Smitten with Him

grown-up stuff happens here sometimes

My ‘Exit Pencils’ Crisis

Why must I question everything? Why is so imperative there is an answer?

Why can’t I just be happy when there is no reason?

A couple of weeks ago, the thought popped into my head, “I totally suck at personing.”

Read the rest of this entry »

4 Comments »

Nothing But Trouble

Mechanic

Ahhh, Lil Bear, how you ail me

Your water pump

Then your thermostat

No, wait, maybe it’s your radiator

AND your thermostat *sigh*

Now your lug nuts break!?

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Comments »

Karma Payback

image from giphy.com

image from giphy.com

I used to give Loserman money like it was going out of style.

And the fact that Doon-n-Gloom is still living with me after we’re divorced also speaks to my generosity stupidity.

I don’t know if I was trying to buy their love or just being nice.

Probably a little bit of both.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Comments »

Bitch On Fire

I hate being fake

Pretending to like someone

Because

I’m scared to make her angry

Because

I’m afraid to lose my job

Because

There is no nice way

To tell her that she’s a bitch-on-fire

BitchOnFire

P.S. Crazy girl at work has to take a “Communication Skills for Women” class. Woo hoo!! Karmic retribution!!

5 Comments »

There’s a *Venus* Retrograde I Need to Worry About, Too?!?

Image result for venus retrograde in virgo

photo credit Venus Lotus

At this rate, I won’t ever be getting out of bed. Especially since, right after the end of this *Venus* Retrograde, we go immediately into a Mercury Retrograde.

See what I mean about never getting out of bed? That and all those Friday the 13ths scattered in there…

I guess I can be thankful it only happens every 18 months or so.

You can thank Elephant Journal for helping me discover this cosmic phenomenon.

Apparently:

“In your horoscope, the planet Venus rules beauty, art, social relationships, partnerships, romance, love, values, money, and financial security [that pretty much covers everything, right?]. Whenever a planet is retrograde it’s not a favorable time for initiating activities in the area that a planet rules because your perception is off kilter.

In the case of Venus retrograde, the best thing to do is to: slow down and reassess what—and—who you value. If you ignore this advice, you may find that the actions you take during Venus retrograde come back to haunt you, because of a special set of problems you may not know about [isn’t that kind of just how life is?]. Venus only goes retrograde every 18 months (for 40-44 days), as it will from July 25, 2015 through September 6, 2015. Yet, this important event may have a huge effect on your life.”

Here are 8 things you can do to protect yourself…

  1. Hold off getting married or making wedding plans
  2. Do not begin a new relationship or break-up from one you’re in
  3. Make an appraisal of your current relationship
  4. Prepare for an old relationship to return into your life
  5. Beware of making changes in your beauty & overall appearance
  6. Postpone resolving monetary matters
  7. Re-consider whether now is the right time for an investment
  8. Cautiously evaluate any luxury items you want to buy

You can click this link to read more detailed descriptions, if you’d like…

So, in short, that’s 40-44 days where I shouldn’t be making these types of decisions? And then the next Mercury Retrograde starts on September 17th?

That’s 11 fucking days, people!! 11 fucking days to get shit done before I have to spend another 21 holed up?

And really not even that!

“The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such [technology].  So, when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.

About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand.  You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.”

credit: The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

So… I MAYBE only get four days of relative sanity!?

Then I find out about Saturn Retrograde!?!?!? Which started way back on March 14th and goes until the beginning of August!?

“Saturn is the Lord of Karma. Retrograde motion is a time when karma is sorted out. Therefore Saturn retrograde 2015 is a double dose of karma.

Before we get into this, we need to understand what this word means. Karma is a form of energy that is very real. Like Saturn, it is very closely bound to time. Past, present, and future blur into one. If we have been bad in the past, then at a certain predestined time, an event will occur to teach us a lesson. If we been good in the past, then at a predestined time, an event will occur to reward us for our good deeds.

With Saturn in retrograde motion, the karma will relate to how responsible we have been in the past. The implications will affect our sense of security. This could be in any area of life… … …

… … … Dishonesty and treachery will come back to haunt some people. Victims of lies and scandal have the hope of being vindicated, but sadly, all involved will find this whole processes rather ugly and depressing.”

credit: Astrology King

Awesome!!

Image result for butterfly effect quote

butterfly-effect

Leave a comment »

Sk8cation: The Drive Home (Monday and Tuesday)

Click here to read Sunday.

Sk8cationPalm

I wish I could tell you that we drove home in peace. The End.

That’s how I wished it would be.

Truthfully, I think this trip was karma serving me up some of my just desserts. So, I was still trying to roll with it.

For the most part…

It would be over eventually, right? And I was probably learning something…

This last part of the story is going to be difficult to write because there were a lot of my feelings involved and even more talking. Of course you are only going to hear what I remember, which is definitely going to paint me in a better light, but I always try to put this out here as objectively as I can. This journal is something I go back to later in order to see what-the-fuck. It’s important to me that I am as accurate as possible.

Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

Getting Rid of Resentment

I have a tremendous problem with resentment and letting things go. This article helped me understand that it’s important to “turn that frown upside down”. And it’s just plain healthy to replace those hateful thoughts with tender lovingkindness. ❤

How to get rid of resentment

written by: Bodhipaksa Nov 09, 2011

Ann Lamott, in her novel Crooked Little Heart, says that holding onto resentment is like eating rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.

Resentment is seductive. We assume on some level that it’s going to help us, but it doesn’t. It just causes us pain.

This is something that just about all of us need help with.

1600 years ago, a compiler and commenter of Buddhist texts called Buddhaghosa put together an extraordinary “tool kit” of ways to deal with resentment. I was recently looking at this guidance, which is part of Buddhaghosa’s encyclopedic work on meditation, The Visuddhi Magga, or Path of Purity, and thought it was so fresh, well thought-out, and relevant that it was worth restating some of what he had to say.

Twelve techniques for getting rid of resentment

1. Lovingkindness practice

This one’s pretty obvious — if you’re a meditator at least. You can simply call to mind the person you’re resentful of, and cultivate good will toward them. We have a whole section of this site devoted to teaching the metta bhavana (development of lovingkindness) practice, so I won’t say much about that here, except that it does work! When I first started practicing meditation I had a lot of problems with resentment, and I was often surprised by how quickly my anger and resentment toward someone would just vanish.

2. Reflect that resentment is never justified

Buddhaghosa suggests that we “reflect upon the saw.”

This one needs a bit of unpacking. There’s a “Simile of the Saw” in the early Buddhist scriptures, where the Buddha says that even if bandits brutally sawed a person limb from limb, “he who entertained hate in his heart would not be one that carried out my teaching.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what the provocation is, hatred is never justified. The mind can go “but … but …” as much as it likes, but hatred remains a negative emotion that destroys our happiness, causes suffering for others, and prevents us from experiencing peace.

Pretty much all of us, though, carry around the idea that there’s such a thing as “righteous resentment.” And we assume that hatred is justified. We tell ourselves stories about how bad the other person is, and this seems to make it natural for us to hate them. What we’re not doing is taking responsibility for our ill will. It’s our interpretation of other people’s actions that makes us hate them. We cause our own hate.

Don’t take the parable of the saw literally. Of course (unless you’re an advanced practitioner of superhuman stature) you’d experience hatred toward an aggressor who was torturing you. That wouldn’t mean that you weren’t a Buddhist — but it would mean that in the moment of hatred you would not “be one that carried out [the Buddha’s] teaching.” The point of the parable is simply to undermine the idea of “righteous resentment.”

Incidentally, some Tibetan monks and nuns who have been brutally tortured by Chinese security forces have avoided developing hatred toward their tormentors by means of compassion — reflecting that their torturers are building up bad karma for themselves.

3. Winning the real battle

Hot on the heels of the advice to reflect on the parable of the saw is an admonition to reflect that in developing hatred you’re actually giving a person who hates you what they want. (This is assuming that the other person hates you, which isn’t always the case.)

What does a person who hates you want for you? Bad stuff, that’s what. Buddhaghosa points out that hatred makes you ugly, causes you pain, destroys your good fortune, causes you to lose your wealth (or not to create any, perhaps because you’re distracted), detracts from your reputation, loses you friends, and leads to a bad rebirth. This is all bad stuff.

Someone who really hated you might wish all these things on you, and here you are doing them to yourself! You’re handing your hater victory. You’re doing him or her a favor. And by getting angry at an angry person, Buddhaghosa says, you become worse than them, and “do not win the battle hard to win,” which is of course the battle with yourself, to remain happy and unruffled.

So basically, we reflect here that true victory can’t come from getting angry at an angry person. That’s defeat. Victory comes from remaining calm, loving, and equanimous.

4. “Accentuate the positive”

Buddhaghosa suggests that we think about something positive in the other person, so that you can “remove irritation.”

This works, too. Resentment doesn’t like complexity. When you bear in mind someone’s good points — even things (dammit!) that we admire — it’s harder to keep the resentment going.

5. Develop compassion

But if you can’t think of anything positive about the other person, or if they truly don’t have any positive qualities (although that’s almost impossible) then you should develop compassion toward them. In Buddhaghosa’s world view, a person with no redeeming qualities is bound for the torments of the hell realms, and is therefore worthy of our compassion. I should stress that in Buddhism the hells are not permanent and are not punishments — they are simply places where we are reborn for a while as a result of our actions. Buddhist hells are a kind of “fat farm” where we burn off our bad karma.

6. Notice how you’re causing yourself suffering

As Ann Lamott points out, resentment hurts us. Buddhaghosa offers many reflections along those lines:

If another person has hurt us, why should we then hurt ourselves? In your life you’ve had to give up many things that brought you happiness, so why not walk away from resentment, which makes you miserable? If another person has done something we disapprove of, then why do something (like getting angry) that we would also disapprove of? If someone wants you to get angry, why give them the satisfaction? You may make the other person suffer with your anger. Then again you may not. But you’ll definitely hurt yourself. The thing you got angry about is impermanent and in the past. So why are you angry now?

He’s kind of unrelenting, that Buddhaghosa.

7. Reflect that all beings are the owners of their karma

This is a common reflection in Buddhism: all beings create their own actions (kamma) and inherit the consequences of those actions. The other person may have done things that are unskillful, and those actions will cause them suffering. So what’s the point of you doing exactly the same thing, by acting out of the unskillful state of resentment? It’s like picking up a hot coal to throw at the other person. You may hurt them, but you’re definitely going to hurt yourself.

The other person, if they are angry with you, is causing themselves pain. It’s like, Buddhaghosa says, them throwing a handful of dust into the wind. They may be aiming at you, but it’s their eyes that will end up smarting.

Reflecting in this way we can untangle our respective lives. The other person’s faults, real or imagined, are no longer an occasion for us to exercise our own faults.

8. Reflect on exemplars of patience

Buddhaghosa goes a bit over the top with this one, devoting almost as much time on this method of dispelling resentment as he does on all the others put together. His approach is to remind us of various past lives of the Buddha, or jataka tales, as they’re called. These are mythological stories about the Buddha’s previous lives, as he developed the qualities of compassion and wisdom that led to his awakening.

I’ve found that being in the presence of someone who is very patient causes me to let go of my resentments. I had a good friend in Scotland who I never — not once — heard say an unkind word about anyone. Sometimes I’d be bitching about someone else, and my friend would just come in with some wise and kind word about the other person’s life that would put everything in perspective and leave me feeling a bit petty about having ranted. Even now, just calling that friend to mind helps me evoke a sense of patience.

9. Reflect that all beings have been your dearest friends and relations in a previous life

I’m not big on past lives, or in belief in rebirth generally, but if you do take that kind of thing seriously, then Buddhaghosa’s advice is to remember that because of the beginninglessness of time, every being — including those you get most pissed off with — have been your mother, father, brother, sister, son, and daughter. When that person was your mother, they carried you in their womb, suckled you, wiped away your snot and shit, and generally lavished you with love. And we can reflect, Buddhaghosa says, thus: “So, it is unbecoming for me to harbor hate for him [or her] in my mind.”

Being one of a scientific bent, and not putting much stock in reflections that rely on assuming that rebirth is a reality rather than a myth, or perhaps a metaphor, I find myself approaching this advice in a different way. Let’s take rebirth as a metaphor: change is happening all the time, and so we’re each reborn in every moment. Each moment we die and are reborn.

Each momentary contact with the world is part of this process of death and rebirth. In fact, each perception is a kind of birth. It’s the birth of a new experience, and thus of a new “us.” Each contact that we have with another being is part of this process. Each time we see someone, hear someone, touch someone, even think or someone, a new experience arises and a new being is born. So in this way, all beings that we have contact with are our mothers. Each being we have contact with in this moment helps give birth to the being that exists in this moment. And since, in our immensely complex world, the unfolding, never-ending death-and-rebirth of each being is ultimately connected with the never-ending death-and-rebirth of each other being, all beings are our mothers.

10. Reflect on the benefits of lovingkindness

You can reflect on the benefits of lovingkindness, and how you’ll deny yourself those benefits by indulging in resentment. What are the benefits? Well, it’s worth reflecting on that through examining your own experience, but here’s Buddhaghosa’s list, which comes from the scriptures: You’ll sleep in comfort, wake in comfort, and dream no evil dreams. You’ll be dear to human beings and to non-human beings. Deities will guard you. Fire and poison and weapons won’t harm you (although that seems unlikely, to say the least). More plausibly, your mind will be easily concentrated. You’ll be reborn in a pleasant realm (or at the very least the future you that arises will have more a pleasant existence than the being that would have arisen had lovingkindness not been a part of its previous existence).

Some of these are plausible. There is scientific research showing that there are health benefits, and mental health benefits, from practicing lovingkindness meditation. Friendly people generally seem to have a more pleasant experience of the world, with less conflict and more fulfilling experience of others. You’ll deny yourself these benefits if you indulge in resentment. Resentment is the saturated fat of emotions, clogging the arteries of our happiness.

11. Break the other person into tiny pieces

Mentally (not physically!) we can dissolve the object of our resentment into various elements, asking ourselves what exactly we’re angry with. Is it the head hairs, the body hairs, the nails, the teeth, etc? Is it the solid matter making up that person, the liquid, the gas, the energy?

This might seem a little silly. In fact it seemed silly to me, right up to the moment that I tried it. There had been resistance to the idea, because I thought, “Well, of course I’m not angry with any of those things, I’m angry with them — with the person as a whole. But setting that resistance aside, and just reflecting on the bits that make up a person takes you away from the thought of them “as a whole” and you temporarily can’t be angry with them!

As Buddhaghosa says, “When he tries the resolution into elements, his anger finds no foothold, like a mustard seed on the point of a needle.”

He’s right.

12. Give a gift

This one’s delightfully straightforward and earthy. If you give the other person a gift — especially something you value — then you break the dynamic of your resentment. You shake things up within yourself. You have to think of the other person as a human being with needs. You have to think about what they might like. You stop your mind from going around and around in the same old rut of complaining. You have to let go of your damned pride. You have to take a risk. You have to make yourself vulnerable.

And giving to the other person changes the dynamic of the relationship. If there’s mutual resentment, then you may shock the other person into seeing you differently.

Buddhaghosa points out that giving naturally leads to kind speech:

Through giving gifts they do unbend
And condescend to kindly speech.

Of course you may be thinking something along the lines of, “Wait! I hate this person; why on earth would I give them something?”

But that just brings up another question. Do you want to end your resentment?

Well, do you?

4 Comments »

Tuesday and the New Truck

These are the two texts I got from Loverman Tuesday afternoon in regards to his purchasing a ‘new’ truck.

#1: Mama, you are going to kill me but I found the truck and they are going to let me drive it today with $200 down.
(this text was cute both because of the nature of the text and the fact that he used my name. He never texts me my name.)

#2: I’m test driving it now. On my way to you so see what you think.

It was so adorably cute I immediately went to go tell my boss about it (she knows all that is going on in my life — I love my boss, she is the best boss I have ever had!). And (grinning, I’m sure) I read her the messages and asked her, “Isn’t this something you would normally ask your spouse?” Her response was, “Neither of you has a great relationship with your spouse. Does it surprise you that he’s asking you about this? I mean, he IS the one that takes care of you instead of <husband’s name>. He is the one that you call when you need something a spouse normally does for their partner.

That is what got me started thinking on the I-Team post from yesterday…

Loverman brought the truck to show me as promised. I checked it out and asked him all the questions I could think of. The cab of the truck was filthy, but nothing that a good scrub wouldn’t fix. We looked under the hood and everything looked clean under there. While he was driving the truck to me, the Check Engine light came on so we talked about that for a minute (he says I’m his “assistant” because I help him work on cars when he needs me and when I have time — I can’t wait until this summer when we can get out to the junkyards!). Every time I thought of something to ask him or tell him about, I received a resounding “Good girl!” It’s amazing how good just a little bit of validation can make you feel, eh?

He tooled around in the truck for the next hour or so until I got off of work because he wanted me to go with him to sign the contract. Also, he wanted me to be there and say if I thought that the whole thing was a good deal.

It turns out that he got the truck. He purchased it through one of those companies that helps you to rebuild your credit. As long as he stays on the automatic payment plan for the next 2.5 years the truck is covered under their full warranty program. That part is awesome because him having money to fix the darn thing was what I was most worried about — Loverman has child support payments and health insurance already being deducted from his checks, he barely makes $250 every other week; I wanted to make sure that he would have enough to cover other things like the water bill and his car insurance.

Just like in last week’s Karma post, I think that things are going too well.

Am I just being paranoid?

2 Comments »

I’d Like to Check My Karma Balance, Please?

free_karma_by_pinkiepi314-d572izqThings have been going so well with Loverman. I’ve been feeling so close to him lately. It started right before we went away on our 2-day mini-vacation last month. I think he’s feeling it, too. He’s been calling me way more often than normal. And he has been sending me the most adorable texts — something he very rarely used to do…

Yesterday it was: Mmmm… Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you and stuff 😉
Monday it was: You on lunch break? Call me, I want to hear your lovely voice.

Tuesday he drove me to and from work and we even had a (really AWESOME!) quickie in my truck before he dropped me off at home for the horrible fight with the 15-year-old daughter (karma? or not?).

I’m scared. I know karma is lurking out there — waiting to pounce on me. Like last November with the broken ankle, or December when I was rear-ended driving Loverman’s car, or like Tuesday’s screaming match with my daughter. I also know that things just happen, completely unrelated to any other thing (or is it still karma?). So, I’m not going to hold my breath in anticipation for something bad. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.

I just wish sometimes that there was a Karma Bank where I could check my current balance and account activity.

5 Comments »

karma chameleon

Today’s Daily Prompt is: Reincarnation: do you believe in it?

My Name Is Earl

First off, I would like to say that I think that reincarnation is completely subjective. Hopefully by the end of this post, you will see what I mean. If not, that means that I am just a “prophet ahead of her time” 😉

Have you ever watched the TV show My Name is Earl? I absolutely love it and try to watch the reruns when I can. The funny thing about it is: I didn’t start watching the show until after it was cancelled. I don’t know why I never watched it before… But I love the message it imparts about trying to right your wrongs and come clean with people for the sake of karma (or just plain being a better person), and it’s a fun and uplifting way to start the morning (thank you, TBS).

Loverman doesn’t understand why I like the show so much. That’s also funny because he is a total goofball — and he is forever telling me how silly I am. But he will watch the show with me if it happens to be on, and usually he laughs out loud at least once…

Anyway, I like the concept of this show and I like that it is so simple — just a dude trying to make things right. (and I will eventually get to my point…)

I try to go through my life with that same basic concept, except I don’t live in my home town and I never see (even on Facebook) the people from my “past life”. But I like to “pay it forward” and make sure I “treat people the way I would like to be treated”. However, as we all know, there are times when that’s impossible and other times when I simply don’t want to.

By and by, all of us are really just a sum of our actions (aka – choices) and individualized beliefs and I believe that each of our “final destination”s are tailored by those actions and beliefs. Earl found out that if he started doing nice things for people, nice things happened to him, too (and bad things happened to him less). So he began to make a conscious effort to do good things and then he felt better — therefore, making a choice to change his own “final destination”.

Here are some more examples:

  • Some people think that they will be judged by a higher power and that they may (or may not) get to walk through the pearly gates and “meet their maker” — and that is the end.
  • Others think that once their bodies have died, everything is dead — and that is the end
  • Some think that after they die, their spirits are free to choose a new existence and are reincarnated into a new being — and there is no foreseeable end.

Chameleon_Con_Badge_by_charfadeI believe that each and every one of us is here for a purpose.
I believe that everything is one — and, as a result, I believe that everything happens for a reason.
I believe that, as things happen to us, we are forced to make choices that help us to grow and learn and change (if that is what we choose to do) and in the end, those choices mold our final destiny.
I believe that, ultimately, we will have to answer for those choices. But this is where my opinion differs from most…

I don’t believe in God — at least not like that. I don’t think that I am going to heaven and that I will have to explain to God why I messed up the things I did. I honestly think that there is way too much shit going on “down here” on Earth for God to care about whether or not I brushed my teeth before bed or if I looked both ways before crossing the street. Plus, how can we truly know that God didn’t just get sick of our hedonistic planet (a really long time ago) and go off and create another one, leaving us here to fend for ourselves?

I believe that my beliefs and choices (aka – actions) “build” my karma and that karma decides my destiny because those are the things that I believe.
I believe in reincarnation.
I believe that my level  (or, for lack of a better word, score) of “goodness” or “badness” will determine the type of new being that I become when my body dies and my spirit is reborn.
I also believe that our actions in our past lives effect what happens to us in our current lives.

So, in my reality, it only makes sense that I will be reincarnated but others may not…

  • Door To HellIf you believe that you will be judged by your maker and go to heaven/hell based on your goodness/badness — that will be what happens to you (but I say this belief gives people a false sense of security. Like — asking for forgiveness doesn’t mean a damn thing if you’re planning on doing that same “bad” thing again… My dad drowns hundreds of squirrels in a bucket every summer and he still thinks that he’s getting into heaven. I think he will be a bit upset when God expresses His disappointment in him for all the creatures he killed in cold blood — just so they didn’t eat the bird food in the hanging feeders?!?! Really?)
  • If you believe that once your body has died, everything is dead — that will be what happens to you. (I think this one sounds kind of sad and hopeless, but this is what some people want… And it might be a more “motivational” way of living. I can’t judge because I do not know.)
  • If you believe that after you die, your spirit will be free to choose a new existence — that will be what happens to you. (Yay! That’s me! I want to try again and again and again until I “get it right”!)

In the end, I believe that each one of us will get exactly what we prepare ourselves for… Whether it be heaven, total nothingness or the re-emergence of a new self.

8 Comments »