Archives for posts with tag: a student of love

This morning, my coffee “leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth” in a fairly literal way. I’m not sure what I did to ruin a perfectly adequate cup of coffee this morning… good coffee beans, the usual process… Regardless; this is one dreadful cup of coffee. I sip on it anyway, reluctant to wake my Traveling Partner, asleep in the other room. It was noisy enough making just one cup of coffee. Honestly, it’s not that bad – call it “drink-ably terrible”. lol

I woke from what seemed a sound sleep, smack in the middle of dreams of reality, sufficiently plausible that I was surprised to discover myself awaking to the alarm clock. (oh, blech, this coffee!! LOL) The morning has been thoroughly routine, and soon I’ll leave the house, begin the work day, work through that, return home in commuter traffic, relax with my partner for the evening, crash out seemingly too early (it always seems “too early”), sleep more or less through the night, then repeat that for what unexpectedly seems like … a lifetime. There have been years when I’ve felt the experience to be a brutal grind, and my life filled up with petty resentments, other years (like this one) in all practical respects, it simple feels necessary, entirely practical, and if a bit tedious at times, there’s nonetheless no resentment to it. It works – for me, for us, for living life, just generally.

Yesterday I added some work tools to my personal device in preparation for my trip to “the home office”, which will be next week. A plane flight away, to “a far away city”, and I admit I face it more eagerly than not. I enjoy this job, and feel appreciated, purposeful, and prepared. My Traveling Partner doesn’t do things to hold me back or discourage me; it is a healthy partnership. I feel supported. I sip my coffee, and ask myself an important question: am I providing adequate reciprocity with regard to work, to life, and to ensuring I encourage my partner, and nurture my partnership? It would be a poor choice to nurture my career, while leaving love to whither. I’m not that woman, as I understand myself… So, I take time to consider my words, my actions, and how I prepare for this couple of days away. It matters so much to ensure Love itself is treated with consideration and high regard. What could matter more? 🙂

Staying on the path is a choice, and there are verbs involved; the journey is the destination.

My brain attacks me briefly over a perceived “funny vibe” I thought perhaps I may have picked up on, briefly, last night. It’s not a very effective attack, and I grin at myself over my coffee. Questions work. 🙂 Like a beam of light shining into a shadowy corner, a non-confrontational question seeking clarification on an assumption, a subjective experience, something vague and unconfirmed becomes… just an answered question. lol Most of the uncomfortable weirdness in life and in love are “shit we made up” that only exists in our heads – until our own anxiety and stress causes us to make it real. 🙂

I continue to sip my dreadful coffee – really let myself down on this one – and allow myself to briefly consider uncomfortable moments and “funny vibes” that have occurred in various interactions with an assortment of other human beings, and then let each one go. I breathe, exhale, and relax. No need to make up imagined stressors – real life will make sure I get a fair share of real stress, no problem. LOL

Life is not about perfection – and imperfect things are often quite lovely.

I sip my coffee thinking about sky reflected in water. No reason, it just seems something lovely to contemplate. I consider small lovely moments, and recent achievements, and brief unexpectedly deep connections, and enduring love. Love matters so much, on this whole other level. It still feels unsettling and a bit strange that it had to begin with me – with the woman in the mirror. I struggled to find real security in relationships while I struggled to “love myself”, and once I sorted that bit out reasonably well, it seemed to strengthen other relationships, most particularly my relationship with my Traveling Partner.

…Funny… I’m the one traveling in the world, this time…

…Omg, this coffee is just the fucking worst. LOL

I finish off my coffee, grateful to have it, grateful to finish it, and still thinking about how to deepen and nurture love. Love matters most. 🙂

It’s time to begin again, right here, with the love I know. 😀

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.