Marriage: keeps you stretched like a shoetree

I’m pondering my life as wife. No. I take that back.

I’m pondering having embraced the real and scary risk of stepping out of my comfort zone to be someone’s intimate partner for life!

You see, I’m very much an introvert. When I was 18 I knew I was not destined for motherhood. I also knew that I was heterosexual. That meant I would probably desire men in my life for companionship and romance. But I was ambivalent about ever becoming wife.

I’ve always enjoyed my own company; listening to my own thoughts and perceptions. In those early years I imagined that by the time I’d reached the age I am today I’d be living alone in a cave somewhere. Blissfully.

Today I find myself happily married for the last 24 years. It’s a multifaceted wonderful experience.

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The best part? Marriage has stretched me beyond myself!

Once upon a time I thought I’d be perfectly content with my own company, seated in Lotus Position in a cave on a mountaintop.

I no longer envision that scene. Marriage allows me to experience vulnerability, compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional support. Marriage teaches me the joy of sharing assets AND liabilities, fulfilling that promise I voiced to do so.

Who could have those experiences living alone in a bleeping cave on a mountaintop?

 

What about you, sisters? Please share.

How has YOUR marriage stretched YOU?

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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Infidelity and a Healing Heart

Infidelity wounds, doesn’t it? The pain from the wound reverberates. One stranger’s infidelity can rip the healing scab right off another’s previously wounded heart.

Don’t believe me? Then listen up…

“Gail? Hey girlfriend. I’m in Minneapolis on business. Are you free for lunch today?

Finally sitting down to lunch with my girl, “Adrienne.” How long has it been since I’ve caught up with her? At least two years.

Adrienne is a verified success story. MBA. Six-figure income. Talented. Beautiful.

“I turned 46 last week, Gail. I got to share my birthday with my love, too. He and I stole away for a weekend ski trip. We didn’t do much skiing though!

Healed Hands

Adrienne has never married. I wanted to hear all about this new love she’s been dating for 4 months.

She gushed about Mr. Wonderful. Not as much gushing about the fact that he has a wife and two teenaged sons.

I wasn’t shocked. I’ve indulged my share of dumb moves that I’m not proud. Adrienne’s grown. So I made up my mind that I will neither judge nor criticize.

But is was difficult (boring) listening. Her niggling and giggling about their romantic (sex) escapades. Did she assume I’d be enthralled? Why would I?

Oh, she knew the affair was “simply mad fun and romance,” she admitted “it won’t lead to the marriage I want,” she conceded “he had one other affair years ago and his wife forgave him.” But…

“What can I do, Gail? There are so few available men my age. My love tells me he can’t wait for our fun relaxation times together, and that he has powerful feelings for me.”

Adrienne yammers on. She doesn’t notice that I’ve tuned her out. Someone else in the room catches my eye and my intuition:

The man seated alone at the table across from ours.

Business Man

He appears immersed in his I Pad screen. He doesn’t fool me. He’s listening to Adrienne! And I can feel his…irritation. He soon rises from his table, packs up his computer, and pulls on his suit coat.

Oh my. Is he really coming over to our table?

 

“Excuse me, Miss. Clearly you know little about what goes on in the mind and heart of a husband who cheats on his wife. Since it takes one to know one, please allow me a few moments of your time.”

As men are prone to do, the man gets right to the point.

“I heard you laugh about the fun he’s having in your affair. Sure, an affair is big fun for a couple of months. If a man has any self-esteem–bona fide self-esteem–then the fun quickly grows dank and cloudy. Guilt and shame begin to chew jagged holes in his mind and heart.

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“Regardless what happens after the affair ends–his wife stays with him and they work it out–or she leaves him. Maybe his wife never discovers his cheating. Maybe he even stupidly queues up another affair. He retains each self-inflicted wound.

 ”Oh yeah. The wounds scab over, the guilt and shame recede and you do go on with your life. Months or years pass. While the scabs sit there as a reminder, still, you assume you’ve healed deep within. Forgiven. Forgotten. Past tense.

“Then today you sit in a restaurant and you overhear that lie, overhear that laugh about recreational cheating. That asinine lie and that smug laugh you once uttered yourself.

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“Rips your scabs right off.”

I didn’t see Adrienne’s reaction. I was too busy picking myself up off the floor.

“Enjoy your afternoon, ladies.”

 

Emotional wounding/healing are messy voyages. The wounding/healing ebbs and flows as we sail out on that journey. And it seems we invite everyone within hailing distance along for the ride.

 

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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The SisterWhisperer Invites You: Embrace Impossible!

“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen…’Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’”  ~  Lewis Carroll

What is impossible? Do you know? I daresay I’m baffled regarding what is “impossible.” Our incorrigible egos would swear they do know. How else would ego implore us to live within that limited vision?

Outstanding Woman

Last night I dreamed a 30-year recurring reverie. It provides me a smack-in-the-face fresh perspective on an aspect of my life even if I’ve not requested such–not with conscious directive anyway.

In the dream I dive deep into the ocean. I’m at a 40-50 feet depth when I panic.

 

How will surface on this single breath? Oh no, I can’t! I will drown. How foolish was I to risk this dive?

Just as I’m about to resign myself that I’m drowning–that I will soon perish–I begin to breathe. Normally. Within the depths of the ocean without mechanical breathing equipment assistance.

The impossible has manifested possible. I’m awe struck, grateful, and serene as I slowly kick to the surface.

Notes to Self

This dream always portents that a phase of my life is waning to make way for the waxing of another significant growth phase.

Corroborating with nature. New life emerges from the compost of the former new life.

Are you ready to experience the impossible? Regardless what your churlish ego may tell you, it’s never foolish to risk opening your mind and heart.

Embrace it. Because if impossible is on its way into my world, then it’s on its way into yours, too.

Believe that!

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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Drugs And The Creative Mind

If you follow my blog posts you know that I’m a dreamer.

I’m a lucid dreamer–I usually know that I’m dreaming and I follow along as participant and spectator. The often times powerful emotions of the dream state follow me into my awakened state for hours if not days.

Last Friday I dreamed I acquired some sort of injury requiring pain medication. I didn’t want to take medication but the pain was constant and severe.

So in the dream I reluctantly ingest this undesired pain medication the doctor proscribes.

Wrong Way

It took the pain away. It took everything away. I sat on my bed and watched the wall in front of me melt. I watched it melt but I had no thoughts or feelings about the melting wall or anything else.

It was worse than numb. It was as though I ceased to breathe, touch, hear, or smell. I tried to will myself to think so I had something to decipher. But no coherency presented. Nothing came together. Nothing.

Lucid Gail stood on the sideline and watched dream Gail.

Dream Gail felt nothing; lucid Gail felt terror.

“Is this what people call ‘being high?’”

I didn’t like the sensation. It didn’t serve me. Oh, it turned off the physical pain but also turned off the part of me that I treasure–my discerning brain.

I pondered this dream for two days. Then we heard the bewildering news of the passing of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

A man with a muti-faceted, creative, expressive mind. Forever silenced.

Being ‘high’ felt terrifying to me.

Perhaps numbness feels peaceful to others. I don’t claim to know.

But I’m lucid; I’m drug free; I embrace the full range of human emotions.

So I feel compassion, bewilderment, and sadness over the loss of passionate, artistic, expressive minds.

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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Initiation of Womanhood

Today I’m pondering the joys in my life. You know–those things that are dear to my heart. People, places, and especially...practices.

What about you? Do you have a practice that mines joy from your heart too? Does the practice cause you to feel connected to something huge, something larger than your physical life?

It could be your yoga practice. It could be home schooling your precious children.

Is it your bountiful, hand tended garden? Is it your piano playing virtuosity?

What about your journal? What about the meals you lovingly prepare for your extended family?

Remember starting your business at your kitchen table? The business that to date has helped and inspired so many thankful souls? Remember that book you were terrified to write and publish? “Nobody wants to hear what I know,” you said. The book you HAD to write and publish and so you did?

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Well here I stand at that crossroads. About to step onto a broader stage and into a practice that has always lightened my heart and left me feeling connected to something larger than life!

I have gems to share that cry to leap out of my heart and soul. Oh, I’ve shared bits and pieces over the years…nicely, gently.

I will speak loudly now. Literally. Speak.

I’ve created a keynote speech entitled: Calling The Mothers To the Well: The Day The Daughters Draw Near

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If I lived in an ancient culture, upon this land or any other land on this sphere we call earth, at this point in my journey the following would be my daily practice:

The 30 year-old mothers would seek out the wisdom of my generation’s women so they could confidently raise their daughters in the wise ways of woman.

Why did we lose that? Oh never mind why. Water under the bridge.

We–you and I–are returning that Woman Initiation to our culture!

I’m writing this to compel conscious women to join me and share YOUR life’s journey with the generation after yours–your daughters. They need not be biological daughters. I’ve never birthed a child, yet over the last 18 years I have mothered/instructed/initiated scores of our daughters.

You will too.

Do you hear me? You are ready to practice this. Today!

Some of you already are. That’s splendid. Practice. Share. Listen. Ask. Initiate. Instruct.

Look for me out in the world speaking this year. When I see you I will know you and I will hug you with a smile.

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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The SisterWhisperer Asks: Who Likes Bad Boys?

Have you ever been smitten with a Bad Boy?

You know–the Super Freak–the guy you won’t take home to Daddy?

When I was a teen and 20 something collegiate, I was attracted to The Geek. Besides, were I attracted to The Bad Boy he would never get past that moody, pissed-off sentinel called…DAD.

So just what is The Bad Boy’s attractor factor?

Some say the attraction is that he’s thrilling, charismatic, manipulative. Others say the young woman’s attraction reflects her low self-esteem.

But ponder the following SisterWhisperer dreaming experience. This dream poses a different explanation.

Read closely and then tell me what YOU think…

Wrong Way

 

Last night I dreamed I’m 19 again. I’m completely head-over-heels for a Bad Boy.

Love? No way. But I’m spellbound to the extreme. Upon our first encounter, he convinces me to accompany him on a 4-state bank robbing spree “because it’s always been a wild fantasy of mine.”

I wonder,”What’s up with this silly girl? She’s me but I don’t know her. So easily lead astray. Sheesh!

“Yes, he’s 21, gorgeous, muscular, tall, beautiful teeth/skin and thick, thick hair.

“Yeah? So what? Dime a dozen at 21.” Yawn.

Then I caught a whiff of him…

OMGoodness

This young man had enough pheromones and adrenaline pumping off his chest and abdomen to make a moose swoon at 100 paces! Even in my waking life I’ve never encountered a man with such a hypnotic…SMELL.

Pher-o-mone  (noun-zoology)

Naturally occurring odorless substances the fertile body excretes externally, conveying an airborne signal that provides information to, and triggers from, the opposite sex of the same species.

With each whiff, I felt dizzier, DRUNKER, more disoriented as the dream progressed. I wanted to be right next to him so I could open my nose and get another HIT.

Yet not once was there any alcohol/drug usage or sexual activity between them. No need!!!

The sensations truly alarmed me. I’m a mature woman and even in a dream his powerful odor influenced my perceptions, my inhibitions.

Many a young girl wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance.

I followed them on their criminal spree, witnessed federal agents tracking with guns and dogs, closing in on the couple. I heard young Gail as she blandly, drunkenly, dispassionately wondered,

“I know I’m going to prison. I wonder what prison is like?”

I awakened and found myself in a painful, tight fetal position clutching my abdomen. It took at least 30 seconds to exhale the drunken stupor I felt. Never have I been so happy to hear my husband Bill and Ellie the cat snoring next to me.

The Bad Boy. This one hyped up on Nature’s steroids. 

Do you think this particular Bad Boy exists? Have you ever met him?

I’d love to hear about it!!!

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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Mom’s Advice On Marriage Manners

Mom sounded animated. She had to catch her breath when I answered her phone call.

“Hi Honey,” Mom chirped. “I have an idea for your next blog post. How about a little advice for married couples being mindful of their manners with each other as husband and wife?”

Uhhh, OK, Mom. What brought this advice forward?

She chuckled.

“I had a reminiscence of our first married Christmas when your dad bought me a refrigerator as a Christmas present! Now we really needed a refrigerator so I didn’t complain. Your brother wasn’t yet one month old and we had no refrigerator. It was a necessity to buy one to keep his milk cold so it wouldn’t spoil.”

Helen, Fulton & Mabel Lamb

I think I’ve heard this story before.

She continued. “Over the years your dad bought me lovely little gifts for my June birthday. Even in the early years when we were broke he bought a lipstick or a hankie or gloves that were personal–in a color or style that he knew I’d love.

“But for some reason, each year he seemed to feel I should be happy receiving household items–a new mixer, or new pots and pans, or a new vacuum cleaner–as a Christmas present!”

“OK, Mom. Over the years I recall you giving him a new set of wrenches, a drill, a hedge trimmer. Hmm?

“Yes, I did purchase, wrap, and gave him those household things. He requested and appreciated them. But what you may have been too young to remember is that I bought those things and gave them as presents from the kids. Those were never gifts from me to him. Regardless how little money we had I gave him a second, personal gift wrapped and signed with a loving note from me.

“Always something personal from me, his wife.

“Did you ever complain to dad about how his Christmas gifts made you feel slighted, Mom?”

“No, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. And I thought he’d get the hint from watching me all those years.”

She laughed. “He didn’t get the hint. I wished I’d simply spoken up!”

“Honey, husbands and wives must exhibit good manners with each other–not just out in the world and the workplace. So tell your readers, especially the wives, to speak up when they want manners to improve in their marriage. I know lots of young wives today are smarter than I was and probably do speak up. But tell all your readers anyway so we don’t miss anybody. OK Honey?”

Notes to Self

There. You’ve received WOW (words-of-wisdom) from an 88-year-old Mom who loved and buried two husbands, keeps on ticking, and wants to share what she’s learned about life.

Sound advice, don’t you agree? I plan to follow it closely.

What about you?

 

From My Heart To Yours And Back To Mine, sharing our wisdom…

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