Why I write love letters to myself

message-in-a-bottle

 

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.“
– Buddha

I love someone. Deeply. With all that I am and all that I will ever be.

I do not know this person. I have never met her. I have no idea what she looks like or how she speaks or walks or where she works or what her favorite color is, but I love her. Deeply.

I sometimes write her letters to express the love and passion and desire that I have for her.

I do this for several reasons;

  1. It helps me to learn how to love her better:
    Writing allows me the opportunity to “review” my intentions. I can look over what I’ve written and see both my strengths and weaknesses.
  2. It helps clarify those things I need to do for myself:
    In reviewing them I see, in black and white, not only those things that I need to do for her, but, since our partners serve as mirrors for ourselves, those things that I should be doing for myself in order to be more prepared to love her unconditionally by loving myself first.
  3. Because the desire to “be loved” is as important as the desire “to love”:
    Desire, though detrimental to living, is a requirement of love. It is only through embracing my desire “for love” that I learn “to love” completely and unconditionally.
  4. Because passion requires an outlet or it will whither and die:
    Passion like any other emotion, is not just something we feel, it is something we express. In writing these letters I learn how to more fully express my passion and that passion, one of intimate love, carries into everything I do.
  5. How I love the person I am with, love being an action and not a feeling, affects all of my relationships from friends to family to the cashier at the coffee shop.

We have all been around people who exude that glow of fresh love. We have all basked in the heat of their passion. Been lifted by the energy of their desire. We have all basked in it.

I love that feeling and I want others to feel it. To benefit from it. I want people to smile without knowing why they are smiling when I am near.

Does it make me a little insane that I want to feel this way even though I am alone? Maybe.

One thing we can all agree on is that love, at least according to my interpretation of mental illness as defined by the Canadian Mental Health Association  as those things “…that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the world around us”, is madness.

I accept said madness because it is my hope that in writing these letters, like messages in bottles, to my unknown beloved that she will hear my call, and that in preparing myself I will be ready when she arrives.

 

 


 

Note: I decided against submitting this article for publication several months ago because, honestly, I don’t believe I’m qualified to write self-help articles, especially when they focus on the unusual sort of help I offer myself, but mostly because I lost faith that “she” would ever hear my call. I post it now because it turns out she may have been listening for me all along.

I will not wait

IMG_5344

 

I spent the last twenty five years of my life waiting. Waiting for something or someone to give my life meaning.

I wait and wait and someone comes along and I rejoice in their appearance in my life. I have meaning and purpose! Joy!

Then they leave and I am left with questions and doubts and the waiting begins again.

I wait for the time to be right to do those things I want to do. I get close and then something happens that puts those plans on the back burner again. Maybe next week. Next year.

I even wait for myself to achieve the level of awakening that I believe will allow me the right, that qualifies me, to pass what little knowledge I have to others but each step I make on this path only reveals what little I actually know and the sheer impossibility of the task.

Still I wait.

In the end all I am waiting for is death.

I’m done waiting.

I will not be left behind by my own apprehension. I will embrace my impatience because at fifty three I have much less time to waste waiting for something or someone or anything or anyone than I ever had and as each day passes I have even less.

I will not wait to die
Or raise myself
To touch the sky
I will go on
Though the path has no end
If I must
I will travel alone
I will not wait to love
I have been gifted
With love
I will not wait to express it
To share it
Even if only with strangers
I will not wait until it clears like a mist
I will make a storm of it
And all who are caught in that storm
Will know
I did not wait

I think I’ll go camping this weekend… or maybe next…

 

Image: “Left Behind” by Hussam Eissa

 

 

Severed

bound
I was
by fear and myth and legend
free
I am
by paths of my own invention
not soft
I came
to the ends of my contention
not hard
I thought
nor with disguised intention
returned
to grow
and found the soil lacking

and still
still same
those still same toxic words I heard
“fell this limb
it will grow no more” they say
and I
no longer part of the tree
will wither and die

axe
in hand
I make the final stroke

And grow