This Is Not My Kingdom

Today’s service centered around Pilate and Jesus:  Kingdoms in Conflict.  John 18:33 – 18:37(quite possibly incorrectly notated-whatev)

I begin by declaring that: I, in no way, assert any likeness, of my own, to Jesus.  I am learning for the first time, how it is, he came to be crucified.  I always thought the Christians did it.  Seriously, though. (Spoiler alert–It was the Romans)  I was gripped by the topic of Kingdoms in Conflict and immediately related my experience with what I would consider to be persecution by an unholy alliance–for treason.

For individuals like my sister (haha-what?) Pilate, unwilling to negotiate or tolerate irreverence and non-compliance, the iron fist rules–“justice” for perceived defiance will be exacted by any means necessary.  Pilate was unable grasp that Jesus was not actively challenging the “local law of the land”, though when asked;  “Are you King?”  Jesus stated consistently:   “My Kingdom is not here”.

Insecure in his own sense of power, Pilate was intolerant of his failure to beat Jesus into submission or admission of trynuh be King— AND SO, he sought collaboration with Herod and Cesar.  United in their need to be rid of Jesus, they REacted sinfully, with their collective will, oppression, hatred, and tyranny.

Jesus’ admission of his reverence to God was labelled treasonous to the empire–just cause for death by crucifixion. (In my case, my crucifixion alone would be fine, if not for the imposing of deep and lasting worries on my children, that they, and I can do nothing about.  Their mandated involvement is damaging and as a helpless observer, it feels worse than death.  Death happens once and then it is over.)

I, no doubt, am missing large parts of the story, new to the teachings of Jesus and far more spiritually directed than religious.  Learning and observing how the barbaric politics of the First Century differ little from those of today, is as fascinating as it is repulsive.

I am deeply moved to know and practice more of  Jesus’ brand of love: courageous, humble, difficult, gritty, earthy, and transformative.  I have still so much to learn about holy love.  Fortunately, I now have great teachers and models of wholesome badass love.  Thank you, Favorite and Sweet Greg for teaching me and my children.  I am a work in progress.  I love you, the best I can.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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Walls or Bridges

While I am enjoying the peace and slow pace of an undemanding Thanksgiving Break for myself, my heart is so fucking heavy from what family occasions do for my older son.  Especially sensitive(always deeply concerned that someone is angry with him), he struggles daily with wanting to “please”  both his father and me.  I do not need for him to hustle or to please me.  To be kind, honest(not just speaking words factually related to truth but intentionally matching actions to words, no matter who is present), and courageous is what I preach.  Three out of the four of these are in direct conflict with the expectations of his father and extended family.  The tension between (us) his mom and dad (escalated by my own “family’s” presence and agenda) affects him daily and deeply.   Continue reading “Walls or Bridges”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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Gentle Thanksgiving

I am deeply grateful for Considerate Birthdays, Mellow Halloweens, Compassionate Christmases, and today–a Tender Thanksgiving.  I cannot know for sure, but suspect that if I would have experienced some of these in my first 40, perhaps I may have been less distressed and disturbed.   “Happy family” occasions caused more stress, illness, and trouble for me, than any exam, interview, legal proceeding, financial fear, or medical procedure. 

I am not super into the word “happy” and all of the days, in which the calendar police dedicate to enforcement of appearances of joyfulness or imposing of dismissal for those struggling and judged angry, selfish, and ungrateful.  Recovery has invited me to surrender efforts to portray gratitude in the form of becoming someone different from myself.  I believe that(my) depression is unrelated to lack of gratitude and is neither a choice nor a rebellious act of sabotage aimed at burdening or shaming those who insist on happy appearances of each person in their presence, for their own sense pride and success.  You want people to relax around you?? Allow and invite them to genuinely relax, not demand it.  Right? Seems intuitive.  If I am afraid to be tense around you, I will not ever relax with you.  And for today, pretending serves no cause that matters to me.

Today is a day for gentleness and tenderness, either with those with whom it is possible or by ourselves.  If you are struggling, I see you and hear you.  You are not alone, wierd, negative or selfish for feeling non-happy.  Especially on this day, let us offer generous space to anyone suggesting otherwise.

Thank God Sweet Greg goes gladly to his family Thanksgiving without me and without shame or resentment about that.  There are too many words up in there and his family does not need to know, try to understand, or navigate my low threshold for stimulus of all kinds.  I love that with Favorite and with Sweet Greg, I feel both tightly held and completely free, all I have ever wanted to feel.  They are my people, my trusted others, my best friends, my family.  They show up and I show up and together we are a WE and an US–connection that for me, is greater than shared proximity or blood.  The tenderness and nurturing that I receive, learn, and practice with them makes me a better person and parent.  That is the best and only kind of love for which I am available:  kind, nurturing, and fortifying.  Unconditional.

We are safe and welcome to express sentiments like:  “What do you  need?  What can I do?  I am sorry I did that, it was unfair, unkind, even hurtful.”  We freely share simple truths like “Ouch, Stop, No, Here is what I need, This is how I feel,Tell me more, I want to understand, Thank you for sharing that, Oops,I messed up, I can do better”.   I may not be a “happy” person but I am thankful and grateful for all kindness and goodness.  I am a work in progress.  I LOVE to show up and be together with my people.  Tonight, with Favorite and Family and tomorrow & the weekend with Sweet Greg.

PS–I don’t even particularly like holiday food items and will never complain that they are reserved only for a specific 2-3 days per year.  So, in addition to causing pain-in-the-ass, with my non-joy, I was criticized regularly for being too finicky an eater(liking different things), with an unreasonable appetite.  I just prefer my everyday people and foods, which are always fortifying, cozy, unthreatening.  See, if I wanted to eat 27 chicken nuggets or a giant salad only on thanksgiving, that is what my people would support and even provide.  Being hungry and tense and scared about being hungry and tense is no longer an option, I can consider.  Comfort and pleasing food gladly served up for each and all.  That is how we love, celebrate, and mourn. Together.

My first choice would be to have peace and or the potential of healing and holidays with my mother and HER family. But being loved and connected with good people, biologically unrelated to me is not a shabby Option B, at all.  #blessed
Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Being Human Means Making Mistakes

Even at age 40, pre-recovery, I had not learned/internalized any absolute morals, by which I could hold myself accountable. I thought I did, but honestly, I was stunted, terribly immature in this way— self-propelled and self-seeking.  I would do literally anything to guard or retaliate against perceived threat.  I learned early on, the brutal principle of “any means necessary”.   I forgive myself for not knowing what I could not know.  We learn what we live. Right? ??‍♀️My only consistent guides were fear, guilt, and shame, the gods of our family.  Those sentiments could be counted on but not trusted, always present and never true.

Today, I feel immense compassion for the terrified little girl I once was.  When we know better, we do better.  Recovery offers me tools-a design for living, to replace my constant and lesser companions of guilt, shame, and fear. THIS new way of living has further and permanently divided me from those who rely on me to feel those ways.  It apparently, is not so difficult to manipulate a person steeped in those feelings.  I used to be fearful and distrusting of others because I had not learned to trust in myself or a higher power.  Now, I am afraid of no-one.  My God is immense.  I may not trust a person or group, but I have faith that I can handle MYSELF, by following the direction of my program. I cannot be charmed, flattered, or bullied into doing or accepting things that conflict with recovery principles.  To some, this is perceived as an act of hostility, willfulness, war…like “If you cannot control me, then I must be trying to control you”.  But that is sick and childish thinking.  I am only controlling only myself—neither a crime nor an attack—the exact opposite.

In recovery, we learn to “Live and Let Live”. That is what I aim to do. My life is built around being the best mother, friend, girlfriend, neighbor, employee that I can be. These are my causes, not my roles. I serve each as faithfully as I can, one day at a time. Some days are better than others. My motivation finally is tethered to service in something much greater than my own will. In this way, I feel I am now living right, not perfectly, but well. I am a work in progress.

I still do wrong(unfortunate and unwholesome) things and I do things wrong(incorrectly), because I am human.  Sometimes I do wrong because I do not know better.  Other times, because I am angry or have failed to practice good self care.  Sometimes I do a most rightest right thing, but I do it in a wrong way.  With the wisdom of my program, I am able to own and quickly amend and to restore trust and connection, where possible.  Sometimes, trust and connection are non-existent, but I amend anyhow, for my own peace of mind and spiritual hygiene.  And I am blessed with trusted others, with whom I can share, as well as my space, here.   I believe it to be true that we are only as sick has our secrets.  I do not want to be sick anymore.

Amends may include an apology or just a correction of my behavior or tone.  Saying the words “I’m sorry” is neither amends nor a magic eraser.  When I say I am sorry, what I am genuinely expressing is that I regret that I have hurt you or I am sorry that my choice affected you negatively.  I may not be sorry for my choice, but I am always sorry for causing pain.  And if I am sorry for my choice, that means it is my intent and commitment is to not do IT again.  I have so very much to learn about what to be sorry for and how to forgive myself and to forgive others, especially those who knowingly do harm, repeatedly.  I am much better at forgiving once the damage has ended.

In my family, the apologies frequently go something like: “I am sorry that you feel that way”.  Thanks, but apologizing to me for my own feelings feels like bullshit.  And then there is the classic edgy “I’m sorry, okay…now can we just put it behind us?” which means I am only sorry if I have to deal with the consequences of my choices and genuine self reflection and correction.  Neither of these fauxpologies restore trust or lead to reconciliation.  Methods, motives, and means require examination if we are to learn, grow, and heal.  Right?  What I continue to marvel over are the many harmful things that are done in politically and socially acceptable fashion.  My family culture and the political climate are so similar in this manner, justified diminishing of another.  I can’t even…. Continue reading “Being Human Means Making Mistakes”

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Boundaries and Being Non-Dead

With Greg, boundaries are a non issue, we have compatible operating systems and shared values- prioritizing each other’s peace, comfort and pleasure.  Goes without saying, but Sweet Greg is much better at seeing to my needs than I am to his.  It is not for lack of awareness on my part, but grief, depression, and recovery take the bulk of my energy.  Nothing about recovery life is natural for me.  It requires, of me, constant contrary action, and that has been tiring.  Unlearning takes time and energy.

A large part  of my program focuses on conscious contact with God (Before recovery, each of those words would make my nose and upper lip curl) God speaks to me through others.  And during my era of wound-licking, I have needed much solitude and to some extent this left me partially blocked from God.  Now, attending church with regularity, a monthly neighborhood girls’ game night, author/speaker events and spending more time with Favorite, is elevating the quality of life–more good people = more God and goodness.  It was not enough to distance myself from given sources of unnecessary pain, those vacancies

-and when they are unable, they will resort to triangulation to circumvent boundaries

must intentionally be filled with people, activities, and places that add purpose and Good Orderly Direction to my life.  Transitioning from survival to recovery feels slower than a snail’s pace.  I did stop the bleed, cleaned out the infection-these are miracles.  AND– there is apparently much more to living, then tending to old wounds.  My spirit before program was figuratively in a diaper and on a feeding tube.  I was non-dead, but now, I am alive-ish.

As one who is promptly flattened by sensory and emotional stimulus overload, I am, at last, learning to practice appropriate self care–intentionally creating time and space for recharging as well as limiting/avoiding proximity to given sources of overwhelm. I shut down completely, as a result of  over exposure.  As a mother, faithful hostage to our dogs, partner, employee, and head of household, there is limited time to effectively retreat.  Prioritizing good care for the person whom my people and animals count on-ME, is sanity and responsibility—gifts of recovery.  For some, resilience is innate, and coping comes with less effort and need.  I was not blessed in this way.  Those who love me, respect my limits as uniquely my own and non-negotiable.  How cool is that?  No pretending nor debating how I feel with my people!  I love you!

Recovery taught me the hows, whats, and whys of healthy boundaries…boundaries are like spiritual skins(that differentiate us from others-where I stop and you begin–this is essential info). Boundaries are the rules which I uphold for myself, acknowledging my needs, limits, and responsibilities-all with the assumption that people, places and things will continue to be and do as they will.  If a person, place, or thing is damaging to me, my boundary offers us each space and permission to be exactly as we are.  You do that over there and I will be me, over here, nobody is forced to change or pretend.  In recovery, we call this practicing acceptance(accepting the facts of reality–an action not a feeling).  Boundaries allow us all to  live lives which are more flow than force.

Boundaries are self-care and self love.  My boundaries are strictly about and for me.  Good personal boundary (as taught in recovery):  Since your event is well past our dinner and bedtimes, we will have to take a raincheck.  Bad boundary:  You cannot host things so late and expect us to come.  Good personal boundary:  If you are going to say or do things that make us feel bad, we will step back until it feels safe.  Bad boundary:  You cannot speak to or treat us that way.  Good personal boundary:  I will provide foods for my children, according to their preferences and needs.  Bad Boundary:  You must provide food items, quantities, and serve at times which consider my children and our family.  Good boundaries not only make it clear/easy to know when it is a yes or a no— but are large part of mental wellness and maturity.  They have come to me late in life.  Let’s be well and grow up together.  Clear boundaries are wholesome and badass–and they are too much for some.

Boundaries kick ass!  They support love, life, connection.  Let’s live, love, connect.  Together, one day at a time.

 

 

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

How I Tricked Him Into Loving Me

A little more than 3 years ago, Greg and I began getting to know each other.  A hectic time for me, newly relocated from the West Coast, adjusting to constant proximity to my FOO(family of origin) and my ex-husband, working full time, mid-home-buying and moving from our rental of only 3 months, caring for my mother and navigating the very dynamics I fled 25 years earlier.  Getting my young sons, needy dogs, and myself acclimated to our new lives, along with the constant drain of single handedly carrying the family elephant in the room, left me mentally wiped and edgy AF.

Between our first meeting and our second, I notified Sweet Greg two times, declaring myself unfit for getting to know and care for another person.  Distraught by the turmoil of frequent proximity to my FOO and my ex husband, both of whom I had elected divorce/space, I felt there was nothing left to offer but my despair.  I wanted to know Greg AND was agitated by phone-talking.  The phone gets hot and greasy and it is necessary to hold the device just so and to stand in the exact right spot to hear and be heard. Also, with a phone, sustained talking and listening are called for.  Cuz, that is how phone-talking is.  I wanted to be together and just BE, not necessarily be talking.   My routine existence required too much participation(taking turns speaking) more than engagement.  It was oppressive..impossible to just effing BE.  Speaking my truth was not welcome and being untalkative was labelled as sullen or angry.  The script makes me ill.  Within the confines of the script, there is no peace, only an unconvincing performance of togetherness–no possibility of just being.  No sustainable positive connection….far too much proximity and pretending-both of which were disheartening.

On New Year’s Day 2016, after weeks of no communication, I audaciously texted Greg asking if he was kid-free.  He promptly responded that he was.  Then I asked if he was available for a hike.  He promptly responded that he was.  Then, I asked if he was willing to drive to me.  He promptly responded that he was.  Then…I asked if he would bring earbuds or headphones for a silent hike with me, no talking, no eye contact, and def no touching.  Just hiking–  together: “Sure”, he said.  So we trekked the greenway with earbuds and sunglasses.  I was so over talking and listening and trying to be heard and trying to understand and I wanted to just be, not be alone, but also not tangled up in politeness or complexity.  My requests to Greg, to this day make US laugh, because, to most, they seem unreasonable, outrageous–not only to openly feel this way, but to actually articulate it, out loud, with words!!  But guess what, if you start out settling and pretending in a relationship, you get to keep on doin that in order to sustain it.  I was transparent and direct AF and Greg knew from the start, what he was “dealing with”.  He was able to make informed decisions, for himself, about getting to know and be with me.  Anyway, we hiked, shared the occasional quick smile, sat on a bench, I think our knees may have touched.  Because he was so perfectly present, open and not forcing or denying anything, I felt unready to part ways when it grew dark– but I also still needed his consent for continued NO TALKING, neither shallow nor deep.  Months of the family dynamic had provided, in large supply, an unfortunate  combination of overwhelming shallowness and depth(f0r me).

So, I offered:  “Hey, want to come over and assemble my grill with me, and promise to speak only of the grill and as necessary?”  He was happy to do so.  Whu?  We worked closely and well as partners in the task.  Fun, focused and so very respectful, present, engaged and I could not help but feel some kind of love for and from him.  His clean scent and vibe were intoxicating.  And I deliberately touched him a few times, which he allowed but did not pursue.  At the end of our visit, we made a plan to grill steaks on Tuesday at my home.  He offered to bring steaks and I said “ok, please be sure that mine is at least the size of MY hand.”  I do enjoy my steak– and my large hands are bigger than his normal hands.  Together, we prepared and enjoyed dinner.  And, Greg not only showed up with the correct size steaks but also a pair of tongs (meat grabbers-which made me laugh with delight) for meal prep.  His shared aversion to direct contact with raw meat fortified my appreciation for him.  With his normal sized hands & THE meat grabbers– and without prompting, he exercised surgical precision in removal of the  fucked-up icky parts.  He gets IT.  He gets me.  He does not fully understand or relate(who could?) and yet he loves and accepts me.  Without church or a spiritual program, this MAN is able to know, do, be, and love in ways that are not of this world.

At the end of our dinner date, I realized I might want a hug and or kiss, I panicked.  Because, here is how I roll–  I am all in or not at all, when it comes to relationships, friends or romance.  I am intense,  never causal.  I do not “grab” coffee or lunch with people whom I am not deeply interested.  I prefer to be alone.  I also do not hold hands, hug, or kiss people, with whom I do not experience mutual closeness, except in the circumstances of my marriage and birth family(or back in the day when alcohol allowed me to more readily partake in things I did not want or like).   If I there is no mutual and natural connection, I do not choose to spend time or energy on or with you, in a “relationship”.  You either energize me or you drain me.  Small talk depletes me in under 5 minutes.  That is a NO.  Hard pass, every time.  Wholesome connection, as I experience it, consumes as much mental and spiritual energy as it delivers.  Recovery teaches me that connection is both a commitment and a choice, and cannot be forced but is often faked.  Recovery also teaches me that the best relationships are expansive and not only welcome authenticity, but solicit and require it.  Greg and I share this value–the principle of being unwilling to pretend to be, want, like, or feel as we do not.  We are free, safe, and required to be exactly who we are.  Together, in this way, we expand.

After a few more dates, we did kiss and then I launched even more unrestrained truth at him.  I explained to him– if I am willing to kiss as we do, it also means I am interested in much more than just kissing.  I had a planned trip back to California in the upcoming weeks, with a scheduled date with a man for whom I cared deeply. I went on to say that if Sweet Greg and I were entering into something as special as what I perceived, I would cancel those plans while in CA.  In a nutshell, I expressed, that if Ima kiss you, Ima do #allofthestuff with you, and if I do #allofthestuff with you, you are my boyfriend and we belong only to each other.  So, whuddayawannado?  Sweet Greg thought for longer than I liked(maybe like a minute and a half) before saying “Yeh, I prefer you not see him.”  And THIS– is how I tricked Greg into loving me…by telling the truth, saying what I wanted and needed,  laughing freely and a lot, crying when sad, showing him all of who I am and can be.

For the record–while Greg prefers to say yes to me, he is a boss at saying NO to me.  Nothing makes him more irresistible to me than when he says no.  He does so promptly, directly, and kindly.  He does not yell it or hint at it or enter into cold silence.  Greg: “Please don’t do that.  I don’t like that. Please stop it.  Or just plain old No.”  I am not ever left wondering what is happening with us, what have I done wrong, if he hates me, is he angry, are we in a fight, what might I do to make IT better?  Not ever.  He is one wholesome badass mofo, who knows with stunning clarity how, why, and when to say yes and no.  I love my sweet Greg.  Poor guy…I never tell him so because the words “I love you” were ruined for me in marriage and FOO.  The brand of love I first knew is purely painful and scary.  The acts committed by adults who have claimed to love me, even on the best days, are difficult to accept and nothing like THIS thing which I experience with my Sweet Greg.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram- wholesomebadass https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/