Tag Archives: heartfelt connection

Retracing Steps

I have a long relationship with the greenway at Four Mile Creek here in Charlotte. Over the years, I’ve walked countless steps along that path, both alone and with others. That greenway has been a silent witness to so many conversations, and it continues to be a place of healing and retreat for me.

Many of my friends also have flexible schedules, and I love the ones who will date me during the week. Walking dates bring the dual benefits of conversation and movement, and that greenway is a favorite destination.

I was back there today with a friend who’s known me for a long time, one I’ve walked that pathway with so many times. We’ve both left a lot of words there and today was no exception.

It’s healing to create new memories in places that already hold so many memories for me. I’ve been doing that since initiating divorce; intentionally creating new memories for myself.

Retracing familiar steps reminds me of how much I’ve changed, how far I’ve come over the years, and how much I appreciate the people in my life. The friend I was with today has been privy to a lot of my very personal stories; she’s one of a few who witnessed some of my fury on Thanksgiving day 2015 as my divorce was beginning.

There’s a deep sense of trust in having known each other for so long…we have license to say things to each other that many people wouldn’t get away with. Retracing steps along a familiar path while having brilliant conversation with a trusted friend is truly quality time well spent.

It’s also a helpful counterbalance to the aggravation of dealing with ridiculous drivers in parking lots the past few days; I’ve not had enough sleep to deal with people’s driving stupidity.

Creating new memories in familiar spaces has been a theme for a long time, and the trend continues. Retracing steps isn’t nostalgic, it can be healing and therapeutic; either alone or with trusted friends.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Retracing Steps”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

Reconnection and Quality Time

The past few months have truly felt like coming back up for air, and continue to include tons of time reconnecting with friends. All of this week’s one on one meetings are with people I’ve known for a long time but haven’t seen much, if at all, in recent months.

Toward the end of last year, I re-did the love language quiz and quality time tied with acts of service as my primary types. I realized I very much express love through quality time, so it’s not really a stretch that I’ve been called “the queen of one on ones.”

I really enjoy one on one meetings with friends and connections. They’re  much more suitable for conversations with depth than larger groups or events. And I navigate depth very easily, it’s decidedly a preference over superficial interaction.

It’s also been interesting to notice that many more friends have been reaching out to schedule time together. One just texted asking for another “therapy date,” which made me laugh because that’s accurate for both of us, and often includes wine.

I do genuinely enjoy getting this quality time on a regular basis. With people I am either interested to get to know, or already know and enjoy spending time in conversation.

Within the past few months I’ve made some decisions to change my commitments, and chose to view that as an opportunity to belong even more fully to myself. Not that I haven’t belonged to myself since being divorced, but this was at an even deeper level.

While making decisions and ending some very long-standing aspects of my life, my fear and concern revolved around how it would impact the relationships I’ve grown over the years. I had to accept that I can’t ever predict or control any potential impact from any decision I make.

I experience fear, doubt, insecurity, concern or anxiety on a daily basis. I’m just not willing to allow any of those emotions to stop me from continuing to show up for my own life.

Of course, it turns out that the genuine relationships didn’t disappear, they’ve actually grown stronger. Now that I have even more capacity to spend quality time completely as I choose to do so, I find myself with a calendar full of those I genuinely love.

After a really strange start to this year, it’s refreshing to get to reconnect and spend so much quality time with people. I don’t recommend experiencing a broken jaw and navigating the shit show that ensued to get to that point, but recent shifts have been so very welcome in allowing for so many quality interactions and conversations.

I’d very much like to continue more of exactly these types of connections, reconnections, and all around quality time. I’m more appreciative of all the inspiring, warm, engaging and just fun people in my life than I can express.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Reconnection and Quality Time”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

 

The Perceived Inadequacy of “I Love You”

I’ve certainly navigated my share of grief and trauma, and been on the receiving end of care, concern and support. Yet when it comes to holding that same empathetic space of witnessing for people close to me, I still struggle with it.

I know intellectually that there’s no one “right” thing to say or do. I know that simply continuing to show up is enough. I know that sometimes there just aren’t any words. I know all of that in a very personal way. And still, I find myself debating about if, when or whether to send a text simply expressing love.

Because my perception is one of “how could that possibly be enough?” I love you. It just seems so inadequate to express the depth of love I feel for those I consider chosen family.

The reality of life is that it’s messy, complicated, and at times breathtakingly brutal and beautiful. At the same time. Witnessing those I love experience and navigate challenges isn’t easy. It’s emotional, painful and brings moments of “how the actual fuck is this happening right now?” As though my mental arguing will change any of it.

Continuing to reach out by simply communicating love feels like nowhere near enough. But what if it really is that simple sometimes. What if those three words really do carry weight not evident in their appearance, at least when said intentionally and from the heart.

Someone that I love beyond words, that without question has been chosen family for the better part of a decade, is walking a journey I don’t have even a remotely visible frame of reference for. I wish I could make it go away and turn it into a bad dream. But I can’t.

What I can do is continue to show up and communicate. And many times, all I can think to say is “I love you.'” Because I do. With a level of intensity and fierceness I cannot explain, but that I know she understands. Over the years, we’ve certainly exchanged those words and both understood what was beneath them more times than I could count.

Maybe it’s ok to sometimes not have an explanation and to keep it simple. Maybe there’s depth and power in allowing it to simply be those three words. Maybe the intent, meaning, depth of the relationship communicates most powerfully through those simple words.

I don’t know. Hell, I’ve written “fuck” as a complete and stand-alone sentence before. Perhaps I love you and its potential impact aren’t about the words at all. I do know that when it comes to those closest to me, I’d rather have shown up and continued to let them know I care, even when that feels woefully inadequate based on words alone.

This morning I finished reading There Is No Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love. Indeed, it should be required reading for all humans.

And maybe I could lean into trusting myself even more, while embracing my innate kindness as a friend, without worrying about having the “right” words all of the time.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Perceived Inadequacy of “I Love You””

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Enchanting Conversations

My favorite conversations without question, are those that involve depth and meaningful communication. While for years I have (and still do) engage that way with my women friends, it’s recently become quite common for me to also have enchanting conversations with men. The recognition of this has stunned me in unexpected ways.

Not just in the realm of dating, although that arena is certainly still providing me with new evidence that there really are men with whom I genuinely enjoy talking and engaging. In a myriad of other connections, I’m having brilliantly enchanting conversations with truly fascinating men on a very regular basis.

In one instance, a professional connection threw out the idea of us doing a podcast together. His exact words were along the lines of “let’s cut to the chase and do a podcast” to which my immediate response was oh, hell YES. Let’s go!

It’s been so unpredictably enchanting to communicate with him, and realize a level of depth and shared perspective I never would have imagined. We share similar backgrounds in psychology and relate to being “informal therapists” in many aspects of our professional lives. It’s refreshing and so meaningful to talk about a wide variety of topics with one another.

In the way that writers share an unspoken understanding, so do those of us well versed in the language and perspective of psychology or therapy. He also very gently asked about what was behind a very raw and vulnerable post I shared on Instagram a while back.

We had a really beautiful conversation, navigating topics including trauma, grief and chosen responses. As well as larger concepts of the different outlooks men and women have while navigating life. He quite accurately noted a visible lack of such conversations not with women or men, but with women AND men talking openly with one another about such things.

At one point this Spring I joked that I’m just adding married, divorced and single men into all areas of my life. But it’s true. From random conversations in elevators, at professional and social events, everywhere I turn there are engaged and intriguing men showing up. It’s both fascinating and inspiring.

I’ve been very aware of the need to not just find my voice, but also to raise it for a while now. Turns out there are more men than I ever imagined who are also willing to show up and embrace meaningful conversations. Ones that may not always be easy, but that always include depth and substance.

One of my strongest and most clear indicators of whether to allow any connection closer to me is: are you willing be vulnerable? As well as whether or not you’re willing to be open enough to consider alternate perspectives and experiences.

The very best of these enchanting conversations are ones that challenge me. They challenge me to question what’s underneath my particular responses and, maybe more importantly, what’s underneath my more immediate reactions.  Conversations and communication that invite me to dig deeper and uncover awareness or understanding previously hidden.

I have NO idea what is unfolding, where any of it will lead, or what the reason is for any of it having shown up. All I know is that I continue to be surrounded by, and a contributor to, absolutely enchanting conversations with women AND with men. Inviting and expressing more of that? Hell, yes. Because enchantment is just so damn fun.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Enchanting Conversations”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Levels of Access and Boundaries

Boundaries are a key ingredient in my life and I could talk about them for days. My guest blog about Boundaries and Barricades is a great reference point.

Boundaries inherently involve both levels of access and discernment.

There are billions of people on the planet. I do NOT want, need or desire to have that many people close to me. I am intentional and discerning in who gets access to me.

There are levels of access and these aren’t concrete, they are fluid and flexible. One of my closest people describes concentric circles of access and I love that visual. People will land and move between those circles with myself at the center.

Being at the center of my own concentric circles is huge for my recovering people pleasing self. Unapologetically giving myself permission to guard, enforce and uphold the boundaries of access to me.

At times, honoring that permission to grant and deny access involves cutting. When I cut it is swift, complete and can feel harsh to those removed. The other side of that is the very powerful and aligned honoring of myself and my values. For that I give zero fucks and will never apologize. Unapologetic permission is freeing.

Honoring and upholding my own core value based boundaries is only and always my work to do. To allow those that prove worthy closer, while continuing to release those not aligned.

In conversations with close circle people lately, we all express there is tremendous freedom in both honoring and recognizing aligned and non-aligned connections sooner rather than later. It saves everyone time and energy.

For those of us that are highly intuitive and empathic, it’s beautifully liberating to witness both those who are aligned and those who are not. Either way, we see you and will take steps to honor our own values. Embracing heartfelt connection and removing ourselves from those who haven’t earned access to us.

Within recent days I noticed myself intentionally moving physically closer to those I trust most. It’s based on a feeling and defies logic but feels right, true and heartfelt. All of which are deeply meaningful to me. It also feels fun and joyful.

Onward and upward always. Trust yourself, listen to the whispers of guidance. There’s tremendous power in trusting yourself.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Levels of Access and Boundaries”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression