Tag Archives: Love

Whatcha Lookin’ fer?

Postcards_and_magnifying_glassHave you ever been looking  – and HARD too! – for something…that was already in plain sight?  Yep, this just happened: I’m rummaging through my purse (which has WAY more crap in it than I will EVER need, anyway) looking for my dental floss.  I’d already taken out my travel toothbrush (because I didn’t have time to brush my teeth before darting out of the door, so my nephew  wouldn’t be late for school because of me) and laid it on my desk.  So, I’m just a-lookin’, lookin’, lookin’ for my dental floss…*wait for it*…that I had already taken out WITH my toothbrush, because what I was really needing was my toothpaste. Wait…WHAT?  Damn.

Needless to say, as soon as I stopped shaking my head and rolling my eyes at the foolery that had just happened, it hit me.  This “phenomenon” of looking for things that are in plain sight happens on many levels, in everything from dental hygiene tools to business ideas to life partners.  We actually ALWAYS have everything we need within our grasp…really.  It may not always necessarily what we think we “want”, but we have everything we NEED for whatever moment and season in which we happen to be.  Just think about it.

Ever heard the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention”?  Well, you can’t “invent” from lack.  We can only invent and make manifest (or call into being) things that we psychokinetically KNOW are already there for us to manipulate…we just have to figure out how.

So if I may, let me encourage you to join me in slowing down, taking inventory, and being intentional in our “search” for the things we believe we need.  More often than not, they (be they ideas, prospects, or other seemingly elusive objects) are usually “right there” in front of us.

What are YOU looking for?


Back to the Future: A Letter to the Past

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It’s so interesting how the universe responds to us. I’ve recently found myself saying on a number of occasions that I wish I could “go back and give [a younger version of myself] a hug’. I say it whenever I remember behaviors that were mindlessly prominent, stemming from a number of perceived deficiencies or flaws…efforts to get others to notice or “see” me and perceive or (even worse) ascribe my value. Then I stumbled across a challenge to– no… I was presented with an opportunity to do a writing assignment about advice I would give to my younger self. Serendipity in play, for sure. Well, actually the time frame that I was referring to was only about 4 years ago, but what follows is a letter to myself at around age 10, which is when things really were still in the middle of heavy twists and turns that were shaping the way I saw myself and the world…

Hello, Beautiful!

You are an amazing and strong young lady! You have come through some really hard things already, and you’re still smiling…that is a beautiful thing! I know at this point you are having a hard time understanding that people who really love you do not hurt you, but it’s true. The truth is those who hurt you did not love you at all, and only told you lies to get you to think they did…so they could have the chance to do harmful things to you. This is NOT LOVE, SWEETHEART. Love is not selfish and doesn’t willfully hurt or mistreat others. This is something that is REALLY important for you to learn, so that you know how to recognize the difference between when someone genuinely cares for you, and when someone is trying to trick you so they can be selfish with you. It’s also important for you to realize this so that you don’t grow up believing that it’s okay to do or say harmful things to people you say you love…because that’s not okay, either.

Love is a wonderful and miraculous thing, and I know you feel it strongly when it happens. You feel this way with your dad’s mom and your mom’s dad the most. They REALLY love you! They show you this by sharing healthy embraces and kisses with you… You know how when you’re in their arms or near them, you feel safe? Like nothing and no one can hurt you? That’s how true love is supposed to feel. You know how when you’re with them, they speak kindly to you…even when they’re angry, upset, or disappointed? That’s called respect. It is okay to be upset with someone, but you can still let them know how you feel without yelling or saying mean things to hurt them…even though you may want to do that. It won’t always feel natural, but as you grow older, you’ll learn that one of the most important things you can have is good relationships. And learning how to speak respectfully to everyone you encounter is a very big part of making sure you hold on to those good relationships.

Speaking of relationships… You are a sweet, kind and attractive young lady who has been exposed to relationships that you should have been introduced to only several years from now, when you are old enough to better understand what they mean. So, first, let me tell you that is not your fault. Second, although many who love you and will eventually learn of what happened will be upset and try to help you direct blame for what happened, that hear me when I share with you that that will not change who or where you are today…but beginning to practice blame and acting like a victim CAN affect or even change your future. You are a powerful young lady, who has the ability to do and become anything you can imagine…and you have an amazing imagination! It is very important that you remember the awesome power that you have within you to create and to choose. And to choose to create. Everything that makes you feel good about that gorgeous chocolate skin that God dipped you in, and those thick thighs that protect your sacred space, and that ivory smile that lights up your face…find ways to do more of those things, which help you celebrate the glorious daughter of Love that you are. (And although your hair is still being relaxed now, you’ll eventually learn that even those unruly kinks and coils that sprout from your scalp are to be celebrated and CAN be naturally tended to and honored.) Do not be ashamed of the wonderfully unique creation that YOU are! The more YOU know this, the more intentional your life will be. You don’t have to go through life apologizing for other people being uncomfortable with who you are in your natural state…you are not the reason for their discomfort – THEY have not learned the truth about themselves, and so they feel uncomfortable seeing you walk so freely in yours.

I tell you all this because it will give you something to hold onto when the world feels mean and cold. Because there WILL be days when things will hurt. People you love very much and who you thought would be with you forever will die and leave your life. So it is very important that when you get to share time with people you love that you make each time very special. If you want to hug them, hug them. If you want to tell them you love them, say it. These are special times that you can never get back.

Learn who your brothers and sisters are…on the inside. Pay attention to what makes them smile, and what makes them sad. Pay attention to how you feel when they do certain things – whether good or bad. And it’s okay to tell them, because this helps them get to know who you are on the inside. Remember me telling you about relationships? Your relationships with them can be among the most special relationships that you have. And when you grow up and all live apart from each other, you’ll still have your relationships to keep you close.

From where I sit now, we’ve been through a lot, babygirl. So you will have plenty of opportunities to share love and speak respectfully, with others and with yourself. I know that sounds weird, but as you get older you’ll understand. You’ll experience a few more very disappointing and hurtful people even before getting out of grade school and on to high school…as well as throughout the rest of your life, but remember who YOU are. Be proud of who you are becoming. Love yourself. Other angels will show up along with way to help you safely arrive to where we are now.

Who knows…depending on how much of this you remember and hold on to, “where we are now” could look much different the next time around. 😉

You are loved deeply,

40-year-old You (and no, that’s actually not “old”)


What’s Your Address?

Live the life you LOVE

What’s keeping you where you are? Whether it be your home, your school, your job/business/career, your marriage, or your religion/church…examine and be conscious of the power of the glue that binds you to it. Love is far more powerful than fear. If you are there because you are afraid that it’ll be a mistake if you leave, that your soul will be tormented, what others will think of you or your decision, or even that nothing better exists for you and separating would make life hell for you…it is already on the verge of ending in calamity and no amount of “trying” will make it work. If you are there because your heart is content and you light up and are filled with joy and gratitude at the thought of being there, and wondering how in the world to create more things like it in your life…more is already on the way and any challenges will only increase the strength of your original “yes” to it.

In this moment of reflection and examination, make note of where your fears cause anxiety versus where your love abides. Once fear is dismissed from its imagined duty of protecting you from harm, if love grows there instead you have saved something precious from unnecessary ruin. If, however, you find that when you release fear, love leads you on another path, graciously release that situation and allow love to manifest and fortify your true heart’s desire. Fear and love cannot occupy the same space. Know the addresses of each and live accordingly.


All Things New

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New things always seem to infuse us with the hope of possibility. Ideals of all that we can achieve, areas we can make headway in, opportunities that not only can we seize but actually create, and so on. Everything from a new toy as kids, a new notebook as a writer, a new sketchpad as an artist, a new baby as a parent, a new spouse as a lover, a new friend as a companion, a new business venture as an entrepreneur, or a new year as a human being.

But oftentimes, somewhere along the way, the work of maintaining or “doing right by” these areas gets sidetracked by things that impersonate scenarios of dire importance. Things like over-demanding bosses/jobs, obligations we half-heartedly agreed to but now can’t go back on our word, co-dependent friends/family who are always in crisis, etc. But if we look at things honestly, these things would go on just fine if we removed ourselves from the picture. And with that as the case, and the world not falling apart, it stands to reason that the framework from which we operate should be LESS on what we “have” to do to keep the proverbial ball from dropping, and MORE on what we “desire” to do to keep our passions active and infuse life into the world we want to experience.

What reflections do we want to see? What environments, people, and experiences will best express what we know to be true of ourselves? How can we authentically show up and manifest the joy, peace, and love that we are? Every day is a perfect day to start afresh and view life from the Creator’s perspective, rather than attempting to keep up with illusions we’ve unconsciously bought into because of how damned persistent they are. So, from where you sit right now, take inventory of how you feel. Are you relaxed? Worried? Fearful? Hopeful? Horny? (Hey, let’s be real…) Expectant? Angry? Happy? Is your body comfortable? Is the air around you light or aromatic? What sounds do you hear? Birds chirping? Kids laughing? Water dripping? Cars driving by? Can you feel your breaths coming in and going out? What about your chest rising and falling with each inhale/exhale? Do you feel open to receiving? Or are you closed and protective? Just BE here in this moment. Not rushing or hurried. Not overthinking, judging, or “trying” to make it be anything in particular…just observing.

This moment was created for you…BY YOU. Rest in it. And in this space, however you’ve colored it, you can begin creating the next. Our lives are created moment by moment… What will your next creation be? Follow your bliss, and create intentionally.

Happy New Year, all.


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!


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.