Tag: love (Page 2 of 2)

Let’s Talk Eyeball to Eyeball, part 1


Now listen, let’s cut right to the chase: difficult people are one thing, stupid people are one thing, but abusive, controlling, manipulative people are quite another, and you need only stay in relationship with them long enough to be able to get out safely.


You deserve better.


You’ve heard the old saying “You made your bed and now you have to lay in it?”

Forget it. Forget you ever heard it. Erase it. Obliterate it.

Think you have to be miserable and in danger because you are obligated to live with the consequences of your choices?


Sometimes you can get so settled in a relationship, so comfortable with its predictable dynamics that you can’t see it clearly. You get lost in the familiarity, losing sight of the harm that’s being perpetrated on you and your partner. (But I don’t care about your partner right now, I care about YOU.)

Let’s be real clear about this:

Healthy love doesn’t manipulate, control, isolate, or harm another. Healthy love doesn’t issue ultimatums or demand you buy them things in return for their affection. Healthy love can’t be bought or sold. Healthy love doesn’t isolate you from friends sand family. Healthy love doesn’t pummel you incessantly with junky words designed to keep you down and them up. Healthy love doesn’t want you to be a slave or a doormat or a punching bag.

People, listen to me.

Healthy love wants you to shine. Healthy love brings out the best in you and the best in them. Healthy love makes you walk differently, with the grace of someone who is cherished and supported and loved through and through.

If your partner professes to be jealous of your friends, envious of the attention you give your family, if your partner demands that you forsake your friends and family spending time only with their friends and family, do not confuse this for love. This is not jealousy and this is not ardent love, my friends, this is controlling, isolating behavior, a tool in the abuser’s arsenal. Bullies are sniveling cowards, really. Knowing that other people just might see them more clearly than you, well, they want none of that.

Recognize it for the controlling, manipulative, isolating behavior it is.

If your partner tells you lies about your family and lies about your friends, see this for what it is: deceit. an erosion of trust. And really, if you don’t have trust as the foundation of a relationship, what kind of relationship do you have? Said another way, without trust, do you really have a relationship?

Trust is everything.

If your partner gets what they want by plying you with affection or pitching hissy fits and allowing you to makeup with them by buying them what they want, taking them where they want to go, doing for them what they wanted you to do in the first place, see this for what it is: immaturity and manipulation.

You are not a game piece they move to win the game.

If you earn money and your partner demands that you turn it over to them then refuses to share it with you – say it with me: this is controlling behavior and is not to be tolerated. I don’t care how you feel about capitalism, you need to have your own money.


If, after pitching a hissy fit, your partner says anything akin to “If you hadn’t done or said so-and-so, I wouldn’t have had to get mad, hit you, pitch such a fit (insert your behavior of choice),” see this for what it is: shifting the blame and trying to make you responsible for their unacceptable behavior. Unacceptable.

If your partner does any or all of these things, see it for what it is: thuggish, bullying behavior – abuse. Abuse doesn’t just mean physical contact, people. Abuse can leave bruises that are never visible to the naked eye. Bruises that can be healed, though it might take a few eons or so.

If your partner scares you,
If your partner tries in any way to make and keep you small,
If your partner blames you for their bad behavior
Exit the relationship.
This is not a healthy relationship, and this is not healthy love.

You never did anything to deserve this. Ever. You may not be able to see it right now under all the years of words and deeds to the contrary, but you ARE worthy and you ARE lovable and you DESERVE to be with someone who cherishes you.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, you can’t be stupid about your leaving. You have to be safe and consider the safety of yourself and your family, but that doesn’t lock you into staying in an unhealthy relationship for the rest of your life. Shake your body like a dog fresh out of the bathtub. Do it again. And one more time. Scream YES as loud as you can (even if it has to be on the inside). Now square your shoulders, exhale, and start planning. I know it’s not as easy as me writing these words. Of course it isn’t. Your exit might be quick and easy or it might be a long, arduous journey. Either way, you will get tired – changing the way you see yourself is invigorating, trying, challenging, exhausting, and liberating. It takes practice to see yourself in a new way, it takes patience to let your bones convince yourself that you are worthy. But it’s doable. And we are here cheering you on. We want you to succeed. We want you to see yourself the way we see you. The world needs you to live into your own bigness, and you cannot do that while under the thumb and under the control of a monster.

i told you stupid things. thanks for not listening


when you are young
i tell you to hold my hand
when crossing the street,
and you do.

i tell you to eat your vegetables
and you do.

i tell you to put your coat on
before going out in the snow
and you do.

i tell you not to run with a pencil
and you don’t.

you get older
and the lines blur.
things get more confusing,
less clear . . .

i tell you how to flirt,
but you’re not interested
in silly games
designed solely to capture the attention
of boys.

i tell you that you have to invite
everybody in your class,
but you don’t because
you don’t like everybody in your class.
you don’t want to spend time with them in class,
and you certainly don’t want to spend your life outside class with them.

i tell you to wear comfortable shoes,
but you wear those shoes with 3″ heels
because they make you smile.

i tell you not to run for political office,
but you run for state legislature
and wind up in a runoff with the
career politician
because you love this country
and want to make a difference.

i tell you that you can’t save every stray cat,
and you make cat food your american express –
never leaving home without it
because while you might not be able to
bring them all home,
you can at least feed them.

i tell you that when on a small budget,
keeping yourself in fresh flowers is an
extravagant and avoidable expense,
and you surround yourself with them anyway,
in pretty vases throughout the house
and scattered in every patch of sunshine
in your yard
because you find them beautiful.

i tell you nobody needs that many silk robes
even if it does cost $5 at the thrift shop,
and you get it anyway
because it feels good against your skin.

moxie . . .

for all the times i confused
keeping you small
with keeping you safe,
when what i really wanted to say is
take up as much room as you need.
for all the times i sounded for all the world
like i want you to be like everybody else
when what i really want more than anything
is for you to be you, regardless.
for all the times i said anything that implied
i want you to let other people define and determine your worthiness,
when all i ever wanted from day one is for you to listen
to your own bones and let them tell you every single day
in a myriad of languages
“you are talented
you are beautiful
you are worthy,”
i apologize.

over the years,
i told you these things (and more)
in a variety of ways
subtle and dramatic.
when i really meant to tell you
just the opposite.

the minute you were born
i became a mother
and a switch flipped
way down deep inside me,
routing my heart to be concerned
with your safety
and that safety became its own language
that sounds for all the world
like i want to keep you small,
like i want you to blend.

i guess i turned stupid because
i never wanted you to be hurt
(i still don’t)
and yet i know that i can’t protect you every minute of ever day.
and even if i could, i wouldn’t deny you the opportunity to be hurt
to learn who to trust and who not to trust,
to learn who to call
and who to never speak to again.
to learn at the hand of pain
just how strong and resilient
and beautiful and worthy
and powerful
you truly are.


for all the times i said stupid things
(even though they were said with the very best intentions),
thank you for not listening to me.
thank you for always dancing to your own internal orchestra
to dressing to the tune of your own internal stylist
to singing to the tune of your own internal mother who was,
so many times,
much, much wiser than i.


p.s. “all” is figurative, you understand.
for example, when i tell you to slow down when driving,
i still think you should listen to me.

p.s. 2 that woman, that “mental health professional” who once drew up a dress code for you?
i should’ve punched her lights out
instead of wasting my life trying to talk to her.
people like that one don’t understand ordinary language.

p.s. 3 again, thank you for holding onto your self
even through all my stupid.

p.s. 4 all these things are quite true,
but please
don’t make me regret saying them.

p.s. 5 in case it doesn’t come through:
i adore you.
i absolutely adore you
and am honored beyond description
to be your mother.

happy birthday, my precious daughter.

now let’s go shopping and spend that birthday money!

gifts of friendships


~~~ an altar to friendships ~~~

today’s my birthday,
and i don’t think
i’ve ever felt
so seen,
so loved
as when i
opened the gifts
from angela
and julie,
when i read
the post penned
by angela.
when my husband
and daughter
spent the entire day
doing just what i wanted
to do,
and doing it
without complaint.
when my brother
and sister
gathered with us
to enjoy my favorite foods
cooked by my mother
and to eat the cake
made by the
recipe my
grandmother used
to bake my cakes.
when my son
called at both
ends of the day,
just to talk.
and oh my goodness,
all the birthday wishes
awaiting me on facebook
– some of the most beautiful sentiments
and wishes that sent tears making
a run for my chin –
and twitter
and email
and voicemail.

thank you all
for taking time
for me
in this, a day
dedicated to love.

though i don’t want to
age accordingly,
i am thinking we need
to proclaim the 14th of
every month
a type of valentine’s day,
a day to pause and say
“i love you” to
those special people
in our lives.
or then again,
maybe we just tell
at least 14 people
every single day.
yes, maybe so.

More about 365 Altars



i met him 39 years ago tonight. he was a bartender, and i was one of two girlfriends enjoying a night on the town. we were only looking for a free drink, but i got so much more – the bartender’s eye that night, and his heart soon after. he had my heart from the get-go.

i still feel a tingle when i see him after even the briefest absence. his lips are still the softest lips i’ve ever kissed. he is gentle, and though he doesn’t always understand me, he at least tries. his logical, linearly-inclined way of thinking his way through the world nicely balances my more metaphorically-inclined, search-for-the-story way that bends towards unpredictable. we hold hands wherever we are. he’s never put his work before family, and most importantly: we laugh. a lot.

we’re not the same people now, individually or together. how could we be, really? and our love is different, too. not better, not worse, just different.

and still changing all the time.

More about 365 Altars


remembered lightness


there are things i want to write,
but i distract myself
with the to do lists,
with productivity,
with letting worthiness
be defined by accomplishment.
i do that rather than
come here and write
because i don’t have
an outline,
no rough draft
i don’t know the ending.
i can’t write a neat, tidy
essay that would net me an A+.

i no longer want to be the
girl who is defined
by how she theels
others see and interpret
her –
i don’t.

is that possible?


when i ask that she not put
certain things on facebook,
is that protecting her?
in a way.
and yet when i soften my eyes
on the word “protection”
the “yes” doesn’t come
as quickly
and as surely.

people will respond
to our words
as they will respond to
our words,
be they on facebook,
on a blog,
in a book,
or over a cup of
hot chocolate.

they will respond
through a filter
of their experience.
they will respond
via a mirror
of what they are
dealing with
in their own
at the moment.

does that diminish me?
does that define me?


if i own my own life,
and if i allow you to own yours,
isn’t that a gift
to both of us?


i look at the pictures of
kipp’s girlfriend.
i look at the pictures i snapped
that day in july
of the two of them
trekking up the falls
i look at the pictures
and my body
what it was feeling
as i snapped those photos,
the question remains:
can i rip off the bolts
and kick the slats out of the
can i release my heart
to romp freely in the lightness as it once did?
can i simply love her
without concern for
if i’ll ever see her again
if she’ll remain in kipp’s future
if she’ll love me in return?
can i just love her
i instantly love her?

she has a beautiful smile,
a long, beautiful neck
that scarves
fight over.
she is generous
and quick
with her laugh
and her smile.
she’s intelligent
in so many
important ways
that don’t have
anything at all to do
with her master’s degree.

can i love her without
crafting words
to explain
and justify?


when i defend myself,
is that protection-with-a-capital-p?
or am i not
once again
more concerned with
how another
will see me
more than i’m
with owning my own life?
doesn’t defending myself
make (and keep) me small?
and when i make (and keep) myself small,
doesn’t that make (and keep)
everybody else
and the world in general

Newer posts »

Where in the world is The 70273 Project? Please add a pin to show us where you are in the world. (1) Click the + sign in upper righthand corner of map. (2) Enter your first name only. (3) Enter your city/state. (4) Using the pins at the bottom of the map, select a marker based on how you are involved. (5) Select preview to see before posting. (6) Select submit to post. Please add a marker for each role you serve in The 70273 Project.

Support The 70273 Project

Allow me to introduce myself . . .

Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

special delivery: get blog posts hot off the press


© 2023 Jeanne Hewell-Chambers’ Barefoot Heart

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑