Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes …

20 August 2012

…sing it like David Bowie …

“So I turned myself to face me
but I’ve never caught a glimpse
of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes …
“Turn and face the strain
Ch-ch-changes …”

Hello loved ones,

Let’s see …when last I wrote, I was diving into Surrender, Balance & Change …

Over the last couple of months (or has it been several months?), I’ve come face-to-face with the one thing I’ve fought my entire life …that ugly-four-letter-word I’ve been running from for far too long …acceptance.  I’ve made a career of struggling – resisting ease in search of something noble (or at least my twisted mind told me it was noble …or some shit like that).

Why?  It’s simple really …I’ve never seen myself as enough – even when others told me I was, I’d beat myself up (in my head) and struggle as hard as I could when, all the while, ease was there with open arms saying, “Accept me.”

The problem was, ease looked way to easy {pun definitely intended}.

With that, I am also looking deeply at the way I deal with myself.  If someone who claims to love me spoke to me, or treated me with the disdain I (more often than not) shower myself with, we most certainly would not hang out.  I can be incredibly mean to myself – brutal in a way that I would never wish on a proverbial worst enemy.  It stems from the same place – the “not enough” place that I know has been part of my healing for years.  What’s different is that now I’m exhausted by it …it has become futile to continue to resist acceptance and self-love.  I’m seeing the wisdom in accepting that I am worthy of the same level of love I give to the world …and I love the world in a big way.

Part of acceptance is self-love …part of self-love is acceptance.

Acceptance means (for me) seeing that my life, in this moment, is really good …and that many of my “problems” are fiction I’ve manufactured in my head based on past experiences or some crazy ideas that I thought up and then ran with – in my head and/or in the world.

Acceptance also means changing the dialogue I have with myself and others.  It means changing at the ways I describe myself to others (stupid, dumb, wrong), checking myself when I start to apologize for being me …looking at what, exactly, I’m sorry about before I say those words I say way too often.  It means changing the inner dialogue from “What an idiot you are!” to “Hmm, that was interesting,” …or some such statement.  It means stopping when I’m in pain, instead of “pushing through it,” and being gentle and loving to myself in every moment – not solely in those moments when I feel good about myself.

It seems that my subconscious has been trying to help me with acceptance for months (well really years, but we won’t go back quite that far) … A few months ago, I had a disturbing dream. In it, two of my dearest peeps came to visit from LA. I was so excited to see them that I ran outside to hug them.  When I got outside, they whistled and 4 huge dogs came running, “Get her!” they yelled simultaneously.  The dogs circled & growled, but did not attack.

“Why are you doing this?” I asked, “You’re two of my best friends …for years.” I said with tears in my eyes.

“Because you’ve changed!” They yelled at me, “And we want you to change back!”

“Change BACK!!!!” They yelled, chanting it like a mantra.

I woke up crying.  I went about my business that morning, but couldn’t shake the disturbing feeling of the dream.  I kept thinking, “Of course I’m changing …I’m always changing – everyone is, whether they like it or not.”

Because my life truly is infinite blessings, my beautiful-sister-soul, Courtney, called me that afternoon.  I told her of the dream and we had a long, delicious conversation about “Unbridgeable Gaps,” or rather, those who take the entire journey with us and those who ride along for only a part of it.

As always with Courtney, I felt healed after our conversation.  The uncomfortable feeling left by the dream was completely erased with her loving voice.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I dreamt that I was hanging out with Brandon.  We went to the Burger King in Westwood (which, I’m told, might not exist anymore…as such is LA).  I got a fish sandwich, onion rings and a chocolate shake (a total Erica meal).  He got a burger, no mayo, no tomato, fries and a sprite.  We laughed and talked …it was a good visit.  After our meal, we walked back to the car, a convertible.  There was a very dirty, very smelly, incredibly abrasive man in the car.  He insisted that we take him home …demanded, saying it was my job to take care of him, my job to listen to/respond to his every demand.  We asked him to get out of the car.  He wouldn’t.  Brandon threatened physical violence, but the man wouldn’t budge.  So, I hopped in to the driver’s seat and started driving.  We got to Veteran and Santa Monica Blvd. and dropped him off, telling him this was as far as we could take him.

We went “home” (a bizarre hybrid of the apartment I grew up in in Hollywood, the apartment I raised the boys in in West LA, and my current home in NJ).  We were waiting for Gabriel to come home, I was enjoying the heat (dry heat is a delicious thing I never truly appreciated until this icky-sticky humid summer in NJ), when suddenly, there at our front door, was the same dirty man.

“I am your responsibility,” he growled to me, “and I’m not going away until you deal with me!”

I woke myself (and Bryan) yelling, “Get out! Go away!”

It only took me a few seconds to realize that this man was me – all the many things I’m afraid to deal with within myself.

He represents all the things about myself I am ashamed of/scared of/intimidated by/unwilling to heal …what some might call my “shadow self.”

As I wrote about this dream in my journal later that day, it occurred to me that the other dream, the dream with the two LA friends and the dogs, was also about my shadow self.

No one is more afraid of the ways that I am changing than I am.

Fortunately, as always, I am surrounded on all sides with the most incredible, supportive people on the planet.  AND!!!! Everywhere I turn, whether it’s to my incredible yoga community, or to my amazing friends from the baby-loss group here in South Jersey, or to amazing friends in Los Angeles, or to my beloved Bryan, I am reminded that I am enough, just as I am – however I am, in every moment.

Everyone else seems to know that …now I’m starting to accept that again.

I say again because, I remember a time when all this acceptance shit came easy …and I remember other times when it didn’t.  As always, this is just a part of the process – I mean, hell, I signed on to be a human being …I’ve been changing every day since the day I was conceived, and yet, at my core – in the essence of me – I am the same.

So, I’m getting accepting …I’m getting present.  I’m remembering what it means to be Erica – but not the Erica of three years ago or of 15 years ago, or even the Erica of last week.

I’m getting accepting of the balance necessary to surrender to the every-moment-change of being Erica now.

& like Prince said, “I think I wanna dance …” {insert my joyous laugh here}

I wish you all love, peace and joy, and send loving hugs your way,


About Erica

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6 Responses to Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes …

  1. Erica says:

    A beautiful friend sent this to me via email (Obrigadão, amiga, for allowing me to post it here):
    Read the blog and sending a hug to you. You are so much more then enough! You are like Christmas whenever you show up.
    Here’s a good one. I am always late because I am never good enough (ie have not finished enough work, am not looking put together enough, haven’t worked out enough, don’t have enough energy) to stop what I am doing and go.
    And the work-related issues revolving around not-enough-ness? Fageddaboutit! (Speaking NJ for your benefit)
    Thanks for making me stop and think about that!
    Beijos –

  2. Erica..taking a minute to say how very cool that we just met a few weeks ago and I already get to be a part of your journey!! Thank you for your willingness to share, honestly from the heart. looking forward to a visit to Espress-it 😉

  3. Kevin says:

    Hey Erica! I’m glad to see the post! I definitely know exactly what you are writing about and am one of your many fellow travelers on this road. I love reading your work, it’s nice to discuss these things so honestly!

  4. Katia Moraes says:

    Minha querida!!!!!!!!!!! What a happiness and a blessing to receive your words, the presence of your soul…AMEI this message (I know you can visualize my broad smile right now!)
    Muito amor, Katia : ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  5. Stefanie Brainin says:

    Lovely to hear your voice, Erica. I miss your presence, though you seem to be with me always – your smile, the music we love, so much an instant sister though we rarely see each other or talk.

    Acceptance is the tricky part of the journey – sometimes it’s there; sometimes it tugs at me because
    I’m still dealing with it after seven decades; maybe it was always there and I somehow I missed it; others have always offered it to me – and how could they, if I can’t; but it won’t go away until I truly open my heart and welcome it. But still working on it – acceptance is a worthwhile endeavor!

  6. Karin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and soul so openly here. I love the symbolism in your dreams (we work out so much of our stuff there) and, it’s so cool to see how you so consciously walk your journey (a true inspiration to me). It always amazes me that the people I love so much still have to work on loving themselves when it seems so easy for me to love them. But, I can relate so much to what you wrote about that. I hope I can find that love for myself too….that we all can. You are awesome! I LOVE YOU

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