Uncomplicated Love

“Think of someone you love who is uncomplicated to love,” the meditation guide instructed. I thought, of course, of my son. And as thoughts are liable to do, immediately after my son, I thought of my mother. And then of my father. And then of my two sisters.

All of them, uncomplicated to love, and to be loved by.

I have never known different with my family. Even when we had our disagreements, our rough patches, I never doubted that we loved each other, and that if pressed, we would be there for each other. Ever.

How friggin’ blessed I am, is something I’ve come to know as an adult. Really not until I was well past the half-way mark of my life did I realize the depth of that blessing.

I remember back when I just assumed all families were like mine. It seemed incongruous that my best friend’s father (at age 12) could put belt marks on her legs, but he did. She didn’t make a big deal of it, so no one else did. I can’t imagine what it was like, to be a 12 year old, going through puberty, and have your father take a belt to you. I remember my own father, at times in his frustration with my misbehavior as a child, raising his hand. That, the raised hand, was enough to make me know I better stop what I was doing, or saying. He never brought it down on me. I think it would have killed him to hit me.

I was SO naive.

I have known and loved men who were beaten by their fathers, whose mothers stood by and watched, thus enabling the brutality of a child. I think I made it my quest to prove to them that they were lovable, that they were in reality, as deserving of unconditional love as much as anyone. I wanted to convince them that it is possible for someone to love them purely, with no conditions. I cannot imagine a more painful thing to live with than the belief that you innately do not deserve love and belonging. Would it not instill false shame, to think you weren’t worthy of your parents love? And shame is such a destructive emotion.

I was unable to achieve this. It took me a long time to actively give up the quest. And that in itself, is not a good basis for a relationship anyway. There is no common ground. But, I love them, still. And wish they could see themselves the way I saw them. I wish they knew that all the love they think they missed is inside them now, given to them as a divine right. No one can take it from anyone else.

My childhood friend, has somehow managed to retrieve a relationship with her siblings now. They are very close. She has held onto the friendships of her youth. She’s coming to see me, and our other friend who lives in Daytona across the state, in January. This group of girls is like my family. They reconnected with me after about 40 years, and we picked up where we left off.

I think though, that it is part of my soul’s journey to love others the way that I’ve been loved. Am loved. It’s always the underlying emotion, the baseline. If I’ve loved you, I will always love you. If I never see you again, I will always love you, always wish the best for you, always feel the pain I know you feel and always send out whatever I can to assuage it. I may not like your behavior, I may choose to withdraw from it, but the love I felt, only came through me. I did not create it, I just channeled it. And will continue to do so, actively or passively.

So this was my post-meditation blog. Kind of a deep, heavy meditation, and it seems I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and introspection around this broader subject lately. I hope I’m not boring….not bringing the kiss of death on myself, lol.

Love and light, all.

Advertisements

Behind the Screen (SoCS)

the-screen

A screen,
Like a veil
To rest behind.
A partition that allowed
Thoughts to fly,
Or swim
And be transferred
To paper,
To words,
To a canvas,
To art.

A screen
A veil between
The artist and the world
To be pulled back at completion
Of the work.

A screen in his mind
That kept other people out
And kept him safe.
Or was it simply keeping him solitary?

If no one is allowed
Behind the screen
Then no one really knows who he is.
He can be someone different
For every face he meets.

But he also will never find
the place where he belongs.
The arms he longs for
Will never hold him tight
Because they won’t know him
Fully.

He met someone, once
Who saw him,
Who saw through the screen
Easily, on first glance.

It terrified him.
He wove the screen tighter
And tighter,
And made up stories
that kept him safe
So he thought.

She could see through it still.
Always.
Knowing his terror
She left him alone.

Hoping one day
He’d come out
From behind the screen
And embrace himself

Like the artist
Showing his completed work,
Risking vulnerability,
She hoped he too
Would risk letting himself be seen
Fully
Speaking the truth
To everyone
About who he is
What he wants,
What he believes.

Instead of hiding behind the screen
And morphing into someone different
For everyone he meets.

Screens have their place.
They keep the bugs out.
They conceal what we are not ready
To share with the world.

Just, don’t live there,
Behind the screen.

socs-2016-badge

The prompt for this weeks SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday) was “screen”.   This is hosted by Linda G. Hill.  For more information on this prompt please go to her website, https://lindaghill.com/2016/10/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-1516/

Why I Forgive

Someone told me tonight that my ability to forgive is amazing.  While that is a compliment, (I think, lol), I thought about it for awhile, and why that is.  I have endured a lot of pain at someone else’s hand, yet I can’t stay angry, and I am constantly looking for a way to forgive, and move on, move forward.

I think that the poster below says it better than anything I could.  Brene Brown explains human nature to me as no one else has ever been able.  When I read this, I know this person doesn’t believe they are worthy of love and belonging.  I know they are, worthy of it, that’s all.  I know everyone is, just because they exist, for no other reason.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what was done to me was right, it doesn’t mean I want that person in my life.  It just means that what they did cannot hurt me anymore, and it recognizes that people are generally doing the best they can.  The best they can based on their level of consciousness at the time.  It doesn’t mean that I want that level in my life.  Forgiveness acknowledges a person’s innate worth.  As she says, it’s an irreducible need of all people to be loved.  I will always love this person.  I have forgiven everything.  And I move on with my life.

 

irreducable need.png

If you have been hurt by someone, or something, and you can’t seem to get your footing back, I highly recommend Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong.  She will help you get off the floor and back to a standing position, to heal your wounds and move on with your life.

Sundogs and Gongs


It’s a beautiful morning this morning.  Cool, not cold, the leaves are beginning to turn in earnest, and the sunrise painted the sky.  (I took the pic from my deck at about 6:30).  Promises to be a good day.

I went to a gong bath last night.  It was really good to see my old friend.  She had such a struggle in the past years, but has come out on the other side whole, with even more compassion than ever, more love than ever. The energy in the room was calm, healing. She has done some interesting things since she recovered from her cancer and her long time (20+ years) ended.  She told me she used to ask herself why all this happened to her, and really struggled with it.  She came to the conclusion she may never know and she’s no longer asking.  I smiled at her and said, “You always used to tell me I didn’t need to know….”  And she laughed, because she walked through a lot of my divorce/custody stuff with me.  She was not a close close friend, but was kind of a spiritual adviser.  Through her I found the gongs, found meditation, found a path that has worked for me.

The gongs worked their magic.  I went to purposefully try to make some sense, in my heart, of my relationship with S.  I think I was able to do that, though it will probably take some time to settle out.  When it was over, I realized my eyes and eyelashes were moist  I had not known that I had been crying at all.  I felt kind of drained….but knew that that feeling would not stay, I knew that it was just emotions being released, and replaced, and acknowledged.

Yesterday I saw two sundogs….once on the way to work, once while I was at lunch.  I was texting with S, and the conversation ended badly.  He seemed angry, I was frustrated.  During that conversation I saw the second sun dog.  They have always been a good sign for me, a sign that everything will be ok.  That there is a greater power, that can do miraculous things like put an aura around the sun, and that the world is indeed unfolding as it should.  (In case you have never seen one, this is a google pic.  I only saw one, the one to the right of the sun.  It showed as a sideways rainbow, with a glowing spot in the middle.)

As I said to my friend…we don’t have to know why, just accept enjoy the fact that they exist.  Accept and enjoy our lives.  When one door closes another will really open, the universe is conspiring to bring us what we ask for.

My prayer has always been that I would know the love of a good man before I die.  I still believe that is coming toward me. I’m guessing that things not working out with S, if they don’t, has been so that I have room in my heart for the right man when he shows up.  And that maybe I’ll be able to recognize him when he does.  I still will always love S, but I know I can let go of any dream I had that he was the one.

Anyway, I’m not sure the story with S is fully written.  I’ll just see what happens, and follow my intuition and my heart.  I’ll continue doing those things that make me stronger, meditating, gong baths, connecting with people, writing, being creative, taking care of my house, celebrating that I have a rich full life.

You Are Enough

enough

Thinking about connection this morning.  Brene Brown, in her TED talk on vulnerability says that after  you’ve been a social worker for 10 years, you know that the reason we are here is for connection.  It’s the basic premise of her work.  She goes on to say how her research (6 years of it) proves how so many negative emotions are outgrowths of the fear that something about us, or something we have done, will cause us to be not worthy of love and connection.

I think it starts with our family of origin.  I was blessed to be born into a family who never ever made me doubt for a minute or even a second, whether I was worthy of love and connection.  I took it for granted, that all children got this from their parents. It took a long marriage to someone whose parents were incapable of unconditional love, to understand the ramifications of that one seemingly small, but actually enormous and boundless thing, having or not having unconditional love. The shame that my ex experienced crept into every corner and facet of his life.  I truly believe that because he felt so unworthy of love and connection, that he believed that anyone who professed to love  him, like myself or our son, either wanted something from him or was just stupid.  And in the end, this is how he lived.  He treated me like I was stupid and sought to protect himself from me by excluding me from all things financial.  He was sure one day i would leave him….

A self fulfilling prophecy, I would say.  Of course I would eventually realize I was not part of any equation involving the two of us.  That apparently I was there to serve him, yet only to reap the benefits which he chose to give me,  which in the end were none, because I was, in his fearful mind, stupid and/or (alternatingly) out to take him.

Although, it was the abuse of my son that really moved me to get out of the marriage.  I realized at some point that if I didn’t get out, and offer my son a clear choice of love vs. fear, that I would lose him forever, and quite possibly condemn him to a very unhappy life.  I realized it when he was 9.  It took me until he was 14 to actually put together an exit plan.

All of that pain, though, every bit of it originated in my ex’s belief that since his parents could not unconditionally love him (Love for them had to be earned, and could quickly be taken away.  They thought it was motivation.) that he simply was not worthy of it.  When I realized this, my anger at him turned to sorrow for him.  I can’t imagine living a whole life, not ever believing you were worthy of love and connection.  Is there a more painful way to live?

Some people can  figure it out.  Some people can find a pathway to a creator that unconditionally loves us, or realize that we are all connected.  That there is a vast ocean of love, that we can all dip into.  Some people manage to figure out that the lessons they were taught were just wrong, and that the people that taught them  were flawed people doing the best they knew how.

Since I have been out of the marriage, I tried once or twice, when my ex opened the door, to show him a different way to see the world, and a way to rebuild a relationship with our son.  He has so far been unable to hear it, or see it.  I think some progress may have been made, that maybe he no longer believes me to be the cause of all his problems, although I don’t know this for a fact, and I do know that he doesn’t have any good answers to why he is in the dire straits he is in.

I have a friend, who had a similar childhood, who has tried to reconnect with a sibling now that their parents have both passed.  I wish this person much luck with this endeavor.  I hope it happens.  I also am real, and know it’s chances are slim. And my job, if I have one at all, is to make sure this person knows, no matter what the outcome that they are worthy of love and belonging.  That they are enough.  Just because they are, because they exist, and for no other reason.

You are enough.

The Strength of Being Vulnerable, and the Sadness of Those Who Are Not

A friend (Megan, https://lovewillleadyouhome.wordpress.com/) wrote a blog today on vulnerability, asking was it a strength or a weakness.  It made me think of Brene Brown’s incredible TED talk on vulnerability. At the moment, it has 20,784,830 views.  Mine are maybe a dozen of those.  I sent the link to my friend, and watched it again myself.  Brene Brown is brilliant, funny and RIGHT on the mark.

If you haven’t seen this, please watch it.  It’s 20 minutes that can change your life, literally.  I dare anyone to watch it and not shed a tear.

I watched this, and I realized I tried to convince my ex, and S, that they were worthy.  Neither of them bought it.  Both are disconnected.  I tried, really hard, to get my ex to understand this, because he wanted a relationship with our son so badly.  I told him that our son needed to see his father go out on a limb for him, a limb he didn’t know wouldn’t break.  No guarantees.  But if he didn’t try, at least try, he gave up all hope. The fear of being vulnerable was not something he could overcome.  Maybe someday.

And S?  He wants to be free?  Of what?  Of any relationship that might cause him to feel vulnerable.  I believe this.

Neither of these men could take a risk, not knowing the outcome.  Both of them numbed their feelings, using assorted different methods.

Me?  I will offer my whole self.  My feeling is if you don’t put yourself out there, even not knowing the outcome, if you won’t take the risk, then you lose any chance for joy, for love, for creativity, for love and belonging. Let yourself be seen, who you are, without shame. Take a chance, and feel the miracle of connection. But you gotta love yourself first, and know who you are, so if it doesn’t work, you can just move on, with gratitude that you can feel as much as you feel.