Eternal Sunshine and My Spotless Heart


2011 is off to a very, very good start. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

My world is being put back together very carefully, and with so much love. I am so very lucky to have another opportunity at forging the life I’ve wanted with the clarity and awareness and understanding that I now have. That we all have. We are truly blessed.

So many of you reading this have reached out to me with your own stories, and your encouragement, and your love. I really can’t thank you enough. I have no secret solution for solving matters of the heart, but I can try to distill what I have learned, and what I am learning.

You cannot love or be loved without the willingness and ability to make yourself vulnerable. The more you fight that, the more you will encounter strife, grief, and heartache. It’s terrifying to open yourself up, particularly once you’ve learned a thing or two about life, but nothing less will work. Especially when the one who loves you is willing to open themselves up for you. Vulnerability is essential, and sometimes impossible. It’s a constant struggle to check in and identify what is preventing your heart from opening up.

Trust is paramount. You simply have to give it over. For me, giving over trust was like stretching my hamstrings. It fucking hurts, and at first I could only stretch a little bit, and the next day I’d be aching. Eventually, as my body realized I wasn’t going to rip or tear anything by trusting, the hamstrings of my heart began to relax and I could go further and further. I was hurting myself and everyone around me a lot more by tensing up and resisting. Strains, sprains, and tears everywhere. Not pretty.

Trust cannot be taken away. At the end of the day, trust is not about hoping people won’t take advantage of your vulnerability and annihilate you. We really have no control whatsoever over what other people will do. Trust is about trusting yourself and your heart to survive anything life might throw your way. Trust is about knowing you have the strength and tenacity to rise above whatever difficulty or heartache you face.

Love is everything. When you find someone who loves you well, for who you are, who believes in you and inspires you and makes you want to be a better person, hang on to them. The way to hang on to them is to constantly strive to know and understand yourself. Understand what you are contributing to the relationship. Understand how you might be damaging the relationship. Know yourself. Love yourself. Understand that you are worthy of their love and that you won’t make a mess of it.

Don’t listen to fear. Though it may roar louder than the angriest ocean, it is almost always false. The more you have to lose, the louder the ocean of fear. Only you can quell it. Take a deep breath, do a quick survey of what is actually happening around you, understand the difference between what is happening and what you are afraid might be happening and tell fear that it is simply reminding you of how much you have at stake. Then be grateful for the abundance that you have and move forward. This will have to be repeated on a daily basis for some of us.

Communicate. Open your mouth and breathe out the things in your heart and your mind. Breathe them to your loved ones, breathe them to your confidantes, breathe them to your diary, breathe them to yourself, breathe them to the Universe. Speak with love. Listen with love. Listen with more love to the things that are difficult to hear. Accept difficult truths and embrace them with love. Understand why they hurt you and understand the call to change. Answer the call with love and resolve. Understand when words should be ruminated upon and when they should be shared. Share with calm and with peaceful intention.

Banish anger. It will eat you alive. Hear it, look at it, hold it in your hand and then send it away. Find other words to describe that feeling, peaceful words that open the door to transformation. Anger is a wall that is high and mighty and will shadow you from the healing light of love.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m sure there will be many more lessons to share. I welcome your lessons too. Share them here, in comments, so we can all grow wiser.

In the background some chilled out trance music with a smooth beat and a sitar woven through its rhythms acts as a backdrop. This quiet moment where I can share my heart with you feels like an awakening.

I know what I want. It’s what I’ve always wanted. I have it, I accept it, and I am eternally grateful for it. This is my time to shine. Are you ready? I finally am.

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Another Chapter

Hello world. I miss you guys. Life is settling nicely now, and I’m definitely going to have more time to write, so there will be more frequent postings. I wrote this at the start of the month…

The Fortress of Solitude is no longer.

Yesterday I spent twelve hours moving, with the aid of my man. We schlepped like nobody’s business, and today I feel like I’m hung over and have fallen down a flight of stairs.

My point is not to whine (though god knows I’m good at it), but to tell you that an era has ended.

I have all the happiness I have ever wanted, and I’m so incredibly grateful.

We have amazing families, and now I can proudly say that they are all of them united in their love and support. I’m always so delighted when people surprise me, and my heart swells with pride when I reflect on the loving, caring people we have in our lives, who put our happiness first and really examine how happiness can be defined for different people.

My new love has brought a beautiful new concept into my life. This concept actually summarizes something I’ve believed since I was quite small. I love these opportunities to attach a name to a belief or a value I’ve held dear. For some of you, this term is new, and for me it is how I wish to define my life, and is the primary value I wish to instill in my children.

Pluralism is essentially the idea that our differences are what make us a vibrant society and they should be respected and celebrated. It’s kind of what comes naturally to most Canadians, but more specifically, it can even describe the idea that despite our differing customs, values, faiths, and cultures we are all connected by a single unifying thread that some people think of as Divine.

I’ve always felt this, and I’ve always believed that rather than looking like an old dude with a beard, God is in fact an intangible presence, more like a light that embodies male and female qualities or polarities. More than anything else, I’ve always felt that my relationship with God is deeply personal, so even in Schnooville, I won’t wax poetic about theology.

My point is this; my in-laws are awesome. They are warm, loving people who love their kids, and who really walk the walk and talk the talk when it comes to their faith. They are enlightened and forward-thinking, and I’m really proud of all of our parents, and eager to build relationships with the ones I’ve just inherited.

This life we’ve carved out for ourselves is unlike anything I’ve been able to discover, even in the vast expanse of the Internet. Our network of support will be one of the most important things in our life together. Thanks to all of our moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and cousins who have been so accepting and so very, very cool.

We love you, and are glad to have you to share our lives with.

Infinite Possibility

Wait for Me by rosiehardy, flickr

Wait for Me by rosiehardy, flickr

Rosie Hardy is a seventeen year old girl who lives in England. She met her boyfriend, Aaron Space on Flickr, when they both participated in the 365 day contest. She lives in England, he in America. When I was seventeen, nothing about love seemed impossible.

This has been in my inbox for a while, and I’ve been debating whether or not to share this. It’s an excerpt from a letter written by my friend Richard Northwood, to a girl who added him on Facebook. I don’t believe he ever sent it to her, but he shared it with me after a discussion about online dating.

The Internet has changed everything about the way we socialize. Everything. I like to think I’m fairly savvy, and perceptive, but this letter still made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

I remain convinced that a person’s actions speak louder than any words they may utter, and that by perceiving people with more than your eyes and ears, you can get a fairly good read on them, if you allow yourself to hear what they are telling you.

Without further ado, Richard Northwood:

Oh hey remember this morning when you sent me that message via chat and I didn’t answer? Then you sent seven more in the next five or six minutes and I didn’t answer any of those either? I was actually sitting at my computer creeping your profile deciding how I should respond. It is kinda weird what you can find out about someone just by flipping through their profile for twenty minutes. I mean, sure the whole ‘found out his full name and added him on Facebook seven hours after he made me feel like shit in public’ thing is a bit stalker and clingy, but you should probably remove all that crap in your profile about looking for your one true love and being tired of players, and looking for your prince. Your list of favourite books and movies was priceless.

Just so you know, the next time you send me a chat message on here and ask me what I’m doing, I’m going to tell you that I am ‘super pumped because I finally found that rare SNL collection of Will Ferrell skits online’ and ‘I can’t wait to watch it’. You’re gonna say that rocks and then jokingly say ‘don’t watch it without me!’ and I’ll be like ‘what’re you doing tonite’. I mean, three of your favourite movies are Anchorman, Talledega Nights and Old School. Pretty obvious there babe. Then I’ll jokingly say something like ‘get your ass over here and watch with me then!’ and you’ll make up an excuse why you can’t and then I’ll say
its okay I don’t laugh on first dates anyhow. And you’ll type something like ‘LOL’ or if you’re as young as I think/hope you are you’ll type ‘roflmao’. That’s hot.

I’m actually gonna start the next chat with you and ask you if you know of any good books because I just finished reading (insert one of the books on your favourites list here) and you’ll flip out because that’s one of your favourite books. I figure you’ve forgotten that you even put that there two years ago when you joined FB, but even if you didn’t you already think I’m too much of an ass to bother creeping your profile, and I’m a bit out of your league and quite a bit older than you. Man if you only know the truth.

So anyhow, we’ll end up out for coffee and I’ll bring up my love of volleyball, camping, live bands, dogs and New York city (where I haven’t actually been yet, but after about thirty minutes on Google I’m feeling pretty comfortable describing as my second home). I’m only going to mention these things in passing, and then listen to you ramble on about them, which should fool you into thinking I’m a good listener. Based on what I saw in your photo albums that should work nicely, and help you to decide whether to go down on me at the end of the date, which actually might not be half bad since I don’t see anything about religion in your
profile.

Okay so after that I’m not going to call you for like five days and I don’t plan to return any of your texts. When I actually get a hold of you I’m going to pretend like I wasn’t ignoring you. I figure five days is just long enough to make you worry but not so long as to scare you away and have you put something about regret in one of your status updates. Its a bit of a risky proposition because you’ll complain about me to a couple of your friends (and I’d really like to fuck a couple of ’em) but I’m going to go down on you for a really long time so that should fix that.

Dude, its so weird that like 70% of your photo albums are titled ‘girls night out’ something or other. I mean how bad was your heart broken? Its all like girl power this and who needs boys tonight!, geez. Relax a little. This is just sex, or is going to be by the way. Its not even going to be very good I bet, you’re such a prude. I saw your halloween album, that wasn’t sexy it was embarrassing. And that didn’t even look like a whip. Maybe next time instead of running out to party packagers the day-of you can try having a sense of adventure and a modicum or originality?

You know what, just forget the whole thing. I’ve seen all I need to see of you from Facebook. The sex is going to be terrible, I feel like we’ve already had it. Man I’m glad I didn’t answer your chat forty five minutes ago, you’re exactly what I thought you were. Just forget this ever happened. And don’t go saying shit about me either, I never promised you anything. And it was like two dates, tops. You know I just got out of a relationship like two years ago. You were the one that came on too strong.

Next time I see you I expect you to thank me for saving you the heartache.

Yours truly and thusly,

RN

Sunday Poem (Freestyle)

Paperback Writer

Paperback Writer

Stop asking for feedback.
Stop speaking of loneliness.
Stop inviting us to engage in discourse,
Share our ideas,
Hear your voice.
Stop sharing snippets of your world.
Stop referencing your single status

If you are going to be
So cool
So aloof
So detached
So disinterested
So abrupt
So completely ambivalent

When someone who is amazing decides they want to poke you.