Archives for posts with tag: a soldier of peace in the army of love

I woke up this morning to see, reflected in my Facebook feed, more news of more killings. It saddens me. Black lives do matter. All lives do matter. It’s a statistical given that not all cops are the bad guys. It’s apparent that black lives and white lives are treated differently under the law; the statistical, factual data regarding outcome, analyzed by racial characteristics, make that quite clear. Human beings have great potential – and great potential for violence. Doesn’t seem to matter whether those human beings work in law enforcement or not. Our culture is sick, and as so often happens when an organism is ill, the culture itself has no idea how vile the sickness is, how at risk of collapse this sickness puts us, the true nature of the illness, or how to cure it. It’s beyond sad, it’s indescribably depressing, when one additional detail is added, and it’s a very true thing; we’re choosing this.

Choose something different. I don’t know what else to say about it. Don’t kill people. Are you a cop? Don’t kill that person – yes, there are other choices. Are you a citizen just minding your own business? Don’t kill anyone. Even if you think, in some strange moment, that it seems ‘the only choice’, choose differently anyway. Angry that someone broke your heart? Don’t kill them. Angry that you’ve lost your job? Don’t kill anyone. Angry that life seems to favor some group of people you are not part of, at your expense? Don’t kill them. Seriously. Damn. When was the last time you – yes you, right there – read a news article in which someone was killed and thought to yourself, “well, that makes sense, that was just, and rational, clearly the only choice, and that human being – that dead one – their life had no actual value to them, or anyone else, as it was and killing them was entirely necessary for the remainder of humanity to survive and thrive”? I’m betting… oh hey, never! It has to stop. Doesn’t it? Why are we choosing this, of all things?

I’m frustrated, and I’m frightened. The world doesn’t feel very safe. I still don’t think taking up arms and going around killing people is the solution to that problem. Today let’s not kill people. Let’s choose differently. Let’s change the world.

This is not a blog post about science, water, or the seashore.

This morning I am sipping my coffee and contemplating this empty text box, and letting my thoughts wander where they will. I am pre-occupied with the evening of love ahead of me, and content with morning quite precisely just as it is. This morning, the titular aquatic metaphor is a reflection on differences in thoughts, and thinking. Some of my thoughts are an undercurrent to the busier consciousness of the immediate moment, with wakefulness interrupting my dreams and beginning a new day being rather like a tide of consciousness rolling in. My momentary considerations of some one title or another on which to build this morning’s writing are as waves, hitting my awareness, being considered, then receding.

I continue to sip my coffee and think about love. What a very sweet beginning to the day to choose. And love? Love, itself…? More than enough. Today is a good day for love.

Be love.

Be love.

Are you or a loved one suffering from symptoms of OPD? Arguing with fictions? Stressed out when nothing’s wrong? Experiencing feelings of insecurity, fearfulness, and sorrow in the proximity of someone afflicted by OPD? Is your conversation dominated by OPD? After being exposed, do you find yourself picking at the wounds and making them worse, or carrying the disorder to others and exposing them to contagion?

More contagious than Ebola, OPD has ruined more lives than cigarette smoking, and may be a risk factor for stroke,  and heart attacks. OPD is often associated with depression, anxiety, mood swings, and anger-related disorders.

Fortunately, there’s a cure. There is hope. You can be free of OPD! The treatment program is simple, and low-cost, and nearly 100% effective… Let it go. Walk away. Don’t engage. Take care of you. Seriously.

Can't see the forest for the trees? Perspective is a nice thing to have; today I am contemplating a long-standing personal challenge.

Can’t see the forest for the trees? Perspective is a nice thing to have; today I am contemplating a long-standing personal challenge.

I’m feeling a bit playful this morning in spite of OPD – and if you are not familiar with the term, I’ll break it down: Other People’s Drama. You know the stuff; there I am, standing on the sidelines of a discussion that somehow goes wrong, I can see how it plays out almost in slow motion, I watch the people engaging someone deeply afflicted with OPD continue to face emotional attacks, story telling, and game-playing, while  friends and loved ones try desperately to help, to derail that train, to find a better outcome… that’s how it goes for me, anyway. The problem is, day after day of it wears me down, and one day I find I’m knee-deep in emotional games and bullshit, or allowing myself to be baited unexpectedly, and wondering where I went wrong.

People delivering that experience to their friends and loved ones sometimes have no honest awareness of the damage they are doing to their relationships or themselves; it’s the behavior they learned in the context of their experience growing up. Others are aware of it, relish it, dive into it with earnest resolve to catalyze and control the world around them with emotion. Doesn’t matter too much where on that spectrum someone falls; the outcome for those daring enough to love them is quite similar: stress, fearfulness, insecurity, anger, depression, chaos, confusion, frustration – and quite possibly a sense of ever-present risk of having a fucking stroke. I probably walk around looking astonished or annoyed much of the time, just wading through the OPD and wondering ‘what the fuck, seriously?’.  I sometimes feel fortunate when I’m not in the line of fire, just observing OPD symptoms ‘in the wild’ between beings with whom I have no interaction; it’s no less uncomfortable, frankly, and still seems completely inappropriate, unnecessary, and counter to anything loving or compassionate, but the emotional WMD (weapons of mass destruction) are not directed at me, or even towards me. Make no mistake, it’s not ‘fortunate’  to be surrounded by OPD, or sucked into it, or victimized by it, or even to stand next to it, or read about it in the news. OPD is waiting in the wings to be classified as a mental health issue, once someone sufficiently credentialed can give it a catchy name, and a profitable treatment. Yes, it sucks that much. Yes, I see people who are emotionally abusive to others – particularly loved ones – as mentally ill. Some people find humor in it, from a distance, some people find it titillating when it is celebrities. I find it… distasteful. Uncomfortable. Hostile. Disrespectful. Lacking in compassion for self or others. I could go on. That, too, seems unnecessary.  It’s enough to say that in a mathematical set of all things made of love, I would not find OPD therein.

Human primates are emotional creatures. We’re very fancy monkeys, but peel away the layers of education, technology, and civility and what remains is pretty consistent with apes and simians in the wild. We can do better; we have reason and choices, free will and opportunities for willful change and willful growth. There are verbs involved, and a commitment to making better choices. This morning I face myself in the mirror in an honest way, and I ask a new question…”What does it take to become metaphorically teflon-coated, vaccinated against OPD, and is the wiser choice to recognize when I’ve simply had enough?” We are each having our own experience. There are some experiences I don’t care to have – and I have the choice not to accept them. I can change my own behavior, my own actions, my choices… what does taking care of me, and meeting my own needs over time require of me, as an adult woman with considerable experience?

Today is a new day. My coffee is hot and tasty, and I slept well and deeply, waking refreshed and content with myself. In spite of the topic, and this morning’s content, I am myself in a very good place. I am saddened by how often I have chosen, on other days, to become mired in someone else’s experience. This morning, I smile and think “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” This morning I meditate on love, gratitude, and making good choices.

If you are someone who feeds on drama, loves to foster drama, and invests emotionally in turmoil and confrontation, please at least consider that we don’t all thrive on that, or feed on it, and we don’t all find it pleasant, desirable, routine, or necessary. If you could take a moment to consider… but… isn’t that part of the issue in the first place? I guess you’ll find your own way. You, too are having your own experience, and it’s yours; you can build it of whatever stuff you value, yourself. Those are your choices, not mine.  I’ll just be right over here… choosing something different and enjoying my experience.

Days end. Days begin. Where will you take yourself on your journey today? What will you choose for yourself?

Days end. Days begin. Where will you take yourself on your journey today? What will you choose for yourself?

Today is a good day to treat myself and others well. Today is a good day to be kind. Today is a good day for compassion. Today is a good day to love. Today is a good day to be the change I wish to see in the world, and to welcome the best of who I can be with open arms and no reservations. Today, every day, every moment, love is what matters; choosing it is still a choice, and there is still a verb involved.

Another relaxed lovely morning, quiet and serene, unfolding gently within and around me.  I woke easily, and even ‘slept in’ a bit, which feels very nourishing and luxurious. The house is quiet. My latte is warm and tasty, falling nicely into the ‘just right’ category.  Yoga first thing, and meditation.

As an extension of my meditation this morning I found myself considering each person dear to me for a moment or two, and feeling grateful to know them, and giving some time to contemplate the joy they bring me, to remember shared experiences that have helped me grow, to honor their existence and reflect on the meaning of their life if they are gone.  I didn’t plan this, it began as a simple heartfelt ‘thank you’ that my partners are part of my life, each as they are, with their struggles and imperfections, and the great value they bring to my experience, and it cascaded from there through all the relationships I have now, or have had, and their importance to me.  I feel moved, and supported, thinking about all the amazing people I know.

You are one of them. (Even if we’ve never met in the flesh, here you are now, reading my words and connecting with me through them. That matters to me; I thank you.)

Today feels good. There isn’t much more to say about that, beyond observing the feelings: contentment, balance, serenity, comfort, quiet joy, hopeful, friendly, open, relaxed, and something softer than happy, less boisterous than joy – but very much on that end of the emotional spectrum. It used to be incredibly rare to feel anything even a little like this. Somehow, then, I thought that fighting to get here, screaming in hurt and rage when it felt ‘taken away’, struggling endlessly to force this experience to exist would ‘make it happen’.  I didn’t understand. I still lack ‘certainty’ about ‘how it all works’. I am learning, and in learning is progress.  That’s enough. I am learning to be comfortable with uncertainty, and unafraid of unanswered questions; it is the questions themselves that have the greater value to me, at least for now.

Now. Now is something I am becoming pretty comfortable with. Mutable and timeless Now – it suits me more than I understood it could. Yielding to Now. Surrendering to Now. Embracing Now. Learning the amazing difference between ‘giving up’ (or ‘giving in’) through futility, apathy, or pain, and the wide open vista of experience and emotion in yielding and surrendering through openness, through acceptance, and through perspective in this precious Now.  It’s powerful, and so far… incredibly difficult to share. It’s a puzzle. All I have are words, and it isn’t about words.

I am not a missionary.

I find myself filled with conviction, hope, and experiencing my life very differently these days, and no amount of word-sharing actually has any real potential to communicate that every bit of what I have gained is freely available to anyone who chooses to embrace it for themselves. It is incredibly hard to watch people I love choose to suffer. It is a whole other lesson in life’s curriculum that the choices of others belong to them entirely as much as my own belong to me.  Another facet of ‘we are each having our own experience’, certainly, and it simply isn’t productive to shout ‘Be the change!’  🙂

So here it is, a lovely morning.  Today I am kind. I am content. I am compassionate. I am eager to embrace the new day, mindfully, and savoring each precious moment.

A lighthouse is a good metaphor today.

A lighthouse is a good metaphor today.