Category Archives: Love

The Miracle of Love

I feel like I need to preface this post with a warning:  I am highly wired and have lots of rogue and non-funneled thoughts competing for expression right now.  So I’ll write as coherently as I can right now, but I make no guarantees of fluidity OR that where this post ends up will have ANYTHING to do with where it starts.  Just go with me as far as you can, and if I lose you just meet me back at Walmart (you know they have everything there) and we can compare notes.

February is one of the most inspirational months for me…and confusing.  Single or “boo’d up” you don’t know whether to create expectations and be hopeful, or to err on the side of caution and pretend not to care whether you are or become the center of a private affection festival.  [Personally, I prefer to treat every day as something special, because this way, whatever happens or doesn’t happen on the national day to recognize loved ones is neither here nor there and only complements what’s already a normal and natural occurrence. BUT I digress…]  All the external presentations are okay, but what is most inspiring about this month is similar to what is contagiously inspiring in December.  It’s a reiteration of the idea that anything is possible.  The possibility that at least one significant dream “just might” come true…or that I’ll at least be able to get a whiff or glimpse of it, even if it’s in the distance.  I can hold onto the notion that “something” magical is in the air and that good things will come.  And no matter what, I hold onto this notion in Love.

Although, there is one subnotion (Oh yeah…I make up words.  Don’t judge me; think of it as a riddle that you get to figure out) that has recently caused me angst…and it is that of marriage and choosing (and being chosen as) a lifelong partner.  Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am in love with Love and all the incredible things that I believe it fortifies one to be able to do.  Aside from the frustration, disappointment, anxiety, and occasional discomfort of loving another fallible human being, I honestly believe that those who wisely choose partners who match and/or expand their own realizations of life and the Universe have an advantage in life that cannot be bought or taught.  Something about having another kindred soul to connect and partner with gives us a certain protective shield and/or a cozy place to land when trials come.  There is an invincibility that we acquire when we know beyond all shadow of doubt that our kindred partner is covering us with their encouragement, support, laughter, compassion, accountability, understanding, and forgiveness.  It is a superpower, and available in abundance, but with relationship statistics being what they are it would appear that only a relatively few people “get it right”…which leads me to my angst.

As much as I TRULY believe in the core of my being that lasting and genuine Love is possible, I wonder and fantasize about the choosing part.  I don’t know that I subscribe to the idea of “the one”, because I believe that we are all the same energy…but depending on our experiences, environmental programming, what has taken hold and affixed itself to our Truth that may be obscuring the view or understanding of that Truth, we are experiencing ourselves as we TRULY are in varying degrees of accuracy.  As such, we tend to find ourselves attracted to partners who match our own understanding and perception of who we are as energy.  Whether that energy expresses itself the same way that we have chosen is something completely different; and actually many times we are more fascinated by expressions that are different than we are because it adds variety and intrigue to our experience.  [I promise I’m not smokin’ herb…stay with me.]  Nevertheless, amid a world so full of illusion, there is something mysterious and magical about the process of choosing a mate.  It seems to be as miraculous as creating human life.

Think about it.  In order for a baby to be born, there are a number of small miracles (an oxymoron indeed) that have to take place; from the millions of sperm that have to fight to the literal death in order for “the one” to plow its way through the ovum’s membrane just to BEGIN to work on multiplying itself, remembering to grow all body parts, while keeping other traits embedded that will develop at the proper time.  This includes traits that will allow the baby to endure its violent and traumatic delivery (no matter how serene the environment, there is still blood shed) and squeeze through that narrow ass gateway into this period of eternity, to do what exactly…?  Trust that who s/he is being born to will be as trusting and humble as they are in learning how to create the best environment to sustain and optimize the unique presentation of energy that they are.  Thus the term “miracle of life”.  And I maintain that the same holds true for choosing a life partner.

Removing the element of eras (and the couple billion years that life has existed on earth), just consider the billions of people that currently live on the earth. Then dwiddle that down to the various continents, countries, cities, counties, neighborhoods, ethnicities, social and demographic cliques/groups, religious faiths, and personal preferences that exist within ALL of those.  Factor in jobs, social gatherings, volunteer opportunities, grocery store visits, and other opportunities for people to interact.  Then figure in schedules, finding/making the time to get to know another person, emotional intelligence to recognize a potential connection, introduce families and friends, fend off mal-intended observers and other relationship viruses, while building a fort strong enough to make it through tough times, misunderstandings, and hormonal changes…PHEW!  There’s far more behind the scenes than just catching eyes across a crowded room…how did you both end up in that room at THAT precise time and present yourselves in such a way that would signal to the other that you finally found each other in the first place?  A series of intricate miracles.

I like to think that I have a relatively vivid imagination, but I don’t know if I can accurately imagine what that moment of choosing will be like.  As a woman, I have my own whimsical ideas of romance and what it might be like to be swept off my feet by someone who just “gets” me.  I’ve evolved through the stage of believing he’s supposed to be able to read my mind…buuuuttt I do anticipate that in all of those “miracles” of connecting that he would have learned those things that make me light up and have the most significance.  Conversely, I imagine that I’ll learn how to anticipate him and be confident in my own understanding of who we are and be able to pour back into our union what is needed and desired to maintain a healthy flow of who and what we are.

But specifically, I’m referring to making the conscious decision to focus on maintaining a garden of Love that nurtures and affirms our unique partnership.  Because, while there could have been (or even still be) the possibility of meeting other attractive aspects of ourselves in someone besides each other, that we would purposely close the door on any alternate reality (thereby no longer accepting it as an alternative) and intentionally choose to create a home and life with each other alone just baffles, bewilders, and overwhelms me in the best possible way.  But honestly, I think a part of me would panic.  The perfectionist myth that is a part of me would wonder if I’m “really” making the right decision.  And what if either one of us is missing some key information or understanding about the other?  What if as we continue to evolve we wind up at different places?  What if we are attracted to the “idea” of one another as we envision the other’s “potential” self to be, rather than the reality of who we really are AS we are…and that potential never materializes as we thought?

Call me a fool, but I think I’d rather take the risk.  Because I’m imagining under what circumstances I would actually consider taking such a conversation seriously and under just those circumstances alone, I would “know”.  At that point, it would be much less a mental processing and analysis and more a stripping down to the bare bones and skinny dipping in the natural flow of things…nothing to taint or color the decision.  Nothing to slow me down from saying “Yes!” emphatically and from a place of raw Truth and knowing.  And being prepared to live in such a way that confirms what I knew to be true in the first place…honoring myself in my partner, proud to know that where I am is exactly what I intended to create with him, and continuing to avail myself to the infinite possibilities that exist within our Universe together.

Pretty cool fantasy, huh?  I’m looking forward to finding out how it actually manifests.  Probably not this month.  Maybe not even this year.  But when it does, I’m sure it’ll blow my mind how it all came together.

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Teaching Freedom

I had the opportunity to take my 8-year-old nephew to the citywide parade honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., yesterday.  And as we drove on the way to the parade, I asked him if he knew who Dr. King was, to which he of course replied yes and told me “he died”.  Mmmmkay…  So I asked him if he knew what he did BEFORE he died, and not surprisingly he did not.

Then I started thinking…many of us adults don’t really know what Dr. King did before he died.  We just enjoy the day off…IF our jobs are among the few that actually take off to honor the day set aside to do so.  But how would I explain this to my nephew?  How would I share this important part of American history with him, and share with him what it means to live and lead a life of significance?  It wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be.

How do I teach an 8-year-old concepts of freedom, justice, and equality that we as adults still don’t seem to really understand or follow?  We still discriminate not only against other ethnicities outside of our own, but WITHIN it…especially within the African-American community.  From skin hue to hair texture to facial structure, on up to the more widespread separators of education and financial status.

How do I drive home the idea that we are “finally free” when, at 8, he sees a police car and already has learned to be anxious about whether we might get pulled over and there be an adverse outcome affecting that freedom?  I won’t start lying by making up statistics on African-American arrest and incarceration rates, but we know it’s significantly higher than any other ethnicity in this country…multiplied a few times.  And yes, there are other factors that affect these rates, but generally speaking it’s still almost as if being born black is a sexually transmitted disease and predisposes those affected by it to certain socioeconomic conditions…even if nothing more than being forced to overcome the “basic” negative stereotypes.

Why is it such an “achievement” for a black man to go to actually graduate high school, go on to graduate college, find and work in his passion, create a family in his own time, and live his life…WITHOUT having done a stint in jail, or have 8 kids by 7 different women…whereas this is just “normal” for his white counterpart?  Why is the average rite of passage for the black male some kind of tragedy (jail, getting shot, knocking up his 8th or 9th grade piece of ass – because that’s how he’s been taught to view her, up to that point – or the death of a loved one)?

We’ve come a long way, but we still have so far to go.  So what DID Dr. King do?  Because this was NOT the dream he had in mind.  He took a stand.  He spoke out, but in a way that was so full of conviction, passion, and certainty that it inspired others to stand (or sit or march) for what they knew was right.  He wasn’t content “just getting by” with what he was told he was allowed to have during that time.  He didn’t conform to his allotted corner and just hope for the best.  He honored what was RIGHT, not just what would let him live a “safe” life.  Because truth be told, even if he HADN’T taken the stand that he did, his life still wouldn’t have been safe and certainly not comfortable.

Perhaps that’s part of the “stagnation limitation” that we’re experiencing as a nation now.  All of the tension, turmoil, turbulence, and friction that it took to get us to this point was actually what was called for in order for it to be so uncomfortable and obviously unreasonable that something HAD to happen.  Today, much of the blatant discrimination and ideologies have faded into the background and they’re much more subtle.  So subtle that it’s difficult to call it outright injustice.  And the mentalities have seeped so deep and settled into generation after generation that we almost don’t even recognize them or know any better, and we’re perpetuating our own demise.

So where do we even start?  We start by telling what we know.  We know that “once upon a time”, racial injustice wouldn’t even have allowed us the freedom of having the conversation.  Once, the little black kids and the little white kids wouldn’t have been allowed to learn, play, or eat together.  Once, multi-racial homes and neighborhoods were illegal.  Once, not only did children have a curfew but even black adults had to be in before the sun went down and the street lights came on…or they risked not only their freedom but their very lives.  These only seem “basic” to us right now because they fought so hard for them back then.

Today, we’re confronted with a far more dangerous type of injustice…because today’s injustices don’t hang a sign that say “back to the trees, boogies”.  No memo on the job application that indicates “black folks make 25% less than their white counterparts”.  There’s no demarcated neighborhood that says “these kids will grow up knowing only impoverished thinking and habits”.  No written rule that notes “black girls make the easiest targets for teenage pregnancy, promiscuity, and domestic violence”.  Nah…this is an enemy that has partnered with an internal champion.  No march on this one.  No bus to ride on this one.  This sly alliance is likely why Dr. King died the death that he did.

So what did I tell my nephew?  I told him what I knew.  That Martin Luther King was a man of vision, and that he saw some very special things.  He saw how special EVERYONE is, and that everyone should be treated fairly.  That we all deserve to be allowed to be our best…no matter how we are born, or how we look.  That it’s wrong to be mean to someone just because they are different from us.  And I told him that we all need to make sure we do what we know is right, no matter how hard it may seem at the time.  That not everyone will like us for it, but that by doing the right thing we live the life we are meant to live.

I doubt he understood most of what I said, but that is where leading by example comes in.  I can show him better than I can tell him.  And you best believe I intend to show him everything I know for as long as I’m able…and pray that he has something far more powerful grow within him.  It starts with one seed…


The Power of Letting Go

“There comes a time in a every person’s life when…”  These words can spark any number of thoughts and conversations.  And I’ve been having these conversations a lot lately.  And I’m realizing that the older I get those “times” are happening more frequently.

There’s something about the wisdom that tends to come with age.  And I don’t think it has anything to do with getting older in and of itself.  I believe that it’s just that when we bump our head enough times, we start to realize…  “Well, damn!  Maybe I need to stay the hell away from that corner.”  And the more times we go around a slightly different corner, but run into the same or similar snags we start to realize how certain “corners” tend to be connected.  And we learn how to better navigate our desired path.

I’ve had some recent experiences that have led me to some realizations.  Realizations that might seem “late” to some, but yet another realization that I’ve had is that we are all on our own time.  What may seem late to me may be long before someone else got the same understanding for themselves.  And yet another realization that I’ve had is that comparing one journey to someone else’s is completely futile, usually counterproductive and retards our own growth.

One realization is that as cruel as it sounds, there are certain people who are absolutely unworthy of you.  Have you ever spent time with someone and when you left them, you felt like you actually lost life?  That’s a BIG clue!  If spending time with them leaves you feeling like you just wasted actual LIFE on them, you might want to reconsider that association.

I’m not talking about the occasional trying time that a loved one goes through that leaves you unsure of yourself or your effectiveness in the situation (because anyone who’s ever loved long and deep enough will go through that at least once…either as a single incident or a season).  I’m talking about the person who always is a drain, sap, or mooch of some sort.  In this situation, rarely are you the focus or is your emotional temperature even taken.  If what’s going on with you doesn’t directly affect or impact them in that moment, they couldn’t care less.  Every time they come around, they always tend to assume the beneficiary role while they themselves offer very little, if any, support.

These relationships tend to be among our longest lasting relationships…because they usually develop long before we grow into ourselves and come to realize the true toxicity of the nature of the relationship.  And we finally wake up to a relationship that is there because there is a burdensome sense of obligation to the length of its history.  And we don’t want to appear that we’ve forgotten “where we come from”, or don’t want them to feel “left behind”.  But uh…this ain’t public school, and somebody’s ass NEEDS to be left behind!  What the hell WERE they doing while you were going through whatever your history involves?  Really think about it.  Could you have made it through that season without them being there?  Was what they offered in that season really worth what TODAY looks and feels like?

Hear me.  I’m not talking about a quid pro quo type of relationship necessarily, because in any relationship there are seasons of giving and receiving.  But just as a fowl sheds its shell, a snake sheds its skin, a butterfly sheds its chrysalis, and a baby sheds its womb…so must we learn to shed that which keeps us from growing into the fullness of who we are meant to be.  And of course this is harder than it sounds, but ooooohhh is it worth it!

I’m still having some separation anxiety in some cases, because the relationships are familiar and there IS history.  But the more I realize that the relationships served who I WAS and not who I AM and am becoming, the more I’m able to release the guilt of letting go and allow things to develop (or fall away) as they should.  And for someone like me (loyal to a fault, and prone to hold on beyond reason), this is a big deal.

It’s making me intentional about the relationships that I do feed.  I want to water those relationships that I value in my current awareness.  I want them to know how much I appreciate them.  I reach out (even if only seasonally) just to let them know I’m glad they’re a part of my life and where I am, and honored that they allow me to be a part of theirs.  My life is enriched because they’re in it.  And it’s not a constant barrage of love notes (although I can tend to be randomly sappy), nor do I necessarily share time in regular intervals.  But when that time does come, I enjoy them for not only what they do for me and/or my spirit but simply for who they are and choose to be.

The “other” relationships?  Well, they tend to show themselves.  And there’s usually not much we have to do to let them go, besides release our own guilt about not “feeding the cat”…and it will go away on its own.  But let me be perfectly clear…  I am not suggesting “testing” relationships, becoming lazy, or ditching out in a season that is designed to teach us how to endure stormy weather and/or learn how to better relate in times of frustration or disappointment.  This is not intended to be the coward’s out.  But not so deep inside (because it’s not rocket science, and not that dramatic) you know which relationships need to be released.

And in some cases, maybe it’s not a person.  Perhaps it’s a habit, or way of coping that we’ve outgrown.  Maybe it’s a way of thinking or doing things.  Maybe it’s a tradition or belief system.  Could be anything that we feel obligated to because it’s been a part of who we are for as long as we can remember, but somehow we feel like a liar or poser any time we participate in it.  I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I know I’m not alone in this.

So in this season of resolutions and in the spirit of new beginnings, I’m being honest about my relationships…all of them.  I encourage you to do the same.  And in some cases, if we were to be honest with ourselves, maybe that means that people are preparing to let US go.  In those cases, we have to let them make the choice that’s right for them while still honoring their chosen path…even if that path doesn’t include us.  Again, much easier said than done, but true nonetheless.  This is not about ego, feeling “liked” or accepted, or hanging our emotional hat on who chooses to share time and life with us…it’s about being whole, being genuine, and being true.

I’ve heard it said that love sometimes means loving enough to let go.  Love yourself enough to let go…in every sense.


Celebrating Love

It’s actually one of the most talked about, written about, sung about, danced about, “whatever” ABOUT topics in the world… And here I go, adding more fuel to the “love” fire. :o) But hey…what do you expect? It’s a universal common denominator…it unites us all, in one way or another. We can all relate to it. And whether we give ourselves permission to admit or not, we all want it…and it wants us.

I’ve been blessed to hear some phenomenal teachings and presentations regarding the subject. And with the multi-dimensional nature of Love, I and any of us could write about this – in MANY aspects and from myriad perspectives – for eternity. But the excitement of Valentine’s Day has me pondering the romantic aspect for a moment…or three. :o)

Although I’ve gone through a number of life scenarios, challenges and situations, I’ve never really been in a “relationship”. *Gasp!* LOL Not “for real”, anyway. I’ve had a number of “crushes”, a few “trists”, and even felt like I was “in looooove” before…but I’ve never been in a committed relationship with anyone. I don’t know if it was fear of commitment, or fear of failure, or the awkwardness of letting someone into “me”, or what. It seemed as though the closer I let someone get to me, the more vulnerable I became, and the more afraid I became of ultimately “losing”.

One of the lines in a popular song says “…why does it seem like those who give in [to love], they only wind up losing a friend?” In my case, I was afraid of not only losing a friend to the awkwardness of transitioning into “new territory”, but I was also apprehensive about losing in the “love game”. I mean, what if we get over there and realize that we’re not compatible? What if my past is too much for him to accept, once it’s all on the table? What if we get on each others’ nerves and wind up not liking each other anymore? What if one of us is too opinionated or critical and the other person winds up feeling alienated and ultimately walks away? What if family members start “dippin'” in our business without request and we wind up feuding? Or what if being naked with the lights on is a bad move, the sex is bad and we don’t want each other anymore? (Hey, we’re adults…can we be “real”?) Granted, true love is none of these things, but they play a role in the relationship and add dimensions to the “big picture”. It’s almost like learning how to drive a car in the beginning, and trying to figure out how all the gears and features are supposed to work, without crashing and/or causing irreparable damage…to you or anyone else.

Because of these hang-ups (and, as the lighthearted song conclusion goes, “and maaaany moooooooore!!!” LOL), I found myself almost cursing the idea of loving anyone romantically…or letting anyone love me. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I had STUDIED “singleness” as a dysfunction all my life. [Maybe I’ll share what I mean by that later, in another venue.] And because of my observations in that arena, from the outside looking in, I said to myself “Nah…I’m good on that!”

But somewhere along the way…something changed. What I thought I “knew” about love wasn’t what I thought it was. My understanding got dismantled and knew seeds were planted. The harvest of old seeds that were planted started getting choked out by the more powerful seedlings that somehow got planted along the way. It’s like even in the midst of my poorly constructed wall of “NO!!!”, Love listened to the “real” desire of my heart and allowed my attention to gradually shift (’cause you you know get what you focus on, right?), thereby planting new seeds of what I really wanted after all.

NO, it’s not because a man came along and swept me off my feet and I’m swooning…give me SOME credit, please! LOL It’s just that negative energy is HEAVY…no matter how “justified” it may seem. And I guess I just got tired of carrying it around. And I learned some years ago that you can never have what you can’t celebrate. In other words, if you see a couple holding hands, or embracing, or smiling/laughing together, etc. and you find yourself sucking your teeth, rolling your eyes, or inwardly making some snide comment, there’s a good chance that you’re repelling those experiences from your own reality. Conversely, when you authentically celebrate those moments and learn to feel genuinely happy, you catalyze and subconsciously welcome the same experience(s) for yourself. [Because I had PERFECTED the former and practiced a hearty “Get a room!!” (LOL!) every time I saw it, and even justified my cynicism with judgments about the possible “story BEHIND the story” with the couple, it took a WHILE to even be open to moving from critical cynic to hopeless romantic. And honestly, I’m still learning and growing, but I’m more conscious about my “side and inner talk”.]

Love is a miracle. Love is a decision. And love, like success, is a journey…not a destination. There are many twists and turns. Some highways, side roads, and even dark alleys at times. We don’t always know who or what we’re going to run into along the way. But it’s definitely a worthwhile adventure. We’ve heard it said “it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”. The point is not to focus on the prospect of losing, but rather on the idea of taking the calculated risk of letting go and experiencing something sweeter than you’ve ever experienced before. And although taking such a risk holds no guarantees of long-term bliss and happiness, and you “could” experience (or cause) hurt in the process, at least you know what it tastes like. But just like that car, you can learn from the experience, pay more attention next time and be just fine getting back on the road.

So while I have no personal “invitations” or “announcements” to send out other than “I LET GO”, I’m grateful for Love’s miracle. Happy [belated] Valentine’s Day, all!


Woman Unplugged

As a single woman who is beyond “youthful exploration” when it comes to dating and relationships, I find my pool of options looking more and more like that tiny tank at the bottom of the circus dive.  The skill and mastery required in order to “make it in” and not seriously mangle myself in the process is definitely in the “not a game” category.  What follows is a peek into the journey my mind goes on when considering a potential suitor.  Pack a lunch…it’s a nice li’l tour.

I “get” the whole self-esteem thing.  My value of myself should not be wrapped up in how a man sees me…and it’s not.  But the issue *I* have is being in love with “me” (a relationship that has taken a LIFETIME to build…but that’s the subject of an entirely different conversation), and I don’t feel like you recognize the gift that stands before you.  And NO, it’s not me being “stuck-up”, “siddity”, “bitchy”, or a snob.  It’s simply that I now recognize my inherent value and I’m now at peace with my Divine design, and love the “me” I see looking back at me…faults and all.  So, NO, I don’t “need” you to make me feel beautiful, intelligent, fabulous, sexy, or incredible…my relationship with myself already establishes this.  I’d just like to know that you recognize the masterpiece that is being presented to you.  Conversely, my inclination is to do the same.

I know the temptation is for both of us to not want to “feed ego” when we give one another props.  But the truth of the matter is we both deserve to be celebrated and honored for the absolutely phenomenal people that we are – individually, and as the power couple that we can be.  I have no problem AT ALL scooping a healthy helping of the love I have from inside me and smearing it all over you, allowing you to glide through your days with that extra “edge” of a woman willing to share and combine “very best”s with you.

Now let’s imagine this scenario…

When I tell you that I think you’re amazing and I recognize you for the gift that you are, I know it’s not because you don’t already know this (because you also have invested time and energy into developing into the man who obviously caught my eye and heart).  It’s because I want to take the time to honor an honorable man.  I choose to celebrate you because I treasure you and God IN you, and I appreciate the value you add to the quality of my life and being.  I love the reflection I see of myself when I’m with you and it is my distinct honor and pleasure to speak life into you and infuse you with value in the same spirit in which you infuse me.  I don’t take you for granted, and every day I count you as not one but myriad blessings in my life because I can’t single out the one thing that you bring/give/add to me…my entire life is transformed because I am now a part of you, and we are an empire and a world unto ourselves.

When you use your incredibly beautiful mouth to tell me how beautiful I am, you strengthen the bond I have with myself.  And since you are a man of wisdom, you understand that I can only love you as much as I love myself, and when you choose to speak life into me and strengthen and confirm my love for myself, you in turn strengthen our love and sow seed into your own future.  Your building me up does not jeopardize your place in my world…it solidifies it.  Your kind words, your tender touch, your passionate expression, your deliberate actions, and your genuine presence are the concrete that the foundation of our life together is built upon.  The pillars, the beams, the shingles, the fixtures, and the decorations of accolades, careers, adventures, our children, and life decisions are incidental in comparison.  The high winds of challenges, conflict, and outright confrontation can come at us at 1,000 miles an hour, but with a foundation as purposely strong as ours, it will pass just as quickly as it came…and like the phoenix, we rise from the rubble.

I choose to love you and let you love me.  I enjoy being the first to celebrate and applaud you…because you sowed those same seeds into me long ago, and continue to water them often.  My face is the first to light up when I hear of the kindhearted things you do for others…because what they receive is simply an overflow of who and what you are at home all the time.  It is my joyful pleasure to take my time fulfilling your needs, because I never have to worry if my needs will be taken care of; you anticipate me and eagerly tend to needs I didn’t even know I had…and with every seed you sow into my garden, I enjoy making sure your harvest is bountiful.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when we want to strangle each other.  But for every one of those times, there are a thousand more of beautifully violent back scratching and hair pulling.  And no, it’s not all physical…that’s merely an inevitable byproduct of the mental, spiritual, and emotional connection that we’ve worked diligently at maintaining.  We communicate often – sometimes with words, but mostly in attitude and actions.  Either way, there is a symphony of congruence between what we say and what we do.  And simply put…I love you loving me.  Not because I “need” you to love me and make me feel good.  But because your love reflects the truth that I’ve finally grown into…and I am free to “be” more of my true self as your love bathes me, washes the undesirable off, and keeps me “pure”.  Not in a manipulative or obsessive/possessive kind of way…but rather in a way that causes us to be almost ridiculously trusting of one another.  We sow so much into each other – out of the comfort and security of our love for ourselves – that we are perfectly clear on where our harvest is.  Our soil is tilled, the haters offer so much fertilizing bullshit, and the quality of the seed we sow into each other is so high that it doesn’t make sense to cultivate or farm elsewhere.  And if one of us ever happens to feel “lost” in the shuffle, our consistency provides a compass back HOME…where peace, love, and trust abides.

What the Divine joins together, let no one separate.  

So if you’re ready for THIS…I’m all in.  If not, I’m respectfully declining the offer and staying on the train.


Sharing Is Caring

With Valentine’s Day approaching, there is a lot of buzz surrounding love and expressing that love with those we care about.  Some of you may know that I’m doing more writing lately, and I’m getting back into the “songwriting gym”, so to speak, to exercise my creativity and be more accountable to who I truly am and what I truly love.  “Love” (and all of its myriad stages and phases) is a concept that has been and will always be a staple topic.  As I was writing, I was looking for a word to more accurately convey the concept of “carefully” falling in love (oxymoronic, I know) and the word “share” came to mind to replace “give” as it relates to the intimate matters of the heart and all other things precious.

Think about what it means to give.  First of all, in most cases, there are a number of preliminary stages that have already been successfully completed before a gift of any sort would even seem appropriate.  This means we trust at minimum that 1) the person receiving the gift will be a worthy steward of the gift they’re receiving, and 2) the gift is appropriate for the nature of the relationship.  Second, we don’t usually give trite or meaningless gifts…the gift always has some kind of value.  Whether it’s monetary, sentimental, or whatever…it means something, no matter how simple, because some level of thought and energy went into choosing the “right” gift for the recipient.  Third, when we “give” a gift, we release all claims to it once it’s transferred to the recipient.  We have absolutely no say in what the recipient does (or does not do) with what we give them.  We don’t even have a say over “how” they receive the gift.  S/he can graciously receive it, half-heartedly receive it, take it and put it on a shelf, lock it in a vault, frame/encase it for display, re-purpose it, eventually forget they have it, or even return it if it turns out not to be to their liking.  The same is true when we “give” our heart to someone.  [For the purposes of keeping this relatively brief and keeping it from turning into a “counter-Valentine’s-y” note (because a WHOLE THESIS can be written on this), I won’t delve further into that just now. Just…”SELAH” (a Hebrew term I like, which roughly means “pause and think on that”).]  But I believe we have all made this choice at one time or another.

Alternatively, we are taught from our earliest school years what it means to “share”.  And in an effort to validate my “aha!” moment, I found this definition of the word: “To allow someone to…enjoy something that one possesses”.  By this definition when we “share” something, we still retain what we’re presenting to another yet there is mutual enjoyment.  Therefore, when we share our heart with those we love, we don’t completely “lose” ourselves to the whims and vicissitude (found that word, too! LOL) of what we choose to allow our process of growing in love to become, but rather we continue to possess the fullness of ourselves while allowing another person to partake in and enjoy the same fullness.  Notice I said “retain” and not “restrain”.  It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re withholding a portion of ourselves (again, refer back to being appropriate for the nature of the relationship), it simply means we remain responsible for and accountable to our essential selves without offering ourselves as a “free and clear” token of sacrifice on the altar of ambiguity and the unpredictability of being a human being in love.  [And yes, we know that “perfect love casts out fear”, but since we’re not perfect neither is our love…so we must be realistic and recognize that trusting others enough to welcome them into the “all” of who we are (glorious and not-so-glorious) can be a scary thing…no matter how much each person thinks they know the other.]

On the surface it might appear to be a contradiction, because we are so accustomed to the idea that when we truly love someone (another “fluid’ concept), we must be willing to completely give ourselves without reservation in order for the relationship to work.  But if we consider the fact that there are more failed marriages and partnerships based on this premise, it stands to reason that some reassessment is merited.  As a society, we tend to romanticize what it means to be in love, putting almost the complete onus of our happiness in a relationship on the other person…this is EXTREMELY unfair and very frustrating – for both parties!  Because before we met Prince Charming or Princess Grace, we had a certain level of contentment (or discontent, as the case may be) yet we somehow continue to fall prey to the belief that once we meet “the one” all of our previous frustrations, disappointments, character flaws, or personal burdens will magically fade away…because “s/he will rescue me”.  [We’ll all deny it, because it sounds and IS ludicrous…but subconsciously, we subscribe to it in some degree.]  Yes, these discomforts feel lessened because we now have someone to distract us from focusing on some or all of these nuisances and/or to share these burdens of our lives with, but they don’t disappear altogether, and it’s impractical to expect it.

In all drinking ads, because of the various lawsuits there have been surrounding glamorizing drinking without encouraging responsible behavior, we hear or see the words “drink responsibly”.  I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage each of us to “love responsibly”.  Expecting our spouse or significant other to “fix” what a lifetime of living (including previous “mis-loves”) has done is irresponsible.  When we give our heart to someone, and (just like the child who brings a broken toy to someone they believe can make it work properly again) stand there and wait for them to return it in better condition than how we gave it to them, we set the relationship up for ultimate failure.  It is not their job to right all the wrongs previously done to us, or to overcompensate for other ill-fated experiences.  The most responsible thing for us to do is be honest about who we really are (faults and all) and what [we “think”] we know we bring to the table (our soulmate always manages to see more in us than we see in ourselves) and share that vastness with him/her…and prove ourselves worthy of having him/her do the same.  Care enough to NOT give yourself over to him/her…but rather consciously and deliberately share yourself, remaining responsible for your own heart and happiness.

I know…  We can all “argue” for or against either theory (because I certainly do still – after all, the various facets of Love and matters of the heart and soul are as infinite as the Source of creation).  So whether you plan to share your heart with someone this “love season” or not, it’s just something I was thinking about…and I thought I’d “share” it with you.


Occupy Your Space

In general, all people have insecurities.  We all have things that we wish we could do better, do more of, be recognized for, etc.  And there’s always going to be someone who looks more attractive, does a better job, wins more people, has more of a competitive edge, or is more magnetic than we think we are.  That’s just life. But what I’ve found is that when we fully occupy our OWN space, meaning that we do our best in all that WE are able to do, there is no room for insecurity.  Because in this space, I’ve done all that I can do.  I’ve blessed who I’m supposed to bless… I’ve smiled at who I’m supposed to smile at…  I’ve devoted my time and attention to the things I’ve committed to…  I’ve tended to my body in a manner that leaves nothing lacking…  I’ve made sure that those I love and care about know the depth of my love and appreciation for them…  I’ve committed myself to becoming the best “ME” that I can be, so that no one else can step in and assume (or CONsume) the space that is supposed to be designated for me.  And having done all of these things, I now…stand.

Sure it sounds like a LOT OF SHIT TO DO!!!!  I mean, who really does all of that???  Who leaves NOTHING “undone”??  Well, let me ask you this:  In a day, how many tasks do you reckon you’re able to accomplish on a regular basis?  20?  30?  100?  All things considered, most people complete at LEAST 1000 tasks in a day…  When I say “all things considered”, I mean it… 1) Get out of bed, 2) stretch, 3) walk across the room, 4) go to the bathroom, 5) wash your hands (and if you don’t, let me just tell you….THAT’S JUST NASTY AS HELL; keep your bodily fluids to yourself, please), 6) brush your teeth, 7) open the blinds….need I go on?  So in the “laundry list” of things I mentioned before, there weren’t that many things listed…Is it reasonable to say that you could do that and MUCH MORE, if you put your attention to it?  Absolutely.

What brought about this blog?  I’d been feeling somewhat “inadequate” in my own mind.  Regardless of the things I do and all those I come in contact with on a regular basis, because some basic goals and aspirations hadn’t been met, I began to question what I was “missing”.  What didn’t I have that the next person had?  What made this other person so much more successful in this particular area?  How was I continuously overlooked or seemingly un(der)developed in these things?  The answer:  I wasn’t fully occupying my space.

We were all born with various gifts, talents, abilities, passions, capacities, etc.  But most of us don’t always bring all that we are to the table.  Why?  Well, I won’t dare speak for you, but for me I didn’t feel worthy to own up to my TRUE self…the self that had such a presence that was the same kind of “beautiful” that I could so appreciate when I saw that same energy on someone else.  [I could definitely relate to the prose by Marriane Williamson that reveals that our deepest fear is not anything outside of us, but rather our own best self!] And in fact, I was so busy admiring (and in some cases being jealous or envious of) someone else’s “flair” that I didn’t appreciate or invest time and energy into developing the things that I do extraordinarily.  I was so busy wishing I could have the finances of the next person, that I missed pouring myself fully into the opportunities that had been given to me, to better my own financial future.  Too much energy and self-loathing wishing my body looked like someone else’s that I didn’t express love and kindness to myself and make sure that I was putting my own “best” forward.  I could paint the details of this picture forever, but I think you get the point.

The point is to encourage you to pay attention to the space you were meant to occupy, and DO IT!!  No one else can effectively and adequately stand on your stage.  Not one other person can give the love that YOU were meant to give.  No one else can write the poems, books, songs and/or screenplays that were birthed out of your unique experiences.  Of all the beautiful people in the world, no one will be beheld with the same awe and admiration as when you grace the world with the essential and authentic energy that you are and will attract just because you fell in love…with YOU.

No “embellishment” necessary…you already have and are everything you need to be.  No petty jealousy necessary…it’s impossible for him/her to “beat you” offering your unique seasoning to the flavor of Love.  And so on…

If we would but only learn the power that we represent and can demonstrate, in full essence… If we would but dare to be introduced to the greatness that permeates our very being… If ONLY we would stop being intimidated by our real selves, and stop running from the responsibility of our richness… Phew!

Take your stage.  Own your truth.  Occupy your space.