Category Archives: relationships

Letting go of the known and soaring into the unknown

A message to a friend struggling with a major life change:

Sometimes, when we embrace who we really are – whatever that means – it sets us off on a completely different path than we or anyone we know ever imagined we would embark on.

And because new things are scary, even when we think we’re putting our feet forward, in reality our hands are firmly gripped to the walls of our past, and we content ourselves with hanging perilously to the Cliffs of the Known rather than venturing into new territory.

Even when it’s painful. Even when it’s exhausting. Even when it’s robbing us of the sustenance we need to survive.

Because clinging to the known feels safer than letting go and facing the vast, scary unknown.

What if we fall?

But what if we don’t?

Sometimes, the only way we will let go of the past and see what’s truly meant for our future is if someone stomps on our battered, bloodies hands as they struggle to grasp the rocks crumbling under our fingertips and forces us to let go.

And in that split second, when letting go of the shards of rock seems like madness but we have no choice, and we’re angry that someone has abandoned us and betrayed us, and we see our fingers release and feel the split second of weightlessness before the anticipated plummet, we surprise ourselves by the realization that we’re not falling at all.

In fact, we’re floating.

And while it’s hard to get used to our wings, because we’ve never unfurled them before, and it’s scary to look down, because we don’t knows what perils await us, very soon we realize we’re not just floating, but soaring.

And then we’re seeing the world from new heights and new perspectives. And the landscape we imagined as dangerous is actually lush and green and filled with fresh waterfalls and crystal seas and beautiful things we never saw when our faces were smashed against our past.

Never forget that you have been created for wonderful things, and you are an important link in a chain of small interactions and experiences that make the world go round.

Following your heart and embracing all you are means that everyone benefits.

Depriving yourself of all you are means we all suffer with you.

Sometimes the only way to let go is to have someone rip your fingers from the ledge of who you were and shove you into the sky of who you are meant to be.

Letting go hurts in the moment, and sometimes we leave a limb behind because our grasp is so tight.

But when it’s time to let go, let go.

We all need you to keep moving forward.

We all need you.

50 thoughts on turning 50: #25 Women, freedom and “Dating Naked”

VH1's new show "Dating Naked" premiered in July.

VH1’s new show “Dating Naked” premiered in July. (Source: VH1 pressroom)

Last year, I went to visit the Susan B. Anthony house and mused afterwards about what Susan B. Anthony might have said about the reality show, “The Bachelor”, in which women basically throw themselves at a man in the hopes he’ll pick them to be his wife. I likened it to emotional prostitution and pondered the idea that maybe women have forgotten the battle their foremothers fought for equality and respect.

Yes, women in America now have the right to educate themselves, prosper, and express themselves in ways women 100 years ago could only dream about. But have we taken those rights to such an extreme that we’ve enslaved ourselves to a celebrity driven/sexuality saturated culture?

I bring this up again because I saw a story in today’s entertainment headlines that makes me think yet again that we women have misused our freedom and set women’s rights back a few steps.

This summer, VH1 premiered a series called “Dating Naked”. The premise, according to a press release:  “Do you find love easier when you truly have nothing to hide?”

This season a rotating group of frustrated singles answered the show’s challenge to “bare it all” in the quest for love. After embarking on a series of blind dates, twelve people currently consider themselves “in a relationship” with someone they met on the show … Filmed in a remote exotic locale, each close-ended episode follows a man and a woman both going on three naked dates, including two with other suitors and one with each other.

It is an interesting premise, to consider what would happen if two people were left to woo each other without the material trappings of technology and social conventions. But when you take away the clothing? There are going to be problems.

Today, reports that “Dating Naked” cast member Jessie Nizewitz is suing Viacom, the parent company of VH1 and the channel that airs the show, for $10 million in damages after the producers allegedly failed to blur out a shot of Nizewitz’s crotch.

In other words, the naked contestant on a televised naked dating show is upset because she was shown … well, naked. Continue reading

Good intentions, bad results

I’m doing some research for this book idea (yes, I am going to finish the proposal at the very least; go 2011!) and stumbled upon this video from about good intentions with bad consequences – also known as the Law of Unintended Consequences.

I’m doing some research into good deeds gone wrong. Have you ever tried to help and made things worse? Been plagued by a well-intention do-gooder who made your life a nightmare? If you have a story, I’d love to hear it!

Middle of the night musings on shelter dogs and other lonely things

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s 1 AM and I can’t sleep because every time I close my eyes I keep thinking about a dog.

It’s a story I heard earlier this week, a story about a dog that died while in care at an animal shelter somewhere in the U.S. It’s a horrible story about a dog that died a horrible death, because someone somewhere along the line made a mistake.

You hear horrible stories about dogs all the time, whether it’s dogs abandoned in a house in Los Angeles or puppies thrown away in the trash like garbage in Rochester. And bad things happen to animals even in the best of circumstances. Shit, as they say, happens. Continue reading

Treating your spouse like your pet may help improve relationship

Who wouldn't love a face like this?

At the Psych Central website, Dr. Suzanne Phillips recently wrote a column about  how we can improve our relationships with our spouses by treating them the way we treat our pets.

In the piece, she explains that many pet owners say they love their dogs and cats because they’re not demanding and love unconditionally. Which isn’t necessarily the way human relationships work.

And yet …

When was the last time your husband barfed in your purse? Ate your socks? Peed on the living room rug? Rolled around in mud and then jumped on the bed?

The truth is that pets are demanding, and while they do seem to love unconditionally, in reality there are often certain terms that need to be met first. Anyone who has lived with a cat understands that. Continue reading