Saturday, July 30, 2011

Remember when the world was new

I saw a friend's picture of her daughter's first grade class.  It was the official school picture, you know, the ones with the teacher standing to the side and all the kids are lined up by height in rows.  Except in this picture, the teachers allowed them to make the silliest faces, just brilliant.  It's more than adorable.  And it just reminded me of what it was like to have the school picture taken.  And that my mom would spend time ordering the pictures.  And that it was a big deal to give one of your pictures to someone, like Grandma and Grandpa.  To get dressed up and make sure that your hair was right because who knew that your hair could actually be wrong?  And wearing your favorite pink shirt was awesome even though it may have been a size too small and stained by chocolate pudding.  Who cares, I'm wearing my pink shirt!  And just how big a deal it all was.
It reminds me of how happy I was as a kid.  How exciting it all was.  What I had for lunch, did we get to play a new game today, what happened on the bus ride home and we were going to go on a field trip to the fish hatchery!  Everything was so exciting.
It reminds me that once, I was very excited about life.  And I still can be.  Can I begin again?  Tasting raindrops, feeling the wind on my face, smelling the ocean, getting all dressed up to go to THE MALL, going to see a movie, writing a poem, petting my cat.  Not just getting excited about one thing, but all things.  Experiencing the taste of life.  It's all we have.  And once, it was everything.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Life on life's terms

Sometimes things can be very overwhelming.  Bad news in the media, at work, at home, in the neighborhood can make life seemingly unbearable and sometimes even horrible.  There's a tendency sometimes to oversimplify, throw out suggestions such as 'make a gratitude list' or even shine over what is going on.  While these have been things that I have done or throw out, they are not really dealing with what is.  I believe that the essence of the statement 'Life on Life's terms' is recognizing the ups and downs on the roller coaster of life.   We are born into this life and we will all eventually die.  Whether we believe we will come back or not is irrelevant to the process of dying and grieving that those who remain will experience.  There will surely be someone in our lives who will make bad, even horrible choices and their decision to act on those choices will affect our lives and the lives of people around us.  Whether they are politicians or lone gunmen, we all have to live with those decisions.  So while these events go on, and seem to go on forever sometimes, where I choose to live is in the now, allowing myself to feel the emotions that come up as a result of these events and staying present with them.  By staying present with what is, not projecting what the future holds but rather allowing myself the experience as unpleasant and grieving as it is, I acknowledge what these events are.  I create space for myself to be just a human being in this place called Earth, and know that I am here to experience what life has to offer, sometimes unkind and sometimes unpleasant.  I know that sometimes all that I can control, is what I choose to respond with. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

What is this feeling?

A large majority of my time is spent undoing some of my thinking and the subsequent feelings that arise out of that thinking.  Lets call it the self-centered wheel.  It's mostly comprised of cynical thoughts from feelings of frustration and inadequacy and it loops forever.  Until I get to a "present moment" place of here and now and what's going on now.  Then I can attach to happy and joy and get out of the wheel.  Sometimes. 

Last Monday night, I married my friend.  And what I can describe adequately as one of the best days of my life.  Yes, there were moments where things weren't quite right.  But overall, everything was perfect, everyone had a good time and all the planning, cajoling, hysteria went away for this perfect evening.  I followed some friends advice and let it all go.  I took that moment that Kevin walked up to get me to walk up the aisle and looked at him and knew this was all about us and our love for each other.  And that we chose to be with each other.  And that it wasn't forever.  Life is finite, it can all end tomorrow with a car accident.  I remember everything, I remember each moment, and I had the best time!

It is a beautiful thing.  And I have been feeling and surrounded by this love from everyone.  I have yet to experience something like this and now in this feeling, in this breath, in this time I have right now, I'm choosing to stay here.   In the love.  In the joy.  In the peace.  For as long as I can.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Love, Actually

There is a film with this title and what comes to mind in this movie is the relationship between the characters played by Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, two of my favorite actors.   There's this moment that breaks your heart, where one spouse catches the other in an almost affair.  I remember specifically the moment, where Emma Thompson all in one small scene shows how devastating love can be, where you are in love with a person who may be doing something horrible to you and yet you are completely in love with them. 

It's that element of romantic love that fades and what is left in it's place but the space of time, shared experiences, connection, sometimes children.  What I have experienced in my life has led me to no longer believe in that "fairy-tale love," the type of love that sweeps you off your feet and leads you down the happily-ever-after path.   That idea in romantic love where you meet your partner there's this fulfillment that happens.  I've seen too many times and been in the position too many times where that person doesn't meet your needs, falls short or doesn't want to meet your needs. The last time I got swept off my feet I ended up on the floor with a dirty rug.

What I do believe now is that you are very lucky to have that person in your life that loves you, recognizes you for your worth, values you, wants to be that partner, wants to stay your friend, wants to share their life with you and you return the favor.  What I believe now is that there isn't just one person who will meet all of your needs and it's unrealistic to expect that.  This is why I try to maintain my friendships outside of the relationship.  Love isn't something shared with just one person but your friends and loved ones.  A deeper expression of love is to be able to hold space for not just that person but all the people in your life to grow, evolve and change.  It's this expression of love, unconditional love, that allows me to freely give, without so many expectations and in that, I can hold space for myself and love myself as well.  To get love, you gotta give love.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Letting Go

Big day is coming and this week has been a flurry of planned and unplanned tasks.   I felt really heavy and burdened by a number of things and then the unplanned and unexpected happened.  Yesterday came some perspective.  Not necessarily the "see the bigger picture" but more like, "connect with the reason why all of this is happening."  In this space, I reconnected to that love that I feel and ultimately why we're here.   By reconnecting with the love, I feel now excited about what's happening, rather than burdened.  I feel more alive, this is a good thing, this is a celebration.
I also connected with the fact that I do not need to do or respond to everything that comes my way.  I delegated some things and others I simply didn't respond to.  Will something not get done?  Yes, probably.  Will it not getting done lead to more difficulty later?  Probably.  One of the key elements I have found is by letting go I am allowing myself to live with the consequences of that action.  Good or bad.  Indifferent or not.  I don't have to figure out the end.  So much of time and space gets taken up with planning for what is going to be, rather than what is.  Yes, plans need to be made.  But how much time and space and agony is taken up when those plans don't fall into place?  By letting go of the outcome, I allow space for the ever-fluctuating, pulsating and changing nature of the universe.  I allow for others to have their own experiences.  I put the responsibility of those decisions back in the laps of the deciders, not taking on things that aren't mine.    And ultimately, what do I trust?  The idea of failure or the idea of reasons, seasons, change and unexpected surprises.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guest bloggers

I'm considering inviting some guest bloggers to blog on here.
One, they can use this for their own sounding board.
Two, it offers my readers a view other than mine.
Three, it may just be a fun little exercise in letting go and testing my control issues.
Your thoughts???