html xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr'> Lounging at the Waldorf: Joanna Matthews Clears the Past

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Joanna Matthews Clears the Past

The Dalai Lama…talked about the gap between perception and reality -- how people read a situation by projecting their own emotional baggage, which causes distortion. That is why he emphasized that we all must strive to have transparency in our interactions with people. Otherwise there is mistrust, which causes fear, which can then develop into frustration, anger and violence.

--Agapi Stassinopolous, Huffington Post, April 16, 2012 

I, Joanna Matthews, have not always been forthcoming. Yes, I have read and taken notes in the margins of many self-help books (72 so far!). And yes, the only audio tracks on my iPod are:

The Secret
Superstars of the Secret
Men Are from Mars, Who Moved My Secret? 

Even so, it seems that my baggage is getting in the way of me becoming my true, whole, and better self.


Maybe it’s because I’m turning 39 (again, LOL! LOL! LOL!) and I forgot to have children (Ha! Joking! I don’t feel empty!). Or maybe it’s because all three of my siblings owe me money. Whatever it is, I am compelled to clean up some messes from the past. Do I feel “anger” or “frustration?” I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the last few decades and I now hardly know what those words mean. But, just as a precautionary measure, here we go:

Stacey King

I am no longer friends with you because you are fucking crazy. You play the victim in all situations leaving little room for normal interactions since it nourishes your insanity to turn all situations into an attack against poor you. Here are a few examples:

1. You stopped returning my phone calls.

2. You stopped returning my calls for a few months then contacted my ex-husband to ask if he needed help with his documentary about the biodiversity of the Port Authority Bus Terminal bathrooms.

3. You stopped returning my calls for a few months, contacted my ex-husband, then told me that I was a terrible friend who selfishly had not vouched for you at the food co-op.

But I need you to know: I forgive you and my calendar is wide open. Let’s get a chai!



Cole McKinley

We had sex and you never called me again. Though it was our first date and I was emotionally bludgeoned by my recent divorce, I didn’t think you would view me through the old whore/nun dichotomy. I guess I expected more from a man who used Alice Walker’s definition of “womanist” to describe his yoga practice. After 64 months of keeping it "real" and "label-free," you dumped me. I was shocked. I was wrong about you, Cole. What’s worse, the infinite wisdom of my yoni was wrong. I cried. I got used to the taste of tears in my tempeh. And then, one day, the gray clouds parted like you parted the gray hairs on my yoni, and I was healed.

I forgive you, Cole. Should you care to share more intimacy, I’m here for you. Or I could come over there. Whatever’s easiest. 



Sasha Freewoman

Where do I begin with an unenlightened bloodsucker like you LOL! LOL! LOL! I’m joking! Your teachings on the finer points of rhythmic transcendence brought me into the light and then left me there…just like my dad! Ha! Even though you insisted that my couch was a “holy goddess chaise” for you to “gather your spirit” for months and months without contributing to rent, groceries, and eventually conversation, I’m okay with that. It’s in the past. I moved on after you moved out and I forgive you.

Let’s get together next week for a hot cumin-curry bath and you can give me back my cat, no questions asked. Together, we will soak in the waters of friendship and be free women at last! 



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