Archives for posts with tag: All of Me

It’s just a thought, on a Monday morning; communication is a pretty big deal. It changes the map, changes the journey, and changes the experience – shared or individual. The magical thing about communication is that it does not have to be weaponized and hurled down range as a hurtful salvo of toxic waste – ever. It can be shared gently, with great care, and received with great tenderness. Ideally… it is useful, enlightening, and promising of a better future moment once considered.

The flip side of using words, of communicating with consideration, is listening – deeply, fully present. I’ll note this is the greater challenge for me, personally, although making considered, authentic, use of communication opportunities does require some verbs, itself. Listening seems to require a few more.

Communication is useful for analyzing patterns – and breaking them. (image credit to my Traveling Partner)

It began simply as a weekend at home, ill. It ended feeling re-connected, deeply involved, wholly committed, and very much in love. The power of words should not be underestimated, Friends. The conversations that walk that mile, however, are not necessarily the “easy” ones; small talk isn’t going to get it done. I’m sipping my coffee and appreciating my Traveling Partner’s willingness to talk and listen, to “go deep”, to share intimate details of that most private personal space within each of us; thoughts and feelings. Wow. It got real, and it got deep, and things were shared that perhaps would have benefited from being shared sooner, together, and a few that presented profound healing opportunities to be shared at all. It was powerful.

…It still is. 🙂

…Worth it. 😀

So… here it is Monday. I’d so much rather stay home with my Love than go anywhere else, right now, but there’s a job to be done, and I’m being paid to do that. So… coffee at hand, dressed for work, and smiling, I prepare to begin again.

…Really, though? I’m sitting here sipping my coffee thinking about love, and how much I enjoy this partnership. How much I’ve grown – and feel that growth supported. How much he’s grown, and how much I enjoy supporting his growth, too. I even feel, fairly literally, wrapped in love; most of my selections for work wear today were suggested by, or gifted to me by, my partner. There’s something magical to that. My smile deepens. I think that I smell his cologne in my studio… I think, too, that it makes my coffee taste better. lol Love is a hell of a flavor enhancer. 🙂

I smile, and finish my coffee, and let a new day begin untouched by old troubles. Use your words. (So worth it.) Then…? Begin again. 🙂

 

 

I drove home through miles of choking smoke yesterday; Oregon is on fire. Scary. Not as scary as some of the alarmist images being shared on social media. So, I re-calibrate my understanding of what is real and true with something more reliable.

Fighting fake news with real data works nicely.

I arrived home to a very different homecoming than I might have experienced at the apartment, in a number of small but important ways. The house was comfortably cool in spite of the heat of the weekend, thanks to having A/C and a good thermostat. My new place also feels very safe – emotionally and physically, which is a win. Because I had closely followed a carefully managed “deployment plan” for the weekend, I also returned home to a nicely tidy apartment, suitable for really relaxing as I unpacked. It was a delightful homecoming with only one fairly obvious flaw. I already miss my Traveling Partner dreadfully. More than I generally do for having so recently been wrapped in his arms, and lit by his smiles. Manageable, fully human feelings of loneliness competed briefly with the all over ease of living in my own space. 🙂

A lovely misty looking view from Sunday’s hike. The mist isn’t mist at all. It’s smoke from distant wild fires.

I drove home as quickly as I safely could, and it became clear it was a safer choice to eschew breaks along the drive in favor of getting to the other side of the worst of the smoke of the many Oregon wildfires currently burning; the air quality could easily be called “not safe to breathe”. My burning eyes, irritated sinuses, sore throat, and the cough I quickly developed in spite of having the a/c set to “recirculate”, were all the confirmation I needed that breathing more of that air more deeply at some “rest stop” along the way was just not a great idea. Visibility much of the way was down to only about a thousand feet. So I drove continuously, content to find relief from stiff joints on my yoga mat when I got home, with only one very brief stop to pee.

…And of course, there was traffic as I got closer to home. It was, after all, the end of Labor Day weekend.

None of the details of the drive are actually particularly relevant to my experience of the weekend, except to observe that the air down at my Traveling Partner’s current address was already pretty shitty from the smoke of the Chetco Bar fire. I got in one decent hike, over the weekend, but didn’t push myself because the air quality was so poor. I stayed on a well-maintained local trail, got some miles while he worked, and took some pictures of the local wild flowers. We stayed indoors and enjoyed each other.

A hike-able trail, a yoga mat and meditation-cushion waiting for me when I arrived; I felt so very welcome. I felt at home.  🙂

My heart is still beating to love’s shared rhythm. It was a lovely intimate connected weekend with just enough hours in it that he had had to commit to work that I also got plenty of “me time” for meditation, yoga, and reading that I felt quite at home. I’m eager to find the perfect balance of proximity and distance and be close enough to spend a great deal more time together, more easily. I definitely want to spend more time together. 🙂 I already miss him.

The details of the weekend itself aren’t really built of anecdotes to share, or life lessons of note. It was time spent on love and loving. That’s enough. It needn’t be anything else; love matters most. 🙂

I sip my coffee contentedly with a soft smile of satisfaction. It’s a good cup of coffee. It’s a pretty nice life. I return gently to weekday routines feeling wholly loved and appreciated, and ready to return to work for another week. Eager to begin all manner of things again, and follow threads and paths wherever they may lead me. There are verbs than want doing. Lessons to learn. Improvement to make. Calories to burn. Choices upon choices upon choices – all of which will likely result in changes. I still don’t know what the future holds, and I am unconcerned; I have now. 🙂

I check the clock. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

 

I’m sipping my morning coffee later than usual, after sleeping in a bit, unexpectedly. It’s too hot to drink. I’m okay sipping it carefully, “testing it” for future, safer, drinking. There’s no rush. The sun is up, the morning is unfolding into a new day. I feel rested… and eager. It’s Thursday! (Date Night) Magical.

Just a cup of coffee and some lens flare; we bring the whimsy, the poetry, the music. Magic moments are created by our perception, and acceptance.

Just a cup of coffee and some lens flare; I bring the whimsy, the poetry, the music. the joie de vivre. 

When I first met my traveling partner, I already understood my role in making the magic of things like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and after many years, I still happily and enthusiastically throw myself into the whimsy and fun of making that magic happen. I didn’t recognize, strangely enough, how much went into the magic of love and loving, and still held onto expectations that somehow it just happens. I over-invested pretty heavily in peace-keeping endeavors any time there was any hint of conflict or difference, fearfully driven by old baggage, chaos, and damage. I was generous, hospitable, and kind (if rather cluelessly so), but those behaviors were interspersed with some frightful (sometimes symptomatic, sometimes just nastiness born of having been permitted to continue with bullshit) bad behavior. Chaos. Volatility. Tantrums. I’m a fucking adult. It had to be hard for people loving me. Hell, it was hard; I was there.

Today, I make magic. Small magic, but nonetheless, magic. I’ll tidy up, and make a point to do some things I know matter more to my partner than they do to me, just because they do matter to him. I’ll put extra time and care into how I feel, myself, and how I look – it is ‘date night’, after all. 🙂 I’ll make a quick trip to the store for a handful of things I just don’t keep in the house, generally, that I know he very much enjoys, so those things are here for him, and I’ll double-check for pantry and medicine cabinet items he might need, and ensure I haven’t run low. All very practical stuff. I’ve learned some excellent practices for nurturing love’s logistical needs.

I still have so much to learn about love! There’s magic in intimacy, in connection, in touch… those are trickier, and rely on verbs with real nuance, requiring greater awareness, more sensitivity… I am regularly challenged to the limits of my current understanding of love, and still eager to take another step, love more deeply, love more intently, love with more skill… and we’re not even talking about the sex piece, yet. LOL So much to learn to love truly well.  There’s patience, and perspective, and listening deeply, and speaking gently, and making room for strong emotion, and surrender, and honoring the sacred ‘other’ that is my partner’s tender heart… So much to learn. I stay it’s a lot to learn less as a statement of frustration, and more like an eager student, opening an enormous text-book for the first time, and looking at the table of contents in awe. Every lesson is worthy. Every lesson builds on the lessons already learned, in anticipation of lessons to come. It’s big, “the book of love“, and I don’t expect to finish it cover to cover even in a lifetime.

Tears slide down my face – the weird happy/sad tears of profound joy experienced fully and also in the context of how fleeting joy must be, just to be joy. (Tears that actually become tears, because my TBI can be a major impediment to the sort of emotional regulation most people take for granted.) Then I laugh at myself – tears in the sunshine. I have this powerful love for this singular human being, without any real understanding why I feel the way I do, or whether it will outlast this fragile vessel, or even if the feelings I feel are ‘real’ – I mean, as real as this table top, or this sunny morning. We’re both so very human, dragging our own customized baggage all about everywhere we go, and sometimes sharing the load. Are the things that fill me up from the inside as real as the struggles that impinge on my joy from external sources? Maybe? Probably? Does it even matter? Maybe love is a placebo… would I suddenly stop loving if it were? (No. No, I wouldn’t…I’d probably use the powers of the mind to intensify the experience. lol) The tears don’t last – they’re more a moment of appreciation that became too visceral. 🙂

I sit smiling, sunshine spilling over my hands on the keyboard. I sip my coffee contentedly. It’s a lovely day – and a good one for love and loving. A good one for sex, too, sure, but that’s not the point – and as much as I want all that, too, I want to be clear (even with myself) that it isn’t ‘about’ sex. I conflated sex and love for much of a lifetime, and it’s hard to sort out all the baggage from that mess, but it’s a worthy project; the love matters most. Real love. Adult love. Romantic love. Sexual love. It’s just that the intimacy leads – not the other way round, that much I’ve learned. Without a foundation in intimacy, and an emotional connection (of some kind), sex seems (to me, at this point in life) repetitive, physical, distant, and somewhat peculiarly unsatisfying, however good the sex is technically, and suitable only for breeding. A bit annoying, really – I used to be good at sex. lol In my twenties I wasn’t even emotionally capable of actual intimacy, embarrassingly, obviously so, when I recall key moments when one lover or another with a deeper understanding attempted to get more from my heart that I knew to offer; I was still too broken for any of that.

I listen to love songs in the sunshine. I let the smile on my face become a slow groove that sends love-chills up my spine and butterflies to my tummy. I love Love. 🙂 I have a near infinite capacity for it (you probably do, too) – I’d happily love everyone good and decent and loving with all the infinite moments of love my heart has to offer… if only I knew how to connect deeply with each one, on their own terms (and mine), in an authentic and intimate way. I’ll keep practicing – there’s too little love in the world as it is. Practicing love more often is a goodness. Every moment we practice to treat those we love just a bit better than we did before really matters; from there we can learn to love the world. 🙂

Today is a good day to practice loving. There are verbs involved. Today is a good day to be love. I think I’ll grab some verbs…

 

I’m not bragging – I’m just saying, this is a lovely moment right here, and it’s authentic, and warm, and it is built on the choices I have made in life, and in the recent moments just concluded; it’s mine and I get to keep it. It is my experiences that are my measure of wealth – and self – and they can’t be faked or stolen. I am.

I am floating, uplifted, and for the moment utterly transcendent. I fucking love Love.  Just dinner out and a drive through the countryside with my traveling partner’s masterful hand at the wheel, laughing and talking and singing along with a favorite song together. It wasn’t an exotic or expensive night out; we don’t need it like that to feel loved and cared for in each other’s arms. Great conversation built this relationship we share, and great conversation – intimate, vulnerable, connected, open and real – is what sustains it. I have never loved like this, so deeply, so easily – and we’re not even talking about the sex. By comparison, the sex almost doesn’t matter – and if you knew me ‘in the flesh’ (lol) you would know how significant it is that these words come from me. We are just so right together. Even when we fail – we win. Tonight was all win and good.

This isn’t about good moods or bad moods – and I’m in a lot of pain this evening. I’m tired from the long fairly intense week at work. I’m feeling the ups and downs of acknowledging the pain and fatigue, mingling with the eagerness to see the dawn for a weekend trip to the coast, and this fully saturated feeling of love and connection. I’m not crazy and I’m not making excuses – I feel.  I feel a lot, and I feel pretty intensely, and I’m not always sure this fragile vessel can hold the contents of my heart in some moment or another – and I’m okay. This, right here, feels like an ‘everything is going to be okay’ moment on some other level…  Is it ‘just’ the love, ‘just’ the connection…or is it absolutely and entirely always about the love, always about the connection – on some level, with some soul (even if my own, with myself)?

My life could use more hugs and more eye contact, more cuddling, and more connection. That may easily be the most true thing I have ever put into words about life. Any life. Tonight I am smiling. I am grateful. I am loved. Love doesn’t need me to wait around for it, either; there is a wide world on the other side of my door, and it is filled with people who love, and yearn to be loved in return. Have you ever had that experience when the day is difficult, but some unexpected conversation with a stranger turns it around? I definitely want to have more of those. lol

I’m just saying – lonely is a thing, and there are practices for that, too. If I could just stand right here in life, feeling wrapped in love, secure, satisfied, content – motionless in this moment – I might not need to understand loneliness. I am so human… I am amused, for the moment, that some things about loneliness seem more obvious from this entirely different and not at all lonely perspective. Is that strange? When I feel loved, I am more able to love. There’s a lesson there. I will contemplate it tomorrow as I walk the beach, a solitary figure – alone, but not lonely, and very much loved.

Be love.

Be love.

I am rambling, and disrupted – but not in a bad way. I am moved. 🙂

Yesterday went sideways early, and although that was emotionally difficult to bear; like most things do, it passed. I spent the day gently, and crashed early; that amount of emotional turmoil is exhausting.

I woke to a new day, feeling good, and feeling well-rested. My traveling partner was over somewhat later. We went somewhere new for brunch, and enjoyed ourselves greatly. The conversation was meaningful without being difficult for either of us (as far as I could tell). We got back to my place and watched a movie together – one I’d really been wanting to see (Avengers Age of Ultron), but dreading seeing alone because I wasn’t sure whether it would be too dark and intense for my general preference.  (Having this injury, I tend to feel the emotions projected in movies very intensely.) The movie was not only just fantastic end to end (my opinion), it was exciting, funny, upbeat – and the good guys win, but with just enough doubt in the finishing moments to be certain to leave plenty of room for another sequel. I had a blast watching it, and I know that ever after it will be more meaningful because I shared it with my traveling partner.

“Baby Love” blooming in the fall rain. There’s a metaphor there.

Love is funny like that, isn’t it? The things we share are altered in the sharing; we grow together having shared them, and we are altered, too. 😀  The personal growth, the sharing of experiences, and the enjoyment of life intertwined with another is, for me, an intensely intimate emotional experience (or I can’t really do it, honestly).

By the end of the movie I was very excited and just at the edge of that child-like place where excitement could potentially become agitation, or frustration become temper. My partner embraced me and held me close, and headed on his way. I had planned to settle into creative endeavors for the afternoon, and just couldn’t hold still even for myself, I was that wound up by the excitement of the movie (I totally love super hero movies). I went for a long walk in the autumn sunshine instead, and thought about love and loving, and the differences between being loved, and delivering on love’s promises to another. I thought about love songs offered in blue moments, and how solid the ephemeral connection between hearts can feel. I took pictures of mushrooms, rainy day flowers, and small bugs working to make summer last just a few more days. I arrived home serene, uplifted, and feeling cared-for.

Signs of autumn everywhere, and a lovely day to walk off what has troubled me.

Signs of autumn everywhere, and a lovely day to walk off what has troubled me.

I am learning to invest more heavily in what feels good, rather than allowing myself to become mired in what hurts. It’s just good emotional economics, really…but…there are verbs involved. It does require practice. And…my results vary. That’s okay. A day like today makes up for a lot – it’s certainly more than enough. 🙂