life.

I wish you hope.  I wish you hope in your yourself;  hope in others; hope in our world. Never surrender your hope.  It is something we all need to survive and thrive.  It is something that can never be taken from you.

I wish you character.  Be strong;  be noble;  be a role model.  Be respectful, be kind, be loving.  Be who you are meant to be.

I wish you strength, determination, perseverance and patience; especially with yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

I wish you love.  Deep, fulfilling love.  The kind of love that takes your breath away; makes your heart skip a beat;  sweeps you off your feet; makes your soul sing.  Hang onto it. Cherish it.  If you lose it, it wasn’t meant to be.  Remember it for how it made you feel but do not grieve for its loss. You will love again and be loved by many, for you are spectacular.

I wish you quiet moments to watch the trees blow in the wind, to watch the clouds sail by, to watch the flowers bloom.  It is these quiet moments that you will hear yourself; when life will make sense;  where stillness will lead to answers.

Trust yourself.

Believe in yourself, just as I believe in you.

I believe you can do anything;  be anything.

Reach for the stars, follow your dreams and be proud of who you are and what you become.  I am already so proud of you.  I am proud to be your mom.

I love you with all of my heart and soul.  You are the reason I was born.  You are the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of before I fall asleep.

You.

My children.

My wishes and dreams.

 

© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.

 

Delighting the Senses

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Reflection.

It is important that we take time to reflect on the choices that have brought us to where we are today.

The decisions that have helped form us into the person we have become.

The values that we hold dear to us and help shape our worldview.

This idea is not a new one and is certainly not mine.  My therapist, who I thankfully speak with twice a week, created a list of questions for her patient’s to contemplate in an effort to identify the meaning in their lives. Not only does this practice serve to help you identify meaning, it also serves to highlight the things in your life that you are grateful for; the day to day thoughts, interactions and experiences that may go by, seemingly unnoticed.

Being grateful for what you have, both in the tangible sense and more importantly in the spiritual and emotional sense, is sometimes difficult to do. There is so much in our lives that is taken for granted.  With that in mind, I am looking forward to formally detailing the meaning and gratitude in my life.

My therapist provided me with a plethora of questions to consider.  I was immediately drawn to this one;

List one of your favourite experiences for each of your five senses. Describe the underlying values you associate with each of these experiences.

Sight – Nature

Watching clouds float across a blue sky;

Capturing a crimson sunset on a cool day;

Seeing the colours of autumn, brightly displayed upon giant trees;

Watching baby birds being fed in a nest high upon my eavestrough;

Being mesmerized by the waves rolling in and rolling out.

Nature is beautiful.  It provides an opportunity for me to stop and take notice of the beauty all around me.  It makes me smile.  It makes me happy. It is serene. A calmness comes over me;  I am still.

Sound – Laughter

My children’s laughter.

Just the other day, I stood at the top of our stairs, leaning against the wall, listening to my son laugh and laugh and laugh.  His friends were over and they were having a great time.  Hearing his laugh,  hearing the happiness in his voice, was magical and overwhelming.  I could listen to my children laugh all day.

A child’s laughter is the purest form of innocence and youth, and a reminder that in a blink, they will be grown and they won’t need you the same way. They won’t need your cuddles, your kisses on boo boos, or snuggles in your bed when they have a nightmare.   Cherish these times with your little ones. Cherish their innocence and remember you are never too old to laugh.  Even at yourself.

Smell – Fresh Balsam Candle

You probably thought I would have noted something more maternal;  the smell of my children when they were babies perhaps.  But no, I love the smell of this candle.  It is the Bath & Body Works Fresh Balsam candle.*  It. Is. Heavenly.  I could smell it all day.  The crisp, clean smell of winter evergreens. It reminds me of nature and of Christmas.  The smell of family, togetherness and tradition.  It reminds me of home.

Taste – Chocolate

I love chocolate.  Milk, dark, white, semi-sweet, bitter.  You name it, I love it. I value the people who harvest the cocoa beans and the brilliant bakers who transform the cocoa beans into velvety, rich chocolate. I cherish how it makes me feel;  calm and happy.  It is like a drug.

Touch – Hugs From My Children

There is nothing better in this world than hugs from my little ones.  Their warmth;  their unconditional love;  the type of hug that only a mother and a child can share.  Nothing can compare to it.  Love in its purest form.  The love between a mother and her child is unparalleled.  To hold their hands, brush their hair, snuggle, cuddle and hug.  It reminds me that I am loved.  I am important to someone.  I mean something to them.  They love me, unconditionally.  Just as I love them.

 

This was such an interesting exercise, one that should be done every single day to ensure that you never lose sight of the love and kindness that is all around you.  Perhaps I will start a gratitude journal where I can write one or two things every day that I am grateful for;  nature, laughter, candles, chocolate and my children.  I am truly blessed.

 

*I have no affiliation with Bath & Body Works nor have I received commissions for mentioning their product.  I just love their Fresh Balsam candle.  There.  That’s it.  My legal disclaimer.

© The Flip of the Switch, January 2016.