Monday, November 28, 2016

Love Like A Dog

In memory of my beautiful pooch Lucky- who made love so easy.

     You look into his eyes.  You immediately fall in love.  OMG such cuteness!  Big puppy dog eyes, totally huggable body…and the smell- oh yes- don’t you love that smell?
You take him home and he instantly curls up beside you, on top of you, licking you, loving you –so wonderfully excited.  And that is enough.  That is ALL you need.  That love, the excitement of being around you; the way he wags his tail, follows you around awaiting your caress, your affection and the odd treat.  Doesn't matter how you look.  He loves your bad breath and smelly feet.  He only feels your heart.

   That’s it!  A relationship made in heaven.  The expectations are physical and few- slobbery kisses and fresh air.  You’re both so happy.  It’s simple and uncomplicated.  You take him home and you are committed to each other.  He protects you and you keep him warm.  He is adorable and cuddly and you feel safe and happy.  And you live out your lives together.  You just both decided upon each other.


   This is how relationships should be! We see them. We adore their puppy dog eyes.  We take them home and they are so happy.  We make that commitment- right then and there- to be loyal and to take care of each other.  Sometimes she cries.  He dries her tears.  Sometimes he has a lot of energy- she takes him where he can play his sports.   They just commit.  They need each other. So simple.

   But we humans, we really have to complicate the whole process.   So many  games…you can’t show how you feel, they can’t show how they feel.  If you take them home and sleep with them the first night…well apparently game over because they need some sort of chase.  But crap- all we want is to jump their bones and keep that warm body beside us forever.  We would cook for them.  Love them up so good.   But they need their space and then we need our space.  And then they are feeling insecure and then we are feeling insecure.  We need each other to prove our love.  God- why does it have to be so complicated?

   Just the other day I heard from an old friend of mine- nicest woman you could ever meet- adored her husband of 28 years.  He walked away from her and towards a younger woman.  I really just don’t get it.

   We try to like someone because they are nice and kind and all of that is good but I say- at the end of the day- love like a dog.

   Find that guy or girl-the one who’s eyes you love or whose tail only wags for you.  Find the one who wants to protect you and who’s smell you love.  Find the one who is happy with a lot of affection and some food; the one  you want to curl up with each night- go for long walks with.  It really needs to be this simple.  

   Love like a dog- keep your expectations at bay.  There may be some training involved- food always works  well.  Yes potty training- you know- put the lid down, anger management…keep them on a tight lead- they like that.  No yelling- just treats, gentle reminders and strong boundaries and lots of affection.  Let them protect you and be loyal to one another.   And always…lots of loving and licking.

 I say love like a dog!
 Life doesn't need to be so RRRRuff!!
Xo
Sharron


Sunday, April 10, 2016

I Hopped On A Wave...

I’ve been going through so much internally lately…as my outer world is shifting.  it’s been a very difficult time.

   I made a huge move.   It was more as if a powerful wave came in and lifted me out of my existing life…I allowed it to carry me into the unknown-and having landed on completely foreign shores, I’ve been feeling knocked about by all these little waves, and questioning everything in my life. (Especially my sanity!)

   The wave had been building momentum through the previous year. I could feel it but I was trying to ignore it-I sat on the sidelines watching the tides roll in and out.  At a deeper level, I felt a yearning- I wanted to ride that wave craving, some sort of change.  I needed something more.

Being a single mom has been one of the toughest and also one of the most poignant journeys.  I don’t recommend it, but then most of us single moms are not at this destination by choice.  I know we all had dreams of giving our kids those beautiful Kodak moments- with large festive family holidays and two loving parents proudly encouraging them forward in their path.  But our life learning seldom comes in ways we expect.

    Being a single parent is quite different.  In a way, you become both a masculine and a feminine force in your child’s life.   If you have only one child- like myself-you do become best friends-not in a restrictive needy way, but in a way where the memories you build are of you and them…a small, really fun family unit.


The teen years have been tough- I’m certain quite normal, but for me, the single mom with one kid- really hard.     My beautiful girl had to gain her individuality and independence; I get all that stuff- it didn’t make it easy.    I became background cast…transportation coordinator…wardrobe assistant if necessary…but the hardest part was implementing some respect and discipline.  That was hell.  If we fought, she ran to her dad’s home where he welcomed her with open arms…and suddenly it was like dealing with two rebellious teenagers who hated their parent…

 My ex was like the anti-parent.  He was happy to side with my daughter, to see me as the bitch…have his disregard for me affirmed.  It was confirmation that his departure was warranted.  And as far as a test on my own strength- you know what doesn't kill you make you stronger?  Meh…I failed and I crumbled, quietly- by myself.
      So around March of last year I began dreaming.  What could a different life look like?  Where would I like to be?  how could I create something to sustain me as I moved into the next part of my life…and one day I saw an ad for real estate in Stratford.   “Buy a house for $12,500 down".  I could do that!  I had some money saved…I could do that eventually!    I truly thought I would see Aaron through at least her first year of university and then she would possibly want to move in with friends.  I even thought when the time was right they could have the apartment we were living in and I would maybe buy a house somewhere outside of Toronto.

 This is how I envisioned it in my head.  This is not quite how it went.
A few days after my birthday-early June, my daughter announced she was going to live with her dad in the fall- she had made her decision.  I felt hurt…shocked, angry–but maybe it was just fear.  Fear of not knowing who I was outside my role as mom.  Oh sure, I’m an artist and a songwriter/singer…but my sense of self – my greatest role had derived form being her mom- that’s where I felt I belonged.  I had felt a sense of family I had never known- a great comfort.   For 18 years, every decision I made was based upon being her mom- giving her the best I could.  And my greatest fear…that she would leave.. was happening.  But this time it was different- teenagers have to leave, it’s their job- to individuate, to become their own person.

And I was left to ponder a HUGE question- what did I want?
( and by the way- I m still trying to figure this out)

  That week of pondering,sadness, anger…feeling helpless at the inevitable shifting of life, I made the decision to meet up with a real estate agent in Stratford.  He was a very kind and sweet young man and he showed me 8 houses and gave me a bit of a Stratford tour.   I fell in love with the 8th house and with Stratford.  It felt familiar, with a huge enclosed backyard, I could envision my elderly dog chasing squirrels, and the large mature maple in the back had a tree house and a swing!  I could see grand children playing here one day.   It had a large main floor bedroom- with three upstairs bedrooms which made it perfect for creating some sort of B and B…and spirit whispered, “yes.”

     The next three weeks were like a blur- the purchase of this house came together in a miraculous way, and my closing date was set for August 11th.  I decided to move the following month; making sure Aaron was moved and calmly transitioned.  I did my last show in TO and moved September 24th.

       And here I am now…6 months later…upon these new shores…exploring…feeling very lonely…missing mother hood in ways that make my heart ache…still trying to figure out where I am…loving my home…missing my musical friends and community…loving living in a smaller town with no traffic or speed bumps, loving that it takes me 5 minutes to get anywhere…loving the swans…missing my favourite breakfast haunts…lying in bed Friday nights watching Netflix and eating Chinese with my kid…missing UB with Linda, jams with Brian, and Roy…shows at Hirut…guitar with Dave, recording with Myke…slowly making new friends here…but feeling frightened and nervous sometimes- maybe expecting too much too soon…

It’s all a jumble right now, I feel uncertain of everything- mostly about myself. 
It feels like learning walk again, I'm wobbly as heck, but there’s no cheering section - I guess maybe that's part of my learning- to become my own cheerleader...Go Sharron?

   People say I’m courageous…maybe I’m stupid…right now, I’m unsure.
All I know is I hopped on a wave-


xox  Sharron



 The wave painting is still available for sale. The above painting is part of the Spring It On Collection. Please visit www.sharronkatz.com to view affordable Floral paintings- perfect for Mother's day!


    

Sunday, February 28, 2016

X Men...The dysfunction Continues

I’m giving up on men and relationships.  Friendship- ok.   I’ve had it.  Some how I am allowing really strange and unhealthy dynamics into my life and this scares me. The person in my house yesterday scared me- when he stormed out- but he was scaring me before he stormed out...or rather I was growing increasingly uncomfortable with him.

    This happened before about 3 years ago with another man in an even more frightening way- a way that left me shaking in my car for half an hour.  I felt this same discomfort- I can't even explain it- and within minutes he erupted at me and told me to get the f out of his home.  And a year later I went back and became friends with that same person for a time- he had apologized profusely…and I finally realized that this kind of behaviour could not be erased from my being- I felt unsafe with his charm.

     It goes way back.  My first long term boyfriend had an affair while we were going out and I wanted him back- and I stayed with him for two volatile years- in moments where he would talk on the phone for half an hour with this girl- making me feel as if I was crazy for being bothered- or upset.  The good news is I ended up leaving him- for a sailor!

Flash forward...Yesterday…I had been having a phone friendship with this guy- who right from the get go had me feeing a little uncertain.  He called looking for a musical connection and went on to bend my ear for over an hour about himself and his former, female, music partner – who had chosen not to play with him any more…about how he cried having done a single days work in a factory…oh on an on he went.  I told him I would certainly consider musically connecting- I just moved to a completely new community and I’m open to connection especially musical.  So I messaged him the following week giving him times I was available.   He called me –telling me how everything was going OK for him- his sister offered him a place to stay rent free- and a vehicle and a huge tv…etc.   I’m thinking… he has an amazing support system- what the heck is he doing calling me about anything other than music?   I was a bit pissed because he really had presented his situation as dire- like he had no way of earning income and he had to find a place to live and figure out his life…I got caught into his story and felt compassion because I had been a single mom with an 8 year old in tow- and broke, and uncertain of where to go when my ex walked…but I did not have a wonderful sister who was going to take me in.  And I did have to do work at jobs that were extremely hard for me- I had a little person to take care of.

OK I know the story is getting long- thanks for sticking with me.  So this guy- let’s just call him X- he calls and apologizes and says he wants to know more about me and he really wants to be more of a giver than a taker.  The words sound right.  We continue to chat over he next five days…but the conversations do seem to always revolve around him and his former musical partner…and I’m thinking- how can he start something new while he’s still pining over something that is gone…but I ignore those thoughts and we decide to meet. 

He comes over about half an hour late.  I smell alcohol on him. Perhaps it’s from the night before.  He cannot look at me directly- I feel weird.  I attribute it to a first meeting. 
I show him around my place- normally people go crazy for my art- he really says nothing.  We play some music- he is showing me his guitar pedals, and his looping pedal…we play some of my songs and I listen to him play-  can’t for the life of me figure out why a musician this talented is at the bottom of his game.  I’m encouraging and praising… of course we chat more and all I’m hearing about is his former musical girlfriend and his other girlfriends- how incredibly beautiful they were- like models…etc..etc… this is not giving me anything…this is draining me…no woman wants to hear some guy talk about how attractive his former girlfriends are.   He has not given me anything warm or encouraging… I’m thinking…the thoughts are going downhill- I’m disappearing…and I get up and tell him I am feeling very uncomfortable.  Oh and I forgot to mention twice I have invited him to collaborate on musical things and he will not give me an answer…my days of being some sweet receptacle for some guys junk are over. 
  When I tell him I’m feeling uncomfortable and why- he petty much tells me I’m crazy- he says we barely know each other…I guess the 20 hours of phone conversation in which he told me his life story, meant I did not know him…and he stormed out.

Honestly…I don’t care if I’ve know a man for 5 minutes.. I don’t want to hear about his former girlfriends and how stunningly gorgeous they were.  Flashback to this first boyfriend of mine (A music executive) always bending his neck to look at women While we were out- telling me I should feel lucky that he’s interested in other women- means he was alive??  OK the ‘me’ of this era would have walked…

    I am left- once again wondering how I let this person get even remotely near me.

 This is my conclusion.  I do not know how to set the bar of how I want to be treated until it’s too late.  And I don’t know how to fix this because my relationships- especially with my father were molded in a mixed up way where I had to put up with a great deal of abuse just to have a relationship with him. And so I don’t know what is healthy or ‘normal’.   And I realize I have a fault…a weakness that is not serving me…and I have no idea how to change this.

 All I can think of is to stop.  For now- I am done with men and dating.

  I just don’t trust myself.  My picker is broken.


I have had too many strange experiences and I am left each time doubting…myself, my faith…

 I need my strength right now for me- to create the life of my dreams- or shall I say to embellish the life of my dreams- I’ve already began the canvas…and I need positive energy and strength to paint it brightly. 

So my public declaration- I hereby swear off men for indeterminate period of time.

Signed
Me


 ps- this was my February month long project.  It is 5' x 2.5 ' acrylic multi-medium and now placed

facing the wall- I'm not sure my pot has a lid...and all this men stuff is draining me.  I believe in the Big love- but I'm not sure about romantic love...


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When You Wake Up

When You Wake Up…

Dreams and illusions can feel good.    But here’s the thing about a dream. Every person, every event is experienced from one perspective only- the dreamers. And when the dreamer wakes up- the reality can be harsh

I’ve woken up- and it’s a tough thing to realize that I’m not where I thought I was. 

I realized something about myself- in this awakening- something kind of tough. But I’m glad I’m awake because, I’m not sure illusions are the way to go.

  Oh… I’m still a dreamer in the traditional sense- I still believe that anything is possible and  I’m a hopeful romantic, and I believe in goodness.
But I’ve begun to see my role in the dysfunction of certain relationships- I’ve discovered that I have chosen to see people as I’ve needed them to be- not necessarily how they are. 

OK right here- I will tell you the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.

In a healthy relationship there is a slightly shifting balance between giving and receiving…both occurring from a healthy sense of self-worth and boundaries
In an unhealthy relationship this balance has been lost and healthy sense of self dissolves and codependence arises based upon fear and need…often when one partner retreats.  Abandonment issues surface and healthy self-boundaries become ignored.

This dynamic often happens s l o w l y.

There is a honeymoon phase in every relationship.  And then… over time… you notice little things that feel unhealthy- but you cast them off- because the good far outweighs the bad.  And you begin to ignore your feelings- thinking- ‘no, that can’t be right.  It’s me- my head is screwed up…but why do I feel so bad?   Oh it’s nothing…I’m pms…Just having a bad day…and you feel this need…and emptiness that you believe can only be filled in your connection with another.

It becomes harder to ‘not see’ certain truths.  The dynamic has changed and you’re still trying- really hard-to keep it the same…but they’re not.  And instead of stepping back- you shoot forward and try harder…and for a moment it feels like the dream again…yay- because now you really believe you can’t live without this person and the truth is- this person can live with out you- no problem…

    To be honest –working really, really, hard to be loved feels familiar and so does being blind to your own value.  This is a common thread we co-dependents have- being totally unaware of our own worth- and having a distorted sense of having to ‘win’ someone’s love.



  And the moment we wake up…on the floor- with the harsh realization of an illusion we created- then we can begin the work- the work of really paying attention to how we don’t value ourselves so we can make some changes. 

   Every moment alone is opportunity for self -discovery, self-compassion, self-love.


And there might be a massive letting go of relationships that have not felt quite right.  And there might be- for a time- a huge vacant place in your heart- in your life- but just lean into that too.  It’s like this plant I have- it was full of dead leaves and brown unhealthy stems- so I cut the whole damn thing back…and for a long time I worried that nothing would grow back…but plants have a strong root system and so do you.   And this week I saw one tiny –super healthy leaf sprout and I know eventually the whole plant will come back stronger and healthier.

   This is what happens when we make these same choices.  When we choose friends that are as eager to hang out with us, as we are to hang out with them.  When we take the time- regularly to assess how WE FEEL in any relationship- when we are really honest with ourselves and take the time we need to get to know someone- it really does take time you know.

   And if we feel the shift happening…we step back rather than rush forward…we stay in balance- because that’s what healthy relationships call for- balance.
We look within to fill our needs- not ‘out there’.

And then…somehow it becomes OK if they don’t like you as much as you like them…or you don’t like them as much as they like you…you just step back.

  Every day brings on fresh perspective- new growth, miracles.

I love what author Tosha Silver says- “Let whatever wants to come-come and whatever wants to go-go”.


    Pay attention to how you feel and even more importantly- if you’re in a relationship with someone who does not respect how you feel- cut that leaf off!!

I know it’s sometimes easier said than done…I think the sooner you can pinch yourself awake the better.  And really pay attention- are you coming from a place of being empty, or a place of being full.   And please= never put anyone on a pedestal.  Humans have their shadow.  Become aware and accepting of your own.


This is far better than the dream.

xoxox   Sharron    www.sharronkatz.com  
  
Both paintings are available and for sale.  The upper painting is called Compassion- 30" x 40"  acrylic on canvas with silver leaf.   The bottom painting is called Friendship it is 36" x 18"  acrylic and silver leaf.   For more info message me at sharronkatz@gmail.com