Archives for posts with tag: mindful loving

Time doesn’t wait on us to set our priorities. Reality does not take a compassionate approach toward whether or not we have a realistic perspective on our choices, timing, or whether our opinions are tied to real life. We do get to choose, though, we get to choose so much! There’s a lot of promise in that. 🙂

This weekend I chose sleep, and I chose Love, and I mostly did not choose writing. lol Sometimes it’s hard to fit all of the things into a single short period of time. 🙂 It was a lovely weekend. For the moment, I don’t at all recall what we did with it… just joyful snapshots: a breakfast out, a dinner at home, shared satisfaction tidying up this-n-that together, love, affection, and connection… certainly it’s enough. 🙂

Now I’ve got my stuff ready for the new work week. I’m dressed for it. Sipping coffee. Waking up. Nothing much on my mind. My neck, for the time being, doesn’t hurt. I pause to really notice and even celebrate that; doing so builds an adjusted implicit awareness that makes room for the recollection that I am not literally always in pain – that’s unhealthy hyperbole. I sit appreciating the pain I don’t have… or… I mean to say, that I don’t have it. 🙂 It’s a good starting point to the day, and the week.

…How is it already time to begin again? 😀

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. 🙂

 

 

This morning it takes me awhile to get where I’m going with this. Please forgive. Short night, early morning, sluggish thinking.

Sometimes patterns of light distract from illumination

Is it really notably different whether you are being obviously aggressive to someone, or acting out passive-aggressively? I personally don’t think there is, aside from the lack of forthrightness, and personal accountability. Micro-aggression fits in there, too; it’s in the intention, it’s in what the underlying feeling is, it’s how the person attacked feels the harm. I think most of us dislike feeling attacked, whether or not it is provoked by obvious ill-intention, or subtly camouflaged.

With overt aggression, I am at least certain I’ve been attacked. There’s an honesty to it. A certain… certainty. It’s not pleasant, but it’s clear. I may be taken aback, or wounded, but I also have unmistakable means to deal with it. Passive aggression is sneaky, sly, and dishonest. The attacker masquerades as well-intentioned, in some cases convincingly (to outside observers). The attack is no less damaging. The attacker no less intentional.

I try to avoid passive-aggressive attacks, and micro-aggressions (sometimes complicated by a lack of self-awareness), as well. I’m not a perfect human being, but a willful, considered, attempt, and a good-heart, go a long way. There’s less I understand to do about my own potential for overt aggression, beside stifle it, keep it in check by force if necessary, and continue to work on not having to deal with it, by making it less a part of my implicit thinking, and “natural” behavior – by practicing other ways with a firm commitment, and apologizing swiftly and without reservations when I recognize I’ve hurt someone.

…I’m my own human being. I find living with other human beings incredibly difficult. I’ve been badly damaged by violence, aggression, passive-aggression (and her evil twin, gaslighting), and the scars are, in some cases, still very raw, the wounds still easily re-opened. Healing from this kind of damage can take… a lifetime. I’m sitting here at 56, feeling rather as if I’ve used up most of the time available, without much improvement. Oh, I take the improvements I do get. I value those (they are the thing that makes life livable). I keep at it. There’s plenty to work on. It’s true, too, that the only thing I can truly effect change on – talking about human beings, human feelings, human experience, here – is this one. Mine. Me. What I do, what I think, how I behave, how I feel – all mine to work on, and perhaps improve. There is literally no realistic potential to change anyone else’s behavior, or how they interact with me. It’s hard, if I hold onto a perception that “they” are the cause of my experience.

Stare at something long enough it may appear to be more significant than it is

Sleep matters too much – even to love. I don’t get enough good sleep. It affects my cognition. It affects my emotional balance. It affects my ability to reason. I take some pretty profound steps to maintain good sleep hygiene – because it’s necessary to ensure I get the minimum amount of rest necessary to sustain human life. It’s been two weeks since I last got more than an hour of deep sleep, according to my sleep tracker, and that was interrupted and in smaller increments. Before that? Back in September, same thing; interrupted, 5 and 10 minute chunks of deep sleep, interspersed with light sleep and wakefulness. I have to go all the way back to July to find a night when I got more than an hour and a half of continuous deep sleep. I’m often short on REM sleep, too, mostly just getting “light sleep” that is neither deep or REM sleep. It’s no wonder I’m tired so much, and I guess no surprise that my resilience has been reduced, and my temperament more irritable, over time.

…During my first (very violent) marriage, I went nearly a decade without actually sleeping more than an hour or two a night, mostly just resting motionlessly, and sleep-walking through my “waking” life… My sleep issues are not about my current relationship, they have been with me a long long time, even into childhood.

I don’t have any idea, just now, what to do about it. “Stop being annoying” and “stop being irritable” are bullet points on a long list of things to change that don’t work that way. I know to start with improving my self-care. Meditation matters that much. I know to harness the power of gratitude when I am feeling resentful and hurt, and to let go of small things, understanding that we are each human, each having our own experience, and that taking things personally is what allows them to hurt so much in the first place – as well as giving others power over my experience. Even the most direct actual-no-bullshit-fully-intended-to-specifically-hurt-me attack isn’t all that personal; it’s usually an expression of that other person’s own pain, frustration, challenges, hurts, and baggage. Often, people don’t know another way to behave. They do what has worked for them in the past. Taking that shit personally just piles my baggage onto their baggage, and it all gets very heavy – for everyone.

It’s not as if people who favor aggression or passive-aggression are actually enjoying all that stress and agitation. (The sorts of human beings who enjoy that kind of thing are a wholly other sort of monster, and I do my very best to stay far far away from those.)

is there really a pattern, or is it a trick of the light?

Then, too, there are so many circumstances in which my own understanding of “what’s going on” is colored by my baggage, my perception altered by my own pain, and I see an attack – or an attacker – where there is really only another human being, being human, and it just happens to conflict with me, also so human, being human, myself. My own feelings of being hurt, or my own petty resentments, build up a foe in my thinking – an opponent, a challenger – against whom I struggle…

…I’m nearly always, in truth, struggling with myself. There’s a lot of bullshit to let go. There are a lot of great reasons to let go of my own bullshit. (No good reasons to hold on to it.)

I sit here this morning sipping my coffee, past feeling sorry for myself, around the corner from feeling aggrieved by the brief restless night. I am listening to my Traveling Partner working out his feelings his own way, tidying things, handling chores that nag at him visually, checking things off his “to-do list”. It was a brutally early morning for both of us. Neither of us slept well, I’m fairly certain. It wasn’t personal, or chosen, or intentional, or deliberately inflicted in any way. No bad guys. No real “good guys”, either. Just people. Human beings who choose love, but struggling in the moment to live that intention, gently. Too real? Too common, for sure. I listen with care, identifying the tasks by the sounds, mentally refreshing my own to-do list as I hear him move through the house.

I used to think love wasn’t a “real thing”, because it isn’t easy, and requires actual effort. lol I’m grateful for love, even when I am frustrated or confounded by what love asks of me, as a human being committed to love and loving – and doing so well.  That’s really where it gets complicated. Every-fucking-body is so damned human. I can love haplessly, without real skill, and it doesn’t take too much work… aaand.. doesn’t last too long, flaring up and flaming out, leaving chaos and sorrow in the aftermath… that’s the “easy” way (and most common outcome). Harder is working together, listening deeply, fostering a long-term sanctuary in our hearts, keeping a welcoming embrace always at the ready, and seeking to build, approach, support, and persist in our tenderness and gentleness, day after human day. Life is a long journey – I’m fortunate to have the Traveling Partner I do; we chose each other. Some days we have to reach across a very human moment, to choose each other all over again. (So worth it, rarely effortless.)

sometimes it is enough that there is sunshine streaming through a window; it doesn’t need to be more complicated than that

He puts his head in my studio, makes eye contact, asks a question, starts a conversation – builds a bridge. Love is worth a little bridge building, when our very human stormy weather floods our path. He gets it. (Usually before I do.)

I finish my coffee and begin again. 🙂

 

I’m sipping my coffee, and pondering how it is that so much of the absolute worst of what humanity is capable of makes the news, but the best of what humanity has to offer often does not? Why are we so hung up on directing precious (monetized) views, likes, clicks, and shares of the worst garbage and horror that humanity can devise? Where is the good news? The kindness? (And omg, why aren’t goodness and kindness and compassion and happy endings more news worthy??)

…I move on from that, closing the browser tab with the news on it. I feel pretty much that “I already know all this” and honestly don’t need to be reminded of how horribly human beings are capable of treating each other; I already strive to do better than that – even better than I have done, myself, the previous day, every day. Nope. I’m not perfect. I’m not even going there. We’ve literally all got room to grow. 🙂

What can I do, today, to make the world just the tiniest bit better, myself, through my own efforts? It’s a good question. I sit with it awhile, sipping my coffee.

How about you? What are you doing to be the person you most want to be? Anything? It’ll take verbs, you do know that, right? “…Do no harm…” may not be enough. It may be utterly necessary to take active measures to do good in the world. To do good, even in your own life… feels like it should be easy and obvious…but… what about those acts that are done from good intention, that have poor results? That’s a thing. What do you do to prevent those missteps? How do you know that what you do to live your values, to “stay in the lines” ethically, to “do good” is truly enough? What’s “doing your best” really made of?

I sip my coffee and filter my thoughts through the lens of my work, professionally. I keep sipping my coffee, and thinking. Adulthood is complicated.

I get my “every day carry” together for another work day. (Yesterday I forgot my work badge to get into the building. Hilarity ensued.) Today, I’ll do better to be the woman I most want to be. I didn’t do badly, yesterday, it was a good day. I can still do better. I run the clock back on my day, gently, and think it over, looking for choices I could have made differently, and words I could have used with more skill. Thankfully, I have time to begin again, and that’s definitely worth doing. 🙂

…Oh hey, look at the time… 😉

Funniest thing about “easy” days for me; they’re not really different, in most respects, from “hard days”. Oh sure, maybe some different circumstances, and definitely a different “feel” to them, but often the routine details are quite similar to any other day, and all the days have the same number of hours, begin and end with a point in time, and require quite a lot of the same work, using the same assortment of verbs. So… what makes today so “easy”? Well… for starters, it’s only just now a few minutes before 6:00 am… so… truly it’s a bit early to make a judgment call about whether the day is difficult or easy, isn’t it? Talk about setting myself up for disappointment. LOL

Actually, any number of small choices may make this day as easy as the morning has been. 🙂 Aaaannnd… my Traveling Partner is back home and in my arms today! Well… almost today. Tonight. Likely shortly after midnight, so… almost tomorrow. lol By itself, his homecoming puts a shine on a day that it might otherwise lack. 😀

Other things add to the experience of ease. I kind of slept in, waking a short time ago to some random noise that was not my alarm clock. I took today off, specifically to avoid being exhausted or out of sorts when my partner gets home; I may nap in the afternoon, so that I can more easily stay up late enough to enjoy his homecoming. Small things make a big difference sometimes, too; I’ve kept the house tidy and cared for, so there need not be any sort of “I want to impress you” scramble to do housework at the last minute. (Good use of time and verbs by maintaining my space tidily – I do enjoy order and tidiness. lol) So, yeah, today already feels easy. It’s even a pay day, and I’m home, and I can take care of a few things in a relaxed way, and have more weekend time to spend with my partner, too!

Yep. Easy day. It’s a feeling. 🙂

I smile at my “to do list” – it’s short. Regular pay day sorts of things, and a short grocery list. I add “gas up the Mazda” to my list, and “sweaters?”. I double-check the grocery list and make sure that my Traveling Partner comes home to a well-stocked pantry; our tastes differ somewhat, and I enjoy taking a moment to consider his preferences.

Omg! He’s really home today! My enthusiasm for his homecoming is adoring – and potentially excessive. lol I laugh at myself out loud in the stillness of early morning, and sip my coffee, grinning. I know by the time he actually arrives, I’ll have burned through some of this energy working down my short list, and maybe, later, taking time out of the day for a lovely walk, if the weather is not rainy. (Maybe even if it is – it’s not really “about” that. lol)

I look around the house, adding a couple small tasks to my list, as I continue to sip my coffee. My face hurts from smiling, and noticing, I wonder if I had been smiling in my sleep, too. lol I feel rested and merry. Damn… Wednesday could have used some of this merriment!

My last sip of coffee is… sipless. Shit. Coffee is gone. Literally gone, too, in the sense that I used the last of the coffee beans just this morning. I guess that will fuel the start of my day in earnest, because I definitely want another cup of coffee! I will have to begin the day, and start working the list, to get there… I’m not bitching, though, I mean… I don’t have to cultivate the land, grow the coffee plant, harvest and clean the beans, roast them… I can just “swing by the store for some coffee, be right back”, and my own simple needs are met. 😀 Although… 6:14 am feels just a bit early for grocery shopping. lol Plenty of time for other moments, and other verbs – and more smiling. 😀

I smile before I write it…

It’s time to begin again. 😀