My journey continues

On October 8th of 2017 I drove 1,774 miles straight into hurricane Nate to find out if my Beloved and I had a future together. It appears that answer is “no”.

She is an extraordinary woman. Extremely intelligent. Highly creative. Spiritually evolved. She has a great career and is upwardly mobile. She is vibrant and alive. Sensual and sexual. Healthy and active. Has great kids. In short, she is everything I hope to find in a partner.

Almost everything. She would tell you the same about me.

Because I love her and have a deep respect for her no matter what, and because we are making the effort to remain friends, we spoke quite a bit before making this post.

What follows applies to everyone, including myself.

The two things I address most often when talking about relationships is our ability to manifest love through faith in action and our obligation to be as prepared as we can be.

Being prepared starts by knowing yourself and your needs. No one can ever truly know you if you don’t know yourself.

It means we acknowledge and address whatever issues we have as best we can. That we understand that we are complete as we are and that we embrace our wholeness.

It means we have a pretty good idea of what we want, and do not want, in a Lover. What type of person are they? What do we expect from them and what do we offer in return? How might our lives affect each other? Are we able to commit to the effort it takes to build a relationship? Are they?

It is so much more than “I want to be loved”. That sort of open ended desire leads to suffering. How do you want to be loved? What does it look like? What actions are involved? What do you bring to the table? What expectations do you have of your partner? Have you made room for them in your life?

I will not point to any of these examples and say “this is why we are not together” because the simple truth is that neither of us was fully prepared. Not in the way we needed to be. We are both worthy and deserving and I have no doubt that we will both find ourselves in incredible loving relationships. Just not with each other.

We do not see this as a “failure” and neither of us have any regrets. Making the move to be close to her was the right thing to do, there was no way for us to learn these things from a distance, and the opportunity to find real love is always worth the risk.

Our last day together as a couple was sweet. We went for a walk. Set up her porch swing. Did a little arts and crafts shopping. We sat close and talked and laughed. We kissed.

Two days later we mutually called an end to it and offered each other metta, a spoken intention and meditation of loving kindness: “May you be loved. Be happy. Be healthy. Live with ease.”

That is what I will always want for her, and for myself, because even though the relationship has ended, the love remains. We continue to communicate regularly and do our best to carry these intentions of loving kindness into action. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it, we are worth it.

I am grateful for our time together and will continue to learn from the experience as I do from everything that happens in my life. It was good to love and be loved, even if only for a little while. Love is a gift and loving her was a privilege.

I am not sure where to go from here, I guess I’ll discover that along the way, all I know for sure is that my journey continues.

 

 

Life

I could spend my life

Lamenting what I may never have

Or learning

and moving on

With gratitude

I could spend it

Worrying about tomorrow

Or crying about yesterday

Or I can choose to live

Now

I could spend my life

Acquiring material things

Things with no meaning

Or I can use my time

Improving my Self

and my world

I could spend my life

In so many ways

Ignoring emotion

In blind devotion

Pretending

Offending

Or embracing my humanity

As sacred and divine

and offering hope

To all I encounter

(including myself)

and learning to love

My choice is made easy

By one simple truth:

I can imagine no better life

Than one spent learning to love

————————-

Image: “People at the Beach” by Nat B

Discover. Now.

Life is all about discovery.

When we are born we discover the most amazing things: the world develops before our very eyes and as we grow it expands as if we, ourselves, are the gods that create it moment by moment.

In our teens we discover complex emotions that threaten our very existence: rage, pain, immense joy and sadness, and, for the very first time, even though we may not recognize it for what it is, Love.

We go through school being taught pointless rhetoric: math, science, history. All the while being taught none of those things that could lead us to deeper paths; mindfulness, loving kindness, compassion. Those are supposed to be taught by our parents. Parents who never learned those things either.

Learn them. They will lead you farther than you imagine.

Later still, we discover that we wished we had learned more of those worthless ideas. Paid closer attention. What was that formula for finding the volume of a circle again? That will come in handy later. I promise you that. So pay attention if you can. But there’s more.

We discover the value of money. Of friendship and of hard work and of possession. We go into the world discovering fine food, good company, bright lights.

Oh… shiney.

Too often people don’t make it past those last discoveries. They base their lives on the hedonistic values of life: a big house, a nice car, good clothes, physical pleasure. Discovery ends. Life has been explored and all that it offers has been found.

Discovery continues despite that belief. Our friends die. Our loved ones leave us. Our investments fail us. We discover loss, suffering, disappointment.

Those discoveries become empty. Meaningless. Superficial. Life becomes meaningless. Emotions become an intolerable consequence. A side effect of life.

If we are insightful, or have a fortunate predilection for it, or have a loved one willing to force our awareness, or we are just plain lucky, or unlucky, we push deeper. Struggle harder to find meaning.

Our path of discovery narrows to two distinct paths: inward or outward.

The outward path leads us to medical discovery. To miracle cures. To pills that end our suffering. To gurus and healers and shaman. The path can branch over and over from here but it always leads us to the discovery of the inward path though very very few can make that transition.

If you find yourself at that transitional fork in your path I hope, I truly hope, you find your way to the inward path. Reach into that place and you will find a hand willing to lead you farther than you ever imagined. I promise you that.

The inward path leads us to ever deeper discovery: understanding, self love, honesty, acceptance, awareness, unity, Love. True Love.

Discoveries that lead us to higher planes of existence. Planes where loss and suffering are accepted as simply a part of life and where the value of a single breath, drawn long and slow while listening to and feeling the beat of our own miraculous heart connect us to the very soul of the Universe, is beyond measure.

What we discover there can never be fully expressed in words but in that place are experiences outside the realm of comprehension and yet understood as if we were once again children creating, moment by moment, the very fabric of our own distinct, yet combined, reality.

My wish for you is this:

Continue your journey. Never cease in your struggle of discovery, because even further beyond that point lay infinity: a point of chaotic generation and regeneration of life where the distance between infancy and eons are but fractions of moments of the life of a single drop of moisture on a spiders web and all that we have discovered between birth and true life, the life that always awaits, that bekons and welcomes all, are a single reflection on the surface of that dew that shimmers a while before dropping into an endless ocean that rises as mist to condense on the web over and over again.

In that chaos of constant re-creation resides the Divine where She rests on this, the Seventh Day, with arms wide and welcome, to bring us into Her embrace.

It is a place of constant discovery and awe and wonder where a word as simple and complex as “Love” or “Gratitude” can define our very existence.

Though I tend to speak of it in terms of enlightenment and higher planes of consciousness it is not some mythical place reached only through lifetimes of deep meditation and study. It does not require the use of psychoactive compounds or healers or teachers.

It is here.

It is Now.

It awaits your discovery.

Close your eyes and breathe.

—————

Image: “Infinity” by Tue Bengsston

To you

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I have given so much
Time
Money
Attention
Trust
Dignity
Intention
Appreciation
Intention
Respect
Affection

I’ve been bled dry
By bill collectors
The legal system
Doctors
Exes
Politics
Policies
Procedures
Life

I have given what I couldn’t spare
More than I could afford
Too often more than I had
To jobs without potential
People without appreciation
Religions without faith
Hearts without atonement
Souls that swallowed me whole
and left me for dead

In all the years of giving
All I received in return
Is a cornucopia of lessons
Most of them painful
That I carry
And share
Grateful for having learned them

All I have left to give
Are the words of my song
The breath in my body
The beat of my heart
The heat of my soul

All I have left
is Love

I give it to you

———————-

Image: unnamed by Teresa on Flickr

An instrument of peace

“Lord, make me an instrument of peace.”

With that single line St Francis defined a life of mindfulness and loving kindness long before those terms were first used. Long before pop culture turned them into an industry. A t-shirt slogan.

He goes on to describe how that instrument looks. It is one of understanding and giving. A life in service of love.

“Lord make me an instrument of peace

Where there is hatred let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy

Oh divine master grant that I may

not so much seek to be consoled as to console

to be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”

This is how I want my life to be yet I often fail in these intentions. Instead, I want to be understood. To be consoled. To wade deeply in my sorrow. To be loved despite my shortcomings.

When I find myself on the needy end of the spectrum that runs from giving to receiving I remember that I can not only offer these gifts to myself, I should.

My efforts to be an instrument of peace must begin with myself because to offer peace to others I must first have it within me. The good news is that inner peace is often gained in the offering of it to others. It is a beautiful, endless, self-sustaining circle.

This was my meditation this morning:

That I forgive myself and not beat myself up for being human.

That I keep strong the faith that brought me here.

That I keep the flame of hope ever burning within me to light both bright days and dark nights.

That I be willing to find and feed my joy, especially when it seems so far away.

That I love myself as I wish to be loved by others and that I share that love regardless of my pain.

That peace isn’t just something we feel, it’s something we practice.

I believe I need more practice.

Peace be upon you.

December 3

The last full moon of the year, which rises in Gemini, also happens to be this years only super moon and, since it is ruled by Neptune, it is a tricky one.

It is likely you may feel an altered sense of reality in the coming days. Emotional sensitivity will be increased. Perceptions will be decreased. This creates opportunity for deceivers and susceptibility to psychological and health issues. We may feel insecure, guilty, apologetic.

Good fun.

Here’s the good news: It is a very polar time. Increases in emotion sensitivity mean that we have the opportunity to grow closer to those we love and decreased perceptions mean we have the opportunity to rely on them to help us discern our reality and for us to help them. And while deceivers and thieves are likely to attempt to use this time to gain from the confusion they are likely to fail.

It is also a time of truths. Truths will be revealed and so long as they are viewed simply as truths, without interpreting them as good or bad, we will benefit from them.

Advice: Avoid criticism and blame both of yourself and of others (always good advice but more so right now). Count on your intuition which will be strong and clear and not your emotions which may be negative or taken advantage of. Use the heightened sensitivity to grow closer to those you love. Don’t read too much into dreams which may be unsettling and misleading. Recall only the lessons of our experiences and be grateful for them. Use the natural flow of energy to overcome negative influences and encourage hope, generosity, and a sense of community.

Yes, its a tricky one, but if we go into this next phase with open eyes and a loving heart we will benefit, as we always do, from the effort. Only those who go blindly through such times will suffer.

Remember, it is a time both of fear and of of truth. That includes the truth of your self. Who you are; a spark of the divine. Truly sacred. A spiritual being having a human experience. When these truths and more reveal themselves to you, and they will, be careful not to judge them, take the time to embrace them and, remember that fears are not truths, they are only fears, and, as always, be grateful.

And don’t forget to dance.

Giving Thanks

the_man_that_dreams_to_fly_by_Mary.Cimetta.jpg

 

I have so much to grateful for today that I don’t even know where to begin.

My life has gone through some changes over the years, from horrible to not worth mentioning to wanting to shout from rooftops just how good it is. It may sometimes feel like those changes are unique to me, but they are not. We all go through these changes. Our lives are marked by periods of unrest and beautiful pauses. All of us.

So today I am grateful for the knowledge that I have never been alone on this journey. Even when I was most lonely, and those times were plenty, I was progressing through life with an entire caravan of others. People I will never know sharing exactly the same experiences. All of us moving toward some desert oasis where the promise of life draws us. Calls to us.

Not everyone hears that call or can envision such a place. So I am grateful for that as well. The ability to see that the promise is always within view. Always within reach.

Mostly, I am grateful today for the ability to love and be loved. Even when I had neither I always had that ability and it is that ability that has led me to this place where emotions are as sweet as tangerines, the sky as bright and clear as my intentions, and my heart more full than I ever imagined possible yet has unlimited room for growth.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. You are loved!

 


 

Image: “The man that dreams to fly” by Mary Cimetta