Changing Perceptions

I had a wonderful day yesterday.  Went to a beach and saw a guy swimming.  It was about 25 or 30 and pretty windy, although it was sunny and clear.  The sea was calm on the surface, but there were large swells, making big and beautiful waves on shore.  He went in out of he water 3 or 4 times until he got out and put his clothes back on.  We walked past him as he got back in his car and my friend asked him if he did that often. He said he went in about once a month, year round.  That February was the coldest month.  Then he added, with a smile and enthusiasm, “But it’s such a beautiful day…..”  We agreed.



swimming in MarchI thought it was not something I could ever do…dressed in a turtleneck, sweatshirt, and winter coat, I was shivering.  My friend thought it was possible, he could see how someone could do it.  It’s all in the perception I think.  Perception can be changed, too.

That’s something else I learned this weekend.  Though my blog is called “Living Like Water” I was not walking that walk this weekend.  It was quite obvious that I have some work to do there.  My perception of what was going on was shadowed by my ego, by my past experience, baggage as it was.  My perception of some of the things I have written here, also has been clouded by these things.  I learned some things that changed my perception of the broader effects of some things I have written.

If I want to be authentic in my quest to live like water, I think my perception has to change about many things.  Perhaps seeing someone willing to plunge into ice cold water and come out of it smiling was meant to show me that life doesn’t have to proceed along my own narrow view.

Learning is sometimes a pleasant experience, and sometimes it is difficult.  What I dislike is when my learning a lesson has caused someone else discomfort, which it has.  And I feel blessed that it didn’t cause this person to run from me.  Yesterday was wonderful….and the learning was a pleasant experience, even if the actual lesson I learned made me take a hard cold look at myself.

He’s a Good Man 

Apparently, I can make a big deal out of nothing. I can be stupid and childish.  I misinterpret things that are said to mean what they did not. 

Friggin ego. Wants us to believe we are under attack. Ego is now on time out.  A long one. 

Thank goodness he cared enough to fight through it with me, until I could understand the truth. He’s a good man.  

Sitting With Our Sadness

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten in dealing with difficult emotions is to “just sit with it.”  This advice was given to a meditation group I used to go to once a week.  And honestly, that’s often what we would do for an hour or so there, just sit with whatever we were feeling, in the dark, with quiet music playing, or crystal bowls.  The same facilitator would also tell us, “We don’t need to go excavating.  If you don’t know what is making you sad, it doesn’t matter, just allow yourself to be sad, if you feel sad.  Honor that….”

So, I’ve done a lot of that. I’ve sat through my anger, I’ve sat through my sadness. Sitting with it, allowing it to surface, honoring what I feel, not denying any of it. There are no bad emotions, only bad reactions to them.

Those emotions that we don’t allow, and honor, and instead bury, don’t die. They fester, and rot, and make us sick, literally. I believe that years of unhappy living in a terrible marriage contributed far more to my diabetes than issues of genetics or weight. I don’t believe the body is separate from the mind. As the mind tries to hide from the unpleasant emotions, those emotions pop out somewhere physically. All illnesses have an emotional component. This is reason enough for me, to allow myself to sit with my sadness, anger, confusion, and honor that. Generally, when I have sat long enough with them, they bubble up, and then dissipate.

Meditation is part of my daily routine. I meditate every morning, almost, for about 15 minutes. I find the quiet time generally re-centers me, prepares me to stay focused throughout my day. There are times I catch a quick 5 minute refresher during my lunch hour.

Last night I did it again. I have been told by some people that I talk to much, that I should maybe keep my thoughts to myself, and resist the temptation to tell people exactly what I think. Last night, I silenced my voice, and instead I sat with my angst, my sadness, my confusion. I allowed myself to feel it all, in the middle of the night. For 3 hours.

What happens, when you just sit with it, is that generally acceptance of what is comes to you. Last night was no exception. This morning I accept the reality of what was bothering me, I acknowledge that things are not what I want them to be, and I stop my efforts to make them so. I am reminded of Byron Katie, who says things like, “How do I know it’s supposed to be that way? Because it is….”

As water finds it’s way, I will try to go with the flow. It may seem to be taking me from what I want, but generally, it will get me where I need to be eventually. I may meander from the straight line I wanted to travel, but I may find something beautiful and unexpected in the bend in the river. I may end up where I originally wanted to be but with a richer, fuller appreciation of it. Or I may end up somewhere new and fabulous.

We need, I need, to trust that the universe knows our desires and is conspiring in our behalf to make them reality.

Over-invested. 

So, if you have plans to spend Saturday night and Sunday day with someone, and then they ask if you’re available Friday night…..would you think that meant they wanted to spend more time with you? Or would you think it meant instead of Saturday night and Sunday?  

I guess it could go either way.  I wanted it to be the more time thing. So that’s what I believed it was, until it was clarified. And now I kinda want to cry because it actually means less time. 

I wish I could get on the same page with him. I’m always wearing my effing heart on my sleeve while he plays his cards close to his chest. 

I can’t change how I feel but I wish I could,until he’s there with me. So I’m not hanging out on that limb with one hand all the effing time. 

I guess I’ve come to the realization that despite him not wanting to be with anyone else, he really isn’t all that enthused about us either.

I think I need to back off. I’m way to invested in this. I should have known better. 

Fear and Trust

I spent 24 hours with S.  It was not what I expected, but I should know better than to have expectations when I’m with him.  I am considered by my friends to be outside the box, some of them say, in reference to me, “What box?”  S inspires my thinking to be even more outside, more creative, and it’s one thing I love about him.

I had thought, based on our first conversations Tuesday night, that we were more in the same place.  At that time, he had said and done some things that I had been waiting to hear for months.  I don’t believe he was saying them just to get me back in his life.  He is too honest to do that.  I think they were things that he felt at the time, but everything is fluid, always and ever changing.

Yesterday, he was pensive, not quite so ready to open his heart. Pulling his emotions back a little. It took me a little while to assimilate it all.  It turns out that my relationship with A was somewhat disturbing to him, that I went into it so quickly, that I didn’t take time to get over him.  I have tried to explain to S that A showed up when I was so down, so insecure, felt so bad about myself, that it was just good for me, to feel wanted, desired by someone.  I learned from A, that having someone adore you is not going to fill a hole created by someone else.  The fact that A was crazy about me was not enough to make me stop wanting to be with S.  And S is all I thought about all the time.  So a few short weeks with A, and I realized pretty quickly that I shouldn’t be there, and should try to repair whatever it was S and I had. I veered off course for awhile.

Yesterday, S kept asking me what was wrong.  He is very intuitive, and knew that things weren’t sitting with me well.  I couldn’t explain it at that time, I hadn’t yet allowed the feeling to form as a coherent thought in my head.  I thought about it when I got home, and I think it was caused by me putting myself out there on the vulnerability limb with him again, fully exposing how I felt and then realizing when I was there that while he may be more open to a real loving relationship with me, he is not there yet.  I had kind of thought he’d made up his mind.  It was confusing me, and scaring me.  I realize he too is still scared, and that’s what was holding him back.  Old fears, resurfacing.

I’m scared he won’t love me, he’s scared he will.

Fear sucks. I had to work at accepting what was yesterday, and being ok with it. I don’t think I did fully, until I got home. I think it helped S to tell me how he felt yesterday.  It was a productive day for us.  We talked a lot.  He took me to a greenhouse lush with tropical plants, lemon trees, hibiscus, bird of paradise…hot and humid. It felt like a jungle in there, while outside it was about a 25° wind chill.  It was a very cool excursion. We had fun, we flirted, and we got hot!  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This morning I am not so afraid.  Trusting that things will work out the way they should.  I don’t like dangling from that vulnerability limb by myself.  I also know it’s the only way I can live, to lay things out on the table, and invite him to join me there.  I know he cares about me, and I have to let him make his way to the table, without my guidance.  I hope he gets there.  I hope he can open him heart to me, I think we could have a surprisingly wonderful time together.

Just Let the Joy Be

It’s been a few days since I’ve written anything. I had to work late all week, not only to catch up from my few days off, but because I was covering someone else who was gone. I haven’t even unpacked yet from my trip.

I have been happy. Happy with my decision to be with S. His actions, his behavior, backs up what he told me he feels. Yeah, I’m vulnerable. Just thinking that to feel this happy….. and to stay in the moment with him…is not something I have done lightly, but I have followed my heart, my gut. It’s not like a trade off, I don’t think that eventually he’ll hurt me again and I’m not wondering will this current happiness be worth that pain. No…really, I think we are both evolving and presently our evolution is parallel. He learned something about himself, and I know he is truly sorry for the pain it caused me for him to learn that way.

The one thing that I’ve always appreciated about him is his honesty. He will tell me the truth, he will remain true to himself even if it hurts me. After living with someone for many years who was a pathological liar, I would so much rather have the brutal truth than a pretty lie. Any day. This he gives to me. He has now told me the whole truth….about the incident. While the thinking that led to it would be to most of us convoluted, I can understand, knowing him, how he arrived there, and for a few moments it seemed to be the only way for him to know what he wanted to find out. He realized within minutes it was wrong, and what the truth was, and he told it to me, and I believe him. I’m not going to explain him in this blog, because even as painful as it was, it is a gift to have him share himself so intimately and vulnerably with me, and so I will keep it in my heart.

I have heard from A a couple of times. He seems to be ok, it was a short relationship, only a few weeks, and it was going to end in a few months anyway. I think he had his place in my life, to remind me that I was desirable when I felt very much the opposite. I couldn’t drum up the same desire for him though, most likely because I was still in love with S. I think my place in his life was to renew his belief in his own spirit after his wife died, to help him to know again that death is only a transformation, not the end. It was good for both of us, but the once the purpose was accomplished it was destined to end.

I know now that my relationship with A was also hurtful to S, though he understands, it was still hurtful. I think we both will try harder to work within our relationship to resolve any issues, whether they be issues between us, or that we are having with ourselves. We both know we don’t want to be with anyone else. I know I am ready to do what needs to be done to build the relationship and not run at the first sign of trouble. Done running. Sick of running. I know that S did not tell me lightly that he didn’t want to be with anyone else, I trust that he also is in that place.

I went to a gong bath last night. I didn’t know what to expect, with all the emotions of the last couple of weeks. Not just S and A, but with my mom, my sis. As it turned out, harmony was the prevailing theme. The gongs seemed to be singing in harmony, as did the drums they play, and the bowls. S was not there physically, but I felt he was with me energetically, and that was very cool.

It was the vernal equinox last night, during the gong bath, which I think added to the energy. Thinking of all the unusual energy that was around yesterday, a solar eclipse, the equinox, the new moon. Of course, here in New England it snowed yet again, lol, and was cold.

I guess we just have to trust that spring will unfold as it should, even though it at times feels like it will never come. Kind of like being in a relationship. Sometimes, you just have to trust that it’s unfolding as it should. And let the joy be.

Resolution Begins

The day breaks on a new and old chapter of my life.  S was here last night, and made sense to me in a really unexpected way of the things he’s done that hurt me. Things he regrets, but felt were necessary for him to get the clarity he now has.

Who am I to judge him?  He did what was hard for him, he told me, he explained to me, and he sat through my tears and fears until they were gone.  He helped me to see the truth, not just the partial truth that my ego wanted me to see, but the whole truth, that my soul understood.

He remains the most interesting, funny, and altogether lovable man I have ever known, when I allow myself outside the bounds of past conditioning, and old beliefs.  I am grateful that he hung in there for these 2 months, until I could see and talk to him.

We will move forward, and see what the future holds.  He is open to whatever happens, which is a huge step for him.  I am open to understanding him, and to finding out the truth in all situations. Instead of allowing my ego to falsely protect me from the truth.

He’s a good man.  Unique.  Special.  And he has my heart.