Messy Love: Are You a Definer or a Refiner?

Messy Love Definer or Refiner Here’s an idea to play around with. The next time someone or something upsets you, ask yourself, “Does this define me or refine me?” Why? Because your answer determines how you move through the experience and the baggage you carry afterward. Let’s see what Webster has to say about these two words.
Define: to determine the limits or nature of; describe exactly.
Hmmm. “Determine the limits” seems pretty limiting. And “describe exactly” is a crazy-making quest. I don’t know about you but my life – and upsets – defy any exacting description. This defining business is feeling a bit tense.
Refine: to free or become free of impurities. To make or become more polished.
To “become free” and “more polished.” All right. I’m exhaling here. This feels like something I can grab hold of when grappling with an upset. How a Defining Moment Becomes a Refining Moment. Stop. Ask the question. “Does this define me or refine me?” Make a conscious decision. Then proceed in the direction of your answer. When my ex husband left to explore a relationship with another woman – back in the days of Bernadette’s Pages – you could say his act defined our marriage (failed), himself as a man (untrustworthy), and me as a wife (not good enough). Failed. Untrustworthy. Not Good Enough. Now there’s a tidy package that determined “the limits or nature of” what happened between us. Had I accepted this view as my definer I would have gotten stuck, acting out patterns of betrayal, anger, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame, remorse, confusion, mistrust, defensiveness … and I guarantee you that Bernadette would not be sharing in this blog. But this Bernadette? She asked the question. Again and again and again. As many times as it took for her to drop the definers, pick up the refiners and proceed in the direction of her happily-ever-after. Death-Sentence Definers. Hiding in the past, present and future are relationships and circumstances that beg to define you. If you’re having trouble getting beyond an upsetting someone or something you might be trapped in a definer zone. That’s where the person or situation defines you in a way that you are not comfortable with – many times under radar. A definer like this, with no follow-up refiner, can feel like a death sentence.
I saw Ted at Starbucks with Susan. (My ex must be right; I’m boring.) Samantha got the promotion. (My father was right; I’ll never amount to anything.) They didn't call me back for that second interview. (I am too old.)
Are You Really Upset For The Reason You Think? This world offers lots of legitimate reasons for upset, though illegitimate definers are more common culprits than you think. (Maybe Ted and Susan were planning a surprise party for our voyeur – but skewed definers are a topic for another day.) Whether caused by the real world or the one in your head, it’s key to note there is a difference between the upset of pain and the upset of suffering. Suffering is a choice. A mental attitude based on fear and often supported by a definer.   Messy Love: Are You a Definer or a Refiner?It hurt when my ex left. Real bad. I was in pain. But it was my definers that made me suffer. Not his leaving. Once I got them to surface, I saw the classroom and an opportunity to cut through the crap – all the excuses that kept recycling the past into the present relationship. Surprisingly, defusing my definers opened the door to a refining process that allowed us to reconcile and make it another eighteen years. Defusing my definers also allowed me to recognize that divorce, for reasons that extended beyond our control or recovery, was ultimately in our best interest if we were to continue to grow. (Now there's a heavy duty definer-refiner playground.) If You Get Nothing Else From This Blog Post, Get This! A reason to pause the next time something or someone gets under your skin and ask yourself,
  • Does this define me or refine me?
  • Does this define me in a way that I don’t like?
  • Do I have to accept this definer?
  • Can I use this to refine me? (Make me a better person, artist, dog lover … free me from negative relationships, jobs, speeding tickets … Get the idea?)
Trapped in a Definer Zone? Ask. Decide. Proceed.
  • Does losing this marriage/relationship define or refine you?
  • Does losing this job define or refine you?
  • Does your childhood define or refine you?
  • Does your health condition define or refine you?
  • Does an addiction define or refine you?
  • Do your children define or refine you?
Here’s to replacing those definers with refiners that lead you to living your best life yet! As always, I welcome your comments. (They won’t define me but I might use them to refine me.) And, if you like this post then LIKE it and SHARE it. It won't define you if you don't but it might refine someone if you do. XO

Recipe for Romance Anyway

Musings from the Messy Room: Woo God. Romance the World. Be Flirty. (Take flight) Be Dirty. (Play in the dirt.) Be Loved. (From Heaven to Earth.) Here's a meSSy thought. What if you flirted with God? What if, instead of giving God your woe-is-me-where-is-he/she, you gave God a woo-is-You-love-me-through.
"There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." Rumi "There are infinite ways for God to caress and kiss our soul." Me
Romance your life. Be YOU in love ... anyway! Then it might be easier to recognize the lover who knows how to use romance for love's sake. (And not manipulate for favors.) Embrace your sensuality ... anyway. Romance the world ... anyway. BE your sexy, delicious self ... anyway. Make those divine in-love discoveries ... anyway. Woo God and unleash the love of the universe in your own backyard ... anyway. Don't wait for Mister or Miss Right to give you permission to be the YOU that you are when inspired by love, BeLoved meSSie. Grab that mixing bowl called life and add a dash of flirty, a pinch of dirty, and season with love to taste. Now, pardon me while I throw a BiG meSSy SmOOchMwah your way and wish you a Happy Valentine's Day EVERY day ... anyway. PS: You don't have to be single to use this recipe for romance. But then I think you knew that ... anyway. If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we grow a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE for more Messy Room muse inspirations to come!

Heart Bypass: Living and Loving on the Highway

Heart Bypass: Living and Loving on the Highway If you live in Atlanta, you know I-285. Those traveling the north/south or east/west interstates call it the bypass but really it’s a loop that circles the heart of the city. Locals refer to I-285 as The Perimeter. When asking directions around here, one usually starts with “Are you inside or outside the perimeter?” For insiders, driving too far outside the perimeter is akin to an “out of state” road trip. For outsiders, driving too far inside the perimeter requires a course in street life savvy, the kind that keeps you from turning down the wrong street in a Walking Dead episode. “NOoooo... don’t go THERE! Zombies ahead!” (Hey, it’s not my fault. A friend got me hooked.) These days, life outside the perimeter mimics conveniences of city life. And for some who choose to settle outside, it’s “close enough” to live on a perimeter that bypasses hardcore city commitments with softcore city-like amenities. Time was, a reasonably clear inside/outside demarcation could be made but now the inner feels a lot like the outer while navigating this Nascar-esque bypass. In the speedway blur, you think you are in the city proper. Looks like it. Feels like it. Sounds like it. Smells like it. But not it. Now, lets switch gears. (Hey, I’m working a metaphor here.) Think about the heart. Your heart. Where it resides. And who resides in it. Like Atlanta, your heart is the city. The closer to the center the stronger the pulse as blood pumps (emotions, passions, dreams, fears) through the arteries and side streets with all the pedestrian conveniences. Culture. People. Parks. Coffee shops. Nightlife. But also challenges like traffic jams, convention re-routes, and one way do not enter streets. Get the picture? This is you. You living and loving in the heart of your city. Enter new relationship. (Or awaken in an old one.) Maybe you meet this person on the loop and do the bypass-dating thing for a while. After all, it’s close and has enough of the amenities you need to make the trip worth it. Both hearts are protected while enjoying this exploration of the almost-city. You like the neighborhood, so you rev up your motor a bit and turn into the beyond casual dating zone. Day and night traffic blurs the perimeter lines as you drive deeper into their city – while they remain on the loopy bypass. Do you notice that they are riding the perimeter or choosing the bypass? If you do notice, do you:
a. Give them time. b. Hand them a map or upgrade their GPS. c. Decide close enough is enough. d. Figure you can work with it and/or change them. e. Acquiesce to this one being better than the last one. f. Evacuate. g. All of the above. h. None of the above.

What do you do if you find you are the only one in the city, the only one in your heart?

Or are you? Cities have a lot of vacant buildings – urban flight and all that. Did you fall through the cracks of a heart broken by past city dwellers or squatters? Did you take flight and not notice? Are you waiting for someone else to give you permission to move back into the city? Reclaim your heart? Did you get caught on the good enough is close enough loop and is that how they got away with looping the bypass? (Add “for so long” if you are in an old relationship.) Lots of questions, I know. But finding the answers offers a pedestrian view that allows you to occupy – not bypass – your own heart while deciding if you will continue the drive into theirs. If you don’t embrace your city life, with all its traffic jams and conventioneers looking for a good time, who will? And if you are not present to your own heart chances are you’ll dismiss theirs – or miss the exit/entrance ramps that will get you where you really want to go and ultimately reside. I know this because I am well traveled – loops and all. No judgments here, folks. Just some street savvy and a patched up heart in a city with as many streets called Forgiveness as Atlanta has called Peachtree.

Pssst: This heart bypass metaphor can be applied to other relationships you have ... like why a job is or is not working for you or where your creativity is or is not hanging out. There are no limits where the heart is concerned!

So, tell me what routes you've been taking these days!

  If you like this then LIKE this and share it! Together we grow!

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Torn Pages from The Artist's Way

Ever find yourself in the place Buy Adolan (Tramadol) Without Prescription, where you thought happily-ever-after would be and it doesn’t remotely resemble your imaginings. Ordering Adolan (Tramadol) online, Did you shop the wrong store. Miss an expiration date, kjøpe Adolan (Tramadol) på nett, köpa Adolan (Tramadol) online. Adolan (Tramadol) trusted pharmacy reviews, What do YOU do when your happily-ever-after package does not look, in hand, order Adolan (Tramadol) from United States pharmacy, Adolan (Tramadol) pharmacy, the same way it looked on the shelf.

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Flashback  from Bernadette’s Pages: An Intimate Crossroad:
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He was right. They were, buy Adolan (Tramadol) from mexico, Online buying Adolan (Tramadol) hcl, and are still, sacred. I didn’t know it at the time but that outburst was the beginning of a birthing process for the kind of artist I am today, purchase Adolan (Tramadol) online. Adolan (Tramadol) gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, As a matter of fact, as an artist and writer fascinated with the mixed-media expressions of art journaling and altered books, Adolan (Tramadol) photos, Buy Adolan (Tramadol) online cod, I consider this Artist’s Way copy to be my first altered book. Born of angst with a touch of drama, granted, but no less authentic to the process of transformation that this form of creative expression invites, Buy Adolan (Tramadol) Without Prescription.

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Torn Pages from The Artist's Way

I am writing this post because there are some who question if that same angst is being expressed through my “121 Ways to Tear Up that Book” project. That book being Bernadette’s Pages: An Intimate Crossroad with a very different happily-ever-after than the one I am experiencing now, herbal Adolan (Tramadol), Adolan (Tramadol) samples, as a currently divorced woman.

There is no angst in tearing up my book for art. Letting my writer-self and artist-self play together with this project enriches me and reminds me that happily-ever-after is not a static destination but an attitude I can take delight in – if I choose, Adolan (Tramadol) schedule.

Divorce did not destroy the value of THAT book as a book. Buy Adolan (Tramadol) Without Prescription, I was graced with another 18 years of growth that led to levels of awareness and forgiveness deeper than I could have known back then. Adolan (Tramadol) street price, Those pages share a relevant “in the hood” transformative journey, one that I choose to continue today. That marriage did not fail. It did what it was supposed to do. Got me here, to this happily-ever-after where I get to play with muses.

So, trust me, I am not harvesting any sour grapes while tearing up my books, Buy Adolan (Tramadol) Without Prescription. I am loving the creative process and challenge of visually upcycling the experience and awareness those pages offer NOW. In tearing up my book and making art I am reminded that happily-ever-after shifts and changes as we do. See, in my book, happily-ever-after is who we become.

So, what do YOU think about happily-ever-after. Would love to have you share your thoughts and experiences here!



Link for more details on Bernadette’s Pages: An Intimate Crossroad. AND, if you want to see what an "official" altered book looks like, click here! Musings from the Pink Chair Altered Book Fun Page

The Messy Room and my Facebook Page are two ways that I share the “how” of it. Please join me and SPREAD THE WORD.


If you like this then LIKE this and SHARE it. Together we grow!.

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Messy Room Moving Box Puzzle

“I have given everything I see in this room all the meaning that is has for me.” – A Course In Miracles: Lesson 2


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