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sadness
Posts

  • Only The Best Picture of All Time Can Cure Depression

    Lately I’ve been feeling super depressed, sad, and full of anxiety. You know those days where life feels like a meaningless cavern of emotional torment, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t dig yourself out of the headspace that your life is totally futile?

    No? Neither have I.

    I’m soooo fine. Really.

    I’ve tried a variety of efforts to inspire a different feeling other than hopeless despair. One was to binge watch Game of Thrones, which surprisingly only made me more despondent. I guess super violent rape, murder, and incest isn’t the best way to cheer yourself up. Go figure.

    Usually music and dancing helps take me out of emotional funks, but I couldn’t fake the funk.

    I tried eating hotdogs, because hey, hotdogs can be good.

    That didn’t work.

    But then I saw this picture. And even though I can’t say my heart isn’t a black abyss of suffering, I did get a good laugh out of it.

    Isn’t Munch’s face so priceless here?

    It’s like she’s saying to herself, “When is that goddamn beat gonna drop?”

    best-picture-blog

    June 10, 2015 • Musings • Views: 941

  • The Heartbreak of a Broken Heart

    Do you remember your first broken heart? Did it feel like someone peeled back the layers of your skin only to pry their fingers deep into your aorta, and scrape the inner walls of your ventricles with their nails? Were you writhing in agony as the seething suffering traversed your veins and settled into a cantankerous cavity hidden inside the bowels of your being? ME TOO!!!

    My heart was broken for the first time when I was 15. He told me we lived too far apart, and he couldn’t be my boyfriend anymore because he wanted to finger-bang other girls. I wasn’t just devastated… I was destroyed. Forget the fact that I had another boyfriend who went to my school. The loss was too profound to bear. I would think of him every night when I went to sleep, and he was the first thing on my mind when I woke up. I sometimes wouldn’t leave my house in hopes that he would call. (The tragedy of being a teenager in the 90’s, pre cellphones *tear). I thought of him obsessively, and would look for him in any crowd I was in. It took me an entire year to move on emotionally, and of course as soon as I got over him, he was like “let’s date again,” – so we did.

    Being broken hearted is a helpless and vulnerable feeling because it is rooted in rejection. No matter how the other person tries to rationalize their reasoning, the piercing truth is that they don’t want you. That sinking reality is so painful because it also digs at the core of your self-esteem. The ego becomes enmeshed with the heart. Not only is the object of your love leaving, but they are also scarring your sense of worth with their disinterest to stay.

    The Munch is going through her first experience with heartbreak, and it has been breaking my heart to witness her sorrow. Her baby sitter since she was one year old has decided to move on. We had a conversation about it last week, and I think at first Munch was in a state of shock or denial. She didn’t really mention it, so I was hoping maybe it would be a smooth transition. Then the other morning, Munch came in my room while I was meditating wondering what I had done with a picture her babysitter Liliana had drawn her. It had been hanging on the fridge, and I had taken it down. At first I didn’t want to admit that, and tried to claim I didn’t remember – but Munch kept asking me where it was.

    Toni: I took it down.
    Munch: Why?
    Toni: It made me sad to look at it.

    That was when everything hit her. Suddenly Munch had to face reality. She started weeping in my arms telling me how much she missed Liliana. I held her, and began crying right along with her. Her pain was so relatable. Of course wanting to discontinue employment as a babysitter is drastically different than ending a relationship – yet in Munch’s world, the sentiment is the same.

    Munch: I still want her to be my babysitter. I don’t like those things she said. They really hurt my feelings. I don’t want her to leave. I miss her. I can’t stop thinking about Liliana!
    Toni: I know baby. It is really hard. But people can’t always be who you want them to be. Sometimes they have to be who they want to be. And when you love them, you have to give them that space.
    Munch: But I miss her so much and I want to see her. I am so angry that she doesn’t want to see me any more. I want to be with her. My heart is broken. She broke my heart.
    Toni: It hurts, I know. But Liliana wants to go back to school. And we want her to be happy. She needs to find her happiness. Don’t you want her to do that?
    Munch: Yes, but I also want her to stay with me.
    Toni: It doesn’t always work that way baby. Sometimes happiness means you have to leave.

    We sat, talked, and cried. I didn’t want to talk her out of her feelings, because that seemed like a fruitless effort. We can’t rationalize our way out of loss. We have to go through it. The only thing I could do was to listen, and suggest different ways of seeing the situation. After a while, we got up, got dressed, and got in the car to go on an adventure. We decided that we would listen to music as loud as we could, and sing as loud as our voices would go.

    As I was driving I realized the universal truth of heartbreak. The other person is happier with out you. That is why they have to go. Suddenly I felt elated by this knowing.  Even though there is a sweet sadness, there is also hope. Your aching has meaning because the person you love is happier. Even though that bruises the ego, the true self wants the people you adore to find their bliss, even if it means they take a different path.

    I know Munch is still hurting from this separation. She will go through her iPod, find videos of her with Liliana, and then cry as she watches them. Although the tragic rawness is brutal to witness, I also respect that this is a process she has to go through in order to let go. All I know is that I considering Munch is only 4 and feels this deeply, I am seriously in for it when she is a teenager.

    heartbreak-blog-(i)

  • Unleash Your Inner Teenage Girl

    When I was a teenager I would come home from school, put on really sad music, and cry. Just to drive this point home and make sure you have the visual… every day for four years I would blast Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, and *insert any 90’s angst- ridden singer songwriter here – just to make myself weep FOR HOURS! When I look back at that time in my life I have to wonder what the fuck was going on with me?

    The obvious answer is I was a hormonal mess, controlled by the insanity of estrogen pumping through my system at an alarming rate as it surged through my veins. Yet at the same time it was deeper than that. It was the one part of my day where I actually felt alive. For whatever reason, being a teenage girl made it possible for me to easily access my sorrow. It didn’t take much for me to feel infinitely sorry for myself, or even for all of humanity. I could tap into grief with a calm effortlessness, and access that intensity more than any other emotion.

    I didn’t know how to make myself feel boundlessly joyful, but I did know how to drop into sadness. Even though the melancholy didn’t feel good, the extremeness of the sentiment was full of vitality. The heightened sense gave meaning to everything, even if the moment was blurred by my salty vision.

    I don’t suggest this as a daily practice – unless I can get a book deal, in which case sign up for my 3-week course “Weep Your Way Into a Better You,” – but I do think there is something profound about releasing into the chaos of desperation. Perhaps if we were more willing to feel the truth of the lows, there would be more room for the altitude of the highs.

    Pain is also terrifying. I don’t want to feel hurt, nor do I want to see other people suffering. I once saw a cat that had been run over and was lying on the side of the road. I stopped to help it, but I didn’t have the capacity to handle how much the poor creature was in agony. Another car stopped right after me, and the driver went right over to the mangled animal and held it in her arms as it died. I had so much respect for this woman. She was able to bear the burden of this being’s transition when I was rendered impotent by my own excessive empathy. I felt so deeply for the cat that I couldn’t be there for it because I was too lost in my own feelings. I would like to think that if that woman hah never showed up I would have pulled myself together, and been more proactive then sobbing uncontrollably. Yet I am so grateful that she did, because she was there for us both that night.

    I was once part of a hippy new age shaman ceremony celebrating the descendants of grandmother moon, and go figure, I was actually feeling pretty good. Then this woman started writhing in discomfort as her primal cries filled the room. I found myself totally distracted by what was going on with her. As much as I wanted to help, I also knew that there wasn’t much I could do for her. She was on her trip. The best way for me to have been there for her was to visualize her as the perfect self. Yet it was so challenging not to get caught up in the drama of her experience. I had to repeat the mantra “this is her healing” in order to maintain my own sanity.

    Even though I felt terrible for this woman, I also wanted her to stop being in pain – not only for herself, but for me too. Her anguish was harshing my mellow! I felt so guilty that I was feeling fine, and she wasn’t.

    Isn’t that a metaphor for the global suffering that is going on all the time? When you are having the best night of your life, someone else is having the worst night of theirs. That is why it is so hard to really contemplate about all terrible realities going on. I feel awful when I really allow myself to think about child brides, therefore I don’t want to think about it. It is too hard for me to be happy when I remind myself of the millions who are not.

    So that is why we all need to unleash our inner teenage girl, and allow the totality of suffering to pass through us. Not only for ourselves, but also for all the beings on this fucked up planet we live on. To run from the hurt doesn’t mean it goes away. Maybe the best thing we can do is to truly turn towards it, so we can actually deal with how much it all sucks.
    (Look at me! I am on the verge of tears just sitting around xmas eve when I was 14)

    teenage-girl-blog

    January 15, 2015 • Musings, Old School Stories • Views: 1544

  • Life is Pain, Sweetie

    I really like The Munch.  I think she is pretty badass.  But damn – she can also be quite the drama queen.

    Kids hurt themselves a fuck of a lot.  They don’t watch where they are going, are easily distracted, and are just about eye-level of all table corners.  They are going to injure themselves at LEAST once a day, and in The Munch’s case she makes an event out of every instance as if she were auditioning for role of Lady Macbeth.

    Here is my conundrum. I don’t want to deny The Munch of her pain.  I think saying “oh never mind… forget it… you are fine” is demoralizing because it is telling your child how to feel rather than listening to what is actually going on.  But as much as I want to honor her life experiences, and for The Munch to understand her mind, body, and spirit in all its complexities – I also don’t want her to be a total pussy.

    One major mistake I made recently was letting The Munch watch the iPad after a particularly bad fall.  She was just in such a state of personal chaos… and I was super hungry for lunch.  The problem is that now she asks for the iPad when she is in pain like some possessed post-modern Pavlovian dog.

    Munch: WAAAAHHHHAAAA MAMMA IT REALLY HURTS! I NEED TO WATCH A MOVIE!

    Toni: Munch, no you don’t need to watch a movie.  Would you like me to give you a hug though?

    Munch: NO MAMMA NO!! I NEED TO WATCH CURIOUS GEORGE!! WAHHHHAHHHHAAAHHHHHAHAA!

    Toni: Sweetie, that is not going to happen.  But I can give you a hug, or I can tell you a story about the little girl named Adelia who fell and hurt herself?

    Munch: NOOOOO! I NEED TO WATCH CURIOUS GEORGE BECAUSE I HURT MYSELF AND THAT WILL MAKE ME FEEL BETTER!! WAHHHHAHAAAAHHHA!

    Toni: Munch, I know one time that happened, and that watching a movie helped you to feel better.  But that was a special occasion. I am not going to let you watch Curious George every time you hurt yourself.  That would be setting you up for disaster.  For the rest of your life you will turn to TV as a distraction from you pain rather than facing it head on.  I don’t want to create bad habits like that.

    Munch: WAAHHHHAAAAA BUT I NEED TO WATCH CURIOUS GEORGE SO I CAN FEEL BETTER!!!

    Toni: Munch listen to me.  Do you know who else hurts themselves?

    Munch: Who?

    Toni: Your cousin Calvin – he hurts himself.  And so does your friend Amelia.  Remember how she broke her arm?  And your friend Julien – sometimes hurts himself too.

    Munch: WAHHHAAAAHHHA!

    Toni: You see Munch, everyone hurts themselves.  It is a part of the human condition.  Life is pain sweetie.  And the challenge of existence is how you deal with that pain.  So you have to remember you are going to hurt yourself a thousand more times in life, and it is important to cope with pain with grace and humility.  So not every time you hurt yourself you have to get into a state of hysterics.  It is important to not be controlled by your suffering, but realize it will pass in time.

    Munch: Can I look at pictures on your phone then?

    Toni: Sure.

    I think I made my point 😉

    life-is-pain-blog-(i)

     

  • Tragic Beauty

    As we all know from debating the worth of a song, book, or painting, art is a subjective experience. I have often wondered what that intangible pull might be. In my own relationship to works of creativity, I have always felt that what makes art evocative is the spirit in which it was created. If, the artist is fully present and passionate about their craft, then that will translate into my relationship with it. Being in the flow and connecting to that force can make the artist feel like the work is channeling through them, and that sincerity is palpable.

    Even though every artist has their own unique creative process, what unites them all is the need to take what is in their imagination and translate that into a medium that people can experience.  The intentionality of wanting to connect to others in these ways puts the artist and the viewer or listener into a symbiotic relationship. Even if I never physically associate with the creator, my observing of their art means that we are energetically intertwined. So, as the photographer sees the beauty in their picture, as the painter commits entirely to their vision, as the writer is immersed in their words, so am I.

    But some art comes from a different sort of inspiration.  Not from what the artist is seeing or fantasizing in their mind, but from what they are dealing with in their actual lives.  Often times, it is this type of expression that is the most moving.  Especially when the subject matter is deeply intimate.  Its almost as if the more personal someone is willing to be, the more universal the outcome.

    I came across this blog called “the battle we didn’t’ choose” where a husband documented the last few years of his wife’s battle with breast cancer.  The pictures are so beautiful and heart wrenching that it is impossible not to cry.  He used his artistic talent as a photographer to tell her story in a way that was more compelling and tender then words ever could.  It is so hard to relate to an experience that you have never had, yet seeing these pictures on screen spoke to me in a way that not only evoked my compassion, but also touched my soul.

    I really commend him for creating him for his courage to share these images with the world.  In the face of tragedy, his art is spreading a message.

    battle-we-didn't-choose-blog-(i)

     

    April 12, 2013 • 2 years old, Current Events, Health, Musings • Views: 1043

  • Emotionally Exhausted

    The mind-body duality is a philosophical conundrum that has been pondered for thousands of years.  In my understanding, the mind is this ethereal idea that is associated with the brain, but doesn’t necessarily reside anywhere.  Who is to say that your mind is in your head, it could be in your heart, stomach, penis… or the little man in the canoe.

    Your mind may not even be yours alone – it could be just a tiny fraction of a collective mind that we all share.  Floating around as part of a giant network of energy, suspended in the quantum universe that you are plugged into for all eternity.

    The body, however, has an expiration date and will decay over time.  It ages, excretes, sweats, leaks, expels, and can embarrass you with its strange noises – like queefs.  But the body is simple.  It is a mechanism that serves you – not an emotional terrorist like your mind.  A tired body from being challenged physically feels like an accomplishment, where a depleted mind from emotional exhaustion can feel depressing.

    Feeling emotionally drained can come in many different forms.  Getting into a fight with a loved one, a stranger being rude, your boss demeaning you, comparing yourself to others, paying bills, family events, or having your period 3 times in 6-weeks.

    The mind-body duality should be called the mind-body marriage, but between a couple that has been together for 50-years and is all crotchety and resentful.  Because if something is affecting the body, like oozing blood out of your lady parts, your mind will also be impacted. Right now my body may be provoking my mind, but does my mind have to be such a bitch about it?

    I need to take a break from all this….

    emotionally-exhausted-blog-(i)

     

    March 27, 2013 • 2 years old, Health, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings, Relationships, Women's Business • Views: 1636

  • My Child is a Shaman

    We all have an inner voice.  Mine perhaps is more outer than most, but my belly button is an innie so it all evens out.  Unless you have hyper-conditioned your mind to speak only affirmations, chances are your internal dialogue is quite critical.  Mine is telling me, “that was a stupid sentence, and you are always wordy, and write too many run-ons, and your skin is looking grey, and your hair is stringy, and there you go with those run-on sentences again you big poopy face dumb-dumb.”

    Some people are more sadistic to themselves then others.  Self-abuse is never okay because it can make you go blind, or grow hair on your palms.  At least that is what I was told.  I have a friend who is a lovely talented angel from another dimension of perfection, but she is always ripping herself apart – which is gross and makes stains.  The story she tells herself of her life does not honor her ability or accomplishments.

    Today she was lying on my bathroom floor, going down a spiral of negativity, and feeling really down.

    Toni: “Munch, should we go check on Bridget to see if she is okay?”

    Munch: “Okay… Mamma she is on the floor!”

    Toni: “I know Munch!”

    Munch: “Is she okay? Is she feeling sick?”

    Toni: “Yes Munch, she is feeling sick.”

    Munch: “She is sooo sick and she is on the floor?  What’s the matter with her?”

    Toni: “I don’t know Munch… what do you think she is sick with?”

    Munch: “Ummmm I think she is sick in her mouth.”

    Isn’t that so insightful?  I have never complained about my mouth being sick, and really don’t think The Munch was reenacting some ailment she has witnessed.  She came up with that out of her own intuition.  And I think she is completely right.  We too often tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough.  The inner-dialogue harshly condemns more than it expresses positivity and self-love.

    The Munch is a wise sage.  A shaman if you will… because maybe we are all a little sick in our mouths.

    (Look! Munch did our make-up! Don’ we look amazing!?”

    shamen-blog-(i)

     

    March 22, 2013 • 2nd Month, Baby Brain, Mommy Mind, Musings, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1586