patience

Why Size Matters.

Women will give coy smiles and giggle, then say, “It’s not about size, it’s how you use it.” But that’s a lie.

Because a heart closed by fear, pessimism, and doubt can’t be used, not fully.

Let’s go Dr. Seuss for a minute with the Grinch.

00 grinch

The dude had serious issues beyond eye twitching and dressing his dog up like a reindeer. Why? Because the Whos down in Whoville were celebrating life. Okay, Christmas, but there’s a bigger picture here. They were happy and he wasn’t, so they weren’t allowed to be happy.

This goes back to heart.

The narrator cleverly inserts: “But I think that the most likely reason of all, may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

00 grinch heart

(CSI-like Exhibit A)

Closed or shrunken hearts can happen over time. Let’s face it, life isn’t always happiness and giggles. Cycles of unhealthy relationships are handed down from generation to generation like keepsakes. Moreover, if you’re not willing to participate in the negativity and codependency, then your punishment is withheld affection and love. Yes, love is used as a punishment in these dynamics.

But people have the power to smash the crap out of those cycles and make different choices.

I’ve written it before but it bears repeating:

The heart is like a universe, incomprehensibly vast and continually growing to accept new situations and people; never filling up because it’s endless.

While it can’t be filled, it can close off or get smaller.

How to stop it?

Well, there’s no ultimate manifesto of love, but I have a few ideas that are working for me.

  1. Only allow positive things and people in. This isn’t a call to arms to block out everyone who might be having a bad day, but it is a suggestion to love people who are chronically negative from a distance.
  2. Watch your words. Pay close attention to what you say, think, and write. If the majority of it isn’t positive, then stop and change it. Bring your thoughts and words back to hope. Evaluate the negativity, then turn it around to see the lesson in a situation or how to change it altogether.
  3. Make a conscious choice to take responsibility for your own personal happiness. Do, say, live the things that make you happy, and stop doing the things that don’t.
  4. Walk away. If someone is committed in a Grinch-like way to arguments, fighting, gossip, and misunderstanding everything you say, then pull up stakes. Life isn’t a battle. You don’t have to prove a point or argue one. Save your sanity and peace, then slip out the backdoor.
  5. While I’m on the subject of gossip… Don’t.  Gossip is an ugly habit and hurts people. Period. So embrace the love and turn the conversation to how your kid picked every flower in the garden because he thought it was Mother’s Day, then destroyed the kitchen making soggy cereal and glitter laden cards. Everyone will chuckle, and you’ll all feel better.
  6. Be honest about what you want, who you are, and do it unapologetically. Again, not a screw you to the world. A simple to say: this is what I want for my life, and I respect what you want for yours. Sometimes, people don’t want the same things. Sometimes people choose to accept who you are and sometimes they don’t. The ones who support, understand, and respect your choices (and you) will stick around. The others will lose interest and find something or someone else to occupy their time. Not good or bad, not a statement about your worth or theirs, but a sincere realization that not everyone will get you. They don’t have to because it’s not their life.
  7. Control is an illusion, so don’t waste time or energy trying to master it. We have control over one thing – our choices. Not the consequences, not other people, not anything else that exists in the world. Only the choices we make. Take your time, choose as wisely as possible, then learn from everything that happens afterwards. If it gets totally screwed up, then make a different choice next time, but don’t wallow in what ifs. That’s a quick road to depression, anxiety, and crippling fear. This is 40 plus years speaking here. Again, save your sanity.
  8. Life is an adventure, so live it. Sometimes I go out and enjoy the world, but most days I’m perfectly content with doing that in my own backyard. If skydiving is your adventure, then do it. Just don’t ask me to go with you. I don’t jump out of perfectly good planes.
  9. Peace is an active pursuit, find it daily. Whether you’re into meditation or vegging to music or driving dirt roads with the windows down, take a moment each day to actively pursue things that put your soul at ease. Peace isn’t going to come find you, you have to search it out. As you remove negativity from your life, it’ll get easier to find, but it still takes conscious effort to live until it’s a natural state of being.
  10.  Remember your heart is a universe and big enough to love the entire world. Do you have time to love the entire world? Probably not, but my point is – just like when a new baby is born – hearts and families expand to accommodate one more person. It’ll continue to do it for the rest of your life. New family members, friends, and even strangers on the street, there’s no end to how many people you can love. And just like the Grinch’s heart, yours will grow and grow until it’s nearly bursting out of your chest. But don’t worry, it won’t pop or anything. It’s custom made by some cosmic force to be pliable and stretchy.

This is you on love, only maybe not so green and minus the Santa suit. 🙂

00 grinch heart grows

 (CSI-Like Exhibit B)

Is this going to change the world?

Maybe, maybe not.

Can it change your world?

Well, that’s for you to decide. All I know for certain is I’ve been traveling this path for a while and slowly putting these into practice. Sometimes I really suck at it, but I’m getting better. And in the process, I’m living happiness and peace in a way I never have before. When I screw up, I make a different choice. When things start flowing, I keep doing them. Things like lying in the backyard and hanging with my family while watching the sun set. If that isn’t pure love and happiness, then I don’t know what is.

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Categories: allowing the positive, conscious choices, happiness, heart, honesty, journey, life, love, patience, peace, relationships, self reflection, spirituality, the next step, what matters to you, what once was | Tags: | 1 Comment

10 things I Learned by Crossing an Ocean

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I’ve seen this quote a lot, especially lately. Its purpose is to tell people not to invest energy into someone who’s not willing to give it back, or at least part of it. Why drain yourself when they don’t really care, right?

Wrong.

 

Wait, listen to my reasoning first. Here’s the thing, while they’re refusing to jump puddles, I’m having a hell of an adventure crossing that ocean. It’s not always about the time or energy you’re investing, but the things you get to experience in the process.

People refuse to cross oceans out of fear. They don’t think they’ll have the time or energy or anything worthy to give back. Even hopping a puddle is intimidating sometimes. You ever seen Poltergeist 3? That dude got sucked right down into a puddle in the middle of a parking garage. Seriously, those freaking things can be wells of darkness. And what if they turn into giant oceans and sweep us away? See, even crossing a puddle can be frightening.

My last two relationships took me places I’d never been. Whether actual states or emotional states, I expanded my universe by meeting new people and going places I might not have otherwise gone. In the process, I learned important things about life.

 

  1. Love is always worthy of a hundredth chance.
  2. Giving a hundred percent means I have no regrets whether or not something works out.
  3. People are bent on explaining their vision for their future and even if you listen to all of it… for hours on end, sometimes they won’t in return, but it doesn’t change what you’ll want for your future.
  4. We ALL see the world from one perspective, ours, and often won’t agree because we’re a summation of individual experiences. But sometimes we will. Cherish those meetings of the minds.
  5. People can be draining and impossible and selfish and a general pain in the ass, but they’re also loving and cuddly and giving and kind and worthy of every ounce of our time and energy.
  6. Leave nothing unsaid, unwritten, undone. Go all-in, whether or not they’re willing to, and do it without regret because you’ll regret not doing it more.
  7. Do it wrong, screw it up, get emotional and passionate, embrace every moment from beginning to end and live out loud.
  8. Waste time. Literally waste time on something you think will be nothing because you’ll find it was everything when it’s gone.
  9. Be afraid, be terrified, tell yourself a thousand times how none of it will work out, then get the hell off the sofa and do it anyway. Every success and every failure teaches us more about ourselves than any self help book. You only learn by doing it and, whether you have to cross the freaking ocean a gazillion times or just jump over a puddle, you can be proud you had the courage to stand up when everything else in life was telling you to sit down.
  10. And one final thought as you journey across those sometimes unforgiving waters of life…

 

 

 

 

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At the end of life, when time slows and darkness descends, what do you want to remember? Sitting on the sofa, afraid to cross that ocean because people are draining and aren’t willing to go all-in, so why try anyway? Or that one summer when you journeyed somewhere new to meet someone incredible, knowing they only needed a temporary distraction, but which ended up being one of the most loving and connective moments of your life.

You get more than you think, and most of it isn’t tangible, but all of it worthy whether or not they’re willing to do anything in return. Sometimes the greatest gift we give is to those who can’t give back, those who will never see you walking the ocean because they’re still looking down trying to figure out how to jump over a puddle.

Categories: Choice, journeymen, patience, peace, relationships, the fear that binds us, the next step, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Melody, Stars, & Golden Barley

*

The golden tips of the barley grass now reach above the old worn fence posts. In the evening, when the sun shines just right I swear it looks like spun strands of honey. Even the bees buzzing around them seemed confused, but they flit through them trying to catch the sunlit treasure anyway.

I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

The fire licks the log. Though resistant, its smoldering edges eventually succumb to ancient embers, still showing signs of life from the burning man she created the night before. The ash of which circles the old wheelwell in gray-white reverence.

And… I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

When the sun finally falls beneath the misty mountains, a milk sky of stars begin to form. Their twinkle is no map to some distant land. No, they’ve already led these weary travelers to their final destination. We lay beneath them, pointing out the constellations… or making up our own… because this sacred land can only be found by those who know the stars never move, but stay constant and fixed even when the largest of their kind come out to greet the day.

Still… I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

The soft melody playing in the background dronws out a passing train. Its clickety-clack reminds us that adventure is a steel track away and waiting for us to venture down it. The knowledge soothes us, but fails to move us because we’ve seen that world. Its hustle and bustle isn’t suited for hearts that find more beauty in the twined flight of hawks overhead than the patchwork of cars roaring by.

Did I mention…? I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

He gets the laundry while she sits next to me sketching another masterpiece. Soon he’ll find the words to describe his latest adventure. I wait patiently, watching the his long distant gaze into the now dying flames. I know he sees something hidden within them, but he’s not ready to share those secrets. So, again I write of the melody, and stars, and golden barley, and passing trains.

A more peaceful place I can’t imagine.

*

“What with all my expectations long abandoned
My solitary nature notwithstanding…”

I said it, I meant it… then, now and always.

 

Categories: answers, belief, certainty, choosing faith, contentment, found, patience, relationships, secrets, the universe, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Message of Love

*

It’s an illusion, the glimmered mirage reflected in watery eyes doesn’t dip past the surface, but the rocks you skip aren’t meant to sink. They skim in rippled jumps, each barely tapping the water as it reaches for the other shore. Exhausted from the journey, they eventually succumb to the pull and sink.

Before you watch them disappear beneath the waves, another rock is hand ready and held tight.

The breeze carries a message through a flowing curtain of willows. They weep for a world-weary heart hardened by time and a touch of life. Desperate to catch your eye, the branches wave frantically, whipping just above your head. When the rustle grows, you glance in annoyance cursing the disruption. The branches, drained from the effort, release the call to let it settle back along the wind.

But life is persistent; it turns to the nightingale, hoping that the sun-brushed melody melts past the iced prison walls surrounding your heart.

The nightingale sings, on the water’s edge, fighting past cellophane wings to catch your ear. His little heart beats a foreign rhythm of love. The song drifts past an unwilling soul wrapped comfortably in its loneliness. As he prepares to expend his final breath, you turn to throw another stone and stir the water with a splash. Off he flies in search of new ears to capture.

If you paused, the absence would be glaring, but the urge to continue skipping overwhelms the senses. So you throw another stone, hoping this one will make it to the other side. The frustration builds as each one falls faster beneath the deep indigo waters than the last.

Realization has yet to take hold, but life is persistent.

It compels the lazy clouds to gather. A flashing blanket of white extends across the sky. When it begins to cry, you feel the first drop roll across your cheek. You brush it away without a thought. The first drip safely in hand, you return to task. Scowling at the heavens, you warn them in brief sharp glances.

A deep voice rumbles across the hills. It grows to a deafening roar as you scream out for silence. Undeterred, the sky opens. In typed drips on the water’s surface, it faithfully sends the message of love. As it soaks through, you feel the warmth dip past the skin.

Your face turns skyward letting each one roll down rose touched cheeks.

It continues to flow as the stones drop down into the moss-covered soil below. Finally, the words pool right below the neck, through brittle walls, into that space emptied by loneliness.

…because life is persistent and all it needs is time.

Categories: answers, belief, choosing faith, heart, life, messages, pain, patience, purpose, scars, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Reborn

*

Hush the sky, my dearest

let the cracks fill

with a soft blue of the reborn

 

Listen to the memory of rain

tap down storm drains

like a train on iron tracks

 

Tempests do not follow

down paths of light

where darkness dare not dwell

 

The damp ground

with its aroma of life

reawakens to thoughts of spring

 

We do not travel lightly here

heavy with burdens

lost to blinded eyes

 

Still, the blue of horizons

not yet conquered

await our footsteps

 

So, hush the sky, my dearest

the cracks fade in footfalls

and in their echo, we are reborn

Categories: belief, choosing faith, freedom, heart, journeymen, love, memories, messages, patience, purpose, taking risks | Tags: | Leave a comment

Day 1: Seasons

(Source: Roxymusic)

 

We often miss the little things the universe is trying to tell us. It’s not that we don’t want to listen, but I think we clutter our everyday until we simply can’t hear. For most people, spring is the time to clean, prune, and take stock. But, for me, it’s a time to let nature take over. Let the new growth cover all the scars of winter.

Instead I turn to the fall, when the leaves begin to drop and flowers fade. It’s easier for me to see what’s missing when the branches begin to bare. The stunning contrast of what once was and what is now is enough to kick my butt into full on clean mode. I sit back in my chair and map out which branches to cut. Of course, this is where you have to plan each step with care. If you cut the wrong one the tree might be lopsided or you’ll end up with a hole right through the center.

My first instinct is to cut the whole damn thing down. I can always plant another one…right? The downside is you have to go back through the nurturing and growing phase which doesn’t bother me, because that happens to be at the core of my skill set. I’m good at helping things grow into maturity. The problem becomes, once grown, I’m looking for something new to nurture; sometimes forgetting that nothing ever reaches true maturity until winter arrives to take it back.

I guess the point is I’m learning in the fall of my years that cutting everything down and starting new isn’t the answer. If I step back and prune a little here and there when spring returns the new growth will make each branch stronger. Life is a process of death and rebirth, a transition from the newness of spring to the youthful frolic of summer to the changing colors of fall to the decay of winter. I once heard someone say “Unto every season a purpose is given.”
My purpose this fall is to learn a new skill; to carefully prune what isn’t working so as the seasons change my tree grows back balanced, beautiful, and stronger.

 

~   ~

~   ~   ~

“A time to keep, a time to cast away…”

Categories: answers, belief, Drive by life, life, messages, moving forward, patience, purpose, seasons | Tags: | Leave a comment

Contentment

Most days I’m content with the way the wind blows and the sporadic rainfalls of late summer are just enough to clear my head. But the last few months have driven me far from that peace. The simple pleasures of the now are no longer within my grasp. And the frustration is starting to wear on me.

This pathological search mode isn’t part of my baseline. Typically everything has a place and I know where to find it when the need arises, but lately I feel a push I can’t quite quantify. It feels as if I’m being pushed to find the answer to a question I don’t even know. Maybe that’s wrong, because if you broke it down, I think you’d find that something is missing. A part of me that I never noticed before seems empty.

I spent many nights blaming it on the addictions, the lack of contact, writing too much or too little, and those everyday stressors we encounter. The truth is something in me just isn’t there. So my entire being is grasping at straws hoping to catch the right one. The exhaustion of continually pulling back the wrong straw has led me here; back to the page, because if I write it out maybe sense will follow.

I have my doubts, but then that shouldn’t surprise you. I talked about taking risks in my last post. The biggest of which, for me, is believing in myself. Maybe that’s the answer…maybe not. And in those words I reveal something about myself, I think. I am, at the core, a person who needs to find the answers in order to find peace. But how is that possible when the question is obscured?

You may or may not read this. You may or may not care, but then it’s not your job. In the end, I guess it’s just another leg of the journey. Without growth we stagnant and I can think of no greater crime than to sit in one place and never take the next step. So, though I don’t know the question…or answer, I’ll continue to search. Until I find the question, until I know the answers, until the universe shifts again, until exhaustion takes me and I can no longer continue.

~   ~

~   ~   ~

“There’s just too many words we’re never meant to learn…”

Categories: answers, belief, contentment, Drive by life, life, love, messages, patience, questions, relationships, searching, self reflection, taking risks, the next step | Tags: | 6 Comments

String of Hope

They’re broken, I know,

the one thing that might make the special is gone.

So why have I held on so long?

 

They’re not symbols of faith, though I have it.

They don’t offer forgiveness, though you may disagree.

Prayers are not answered with them, though they may be heard.

Men have fought wars because of their meaning, though not over me.

 

My little string of rosewood and charms hangs by the window ledge.

They’re deep red, sun bleached, and torn on one edge.

Rose scents linger when the wind is just right.

And if you listen they’ll tap out a rhythm; a song of the heart if you like.

It’s melancholy and simple and sweet to the ear.

Some might find tolerance in the songs that they hear.

As for me, they are hope, strung by a chain;

the remembrance of life touched by violence, anger, and pain.

Though something is missing, I don’t feel its loss.

What’s left is everything

and nothing at all.

Categories: Drive by life, love, memories, messages, pain, patience, relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Chalk Outline

What freedom do find in form

that holds a master’s hand to scorn

in Armageddons sure dim light

where angels fall in wingless cries

Still bleeding from the wounds I’ll sigh

sun scorched on a chalk outline

begging for a noonday night

and tapping veins bruised to sight

One step closer to the sun

grabbing hands until there’s none

steadily I’ll reach the shore

and fabled sons will sing no more

Categories: Drive by life, love, messages, moving forward, pain, patience, tomorrow | Tags: | Leave a comment

Love Me Tomorrow

Love me tomorrow; when the wind shifts and the stench of past romances no longer follows us as we walk. They haunt in gusts, forcing the memories back; each smell, every touch assaulting the senses. Its grasp so tight I struggle to pull in breaths that sting with loss. The pain real to the taste, it sits bittered on my tongue, rooted so deep I’ve yet to remove them all.
So, love me tomorrow; let time lift the scars scratched across the soil by sharp careless words whispered by pained hearts. Though I step with care, they reach up to grab the hem. You’ll see the trip just ahead, but let me fall, because this is not tomorrow and I still fight the loss. The scratches and scrapes won’t linger. They heal as my heart starts to let go. Listen to these words and…
Please, love me tomorrow; but not today, oh no, don’t love me on this day. I still need time to catch my breath and I’m waiting for the wind to shift and spinning from the last fall. There’s still so much to do. The places I meant to visit are calling and I’m desperately reaching out to find them – and you. But love…
When you see me, smile and keep walking. When you wake to a new day, thinking tomorrow has come, read these words again and you’ll know – that it is today…
…and tomorrow still waits for love.
Categories: love, memories, moving forward, pain, patience, soul mates, tomorrow, waiting | 2 Comments

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