Brought to You by an Overactive Mind

I think one of the most liberating feelings in the world is not feeling like you must prove anything to anyone because you live in such a way that if anyone were to speak poorly of you, others wouldn’t believe it and even if they did, you carry the truth in your heart, soul and mind which, in turn, strengthens your self worth. As humans, we tend to place a great deal of emphasis on the opinions and judgments of others causing discontentment and the rare ability to solely be gratified with our inner voice seems to be one of the roots of true happiness.

*live_in_such_a_way-48409

It’s a beautiful cycle when one is content with oneself because one no longer seeks the approval of outsiders as opposed to a vicious routine of seeking approval in every type of relationship. Most of those relationships are doomed from the beginning because as the old adage goes, one cannot love another if one does not love his or her self first. My, how much more lovely the world would be if each and every one of us loved ourselves, right?

This question recalls a recent conversation I had with someone special in which we discussed the pleasantries that would stem from every one appreciating diversity and loving others because of these very multiplicities. He stated that it would be cool if every one thought as I did when it came to human beings, in that I eagerly seek out their differences with a hunger to learn more, to educate myself and experience the world through a different culture, to acceptably attempt to view life through a completely different perspective even if it was something I ultimately couldn’t understand. I, in turn, stated, that my thoughts wouldn’t be as appreciated or special just as everything in this world goes. Too much of something oftentimes goes under-appreciated or taken for granted – if everyone loved them selves, would we truly ever understand the depths of compassion or caring? Are these human emotions not valid and necessary for growth?

What I’m attempting to explore through this particular blog is the idea of balance. As humans, again, we tend to get our panties in a bunch when something goes awry but is there not a balance? Is there not some sort of purpose to the chaos, a balancing act of perceived good and apparent bad? Sure, when it rains it seemingly pours and I’d like to ask my twenty-six year old self these questions when I watched my mother’s life slip away right before my eyes. I probably would have beat the shit out of anyone who posed these thoughts before me at that time and I pose them now simply as food for thought. Perhaps, not loving oneself for years and learning how to do so is the point? The journey is more important and certainly more valuable than the destination for lack of better dictum per se.  If we simply knew how to love ourselves, establish no judgment upon others and place no value upon others’ opinions from the second we escape the womb, then could we truly be grateful for the dire and blessed moments of our journey of this beautiful mess we call life – the numerous moments that demand our compassion, our undivided attention and our unadulterated love?

269c857be604319c5dccecf1b266312c

‘Cause I’m a Woman, Phenomenally.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blog and for this, I do apologize. It is certainly something I desire to make more of a habit though I must admit I have been quite caught up in the lovely and unexpected direction my life has taken since beginning the 100 Happy Days Challenge. That’s not to say that the sole reason my life has taken said direction is due in whole to partaking in this challenge though I can confidently state that it has had influenced it.

My full presence has taken priority over worrying about the future and mulling over an unchangeable past. And that’s not to say that I don’t have my “moments.” In all honesty, I had one this past Monday night, Memorial Day that infiltrated its way into the better part of Tuesday. As singer, Monica, once said, “It’s just one of them days that a girl goes through…” I am focused on living each moment and experiencing each given feeling at its fullest with no conscious intent of tainting it with my active fears.

A couple of weeks ago, David decided to berate me through text message with his power trip demands and control freak exclamations. The conversation ceased to exist after he stated, “…I very obviously didn’t come out on top financially from this divorce.” I am not certain how he justifies it in his fucked up mind that I somehow came out “winning” like Charlie Sheen through this disgrace of a marriage but it’s probably filed alongside the same folder that contains his delusions of why he relentlessly asked me to marry him in the first place. His complete and utter lack of learning anything in the past ten months initially outraged me but I have to let go of any hope or expectations in that area of my past.

Someone I consider close to me stated, “Do not let whatever it is ruin your weekend ready steez” to which I confidently replied, “I do not intend to allow a miserable human being rob me of any further energy.” And I stuck to my word, enjoying a long, lovely weekend with said individual.

I have since and finally found myself back on top of my finances since David and mine’s separation and while money cannot buy happiness, it can sure relieve some of life’s added stresses. With that being said and yes, I know I am all over the place this evening, so again, please forgive my squirrel syndrome, but Maya Angelou passed away today. She has always been one of my inspirations, the very definition of strength and endurance, touching and motivating so many lives with her wisdom, her words and the unimaginable struggles that she ultimately overcame with such unequivocal grace.

The first article I encountered this morning about Angelou’s passing was on CNN.com. The authors of this article wrote, “A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights has fallen silent.” I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. An individual of her artistic brilliance, with numerous popular and published works, could never possibly fall silent. It’s fitting of which I’ve written adamantly and passionately about, “Create or Die in Silence.”  Because of phenomenal women like my mama and Maya Angelou, I’ll continue to tell my story, to create, never bearing the agony of bottling it up inside ’cause I do not wish to pass in silence and ’cause I’m a woman, too, phenomenally.  Maya Angelou created an endless pathway of inspiring, encouraging and uplifting material that will remain an undying legacy for generations to come. May her creations continue to instill strength and understanding upon humankind and may she rest in peace.

quote-Maya-Angelou-there-is-no-greater-agony-than-bearing-89689

For The Pretender

I’m gonna rent myself a house in the shade of the freeway…” Jackson Browne’s lyrics caused the familiar, yet seldom these days, tears to form aqueducts along the subtle curve of my lower eye, eventually spilling over upon my flushed cheeks. This moment served as a harsh reminder of all that I’ll never be able to do for my dear mama, namely, buy her that house in the shade of the Pacific Coast Highway or along North Carolina’s seashore. By the time my mother was finally convinced by my sincere persuasion to move west, she had fallen sick and by the time we learned that it was terminal cancer, I was moving east and she was bed-ridden.

En route to El Matador State beach in Northern Malibu on a stunningly gorgeous Mother’s Day morning, I played Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender” on repeat. This was similar to the day’s events almost three years ago as I made my way to the rocky hidden gem that is El Matador to spread her ashes along the dramatic coastline. The stark difference, though, was that this occasion was conducted solo and one of a more thankfully celebratory mood.

Upon my early arrival, I took in the stretch of striking beach atop the steep cliffs, overlooking the Pacific waters, noticing that El Matador isn’t such the “hidden gem” it once was what with the scores of families and sun worshippers already lining the shore. I blame that con on the travel magazine I saw it featured in a couple of years ago. And though a desired destination beach now, I will never stop going there on these special occasions, these exclusive moments where I get to revel in the natural beauty of it all along with my mama’s spirit.

Mama's Jar of Sea glass
Mama’s Jar of Sea glass 5/11/2014

I lovingly reminisced about the moment my mother first witnessed that glorious stretch I speak of as we trekked our way down to sea level and how we spent a couple of hours walking in the sand, searching for sea glass and exploring the small caves inside the giant boulders that had found their resting spot upon the beige sands. Windblown and made tired by the excess amounts of vitamin D we had taken in that day, we sat peacefully upon a rock, delighting in the visuals before us – the endlessly crashing waves, seagulls in search of their next meal and the winding expanse of oceanfront to the south. A little over a year later, I found myself back at El Matador, solemnly spreading her remains along the shallow waves, in the sand and into the salty, ocean air.

On this particular Mother’s Day, I find myself wishing she were here to witness the woman I have become. I believe I am the best version I have ever been of myself and I would have wanted to share this with her. I think I would make her proud, as so much of this woman, this human being, I’ve become is owed to her guidance, her unwavering strength and her poignant wisdom. She deserved to know this me as much as I always wanted her to know the kind of love that fills in the missing colors in her paint-by-number dreams as Jackson Browne so affectingly describes in the final verse of “The Pretender.”

My heart sometimes literally aches at the thought of her permanent, physical absence and the tears I had begun to shed continued due to the fact that this joy, this beauty and this love that fill my heart and soul cannot be shared with the most important person in my life. In the past, I would often find myself saying that the meaning of life is love but I now believe that past sentiment to have been about 85% words whereas now, I live a life full of meaning, of love, at 110% and it’s incredibly fulfilling. I endeavor to imagine that she knows a great bliss that I do not, that wherever she may be, exists a sort of reverie unlike the kind I am presently experiencing and that one day, we will share in that.

My gratitude was in overdrive yesterday as text messages and phone calls poured in from some of the dearest people in my life:

Happy Mother’s Day to your Ma…”

I will place the flowers I bought out so your Mom can enjoy them on the balcony.”

Hi Lindsay. Thinking of you and your mom.”

You’re in my heart today sweet sister! Always, just a little extra today ;) She is so proud of you xoxo. Me, too.

All of the above beautiful sentiments were synonymously as unique and as sincere as the loving, wonderful people that sent them and that I am proud to have surrounded myself with. Stating that I am truly blessed simply doesn’t do this immense gratitude justice any longer but I know you all know that I am genuine.

I willingly spent the greater portion of my three and a half hours on the shores of El Matador beach observing the numerous, seemingly happy families – the mothers running toward the waves, carefree, with their little ones in tow, the little boy receiving a kite flying lesson from his eager Mother and the Father gleefully sliding down a small sand dune with his two young sons. All of these sights delivered more joy than the pure sadness or resentment that they used to. While I, of course, wish that I could share a simple moment as such with my mother again, especially on days like Mother’s Day, I’ll be grateful for the times that I did share with her. It was truly soul stirring and instilled within me a dream that perhaps, one day, I’ll be that mother showing my son how to fly a kite or picnicking with my little family, relishing in the second Sunday of May that is Mother’s Day.

Dear Mama, I wish I could expel all of the joy my heart is bursting with upon your deserving ears. As I sit at the edge of land, watching the Pacific Ocean live in its vibrant beauty, crashing toward the shore, beckoning, calling vigorously to my soul, it’s reminiscent of the simplistic happiness I experienced when I would come to Kansas City, to our home and share a home cooked meal with you.  Happy Mother’s Day to you today, everyday, forever and always.

I (HEART) U with mama's pic in the sand 5/11/2014
I (HEART) U with mama’s pic in the sand 5/11/2014


With Love,

Lindsay

And You Let Her Go.

Tonight, I’ve been sitting upon my living room floor on a comfy beanbag my lovely neighbor graciously gave me last week, staring out the living room window toward the stunning Verdugo Mountains. I am diligently working on freelance for some dear friends’ band that I wholeheartedly believe in and wish to witness succeed beyond all of their current successes. I am awestruck amidst the beauty before me, the ever-changing watercolors from the westward sunset dancing, gliding down the mountainsides and through the endless crevices. I’m relishing in the south bound breeze wafting through the open windows, caressing my bare arms, sending welcomed chills up my spine and the strong scent of recently burnt sage mixed with fresh valley air. While I’m wishing that each and every one of you could enjoy this experience and sensory alongside me, I am also grateful for my solitude.

So much has changed in the couple of weeks since I began the #100HappyDays challenge and since last month’s glorious blood moon. The sudden transition I have been joyfully surrendering to has unexpectedly rendered me high on this awesome journey we call life. This submission continues to open my heart, mind and soul to so much unspeakable beauty and I’m finding myself maneuvering through life with a feather like weight where a boulder used to lie. That’s not to say that I’m oblivious to life’s many trials and tribulations or others’ struggles as I am very much aware. It’s to say that I have discovered effectively new ways to tackle these inevitable obstacles.

I have found myself at a blessed point in the life of A Righteous Revival where writing about David is no longer necessary nor desired though I do find it essential to mention the fortunate outcome of tax day. If you recall, David was hell bent on having me pay for any tax liability that may be owed to the IRS. I informed him that this was not how things were gonna go down, that he would be held responsible for half of whatever may be owed, thus we agreed through text message that we would file “Married, Filing Separately.” I will spare you all of the minute, mundane details, however, after four hours of my crunching numbers through twelve months of expenditures, I did not owe a single penny to state nor Federal. In fact, I am receiving a refund this year and David owes the state of California.

Our generously pleasant tax professional even informed him that if we were to file together, as a married couple, we would receive an additional $82 on our federal refunds. This must have either flew over his head or his foot was stuck so far in his mouth that it was inhibiting his brain from functioning at a logical level. Either way, I’m one happy American tax-paying citizen. The real day-maker came after the tax consultant informed me that so long as my divorce is consecrated final by December 31st, then the state of California considers me single for the entire calendar year of 2014 thus we will not have to do our taxes together again. In other words, Thursday, April 24th was the last time I will ever have to lay eyes on David or breathe the same recycled air as him.

I am sure there will be additional blog posts about him for sake of a well-rounded story however it’s worth stating that I have finally and wholly let go. I am able to mourn the loss of him in what I deem as a healthily appropriate manner, in a manner free of the longing, the wishing and the desire for a clarity that will never be delivered. Someone near and dear to me recently asked, “Do you still love him?” My honest response was, “I think I’ll always love the person he once was or may have never been.”

I dedicate this song in memory of the David I once knew…