Archives for posts with tag: how to love

So far today is off to an entirely routine and ordinary start. I’m okay with that. I woke to the alarm (even still a bit groggy, and my dreams still linger in my memory), showered, dressed, made coffee. Here I am, now, sipping coffee, writing. A few minutes further on, and I’ll be headed to the office, after locking up the house. Very routine. Very ordinary.

My coffee is good this morning. I make appreciating it an explicit moment of delight, and I savor it. (Both the coffee, and the delight.) I make time to observe that I’m not in much pain this morning, and that my range of motion, and freedom of movement seem pretty good. I make a point of appreciating that, too. (No point in starting the morning bitching about the ordinary-ness of pain or of arthritis.) I turn stray moments of potentially bitching about the uncontrollable or everyday into moments of authentic gratitude; hard to be pissed off while also feeling grateful, and truly, most things I could find to bitch about could be far worse than they are. 🙂

My Traveling Partner returns home Friday. I’m eager to see him. This lovely bit of solo time has been enjoyable, and I’m ready to be over missing my partner. lol I feel excited about it, as if there is “much to discuss”, but I don’t honestly have more to say than “welcome home” and “I love you”. 🙂

Time keeps passing. Season 4 of Rick & Morty starts next month – almost here! Autumn has come, and the leaves are colorful – and falling. There are a multitude of small events, mileposts on life’s journey, that mark my path. Right now, the one I am most focused on is the return of my Traveling Partner. 😀 I find myself wondering if I should prepare in some explicit way… stock up on groceries so we don’t have to go anywhere over the weekend, maybe? I don’t know. It’s likely enough to be here, welcoming him home. Enough to have this lovely home to offer. Enough to be present, authentic, and genuinely loving. Only 4 work shifts between now, and his return, too… 3 nights… I mean, I’m not counting down the hours, exactly… but… about 90? Hours, I mean. lol

I take a deep breath, relax, exhale, and let go of any expectations I may be developing, any assumptions about his homecoming I may be inclined to make, in favor of being here, now. It’s a better choice. 😀 I sip my coffee, smiling. It’ll be nice to have my partner home again.

I sip my coffee, thinking about autumn. Thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Smiling. It’s enough, isn’t it, to feel suffused with joy and contentment? I think so. Finding further point to mere existence from this vantage point of contentment and gratitude and joy, seems a waste of effort. It’s that much of “enough”, as it is, and already a lovely starting point for beginning again. I sip my coffee, and finish the last bit of it more as a gulp, unintended, than as a careful swallow. Here’s hoping for a day of “effortless effort” and ease in the work day, and an evening of contentment. 😀 One day closer to the milestone directly ahead on the path, but I know there’s another beyond that, and another, and another still… each a chance to move forward, to grow, to live more fully, and begin again. 😀

A morning with some challenges. I sip my coffee, finding my center through music. Love Rollercoaster feels appropriate. I take another sip of coffee, clean up my subscriptions in YouTube… astonished that I ever subscribed to that. What was I thinking? For real? Life and love, as journeys go, aren’t a smooth, well-lit, comfortably paved, straight broad path from this moment to the next. Like a lot of journeys, sometimes it’s gravel, sometimes it’s grassy, sometimes it’s a steep climb, other times it is so effortless is passes nearly unnoticed, caught up in my own unrelated thinking about it in the abstract. Like a rollercoaster? Sure, near enough, I suppose.

I’m not cross or unhappy this morning, and eventually I settled into a comfortable groove, feeling good. This Love Rollercoaster has many twists and curves, and I’ve learned much about love. The morning just got off to a bumpy start. It happens, and it’s not always about love. 🙂 There are other things going on. Let’s start with aging – and pain. Aging sucks in one or two regards – pain being one of those. I’ve got mine, my Traveling Partner has his. I woke this morning, with him, we each had our reasons for wakefulness to do with physical pain. Feelings were briefly hurt over unintentionally harsh words, because… pain. We both let it go, quickly, because neither of us wants to add to the other’s hurting, and we both mean to treat each other well. Affectionate reassurances, and loving heartfelt apologies, and the moment is behind us.

I had made coffee for us both, but we weren’t really up for coffee together; the morning started too early, and with too much discomfort. I sat down in my studio to chill with some music videos. I’d have gone back to bed, but had awakened feeling “triggered” and on edge by my own pain, and sleep wasn’t going to come easily (or, possibly, at all) – and I was near enough to “well-rested” to let that go, I just needed to restore that sense of balance, and begin again. 🙂 Eventually, my partner pops in to admit that he’s not really ready for coffee, after all, and shares his intention of attempting to go back to bed. Makes sense to me. I would, if I could. 🙂 He offers me his coffee, apologetically, appreciatively, and lovingly. I’m warmed by the gesture every bit as much as I would be by the coffee… sometime later, after I finished mine, I go get his – still warm. I smile, pleased to have a second cup of coffee without running the grinder and potentially disturbing my partner’s rest; I know he needs the rest.

I sit in the warmth of what an amazing weekend this has been for love and loving, without trying to analyze it – just enjoying it.

I think about our lovely evening the night before – dinner out with friends, hanging out at our place, afterward. It was nice. My smile deepens. Brunch with a friend at noontime – also quite delightful. Good weekend. I sip my coffee feeling content and satisfied. Fulfilled? Definitely. Happy? I think maybe, yeah. Feels good.

The difficult moments this morning weren’t personal, weren’t any sort of attack, really weren’t a big deal – just difficult, and actually, very very momentary. I can deal with that. I can also remember a time when a moment like that one this morning would not only have blown my day – it would have blotted out my recollections of this delightful weekend of love, affection, romance, and shared experiences with friends. I’d have drowned my heart in emotional “weather” – unable to enjoy the lovely “climate” in this period of my life, generally. I’m glad I have undertaken so many small practices that prevent me from becoming mired in a painful moment and unable to connect with a joyful life.

Quite a lot has gone into getting from “there” to “here”. 🙂

I sit quietly sipping my coffee, appreciative of how far my journey has taken me, how wonderful love is, and how pleasant it is to be so easily able to let go of the small stuff, and bounce back quickly. Basic mindfulness practices. Real actual practice. Verbs. Incremental change over time. Lots of books (have you seen my Reading List??). Lots of practice. My results have varied, and I’ve avoided taking that as a personal failure, beginning again thousands of times. What works, works; we become what we practice. 😀

…Well… It’s a lovely Sunday. Time to finish this coffee, and start the day. 😀

Sometimes, being heard seems to be a study in actually listening, myself. Sometimes it is about speaking more clearly, more simply, or more explicitly. Sometimes being heard is about being the person listening most carefully to my own heart, my own voice; when I am “unable to hear myself think”, this is a real experience of being unable to hear myself. Sometimes, I am so attentive to the matter of “being heard”, myself, that I overlook the urgent importance of listening deeply. Thoughts over coffee.

The breeze from over the marsh and meadow is scented with flowers and although I have headphones on, as if listening to music, somehow I haven’t yet gotten as far as turning any on. lol It doesn’t matter. This morning, I am busy keeping track of other details – like the precise moment I can start that one load of laundry I need to do before I depart to meet my Traveling Partner at the designated rally point before a final gear check, and departure. Being late would be beyond rude; it would throw off plans and timing for other people, too. I’d like to avoid that. I’m good at deployment. I’ve had a lot of practice. 🙂

There’s a certain uncomfortable free fall in letting other people handle planning. I’m really good at it, and have learned over the years to uphold a high level of self-reliance, generally. It’s not explicitly stated, so I’ll out myself now; I am not so skilled at, or comfortable with, letting go and allowing someone else to plan and lead. So, this weekend – adventure, love, and all – is a complicated bit of life’s curriculum – advanced coursework, even. This weekend I learn to manage my anxiety around loosening my grip on the details, and allowing other decision-makers, other planners, other leaders, to step to the forefront, call the shots, and let the fun of our time together be truly collaborative. Wow. I break out in a literal sweat thinking about it, and I feel my core tighten a bit with anticipated anxiety (which is like, the dumbest and most annoying anxiety, ever).

I didn’t end up, in prior relationships, overburdened with planning and managing life events, travel, and adventure, because no one else was willing to adopt mannerisms indicating they might handle it – it was more because, at least at the outset, I simply couldn’t allow it. I had to have the control. Not knowing all the details of everything could really freak me out. I had to have things done “right” – admitting, even as I type the words, that my notion of “doing it right” was every bit as subjective and centered on my own thinking as anyone else’s would be. Of course, if I offered to do all of the things, the answer would be a relieved “yes” and we all moved on to our chosen roles. The resentment over time was just “a free service I offered” or… an unrequested… enhancement. LOL

I’m okay with learning another way. It’s been a really long time since I participated in an event of this sort – I have no idea what to expect, neither from the event, nor, frankly, from myself. I don’t even know what I want, beyond spending time chilling with my Traveling Partner, making memories. This could be an amazing shared experience…I have to be willing to allow it to be. (I am.) I have an opportunity to connect really closely with my Traveling Partner for a few days, and an opportunity to listen. (Which is, frankly, both more difficult and more important than talking.) Being heard feels really good. Like happiness, it somehow tends to skitter just out of reach if I chase it. On the other hand, in building the skills I need to listen deeply to others, to listen non-judgmentally, to really hear what someone else is saying – to meet that need to be heard for another – I bring profound new opportunities for intimacy and connection into my experience… that results in greater potential for being heard, myself. It’s my plan to practice listening more than talking, this weekend. There is much I do not know, and I won’t learn it by talking continuously. 😀

I heard my Traveling Partner last night – he communicated concern about his own readiness, and mine, and things he hadn’t thought of, and although he didn’t use simple frank language to get those points across, because I was listening deeply it was not so necessary that he communicate completely clearly. It was late. We were both tired. It would be very human and common and understandable if drama had broken out, or strong emotion, or missed understanding – instead, I listened. If I didn’t “get it”, I asked a direct question, no baggage. We narrowed down needs, wants, and expectations very quickly in this way, and my developing anxiety around letting go of control of all the details and all the knowledge quickly gave way to feeling prepared, content, and… ready for bed. lol

Assuming positive intent is a big help. Not taking things personally is a great approach, too. Understanding we are each having our own experience is also definitely an important tool in the emotional intelligence toolbox. Avoiding contradicting or disagreeing with people’s emotions is something I find useful as well (there’s just no disagreeing with emotion, people – those are facts of their own sort, and very subjective). So… here I go. It’s nearly time to load the car (my dining room is currently my “staging area” and everything is ready but the laundry), to do that one load of laundry, to meet my Traveling Partner, check gear and if necessary make a pass by an appropriate retailer for missed this-or-that we ought not do without (totally necessary; I’ve already made a list)… then… the journey. A destination. A weekend. Love.

54 and still daydreaming about love. 🙂

…The Love part is my favorite. 😀

It’s time to begin, again. See you on Monday.

 

I got stuck on a question yesterday evening. I recalled with some interest how my perspective on the question “what do you want?” had changed after I saw it presented as a philosophical point of difference in Babylon 5, years ago.

"What do you want?" he asks, seeking to gain power over individuals.

“What do you want?” he asks, seeking to gain power over individuals.

I struggled with understanding this question in the context of gaining power over an individual through their desires. I, being quite human, also desire things. I, too, have experienced moments in life when I could be controlled by my desires. (Probably will again.) I still think about the question. I mean, after all… what do I want? Is that even the question to ask?

I eventually found my way to the idea of sufficiency, as a route to mastering my own desires, and my own acquisitive nature, but… there’s that damned question, and sometimes I itch to answer it by way of things I lust after, things I crave, things I yearn for… and find myself wandering down that path of seeking to fulfill material desires at the expense of something more important (to me). Last night I had a moment, quiet and serene and understanding myself a little better (I think) (perhaps) (well, hopefully)… the question needed a bit of a tweak, as it turns out, and is now a better fit for who I am and where I am headed as a human being. Less about “what do I want?” in a material way and more – so much more – about “what do I want of myself?”, which seems to be a question I can answer every day, and find real satisfaction, without chasing material things. This is a question I can make real use of, every day. This is a question that can help me become the woman I most want to be.

Have I been here before? Have I considered these ideas before? Is this a  cognitive re-run? That happens for me, rather routinely, but I soothe my insecurity with the reminder that practices being what they are, a little repetition is likely more helpful than not. 🙂

Then there’s this, on the nature of thinking. A worthy start to another busy work week, and an opportunity to learn. I could say more, but it’s a lot of content for a Monday morning, and I’m still thinking it over. 🙂

Today is a good day to begin again, and a good day to understand more, differently. 🙂

Begin again. Seriously, whatever it is that’s just not working out well, take the morning as a starting point, and begin again. Do over! Be the person you most want to be – today. Now. The very next conversation. It may go very well, it may go very poorly – it may take practice to be who you most want to be, as a human being. The distance between one human being and her goals varies by human being. We are each having our own experience.

Begin again.

It may go well, it may go poorly – you can even begin again tomorrow. Again. Don’t like who you are, when you think about the person in the mirror? Make different choices. Use different words. Begin yet again. Do you. No one else can be the person that you are, yourself. There is so much more to being and becoming than school-job-car-career-marriage-house-children-retirement-death, isn’t there?

What about that story you want to tell?

What about that place you yearn to go?

What about that idea you have?

What about that skill you want to develop?

A novel doesn’t write itself when I am not looking at the keyboard. The beautiful poem in my  head doesn’t make it to the page without assistance. The walk toward the distance on which I might see many things isn’t going to unfold ahead of me without my also taking the steps. The painting I can see in my thoughts won’t hang on my wall – on any wall – unless I paint it.

This is my life. There are verbs involved. Every day, every moment, every choice, becomes an opportunity to be and to become more the woman I most want to be. I may never be a well-known author; I write nonetheless, and it is part of who I am. I am unlikely to be a famous artist; I paint, a lot, and the joy in it is the painting, itself. Over time I have come to accept as a given that it is the journey itself in which the value lies; destinations being so finite and limiting, are of far less importance. When I become focused on an outcome, committed to a result more than an experience, I lose my way, mired in bullshit, drama, and tedious details – and forgetting this is my life, worth living.

Is love a journey or a destination? Or... is love a verb?

Is love a journey or a destination? Or… is love a verb?

I spent last evening wrapped in love. I’m still so soaked, so saturated, so imbued with sacred sentiment it’s harder than usual to use practical language, clear simple words, sentences with proper grammar and form; my heart soars, and my thoughts are poetry. I love. I am loved. It’s so much more than enough…

…I am not so easily able to love like this, fully, reciprocally, tenderly, openly, and with great consideration, without loving the woman in the mirror, first – and with a very similar enthusiasm and passion as what I might show a lover. Of course, there’s always more to learn. I reach for “How to Love” for today’s studious reading, and “More Than Two“, also. Today seems a good day to study love, to give it the serious support and earnest dedication to learning that one might give to a college course needed to graduate. What could be more important to study than love, and loving? It’s certain that I could be better at it, however good at it I may be in some one relationship, or some one moment.

Today is a good day for love, for loving, for being the woman I most want to be. There are verbs involved. My results may vary. That’s all okay, too; love is enough. 🙂