Making Your Way In the World Today Takes Everything You Got

But when hasn’t it?

In Schnooville, life on the relationship front was cloudy with a chance of natural disaster up until about two weeks ago. Now it’s foggy, but it’s the kind of deep, peaceful fog that makes me feel like wrapping myself in cashmere and tramping through the heath with a wolfhound by my side.

What happened? First, a HUGE breakthrough in therapy. I had a bit of a collapse in our therapist’s office, and a series of guided tapping motions, combined with deep breathing led to me coming unhinged. Imagine a rusty farmstead fence being pried loose by a tornado and tossed like a sack of kittens into the nearest alfalfa field. That was my soul. What happened next is that the raging bull who lived in the pen raced out into the world, free at last, and now lounges beneath an apple tree sniffing blossoms.

In my life, when something I love becomes impossibly hard and deeply hurtful, I’ve shackled that gate and completely cut myself off, out, and away. I’ve left great jobs and even greater relationships in this state, and I think that I have come to really accept this in myself and embrace this as one of the big life projects that I have to tackle.

For a long time I’ve felt that other people cannot be trusted. That if you allow them to, they will mess with your head and hurt you. I now understand that these things that feel hurtful, deceitful and manipulative are often the bi-products of someone else working on their own big life projects. The negative behavior is the result of one of you being further down the road than the other.

Developing trust isn’t about putting absolute faith in other people. It is about putting absolute faith in your own ability to understand, and honor your own needs and wants in a clear, loving way, especially in the face of upset and hurt. People can’t hurt me when I clearly understand that they cannot give me what they need because of their own limitations.

It is striving to come to that place of acceptance and understanding that will save us all. (Dear readers, I don’t believe this ever applies to abusive situations. Those instances are when you hold your raging bull close and let him guide you straight to safety, where you can hold yourself tight and understand how you happened to get to that dangerous place at all.)

I know I cannot control the needs, wants, realizations, decisions, clarity, and communication style of anyone else around me, but I have complete control over these things in myself. That is where my focus lies now. I’m not running, I’m not afraid, I feel completely open. I have a greater understanding of the love I am being given, and meditating on that love is so much better than agonizing over complexities that I cannot understand.

Last night, I went to a parenting session that focuses on the work of the amazing Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. He captured my absolute need from a partner or a loved one perfectly when he said “being known and expressing what lies within is the ultimate expression of individuality and intimacy.” It’s an entirely reciprocal sentiment too, I think – a vital exchange of the contents of one’s head and heart that I require to bond with someone and really develop a loving relationship. In the session, Dr. Neufeld also presented his model of the ideal signs of total maturation. This inspired me completely, and these are the things I wish to strive towards in myself:

Interested & Curious

Eager to try new things

Thinks for oneself

Fills solitude with creative endeavors

Values originality and creativity

Self-directed in learning

Assumes responsibility for actions and impact

Sees the options and choices in life

Values uniqueness and differences

Rarely bored

Full of vitality

Seeks autonomy & independence

Seeks to be own person

Regards the separateness & boundaries of others

 

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Wishful Thinking

I wish you knew how much I love you all.

I wish you knew I want to be a family. Even if it’s changing and growing.

I wish you knew that I need you.

I wish I could be less afraid.

I wish we could all find clarity.

I wish I could watch you grow old and grey.

I wish I could write books and make us all rich.

I wish I could be at your side as you realize your dreams.

I wish I could be all things to everyone. I can’t.

I wish I could hike through a rainy park with Arthur, feeling my cheeks get rosy and my heart fill with hope.

I wish we could each have something wonderful right now. I still think we do.

I wish you weren’t feeling so much pressure from every side and every angle.

I wish for understanding.

I wish for faith.

I wish for patience.

I wish for unconditional love and support from my parents.

I wish for more communication with my father.

I wish for strength.

I wish for a stack of books and a cup of tea.

White Nights, Grey Days

A broken heart’s manifesto…

I could not bring myself to participate in the revelry of Nuit Blanche because I am exhausted on a level I have never before touched on. My bones are tired. My hair is tired. I’m getting a cold, and I just want to stay in lycra and sweaters and fuzzy socks and not move.

Since this is just not possible, I will instead pull together my most fashionable lycra outfit, cover the black circles under my eyes with concealer, take a thermos of tea about with me, and try to get through my day.

I feel as though somebody turned my skin inside out and forgot to switch me back to normal.

Actually, as I consider this, I realize that my normal for the last several years has been afraid and anxious. The time spent in the Fortress had just reached a place of peace, but I didn’t linger there long enough. Now I have to find that again. If I sit alone with my own thoughts, I can hear that constant voice that has always told me “you will be okay”. I’m always grateful for this, but I wish that I wasn’t straining to hear it again on the tails of heartbreak and upheaval.

I will be okay.

I know this must be true because this is the first time in my life that I have listened to my gut and moved forward, exclusively taking cues from my heart and my intuition which seem to be working in some kind of harmony that I have never before realized.

I am sorry that this new pairing of heart and intuition prevents me from being who and what I am desired to be,what I once desired myself to be, but I believe that if everyone pairs their heart and intuition and allows them to speak louder than fear, they will understand, and perhaps even realize for themselves that this course of action is the only true, honest path. That any love that springs from denial, from a lack of self-awareness, from trying to will away the skeletons in the closet cannot blossom. That we cannot be the best lovers we can be unless we are truly honoring ourselves, and are honest with ourselves, and honest about our limitations.

I hope that the love I am able to give will be accepted. Anything beyond this acceptance is a rejection of my heart’s truest offering. I have spent all of my life desperately wanting to be accepted and loved as I am, and now more than ever do I understand who I am, and what I need from love. Maybe the Universe didn’t bring me to this most recent love for the reasons we originally thought.

I am a whole, good, vibrant, passionate, vulnerable, creative, loving person. Everything I have done in my life has been borne of a desire to feel love, and give love, and though I have “failed” at this countless times, with each failure came a greater understanding of what I want love to be. Each of these “failures” has taught me to be more of my actual self.

I want a love that is safe, and borne of truth, emotional honesty, and deep communication.

I want to be wanted 100%, and have that love demonstrated in ways that I clearly understand.

I want to be inspired by my love, and clear and proud of my role within the context of that love.

I want to feel proud of what I am giving, knowing that I am giving my beloved 100% of the love they seek from me.

I want my love to be something that fuels my forward motion in this life. To encourage my work, my passions, my drive. I do not want to be stunted in my ambition or aspirations by fear, instability, or emotional turmoil.

I want my lover to be self-aware, honest, inspired, driven, open, sensual, noble, faithful, and present in the world.

With a kiss, I’ll send that to the Universe and continue to hope for the best.

A very special thank you to Natalie who pointed me in the direction of a costume rental place that was selling off bag fulls of old inventory for $35 per garbage bag. That was some of the sweetest retail therapy I’ve ever experienced.