The Marriage of Love: A Song For Everyone

I’m not the kind of person

Who keeps her thoughts at bay

Who sweeps things under the rug

If I think it – I’m gonna say

 .

So when I see a video

That makes my heart sing and skip a beat

I can’t, for the life of me fathom

How some people think gay marriage equals defeat

.

No disrespect to anyone’s religion

Please, believe what you wish – and more

But if your faith brings you to discriminate or even hate

You may want to re-think that door

.

With so much anguish, pain and suffering

Our world is in need of repair 

We need to get back to basics: Love, Respect, Care

.

For the naysayers of the world

I hope you watch this video and can truly feel

Beyond what you may have been taught as a child 

Because LOVE between same-sex partners is real

.

Thank you, Christian and Brad

And everyone who helped make their special day shine

It’s this type of positive media coverage 

That truly turns water into wine

.

~ ~ ~

Video courtesy of Christian Siriano My warmest congratulations and love to the newlyweds!

~ ~ ~

PS: Kjo (Kristen Johnston, wedding officiant) you were stunning, and as usual made me laugh and cry. Bitch.

.

Christine Macdonald
Mirror

Face. Value.

OrangeI sat upright on the examining table, the thin paper rustling under the backs of my knees. I tapped my heels against the sides like a restless child waiting for her lollipop. I wondered  – at what age in child development did doctors stop shelling out candy? And how cool would it be now to have a martini bar in the waiting room.

My lungs were full. I pushed every ounce of air out from under my belly, through my chest. The room was suddenly filled with the heavy wind of my breath, penetrating the sterility of the space. The faint ticking of the second-hand on the wall inside its circle of time reminded me how slowly it dripped in these moments (but when I hit snooze – lightening speed).

The scene was all too familiar, but the butterflies still fluttered inside. I knew that soon, I would lay on that same, thin sheet of paper covering the table, my face centered under an over-sized microscope and my eyes closed – protected from a light bulb that will feel unnecessarily too bright and way close too close to the skin on my face. The heat would remind me of the sun. It will carry me outside myself. I will fantasize about lying on an empty beach, back in my home town of Waikiki. Anything but lying under another doctor’s lamp under their over-sized magnifying glass.

I’d rather live in my fantasy far away from white robes and the smell of rubbing alcohol. In my mind, I was a swimsuit model with perfect skin, lounging on a golden stretch of pristine sand glistening under the afternoon glow of make-believe. Shirtless Greek Gods donning cocoa-buttered six-pack abs and solid forearms will deliver a frosty Mai Tai in an unusually skinny but tall Tiki style mug. It will have two narrow straws and one tiny pink umbrella wedged on the edge of the mug next to a slice of fresh pineapple. Palm trees playing hide-and-seek with my perfect, cellulite-free silhouette and the waves kissing the shoreline will provide the perfect ambiance to my afternoon of bliss.

But then – fingers. The touch from a faceless doctor in a white coat, professionally equipped to provide me with promises of. . . better. 

“Right now, your skin is like an orange. We can make it look like an apple”, he promised. I heard the light switch click, felt the heat from the bulb disappear, then opened my eyes.

The doctor gently pushed the glass microscope away from the table as I was already missing my imaginary Mai Tai. He extended his hand to help me sit up as if I were a wounded gazelle shot down with the sharp-shooting penetration of his words. I was, but still.

Your skin is like an orange.

Freddy_KruegerThere was another doctor in the room. When our eyes connected I recognized the head-nod-grin combo of promises and pity. My illusions of bikini model pretty quickly dissolved. Reality. After nine surgeries from sand-blasting in the late 80’s to the more recent cutting and laser burning, I was still Freddy Kruger – the scar-faced monster from the 1984 slasher movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy’s face was disfigured and burned; and although his character wasn’t real, I felt a kindred spirit with the man behind the mask. I felt his pain and wondered if Wes Craven, the director behind Freddy’s creation had a history of skin afflictions.

I’ve carried Freddy with me for decades. Back when everybody wanted their MTV and Madonna was Like a Virgin, he’s been with me – the moniker I can’t seem to shake.

Even thirty years later, although I no longer wake up to blood-stained pillows and have to endure weekly cortisone shots on golf-ball-sized cysts on my face, my struggle with Freddy remains.

“Really? As smooth as an apple?” I called out the doc’s sales pitch, already knowing his answer. I learned the hard way that plastic surgeons are really just used car salesmen in white robes and nicer shoes. I was too old and have been through too many surgeries to believe such embellishments.

“Well, as close as we can get” he qualified.  “Nothing is perfect.”

kikifacestiches

He was right. No matter how many doctors I allowed to pierce my invisible facial force field, I would never be completely free of scarring born from the skin disease [Acne Conglobata /Stage IV Acne Vulgaris] I’ve had since I was thirteen.

After discussing my finance options and mentally circling my work calendar with the weeks off I would need to recover, I thanked the doctors for their time, accepted their glossy brochure and slung my purse over my shoulder.

The commute home was a blur. Navigating through tears and self-assurances that there was nothing wrong with me – that I just wanted to look and feel normal, I tried not to compare myself to anyone. I searched for the answer that would never come to the same question I’ve repeated again and again through the years – why me?

I tried to remember I was still beautiful, but the word “still” is the dagger. “Still” is one of those words with hidden agenda; threaded in a compliment with conditions. But it’s a compliment, nonetheless. I’d take a “still” over none at all.

It doesn’t take much to temporarily erase years of working on personal self-improvement and esteem. When I hear of a grown woman calling me Freddy Kruger recently (true story), I allow myself to feel shitty again. Like somehow my worth and beauty are directly proportional to the levity of one cruel person’s descriptor. Even if this cruelty is coming from a person who, no doubt has her own self-esteem issues with her own body image and looks.

Why is it for some of us – hate is so much easier to feel than love? That our inner voices of self-sabotage are so much louder than the kind and compassionate mantras we struggle to believe?

So many of us get tangled in a web of not enough – built from spinning our own yarn of self-loathing. We dream about living a different reality, instead of realizing we can tear down the cracked foundations from our past and create a new normal.  Instead of being held back by our flaws, we can learn to accept them. So. Hard. To. Do. But the good news? It can be done.

We are all unique, beautiful creatures of this world and each of our flaws is what makes us who we are.

Having another surgical procedure on my skin is still a real possibility. But accepting the reality of knowing that nothing is perfect – that my skin will always be scarred – is more important to me now.

It’s ironic that it took someone calling me Freddy Kruger recently to remind me how far I’ve come. That no matter how much I struggle to find my inner-peace with beauty, this person’s ugly heart has been revealed – and her struggles are her own.

One of the hardest things to master is loving ourselves unconditionally, and thanks to people who try and hit us where it hurts, we are reminded that we do.

Perhaps I should send my recent name-caller a thank you basket of fruit. I think apples and oranges would be a nice touch.

Christine Macdonald
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Let go or hang on? Your call, your rules.

LG1

“You can only lose what you cling to.”– Buddha

As I mentioned in a previous post about letting go, it can be anything but easy. Whether you’re moving to a new town, changing careers, going through a break up, or even cleaning out your closet, change is rarely without its challenges.

Some of us have no problem moving on. Out with the old is second nature. But for others, the idea of change is enough to make you hide under the covers.

It’s been said that the only way to move forward is to never look back; that instead of checking our personal rear-view mirrors from time to time, we should bash them with a fist full of determination while chanting the mantra “Live in the NOW.”

But what if the lessons you needed to learn are still in progress while you attempt to turn the page? What if there are parts of your past that actually were life-changing, monumental events that served your happiness and soul – and you are a better person for it?

Like everything in life – the trick is in the balance.

The only person who is equipped to decipher what we ought to let go of and what we should carry with us moving ahead, is us. Most of the time, in making these choices, we are emotional, off-kilter and just plain delusional. This makes our decision making anything but rational.

Have you ever stayed in touch with an old friend and one day, after yet another shining example of why you two should have left your hang-time in high school (because you have nothing in common) realize you actually don’t really enjoy one another?

How about when you clean your closet (or try to), and you realize half of the items cramming your hangers have not been your pant-size in years?

Whether it’s a not-like-minded friend from high school or a suit you haven’t been able to squeeze into since Murphy Brown was on the air – some of us just hang on.

However long you’ve been walking this earth – everything – every person – in your life has a story. Maybe you feel that if you stay connected to that high school friend, you’re keeping a part of yourself from a much simpler time. Perhaps tossing out the clothes you outgrew (literally) when you were younger will mean that you’ve given up on getting back in to shape.  

It’s all a story.

Stories have layers.

It’s only when we’re ready to peel back those layers that we can truly evolve and move on. And if you’re not ready, then forgive yourself for the emotional abuse you’ve been creating with the expectations you should be. 

This is YOUR story. Go at your own pace.

If someone is turning their page and you’re still marinating in your own shit, it’s time to stop comparing (read; Compared to WHAT?) and focus on your own proverbial book – which is amazing, heartbreaking, challenging, loving, scary, and bad ass. Just like you.

Amazing

Your thoughts? 

Christine Macdonald