Archives for posts with tag: building the OPD free zone

I am sipping my morning coffee, considering the walk I am eager to want to take. I’m “not there yet”. lol My muscles ache from pushing myself, already. I’m not bitching about it, and I’m not unhappy over it. Sore muscles are muscles working a bit harder, doing more things that need done, and becoming more capable of more work. Consistency is a requirement for forward progress; if I skip the walk today over sore muscles, I don’t make as much progress toward my goals, nor as quickly, so… at some point? Walking. I’m not looking forward to the walking itself, although I’d like to. I am in pain. The walking helps the pain in my back and my neck (osteoarthritis), but is less helpful with the bad ankle that has to support the weight. Without walking, the weight remains an issue. With the walking, the ankle is an issue. I’m not saying it as though this is an unsolvable conundrum, either, just saying that these complications are part of my experience. πŸ™‚ There’s a metaphor here…

It’s a journey with a lot of steps.

We become what we practice. Emotionally and physically. There’s not a lot of room to argue on this one. Are you hot tempered, easily frustrated, quick to react, and tending to fall back on negative feedback and criticism to communicate your needs? Well, that’s the person you become, over time, in a fixed and rather predictably unpleasant way. Are you tender-hearted, prone to tears in the face of negative feedback, (whether or not it is accurate or well-intended, or useful at all) particularly when it comes from someone whose opinion you value? Same slope; you become more of who you already are, and what you choose to do with the toxicity of the world around you, because it is what you practice. You may get called a bitch when you demand that your agency be respected, or when you insist on not being interrupted in a meeting, but that lack of boundary-setting? It’s a practice, too.

…Also? Don’t be a dick. Don’t be a bitch. Don’t call someone names, either; how about we start there? Speak gently. Be clear, and also honest. “Stay in your lane” in the sense that not every opinion you have actually needs to be shared (particularly with regard to your aesthetic, and someone else’s appearance). Check your assumptions – a lot of them are wrong (the science is in on that) – and practice deep listening, instead of waiting for your turn to talk.

Does it sound like I’m venting aimlessly, about commonplace bullshit we all seem to engage in, if not regularly, then once in a while? Well… then I’ve failed to communicate clearly. I’ll try again…

Your words matter. Use them with care. If you are communicating with someone you say you love, communicate with love – real love, using words and tone that make it very clear that the love is first and foremost in your mind, rather than some momentary frustration. Our bitterness, our hurt, our anger – once shared, it’s out there. Shared with emotional force, and absent the love that may be part of our experience, it causes real harms, real doubts about our affection, and can undermine that love we cherish so much.

Don’t let the sun set on a treasured relationship without saying something encouraging, supportive, authentically affectionate – the smallest moment of authentic appreciation and praise can change the color of an entire day. I am fairly certain most of us share negative feedback with cherished others almost every day… imagine the crushing weight of all that criticism, all that negativity, the constant pressure to raise oneself up from beneath the weight of it… Let’s not do that. Let’s handle our words with greater care, ensuring that we take more time for what is positive and uplifting that we do for things we see as problems needing correction.

I challenge you to practice even a 1 to 1 ratio of (authentic) compliments and (sincere) encouragement to criticism and requests for change. I hope you find that incredibly easy (and succeed) – because people need more love and encouragement than that, and as starting points go, it’s a bare minimum for success. I promise you that if you are only sharing negative feedback, that’s all that is being heard. That sounds like a pretty terrible experience to be on the receiving end of, just saying. Use your words as a force for good in your life, use them to lift others up, to encourage what is positive in everyone you meet.

A lot of people may grow up in environments in which very little positive feedback is shared, or the positive words are hollow superlatives about qualities they can’t control, and no attention given to the whole person. People coming from that place may not know how to give authentic positive feedback, and may genuinely not understand why it is necessary. They need to see it done, to feel it, before it will be something they can easily practice themselves. Is that someone part of your life? Be open to explicitly telling them what you need to hear – without excuses, or a need to justify yourself. It’s okay to need what you need, and it’s also quite okay to ask for it. πŸ™‚ “I need you to say something nice to me right now.” may feel weird to say, but it is one place to start. πŸ™‚

We’re all so human. There’s so much stress and hostility in the world right now. Our culture feels so toxic. Be someone who understands there is work to be done, and recognize you can do some of it. Be someone willing to do it. Be the change we need. Speak gently. Be encouraging and kind. Soften your tone. Be trustworthy. Be honest without being mean. Let small shit go. Don’t drink the poison offered to you. Don’t offer others poison.

Don’t like the world as it is? Be part of what changes it. We become what we practice. Practice being the person you truly most want to be. Every choice, every interaction, every day. Sometimes you will fail (I know I do); your results will vary. Practice more. πŸ™‚ Be that better version of yourself, because you choose it, and it matters. Other people may not make these choices – don’t drink the poison they offer you, and walk your own path. πŸ˜‰

It’s time to begin again.

There’s more to say on such a big topic. A paragraph or two about love and lovers isn’t going to cover the subject thoroughly at all. I won’t try. It’s early in the morning, and I’m headed to work soon. The morning is rainy. The coffee is hot. My mood is merry. Easy stuff on a Tuesday.

The view from my weekend away.

I scroll through my Facebook feed, catching up after a weekend away. I flip through the posts – what’s with all the angst-y relationship drama? (More than enough over the weekend, as well – seasonal?) I don’t laugh – it really isn’t a cause for amusement or celebration when lovers suffer in each others arms, most particularly consider the great care some lovers take in crafting their shared misery. The choices! The effort! The lovingly hand-crafted artisanal misery! It’s amazing to me that even if pointed out such that awareness is unavoidable, a great many people will still “well, she…”, “well, he…”, with real ferocity to return to an acceptable understanding that allows them to rationalize not making any changes at all. It’s weird. It’s as if – wait for it – they are actually choosing to be unhappy together instead of choosing to be actually happy, or at least content and blissful. So strange. It’s hard to watch. It’s always been hard to watch. It makes my acid reflux flare up to have to watch it. It makes me heartsick to have to turn away. (I can’t fix it!) 😦

Love isn’t misery. If you are miserable, I assure you, it isn’t the love causing that. It’s the bullshit. πŸ˜‰ Drop the bullshit. lol (Sounds so easy in those terms, but yeah – there are still a lot of verbs involved, and you can’t avoid those, or pay for someone else to do them.)

I’ve had cause to be soaked in drama recently. Not so much a choice as a test of endurance, loving kindness, compassion, and the experience and (limited) wisdom that come of age – and that come of fucking up several potentially wonderfully promising relationships myself over the years. Doesn’t make it easier to bear witness to the misery of lovers who refuse to see that they are choosing their misery for themselves, with great care, and putting every ounce of their being into tending and maintaining it. Yikes. I can’t even imagine the power and joy of a relationship into which similar effort and energy are put directly into actually loving each other!

Sharing the love, and sharing the building. Destruction is far less joyful.

…Oh. Wait. Yes, yes I can actually imagine the power and joy of a relationship into which lovers are putting the full weight of their effort and energy directly into actually loving each other! I have that! How wonderful! πŸ˜€ I worked – and work – with great care to build (instead of destroying) to support and nurture (instead of criticizing and tearing my partner down) to attend to my own chaos and damage (because we really only have the power to change our own ways, to deal with our own issues, to put down our own baggage), and to learn to love well.

A gray, black, and tan moth is colorful up close. Perspective matters. πŸ™‚

I’m still learning. I practice every day. I make mistakes. I make amends. I screw up. I make it right. Again and again. I learn something new that works. I practice it often. I find out something I do is problematic. I look at ways I could change my approach for a better result. I face the awareness that something my lover does is uncomfortable for me. I learn to bring those issues to the table with kindness, patience, and understanding that I am having my own experience, and “demanding change” is not always the most effective (or efficient) way to achieve the result I want. I learned to assume positive intent, and learned to share my words gently, and to listen deeply. I learned to let go of assumptions and expectations, and to distinguish between acceptance and being a doormat. lol So many life lessons to love well! We have to learn each of them on our own. The verbs pile up.

I may be writing about love for the rest of my life – there is that much to say about it, and I’m no expert. πŸ™‚ Love matters most. Love inspires. Love pulls us. Pushes us. Changes us. Love is powerful stuff. I spent the weekend wrapped in love. Home now to begin a new work week, I’m still thinking about love – and lovers.

There is always time for love. (Make time for it.) What could be a more worthy use of your precious limited mortal life than to love?

Speaking of time… it’s time to begin the work day. πŸ™‚ One new beginning among so many. It’s time to begin again. πŸ™‚

This morning the minutes slip away as I consider my next move. I dislike moving, but the lease here is up just a bit more than 90 days from now. It’s time to give the matter some thought.

I woke on time, and as was the case yesterday, feeling a bit groggy. This morning’s okay though, as was yesterday, and I’ll get through the day just fine on the rest I got. I’m still feeling some stress, but I am also more aware that some of that is simply circumstances forcing my attention onto the need to move, again. I dislike moving. I sometimes find it difficult to enjoy traveling. I like to feel “at home”, safe, secure, and content. I can’t recall if this is something that has “always” been characteristic of my sense of self, or a newer thing, or the “why” of it.

One thing I know, although it took me a long time to figure it out; “home” is something I build for myself, and I can do that almost anywhere, given an opportunity to settle in and do so. I’ll probably grieve this lovely safe space 100 times before I ever actually move, but it’s not the building I’m attached to, nor is it the address, or the location, or the community – it’s the home I’ve made for myself here. I can do that again, someplace new. I even know that I enjoy and find deep satisfaction in that process of home making. I just dislike the process of moving. πŸ™‚

asdfasd

“Home” moves with me, even my garden waits in pots for a different arrangement, in another place.

This year the holidays will be lean and carefully managed in order to prepare logistically for a comfortable move. If I am ready to buy, and find the right little place, that’ll be the thing – if not, I’ll find a suitable rental nearer to work, and get back some of the time in my day while I look for a more permanent residence, something that suits my needs, and those of my traveling partner. I feel some of the anxiety and stress recede with a few moments of internal planning dialogue.

Today is a good day to remember that I am my own cartographer, and this journey really doesn’t have a map – or a destination. Today is a good day to plan, and to let go of attachment to places – and planning, too. Change is. Impermanence is, too. I’m okay right now. πŸ™‚

Something woke me during the night, around 1:45 am. I finally got back to sleep sometime after 3:30 am. The alarm clock seemed an unkind thing at 4:45 am. I feel… groggy? No, something subtly different… my perceptions and sensations are somewhat surreal spin-offs of the ordinary. Coffee helps. I struggle to sort out my thinking this morning. I go through the motions of tasks intended toΒ help me re-engage the moment. I can’t claim any great success. I am thankful I have no plans after work; an early night seems likely.

I think about the day ahead, and the weekend just completed. It is a poor morning for complex thought. I let my thoughts drift through my awareness as sand through a sieve. I think about the nature of values, and how regardless what we say our values are, our actions demonstrate the truth of our values which can’t be denied. I think, too, about ground rules in relationships, how they are decided upon, and the purpose they serve. I muse a while about equanimity, reciprocity, and ‘fairness’. I contemplate the fallibility of memory, and the nature of revisionist history. I think Β about cats, kittens, and just about the time I find myself wondering why I haven’t got one, I remember why I don’t. It’s that sort of morning; my consciousness is filled with thought-confetti, colorful, distracting, disorganized.

The weekend was mostly spent rather satisfyingly helping my traveling partner sort things out for his comfort here. Some of that was more emotional for me than I expected. Something to meditate on at some point when I am not so tired.

Today it will be challenge enough to get through the day’s workload efficiently, to get home still feeling merry and encouraged by life, to end the day more or less content with things, and without causing any stress or drama with fatigued clumsiness or confusion. It’s a sufficiently lofty goal for today, and I will do my best – that will be enough. πŸ™‚