Posts Tagged With: Poetic Life

A Special Message of Love

stockvault-yin-yang-grunge-cycle133826

 

Our first year together approaches, and I have a question for you, but doing things quietly has never been my way. So, here goes, my love…

As I made plans, the universe made better ones. It’s like that sometimes in life, the broken paths that feel tragic, only because we don’t know something else is coming, something better and stronger. 

In so many ways, I wasn’t ready for love, not that my ego agreed. It bit at every chance, thinking this might be the right fork. And somehow, they were all the right ones because I ended up here.

In the light of a Sunday afternoon with the kids playing in the background a giggle erupts from the other room, and my heart swells. I know the love there. It’s as certain as the next nightfall and sunrise, ever present and steady, bringing peace to some and balance to others.

In that, I rejoice with one thought — this is love.

Soft, with no less passion, yet flowing with all the possibilities of a life so worth living, and in the last place I expected to find it. Not hidden, not for a moment, only unclear to my eyes because, as every magician knows, the best place to hide something is in plain sight. Sometimes our vision clears enough to get a glimpse behind the wizards current, and I’d had many over the past few years. Through confusion and stubbornness, the ever-patient universe allowed the light to adjust, then shine down in a fiery burst to land smack in the middle of my mind.

She worries sometimes, worries that it’s not enough for me because quiet and reserved is her wheelhouse. But that suits me. In truth, I’m loud enough for both of us. Together we are balance of a yin-yang type.

The tears I’m crying at this very moment are ones of joy and being so thankful for the gift of her in this life we share. Okay, maybe I’m a little nervous, too.

So, come closer now, Beautiful. Before I turn into a blubbering mess, I have one question, a little something I’ve been waiting to ask…

*clears throat, wipes tears, and smiles*

I’ll wear out the words…

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Categories: contentment, happiness, heart, love, messages, relationships, the best damn thing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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.

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

Believe

butterfly on flowers

 

She told me to wish on a star because it will make my wish come true. Somewhere between stardust and sunbeams when dreams feel so real you can smell the rain, I almost believe. Then sleep falls from my eyes, and I’m hit with the starkness of reality.

She said that grown-ups can’t be happy because they’ve forgotten how to dream. In the fervor of her argument when her tiny hands fly up in exasperation while conviction invades every word, I want to believe. Then it’s time to come in from the chill, and I’m hit with the emptiness of silence.

She gave up on the little lost boy in a green hat when she turned seven. While I watch her scan the twinkling horizon for a hint of fairy dust in hopes that some dreams are worth holding on to, I begin to believe. Then her head drops along with those beautiful blue eyes, and I’m hit by tiny fragments of shattered hope.

She’ll tell you the greatest gift I ever gave her was life. Between the smiles and tears, hopes and fears, lost dreams and found things when I’m sure all strength is gone, I do believe.

I believe in her… and that is enough to make me believe in almost anything.

Is it possible to believe in something or someone so much that we live in the illusion of what or who they might become until reality catches up with our dreams?

In both writing and life I had embraced a type of idealism that dissuaded the possibility of anything save goodness and the best version of people. After spending far too much time in the bitter slice of what others accepted as real, I’ve chosen to return to a life that might resemble illusion or a dream land to those on the outside. As with my current relationship, this is a weighed and balanced choice because the purity of child-like innocence accepts the actuality of magic where reality cannot.

I believe in people, and their ability to do magical and creative and kind things in this world. What do you believe in?

Categories: angels on earth, belief, childhood, choosing faith, Drive by life, innocence, Rob Thomas, the universes we create | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

To Write is the only Choice that Remains: Come find your Voice in the Surround

Voices of our surround layered

 

Beneath every surface a scratching, beneath every thought a lie we tell ourselves to escape the pain, and now the time has passed for pleasant ways around either. Darkness follows too closely for us to fall behind and no one ever comes back from the heavy tendrils of its grip. So we run, faster, farther, higher up the mountain to avoid being enveloped. Yes, we fear darkness. We fear an endless nothing of staying in one place, locked in a routine of normality.

To this end, we become animals, caged and lonely, yet roam in the world as if the bars are invisible because this monument of steel lives within. The tiger paces endlessly, reassuring us, compelling the run to hunt for something better, though we’ll never find it. He knows as much, for this is his game carefully crafted to breakdown patience and courage and faith. All of which are replaced with darker desires, which are rarely satiated by the treasures we gather.

One minute wasted then two, and finally a lifetime of naught surrounding a hole in the ground. Tears, fears, and condolences move closely together, imaging themselves as bedfellows for the distraught, and whispering every manner of guilt to frame our pain. The passing of life is banner-less, save the framed and distorted faces around the hollow hole. No celebrations now, no happy reminiscing, only damp cheeks and downturn mouths to mark a life of minutes racing by too quickly and ones which end too short of their mark.

Click, clack.

The rope is slack.

Click, clack.

A world of lack.

Click, clack.

Return to black.

Fall now, break now, empty now into your abyss. They’ll save in the rendering when all transition to light from the fight of those awakened. These beings don’t proffer excuses in the face of responsibility. Instead, they stand, steady and flexible as the great bamboo, to bend but never break.

But those who perceive themselves as weak and incomplete hear the tiger always. Grunt, pace, growl. It’s stalking you now, so make haste and move on to your next distraction lest you become the nothing you fear.

***

Darkness is easy to embrace. We will forever gravitate towards the worst interpretations of ourselves because to know the dark means we’re working on our inner demons. It also means no one can use them against us.

In the fall of my final year, the tiger stalks the edge of my life with gruffing calls. It knows what I had yet to grasp—this is the end, and no silver ray of anything could change my fate. In truth, there aren’t many moments I’d have asked it to leave, not in the midnight cloak of desperation confronting me. Somehow, the soft hand of near death comforted, yet its grotesque twist of flesh cements in my chest. No breath is deep enough to loosen its grip, which would’ve been far more welcome many years ahead.

“Too young,” I choke out.

Gruff, gruff, my steady companion calls.

“Not yet,” I whisper back.

Not because I’m not ready, but truth told I count myself among the great cowards of the world. Yeller bellied, drop everything and run in face of confrontation. That’s right, no saving lives here, no running into burning buildings, no standing up to schoolyard bullies, even ones many decades younger. You might add spineless in the most disgusting ways, and you’d be correct.

I stand for nothing, fall for everything, then flog myself relentlessly because taking too much responsibility for all the wrong things is my gift. While others divert, obfuscate, and blame, I hold the bag high and say, “Yep, it was all my fault. I’m weak, useless, careless, and lazy.” Of course, no one hears this dialogue except the tiger. It uses my lack as a way to pull me closer, and I craft my guilt to destroy everything good I create, to tear myself down to the shell, so as to be empty.

You know this feeling, don’t you? You know what it is to be a voiceless remnant with no ears to hear your crying late in the eve. With every fiber we want to yell, “Not again. Please stop, get the hell away. I don’t have anything left. Can’t you see? Don’t you know?” No one answers, of course, just the padded pacing of a black and white ghost that growls soft and low. Its waiting with an answer while cleverly suppressing something deeper—an inner voice of ancient and serene knowledge.

In the caverns of my reprieve I hear a voice, not the tiger, but something just as strong. It replies in cut, direct tones. Somewhat cynical and demanding, it blurts out sarcastic responses to questions and small talk, ones which never quite reach my lips. For that much I’m thankful, though often I dig my teeth deep into the flesh of my lip to hold it back. This is more difficult as I age due to my dwindling patience for crap and chit-chat.

One truth I’ve found over the years, besides my lack of backbone, is that people are lazy, wanting, and broken; or so their empty eyes and slack behavior would indicate. They have more to give, but bind it tight inside as if they could use up their energy and have none left. Another myth, another lie, something we buy for everything, yet it gives us nothing in return. That’s the way to distinguish it from the truth.

The truth scratches beneath the surface, beneath every thought we hide from, and lower yet is the voice. Our true voice, the one we hide for fear others will run, the one waiting patiently, the one we keep locked away.

The voice of our surround.

***

“In war, truth is the first casualty.”

AESCHYLUS

 

The first war is always against ourselves. Only one victim exists—our soul.

 ***

With the heart, with the heart, with the heart—he said begin with the heart. If only I knew where it lives. What is tangible and present for some, eludes on the highest levels. Moments of tenderness break through, and I think I might feel something, anything, but it drifts away in a painfully slow death march. Love is unknown, the true feel of it.

Is it loyalty? Patience? Kindness? Infatuation?

These I’ve seen, even experienced, though never for long. I know sadness, I know how the emotions of others crash into my being so as to incapacitate me. The rest is a foreign idea, swimming at the bottom of day old soup; somewhat foul in smell and cringe worthy in consistency, but not the fabled and promised emotion of story books and movies. My chest doesn’t ache for the things I cannot touch, though my body is desperate to taste the newly bloomed rose.

So close, she lets me so close. I want to whisper my tongue down her thigh, to feel her hair against mine, but some walls are too tall, and I’m weak and tired and not in the frame of mind to play those types of chords. A once sweet song brandished with subtle notes of sin, in which neither of us will win because bricks are dull. Every word against them slams hard and falls flat to the ground. Lower still, until the soil grinds my hopes and desires into aged powder, a fine end to a nightshade lover.

But the tiger finds me always. It’s stalking now, a jab of despair, a swipe of all the ways life became too hard. So I mourn with the other framed face around a hole we fill with might have been wishes and never come true dreams. And the tiger gruffs its response or condolences, depending on the ear.

Here lie my voices of ill repent and contemptible promises. Be careful lest they mock and haunt to bastardize even the brightest and most encouraging light.

Do you hear it?

“You can’t have it, ’cause you don’t deserve it.” An echoing laugh follows misplaced keys. “She’ll never want you, ’cause you’re worthless.”

“Screw you,” I scream, though no one listens.

My hand ventures to its throat, finding only mine.

Categories: Drive by life | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Promise of Spring

000 winter road

 

Winter’s long hand is blanketing the world outside my door. The crystalline white swirls down, reaching over everything to hide color and light. Even the busy road vanished, now a silent empty reminder of travelers I’ve never met.

Somewhere in the distance soft light promises to break the spell, but I know it’s simply an illusion — my personal mirage in an entirely new desert.

On days like these the only sound is her laughter. Some video or other amuses her twelve year old mind into a fit of temporary joy, and I’m thankful to hear something other than my own thoughts. She’ll be here for a handful of years yet. Experience has taught me they’ll go fast, too fast, then she’ll tackle the world outside our door with fire and passion. Though I’ll miss her laughter desperately, I won’t hold her back, even if I could. She deserves a shot at making this life everything or anything her brilliant mind can imagine.

I see the stinging loneliness ahead, but don’t weep. In this weather, my tears would freeze before hitting the ground, and the beauty of this place inspires more quiet smiles than sorrow.

The only thing left is to wait and wonder what comes next, though all I see is the snow. No brilliant images of a house full of laughter. No fiery dreams of a hopeless romantic. No illusions of life other than the gentle cold of winter.

And in this I find peace.

The last few years have been brutal, and my passion for tasting life wanes with each passing day. Less of a retreat, more of a slow slipping into concrete reality. In the hollow left behind, no sound or pain exists, not even a whisper. And, in most ways, I grateful to finally understand there is nothing more than walls, laughter, and crystalline water.

Outside the world is still and cold, waiting for the promise of spring. Inside, it’s warm and laughter breaks the din of an otherwise motionless day.

Somewhere beyond my view things are changing, and I can’t help but smile with somewhat giddy anticipation. Perhaps I wait for spring as well.  Perhaps this dormant hibernation is simply a time to reorganize priorities and put a too long past to rest in the hard ground. Whatever the reasons, this isolation suits me for now, so I have to believe its purpose is yet to be revealed.

And in this I find hope.

Winter’s long hand will rest soon enough. For now, I cherish quiet days and the giggling of a not-so-little redheaded child.

Categories: breaking illusions, caves, Choice, found, hope, innocence, lettng go, the next step, what once was | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

When the Universe Conspires to Teach Us

“Five for ten, and I’ll spot you something that looks like a soul, but feels more like thinly stretched taffy from Coney Island,” I said to the face in the mirror.

My face in the mirror. Took me long enough to recognize her, but I tend to like the hard way when it comes to lessons. The only way to learn something from the inside out is to throw yourself into it completely, twist crap around, then jump in deeper. Sooner or later the bottom reveals itself in colors of ‘oh hell no’ or ‘bring it on’.

My latest project, No Name Lane, thrust me into the spiritual deep end to take a solid look at completeness. I ripped apart illusions with a fine pointed pen, then strolled through the wisdom of incredible teachers, all of it ending with a very stark realization.

I am complete within myself.

What does that mean exactly? Well, as best as I can figure I don’t need the presence of another human being to make me whole. While I’ll totally conceed it would be nice to have a romantic partner again, the lack of such won’t destroy the foundation of who I am. Whoa. Yeah, made my eyes uber wide with something between shock and glee. Not the kids singing musical numbers in high school. But actual contented happiness.

As writers, 90% of the stuff we write is usually for us. It has nothing to do with narcissism. More like because we’re so prone to living in illusion due to our craft, the universe finds any way it can to get the point across. For us, it’s words on a page. For that guy hiding in the back, it’s his obsessive need to listen to Donna Summer albums. Hey, I don’t judge. We all got our thing.

My thing is to break down everything over and over and over and… you get the point. I like to see events from every angle possible, then I ask three questions.

What did I gain?

What did I lose?

What did I learn?

Those twelve words are the way I evaluate every past and present experience. No judgement for anyone involved, no assigning right or wrong, just a comprehensive walk through the lessons of really good teachers. Yeah, I was that annoying person in college who had a file box full of research for a 20 page paper. Being thorough never killed anybody, unless they got a paper cut, then it turned into an infection and…

I’m getting off track. #ADD

The current wisdom is not to look back into the past because they say depression lives there. But how can you avoid repeating the same cycles if you don’t take the time to learn from the class life has already offered? I’m not saying stay back there forever. That’s just plain insanity because you can’t actually live in the past, but The Lion King had some pretty darn good thoughts on this subject…

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.
[laughs]
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.
[swings his stick again at Simba, who ducks out of the way]
Rafiki: Ha. You see? So what are you going to do?

We can’t run from who we’ve been or the events in our lives. However, we can absolutely learn from them if we’re willing to put aside blame, ego, and the part of us that loves to judge ourselves. If perfection was a human quality, the planet would be empty because there’d be no point to living.

Life is a journey of lessons through our experiences and choices. We need the contrast of lack to understand fullness, of darkness to appreciate light, of no love to embrace the beauty of unconditional love. Without delving completely into the depths of absences we may know fullness, light and love, but will often fail to understand the precious nature of such gifts.

After many years of relationships with no real break, I hadn’t been able to see, in the constant presence of others, what I’ve found in complete aloneness. I am enough all by myself, and contented in that realization. My past, my teachers, and a heck of a lot of contrast taught me that. How fortunate a gift to be given from a universe that conspires for our greatness.

If your path takes you into the arms of another loving soul, then embrace it because love should always be welcome. But know, in the arms of that person, you are complete within yourself with or without them. Completeness only requires we recognize its existence, not the presence of another being, no matter how wonderful they are. When we truly see past the illusion we are broken souls into the truth our wholeness, we can love on a level of unconditional that will make the universe blush.

 

 

Categories: angels on earth, belief, breaking illusions, conscious choices, spirituality, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

My Broken Road of Blogging and Social Media

Blogging has been a love/ hate relationship from the beginning. When this all started I used it for very personal reasons. It was a vehicle to break illusions, confront fear, and meet other people because words are good for all three.

In my life, I often tap out events to see them from a different perspective. I’ve found they look completely different when I get them out of my head. The result is that I learn far more about myself and other people. If these posts help someone else in the process, then so much the better because we grow from other people’s experience as much as our own.

That’s the purpose of a collective consciousness, to share each laugh or tear and in the telling of life stories become more of our true selves through these teachers. I’ve had many who’ve opened my eyes to a larger universe and helped me avoid otherwise painful lessons. Not always because I’m as human as the next person and, sometimes, very stubborn. But eventually I see the light of wisdom in the advice I receive.

The problem I recently faced with all of this is one I hadn’t anticipated. This tool for breaking through illusion and fear has caused a fair bit of turbulence in my personal life and relationships. Though I explain time and again the purpose of writing out my life and struggles, they eventually offend or upset someone.

So I have two choices — walk away from social media or stop worrying about what people think. The second being the more difficult because I have big love for the people who are or have been in my life.

It’s an excruciating decision.

“You’ve become an amazing woman,” a good friend recently said. “When I met you two years ago, you were this unsure girl who accepted everything everyone did and let people walk all over her. You’ve grown so much, and I’m happy I got to see it.”

These changes were forty years in the making and took every ounce of strength and courage. It nearly broke me, and by that I mean I was ready to send my daughter back to California and fade off the face of the planet.

It’s interesting people say, “Love yourself and do what’s right for your life.”

It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? Because what they mean is… do it so long as it doesn’t change anything with them. We admire people who blaze their own path, but demonize them when they fall short of our expectations. No one is immune from this human failing, not even me. But over the past several years, I’ve come to understand that I won’t understand why or how people do things, but I respect their journey, even if it’s far from mine. And I’d hoped for the same respect in return.

But when I started saying:

“Hey, I want to help, but I just can’t.”

 

Or… “Look, if you want to be here you need to start contributing because I can’t afford to support you.”

And… “I’m not going to be your part time playtoy, so if you want a relationship let’s do this thing.” 

That’s when I found out who was here to be part of my life and who wasn’t. I found out who truly respected me and who didn’t. I thought I’d be more angry, but not really. I mean, sure I’m sad because we’d put a lot of time and energy into those relationships, but they also created a lot more turmoil than I’d realized.

I have many fond memories, and they’ve all been wonderful teachers of one kind or another. So none of the time we spent together was wasted, at least not from my perspective.

 

Looking back serves one purpose, to see my strengths and failings in any given moment, and possibly do it better in this one. In my mistakes and successes, I find lessons and teachers. In my words, I cut through the crap and find the reality outside the complicated mess of thoughts and emotions twirling through my head. Though these posts have evolved, this process hasn’t changed, but I have through it.

So, I suppose I answered my own question in the course of writing this post. It isn’t a big screw you to world, but rather points me back to something I wrote this summer.

Authenticity because anything else is slow death.

Just as I don’t have the right to tell any of you who you are or should be, no one has the right to tell me either. We might be able to try on other people’s shoes, but we can’t walk in them because their road is paved by a lifetime of experiences we can never know.

Ultimately, we have power over one thing – Choice. Not the outcomes or consequences, but we choose the path to our next lesson. And mine is a dirt road where maps or GPS have yet to conquer. Though I may hit a pothole of two, I have a feeling it will end up being one of the biggest adventures of my life.

And in this very moment as I write these words, I’ve decided you’ll find out about it right here, if you choose to join me. 🙂

Categories: answers, breaking illusions, Choice, love, relationships, the universes we create, what once was | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lesson of the Mirror

00 brunette

 

People were complex bits of total awesomesauce and hotmess. We all had baggage no one would ever see because people could also be very judgemental. So we rarely opened up to them, preferring to live a somewhat detached version of ourselves to remain safe. While I understood the desire to be safe, I’d found opening up could be an amazing experience, even if I risked momentary damage to the softer parts of my soul.

A good friend of mine had someone in his life I’d grown very fond of. She was a bit on the extreme spiritual side, but her perspective often caused me to look at situations from a completely different angle. I cherished her wisdom, even though I didn’t connect the dots the same way she did because my experiences were unique to me.

When she and I first met, my friend warned me that she could be a meddling busybody and ultimately only cares about herself. He said she was superficial and judgemental. While this may have been his experience knowing her, I’d found her to be honest, direct, and insightful.

Over the years, I’d run into this time and again. One or several people denounced someone else, which led to some invisible, unspoken line of separation. But we often forget…

“The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to

every man the reflection of his own face.

Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon

you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind

companion; and so let all young persons take

their choice.” ― William Makepeace Thackeray

 

 

When you found that elusive inner peace, you saw the world through a different eyes. No enemies, no judgement, no invisible foes intent on causing you pain. Instead, you’d see the goodness of all men. And let me tell you, there’s a hell of a lot more good in people than anything else.

When people constantly saw an enemy in the face of what otherwise might be a friend, it was a reflection of something within them. A part of themselves that usually was their own worst enemy. Lets face it, no one could put us down the way we could, right?

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Can you do it without turning away? Is the reflection the one you hoped to see? Can you look in your own eyes and see love looking back? Or do you glance away quickly so as not to be forced to face all the things you can’t stand about yourself?

Many years ago a dear friend had me do an exercise I’ve started again, and one I’d like you to try.

For the next thirty days, stand in front of the mirror close enough to look in your eyes directly without distraction. It’ll be difficult at first, you’ll want to look away, but resist the urge, and say…

“I love you.”

“You are precious, and I’m here to keep you safe.”

“You are an incredible person, and I’m so thankful to know you.”

“You…” get the idea.

Say all the things you’d wished a friend, parent, lover, or spouse might say.

At first, you won’t believe it. Your mind will contend this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, and that idiot who wrote this post is completely insane. Why? Because we’re not used to loving ourselves, we’re not used to saying good things about the person we’ve become. We listen to all the people, who were just seeing a reflection of themselves in you, as a repetitive stream in our heads of why we aren’t worthy.

“The beginning of love is to let those we love

be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them

to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only

the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

~ Thomas Merton

 

How many times a day do you twist to fit someone else’s image of who you should be or what you should do? How often have you tried to reflect back what you think someone wants to see, then find they no longer want to be your friend?

I’m far from being a saint, but I do cherish the teachers who come into my life. And recently I met one who reminded me of the lessons of the mirror, and that when I’m at peace and my intentions are focused on love, don’t twist anything about myself to make someone more comfortable. Because ultimately, people only see in others a reflection of what is inside themselves.

During that brief span of weeks, I couldn’t face myself in the mirror. Now I looked without turning away and saw exactly what I’d hoped to see once again.

Categories: allowing the positive, angels on earth, choosing faith, conscious choices, magic, peace, relationships, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

So Much Left to Learn & Where to Start

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I had an interesting conversation with my daughter, Bug, tonight. Thought I’d share it.

“It’s good to see you smiling again,” Bug said. “I haven’t seen you that sad ever, even when you and dad broke up.”

I smiled. “Well, I’d forgotten something very important that I knew when your dad and I decided we were better as friends.”

“What is it?” she asked.

“Sometimes things don’t work out, but no matter what happens we should always do things with love. Our hearts don’t stop loving people just because they’re not part of our lives.”

“But what if they’re mean? Like say they tell everyone bad stuff about you and tease you. And what if they get really mad and yell at you?”

“Well, do you stop loving me when I get upset?”

“No, but you don’t yell at me. You just say you’re disappointed because you know I can make better choices.”

Yeah, I kinda giggled inside, then said, “Bug Juice, people are going to get mad. Not everyone is meant to be with everyone else. Sometimes life can be complicated, but I won’t stop loving them because we don’t agree on something or because they aren’t part of my life.”

“So if we got in a fight and say I ran away to an island with crazy monsters that eat kids, but decided to come home because I don’t like monsters to gobble me up, would you still love me Hug Much when I came back?”

“Yeppers,” I said. “I’d still love you Hug Much.”

“Would you give me cake when I came back?”

“Nope.”

“But you said you’d still love me.”

“Yep, but if you run away, then no cake. House rules.”

“We need new rules,” Bug said, returning to her computer game.

***

My paradigm had already begun shifting earlier this week. This conversation shifted it for good. P.S. it’s truly amazing how much children actually see.

In all the craziness of the past few weeks, I’d forgotten something very important —

Everything must be done with love and kindness.

 

This last couple of years has been some kind of growing experience. I’ve had amazing teachers who opened my eyes to the scope of fullness and lack. They’ve provided brilliant contrast to show me what I absolutely want from this life and the lessons I have yet to learn. And whoa, do I have so much more left to learn — about people, about writing, about manifesting, about crafting life.

This latest experience brought far more joy than anything else. I met some incredible people and fell in love, neither are something I will soon forget. But the biggest lesson of all is approach everyone with love because we’re all fighting internal battles no one else will see.

The major shift for me came when I let go of hurt and pain to see the situation for what it was, when I realized nothing ultimately had to do directly with me except the things I took on as mine and my actions. More over, the things I was trying to take on weren’t mine to carry.

There’s a saying about relationships that goes something like this…

“Your joys are doubled because happiness of one is happiness of the other. Your burdens are halved since when we share them we divide the load.”

 

 

In a partnership, we have to be able to recognize what things we can share and what belongs to the other to carry. And there are definitely things we aren’t meant lift, but that doesn’t mean we can’t support them while they’re dealing with it.

Ultimately, my goal was to build a life with an incredible man, to share our joys and ease our burdens together. Of course, I skillfully ignored the fact he was already living the life he wanted, and my contribution was as a temporary escape, a vacation spot. And I did thoroughly enjoy the breaks and have good memories to take with me.

I’ll continue to love him because our hearts don’t stop loving people, but  being with him taught me something else.

I want more.

To craft a life, share joys and burdens, grow together, live together, love together; experience the fullness of life in all its peace and, sometimes, chaos. To craft a life well-lived… together. Because we learn so much more looking through the eyes of another than we’ll ever learn looking through our own.

Categories: breaking illusions, Choice, lettng go, love, memories, relationships, self reflection, taking risks | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Authenticity because anything else is slow death

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A butterfly landed on my hand today while I sat in the car listening to the radio. For anyone who knows me, it’s a regular thing to just hang out in the car with my feet propped up. I suppose it reminds me that I’m never stuck anywhere. I’m here by choice and can leave whenever I choose.

Anyway, this butterfly spent well over three minutes poking at my fingers as if nectar would pour out of the tips. His antenna flipped forward, then back up,  and no matter how I moved my hand it didn’t flutter away.

Starstuffs, one of my favorite reference sites for animal totems, says this about butterflies:

“Major transformations and transmutations taking place, outcome is different than expected. Symbol of joy, color, gentleness, lightness, and change in life. Awakens us to dance on the winds of life, teaches that growth doesn’t have to be painful, allows us to discover the important issues in life for conscious transformation. Can you discern what is important right now? Don’t sweat the small stuff, be joyful and thankful for your blessings.”

More than the transformative message of this experience is a greater truth I’ve come to realize —

Inner peace is an active pursuit.

It takes a conscious effort to remove or ignore negativity, not just within but from others as well. When I allow outside opinions to be the barometer by which I determine my worth or change the core of who I am to suit the whims of someone else, I’m giving them power over me. More over, I’m giving them my peace.

The fragile peace I’d started to gain in my universe was nearly destroyed. It’s funny really, how the harsh words and condemnation of someone we love can cut so deep, can make us question our very character. And for a brief moment, I did. I sat crying in a puddle, wondering what happened over that weekend to make someone think I’d ever actively or passively seek to hurt anyone.

Then I realized something I’d said days before, “I won’t be anybody but myself. If you want me to be someone else I should stay home.”

Authenticity.

I’ve come to a peculiar time in my life where being anything other than myself is impossible. I carry my passion and peace everywhere and won’t hide how I feel or who I am.

It translates to my writing — actively, viscerally, authentically me. All the passion and purpose I possess bleeds in black and white just as certainly as it does in my real live life. And that was the problem.

During the course of a phone call, I heard the message loud and clear — it’s okay to myself in quiet intimate moments when no one was watching, but in the bright daylight of other’s view I had to be someone else.

And here’s where the new tagline for this site was born…

Authenticity because anything else is slow death.

Comparatively, I’ve learned very little in four decades on this planet. But a chance encounter with a butterfly reminded of the most important lesson. Inner peace is an active pursuit. It requires being myself unapologetically, recognizing the truth of my existence, removing negativity, accepting unconditional love and blessings, acknowledging my failures and successes as small steps towards a larger goal, and never using the opinions of others to measure my worth. It also requires a great deal of honest self reflection.

Nothing is more smothering than hiding a part of myself. Like the totem butterfly suggests I’ve reached a point of conscious transformation. In that quest, I’ve found my peace again. I’ve found love of good people. I’ve found love within myself. I will not sacrifice it for anyone, but I do hope to one day to craft a life with another soul actively seeking inner peace.

Categories: belief, certainty, Choice, contentment, hope, love, relationships, self reflection, spirituality, the universes we create, writing | Tags: | 3 Comments

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