Yesterday turned out to be a strangely difficult day, and the difficulty of it confused me; I had all the ingredients of a very good day, and yet, the day unfolded so poorly. Amusingly, the title for yesterday’s post remained relevant throughout; it was all very subjective, and it was clearly a matter of my own unique perspective on matters. The color of the day wasn’t a factual matter at all, it was pure emotion. One very awesome thing about yesterday? It’s yesterday. It is not ‘now’. 🙂 I am okay right now.  That’s enough.

Growth can't be forced; I unfold like a flower, opening my heart on my own timeline.

Growth can’t be forced; I am a flower, opening my heart on my own timeline. My journey and my seasons are my own.

My traveling partner takes being supportive and makes it his own, showing me the depth of his love by giving me space when I need it; that’s got to be hard for him sometimes, knowing how he adores me, and enjoys being with me. He misses me even when what separates us is not a matter of miles in distance, but more about my chaos and damage piling up between his heart and mine. This morning I take time to smile gently, grateful, appreciative, and content to have the strength of his love, even when I haven’t got strength enough of my own to be easy to share it with.

Love is always 'there' for me, when I recognize it sources from within.

Love is always ‘there’ for me, when I recognize that it sources from within.

Love sounded like it would be ‘easy’ when I was young. Easier still because I really wasn’t sold on it as a notion; it didn’t seem likely, or real to me, and I had had no experience of it to show me otherwise. Love, then, was a fairy tale. When I did eventually meet love, I was as a child bringing home some wounded animal and attempting to keep it as a pet; I didn’t know what I needed to know to treat love well, to nurture it, to grow with it. It quickly diminished, and eventually died, leaving me wondering how real it ever was. I probably had other chances at love, and didn’t even recognize them, after filtering every experience through my chaos and damage, and taking life coaching advice from my demons. I spent some portion of my life snarling ‘fuck love’ and striding purposefully through my experience without regard to my heart, on a campaign to stamp out emotion entirely.

Love being what it is, I did not succeed in stamping out my emotional fire. We are creatures of both emotion and reason; crippling one, mocks the other. Love, being what it is, gave me another chance to open my eyes – and my heart. I’ve managed to muck it up now and then, pretty badly, nonetheless. I’ve been frustrated more than once to make such an important journey without a map…or a rule book. Love does have rules, it needs to be built, to be nurtured, to be invested in, to be taken seriously – and not taken seriously at all – in order to thrive. Where romantic love must be reciprocal to thrive, love itself – the fundament of love, the foundation of love, the essence of love – all that must come from within, and it’s hard to get to the best that romantic love has to offer without doing the important work of loving myself, preferably first…but certainly at some point. ‘Now’ serves nicely.

If we don’t know how to nourish our love, it withers. When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love.”

How to Love, by Thich Nhat Hahn

The journey ahead winds through the chaos and damage, and no mystery there; love touches everything within me, every hurt, every sorrow, every shard of broken dreams. Like a rope thrown into a well, it’s up to me to pull myself out of the darkness and it looks dreadfully difficult sometimes, but the opportunity is there, the choice is mine, and with patient practice, and the will to do the verbs…well… I can see the light, just ahead…

Love is a living, breathing thing. There is no need to force it to grow in a particular direction. If we start by being easy and gentle with ourselves, we will find it is just there inside of us, solid and healing.”

How to Love, by Thich Nhat Hahn

Easy? Gentle with myself? Why does that sound difficult? Is it only because my skill is limited, and I need more practice? Is it because I am still fighting off demons, and wading through chaos and damage? Is it because old programming and negative self-talk get in the way? Is it because I sometimes overlook that will, choice, and action are required, moment to moment? Is it because when I am hurting I still punish me first?

Why, yes. All of those things. There’s good news, though; I have choices. 🙂

My path takes a turn I don't expect; the way ahead holds so much promise.

My path takes a turn I don’t expect; the way ahead holds so much promise.

Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to change the world.