Thursday, February 13, 2014

Not My Type...

We no longer order a cup of coffee. These days, we order a triple non-fat latte with two pumps of vanilla syrup. Everything in our lives can be completely customized by. "I like that car but I'd prefer it in cobalt blue with shimmering sands leather interior." There is very little that we are asked to accept. Everything is delivered to us exactly as we ask for it to be.  These expectations that we now have with the things we buy, we are having with other human beings. We have "types" of human beings that we will love. It's difficult to wrap my mind around the idea, that one might be worthy of my time if their hair were shorter, or if they were taller.

I might be able to have a good relationship with you if you worked in a different industry. If you drove a different car.

I feel that the true joy of loving another is just feeling completely moved by them. Compelled to be in the same space as they are and not necessarily know why. To follow that compelling feeling and discover them. Joyously discover their past, their hopes, all the stories that makes them who they are. To dive into discovery. To learn more and more while loving. It is like being submerged and dancing under water. Moving and feeling. Love is alive. Love that makes you throw away the list you always kept of what you'd want in a lover. Rip it to shreds because the list is pointless now, having felt true love. 

Love should whisper and pull at us like the aroma coming from the bakery two blocks over. Send you floating in the direction of your lover, hovering, basking in the deliciousness of your lover's essence. 

I had a list a few years ago. A wish list of qualities I would like to have in a lover. Someone who plays music. Someone who works with his hands. Someone who is a father. Someone who is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Much to my delight, I met someone who had every single quality on that list. It was in defining a type and meeting someone who fits perfectly into it that I discovered the wrongness in this approach. Through that relationship, and attaining everything I wanted in a lover, I found that I'd left the most important thing off the list. Someone who has reverence for life; through the good times and the bad. Someone passionately appreciative of the opportunity to live. This item never made the list. This, the most important thing, I learned by being with someone who lacked it. It blared at me, that item that never made it onto the list. It mocked my list. It laughed at me for not knowing my own priorities. 

I learned so much from throwing away that list.

I have learned that my beloved can take any form. It excites me to have no idea what the eyes will look like that I will find a home in. The arms I will fold myself into. To not know what will inspire me about them. To not know what I will deeply stir within them. To open them, like a gift, every day discovering something new inside. To feel pulling and stirring. A call that is obvious to me and natural. All the discovery because they weren't customized by me. My beloved will come to me perfectly whole. Perfectly themselves and I will adore and learn. We both will adore and learn together. Travel companions on the journey of living. Adventurers. Explorers. Imperfect, and in perfect harmony with one another.

I want there to be a love revolution and I want to be on the front lines with my heart in my hand, unafraid. I want to fight for the humanness to be put back into loving. For types to go away. For us all to discover bliss in unexpected places and beauty in unexpected people. I want to love my lover deeply with such a fire in my eyes that my beloved feels like nobody has ever existed like them before in many lifetimes. I want my lover to love me so genuinely that all my quirks become precious little examples of why they love me so deeply. And I never want to define how they arrive. I never want to decide how they should show up. I don't want to write out a life and stick a human into it, directing all the scenes myself and finding the right actor for the role. I want my lover and I to co-author what our lives look like. As partners, architect our dreams. With crayons and paint. And with pastels that I can blend with my finger lending parts of the story to fade and come back vibrant, or turn into gradient with other hues. I do like to blend. Maybe my lover likes pen. Adding structure and boundaries to my whimsey. Or perhaps my lover likes watercolor, blending like I do. Whatever they are bringing... it will be so much more magical than a picture created only by me. 

I want collaboration to leap off the pages of our life's story. Create a universe together.

I suppose that's my type.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I just have to share this that I read

“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.

Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.” 
― Carson McCullersThe Ballad of the Sad CafĂ© and Other Stories

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Story of a flower.

The bud has to burst for the flower to bloom. When the petals can no longer stay curled up in fetal position. When the sun rays are just too tempting. When everything inside that bud is aching to feel sunshine. When the flower just can't hold on anymore and just can't be patient anymore. When it's just to big to fit inside that bud anymore. All that time growing and growing. From a little seed, to a hearty stem with some baby leaves, to a small bud, then a bigger bud, then a bud so full it's just beginning to part at the opening and reveal the colorful petals. It's a long time in the making. The long awaited blooming is incredible. And blooming happens so quickly. You could walk away from a tight lipped bud and come back to a flower in full bloom. If you're lucky you get to catch it happening. You get to see the beginning stages, the opening of the bud, the unfurling of the petals, a beautiful flower in the making getting its first taste of sunlight. The most beautiful thing you could ever be shown. And you just might miss it if you aren't looking. Don't look down. Don't look back. Just look. Look at today. Watch everything transform in front of you. Watch it all bloom.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happiness: A How-to

I recently had a friend reach out to me and ask me how I got to be so happy. This same friend called me the one of the most self-actualized people they've seen. While I don't know about the self actualization part (I am living only a fraction of my full potential, but I guess it counts that I realize that) I know about the happy part. I am certainly no authority on happiness. I'm no authority on anything, but I can say that I spend the majority of my days feeling pretty darn good. It happens from time to time that people ask me things like this. That in the process of living my life, someone likes what they see in me and how I'm feeling or what I radiate. I feel humbled when this happens and sometimes I feel inadequate to answer such questions when I still have so much to find within myself , and so much to still straighten out in my life - but I know there's something to how good I feel most of the time, and I know not everybody feels that way. So when asked about happiness I do like to speak up, because maybe it can help. Maybe I can give someone insight into some way to just feel good. I gave my friend a short answer but I wanted to expand upon it. I think that considering ways to be happy and how to be happy or even what happy is, is a very important part of enjoying our life exactly as it is.

I think the most important thing about happiness, and one of the most empowering realizations of my life, is that happiness is a choice. It's not a fleeting ship in the night, something you wait for, it's nothing that requires any outside gift for situation. It only requires deciding that you want to be happy. Happiness means something different to different people, right? So in deciding to be happy we must first decide what happy looks like to us, right. To me, happiness is enjoying the present moment, over and over and over. Making the choice every day in all my moments to see if there's something to appreciate, and then actively appreciate it. Some days I feel like there are things to be grateful for all around me, and it's just glaringly obvious that my life is filled with blessings. Other days I have to really look at the small things. The way bubbles feel popping against my hands in the dish water. The way it feels to sink into my bed. How cool it is that my ankles can stand on a sloped surface and still hold my body straight because of those cool ball-socket joints. I have found that there is always something! We just have to make an active choice to find it, and to know ourselves well enough to know where to look for them based on what we appreciate.

That's not to say I enjoy every moment or that I don't get upset, mad, disappointed or have days where I just can't get out of a slump. I do. But for me, the key is understanding those moments are a part of life and embracing them too. Just letting myself honestly feel what I feel and being able to see the beauty in the balance. Embracing a moment to cry because it's a human thing to do and needs to happen sometimes. Embracing a moment to feel angry or insecure or disappointed because they're human feelings and happen sometimes. Not trying to escape them or wish they didn't happen. Knowing that in their way, they make the simple and pleasurable moments that much better because they provide contrast. And there is a reason to appreciate them. Whether it's because they're providing contrast or because they're signaling to me that it's time for something to change, I am so thankful for my adverse experiences and emotions. 

One of my favorite books has this line. "Even a stunted tree reaches for the light." I think that says it all. We want to be happy. Our nature is to feel good. Life can sometimes turn us away from what we know deep inside ourselves about what peace we can feel. We must never think that we can't be happy or that we are too broken to be. We must never believe that happiness is for others but isn't for us. We must not subscribe to ideas that happiness comes from anywhere but within. We must remember that it is a choice to make, that requires action. Just as we reach for the water to quench thirst, we can reach for the thoughts and experience that make us feel grateful and happy. We just have to decide we love ourselves enough to take that step.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dandelion (a visualization)

I close my eyes and hope as I blow on a dandelion. I hope, because I do not believe in wishing. My hope is not pointed. It has no specifics.  I meditate on the small feathered parachutes of the dandelion. They are designed to be carried in the wind. They go where the elements take them. My hope is just like this. It is only me opening my heart and asking for goodness, happiness, purpose, lessons, greater understanding, a new way of seeing, whatever comes my way. As I blow and the parachutes scatter, I watch the many directions they travel. I consider that I will never know where they land. And this is the way, they are the perfect representation of my hopes. I don't wish to know, to predict, or to have direction. I hope for what is meant to find me. I am grateful for what will find me without having any idea what it will look like. I think about the things that happen exactly as they are meant to. The dandelion does not ask for the wind. It grows and changes and exists. The wind does not set out specifically to spread the dandelion seed. It blows and in doing so fulfills a great many purpose without doing so deliberately. I take joy in thinking about the things that happen harmoniously in nature. I find solace in the reprieve from actions in life that must be preformed with an end result in mind. I lay back and close my eyes and feel one of the dandelion parachutes land on my face. One parachute that didn't drift away. I think this means that some of my hopes are already right here within me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Growing Up

I once thought I'd weathered the heaviest storms
that I would ever encounter in life
That I'd already learned great lessons about
survival and struggle and strife.
I figured the worst was behind me
and I'd come out unscathed and I'd won
I didn't see what I can see now
which is that the challenge has only begun
I'm beginning to do some real growing up now
there's this new clarity in my world
realizing that there is much difference between
the struggles of a woman and that of a girl.
A girl is scared and defenseless
searching and running to find a safe place
but a woman must face things head on
with a mixture of courage, wisdom and grace.
I thought that I'd become a woman
when I started paying rent and had a kid
but my thoughts are showing me more maturity
than any of those actions ever did
Every day I wake up and question myself
the answers aren't always the same
but being grown is more about knowing yourself
than about this 'playing house' game.
So that is my moment of clarity
on this not so special, insignificant night
I've found my grace, my courage and my wisdom
and I'm ready to live my life right.