It’s been a lovely weekend, generally. The sunshine, mild weather, and the comfortable intimacy and camaraderie of long-standing love were welcome, and I’ve very much enjoyed the experience. Still human, still dealing with my chaos and damage, still practicing practices, investing in growth, studying the basics of love and The Art of Being, so the weekend has had the occasional moment like clouds passing by.

Flowers and sunshine, a favorite way to get perspective.

Flowers and sunshine, a favorite way to get perspective.

One of the most difficult things to learn, for me, is to appreciate and value my successes, myself, even the small ones. It’s especially difficult to do if I am busily consumed by being hard on myself for something that didn’t go well, or feels like a failure, or a mistake. Celebrating the win has so much value, though, and counts for so little in my implicit memory without the additional focus and repetition; I only need to hear how horribly wrong something has gone once to feel the full weight of circumstances and consequences, and to punish myself with self-criticism, frustration, and disappointment. There are verbs involved, these are not passive processes; I invest in my emotional experience, and I have choices. The choices are not always easy, or obvious, and sometimes I am fighting myself with will that has been damaged by years of learned helplessness.

Flowers exist in many forms, and colors, with a variety of scents, thriving in many different environments; there's a metaphor there.

Flowers exist in many forms, and colors, with a variety of scents, thriving in many different environments; there’s a metaphor there.

The PTSD has its moment to shine, of course, and this weekend I learned some new things about what I may be reacting to, under some conditions that have mystified me for a long while. We are each having our own experience, and any one of us understands our own pain far more easily than we understand anyone else’s. Many unexpected – and valued –  insights come from others. Finding both compassion and self-compassion without becoming distracted by the volatility of emotions in the moment is rather like I imagine it might be to walk a high-wire in a windstorm, blind-folded with boots on.

Wind-tossed flowers  are no less lovely because they are difficult to photograph.

Wind-tossed flowers are no less lovely because they are difficult to photograph.

It’s still been a lovely weekend full of flowers, and sunshine, and love…fearless, undeniable, passionate, robust, straight-up dependable love. Walking love’s path isn’t always soft grass on bare feet, that’s all – sometimes it is taking careful, considerate, mindful steps across a construction site littered with project scraps, and the occasional jagged something-or-other that is too easy to trip over. There are verbs involved. Sometimes emotion overcomes reason, however briefly. There’s no loss of love. I sit smiling and thinking of my traveling partner, and this journey that has taken us so far together, and considering the small wins, and small errors, mindful of the potential to learn and grow and become more the woman I most want to be.  Love is worthy of the investment in time, growth, and deep listening.

Being patience and looking closer pays off.

Being patient and looking closer pays off.

Love is a big deal. Beginning with me, and filling this fragile vessel with all the goodness of heart, consideration, compassion, and regard that I might offer to someone I love begins with treating myself with that same goodness of heart, consideration, compassion, and regard. It looks easy on paper. In practice, I find that I easily undermine my efforts there when I put concerns about someone who matters ahead of letting me matter, first. It’s a strange thing. If I worry, for example, about someone’s feelings being hurt if I am ‘too curt’ with them about distracting me with conversation while I am working on something, instead of simply setting that boundary in an uncomplicated way, I increase the likelihood that I may express myself poorly, being vague, or understating my boundary, or becoming frustrated or resentful before speaking up about it. I create a difficulty for myself that taking care of me in a more authentic way would have prevented, if I speak up simply and clearly. As life lesson’s go, an important one.

However humble, even small successes are worthy of a moment of appreciation.

However humble, even small successes are worthy of a moment of appreciation.

Still…it’s a lovely weekend. Today is a good day to grow. Today is a good day to appreciate the growth that has already been achieved. Today is a good day to let go of taking things personally. Today is a good day to simply be. Today is a good day for love – and flowers.

There is value in perspective, and in enjoying the moment.

There is value in perspective, and in enjoying the moment.